Archive for October, 2011

Broccoli Cornbread

October 24, 2011

Here’s a treat for you. That is IF you decide to make this recipe. It’s really, really good. My friend loaned me the recipe book called The Country Cooking Recipe Collection of Prize-Winning Breads that this recipe is in. I made it yesterday and Hubby took some to share with his dad while I took some to work to share with my friend. Hubby said that the recipe is a keeper.

Here’s the recipe:

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 package (8-1/2 ounces) corn muffin mix

In a bowl, combine butter, onion, salt, cottage cheese, broccoli and eggs; blend. Stir in muffin mix. Pour into a greased 13x9x2-in. baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cut into squares. Yield: 12 servings.

I made it exactly like the recipe except that I used a 5x7x2-in. baking pan and baked it for about 30 min. This makes the squares of cornbread a little thicker — a nicer-sized piece per serving.

Simple, simple and oooooh so good! Can’t wait to try some of the other recipes from this book.

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Needled

October 22, 2011

In the big ice storm in ’07, we just about lost our beautiful pine tree at the back of our lot beside my little shop out back. In fact, we even thought about cutting the rest of it down.

But I HATE cutting trees down. So we decided to let it be and see if it would recover somewhat. The thing that I learned about this, is that pine trees will keep growing but they don’t grow new limbs where limbs have been lost. So it still looks pretty pathetic, BUT it IS still growing.

This year was the most productive year for the pine tree, I think. Hubby always has a lot of pine cones and pine needles to rake up every year, but I think this was the biggest bunch of needles I’ve seen for a long time.

Not bad for a pine tree that’s only half there. Now if I could only figure out a craft to do with all those pine needles!

Just In Time

October 21, 2011

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you’ve read about the troubles we’ve had with our furnace and trying to keep this house warm. We’ve insulated the house from more insulation in the attic to wrapping insulation around our ducts under the house to putting on siding and storm windows.

We finally discovered that our gas pressure was non-existent. The utility company was called, they checked it, and we have a new meter. This happened in the Spring and then the weather turned off warm and then HOT.

The autumn has come in really mild. We’ve had nice warm days. A few crisp mornings and the temperatures have been 40’s or 50’s at night and 60’s or 70’s during the day. A beautiful Fall so far. Until this week. A hard freeze is expected a couple of nights this week.

We turned the furnace on. It worked a few times, but not to Hubby’s satisfaction. He’s had issues with this furnace ever since we’ve lived in this house. He’s always said that it just didn’t “work right”. We got by with it year after year. We’ve had numerous repairmen out to look at it and when they would come out, the furnace worked like a charm.

Hubby has threatened to replace the furnace for several years now. But when we found the problem with the low pressure in the Spring, he thought that was the problem for sure and the furnace would work ok now.

Nope! When he turned it on last week, it would work sometimes, and then not work sometimes. Then it wouldn’t come on at all. The fan would come on, but no heat. Nothing. That’s it! We’re getting a new furnace!

The hard freeze warning was going to come this week and we had no furnace. Hubby called Air Services. We got an estimate and they said they could come out the next day and put it in.

True to their word, the tech was here the next morning with the new furnace. He was here six hours taking out the old and installing the new. We got a new digital thermostat and the furnace is 95% efficient. We will get a rebate from City Utilities.

That night the temps dipped into the low 30’s. We have heat! Just in time!

“New” Computer Room

October 20, 2011

Several months ago, we began on a quest to clean up the computer room. Before this time, it was Hubby’s “office” because he was still working on-line for the college in New York. His boss kept sending books and more books to help him with the courses he had to write for the college. The room gradually became more of a “dump” room with computers.

Since Hubby’s retirement last year, he’s cleaned out a lot of the books and either gotten rid of them or stored the rest in his shop. I took over and we cleaned out desk drawers, organized bookshelves down to just one bookshelf, and moved a couple of pieces of furniture to other areas of the house.

I cleaned the room from ceiling to floor. Then we bought a new white desk for my computer. (I was using the old microwave stand that we kept the radio on.) We moved Hubby’s desk over, put my new desk beside it, and the whole room looks bigger and less cluttered.

I’m so bad about not taking “before” and “after” pics. These pics would be a lot more impressive if I had shown the “before” pics. I’ll have to work on that.

Anyway, it looks like a real “computer room” now. I love spending time at my computer now and I like having my own desk too!

To Bentonville and Back

October 18, 2011

Last week was our trip to Ark. to the craft festivals. Wow, the time went fast! It almost seems like a blur now that it’s over and we’re back home again.

