Saturday, May 28, 2011

Busy Days

We have had so much on our plate lately.
Last Saturday I photographed a wedding
(I will share a few photos soon).
Then I spent several days editing the photos.
Wednesday we had a (really fun) cookout to finish up our weekly
Community Group Bible study for the summer.
Thursday evening we had Aldara and her mom (visiting from Spain) for dinner.
Friday we had a truckload of dirt delivered so that
today we could spent all day working in the yard.
We began this project in mid-April thinking it would
take just a few days.
I hope to divide plants throughout the yard to fill this new berm and finally get it finished this weekend.
A few fitting quotes:

Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it.  ~Author Unknown
~*~
What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it.
~Charles Dudley Warner, My Summer in a Garden, 1871
~*~
Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration.
~Lou Erickson
~*~
Raider kept an eye on every move I made.
Poor little guy is way overdue for his grooming appointment.
I'll just add that to my list of things to do!

Deviled Eggs

Can't have a cookout without...
Deviled Eggs
6 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
1/4 Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
1 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp prepared mustard
1/8 tsp salt
dash pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

Combine all ingredients except eggs.  Scoop yolk out and mask with fork. Stir in the Miracle Whip mixture.  Refill egg whites with mixture and sprinkle with paprika and tiny snips of parsley

Friday, May 27, 2011

A perfect Evening

Ever since Aldara told us her mother would be visiting the Unites States from Spain we were looking forward to meeting her.  Last night we had the honor of having Nini join us for dinner and a wonderful evening getting to know one another. She is just as nice and sweet as we expected she would be!
After dinner, we strolled around the yard discussing flowers indigenous to both America and Spain.
Flowers have no language barrier and bring joy to people across the globe.
  We sat on the patio long into the night as we enjoyed dessert and talked about everything from gardening to politics around the world.  We wearied Aldara as she translated back and forth but it is amazing how much we were able to understand just from listening carefully and through gesturing.
It was a perfect evening!  These gorgeous red roses were a gift from Nini as was the abanico (a handpainted fan)

Aldara explained that Spanish woman  everywhere use these fans for many occasions.  The hand fan is not just a decoration but a trade mark of Spain and an important accessory.  They are quite effective when air conditioning is not available.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Going Paperless

Trying to consolidate my huge recipe file box, stacks of magazine clippings, bookmarked cookbook pages and folders full of recipes, I decided to make a place I could turn to where everything was organized and above all, I could instantly find what I was looking for.

I have stored recipes on my computer as documents, printed them out and filed in binders and kept them in large recipe boxes.  None of those systems worked easily for continuous use.
So, I created another blog I use as my on-line cookbook/recipe box filled with our old favorite family recipes.

For the past months I have focused on making and photographing
those favorite recipes before continuing to try new ones.
Since many of the recipes posted on
With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart
are now on this new blog and vice versa, I have it set as private.
~*~

Now I work right from my laptop (well, John's laptop) as I cook and bake.
No more hoisting my huge file box to search for a filed recipe and then having to refile after it was used.
No more spending way too much time looking for a misplaced recipe.
Through the years I have revamped my recipe collection from small file boxes to various binders to huge file boxes.  After 35 years of cooking (not to mention the recipes I collected before I married) it was becoming a chore that was frustrating.
~*~
Contemplating a fitting name for my new blog, my sweet Jamie suggested I use the name of her blog with a slight change.
A verse from Isaiah  55:2 was perfect.

Why spend money on what is not bread,
   and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
   and you will delight in the richest of fare.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sweet and Sour Meatloaf

This is our favorite meatloaf.
A real comfort-food meal served over mashed potatoes.
(Colcannon this time because I had cabbage in the fridge)
It comes after trying many different recipes.
I am not sure where the original recipe came from because I have been making it for so long.
If you do not overwork the mixture and gently form it into a loaf,
it will bake into a delicious, fork-tender meatloaf.
Sweet and Sour Meatloaf
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I use 85%)
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 eggs
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar (we prefer regular vinegar)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons prepared mustard

Directions

Mix together beef, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and eggs (use a large meat fork and toss throughly but lightly) Add onion and one-half of tomato sauce. Form into loaf in 9”x 13” pan. You can use a loaf pan but I prefer not to.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

In saucepan, combine topping ingredients; bring to boil.
Pour over meat loaf; bake 10 minutes more. Let sit 5 minutes before slicing.

Yield 6 servings.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Necklace/Jewelry Organizer

I like necklaces.
I wear one every day.
I have a lot.
They hung from door knobs... over hooks...
and hangers everywhere.
The problem:
Organizing them.
The solution:
an easy to make necklace/bracelet organizer shelf.
before...
My old organizing system was not working!
~*~
I made a two-tier shelf to hang all of those necklaces to keep them from tangling and for easy access.
 John found a few pieces of wood trim in the garage and cut them to 40-inch lengths and nailed them together.
This simple design provided two levels to hang many necklaces in a small space and still keep them separated. A little sanding a couple coats of primer and paint and it is ready to add hooks.
I found large white upholstery tacks (from Lowe's) and nailed them about an inch apart across most of the shelf and a little further apart at the opposite end for wider bracelets.
My board used exactly 100 tacks (4 boxes of 25).
A place for everything and everything in its place!
sorry, Abbey, I had to say it (grin)

I intended to hang this on a wall in my walk-in closet but thought it
pretty enough to display in my dressing area with my necklaces right at my fingertips.

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