Dinner in 20 minutes....no kidding!

Blackened Salmon, Potatoes, and French Green Beans---all in under 20 minutes... Super healthy, super delicious, and also makes some great leftovers! Visit my recipe blog, for the recipes.

As I sit here blogging, Winn (Winston) is curled up on his favorite chair. I just had to take a picture. My house is dark today though b/c there are storms on their way, so the picture is a bit fuzzy.

And May All Your Christmas' Be White.....

I just changed out the mantle again for Christmas. Its always a challenge to change it for the seasons on a budget. This year I used different pieces of white dishes and pottery I had. I LOVE to collect white dishes and such. Especially antique pieces. I put them all together here with a $3 garland from Walmart and some $2 for 12 red ornaments from Walmart as well. In high school I painted the picture that I have hanging up. I usually just hang it in the winter time.
A couple of years ago, I saw a painted gourd with this lady on it in a magazine. It was for sale for an outrageous amount of money, but I clipped out the picture and when I had time, and the right size and shape of gourd, I painted her.
I made Christmas stockings from an idea I saw in Garnet Hill magazine a couple of years ago. The problem I am running into is that I made them out of felt and without thinking about it, I forgot that I can't WASH felt. So after the holidays, I am going to spend the next year remaking all of the stockings and making Ezra one as well.

French Macaroons

This was my first attempt at a macaroon. Thankfully the boys were on good behavior. Check out http://gourmet-gals.blogspot.com for the recipe!
I am soooooo slacking on my blogs these days. The holidays are here and that means NO TIME for the extras! We are busy with Christmas partys, church Christmas plays, entertaining at home, visting family and friends, shopping, gift wrapping, endless trips to the post office to mail out things, etc.....
I will try to post in the coming week...

Thanksgiving Day Menu

This is the number one visited site for Thanksgiving Day Menu. Thanks so much for visting. This years menu can be found here I have included many links to online recipes as well.

2011's menu can be found here
2009's menu can be found here

2008's menu can be found here This year I have added a Thanksgiving Day Schedule to help you get the meal on the table without stress or frenzy.

2006's menu can be found here

Have fun and enjoy the day with family and friends. Feel free to subscribe to my blog in the left hand corner of the homepage for daily cooking, crafting, decorating, and life thoughts. Thanks for stopping by!

Thanksgiving Day Menu 2006

Antipasto Dip

Pork Tenderloin & Turkey
Sausage, Cranberry, Pecan Cornbread Stuffing
Smashed Sweet Potatoes
Deviled Eggs
Apple, Cherry, Walnut and Maple Dressing Salad
Potatoes Gratin
Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic
Green Beans

Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Panna Cotta
Roasted Pear and Amaretto Trifle

Freezing Avocados....

(Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to click on the header to see my daily blog entries about cooking, crafting, mothering, housekeeping,and creating. Please stop by daily and comment as you like.)

Avocados are my favorite food. Have I ever mentioned that? Well, they are. And at Sam's Club I have discovered that these little jewels that are normally priced at about $2 a pop are sold in a bag of 5 for under $4.00.
I recently bought 4 bags and as the avocados ripen, I pulse them in the food processor with salt, lime juice, and pepper for a yummy guacamole. And the best part is, it freezes beautifully. The trick is to immediately put the guac. into a freezer bag and get all the air out before sealing it. Air makes it turn that yucky unappetizing brown color.
Now, I have lots of guacomole to look forward to all winter long! I think I may dice some as well and freeze it that way to have with salads.

Canaan and Ezra's Room

I thought I'd post some pics of Canaan's room (soon to be Ezra's as well). We just moved this new dresser into the room. I found it at the Goodwill for $35. It is nice, solid, wood but was hideous with bubblegum pink and baby blue alternating drawers and the rest painted white. Not to mention the cheap plastic knobs. We sanded it, painted it this navy blue and found 12 knobs for $4.00 at Ikea.
Canaan picked out the fabric for the curtains at Walmart. He loves to look at the map and for us to tell him where places and people are in the world.
Everything we put into his room, we like to be somewhat educational. I am not really into too many mindless toys. He loves his little desk we purchased at a little roadside antique shop in the mountains near Mikes mom's house.
The corkboard is full of things Canaan likes to look at. Mainly this poster of Dan Zanes right now. Dan Zanes does great quirky music for kids....check him out sometime!
And then there is Ezra's little corner of the room. Below the paintings is a weird looking circle. That is one of many glow in the dark phases of the moon that Canaan has scattered around the room.
I totally forgot to take a pic of Canaan's favorite item in the room. He has a cushy funky swing thing that hangs from the ceiling. We got it at Ikea for him and he is the coolest kid around with a swing in his room!

