Saturday, December 28, 2013

A little how to....

This little how to is just in time for the 50-70 percent off sale
that will be  happening on all the
Christmas goodies out there! I am thinking the total cost
for this project is around ONE DOLLAR!
 
This is what you need:
 one candle from your emergency stash (these are the small candles found in
the grocery store-some have religious prints on them or the glass is colored
They are FIFTY CENTS!!!
 
 Strip of felt and material from stash
or any material, ribbon or my favorite jute.
(I couldn't find my roll of jute) AND, a jingle bell! or other embellishment.
 
No glue or sewing required :)
Wrap first layer of material.
 
Overlap just a touch
 
Pin with giant antique pin (or small one) or tape
 
 Thread second material or ribbon or jute(MIA)
through the bell 

 Tie tightly with a double knot
 
Spin that cute thing around and light it!
I think a little branch would look nice
tucked in behind the bell too!
 
 
With Valentine's Day coming up, think about replacing the bell with little dangling hearts and matching material.
Let your imagination guide you!  Enjoy!
 
Blessings,
ChaCha

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Remembering

It has been cold around here.  I have had time to cook a little more than usual since the days are darkened by 5:30 or 6, and the weather makes us want to hunker down inside.  Time has been spent making my favorite winter meals- Green Chile Potato Corn Chowder, Vegetarian Chile, Homemade Pizza and Soup and Cornbread.  But this past week, I made something that brought back memories of my childhood.

When I was young, we basically ate the same meals each week.  My mother, as other mothers back in the early 70's, cooked simple, hearty meals for their families.  Meals that were affordable, yet, filling.  I remember a handful of the meals our mother cooked for us.  She made the most amazing Coconut Cream Pie.  This remains my favorite type of pie.  Sadly, I was never interested in learning how to cook when she was able to make those delicious pies piled high with perfect meringue, which I scraped off to the side of the plate....which only now I can believe I was allowed to do!  She also made awesome fried pies, using whatever fruit was fresh in season.  Even when I was working as an adult, I would walk into her home and she would come around the corner with flour on her hands and I would know she had a batch of fried pies (Apricot!) frying, or stacked up, drizzled with powdered sugar glaze....sitting in the middle of the table waiting for us.  There were what I call cherry dumplings~I don't know what they were really or how she made them, I only remember her standing over a hot steaming pot of thickening cherries.  Sweet, red.  Dropping pinches of dough, probably biscuits into the sweetness and bubbling until the dessert was done.  I've burned my tongue on this more than once.  My mouth waters thinking of the tart cherries (pie filling?) and the sweetness mixed together.  One meal, she could somehow feed a family of 4 on one can of salmon.  We had fried potatoes with this and gravy.  I never thought of how strange this might have been until I was married.  Then, the thought of FISH and GRAVY was wrong! I have to admit I usually ate my salmon patty with ketchup.

But, I think my favorite meal was the enchiladas.  And so, for the first time in 40 years, I attempted to make Mamas Cast Iron Skillet Enchiladas.  They were a hit! I did cheat in a few areas, but all in all they did look like hers! I will make them again and take photos and add the recipe..  I really just wanted to write this down.....and remember the wonderful gift of home cooked meals that my mama gave us growing up.  She worked so hard.  She was a nurse by night and a mother and wife by day.  I miss her in her kitchen.  She was a master of good old home cooking. 

I would love to know what your favorite meal was growing up in your home! I hope that my boys have a few great memories just like I do!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Merry Christmas

From our home to yours~Merry Christmas!







Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Things are finally settling around here. November and December are a blur of family, friends, travels, party, food and sickness.  There was fun and laughter mixed in with it all....but I am kind of happy it has slowed down a bit. 
I hate to admit, but on this day, I still have 2 of my little Charie Brown trees up~I have been under the weather and those chores have been pushed to the back burner.  Oh, how I yearn for spring.  We have had snow the past week~at least 4 inches.  And while most ADORE the stuff----I do not. We did get some fun photos of the family out in the snow! It was fun for a while.  I love how the snow looks, I just hate the cold and the mess. 
The good news, it is a beautiful day today! Things are looking UP!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Changing of the Seasons

In West Texas, one day will be sunny and still, the next will be cold and windy.  We spent yesterday afternoon in the company of friends enjoying one of the last Wednesdays of Couple's Golf.  Short sleeves and capris with a light jacket "just in case" was the attire.  As we finished up hole 18, the clouds were rolling in and the southern wind began to pick up.  Sadly, I glanced to check the time and realized it was only 7:15 and knew that this was the beginning of the change of season.  Each year I dread this season.  It not only chills me to the bone, but also chills my mind~I yearn for the days of summer.  Long days spent outdoors or indoors for that matter looking out to the bright sunlit sky. 
Last year's winter was harsh and long.  I tried not to complain so much this summer, eventhough we had record high temperatures and drought conditions.  I love the feel of the sun on my face and the feeling of being outside and working hard and working up a sweat.  It somehow cleanses the body and soul. 
But for now, fall is here.  There is beauty around me. I love the changing leaves~gold, red, brown.  The nip in the air that causes little animals to run and play.  The dampness on colorful blooms that shimmer in the sunlight. 
 
And this:
 Chicken Sopa and Cornbread
 
boil 3 chicken breasts until tender; shred or chop 
reserve 2 cups broth

place in a crockpot on high while chicken is cooking:
1 can cream chicken soup
2 tablespoon chicken boullion or 2 packages of ramen noodle season packages


ingredients:
Saute until tender
3 roasted green chiles
1/2 onion chopped
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper

Add Sauted ingredients to crockpot along with:
2 cups chicken broth reserve
Chicken

Heat on high. Mixture should become bubbly.  Cut 6 flour tortillas lengthwise into 1/2 strips and then into 1/2 inch squares.  Drop into crockpot and stir.  Cover and let cook for 5 minutes.  Serve with cornbread.  My favorite? Martha Whites Sweet Cornbread Mix.  2 packages will fill a cast iron skillet.  Be sure and add 3-4 tablespoons oil to skillet and preheat in oven and pour batter into hot skillet.  Makes a wonderful crunchy crust!
Enjoy.

Option:

May leave out flour tortillas and add V-8 and 4 additional cups of chicken broth and have Tortilla soup......just add trimmings.......Avocados, tortillas chips, cheese.