Politics

I had planned to post my reaction to the presidential race yesterday evening.  But then it just kept going, and I went to bed.

What an amazing example of the democratic system.  This has been the first presidential campaign that I have really followed from start to finish.  Never before have I stayed up so very late on a work night, refreshing my Google page every few minutes, to see history made.  Because history was made.  I am not asking who you voted for.  I’m not going to say who I voted for.  No matter what side you are on, this years presidential campaign has been the most dramatic and world wide attention getting elections that I can ever remember.

I hope that our population can slow down and see our friends and family that we may disagree with politically for what they are.  Friends.  Family.  Let the next few weeks be a healing time in relationships that were stressed or hurt because of political views.

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Cheesecake

It is my husbands birthday today. In celebration, I made homemade cheesecake with strawberry topping.

Graham Cracker Crust
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter melted
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

Combine ingredients and press into pie pan. Bake at 375* for ten minutes.

Cheesecake
1 lb cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Combine ingredients with mixer then pour into crust. Bake at 375* for 25 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.

While that cools, make the sour cream topping and heat oven to 475*.

Sour Cream Topping
2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pour over cooled cheesecake, then bake at 475* for 15 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before cutting. Serve with fruit topping.img_3278

Blah :(

img_1446I’m having a crappy day. So I thought I would write a crappy day haiku for you.

Two thousand sixteen.
Friends died, people are crazy.
Here is a cactus.

 

Vacation Dreaming

img_2627Today was a rainy nasty day in the Pacific Northwest. Days like today have me dreaming of our annual trip to Arizona. There is nothing like the sunset in the desert.  The wide expanse of sky with the mountains in the distance.  The temperature drops to reasonable and it is so peaceful.

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Also, I bought my very first pair of LuLaRu leggings. Every thing you have heard about how soft they are is true. I want 473 pairs. Seriously. I may live in nothing but these leggings for the rest of the weekend.

My Happy Place

When you live in a three bedroom house with six people, it can be hard to find space that is just for you.  As the mom in the house, this seems to be especially difficult.  This summer, after several very stressful events, I decided that I needed my own space. My sewing machines had been in storage for years while I waited for the craft room that I dreamed of.  I missed my hobbies. I missed the peace and beauty of creating with fabric.  So, I took over an old dining room that was being used for storage.

I created my own happy place.

 

Just looking at this picture gives me peace.  I adore having a space where I can sit and create. This is what feeds my soul.

Where is your happy place?  Comment, Follow, Share!  We all need a happy place.

Quilting My Old Friend

img_3210I started quilting about fifteen years ago. None of my projects are precise enough to belong on a magazine cover. But I just love the process of cutting a simple piece of fabric or old clothing item into pieces, then sewing it all back together to produce a piece of art.

I have had so many people tell me they want to learn how to quilt. I always respond that it is easy to start. Learn to sew a straight line and you have enough skill to start. The biggest piece of advice I would give to a beginner quilter would be to embrace the crooked blocks. Those are the ones that show you were learning and that is a beautiful thing.

 

Kung Pao Chicken

img_3085We have a local chinese restaraunt that is the most fantastic place. It has been around in our community since my mother was a little girl. Four generations of my family have eaten at this lovely little place. It is not fancy, but the owners know the customers and often visit while you wait for your food.  There have been several families come in to run this business in our community.

When my husband and I started dating many years ago, this was one our favorite restaurants. We watched the children of the owners grow up in the restaurant. In fact, a few years ago the owners announced they would be leaving our community to join their youngest child at college so they could still live as a family.
The last few times we went there I lamented how much I was going to miss them and their food. I finally asked once what was in my favorite dish, Kung Pao Chicken. The owner laughed and rattled off all the ingredients so fast I could hardly understand. The next time, I went in with a pen and paper! She never had measurements and her instructions were always so fast. I wished I could just go in and watch them for a day!
Each time we went in, I asked for another recipe. Then I would go home and experiment with it. When we went back again, I ask her how I need to change it to get the flavor right. I went home and played with the ingredients and measurements for the Kung Pao Chicken. This is pretty darn close to the Eastern Garden.
My family has missed The Eastern Garden.  Every time I make this recipe, I think of the owners and how much they were a part of our community and our hearts.

Kung Pao Chicken

5 carrots
5 stalks celery
2 small zucchini
½ cup peanuts (or 1 tsp peanut butter)
2 chicken breast halves
3 cloves minced garlic
½ chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
½ tablespoon red pepper flakes (more if you want it spicier)
3 tablespoons Soy sauce
2 teaspoons Cornstarch
1 cup water
2 cups cooked rice

Mince and chop onion and garlic. Cut remaining vegetables into bite size pieces.

Cut chicken into small bite size pieces.

Fry chicken pieces in large frying pan with butter, garlic, and onion until chicken is cooked through.

Stir in red pepper flakes, peanuts, carrots, and celery. Cook this, stirring occasionally, for approximately 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini and cook another 3-4 minutes, until the zuchini is softened a bit.

Stir together soy sauce, cold water, and cornstarch for sauce. Add into hot mixture and stir until sauce thickens.

Serve over cooked rice.

This makes enough for my family of 6 plus extra.

Cooking Up New Posts

imageNovember is known around the world for NaNoWriMo. This month long challenge has an amazing amount of people starting and attempting to finish an entire novel in just 30 days.  I don’t have a novel in mind, but I sure would like to get some more posts up here!  My goal is to write a new post every morning.

Will all all the posts be brilliant and amazing works of literature? Probably not.

Will I still be working on my first cup of coffee while I write them before going to work for the day?  Yes, most likely.

Will I possibly lose my mind trying to create posts on an out of date/glitchy IPAD?  Based on this post alone, this is likely.

Will there be recipes, life management tips, and funny stories about camping with teenagers?  Most definitely!

I sure hope you stick with me for the month.  Click, Peruse, and Comment!