February 28, 2010

It's A Blogoversary Bash!

I can't believe that it's been a year! (Actually, my blogoversary was last Tuesday...so, better late than never, right?)

I never, never, never expected going into this - that a year later I would be even more excited about blogging than ever, that I would have "met" so many people I now consider my friends, or that I would be running to my computer to read about what you've all been up to.

Thank you to everyone that deemed my blog worth reading. Thanks to the new followers & bigger thanks to the people that followed me all the way back in the beginning. Old and new - you're all fabulous!! Your comments, links, suggestions, recipes, etc. are all so valuable to me. I get such a thrill when my phone "moos" an email alert. (Yes. My phone "moos" at me to alert me to a new email. I'm weird. You all knew that already.  Moving on....)

Most of you know how fond I am of giveaways. Until I learn to trust the USPS again, I won't be compiling gifts on my own. However... I don't want to deprive you all of the giveaways that you deserve! These suckers are shipping directly from the vendor. :-) *Side note: USPS sent me a notice that they have two of my boxes shipped in October. The actual post office can't find them though. If you won an October giveaway and didn't get your prizes, email me!! We'll find a replacement prize. *
Prize 1: A glass globe of your choice from Uncommon Goods.  I absolutely adore this website for all their fantastic gifts and..well...uncommon goods.
Prize 2: Folded notes and address stamper of your choice at Expressionery.com.  As much as our lives are very much online these days, I was still taught that nothing can beat a hand-written note.  I love to check the mail and see a written correspondence. 
Prize 3: A $25 gift certificate and bookmark of your choice from Barnes & Noble.  As much as I love to read - I couldn't leave something book related off my list.  :-)
Here are the rules:

You get ONE entry for commenting on this post.
You get ONE entry for following my blog.
You get ONE entry for following me on Twitter.
You get ONE entry for Tweeting about my giveaway.
You get ONE entry for blogging about my giveaway or putting it on your sidebar.
You get ONE entry for telling me what your favorite book is.

Please tell me what to give you credit for; I want you all to get the right amount of entries.

Entries/comments need to be in by midnight EST on Sunday, March 7th and the winner will be announced on Monday the 8th.

February 22, 2010

Tuesdays At The TAble - Overnight Egg Casserole

Happy Tuesday!  I hope you're all having a good start to your week.

Thank you all so much for your favorite dessert recipes last week!   You're awesome!!  Thanks to those of you who didn't share desserts but shared breakfast, dinner, bread, etc. recipes instead.  You're awesome too.  :-) I'm thrilled every week to see how many of you link up your recipes.

Would more notice of theme weeks help?  I can put up a tentative schedule next week, if that's something you'd be interested in.

This week I'm sharing a breakfast recipe.  It's another one that's courtesy of A Taste of Home - and super yummy!!

Lovely Yellow Ribbons

Overnight Egg Casserole

8 slices bread, cubed

1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1-1/2 pounds bulk pork sausage or Italian sausage
4 eggs
2-1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted (I prefer cream of chicken)
1/4 cup chicken broth

Place bread cubes in a greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese; set aside. In a skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Crumble sausage over the cheese and bread. Beat the eggs, milk, mustard, soup and broth; pour over sausage. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 2-3 hours before baking.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 50-60 minutes or just until set. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

February 19, 2010

I Miss Lent in the UK

It's Lent folks. I was going to give up coffee for Lent... but I drove myself to Dunkin' Donuts yesterday and thus ended that little foray into being good.

Instead - I'm going to share with you something that I gain from Lent. For quite a while, I was lucky enough to enjoy February vacations to England every other year. My mom was a school teacher and quite the Anglophile (as am I). It kept us away from the crowds of Disney (Don't get me wrong - I looooove me some Disney!), travel to the UK is cheaper during the winter and it was still a break from the harsh winters of New England.

One of the biggest perks to being over in the UK during February is that you were either bumping up against lent, or lent had already started. While I'm not particularly religious - the English do tend to take church a bit more seriously than we do. Church over there is more fun. OK...maybe not; but the architecture and history make up for it.

