Designing Weekends to Recharge

Recharging Mind & Body Thank goodness for weekends, because sometimes my mind & body just needs  some time to “be,” to rest, & de-stress.  This was one of those Saturdays that just required some good old fashioned R & R.  Everyone in the house needed it, my husband declared it, my son & I took a nap (which he never does).  Hey,  even Mini (our cat) took a break from her “Spicy Mini” persona to cozy herself into her favorite chair.  At some basic level, our body just knows what’s best for us. I think now more than ever, we live in a society which requires more from us.  We’re constantly plugged-in, tuned-in, multi-tasking or otherwise engaged in a way that takes so much from us.  A quote comes to mind;

“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

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Pucker Up! – The Great Lemon Curd Experiment

Easy Lemon Curd

Easy Lemon Curd

Freshly picked lemons from my parent’s tree – what a beautiful gift!  My step Mom Cookie & Dad have some citrus trees that produce the most amazing grapefruit & lemons, & they are always so generous in sharing them with us.  This last batch of lemons went into preparing some wonderful savory dishes, with more left over & just begging to be used!  Making something to showcase these beauties seemed like the right thing to do, & lemon curd would fit the bill! Continue reading

Easy Three Bean Chicken Stew – A Slow Cook Dish

Three Bean Chicken Stew

Three Bean Chicken Stew

There’s something reassuring about having dinner in the slow cooker on a busy day.  It affords me the freedom to enjoy myself, even if it’s just getting things done at home.  I think the whole family likes the smell of a home cooked meal.   We can almost taste in the air, the flavors mingling together to form rich juices & tender meats.  Somehow at the end of a more productive day, I feel a sense of accomplishment, & my reward is a simple yet delicious dinner – the result of planning ahead.

So with that being said, this recipe could not get any easier, but the flavor would have you believe otherwise! Continue reading

Mom’s Sourdough English Muffins

Sourdough English Muffins

Sourdough English Muffins

Recipe from the collection of:  Designs by Jeanne R

Homemade sourdough English muffins is another childhood memory for me.  Mom made these pretty often, & while they were always really good, we probably took for granted that not all mom’s made homemade breads like this for their families.  I have the sourdough cookbook she made for all of us kids, & it makes me smile when I see her handwritten notes in which the measurements were doubled, tripled & quadrupled in the margins!  I guess with a family of 5 kids (plus friends), 1 batch wouldn’t suffice!  Making these myself throughout the years, I marvel at how easy Mom made this look.  I’ll be honest, there’s a fine line between a beautifully cooked English muffin, & one which has been scorched on the stove!  You’ve been warned, you’ve got to babysit these little darlings, but it’s well worth the effort. Continue reading

A Mini Blanket for a Cat Named Mini

Mini with her blanket

Mini’s with her blanket

I work out of my home office, & I have this little assistant hanging out under my desk all day.  She just loves her comfy velvet bed, & I love having such great company!  Every now and then, she snores…it’s a dainty little noise, but she does snore!  So during the winter, I’ll drape a little blanket over my lap, and she’s all to happy to share it with me.  I started thinking, “Mini needs her own blanket!”  So here’s her soft little blanket, crocheted out of leftover baby yarn.  Not very fancy, but I think she doesn’t mind!

Sweet dreams little Mini!

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Sauerkraut & Dumplings

Sauerkraut & Dumplings

Sauerkraut & Dumplings

Sauerkraut & dumplings is a signature dish of sorts for Mom.  She’d make it in a great big soup pot, & flavor it with pork spare ribs.  I’d know dinner was almost ready when she added the dumpling dough to the pot at the very end of the cooking time.  The dumplings were always my favorite part, as they’d lend a little creaminess to the dish, & tame the kraut flavor.  The dumplings were just about as fluffy as little clouds, floating on top.  It seemed as though there were never quite enough dumplings, but maybe that’s what enhanced it’s appeal. Continue reading