Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Christmas will soon be upon us, my friends.  There is a flurry of activity at our house as we get ready for the holiday.  What a joy to spend time with family ~ and this year, our daughter, Amy, from NY, and Bruno and the two grandchildren, Esmé and Felix will be coming south!   We don't see them very often, so this is a real treat.  And, of course, our oldest daughter, Jen, and Rob, and granddaughter Maddie, will also be here.  I couldn't ask for more!  

Our tree is decorated, most of the shopping is done, and gifts are wrapped.  The stockings are hung..... one for Esmé, one for Felix, one for Maddie, and one for Otis.  
That gives me time for cookie baking and a few more decorations here and there.  

This time of year I like to cozy up by a warm fire with a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy the the pretty lights of our Christmas tree before the celebration.  

I hope all of you have a wonderful and joyous holiday!  And as we go about our activities and preparations, let us not forget the really true meaning of Christmas.  


Saturday, November 1, 2014

The fall garden

I wanted to snap a few photos of the garden this week while we still had flowers blooming and bees buzzing.  Sunday the weather changes for us and there will be frost on the pumpkin when we wake up on Monday morning.  

We had a fire in the fireplace this morning to warm up a bit and to take the chill off.  I guess this is what we can expect for November.  Enjoy your day!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Recipe for Tomato Pie

 Hello friends.  I thought I'd share a recipe with you today.  I first tasted tomato pie at the "Tomato Pie Cafe" in Lititz, Pennsylvania when we visited in September.  It was so delicious, I just had to make one. 

I used the last of the fresh tomatoes from the garden and fresh basil.  This pie is made with fresh chopped tomatoes, basil and onions, topped with a mixture of shredded cheese and mayonnaise, baked in a pie shell.  

The recipe I used was from Simply Recipes.  

Tomato Pie ~
  • 1 9-inch pie shell
  • 1/2 yellow or red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 tomatoes, cut in half horizontally, squeezed to remove excess juice, roughly chopped, to yield approximately 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced basil (about 8 leaves)
  • 2 cups grated cheese (combination of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack, or Gruyere or Mozarella)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (Tabasco)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Pre-bake the pie shell in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned.  

2.  Lightly salt the chopped tomatoes and set them in a colander over a bowl to drain while you are pre-baking the crust.  Squeeze as much moisture as you can out of the chopped tomatoes.

3.  Sprinkle a layer of chopped onion over the bottom of your pre-baked pie crust shell.   Spread the drained chopped tomatoes over the onions.  Sprinkle the sliced basil over the tomatoes.

4.  In a medium bowl, mix together the grated cheese, mayonnaise, Tabasco, a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground pepper.  The mixture should be the consistency of a gooey snow ball.  Spread the cheese mixture over the tomatoes.

5.  Place in oven and bake until browned and bubbly, about 45 minutes.  

A savory pie that is absolutely yummy!   

Friday, October 24, 2014

NC State Fair

The North Carolina State Fair is held every October in Raleigh, North Carolina.  It's always a fun time to go and see, and eat!  We usually go on "Hunger Relief Day" which gets you in free with the donation of five non perishable food donations.  All the donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC.  Our daughter, Jen, works for the Food Bank (Digital Media & Database Mgr), and she's always there on Hunger Relief Day.  

We entered one of our marble rollers this year in the Toy Division, but, unfortunately, no ribbon.  That's ok, we still had a great time.

Here are some photos of the fair.  The gardens are my favorite!  

 Our blue marble roller, you can see in the background.  The winner this year was a wooden train.  

  Galen and I just had to try the fried mac and cheese!  


The cloggers.

 That would be me, and our daughter, Jen, having a pimento cheese BLT at the "La Farm Bakery".  

 ...and, of course, ice cream!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Green is good

 Do you like kale?  The green leafy vegetable that is so nutritious and good for us.  I must admit I haven't eaten kale in the past, but since I've discovered "kale chips", I'm hooked.  

A simple recipe.  
Tear about 1/2 pound of washed, dried curly kale (ribs removed) into 2-inch pieces.  Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt (or seasoned salt), then spread in a single layer on a wire rack placed atop a cookie sheet.  Bake at 250 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, removing when leaves are crisp but still bright green.  

A crispy salty treat that is so addicting!

Just thought I'd share.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Random things


Hello, dear friends.  How are you?  I just realized my last post was in August...how did this happen? ~ I guess time flies when we're having fun.  And here it is fall already.  Don't you just love all the warm autumn colors?  I bought a big orange pumpkin today for the front step and yellow and red mums for pots.  

We have had quite a lot going on lately.  September is a big birthday month for us and we celebrated our granddaughter's 2nd birthday with family at Galen's mother's house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  It's a good central meeting place for all of us since Amy and Bruno and the kids live in New York.  What a great time we had!

And our other granddaughter, Maddie, here in North Carolina, just turned 15 in September. It seems like only yesterday that she was just a toddler, and now, here she is getting her permit for driving!  

Also, in September, I had my  6-month follow-up appointment at UNC Cancer Center.  Everything is good!  A little osteoporosis setting in but that is treatable.  I feel great, and this will be two years cancer free!  I am thankful everyday for my health and that I can garden and do all the things I love to do.  

And speaking of the garden, I planted kale, broccoli and spinach for the winter months, and have harvested quite a few tomatoes and peppers.  I've been cleaning up the flower beds, too.

Just to let you know, I may not be posting on my blog as often as before, but I am still here and will check in occasionally.  

Enjoy this wonderful fall weather! 

'till next time,