One Beer Bread at a Time.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

#WordlessWednesday

It's almost time to brine! 

Its Tuesday, Do you know how to carve a turkey?

I don't , I can cook one, I can brine one, but I'm pretty hopeless when it comes to carving.

Thank goodness for youtube ! Hey if you have been doing that whole post everyday in Novemeber on Facebook something you are grateful for this year and you've run out of ideas.  Well I just gave you one for today.

You're welcome!

I also have a youtube from The Food Network of Alton Brown breaking down how to carve a turkey.


And what post of how to carve a turkey can be complete without a turkey recipe, well probably all of them, but I like to share recipes so here you go:

From my webpage

Garlic Butter Basted Turkey
Submitted by Rosemary (MN) HQ Resident Chef

Ingredients
1-2 Tbsp. Italian Garlic Bread Seasoning
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
Seasoned Salt
8-12 lb. whole turkey

Directions
Combine first 2 ingredients; let stand 30 minutes. Sprinkle inside of turkey with Seasoned Salt. Rub prepared butter liberally over outside of turkey; place any leftover butter in the bottom of the turkey roasting pan. Roast turkey at 325° for about 20 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thigh reaches 180°. Baste turkey with seasoned butter every 30 minutes. Makes 10-12 servings.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Talking Turkey

So when it comes to Thanksgiving where do you stand?  Are you planning a feast?  Or planning major shopping?

Even though I enjoy Christmas, and I really enjoy watching all the Hallmark Channel movies, I like the gift-free gratitude-filled -ness that is Thanksgiving.

It's also fun to try new dishes.  Especially since I have lots of opportunities to create new dishes with our Tastefully Simple products and I have lots of hosts who love to share awesome recipes with me! I'm a lucky cooker as the kids used to say when they were little.

Recently my host Annette, who is an awesome cook, made the yummiest dressing. 
If you are looking for a way to wow this Thanksgiving I must recommend it.



Here is the recipe from our website:

Creamy Wild Rice Stuffing
Submitted by Rosemary (MN) HQ Resident Chef

Ingredients
Creamy Wild Rice Soup Mix
5 cups hot water
2 tsp. Garlic Garlic™
2 - 3 Tbsp. Onion Onion™
6 - 8 slices diced bacon
4 stalks diced celery
14 oz. unseasoned breadcubes
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Combine first 4 ingredients; simmer, covered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sauté bacon in large skillet until browned; add celery. Cook until celery is tender. Toss bread cubes in large bowl with bacon mixture and cranberries. Add prepared soup, season to taste with salt and pepper; mix well. Place dressing in greased 9 x 13 baking dish; cover with foil. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Remove foil, bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 10-12 servings.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cavemen and Cookie Creation

Over at Hayesville Elementary School the 4th grade recently completed a unit on prehistoric life. I think Miss Anna's report is charming. She thinks her picture is not good enough to share.  Where do you stand?

Ah yes, so the picture is sideway.  I resaved and re-uploaded it, like 5 times and it will not change it's orientation. 

Anna would say that is karma for posting it in the first place.

"A Day in The Life of a Nomad"
by Anna Hamel, age 9

First I would wake up, then I ate some berries and nuts. Next I went into the woods and got some birch wood.

Then I saw a Mastodon and I called everybody and we raced to get it and then I shot it with my bow and it wasn't even close to being injured.

Then the Mastodons ran away and we had to move so we packed up and moved. Then when we move it was like heaven how much animals there was so then we settled in and we could not wait to eat dinner and so then my dad and my brothers killed a giant deer.

After they brought it back we skinned it we ate it and then my mom made our bed and then we went to bed.

I think a Mastodon would taste like chicken, really good!

**********************************

Yesterday I got a little creative with my cookie making.  I wanted to do something a little different with our Citrus Sugar Cookies.

I added some Clementine Zest, I don't have a zester, so I used a cheese grater.  I had some walnuts on hand, which I never do, and so I got out my Pampered Chef rotary grater and ground up walnuts.  I rolled the cookie dough in the walnuts instead of the sugar packet included in the box. 



Next up I think I am going to try to take our Classy Chocolate Pound Cake and make it into something with more chocolate and chopped up candy canes. *Sigh* holiday dessert making, it's a tough job but someone has to do it.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Do you make cookies?

