Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Early April

We are enjoying many colors in our yard.  What a great distraction from this current pandemic.  COVID-19 is always in our thoughts, but during the day it's good to take time to relax.  Enjoy the colors outdoors!  We don't have any roses blooming to enjoy their aroma, just yet.  However, there is new growth on our rose bushes.

I was waiting p-a-t-i-e-n-t-l-y for the Daffodil buds to open.  So many bulbs were planted many years ago.  Now, these are the only Daffodils in our yard.    


The Perennial Vinca spreads across a large area of one garden.  In early Spring these dainty flowers appear!


Hyacinths are just bursting open along with the bright yellow Forsythia!  Every day more bright yellow Forsythia buds open.  


The White Bleeding Hearts have sprouted up from the soil, too!  Before we know it the flowers will be visible.


Another favorite is our Rhododendron that always "does its thing"!  Half the bush has buds that open in the Spring.  Then, in Autumn the other half open.


It's good to stop and enjoy the beautiful colors!  Take some time each day to r-e-l-a-x!! 

Enjoy!
Stay Well!
   

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Best Ever Irish Soda Bread

 
Best Ever Irish Soda Bread
(File Photo)

St. Patrick's Day is soon!  It's the day when just about everyone is Irish!  Me??  Oh, I'm Irish by marriage.  For that reason, I just knew years ago that I needed to bake a really great tasting Irish Soda Bread.  The kind of Irish Soda Bread that tasted better than any that I had tasted. 

I did locate a great recipe!  Now, whenever I sample a slice of other breads, it's always, "Ah, no, not as good."  Sometimes, they are a bit too dry.  Other times there are not many raisins to enjoy.  That does make a big difference.  

In my quest for the "perfect" Irish Soda Bread, I googled.  At that time my search led me to Carol who also had a foodie blog.  The ingredients were few and the method was so easy.  In my haste one year I melted and cooled the unsalted Butter.  That error led to a much easier method of preparing the dough.  

The dough is very sticky.  It's also plump full of Raisins!  The Raisins are soaked in hot water, first, drained and then added to the other ingredients.

Ready to be baked!
(File Photo)

This year, rather than write out the recipe for Best Ever Irish Soda Bread, here is the link.  Yes, it is worth it to click on this link!  Last week I purchased the needed ingredients, because I knew I had to bake this yummy bread for this Tuesday.  I'll be baking it tomorrow!   

If you have any extra slices, they can be frozen to enjoy at another time.  I place each half slice in a sandwich bag and then place all of the sandwich bags into a freezer bag.  The needed amount can be defrosted. This also makes a great gift for other family members!  In this photo it's cut and sliced and ready to be enjoyed.

A great treat to share!
(File Photo)
If you do not have Buttermilk in your fridge, save this recipe to use after purchasing it in the coming weeks.  The other ingredients, too, if they are not in your pantry.  This is one very tasty Irish Soda Bread!!  Whenever I bake one I always think of Carol who introduced me to this delicious bread!

Enjoy!
Yummy!
     


                     and
               Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!

Dr. Seuss and the Cat in the Hat
at the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden
Springfield Museums

Today
On March 2
We wish you,
Dr. Seuss,
a Happy Birthday!!!


So many of us enjoy the books that Dr. Seuss wrote!!  Here in the Springfield, MA area his birthday is celebrated this week, as it is in so many other places.  He was born in Springfield, MA on March 2, 1904 and grew up in this city.  For that reason he has a very special place in the hearts of area residents.  Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote fascinating stories for children and used the name Dr. Seuss.  Seuss was his mother's maiden name.  On the grounds of the Springfield Museums in Springfield there are many large bronze statues of the characters in his books.  They were designed by his step- daughter the sculptor Lark Grey Dimond- Cates. 

His inspirations for his stories came from his surroundings when he was growing up.  Theodor Geisel grew up in the Forest Park section of Springfield.  His dad was the superintendent of the Forest Park Zoo.  Theodor often heard the phrase, "If I ran the zoo...".  Many of us have enjoyed his book, If I Ran the Zoo.  

Indian Motocycles are drawn in some of his books.  These motorcycles were manufactured in Springfield!  Theodor Geisel never lived on Mulberry Street.  His maternal grandparents owned a bakery in Springfield.  

