Early to bed means early to rise

December 12, 2010

I vowed to get good sleep in December, as I know it is the number one way to prevent getting sick, and who has time for that?  No one!  So far so good, especially for me.  Asleep at 10pm last night, and wide awake at 5:30am today; what to do now?

I have my list in front of me and will start there.  I am finding that I need to get the rest of my holiday “to do’s” done by Friday, so that the week of December 20th I can enjoy having my kids home with me, and not running errands all over town with them in tow. 

We have some fun things planned for that week already, such as seeing a Christmas play downtown, taking our sons and friends of theirs to a special holiday lunch, decorating our gingerbread houses, doing some baking, and even letting them open one present early.  Of course, this will be something small, but just enough to hold them over until Christmas Eve. 

Until then, I need to get going and cross some things off my list today.  Make it a great one~

Holiday Pecans

December 11, 2010

I just had to share this recipe.  I am in the midst of baking 10# of holiday pecans today.  It is just so simple that I kept saying to myself  “I have to tell others how to make these.”  I make approximately 10# to 12#each Christmas season.  They are the perfect gifts for teachers, neighbors, co-workers, bus drivers…  We even give bags to our garbage men and mailman each Christmas season.

Here you go~

Holiday Pecans

Pre heat oven to 325 degrees

  • 2# Pecans
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 2 tsp. water
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

In a large bowl (large enough to hold 2# pecans), mix together the egg whites and water with a fork.  In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, and salt together with a fork.  Lastly, add the 2# pecans to bowl with egg white mixture.  Stir to coat each pecan evenly.  Add sugar & cinnamon mixture to pecans and stir to coat well.  Place pecans on baking sheet and place in oven.  Set timer for 15 minutes.  Take pecans out of oven and stir them to bake evenly.  Repeat three more times (stirring after each baking cycle) until you reach the  final cooking time of one hour.

Package and deliver homemade holiday pecans~

Blog Hiatus.

July 1, 2010

It has been too long since I have been here to share organizing thoughts, quotes, inspirations.  This is due to a couple of reasons, not excuses mind you, but reasons.

Reasons:

  • The boys are out of school
  • I have been busy working with great clients
  • I have set some priorities for the summer months

The summer requires a delicate balance between family, business, and fun.  Never thought that summer would be more of a juggling act than the school year, but the reality is just that. 

I am also tracking my time each day for a week.  Thought this would be a good experiement.  Will share those results next week. 

Until then, have a great Thursday, and take care if you live near Hurricane Alex’s path.

Verdict on the new recipe I promised to try

March 24, 2010

I posted that I would make the strawberry & goat cheese bruschetta over spring break, and I did; well, sort of.  Please read on…

My ten-year old son, Evan, asked me to adapt the recipe a bit when he saw the pretty phyllo cups in the freezer section of the grocery store.  They seemed to call him over, and he was smitten at the tasty looking pictures on the box.  Even though the packaging showed endless possibilities of fillings for those delicate little pastry cups, I told him that I had a recipe in mind that we were going to use them for.  He was good to go with that response.  So, both of my sons walked the fresh baguette we had intended to use back over to the bakery, and we were on our way. 

This will be okay, I reassured myself.  I am a good cook, and can adapt many recipes.  Basically, the original recipe called for a baguette, lightly toasted and drizzled with olive oil, topped with sliced strawberries, torn arugula, and slices of goat cheese.  I absolutely love goat cheese, and have been known to make a meal of crackers topped with room temperature goat cheese, grapes or sliced apples, some great salami, and perhaps a sliced tomato; pure heaven to me!

The result of using the phyllo cups was a very bland tasting recipe.  I was afraid that if I used any ingredient that was too wet; (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, strawberry juices), to enhance the flavors, it would result in a soggy pastry bottom.  I did not want the contents of the pastry to wind up in my guest’s laps.  The cups were crisp, which was good, the amount of arugula that actually fits in the bottom of those cups was so small, you didn’t even know it was there.  The goat cheese was of course, tasty, but the strawberries were just plain dry.     

