Saturday, December 15, 2012

WIP-a Christmas Quilt

I bought this fabric while we were in Canada this year in November.  Unfortunately,  I haven't had a lot of time to work on it since we got home . Now it's crunch time because I just have to have it done for my party.    The girls and I have an ornament exchange party every year. This year it will be on the 19th. I'm determined to have the quilt finished by that day and displayed in the living room. We shall see....

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Crocheted gifts

We've all been busy crocheting at our house. All of us girls just learned a couple of months ago.
I finally made a bag! I love bags and especially these, but alas they're not for me. I made them for our sweet librarian and the other volunteers.
The bath puff is also a gift. My daughter is making some and I just had to try.
I think I have the crochet fever! This stuff is fun!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chicken Cakes Recipe

This is one of my favorite recipes from one of my favorite blogs.  Melissa and I graduated from high school together.  I never knew she had a love of cooking, but boy is she talented!  I check her blog regularly and print off the recipes.  My family has enjoyed all the new meals we've been having.  Here's one we have quite often:

(this happens to be Melissa's picture too.  I promise I have made them-several times.  )

Chicken Cakes with Marinara Sauce

3Tbsp butter
2Tbsp celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and basil
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tbsp mayo
2 cups cooked chicken, finely chopped
Olive oil

Marinara sauce

In a large skillet, saute celery and onion in the butter for 5 minutes.  Add parsley and garlic,  Saute 2-3 minutes more then remove from heat.  In a large bowl, combine seasonings, Parmesan cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, mayo and chicken.  Mix well then add the cooked veggies to the chicken mixture.  Stir well and make into patties.  This recipe makes 4-5 nice size patties.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  In a cast iron or non-stick skillet heat 4-5 Tbsp of olive oil and cook patties 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.  Heat marinara sauce and ladle out onto each plate then place chicken cake on top.  Top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.  Delicious!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Our Thanksgiving

I'm a little late in posting this, but better late than never, right?  This year we had such a nice Thanksgiving!  Even though my sister-in-law and her family couldn't make it, the table was full.  My parents came, my brother-in-law, my father-in-law (his fiance from Belarus and her daughter) and our friend Julia who was visiting for the first time from Austria.
Not only did we have our traditional food (turkey, cornbread dressing, squash casserole, asparagus casserole, kale, peas, and cranberry sauce) we also had some interesting additions.  First off, my Mary made  white bread dressing.  We had this for the first time in Canada this fall and loved it.  Natasha brought 2 dishes from her country of Belarus-a potato salad and a kind of apple pie.  Julia made a traditional Austrian dish-Sauerkrautstrudel (sauerkraut strudel) .   Everything was delicious!

Let's just say that no one got up from the table hungry!  For me it was a very nice, peaceful Thanksgiving.  I'm so thankful for my family and all that God has given us.  We are blessed indeed!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Long Drive

Driving home from Canada this year I had the bright idea that we go back by Mt. Rushmore again  .Because everyone knows that that's a direct shot from Manitoba to the Gulf Coast of Alabama, right??  NOT!!  Driving from our town to Manitoba, Canada was 1900 miles.  Driving home through Rapid City, SD was 2269!  That's almost 400 miles out of our way. was so worth it and I'd do it all over again.  

 We'd been to Mt. Rushmore about 6 years ago but Emma (our youngest didn't remember it).  The morning we were going to visit this time was so very foggy.  You couldn't see 100yds in front of you.  We had to visit early because we had to get on the road.  After all, we still had whole lot of miles to drive that day (we didn't end up stopping until 3am in Joplin, Missouri).  Before leaving the hotel parking lot, we prayed for our traveling safety and that God would open the clouds so we could see the mountain.  I knew God wouldn't have let us drive this far to not get to see Mt Rushmore-our only reason for going off track.  Even as I parked at the mountain, the fog had not cleared.  I still kept the faith that God would give us a glimpse.  Walking through the corridor of flags to the mountain, the clouds parted and the sun shone down in all it's glory.   Seriously!  It did!   There, ahead of us, was the amazing mountain carved so many years ago.  We had tears in our eyes as we gazed at it.  We stood in awe of this man's gift at carving the stone but more importantly at God's goodness in moving the fog and letting us see it once again.  God is so good and sweet like that!
We stayed longer than we should have, but we wanted to see and experience everything.  I didn't care how late I had to drive.  God had opened the heavens for us to see this and we were going to totally absorb it!  (I failed to mention that the whole time we gazed at the mountain, the fog was still thick as pea  soup behind us.  We literally could not see the car in the parking lot!)

Now we had to drive all the was across South Dakota (it's a really wide state, in case you haven't noticed).  It was such a beautiful drive.  I enjoyed every minute of it.  We went on through Iowa, Missouri, a little bit of Kansas and back into Missouri again to stop.  The next morning we drove on into one of our favorite southern states, Arkansas.  We cannot possibly drive through Arkansas without driving by the Duggar's house.  They are on our favorite reality show.    After stopping there we were energized to drive home.  (we arrived about 1:00am). 
We saw a whole lot of this beautiful country that God has created, felt His protection and watched as He performed a miracle...just to love on us!  One long drive turned into a trip of a lifetime!

It's Christmas time!

I'm moving a little slow this year with preparing for Christmas.  I'm excited and wanting to get ready, just busy.  Same old story.  lol!  We got the tree the day after Thanksgiving (one of our traditions).  My hubby and brother-in-law actually put it in the stand that same day (usually that never happens!).  We started putting on the lights, that I had so carefully packed away last year.  Only 2 strands worked this year.  Another trip to the store!  UGH!  Now the tree is all sparkly but the ornaments are still in the living room floor in boxes.  We're thinking about putting them on tonight.

First things first though.  Today I finally picked out our Christmas cards.  I really enjoy doing this each year.  It takes me a while to decide, but I have fun.  We always take a family picture while we're in Canada and sometimes another here at home.  The last several years we've purchased our cards from Shutterfly.  They always look great and are shipped fast.  Right now if you purchase from them and blog about it, you'll get $10 off your next order.  Last year I made calendars there for the grandparents for Christmas.  Really great price and they turned out so well.

Today is the last day to get 40% off select cards (code: HOLIDAY).  Free shipping is ongoing (code: SHIP30)