Whenever I stop in, now, to visit one of the five museums at the Springfield Museums, it's always a treat to take a walk around the beautiful statues.  

Horton and Other Friends
at the Springfield Museums

One day many years ago after giving a tour to a school group I was leaving the complex.  Suddenly, I saw a little girl with her parents coming on the grounds to visit.  She ran over to The Lorax and gave him a big hug.

The Lorax
at the Springfield Museums
              
It is a very special place!  Now, there is also a museum, The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum, to visit.  It is a great place for children, young and old, to use their imaginations and have fun.  History of the area is also covered as it relates to this great author, Dr. Seuss!  If you have never visited this museum, stop in!  It is one of the five museums at this gem in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts!

Enjoy!
 

Friday, February 14, 2020

Some Valentine's Day History


A few years ago I wrote a post about Valentine's Day.  History is always interesting!  On the special day, which is today, February 14th- I am reposting it: 

American Valentine's Day Cards History

Enjoy Valentine's Day!!


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Creamy Cheesy Pie


Creamy Cheesy Pie
ready to cut into slices
(File Photo)
How many years have I been making Creamy Cheesy Pie??  It has been so many.  Actually, a few decades!  Years ago my husband & I were in Florida visiting his parents when I first tasted this yummy dessert.  After enjoying dinner my MIL served cheesecake with fresh fruit.  Now, cheesecake is always so hard for me to resist.  It was so yummy that I asked her for the recipe!  The ingredients were milk, cream cheese and a package of pudding (to prepare on the stove).  Was I ever surprised!  The instructions were so easy, too! 

At home the week before I had baked a cheesecake that required more than one package of cream cheese and it was baked in a springform pan.  There were many step by step directions, too.  Considering the time it took me to prep the cheesecake I had made and how easy my MIL's was to prepare, this one has become a fave with me!  Oh, the one I had made was delicious, but why spend extra time prepping a food when there is another option? 


Creamy Cheesy Pie is also a fave here, because it is a recipe handed down to me!

If and whenever you happen to be looking for a simple, yet very tasty dessert, prepare this if your family enjoys cheesecake!

  • I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese when I make it, now.  It's because I'm always trying to reduce cholesterol when cooking. 
  • I also use 1% Milk + 2 teaspoons powdered dry milk when prepping any pudding mix.        
Creamy Cheesy Pie 

Ingredients:

(1) Premade Graham Cracker Pie Shell
(1) 8 ounce package Cream Cheese
(1) package Cook & Serve Vanilla Pudding mix
(2) Cups Milk

Method:
  1. Prepare Pudding according to package directions. 
  2. Place Cream Cheese in medium sized bowl.
  3. Pour hot Pudding over Cream Cheese and whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour mixture into Graham Cracker Crust.  Smooth mixture to crust edge.
  5. Cool about 30 Minutes.  Then, cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Refrigerate overnight.
  7. Cut into needed slices. Add Whipped Cream on top and berries on the side.
  8. Refrigerate remaining slices.
This is a great dessert any time of year!

Enjoy!
Yummy! 



Sunday, January 19, 2020

Tomato Basil White Bean Soup

Tomato Basil White Bean Soup
(File Photo)
There is nothing better than a bowl of warm, hearty, yummy soup on a chilly evening.  Especially when and if one is sneezing.  Sometimes, soup is prepared before dinner and sometimes after taking a quick look in our freezer I can find a container of one!  One of our faves is Tomato Basil White Bean Soup!  It is easy to prepare and the ingredients are in my pantry.  If you do not have them, then definitely add them to your grocery list. 

When preparing this soup, the white kidney beans are rinsed in cold water and drained.  Repeat again.  Then, everything is placed in a large pot and the ingredients simmer on the stove for 30 minutes.  It is that easy!  I know, it's hard to believe!

If we have leftover Rice in our fridge, I add it to the pot.  If not, Couscous is prepared just before serving and added to the bowls before ladling in the soup.  My linked recipe has the Couscous.

There are always leftover portions, so I freeze 2 portion servings in freezer containers.  It's always a great find after a busy day!  This is a simple soup and it tastes simply delicious!  Click here for recipe!

Enjoy!
Yummy!
            

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

~Happy New Year!!!~

One of my fave winter scenes!

As this new year begins

my wish for you
is good health and
happiness
!!!

Happy
New Year
!!!