Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve

Do you have big plans for New Years Eve? We don't. Which is more than fine.

We'll probably be in bed by 10pm. After seeing the blue moon, of course.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Beans and Cornbread

I had previously said I planned to cook every recipe in the Pioneer Woman's cookbook. Little did I know that I fixed one last weekend -- pinto beans!

Her recipe (page 101) is identical to how I learned to cook beans from my Mama when I was a young girl.

They sure tasted good with fried potatoes and cornbread last Sunday. A bowl of leftovers for lunch Wednesday was mighty tasty also!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The American Woman's Cookbook (1942) - Table Service - Order of Service

As I mentioned previously, from time to time I will share tidbits from "The American Woman's Cookbook" (1942 edition) with you.
From page 80:

In many houses the hostess is served first. This is a relic of the old custom of taking it for granted that the giver of the feast prove the absence of poison by first tasting of the food or drinking of the beverage! Some hostesses too justify this custom by maintaining that, when complicated foods are served, the hostess indicates to her guests the methods by which they can most conveniently serve themselves.

However, the custom of serving the honor guest first is growing, and many hostesses now insist on giving the chief guest this additional compliment.

The former custom of serving all the ladies first and the gentlemen afterward is no longer in vogue, for this method consumed too much time and delayed the service. Now guests are served in the order in which they are seated, usually beginning with the honor guest or the hostess and proceeding to the right.

Hmmm, usually at our house we just tell everyone to dig in!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday After Christmas

Sunday was a repeat of Saturday for us, pretty much.

The Husband did get out and clean more of the snow and ice from our sloped driveway. He had enough snow melt to make it safe for us to get in the car.

We drove to the hardware store and bought MORE snow melt and then went to the grocery store.

Both of us were content to not venture any farther today. We must be getting old, if we are so nervous about the roads!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Saturday After Christmas

What did you do on the Saturday after Christmas?

Did you go shopping? Did you go to the movies? Or, did you do as we did and stay in your warm house?

The Husband and I enjoyed the day by sleeping late, reading the newspaper, reading our novels, napping, football on TV (of course) and a load or two of laundry.

It's been stress free and perfect! It is very possible that Sunday will be more of the same!

I hope your day was great...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas To All !!!

We had a fun Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.

We stayed overnight at The Sister and Brother-in-Law's house, which worked out well because 1) Tulsa had a blizzard and driving conditions were treacherous and 2) we were present for all the activities with the nieces. Such as:

Putting out reindeer food in the blizzard on Christmas Eve. Baby L enjoyed this.
Big Sister A enjoyed it too.
Tracking Santa via Uncle Steve's phone:
Uncle Steve found Santa's "Naughty or Nice List" on the internet! Reading your name on the "Nice List" = priceless!
Taking a photo with your "Elf on a Shelf" also = priceless. Billy and Wayne borrowed Barbie's car for this photo op!
Meeting Mommy and Daddy's elves, Harry and Jewel. Also, priceless.Christmas morning excitement began with the stockings!
And ended with Uncle Steve putting together the big Princess Castle.
Remember that blizzard I mentioned earlier? Christmas morn we slowly and cautiously made our way home on the snow covered streets. An unexpected gift on the drive home was seeing an eagle in flight near the river.

At home, The Husband had to get out the old shovel...
Because our car would not make it up our snow covered, sloped drive.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good afternoon nap!

I hope your Christmas was filled with fun and your families are all safe...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Elf On The Shelf

The Nieces are SO excited about Christmas.

Their "elves on the shelf" are named Billy and Wayne. (Their maternal grandfather's first and middle names.)

The girls asked their parents: "Do you have elves?"

The answer is: "Yes, we do."

The next question: "What are their names?"

The answers are: "Harry and Jewel." (Paternal great-grandfather's name and maternal Grandmother's name.)

The nieces ask: "Why have we never seen them?"

The answer is: "Because we are grown up."

