Thursday, October 27, 2022

Life With Grandkiddos

These two, oh how my heart bursts with love for these two.  This photo is one of my absolute favorites.   Snicklefritz is so grown up now and I remember her at 3, Min's age now.
I watched Snicklefritz from birth several times a week at the office  We had a great set up there to watch her and allow me to work too.  Then we moved offices to one with windows and lots of space for her to run and play.  She would sit on the windowsill and watch me paint and sometimes go to her own easel and paint with watercolors.  We have a very special bond.
Snicklefritz age 3

And now little Min is such a part of the mix.  I haven't watched her quite as much as I did Snicklefritz, so far.  Now with all the marathon doctor appointments her parents have had to make in OKC, I've been given the opportunity to spend lots of time with her.  We are forming a real bond now to the point that she was upset about something the other night and instead of seeking comfort with her parents she came to ME!  
She fights the nap with me but with a little scratch/rub of the back and she melts like a puddle.  

It was a truly wonderful feeling that we've clicked in that special area of Granny and granddaughter.  
Min age 3

Oh, I am tired, oh so tired, but it is a good tired, satisfying.  These two bring such joy into my life.  I find myself smiling a lot around them.  The relationships with each of them is very different and that is exciting.  My world is such a better place with them in it.  

I hope that I get to build a relationship with little Max too.  Still lots of prayers that the doctors are wrong a whole bunch, that it's not as bad as they predict, that they will err on the darker side but reality will be rosier.  

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Sunflowers and Deer

Another quiet weekend at the cabin.  When we got there we had to turn the heat on because the cabin really stays cool, very cool.  It took about 3 hours to get it in the low 60's.  Saturday morning I put a fire in our porch fireplace but really it was warm enough not too but I just HAD TO HAVE IT!  We actually kept it going all day.

Friday evening we took a nice golf cart ride and I got some awesome snapshots, hopefully to paint.  

This one and the deer were the best!

Saturday morning I was again doing another painting class/workshop in the wigwam but sadly NO ONE showed up so I just painted all by my lonesome.

I had the sunflowers and I was not about to let them go to waste.  
Took these photos this morning.

Saturday evening we had a couple over for an easy meal of grilled pork chops, pesto potatoes and oven roasted asparagus!  It was quite yummy and we ate on the porch with a fire in the fireplace and football on the television (not my favorite thing!)  It was a wonderful evening.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Nothing But Food/Cooking

No one’s perfect...Tuesday's dinner was a bit of a fail on my part because of seasoning, undercooked noodles and (blaming) frozen green peas that were harvested late in the season and tough as a boot. I saw somewhere a recipe for hamburger gravy and this was my attempt.

1 lb. lean hamburger meat
1-2 tsp olive oil salt/pepper
1-2 tsp thyme (or fav seasonings)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1-3 Tbls. flour (more or less)
1 cup (more or less) milk (it’s for like a gravy so depends on how much to get right thickness)
Mushrooms (I had a small can)
1 Tbls. tomato paste
1 Tbls Worcestershire sauce
Milk (amounts vary depending on thickness wanted)
Brown hamburger. When almost brown add onion and peppers and cook till tender. Add tomato paste in a little cleaned out space in the skillet and let it kind of cook to get rawness out. Add flour and cook on medium heat till the raw flour taste is gone. Add milk and thicken to your liking. Some of the recipes called for cream, I didn’t have any. You could also use beef broth or stock. Cook a few minutes then I added the peas and small can of drained mushrooms. While simmering I cooked the noodles (obviously not long enough!)
UPDATE: Okay, the hamburger gravy on Thursday turned into hamburger soup. All I did was add a can of petite diced tomatoes and lots more salt and let it cook for about an hour and it turned out delicious. I also added in about 1/2 cup of leftover pesto potatoes (see below) leftovers and I think that added bit of pesto made the soup even better.

SUCCESS-Squash Soup:

Tuesday's lunch I made squash soup. Every Tuesday Af & Nick have a baby doctor appointment and I get to fetch Minerva to hang with me a bit. I wanted to feed them when they came to pick up Min as they usually are famished when they come in the door, so I fed them, it’s what I love to do.

