Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishing You All A Merry Christmas

Wishing you all the very best of the Christmas Season. May the joy and peace of Christ live within your homes always and may your New Year be all that you deserve it to be.

God bless each and every one of you.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Concert

Thought that I would share some pictures that I took of our school Christmas Concert/Mass. These first ones are of some of the students getting ready downstairs at the church.

This is a photo of one of the students I work with a great deal. Doesn't she look lovely?

These are many of the students in my class. One of whom just loves to get his picture taken. Notice him waving at me.

Some of the actors from the live Nativity lining up on the church stairs just before going in .

The students in the class I work in lining up with their candles on the stairs, this was just prior to the Entrance hymn.

The Grade 4 class singing one of the hymns during the Mass.

Some of the French Immersion students acting out the Gospel.
All in all a very good night.

Off to visit you all.

Have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Look What Came In The Mail

I meant to post this on Friday evening, but got caught up in the daily give and take of life. Meaning I spent part of the evening going over the Circle journal from the previous year and reaquainting myself with everyone.

Then yesterday afternoon, upon returning from my visit with a friend, I started to read the second journal. Today will be my first day of recording my experiences. So many of you lead much more exciting lives than I do, but I hope to leave with all of you a glimpse of what living on the prairies of Canada is like.

The other wonderful gift that arrived in the mail at the same time is this.... my book swap partner sent me these. Thank you Mary

I was partnered with Mama Bear from Bears In Exile/Return Home

Thank you Mama Bear for the lovely recipe book and the Heather Grahame novel. I really like to read her novels and this looks to be a great one.

Now I need to go and get a little done before we leave for Mass this morning. Hope to share some more surprises with you over the days leading up to Christmas. I will be visiting off and on all day. Kurt is home and I will have to wrestle the computer away from him at some point.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Still Busy In The Kitchen

I have one thing to share with all of you before I start my kitchen adventures. I recieved this lovely parcel from Carrie at Under The Willows. It is her laundry detergent sample packaged just beautifully for me to try. It is going to get used this weekend. It smells so good that I can hardly wait to use it!

This chocolatey goodie is called Chocolate Brittle Surprise. Thought I would share the recipe with all of you.

Chocolate Brittle Surprise
35 unsalted soda crackers (this is the surprise) 2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup margarine or butter 1 cup chopped pecans (I use walnuts)
1 cup packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking oil spray. Place crackers on foil in 5 x 7 rows. Microwave butter on high for 2 minutes. Add brown sugar and stir. Microwave on high for 2 more minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour over crackers and bake for 15 to 17 minutes. It should bubble but not burn. Sprinkle chocolate chips over hot crackers and let soften. Spread the chocolate over top. Sprinkle with nuts. Chill 1 hour and break into pieces. This can be frozen.

This is my version of Peanut Butter Cups. I am too lazy to coat the small cups with chocolate and chill.

Peanut Butter Cups
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
2/3 cup graham wafer crumbs
30 mini paper cups

Melt the margarine and peanut butter in a large saucepan, cooking over medium heat until completely melted. Stir in icing sugar and graham cracker crumbs. press about 1/2 tbsp into each paper cup.

Melt the chocolate chips with about 2 tbsp margarine. Spoon and smooth over the peanut butter filling

Cream Cheese Mints

4 oz package softened Cream Cheese
3 1/2 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
1/8 or more tsp peppermint flavouring
Dipping chocolate

Combine cream cheese, icing sugar, and peppermint flavouring in a large bowl. Stir until well mixed. Roll into small balls and press down with a fork.

Melt chocolate and dip the patties into the chocolate. Lay on waxed paper to harden.

This is the start of my cookie making. These are my favorites, Whipped Shortbread...the jar is getting empty, just may have to make some more.

Whipped Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter softened
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, butter and icing sugar. With an electric mixer beat until light and fluffy about 10 minutes. Form doug into balls and press down with a small glass. You can decorate them with sprinkles, or cut up pieces of red and green marachino cherries.

Bake for 12 tp 15 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies afe lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes. Store in an air tight container.
Off to visit all of you this evening.
Everyone have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sharing Recipes

Thought that I better share a few of my recipes from my last post.

