New Year

Yesterday was Ditch Your Resolution Day. I guess since I did not make any resolutions I don’t have to worry about it. HaHa!!! 

As you may have noticed, I have not been making any posts for quite a while now. Working for Amazon 60 hours a week was really rough. Mac & I are both currently waiting to see if they will be hiring us as permanent employees. I don’t know if this is the job for either of us. Mac is thinking about driving again – maybe on a dedicated run to Arizona & back. I don’t know if I want to drive again. I did enjoy it but don’t think it is for me.

I got into a slump after Thanksgiving and didn’t even get Christmas presents made. I barely got cards mailed. Last week I finely felt like getting into the groove of things and here is my first post of 2018!

Not sure which direction I will be going but you have to start somewhere. So hang on for 2018 and let’s see where we go.


Happy Thanksgiving

This has been an interesting year with many things to be thankful. In the last couple of weeks I have finally gotten back into the creative mood. I fell behind on birthday cards and gifts but will be finishing a couple and sending them – even if they are late.

Mac & I have decided to not drive anymore due to the traffic and the crazy drivers. We will be working for Amazon starting as seasonal workers with hopes of becoming full time. We have been very fortunate to have clean driving records and no accidents.

The rest of this year, I will be working on Christmas presents for everyone. Not sure what I’m going to do for all but will have to get busy and decide.

Have a wonderful thanksgiving and appreciate who and what you have!

Clean Your Refrigerator Day

When I found out it is Clean Your Refrigerator Day, I realized that my fridge could use a cleaning. I took out the drawers, washed them and wiped down the shelves. This a a good idea to do before Thanksgiving gets here. After all you can get rid of any old products and have more room for your Thanksgiving groceries and leftovers. So get to it and do a little refrigerator cleaning.

Ham & Spinach Dip

Whether you are having a Halloween or New Years Eve party or looking for a great appetizer for Thanksgiving or Christmas this Ham & Spinach Dip from
Everyday Food is very tasty.

2 Tbsp. Unsalted butter
½ c. onion, finely chopped
¼ c. Almond flour
2 tsp. Arrowroot
1 ½ c. whole milk, at room temperature
¼ tsp. Paprika, plus more for sprinkling
½ c. Black Forest Ham, finely chopped
1 ¼ c. Harvarti cheese, grated
10 oz. Box frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add flour and arrowroot and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add milk and whisk until mixture has thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in paprika, ham, ¾ c. cheese and spinach. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer mixture to a 1-quart baking dish. Top with remaining ½ cup cheese and sprinkle lightly with more paprika. Bake 10 minutes. Adjust oven to broil; broil until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes and serve.

Happy Thanksgiving

*In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

Although the American concept of Thanksgiving developed in the colonies of New England, its roots can be traced back to the other side of the Atlantic. Both the Separatists who came over on the Mayflower and the Puritans who arrived soon after brought with them a tradition of providential holidays — days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of feasting and celebration to thank God in times of plenty.

As an annual celebration of the harvest and its bounty, moreover, Thanksgiving falls under a category of festivals that spans cultures, continents and millennia. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans feasted and paid tribute to their gods after the fall harvest. Thanksgiving also bears a resemblance to the ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. Finally, historians have noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on their shores.


Sweet Potatoes 2 Ways

This year it looks like we will be going to my son’s for Thanksgiving so I do not have to plan a menu. However, I would like to share a few recipes that you can try for your Thanksgiving meal. In the past, we have tried an all fried foods Thanksgiving menu which was tasty but your body can only handle so much grease. We have done the traditional with the stuffed turkey as well as with a fried turkey. I enjoy trying new recipes and hope they are tasty and others like them. Here are a couple of great sweet and yummy recipes I hope you will try and enjoy.

Sweet Potato-Apricot Bake

3 small sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into chunks
¾ c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. Cornstarch
¼ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Ground cinnamon
1 tsp. Grated orange rind
16 oz. Can apricot halves
2 Tbsp. Butter or margarine
½ c. walnuts, finely chopped

Place sweet potatoes in lightly greased 10 x 6” baking dish; set aside.

Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon and orange rind in a heavy saucepan; mix well. Drain apricots, reserving liquid and set aside.

Add enough water to apricot liquid to make 1 cup. Gradually stir into dry mixture; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat. Add butter; stir until butter melts. Add apricots and walnuts, stir gently. Pour over sweet potatoes; cover and bake at 375 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Sweet Potato Bread Pudding

¾ lb. Sweet potatoes, peeled & finely chopped
1 c. raisin
¼ c. dark rum
2 large eggs + egg white, lightly beaten
¼ c. sugar
2 c. whipping cream
1 c. half & half
1 Tbsp. Evaporated cane sugar
1 Tbsp. Ground cinnamon
8 oz. French bread, torn into 1” pieces
Rum Sauce (recipe below)
Whipped Cream

Boil sweet potatoes about 10 minutes or until tender; set aside. Combine raisins and rum, set aside. Combine eggs, sugar, whipping cream, half & half, can sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl; add bread pieces, sweet potatoes and raisin mixture. Spoon mixture evenly into a lightly greased 11 x 7 x 1 1/2” baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until set, covering with aluminum foil to prevent overbrowning if necessary. Serve warm with rum sauce and whipped cream.

Rum Sauce

1 ½ c. butter
1/ c. dark rum
3 c. sifted powdered sugar
1 egg yolk

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat; stir in rum. Ad powdered sugar; stir with a whisk until smooth. Stir in egg yolk; cook, stirring constantly about 5 minutes or until mixture reaches 160 degrees. Serve warm.

Thanksgiving Decorations

I have only one bin of Thanksgiving decorations but it includes bathroom shower curtain and towels as well as kitchen and dining room accessories. It seems Thanksgiving is more about getting together with family than about decorations and parties. So here are a few pictures of my decorations. Hope they inspire you to add a little something to your Thanksgiving celebration.

For the bathroom I have a shower curtain, rug and towels.  While in the kitchen I have a trivet, towels and pot holders.

Decoration Storage

Years ago I started collecting holiday decorations. At first it was just the big holidays like Halloween and Christmas. Then about 5 years ago I started buying and saving little decorations for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and Thanksgiving. I would purchase a couple small items to decorate my office at work. You know you can get great deals after the holiday – then you have new decorations next year 🙂

I used to keep my decorations in card board boxes in the garage. This was a mess because not only do the boxes collapse but they begin tilting then eventually falling over. If water gets into the garage then you have even a bigger mess. Some of the decorations get wet, then comes the mold (of course this is if you do not notice for months. You know how that is if you use your garage for storage and not for parking cars ;-(

I don’t recommend going out and buying new plastic containers for these decorations but you may find some being used for something else. For example, we used to breed snakes so we had all these plastic shoe boxes. After a thorough cleaning, one of them was the perfect size for my small collection of Valentine’s Day items. I had a medium size storage bin that had a pasta maker in it. As it was really too big for just the pasta maker, I am now using it for my St. Patrick Day items. I did purchase some larger plastic storage containers for Halloween and Christmas as I collected more decorations. I now have one plastic container for Thanksgiving, Valentines Day, and St. Patrick’s Day as well as four for Christmas and five for Halloween. I am still looking for a plastic container for Easter so that will mean more decluttering. I’m sure I have something laying around here that needs to be thrown away or put to good use.

Does anybody really decorate for patriotic holidays like President’s Day, Memorial Day, or Fourth of July?  Maybe I should start collecting items this year to show my patriotism.  What do you think?