Saturday, December 27, 2008

Present for Coffee Time At Home

My MIL likes to give you what you ask for on Christmas day. I had told her a few weeks ago I wanted a stand mixer. I have a hand mixer, but a stand mixer would make cooking and baking more fun.

She bought me a Sunbeam Heritage Stand Mixer just like this one.
Now my question is: what should be the first item I make with it? I'm looking for suggestions. What's your favorite recipe to make that needs a stand mixer?

Sweet P

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Well-Used Wedding Present

Do you have wedding presents that you still use often? At least once a week or more?

I was wondering about this the other day when I filled our coffee carafe. DH and I don't like to let the coffee sit on the burner once it's made. So when we are not running out the door in the morning the coffee gets poured into the carafe and sits on the counter. The carafe will keep the coffee hot for several hours. The carafe matches our casual china - Garden Harvest from Mikasa.

I don't know what I would do if we ever broke the carafe. I love my carafe.

I do have one other wedding gift I use every day (or at least every day I'm in the kitchen). That is a kitchen knife set. It sits on the counter and every time I need to slice, dice, chop or cut I reach for one of the knives.

Tell me about a wedding you use nearly every day. Do you have any wedding gifts you still use?

Sweet P

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New England Ice Storm

Hello from New Hampshire! Coffee Time at Home is still home, but the last two weeks have been a blur. Last Thursday night/Friday morning an ice storm came through the state.

Sometime during Thursday night we lost power to half of the house. Of course it was the half with the boiler so we had no heat. DS #2 called me and asked if he and DIL could come over because they had no electricity. Of course I said yes.

When I looked out my kitchen window this is the view I saw. Ice, everywhere ice.
This a close-up black and white photo of one of the trees in the backyard.
Here is the grass in the front yard. I really like this photo, but the ice was dangerous. At the height of the storm there were over 400,000 homes and businesses without power.
Thankfully our power was fully restored on Sunday morning. Some people are not so lucky and are still without power and could be for another week. What an awful event to happen so close to the holidays.

Speaking of the holidays, I haven't taken out any Christmas decorations. Maybe this weekend I'll get a chance to do a little holiday decorating. Since we celebrate Christmas at the in-laws we seldom do a lot of decorating in our own home. Next year will be different since the new grandchild will be here!

Happy Holidays to everyone!
Sweet P

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Review

The table was set by noon. Notice the napkins? I made them Thanksgiving morning.
The boys were there . . . ooops, not these boys. DH made the bed and thought we needed a few bears on the bed. Silly man!
Thanksgiving dinner was great. I didn't take any photos of the food. We were too hungry to wait for photos. I learned my kitchen does work well with three people cooking. At one point, DH was carving the turkey. I was standing at the stove stirring the gravy. DS #3 was mashing the potatoes. Everyone loved the Bacon Wrapped Turkey and the Slow Cooker Stuffing. Really they loved all of it.

After dinner we played Scrabble and Red Sox Uno. Sometime during the evening we decided to make coffee. We had several choices to go in the coffee: milk, cream, sugar and an assortment of alcohol. I love the line up in front of the coffee pot.
Last night the men made dinner. DS #3 made Chicken Marsala (with a little help from DH) and DS #2 made Green Bean Casserole with fresh green beans. DH added fresh corn on the cob. Yummy!
I officially have way too much food in the fridge right now and you know what? I'm craving a pizza right now!

DIL decided it was time to update my menu board. Here's what it reads now:
I guess that means she has to come over at least once a week to update it!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend.
Sweet P

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Pantry is Stocked- Bring on Thansgiving!

While working at home on Friday I worked on the Thanksgiving Menu and wrote the grocery list. Bright and early (and in the freezing and windy conditions) I went to the grocery store. A little over $100 and an hour later, I was home and the pantry is now stocked for the upcoming holiday week.

