Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Short one, I promise.

I know it has been a few days since my last post but I have been busy trying to get lots of cooking and baking done for my family that are coming this weekend. Actually, Sue is already here. She and Dave came last night. They had planned to stay at Matt and Heather's last night but their littlest one, Bryce, is still sick and they didn't feel it wise to stay overnight. They did have a little visit with them though and had dinner with them last night. Dave had to go back home this morning. I was so sorry about that because I really do love my son in law. Sue isn't sure when she will go back to Matt and Heather's. She may just stay here until they arrive on Saturday, unless we can figure out how to get her back there. If she really wants to go, we might just try to get Heather to meet us half way so that we can sort help with the transportation without taking too many hours out of a day. We have a plan, and I have even made time in the plan to rest, thank goodness. It's amazing how much I can get done in a day if I just listen to my body and sit down to relax for fifteen minutes or so until I can get up and get going again. Anyway, it is fun to have her here early so that we can have her all to ourselves for a while. Right now she went with my husband, Dick, to Costco. He had to go for a few things and she wanted to see about getting some kind of new luggage that is supposed to be easier to wheel around. I hope she can find it.

Yes, you guys, I will post all of my bread recipe's when all have gone. I used to do all of my bread making by hand and have made eight loaves at one time. That has been a long time ago, but I made bread by hand up until I got my Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook. I hope those of you who try my recipe's have a dough hook because it is so much easier, but my recipe's can also be made the old fashioned way, by kneading the dough by hand.

Back to my work for the day. I made the most delicious Karmel Korn ever!! It is all dry now and I have to get it off my kitchen island table.

The weather is a perfect 68, which Sue loves and I don't mind it as long as the sun is shining, which it is!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Big Weekend Coming Up

Well, it won't be this weekend, but in just seven days I will be seeing a good many of my family. It all started with my son, Rich, telling me that he and Stacy, his fiance, are coming to see us so that we can meet her before the wedding. You might imagine how happy that made us. They live in Lake Tahoe and right now it is very cold there with snow after snowfall. I think they have more than three feet. Great for skiing though, and they all do ski. My son has two of his three sons living with them. The oldest is off on his own.

We have been hoping that Rich would meet someone who could make him happy for the rest of his life. Fortunately he did meet Stacy and two of my daughters have already met her and love her. They think she is just perfect for him. She has three young children so I will have three more grandchildren, which totally delights me as my youngest grandchild is fourteen. He happens to be Rich's youngest and Stacy's children really love him. He is just so good with children. He, (his name is Sean) is coming too. Unfortunately, Blaine, his other son has a game he has to play on Saturday so will be staying home. It is so neat, because all of my daughters are coming that weekend to see Stacy too. I will have all of my children in one place at the same time!! That just doesn't happen very often. In fact the last time was three years and ten months ago for my 80th birthday party.

Of course I have been baking and cooking up a storm. This, so I won't have to do much while they are here. I have been baking bread this week. (I do that on a regular basis) I have made white, oatmeal and tomorrow I am doing the 100% whole wheat. They will have a lot of choices. For desserts I have made chocolate cake, carrot and pianapple cake, and will make cheescakes the next Friday morning. There are also cookies and brownies in the freezer. It will be so fun to have them. I have told them all that they had better not be on a diet, because sometimes when they come they are dieting and all my goodies are for naught. I hate when that happens!!!!

Anyway,I had better stop this as I have to take the bread out of the oven in seven minutes. Maybe we will have a slice of nice warm oatmeal bread. We went out to lunch today and had a huge one. Celebrating a good friends birthday. So no dinner tonight. We had Thai food and it was to die for. I am going to try to figure out what went in mine and duplicate it. At least I am going to try. .........Later

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Valentine

Well, here I am wearing my beautiful Valentine necklace.

