Monday, November 24, 2014

A Quick and Easy Side Dish

I made a super easy side dish that the girls really enjoyed. 
They thought the orange pieces were sweet taters, and I did not correct them until it was all gone.  Sneaky, I know.
Anyway, it is Pioneer Woman's recipe and I rarely have gone wrong with those. 
 Super easy.
I diced half a butternut squash and threw it into a skillet with some olive oil and a bit of butter.
To this I added the salt and pepper and a dash of cayenne. 
 Ree used chili powder, but my jar was empty and I was to lazy to refill it then.
Anywhoo...cooked the squash...errrrrrr sweet tater until there was a yummy golden color and then removed it from the pan....a tad more olive oil (she used more butter) and I added the kale to the skillet. 
I like using kale because it keeps some texture and body, unlike spinach that would have wilted into nothingness.
 
 
Throw the squash back in with the kale until hot and serve. 
P.W. also suggested other serving options...with risotto, pasta, quesadillas.
I served it as a side and loved it. 
It is a keeper. 
 
 We'll see if it is consumed with as much gusto now that they know it is the dreaded squash.





Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Truism

Thanksgiving 2011
Gratitude is the sign of noble souls
~Aesop

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Rose that Reminds

 My father in law's birthday rose did not fail in provided a blossom today.
 The blossoms might not be as vibrant and abundant as in years past, but they are there and we are reminded of a very special man on his birthday,

Friday, November 21, 2014

What was Then is History Now

About 4 1/2 years ago, Lollipop Pop and I were able to visit Washington DC and New York City with a group from her school.
 Looking back at these posts (1, 2,  3) is fun for me...I can not believe how quickly time has passed.
The man in the blue hat was a teacher from a neighboring school who joined us with 4 of his students. 
 The man in the black shirt was our fearless leader and Lollipop Pop's math teacher. 
 Both of these men are her high school basketball coaches now.
Strange how things change.
 
When we were in Washington, we got to meet with our Congressman.
Another teacher on the trip helped make this happen as she is a family friend.
She was also a history teacher who knew this would be something the kids would remember and learn from.
Congressman Nunes has worked hard for our Central Valley and continues to have his voice heard on our behalf.
He took the time to answer questions from the kidnicks as well as the parents.
I remember one question asked was if he wanted to run for President.
He said that he had someone in mind whom he hoped would run. 
 Wish I knew who he was thinking about for curiosity sake
 

Earlier this week,  Congressman Nunes was appointed as the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee.
Pretty cool stuff for those kids, looking back now.
Good Luck, Devin!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Change is in the Air

Time is flying by, as it seems to do but I am bound and determined to be prepared for December this year and be able to relax and enjoy all that the season has to offer. 
I say this every year.
 It rarely happens, but this is the year!
Maybe.
We are celebrating Thanksgiving differently that ever before and it begins this Saturday when we feast on  a bird with my parents here.
I have always been an adamant defender of Thanksgiving and would never listen to Christmas music early.
Never had a speck of d├ęcor out before the turkey was devoured and his bones turned into soup.
I don't know what changed a couple years ago, but something did. 
 The Christmas music is in my car and on my radio.
 There are bits and pieces of  red and green in my kitchen.
I went a bit crazy with the can of spray paint as well.
 
  If you stood still long enough, you would have been transformed, I tell you.
This guy was given to me years ago by a sweet, sweet lady as a thank you gift.
She had my kidnicks help her choose and that always touched me.
The fact that she asked their opinion and took it to heart.
He has been loved and used to the point of needing a bit of a face lift.
The white now covers the love chips and gave him new life.

 It is funny how just a bit of change in our surroundings can breathe new life into us as well.

Happy Thursday.
 





Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Joy in the Moment

Marrying into a first generation Azorean family is not an uncommon occurrence in my neck of the woods.
This area was a place that immigrants from the islands came to make a new life...to farm...to begin dairies and raise their young families with more hope for the future. 
They were hard workers and succeeded.
Although my mother in law was actually born here, (she her family returned to Terceira when she was a toddler) she did not come back until she was a young woman to marry another young immigrant from a neighboring village.
I look back to my in law's, as well as my ancestors who left their siblings and friends to come to the unknown.
They left everything they knew to reach for a dream.
 The American Dream.
In many cases, eventually, those siblings and friends crossed the ocean themselves to make a better life for themselves.
Often times, settling in the same area. 
I digress.
When my Hubby and I began dating, I realized that I was not only dating my love, but I was dating his family.
His very Portuguese family.
His rather large extended family
I was in love with the youngest in the family.
The only son.
I was a blond outsider from a different town.
I was the unknown who had swooped in and needed to prove myself a bit.
There were three ladies with whom, from the very beginning, I felt a kindred spirit with.
And they liked me from the get go!
Tia Natalina is no longer with us, but Tia Rosie and my mother in law are.
These two life long friends who married brothers from the old country, may not always remember us. They may wonder aloud where their long passed siblings are.
They aren't always certain whose home they are in.
But for a moment that changes.
They remember.
We may not be in that moment with them, but that is okay.
They share the same stories and history.
They remember things we know not of.
They share laughter and joy.
Life was not always easy and care free for them, but seeing these two friends and sisters-in-law together and watching them share whatever it was they were sharing is priceless.
You are both so loved and treasured.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Truism

A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart.
~Author Unknown
 
After the San Francisco Giants won the World Series, our local chocolate store created these.
 I knew my Dad would love them...his team, a pretzel and chocolate. 
What's not to love?
http://www.staffordsfamouschocolates.com/landing_grid/homepage/
Anyway, Sugar Plum Fairy agreed so off we went. 
She delivered the treat to her Grandpa and away we went.
Several days ago, I was asked to give my daughter this cute box.
Inside, she discovered this.
She spread out the letters and was lost. 
 I peeked at the answer and asked her if she has given Pepe anything recently. 
Her eyes lit up and from "chocolate bat", she was off to the races!
"Thank you for the chocolate bat.
You are awesome,
Love Pepe"
 She loved it! 
What a treasure he created for  his youngest granddaughter.
I have a pretty awesome Dad if you ask me!