Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ba$tard BBQ

Some days I have it together, other days...it helps to have a go to recipe that will turn out right every time and require no heroics on my part.  With  this recipe you can have dinner ready in minutes and that will become more important as the holidays rev up!  While it cooks, hunt down a package of instant mashed potatoes, and heat up a veggie.  So easy, and yes, the kids will eat it, too.
Throw some boneless chicken thighs in a buttered dish.  Sprinkle them with garlic salt and pepper on both sides.  (If I don't have garlic salt, I just use salt and garlic powder)  Then sprinkle on a little brown sugar on each thigh.  Cook at 350 for about 45 minutes.
Chicken thighs cook up juicy - have those mashed potatoes handy to spoon some of the sweet juice over it. YUM.  This is an oldie but goodie and a family favorite at my house, lifted straight from the pages of the Compleat I Hate to Cookbook, by Peg Bracken.  It's not particularly BBQ-ie and I can't just throw the name around the kitchen in front of the kids, so I call it Brown Sugar Chicken.  Try it!  And check out her cookbook; she was a very funny lady who had some neat recipes.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Card Follies

With Love Chartreuse Christmas 5x7 folded card
Shop Shutterfly for elegant custom Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Cinnamon Pretzels

I found this recipe from Leanne at  Organize and Decorate Everything!
and thought it sounded like the perfect holiday snack! 
You need 1/3 cup oil, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon.  Mix that all up and toss in about 16 oz of pretzels.  (and I had peanuts in there, too)
 Cook in one layer on a cookie sheet - 300 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring now and again.
I let mine cool on newspaper then scooped it back up into the same airtight container I had the pretzels in.  And it wasn't bad - pretty sugary, but a nice salty sweet and cinnamon-y taste that would be good with a mug of cocoa.  And I'm thinking you could also substitute butter for the oil....yum.
Bubbie and Hubby really enjoyed it, but next time I will leave out the peanuts, or add almonds instead.
Found: a new movie snack for the holidays!

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas card picture taking time!

Happy Day after Turkey!  Just waiting for my peeps to wake up and get going to pick out a tree.  And I'm hoping we'll get some great pics for our Christmas card at the Elgin Tree Farm.  It's an annual "Day after Thanksgiving" trek for us that includes stopping to eat BBQ at Southside BBQ in Elgin  The lighting was great last year, and it was cold, too, so we all got into the holiday spirit, and got some nice pics.  I loved them so much, I used some of them on my blog!

I was hoping that would be the venue for our family photo this year, too, but it turns out my daughter has to work...): so I'm going to have to get creative and do one of those collage cards.  It takes the stress out of having to capture the perfect group shot with six people!  I like the ones Shutterfly has to offer this year.  Especially the one that is a "tree" made of small photos.  I also want to make a calendar for Hubby.   Making photo gifts is fun; they are so personal and special and Shutterfly has some cute designs. 
Last year this photo went on a mug: 
 And while I'm at it, I'll make one for my bloggy desk, too!
 Now if I could just get all my sleepy people up and at 'em!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

The most meaningful holiday to me...
Rustown Art

For food, for raiment,
For life, for opportunity,
For friendship and fellowship,
We thank thee, O Lord.

Philmont Grace -Boy Scouts of America

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

Before I get too burned out on pumpkin, and because my peeps are all here and sleeping in, I am making them these muffins this morning:
You gotta love Martha and her seasonal recipes - she hit the nail on the head with this one.  Very dense, slightly sweet, and just the right spice! Go here for the recipe.  The only change I made was to place the muffins on a pretty plate, drizzle with butter and sprinkle with spiced sugar.  And nowhere could I locate my allspice, so I used pumpkin pie spice, which has a wonderful, just right for Thanksgiving aroma...
While I finish up my muffin and my coffee I am making my list of To Do's for the day, and I guess I better get started while I have the house to myself!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankfully crafty

I made a "give THANKS" banner out of twine, construction paper, and fabric paint.  It was a quickie craft on a day when I wanted to reflect about the holiday coming up.  My favorite time of year!   I'm not exactly a Martha, but I think its a sweet reminder to me as I move through my day, that I have so much to be grateful for.  My health, my family, a home, food and clothing, and the leisure to pursue those things during the day that give me happiness.
What more could you want?
Hmmm....well, how bout a new family portrait for the mantle?
Maybe we can work on that this week. (:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Scout turning 15...