Pastry for 12 tarts (I cheat and buy mine ready made)
Pour boiling water over
1/2 cup raisins
Let soak until the edges of the raisins turn white. Drain.
Cream 1/4 cup butter or margarine
Add 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar and beat thoroughly.
Add 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 beaten egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
Few drops lemon juice.
Combine until blended.
Fold in the drained raisins and then spoon the mixture into the unbaked tart shells. Fill each tart about 2/3 full.
Bake at 375 for about 20 to 25 minutes, trying not to let the filling to boil (I never seem able to do this).
This recipe doubled and triples easily.

Chocolate Snowballs
1 large package chocolate chips
2 cups coconut
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
Melt chocolate chips and butter in a large saucepan. When the chocolate is melted and smooth, mix in the coconut and the icing sugar (powdered sugar). You may need to add a bit more icing sugar to the mixture. Form into balls and let harden. Just before serving roll in some more icing sugar if desired.

Old Fashioned Caramels
1 cup butter or margarine
2 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
14 oz can Condensed milk (not evaporated)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Line a 9 x9 pan with foil and butter lightly. In a heavy 3 qt saucepan, melt the margarine, and when melted add the brown sugar and mix well. Stir in the corn syrup and cook over medium low heat until the sugar dissolves and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat and stir in the condensed milk. Cook over medium low, stirring constantly, until candy thermometer reaches firm ball stage or about 244F. This takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Cool to room temperature. When candy has completely set, carefully remove the foil from the pan. Using a thin blade, cut into pieces, using a sawing motion. Wrap each piece in waxed paper. Store in refridgerator. Makes about 2 lbs of candy.
I have had to put the caramels back in the fridge to harden while cutting them as the heat from the blade and my hand softens them.

Scotch Shortbread
1 lb butter
1 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Cream butter and icing sugar together in medium sized bowl. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt until a soft dough forms. Press dough into 2 pie plates. Prick dough with fork every 2 inches or so. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes or until golden. Cut into wedges while still warm. When completely cool remove wedges and store in an air tight container.

I have been busy with more baking over the last week. Hopefully I will be able to post again tomorrow and share a few more of our family favorites with all of you.

Off to visit all of you, hope the coffee is on.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Baking the Days Away

This past week and the weekend saw me getting started on my baking for Christmas.

The first thing I got ready were my Buttertarts. Christmas isn't Christmas without these. I managed to make 3 pails full or 5 dozen of the little fellows. Had to taste test them of a few less than 5 dozen went in the freezer.

Two plates of buttery shortbread were next on the list. Had to try these as well, I don't want to serve anything I wouldn't eat myself....Would I?

Candy making started today. So far I have made......

Almond Bark......

Chocolate Snowballs. These will be rolled in icing sugar just before serving.

Caramels, cooling and waiting to be cut and wrapped.

Tomorrow I plan on making Whipped Shortbread Cookies, and Nut Toffee. Slowly but surely I am getting everything done. I may even get time to get a few of my refrigerator cookie recipes rolled into logs and into the fridge.

Well off to vist you all, between running to see the conclusion of The Amazing Race.

Everyone have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Last Day Of The Month

The days seem to be passing in a blur. I never seem to have enough hours in a day to complete my tasks.

I have managed to get my tree decorated. There are a few bare spots on it, guess that is what happens when you decorate at night!

I have also managed to start decorating my house for the Christmas season. Still have more to do, like putting out the candles and adding some finishing touches as the weeks go by. But I will share what I have gotten done. Please don't mind the mess on the floor, I had boxes and ornaments all over the front room.

This jolly fellow was given to Harvey by one of his bosses many, many years ago. Harvey decided he should be standing on the woofer to the Surround Sound System this year. I also managed to get one of my wooden creches in the photo.

This is the start of the decorating on my coffee table. We had to move it to find room for the tree. Have I ever said that I have way too much "stuff". One of these days I will have to do a serious downsizing. Just not yet please!