This is my necklace showing the settings in detail. There is one half a karat total, so the diamonds are small, but they do show up quite well.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Valentine

I wasn't going to do this post until my sweet husband could take a picture of me wearing the beautiful Valentine he gave me yesterday. I'm afraid that isn't going to happen today. He is taking a much needed nap and when he wakes up he will barely have time to eat before going to the church for a bishopric meeting. I slept in this morning. It turned out to be a very very busy day yesterday, starting with doing our visiting and home teaching in the morning. We go together which makes it very nice for both of us. That took all of our morning and then we went shopping. We didn't even take time for lunch and it was getting late, but Dick wanted me to go to Macy's with him to look at my Valentine. He didn't want to buy it until I had okayed it, which made good sense to me, because you can't really tell from a picture in an ad what it is going to look like.

We have been married for 38 years and early in my marriage when we were both working and could afford it, I yearned for a heart shaped necklace with only diamonds showing. Those of you old enough to remember "What's My Line" TV show might remember Arlene Francis who always wore hers, even though she might have had beads or another type necklace on. Well, at any rate Dick and I looked and looked and we could never find just what I wanted. We were too dumb then to know that you can have jewely made to order. What did we know? We were not the kind to buy a lot of jewely at that time in our marriage. But look we did to no avail. We finally gave up and years went by without our ever looking. Then, wouldn't you know, we saw in the weekend ads that came out with our paper this weekend, a necklace that looked like the one we had searched for long ago. Macy's had advertisesed it on sale. So after our visiting and home teaching, we went shopping. The necklace was just what I wanted, but we had the saleslady hold it for an hour while we went to other jewelry stores in the mall to check on prices. To make a long story shorter, we couldn't find one like it, but two of the jewelry stores told us they could have one made for us. When the price they gave us was more than the one at Macy's we decided that the one at Macy's really was a good buy, so Dick went back and got it , while I waited in the car. We were both exhausted and really hungry at this point and it was quite late when we got home. We had a couple of hours to rest before going over to our friends house for dinner. Then after dinner we went to another friends house who was having a family home evening for a lot of us. We have quite a wonderful group of super neat couples in our ward who get together socially quite a lot. By the time we got home I was really sleepy. Dick had to watch a couple of TV shows he had recorded, and I slept for a couple of hours in my chair before he woke me up to go to bed. What a day it was!! I absolutely love my Valentine and I will have him take a picture soon to post it on here so you can see how pretty it is. I will always wear it, until the day I die. Seriously, I will never take it off, even to shower. Hope you all had a nice weekend too.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another Recipe

I don't seem to be too inspired to write anything interesting on my blog these days, so I decided that since most of you seem to like a good recipe to try, I would post my VERY favorite recipe and urge you all to try it, then let me know how it turned out. (How is that for a rambling sentence?)

First, I have to tell you about the night we served it to some missionaries. The one Elder took a bite and got the weirdest look on his face. I asked him if anything was wrong and he said, "This is the most wonderful thing I have tasted in my entire life." Then he asked me for the recipe. I asked him if he was going to send it home so his mom could make it for him when he got home and he said, "Are you kidding? I am going to make it for myself, and very soon." So, if that is any recommendation besides my own, here it is:

"Singapore Chicken Stew"

1 pound boneless skinned chicken breasts
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon hot chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced fine
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced fine
1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk
1 can chicken broth
2 cups lightly packed washed baby spinach leaves (about 4 oz.)
1 1/2 cups frozen petite peas
2 Roma tomatoes (about 8 oz total) rinsed, cored and chopped
1/4 cup sliced canned water chestnuts
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, green part too
1 Tablespoon lime juice
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1) Rinse chicken, pat dry and cut into 1 inch chunks. In a bowl mix flour, salt, chili flakes and five spice. Add chicken pieces and mix to coat.
2} Pour oil into 4 or 5 quart pan over medium high heat. Add chicken mixture, garlic and ginger. Stir frequently and cook for about 4 minutes. Add coconut milk and broth and bring to a simmer. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook to blend flavors, about 8 minutes.
3) Stir in spinach, peas, tomatoes, water chestnuts, green onions and lime juice, and cook, stirring often until spinach in wilted, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving from pan. Ladle into bowls and put a scoop of rice that has been cooked separately in the middle of bowl. Serves four.

