Monday, January 25, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY... Monday, January 25, 2010

Outside my window... Still inky black, up early today

I am thinking... of how I really enjoyed my weekend, even tho I had to work

I am thankful for... My job, even if it does drive me bonkers most days

I am wearing... pink bunny pajamas and a sweater - it's gotten COLD outside

I am remembering... such sweet kisses from my little Gwennie pig

I am going... to be staying home today until my Honey gets home this evening - then to Wal-Mart for a few things and out to eat

I am currently reading... A Sherlock Holmes story

I am hoping... to watch the rest of Return to Cranford today

On my mind... organizing everything around here

Noticing that... I have been really lax in keeping this blog up!

From the kitchen... Leek and Potato Soup, lemon pie. Later on in the week - Green Chili Beef Burritos, chicken tetrazzini, teriyaki pork tenderloin

Around the house... sweep and mop - again! Otherwise, organizing my cabinets

One of my favorite things . . . food magazines! I am hopelessly addicted!

From my picture journal...

It's CAT TV! Honey put up a bird-squirrel feeder just outside the living room window. Constant, non-stop entertainment for the kittie!

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Chicken Tetrazzini

1 (16 ounce) package thin spaghetti (I like to use cavatappi)
1/3 cup butter
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (or use 1-2 cans sliced drained mushrooms)
1/4 cup whipping cream
3 cups chopped cooked chicken or cooked turkey
1 (10 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (10 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 (10 ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup frozen peas
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 13 x 9-inch casserole dish (or a large oval casserole dish). Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente (do not overcook the pasta, leave semi-firm as it will cook more in the oven) drain, then transfer to a large bowl. Add in whipping cream and all three canned soups, cooked chicken or turkey, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, 1-1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese and frozen peas, toss well to combine. In a large skillet melt butter; add in the mushrooms and saute until done. To the skillet with the mushrooms, add in onions and garlic; sauté until onions are soft; add to the soup mixture. Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Season with seasoned salt and pepper (I use Morton's Nature's Seasoning). Transfer to prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake about 30-35 minutes (or until hot and bubbly); uncover and sprinkle with about 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, return to oven and bake until cheese is melted (about 5-8 minutes).

I also top this with some french fried onions. Sliced almonds are a very welcome addition as well. You can use whatever cheese you like. This makes quite a large dish, will serve 8.

Recipe originally from Kittencal on Recipezaar. I modified just a tidge.

Well, Honey is off to work now, time for me to get busy doing all the myriad of little things that need doing. Wishing you all a warm and productive day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY(January 19, 2010)... Pretend its Monday

Outside my window... Gray skies and clouds - supposed to start raining later this evening. I can sure tell, my feet and hands are aching - I have early arthritis

I am thinking... of how lovely it will be when Spring arrives

I am thankful for...the day off today. It is now Friday!

From the kitchen... Roast Chicken, potatoes, broccoli and cheese, wheat rolls

I am wearing... jammies!

I am creating... a tax return!

I am going... to hopefully take my little great-niece to McDonald's for lunch later today

I am reading... 14,000 things to be happy about

I am hoping... that my dear SIL has a speedy recovery from back surgery

I am hearing...the quiet hum of the 'puter

Around the house...sweep and mop, vacuum, straighten up kitchen cabinets

One of my favorite things... sending something to someone - "just because"

A few plans for the rest of the week: Well, off today, work the weekend, off Monday

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

A little gray squirrel we have - not sure if you can tell, but his ears are white!

And now for those pickles I was telling you about!

Jane Maynard Pickles

Hot, sweet, dilly, garlicky and incredibly crisp - oh Mamma!

My boss brought some of these to work and I fell in absolute love with them! Everyone who tries them likes them - if you like sweet pickles that is!

Our local coffeeshop serves a similar pickle with their lunch sandwiches - they are sooo good. I asked them how they made theirs and it involved a 5-gallon bucket of pickles! While not up to making THAT many at a time, I do the following recipe by the 2 quart, 1 pint jars.

Anyway, these are a cinch to make and very, very tasty - by themselves, on a relish tray, on sandwiches . . . . I am looking to try some in potato salad later this year.

First, take a jar of pickles. The amounts I am going to give you are for a gallon jar of pickles. You want whole dills. I use Vlasic, they have them in the bulk foods section at our local Wal-Mart. The jars I get are just over half a gallon. (I am going to post the amounts I use for the 2 quart,1 pint jars below.)

Drain off the juice, reserving 1-2/3 cups of the juice. Remove pickles from the jar and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Or spears. Or cubes. Or however you like them. Put the reserved juice back in the jar. Add 6 cloves of garlic, chopped, 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons hot sauce (I use Tabasco) and 7 cups of sugar. Stir it vigorously. Yes, it will be a sludge. It should look like the picture below.

Now, take the sliced pickles and put them back in the jar, mushing them down a bit as you go. Yes, they will all fit. Yes, they will fill the jar. First time I thought - no way those sliced pickles are going to take as much room as the whole ones. Silly me. Then when putting them in the jar I thought - oh dear, are they all going to fit? Silly me again! Here are my sliced pickles.

Now, put the lid on the jar and roll it around. I just rolled it around on my lap until the sugar was good and dissolved. Otherwise, and this is what the original recipe says to do, lay the jar on its side on the cabinet and roll it occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. I will tell you if you decide to do this - get your hubby to tighten the lid, because mine leaked a bit. I made several jars of these for Christmas presents - my total cost was around $5 a jar.

You need to let these season for at least 2 weeks before eating.

They are edible after 1 week, but oh, so much better after 2. Just let the jar sit on the counter and stir every once in a while. If you are making them to give away, you better make 2 jars - one for you and one for who you are giving them to. Just telling you - they are that good, you will want them all for yourself.

Amounts for the smaller jars:

juice - 3/4 plus 1/3 cup
garlic - 4 cloves
red pepper flakes - 1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon
Tabasco - 1-1/4 teaspoons
sugar - 4-1/4 plus 1/8 cup

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY... January 04, 2010

Outside my window... cold, cold, cold with fresh snow - so pretty

I am thinking... of how I dread work today

I am thankful for... a wonderful husband who is so patient with me

I am wearing... Jammies - gotta get ready for work tho

I am remembering... of how gorgeous it was watching it snow yesterday - so peaceful

I am going... to nip by Aldi's later and pick up some staples - milk, bread, eggs

I am currently reading... 14,000 things to be happy about

I am hoping... that my SIL's back surgery goes well today

On my mind... just realized today is my MIL's B-day and we forgot!

Noticing that... deliberately living simple is so much easier!

From the kitchen... soft tacos and yellow rice

Around the house... Not a lot, do need to sweep, mop and vacuum

One of my favorite things . . . putting up and taking down the Christmas Tree

From my picture journal... be posting this later, Must hurry off to work

Also I will be posting a recipe - and pictures - for the most beautiful pickles you have ever eaten!

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