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 I'm going to start taking photos of Ella in the morning with her various stages of bedhead. This girl does bedhead the right way...she doesn't mess around! This photo is a mild form of her bedhead. I don't know what she does at night to have her hair get quite so crazy, but whatever it is, she does it well! … [Continue reading]

Taste of Home Equals Comfort Food

 Written for Paper Palate on the Well Fed NetworkDoesn't it seem like Taste of Home magazine has been around forever? I believe the magazine is in its 15th year of publication. That is quite impressive for a magazine that is ad free and is simply a magazine full of reader submitted and test kitchen recipes. The October/November 2007 issues of Taste of Home is a great example of why this magazine has been so successful through the years. With down home recipes like Honey Glazed Spiral Ham and Zippy Chicken Mushroom Soup, in every issue you find recipes that make you remember growing up and sitting around the dinner table after a hard day of school and play. The fall and winter issues of Taste of Home magazine are always my favorite. These issues are full of recipes packed with comfort. Do you find comfort in the yummy vegetables of autumn? Turn to one of the bonus cards on page 41 and you'll find a tasty recipe for Rice-Stuffed Acorn Squash. Are you looking for a simple way to cook your turkey this year? Page 10 has a recipe for Turkey Breast with Vegetables that might just make my menu this year. Is soup your comfort food of choice? Apple Pumpkin soup, found on page 9, can be comforting and impressive. Serve it in a small hollowed-out pumpkin and you've brought autumn to your table in an impressive way! Bread is one of my favorite cold weather staples, so in this issue of Taste of Home magazine I turned to the recipe for Soft Breadsticks. These breadsticks were … [Continue reading]

Superstitious Baking

 Are any of you superstitious? Do you have certain socks you have to wear when you are watching or playing a sport or you are convinced that your team won't win? When you spill salt, do you toss it over your left shoulder to ward off evil things from happening to you? Do you keep your fires roaring on New Years Eve so that you will have good luck in the new year? How about this one... do you cut your hair on Good Friday to prevent headaches in the coming year?I have never been very superstitious. I have had black cats cross my path. I have spilled salt and forgotten to toss. I am sure I have walked under my share of ladders and have opened umbrellas indoors. Overall, I would say I haven't had an unlucky life. Maybe I have had some unlucky things happen once or twice, but nothing horrible has crossed my path yet. Hopefully writing about my lack of misfortune won't bring me misfortune!I do have one minor superstition and it has to do with baking. I have a cookie sheet that is very, very old. It is a clean cookie sheet, but it does not look clean. It is discolored, warped and not pretty at all. The thing is, this cookie sheet... I'm sure of it... is the reason my cookies always turn out so good. I think it is seasoned just perfectly, which results in the most perfectly baked cookies every time I use it. My husband, who apparently was disgusted with the cookie sheet, went to Bed Bath and Beyond awhile back and purchased the exact same cookie sheet for me, yet in a new … [Continue reading]

Fall Into Flavor

 First of all, I have to chuckle a bit this morning as I sit down to write my first blog entry since October 9th. My first blog entry since the blog entry in which I wrote that I would put writing on my blog and visiting your blogs back up on my list of things to keep in priority, because I so enjoy doing it. It is now October 21st (can you believe that??) and I am finally taking some time to write an entry. The truth of the matter is, I haven't been cooking, so I haven't had a whole lot to blog about. My parents came into town from south Texas on October 1st and left this past Thursday. My husband and I went on vacation during that time, then we all went to Chicago for a long 4 day weekend and then back to life...back to reality...back to the craziness that is our life. I loved having my parents here and my kids loved it too. A day hasn't gone by since they have left that someone in the family hasn't asked where Grandma and Grandpa are. So, now we are trying to find our routines again and to settle back into...LIFE.For those of you in the US and who have the four seasons, can you believe that we are knee deep into Fall now? Where in the world does the time go? As much as I love all the summertime flavors, with fresh veggies and cool treats, I do love the comforting flavors of Fall. The spices, the root veggies, the simmering pots of stew on the stove, the outdoor firepits, the hot chocolate...all of these things I love. Oh - and if I had the time...the snuggling up on … [Continue reading]

Lack of Focus

 My husband and I just returned from a wonderful kid-free vacation getaway with some of our very best friends. Several days of sunshine, good restaurants, great scenery, yummy beverages, beautiful company, and as always when we get together with these friends...fun and memorable times. Jan, Rob, Stacy and Bryon...we love you guys and miss you already! While we were traveling to see some sites one day, we got to chatting and someone asked the question "If you could change one thing about yourself right now, what would it be?". My answer was that I wish I could find my ability to focus again. I know I keep rambling on about this throughout my blog lately, but I feel like I am doing a ton of things but really not accomplishing any one thing well. I'm not complaining... I love everything I am doing. Of course, I LOVE being a mom and everything involved with that. I also really enjoy the recruiting I am doing...it is such a nice change of pace from my old recruiting job. Writing for the magazine (which, by the way, published its first issue this past week! If you want a pdf copy, e-mail me) is a dream come true and I love it as well. I love it all, but feel like I am going in a thousand different directions. I completely lack focus. For the first time in my life, I have a stack of library books sitting on my island that are way overdue at the library.  I have piles of folded laundry in my room that I cannot seem to find the time to put away. I have e-mails to … [Continue reading]