Sunday, January 16, 2011

Organizing Recipes

As many of you know, I got an ipad a few months ago and absolutely love it.  I love reading books on it.  You can make the font as small or as large as you need as well as read in the dark.  That comes in handy sometimes when your significant other likes to go to sleep before you do.  You can even read it while you are on the tread mill.  I love playing Words With Friends on it.  Totally addicted to that! Cathyst in case you need a new playing partner.  I use it to keep up with friends on Facebook.  It is just my new best friend.

Last week I had to make several desserts for our annual chili lunch so I decided I should put the recipes on my ipad and use it for my reference.  Several years ago, I started saving all my favorite recipes as pdf. files on my computer.  When someone asked me to send them the recipe, all I had to do was attach the file, rather than type it each time.  I thought that was wonderful.  Well, as wonderful as that is, having all these favorites on my ipad is even more wonderful. 

Actually, I started out with it right by my mixer.  This might not be the best thing to do.  At one point I looked and there was a sprinkling of powder sugar all over the ipad.  I might suggest you put it on an adjoining cabinet, a little bit away from the action.  There is an option to make the recipe fit the screen.  Almost makes cooking a lot of fun.

Just a quick little over view of how you do this, in case you got an ipad for Christmas.  First, you need to have the Adobe Reader App.  Mine is on the second row, far right side.

Then you need to make a folder in Adobe Reader to hold all the recipes.  Mine was ingeniously named Recipes.  :)  Kind of hard to see, but you get the idea.

There are several ways to transfer your files into Adobe Reader.  Open the reader, and at the top on the left side is a blue ball that says info.  Touch the ball and it will tell you how to transfer the files depending on where you have them stored.

A little hint is to use the wrench in the upper right hand corner. Choose the files you want to move, click on Move at the bottom of the page and then on Done at the top of the page.  Go to the folder where you want to store these files and repeat the process using Paste instead of Move. Be sure to click on Done after each action.  After you have all the files transferred to Adobe Reader and in the Recipe Folder, you can click on the recipe and voila' - start cooking.

If you have any questions, just email me and I will help you figure it out.  It is really very simple.  If you don't have an ipad yet, I suggest you start collecting your recipes on to your computer so you will be ready to transfer them when you do.  I also have the Food Network App on the ipad so I can access all the recipes I have saved on that website.  There are so many possibilities with the ipad.  Organizing and locating your favorite recipes has never been easier or more fun.

Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Real Freedom to Be Ourselves

Yesterday we had our 7th Annual Chili Lunch in the barn.  This is something that Gary and I look forward to every year.  This year we had 70 pounds of meat, 20 bags of Frito's, 2 chocolate Heath bar cakes, 2 Ooey, Gooey cakes, 3 large recipes of banana pudding, 1 coconut cake, 7 dozen chocolate chip cookies, and all the trimmings you need for wonderful chili.  I handle cooking the desserts and Gary is in charge of the chili making.  We forgot to get the camera out until about halfway through the event, but this will give you an idea of the crowd size.....people coming and going for 2 hours.
I think it is an event that everyone enjoys, because no matter what the weather, we always have a crowd. 

This year we had an extra special good time as seen in the following picture:

When this guy walked in, he got just the reaction you would think.  Everyone in the barn started laughing and all the women sure needed a picture with him.  After all, who in the world would wear this jacket?  Someone comfortable with his manhood for sure!  Maybe a drug rep?  Maybe a comic?  Maybe someone that knows he is loved?  Maybe someone over 50?  Maybe all of the above.

My son-in-law, so I was told, questioned if the person in this picture just walked into this large group with that jacket on - as if he couldn't comprehend someone doing that!  That was when I started thinking about at what point this happens in life. Do you think real freedom is before kindergarten and after 50, or does it happen when we all become empty nesters?  Now we don't have to worry about embarrassing our kids, so we can return to being ourselves once again.  Is that it?  When do we feel free to be ourselves once again?  When are we secure in ourselves enough to walk into a room loving the fact that everyone will look and laugh?  It is really a freedom from peer pressure isn't it!  A freedom from making our kids pass out from embarrassment. 

 No matter when it happens, or how it happens, it is wonderful.  There is so much fun to be had in the world, if only we didn't take ourselves so seriously; if only we didn't let others impressions of us take charge of our lives.  Teenagers could learn a lot from their parents.  Be yourselves.  Don't we all love being around people who can be themselves, be relaxed no matter what the situation. They cause all the rest of us to have a whole lot of fun.  Oh, if we could all be that way! 

I am glad to be a friend of Donnie Wattinger - even if we all have a question of his manhood now.  :)
Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Husband Fell in Love Tonight

Even though I can barely talk and haven't been able to talk most of the week, being the loving wife I am, I cooked dinner for Gary tonight.  I might should mention that he has been cooking for me all week.  Maybe he felt a little sorry for me since I have felt terrible this week, but I think the real reason is because I bought him a new electric smoker for Christmas.  If anyone needs any meat, we probably have it and it is probably already smoked for you! He has cooked pork chops, roast and baby back ribs so far and has a brisket that he is getting ready to go on tomorrow.  He is loving his new Bradley smoker. 

