Friday, December 2, 2016

The Last Month of the Year





"Of all the months of the year
there is not a month one-half so welcome to the young,
or so full of happy associations, 
as the last month of the year...." 
 "All the Year Round: December"
All the Year Round: A Weekly Journal Conducted by
Charles Dickens, 1887 December 10th.


*

I am hoping our 80 degree temperatures are over,
but I'm not willing to place a bet!

Today the high is expected to be 68
and by the weekend highs will be in the 50s.
On the Texas Gulf Coast -- that means sweater weather!

It also means:
Oatmeal in the mornings
Slipper socks to keep the feet warm
Gloves for my morning walk
Hot chocolate several times during the day
and soup making!

*

Today I'm making Turkey Vegetable Soup.
Have to use up the turkey and stock from Thanksgiving.
The recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks:
CAMPBELL'S GREAT AMERICAN COOKBOOK
Amazon does have used copies.
I use this cookbook a lot.
I like all the "home" style cooking and stories that are included
and not a can of soup anywhere! 


TURKEY-VEGETABLE SOUP


"Today's improved transportation and preservations techniques
make it possible to have virtually any combination of vegetables
available any time of year in almost every part of the country.
Enjoy this turkey soup with its spring peas and summer tomatoes
during any season."  

(We've come a long way, baby!)

Makes 6 servings

1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, sliced
(I love carrots so I always put extra.)
1/2 cup slice celery
1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves, crushed
5 cups chicken or turky broth
1 can (8 ounces) tomatoes, cut up
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/2 cup diced yellow squash
1 cup diced cooked turkey
1/4 cup raw regular rice

1. In 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, in hot butter, cook onion, carrot, celery and thyme until just tender, stirring occasionally.

2.   Stir in broth, tomatoes, peas, squash and turkey. Over high heat, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover, simmer 20 minutes.

3.  Add rice. Cover; simmer 20 minutes more or until rice is tender.    

I hardly ever make a recipe as it is written.
In this case, I used olive oil instead of butter.
I didn't have squash, so I added more peas and corn
and brown rice instead of "regular" white rice.
Sometimes I add a pinch of green or red chili powder ... in this case red!
           

Turkey Vegetable Soup


Some soup with sugar cookies for later.
Snowman cookies on the list to make when these are all gone.


*


Speaking of snowmen --



Snowman


I like snowmen.
They can stay out when the holidays are over.
And, they make me smile. 

*

Oliver is ready for Christmas.
He wore his fancy new collar for all of three minutes.

 

Oliver


This will be Oliver's first Christmas.
I've decided when I put the tree up to use the unbreakable ornaments.
Oliver is a climber! 



Collage



Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Five On Friday

Willy Nilly Friday

Mosaic Monday

Monday Social



Thursday, November 24, 2016

On This Thanksgiving










Thanksgiving is a time of fond remembrances,
Heartfelt appreciation and warm thoughts
of special people in our lives.

Teddy, Cassie, Mina, Oliver and I 
Wish YOU well and much joy this Thanksgiving.

Have a wonderful Holiday!



 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Potpourri






Looking out my window this morning,
it is cloudy and the wind is blowing.
A cold front is on the way.
At least, what qualifies as a cold front for us! 
We might even get some much needed rain.


*

This week I took a dear friend to lunch to celebrate her birthday.
We went to one of Houston's top restaurants,

It gives an upscale name to "hole in the wall".
Walking down the street, if you blink at the wrong time,
you will miss it! 
 

Helen Greek Restaurant



A warm, intimate setting with it's narrow brick clad rooms.



Helen Greek Restaurant


An award winning all Greek Wine selection.


Wine Wall



Lets get to the food!
 We shared the citrus and fennel salad (their winter salad).
Fennel, orange, grapefruit, blood orange, red onions, calamata olives, feta.
Delicious!


