Monday, December 31, 2012

It's Midnight Somewhere...

Happy New Year and good night!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Geminid meteors tonight!!!

Yes, I do love meteor showers... and tonight is a chance for a good one! 
December 13-14 - GEMINID meteors - with the moon at a small crescent phase in 2012, the faithfully rich Geminid Meteors should present an excellent show in December ; for those who stay up late and into the early morning hour to view some of the brighter fireballs may reward your efforts. The Geminid shower is THE meteor shower for December, producing as many as 60 very white meteors in dark skies...only about 3 % of these meteors leave the characteristic "train" or trail, even when appearing as fireballs; this is a very unusual meteor shower in that it does NOT originate from debris of a spent comet, but rather from the MINOR PLANET "Icarus," a very peculiar asteroid that swings by the earth very closely during some passes. The radiant will rise nearly due EAST at dark and will be conveniently located (for northern hemisphere observers) about midnight; wait until about 11 p.m. this year to view this shower. 
 ON THE SAME NIGHT is a very minor and newer meteor shower, the "LEO-MINORIDS", from Leo Minor; it will rise due east also, but about 8 p.m. and be overhead around 2 a.m. This was discovered by casual stargazers in 1971!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cheesy Cauliflower Pancake recipe

Taking a break from my busy.  I got a flu shot yesterday and I’m dragging a bit today.  Nothing wrong with my appetite tho!  Since I had a head of cauliflower that I needed to use NOW… I decided to try a recipe I found on Pinterest.
The recipe came from the blog ‘A Good Appetite’ at: 
They are GOOD!  Himself told me to make sure I didn’t lose this recipe.  (And he’s not really a cauliflower fan…)
Cheesy Cauliflower Pancakes

1 head cauliflower
2 large eggs
1/2 c cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 c panko
1/2 t cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
olive oil
Cut cauliflower into florets & cook in boiling water until tender about 10 minutes. Drain. Mash the cauliflower while still warm. Stir cheese, eggs, panko, cayenne & salt to taste.
Coat the bottom of a griddle or skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat. Form the cauliflower mixture into patties about 3 inches across. Cook until golden brown & set, about 3 minutes per side. Keep each batch warm in the oven while you cook the rest.
Makes 8 pancakes
OK, I must have had a really large head of cauliflower.  I ended up using around 1 1/2 cups of panko to get a consistency that would hold the pancake form! 
I used chipotle instead of cayenne as I like the flavor better and I definitely used more of that.  And I had used medium cheddar and next time I will use sharp.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Busy Days

Wow, I sure haven’t been around in Blog Land very much lately!  There’s been a whole lot of decluttering going on… and I’m tired in the evening.  I haven’t been blog writing or working on creative project or even doing much interesting cooking. 
Himself and I have gotten the downstairs pretty much empty.  The carpet in the work area has been ripped up and the glued down padding scraped up.  The now scrubbed clean concrete floor will be painted with a coat of oil based Kilz.  We’ll have that done before Christmas.  I’m going to keep it with just the paint until I’m pretty much done with the room, then I’ll put the flooring down.  That way I don’t have to mess with being careful not to damage it while I’m painting and building in there.
I have a side project going on during this.  At “A Bowl Full of Lemons” ( ), Toni is doing an 8 week series (with an e-book you can purchase) on emergency preparedness.  Since I’ve wanted to turn the area under the steps into a storm shelter I’m going to work along with this as best I can.  I really wish she hadn’t picked December (!) to start something like this but it is as it is…
After Christmas we will paint all the walls with the left-over paint from upstairs.  I WAY over estimated how much I needed.  Lemons into lemonade, now I have plenty of paint for my studio! 
Speaking of Christmas, I’ve been busy going thru all our decorations.  This is our 5th Christmas here but we’ve only decorated 3 times.  So this year we are putting EVERYTHING out… and what isn’t used is going to be donated.  When we put it all back in storage in Jan, it will be meticulously organized and labeled. 
In the evening when I’m just too tired to do much I have been going thru my boxes of photo prints.  I’m doing a method that is a hybrid between photo albums and scrapbooking.  The name I’ve heard applied to the technique is “speed scrapbooking”.   For now I’m working solely with the photographs, but in the New Year I will work on the journaling and memorabilia portion.  I’ll blog about it then. 
So… while my blog is pretty quiet right now, come January I’ll have a ton of things to show and talk about. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Creative Together

While up in MO for Thanksgiving, I had some special time with Little Bird.  Her art easel was set up and while she colored a picture, I drew some ‘graffiti’ art with her name and flowers on the chalkboard side.
She had a blast creating with her Auntie.
Every so often she would come around to admire how her name was looking. 
Then she would be right back over working on her own master piece!
Proud little artist!
Now it is time to color in ‘Snuffy’. 
She decided this creation was going to be a joint endeavor.
Finishing off the art piece with a bit of 3 year old abstracts…
Then she handed it off to me, with instructions to put it on my fridge, take a picture and email it to her.  (I need to get on that!)
After we were finished with the creation of art, we discussed her “artistic point-of-view”.
“Yes Baby Girl… the critics just done understand genius.”
“It’s just really hard to understand Auntie.”
“Maybe someone just needs to explain it to them?”