The best part is that Lent meant my favorite candy. The Cadbury mini-eggs! Yes, they have Cadbury here, and they are still my favorite candy of all time. These days - Cadbury's USA division is run by Hershey's. That means that classic flavor of these little treats has changed. The color and shape of them are different, as is the crunchy coating. Which totally bums me out....

Laugh if you must - but I'll be looking online over the weekend to have some mini eggs shipped to me from Canada or England. Those branches haven't been sold off or had the recipe change! Feel free to make fun of me for posting on food and religion. :-) I even think I'm weird!

Do you have any favorite seasonal foods that are better/different in other parts of the country or world?

February 15, 2010

Tuesdays At The Table - Fudgy Brownies

Happy Tuesday!!  I had Monday off - YAY President's Day! It was a good day to just hang out, knit and enjoy the Olympics.

Lovely Yellow Ribbons

This week I'm sharing my favorite desert.  I LOVE me some brownies. Honestly, I don't know which recipe I like the best - I have a bunch of fabulous recipes.  This one is courtesy of Gale Gand. Thanks to those of you sharing your favorite desert this week (and thanks to those of you that aren't - but are still participating!)

Fudgy Brownies

1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter
2 oz of unsweetened chocolate
1 cup of granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a medium pan over very low heat. Stir together and remove from the heat. Add sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in the flour and salt. Add nuts and chocolate chips. Spread the mixture into a buttered 8-inch square pan. Bake at 350 until set (about 40 minutes). Cool before cutting.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

February 14, 2010

Sunday Scramble

This week I'm participating in Tiney's Sunday Scramble again.  It's a great way to get out all the stuff that isn't long enough for a post of it's own, and I still get to share all the randomness with you!  Swing by Tiney's and check out what everyone else is talking about.

Book Series
You all know that I love books.  What I've come to realize lately - a good percentage of the books that I'm buying are part of a series.  For some reason, that just hooks me even more.  You want to break your story into a million different parts - SURE I'LL BUY EVERY BOOK IN THE SERIES!!!! Really - Twilight is 4 books; Southern Dead (Sookie Stackhouse) series is 10 and counting; The Blue Bloods are already 4 books and expecting more; and my latest addiction is Nora Roberts' bride quartet. 

It Seems I've Missed My Calling
I'm working on a really large implementation project/program at work.  That means I'm getting more exposure at work (a good and bad thing [bad only in that I'm shy...]), leading "readiness" sessions with clients, and have lots of folks listening to what I say and how I say it.  I've always been told that I'm well spoken - but I was shocked last week when I got not one, not two, but THREE comments from another group that I missed my calling - they were "blown away" by a presentation I gave and should have gone into broadcasting.  HOLY COW!!  I don't like my voice, but I appreciate the compliments.  :-)

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Saturday I went to the hairdresser.  Last time I was in, we talked about how I had darker hair as a little kid.  He requested that I bring in a picture or two just to prove it - as he's colored my hair a bunch of different colors, but never anything darker than dirty blonde over the past 5 years.  (BTW - I openly admit that I've been experimenting with hair dye since I was 13 and have NO CLUE what my natural hair color is anymore).  Well, I give Ed free reign over what happens with my hair - and my hair went from a medium blonde to DARK brown in just under an hour.  I like it... but it's going to take some getting used to.

Baby Mania
Is there something in the water, people?!?!  Are they handing them out at Babies R' Us?!?!  I know at least one person adding to their family every month from January to October 2010, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear from folks in a few months that there will be November & December babies too.  Holy baby blankets!  I think I have my knitting projects scheduled for the entire year already.  I'm happy for everyone - but this single girl is feeling way behind the eight-ball in the "life's benchmarks" category.

February 11, 2010


I'm so excited for the Olympic opening ceremony tomorrow!!  How about you?  The opening ceremony in Beijing was amazing.  I wonder what they do to top it!

And I'm loving the song they keep using in the Olympic ads!

February 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

What?!?!  These aren't MY pillows?

