Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Dinner–Just in Case

Christmas TableWith Jaimee’s due date just days away, I thought an early Christmas dinner might not be a bad idea! This menu gave me a chance to try out several new recipes, all of which I can attest are easy to do after spending the day in line at the post office and grocery store. Enjoy!
Menu: Salmon with Cider Sauce, Butternut Squash Bake, Sauteed Spinach, Grand Marnier Cake with Chocolate Glaze.
(Note – I’m going to make an effort – gulp! – to use this space to keep track of recipes that work. I’m not a food photographer by any means; I’m a teacher. I can’t promise gorgeous pics, but I’ll do my best to explain things clearly. If you have questions just holler.)
Simple Salmon with Cider Sauce
1 salmon filet, fresh, figure about 1/2 lb. per adult serving
Seasoning, your choice. I like Paul Prudhomme’s Magic  Salmon Seasoning (grocery store) or Williams Sonoma Potlatch Seasoning
Olive Oil
Directions: Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with Pam. Place the salmon, skin side down, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasoning. Dust with flour. Cook under preheated broiler, close to the element, until done on the inside (some like it more rare – your preference) and crusty on top. Should take around 10 minutes or so at the most. Serve with Cider Sauce.
Cider Sauce (can make ahead and warm later)
1 can frozen apple juice concentrate
3 large or 4 small shallots, sliced
2 T. whole black peppercorns
Directions: Boil the ingredients together until sauce is reduced by 1/2. You’ll have about a cup or so of liquid. Drain. Serve warm drizzled on top of salmon.
Butternut Squash Bake
(This is a nice change from the super-sweeet “It’s really a dessert” squash recipes that are common this time of year.)
2 small or 1 large butternut squash. Use a potato peeler to peel the skin off. Cut off the bottom rounded part and cut in half. Use the peeler to scoop out the seeds. Using a large chef’s knife slice the whole thing into 1/4” slices.
4 T. butter for sautéing squash
salt, pepper, freshly grated nutmeg
1 c. heavy cream mixed with 1/3 c. sherry
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs
2 T. butter for sautéing bread crumbs
Directions: In a large skillet melt 4 T. butter and sauté slices until brown, about 7-8 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and a little grated nutmeg. Place half of slices in a buttered casserole dish (I actually used a deep dish pie plate. It was red. I love red.) Top with 1/2 of cream-sherry mixture. Repeat.
In the skillet where you sautéed the squash, melt the remaining butter and toast the pecans for just a minute. Mix in the bread crumbs. Sprinkle topping over squash. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Not Just Any Ice Cream Sundae

tiramisu sundaeIf you’re going to serve your guests, gasp!, ice cream when the first cold snap hits, it better be worth it! Trust me, this is not a picnic-summertime-all-American frozen treat. Tiramisu Sundaes lift dessert to another level altogether. (Trivia: Did you know that “tiramisu” literally means “lift me up”?)
Did I mention that this dessert requires no advance prep and can be put together while your guests are vegging on the couch watching the last game of the world series? Hey, the name may be Italian, but we do love our Texas baseball over here!
As much as I love cooking and baking, I also realize there are times when time is short and you need to be able to throw something truly scrumptious* together. Last minute should NOT mean second rate. By using the best possible ingredients and having fun with the presentation, you won’t need to apologize for a thing.
These have all the ingredients of traditional tiramisu: coffee, marsala, chocolate, mascarpone, and ladyfingers.
Tiramisu Sundaes
Coffee Ice Cream
Butter Pecan Ice Cream (You could also use an almond brickle flavor.)
1 container mascarpone cheese, mixed with 2 T. powdered sugar and beaten into 1 c. heavy cream, whipped. If mixture seems too thick, add more cream.
1/2 c. caramel sauce (I used Hershey’s) mixed with 2 T. Marsala , brushed onto cut sides of ladyfingers.
Dark chocolate shavings (I buy a block of Callebaut and keep it handy)
To assemble: I used straight sided mason jars, inspired by Jeni’s Ice Cream in Nashville. The sundaes are pretty to look at and the jars keep the layers together beautifully.   Layer 1 ladyfinger (both halves) in the bottom, topped with 1 scoop coffee ice cream, and a layer of whipped cream. Repeat the layers with the other flavor of ice cream and top with chocolate shavings.
*Points to you if you can figure out which movie this comes from.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Jeni Knows Beans About Ice Cream

