Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Dragon's Tail

This morning I woke to a perfectly wonderful day that was draped in a thick vale of dragon's breath. How lucky can a girl get! My supplies in my magical cupboard are getting frightfully low and everyone knows the best hunting is done in the dragon's tail glow. Now where did I put that basket?

No, those are too small. Like a woman possessed
 I rush about the cottage.

Aw, there it is. Miss Ruby, scat and go chase mice.

With basket in had I hurry out the door to follow the beasties glow in search of many glorious delights.

Oh, my the fairy wood does look foreboding, however,
 I must keep on going.

Look,enchanted mushrooms. I must really have just a few.
These little beauties always pop up in the wake
 of the dragon's tail.
 I do hope I happen to find some dragon scales. What's that I smell? Smoke?

Hurry, hurry around the lake I must go.
 Dragon's fire makes things grow and glow.

Powdered ash of dragon's fire will cease
 even the most vicious liar.

My the woods are getting thick.

And wonders of wonders a fairy grapevine and...
Oh, it can not be...
but it is so...Banshee's tears to mend a broken heart!

As long as I'm here I'll grab a fistful or two of the
all-purpose graveyard dirt. I mean what can it hurt?

Ow, Ow stickers galore! It's a good thing I put on my boots to stomp through this prickly old grove.

What's that over there? Glittering, shiny and gold?

It's a green treasure to behold...
a dragon's scale to keep on from getting old.

But what's that sparkling beneath the leaves
 and ancient overgrowth? How curious it's a griffin's egg.

Oh, no, I've stumbled too far into this fairy wood. The creatures breath has done its magic. I must not linger any longer.

The day is almost done and I have no desire to stay
 the night in these enchanted woods.
 Must hasten, must rush, must fly back to my little domicile.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Hope everyone had a great first few days of autumn, we have been busy, busy, busy here.  We are doing some fall cleaning - you know - its like spring cleaning but you do it in the fall. I'm laying out plans for our next family gathering in October our yearly Halloween party. Think I finally got the boys back into the homeschooling grove for the year or at least we are giving a good impression of it.

Dinner this week will be:
red beans & rice, mixed greens salad
baked pork chops, roasted onions, carrots & butternut squash, dressing
vegetarian Irish stew, soda bread
oven roasted chicken & potatoes, braised red cabbage & apples
Parmesan talipia, scalloped potatoes, green beans
baked BBQ blackeyed peas & rice, cinnamon squash rings, seasoned greens
veggie burgers, potato salad

Sorry that's all I have down for this week. Just been busy cleaning, moving furniture, and making Halloween decorations. Hope everyone has a brilliantly blessed week.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Acts of Autumn

Autumn isn't a word or simply a season, but a feeling. It is a way of life - my life. I've never been able to understand the hows or whys of how this simple shift in nature affects me but I do love it. Everything seems clearer and more vibrant, its like a breath of fresh air or a total calm after a storm. For me life shifts into a season of collecting, cleaning, preparing, crafting, baking, and reflecting. But most of all knowing. Knowing that, that precious something that I have been waiting for has arrived -Autumn.

This is the time when the smell of  freshly mowed lawn will give way to the scent of woodsmoke trailing from chimneys. Iced tea gives way to a delightful cup of Earl Gray.The scent of fresh cut flowers in the home will be replaced with the smell of sage, cinnamon and the ginger of baking. Outdoor grilling will be turned inward to a pot of simmering stew on the stove top. The cat that once sat in the window sunning will now curl in front of the hearth. Nuts that were once green turn brown and fall in abundance to the earth. Sitting on the front porch in the evenings will move to the back yard around the fire pit for smores. Mornings have become dark and evenings even darker. It is the time when outdoor games give way to indoor games around the table and books are read aloud.

These are the acts of autumn that fill my life. Simple that they may be but, oh, how blessed. Because I know that, that precious something that I have been waiting for has arrived - Autumn.

Are You Ready?

Goblins on the doorstep,
Phantoms in the air,
Owls on witches' gateposts
Giving stare for stare,
Cats on flying broomsticks,
Bats against the moon
Stirrings round of fate-cakes with a solemn spoon.
Whirling apple parings
Figures draped in sheets
Dodging, disappearing, up and down the streets,
Jack-o-Lanterns grinning
Shadows on a screen,
Shrieks and starts and laughter~
This is Hallowe'en!

~ Dorothy Brown Thompson ~

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Autumn Comes This Evening

An Autumn Evening
Dark hills against a hollow crocus sky
Scarfed with its crimson pennons, and below
The dome of sunset long, hushed valleys lie
Cradling the twilight, where the lone winds blow
And wake among the harps of leafless trees
Fantastic runes and mournful melodies.

The chilly purple air is threaded through
With silver from the rising moon afar,
And from a gulf of clear, unfathomed blue
In the southwest glimmers a great gold star
Above the darkening druid glens of fir
Where beckoning boughs and elfin voices stir.

