I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving last week! Ours was lovely. We had two different celebrations: Our family dinner was the Saturday before Thanksgiving so that everyone (my fam of 4 and my mom & dad) could attend. Then on Thursday we celebrated with some friends. Both occasions were such a blessing.
The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing, crocheting, family time, baking, a little working, and dear daughter and I went to The Nutcracker Ballet at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. It is our mother-daughter annual tradition and it was delightful as always!
And now my busy season is in full swing. I hope to at least send out a shout here on the blog once (hopefully twice) a week. Or maybe I will surprise myself with more.
Here are some photos of some of my recent events. 🙂
Blessings with joy,
Jingle Bell Jackie
The day after Thankgiving it was -9 F, but I had my yummy drink, toasty warm fire and Christmas crochet!
Our early Thanksgiving. ❤
On Thanksgiving day. 🙂
At the Ballet!
After the ballet… Parisian macaroons! 🙂
Baking was also part of our weekend. Here is some batter for pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins.
And I am currently designing little crochet people (with a matching shoe). Also known as a “Shoe Baby”. 🙂 Stay tuned…
I have a large, stylish Crock-Pot that I don’t use very often because it is just so big. Okay, and let’s be real, I was getting tired of making dinners after 32 years of, well, making them! I finally came to the conclusion that I really did need to get out of the homemade chicken soup, or quesadilla, or breakfast-for-dinner rut so I had a light bulb moment and decided to buy a smaller Crock-Pot. Yep. Now I own two. But don’t tell the Crock-Pot police!
This morning I washed it, threw in some carrots, celery, wild rice, seasonings, frozen chicken breasts and some chicken stock (oh, and a bay leaf) and ran out the door. I came home this afternoon to the wonderful scents of dinner deliciousness. And the chicken was so moist. Woohoo!
I’ve been downloading a number of yummy and healthy slow cooker recipes this weekend. Dinner time, you say? Bring it on! 🙂
P.S. The photo I’m using is from crockpot.com. My slow cooker is black. 🙂
I am pretty excited about tonight! Here in just over 2 hours 4 lovely ladies are coming over to learn how to crochet! I’m not sure my house is ready, but my heart is! 🙂
I Googled “how to teach someone to crochet” and I found what I needed. Yay! Click HERE to see the teaching guide I am going to follow. Some of you are certified to teach, and it is a goal of mine to do the same. But today is the day they are coming, so that will have to wait a little longer. 🙂 I am going to give each lady a copy of the basic stitch graphics and crochet a swatch, like the guide says.
I am also going to make this yummy treat tonight so I decided to include it here as well. I like that it uses pure maple syrup instead of white sugar and I have all of these ingredients on hand. So here we go:
Coconut Maple Cinnamon Pecans
2 cups pecans
1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)
*UPDATE* – Roast the pecans for less time than indicated here. Check them after 5 minutes and every 1 or 2 minutes after that. Mine were pretty brown, and on the verge of being overdone, but thankfully they were still tasty. 🙂
Preheat oven to 350°. Place pecans on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and roast for 8 minutes. While the nuts are roasting, heat the maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon and cayenne pepper in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and stir, then reduce to low heat to slowly reduce.
Remove the pecans from the oven, then add them to the sauce pan. Add shredded coconut to the sauce pan as well. Stir well to coat all of the pecans and coconut in the maple mixture.
Pour the coated nuts onto the parchment lined baking sheet, and spread out over the sheet. Place them into the oven and roast for 13 minutes.
Remove from oven, and allow the nuts to cool for about 30 minutes. Break them apart and serve.
I found it HERE on the “Sweet Potato Soul” blog. I will be doing some more snooping over there to see what other yummy recipes I can find!
I’ll check in again soon to report back about my first crochet class. 🙂
Dear hubby went to Costco the other day. I think he went on an empty stomach. He brought home a large bag of organic carrots for our family of 4. This bag probably had 40 huge carrots inside! So funny! So we have used them in a pot roast, eaten them raw and some will go in a chicken and veggie soup I’m planning. The trouble is we still have close to 30 left. And yet, it has helped me to be creative.