Here's my menu for Thursday:
Bacon-Wrapped Turkey with Cider Gravy (I just learned we probably won't be able to get the Pear Cider for the gravy. I will probably use unfiltered apple cider instead)
Slow Cooker Stuffing with sausage instead of mushrooms
Real Mashed Potatoes - requested by all the young adults in attendance and includes offers to mash the potatoes
Mashed Butternut Squash and Sweet Potatoes with Citrus - DH and I will probably be the only ones eating this dish.
Country Green Beans
Cranberry Relish
Dinner Rolls
Pumpkin Pie - a frozen one. I can't cook everything!
Triple Chocolate Cupcakes and maybe one other type of cupcakes.

What's on your Thanksgiving Menu?
Sweet P

Friday, November 21, 2008

Are You Ready For Thanksgiving?

This is what my dining room looks like right now. Two of my tote bags on chairs instead of being put away. My coat on the chair instead of hung up. Hangers ready to go back to the dry cleaners. Assorted junk mail, DH's laptop case and a blooming cactus on the table. This table does not say I'm ready for Thanksgiving.

I'm more ready than it looks. My grocery list is ready for the store tomorrow. I'm keeping the menu traditional: turkey with all the trimmings and ham for DS #2 who doesn't care for the bird. There will only be six of us for dinner: DH and I, DS #2 and DIL, DS #3 and GF. Nice and simple. Just the way I need it right now.

Our trip to Mohegan Sun and Mystic, CT was fun last weekend. On the way down DH suggested we visit IKEA. I'm always up for a trip to IKEA. I found this cool floor mat for wooden floors and it now resides under my chair and desk. We also purchased a track lighting unit for my studio. I can't wait to get it installed.
While DH played poker at Mohegan Sun, I went shopping. There is a Lush store in the casino complex and I love Lush. When I walked into the store I was told for every $50 I spent I could get a $20 gift for free. I chose a couple of Christmas presents and some items for DH and I to share. My total was $109 so I got a Happy Gift Set for me. I suppose you're wondering what I got to share with DH - well, I bought a couple of massage bars. And they are wonderful! If you have a Lush store near you I highly recommend a visit. It's a great store.

Tonight DH and I are having a stay-at-home date night: dinner, a movie and then . . .

What are you doing this weekend? More importantly, are you ready for Thanksgiving?
Sweet P

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weekend With Hotel Man

Hotel Man is taking me away for the weekend. We heading to Mystic, CT for a trip to Mohegan Sun . I'm hoping the weather will be nice enough for us to walk around Olde Mistick Village. Otherwise, we'll be napping in the hotel room before heading to the casino.

Meanwhile, here's a photo of one of the gorgeous blooms on my Christmas cactus for you to enjoy.
Have a great weekend!
Sweet P

Monday, November 10, 2008

Win New Dishes for the Holidays!

Aren't these casseroles gorgeous? You can win them from My Journey Toward: The Glamorous Life of a Housewife. Go over there quick! The contest ends on Tuesday!

Good luck!
Sweet P

Friday, November 7, 2008

Blogging By Mail Package Arrived!

Today was a dull, damp, dreary day here in New Hampshire. My day brightened up when there was a package in my mail box. My Blogging By Mail package arrived from Sarah at Sweets by Sarah.

Sarah sent me a box full of awesome goodies. I can't wait to start enjoying them.

First up was organic coffee. I will be enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning. The Wine-a-rita from Duplin Winery will make a great addition to our Thanksgiving dinner with my sons and their SO’s. I may be using the muffin cups this weekend. The fruit spread mix and fruit leather are new to me. I’ll save them until Hotel Man is home next week. The Sticky Fingers Rub will come in handy making ribs for football Sundays. The napkins and rings will add a special tough to our Christmas celebrations. The candle will make soaking in a bubble bath fun.