The girls ask: "Even if you are grown up, can they come see you?"

The answer is: "Yes, they can."

And we know this to be true, because Harry and Jewel appeared with Billy and Wayne this week. OMG!

The next question from the nieces: "Do Uncle Steve and Aunt Cindy have elves?"

Who knows?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Party All Week (Seems Like!)

I am not sure we will be cooking at home this week:
  • We ate out Monday night, just the two of us.
  • We will be out with friends on Tuesday night.
  • Okay, I guess Wednesday is a possibility to cook at home.
  • Thursday is Christmas Eve and we will be at my sister's house.
  • Friday is Christmas and we will be at The Husband's brother's house.
I'm thinking this is working well for me!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The American Woman's Cookbook (1942) - Table Service - Styles of Service

I am drawn to old cookbooks at estate sales, flea markets and antique shops. I just can't help myself.

It's not recipes I enjoy so much, it's all the other informaton included in the books that fascinates me. Information on how to set-up and manage your household, table settings and service, daily menus, as well as party or holiday menus.

And my favorite bits of advice are how to be a good hostess in this new "servantless" era in which we find ourselves.

From time to time I will share tidbits from "The American Woman's Cookbook" (1942 edition) with you. The purpose of this is:
  1. to provide a peek into a style of life that is now long gone (at our house anyway)
  2. give us an opportunity to learn something new (old, I should say) about dining customs
  3. perhaps inspire us to do things differently in our own home on occasion
Following text found on page 79:

Styles of Service

There are three styles of service:
RUSSIAN: In this style of service all the food is served from the kitchen, by attendants. The host and hostess take no part in the service. No food is put on the table except the decorating dishes of nuts, candy and fruits. The food may be placed in individual portions before the guest, or may be separated into portions and arranged on serving dishes for each guest to help himself.
ENGLISH OR FAMILY TYPE: In this service all the food is served at the table by the host, hostess, or both.
COMBINATION OR MIXED SERVICE: In this service the main course is usually served at the table, while the soup, salad and dessert are served from the kitchen. Sometimes, the salad is served from a large salad bowl, and the hostess serves the dessert at table.

I vote for the Russian style tonight at my house!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How Do You Bring Your Groceries Home?

For the past few years, The Husband and I have endeavored to be more green by recycling.

We have also trained ourselves to keep cloth bags in our vehicles. When we go to the grocery store, we take the bags in to be used for sacking our groceries.

We don't always take the cloth bags into stores like Target or the drug store, but we often walk out of those stores carrying our purchases sans disposable bag.

It's amazing how this change in behavior has reduced the number of paper and plastic sacks that come into our home!

How do you bring your groceries (or other purchases) home? In a plastic or paper sack? If yes, can you make a small change in your routine and keep cloth bags in your vehicle to use when shopping?

You'd be amazed at how quickly you will become accustomed to taking in your own bags to a store. I promise!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Buy Where You Shop

This article really struck a chord with me.

No one disputes that on-line shopping is frequently less expensive and much less stressful than patronizing local shops. But the point of the article is, it is not fair to shop owners for consumers to use their services, only to order the product on-line to save a few bucks. In these situations, a lot of times the small local shops close due to lack of business. The author encouraged consumers to think of the long term implications of losing the small, local shops.

Another very important point is the loss of local sales tax revenue. Just look at the cutbacks the City of Tulsa has experienced in 2009 due to diminished sales tax revenue. Friday's Tulsa World article discussing the lay off up to 120 firemen and possibly closing existing fire stations in early 2010 was disturbing. Think about public safety. Who will fight our fires? Who will be first responders to accidents and illnesses?

The Fire Department will not be the only department experiencing an impact. The Police Department will suffer cutbacks also, due to diminished local sales tax revenue. Think about public safety. Who will chase the bad guys? Who will patrol our streets?

I'm an on-line shopper, make no mistake about it. But, I intend to think twice about shopping on-line until Tulsa's budget crisis is resolved.

