13 Oct

Thanks for stopping by! I’ve decided to move over to Blogger, and you can find me there at The Auld Grey Mare.  I hope you’ll stop in!

Fruity Nutty Baked Oatmeal

12 Oct

My original intent had been to make this for yesterday’s breakfast, since Michael was off work and there was no need to rise early to bake it – but, he was out of steel cut oats so we couldn’t do it.  Last night, when he headed out for some hummus and veggies for our lazy night’s dinner, he also picked up some oats… rolled, as the nearest steel cut oats would require a longish drive to a Whole Foods.

I was planning to use this recipe as a guideline, but halving the recipe and using chopped mixed fruit and Craisins in place of their apricots (which I will definitely try another time), and so this is what I did:

The night before, I combined 3 cups of rolled oats with 1/2 cup chopped walnuts in a glass bowl, then added water just to cover and a couple tablespoons of buttermilk Michael had on hand, and a dash of sea salt.

(odds are higher that I’ll usually have plain yogurt or whey I’ve saved from draining the yogurt to make yogurt cheese.  The idea here is that you want to add an acid to your grains to make them more digestible.  I didn’t notice any impact in the flavor.)

The covered bowl of soaking nuts and grains was left on the counter overnight.  Now the hard part (ha!) – to have this ready to eat before Michael had to head off to work, I had to get up before 7am to finish this off.  That meant actually functioning in a kitchen that isn’t mine before I’ve had any time to wake up -I am so proud!  And this recipe is so easy that it was possible!

In the morning you want to combine 3 eggs, 1 cup of milk, and about 1/4 cup maple syrup, and whisk well to combine – it should be frothy when correctly mixed.   Add the eggs to the oats (which I did not need to drain – the oats soaked it up completely), then fold in a tablespoon of cinnamon, a tablespoon of oil (we used walnut oil because that’s what we had other than olive oil) and a couple handfuls of dried fruit.

Turn the oat mixture into a greased 9×9 baking dish and bake at 375F for 40 minutes.

We didn’t eat it with anything – it takes a lot like bread pudding – but I thought a dollop of Greek yogurt and some banana slices would be a nice addition, along with another little drizzle of maple syrup.  I also think this would make a nice homey dessert, maybe with some sauteed apples and whipped cream.

I am definitely doing this again – probably next week when I’m back home and can use steel cut oats -but the rolled oats work very well!

Tuesday Tag-Along
The Girl Creative



Get Your Craft On Tuesday

Lucky Linky Tuesday

Anything Related – Food

Tuesdays At the Table

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Tasty Tuesdays


Lazy Meatless Monday

12 Oct

As Michael and I were making out plans for the week, we’d fully intended to go hunt down some museums for Monday, or at least go wander through an interesting part of DC – but between traveling on Friday, Ren Faire on Saturday, and a series of errands and outings on Sunday, by Monday, we were both beat.

I’d figured I’d be giving up my Meatless Monday plan since we were going to eat out (which is not at all the right attitude to have, I know – but it all depends on where we’d have wound up.)

But we were not only not eating out, we weren’t in any mood to cook either, and we had a problem – we’d already shopped for the week and accounted for every bit of food in the house.  There was nothing to eat, unless we decided to have cold cereal and maybe a peanut butter sandwich.

Which would have worked, had I not seen an ad for hummus and, from my half reclined position of sloth on the left end of the couch, murmered, ‘mmm…hummus…’

We looked at each other. Hummus is real food.  Hummus is GOOD food.

“… I could run to the store if we needed to…”

“…we could just have it on hand and nibble as we like.. between naps…”

So, it was decided – a container of garlic hummus, some pita bread, and assorted veggies – broccoli, cauliflower, some carrots, zucchini and radishes we had in the fridge.  Nothing ‘junk food’, and nothing more difficult than chopping to do.  We ate an enormous amount of veggies throughout the night while catching up on his DVR stash of ‘Fringe’ episodes and sipping a nice Shiraz.

Easy peasy and good!

(linked to Midnight Mania Meatless Mondays)


A Simple Woman’s Daybook Entry

11 Oct


Outside my window… there is a beagle chasing squirrels.
I am thinking… how pleasant it is to spend a day doing nothing but relaxing with the man I love.
I am thankful for… my children, my grandchildren, my friends and loved ones and for having reached an age where the people I spend time with are people I enjoy spending time with.
From the kitchen… there are trays of veggies, pickles and olives, cheese and hummus and pita to nibble on in lieu of any meal that takes actual effort to prepare.
I am wearing... A t-shirt with the Wicked Witch of the East’s foot in striped socks and ruby slipper that say’s “If the shoe fits” and plaid PJ bottoms that do not in any way match.