Sarah, thank you for choosing a wonderful assortment of goodies. Each and every one of them will be enjoyed!
Sweet P

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What Kind of Tree is This and Hotel Man

Can someone tell me what kind of tree/bush this is? It is next to our mailbox. It caught my eye the other day because all of the leaves are gone, but these beautiful berries are still on the tree.
I'm sure the berries are not edible by humans. They are surely beautiful.
On Monday morning DH headed to Europe again, London this time. For some reason he asked me to take a photo of him before he left. Here he is with his luggage, ready to leave. Excuse the gray splotch on the wall. We are still testing colors for our entry area.
I miss him! He'll be home next Tuesday night. We are going out for dinner on Wednesday night. Next week is Restaurant Week in Portsmouth. Our favorite restaurant, Ristorante Massimo, is part of the celebration. I can't wait for our dinner!

What's happening around your home?
Sweet P

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Christmas Cactus

A friend of mine gave me a Christmas Cactus as a housewarming gift back in March. In May the cactus had one lonely flower bloom. This morning while looking at it I noticed it is filled with blooms. I can't wait to see how many flowers bloom on it.

I see at least 10 blooms on it. How exciting! I have absolutely no green thumb so for me to have my Christmas Cactus bloom again is awesome!

Stay tuned for photos of the flowers.
Sweet P

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hot Mama Apron Swap

I don't remember how I learned about the Hot Drinks for Hot Mamas Apron Swap but today I received my swap package from Tammy at Sweet T Sews. What a wonderful and perfect package she sent to me. Inside the box was a handmade card, two Christmas ornaments filled with coffee beans and a painted coffee cup on the outside, a hazelnut scented candle, a package of coffee, a mug, and a matching apron and hot pad.
Here I am wearing my new apron. I love it! It's in my kitchen colors and it's full of coffee cups! Perfect for Coffee Time at Home.
It didn't take me long to use my new coffee cup. I enjoyed my afternoon Orange Cappuccino in it. The weight, shape and heft of the mug are exactly what I like in a coffee cup.
The quote on the back fits me to a "T". I don't well without my morning cup of coffee.
Thank you Tammy! Thank you to Valerie for hosting a fun swap!
Sweet P

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Living Room View

I don't think I've ever posted a view of the trees I can see out the bay window in my living room. Yesterday morning as I was rushing out the door for work, the color of the trees caught my eye. I stopped, grabbed my camera and took a photo.

I should have taken a photo out this window when we moved in last February. The snow pile outside this window was up to the top of the bottom pane. For some perspective the bottom of this window is about 7 feet above the ground, add the window pane and you can imagine a snow pile about 8 - 9 feet high. If it gets that high this winter you can bet I'll be posting photos.

This morning I opened my Bloglines and started scanning the cooking blogs I read. I was trying to decide what to make for dinner when I found this recipe for Super Easy Garlic Chicken on the Big Red Kitchen. It was super easy. It was yummy, Hotel Man liked it and has made my "Make Again For Dinner" repertoire. I even think I like it better than my old chicken stand-by Shake N Bake.

The fire alarm in the upstairs hallway is driving us crazy. For some unexplained reason it beats once and then beeps again about 30 seconds later. It does this about once an hour. Sometimes it will go for hours and hours without making a sound, then it will start in again. I've replaced the battery twice. I've turned off the power to the alarms at the fuse box for 15 minutes. The only think I haven't done yet is buy a new alarm. That's next on the list to do. While I'm at the big box store getting the fire alarm I need to buy weather stripping for the front door too. I can tell the wind will be blowing around the edges come winter.

What's next on your home improvement list?
Sweet P

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Review of My Improvisational Risotto

Last night I made this Butternut Squash Barley Risotto. I used barley instead of Arborio rice from this recipe and the pancetta idea from this recipe. I roasted the squash instead of boiling it. Used onion instead of shallots. Cooked the onion and pancetta in olive oil and butter. The result was great and went along well the meatloaf. The leftovers were even better today.
My DS #2 and his girlfriend are coming to our house for Thanksgiving. This will be the first Thanksgiving I will have both sons and their women here for dinner! I'm excited. I need to start thinking about a menu that is not too overwhelming, but is a little nontraditional.