carton of ice creamspoon of ice creamHappy Birthday to Me! Thanks Mom for the amazon.com gift card and thanks girls for pointing out that Jeni Britton Bauer has a cookbook full of her splendid ice cream recipes. (Those of you who were with us last summer for Kristin’s grad party know all about our love of ice cream and my…ahem…overestimation of the amount we would need. Let’s just say our church was very, very happy to partake of the leftovers.)  But that is Amy’s and this is Jeni’s and boy are we in love!
When visiting our favorite Nashvillians, we do love to find the local hot spots and this summer was no different. We gladly stood in a long line with the other friendly folks and waited for our turn to order Roasted Cherries w/ Goat Cheese, Ugandan Vanilla, Brambleberry Crisp, & Buckeye State. Well worth the wait!
So where is the recipe? Well sweet readers, I’m not going to give you one this time. Instead I’ll give you a few previews and encourage you that for the same price of 1 pint bought locally (Hubbell & Hudson, $12.99) you can buy the book and reach ice cream nirvana for yourself. It’s really that good. No, make that incredible!
What I’ve learned from Jeni-My-Mentor:
Ice, therefore water, is the enemy. Cook the milk and cream down to eliminate the excess. Use a little cornstarch and corn (or tapioca) syrup for their thickening and sweetening properties that don’t add water.  Don’t mix fruits directly into the ice cream (hello frozen ice chunks) but reduce them to a concentrated syrup that can be layered with the ice cream before the final freeze.
Flavor is key. Use the very best ingredients and don’t muddy them up with unnecessary things. Like eggs. That’s right, you will have an incredibly smooth, thick frozen dessert but no eggs needed. My vanilla beans weren’t from Uganda but I do believe they were from Madagascar. Use the good stuff and you won’t be sorry!
Equipment:  A Cuisinart countertop ice cream maker, the kind with the insert you keep in the freezer, is what you need to get. It takes less than 10 minutes to make the base, 30 to quick chill in an ice bath, 30 to freeze, and then 4 hours to finish in the deep freeze.
Dairy Specs: Organic whole milk, organic cream cheese (helps bind and thicken – you only use 3T. so no worries about this tasting like frozen cheesecake. Organic is milder tasting.), and heavy cream.
Chocolate: Oh yes you knew we would get here sooner or later didn’t you? Jeni includes plenty of sauces and toppings in her cookbook and yesterday we made our very own Bombe Shell topping. Melt chocolate with the secret ingredient (coconut oil), layer in with the vanilla bean base, and you have pieces of dark chocolate that will melt in your mouth.
Don’t let the crazy flavors scare you off. If Cardamom Lime or Black Raspberry Sweet Corn sound a little odd, wake up your tastebuds with some Dark Chocolate, Coffee, Vanilla, or Roasted Strawberry.  Have fun!
(*Yes, I bought some cardboard freezer containers and let my artist-in-residence have fun with the labeling.)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Texas Forever: FNL Top Ten