I ALWAYS double the recipe because I like to have leftovers and this heats up nicely the next day, or even from a frozen state. It really is tasty and don't let all the ingredients be daunting. Dick and I form a team and do all the chopping and it goes pretty fast. If you want to make it ahead you can go through the second stage and put it away until later, then just bring it to a boil and just go on from there. It is really quite easy to make.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Well, so much for weathermen. It was supposed to get really cold here. It did actually get down to 65 degrees in the daytime and I think it's supposed to be about that today. Certainly not that cold and it is supposed to get back up to 79 by Sunday. Of course I am happy that the cold front didn't affect us much.

Mumsy's blog suggested we tell our experience in meeting or knowing a celebrity. I did meet a lot of them when I was in the Symphony because we had some pretty neat guest conductors (My favorite was Henry Mancini conducting his music. He came each year for our Mancini concert) and guest artists. But, I remembered a special encounter I had with Frank Sinatra that some of you may find interesting. When I was quite a bit younger, in the late 1960's my kids never knew what it was to have me home for holidays, because I worked at the Palm Springs Florist. Our best friends, the Halls, owned it and I always helped out with making arrangements, answering phones and whatever. We used to have a lot of celebrities come in and Frank Sinatra was almost always there at Christmas. He liked to order his own special arrangements for his close friends. While there, one Christmas, he decided he wanted to send a bottle of Jack Daniels to one of his friends along with the arrangement. There was a liquor store right down on the corner from our shop so Earl send Brent, his son to pick it up. Frank gave Brent a large bill, maybe $50.00 and off Brent went. He was back quickly and he started to give Frank his change, which was likely more than the booze itself cost, and Frank looked Brent straight in the eye and said, "Don't you know that nobody EVER gives my change. " Poor Brent turned red and got the strangest look in his eyes. Frank just gave him a pat on the shoulder and walked out. Brent just stood there looking at all this money in his hand wondering what the heck he was supposed to do with it. Quite a nice tip that was!!

Well to end this post, here is the recipe for the baked beans. It really isn't hard, it just takes quite a while to bake.

"Norma's Baked Beans"

1/2 pound diced bacon
l large onion, chopped
l can (20 oz) crushed pianeapple, juice and all
l large can (55 0z) Bush's baked beans
1/2 cup chili sauce
l teaspoon powdered mustard.

Brown bacon and onion, pour off all but l tablespoon of fat. Add pianeapple, beans, chili sauce and powdered mustard to frying pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Put in baking dish and bake two hours @ 275 degrees.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Really Fun Day

It's a good thing I got up pretty early this morning because I decided to take my special recipe for baked beans to our Relief Society luncheon. It took me all morning and I took it out of the oven just barely in time to get there on time.

On the first Tuesday of each month, our Relief Society has a great pot luck luncheon. We had a big turn out too. We celebrate all the birthdays for the month by singing Happy Birthday to all. It was really quite amazing what a big variety of food we had. That doesn't always happen, but that's the fun of it.

It's a good thing we had a bunch of people there, because Penny, our president, was in the halls and she came upon about ten missionaries who had just come out of a meeting. They were talking about how hungry they were, so she invited them all to come to our birthday luncheon. I never saw such plates as they piled on. They managed to eat pretty much all of it and it was so fun to have them there. It was all very much worth the effort and my baked bean went over very well.

It was a beautiful day too. So much sun and it was a bit over seventy degrees. It may be the last we will see the sun for awhile. We are expecting a cold front to come in tonight and it could get down to freezing. I hope not because I hate to lose any of my lovely plants. I guess we can't expect to have perfect weather all the time. But when I read about all the freezing and ice in the midwest and being cold almost everywhere, I feel very fortunate to be able to live in this beautiful desert where it is absolutely perfect for me, even in the summer!!