Daughter C. and her MIL Martha came down from mid-state to spend the night with us Tues. night. I got off work early, but they were already here when I got home. Hubby had given them the “grand tour” and showed them my shop, our attic, our new bedroom and my sewing room. (Gee, I wish I’d clean a little better! Ha)

We had a nice visit. C said that I would like Martha and she was right. She’s a crafter, like me, and we had a lot to talk about. She brought me a hostess gift of her homemade potpourri. It’s like she knew exactly what I liked! Apple Cinnamon–one of my favorites!

We all got up early on Wed. morning, had some coffee and fresh muffins right out of the oven, packed the car, and off we went. I remembered the camera this time, but forgot to take the laptop. Thankfully, we only got a couple of blocks before I remembered it. (I wanted to talk to Hubby through Skype each night to tell him about our day.)

The traffic was light and we had a good trip in spite of the off and on rain showers that hit us all the way to Ark. Our first stop was the Wishing Spring Gallery.

It’s a three-story shop built from an old barn. They have a sampling of all kinds of arts and crafts from the area crafters. Many of these crafters are in the craft festivals as well.

Next stop: Spanker Creek just down the road from the Gallery.

It had been rainy but it wasn’t too muddy. We had a nice time looking, buying a little, and stopped for lunch. Martha and I got a chicken-on-a-stick. C got a chicken wrap — a huge chicken wrap.

After we left Spanker Creek, we found our motel and got checked in.

It was still pretty early, so we headed for the square in Bentonville to check out the Walton Museum.

Hubby likes “collecting” hats, so I found a camouflage hat with a picture of Sam Walton’s favorite bird dog on the front. He likes camouflage and dogs, so I thought it would be perfect for him.

After the museum, we found an antique shop called the Rose.

Had a GREAT time looking around and could have spent hours in there. However it was Wed., Survivor night. So we had to watch our time to get back to the motel before it came on.

(I’m a BIG Survivor fan if I haven’t mentioned that before. :))

The next morning we got up early so we could get ready and make the long trek to War Eagle early enough to beat the crowds. Everything was going along as planned. We got up at 6:00, got our showers over with and was putting on the final touches when the electricity went off! It was dark! Luckily, the sun was just starting to lighten things up a little. We pulled the curtains back and could at least see enough to walk around.

We headed down to the breakfast area to eat. They had a battery light on, but we couldn’t use the microwave or run juice out of the machine. The coffee was in an insulated pot, so it was still hot. We managed to have a decent enough breakfast in spite of everything, however. Back to the room to finish trying to get ready. The lights came on just as we were getting ready to leave, so we took a couple more minutes and finished our make-up, etc.

The whole ordeal only put us behind about a half an hour. We still missed a lot of the crowd coming in to War Eagle.

The air was crisp and cool, but no more rain! It was a beautiful day!

We started right in looking and buying. There was a nice group playing music on the porch of the Mill.

The Mill is always a fun place to check out.

The crowds were growing and growing. There was a constant stream of people crossing the bridge to get to the other half of the festival.

It was a long day of walking, standing, buying, and eating. We were getting so tired. But it was a fun tired. On the way back to the motel, we stopped at the Frisco Station Mall where there were more booths set up.

We headed for the motel room after that. We rested, looked at our goodies, and talked with the Hubby’s on Skype.

The next morning we “slept in” till 7 am. We had to pack the car, eat breakfast, and then we headed out to Bella Vista to the last festival before coming home. Again, it was a beautiful day!

This festival is my favorite one to go to. The people who run it are very considerate to the “customers”. They provide many places to sit, have trams to pick us up and take us back to our cars, don’t charge an arm and leg for the food, and invite craft vendors who only sell real handmade crafts. They even had square dancers to entertain us!

We got here with the crowd that morning, but for some reason, the people who came in with us left before we did. This happens to me every year. My car is always miles away from all the other cars when we get ready to leave! But, it’s easy to find. Unless of course that I forget that I like to stay all day and think that it’s still among the cars we came in with. Which is what I did. I tried to take someone else’s car home. Oops! Then I looked up and saw my car waaaaaaay out there in the field! How funny.

We barely got our new purchases in the car because it was already so packed full, and it was time to head for home. We had a nice trip back, but this time there was a lot more traffic. I was glad to drive into my drive-way. We brought everything in and piled it in a pile in the livingroom so we could sort through it and make sure everyone got their own stuff.

Can you believe we had all this in my car including three people?

I don’t know about you all, but I’m impressed!

We had such a good time. It was crowded, we got soooo tired being on our feet, and we spent a lot of money. But we had wonderful weather and everybody was so nice! I heard Daughter C say something about “next year”. I’m already looking forward to it!