I am so happy that you have landed in my little corner of cyberspace. If you join me here, you will, hopefully, get to know a little about me. You will read my thoughts, my hopes and dreams, and see some of my favorite things. I hope you will visit often. I will try to update it regularly and hopefully you will see an improvement in the blog along the way. Thank you for stopping in to see me as I travel on this journey called "life"!













Friday, December 31, 2010

Tonight.....

Crockpot Lasagna
This recipe is so easy and so good. My mom shared it with me years ago and I thought today would a great day to make it for my family. I love those recipes that you can fix and forget. 

Don't you?  

Since I can't ever follow a recipe, this is how I prepared it.  Feel free to improvise to suit your family and your cooking style.


I browned Italian Sausages in olive oil in a skillet.  To the browning sausages, I added one small onion, diced and 5 cloves of garlic, minced. There were about 7 cherry tomatoes in the fridge that needed to be used so I diced those up and added them to the browning meat and veggies.  Sprinkles of garlic powder, onion powder and McCormick's Perfect Pinch Mediterranean Herb seasoning that I had on hand was added to the pot.  Once everything was browned and smelling so nice, I drained the meat and veggie mixture and added two jars of Newman's Own Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce and heated it all together.


Meanwhile, I sprayed the Crock Pot with cooking spray.  Once the pasta sauce was heated, I added a thin layer in the bottom of the Crock Pot and added No Boil Lasagna Noodles in a single layer to cover the sauce.  My Crock Pot is oval shaped so I had to break the noodles to get them to fit properly.  I covered the pasta with sauce.  Layered freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, ricotta cheese, grated Sharp Provolone cheese and grated Mozzarella cheese....covered that with another layer of noodles....covered the noodles with another layer of sauce....covered that with another layer of ricotta cheese and assorted grated cheeses....ending with pasta sauce covered by more grated cheeses on top.  Are you seeing a theme here?  My family loves cheese! Once that was completed and I got my obligatory photo of it for my upcoming blog post, I set my Crock Pot to cook for 4 hours....which by the way is high for my Crock Pot.  I don't know what kind of Crock Pot you have.  If your Crock Pot isn't the same as mine, you can cook yours on high for one hour or low for four hours according to the recipe.

And voila!
 
The family is happy!
We are leaving in a little while for the big New Year's Eve celebration in town.  It's a big event!  2011 marks the 250th birthday for the town.  250 years?!  So much history in this little town.  There's a big party at the Opera House....bell ringing on the Common....all the church bells will ring at midnight.....big fireworks show....and oh yeah.....they are firing the cannon.  The men in the house are excited about that part.  

2010 has been an exciting year for our family and for me personally.  I had no idea at the beginning of 2010 that we would have sold our home and relocated to the other side of the country by the end of the year.  I, also, had no idea that I would be so involved with blogging or that I would have "met" any of you.  Out of all the surprises that 2010 has brought to my life, the friendships with all of you have surprised me the most.  Thank you for your friendship and support.  It has been a wonderful year.  You have blessed and enriched my life in ways that you will never know and I am thankful for each and every one of you.  I pray that 2011 is your best year ever.  May it bring to your lives and the lives of your family good health, happiness, peace, love and prosperity! 

Happy New Year, my friends!

I love you....

Thursday, December 30, 2010

And tonight.....

it was dinner with my husband, two sons and a daughter-in-law....


where I enjoyed.....

Spicy Caribbean Jerk Chicken

Boneless breast of chicken stacked on top of sweet potato slices  with crispy fried noodles...topped with a spicy Caribbean jerk sauce and mango salsa with a side of Basmati rice.

It was fabulous.....and the company?
Even better!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Waiting for Spring.....



I'm linking up here, here,
here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here
for some Wordless Wednesday fun.
Won't you join me?

  


Happy Wordless Wednesday,

Monday, December 27, 2010

VIDEOS OF OUR FIRST NOR'EASTER

Good Morning!
There is snow everywhere in our new home!  We are experiencing our first Nor'Easter since we moved.  The timing was lousy as my son was supposed to fly in to Boston yesterday for Christmas.   I spent most of the day trying to get Delta on the phone and trying to get his ticket changed on their website.   It was frustrating to say the least.  I finally got it changed over  using the website and he will come in very later tonight.  That works out better for us too as Boston is really getting hit hard with this storm.  By the time we leave, the snow should be stopped....or almost stopped....and the crews will have a better handle on the snow removal.  There should be less traffic at that time too.  They are equipped to handle this kind of stuff up here.  If they weren't, you just couldn't function because it is winter in the North and you have to expect that these things will happen.  Life goes on.....

