cooking things

Since we are so very close to Thanksgiving, my mind is constantly thinking, “food.”  Am I the only one?  I have a renewed interest in the Food Network and  We are jumping out of the box this year for Thanksgiving and NOT making a turkey.  We watched a Food Network show where they featured alternative Thanksgiving meals.  We are going for it.  A bacon-wrapped pork roast.  Ta-Da.

Today, I made up a delicious recipe. I thought and thought about what to call it and finally came up with:

Squash Soup

I know, I am quite clever, aren’t I?  Seriously, this rocked.  Here’s what was in it:

3 cups cooked butternut squash

2 cups cooked spaghetti squash

1 c 2% milk

2 c water

1/2 chopped onion

2 cloves chopped garlic

1 Tbls butter

2 tsp caldo de tomate (tomato bouillion)

2 tsp cumin


I chopped the onion and garlic and sauteed them in the butter and some salt. When they were nice and tender, I added the rest. I then used my immersion blender to make it so smooth and creamy.  It made 8 servings (2 ladles-full each)  If by chance you care about Weight Watchers points, I used their online recipe builder and each serving is 2 points. Guess what I will be having for lunch all week?:-)  It had a great texture because although the butternut was pureed, the spaghetti squash still had some tiny little pieces every now and again. That was a lovely surprise to my mouth.

Because I am trying to rid our family of plastic storage containers, I have been saving glass jars from store-bought spaghetti sauce, applesauce, etc.  I filled up two jars with this soup and they are waiting for me in the fridge. Nice.

This week, I am also going to try a new recipe: pollo sabroso. It sounds yummy, right? You should hear me say it! I got the recipe from

The one tradition we are sticking to this Thanksgiving is my homemade cream cheese bread for breakfast. It has white flour.  I tried to hide the bag in my shopping cart last night. I felt like a traitor.  It is a yummy, yummy breakfast treat, though. Plus, I only make it once a year. It makes enough for us to have it on Black Friday morning as well. I like that.

That’s all I’ve got for you. Not one thing more. I barely had this.





Thankful Tree

Today, I totally ripped off a great idea by another blogger.  She and her family made a Thankful Tree.  I saw it.  I had to have one.  Before you could say, “Pilgrim” I was cutting leaves out of scrapbook paper and putting my Cricut to work on the letters.


Our thankful tree (and H finishing the dishes...)



I have a lot to be thankful for.  While this year has been difficult for us emotionally, we try to remind each other how lucky we are to have had Nana/Mom/Nancy in our lives.  We are better for it.  We took a few moments today to reflect on that and so many other things. I loved seeing what they came up with.

C wrote that he was thankful to have people who loved us enough to come down and see us.  Don’t feel bad if you haven’t loved us enough to visit.  I am sure he will forgive you eventually.  He was also thankful for Genesis 1:1.  He wrote that because his brother had already “used up” John 3:16.

H was thankful for a fridge full of food, vitamins and all the animals in the world. I asked him if this included mosquitoes and he said male mosquitoes were okay.  I do not agree but I figured our thankfulness reflection time was not the time to debate this. I also did not think it appropriate to mention that some of the animals of the world were filling up our fridge.

T was thankful for basketball, sports and an awesome youth pastor. I kept waiting for him to write, “the best mommy in the whole wide world.”  I am sure the only reason he didn’t was because he was out of leaves.  Oh, he also is thankful for Air Soft.  That’s a gun for those of you with girls or small children. It shoots pellets. Tiny little pellets that wind up in the house.

I had a great time refocusing myself on my thankful items and noticed a great change in my overall disposition during our crafty time. Maybe I should cut out extra leaves for myself to fill out whenever I am feeling snarky…

The best part just happened, though.  Mr Darcy was not at home when we did our tree but we left him some leaves to fill out after dinner.  T and I were at basketball practice so we ate later.  I looked at his leaves and grinned.  Happy.  Who knew a leaf could make me blush?


Beige leaves are my new favorite color


What’s that? You can’t really see it?  Here, let me help you…


Up close and personal


There’s not much more I can say after that.

If you have some extra construction paper hanging around, you ought to give this a try.  I know we will enjoy having this conversation starter in our dining room for the month. Maybe even longer – who knows?


Ants in my Pants (and other things that discourage me)

I hate bugs. I mean it. Hate. The kind that makes your stomach sick and your fists involuntarily clench up.

Several years ago, I opened a bag of scone mix and out flew 568,987 moths. I cried. Upon closer inspection in my pantry, I had the evil things everywhere.  I cried and almost threw up.  But then, I called my friend Melanie.  Grab a seat, because you are never going to believe this….she had those same moths at her house – IN ANOTHER TOWN- THAT VERY WEEK.  When I had this piece of information, I was actually a little bit better. I know, crazy, right? Somehow, knowing that someone else had the same problem made mine less obnoxious. Less embarrassing. Less terrible.  While we talked we on the phone, she was methodically taking each and every item out of her pantry and tossing things and repacking things and freaking out a little at the same time I was.  It was nice. We bonded. I felt less..oogie. (Please tell me that’s a word.)

Since we moved to the serious south, we have had a problemo with another member of the axis of evil…ants.  I tried eco-friendly attempts to rid our home. It didn’t work. We tried heavy-duty stuff.  The kind of stuff that has 14 pages of warnings with the package.  Nada.  We called in pest control 4 times and finally got rid of them.

Until a few weeks ago. They came back. It’s similar to how those bad Smith guys replicate and are untouchable in the Matrix sequels. We can’t get rid of them. I want to throw up. I scream. I spray poison. I wonder what lesson I am supposed to be learning from this. It is embarrassing. I hate them. And no one else has them. I don’t know if I am conveying this strongly enough – my hatred of the ants. Are you getting it?

Tonight, we are having company over for dinner. A wonderful young couple with a darling little baby girl. I am sure they have never had ants take over their home.  I thought the day was going smoothly. I was getting things ready when I saw them, marching across the wall and up to the ceiling in our breakfast room.  I can’t understand why they seem to appear when I am going to have company over. I told Tommy I thought God must be trying to tell me something, but I just don’t know what it is. Do I need to remove any smidgen of pride I might have left in my heart? Is it to humble myself before others? Is it to expose my weaknesses to others? I don’t know but I just about can’t take it anymore…:-)

Okay, I probably can.

What I am thinking about this whole thing is this: When you find out that someone else is going through what you are – or even something similar…doesn’t it make things a little better? Why then, are we so scared to be transparent? What makes us think we are the only people on Earth to have ever walked through the mud and cowpies we are currently sloshing through? Let’s start a revolution! Tell someone what you are going through and bear your burdens with them.  I’ll bet we’ll find out we are not the only ones facing those moths, that fear, that grieving, that exhaustion, those hormonal imbalances, etc…  I’ll be first.  Taking a deep breath right now and:

I have ants. I can’t get rid of them and they give me the heebie-jeebies.

There, I said it.

Oh, and that thing about the hormonal imbalance? That might be me, too.