Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blue Knitted Hat

Remember my last attempt at knitting a hat.  It was way too small.  If at first you don't succeed...try, try again.

Here is my second attempt:

I used the largest size on the pattern, and it fits my head perfectly.

I promise this is a really easy pattern.  But, somehow I had a difficult time making this hat.  I kept dropping stitches or getting off the pattern, so I took out rows of work at least 3 times.  I really did not think I would ever finish it.

Will I try this pattern again???  YOU BET.  I really like the look of the hat and sewing it together at the end is a breeze.  I just need to pay more attention to what I am doing next time.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Beautiful Weather

My, oh my, what a gorgeous day it has been today in the Big Woods.  After all the snow and bad weather, we experienced a high today of 69 degrees.

Everywhere you went, people were outside.  I even saw people wearing short sleeves and flip flops.

I managed to spend a little time outdoors myself and even found a few flowers and plants to make a small bouquet.

Too bad, this weather is only going to last for one day.  More bad weather is in the forecast for the Big Woods on Wednesday.

Wherever you are, I hope you have had a chance to experience a little taste of Spring weather!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blue Hyacinth

Another great idea from my Lynchburg Sister's home.  She has planted a hyacinth in a glass.  This is a great way to bring a little spring into your home.

We could use a little "spring" in the Big Woods.  Our area has received more snow this year than we have in a long time.  Schools were closed again yesterday, and there is more snow in the forecast for next week.

My daughter has paper snowflakes hanging from her bedroom ceiling.  I have advised her that this may be the problem, and she really should take them down.  Of course, she is wishing for just one more snow, so she is determined to leave them in place. 
Oh well...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Thank you, thank you to my Sewing Sister's Middle Child.  He and his family came to Tennessee for a visit.  They live in Minnesota.  While he was here, he scanned in several old family photos, so we could all share them. 

So, I thought I would share one of my pictures with you today.  This is a picture of my parents.  I love this picture.  Don't they look like Bonnie and Clyde?  Have you ever noticed how old pictures are always made with a car???  I guess it is because buying a car was such a big deal in those days.
Treasure your family photos.
Thanks again nephew!!!

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fried Taters

When I was growing up, we ate fried potatoes at least 4 times a week.  I really think we had some form of potatoes with almost every meal. 

I thought I would show you today how I make fried pototoes.  There really is no is simply a process.

Begin with a few pototoes.  I try to only fry what we will eat...I do not enjoy leftover fried potatoes.

Pour some cooking oil in a skillet...enough to cover the bottom of the pan...sometimes I use a little more...sometimes a little less.  Just use your favorite cooking oil...I like Wesson Canola Oil.

I usually turn on the stove eye (begin on high and as soon as you begin to hear a sizzle, turn down to medium-low) and let the oil begin to heat as I am peeling the potatoes.  I actually peel a potato and slice it directly into the pan.  I like to slice my potatoes a little less than 1/8 inch thick.

If you want onion in your pototoes...chop a few and add them at this time.  Then, salt and pepper to taste.  I am not stingy with the salt and pepper.  Cover with a lid and continue to cook on medium-low.  Every few minutes, lift the lid and stir the potatoes.

After a while (around 25 minutes), you'll begin to notice the potatoes are soft and beginning to brown.  If they are not as brown as you like them, turn up the heat just enough to allow them to brown.

I like to remove the potatoes from the skillet to a bowl that is lined with a paper towel to drain off any excess oil...I then remove the paper towel before serving.

And there you have it...Tennessee fried potatoes.  Our favorite way to eat these is by having breakfast for supper.  We also like to add a little Ketchup to our "fried taters".


I'm linking up with Tidy Mom. Tidy Mom I'm Lovin It Fridays

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Warmth in Winter

It was so nice this week (with all the snow on the ground) to see my kitchen violet was beginning to bloom again.  Just a small sign that there is life in the dead of winter.

I am having a great weekend!  As luck would have it, I have slipped away from the Big Woods to attend a youth retreat with my own two teenagers and several other youth from our church.  The retreat is called Warmth in Winter.  This retreat is sponsored by the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church.

We had a wonderful opening session tonight, and we are preparing for a full day tomorrow.  If any parents are reading this, please know that your children are so well behaved...that is part of the reason I am having such an enjoyable trip.  This event is for youth, but I always receive a blessing when I attend as an adult. 

This winter especially, it is nice to take a little time to experience God's warmth.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to you,,,
Happy Birthday to you,,,
Happy Birthday Dear Sewing Sister,,,
Happy Birthday to you!!!!

