Saturday, October 27, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Below is a pic of the view from my office. I don't have the office set up yet, don't even have my chair in there but I run down here almost every morning to grab a worksheet I've printed off or file a bill etc. Can you imagine having to look at this and then get in the car? Tortureous. Okay. I'm leaving. I am blessed.
Look! The leaves are turning... beautiful!!!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I didn't believe it when a coworker told me that the community where we live had once been a huge resort and she had gone swimming there as a kid and and and. I just could not imagine these quiet expanses of tree and grass covered hills and tranquil shoreline teeming with swimsuit and swimcap laden kiddies swarming all around. I had heard that the owners way back when had a Christmas Tree farm here and that's all I knew. Well, after my first homeowner's association meeting, one of the members emailed me an old resort brochure.
WowZa! Sure enough! It had been a Christmas Tree "Plantation" AND the best destination resort in the "Ozarks Playground"!
Well I have had a blast revisiting these photos and trying to figure out which snapshot is where... I haven't figured out much yet due to time restraints and the fact that we've only been here 2½ weeks!
So, there was indeedy a humongo swimming pool and waterbikes on the lake. Most of the owners now have paddleboats... is that a throw-back? Hmmm
I think our house is just on the other side of the point on the leftside of this top middle photo. Or at least for now "I think" it is.
I hope you'll forgive me for blocking the name of the resort. I don't think my new neighbors would enjoy my blabbing where we live and we might again have throngs of bodies bedecked in thongs and Speedos or less...? Ew!
Well... there ya go. Now you know too! Hope you enjoyed this visit with me today.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
You know I love food! Holidays are interesting around here because even though I love to try new dishes, my family absolutely revolts if I even speak of changing ONE thing about ANY Holiday menu. I mean EVERY Holiday has about the same rundown except for the meat group.
Christmas traditionally goes like this:
Blueberry or Lemon Poppyseed muffins OR a Happy Birthday Jesus Cake (if anybody got up early enough) while unwrapping presents.
Eggs Benedict for Brunch (after we've opened presents)
..and then for EVERY Holiday:
For Dinner (usually about 3 or 4 p.m.):
Dill Dip in a Hawaiian Bread Bowl (a must while we're waiting)
Green Salad (if they let me)
Roast Beast (beef) (or turkey or ham or pork roast for other holidays)
Yorkshire Puddings with Au Jus
Ready? Here's what can't be changed:
Sweet Potato Casserole (no marshmallows allowed!!)
Stouffer's Spinach Soufflé (I've tried making it from scratch, but... they won't let me)
Stuffing (again, I've tried making it from scratch but they want Stove Top)
Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce (whole for the Sweet Hubby-and they don't care if it's not Thanksgiving and there is no turkey!)
Martinelli's Sparkling Cider
Pumpkin Pie (the sonners)
Sweet Potato Pie (Sweet Hubby)
and whatever other pie the rest of us want that Holiday!
Who said us old people are the ones stuck in our ways??? These young un's are the stubborn as ol' coots!!!
Recipes for my Eggs Benedict, Dill Dip and Sweet Potato Casserole follow:
***Edit 10-18: I have made this TWICE ~count 'em 2X ~ since I originally posted this... Yum****
Eggs Benedict:I have been making for Sweet Hubby since college days and it is a staple for special occasions!
(btw... no stovetop here... totally broiler, toaster, microwave and blender)
...stack on top of each other...
Toasted English Muffin
Broiled Canadian Bacon (youngest daughter takes her off)
Poached Egg (I poach 12 at once in the microwave, see your microwave cookbook... be sure to poke your eggs and turn over and poke again halfway thru)
Hollandaise (still haven't won over the doc)
4 Egg Yolks at room temperature
½ cup Butter (the real deal)
1½T lemon juice
¼ tsp Salt (must add, doesn't come out right w/o it!)
Directions: Blend the egg yolks in the blender. Meanwhile, carefully melt the butter to bubbling in the microwave. Add the lemon juice and salt to the blender and whirl with the eggs. When the butter is nicely bubbling, remove the little cap off the blender lid and while blending on low, add the HOT butter in a small steady stream to the egg mixture and continue to blend. You should "hear" the eggs cooking and thickening by the motor sounds. I usually just let this sit then blend every few minutes while one of the kids gets the eggs poached in the blender.
(we triple or quadruple the recipe b/c they all fight over the sauce)
When the eggs are done and drained, we stack on top of the toasted English Muffins and Canadian Bacon and then top with Hollandaise Sauce (gotta watch the heavy hand of the greedy family members) and sprinkle a little cayenne on top. Dig in and endulge!!!
Dill Dip in Hawaiian Sweet Bread Bowl:
2 C Sour Cream
2 C Mayonnaise (the real thing, not Miracle Whip)
2 T dried dill
2 tsp Beau Monde Seasoning by Spice Islands
2T lemon juice
2 whole Hawaiian Sweet Bread loafs
Mix ingredients, cover and chill for several hours or overnight. It will not absorb the flavors if not allowed to sit.
When ready to serve, cut the top off of one of the breads and make a bowl by cutting into it and carefully pulling out the center. Cut up into cubes (1"-ish) the top and the center and the other loaf. Fill the first bowl with the dill dip and arrange the cubed bread around it or in another bowl if you platter is not large enough. Be sure to serve this way in advance or the troops won't be hungry for the Holiday Feast!
Sweet Potato Casserole
(adapted 15+ years ago from Susan Branch's
Christmas_from_the_Heart_of_the_Home Holiday cookbook)
4C Sweet Potatoes, cooked & mashed
8oz Cream Cheese softened
½C Butter, softened
2 Eggs, beaten
¼+C Brown sugar
2-3T Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350°. With electric mixer or Kitchen-Aid, mix all ingredients except nutmeg until smooth and well blended. Spread into a buttered casserole dish. Grate some nutmeg evenly over the top. Bake 45 minutes or until golden. Yummmmm!