Friday, October 30, 2009

Food Fun Friday- Pumpkin goodies

Being from Half Moon Bay..... October is Pumpkin Season!!!

I have so many yummy recipes... (especially Mary's pumpkin roll-ups)
well.. I thought I'd try a new one, a really simple one...
Pumpkin Spice Bars
It is from
(luckily I hid this piece because they are ALL GONE... and I just made the bars LAST NIGHT.. Mr. Produce thought they were yummy)

1 box of spiced cake Mix
1 15oz can of Pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1 Cup chocolate chips

Mix with a mixer, beat together the cake mix and pumpkin. Add the chocolate chips and mix by hand.
350 degrees for 20 minutes.

(*I mixed the whole thing by hand. *I only put 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. *I put it in a 8X10 might fit in a 9X13, might not. *I cooked it longer.. like 30 minutes and it still turned out like pudding. I left it out overnight and it was fine in the morning ...well what was left of it!!!!)


and then..... I saw these plump little babies on Emily's blog here and MAN-O-MAN those pumpkin cupcakes look good!
But I settled for her cookie recipe... and here you go:
pumpkin choc chip cookies
1 c brown sugar
1 c pumpkin
1/2 c oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1 c choc chips
*bake at 350 on a greased cookie sheet, 12-15 min

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday Wisdom

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hawaii - Iron Man

Still downloading our pictures from Hawaii. When we were in Kona, they were having the WORLD Iron Man event.
We thought it was a great time for a before & after picture!! ha

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cookies in a Jar- Gifts too -

Tuesday we had our once a month craft class - - -We had a whoopping 7 people attend – it was great. We learned (hands on) all the ins & outs of Cookies in a Jar.. (and Other Stuff in a Jar)....It was so much fun and fast and furious …I forgot to take pictures!

This gives me an opportunity to give YOU a tutorial on making Cookies in a Jar. There are a few hints and suggestions that will help make the process of layering these gifts a lot easier and smoother.

Having the recipes on your computer helps when making the *Tag* because when you make the Cookies in a Jar (or Something-else in a Jar) you can cut and paste the “instruction Tag" to your favorite paper and have a tag made up quickly to put with your Jar. (AND if you stay with me through the end of this tutorial… you can email me for a copy of my 29 page list of recipes and ideas).. –well I guess you don’t HAVE to stay with be till the bitter end, you COULD just email me right now.. but then you’d miss all the fun .
First: assemble the ingredients.

Jars- It says to have the wide mouth jars (like the kind on the left), but frankly, if you have the regular jars around that’s fine, they still hold the same amount. For filling all the jars you still need a funnel of sorts. I use paper, a little bit heavier than copy paper but not as heavy as card stock. Just roll it a little and it sure helps in filling the jar.

nice eh?
Tamping – All ingredients need to be tamped in. I found that the best tamping tool was a ice cream scoop. Although this wooden rolling pin also helped, as did a little glass or even a rounded measuring spoon. Just look around to what you have handy and see if it fits in the mouth of the jar.
Adding the Ingredients:- Think about the color & type of ingredient and how much air you can tamp out. Add white baking soda or powder or salt to the flour. (Slowly whisking them together will combine it thoroughly) Sugar and Flour need to be tamped down. Be careful with the flour because one hard tamp and the puff of flour can spill all over the place.
Add the flour slowly. I also add flour to my white sugar (so my line of flour isn’t the biggest item in the jar.) You can also add the flour mixture to other white things like…. Coconut or a little bit to the Oats. If you add the flour on top of large things like chocolate chips, it will fall into the cracks and make the chocolate chips almost disappear. (same with nuts).
When through with an ingredient, I use a knife to make the edge sharp.
Just keep tamping each layer (even the large items like chips and nuts have to be tamped down)This jar is Cowboy Cookies.

For Sand Art Brownies= numerous colored layers OF THE SAME CONSISTENCY - After layering and LIGHTLY tamping the layers, you can use a ka-bob stick or Popsicle stick and start poking down from the side of the jar to make “waves” of colors. After you have gone all the way around the jar and like the look, slowly and tightly tamp down the insides of the jar again (starting from the middle of the jar and working your way out. If you find that tamping it down changes the waves, just tamp the middle and add your heavier ingredients to the middle first.

