Just Because

Just because I only worked a few hours this morning and I get a snow day…

And, just because my Handsome Hubby drives around delivering mail in the worst snow, sleet and freezing rain..I am making Hamburger Soup for him for lunch.

Here we go:

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The beginning of every good soup, celery, onions, carrots, garlic, salt, pepper,  italian seasoning, sauteed in a little olive oil and bacon fat…just because I like it.

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Ground beef, browned and seasoned with salt, pepper, italian seasoning, once browned the pan is deglazed with red wine…yum!

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Add a can of mushrooms with the juice…juice equals flavor, I would have used fresh if I had them, these are fine.

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In a bowl using a stick blender, (bagellettes say “twitterbator”) I puree a can of diced tomatoes with half a jar or good marinara and half a jar of red wine, I am not a fan of big honking chunks of tomato, I am obviously a fan of wine in cooking.

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On the side I have cooked 3 cups of pasta (elbows just because they are Handsome Hubby’s favorite) in water seasoned with salt and white wine (yes more wine) and a bay leaf. I throw the bay leaf into the soup when the pasta is cooked, I keep the pasta on the side so each of us may add as much to our soup as we wish, and so I can reheat and reheat the soup without the pasta getting nasty.

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The result, yummy flavorful hearty soup that is ready in just about as much time as it took to write this post.

And just because  I love it, Let it snow, let it snow, let it SNOW!!! Hurry home Honey, your lunch is ready!

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I Believe… I have Faith

I believe for every drop of rain that falls …A flower grows,
I believe that somewhere in the darkest night … A candle glows.
I believe for everyone who goes astray … Someone will come to show the way.
I believe, Oh, I believe.
I believe above the storm …The smallest prayer, will still be heard.
I believe that someone in that great somewhere … Hears every word.
Every time I hear a newborn baby cry, or touch a leaf, or see the sky,
Then I know why I believe.

These are not my words, these are words that come to mind as I sink deeper into my depression.  They encourage me to look past the actions and words that hurt me and remember if all else fails, my faith will sustain me.

What confirms my faith?? Yesterday, it was hearing my neighbor’s car start up and remembering I could get out of that bed and get to church on time for a refueling of my Catholic faith, my weekly dose of the Holy Spirit.

What confirms my faith?  It is sharing my sadness with the only person who I can “safely” tell, knowing that she will listen and give me truthful feedback, no matter what?  Knowing she will not release a backlash of ..”you brought this on yourself”.

What confirms my faith? When your husband sees you fall apart, he instantly says, Lets’s go for a walk. And he takes me to a magical place, practically in our own backyard, where I now know I can run  to when I need to cry, scream and pray.

But these good things have their consequences, rewards and punishments. After church, I made that wonderful husband a great breakfast…and then crawled into bed, rising only to change sheets take a shower and get right back in…why??

Because that walk we took yesterday caused my husband to cry himself to sleep that night because of the pain he was in. His comforting me took a toll on him.  It causes me more pain and sadness than one should have to endure.

When do we stop grieving and move forward, how many times must we be knocked down before we can be happy.  We have so many good people in our life, why is it not enough?  Why do I care so much…

I have Faith, I believe that there is a God and he is watching over us, he will show me that my work here is truly a work in progress and I can get through this.

But for now, I need an outlet for my pain and this blog is it… no recipe of the day this time.

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From where I sit

From where I sit, so much has happened in the last few months.

Our 3 grandchildren who lived with us, with their parents(my daughter and her husband), moved across the country to California to start a new life. The grieving process has begun, and each day is a challenge. Big Loss.

My son and his wife, and their beautiful daughter announced that they would be moving back to the area, his job will bring them back home. Let the healing begin. Big gain.

Our other daughter has met her soul mate and they spend their time traveling and hiking and camping and making healthy changes to their lives. And (!) they spend a lot more time with us. Big gain.

I got my cancer free diagnosis, let the healing continue…Huge gain!!!

We begin yet another journey, to get my handsome husband, happy and healthy in time for retirement. Testing and waiting are among the things that we do to fill the weeks between camp weekends, but when he feels better it will all be worth it. Working towards a big gain.

From where I sit, things are a little cloudy, but if I am honest with myself, the scales are tipping more to the gain side…so life is good.

I have returned to kayaking regularly…this gives me time to reflect, pray, talk to myself, soak up nature in it’s glory around me, I have a friend who encouraged me to get back out and to her I am so grateful, I thought after all those surgeries I wouldn’t have the strength or the stamina and I was wrong. I feel amazing! Huge gain!

Can you feel those scales.., I can.

Here is a view from where I started this weekend, rough water…

This is how I felt as I headed out today

As I turned the corner, my mood changed I picked up this companion along the way…

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It’s amazing what a little perspective can do for your mood…

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From where I sit, calm seas, ready to face another week!

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Here’s to you Cindy Wightman, thank you for helping me get my groove back!

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I love food!

Try as I will to include all of my passions on this blog, I can’t help it, I LOVE FOOD!