Friday, December 18, 2009


I spent Thursday in bed.

A stomach bug during the holidays is always fun.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

First Grade "Winter Party"

I helped my sister (the homeroom mom) with the "Winter Party" Wednesday for the 6 year old niece's first grade class.

Oh. My.

A room full of first graders certainly has a lot of energy.

The kids all had fun. They started off by painting salt dough ornaments to take home and ended up frosting their own sugar cookie for consumption in the classroom, along with grapes and apples

Stockings and gift bags were also bestowed and the kids were happy to get purple glue sticks, crayons, pencils, etc.

Good memories for the kids were made today!

P.S. More fun for me on Thursday...I think I'm going to the 4 year old niece's "Winter Luncheon."

P.S.S. I realize this blog has been focused on recipes, parties and kids in the last few weeks. Not that there's anything wrong with that! However, I will try to provide some different topics in the next few days...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, Monday...

I had a great Monday.

I took my Mom to lunch at Nelson's Ranch House. We both had chicken fried steak, with great side dishes. Mmmmm good! And, of course, we both ordered a piece of pie. She took home coconut cream pie and I took home chocolate pie. Again, mmmmm good!

This evening, Mom and I went to Miller Swim School to help my sister with her daughters before and after their lessons. Those girls have learned so much and are going to be great swimmers. Good for them!

I hope to finish the Christmas cards on Tuesday. Fingers crossed, people!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Love is...

Love is going to Chuck E. Cheese at 10am on Saturday morning for the baby niece's 4th birthday party.

When my sister told me she had scheduled the party at CEC, I moaned. Approximately 20 years ago we went there with friends and their young children one Friday evening and I had a mini nervous breakdown. At least, I have always sworn it was a mini nervous breakdown!

My sister told me to "buck up" and get myself to CEC Saturday morning like a big girl. I did. It wasn't bad at 10am. It was fairly calm.

Here's how I found Baby L when I arrived.
Baby L and Big Sister A even sat quietly in this thing-a-majig for a few minutes.
Here's Baby L and one of her little friends in a car ride.
Baby L with her Princess cake.
Look at that face. I couldn't have missed the party. Even Uncle Steve made a brief appearance!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Betty Crocker Does More Than Bake!

She irons!

And I have proof!
I am now the proud owner of "The Betty Crocker Guide to Easy Ironing", which is a 33 page booklet that answers all of our ironing questions.

Two pages are devoted to dampening. Remember when your mother or grandmother dampened clothes before ironing them? My mom used an oversize glass Pepsi bottle with a nozzle. Once the clothes were dampened, she would roll them tightly and place them in a plastic bag until she ironed them later in the day.

I wish I had that old Pepsi bottle...

I don't know when this booklet was published, but there are instructions on how to hang laundry on an outside clothes line to dry and minimize wrinkles. Which would then minimize ironing. I'm guessing clothes dryers were not common when this booklet was published.

Instructions are included on how best to iron blankets, brassieres, foundation garments, nightgowns, pajamas, sheets, underwear, towels, veils, plus many, many other items. (As a matter of note, I do not believe I have EVER ironed any of the aforementioned items in my lifetime.)

So far, my favorite piece of advice from the booklet is this:

"Choose a cheerful spot for your weekly ironing--but don't feel you must stick to it. It's where you want to iron, not where you think you should iron, that counts." (italics theirs)

So, good readers, I have the answers to your ironing questions. Not only about how to iron a variety of items, but the ironing accessories you require to do a great job.

Send me your burning questions on ironing and I will be happy to provide Betty Crocker's answers to you!

P.S. There does not seem to be a section devoted to dry cleaners? What???

P.S.S. Do you think Martha Stewart collects these types of old booklets?

Friday, December 11, 2009

One Last Post About our Christmas Open House

I just finished the official "after action review" of our Christmas open house.

