Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter traditions are ingrained with me----and I have my Eastern European grandmothers to thank for that-and my Mom and Aunts too. Easter meant the house had to be spic and span, windows sparkling clean, lots of baking,new clothes ,patent leather shoes with a purse to match and one of those little straw hats with an elastic to go under your chin. In fact, I still have my little hats--and I may post that on another day. By the time Holy Saturday came, a basket would be filled with Easter food and taken to a special Mass to be blessed. I haven't done any baking and my spring cleaning could be better---but my windows are sparkling clean. And today---I did something I haven't done for a long time. I dyed Easter Eggs---all by myself! I needed hard boiled eggs for a recipe and decided to give it a go---fun! I deviated somewhat from my childhood routine---then I would plop the egg in the dye and keep it there until it absorbed as much color as possible. The adult me went for variations in shades and I am pleased with the results!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's cold, rainy, windy, foggy, and nasty outside. So----we brought a little bit of springtime inside and are forcing our forsythia into bloom. Every fall I decide to prune the forsythia because it looks so scraggly and then come Spring I am always sorry because it isn't so pretty when in bloom and it is hard to find a graceful branch to force. Somebody remind me next Fall to leave the forsythia alone!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Weren't we just getting ready for Christmas? And I can honestly tell you that I took my last Christmas decoration down today. OK, it was a window candle, but still---. Anyway, here is what I was doing this afternoon---placing eggs around in appropriate containers. BUT---the most important part of this picture is this----and you can't really see it because I was playing with my Macro lens-----the sliding door is OPEN!!! And the warm breezes feel so good!

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's official! Adam has a job promotion(yeah!) but is moving farther away(sad face). He will be packing up and moving to Bloomington Indiana!! Here is that fresh faced young man, ready for his first day of school--probably 3rd grade. Note the red lunch box that matches the red shoe laces! He always did have a good sense of style!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

This was yesterday when the breezes were warm and the sun was bright! Our first bike ride of the year! And now about today-the temps are in the 30's and the muscles are sore!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Another week and another cookie. I think I posted these cookies before, so bear with me! The first time I made these cookies was because I had a bag of chips and I didn't want to nibble on them so I thought if I put them into cookies it would save me some calories. Well I was wrong! Instead of the chips, I ate cookies! They are good--tender but crisp!

Potato Chip Cookies

1 cup butter----room temp

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1/2 cups finely crushed potato chips

1/2 cup finely ground pecans

Cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Add vanilla. Add flour, pecans and chips and mix. Shape into i inch balls and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Flatten slightly with glass dipped into sugar. Bake 350 degrees for 10-11 mins.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's St Patrick's Day! I'm not Irish and Magglio isn't an Irish Setter but we decided to celebrate in style. We gathered our Paddy O'furniture and painted them Green! And then we went into the house, where a cold Guinness was awaiting us!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A visitor at work today said "those of us in NW Ohio really appreciate a beautiful Spring, because we have such a gray winter". And beautiful it was today! This little concrete kitty has been soaking up the sunshine on our front porch.

Monday, March 15, 2010

We are very high tech, here in Oregon Ohio. We use GPS when we travel, cell phones for communication, satellite radio for our listening pleasure, and for our weather predictions----we have something that nobody else around here has. The genuine weather Maine stick. A little twig of wood that goes up in fair weather and down in stormy weather. It really works too!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!! Don't forget to Spring Ahead tonite and turn your clocks ahead. Yes, I know--we lose an hour but look what we gain. More daylight in the evening to ride our bikes, hit a golf ball, walk the dog. Don't forget!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Another week--another batch of cookies. These treats went into the freezer to get a jumpstart on Easter. I have used this recipe for a LONG time and got it off the M & M wrapper about 20 some years ago. I adapted it somewhat---instead of adding the M&M's to the batter, I plop them into the cookie as soon as they come out of the oven. They just look prettier that way. Oh--but do not worry--I substituted chocolate chips into the batter instead. AND NOW LET ME RANT!! Why can't I find the pastel colored M &M's anymore. They used to always have them at Easter time. Instead they have these egg shaped milk chocolate covered candies. Not the same for cookies!!!! But I had to make do. And while I am on the subject---what was with the green colored M&M's for Valentines Day. The package said "Green--the new color of Love" Can someone explain that to me?

M&M Cookies

3/4 cup butter-room temp(I use part unsalted butter and part margerine)

1 and 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 eggs-room temp

2 1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp soda

1 cup chocolate chips

1 large bag M & M's

1/2 cup chopped nuts-optional but oh so better when added!

Cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips. Drop onto parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Bake in preheated over for 10-12 mins at 350. As soon as you take them out of oven, stick M&M's in top and cool on rack.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I've brought a little Charleston hospitality to our own front door. The bottom picture was taken last summer while in that charming city. It was the front door of a centuries old house(we are talking old as in "old pub visited by pirates" old) that is now an art gallery. I tried to copy the spring look for our old front door and now I think of Charleston whenever I see it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This isn't a pretty picture--kind of drab and dull. But to me it is exciting because it signals the first official act of Spring. I pulled the bare rooted geranium plants out of the basement and planted them--in the house, of course---in pots with good healthy doses of water. I have 9 plants and am pretty sure 8 of them will come alive. I will keep you posted.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Every girl should be so lucky! Dan is making homemade pizza for dinner tonite. OK, I made the dough--but still! He topped it with Prosciutto, green peppers and black olives--yum! AND he even made coffee for after dinner. This man is a keeper!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Was it really just 7 days ago we were preparing for a big winter storm? Today, the sun was out and the temp was in the 50's. The snowcover is receding and spring bulbs are peeping through! Is it too early to pull out the deck furniture?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cookie Baking Day----again. But first I went to the gym, so I didn't feel too guilty if I had a cookie---or two. This is my "go-to" cookie for several reasons. It's easy and the ingredients are always available. But---the result is a SOFT cookie that I love. I got this recipe a long, long time ago(when I was first married) from my mom's cookbook collection--A Farm Journal cookbook.

Here is the recipe---

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup margerine---room temp

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg--room temp

1 tsp vanilla

1 3/4 cup sifted flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup buttermilk

6 oz chocolate chips

Cream margerine and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Alternately add dry ingredients and buttermilk(begin and end with dry ingredients). Add chocolate chips. Bake 375 deg for 8-10 mins.

A word of advice. I have been having great success lately with my baking by simply making sure my butter/margerine and eggs are room temp.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I have a dirty little secret---I still have a Christmas tree up.Now, it isn't big tree--kind of the Charlie Brown variety and it isn't officially a Christmas tree anymore. It sort of evolved from the Christmas tree with our travel ornaments on it to our Valentine tree with my Mom's collection of red laquer looking hearts and now---a St. Patrick's Day tree. It is in the foyer and the little white lights look too pretty in this dark season to take down. I promise though--it will be gone by Easter!