Sunday, August 26, 2007

Savory Sunday

Here is my latest installment of Savory Sunday for you all to try. This is a recipe I found in one of those little recipe books you buy at the grocery store found at the check out counter. I made this recipe and I was so surprised at how good it tasted. The red wine vinegar brings out so much flavor to a simple recipe. It's a great dinner for two people. Make a nice salad, bake some fresh bread (or by a frozen loaf in the freezer department of your grocer), some white wine and make a wonderful dessert. Voila! A wonderful meal for two! I have passed this recipe on to many others and they enjoy it as much as I do. I haven't heard one bad thing about it.

Here are some tips

new potatoes are those little round potatoes approximately the size of a golf ball.

use pearl onions for the recipe. If you cannot find these in your vegetable department substitute some chopped white onion about a half a cup or less if you don't like onion.

I use whatever olive oil I have available.

The one problem with the recipe was it forgot to say what to do with the bacon. You are to add it to the mixture at the very end. Then serve. I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

Chicken Scaparella

2 slices bacon, coarsely chopped

2 tablesppons Filippo Berio Olive Oil

1 large chicken breast split

1/2 cup quartered mushrooms

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken broth

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

8 small white onions, peeled

4 small new potatoes, halved

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons flour

Chopped parsley

In skillet, cook bacon. Remove and set aside. Add oil and chicken. Brown well on all sides. Add mushrooms and garlic. Saute several minutes, stirring occasionally. Add next 7 ingredients. Cover and simmer 35 minutes until chicken and vegetables are tender.

To thicken sauce, dissolve 1 tablespoon flour in 2 tablespoons chicken broth. Stir into sauce. Cook, stirring, until thickened and smooth. Garnish with parsley.

Makes 2 servings
Favorite Brand Name Recipes "Cooking for 1 or 2" June 1992 Special Edition, Publications International, Ltd.
Bon Appetit!

Saturday, August 25, 2007


I'm home thankfully. I finally arrived home around 3pm Friday. I was supposed to be home earlier in the day but my flight was delayed four hours. Here is my recommendation to all that fly. Check your flight before you leave for the airport. I could have slept in at least three more hours before arriving at the airport.

I arrived at the airport returned my car and proceded to check in. It was storming in Chicago so all flights from Chicago were either delayed or cancelled. The four couples ahead of me were changing planes in Chicago so they were trying to be routed to other locations. This took more than a half an hour to do. Finally I was able to check in for my flight to learn my flight which was scheduled to leave at 7:15 would not leave until 11:30. My flight left the airport around noon.

So after I arrived back I first picked up my cat Edgar who I missed dearly and was very upset with me. We made it home and I sat down and relaxed the rest of the evening. I never really progressed past the living room which was funny to me the next morning. I watched television, stroked my cat and relaxed. It was good to be home. I called my boss and my Mom. That was it. I was drained. I was up so early in the morning and sat around the airport so long I was worn out.

Today I plan to unpack my luggage clean house and go to a dinner. I was supposed to go the scrapbook expo but I won't. I don't need to go.

Over the next week I hope to tell the tales of my trip and post some fun pictures.

Stay tuned!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Upstate New York


It's been a few days. But most of the weekend has been a blur. Whenever I get ready to leave town I end up spending the days before the trip running errands. I believe we all can relate. Well I finally took off Sunday morning and arrived at my destination that afternoon. Well this is when the fun begins. I flew into a small airport in Plattsburg, NY. It's a brand new airport. Really nice. But a small one and when I deplaned they promptly began shutting down. LOL! Well I waited to get my luggage. No luggage. They search and nothing! So of course I had to fill out the required forms.

The next big thing is the fact the Hertz rental place was closed. I was there in the airport which was closing down for a few hours until the next flight around four hours from this time with no car! I also did not have a cell phone because I lost it over a week ago. I was having my new one delivered to the office the next day. I looked for a pay phone but they hadn't installed on yet. Sounds like fun huh? I did however meet some very nice people and they gave me a ride to the hotel. Later that evening I received my luggage (around 10pm). I then realized I didn't have my jacket. I lost that somewhere between the airport and the hotel.