For those of you who haven't spent recent time in Corporate America, an "after action review" is the analysis of an event to determine what went well and what did not go well. The goal is to document the review findings so the next time the event occurs, any problems are not repeated and all successes are repeated or improved upon.

Obviously, Corporate America still influences me.

So, my party book now contains all the notes on the guest list, food, beverages, glass rentals, household preparation/help and party set-up.
For the 2010 party, all I have to do is open the book!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

As The World Stops

I can't believe the World is going to stop in September, 2010.

I grew up with my grandmother and mother watching As The World Turns. I must confess, I have watched it off and on for all of my 50 years.

This is a tragedy* for ATWT fans, just like it was for Guiding Light fans when that show ended this year.

Whatever will we do without ATWT? Where I could occasionally be tempted into watching the show, I certainly will not be tempted to watch any game shows, reality shows or talk shows that may be scheduled to replace it.

*Tragedy might be too strong a word to describe this situation. However, it will be like losing really good neighbors when the show is gone.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

I promised a few pictures of our porch Christmas tree that was decorated by family, friends and neighbors during our party.

The full tree:
Close up #1
Close up #2The tree looks spectacular both during the day and at night, when the lights are on.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Second Annual Powell Porch Party

In 2008, The Husband and I began hosting a Christmas open house for family, friends and neighbors. Our second party was held this past Sunday.

The purpose of the party is to come together, have fun and paint salt dough ornaments to decorate the Christmas tree on our front porch.

Below, the art table awaits the artists.
The Eddins family creating several masterpieces.
Family and friends working hard.
Friends and neighbors continue the efforts.
We had about 40 people at the party, resulting in a great variety of ornaments.

Our Christmas tree looks great! I'll post photos soon.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Sheet Cake

I cooked a number of things on Saturday in preparation for our annual Christmas open house on Sunday.

I used the Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Sheet Cake recipe to make cupcakes. The recipe is found on pages 218-220 in The Pioneer Woman Cooks.

May I just say, "Oh my goodness. Such rich, rich, rich, sinful, chocolate taste. May I have another, please?"

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made Chocolate Chip Cookies on Friday.

The recipe is one I copied from an old cookbook of my mother's when I was a young teen.

My older brother loved these cookies. He used to pay me $10 to make a triple batch of them for him. It was a great way for me to earn money before I got my first job!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 package chocolate chips

Mix all ingrediants together except for flour and baking soda. Sift flour and baking soda together, then mix with other ingredients. Add chocolate chips.

Bake at 325 until light brown.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Grocery Store...

I avoided the grocery store on Wednesday afternoon.

Why, you ask?

I have no idea, I answer.

I had a very detailed list of what I needed. I planned to go to my local grocery store. The weather was good. Why could I not get motivated and out of the house?

Hopefully, I am not developing agoraphobia.

I left the house tonight with The Husband to shop at Sam's, Hobby Lobby and the liquor store.

Maybe I just didn't want to go to the grocery store by myself?

I'm going tomorrow, promise.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Excitement Before Noon

Two exciting things happened Wednesday morning:
  1. The plumber completed installation of our new tankless hot water heater. It will be more energy efficient and we will qualify for a tax credit this year, plus we will never run out of hot water!
  2. The plumber helped The Husband remove the old, dead refrigerator from the basement that has been taking up space for over a year. YIPPEEEEEEEE!!! The Husband just made arrangements for the City of Tulsa to pick it up next week and take it away.
Two items off our "to do" list! Go us!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Hot Artichoke Dip

I have a favorite artichoke dip recipe that I have been using for years. It's a good, simple recipe that friends and family love.

When I got the Pioneer Woman's cookbook, I vowed to make every recipe because they all look so good. Sunday, I made her Hot Artichoke Dip found on page 30.