I do, but only for the holidays. And hey, guess what? 

Holidays are here. Yippee!  I have a short attention span for making cookies, so I need fast recipes.  Too bad I don't get bored with eating the cookies...That's a topic for another day.

Here at Tastefully Simple we have Citrus Sugar Cookies this year, just add and egg and butter.
Speaking of eggs, I have to share, if you like to eat cookie dough, use egg substitute and you don't have to worry about the salmonella!

Bonus on the cookies is that $1 goes toward Share Our Strength to help end childhood hunger  in America.  Recently there have been reductions in the SNAP benefits, so now more than ever ever $1 helps.

For my open house I dipped the Citrus Sugar Cookies in White Chocolate.  Here you can see them a bit.

 Mine pale in comparison to the awesomeness to be found on our Tastefully Simple blog! How yummy do these look?

http://tsrecipes.com
If you hope over to tsrecipes.com you can see the recipe, it doesn't look too hard, I think I'll give it a try. How about you?  Do you enjoy cookie making?  cookie sharing? or cookie eating?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Well someone, probably a senior citizen, was disappointed.

Blogger shows me on a special admin screen the search phrases that have brought people to my blog. 

Recently someone somewhere searched 'sexy photo victoria hamel' and they got my blog.  Poor person. I imagine it was a gentleman in his 60s who was crushing on the actress Veronica Hamel of Hill Street Blues Fame and instead he got my blog of rambling and recipes. 

So in the interest of helping a fellow out, here a a tasteful, yet sexy pic of Veronica Hamel.







Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Set the DVR!

Looking for a family movie night idea?  On the Hallmark Channel this Friday night the movie Pete's Christmas .  Pete in the movie is the same actor who plays Greg Hefley in the Diary of a Wimpy Kids movies. 

So set the DVR and get out the popcorn for a family movie night, and bonus, it's one that no one in the house can say, "I already saw this."

 
Here is a yummy snack you can make to enjoy while watching the movie!
 
S'mores Snacks
Submitted by Kara Bohack (NY)

Ingredients
Twisty Grahams™
2/3 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. water
2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 Tbsp. marshmallow crème
6 Tbsp. water

Directions
Combine sugar and water in a small microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for 45 to 60 seconds or until boiling; stir until sugar is dissolved. CAUTION: IT WILL BE VERY HOT. Immediately add chocolate chips; stir until melted. Blend in marshmallow crème. If a thinner glaze is desired, add hot water, a teaspoonful at a time. Lay Twisty Grahams™™™ out in a single layer on waxed paper lined tray. Drizzle glaze over Twisty Grahams™™™. Let cool completely. Store in sealed container. Makes 8 servings.


http://tastefullysimple.com/web/vhamel

Monday, November 4, 2013

It's the Time of Year for Lists!

Yesterday, out of nowhere, Anna started talking about what she would look for in a potential boyfriend.

So I asked her to write it down. 

"What a boy has to be lie to date me."  By Anna

1. Smart
2. Hamsome (I had to keep that typo!)
3. No colored hair, like purple.
4. Not a Smart Alec.
5. Not a Dumbo.

I mean it!
(Anna w/Megan a member of the Homecoming Court)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Norse Jewel Author Gina Conkle Guest Post , Inside the Writers Home Office.

What a great summer for new books! And affordable ones at that!  Today I am super excited to have Gina Conkle author of Norse Jewel  guest posting today!

I was drawn to reading her new novel Norse Jewel for one simple reason. I like reading about the Viking getting the girl.



 Norse Jewel did not disappoint me. I was quickly drawn into the tale of Helena,  a Frankish (French) thrall (slave) and her unshakable desire to return to her homeland after being abducted by Danes.  Gina does a wonderful job of balancing historical accuracy with the sensibilities of current day readers. Not often do we have a romance, especially a historical romance that includes a single father. Having Hakan the Viking as a single dad trying to get custody of his son in the first millennium isn't standard romance fare, but I loved it.

Once you read Norse Jewel, I am sure you will be as pleased as me to learn that a follow up book is coming! Click the Picture to enter the blog tour giveaway!



Please read on as we enter Gina's home office for a tour of her work space.


