Monday, February 28, 2011

A Getaway!

Not that we have things we want to get away from, but my sweetie whisks me off once in a while to one of our favorite local places - Sonora.
I was a little bit bratty...ok a lotta bit bratty...about this little sojourn.  I was absolutely sure it was going to snow on us, and I tried to convince Brian that it just wasn't a good idea to venture out.  I just hate driving in unsavory weather and the day we were to leave it was stormy.  I had this information on good authority from my very own weather station near Lake Don Pedro where they were preparing for a possible power outage. Now, really...why would you get in your car and drive towards that!?
As you can plainly turned out to be quite a gorgeous day (why is it that when ever I put my foot down it seems to end up in my mouth!?)  Beautiful blue skies, cotton candy clouds...and what?  No snow, No rain!!!!!!  A good start to a our little outing.
The drive to Sonora is really quite beautiful...and I truly love the hills when they are that amazing shade of winter green.  One of the things I miss about living over in the Morgan Hill area is the proximity to the when we drive up this way I feel right at home.
One of my favorite sights on the way up - Flat-top Hill - I just made that up...I have no idea what it's called but it looks just like someone chopped the top right off.  And an extra treat - a waterfall!
We made the trip without any snowstorm calamities, but as you can see - there had been some snowing going on at some point!  In fact lots of the stores were closed because such a bad storm had been predicted - so...I wasn't the only scaredy cat!
We had lots of fun eating out, going to the movies, and doing a tiny bit of shopping...this is a new place we found (with the help of the nice lady at the yarn shop).  An Italian family that has been in the area since 1879 opened this restaurant in their old family home.  Excellent food - we heard a lot of it is fresh from their farms.  If you want to try it out - they are open for breakfast and lunch only.  1210 Sanguinetti Road.

Speaking of the yarn shop...that is one of my favorite places to go - such a pretty little shop.
Every time I am here I wish I could knit more than just straight-line things!  The nice lady told me she was sure that I could learn...I have been reading up and want to try.

Aren't these gorgeous, don't they make you want to run out and buy yarn and some needles!?

I always think I have a favorite colour until I come in here and then all the colours are my favorite!  I did buy a few things...and I will share with you later what I make with them - so fun!!!  And...I am going to try and make something other than a straight-line thing!  When you are in Sonora be sure and drop by this darling shop...By Hand Yarn
They give classes and there are projects throughout the store to inspire you...I am going to save up to make this amazing shawl that I saw.....but maybe I had better finish ok start the project that I bought last time we were there!?

There was definitely evidence that there had been some weather in the area...this is normally a very calming little area with pretty green water not roiling muddy brown water.  And...when we came out of a shop on Saturday...there it was...SNOW!!!!!
Here is the evidence!!! Little bits of snow on us!
We high-tailed it to Jamestown - where it was sunny and dry...for about twenty minutes!  And then the snow hit there too!  The snow didn't stick though and soon it was fine for walking around to our favorite shops...then we grabbed a coffee (raspberry mocha and pumpkin spice) and headed home - in the sunshine.

So, thanks Handsome for a wonderful trip...for dragging me out kicking and screaming - and bringing me back all happy that we went!

The girlies had a great time with their Papa.  They cooked him dinners, had great conversations, and were introduced to Lawrence Welk!  I watched him with my Nonnie when I was little..

And I heard them making plans for next time - talk of playing cards, trips to Super Target and things like that!  Thanks Daddy - it makes me happy when my girlies get to spend time with you.

So get in the car everyone...and go somewhere...we only traveled an hour and look what fun we had!

xoxo     Elizabeth

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Eggs...In A Cup!

Down through the generations in our family...if you were a little sick, or maybe down in the dumps, or just wanted to feel special there is a food that Nonnie's, Grammy's and Mommy's would always prepare...

Eggie In A Cup!!!!!

Have you had it!?

This last week we had sickies in our house so this Mommy made Eggie In A Cup.  It's easy peasy and just tastes so yummy!

First of all - do you have one of these?
Mine is old (of course!) and the newer ones have Teflon in the eggie cups so it makes for less scrubbing.
The way this pan works is water goes in under the little egg cups...about half full...then
I put a teeny bit of butter in each little cup (sometimes I just spray them with cooking spray), put the heat on medium and wait for it to melt a bit...
While I am waiting I choose my bowls...this little gnome-y guy is from a set that my mom and sis gave me - is he so cute!!!!!!  By the way can't wait to see Gnomeo and Juliet!!! It has all my favorite things in it - gardens, flamingos, gnomes........just adorable.

Ok, so I have my bowls picked out...and you can see my eggies up there waiting to go.  The butter is melty and in go the eggs...

