Friday, April 18, 2014

Fireplace CLOSED.....

A "day-off".  If there is such a thing.  No school today for Good Friday and Rylee was home with mama. Since tomorrow I will be running errands in preparation for our breakfast at church this Easter Sunday, I thought I'd spend today doing some cleaning, starting with the fireplace.  We let the fire go out a couple weeks ago.  We've had a few cool mornings but really not too bad.  We do have a few electric baseboard heaters left in the house that we can use to knock a chill off.  But anyways....Today, our fireplace is officially CLOSED!  I knocked ashes down into the pit to await a good clean out this fall and I cleaned the doors and reset a few things on the mantles and set a few things out on the kitchen hearth.  I love the warmth of our wood burning fireplace but let me tell is work! From the cutting of wood to the hauling it up to the packing it in to getting up at 3:00 in the morning to feed the fire, it is work!  I have been enjoying the full nights sleep I've been getting since letting the fire go out a couple weeks ago.  If you remember, I'd been sharing entries from my Aunt Evelyn's memory book and I was reading through it again the other day and found this one that I thought I'd share with you today, now that the weather is looking and feeling a little more spring-like!  

"It was so nice to come in on a cold day and back up to one of the old stoves.  At night a flat iron or brick was heated wrapped in a towel and put under the covers and your bed was nice and warm for hours.  You took your bath in the kitchen in a wash tub using Palmolive soap....then into a flannel nightgown.  I remember when Donnie Nothnagel was born.  He was placed in a padded shoebox.  The box was placed on the oven door.  worked as good as the hospital.  He got along fine.  We ironed with flat irons.  They were heated on the stove.  The stove was cooled off-then a coat of stove blacking was applied- then you used Bon Ami and crumpled newspaper or old rag to buff the chrome trim.  It took alot of washing to remove the polish from your hands.
The flat irons was used until it cooled.  Then released the heavy iron from its handle.  You then clamped the handle to the hot iron."
"Our winter lives revolved around the kitchen stove.  The wind would pile up snowdrifts to the windowsills but inside our kitchen was toasty warm.  The only bad part was you had to carry in corn cobs-kindling and coal.  Then you had to carry out the ashes.  You had to carry in water to keep reservoir full.  That was your water heater for dishes-bath-Everytime you came in with frozen toes and fingers it took only a few minutes beside the stove and you were fine again.  We hated to leave the kitchen to go to bed in a cold bedroom.  We would rush back in the morning to dress beside the stove.  Once in a while if you got to close you had a burned posterior."

And that's all she had to say about that!  More memories to share another day.

Hope you all have a very blessed Easter!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Double-Cheese Beef Pasta

After being out on the road with John for a few days and eating truck-stop food (I think some of them could use a visit from Chef Robert or Chef Gordon) I was ready for a good home-cooked meal and wanted something a little different and needed something to feed ALL of us and this is what I decided to go with.....
I bought this Taste of Home magazine type cookbook a few years back and it's full of yummy recipes!
Here is the recipe as it was submitted by Marilyn Pearson of Billings, MT.

Double-Cheese Beef Pasta
Serves 6-8

2 1/2 cups uncooked medium shell pasta
2 pounds ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
1 jar (14 oz) spaghetti sauce
1 can (14 1/2 oz)stewed tomatoes, undrained and finely chopped
1 jar (4 1/2 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups (16 oz.) sour cream
1 package (6 oz) sliced provolone cheese
1 cup (4 oz) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

1.) Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2.) Drain pasta; place half in a greased 3-qt. baking dish. Top with half of the meat mixture. Layer with sour cream and provolone cheese. Top with remaining pasta and beef mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
I made my own little adjustments. A little less onion, a little more sauce, a can instead of a jar of mushrooms and of course a little more cheese on top.
I made a garden salad to go along with it and wah-lah! Dinner is served!

Friday, April 11, 2014

What I'm working on...

I decided to take a few days off from home to spend some time with John in the truck. And of course, besides clothes I can't go empty handed. I always have to take some sort of handwork with me, so I'm working on this Americana pony...from Notforgotten Farms Americana Folk book. Once it's finished, I will be listing it in my etsy shop.
When I get back home, I have these fun fabrics waiting for me...
I'm not sure what they will become...maybe an apron for the red...the chevron may become part of a dress for a certain little girl. Something to ponder. Well, it's time to start rollin' again... Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I'm Back.....

.....not that I have been anywhere. I've been here. I just haven't been in blogland other than to lurk. I've thought about closing my blog altogether...I am not and do not claim to be a writer but I do enjoy sharing a bit of what's going on in my little corner of the world. I have reopened my Etsy you can see on the sidebar. I will be listing more items over the next several days. I've been on an apron making frenzy and I will be listing them next. I am still taking care of my granddaughter while Ely and Liz are at work. She will be 3 in July and she can sure keep me on my toes. She is napping right now, which is why I am able to spend some time at the computer in the middle of the day...LOL! We find all sorts of things to keep us busy...yesterday we baked cookies after naptime...
Of course ours didn't look like these and I failed to take a picture...but the recipe IS a keeper. They were SO good! I didn't make mine so large...I used the small scoop from Pampered Chef and got just over 2 dozen. Well, my battery is about to bug out so off for now....Nice to see you again....Enjoy your evening!