Friday Night Lights Cast Promo WideI’m not a TV person. My 10 second attention span is legend in our house. So what on earth would compel me to stay seated for not one, but 5, seasons’ worth of shows?  Something sure struck a chord because my girls & I, both here and in TN found ourselves hooked. We finished the final episode last weekend and, because I process things by writing and talking  about them, these are the thoughts that wouldn’t go away.
The show isn’t perfect but it does, in the words of Coach Taylor ,“a damn fine job” of portraying some powerful truths. In case you thought this was just about football, think again. In case you ever played on the field, cheered for the team, or marched in the band – you’ll enjoy this all the more. (Disclaimer: Use your judgment. There is plenty to talk about, especially with older kids, but every family is different. You know your comfort zone when it comes to certain hot topics.)
1. Place. Filmed in Austin, the show has this state nailed down. Whether it’s churches with messages out front, the local BBQ joint & ice cream hangout, or the wide sweeping hill country sunsets, there is a sense of community here that goes beyond the game of football.
2. Practice. You don’t make progress unless you are willing to work hard and sweat. Some might have more gifts than others, but persistence pays off. Thank you writers for showing kids who thrive in a disciplined environment and are grateful for it. Thank you for showing adults who care enough to require respect.
3. Leadership. Some did it right and some didn’t. The best built honor into those they led. An inescapable fact: boys need fathers and those that aren’t fortunate enough to have them need a father-figure to fill that void. Leaders sometimes make the hard choices that may not be understood right then. One of the most touching scenes involved a forfeit. Coach couldn’t let his team continue to be beaten, bruised, and bloodied. In a seemingly odd juxtaposition of music, Sufjan Stevens’ “Come Thou Fount” played in the background. Was the forfeit a blessing? Yes it was. Perfect choice.
4. Work. There is virtue in a job well done and FNL never backed off from showing folks working hard. On the field, in a store, behind a counter.  Nurses, policemen, farmers, and mechanics. Parents come home late and they’re tired. Students have to study. Some of the best interaction happens while people are working, proving that this is a fundamental part of our lives – not something to escape from. (Some might argue that watching a tv series is doing just that; the irony is not lost on me.)
5. Commitment. The best coaches, teachers, counselors know that you can’t just impart information, you have to know the ones in your care and be willing to go the extra mile with and for them. You don’t clock out at 5:00.  In the words of the inimitable Buddy G, “You can’t fake boosterism.”
6. Decisions. Choices have consequences and, for the most part, the characters reaped them. Some showed the long hard climb back from the depths of addiction and others showed the shame and loss of reputation that comes from taking the easy way out. In most cases it wasn’t the end however. The nice thing about a 5 season series is that if a character ends up in the gutter, he doesn’t have to stay there. Someone called TV “The American Dickens” and in this case I agree. Continuity provides room for redemption.
7. Sacrifice. Loving someone means dying to yourself. Demonstrated over and over.
8. Marriage. It’s the small things that carry the day. Don’t grow weary in well-doing.
9. Faith. People attend church. They pray. They acknowledge that they are part of something bigger than themselves. For mainstream TV to portray Christianity as something other than purely a caricature is unusual and welcomed.
10. Home. In a workshop recently, I listened to an esteemed college professor explain that “there is really only one story.”  You leave home, you struggle to return home, and you do. It may not be the same as when you left, but if there is going to be a satisfying ending – you find your way home. Eric & Tami move to a new one, Matt & Julie begin one, Tim & Billy build one, and Luke ships off to protect them all.
Ending this post with a very full heart,

Monday, July 18, 2011

Welcome Home Cookies

chookiesI offered one of these to Jaimee last night, and “chocolate cherry cookie” came out “chookie.” Rich, chewy, zingy from the dried cherries, and crunchy from the toasted pecans – these have a hint of coffee flavor as well.
Thanks to The Pastry Queen and her amazing cookbook, these Café Chocolate-Cherry Bites were the perfect welcome home for Kevin, my coffee-loving son who is here for a few days.
I’ve checked out all 3 of Rebecca Rather’s cookbooks from the library and so far every recipe has been a winner. She’s a Texas gal who owns her own bakery in Fredericksburg (Road trip anyone???)  and certainly deserves her title. The Pastry Queen, Pastry Queen Parties, and The Pastry Queen Christmas will be keeping me busy for quite a while!
What this recipe teaches: Toasted = terrific! Pecans (and any other nuts) always taste much better if you toast them before adding to the dough.  It’s an extra step that doesn’t take much time but pays off. Toast before chopping and there is less chance of burning.
1 c. pecans
2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp)
1 1/4 c. light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 T. instant espresso powder
1 T. boiling water
1 T. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Nestle’s Dark Chocolate Chips)
1 1/2 c. dried cherries (These are pricey. I used a package from HEB. It was probably slightly over a cup but I didn’t bother with buying a second package.)
Preheat oven to 350. Arrange the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 7-9 minutes until golden brown and aromatic. Cool then coarsely chop.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats.
In a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed. In a small bowl, stir the espresso powder into boiling water until dissolved.
Add espresso and vanilla to the batter and beat for 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix until just incorporated. Add the nuts, chips, and cherries. The dough will be softer and wetter than average cookie dough.
Using a scoop, drop the dough on the prepared sheets and bake for around 10 minutes, until the cookies have spread and the dough looks the same in the center and on the edges (that is, not raw in the middle). Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes then transfer to wire racks.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Trip Report #4: Get Your Goat