Thanks for this opportunity to be here today. 
The requested topic, “My workspace and how do I feed my creativity?” grabbed me. I took a picture of my desk on Norse Jewel’s release day.  A lot of emotions…maybe reflected in the miasma of post-it notes on my desk!
 

Because our house is small, everything’s contained within my desk and a narrow bookcase beside it.
But, inspiration?

That comes from your head, your heart, your soul.  Feed those parts and you can work anywhere, even a cramped desk.
I wish I had a Zen-ish work space…like super-blogger Leo Babauta.

But it’s not. I’m not.
So, how do you build your dreams?
 
1.      “…walk into a large white room.”

Those words open chapter one of choreographer, Twyla Tharp’s book The Creative Habit.  She went to that plain room at the same time for years, decades even, creating moves that played on stages worldwide.

 Does the white room feel familiar? Like a plain canvas? Or a blank computer screen?


The lesson learned? Find your groove.  Make that a habit, and you’ll feed your muse. Your routine becomes that time that two of you sit down and get to work. 

 
Call it the Law of Propinquity.  Your muse will be a great friend if you rub shoulders with her on a continuous basis. 

 And you will be alone with your muse --- a lot.


2.      “Quietness without loneliness.”

If ideas are fishes, then solitude is the bait that lures them to the surface.

Try this.  Sit somewhere quietly.  But, don’t empty your mind.  You want your thoughts to wander where they will.  Give them a little breathing room.

See if you can do this for a few minutes.  If you reach ten minutes, then the next time expand to fifteen or twenty minutes.

We don’t allow ourselves much time to simply be…to think or wonder.

Oh, and that phrase? It’s a Gaelic phrase for that state of mind that feeds creativity.

3.      Keep a “Lifesaver List.”

The first two items I learned from Twyla Tharp.  This last lesson came the hard way: by burnout.
If your creativity is a bank account, consistent deposits balance continuous withdrawals.  You can’t take, take, take without some give in return.

So, what do you do? Keep a list of things that “fill” you up.  Learn to recognize the signs when you’re close to empty.

Here’s a few things on my “happy” list:

*Alone time with a book

*Pedicure

*Go to a bookstore

*Bubble bath

Now, why not share a few things that fill you up?


Before I go, thank you, Victoria, for hosting me and thank you to your readers for sharing part of your day with me.  I welcome you to connect with me:

On my website: http://ginaconkle.com/



On Pinterest: http://bit.ly/180l9gu
 
 



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Nice start to a new Vampire Series!

I'm pleased to share a book recommendation  for a new paranormal romance series from Entangled Publishing. Read on as I share my review of  Undying Destiny by new author Jessica Lee.


I was excited to learn that one of her inspirations is Karen Marie Moning! This book draws from the tradition of Urban Fantasy of Karen Marie Moning as well as JR Ward and Ilona Andrews.


In Undying Destiny we met Emily, a third -shift working nurse who has a real loser of an ex-finance stalking her. One night she sees a mortally wounded man in the street. Her professional instincts kick in and she attends to this stranger. Within hours her life is changed forever by Kenric St James, a Vampire who spends his nights keeps humans safe from the scourge of DEAD (Death Euphoria ADdicted ) Vampires.


Jessica Lee does a solid job of world building. I really enjoyed the DEAD concept, and the role of Kenric and his Enclave. The focus was kept on our couple but we are given the seeds of stories to come featuring other members of the Enclave.


Undying Destiny introduces us to a very rich "big bad" that I know we will meet again.  Jessica also includes a stunning betrayal and an excellent suprise in the relationship of Emily and Kenric. 


Emily comes into her own in this story, but it's not a far journey. I like that  she is strong and gets stronger as the story progresses. I look forward to Jessica's next Enclave installment! 


Here is a short excerpt from the book as well links to orders and a Giveaway!!


Undying Destiny by Jessica Lee

 

Entangled Publishing - June 2013

 

 

Kenric St. James is out for revenge. Over 300 years ago, an ancient female vampire turned him against his will and killed the woman he loved. He’s spent more than a century building an Enclave of warrior vampires who have sworn to defend humanity against his evil sire and her minions. But when Kenric finds a woman he finally burns to claim as his own again, Kenric knows loving her means giving his sire another target.