In my fridge and pantry I had:
vegetable stock
1/2 onion
2 cups cubed butternut squash
a can of pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
fresh sage from my garden
red pepper flakes
real maple syrup
I sautéed the chopped onion in olive oil and vegan butter. When translucent I added the cubed squash , salt and pepper and a splash of the syrup. Stirred it around for about 5 minutes then added the can of pumpkin purée and entire box of vegetable stock (I think 2-3 cups.) I covered an simmered for about 20 minutes till the cubed squash was tender. Then I added three fresh leaves of sage, red pepper flakes and about 2 tsp of ground ginger. Again let simmer about 20 minutes to release the flavors. When done I took out the sage leaves and used my immersion blender to smooth the soup. OMG, there was a smidge of heat from the red pepper and ginger and it is YUMMY! So satisfying and great for lunch the next day.

Thursday's dinner was nothing exceptional, EXCEPT for these potatoes!!!!
Pesto Potatoes

I was reading on the back patio Thursday afternoon and of course I think many things at once including cooking, as I’m digesting a good book. We were going to have tilapia and I needed to make it interesting, via the sides. I had a new container of pesto, a couple potatoes and a lemon. I searched pesto and potatoes to find I could put the two together, and use the pesto on the fish too. I sliced the potatoes thinly and tossed in some of the pesto, a splash of olive oil, squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper. Roasted on cookie sheet in 350 oven till tender, about 20-30 minutes. I cranked the oven up to 400 stirring the potatoes around and cooked for about 10 minutes to crisp a bit. Then I made a space for the seasoned fish, another splash of oil, lemon squeeze and cooked 6-10 minutes till fish done. YUM YUM YUM! Those crispy potatoes with a bite of fish were devine.  These potatoes were the ones I added to the remake of the soup above.  I cut them up a bit too before adding to the soup.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Painting, Prayers and Play

The past week was kind of a blow. Seems the OKC doctors and Tulsa doctors are on a different page concerning baby Max. It is going to be a weekly thing now as we get closer and closer to his due date (Jan 7.) We are now in the phase of really stepping up to watch little Min while they go to the plethora of doctor/specialist appointments. Lots of prayers please that the doctors are all wrong, that the tumor shrinks and goes away and he is just perfect, honestly he is perfect. Pray, pray, pray.

We had a nice weekend away to the cabin. It was even cool enough to have a fire in our outdoor fireplace. Can't have a pit fire because of the burn ban but our fireplace is perfect! Had a group again at the wigwam for a painting session. I brought pumpkins and mini corn to paint. Really enjoyed it.
Also captured a few snaps for future paintings. I've got a commission I need to get to this week, a horse named Big Red for a high school classmate that I haven't talked to in nearly 50 years. She found me and we've been emailing like crazy.

This weeks fun dinner was a play on a cross between lasagna and chicken tetrazzini. It came to me in a dream, yes I dream cooking. In my pantry I had a half a box of lasagna noodles, a ja of Alfredo sauce, 4 chicken thighs in the freezer, 1/2 white onion, lemon, 2 stalks celery, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, oregano, Italian seasoning, cottage cheese, egg, frozen broccoli, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese and 1/2 box of chicken broth.

First I poached the chicken thighs in the chicken broth, water, onion, celery, lemon, garlic and seasonings. When it was done I took the thighs out then strained it and was left with some broth I froze for later use. I shredded the chicken and added the jar of Alfredo sauce. The cottage cheese (didn’t have ricotta, CC is good replacement) was mixed with the beaten egg and a bit of Parmesan cheese.
Now it was time to layer:
A bit of sauce in casserole dish. Then lasagna noodles, chicken mixture, cottage cheese mixture, mozzarella, broccoli, repeat with last layer of noodle and top with mozzarella. Kind of use your imagination. Cover with foil and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about an hour till hot and bubbly. Take foil off and top with Parmesan and return back to oven about 10-15 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes to set.
It was yummy and would have been nice to serve with small salad if I had the fixings for it. He thought it was great.