Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ahhhh, yummy holiday food!

Have you ever wondered why there are foods that we only eat at the holiday times & never eat them at other times of the year? I am super guilty of this mindset! I do have a wonderful recipe that I reserve for the holidays & I have even renamed it "Christmas Quiche" formerly known as "Spinach Quiche". It is delicious & can be modified to your tastes! I make this Christmas morning after all of the presents have been opened. When it is doen it has a beautiful appearance of red & green! It is easy, warm & delicious. If you entertain guests this would be wonderful with Irish coffee &/or mimosas. Enjoy!

Spinach Quiche or Christmas Quiche (not sure of original source!)

Prep: 25 min Bake: 60 min Oven: 450 degrees Stand: 10 min Makes: 6-8 servings

1 recipe pastry for Single Crust Pie (I use store bought, frozen, Pillsbury that is in a roll, allow a few minutes to defrost)
1/2 C. chopped onion (1 medium)
6 slices cooked bacon (sometimes I substitute chopped ham that is warmed in a skillet)
8 beaten eggs
1/2 C. dairy sour cream
1/2 C. half & half, light cream or milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Dash ground nutmeg (optional)
3 C. lightly packed chopped fresh spinach
2/3 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
Cherry tomatoes cut up (optional) Sometimes I use roasted red peppers from a jar

1. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry. Trim; crimp edge as desired. Line unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of foil. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 8 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 4-5 minutes more or until pastry is set & dry. Reduce oven temp to 325 degrees.

2. Meanwhile in a large skillet cook onion & bacon until onion is tender & bacon is crisp. Drain on paper towels.

3. In a bowl stir together eggs, sour cream, half & half, salt, pepper, & if desired, nutmeg. Stir in onion mixture, spinach & cheeses. (& ham or roasted red peppers, if desired)

4. Pour egg mixture into hot pastry shell. Bake in the 325 oven for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. If necessary, cover edge of crust with foil to prevent overbrowning. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. If desired garnish with cherry tomatoes.

This is such a great recipe that it can be used throughout the year! Also, I have found that it is so delicious that you won't want to eat the frozen quiche again! And yes, REAL men do eat quiche. Look for photos on Christmas day!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The 2 Day Event: Christmas Decorating

My typical indoor decorating for Christmas usually takes a day. This year was a different story~for some reason it lasted a full 2 days!!! It is nice to have it done! Here are a few tips:

1.Have a strong someone who will carry the storage boxes to the floor where you are decorating~this will allow you more energy to put into your decorating endeavors!

2. Have an idea of what you want to use & how you want it to look! Peruse magazines & blogs to come up with a general plan.

3. Give yourself a plenty of time to complete your decorating.

4. Try to enjoy it!

5. If you become frustrated, then take a quick break!

6. Don't be afraid to experiment!

7. Come up with inexpensive solutions to those vexing problems.

My vexing problem was finding a tree skirt that wasn't a version of red, blue or green. I needed something that was rather neutral & have used the same red/blue/green tree skirt for many years. I vowed to change it this year but kept finding the same color scheme at every store. After a lot of searching I found a fabric that complimented my color scheme. I bought 3 yards of a material that is used as a lining, so it has a pretty sheen. I would recommend purchasing 3 1/2-4 yards. I just tucked it around the tree & fluffed it & it is perfect!

The results are below. Keep in mind that when I took these photos it was daytime, but rather dark. Sorry about that!

the tree skirt

the decorated tree

my mini trees that occupy the transom windows

ornaments hanging from the chandelier by satin ribbon~a fun touch!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I never thought I would make homemade applesauce! Last night when my oldest was recovering from the 24 hour flu, she requested applesauce. I always keep the mini applesauces on hand. No applesauce to be found in my house! So I found a recipe on the internet & whipped it up for "dessert". Here it is:

Homemade Applesauce
Peel & core 5 apples. Throw in saucepan with 3/4 cup of water & 3/4 cup (or less) sugar. Cook for about 15-20 minutes. Mash with a fork & serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon!

