Thursday, October 27, 2011

~ Easy Minestrone ~

This is a soup that I just "made up" so feel free to add ingredients of your choice!  It's great for fall evenings and is full of protein. My grandkids love it and I made this batch for them on the spur of the moment. Their parents were extremely busy so I figured a meal would be nice for all!

I don't often use canned products due to the sodium, however, in this dish it hardly matters. These are the ingredients I had on hand.  I rarely am ever without fresh garlic but guess what? It happened here!  :-)

I saute the onion and garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil and then just add all the beans, broth, tomatoes.  I drain and rinse the black beans...the others I add juice and all.  I always add other seasonings too ~ that's up to you.

I remembered that I had 1 zucchini left so I grated it in the mini-processor and added it. I was out of the tiny pasta the kids like so I added frozen corn ~ something else they love.  You can tell I needed to go grocery shopping!  In the past I've added grated carrots, chopped spinach, kale, whatever.  It's strictly up to you! 

I did keep one dish for me ~  ;-)

I'm joining ~


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

~ More About the Painting with Pics ~

I've been reluctant to show photos of my space as I live in an apt...not a huge, spacious home. I'm retired and don't need as many "things", nor do I have the extra cash to spend frivolously but here we go!  Picture overload so be warned ~

This is to the left of the loveseat ~ disregard the box in the hallway...donations that are leaving today. This table was found at an antique store and painted.

And to the right ~

This is the wall to the right of the armoire ~ there's a wine cabinet there, thus the sign. ;-)

This is the base of it ~

The picture frame was made by Kristen of Kristens Creations

More of this wall ~

My 'huge' chair that I love...but takes so much space ~

And the ottoman with Forrester's blanket...he's at the lower right but turns his head when I have the camera. Just like a child!  :-)

This is a short wall in the dining area ~ it's behind and to the right of the chair.

I love this quote!

This is the larger wall to the right and behind the dining table.  I'll show it another time ~ it's full of "stuff"....decorative items, candles, pillows, etc. that I haven't decided where to put them.
The next 3 photos are the entire wall if that makes it easier to visualize.

So maybe this provides a little synopsis of "me".  You can tell I love color, funky and fun. I don't follow design trends or colors or any "shoulds" about decorating.  I'm not a formal person now at all ~ just want my space to be happy and comfortable.

Oh yes, the buffet needs to be painted also!  It's an antique piece, sort of a walnut color.  Any suggestions for it and the armoire are most appreciated.

Now.....would you like a glass of wine before you leave?  ;-)

Monday, October 24, 2011

~ Furniture Painting Suggestions? ~

I am "almost" a furniture painting virgin.  Yes, I know....that is really strange isn't it?  :-) I have done a few small items like tables but nothing big, nothing like this! 
I've wanted to paint this armoire for a very long time. My first inclination was to paint it black but I'm not so sure now.  From everything I've read, most of you love the ASCP but in my opinion, it is difficult to choose a color.  I see a "grey" mentioned, however, then the person says it's more taupe.  A blue or greenish shade seems to look like the opposite color.  I really need help!!!  Now, I know a ton of you love white ~ I'm not there.  I can't say that I would be happy with a definite blue or green....perhaps a grey?  But it's gotta have some sort of highlights or glaze I think.  See, I'm all over the place and I know it!  Perhaps I should just go and look at regular paint samples and see if anything appeals to me. I just thought it would be easier NOT to have to do a primer, sand, etc.

I have a cherry red love seat and a huge black and white ticking chair with ottoman. The accents; pillows, tables, decorative items, etc., are black, red, animal prints, a bit of silver and gold, etc.  There are a few touches of yellow in art work as well as sage green.

This is the armoire with the doors closed:

 Doors open, showing the bottom portion of the unit.  The books to the right are some of the group I've been sorting through. :-)

 Ok, all you pros, hit me with your best shot!  :-)

P.S.  I will take a few snapshots of the entire space tomorrow when the sunlight will help the photography and post those. Should have thought of that before posting but I didn't.  ;-)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

~ Cookbook Winners! ~

* A revision to the winners ~ I never did hear from Lynne so I've drawn another name. Linda Chapman is now the winner of the Gooseberry Patch book.  Again, thank you to everyone for playing!  Everything is in the mail except Linda's ~ hope you enjoy!

I really did this "techinically".  I can never get the info to post correctly so I asked my 84 yr old neighbor, my daughter and another friend to give me numbers and I added one myself.  So here goes!