A week or so ago I made a yummy dinner, I just had to share… I should have taken a picture.

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom caps, 2 ways.

Stuffing #1

1 lb bulk sweet sausage, cooked until crumbly, and drained

1 cup diced onions, celery, red or green peppers, and carrots

3-4 cloves minced garlic

2 cups crushed garlic croutons

1 cup shredded or shaved parmesan

3 eggs

Stuffing #2

As above, except omit sausage, and add

1 cup diced zucchini

1 cup or so, baby spinach

Saute veggies in olive oil and a little butter, add cooked sausage, crushed croutons ( I use a food processor to crush these) cheese, and eggs. Stir until combined.  Pile into large portobello mushrooms caps, you can put any leftover stuffing into a greased casserole dish.  Bake at 375 for about 25- 30 minutes, I use a water bath to keep the mushrooms from drying out.( just put the filled mushroom caps on a sheet pan and and about a 1/4 inch or so  of hot water ) Sprinkle on extra cheese if to you like.

So yummy! Any vegetable vessel would suffice for this recipe, peppers, squash halves, even tomatoes.  

Handsome Hubby loved the sausage ones, and I have to agree they were very tasty.  We as a rule love casseroles, and this one quickly hopped to the top of the list.

What are your favorite one dish meals?  Please share!

 

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Emma Jeanne the Beauty Queen

I can’t believe it’s happening, Emma Jeanne the Beauty Queen is getting married in just over a month.  She is 4th of my “Bagelettes”  (not counting Kerner) to get married, she is the 4th Bagelette to also get a quilt, Vanessa, Meghan and Michelle each have one, actually Vanessa has 2…1 for her sweet baby… I have so many in the works..Kerner’s just needs the hand sewing on the binding…get to it already, Bonnie’s for Levi just needs sandwiching.. but I keep starting more.. I can’t help it.  I will finish Emma’s before she goes back to Chicago on Thursday, finish Kerner’s and Bonnie’s over the weekend, and get started on Jackie’s,  oh dear, and then comes Nikki …too many girls…so many quilts… Help!  I mean it if anyone ever wants to come get a quick lesson, I could use the help in getting some finishing touches on the pile of ALMOST DONES!

 Here is Emma’s, minus borders..they will be put on tomorrow, and Wednesday will sandwich and tie, heaven help me!

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I think this one is lovely, It’s my favorite quilt designer’s pattern, called Quick Trip, I an an Eleanor Burns fan for sure, I love assembly line sewing…and I even devise a few shortcuts, if that’s even possible, that Eleanor doesn’t suggest! Quilting is one of my passions and I am committed to sewing an hour or 2 every day until Camp season. 

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Sunday Funday!

I had a wonderful day, breakfast out with my husband, a workout at the gym…and as my Cooker kids would say…”cooked my brains out!”

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Applesauce

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Quiche

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Lasagna

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love holding court at the kitchen island, cooking the day away… I pretend I am a TV food network chef, giving a lesson to my imaginary star-struck audience.

We had a busy weekend, there was a first birthday party for my grandson Thomas, a visit from my son and his wife and their adorable…and oh so sweet daughter Alex “Ally Boo” , they live in New Hampshire and I so look forward to our not frequent enough visits! Ally Boo turns two in a month or so and she is as smart as a whip! The house was singing with love as the cousins played together last night, my heart fills at these moments, I love being a grandmother.

So I cooked the day away, applesauce to make an applesauce cake for Thomas’ real birthday on Tuesday, a quiche for my hubby and daughters for breakfasts this week, Lasagna for dinner, and Chocolate Chip Cookies….because we love them…especially my son-in-law, who cannot resist them…secretly I think he thinks..damn you Grandma for making them in the same satisfied moment he grabs a couple for a snack…I love cooking for my family, it gives me pure joy.

As I pull the cookies from the oven, and the smell fills my head, I think how lucky I am to have these 3 angels living with us, my cooker kids, Ally is a short 2.5 hours away and I cook with her or read with her or just snuggle her when ever we visit…what treasures I have, I am so lucky!

Ham and Cheese Quiche

1 pie crust..I often use Pillsbury prepared pie crust, i for it into one my glass pyrex pie plates, they are my favorite

1 1/2 cups grated cheese, use your favorite kind

1 1/2 cups diced cooked ham

8 eggs

1/4 cup shredded parmesan

2-3 cups half and half

salt and pepper

Fit the crust into the pie plate, put the cheese and the ham in to the crust, mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the ham and cheese.

Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Enjoy!

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Today’s Recipe… I almost forgot!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

8 eggs

16oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 sticks butter, chopped

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Over simmering water in a double boiler melt chocolate and butter together. move to counter to cool for 5 minutes. In your mixer, beat the 8 whole eggs for 5 full minutes, fold this foamy mixture into the chocolate, pour this wonderful mixture into a well greased, parchment in the bottom of an 8 inch springform pan. Bake for 35 minutes.  Chill well, slice with a hot knife cleaning after each cut, serve with whipped cream, and strawberries or raspberries…yum yum!

Enjoy!

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