The only thing more fun than discovering new taste treats at a restaurant is finding a way to recreate them at home. Mission accomplished! The Hotel Contessa is one of the Riverwalk’s most wonderful hotels and the restaurant, Las Ramblas, makes a yummy cheesecake out of…goat cheese! Topped with a sweet caramel Cajeta, it has a little  tang, a little something extra to set it apart from regular cheesecakes. I would have included a picture, but the family was all over this last night. Only the crumbs remain.
How about a quick ingredient lesson?
Cajeta, or leche quemada, is made by simmering goat’s milk and sugar. If you do the same thing with cow’s milk you end up with dulce de leche. Cajeta has that characteristic tang that makes the flavor a little more complex than just overwhelmingly sweet. I bought this from HEB and used it straight out of the jar. Great topping for cheesecake and whatever else you’d like to sweeten up.
Goat Cheese Cheesecake
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c. sugar
6 T. melted butter
Combine and line the bottom and sides of a 9” springform pan. Hint: Use a straight sided beverage glass to smooth the crumbs into the bottom of the pan where it meets the sides. This makes for a nice and even crust, which in turn makes for prettier slices.
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
12 oz. goat cheese (do NOT buy anything flavored with basil, sun dried tomatoes,  or habanero peppers. Please.)
12 oz. sour cream
4 eggs
1 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
Blend the softened cheeses in a mixer. Add the sour cream and eggs. Blend until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla.
Bake at 350 for 60 minutes. You will have much better results if you put your springform pan, lined with foil, into a roasting pan and pour boiling water halfway up the sides. A water bath keeps the cheesecake from over baking and cracking.
Cool on the counter then refrigerate at least 6 hours. Drizzle with Cajeta before serving.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Trip Report #3: Flour Power

We didn’t plan this, but somehow we managed to fit in some wild “flours” at almost every stop.
1. The Creekhaven Inn in Wimberley is situated on Mill Race Ln. Know what a “mill race” is? It’s a specially dug trench for allowing water to flow downhill, enough to power the mill wheel. This particular one is a state historical landmark dating back to the early 1850’s when the town was named Winter’s Mill. Beautiful spot for walking and exploring. Plenty of deer to keep you company!
2. In San Antonio we visited the historic Guenther House, owned by the founders of Pioneer Flour Mills. The tour is free, there’s a cute little gift shop, and there’s even a restaurant if you’ve worked up an appetite. While you’re there, be sure to take a drive around the historic King William neighborhood, if you’re hooked on houses that is.
3. Mission San Jose in San Antonio contains a replica of a working grist mill. More wheels, more water, more wheat. Fascinating history lesson!
4. Guess where we ate lunch one day? The Gristmill in Gruene!gristmill
Up Next: Get Your Goat

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Trip Report #2: Wild About Texas

More fun in the Hill Country.
You’ve heard of The Horse Whisperer? What about The Boot Whisperer? That’s right, step into  The Wild West Store in downtown Wimberley and the owner will “read” your feet. With nary a measuring device in sight, she will bring several pairs of boots that fit both your feet and your budget. Her collection is vintage, funky, and made the way boots should be. The leather is broken in and buttery soft.  (Note to self: One day I will own a pair of Lucchese boots. One day.)
Is everything bigger in Texas? The outlet malls sure are! You could spend a week here but, hey, I know my husband’s limits so we made a quick trip for just essentials: Disney Store (1 princess dress for the grand-princess), Pottery Barn (if 400 count sheets are your thing), and Crate and Barrel (just because).
Lunch? Chicken Fried Steak of course. Best to enjoy this while sitting outside in the shade, watching folks tube down the Guadalupe River. Willie & Waylon in the background and the state’s oldest dancehall right next door.
guene hall
Up Next: Flour Power