This fellow was gift to me from my sister. She found him at a craft sale here in town. I had looked at him and decided the price was just a bit too high for me. She knows my tastes so very well.

The last picture I am going to share with you today is the wreath I finished making just about an hour ago. I managed to burn a few fingers with the hot glue gun this time. Sure hope the blisters do not get too big.

Everybody have a wonderful afternoon and evening. I am off to visit as many of you as possible before I have to make supper.

God bless

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to wish all my American friends a very Happy Thanksgiving. May your day be full of family, love, and peace.

God bless.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Time Slipping By

The days are slipping by so very quickly. Soon Christmas will be upon us and I have so much to do yet.

I haven't even started to decorate as of yet.....Perhaps this coming weekend when Harvey is watching the Grey Cup game I can start.

It isn't like I have been doing nothing. I am finished Kurts sweater, just have to sew it together (hopefully tonight) and I have started Harveys gift. I have also been straightening up the sewing/craft room and using up some of my fabric stash making some skirts.

Here is a picture of three skirts that I have completed. I still have two more to hem. I think I am on a plaid kick as the two I have left are plaids as well.

Off to visit all of you, hope the coffee is on.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Few Things to Share

I have a few things I want to share with everyone.
Kurt is now the proud owner of a mortagage and a new home. The inspection went well and he signed off the mortgage on Wednesday. Now he has payments monthly and the fun of moving ahead of him. Considering all the knick knacks he has from his trips this should take awhile.....and lots of boxes!

On the Frugal Living forum that I moderate we are talking about panhandlers and the biblical quote "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares", came up. I mentioned that I had cross stitched that exact verse for my wall. I would like to share it with all of you.

I truely believe what goes around comes around and always take a look at this before I leave my home in the morning.

The other thing I would like to share is the wall hanging I made out of the table runner Kurt brought me from his trip to Europe and Asia this summer. I really had no place to use it as a table runner, but it sure looks nice hanging on my wall.

Well off to visit all of you now. Hope you have the tea on.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lest We Forget

This morning I will be attending the Rebembrance Day Service at our high school. Here I will remember those who sacrificed years of their lives to keep us save, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. I will pray and remember those who are still serving hoping that they all come home soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Holidays and Working

It is the second day of my three days off this week and I am enjoying it immensely. The first day was spent cleaning things that don't often get cleaned as good as I would like and today I spent in the sewing room getting caught up with a few gifts. Tomorrow will see me spending some more time in there doing mending and starting a few more gifts if at all possible.

This is what I finished off today after my visit to my favorite place. NOT!!

I managed to finish off two long table runners and 4 shorter ones. I have enough of the blue fabric left to make some pot holders and I think that I will do that tomorrow while the sun is shining. I always find it easier to sew during the day than at night when there is no sun shine.

Now on to where I went this morning. A week or so ago I lost a filling in my front tooth (one of the oldest in my mouth) and so visited the dentist. I had a feeling that this would mean another root canal and crown. I was right, and so I am sending the paperwork into Harvey's insurance company to see how much, if anything they will pay. It will take a couple of weeks at least. Whew, a bit of a respite. However I did get a cleaning and the dentist found another filling that had cracked, so I will be back in the chair on the 19th of this month to get that fixed.

Well off to visit you all now. Hope the coffee is ready.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Week Is Almost Over

First I have to share the news that Kurt got his mortgage after a bit of paperwork and him losing his temper with the loans manager. Now everything hinges on the house inspection. That will be occuring in the middle of next week.

I had some frozen turkey from Thanksgiving and wanted to try something new. So I searched my cookbooks and came up with this Turkey Cheese Bake.
This is a picture of it right out of the oven. Nice and golden yellow.

This is a picture of the finished product on the table waiting to be served. I think that the next time I make it I will add some chopped green peppers and chopped mushrooms to it. Other than that Harvey really enjoyed it. This is similar to a crustless quiche.

I am going to share the recipe with all of you.