And so I wander through the shadows still,
And look and listen with a rapt delight,
Pausing again and yet again at will
To drink the elusive beauty of the night,
Until my soul is filled, as some deep cup,
That with divine enchantment is brimmed up.

~ Lucy Maud Montgomery ~

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Well, summer's is drawing to her end - these are the last days of summer 2010 - a time in our lives that will never be again, remember to do something memorable this week so that this turn of the season doesn't fade into nothing in the memory of your life. It doesn't need to be something supper fantastic just something you will not forget. Perhaps start a new family tradition so that each summer's end is remembered with warmth and love.

Choose one evening this week to have a backyard picnic, not a cook out but an truly old fashioned picnic with a quilt on the ground or do it up Victorian style with a lovely set up table. Prepare some of your family's favorite foods that are portable, put them in a basket with plates, cups or glasses, and cutlery and go out the back door. This is my choice this week - doing it up country Victorian style with a quilt covered table set with china and long stemmed goblets, flowers in a vase, feta & pea egg cups, garden salad, sliced plums & pears, and yeast rolls.  Go make a plan, go have fun, make a memory.

Our dinner menu this week is-
Ratatouille on polenta, seasoned greens
Feta & Pea egg cups, garden salad, plums & pears, yeast rolls
Chicken & dressing, sugared parsnips, fried green beans
veggie fried rice, egg drop soup, pineapple
scalloped potatoes with ham, fried okra, corn & peas
green chicken enchiladas, tortilla chips & salsa

Our breakfast menu this week is-
steel cut oats with raisins & walnuts (x2)
pumpkin muffins & hot cocoa (x2)
breakfast burrito
gingerbread waffles with spiced apples
toad in a hole, orange slices

Our lunches this week-
tomato basil soup with cheesy toast
mini chef salads with crackers
chicken a la king on biscuits with peas
grilled cheese sandwich, carrot & celery sticks
pastina, salad
Poorman's meal
peanut butter and jelly, apple slices

Hope you have a brilliantly blessed week.

Last Rose of Summer

" 'Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone."

   ~ Thomas Moore, 1830 ~

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kody's Cookbook

A couple of years a go my mother and I made a cookbook for Kody. It had favorite family recipes that were used often and still are. The recipes were simple and uncomplicated. It is a book that every one now uses. The following posts are a few selections that we make often.

Play Dough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons oil
3-4 drops food coloring

Mix the water, oil and food coloring together in a medium sauce pan. Add the remaining ingredients. Put it on the stove over medium high heat watching it and stirring, until it is a nice consistency. It will become very difficult to stir and clump together. At this point turn it out of the pan on to the counter and knead it. Cool and store in a sealed container or zip-lock bag to keep it from drying out. ( This is the first recipe that Kody helped me make when he was 3, it was in his preschool curriculum manual and he is now 14 and making it for his little brother.)

Pace Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups pace picante sauce
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

Pour combined the picante sauce, sugar and mustard over the chicken. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Kody's German Pot Roast

2 pounds boneless, lean pork roast
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 potatoes, peeled & diced
2 medium onions. sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
14 1/2 ounces diced tomatoes

Put the roast into a slow cooker, sprinkle with the garlic powder and pepper. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover, cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours.

Green Chicken Enchiladas

1 pound boneless chicken breasts12 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1 (8 ounce) Package shredded Monterrey jack cheese
2 cans (10 ounce) mild green chili enchilada sauce

Boil the chicken, drain, cool and shred. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Fill each tortilla with chicken and cheese. Reserve 1/2 cup cheese for the top. Roll to form an enchiladas. Arrange in the baking dish. Cover with the enchilada sauce. Bake for 30 minutes, then top with the remaining cheese and bake another 5 minutes.

Granny's Salisbury Steak

1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1 can beef broth
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons water

Mix the ground beef, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Shape into four or five round patties. Cook over medium high heat until brown. Drain the fat from the pan. Add the beef broth to the pan with the patties. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the patties. Mix the flour and water together in a Small bowl until smooth. Stir the flour mixture into the broth to make gravy. After it thickens, serve over the patties & mashed potatoes.

Crock Pot Chicken & Noodles

4 boneless chicken breasts
2 cans (14.5 ounce) chicken broth
1/2 stick butter or margarine
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 large package wide egg noodles
salt & pepper to taste
Put all ingredients, except noodles in crock pot. Cook on high for 4 hours (until chicken is done).
Remove the chicken from the broth. Turn the cooker on high and add the noodles. Cook 30-40 minutes, until the noodles are done. Shred or dice the chicken and to the broth and noodles.

Granny's Easy Chili

1 onion, chopped1 green bell pepper, seeded, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes
3 cans chili beans
1 small can Rotel tomatoes & chilies
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste

Saute the onion and green bell pepper in a skillet until softened. Put all the ingredients  into a slow cooker. Cook in slow cooker on high for 4 hours.