It is different from my standard as it uses cream cheese, green onions, cayenne pepper and salt/pepper. But I thought, "Give it a try, Cindy. It's got to be good."
Here's the final product.
I enlisted family members to taste test for me. Here are the Sister and The B-i-L taking their first bites. The Sister gave it a thumbs up!
I used a bit too much cayenne pepper, so the dip was pretty spicy. It got your attention, so to speak. The consistency was different from my old recipe, due to the addition of the cream cheese. The green onions were a unique taste in the dip also. Unexpected, but good.

We all like PW's dip, but ultimately decided my old, simple recipe was our favorite. It is found in the Stir Ups cookbook on page 29.
Jeannine Bower's Hot Artichoke Spread

1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and chopped
1 cup Hellman's mayonnaise
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Lemon juice to taste
Dash of Tabasco

Combine all ingredients. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Serve hot with assorted crackers.

I think the next time I'm asked to bring an appetizer to an event, I will make the PW's recipe again (with less cayenne pepper) and ask for additional comments.

Have you made the PW's artichoke dip? If yes, what did you think of it and what kind of comments did you receive?

Now, which PW recipe do I prepare next?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

I hope your Thanksgiving was great!

Ours was fun. The Husband had company during the turkey frying portion of the day. Our B-i-L and his brother observed closely.
Below is The Husband removing our turkey from the fryer.
Here's a portion of the lovely table my sister fixed for us.We had a small problem with the french fried onions on the green bean casserole and the marshmallows on the sweet potato casserole getting a little overdone in the oven. No problem. Sister and B-i-L just scraped off the burned stuff and we all called it good!
Here are the B-i-L's parents. We were very glad they were able to visit Tulsa this year!
Here is the B-i-L's nephew, who is 7 years old. Note the missing teeth...
You can tell he and Big Sister A are cousins, yes?
And here is Baby L with her own mini pumpkin pie. Life is good!We are grateful today for so many things and spending time with the family is just one of them.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cajun Fried Turkey

In this post, I shared our friend Robert's recipe for Cajun Fried Turkey.

At the end of the post, I had mixed all the spices and was beginning the filtering process. This picture is the result of the filtering process. Spicy, filtered liquid to inject into the bird and golden sludge to rub on the skin.
Below are a couple of short videos that document how to prepare the bird.

The men of the family will gather together on Thanksgiving morning to drink cold beer, while frying the bounty of the hunt.

Pictures to come, of course!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Neighbor's Gift

Our neighbor, David, has been most generous to us.

He has gifted us with the marble rolling pin and marble slab we used to make the salt dough cookies.

How sweet is that?

Of course, he did indicate he would be happy to accept any portion of edible items we make using this equipment.

He certainly understands quid pro quo, doesn't he?

Thank you, David!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Shopping List

I mentioned recently that I would share my easy method to create my Thanksgiving shopping list.

NOTE: You do need basic excel skills; i.e. creating sheets within the file, copy/paste, sorting, etc.

Click here to view my file; notice there are separate spreadsheets in the file.

The first three sheets are:
  • main & side dishes
  • appetizers
  • desserts
I list all ingredients for our standard holiday recipes. I note the menu type (main, side, appetizer, dessert, etc) and number them 1 through whatever.

I discuss with my sister what dishes she would like for me to be responsible for making for the current year. After we agree, I highlight in the ingredients from the first three sheets. I then copy & paste all lines to the fourth sheet "shopping list #1." This view gives me an overview of the ingredients I will need for each dish.

I then create the "shopping list 2" sheet and sort the list by ingredient name. As you can see on this sheet, sorting by ingredient name groups them together regardless of what dish you are making. This gives you an overview of the total amount of each ingredient you require.

Using "shopping list #2", I inventory those items I already have in my kitchen. If I do not need to purchase an item, I put "N" in the "need to purchase?" column. If I need to purchase the item, I put a "Y" in the column.

I then create the "shopping list 3" tab. I copy the contents of the "shopping list 2" tab and sort it by "Y" or "N" and then by "ingredient." This gives me the final shopping list, grouped by ingredient, with quantities visible.

