Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Fun

No, I didn't dress as tiramisu silly...But I did get free tiramisu for going to a local restaurant in my halloween costume! It was delicious.

Turns out my friend and I were the only ones there in costume. I was Bob the Pit Crew Chief for Carl Edwards (yes, I wore the white paper suit in public) and my friend was a Mexican man who lost his sombrero (read- she didn't have one). I won't post that picture.


The Daily Dance

Fall Photo

I took this picture from my sunroof while driving in WV last weekend. Fun roads to drive on with beautiful scenery!


Saturday Soup

Today I am making an old WV favorite. I haven't made it for years and years. Let me give you a little background...

Many years ago when I was a young girl living in WV we ate macaroni and tomatoes. As a matter of fact it was the first solid food I ate after having my tonsils removed when I was 18 and a college Freshman.

Anyway, my sophomore year I moved into an apartment and ended up staying in that same cozy little apartment with the same roommate until I got married during my last year of school. Lo and behold, my roommate grew up eating macaroni and tomatoes as well. Both of our families made it with home canned tomatoes and macaroni sweetened with a little sugar. A WV delicacy I suppose.

My roommate came from a more rural area of the state than I did with only one bank in her entire county. Because of this neither one of us ate at restaurants very often. We cooked. We took turns based on our class (and my work) schedules. Her family always supplied us with meat. We had the most well stocked freezer in the apartment complex. We also always had canned foods...not store bought but garden grown and pressure cooked in glass jars. Both of our families kept us supplied in jellies, jams, vegetables, homemade hoagie sauce with garden tomatoes and of course tomatoes. Everyone always wanted to hang out at our place because we had "real food".

We developed our own recipes for macaroni and tomatoes because it gave us something else to do with ground beef and made it more of a meal. It became one of our favorite meals, especially in cooler weather. For some reason I have been thinking about her and about macaroni and tomatoes lately and the old craving kicked in. Here's my version with a few modern tweaks (minus home canned tomatoes, plus olive oil and fresh cloves of garlic):

Sondie's College Days Macaroni and Tomatoes

Saute green pepper, onion and garlic (however much you like) in olive oil until tender. Add this to tomatoes in a big stew pot. (I used large cans of Furmano's crushed, diced and whole Italian plum-it is about tomatoes after all.) Salt, pepper and a few dashes of sugar. Simmer a bit.

Then add elbow macaroni cooked al dente and ground beef that has been fried and drained. It should be a fairly thick mixture with just about equal parts macaroni and tomatoes and beef. Simmer a bit... then gather a few friends and eat.

I am making a big pot this evening to share with friends. It is on the stove simmering now. My husband didn't like it years ago and I haven't made it since I had my daughter 10 years ago. I hope my friends will fall for it so I have a reason to make it more often. If you read the post prior to supper time come on by...I have pumpkin pie for dessert!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Daily Dance

My Kind of Sandwich

This week is sandwiched between time with my sisters last weekend and time with my friends planned tomorrow night. Hope your week's sandwich is as good as mine.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Daily Dance

Old Fat Hogs

Oh what a beautiful, fun day hiking the Cliffside Trail with the Old Fat Hogs! We enjoyed God's gift of nature....and of course being sisters.

Sondie....AKA OFH4

Friday, October 22, 2010

Old Fat Hog Reunion

We arrived at Twin Falls, WV about 9:00 tonight for our Old Fat Hog Reunion. There are 4 of us, sisters. My nephew is a park ranger here. There is a full moon above us-and an old graveyard next to our cabin. Other people wouldn't stay here because of the graveyard but we aren't scared! We stayed in this same cabin last August and no one bothered us.

It was a nippy 46 degrees when my twin and I got here so it was super nice to walk into the cabin with a crackling fire burning. My sister Rose, (mother of the Eagle Scout now park ranger here) got the fire going all by herself! My 2 old fat hog sisters made us dinner and we ate by the fire. It was wonderful especially after a tough drive laden with traffic and road work.

Tomorrow night my nephew is going to take us out on a trail after dark with a story teller named Buzz. They will walk us out to the falls as he tells us a true but scary story about the history of the falls. Glad I brought my flash light.

This weekend is mom's birthday and we will do our best to honor her memory. She was the most awesome woman I have ever known and we are so thankful for the blessing of her in our lives.

We are looking forward to a fun weekend full of laughter.

Sondie...AKA Old Fat Hog 4

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Daily Dance

Favorite Sounds

Waves dancing with the shore, whispering of the wind in the pines, and the dishwasher humming a tune that the busyness of the day is done.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday Soup

I spent most of Saturday cleaning my closet which was good and bad. It was part of my effort to reduce clutter which is a very good thing for many, many reasons. Since I was focused on cleaning I decided to use the slow cooker to make soup. It was wonderful....the whole time I cleaned I could smell the soup. For just an instant the smell of soup cooking would make me panic and I'd start to go stir it... then ahhh, relief as I remembered that it was in the slow cooker which made it worry free. (Too bad I didn't have a reminder smell that I had left the bathroom sink running while trying to unclog a drain as I cleaned the closet-funny story but I wasn't laughing at the time....the older I get the harder multi-tasking is)

Anyway, here's what I put in my slow cooker:

1 onion, chopped
1 c baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 c green pepper, chopped
1 c yellow pepper, chopped
1 c red pepper, chopped
5 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
butter-a small chunk
olive oil-once around the pan
white wine-few slugs in the pan
3 chicken breasts-boneless,skinless
2 boxes chicken broth
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 10 oz can mild Rotele tomatoes
handful or 2 of baby carrots, cut in bite size pieces
1 cup medium pearl barley
~1-2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
pepper and salt to taste

Saute onion, mushrooms, peppers and garlic in butter and olive oil until tender... add a few slugs of chardonnay if you like. I liked. Transfer to large slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is done and barley is tender. I keep the breasts whole and cut the chicken just before serving so it doesn't get too dry. Hot bread and cold salad...your meal is complete.