Tell me about your Thanksgiving Dinners. Do you serve any non-traditional food at your dinner?
Sweet P

Monday, October 27, 2008

Money, Money, Money . . . . Money!

You may or may not know that my DH travels about 100,000 miles a year for his job. His luggage usually lasts about two years before it needs to be replaced. When he returned from Europe last week he told me that not only had his big suitcase broke, but his briefcase was broken too. That didn't include the medium sized suitcase that was already broken.

On Saturday he decided he needed to go to the Samsonite store to get his luggage replaced. The big suitcase was sent to the factory for repairs. He bought a new medium suitcase and his briefcase was replaced.

Anyway, when I got home from work, the dining room table was covered with the contents of his briefcase, including a pile of coins. I took a few minutes and sorted out the pile. The top pile is US coins and they went into our coin jar. The pile on the bottom left is UK coins, in the middle coins from the United Arab Emirates and on the right Euros. I know there is about 15 Euros and that is about $18 US dollars. The UAE coins are dirhams and they are worth 81 cents in US currency. I could count up the UK coins, but I already put the coins away for DH's trip to London next week.
It's been great having DH home. I worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I came home to a cooked meal every night. Chicken and Bacon Alfredo on Friday. Fresh ground beef burgers on Saturday. Marinated Steak last night. Tonight I'm returning the favor and making him Meatloaf and Butternut Barley Risotto. I'm going to tweak the recipe a little and add sauteed pancetta instead of the tomatoes. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Have a great week!
Sweet P

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Happpenings

Hotel Man came home from Europe last night. How do I know that, other than the wonderful dinner we had at Longhorn Steak House and having him in bed with me all night? Well, look at the bathroom counter:
I am not a total neat freak. But when I am home along the only items you will find on the bathroom counter would be the soap dish, a water glass, and maybe my comb. I know he didn't leave a lot of stuff on the counter. It's stuff I either don't use (the scissors he uses to trim his beard and his lotion) or stuff I always put away (the toothpaste and toothbrush). Don't think I'm nagging. I'm not. I'm grinning from ear to ear knowing my Hotel Man is home and I can tell.

Yesterday I went to Michael's looking for frames for our menus we want framed and for my cross stitch projects. I found a frame with two pieces of acrylic so you can "float" the photo between the acrylic. I bought a small one and a large one. I put our honeymoon menu in the small frame and added a piece of lace behind it. I think it looks great. I need to straighten the menu a little before it gets hung on the wall.

I'm going to take the large frame back. The edges of the frame are about two inches deep and it's too imposing now that I'm comparing to the other framed menus we want to display in our dining room.

Hotel Man is home for about 10 days so I'm off to make a menu and plan the grocery list. See you later!

Sweet P

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Day Off!

I finally had a day off from Jo-Ann today and took advantage of it. Recently I bought a cupcake gift set that contained a cupcake cookbook, a silicone 6-cup muffin tin and two silicone spatulas. Today I made Triple Chocolate Cupcakes. I'd post a link to the gift set, but Barnes & Noble doesn't have a photo of it on the website. If you live near B&N, go check the clearance aisle for one of these sets. These cupcakes have cocoa, milk chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips in them and are frosted with melted semi-sweet chocolate chips. They were delicious. My DIL are two of them for dessert tonight - one for her and one for baby.
I pulled the petals off the roses DH gave me for my birthday two weeks ago. I want to make potpourri with them. For now, they are drying on football plates in my kitchen. Anyone have suggestions for making potpourri?
Tomorrow Hotel Man returns from Europe and we will be going out for dinner. Thursday is another day off. Not sure what will be happening around Coffee Time that day. Maybe I'll make some more cupcakes. I want to try Pecan Coffeecake Cupcakes next.

Happy Eating!
Sweet P

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Coffee Time At Home Is Changing

I'm still here. I've started a seasonal retail position at Jo-Ann Fabrics. I went from 0 to 60 in one day. Next week my schedule will settle down and I'll be back to regular blogging.