I am creating… a cross stitch Christmas ornament with a quilt motif.
I am going… to all sorts of places later in the week – to a play, to see Craig Ferguson, to a block party, to church…  But today, I’m happily going nowhere.
I am reading..,. The Time Traveler’s Wife.
I am hoping… this week moves slowly, but this next year flies by.
I am hearing... a song being played on a music box.
Around the house… a whole lot of books – we’ve been talking about the need to turn one of the spare rooms into a library once we add my books to his next summer.
One of my favorite things… almost anything purple.
A few plans for the rest of the week:  That’d be all those places we’re going.  I’m very excited about them all, so not to regard this as a heirarchy, but my heart is especially warmed by the block party – the neighborhood does this a couple times a year and it makes me so happy to know that these people are my neighbors.  Very friendly bunch that never fails to look out for each other and help one another out.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing

Michael and I at the MD Ren Faire on Saturday.  Great fun… not so great food.  But there was mead!  That was more fun than I’ve had in a long time.

(posted at The Simple Woman’s Daybook)

What’s Cookin’ This Week – Oct 11 – 17

11 Oct

Headed out to Maryland on Friday and have been on the go almost non-stop ever since, so there will be no real update probably until tomorrow, when Michael goes back to work.  But we did do our menu planning yesterday so we could deal with grocery shopping, so I’ve got that.

And you know what? It already went off track – I’d planned to make some baked oatmeal for breakfast this morning, and it turned out he only had a tiny bit of steel cut oatmeal left.  So maybe that will happen later in the week, since we bought all the other stuff for it.

The Plan:

Mon – Oct 11

Out running all day.  Dinner will be whatever looks good wherever we are.

Tue – Oct 12

Lemon Garlic Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Salad

Wed – Oct 13

Salmon, Brown Rice Pilaf, Acorn Squash, Broccoli

Thu – Oct 14

Italian Vegetable Strata, Salad

Fri – Oct 15

Going to catch a play – dinner out after the performance

Sat – Oct 16

Neighborhood Pot Luck – we’ll be bringing Pepperoni and Sausage Lasagna

Sun – Oct 17

Haven’t decided on dinner yet, but it’s Soup Sunday at the UU congregation we attend.  We’re bringing some Apple Curry Soup.

Dinner will likely be something simple with no leftovers since we’ll be heading back to my home on Monday.

(linked to Menu Plan Monday – land of a million great ideas for dinner!)

L is for… Lollipop… and Lentils

6 Oct

A picture to make you say ‘awwww’ and then a lovely lentil stew to pop into your mouth, how’s that?


L is for… LOLLIPOP:


And L is also for…

Lentil Stew with Smoked Sausage and Cabbage

(once again, I failed to take a picture)

2 T. olive oil

1 bag lentils

1 onion, diced

1/2 head cabbage, shredded

1 cup shredded carrots

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 smoked sausages, sliced

1 can Rotel (heat level as you prefer)

4 cups beef or chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 t. thyme

1 t. chipotle Cholula

1/2 t. red pepper flakes (if you want more heat)


Heat oil over medium heat.  Saute onion, garlic, carrots and cabbage until tender.  Add lentils, smoked sausage and tomatoes and cook for a few minutes.  Add broth, bay leaves, thyme, Cholula and red pepper flakes and bring to boil.   Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about a half hour, or until lentils are tender (watch as the time gets close – depending on the type of lentil being used, this can quickly turn to mush before you know it.)

Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt if desired and sop up with flat bread or tortillas.

Gooood food on a cold rainy night.

Serves 4-6 depending on appetite.


This is good over grains the next day.


(this entry for ABC Wednesday)

Think Pink Giveaway

6 Oct

This is a really lovely giveaway – Nataly’s Needle is offering a big collection of crafty items to highlight Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  It includes a DMC Stitch Pink Needlework Accessory Kit (which contains pink scissors, pink pouch, pink needle threader, and pink floss cards),  post it note pad, pink ribbon socks, pink ribbon tape measure, 3 pink ribbon rubber bracelets, pink leather journal, The Sweetheart Tree Tickled Pink pattern with charm, and a stitched scissor fob made and designed by Nataly.  You’ve got until Oct. 12 to sign up.

