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Silent Night, Holy Night

>> Tuesday, December 25, 2012

All is calm, all is bright.

Sleep in heavenly peace.


Unwrap a little JOY

>> Saturday, December 22, 2012

Experience Thankfulness and celebrate the Joy..
Make the gift unique for each member of the family,

do after work Cheer with the great group who work and laugh with you,

Share and Donate
enjoy a wintry evening with girlfriends

Go crazy with the cookie decorating

Don't wait to get "INTO" the spirit of Christmas, do the work of Christmas for others!


That Girl with the Muffin Top

>> Friday, November 30, 2012

During Thanksgiving I was in Hobby Lobby with  Cammie. She says she never wanted to be "that girl" whose tummy hung  out under her t-shirt, yet she was today. The shirt was short, it rode up. It caused young children to stare especially those who have not seen a pregnant tummy. Hah! she laughed. I love her.


Beef Jerky-Dehaydrator

>> Sunday, November 4, 2012


1 lb. round steak
4 tbsp. soy sauce
4 tbsp. Worcestershire
1 tbsp. ketchup
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion salt
1/2 tsp. salt
Remove all fat from the meat and place in freezer. When it is semi-frozen, cut it into 3/8 to 1/4 inch strips. Meat cut against the grain will be tender and break easily, meat cut with the grain will be chewy.Marinate in the above sauce for at least 1 hour. Drain in a colander and place on dehydrator trays. Do not overlap the meat and turn once while drying. Dry at 145 degrees for 8-10 hours. It is ready when it bends like a willow without breaking. Store in refrigerator.


Butternut Squash Ravioli and pasta Sauce (Easy)

I figured out the squash pasta sauce.
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups butter squash pureed (15 oz can)
1/2 cup vegetable stock
Squash ravioli:

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.

Add squash puree and vegetable stock and stir to combine.

Turn heat back up and let it simmer and reduce down a bit.
  1. In the same pan, melt ½ tablespoon of butter. Add the squash and cook until the mixture is slightly dry, about 2 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup chicken broth and continue to cook about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons cheese and nutmeg, to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Cool completely (before putting the filling into the ravioli).
  1. Take the won ton wrappers.. Place a teaspoon of the filling in the center of each pasta/wonton rectangle. Fold in half and seal completely (a little dab of water on the edges helps to seal)
  2. Start boiling a pot of salted water
  3. Add the pasta to the pot of boiling salted water.
  4. Cook until al dente. This will take about 5 minutes or until the pasta floats. Tip: Even if they are floating, taste test the pasta portion of the ravioli before you drain the pot.


Blue Cheese Salmon

>> Saturday, November 3, 2012

Seafood alternatives: Sole, Rockfish, Snapper, Flounder, Salmon
Blue Cheese Crusted SoleTo help keep this a quick recipe, try to choose fillets that aren't over 1 inch thick, or be prepared to add a couple of minutes to the baking time.


  • 1 large zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 pound sole fillet, cut in 2 even pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped hazelnuts or almonds
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine or water

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat the over to 425° F.
Scatter the sliced zucchini in a shallow baking dish and set the fish pieces on top. Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper. In a small bowl combine the blue cheese, hazelnuts and thyme and stir to mix well. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the fish. Add the wine to the bottom of the dish. Bake the fish until the topping is lightly browned and the fish is just opaque through, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the fish to individual plates, spoon the zucchini alongside and serve.


Grilled Talapia with Mustard & Parmesan

4 oz. Simply Seafood talapia fillet (from Aldi's)
Dash of ground mustard
Dash of black pepper
1 oz fresh shredded parmesan cheese.

Place on hot grill and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side over a medium high heat.
Turn once during grilling.
When talapia is done, it should flake easily with a fort. It should be opaque and moist.
Top with a sprinkle of ground mustard, a dash of black pepper and garnish with fresh shredded parseman cheese.
I like to microwave for 30 seconds to melt the cheese.
112 calories, 2.7 g fat, 0 g carbohydrates, 21 g protein

Simply seafood are vacuum sealed in individual servings. It doesn't get any easier than this.


In Praise of Pie

Returned last night from Chicago. The best buy of the trip was the Apple Pocket Pie Mold from Crate & Barrel.
I have the pie plans with Cammie. This morning I tested the recipe.

Pie Crust
Sift 1 1/2 c. flour, add 1/2 tsp salt, mix in 1/2 c. shortening and then mix in 1/4 c. cold water.

Roll out pie dough.
Use the built in cutters on the outside of the mold (not the crimped side),
cut a top crust (with leaf vent) and bottom crust.

Peel and chop apples. (1 small does two pies). For each apple add 1 tbsp flour to 1 tbsp Pearl Sugar in a bowl, sprinkle in cinnamon and nutmeg and toss to coat the apples.