Last week I got a banquet-sized folding table off Freecycle to use in my laundry area. I love it. I can fold all my clothes on it and not have to carry the basket up and down two flights of stairs every load.

Not much going on at home. With me working and DH in Europe life is quiet in Coffee Time.

I do miss not being home more, but this is a temporary job and soon I'll be back home more.
Sweet P

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Show Me Your Laundry Area

Two weeks ago I showed photos of my basement before and after I straightened it up. However I didn't stop there. I don't like having a space that doesn't make me feel welcome, even if it is an unfinished basement.

I owe that feeling to my grandma and grandpa. Their basement was unfinished, but it was a place of a lot of activity. Since I don't have a photo let me take you on a tour. The steps came down from the side of the kitchen to about the middle of the basement. As you came to the bottom of the steps the furnace and water heater were in the middle of the room a little to the left. To the left of the steps was the laundry area, including a wringer washer and two sinks. The area to the right of the stairs and underneath the stairs was storage. Just beyond the furnace on the left was my grandpa's oak desk and tool area. In the area to the right in front of the stairs was grandma's cutting table. Her cutting table was a large 1950's style dining room table. She and I spent money hours cutting patterns and tying quilts around that table. I even remember having Thanksgiving dinner at that table in the basement one year.

That's what I want my basement to be like, well maybe not the Thanksgiving dinner part. Unfinished, but usable. I told Hotel Man I can accomplish that for $200 or less. I started the task last week with a trip to Target. I purchased five storage bins, clothes hangers and big red hooks from Target. Last Friday afternoon I started going through the moving boxes I had neatly stacked the week before. Items were either put into a storage container, a give away pile or a trash pile. I have three more boxes to sort through, but I have run out bins. Two of the red hooks have been attached to studs and I'm using them to hang up some winter clothing.

The photo shows my laundry area as it is right now, or at least when I'm in the middle of doing the laundry. The shelving between the washer and dryer came out of the pantry when we remodeled it. I use it for laundry supplies. The bag on the floor is the trash bag (Note to self: need better trash container). I have a drying rack for drying clothes and behind that is the hot water heater with the boiler next to it. It's not pretty, but it's functional.

So what else am I doing in the basement? I'm getting a folding banquet table from Freecycle that I will use for folding clothes (and maybe some other activities). I still want to get rid of any boxes that have stuff in them. I'm thinking of painting the floors and walls. Anything is better than the greyness of concrete. Someday we will be able to finish the basement, but for now I want to make is a happy place.

I'd love to see photos of your laundry space. Won't you share them?

Sweet P

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Call Me Mrs. Fix-It

I'm slowly becoming Mrs. Fix-It in our home. It's not that Hotel Man (AKA DH) doesn't know how to do home repairs. It's because I'm the one who is home 95% of the time so it only makes sense that I should become friends with my tool box.

I have six outlets in my kitchen (not counting the ones for the appliances). Out of those six outlets there is one I use nearly every day for my toaster, one that I use frequently for plugging in my electric grill, and the one in the photo below that gets used every single day. I can't go a day without coffee.
Sunday morning I made coffee. Then I used the outlet to make a crock pot of Beef Barley soup. Sunday night I used the outlet to grind the coffee beans.

On Monday morning I came into the kitchen to turn the coffee pot on . . . NOTHING! I plugged it into the top outlet . . . NOTHING! I moved the coffee pot to where the toaster is and made coffee there. What a pain in the butt!

Last night Hotel Man suggested checking the fuse box. I did that. No fuses were tripped. I was going to call an electrician today to have him come fix the problem.

This morning I took my laptop computer and tested every outlet in the kitchen. In the process I learned that the outlet on the island (the one I use for the grill) wasn't working either. How strange. Just for fun I pushed the Reset button on the outlet by the sink. Then I tested the coffee pot outlet. It worked! So did the island outlet. I don't know how or why it worked, but it did!

Next up is the upstairs toilet. It's not flushing properly. I have the page bookmarked in my Home How-To book. I just need to do it.