In preparation for our drive to Boston and because we haven't had a chance to test our other car in the snow, David decided we needed to take our Camry for a drive out to see how she performs.  He wanted to make the decision on which car to take and to check on the tire situation to see if we needed to put some snow tires on it.  I'm always ready for an adventure like that!  We grabbed the camera and the new Flip and headed out.  I got a couple of videos while we were out and got them uploaded on You Tube to share with you.  I am sorry for the quality and for length of the videos.  I should have made smaller clips, I guess, but I was having fun.  Some of them are hard to see because we are driving in the dark.....but you can see the snow falling and some sights in the area....AND hear my very goofy commentary.  I haven't figure out how to get rid of that part yet.  Just excuse that part, ok?  Thank you!


The first video up is a drive out to the road where the covered bridge is located......




This next video is our drive through the down town area....



I hope you enjoyed our little video tour of our area. .I just looked out and there's a LOT of snow out there....and it's still snowing......just not as much as last night.  I've heard the snow plows running most of the night and have heard a few cars on the road.  I am going to get out a little later and will try to get some shots of it. Be safe and stay warm wherever you are today!
Happy  Monday!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Good Morning!


2 The people who walked in darkness
      Have seen a great light;
      Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
      Upon them a light has shined.
       3 You have multiplied the nation
      And increased its joy;
      They rejoice before You
      According to the joy of harvest,
      As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
       4 For You have broken the yoke of his burden
      And the staff of his shoulder,
      The rod of his oppressor,
      As in the day of Midian.
       5 For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle,
      And garments rolled in blood,
      Will be used for burning and fuel of fire.
       6 For unto us a Child is born,
      Unto us a Son is given;
      And the government will be upon His shoulder.
      And His name will be called
      Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
      Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
       7 Of the increase of His government and peace
      There will beno end,
      Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
      To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
      From that time forward, even forever.
      The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:2-7, New King James Version)

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord. 


Merry Christmas to you all! 
May your day be filled with peace and love.  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...







I'm linking up here, here
here, here, here 
and here.  

Won't you join me?




Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ooooooh Fuuuuuuudge!

Fudge....

I love the stuff in all variations.  When I was growing up and the craving for something sweet hit, my mom would head to the kitchen to make a batch of her Peanut Butter Fudge.  I loved to see her pour the fudge out on her buttered platter.  Seldom would I want to wait for it to harden up before I started eating it. 

When my dad was away from home working and it was just the two of us on a cold winter's night, we would sometimes snuggle up with a platter of her fudge.  We would each have a spoon and while it was still soft, she would start at one end and I would start at the other.  Yum!  That is still the way I prefer to eat her fudge.

Every year at Christmas since I have been an adult, I have made fudge.  Not my mom's peanut butter fudge recipe for that one belongs to her.  For years I made Fantasy Fudge.....you know the recipe consisting of  chocolate chips and Marshmallow Fluff?  I always used milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet ones because I loved the way it tasted.

A few years ago, I discovered the bags of Andes Mint Chips and replaced the milk chocolate chips with those.  Amazing!  I could make literally myself sick on the stuff. 

Today, as I was trying to get myself in the spirit of making some Christmas treats, I hauled out the "Baking Pantry" box that had yet to be unpacked and found a can of Fat Free Sweetened Condensed Milk.  I happened to turn it around and found an intriguing recipe for fudge.  It looked so simple and I had everything for it. 

Chocolate Fudge

3 cups (18 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Hershey's Special Dark Chips)
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand Fat-Free Sweetened Condensed Milk
Dash Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract (I used Mexican Vanilla)
(I added a handful or so of sweetened coconut)

In a heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla extract.  Spread evenly into wax paper lined 8- or 9- inch square pan.  Chill 2 hours or until firm.  Turn fudge onto cutting board; peel off paper and cut into squares.  Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.  Makes about 2 lbs.

  It is, by far, the easiest fudge that I've ever made and is absolutely delicious.  It tastes like a Mounds candy bar.  I am sure you could vary this recipe any way that you wanted to by changing up the chips and the additions.  This is definitely a keeper and a recipe that I will enjoy experimenting with for many years to come.

I'm joining JAVA over at Never Growing Old for her wonderful FOLLOW FRIDAY 40 and OVER.  




Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY.....


I'm linking up for Wordless Wednesday
here, here, and here.  
Won't you join me?




Have a great Wednesday,

WE INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM......

to say...

and 

I just logged into my email account and found an email from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds that I had won this week's giveaway on 1916 Bungalow House Blog.  I hopped over to Bungalow's website to see if that was real.....

(Click the photo to enlarge)

And it is!

Dave and Anna over at 1916 Bungalow House Blog have weekly giveaways.  All that I had to do was leave a comment and I was entered to win. I didn't have to follow, like, tweet or blog anything.  Of course, I already follow 1916 Bungalow House anyway; but, that was decided long before I entered to win this giveaway.

I usually steer away from blogs who have giveaways all the time; but I have a passion for all things bungalow and they have some interesting articles on their blog. I, also, keep waiting for that home tour on their site. hint hint! Hop on over and see them sometime for your chance to win! 


On a side note....

We got some snow overnight and my town is a winter wonderland.  