Cowboy cookies ( guess that last one is cow cookies)Thank you for sticking with me- some of the steps are obvious but wanted to mention them anyway!

You can email me (or leave me a comment) that you want to have an email with an attachment of my gatherings of recipes… there are so many besides a ton of Cookie recipes, like Pizza dough in a Jar, and Amaretto Cocoa Mix and White Hot Chocolate Mix... well you get the idea.

I KNOW YOU’LL THANK ME because I've just made this year the easiest Christmas Gift Giving EVER (neighbors, friends, VT ladies, Home Teachers, people at work, the mail person, hair stylist, babysitters, and on and on)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Wisdom

He who smiles rather than rages is always stronger.

Japanese proverb

Sunday, October 18, 2009

still have a cold

I can't believe we still have colds here!!! I mean the stuffy head, irritating throat, a burning all the way down to your stomach cough! and tickle and cough and red eyes and achy skin and tired eyes and head aches and pain behind the eyeballs and have I mentioned the tickle with every breath and swallow that makes you cough and cough and cough, even when there is nothing there to cough, just this stupid tickle.
And a tongue so numb from cough drops that you can't taste anything. And head fog where you just can't "thing crearly"

ok folks we are 11 days into this monster. Mr. Produce even went to the Doctor (he never goes to the Dr.) and they didn't give him anything but eye drops and a decongestant! and the money we've spent on cough medicine and cough drops and cloriseptic spray and Tylenol cold tablets and Kleenex.
And no sleeping because of the coughing (that would be Mr. Produces coughing).

One bright spot is something my blog friend Sue mentioned. Good Earth Caffeine Free Sweet & Spicy Herbal Tea.
I normally don't like tea. (well Chi with milk is a different story) but a tea bag in water tastes like warm dirt. When I have a cold I will use a "zinger" because that actually has some taste, and maybe throw in some honey.
BUT .... with the sweet & spicy, ummmmmmm
soothing - tasty - warm and calming to the throat - sweet & spicy - LOVE that Cinnamon.

Thanks Sue!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Food Fun Friday- LA PASTA!!!

A couple of days ago EMILY posted about this wonderful pasta. Well... we have colds and are feeling miserable.. so diets be ditched and lets bring on the warm comfort food.
OH YEAH, this was reallllly good.
and the next night we added deli roast chicken and it was JUST as GOOD the second time around. So good I had to share!


16 oz rigatoni
1 stick butter
1/2 c flour
1 c milk
1 can chicken broth
3 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
1/2lb mushrooms, sliced
3/4 c half & half
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 c Parmesan
3/4 c sliced almonds
1. cook chicken (sometimes i buy a cooked chicken from costco & shred the chicken so i don't have to cook frozen chicken, saves mucho time-o)
2. cook pasta, set aside & drain
3. while pasta is cooking, melt butter in large sauce pan (keep on low medium heat entire time)
4. whisk milk (not half & half) and flour until smooth, stir into butter once melted, add chicken broth, stirring constantly (if lumpy, use whisk to stir until smooth).
5. add half & half, stir until smooth and thickened.
6. add salt, nutmeg, chicken, mushrooms, and rigatoni.
7. put into baking greased baking dish.
8. bake COVERED at 350* for 35 minutes, then stir.
9. sprinkle Parmesan and almonds, bake 15 min. more UNCOVERED.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pictures of our trip

well, I've found a little time to download a couple (ha) of pictures of our trip. Hopefully not too boring.
A night at sea... watching the take off. These are from the first couple of days: Maui. Our ship:Typical... standing in line:
But we did finally find some beautiful water scenes.
Too much for Mr. Produce to take, he just had to get in the water...with his sister Janice

Wednesday Wisdom

A habit for all of us to develop would be to look for something to appreciate in everyone we meet. We can all be generous with appreciation.

Carl Holmes

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

stressed & sick

Yes, this is exactly what I feel like.