Lesson learned: this is one recipe I will try again, and do it precisely like it was intended to be.  No harm, but that goat cheese was under appreciated.  What a waste~

Cupcakes are here to stay~

March 23, 2010

Love cupcakes?  You are in luck!  They are not just a trend, but here to stay.  Dig in & enjoy~

http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/wayoflife/03/23/cupcake.craze/index.html?hpt=Sbin

Why didn’t I think of those?

March 22, 2010

30 simple and quick household tips that everyone should know~

http://www.womansday.com/Articles/Family-Lifestyle/Simple-Tricks-that-Make-You-Look-Smart.html

March Quick Tips

March 16, 2010
Spring is on its way, and that means road trips ahead for months to come.  This is the perfect time to clean out and organize your vehicle.  Somehow wadded up tissues from winter colds, empty juice boxes from the little darlings and a CD collection you have grown tired of have found their way into your car.  Clear the clutter before spring arrives. 

1.  Empty everything out of the vehicle, (including the trunk).  Discard the garbage and sort the remaining items into piles; maintenance supplies, kids’ stuff, music and DVD’s, manuals, maps, etc.  Make a pile of the things that belong back inside your home too.

2.  Clean all interior surfaces.  Vacuum the floors and seats, wipe down the dash and doors, clean the inside of the windows.  Keep a trash bin on the floor or hang a trash bag from the dashboard.  Stash kids’ toys, small books and travel games in a behind-the-seat organizer. 

3.  Attack your glove compartment next.  Store your owner’s manual, vehicle registration information, proof of insurance, notepad, pen, plus a disposable camera for taking pictures in case you are involved in an accident.  A flashlight is a great idea also.

4.  Make an emergency kit for your vehicle and store it in the trunk.  Include battery cables, tire gauge, flares, reflective tape, a help sign, screwdriver, pliers, first aid kit, work gloves, and an old towel.

Say good bye to winter~

March 16, 2010

No matter where you live, there are signs spring is coming.  Look and listen the next time you venture outside.  Do you hear the sweet chirp and cheep of birds heading home?  Are any trees in your yard starting to bud yet?  See any green patches poking through that dull, gray, dirty snow?  Maybe the snow is beginning to melt just a little…  Hang in there; each day brings us closer to the beauty known as spring.

Inside, do a bit of spring organizing:

  • Haul those toasty warm sweaters and winter coats to the dry cleaner for an end of season cleaning.
  • Handwash or machine wash on delicate/ dry clean your scarves, gloves and mittens.  Set them outside to dry on their own in the sun to dry.
  • This may seem strange, but check the expiration date on your sunscreen and replace it if it’s past its prime.  When you buy a new bottle, use a Sharpie marker & date the bottle.  Then you can remember exactly how long you have had it. 

**This weekend, my sons and husband came home from the first soccer practice of the season, with sunburnt cheeks and necks; oops!  Sun damages skin, even when it is not summer time.**

  • Now is the perfect time for paring down your socks.  Match all up that you can, and use the lonely ones for dusting, making sock puppets, or toss them.

I am SO trying out this appetizer over spring break!

March 11, 2010

Strawberry Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 1  baguette
  • 1  Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1  4-oz. log goat cheese (chevre)
  • 1-1/2  cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/2  cup arugula  
  •   Sea salt/ coarse salt
  •   Freshly ground black pepper  

Directions

1. Heat broiler. Halve baguette crosswise, then lengthwise. Place cut sides up on large baking sheet, and brush with oil.  Broil for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted.

2. Slice and divide cheese among toasts.  Top with sliced berries. Broil 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese and berries soften.  Remove from broiler; top with arugula. Drizzle additional oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and herbs.  Serves 4

Happy birthday Vance

March 11, 2010

Today my sweet husband turns 44 years old.  He is my best friend, and true love.  He is the best dad,  and husband to our family.  He is always helpful, generous, plus he has a great work ethic.  We are so very grateful for him.  Love you, sweet boy~