  


It's so pretty here!  I know I will most probably get tired of it before winter is over and be ready for summer....but for right now.....I am not hot...and that's a good thing.

This morning, we grabbed the camera and went for a walk downtown to get our mail.   
     
This Church looks even prettier with the snow.

This is the front side of the church. Can you tell that I love it?
This old home sits majestically on a hill overlooking the town.
   
Soon they will flood this area and there will be ice skaters everywhere.
This home has always attracted my attention.  Isn't it lovely?

After a walk in the snow, it is the perfect time to enjoy something hot to drink.
 
Chai Tea Latte, anyone?
It is also the perfect weather for something hot to eat.  Something that will warm your stomach and your heart... 

 
My husband is very pleased with me as I made jambalaya...his favorite.  You can take the man out of Louisiana....but I guess you can't take Louisiana completely out of the man...even if he is a "yankee" by birth.

Since I was in the kitchen cooking anyway today, I thought it would be a great time to create a few Christmas treats. It has been difficult for me to get into the Christmas spirit this year and start cooking and decorating like I normally do. 

Since my mom is way down in Houston and I'm way up here in New Hampshire and because my mother-in-law took a trip to New Orleans last year and got addicted to pralines, I decided that I needed to try to make some for the first time. My mom has always made them so I have never had to learn.

I used a friend's recipe to make them in the microwave.  While they are darker than the ones that I am accustomed to, they taste really good!  


I had planned to make another batch once I checked my email; but, as you can see, I've been a little bit distracted...

Thanks so much for stopping by to see me!  Wherever you are, I pray you are having a wonderful day!

Monday, December 13, 2010

OUR FIRST NEW ENGLAND ROAD TRIP....

Hello Friends!

I'm so happy you stopped by.  I hope you are keeping warm and that you have had a wonderful weekend.  It seems that a lot of you are experiencing cold winter weather.  While we got some snow early in the morning, it has actually warmed up here today and is raining instead of snowing.  I might say that it is Global Warming.....but tell that to my friends in Chicago this weekend.  I think it's just some more of that wacky weather that we seem to get these days.

When we were in New Hampshire this summer on vacation, we took a day trip to the Maine seacoast and drove through Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  One look at this lovely city full of so much history and we knew that we simply had to come back for a visit.  Yesterday, we decided that our first adventure would definitely be to Portsmouth.   We were not disappointed....



I was so excited to be there that I could not even wait until we were out of the car before snapping the photos....hence the slight glare on the right side of some of the photos.

David had already scoped out the restaurant scene in Portsmouth ahead of time. According to the Portsmouth, NH website, the city is a leading contender for the title of the U.S. city with the most restaurants per capita.  I believe that.  There are so many restaurants that look so good there.  We definitely will have to go back often to try them all.   We decided  for our first trip to Portsmouth that we wanted to find the PORTSMOUTH GAS LIGHT CO.  


We had been reading about the city for some time online and this place just called our name.  The restaurant is housed in a beautiful historic building that dates back to 1837.  The building housed Portsmouth's first utility - the Portsmouth Gas Light Co. and survived the great fires the city experienced.  

The restaurant has street level seating with a menu that looks wonderful; but it was their Downtown Brick Oven Pizza and Pub that was our destination of choice.


We were a little unsure of parking and how we were going to find this restaurant before we actually got there.  There is 2 hour parking along the street; however, we knew that we would be in the area longer than that and moving our car every couple of hours was just not practical.  When we drove into town, we very easily located a parking garage for 75 cents an hour and proceeded to find our first stop.  We were very happy to walk out of the parking garage and see the above sign. We had parked just steps from the restaurant!

The Downtown Brick Oven Pizza and Pub is located on the lower level of the restaurant.   What a warm and cozy place it is there!



The antique brick, wood beams, stone foundation and a roaring fire in the stone hearth make this the warm and cozy spot to be in the building.


We had a few minutes to wait for our table so we found a nice spot by the fire and watched one of the large screen televisions that they had playing the Army/Navy game.

The menu looks fabulous and we saw many items that we were tempted to order including the special of the day - "Mr. Potato Head" - a white pizza topped with mashed potatoes, bacon and cheddar cheese.  What an interesting concept for a pizza!  We settled on the flagship pizza and what the menu calls by far their most popular specialty pizza - The Gaslight.   Sweet Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Ricotta and Mozzarella.....how could we go wrong?


We didn't go wrong at all! 

 
The food was fabulous, the service was great (Thanks Jordan!) and we loved the atmosphere there.  I don't know how we will ever be able to try the other restaurants in the city when Portsmouth Gas Light Co. will be calling our name.  It will be a hard job...but we are up for the challenge! 



There is no better place to walk off a meal than this wonderful, historic city......





take some photographs while walking...

 



and do some shopping....








We will definitely be returning!

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit.  Wherever you are, I hope that you are happy and warm and spending time with those you love.

Have a great week!