Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Days go by and the Boss cooks dinner

Time flies when you're ~ (fill in the blank).

It's that crisp fall-like air that puts me in the mood to bake, and since it's too early for fruitcake it's time to get out the pumpkin loaf mix. This mix is so perfectly spiced - very mellow but flavorful and nicely moist. We add chopped pecans when we bake it.

It's a bit spendy at ~ $6/box but makes 2 loafs. I got it at Walmart.

Also on the cooking front, Ed tried his hand at a couple of new recipes he saw that peaked his interest; a Spinach Chicken Casserole with Sundried Tomatoes, Cream Cheese and Mozzarella, and Garlic Parmesan Sweet Potatoes as the side. He didn't need any significant help, other than where certain spices were or where to find the baking pans. It all baked @ 400° for around 30 minutes or so.  Wow! So delicious, and such a treat to try something new. It's definitely going into the rotation.

He used chicken breast cutlets and made a half recipe.

Here's a link to the Chicken recipe if you want to give it a shot - so yummy! 👏😋 (Of course, their picture of the finished dish is picture perfect, haha).

Spinach Chicken Casserole (site is eatwell101.com)

We got the pontoon boat splashed and the Boss has made a few rounds on it. Our lake is only 9 acres but still a fun paddle and can be strenuous.

Pontoon boat ready to go

Heading upwind for the exercise, then an easy paddle back.

I've been playing around with my wire wrapping jewelry this week. All summer I was without my supplies, so I was excited to try my hand at it again. Here are a couple of pendants I made - I'm happy with them!

Ruby Zoisite with Jade beads on the left,
and a Rhodochrosite with Copper beads.

Amazonite on the left with Copper & Jade beads
and on the right Rainbow Sea Sediment Jasper & Copper beads.

A couple of days ago, my friend Liz up in Rustic sent me a message announcing the first snowfall of the year. She was nice enough to send a few pics too, plus one from our Reolink camera.

Brrr, prettier on the earlier shot with a bit of sunlight on it, more foreboding later in the day.  I guess a lot of folks are getting some of the white stuff this week, part and parcel with the season.

Well, one last shot to close out this post - a hearty smoked sausage, cabbage and veggie stew. Perfect with some broiled garlic/herb toast.

We love these stews, and they made for an easy meal.

Thanks for dropping by, and be sure to check back in a while.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Typical Fall doings, cooking, fabric fun, and football

 We've been home now for a few weeks and have been getting back into the groove around here by doing some cleaning and shopping, plus having some good chit-chats with my neighbors.

I have also been adding to my trivet "tubie" stash, as if I needed to - on the way back home I occupied myself in the passenger's seat by stuffing polyfill into empty "tubies". Boy, did I end up with a pile, in fact, I actually bought more polyfill during the trip, lol! The Boss likes to handle the driving and I think he found that having my hands occupied shut me up quite nicely - win/win. 😂

Getting plenty of supplies ready for football season.

I'm also restocking the freezer with easy meals & sides, plus all my "timesavers"; sauces, salsas, stock, raw chopped veggies like onions, peppers plus sauteed mushrooms. I keep my buttermilk frozen in 1 cup batches, it thaws easily and works great for cornbread. I save a lot of time and money by storing this stuff in the freezer instead of letting it moulder in the fridge.

One of the first things I did was prepare and fry up a ton of meatballs, like maybe 75?!  One of the most well-liked meals around here is spaghetti & meatballs, probably the Boss's favorite, so I wanted to get a big batch of that made up. When I portion it up for the freezer I put 12 meatballs and an adequate amount of sauce into each container. This gives us 2 meals of 3 meatballs each, hey, 2 no-brainer meals, I love it! 😏 Here's what the ingredients look like before final prep.

Now that's going to be a *bunch* of sauce!

Meanwhile, the Boss has been getting the pontoon boat parts out and prepped for assembly. He's looking forward to getting some lazy rowing in on the lake.

A few more bits and bobs and it'll be ready to launch.

We had one of our stunner sunrises this morning. These really strut their stuff during the cooler fall/winter weather. They don't last long - maybe 10 minutes max, but boy, what a show.

This started out deep reddish-pink, but had progressed
to yellow as the sun is just getting ready to poke up.