Tell me about your fix-it projects.

PS - The job hunt is moving ahead. I have an interview at Joann's this coming Thursday.
Sweet P

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Job Hunting, Organizing and Welcome Spaces

I have decided it's time for me to find a new job. I'd love to be able to work from home, but right now the income is needed. I will still try to start a home-based business but for now I'm job hunting. This morning I filled out applications for Joann's, Barnes & Noble, Hannaford (my local grocery store) and my local quilt shop.

The quilt shop would be my number one choice. I have a good chance of getting a job there. The owner and I get along well. I bring a lot of marketing and administrative experience that can free him and his mom (the owners) up to move the business forward. I'd be ecstatic to spend the day cutting fabric for them.

Deb at Creative Soul is hosting an Autumn Clean Sweep Challenge. I took her up on it since I'm also working on the Need This Challenge. My basement has been bothering me for weeks and weeks. Since we are currently unable to finish the basement as we hoped to when we first moved in, the basement has become the dumping ground. I couldn't take it anymore. This is what it looked like:
I brought my computer downstairs, cranked up Jesus Christ Superstar on my I-Tunes and went to work. I was able to break down a few boxes and I have a couple of items that I'm ready to take to the thrift shop. The rest of the sorting will have to wait for DH to be home on a Saturday. I think we need to buy some Rubbermaid Totes and cheap shelving. I can't stand having all the moving boxes still around.
Deb talked about sprucing up our Welcome Spaces. Since we live in a condo complex I can't do anything outside. But while I was cleaning the basement I did find my Autumn wreath and it is now proudly hanging on my front door.
Thanks for the push Deb! Tomorrow I plan to clean my studio. It needs it!
Sweet P

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Steak and Sports

Life at Coffee Time at Home has been slow the last two weeks. A week of travel and a week of recovery are behind me and I think I can get life back to normal here.

To prove that on Friday night I made Seared Steak with Orange Salsa and Traders Joe's Wild Rice Medley. It was yummy. I think the next time I make it I'll use a little less pepper than the recipe calls for. I would also use mandarin oranges rather than regular oranges. The recipe came from The Sonoma Diet cookbook.
Then I made Cape Cod Oatmeal cookies. I don't know why they are called Cape Cod Oatmeal cookies. I suppose you could add dried cranberries if you wanted to and I may do that the next time I make them.
This was my view from my spot on the couch between 1 and 4 PM today. The Patriots on the big TV (too bad they lost). The Ryder Cup on the little TV (hooray! The US won!).
To my right on the pull down table was my computer showing the Game Day screen of the Red Sox - Toronto game. Just behind that window was my StatTracker showing the scores for our family fantasy football league.
Just in case you're wondering all I did was watch sports today check out Coffee Time Stitches. You can see what I finished while watching all those games.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Comfort Food and Trader Joes

Do you live far away from where you grew up? If so, do you have favorite childhood foods that you can't buy where you live now? I do. There are two childhood foods I can't find here in New England. Actually I've never been able to find them outside of Minnesota. Every time I go to MN I have to stock up on these two products.

Malt-O-Meal is a hot cereal that has a smooth consistency and is super yummy. There are three flavors: original, chocolate and maple & brown sugar. I just checked the search engine on the web site and it says my grocery may carry it, but I've never seen it. It also says Wal-Mart carries it, but I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart. Anyway, my favorite flavor is chocolate. If I have mini marshmallows on hand I put a few of them on top and swirl them into the hot cereal. Breakfast this morning was so yummy!
The other food I have to buy when I'm home in Minnesota is Creamette macaroni rings. When these little rings are cooked they make the best tuna salad. The salad "holds" together perfectly. It's easy to scoop up the salad with a spoon or stab a forkful and slide it into your mouth. I have tried other macaroni ring products, but nothing compares to using Creamette macaroni rings.