Well the next day I took a taxi to the airport to get my rental car. I also checked to see if my jacket was in the lost and found. It wasn't. Oh well! I then proceeded to the office in which I was working. Remember I mentioned my cell phone was supposed to be delivered to the office on Monday right? Well it never made it on Monday. This made me very nervous because that was the scheduled delivery date. I was without a cell phone. You can see my week hasn't been great. I ended up calling Fed Ex to have them locate it to find out it would be delivered to the office the next day by 4:30 pm. I was not expecting to be there much longer than noon the following day. Luckily it arrived before noon. I am with communication again! Woo Hoo! Edie and Eric ( the nice people who gave me a ride to my hotel) brought my jacket by the hotel. I left it in the car. So now I have a jacket again! Woo Hoo!

I am now in Lake Placid the venue for the 1980 Winter Olympics. Beautiful area the Adirondacks. Lots of mountains and beautiful vistas. Cute town so far. I am staying at a decent hotel. The one I wanted to stay at was booked but it all works out. I have a nice view of Mirror Lake. I will be in Lake Placid for only one day. I then venture on further North. I am actually not too far from Montreal. I really wish I brought my passport. But crossing the border sounds like more trouble than its worth from what I hear.

Anyway there is a scrapbook store (you know I wouldn't miss that!) and a yarn shop in town. I will stop in and investigate the yarn store tomorrow. It's called Adirondack yarns. The scrapbook store I browsed in today. It's a tourist shop and scrapbook store. Smart owners. Diversify! Keep business coming in two ways! Good idea! There was nothing I couldn't get at home except for some Adirondack laser cuts. But better stocked than I thought. Good for Lake Placid. It's also very close to the Olympic center too.

Oh well I missed "The Closer" yesterday so I am playing catch up today. I think I may come back to the area on Saturday if I can go whitewater rafting. The spring sounds like a better time to go but what can you do.

Have a Blessed day!


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Tuesday in Rockford

I almost forgot to post I was nominated by my wonderful blog buddy Stacy Crimson Purl asIsn't that the coolest! I am so proud! It's an honor for me to be nominated as a Rockin' Girl Blogger so I am going to take my new blog diva status to a new level! LOL! Let's see what I can come up with in the next few days. I am supposed to nominate people but I have yet to find any additional blog sites to nominate that Stacy didn't already nominate. The search is now on!

Yesterday was a fun day. I visited the yarn store on my lunch. It is a lovely store. I believe its the largest one I have been to yet (except for the one in Plainfield, IL and one in New Zealand). The name is Unique Yarns.

It's a wonderful store. I was very pleased to see many knitted projects displayed throughout the store. It was fun to look and feel all the nice yarns. I did finally breakdown and bought some sock yarn. It's very pretty. The color is grape. I thought it was more blue but when I looked at it in different light it was more purple.
The owner was very nice and helpful. She showed me around and helped me pick some yarn. She has many classes and fun things to see. I can't wait to visit more stores.

After work I went to Memories Ink in Rockford. It was right down the street from where I was working. The owner Karen invited me to crop last night and I didn't get back to my hotel room until 10:30pm! She taught a class on beginning scrapbooking and I bought some papers to start my album on my Family Reunion. I am doing an 8 X 8 album for the event. I didn't have pictures but I thought I could just make some pages to go in it. They turned out nicely. It was funny I spent a lot of time looking for papers for a layout of my mom and aunt. I didn't see anything that caught my fancy so I decided to move on to another set of pictures. I chose the family reunion. It worked out nicely. I can print the pictures off when I get home. Anyway, I used her paper trimmer, scissors and I also scraplifted some of her layouts. It was fun. I believe I created six layouts and started another before I left. If you ever have the chance visit the store. Karen is very nice and welcoming!Well it looks like I might be on my way home today. It really depends on how much time the managers and controller has at this office. I then pack for my trip to Upstate New York. This should be interesting. New York is a very scenic state. I can't wait to post pictures and spin tales of adventures for you. I have plans for yarn stores and hopefully some scrapbook stores.
Toodle loo!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Rockin in Rockford

I know what you are thinking. What the heck is in Rockford that's rockin! Well I believe life is what you make of it. Hopefully you can do the same. I am working in Rockford, IL this week and I love to go on my Scrapbook store and Yarn store crawl through the area.

Yesterday I went to a local scrapbook store called Memories Ink on State Street here in Rockford. I met the owner when the store was located in Sycamore, IL. Great store and lots of cool products. Well she invited me back today to come and scrapbook. She will be open later tonight since she has a beginners class and told me I should come and have some fun. I took her up on her offer and I can't wait to go. Since I am missing my scrapbook meet-up group today this would be a great fill in. I do have my pictures on disk and I can use some of her supplies and buy whatever I need. This is going to be so much fun! I actually have some unfinished layouts in my car too. Hopefully I will have some fun projects to show you tomorrow.