Last night I made pizza to enjoy during the (recorded) Tennessee - Alabama game - Roll Tide! A bit of a slow start but they got it done. It's a deluxe with pepperoni, italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, bell pepper, black olives, capers and 2 kinds of cheese. The shot was taken before the top layer of cheese was added. YUM!

One dinner and a couple of lunches for sure.

Storage for my trivets can be a problem. I like to look at them before they get sold and go away, so putting them in a box just doesn't work for me. I set up a mounting system on one of my craft room walls. I used an aluminum flat tie with 3 rows of chain and shower curtain hooks and it works great. I'll show you.

Well, that's about it for now. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a great day! See you next time. 😎

Monday, October 9, 2023

Wrap-up at Rocky, trip home

With the end of summer closing in fast it was time to think about making winter preps to Rocky and picking out a weather window for a safe, smooth trip back home. The Boss started checking out the forecast and planning the route and I researched some likely overnight stops based upon his suggestions.

Since the wanderlust bug hits my sweetie especially hard while out west, I always try to encourage him to take a solo trek for a few nights or so. That way he can enjoy the roads less well travelled while I have a few days to myself. I'm not especially anxious to ride around right before the 1900 mile trek back home, and so he took off for points northwest, namely the Tetons, Yellowstone (just a bit) and Montana. I'll put a few pics together for that and do a side post sometime.

He complains about the picture quality provided by
his cellphone but this looks pretty beautiful to me!

I love being by myself for those deep-cleaning projects that require my undivided attention. Rugs, floors, windows, organizing and culling clothes and dishware, it's all cathartic and fun (believe it or not 😊). 

While not cleaning or streaming a show, I checked out the bunnies and turkeys that wander through the park and spent quite a bit of time chit-chatting with Liz, my neighbor, over the fence. So great to have such super, super nice friends out here! 😍 She was so thoughtful, she surprised me bigtime with a wonderful gift and card for my birthday, (it was a big one too, a decade-buster). A cool Tervis mug with handle, great for arthritic hands, and a triple bundt cake assortment - Liz you're too much, thanks for making it memorable!

Wonderful surprise gift

Anyway, I made several trivets while the Boss was gone, (you need something to do when you're sitting around by yourself). Too many to include but here's a collage of a few.

All in all, I think I made a half a dozen or seven! It was fun.

After he got back and rested up for a few days, we got everything all buttoned up with Rocky and spent the night in Cheyenne for easy access the next day to I80. We stopped in Nebraska City, NE for another night at Lied Lodge, primarily for a special birthday dinner in their restaurant 'Timbers', and special it was. I had a beautiful, melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon and he had a well-seasoned pork fillet (which was to die for), and our evening in their lovely dining room was a quiet affair and very much appreciated.

Image of Timbers @ Lied Lodge (google)

As we head east there's lots of cotton ready for harvesting (as far as the eye can see in some places.)

After another routine night along the way in Missouri we were headed for a 2-night stay at the Pickwick Landing State Park Inn in Tennessee. Talk about a fancy-pants place! I guess it's a popular venue for various conferences. 

Lobby/reception area heading towards the restaurant

The view onto the Tennessee waterway @ Pickwick Landing
(my water-baby getting his fix).

We enjoyed our stay there and spent time touring the Shiloh Battlefield/Museum and the Tennessee River Museum in Savannah, TN. Both were very interesting and the battle story was poignant, brave and sad all at the same time. 

The Battlefield Museum had a film that chronicled the events, the strategies and the eventual losses by both sides - more than 23 thousand died.

The little town of Savannah was neat & tidy with some grand old homes and a nice town square. They were getting the fall decorations set up.

Our next stop was in Pine Mountain, Georgia at the Mountain Top Inn and Resort. It's just down the road from Callaway Gardens and the Warm Springs Winery, plus FDR's Little White House and hiking. Of course, we were simply overnighting there so we didn't get a real feel for the area. As you can see is wasn't the prettiest of days either.

Heading up the mountain we stopped at an overlook area.

The last stretch home was down through central Georgia and north-central FL and boy, did we see a lot of wind damage (from the hurricane) along the interstate. Lots of trees down and work crews out and about.

Taken out the car window as we flew by.

We made it home safely, and enjoyed factoring in the extra day for a brief relax along the way.  Everything was all squared away at home and now the general cleaning, organizing and stocking up is cranking up to high gear. 

Thanks for dropping by and see you next time.