Citrus Fennel Salad


And, the Green 'n Cheese pie.
Phyllo, four different greens and three different Greek cheeses.
 YUM!


Green and Cheese Pie

Helen Greek Food and Wine is an easy walk from my house.
I'll be going back ... soon!
There is nothing else like it in town. 



Helen Greek Restaurant



Helen Greek Restaurant
*

For me, the holiday season begins when the Houston Zoo 
has the members opening for Zoo Lights.

The weather was perfect.
The kettle korn and gingerbread cookies were pretty wonderful, too!  


Zoo Lights
 

A brief look at the magic forest.


Zoo Lights



Wishing You well and much joy!



Willy Nilly Friday

Mosaic Monday







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Monday, November 14, 2016

Start Thinking About Christmas In January






I've been busy knitting.
I finished another shawl except for the blocking and
started another.

Will I have enough made before Christmas?
Not sure,
but they'll be ready for Christmas 2017!  



The finished shawl is made from some stash yarn: Bernat Satin Sport in Jade.
Very soft and light weight - perfect if you live in the "tropics" like I do!
(Otherwise known as the Texas Gulf Coast.) 

The off white shawl is made with Patons Classic Wool,
DK Superwash in the color Aran.
Heavier and will go to live with someone who has cold weather.


*

As it gets closer to Christmas,
I'm trying to decide what my next crochet project will be. 
I spent too much time at pinterest and came up with these as my first choice.



Christmas Crochet


The pattern for the snowman afghan can be found here.


Crochet Collage

The pattern for the teapot cosy can be found here.

The Gingerbread Family ornaments can be found here.

Decisions  decisions! 

It's obvious I should start thinking about Christmas in January 
if I'm going to make wonderful things. 

From the Fortune Cookie Journal:
"You can't start a new chapter if you're stuck at the table of contents."

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Mosaic Monday

Monday Social 

Yarn Along 



  

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Participating is Fun Part 2:






The lovely Stephanie from The Enchanting Rose 
hosted her Ninth annual teacup and mug exchange.
There were 192 tea lovers participating from all over the world.
What a lot of work and
What a lot of Love Stephanie puts into this exchange.

I decided to go all out and take part in both exchanges.


I was lucky that Jill Torres, also a "first timer", sent me a mug.
Hard to believe all of this was in one box!
Everything was so beautifully wrapped.
A lot of effort went into the paper decorations.
Almost too pretty to open! 


Tea Mug Exchange


Jill even included mice and cat nip for my kitties.
So very thoughtful.

I began to unwrap all the goodies.
It quickly became apparent that this was going to be a magical,
fun tea!


Jill is from Florida and she enclosed some Florida goodies.


Mug Exchange


A wonderful Florida souvenir spoon with a pelican.
(The pelican just happens to be one of my favorite water birds.)
Postcards with recipes.
Florida wouldn't be complete without a mention of Ernest Hemingway --
with Highland Select Tea --
"Infused with the author's spirit and passion for life."




Wonderland Tea

More magic with Alice In Wonderland!
Fun mug -- drink me!
Wonderland Tea - The Official Unbirthday Tea called
Topsy Turvy Tea Blend. 
I'm going to fall head over heels for this tea.
Black tea with a delicious citrus and fruity flavor.

And a wonderful book filled with Wonderland ephemera.
It's been so much fun going through it all and I find things
I think I didn't see before.



Wonderland Tea


The precious little bird frame was another little surprise.



Wonderland Tea Mosaic



Wonderland Tea

I got out my Alice In Wonderland Tea for One Teapot.
I'm all set now to have a cup of tea and open the Ginger Nuts.



Last, but not least, Jill included these beautiful white on white hand made cards.


Paper Card Art

They are so gorgeous.
I think I'm going to keep them and frame them.

What fun this has been!

I'd like to thank Stephanie again
and special thanks to the talented Jill Torres for sending such a magical tea.

Wishing YOU well and much joy!


The Enchanting Rose