Turkey Cheese Bake

4 large potatoes with peel



Grated sharp Cheddar cheese (I used medium)

4 fork beaten large eggs

2 1/4 tsp dried parsley flakes

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups finely chopped leftover cooked turkey

2/3 cup half and half cream or milk (I used milk)

3 tbsp Mayonnaise

1 tbsp tomato paste

2/3 cup grated Cheddar cheese (either sharp or medium)

Cool potatoes in water and first amount of salt in a large uncovered pot for about 10 minutes or until partially cooked. Drain and cool. Peel potatoes and grate them coarsely into a medium bowl.

Add the next 6 ingredients. Stir and set aside.

Combine next four ingredients in a separate bowl, this is where I would add the chopped peppers (about 1/2 cup) and chopped mushrooms (same amount). Stir and spread evenly in the bottom of a greased 9 inch springform pan. Spoon the potato mixture over top. Spread evenly.

Sprinkle with the second amount of cheese. Bake at 350 F for about 1 hour or until golden and set. Cuts into 8 wedges.

Serve with a crusty bread and a salad.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

Well off to visit you all.

Everyone have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, November 2, 2009

New Home On The Horizon

I mentioned yesterday that our oldest son Kurt made an offer on a home. They (the sellers and him) dickered for awhile...but now providing he can get a mortgage, and the house passes an inspection he will be the proud owner of a new home.

I am going to try and post a link here to some pictures of the house. I do hope it works.
Click here and hopefully it will lead you to the house. Sighs, I just tried the link and it does not work. Going to try a bit of fixing.

Well off to get some visiting done.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November and Baked Beans

Since I had used up the last of my homemade Baked Beans, today was the perfect day to make some more.

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

1 pkg dried navy beans (about 4 cups)
1/2 lb of bacon diced
2 tbsp ketchup
1/3 cup molasses
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp prepared mustard

Soak dried beans in water to cover overnight. Drain water in the morning and add fresh. Parboil beans for 1 hour. Add beans and liquid to slow cooker, and add remaining ingredients. Turn slow cooker on to medium and cook for at least 8 hours.

Harvey loves these beans and they are so simple. Kind of put together and forget.

I now have several containers in my freezer once again.

Well off to visit all of you.

Everyone have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Here is hoping that all of you have a Spooktacular Halloween.

I'll be back tomorrow with a longer post, got to greet all my little visitors.

God bless.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sickness Has Hit The Phillips'

I spent a great deal of this week trying to contact our youngest son, Kris. Harvey had some tickets for the football game on Saturday and this is something both of them enjoy a great deal. You could say that this is their bonding time.

I started phoning and leaving messages on Tuesday and as the days passed without hearing from him, I got more and more concerned. You see the flu has hit the school where I work and all I could think was that my baby was in trouble and needed me.

He finally phoned back late Thursday night. He sounded horrible!!! I explained why I had been calling, and he said he would phone back the next day with an update on his condition. Well, he did call on Friday and while he was feeling better.....still not well enough to go to the game with his Dad.

Today when I talked to him he was feeling more like his old self, still a bit weak as he couldn't keep anything down for awhile, but at least he was sounding healthier.

I did find out that he does not have a thermometer or much else in the way of first aid supplies in his apartment. I think I just figured out another gift for both our sons. A well stocked first aid kit, and the first thing I am buying for them is a thermometer!

I am hoping that I don't catch anything, but the school is hard hit. Some classes are missing over half their students....ours only lost 5.

Well off to visit you all now.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Weekend and Finished Projects

Today was the perfect day to make salsa. Many of the green tomatoes I had picked last week were ripe and I had some time on my hands between other household choresI chopped the green and red pepper, added the chopped large onion, the chilies and the jalopena peppers. Mixed in a bit of brown sugar, paprika, garlic, tomato paste, pickling salt and vinegar. The last thing I added was the peeled chopped tomatoes.

Cooked it all down for about an hour. The house smelled very good through most of the day.

Put it in jars to store in the cold room. The recipe only gave me 7 pint jars so I am very tempted to make some more....just have to see how fast the remaining tomatoes ripen.