The pearl sugar looks like snow on the apples.
For the little mold, the apple pieces need to be chopped up not just sliced.
Open the mold and place the bottom crust inside the non-crimped side of the mold and fill with apples and sugar mix.
Brush the edges of the crust with water. Lay the top crust (with the vent) over the apple matching the crust edges, close the mold to seal and crimp.

  I baked the pies at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. I poured honey in through the hole and baked 5 more minutes with a piece of foil over the top so that they wouldn't burn.
Better than McDonald's.!!!!


Running with Scissors

>> Sunday, October 28, 2012

A. M.

Mary Ann: Work up this morning and everything is frosty.
Don: Is it? Big plans for the morning?
Mary Ann: Let's see....going to try to finish the cookbook, and start editing.
Don: Good. We are getting ready to leave the hotel to head to the track.
Mary Ann: Have a fun day, I miss you.
Don:  I miss you too. Love you.

Don't tell Don, I slept on his pillow! I love it, he may not get it back!

Sitting on the "Murb", drinking hot tea and discussing bathroom renovation with Susan.
Leave it up to a retired teacher to say, "You're home alone. Drive fast, take chances. Run with scissors".

3:00 p.m.

To the grocery store, making Artichoke Crostini.
When you are home alone, you can eat whatever you want for supper!

12 oz. Trader Joes Artichoke Hearts (frozen), I chopped them while they were frozen
1/4 c. chopped flat leaf parsley
2 oz Parmesan cheese, shredded.
1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. Celery salt
1/4 tsp finely ground pepper

12 slices baguette (I like to slice diagonally, then the slices are longer)

Turn on broiler.

Place baguette slices on cookie sheet . Broil 1 to 2 minutes until crisp & lightly browned, turning over once.

Toss all ingredients in a bowl (artichokes, cheese, olive oil, celery salt &pepper)

Top each crispy baquette slice with heaping tablespoon artichoke mixture.
You could broil lightly after the topping is on to heat the cheese, if you wish. (I did).

Beware, our rottweiler slept in the house.


Simple Happiness

>> Thursday, August 30, 2012

I got a call last night from one of my children in the midst of heading to Andrea's house with Susan to sit in the hot tub and gab. I turned around and headed home so I could call back and see what was up. The messsage was, " Mom, I don't have any debts, my rent is paid, my utility bill is 0.00  balance and my car payment is paid until 9/25." Of course today is 8/28 and on 9/1 the bill cycle starts all over again, but what simple happiness!!!

My home gives me simple happiness.
The view from our bedroom at night over the gardens, the organization, not too much not too little. 
And having a great relationship with my kids.


Sunday, Father's Day 2012

>> Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day  was originally planned to be celebrated on the boat in Arizona and visiting in Colorado Springs on the flight home.
A gall bladder attack(s) interrupted all that. The Good wasn't gallstones.  That is really good news!

So Sunday, Father's Day, was spent quietly at home, walking through the Shawano swap meet, planting a new birch in honor of Don, and at the end of the day, relaxing in the hammock. It was so nice, could I order another Sunday, please?


Ode to Dad

>> Saturday, June 16, 2012

In honor of their Father, I asked my kids why they thought their dad is a great dad.....and here is their responses.

Cammie: Hmmmm, He's hard working, funny, treats me like a princess, fixes my car, quotes movies at the dinner table and always helps me out when I start the conversation with "daaadddddyyyyy...?" in a little girl voice.

Erik: He can do anything.  He's the first one I call.


Sterling Rocky and me

>> Monday, June 11, 2012

Sterling was a faithful dog. Walked me and the girlfriends almost every night for 10 years. In the early years people would observe the 4 of us with the Siberian Husky and ask "Who is walking who?" He was a partner in our friendships and a gift would be under the tree for him every year.

He's gone now, pushing up daisies (literally). The one year old, Rocky, has taken his place. Every evening starting out with a burst of energy, picking up the girlfriends, walking the route, and in the end dragging his tail end home, eager to do it all over again tomorrow night.

Sorry, Erik, I don't think he is your dog any longer.


Wellness Weekend - Eagle Harbor Inn

>> Sunday, April 29, 2012

 Friday 5:00 p.m. Eagle Harbor Inn, Ephraim, WI:  Wellness weekend, I'm here!!! I've arrived!!!! I'm ready!!!!

Entering the door of the Tamarack house,  walking up the stairs into the bright condo, the weekend starts.

Saturday Morning started with the class "Journaling Our Way into Well-Being" and moved into "Mindful Yoga". (No, Donald, we did not sit around and chant, and yes, I can have a cellphone).

Both sessions were taught by Beth Coleman and were some of the best classes I have attended. I was excited to learn everyone in the class already "journaled".

In the late afternoon Natalie invited us in the Inn kitchen for Hors D'oeuvres Display & Tasting With Recipes.

My favorite: The rosemary lavosh. 

What a day.... turning into a relaxing evening, filled with conversation, in front of the fireplace.

Waiting for Summer, a little relaxing is in order. 



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