I love recipes that only have 2 ingredients! Let's just say it was a big hit & it required very little effort~that's my kind of cooking! get cooking~Cathy M.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mood Lifters

As the days grow shorter with the approaching winter season, it is important to recognize some "mood lifters" to keep us mentally healthy. I have a tendency to hibernate at this time of year. It takes my blood awhile to thin, so that I am not unbearably cold. If you, like me, have added stress & worry over family & friends then you need to put aside for a few minutes & build into your day a few "mood lifters".
Years ago I read an article about walking and depression. In summary, the article spouted the mental benefits of walking 3 times per week for 20 minutes. The "walking only" group had more success than the group that took anti-depressants. Our local mall offers early hours for walkers. Check to see what is available to you. Even a quick walk around the neighborhood would be beneficial! Certainly we all know that we need physical exercise, but often it is difficult to schedule. I have had good success with finding dvd's that get you in shape in 20 minutes/day! My current favorite is the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I got mine at Target, but also available at Wal-Mart & online. So try to get some type of exercise at least 3 times a week to lift your mood!
Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred [DVD]
Yesterday was a rather gray day here in North Central Ohio. I decided to pull out a wardrobe item that I haven't worn in awhile. To be honest I don't think this item is "in style" currently. As soon as I saw it (them) I was instantly lifted & it got better as I put them on. It was like talking with an old friend. Here is a pic:

So, even if you don't have pink cowboy boots, I am sure you have something in your wardrobe that will make you smile; a power tie, a fun scarf, a soft winter hat... you get the idea!
Do you know what a cutie is? It is a mandarin orange from California & readily available at your nearest supermarket. My oldest daughter requested them from my grocery trip. I don't often eat them, but decided to try one. They take about 3 seconds to peel & let me tell you it was heavenly! I felt like I was immediately transported to a tropical island. Go get a bag & put them in your fridge. Have them on hand when you need a little boost.
See full size image

Tackle a small organization problem. Organize receipts & label with a sticky note & paper clip. If a closet is a problem then tackle one shelf. Don't try to organize the whole garage at one time. Just tackle one little area & you will feel better. This stackable shelf from Closetmaid (available @ Wal-Mart, Target etc.) is wonderful inside closets for shoes or on top of existing shelves for clothing. It only takes a couple of minutes to assemble it.
Wooden Shoe Rack
Now you are armed with a few quick, inexpensive "mood lifters". Put them on your list & get going! Energized~Cathy M.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday-Make your list!

Welcome to my first blog! I will be writing snippets about my life as a busy Mom & wife, small business owner, techie, paper lover, amateur gardener, and ski (water & snow) enthusiast. I hope you enjoy it & that you check back often!

Ah, Monday! I start out each Monday with a list of the day's activities & then morph it into a list for the week. Many people are already overwhelmed with the holidays, but I am feeling upbeat with my list(s). My list for today is on red, green & white paper from my favorite company Donovan Designs,  I am a retailer for them & love the cheeriness of their papers! If you get a personal note from me, it will most likely be on their paper. My 7 year old daughter was recovering from the stomach flu yesterday & she drew the cutest picture of a Christmas tree with ornaments hanging off of it! I had to use it today for my list:)

As I mentioned I am sort of a techie. I love the internet, email, ipods, cameras, making movies on my computer & pseudo techie stuff. I am not the person to call when your computer breaks, but I can't live without my electronics! Get the picture? So back to the list making...I have found that I have to make my list on real paper. I just found a new pen that is awesome!! If you like super bold ink then try the uniball gel impact 1.0. They can be a bit pricey, but it is worth it!

I haven't checked anything off my list yet today. I have however, made two important phone calls & have started my first blog. Some things just cannot be measured by the checkmarks! What doesn't get done today can always be added to tomorrow's list!I am smiling each time I look at the hand-drawn tree & ornaments. Good luck with your list & don't forget to add: Read "checkitoff" to your list!~Peace, Cathy