I had to go back a bit in my blog posts to see where I left off after giving you a little taste of my newspaper columns. I want to thank all of you for writing that you were able to see the differences in my writing the articles from the way I write my blog. Being able to adapt to what I need to write for certain publications and audiences is not as easy as it seems. But most of all, you, my longtime friends, commenting that you were able to use some of the tips, well, that's what it's all about for me. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Thanksgiving is long over and although my table wasn't the fanciest, I wanted to share it. Totally no fussing my centerpiece was a simple vase of pretty yellow roses. I mixed dishes, silverware and napkin rings. I had a great deal of help with appetizers, desserts and side dishes from the family. We had a record 29 for dessert, all extended family. It was a tad crowded but we all had a ball.
Everyone brought some sort of dessert and I made plates for all to bring home. I sure didn't need the temptation! It was such a relief to clean up most of it and call it a night. :D
Abby spends a good amount of time with us, sometimes it feels as if she never moved out. I made over her bedroom as a guest room and so far she has been our only guest. And now she has her beast, I mean dog, Squall. I introduced him here. An 8 month old rescue who had lived in the shelter all his life.
We had a really difficult time getting Squall and my dog, Milo, to get along. It took a whole afternoon of walking them together and playing while keep them on their leashes. Milo is not having anything to do with strange dogs anymore and Squall reacts very aggressively. After a lot of work, Abby, her boyfriend Tom, and The Husband were able to bring them in our house and they only got into a few tussles (and the ones before were really scary). I think Milo finally gave up (grudgingly) and Squall just has a field day exploring our house and getting good smells and nibbles from me as I prepared our Thanksgiving feast.
He acted like the typical puppy and I couldn't fault him. Sadly, I had to keep Layla in our bedroom. She is afraid of other dogs yet she will go into attack mode when confronted. It was pretty apparent Squall and she would clash and an 8 pound dog vs. a 50 pound dog would not end up pretty. On top of that, Jeff brought Tulo with him for Thanksgiving dinner (Tulo is well over 100 pounds) so I had four dogs and all of these people. To top that...it was found a few days later after a routine blood test by Abby's vet, Squall had two different parasites which could be spread by his feces. My vet recommended I bring in Milo and Layla's samples in a week or so. Oh, joy. Still haven't begun to look under the frigid snow. At the cost of not being very popular, I had to say none of this was working so there will be zero dogs here other than my own for awhile.
My most relaxing time at the lakehouse
We had a three day weekend after Thanksgiving. I am so enjoying sitting on the sofa in front of the crackling fire, relaxing and reading. We won't have Wifi and Internet for a few more weeks and I truly hope I can stay away from it and continue to catch up on my reading. Here, I was well into Isle Of Dreams by Susan Branch. She really weaves a wonderful memoir. I love reading about women and their experiences in finding true independence. :)
Tons of progress there. No more boxes to unpack, everything washed and extra bedding and pillows are packed in heavy bins which I scored from Dollar General in town for $8.00. We have a pull out couch, 2 inflatable beds and 2 twin bed in the guest house so I have extra of everything. The bins stack up nicely in closets.
The best quiche ever
I really love quiche and it's been awhile since I've posted a recipe. This goes together quickly with few ingredients and it's great as lunch or dinner with leftovers for breakfast. It's also tried and true for small gatherings along with a salad. Just remember it takes about 50+ minutes in the oven so it's something you have to plan ahead. The best part of this recipe is you get your daily dose of veggies with the zucchini, which makes its own crispy crust, as well as mushrooms. And it's light and fluffy. I think you'll love this.
Zucchini & Mushroom Quiche
2 medium zucchini sliced in rounds
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 t fine bread crumbs
1/2 c cream
1/2 c milk
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 t dried thyme
S & P
Toss 1/2 of the sliced zucchini in the olive oil. Butter an 8 inch pie pan or casserole and arrange the zucchini over. This will be the 'crust'. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes
Remove from oven and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the bread crumbs over the zucchini...this will help absorb the water secreted from the veggies. Arrange the mushroom over and then the other half of zucchini. Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of bread crumbs over and S& P as you desire.
Whisk eggs, cream and milk together until frothy, this will make the dish very light and fluffy. You can use a whisk but I used my mixer for about 2 minutes. Stir in the cheese, thyme and salt and pepper. Pour over veggies in pie dish. Place in the 350 oven and bake approximately 45 to 50 minutes. Check center of quiche with a fork or toothpick to see if it is firm. You can also check by tapping your fingers over for firmness. Serves 4. Enjoy~
You may have noticed granddaughter Elsie's new picture on my sidebar. This is another from her photography shoot for Christmas. I love this one. She's just darling. She is really attached to The Husband. He, my son and Elsie go out for breakfast almost every Sunday morning. When she comes to visit she really enjoys walking through our home with it's maze of rooms and hallways. We keep her toys in the family room and she's eager to take me by the hand to help her bring them to the living room where we usually sit. On our way we pass the guest room where we keep our parrot (for lack of a better place). She waves 'Hi" to Nina. Nina squawks a few times and all is good.
And here we have Maddy. She is 4 weeks now and is really filling out and becoming more alert. She sleeps most of the time...at least more than any baby I've ever had or known. I have her all day on Mondays when Emily works downtown. Sometimes I want to wake her up just to have some quality time, as if you can with a newborn. She gets her bottle every three hours, we chat (or I do..."This is Milo and Layla. They will be your forever friends. This is me, grandma, I'm going to spoil you to no end." And then I lay her back down. Isn't she precious?
Off I go. You might notice there is nothing Christmasy about my post. I have nothing to show at this point. I'm working on packing up a lot of what I have around here and there, which I've been planning on doing forever, to make room for my Christmas decor and favorite pieces. I'm going for the tree tomorrow at my favorite garden center. It takes some moving around of furniture so I need to round up some help for that. Then I like to let the branches fall a bit for about 2-3 days, then I do the lights and ribbon and finally ornaments. Can you hear me catching my breath in a panic? Some mornings I wake up feeling a humongous cloud of anxiety over me. Barely any Christmas shopping accomplished much less present wrapped. Cards to fill out, address, stamp and send. Planning and making sweets I give as gifts, at least the ones I freeze. I've never been so behind the eight ball. Still, I needed to write a post and believe it or not, I really relax doing so. As much as you guys say you like reading my blog posts as if we were having coffee together, I feel this, too. I'm grateful we are friends.