It was delicious! This does make a bunch of soup so if you are only feeding a few people just half the recipe. Hubby and daughter didn't make it home in time from their trip to Gram's house but they made it home safely about 9 last night-yeah! Hubby was so impressed with the closet he didn't say anything about the bathroom....or maybe I forgot to tell him. Oops.


Friday, October 15, 2010

My Biggest Luxury

My favorite luxury in life is one I do daily. How spoiled is that? A daily luxury? Yep, daily. Every morning I have my first cup of coffee in bed and I love it! Some nights I even go to sleep counting sips instead of sheep. It is hard to beat that first sip of hot black coffee.

My routine is to get up just long enough to brew a cup- in about 30 seconds with my Keurig-and head back to bed before my eyes open too much. I don't even take a sip until I am back in the bed for fear my eyes will open and I'll be awake before I'm ready. I like to snuggle under the blankets and doze my way through the first cup. I spend about 20 minutes dozing, sipping and praying as I wake up.

I like to ease into the day by dipping my toes into the morning. After my toes get used to it I'm ready to wade on in, and let a new day begin. I've never been a morning diver, maybe because once my day begins I dive into everything the day holds and don't stop until bedtime.

So, there you have it. My biggest luxury is my morning cup of coffee in bed. How about you?


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lazy Afternoon

No, this isn't me, this isn't my porch, and these aren't my fall trees but it is all a close resemblance....and this is how I spent my afternoon off work! I was curled up with a good book, hot cup of coffee, and my sweet little dog...and did I mention PJ's? A very relaxing way to spend a fall afternoon.

Hope all of you have a chance to spend a fall day doing whatever it is that makes your heart happy.

God Bless,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Daily Dance

Neighborhood Supper Club

Tonight was our neighborhood supper club. It started with 2 families who meal share...then a third joined in every now and again...then we added neighbors across the street...tonight we added a 5th family.

We decided it was so much fun that we would meet once monthly and this was our third "official" planned meal. Can you guess our theme this time? Yeah, the picture gave it away didn't it? It was fun and the food was yummy.

We are learning lots of great stuff about one tonight for instance. We found out that the husband of the 5th couple who joined us tonight used to be a crepe chef. Isn't that interesting....and better still, he is going to make crepes for our next supper club in November! I'm already looking forward to it.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Daily Dance

Busy but good Sabbath Day. Hope yours was wonderful too.


Friday, October 8, 2010

The Daily Dance

Shopping Day

A very fun day with my little one, sister, niece and nephew on a fall shopping adventure!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Daily Dance

Small Town USA

Yesterday I spent time visiting with 2 of my best it was both of their husbands who helped me out. This morning when I dropped my car off for an oil change and an inspection my car doctor (husband A) said it would be quite a wait. As we were discussing use of the shuttle service another mutual friend (husband B) walks out of the garage headquarters and he immediately asks "Hey Sondie, do you need a ride?" Only in Small Town USA are you friends with your mechanic as well as his other patrons and can get such great service. Husband B brought me home and we had a great chat on the porch enjoying the unexpected gift of time together on a beautiful fall day. I'm thankful for best buds and their husbands. My circle may be small but it is mighty!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Country Mouse

Yes, I am a country mouse...but I am intrigued with the idea of being a city mouse. It all started while being in Washington DC over the weekend. Much of it while having breakfast each morning at this neat spot on the corner across from our hotel (which was VERY nice, thank you Mr. M!). As we sat enjoying a great cup of coffee I watched all the people around me and of course made up stories in my mind about them. This is a whole nother blog post so I won't go into all that, but it did make me think of the story of my life. Specifically the story of my life as a country mouse.

I passed up the opportunity to move to NY when I was 17, choosing to attend a university a few hours from home. How different would an experience of living in NY have made me? This weekend made me think about the difference between a country me and a city me. I am obviously a country me and am right where God placed me so I have no plans to become a city me, but what if...

the metro was my form of transportation.
rain boots and coat were essential for walking city streets to work on rainy days.
grocery shopping was done in small, frequent trips v.s. a trunk full every week.
the local park was my quiet spot.
the view from my window made people look like ants.
hundreds of neighbors lived on the same block.

As I hopped in my car to head to a local book store and run some errands this morning these thoughts were racing through my mind. My little one and I compared/contrasted how our day might look if we lived in a city rather than our little subdivision here in the south. We decided that we love our lives here and wouldn't want it any other way. We are country mice who love to visit the city.

Sondie, a country mouse.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Daily Dance

Fall Break Adventure

Our last night here in DC, a fun, adventuresome girls weekend.