I decided 2 days ago that I am going to eliminate refined sugar and some natural sugars (from juice and dried fruit) from my diet (because of weight and pain issues). That got me to thinking of different food choices for snacks. It hit me that I should try to make carrot chips (or shavings)! I found a recipe and then adapted it. Here is my recipe:
3 carrots, shaved into thin peels with a vegetable peeler
½ – 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (enough to lightly coat)
2 – 3 pinches of fine sea salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients and toss.
Arrange carrot shavings in a single layer on baking sheet lined with tin foil.
Bake for 12 minutes @ 425F, checking every few minutes and tossing if needed (they can burn easily). If not yet crispy, turn oven down to 300F and bake for another 5 to 15 minutes. Keep checking until desired crispness is achieved.
Enjoy! I really like them and have made them twice since yesterday.
The word ‘carrots’ also got me to thinking about ‘Anne of Green Gables’. Do you know the story? If so, you know exactly what I’m talking about. 🙂 If not you definitely need to read the book by L.M. Montgomery or watch the miniseries from Sullivan Entertainment (with Megan Follows as Anne)! It is a wonderful, heart warming story that we have watched over and over since the kids were little. Our whole family enjoys it.
Word of advice on the miniseries: ‘Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel’ is also excellent, but ‘Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story’ is awful and does not follow the books at all.
Do you have a favorite carrot recipe (or healthy snack recipe) or favorite Anne of Green Gables scene? If so, please share!
It’s been a busy day here! First, I went to work until early afternoon and then I hit the ground running to get ready to host a spaghetti dinner for the girls and boys XC teams from son’s school. We had 22 people here and it was a blast! I spied some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies at the store and grabbed them for dessert.
That got me to thinking about the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins I like to make. They are a favorite for the holidays. They melt in your mouth! I use a recipe I found on the allrecipes.com website. Click here to go get it. All you have to do different is to add the chocolate chips and make muffins instead of bread. You can also change the number of servings right on that page and it automatically adjusts the ingredient amounts.
Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe? If so, please share!
Today is a big day! Dear son is running in the regions xc race in Seward and we are heading out in a few minutes to make the drive over to cheer him and the team on. He is hoping for a top 10 finish. I know he can do it! I’ll check in tomorrow (or maybe later today) and let you know. 🙂
Not sure if I will be able to blog much this weekend so I am leaving you with a yummy and easy breakfast (that we sometimes have for dinner) recipe my family enjoys.
Do you have a breakfast recipe you’ve blogged about or can share? If so, do tell. And thanks!
QUICK CRUSTLESS QUICHE
Shhhhh…We don’t call this “quiche” around my hubby. Around him we call it an “egg dish”. He doesn’t like quiche, you see, but he loves this. :O)
1 C milk
1/2 C Bisquick
2 or 3 green onions, sliced
1 or 2 celery stalks, sliced
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 C meat (bacon, sausage, ham) cubed or crumbled
1 C grated cheese (use your favorite)
Mix first 5 ingredients well
Stir in the rest of the ingredients
Right before placing in the oven – top with a sprinkling of grated cheese
Pour ingredients into a greased (I use Pam spray) pie plate or pie stone. Bake in oven at 400* for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick test comes out clean.
Do you subscribe to any e-magazines? I’m not even sure that’s what they’re called. 🙂 I purchased the Prevention magazine app for my iPad. That’s the only one I get, probably because I’m too cheap to buy more when I can find a lot of info for free on the internet. But I am really liking having this in the e-magazine format. The articles have been interesting and informative and look at those vivid photos! Anyway, just had to share… 😉
My favorite collage, of course, is the second one of my son at his race today. He ran a 5K race and set a personal record. Woohoo! And hence, the big smile. I surely do love that young man!
This is a VERY yummy recipe I have used for years.
Banana Bread Muffins:
3 large bananas – mashed*
5 tbsp melted butter
1/3 to 1/2 C sugar (depending on your taste)
1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Walnuts if desired, chopped
Mix together first three (3) ingredients then add dry ingredients and continue to mix by hand until well blended. Add desired amount of chopped walnuts to the batter to make these even better!
Bake in a cupcake/muffin tin (I use the cupcake liners) at 375 degrees (f) for about 20 minutes. They are finished when toothpick test comes out clean.
Makes 12 large muffins (or you can make 15 or 16 medium).
*Note: You can freeze over ripe bananas (with peel on) in the freezer. Then when you want to make this recipe, take three bananas out of the freezer and microwave them for about 1 minute on a paper towel.