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My 'Studio': The Makeover Begins

Over a year ago I started the makeover of my hobby room/office; only to be stopped by storm damage.  Everything I’d done had to be taken apart…and more.  With the resulting chaos moved furniture and hastily boxed items it became overwhelming to start over.

And so it has sat.

But a few weeks ago I really started wanting to get in there and finish it.  So I’ve been plugging away at the clutter.  Boxes marked “Keep” – labeled for when once full and I put everything away, “Donate” – that go straight to one of the charity stores I give to, and “Junk” – which goes to the garbage dumpsters.

I’ve almost gotten everything packed up and moved out (one way or the other).  Then I can start the real makeover work – replacing damaged carpet with paint friendly vinyl, painting over the dark paneled walls, and removing a ‘bar’ built by the previous owners.

(These are photos from our ‘walk thru’ before we bought it…and where I need to get it back to so I can start the makeover.)

I’m really excited that it is finally coming together.  In a couple months I will finally have the ‘studio’ I have wanted to create in! 

Friday, November 30, 2012

My Artful Friday - 30 Nov

Wow!  November has been so busy with guests and traveling that I haven't had much time to spend on any sort creative project... and what few I've done, I haven't had time to post!
Here is the  companion piece to "Little Pink Toes" I did for Little Bird.  This one is "Future All Star" with Little Hoss' tiny socks.  Hard to think that one day his big toe won't fit in those sweet socks! 
I made this as part of two challenges - "blessings" and "numbers".  I call it "Counting My Blessings".
A new note card for my series. 
A fun little altered bottle for the challenge "Steampunk". 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Salud! at Whole Foods: Italy - A Fall Celebration (with recipe)

A few weeks ago Himself and I took another Whole Foods cooking class with Chef Dan of Caffe Nonna in Nashville.  If you want some really good Italian cooking, I would highly recommend his restaurant… but make reservations! 
It was a full class and soon we were all busy.
Browning the beef loin before roasting.  That gives it nice color and makes a base to do gravy from.
Himself and I made the polenta.  I’ve wanted to learn how to do this.  It’s really easy… but there is a LOT of stirring that must be done.
This recipe was for Gorgonzola and parmesan polenta…
… freshly grated of course!    Ummmmm…
And more stirring. 
Until it was creamy, tender and THICK.  But not too thick.
All the components to the meal came together perfectly and Chef Dan plated the meal.
Wild mushroom soup with pine nut & herb gremolata
Rosemary roasted beef tenderloin with roasted fall vegetables & red wine gravy, on top of the Gorgonzola Polenta
Pumpkin Gingersnap Tiramisu
Gorgonzola Polenta
1 3/4 cups polenta (course cornmeal) NOT instant
6 cups chicken stock (plus some extra in case the polenta thickens too much while cooking)
3/4 cup gorgonzola cheese (we also had about a half cup of fresh grated parmesan)
1/3 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt & cracked black pepper to taste 
Bring the chicken stock to a boil.  Once boiling, gradually add the polenta in a steady stream, making sure to whisk continually the mixture so that it is smooth and there are no lumps.
Bring the mixture back to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook until the polenta is tender.  (Ours took about 20 minutes).  Have some stock ready in case the polenta becomes too thick.
Remove from heat and stir in the cheese and cream.  Stir until melted.  Season with salt and pepper.
Serves 8

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wild Lights with the Wild Life

While in MO for Thanksgiving, we went with Sis and Big J to take the babies to see a special event at the St. Louis zoo.  It’s called “Wild Lights”. 
Areas of the zoo are decorated with Christmas lights and decorations.  It’s done very well, quite a treat for the eyes.
The babies were bundled up as warm as possible. 
Loved this swan near the entrance!
The polar bear almost looked furry.  I couldn’t figure out what it was made from.  Isn’t it fantastic?
The kids really liked it.
This was a ‘moving’ light display, with the monkeys swinging along a vine.  Little Bird showed us how the monkeys were moving.
There were a few areas open, such as the penguin house.  These King penguins looked a bit sleepy!  LOL
Little Bird checked out the area from on top of Himself’s shoulders. 
Almost nose-to-nose with a Rockhopper penguin!  She loved it!
The Conservation Carousel was open too.  The babies got two rides on it; one with their Mom and Dad… and one with their auntie and ‘unka’ – US!
We didn’t get to stay very long, as the night was pretty “Frosty” and babies get cold!