Look what my Sewing Sister got as her present from my Nashville Brother!!!
It is a beautiful orchid.
My Nashville Brother is an expert at raising these.  They are not easy to grow.
He has several of them in his kitchen window.
Good luck Sewing Sister.
You have now been handed the challenge of keeping your orchid thriving and beautiful on this your "60th" birthday.

Happy Birthday to you!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Towel Apron

How do like this cute apron???
You will like it even better when I tell you it is made from a towel.
That's right...a dear friend made these to sell at our church's annual Harvest Festival.
This is my Lynchburg Sister modeling the cute and functional apron.
While working in the kitchen, there is no need to reach for a have one right there with you wherever you go.
Cute, cute, cute!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cookie Jar

Isn't this cookie jar just the cutest???
No, it is not mine.
It is my Lynchburg Sisters.
She bought it at the Cow Patties Store on the square in Lynchburg.  (Yes, that is funny, and no those are not cow patties inside the jar.)
I had a chance to buy one too, but I already have soooooooo many jars.
But look how cute it is holding its cookies.
(If you are wanting the lasagna recipe from yesterday's post, I have added a link now on that post to the recipe from Southern living.)

I'm loving this cookie jar soooooo much, I'm linking up with Tidy Mom.

Tidy Mom I'm Lovin It Fridays

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sister, Sister, Sister, Oh Brother...Birthday

Yes, I do feel a little guilty showing you this picture.
I only wish you all could have tasted this food.
It was absolutely delicious.
The lasagna is a Southern Living Recipe prepared by my Lynchburg Sister.
It was the best lasagna I have ever tasted.
The occasion was my Sewing Sister's very special birthday.

And now from this picture, you know which birthday my Sewing Sister is about to celebrate.
We had a very lovely sisters/brother birthday luncheon at my Lynchburg Sister's home.
There was food, presents, laughter, and plans for the next sibling's birthday.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunshine Fruit Salad

Today, my daughter is making our family's very easy fruit salad.
The main ingredient in this fruit salad is peach pie filling.  You start with the peach pie filling, and then from there, you can add whatever fruits you think would taste best.  We always like to add a can of drained pineapple.

We really like grapes, so we must add of few of these.

My daughter had fun playing with the grapes.
And,yes she did remove all the seeds.

And of course, fruit salad wouldn't be complete without a few bananas.  The peach pie filling helps keep the bananas fresh.

In go the bananas.

Now, just stir everything together, and you have a lovely fruit salad.

Sometimes, we add strawberries, mandarine oranges, or apples.  Be creative and...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Snow Days

This is the view from my kitchen window...

Can you see the bird on the limb? 

This has been our 5th Snow Day in a row.  The snow that fell on Sunday night is still with us, cancelling school for another day.  Here is the bird a little closer...

I have to say we have truly enjoyed our week.  Other than watching the birds at our feeders, we have been sledding, pulling each other on an inner tube, walking through the woods, drinking hot cocoa, and building a snowman...

It does seem like we are never going to get back to the routine of school.  We have another holiday on Monday.  In the meantime, it sure is good to have a little "home" time.  

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Loaded Potato Crock-Pot Salad

Yum, yum,yum!!!  These potatoes will be a hit at any party or covered dish meal.  I don't know how they taste as "leftovers", because I have always made them to carry somewhere, and there have never been any left over!!!

Begin with three pounds of small red potatoes, washed and quartered.  Do not peel.

Cook on the stove until tender.

Drain water from potatoes.

Now, you will need:
1 stick butter or margarine, melted
1 eight ounce sour cream
1 package dry ranch dressing mix
1 bunch green onions
1/2 pound bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
Seasonings to taste (salt and pepper)
1 eight ounce bag mild cheddar and monterey jack shredded cheese

Fry bacon until
(I love this picture...I declare I can smell the bacon through my computer.  Can you smell it???)

Put the potatoes back in the pot you cooked them in and pour the butter over the top of the potatoes.

Mix the ranch dressing with the sour cream.

Gently stir the sour cream mixture into the potatoes.

Now...chop your onions including the tops, then add the onions, half of the bacon, and three-fourths of the cheese.  Stir all this together gently until it looks like the picture above.
Now you can put all of this in a crock-pot.
(Are you hungry yet?)

Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese, onions, and bacon.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper (or other seasonings) to taste. 
Cook on high 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Here is the really great part of this dish...
You can make it a day ahead and refrigerate overnight.
Your friends and family will love these potatoes!!!

Tidy Mom I'm Lovin It Fridays


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