Here is my basic recipe for Tuna Salad. It's so easy to make.
7 ounces macaroni rings, cooked as directed on the box
1 cup celery, finely chopped
2 - 6 ounce cans tuna, drained
1/4 cup onions, finely diced
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and chill. Sometimes I add other herbs like parsley or dill to the salad.

I could eat this salad every day during the summer.

A new Trader Joe's opened up that is on my way home from the airport. I've heard a lot of people talk about Trader Joe's and thought I would check it out last night. I don't know what I missed, but I don't understand what makes the store so special. I didn't see a lot of products I can't get at my local grocery store. The prices were comparable to what I pay for food. What did I miss?

Anyway, tell me what your childhood food was and can you still make it.
Sweet P

Sunday, September 7, 2008

NFL/Birthday Brunch

The NFL Football Season is here! OK, it started Thursday night. Our team, the New England Patriots, have their first game this afternoon. And it's my DIL's birthday. In honor of the special occasion (and the fact that Hanna has moved on) I made brunch this morning.

On the menu was a bacon, smoked mozzarella, potato frittata, chocolate covered donuts,
Apple Bundles from the Pampered Chef Delightful Desserts,
courtesy of Kristen at Dine and Dish. These were super yummy!
Later we will have strawberry cheesecake (DIL's favorite dessert) and pretzels with chocolate. Carolyn posted these a few weeks ago and I thought they would be a wonderful football snack. I made them with Hershey Caramel Kisses and plain M&Ms. I'm sure they will delightfully sinful.
Do you have special food you make for football Sunday's? Come on and share them. I'm always looking for something to make on football Sunday.

Happy football! Go Patriots!
Sweet P

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Where am I?

I've been busy getting ready for a weekend of travel followed by getting ready for a week visiting my parents.

This past weekend we went to Washington, DC for a friend's wedding. We left on Friday afternoon to arrive in DC in time for the rehearsal dinner. On Saturday morning we visited the Air and Space Museum. The wedding was Saturday night. The photo to the right is me in my new red dress. I've never owned or wore a red dress in my life. Let me tell you it was a lot fun! This is my new favorite outfit. I only wish I had more places to wear it.

On Sunday morning we flew back to Boston and then went to the Deutsche Bank Golf Championship. We go every year and were a little disappointed that our friend got married, but that's life and we'll be back to our normal schedule next year.

We got home late last night and I'm trying to get caught up on everything.

Next week I'm going to visit my parents in Minnesota. I haven't seen my dad since he went into the nursing home two years ago and it's time for a visit.

Later this week I'll do a drawing for the first round of the Need This? Challenge. You still have plenty of time to join! I need to start decluttering our basement. It's getting out of control!

I hope you have a great week and thanks for stopping by!
Sweet P

Monday, August 25, 2008

A New Swap and Taking a Lunch Break

Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness has announced a new swap: Blogging by Mail: 10 Items or Less. Go check it out and sign up! This will be my first non-quilt swap and I'm so excited to be a part of it!

Earlier this month I was bemoaning my meager attempts at having meals for one. I received some good suggestions, but haven't tried them yet.

Anyway, I've started working from home about 7 - 8 hours a day, four days a week for my boss. The work is mostly creating database systems and then writing instruction memos for the systems.

I got tired of nibbling my way through the day and decided to start taking a "real" lunch break. Every day from noon to one I have my lunch. Last week I went into my china cabinet to get something and came across two Debbie Mumm plates I forgot I had. They are adorable plates and just the right size for a lunch portion.

I decided I'm going to start treating lunch as my special time. I'm going to use special plates and eat good food. I will not nibble my day away.
Here is today's lunch. I made a frittata on Saturday morning with ham, onions, peppers, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese and potatoes. I had two leftover slices and I had one for lunch today along with a dish of strawberry yogurt. It was yummy.
What have you done to be good to yourself at meal time? When was the last time you served your family dinner on the good china and it wasn't a holiday? Why not do it one night this week? Tell your family they are special enough to use the china any day of the week.

Share with me how you make every day meals special in your house.
Sweet P