February 08, 2010

Tuesdays At The Table - Cinnamon Rolls

Happy Tuesday!  I have a little confession.  I LOVE breakfast foods!  Some of the best foods are typically served at breakfast - but I really like to do breakfast for dinner.  :-)  Here is one of my all time favorites.

For our first theme week - I'm hoping you can share your favorite dessert next week.  What do you think?

Lovely Yellow Ribbons

Cinnamon Rolls

1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons shortening
3 cups of self-rising flour
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of butter (or margarine) softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3/4 cup pecans (chopped)

Cut shortening into flour with pastry blender (or a fork or two) until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a floured surface; knead lightly.

Roll dough into a 20x14-inch rectangle; spread the softened butter on dough, leaving a border of about 1/2-inch. Combine sugar and cinnamon; mix well, and sprinkle over butter. Top with pecans and roll up jelly roll fashion (starting on one of the long sides); press edges and ends together securely. Cut into 1 inch slices; place cut side down in a buttered 13x9 baking pan. Bake at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes.

Vanilla Glaze
1 1/4 cup powered sugar
3 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoons vanilla

Combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla; drizzle over warm rolls.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

Checkin' In...

Hi Gang!  Thank you all so much for your words of support over the past few days. They mean so much to me.

Mom is doing well.  Really well. Like "holy crap" well.  Surgery went off without a hitch on Thursday and she woke up from anesthesia talking.  Friday morning we discovered that her drain had a leak.  That sucker got fixed quickly!

Saturday morning she came home, and is resting comfortable.

Now, let me share something with you that struck me funny.  Our hospital is a teaching hospital.  It's not uncommon that you get asked the same question by 5 or 6 different people (nurse, surgical nurse, nurse anesthesiologist, head anesthesiologis, surgeon & surgical resident).  Mom's fabulous surgeon - Dr. Nimkar has a new surgical resident.  She's so new that she didn't remember what Dr. Nimkar looked like, took the chart out of Dr. Nimkar's hands (presuming that she was the nurse; not that it makes it right!!) and proceeded to ask if we had seen Dr. Nimkar yet.  Dumbass!!

February 03, 2010

Surgery Day...

Hello, lovely ladies.  It's Thursday; surgery day for my sweet mom.

I know it sounds weird...but I'm kind of excited!  This mastectomy - while painful and invasive, will mean that margin revisions are all over with and mom can move forward with her other treatments.  One more step to being cancer-free.  :-)

She's ready.  No second thoughts. And I'm proud of her!

I've already threatened my brother and father that if they drink or eat in front of her (you think it's funny - I've seen the nastiness that occurred the last time my dad did it) pre-op - that I will kill them.  Or throw them out into the waiting room.  My choice.  Or mom's.  Whatever works.

I also have two books, knitting and my Nintendo DS ready for what is going to be a very long day.  I'd like to bring my computer... but I know that I have a hard time sitting still and don't want to lug my laptop with me on walks.  I will be tweeting though - so feel free to distract me from time to time.

If you are so inclined, please keep my mom in your thoughts/prayers.  I appreciate it, and I know that she does too.

February 01, 2010

Tuesdays At The Table - Corny Chicken Bake

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  Can you believe it's February all ready?  The year is flying!  Be on the lookout at the end of the month for a special TATT theme week.  :-)

Lovely Yellow Ribbons

I admit it.  I'm a Taste of Home junkie.  The first time or two, I follow the recipe to a "T".  But I'm not much of a rule follower in the kitchen and find it hard to do the same thing twice.  Below is a recipe that is from the Winter 2010 magazine, and my adjustments in italics.

Corny Chicken Bake

3 cups crushed corn bread stuffing
1 can (14 3/4 oz) cream style corn
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 celery rib, chopped
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1 can chicken stock
zest and juice of an orange

I doubled this recipe.

In a large bowl, combine the stuffing, corn, onion, celery and chicken stock. Spoon into a greased 13 x 9 baking dish.  Top with chicken.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, mustard and orange zest & juice.  Spoon over the chicken.  Bake, uncovered at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

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