 

Emily Ross just wanted a fresh start. She’s a survivor, coming off the tail end of an abusive relationship, and craves time alone to learn who she is and to save the home that holds her heart. The last thing she needed was a controlling, alpha male calling all the shots.

 

Meeting Kenric might just have changed her mind, though. He is wrong for her in all the right ways. But in order to keep her heart from breaking, he first has to keep the hoards of evil vamps from stealing her very breath.

 

Title: Undying Destiny

Author: Jessica Lee

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: June 2013

Imprint: Edge

 

Purchase from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Undying-Destiny-Enclave-Entangled-ebook/dp/B00CK55RJ2/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=36TOXN5A9DZUF&coliid=I1T3598Q45ETJ6

 

Purchase from Barnes & Noble:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/undying-destiny-jessica-lee/1115290509?ean=9781622660988

 

Author Information

 

 

Almost every author's bio states they've been writing since they learned how to read. It's what they've always wanted to do. Well, my journey wasn't so straight and narrow. I was a nurse for over twenty years and hold a bachelor's degree in science with a major in biology. So as you can see, my career path had originally gone in the opposite direction. I didn't discover my passion for the craft until after I'd had my son and decided to work part-time.

I've always loved to read but had never read a paranormal romance. Then one night at work on break, I began reading Karen Marie Moning's Spell of the Highlander. I couldn't believe what I'd been missing, and I immediately fell in love with the genre.

I wanted to write like that. I wanted to create worlds where others could find the same escape and fascination I did when I read my first sensual paranormal romance.

And I hope that's what I've accomplished in my work. Please dive in, hold on tight, and enjoy the adventure. Just be careful in the dark—you might find more than you expected waiting for you there.

Jessica Lee lives in the southeastern United States with her husband and son. She loves writing and can't wait for that quiet time each day when her son is in school, and she can get lost in another place and world with the fantastical, sexy creatures in her head.

She's a member of Romance Writers of America Carolina Romance Writers.

Author Website:http://www.jessicaleenovels.com/index.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessicaleenovels

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessleenovels

Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3013591.Jessica_Lee


http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MWNiNTU0OTUyMGNlZDFiOGJmOTc5ZmExZmRmZDJmOjg3/

Friday, June 21, 2013

Retro 80s Summer Bonding with Anna

Mmm Soapy goodness. Remember when everyone watched Soap Operas? As a youngster, I spent many a summer afternoon with Days of Our Lives, Another World and General Hospital. How could I not?  Look at handsome Uncle Jessie before he was Uncle Jessie.

Plus, though it is hard to believe, back then, there was no Teen Nick or a Disney Franchise built around cute teenage boys and girls. So what was a kid to do?  Oh don't worry I spent plenty of time running around outside playing with friends and riding my bike.  I still found time to watch the Soaps, and all without a DVR.

So here we are,  it's now the 50th Anniversary of General Hospital.  I haven't watch the show in perhaps two decades; but, Anna and I like to watch The Chew a few days a week, and one day we were sitting there after it was over and we got sucked in to General Hospital. Some of the characters have changed, but there are many actors and actresses still hanging in there from when I was a wee lass.

Pretty remarkable to have such a long running gig in the mercurial world of television.  50 years in, the show is still providing summer bonding for moms and daughters.

Anna  is still freaked out that Uncle Jessie was on a Soap Opera.

****************
Awesome Recipe from The Chew website just click the picture to be taken to the recipe which is actually a lightened up Chicken Saltimbocca!



Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ready for Beach Reads? Grab "The Goddess" by Robyn Grady

Finally Summer is here, and that means the time is ripe for spending an afternoon in the sun with a good summer read.  The Goddess by Robyn Grady from Entangled Publishing is a perfect book to lose yourself in on a sunny afternoon.  Robyn give us a plucky American girl with an adventurous spirit named Helene who happens to meet a Prince on a beautiful Greek Isle. Throw in some well-rounded secondary characters and a bit of magic courtesy of an ancient statue and you have an engaging read. 

I great enjoyed both Helene and Darius, they weren't fools in love, they were adults who considered the consequences of their actions.  Darius is a Prince in the modern world on a small island and has centuries of tradition to consider and Helene is an outsider.  It was fun to watch them experience each other and to open up to love. 

Robyn Grady adds a story within the story, which at first I was not a fan of, but as the book continued I found the second story a great mirroring of how the romance of Helene and Darius would have turned out had they met in less 'enlightened' times.