I finished off the vest I was making for myself today. This was made with Vanna's Choice. I needed something warm to wear in school to go with my blue, grey and black pants. This fits the ticket very well.
I also like things that fit very long so I made this longer than normal to fit over my fairly large tush.
Well off to visit you all now.
Everybody have a wonderful evening.
God bless.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Things are finally back to as normal as they get in the Phillips' household. The boys are back in their respective abodes and I once again have the computer to myself....Well except when Harvey takes it over.

Kurt brought us gifts back from his trip this summer. He brought his dad a pen and ink drawing of some of the bridges in Prague. We have to find the perfect frame for it.

Mine came from Romania and I am going to do a bit of work on it.

This handmade runner is going to become a wall hanging for a corner of our living room. I held it up against the wall and it doesn't look half bad.

The best gift of all though was having my family together under one roof for a weekend. I miss our sons so very much.

The other gift arrived overnight and was not received with open arms.

Snow!!!! It has been snowing all day and I am pretty sure it snowed most of the night. The roads were terrible this morning, but by the time I came home the roads were wet and slushy. I can just imagine the skating rinks that I will have to negotiate tomorrow morning on the way to work. Have I ever mentioned the one and only thing I really hate about winter is the ice?

Well off to visit everyone.

Everyone have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

While I still have control of the computer this morning I want to wish all my Canadian Blogger friends a Happy Thanksgiving. May your table be surrounded by love, laughter and happiness forever.

Have a wonderful day everyone.

God bless.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


This week has seen me doing a bit of sewing. I managed to get a table runner made for our Canadian Thanksgiving and liked it so much that I had to make another one.

This is the first one I made and placed on our dining room table.

Here it is with the remainder of my holiday decorations. I enjoyed making this so very much and I had a small piece of the fabric left so.....

I just had to make a shorter one for the coffee table in our living room.
Harvey likes these so much he wants me to make some for every holiday! I have already found the perfect material in my fabric stash to make some for Christmas. Heck, I may even make a few for gifts!!!
Now that my decorating for fall is done....It is time to start my pies for our Thanksgiving suppper this weekend.

Off to visit you all now.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October Already

I can't believe that a new month is already four days old. Where did all the time go?

The last few days have been rainy and cold. Our poor tomatoes are covered up every night with warm sheets, hopefully this will keep the frost at bay. I need a few more (well a lot more) to make salsa next week.

I did a bit more decorating for fall this past week. I found some gourds at the Farmer's Market for very little and bought 6. Added some candles (my favorite thing) and some sparkly leaves and presto another decoration, with very little work. Think it needs a few mini pumpkins and it is totally done.

Then in searching my fabric stash I found some lovely plaid flannel that just cried out to be made into big fluffy pillows for the living room. The great thing is that I can move them downstairs to the library when the fall season is over, the colours will go wonderfully down there. Aren't they the cutest things? I had some old pillows that had seen better days so I removed the stuffing after washing and drying them and used that to stuff them.

I found some lovely material to make a table runner and I think that will be my craft work for tomorrow night.
I have been craving Chocolate for awhile now, and everyone knows that chocolate is good for you. Today was the perfect day to I decided to make a layer cake while the beef roast was cooking for dinner.

The icing is a bit runny and not as chocolate as I would like....but that's okay. Where it is going to end up, no one else will care.

Well off to visit you all.

Everybody have a wonderful evening. God bless.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm Losing My Mind!

For someone who likes to keep a tidy house, this time of year always makes me a bit crazy. This time the harvest is coming in a bit earlier. To think we went from temperatures in the mid 80's, low 90's to 50's and 60's almost overnight! One night we even had a bad frost predicted. It didn't happen but just made us realize that it is the end of September, not the middle of July!

This is what my hall looks like right now.

Boxes and baskets of cucumbers and hot peppers litter the hallway coming in from the front door.

The back door leads to these goodies, more cucumbers, some eggplant and the last of the green peppers.
We only picked one plant clean of tomatoes, and are busy covering the others.....
Thank heavens or I would be wondering where to put everything.
I did manage to get the onions dried and in the cold room, and the cantalope and watermelon are down there as well.
I am beginning to think I live in the produce section of the grocery store. I keep telling myself soon, soon everything will be cleaned up.

Well off to visit you all.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.