I print "shopping list 3" and head to the store. If I am successful in obtaining every item on this list, then I can complete every dish for which I am responsible.

This sounds like a complicated process, I know. But if you have basic Excel skills, it is extremely easy.

The beauty of this process is that you can keep this file year over year. The initial file I have was probably created in 2000 or 2001. I have just added recipes over the years.

Because I have this excel file and my sister and I have our "Thanksgiving Recipe" binders, we can quickly plan our holiday dinner with the minimum of stress.

If you have any questions about this process, please leave a comment and I will respond.

More importantly, if you have a BETTER process, please leave a comment and tell us about it!

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Monday, November 23, 2009

A Busy Sunday

Our Sunday started with a BANG!

We were both still in bed at 7:30 am, half asleep, when we heard "bang, bang, bang." Both of us jumped up to look out the window, asking each other "Were those gunshots?"

As we peered out our upstairs windows, we looked directly across the street and saw our neighbors doing the same. We saw two older people walking down our street and The Husband said "I should go get them to come into our house."

Duh...we figured out a couple of minutes later the sound was the starting gun for the Route 66 Marathon, which started near our house. Talk about feeling silly. But, good grief, three shots? And they were really loud...really they were.

Our neighborhood is the site of many runs, but that is the very first time we've ever heard the starter's gun so clearly. Not a good way to get out of bed!

Later in the day, my sister and I spent a couple of hours at The Affair of The Heart show. We had a good time and spent a bit of money.

One thing I purchased is the wine bottle below with lights inside and a Pilgrim couple with a babe in arms on the front. I asked the artist to create another bottle with an Indian couple with a babe in arms. I thought together they would make great Thanksgiving decor.
They are made by Misty Baker in Bella Vista, AR. Her company is Elegant DeLites and her website is found here.

This afternoon I put together the seasoning we will use on our Thanksgiving fried turkey.
Our friend Robert is a born and bred Cajun who grew up frying turkeys before it became mainstream. Honestly, we are both so happy he shared his recipe with us a number of years ago. It makes the best turkey ever. HONEST!!!!

Bert's Cajun Fried Turkey Seasoning

2 jars
1 coffee filter
6 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons Tony's seasoning of Slap Ya Mama seasoning
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Tabasco or other Cajun-style hot sauce
1 tablespoon celery salt
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
4 tablespoons Zatarain's concentrated crab and shrimp boil liquid

Two-three days before you cook, mix all seasonings in one of the jars. Fill the jar almost full with HOT water. Shake well and let stand for at least an hour.

Filter the sludge through the coffee filter into the other jar. This is slow going and does take several hours, as you have to keep adding more liquid to the filter as it drains. Be sure to keep shaking the liquid prior to adding additional to the coffee filter, otherwise all the good stuff will be left in the first jar.

The goal of this process is to separate the liquid from the solids in the mix. The liquid part should not contain any solids as they will clog the injection needle. DO NOT dispose of the solid sludge. This stuff is more valuable than GOLD.

At least 24 hours before you cook the bird, inject the liquid into the bird in about 35 places. Don't put more than 3-4 cc in any one spot as it will make the meat pink and people will think it is not done.

TRICK - To limit the amount of liquid that runs back out of the bird, slide the needle under the skin and make the injection and inch or two from the puncture, then change spots with the needle without pulling out of the skin. The fewer holes in the skin, the better.

Now take the sludge left in the coffee filter and coat the outside of the bird. Rub the skin well and the bird turns an orange color.

Place the bird in the fridge and let set overnight until you are ready to cook.

Follow the turkey frying directions that came with your equipment to safely cook the turkey.


I promise, this recipe makes the most flavorful fried turkey ever! Our family will never eat turkey cooked another way...

Thanks, Bert, for sharing your seasoning with us!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Phrase A Week

As I have confessed here, I'm a word nerd. I love learning the correct spelling, usage, and origins of words.