I still can't believe it...
you cannot possibly be 15 yet...
It hasn't been long enough...  I still look into those beautiful eyes and see my sweet baby boy.
The one that followed us around the house saying "hey, whatcha doin?"  The one who was always up for a cuddle and a kiss.  And who actually fit into my lap, shared by brother and sister, and later, another brother.  The one who will lay wrapped in a quilt and read for hours in mom's bedroom.  Who includes his little brother when he hangs out with his friends, and gives as good as he gets from his big brother..the one everyone says is the "nicest little boy" is now a very nice young man!
And look out girls, he will dazzle you with his smile and winning personality...
No matter how old this mom gets, my babies will always be my babies.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sometimes you have to look back..

Lubbock, Texas  1970

...to look forward.  I have a birthday coming up; a big one.  But a normal day, I hope, and not full of too much fanfare.  I'm just happy to have made it this far with my sanity and health mostly intact!  And I look back at some of my many birthdays, and certain ones really stand out.  The above picture was what I have come to look back on as a "turning point" birthday.  I was 10, so my mother has 11 candles on my birthday cake.  I'm sure she made it from scratch and placed the candles in lifesavers candy.  I remember the dress; it was my favorite (also made by her).  I was anxious for all of us to finish dinner so we could get on to cake and presents.  It was a family affair, but I don't remember who all was there.  I got a purse and some money and though that doesn't seem like much, I remember being very happy.   Within months my parents would be divorced and mother would have moved  her three kids to Galveston.
So my next birthday was very different, to say the least...
But I think that it's good to look back;  I am so glad those days are far away,
and life now is very different for me and birthdays are, too.  
And that's a good thing!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sally Ann bargains

Stopping by SA on my way home from work recently, I spent a whopping $9 and found:
A pretty Fall leaf candy dish (or a cranberry sauce dish!)
 This little measuring cup that looks like a pot - cuteness factor of ten...

And this sewing tote chock full of stuff!  Tons of buttons, thread, fabric remnants, and tools, plus two pin cushions for $7.  Score!  I have been thinking of putting one of these together for my niece and this one is in mint condition.  The colors are nice and bright, too.  I am considering re-covering it, but it is so clean and pretty, I may not have to. Once the holidays get started, I probably won't visit thrift stores as often...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Poshing my ride

It started out simply as vacumning out the car, then morphed into a project that involved me cutting to fit an old "oriental " rug for the back floorboard.  My mother gave this to me several years ago, and it's not authentic, but I still like it.
Hmmm....that could work
 All I needed was a sharp utility knife and a marker to draw where to cut on the reverse.
 I even trimmed the fringe that was a tad too fringe-y.  Now I have a pretty custom floor mat.
I took a little out of the middle and sealed it with fabric glue on one side, duct tape on the other.  It's not so noticeable that it doesn't still look better.  Imperfectly beautiful!

Now, about these seat covers..they were seriously past their prime, and the seats underneath took some scrubbing!  I used a lavender scented cleaner to freshen up the whole car.
 It all looks so pretty and smells so good...now to get me a mug with a lid so I can stop spilling coffee all over the console when I'm running in the early morning!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

D and G's room "befores"

I bought the paint today so now I need to get to painting the boy's room.  Here are the befores:  the paint is satin semi-gloss (oh why? why? did I do that?)
in a color called Cloudless Sky. 
Makes you feel like you are drowing in the pool. 
Looks normal in the photos, but in real life it is ghastly!
The bunk bed shall be painted silver, I think.  But not shiny silver, more like a brushed or hammered look.
And the light switch, too.
The bookcase will be red.  I would love to lose those cat litter boxes turned "little toys" boxes.  Covered with stickers they are. So tacky.  And at this stage, maybe the storage thingy with stuffed animals can go, too.  And the Legos can return to their box. 
I'm going to leave the stackable bins from the Container Store.  They are very helpful on the side of each dresser.  And I like the black valance.  Also, the stuff on the walls will stay.
 I think the boys didn't mind the shiny blue.  When they were toddlers!
 But it's so severe right up against the white trim. Yuck.
The random D and G will go.  I'm thinking of getting them a full length mirror.   And I will add some command hooks on the back of the main door so that they can hang night shirts and jackets and hats up.
Time to to get 'er done!


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