Monday, June 27, 2011

Trip Report #1: La Bella Vita

Our Hill Country vacation felt like a little bit of Italy – right here in the Lone Star State.
The Creekhaven Inn’s Treehouse Suite featured an Italian themed, painted cupola surrounding a luxurious spa tub. (Who needs Calgon?!)
TX-Wimberley-Creekhaven Innbedroom
For a fun afternoon, we took a tour of the Bella Vista Olive farm and tasted the locally grown oil. The lime infused version found its way home with us, along with a bar of pear scented Castilian soap.
For a different kind of tasting? The Duchman Winery is down the road in Driftwood. And right next door…
We saved room for dinner….and dessert. The Mandola family’s Trattoria Lisina reminds us why this family = Italian cooking. Osso Bucco, Prosciutto, Espresso Afogato. I’m just gonna say it…Mamma Mia!
Up next: Wild About Texas

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Just Peachy

peach cobblerJust pulled this little beauty out of the oven, baked especially for Father’s Day/Kyle’s birthday tomorrow. (If I can’t keep the hungry sisters away, there may not be any left by lunchtime!) How to make homemade cobbler even better? Even ones baked the night before? Amy’s ice cream of course! Oh yes, we are still working on the graduation-party ice cream.
I confess to making this recipe with canned peaches, and it does work…. but really. It’s not so hard to peel a few now is it? You can do it!
Texas Peach Cobbler
10-12 ripe peaches
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. powdered ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
1 T. fresh lemon juice
Mix above ingredients in a bowl and set aside. It’s  a pretty juicy mixture but that’s what you want in a cobbler! Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350. Get out a 9x13 casserole dish and melt into it:
1 stick butter
Make your batter out of these ingredients:
1 1/4 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 c. milk
pinch salt
2 t. baking powder
Pour the batter over the melted butter. Don’t stir! This is what makes the crispy edges. Pour the peaches and juice over this. Bake for 45 minutes.
Happy Father’s Day everyone! May you be blessed with a hug, a phone call, or a precious memory of your dad.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Truffle Salt & Possums

truffle saltA possum is roaming my suburban neighborhood. Last night I traded recipes with my neighbor as a joke, then felt the need to redeem myself by posting what we actually ate for dinner.
Granny Clampett can have her country critters – this meal was a summertime winner!
Cedar Plank Salmon
We found the planks on sale at the Williams Sonoma Outlet Mall (now there’s a subject for another post!) in San Marcos. Recommended by my friend Suzanne, who isn’t called “Southern Inspiration” for nothing, we also grabbed the Potlatch Seasoning.
Method: Soak the plank for 2 hours in water. Season the salmon filet. Preheat the grill and place the wet board on there until it begins to smoke. Put the fish on the plank (skin side down), close the lid for 8 minutes, and that’s all folks! My friend Bet gets her cedar from a lumberyard and has them cut it to fit her grill. Brilliant (and cheaper!).
While the fish is cooking, wash and trim a bunch of asparagus. (I’m not using the word as slang – I literally mean one of those little rubber band wrapped bunches). Place in a nonstick skillet with 2 or 3 T. water. Cover and steam until bright green. Drain any remaining water and add some butter. Finish by topping with a sprinkle of truffle salt.
Ahhh….the truffle salt. What does it taste like? It’s earthy, mushroomy, dark, and deep. (I’m starting to feel a need to quote Robert Frost. Must refrain.)
I found it at HEB for around $11/bottle and it has lasted a long time. You don’t need much!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Poems: For Tax Time

I’m convinced that no matter what kind of day you’ve had, there is a poem that goes along with it. Some younger folks probably feel the same way about song lyrics (but since I rarely understand or even recognize those) I’ll stick with something more comfortable. Poetry. In honor of National Poetry Month, I’ll be sharing some favorites.
April 15th is just around the corner and there has been much crunching of numbers here at the MathMansion. Mr. M. has done more than his fair share, for which I’m grateful. Me and numbers….well…. I’d rather read a poem about them than solve an equation with them any day!


