Friday, February 27, 2009

Gratitude Friday

I have been busy working and also sick so not posting much. But hope to get back into it.

I am thankful...
1. That although I have a cold - it seemed to break my migraine cycle.
2. For the coupons for free sandwiches - free is good. We had them for dinner.
3. For getting to know a new friend this week.
4. For an old friend contacting me via Facebook.
5. For a piece of cardboard inspiring me - going to make them into postcards and send out some mail love.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blog Hopping

These are all things I found via blog hopping...but aren't blogs...

Acts of Kindness

Paper Source Accordian Book with pockets

And Colorscope via Papersource to see what colors reveail about you.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Being sick is no fun!

It's been a tough couple of weeks for us.

We've been trading colds back and forth -- which only makes the recuperation time go on for days on end. I seem to be the lucky one and have gotten over it first, so now the task is to try and get Darby over it once and for all.

Work has been doing okay lately. We hit a pretty big lull starting at the tail end of the year and it's starting to improve, but we could really use some consistency. With the economy the way it is -- I know we're extremely lucky to have what we do and we keep running on the positive approach that things will be okay. We're going to get some good business the next couple of weeks and then hopefully a couple of big projects that will come to fruition.

Caesar's allergies have come back a little bit -- thankfully I think we caught it in time, but we'll have to keep an eye on it. So he's back on his meds and taking them like a trooper -- (well sorta...) :) Chessie is doing just fine and she's been spending her mornings and afternoons in the window catching our beautiful spring weather. And it has been really spring like around here lately -- temperatures hitting the 60's .... and we're still in February..... (Gotta love that Colorado weather...)

Nothing else on the plate for now. Just thought I'd catch up the blog a bit.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Clara on YouTube

These videos are just so great for many reasons but Clara is the main reason I enjoy them. I enjoy her stories as well as the cooking she does.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Don't Divorce....

A friend had this video on her blog. She just got married this summer in California to her partner so might be one of the couples forced to get a divorce. It is upsetting. So this video is made in support of the Courage Campaign to fight it.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Milk Chocolate Sandwich Cookies for my Valentine

January issue of Food & Wine had many wonderful milk chocolate recipes. One was milk chocolate cookies sandwiching malt buttercream. It had a malt power in the filling and Michael doesn't like malt so I wasn't sure what I was going to do but I knew I wanted to do heart shaped sandwich cookies as I really haven't ever made sandwich cookies before. So I asked a good friend for a recommendation and she suggested coffee butter cream. The recipe in Food & Wine didn't have the chocolate drizzle on them but I thought they needed a little something more. So added dark chocolate drizzle. Kathie suggested them dipped in white chocolate - I just didn't have any white chocolate so did the dark chocolate drizzle.

This cookie dough was really awful to work with but they taste really good. The recipe doesn't have eggs in it so it just didn't bind together well. It was very crumbly and didn't roll out well. But I eventually got through it. I wouldn't make these again unless Michael requested them or it was a very special occasion. These are just not cookies to whip up to have cookies. They are work. But they were perfect for Michael as a Valentine Day gift. He loves them. Oh and these aren't cookies to make for a crowd. I got 21 cookies out of them (each sandwich cookie of course using 2 cookies.)

Cookie Ingredients

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 ounces milk chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (if you want - I didn't - I just sprayed baking sheets with cooking spray as I can't get away without it in the altitude)

2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and beat until smooth. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and beat at low speed just until incorporated. Roll the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to a scant 1/4-inch thickness and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

3. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out as many rounds as possible and transfer to the baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Gather the scraps and chill, with the cut-out rounds, for 10 minutes. Reroll the scraps and stamp out more rounds. (obviously I used several sizes of heart cookie cutters)

4. Bake the cookies in the lower and middle thirds of the oven for about 10 minutes, until dry and set; shift the pans halfway through baking. Transfer the cookies to a rack and let cool completely.

The buttercream filling - I just did a regular buttercream. I don't really use a recipe for it anymore. And then I just added some coffee.

Here is the original recipe on Food & Wine website.

Had an extra odd cookie and so just frosted it with the buttercream and drizzled it with the chocolate.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful...
1. For Michael giving me PS I Love You for Valentine's! It is such a good movie! (which I am watching right now)
2. For Kathie giving me a perfect suggestion for the cookies I was making for Michael for Valentine's Day. (Also thank you for the Valentine's Card)
3. For the cookies turning out!
4. For just a fabulous week with my love
5. For a nice dinner on Thursday to celebrate our anniversary since I was sick that day.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blog Hopping

Link for Valentine tablescapes - all sorts of them here. It isn't a blog. But pretty ideas.

Saving in Style - So cute as well as a good idea. I used to clip coupons but I haven't in a long time. What I don't like about coupons is they are for pre-packaged foods often.

I love using my crockpot. I do at least once a week. But I blog hopped on to this blog that did a YEAR of using the crockpot EVERY DAY for 2008 - A Year of Crockpotting

Growing up one of my Mom's quick meals was hot ham and cheese sandwiches. I actually crave them. And tried to make them not too long ago but they just didn't turn out like Mom's. Found this link for a recipe for them (now that blog is on my sidebar too because I found so many good recipes) and it made me want to try them again.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Homeless in America

So the other day Michael and I watched - well he watched and I listened - to President Obama's town hall meeting in Florida. During it a woman who sounded like she was on the verge of tears and talked of living in her car with her son. And asked if the stimulus package would help them. Later I found her son was laid off from a computer programing job so couldn't keep their house payments up. I was instantly in tears of course watching her... and feeling for her.

Here is a link to the Huffington Post with the clip of Henrietta Hughes asking President Obama her question.

