Monday, December 19, 2011

Santa Hats and Mittens

Here is one of the cookie batches that I have made for our family Christmas celebration. I think Emma, Bobby, and Noah will like these!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Tree 2011

I signed up to take a Christmas photo oriented photography class online - "Capture Your Holidays with Katrina Kennedy." I've taken a couple of her other classes and think they have helped my photography. I learned some new techniques on photographing lights in the current class. Here are some of the shots I took of the Springer tree this weekend.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 26 - White Bean and Ham Stew

I spent some time this long weekend browsing through my cookbooks and magazines. I found a recipe by Jacques Pepin for White Bean and Ham Stew ( I used my left over ham bone and ham to make this for dinner last night accompanied by Gruyere cheese toasts. It was great! Emily and Robert stopped by this morning as they were headed back to Greenville. We heated the leftovers up and accompanied them with a choice of Gruyere or Cheddar cheese toasts. It was even better today.

November 25 - Sidewalk Chalk and Leftovers

Molly, Emma joined Robert, Emily, Bobby, and Noah for leftovers with us the day after Thanksgiving. The grandchildren enjoyed a play session with sidewalk chalk outside. The weather was great!

November 24 - Thanksgiving 2011

We hosted Thanksgiving this year with all the children, Robert, Bjarne and the grandchildren. This was the first year that we had to set an extra table to host dinner for 10 in the dining room. The menu included -

  • Roasted Turkey

  • Baked Ham with Horseradish Sauce

  • Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

  • Macaroni and Cheese

  • Dressing with Oysters and Dressing without

  • Green Beans

  • Apple, Pear, and Cranberry Cobbler

  • Fresh Apple Cake

  • Chocolate Turkey Cookies

  • Oatmeal, White Chocolate, and Cranberry Cookies

We had a great visit and everyone at leftovers for lunch the following day. We were all impressed with Noah's eating. He will be 1 year old in December and he loves to eat table food. His favorite on the Thanksgiving menu was definitely the mashed potatoes.

November 18 - Pizza Night

I have been making my own pizza lately including the dough. Dan likes my pizza better than any we can get out (or delivered). It is usually a Friday night "go to" and does not take too long to prepare. I make it from pantry staples and add veggies that we have on hand. We always do pepperoni, mushroom, onion and usually red pepper. On this night, I added green and black olives to the pie.

November 17 - Penne with Asparagus

I have been making this dish for years from a Williams-Sonoma recipe titled "Penne with Asparagus." It is a family favorite.

November 14 - Cioppino Round 2

We ate the leftover Cioppino from the previous night served over linguine and topped with pecorino romano and fresh chopped parsley. Another repeat recipe to add to the list!

November 13 - Cioppino and Rustic Apple Tart

I used Rachael Ray's recipe titled, "A Fine Kettle of Fish" from I served it with toasted garlic bread and the family loved it. I used cod, shrimp, and sea scallops - but, no mussels.
For dessert, I made the Neelys recipe "Rustic Apple Tart" from It was a huge hit and I have made it several times since then. Dan especially loves it - and it is so easy to make! I serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream... YUM!

November 12 - Beef Stroganoff

This recipe of mine is another family favorite. I serve it on wide egg noodles or rice.

November 8 - Sausage and Peppers

"Sausage, Peppers, and Onions" recipe by Giada De Laurentiis at This one is a definite family favorite. I usually serve it with rigatoni, but have also served it on rolls as sandwiches. What is not good with sausage in it? Matt and Dan would eat this every week if I fixed it.

November 4 - Dinner

We had a great dinner this evening. On the menu tonight:

"Honey Cornbread Muffins" recipe by the Neeleys at

"Blueberry Crumb Cake" recipe by Ina Garten at

My chicken noodle soup made with carrots, onion, celery, Italian parsley, wide egg noodles, garlic, lots of chicken and stock.

The cake was good, but I probably will not make it again. The muffins will be a definite repeat and we all love the soup when the weather is cool.

October 29 - Apple Muffins

I bought 2 Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch nonstick muffin pans today and baked a batch of apple muffins. I used Ellie Krieger's recipe from The muffins were good, I'll do them again. The muffin pans were even better! No liners and just a quick spray of Pam and the muffins came out of the pan cleanly when inverted. More muffins to come!

October 28 - Pantry Organization and the last of our tomatoes

I spent some time reorganizing my pantry today. After a few trips to the grocery and Sam's it is a regular event. We also picked the last cherry tomatoes from our "flower bed" garden today. I will miss having them available outside the kitchen door.

We are planning to plant several varieties next year!

October 20 - Stuffed Peppers

I fix stuffed peppers frequently, we all love them. I stuff them with a mixture of Italian sausage, ground beef, rice, fresh Italian parsley, marinara sauce and sauteed onions and peppers and then top with cheddar cheese.

October 19 - Dessert

"Crunch Top Apple Pie" recipe by Paula Deen at

This was easy to make and good!