I purchased this cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child on Ebay---sight unseen. It had a description for the book but no picture. I bought it for $6 including shipping (they are selling for $20+ on Amazon). I was ESTATIC when it arrived and was in great condition and had this adorable vintage cover. This winter I am going to work my way through this cookbook. Can't wait!!!
The second book is one I picked up at TJ Maxx of all places. It was $3.99 and caught my eye. I was so glad I bought it. It is called "Mrs. Dunwoody's Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping".
It is seriously packed with such great things! It is totally something out of the victorian age, but the ideas for homekeeping are timeless.
For instance.... I don't know if you with husbands can identify, but even though I change our sheets weekly, they still can tend to smell a bit throughout the week. In this book it says that in the days of servants, the maids would come into the bedrooms andthe sheets would be pulled down to the foot of the bed and the windows were opened to air out the sheets from the previous nights sleep. Most of us grew up having to make our beds after getting up. But the book says (and it makes perfect sense) that you trap in the odors and such from the night before by making your bed immediately after waking. Since reading this, I have put it into practice....and it works! No more musty smells. I wait until afternoon to make the beds and the sheets are nice and aired out.

I found this fabric at Walmart..$4.50 a yard. It is nice and heavy. I am making some thick curtains for my kitchen windows to keep the cold out this winter. Mike picked up 2 chairs off the side of the road that have great design but need re-upholdstered. I may use this fabric for those as well....

The Splendid Table

When I am spending some time on the computer listing Ebay items or catching up on emails I click over to my favorite radio show. It is on public radio and is called The Splendid Table. It is such a great show about food, recipes, and the kitchen.
You can listen to the entire show from your computer. Check it out!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Canaan and I have been working hard in the kitchen these past couple of weeks. I like to buy those rotisserie chickens at the store. They make great picnic lunches with a loaf of bread and some cheese. Once we've eaten the meat off I save the carcas and freeze it until I am ready to make stock with it. The other day we made a big pot of chicken stock. Used part for chicken noodle soup and the rest, we froze. We have also been freezing apples and pears that we picked at the orchard. Canaan loves to help in the kitchen. He is great at peeling carrots, etc.... and I am teaching him the importance of cleaning up after the "fun" of cooking is over as well.

Ok, this is my absolute favorite new website....well this week at least. It is a website with AMAZING fabrice, yarns, patterns, etc.... Check it out!

The corners of my home......

Getting ready for FallThis weekend I was trying to figure out, "how do I change the mantle for different seasons without breaking the bank?" I found this frame at the thrift store for $3.25. It had some hideous picture in it. I added a black posterboard as a matte and put in this picture I had drawn a couple of years back. Canaan and I went on a nature walk and found these goards....kidding....I bought the gords on Ebay for a couple of bucks. But Canaan and I did find some sticks and I picked up some "fall" things at Michaels during their fall sale for about $10. All in all the mantle got "Autumnized" for about $20

Our Art CenterIn our dining room sits a chest of drawers. We bought it an auction in Ohio several years ago. It was in the detatched garage of an old house. Full of screws, nails, and random tools. I think we paid $15. Now it stores our art supplies and music. Canaan and I love to paint during the day and I love having a place to keep it all.

Canaan's GalleryThis is a collection of Canaan's most recent paintings. The bottom one may look plain but believe me! There are layers upon layers of paint on that sucker!

My Cookbook CornerJust off of the kitchen is a small area where my cookbook shelves and 2 comfy chairs sit. It is my favorite place in the house. Mike found this ratty old dresser that we took the drawers out of and made into a bookshelf. We added some molding, painted the inside a sea blue, and the outside creamy white. I absolutely love it. I sit in that little nook daily. Sometimes in the morning while drinking my coffee or in the afternoon, while the boys sleep, looking through cookbooks planning out the weekly meals.

This is FishyFishy is our nearly 2 year old goldfish. We bought him for Canaan on a the day that he fell off a step out our back door and punctured a hole through his lip with his tooth. He was 2 years old. Also that day was his first ice cream. We've had Fishy now nearly 2 years. I never thought fish could have a personality but Fishy does. When we go away for the weekend and he gets left behind, he won't acknowlege our exsistence when we return. He swims to the back of the tank and refuses to look at us. He won't even eat his food, although I know he is hungry. Silly Fishy...

The Kitchen TableThis is how my kitchen table looks most days. This week it is the race track. Other times it is playdough, scrapbooking project, or junk mail that hasn't made it to the trash can. I handpainted this table we found in the trash about 6 years ago. The top coat of poly is starting to wear thin though. I'll have to put a new layer on this fall sometime.

Tonights dinner...

I think I will make a blackened salmon tonight. The only way Mike will eat fish is blackened. My seasonings of choice are usually paprika, seasoning salt, black pepper, red pepper, and garlic. I always cook my salmon in an old cast iron skillet with a touch of butter and olive oil. The blend of o.o and butter is perfect!! Along with that I think we'll have some couscous and green beans. I like to cook fresh green beans in a skillet with a touch of o.o and butter (once again) and saute them for a couple of minutes with salt and pepper on medium high. Then I pour in broth-either vegetable or chicken- and cover them until tender. They are perfect everytime and so flavorful!
We are having our neighbor Cal over for dessert. Mike loves any dessert that has custard , so tonight I am attempting a Napoleon. Layers of custard and puff pastry with a dusting of powdered sugar on top. I already made the custard and it is chilling in the fridge. Lets hope it comes together ok!
My sister and her fiance are coming into town this weekend. I need to get a menu planned for that. I'll keep you posted....