Had a WONDERFUL vacation, and NOW I’m stuck with a sore throat and head cold. My eyes are weeping so much I can’t see, everything is a fog… including my brain. I can’t think clearly.. and I have a lot to do and “think” about *oh yeah*, I HAVE WORK TO DO, so much work to do since I was gone a week. AND THEN there’s alllllll the stuff at home. I have to organize my Craft Class for next week so I can let everyone know what to bring and what we will be making, AND THEN there’s the “Come To The Fair” social on Saturday that I have to make all sorts of posters and name tags and recipe baskets and stage and entry decorations and games and County Fair type questions and prizes AND then make up a booth of my Theater and Costume stuff…. (are you still with me and my whinning????) AND THEN I still have all my blog stuff I organize. Speaking of blogs, I was gone a week and there are so many wonderful –blogged things- from all my blog bff’s that I haven‘t even gotten thru any of them (the posts from last week) because I am so busy and I need to give each one my undivided attention. AND THEN I have to download all my photos and write up a little travel log (I say little because I am determined to NOT bore each of you with my vacation prattle).

But really I have been been quite busy these last 36 hours, I have washed 6 loads of laundry (and there are only two of us!!!!!) and I have made the little breakfast quiches for Mr. Produce’s snack all week, and fed him copious amounts of cold&flu products (guess I should have fed some to myself too) and cooked more dinners and watered and picked up the plants that died (that fall/winter death stuff CERTAINLY NOT because you didn’t water them well Danelle!) and go thru my 120 emails and unsubscribed from every unwanted sales pitch because I never want to go thru that many “buy-me” emails ever again!!! And that is all after my first day at work trying to catch up.

(did you read all that in one breath.. because that is how I felt saying (writing) it)

Ok, Lisa, suck it up, you had a wonderful time now its back to the real world.

No more beautiful sunrises…..

or beautiful sunsets:
Here is a Before picture of me- relaxed on vacation
The one at the top is the after picture of me NOW!!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I am excited to be back! -2 reasons-

I am back from Hawaii.
Such beauty, weather, islands and fun people. Mr. Produce and I went on a Hawaiian island cruise with his two sisters and their husbands. We just flew in ( and boy are my arms tired)..
I am working on laundry, emptying suitcases, making lunches for the week, watering the plants, putting Mr. Produce to bed since he got really sick with a cold these last two days..
I will be posting some of my pictures regarding our trip (the volcano erupting in the water was a big thrill)
- - - - - - - - and speaking of thrilling....
I was featured on one of favorite sites the DIY show off
so go and check out my room before and after. And I know you will fall in love with her blog. Its an easy read, and there are ALWAYS so many great Do It Yourself projects.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Food Fun Friday-Spinach Squares/Spinach Soufflé

My girlfriend at work gave me this recipe, it is great

*****a great South Beach recipe. I love it at work, for snack or lunch.


Spinach Squares/Spinach Soufflé

Bake one hour at 350º. Use 9” square pan or 7 x 11 pan. Number of servings depends on size of square and whether you are using this as an appetizer or as a side vegetable.

2 Tbs. butter

1 small onion chopped (Leeks are a good substitute.)

1/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced

4 eggs

1 lb. cottage cheese

2 10 oz. packages chopped frozen spinach, thawed & well-drained– or –

fresh spinach, washed/dried/chopped, 6-8 cups loosely packed

1/4 lb. shredded yellow cheese - or –

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. herbs, blending pepper, dry basil, oregano

3 Tbsp. Flour or 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs (optional)

Melt butter, cook onions and mushrooms until soft.

Beat eggs w/ whisk. Add cottage cheese, spinach, cooked onion/mushroom mixture. Add grated cheese and herbs. Add flour or bread crumbs, if using. (Without the flour or crumbs, there’ll be a bit more liquid, but it’s manageable.)

Spread in greased (Pam-sprayed) pan. Bake one hour (check after 45 minutes for firmness) at 350º. Allow to cool before slicing. (Drain squares before putting them on a serving plate, if using no flour/bread crumbs.)

May be served warm and eaten w/ fork or served at room temperature and eaten with fingers.

NOTE: If using chard or other substitute vegetable, consider steaming the chopped veggie then drain really well before adding to egg mixture. Raw zucchini will produce quite a lot of liquid as it cooks. Raw spinach also releases quite a bit of liquid. To bake up reasonably firm “souffle’”, you’ll need to minimize liquid.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday Wisdom

Of all the "attitudes" we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life-changing
Zig Ziglar

Friday, October 2, 2009


We are just 8 short hours away from our vacation...
HAWAII here we come
you'll find me here