Saturday, January 30, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...

1. for having a smart President. He knows how to debate. He knows his stuff. He is just an intelligent man. Smart men in the white house make me feel good. Why the republican's let him do this on air is amazing in itself but I am so glad it was caught on camera for all to see.
2. a great phone call with a dear friend.
3 creating plans with that friend to see her this year
4. only being a few pages into The Mermaid Chair and remembering why it got to me so much. Looking forward to reading the rest
5. time at the library and checking out a huge stack of books
6. smiling every time I get a chance to use a wonderful bag made by a friend. It is lovely and a lovely reminder of her and how talented she is with her craft.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I can't stop thinking about the Hope for Haiti Now Telethon...but the song performed by U2 (Bono and The Edge), Jay-Z and Rihanna has been stuck in my head ever since it played.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ham and Bean Soup

We have ham at Christmas time and then I freeze the ham bone to make Ham and Bean Soup. Mine turns out really thick though more stew consistency than soup. I am not sure I have ever had ham and bean soup that was really soupy so not sure if I am doing it right or not but it tastes good.

Since we weren't here on Christmas though we had ham on New Years so that I can still make Ham and Bean soup. That ham bone is in the freezer and I am know it is about time to be making it. It hits me usually the end of January or the beginning of February where it is just so cold that comfort food is calling my name.

I use the following brand of beans and they used to have 15 bean mix with the ham flavoring packet it in it. But they have a Cajun packet in it now. So I switched to the Great Northern Beans. And have done it with the great northern before I just prefer the 15 bean mix. I get this brand of beans at Wal-Mart but have seen them at other grocery stores too.

1 lb bag of dried white beans (great northern) or 15 bean mix
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can chopped tomatoes with liquid (small or large can)(optional)
4 carrots - peeled and chopped (optional)
2 celery stalks - chopped (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 cups chopped ham or a 1 lb ham hock
pepper to taste
5 cups chicken stock or water

Soak beans over night in water. Rinse and remove debris before using. Add all ingredients to slow cooker. And cook for 8 hours until beans have reached the desired tenderness. Take out bone and if any meat still attached shred into pot. Remove bay leaf. Serve.

* If you use HamBeen's, you can add the packet with the rest of the ingredients. I would then use water instead of chicken stock as the packet with the stock adds a lot of salt. And the stock is used for flavor but the packet adds your flavor for you.

* Tomatoes, Carrots and celery are optional ingredients because often I just use what I have on hand. And sometimes I don't have them and the ham and bean soup taste just as good.

* If it is too watery for you, take out 1/4 of a cup to 1/2 cup of beans and smash them. Add a little flour to the beans and then mix in some water or milk before adding back into the crockpot. It usually takes 15 to 30 mins for it to thicken up some.

* If it is too thick, add more water.

* Leftovers freeze well


Friday, January 22, 2010

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for....

1. a good day of work at a new place and things went well.
2. finding new things that touch me and make me think in Eat Pray Love
3. sandwiches - I really like them. I know it is kind of odd but I do. I mentioned it Michael's parents a while back so this time when we came over they had a gourmet spread of sandwich makings for dinner. It was absolutely delicious. (Even had them on croissants. Oh my the buttery goodness!)
4. friends understanding me when I don't feel like anyone in the world does
5. being able to give someone a nice surprise
6. watching the Hope for Haiti Now Telethon on TV - really amazing songs that I can't get out of my head for a very good cause.

Monday, January 18, 2010

6 Changes

I found this website by Zen Habits author called It is about taking 6 habits a person wants to change and then following the 6 Changes method. And I like everything it has said so far. I just want for be able to do it instead of think about it. Just as Kathie's Challenges - doing instead of just thinking about it. I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions but I do believe in setting goals and working towards something better always. I feel like for a very long time though I haven't been working on my goals. And a lot of that is my fault. And some of it is because of my focus on Michael's business - and I am THRILLED I can work with him and do what I can for the business. I just need to be better at prioritizing my other time. I do a lot of things that are time wasters. And I know that and some of them are okay time wasters as they are to help me unwind. Mindless things to just help slow down the wheels in my brain going out of control. But others I know I could cut out and make better use of my time.

So it is my hope that in 2010 that I find ways to create positive changes for myself.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Crescent Rolls

Another giveaway over on Picky Palate that feature Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and serving ware reminded me of a childhood favorite using Crescent Rolls. I know it probably sounds disgusting but I am now at this moment craving it.

Taco Pie

1 package refrigerated crescent rolls
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
2 cups crushed Frito chips
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large fry pan, brown the ground beef and drain off the oil. Stir in taco seasoning and follow directions on package.

Separate crescent dough into 8 triangles. Place triangles in an ungreased 10-inch pie pan, pressing to form a crust. Sprinkle 1 cup corn chips over the bottom of crust.

Spoon meat mixture over crust and corn chips. Sprinkle black olives over the meat mixture. Spread sour cream over meat mixture and cover with cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for having a roof over my head, food and water and my loved one here with me as my heart goes out to those in Haiti and all the suffering they are going through.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Giveaways Sponsored by V-8

So check out these giveaways...a $100 Visa gift-card giveaway at

Picky Palate
Simplicity in the Suburbs
Naptime Chef
Stop, Drop and Blog
Scrutiny by the Masses

I enjoyed all their reviews of the V-8 Fusion. I really want to try them. I printed off a $1.00 off coupon so hope to pick some up the next shopping trip.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

From 2009 to 2010

Happy New Year! It is hard to believe it is in 2010. Usually I am one to really self-examine the outgoing year but I am not feeling like it at the moment. I have been so busy since Thanksgiving that I didn't get to do most of the things I do for the holidays so I am feeling kind of off entering the new year. 2009 of course had many good things but it was a hard year because of health and economy. I know 2010 will be better. And glad it is here.

I started rereading Eat Pray Love just before Christmas and am taking my time with it....savoring it. It is what I need right now - it has been my solace during this busy time. And also for ringing in the New Year.

Wishing everyone a Happy 2010!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

133 Books for 2009

So I read 133 books this year and I was trying figure out which were my favorites....doing the top 10 but not in any order....

1. Her Fearful Symmerty by Audrey Niffenegger
2. The Flavor Bible
3. What to Drink with What you Eat
4. Stephanie Plum books (all of them!) by Janet Evanovich
5. Sookie Stackhouse books (all of them!) by Charlaine Harris
6. The Pioneer Woman's Cookbook by Ree Drummond
7. The Weekend Baker by Abigail Johnson Dodge
8. Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook
9. The Domino Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Making You Happy by Deborah Needleman
10. The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life by Piero Ferrucci