Even if Cross Stitch isn’t your craft of choice, there is a lot there that would be a pleasure to own by anyone the slightest bit crafty so head on over and put your name into the hat.  If you’re someone who would like to get started cross stitching, this would be a good beginner set to get you going.

Hoooo Am I?

5 Oct


1.  If you could add one room to our house, what would it be?

The room I lost when I moved to this house – a craft room!  Somewhere where all my supplies can be easily accessed, with good lighting a large roomy work table.  I do a lot less now, in part because it’s such a pain to get to what I need.
2. How many pillows do you sleep with at night?
A bunch – I think there are currently 4 regular pillows, 1 memory foam pillow, and 1 body pillow.
3. What is the best costume you’ve ever worn for Halloween?
Glinda the Good, the MGM version – big floofy hair, a very tall translucent and glittered crown, a large disgustingly sweet pink dress… I spent the night making my voice sound like hers and annoying everyone.
4. If you could erase one item off the face of the earth, what would it be?
Um…. er….  Beavis and Butthead reruns?
5. Where do you do your best thinking?
In my thinking chair!  Where I sit and think…think…think…

October decorating – yes with pictures!

5 Oct

Things came together very nicely for getting some pictures up of my October decorations – my daughter loaned me her camera, but she couldn’t find the cord and I couldn’t figure out how to link the memory stick directly to my computer.

But then I got a lovely delivery – Michael bought me a computer/copier/scanner and it was delivered yesterday.  Today I got it set up and found a very easy to use slot for the memory stick on the printer.

Mind you, these aren’t very good pictures – the lighting wasn’t great, and my hands are a bit shaky to take steady pictures in bad light, I think.  But at least I’ve got visuals – I’ll practice to get better on the picture taking.

So, this year was an ‘absolutely no purchases allow’ year… and seriously I don’t need anymore autumn decorations (not that that is likely to stop me in a year or two) – I have more than enough for this home, especially when I have to account for visiting toddlers and a cat with a taste for plastic and straw.  Most of  these items are dollar store specials, or put together from items on hand – no real crafting involved, just putting things together until it looks right.

The main bunch of Autumn items are safely up on the mantle, out of the path of both granddaughter and cat:

There is also my year-round tree (the pictures, other than this close up, were far too fuzzy to post), a four foot tall metallic ornament tree that is currently decked out with fall leaf garland, a few black lace covered soft ornaments and home to this little scarecrow and corn dolly.

He’s a dollar store find.. she was handmade by volunteers at Prickett’s Fort up the road from me.  The corn dolly above on the mantle was made by me.

Finally, I took a close up of a few cross stitched items I currently have up:

These first two are my own designs – the crow was worked using variegated floss so the crow pattern was stitched in a sort of checkerboard pattern to add in some texture to help define shape using a black/grey floss.  I had a lot of fun with that one and need to tidy up the chart so it’s usable by others.

The little quilt block is a Tree of Life pattern, also done with variegated floss on perforated paper – stitching little motifs that don’t require a graph to do is how I while away the 5 hour car trips between here and MD (like the one I’ll be doing at the end of the week).  I need to finish this off with a backing and way to hang it – I think it would make a nice ornament to hang… for not it looks fine tucked up on the mantle.

This last is not mine, of course – it’s the work of the wonderful Lizzie Kate designs.  Also worked on perforated paper for quick framing – except I miscalculated the amount of overhang this frame would have, so it looks a bit cramped in there.  Fortunately, the frame itself (another dollar store find) has a nice autumn motif that pulls it together in spite of the cramping.

I’m being lightly mocked by family for all this decorating when I’m going to be away for a good percentage of the month – but it makes me too happy not to do it.  Switching out for November will be easy – a couple items put up, a couple more put out to take their place, and presto chango we’ll be ready for  the last hoorah before the Yule season takes over.

(shared with Tuesday Tag-along and Toot Your Horn Tuesday)

Oooh… I want this.

5 Oct

I am a huge fan of Red Envelope – they make lovely and unique gift, baby, and home decor items.  I wear a silver claddagh bracelet from them that I’ve had for several years.  Lately, I can’t afford them, but it doesn’t keep me from oohing and ahhing everytime I graze their catalog.

So, how exciting is it that Thanks, Mail Carrier is offering a giveaway of a $50.00 gift certificate.  This giveaway’s lasting all month, so go sign up… what a nice jump on the holiday season that would be.