If you've had a hard winter, and are ready to escape, throw on your shades, grab The Goddess and hit the beach!

Click here to read and excerpt and order the book.


Disclosure: I received a free e-version of the book.  All the opinions are mine.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

No Alternative by William Dickerson Book Review and Giveaway!

I stumbled across the No Alternative Blog Tour on Facebook. I have not reviewed a book for quite sometime and I have fond memories of 1994, so I asked to be part of the book tour.

 Coming into the story with no preconceived ideas, only knowing that Kurt Cobain's suicide would feature prominently, I was curious and hesitant. Suicide is such an enormously verboten topic, I don't know that many of us like to poke a stick at it, much less read about it. So I took a deep breath and dove into the story and read and waited for the inevitable shoe to drop. And it did, and with the darkness of that death, came awakening.

No Alternative;, is rooted in the depression and disassociation felt by all its characters and it is through the inevitable suicide of one, that everyone around that character is transformed and infused with life.

William Dickerson's story begins in a documentary style.  A staccato sharing of this time, the 1990s and this music, grunge. Throughout the book we are reminded of what was: the 1980s, what is: 1994 and what will be: 2012 and beyond.  This  time shifting throughout the book by our omniscient  narrator was a writing technique that I felt worked and I greatly enjoyed. 

The protagonist of No Alternative is Thomas Harrison and intelligent and average suburban 17 year-old who idolized Kurt Cobain. The book begins several months after Kurt Cobain's suicide, after a time of mourning, Thomas is ready to submerge himself in music and decides to start a band. The story moves forward from there and we are introduced to Thomas's younger sister Bridget, his parents and his band mates.  Each character is isolated from others, living behind the mask of what they think the world would prefer them to be.  It is a pleasure to read how those barriers breakdown and see these people washed clean of their perceptions.

 Below you can find an excerpt from the book. I am thrilled that the excerpt provided to me focuses on Thomas's sister Bridget. Bridget is compelling, Bridge is a force and as I read on through the book, I wanted more Bridget, I wanted to pen Mr. Dickerson quick note asking him to start work on a follow-up novel of Bridget.Take a moment, read the except, and run over to Amazon and get this book. You'll thank me.
 