When trying to find the link to that clip, I made a mistake by clicking on a conservative right blog. It went on and on how it was staged. I have read the news articles with photos of people standing in line for tickets. And doesn't seem it was staged. The next thing they complained about is how a homeless woman could have stockings on, a decent looking dress and nice hair but be living in a car. That they had never seen homeless people that didn't have matted hair, dirty clothes and stunk. I was appalled that people would talk about people less fortunate like that.

As someone who has worked in homeless shelters and known people who were homeless at one point or another in their life. I can say that if they got a ticket to see President Obama - they would have been in a bathroom at a public park getting ready if need be. And I am sure that is what Henrietta Hughes did and that is sad that someone has to do live like that.

I found another post on Huffington Post about helping people like Henrietta Hughes. And trying to find solutions.

I suggest taking a look at that is a social networking site to learn about causes, connect with people good people working for change and take action.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Elizabeth Gilbert on TED

Michael found this and passed it on to me. It is Elizabeth Gilbert the author of Eat Pray Love giving a talk about the creative process and what it does to us creative types. I really enjoyed it and felt myself nodding along on many things.

Monday, February 09, 2009

100 Things | No Coffee

17. I like most hot beverages except coffee.

Michael is a coffee drinker so he brews a pot every morning and it smells so good. It is a comforting smell - of home. I like coffee flavored things such as ice cream. I like sweets with coffee added to them. I have a couple recipes that add coffee to them and they have such a deep rich flavor. I have coffee scented candles that smell delicious. But I don't drink coffee. I just don't like the taste even with sugar and cream there is a bitter taste that I can't get past. I have even tried the General Foods International Coffees and I can't drink them either(though have used them in recipes before and they were good).

I like various teas, chais, hot cider, mulled wine and hot cocoa just not coffee. I have had fru-fru coffees such as a white chocolate peppermint mocha from Starbucks. I can drink that but the sweetness and peppermint mask the coffee in enough that I can so not like I am really drinking coffee so I really don't count that.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Just this week in random little tidbits...

* Made 2 loaves of french bread yesterday. I made meatballs earlier in the day so I just need to heat sauce and make pasta for dinner. Oh and throw the salad together too. So the house smelled really good yesterday.

*The other day I was making croutons and getting quite a mound of them so knew I wouldn't use all the bread I had in the freezer. Often when we have steak sandwiches or brats there is always one or 2 buns left so I put them in the freezer. Also when we eat french bread we often don't finish it before I feel it is getting a little to stale or hard so I stick in the freezer to use for croutons or bread crumbs well this time I pulled out several brat buns and several ends of french bread and decided to make french bread pizzas out of them for lunches. I cut them all in half and then put some tomato sauce on them with seasons. Sprinkled it with Parmesan cheese and topped them pizza toppings and then cheese. I wrapped them in plastic wrap and put them in ziplocks into the freezer. We pulled a couple out for lunch on Thursday and I put them on a pizza pan straight from the freezer to the preheated oven and they tasted very good.

* I finally was able to get to some organizing the other day - that I had intended to do back in January but then I fell. It felt so good to get things organized. I even had some open spaces in the cupboards right now after reorganizing.

* I started reading the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. Many will recognize that name from HBO's True Blood. It is the books that True Blood is based on. I read book 1 last night - in one sitting. I put the order in for the library for the next 3. The first half of the book is all the episodes I had seen of True Blood. I just couldn't keep up with them because of my schedule at the time they were airing so I just ended up deleting them all. Of course now I am wishing I would have just kept them on the DVR indefinitely - at least until I could watch them as I really enjoyed book one. It is very different from Anita Blake series by Laurell Hamilton but I get the same amused entertained feelings after reading it. I just enjoyed it. It wasn't deep but I couldn't put it down as I just was thoroughly entertained.

* migraines this week - woohoo - NOT. But I feel like I accomplished quite a bit this week even though I had a string of migraines.

photos: Top one of the pizzas wrapped and ready to go into the freezer. Second one of baked French Bread Pizza

Friday, February 06, 2009

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful...
1. For the beautiful words Michael gave me for our anniversary - He wrote me here on blog and gave me a card that said the most beautiful things too.
2. For my knee finally feeling good enough to do more things around the house and get around easier.
3. For reorganized cupboards - I open them up and they make smile because they are so organized right now.
4. For all the good things I made this week. I felt like I was in this place where nothing was turning out. But I think I finally got my cooking muse back.
5. For Michael for being an amazing man and for the love that fills my heart for him.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Blog Hopping

Pattern for a little Owl Valentine from BHG

Little felt heart pins at the Purl Bee

And another one from Purl Bee - Sewn Paper Cards

Her Morning Elegance

This week has just went past fast and I really don't know where it went. I have gotten some housework done this week since I am moving around much better but I still know that hasn't taken up everyday. Because the week went past so fast and I can't remember it really...I don't have anything to say.

So just passing on this cool music video...

Monday, February 02, 2009

100 Things | Lip Balm

16. I have a thing for lip balm.

I am taking this almost directly from Kathie at Two Frog Home because I nodded in agreement with her number 15 of her 100 thing about her as I am the same way.

I have always had several tubes around for as long as I can remember. Several in my bag (don't carry a purse but occasionally a bag - might be another 100 thing post eventually), on my desk, on my night stand and on the kitchen counter or on a side table in the living room. I usually carry one along with me in the pocket of my robe, skirt, coat or whatnot too. I think my obsession with lip balm came from Bonne Bell's Dr. Pepper lip balm and other lip smacker flavors that I used probably in junior high and high school. Despite liking to have them every where, I misplace them. When I reach in my bag where I usually have several tubes, I can never find one. I practically have to empty the bag to find one. It isn't that my lips are dry often. It is when I don't have them around I tend to lick my lips even more - making them chapped.

* The photo is of the ones from my desk and bag.