I also went to another scrapbook store here in Rockford called Captured Moments Scrapbook Superstore. I love it when stores call themselves a superstore. It makes you think you are going to this humongous store with millions of dollars of merchandise and crop space. Mind you this is a terrific store. It's just not as large as you would think with this name. Here is a picture of the store.

Anyway I had a blast! I went and spent too much money as always but I found some cool stuff. I bought three really cute 8 x 8 albums for $3.99 each. I have seen these around and they regularly cost $19.99! I wasn't going to walk away from that price. Here is a photo!

I also purchased a really cool stamp pad storage crate I can hang on the wall in my creative space. It was inexpensive and it was made out of cardboard. I will alter it when I get the time and store my stamps in it! I can' t wait. Here is a picture of the one in the store.

I also went to Borders and bought an Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 classroom in a book to help with my digital scrapbooking. I really need to learn how to use the program better so I can fix my older photos and use the program to its full advantage. I plan on doing a lot of this when I travel to New York for work. I will spend a lot of my evenings and a weekend learning photoshop. I bought something for crocheting too. It's a tips and trick book for your crocheting issues. I really needed that. I do plan on taking my crocheting with me to New York too. I have already scouted the yarn stores in the cities I will be visiting to make sure I hit them all. I plan on taking pictures of them all to post on the blog.

Well today I plan on going to a yarn store here in town. I would have visited yesterday but it closed a 5pm. No way I was going to make that after work so I decided to go on lunch today. I will take pictures and post tomorrow what I find!

See you in the funnies!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Savory Sunday

This recipe I found in a Better Homes and Garden magazine years ago. It was lost for some time and I finally found it in a stack of old recipes! I have one thing to say about this recipe. FABULOUS! I made these delicious shrimp and poblano pepper tamales and I instantly fell in love with them. Let me first say I was not a big fan of tamales. I was used to those commercial tamales which just tasted like slightly flavored corn meal to me. I wasn't impressed. I then began to taste authentic tamales (when the corn husks) from my Mexican American friends. I really enjoyed them. The flavor was fabulous. Then I found this recipe and I let one of my Mexican American friends try them too and they were very impressed. I had to share the recipe.

Here are my pros and cons of the recipe.

The taste is so good you will want to make a double batch

The presentation is good. Pretty impressive to those who have never made tamales

Low Calories. Only 110 calories each

Easy to freeze


Labor intensive. Takes time to prepare ingredients. Lots of chopping and measuring. Also assembly.

You may need to go to a specialty store for some things (A Hispanic grocery store should have everything).

I found my tamales were a bit sticky. I wonder if it was just me.

Overall this recipe is easy but well worth the trouble. The next time I make it I will definitely make a double batch. Totally delicious!


28 dried corn husks (3 to 4oz) or fourteen 9-inch pieces of foil
1 cup chicken broth
2/3/ cup canned cream-style corn
1/3 cup milk
2 cups masa harina
3 medium poblano chils
1 large red bell pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 pound peeled and deveined uncooked shrimp, chopped
1/2 cup lard, butter or shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup coarsely grated chihuahua, muenster or monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup coarsely grated Queso Fresco or crumbled mild feta cheese



1. Cover corn husks with hot tap water in a shallow baking dish.

2. Bring chicken broth, creamed corn and milk just a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add broth mixture to masa harina in a medium bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon, until well blended; cool.

3. Heat broiler. Line a broiler pan with foil. Arrange poblanos and bell pepper on a prepared pan and broil 4 inches form heat 10 to 15 minutes, turning until skins are evenly charred. Wrap in foil and let stand 15 minutes. Peel, sed and dice chile and bell pepper; transfer to a medium bowl.

4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic, reduce heat to medium and cook 1 minute more. Cool, then combine with chile, bell pepper and uncooked shrimp.

5. Beat lard, baking powder, salt and sugar together in a large mixer bowl, until smooth. Gradually beat in masa harina mixture by spoonsfuls, beating well after each addtion. Continue to beat 5 to 8 minute smore, until mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in shrimp mixture and cheese (mixture will be stiff).

6. Drain and rinse corn husks; keep covere with a damp towel (or follow foil directions below). Flatten one husk on work surface (overlapping two husks if small) Spoon 1/4 cup filling in center of husk. Spread into a 3-inch long log. Roll up lengthwise. Secure each end with string. Repeat with remaining husks and filling.