Bridget is parked in art class, surrounded by her classmates at their individual easels. Ms. Sheehan, her skinny, exceedingly longhaired, Earth-mother of a teacher, makes her rounds from student to student. She stops behind Bridget, eyeballing her canvas. While others concentrate on drawing bowls of luscious fruit, glistening and ripe, Bridget touches up an image of fruit, apples and such, impaled on several razor-sharp meat hooks. Ms. Sheehan surveys the depiction with interest, “Do you think you’ll ever actually follow the assignment, Bridget?” Bridget adds some luster to those metallic hooks, “Not likely.”“I do kind of like it.”“It needs more blood,” Bridget observes.“Of course.”Sheehan shakes her head, but has to smile, as she continues along to another student. Bridget places her pencils down, closing her eyes, and exhales. Bridget exhales for the therapeutic value of the act.Bridget has been prescribed anti-depressant medications, many different medications, a bounty of medications, medications as plentiful as Baskin & Robbins ice cream flavors, medications in all shapes and colors, in colors much more numerous than the colors of the rainbow, medications in quantities nearly equal to the many languages of the human race, a tower of Babel of medications and she has been on this laundry list of medications since she was eight years old. What childhood malady could have justified this salad bar of meds being visited on Bridget? Sure, a casual observer with an eye for analysis might have detected her lack of motivation on the soccer field at an early age, like the way she’d shy away from the ball whenever it was kicked anywhere near her, or noticed her brittle temper, like the time she smashed all the windows on the garage door with a hockey stick. An ever-increasing percentage of the medical community views these childhood failures as justification for testing new wonder drugs on innocent children. Bridget suffers much, there’s no doubt about it and most of all from a debilitating anxiety. The bone-chilling anxiety that accompanies her while being forced to give classroom presentations. The gastrointestinal stomach ailments that she swears are there, but no doctor can officially confirm. The anxiety of her compulsive drawing and erasing, drawing and erasing. Bridget suffers.Just breath. In. And then out. The phenomenon of syncing one’s breathing with another’s is seldom discussed, but is a considerable fear held among the anxiety-ridden. It’s something Bridget obsesses over: the idea of someone other than herself controlling her breathing. It is simultaneously smothering and freeing. During an anxiety attack, breathing becomes front and center, you can actually convince yourself to stop breathing if you’re anxious enough. Or so you think. But it’s what you think that matters. It matters enough to actually cause you physical pain and discomfort. And that’s a problem. Inevitably, nobody thinks you’re crazier than you think you are.In an attempt to combat her anxiety while giving a presentation on earthquake preparedness – an endeavor not worth the chalk when you live in the northeastern quadrant of the country, but an assignment is an assignment, and who knows what part of the country one will abscond to when free to abscond – Bridget focused on her classmates around her. She attempted to picture them in their underwear, a ridiculous cliché, but one that had worked for her in the past. It didn’t work this time. She couldn’t picture anything. No boxers, no panties, no edible thongs, no pierced labia or Prince Alberts; just her breathing – And the sound of other people breathing. Bridget became deaf to her own rhythm as her classmates began breathing in the same tempo. At least that’s what she thought was happening. In actuality, it was Amanda Welsh, and only Amanda Welsh, overweight by acceptable Westchester standards, with dimples the size of pomegranate seeds and the crease of her belly pinching the plaid of her uniform with every exhale. Her breathing eclipsed that of her peers, thunderous sound waves created at a distinctly lower frequency and emitted from the inner depths of her flesh. She was like a bag of bagpipes squeezing itself.Bridget could hear nothing but her breathing; in fact, she honed in on it, on the wheeze of air passing through a crowded windpipe.Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.Like the equalizing knob on her stereo, Bridget’s brain shut off the treble and turned up the bass, louder, louder, louder; all the way to the max. Every word out of her mouth was garbled, as if she was speaking underwater. The only frequencies allowed into her ear canals were those from the bagpipes. As a result, she adjusted her breathing to mimic those of the bagpipes, because if she didn’t begin and end her breath at the precise moment the bagpipes did, she would cease breathing. And, of course, die. The bagpipes were her assisted breathing machine: at this very moment, standing before her class, every movement, every word, every breath, being judged by her peers, her teacher, the loiterers in the hallway passing by, and her breathing was regulated by a bag of human bagpipes. She was a stock car stuck in its groove, unable to change lanes. Then she stopped. Breathing.Either the overweight girl she was listening to stopped breathing, or Bridget mercifully broke free of her often unforgiving burden. Either way, the end result was the same: Bridget’s knees buckled, her legs collapsing underneath her, and the side of her head smashed into the corner of her teacher’s steel desk. She was knocked instantly into blissful unconsciousness. She likes this moment the best.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Amelia is giving me dirty looks

Amelia is giving me dirty looks. We are at the vet's office and she doesn't like it one bit.

I figure this is for two reasons. One there was a stool sample taken by the vet tech, I can only assume that is highly unpleasant for beast or man.

Secondly, she is rightly upset that I have not gotten her groomed and she looks like a ragamuffin .



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tales from the Backseat

First day of Spring Break arrived with the weather I've been waiting on all winter. Sunny, seventies, and silly. Well the kids were silly anyway.

The minds of middle schoolers.

In the car on the way to golf lessons. Bryce (5th grader) says to Will (3rd Grader):

"Hey Will, wanna hear a story about the birds and the bees?"

Bryce doesn't wait for Will to respond. "The birds ate the bees, end of story."  Cue peels of laughter from Bryce.

*****

Patrick, 7th Grade says to me: "Hey Ma, I forgot to tell you we dissected a frog last week at school."

Me, trying to make sure and sound blasé, considering Patrick middle name is Squeamish. "Interesting Patrick, how did it go?"

Patrick responding with great enthusiasm, "It was gross and super cool at the same time."

****
"You know people judge other people on what they wear, like people get picked on cause they aren't wearing what's in and who cares what people wear. It's stupid, that's like bullying."  Patrick said.

Bryce then chimes in "As the great author Dr. Suess  said: 'Why fit in, when you can stand out.'