A few months ago I found this site, which educates readers on phrases. Love it!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Birthday Celebration

We celebrated The Husband and The Brother-in-Law's birthdays here on Friday. The B-i-L's is Nov 11th and The Husband's is Nov 19th.

We frequently celebrate the birthdays together, which works out well.

I forgot to get a picture of the two of them together. Oh year!

Friday, November 20, 2009


How do you organize the recipes you gather from various sources, such as the newspaper, mailings, magazines, friends, etc?

I accumulate a small stack of them on top of my cookbooks, then take a few minutes to place the recipes in clear page protectors and insert them in a 3 ring binder.

Obviously my stack of recipes (below) is a bit out of hand. Give me a day or two and I will correct this situation! Promise.
Here's my recipe binder. Yes, it is a 4" binder. And yes, I've made tabs to sort the recipes by category.
I started down this recipe road because I told my sister I would do the first pass of planning for Thanksgiving.

Which made me think of a question for you. How do you keep your holiday recipes organized?

I "borrowed" the idea of separate holiday binders for Thanksgiving and Christmas from my sister a few years ago.

Any recipe we make for either of these holidays is automatically added to our binders, so we can duplicate previous holiday meals if we wish.
And how, you may ask, do we know what we served from year to year?

We know because I make our own version of a chalkboard for the holidays! I put our menu in a picture frame and it is placed on the buffet to let everyone know what is being served.

I started creating menus and place cards when my sister and her husband were dating and came to our house for dinners. She and I thought it was fun. He thought we were a bit crazy at first, but now he's the first one to mention these little details if they are missing for some reason.The young nieces love all the extra things we do for our "dinner parties" and our binders will be a great resource for them in planning their family holidays when they are adults!

I'll share the easy way I create my holiday grocery shopping list in a couple of days. It works great and saves me lots of time and aggravation!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Tuesday I cleaned one of those areas in the house that gets grungy over time and the cleaning of it you put off, put off and put off. (No, it's not one of the bathrooms!)

It was the appliance garage in the kitchen. You reach in and take appliances out of there practically every day, but you don't look inside because the space is fairly small and dark (at least ours is.) By the time you notice it's getting dirty, you (I) say "I'll get that later."

Tuesday was the day I pulled everything out of the area, grabbed the 409 and paper towels and went after it.

I have another grungy, hidden area identified to tackle next week.

What grungy areas do you have in your house?

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Weekend

The Husband and I went to Norman, OK this weekend.

We attended the OU - Texas A&M game Saturday. We had a great time at the game, but the most fun was had spending time with our extended family.

Below is a picture of The Husband and nieces Mary and Tracy.
Plus, we spent time with Mary's fiance, Joel, his family and roommate. Joel and his mom, Pam, below. (Inside joke.)
OU was well ahead at half time, and I was happily impressed with how the OU crowd respected and appreciated the Texas A&M marching band. My GAWD...the band was superlative! This is a video I found on You Tube. It's not the performance we saw this weekend, but close.

I said the obvious to The Husband, "The kids in the band work just as hard as the football team." I was proud of all the OU fans as they stood, cheered and applauded for the A&M band.

OU won the game BIG - which is what students, alumni and fans want.

We stayed at the Sooner Legends Hotel. If you ever want to be overwhelmed by OU photos and yearbooks, please schedule a weekend here.!

The hotel bar was quite a hoot. They have karaoke on Fridays and Saturdays. We went in to get a bite to eat & drink and ended up enjoying quite a show!

Sunday morning, as we were leaving the hotel, The Husband took a lot of photos of the OU sports history pictures that line the walls of the hotel. Here's a photo I took of him with a mural of the famous Selmon Brothers!
As we drove to Norman on Saturday and as we drove around Sunday morning, The Husband reminisced about his freshman year at OU.

This weekend was great! I'm so glad we got to experience it together and with our nieces!