To prepare tamales with foil: Cut each foil piece in half to make two 6 x 9 inch rectangles. Spread 1/4 cup filling in center of each rectangle. Fold all sides in to form 2 X 3 - 1/2 inch packets. (Can be made ahead. Place tamales in resealable plastic storage bags and freeze up to 1 month.)

7. Place steamer rack in dutch oven over 1 inch of water. Arrange tamales (unthawed if frozen) in rack. Cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and steam 30 minutes. Serve with Guacamole, if desired.

Makes 28 tamales

Nutritional Information

Nutritional facts per serving
calories 110
total fat: 6.5g
saturated fat: 3g
cholesterol: 22mg
sodium 173mg
carbohydrate 10g
fiber 1g
protein 4g

Here is a link to the recipe on Ladies Home Journal website too.
I just found it and I am feeling pretty foolish now that I have typed this thing out! It was reprinted in Better Homes and Garden! Geez!

Bon Appetit'

Friday, August 3, 2007

Miss me?

It's been one of those weeks. I miss posting. But I have been very busy and tired. I must get back to exercising again. It helped a lot. Now I get home and sit on the couch and watch television. But the heat hasn't given me much option either. I don't have central air yet and its brutal.

Well here is my weekend in review. I went to Arkansas for my family reunion. My Mom wanted an early flight so we had a flight at six in the morning. Here is my recommendation. DON'T DO IT! You have to get up very early in the morning (like 3 am) to make your flight (depending on how far you are from your airport). Flying out of O'Hare is very sketchy at times so I try to arrive around an hour and a half before. By the time we made it to Arkansas and drove to the hotel our room was not ready. We had to kill time until 1pm! We arrived at 10 am. Mind you we had been up since 2:30 am and I didn't go to bed until midnight. We were tired and there wasn't much to do in town but go to Wal Mart, Sonic for hamburgers and to the birthplace of Clinton. We also visited my mother's brother and then we were able to go our room. Anyway the reunion was the same as always. We sat around and chatted with relatives and then we ate. Everything is focused around food. I was MC for the bingo and raffle and then I sat around and chatted with family and crocheted. The trip ended on a sour note though. I lost my cell phone at the airport. Bummer!

While on my trip I did work on my new cardigan. It wasn't coming along well at all. I am good at the stitching but my tension is way off. It goes from lose to tight as I work. You can see the shaping change. I was almost through with a sixteen once skein when I decided to start over. I then started over again and unraveled ten rows! I kept getting tighter as I went. This is my one major problem with crocheting. TENSION! Everytime I pick up a project I change tension. You should see some of my completed blankets. Terrible tension. But now that I recognize the problem I make sure my tension remains the same. This last go has been pretty good. The yarn is really nice too.

Anyway I am a bit sad this month. I will not be around for my monthly scrapbook meetings. I will be out of town for work. Boo Hoo! But I have decided to work on my digital scrapbooking which shouldn't take as much gear as regular scrapbooking. I have wanted to learn more and I have all the materials to do so. I can do it on an airplane, restaurant, airport or hotel room without a lot of stuff. Perfect! I just can't wait to get started. I should have three weeks of practice by the end of the month. Look for links to the pages.

I also received my ski club trip information for the 2007-2008 season. The ski clubs posts their trips and allow people to sign up at what they call "Trip Kick Offs" during August. This allows people to schedule far in advance and to start paying for their winter trips. Great deal especially for me. One of my ski clubs (out of two) will be going to Japan for a week! I really want to go but the $2000 price will keep me from attending. I was considering pushing the finances but I think I will just pass (unless I win the lottery) at the moment! Another ski club will be going to Switzerland. That one costs $1375 but it includes meals! The Japan trip includes the airfare, lodging and trip to the hotel. The Switzerland is the same but with meals. Neither offers the lift tickets because people can decide for themselves how often they would prefer to do skiing or whether they will do any skiing. Some people who are in a ski club do not ski but go on the trips and go sightseeing. This is very common and the ski clubs get terrific deals on travel. I have decide though at this point to only go on a trip to Winter Park this December. It's $550. More in my price range. That should be sufficient for me. I get to have a bit of fun and the price also includes lift tickets. I have to pace myself or win the lottery soon.

Well tomorrow I plan on posting a surprise for everyone to see. Stay tuned and check back later in the evening!

See ya later gators!