I like the generosity of numbers.
The way, for example,
they are willing to count
anything or anyone:
two pickles, one door to the room,
eight dancers dressed as swans.
I like the domesticity of addition--
add two cups of milk and stir--
the sense of plenty: six plums
on the ground, three more
falling from the tree.
And multiplication's school
of fish times fish,
whose silver bodies breed
beneath the shadow
of a boat.
Even subtraction is never loss,
just addition somewhere else:
five sparrows take away two,
the two in someone else's
garden now.
There's an amplitude to long division,
as it opens Chinese take-out
box by paper box,
inside every folded cookie
a new fortune.
And I never fail to be surprised
by the gift of an odd remainder,
footloose at the end:
forty-seven divided by eleven equals four,
with three remaining.
Three boys beyond their mothers' call,
two Italians off to the sea,
one sock that isn't anywhere you look.
                        -Mary Cornish

Friday, February 25, 2011

The One Room of Possibility

Here at my writing teachers’ retreat, one never knows what the next assignment will be. We share teaching ideas with one another, we teach to one another, and we learn from one another. Last night we were given the assignment to write a sonnet. The title was “The One Room of Possibility.” That’s not a lot to go on, but what an interesting idea. The responses this morning were varied and vivid and I’m continually impressed by the talent of my fellow teachers.
Sonnets have a strict form, but there is freedom within that form. Sounds like life doesn’t it? Like any writing assignment, I started with invention (coming up with something to say), arrangement (putting my thoughts in order), and elocution (adjusting the rhyme and meter.) In case you’re curious, I’m happy to share my feeble efforts. I don’t think the subject matter will surprise you.
The One Room of Possibility
A pantry shelf of flour, white and wheat
Cold butter, eggs their treasures to uncrack;
Cream and milk and sugar, fine and sweet
Vanilla, cocoa -richest, darkest, black.
Those mentors teach and guide from pages worn
(I hear the voice of Julia chirping “shoulds”)
A recipe, a note, a clipping torn
My cookbooks overflow with unbaked goods
But spatulas and whisks transform the base
Convecting heat and oven’s fire to bake
As magic elevates raw matter’s place
The grocery list becomes a birthday cake.
What joy to see the hungry soul restored-
To taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
-Renee Mathis 2/25/11

6.26 kitchen after

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Purple Pantry Puzzle

It’s 5:00, I had no idea what to fix for dinner, and Ijust came home from an impromptu trip to Whole Foods. (I know, I know…shopping without a list is dangerous, especially there!) What I thought was in the freezer…wasn’t, so I faced this assortment of ingredients:
Here we have a red onion, red pepper, lemon infused olive oil, jalapeno-cilantro pesto, shrimp, zucchini, and purple potatoes! That’s right, purple as in “this is a lovely match to my cardigan” purple. How did it all come together?
I sauteed the shrimp with the bell pepper, zucchini, and onion. At the end I added the cilantro pesto for a little kick. On the side we have the lovely purple potatoes, sprinkled with lemon olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. I added the cilantro because, well, it needed something green on top.
The verdict? The family, bless their adventurous souls, liked it! We all agreed that the potatoes wouldn’t have worked with the standard butter and milk treatment (Play-doh anyone?) but the snazzy lemon oil was just the right touch.
Who says grownups can’t play with their food?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why You Don’t Want to Read This Blog

Dear Loyal Readers,
Hi Mom!
Yes, you’re right. My little corner of the blogosphere has been sorely neglected. November? I haven’t posted since November? 
Here’s the thing. Every time I think about posting something, I talk myself out of it because there are already others out there who do it better. Then when I go off in search of help for how to do it better myself, I just get discouraged. I’m not seeking to make a million, make a name for myself, or make life better for thousands on the planet. Really, I just like to have a place to journal and share. Ok, “journal” seems a bit pretentious. Remember xanga? (Does anyone still remember xanga?) I went hunting through my archives the other day in search of a recipe and had fun digging through accounts of our past few years. Weddings…graduations…surgeries….Jeopardy! 
In the interest of full disclosure….
*You won’t find me giving away a Kitchenaid mixer every Friday.
*I take terrible pictures. The only camera I have is on the back of my iPhone.
*I’m in favor of faith, family, and friends, but I don’t do politics.
*I’d love to visit with you in the comments, but I can’t promise I’ll follow your blog, link to your cause, or play the game of the week.
*I post sporadically (hello! November?) but without apology.
So that about sums it up. What you see is what you get: a 40-something mom & grandmom, teacher, cook, writer, daughter, and friend with a few things to say and a place to say them.