****
Surprisingly, Anna was in the car but didn't contribute to these conversations, she must have been asleep.

To end today's insight into the Middle School Boy, here is Bryce with his Face Mug.  Thanks to an endowment all the Art Students at Hayesville Middle and High School were able to make and take these fun mugs.  The artist behind the mugs is  Rob Withrow if you click the link you'll be taken to his website.  Fun Stuff!  He does Face Mug Parties, so it's like a Tastefully Simple party but you make your own mug!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mmmm popcorn

Just past April Fools. If I had a dollar for every email I got today with "no fooling" in the title, I'd have ordered a pizza tonight.

But I didn't, so late tonight after 7 hours of customer service calls, I rummaged around and came up with popcorn for my dinner.

Not just any old popcorn, not microwave popcorn. Tastefully Simple popcorn. I made it on the stove using Roasted Garlic Infused Oil. Then I took it one step further and mixed dry Roasted Onion warm dip mix into melted butter and tossed the popcorn .

Served in our serving bowl. Yum. Next time I will try Basalmic and Basil Dipping Oil and Parmesan cheese !


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Growing up is more hills and valleys than a climb up Mt. Everest

I always thought the maturing of youngsters into teens would be inevitable march forward and onward from the days where a little one will hold your hand ---and fast forward to the door slamming teen. 

Reality has proven to be different, yesterday the boys were being pre-teens, wanting to stay up late and play video games.  Oh the end is near, pimples are minutes away.

This morning, all three kids packed their backpacks and grabbed wooden swords to go outside and have an adventure in the woods.

Childhood isn't a straight climb after all, thank goodness.



Can you see that Patrick's hand is green? Kid thought he'd wash his hands and it would wash right off. --Not so much.

They are ridiculously excited for some egg hunting tomorrow.  I didn't have much cash for Baskets or Eggs, so I made 'Easter Coupons'.  Today I hyped the exciting and awesome Easter Coupons to the kiddos.

Hey Kids, instead of hunting for eggs filled with boring candy, we are going to have eggs filled with special prize tickets!  You can each get 4 eggs.  And one of them is filled with, wait for it, a "get out of trouble free pass!"

They started jumping up and down with excitement.  Patrick asked: "Are there three of those?" 
No, just one.  Bryce said: "I totally have to get that one, I'm the best egg finder."  Then Anna chimmed in, "No, no you're not."

And so it went.

 Easter Pics from 2009.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's just as well

It's just as well that the weather is still stuck on January auto repeat , I really don't have any cute springy clothes to wear.

I don't have any extra funds to purchase springy clothes either and furthermore this cold weather has me awfully afraid to make the switch to lightweight clothes.

Hope springs eternal and hopefully you can see the buds ready to burst into life on this tree.




Monday, March 25, 2013

Okay I'm back

Pretty nice that the old internet keeps my blog up even though I haven't written in ages and ages. How have you been?  When we last spoke, I did not have my current second job.  When we last spoke I was running the coffeeshop.

Then I found a work from home position taking customer service calls in the evening.  Coffee in the AM, Phone calls in the PM = very little time for the family, and let time for the blog.

Not that I didn't have gobs of blogging ideas, I just managed to avoid finding the time to write them down. That's my story and excuses.

Fast forward to now, it's nearly spring and I'm ready to rebalance my life a bit.  Tastefully Simple, heretofore, virtually unknown in the Hayesville NC area is starting to pick up as I talk with people and get to know them enough that they'll let me into their homes to do a taste-testing party.

Of course, once they try the products, they fall in love! Plus we have a lovely batch of new products that I have been playing with this month.

At present I have two new favorite things. 
1. The Borgias on Showtime, my new favorite show. It stars Jeremy Irons as the worst Pope ever and it is based very loosely on historic record.


And 2. Dill Pickle Dip
Oh so good.  Even young Patrick a pickle purist can't resist it.

RECIPE: BEST TUNA MELT EVER
Take one packet mix it with 1 cup light mayo and 1 cup sour cream.  Then divide it into 2 seperate bowls. Use one bowl as a veggie dip.
 Take the other cup and add 2 cans of tuna, 1 cup diced celery and 1/2 a cup of sliced scallions.
 Mix and put in to pita halves (should make 4-6 halves)
 Top the dill pickle tuna salad with a slice of cheese and pop in an oven at 350 for about 10 minutes .

Enjoy the best Tuna Melt you have ever had.