Back to me....well maybe not!  Gary loves the Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana.  It is a potato based soup with bacon and sausage in it.  I looked on Copy Kat Recipes and found one to make for him.  I did GOOD!
He LOVED it!  I ate one bowl and he ate one bowl.  Then he had a second bowl and after that this is what I saw.......

Just had to have a little more so he was eating out of the pan directly!  Glad there was no one else that wanted any! LOL  But wait!!!!!  He gets more desperate!!
Oh heck!  Just go for the whole thing.  Well, maybe he posed for that last one just to give you gals a laugh.  You know how he loves getting attention from the women.  Needless to say, the soup was all devoured and if we ever open a restaurant, this will be one of two soups served.  (He is always talking about what we will serve should we ever open one - which we are NOT ever going to do!!)

I will give you the recipe just in case you want to make your husband happy too!  Here is the brand of sausage I used.

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
Yield: 8 servings (Guess Gary ate at least 6 of those, ha)

1 1/2 cup spicey sausage links
2 medium potatoes, cut in half lengthwise and then cut into 1/4" slices
3/4 cup diced onions
6 slices bacon
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups Kale leaves, cut in bite size pieces
2 Tablespoons chicken base
1 quart water
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Since my sausage were fully cooked, I sliced them in half lengthwise and grilled them for a few minutes.  Then I cut them in 1/2 inch slices.

While they are grilling, place onions and bacon in skillet and cook over medium heat until onions are almost clear.  Remove bacon and crumble.  (I used the pre-cooked bacon so I used a little olive oil in the pan to saute the onions.) Add garlic to the onions and cook an additional 1 minute.  Add chicken base, water, and potatoes.  Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Add crumble bacon, sausage, kale and cream.  Simmer 4 minutes and serve.  I reserved some bacon for garnish.

Hope you enjoy this as much as HE  we did.  If you have a meat eater like I do, it is a hearty meal for him.

Have a Blessed Day!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Lesson from our Vacation

Gary and I took advantage of the slow time between Christmas and New Years to escape for a few days.  This used to be our tradition several years ago before basketball games started interrupting.  Now that we are empty nesters again I hope we keep the tradition going.  We have enjoyed taking the old Tahoe and just seeing where it might take us.  We get off the beaten path of interstate travel to see America.  This time, we decided on Savannah and Charleston and what a neat place they both are!  I chose a few of our favorite pictures to just give you a slight taste of what we enjoyed.  The first was Savannah.

We stayed at The Marshall House which is Savannah's oldest hotel and it was wonderful as you can see from the pictures.  The bottom right picture had nothing to do with the hotel, but everything to do with Paula Deen and The Lady and Son's restaurant.  That is her version of chicken pot pie and was it ever yummy!
The next leg of our trip was to Charleston.
It is so much larger than Savannah and we absolutely loved it!  It is a great place to fly in for a few days and fly back out if that is the kind of getaway you prefer.  There is so much to do there and a car is not necessary.  We learned a lot about the Civil War and saw many beautiful mansions and churches.  I could have spent an entire day just photographing gates!  My kind of place for sure.
It is also the place where I told Gary I found my next blog idea.....on Compromise.
Would you think the couple that built this house would ever have to compromise?  If you really look at the picture, it stands out dramatically.  She wore hooped skirts and wanted a round porch and he preferred square porches so this house is how they compromised - well maybe rather than compromise, they each got their way, but the poor house got compromised on the design for sure. 

Life is that way, full of compromises especially when you are married and/or have children.  No one ever gets their way all the time.  We have to compromise for different reasons.  Maybe there isn't enough money to do it your way.  Be strong and resist the temptation to live beyond your means.  If you have to charge something in order to have it, then you need to rethink the desires of your heart.  It doesn't hurt to wait until you have saved the money first, and then buy it.  New concept to many I know, but so much more rewarding when you feel you have worked for something. 

Maybe the spouse just doesn't like your way.  Step back and look at it from their view point.  Perhaps they have a better idea or at least an idea where the two of you might meet in the middle.  Don't be so strong willed to think you are always right.  You aren't.  We all can be wrong at times. 

Maybe the child really wants something that you do not feel is best for them.  Look at the situation and see if there is a way to compromise, or, are you just being selfish and wanting your way and not taking the childs view point into consideration.  Don't say no, just to be saying no.  The child needs to feel like they win sometimes! ha  Of course we can't compromise on convictions and moral principles in life, but on other things it can be a give and take world. 

I know it always seems like you are the one that does the giving and never gets to do the taking, but it really isn't that way, if you could stand out of your situation and look at it from another view point. Everyone compromises in their own way.  If they don't, they lead a sad life of selfishness.  Don't look at compromising as not getting your way.  Look at it as a way to grow closer to your spouse and your children.  You are working together for the good of the family and after all, isn't that what be all want in life - to make strong families with lots of wonderful memories.  Compromise is not a negative thing, but so much more a very positive thing in life.  It is a sign of maturity.  It means putting others first before our wants and that is what being a great parent is all about.
Have a Blessed day!