Sandy ~  Southern Living
Linda C. ~  Gooseberry Patch*
Ginger ~ Williams-Sonoma
Anita S. ~ Top Secret Recipes - Lite

The 4th book I ran across last night and just threw it into the mix.  I hope to do this again as I continue sorting and decluttering.  

Winners please email me your addresses and I'll get these in the mail to you!  

Monday, October 17, 2011

~ Last Call! ~

For the cookbook giveaway....sign up here !

I did see the cardiologist this morning. They did another EKG and it was abnormal too. They don't believe me when I tell them how I am! ;-)  Anyway, I go in on the 28th for an echocardiogram and a nuclear stress test. I really dislike the latter ~ not fun! 

We've had a beautiful day here although about 89' I think. By tomorrow morning it's supposed to be 49' and high in the 60's. That's fall in Texas!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

~ Blog Highlight ~

Halloween junkie?  Cookies?  Charlie Brown & friends?   IF you haven't been by Lisa's,
The Enchanted Oven, you must stop by and check out her blog!  She is an incredible artist when it comes to decorating cookies, cakes, whatever.  Pop over there now and get in on the fun!  Take the time to look around...she has all sorts of decorated items ~

** Lisa, I borrowed one of your photos to share!

Friday, October 14, 2011

~ Ramblings ~

It's been a beautiful day here in Texas!  In the 50's this morning when Forrester and I went walking about 6 a.m. ~ I woke up at 4a.m.  This afternoon it reached 85' but I can deal with that!

I had my annual physical about 3 weeks ago...a couple of tests came back abnormal. I saw one Dr. this morning and she felt all was ok in the realm of her speciality.  I do have to see a cardiologist first thing Monday morning so if you don't mind sending good thoughts, light candles, say a prayer...whatever you choose, I would be most appreciative!

I started my allergy shots this week and so far, so good. I gave myself both shots today and the Dr was pleased. Now I can give myself the shots without having to go in to the office.

I've spent quite a bit of time going through boxes in my storage closet that were just put there last Nov when I moved.  It's helped a lot to sort through things.  I got out all the fall and Halloween decor and put things out.  It was all driving me bonkers!  I don't know why ~ that hasn't happened in the past.  I've taken it all down and boxed it up and it will go back in storage in the morning. I do still have a fall wreath on the door.  I'm not crazy, really!  :-)   I think it was all making me feel claustrophobic.

I think a pedicure is in order tomorrow!  I went to World Market between Dr appts today ~ love that store. I rarely do this but I bought a mini bottle of champagne and I'm getting ready to jump in bed with it, a good book and my dog.  I think it's about 2 glasses. :-)  I hope you have a wonderful evening and a fun weekend!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

~ Shrimp Butter on Crostini ~

This is a very old recipe shared by a girl I used to work with.  I've changed a few things and adapted it to suit my taste.  Feel free to do the same!

1  (16-ounce) French bread loaf, cut into 20, 30 or 40 slices (depends on number of servings you want)
2  (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2  pound butter, softened
1 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1  pound peeled cooked shrimp, finely chopped
1  small onion, grated

2  T. fresh lemon juice
1  T. Hellmann's mayonnaise
1/4  tsp.  garlic salt or minced fresh garlic

1/4  tsp. pepper
1/2 c. chopped fresh tomatoes or roasted red peppers (optional)
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

Garnishes: peeled cooked shrimp, chopped chives or spinach

Place bread slices on baking sheet; bake at 350° for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted.
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in Mozzarella,  shrimp and next 5 ingredients; spread mixture evenly on toasted bread slices. Return to oven for 5-10 min...just long enough for cheese to melt. Garnish, if desired. 

Sign up for the Cookbook Giveaway here!
I'm joining ~ 

~ Cookbook Giveaway! ~

I've been going through boxes of books and have found many that I won't use anymore. I thought some of you might like a freebie cookbook!  Please disregard the photography...just could not eliminate the glare. Here are the first 3 I'm giving away:
I have soooo many cookbooks from Southern Living and I don't think I've ever used this one.

This is, of course, one of the early Gooseberry Patch books.  It's like new!

 I grabbed several Williams-Sonoma cookbooks when I worked there after retirement. I don't grill outside anymore due to where I live.  Perhaps one of you might like it?

I don't believe in all of the criteria some giveaways require ~ I like to keep it simple!  I'd like for you to be a follower and just leave a comment telling me your favorite dish to cook.  Will announce the winners ~ 3 of you! ~ next Tuesday, 18th. 

Thanks a million for being here and playing along ~

P.S.  If you have a preference re: one of the books, please let me know that too!