With these four eggs I am going to make two Eggie In A Cup - or as you've noticed by now Eggie In A Bowl.  My Nonnie called it Eggie In A Cup so what ever it is placed in it will always be Eggie In A Cup to me! For some reason Madison doesn't like eggs - go figure - and so this is not her comfort food.  I think that for her it would be Seven Layer Chocolate Cake!  These Eggie In A Cup will be for Lane and I.
The trick here is to get the eggs cooked just right...not hard-boiled and not to gooey - cause that's just yucky!  So just lift the lid every so often and take a peek.
Not quite I will get my bread ready...
I tear up a slice and a half of bread into each bowl - you can also use saltine crackers - that tastes great too.  And then check the eggies again...
Looking perfect - time to dump them in the bowls...
 add some salt and pepper and mix it all up together...
As my friend, Annie, would say "yu-um!"

So that's our Eggie In A Cup comfort food - don't wait to get sick...just try it for the comfort part!

xoxo     Elizabeth

Monday, February 21, 2011

People Are So Kind

Just this last week I got a call from one of my mom and dad's wonderful friends...she had a question to ask me, but to start off our conversation she asked how I was.  I thought about my answer and decided to tell the truth..."well," I said "actually I have two sick girlies...."  This kind woman offered me some advice for a possible sinus infection, asked me her question and we said good bye.

Not a half an hour later my dad shows up at the door - in his hands are a casserole, a sinus rinse kit and four See's suckers!!!! All sent over by the sweet lady that I had been talking to just a bit before!

Kindness means so much and can just turn a tough situation right around.  Thank goodness for kind friends and thoughtful fathers!!!!!!  We appreciate it so much.

With a thankful heart that is looking forward to passing on my own kind deed to keep this moving forward....

xoxo     Elizabeth

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Ballet Meatloaf

We have a long-standing tradition that revolves around what we eat when there is a ballet performance approaching.
Performance weeks are full of long hours and lots of rushing around...

After a couple tries with 'fast food' (which I have nothing against) I decided that I wanted something else for the girlies during those busy weeks.  And the Ballet Meatloaf was born.  It is easy to make, can be prepared ahead, and can be served hot or cold and be equally delicious.  Thanks to Colleen it has it's special name...we were describing what we do to her one day and she said...oh, the Ballet Meatloaf...and history was made!

To make your own Ballet Meatloaf...or Soccer Meatloaf, or Gymnastics will need:

(This recipe made three...which can all be cooked at once or cook one and put the others in the freezer or cook them all and put some in the freezer or well... you get the idea)

  • 4 # hamburger meat
  • 1 yellow onion diced (med. to lg.)
  • 3 slices whole wheat bread (or any bread you have or want)
  • 3 eggs
  • Catsup
  •  Salt and Pepper
So throw your hamburger meat into a large bowl, tear up the bread and toss it in...add the eggs, onion, salt and pepper, and squeeze a bunch of catsup in there too - maybe 1/2 a cup or so.  Mix it all up really well and you are ready to go.

I usually use my hands - it seems to be the easiest way to get it all mixed together.  Then I wash them really well about 6 times because truth be told raw hamburger meat grosses me out!

Grease some baking dishes and put equal amounts into each for the part my mom taught me - the part that makes it really yummy...
More catsup!  Squirt a good amount on the top of each really makes them taste great.  I think that originally my mom used to put Chili Sauce on them.  It comes in a sort of roundish jar and should be in with the condiments at the market.

Stick them in a 350 degree oven for at least an hour and Voila!  Ballet Meatloaf!

This last performance while the Ballet Meatloaf was cooking I did a little Valentine project for my girlies. Which come to think of it goes right along with the ballet performance theme I have going on here.  Being a ballerina there are certain aches and pains that are unavoidable...and sometimes you need a little something to make you feel better....(of course chocolate works well also!)  I made each of my girlies a little bundle that they can put in the microwave and heat up if they want to apply heat to various body parts.

I got out some of my felt and made four rectangles (remember I am making two) about 5" by 20"

Next I found some decorative fabric I thought my girlies would like and cut some pieces to sew onto the front of the bundles

I love this batik fabric!

and some cute, funny monsters!  I sewed these to the right side of two of the rectangles of felt.  Taking one rectangle with a decorative fabric and one without I pinned them together and sewed around three sides (leaving one of the small sides open for adding rice)

I filled each bundle about 2/3 of the way with rice...adding in a tea bag for a little fragrance when they are heated up.  This used not quite 5 # of rice - and just my luck rice was on sale at the market!

Here are the finished Ballet Bundles...ready to pop into the microwave for a tiny bit and be cuddled around a sore neck, knee, ankle - what ever needs a little TLC.
So with the project finished and the meatloaf cooked to perfection...

We moved right on to enjoying our Ballet Meatloaf!  When it comes out of the oven there is liquid in the baking dish...this can be left or poured out - I have done both and the flavor is good either way.

Well, the next time you have a ballet performance, a soccer match, or maybe you just don't want to have to think about cooking...try the Ballet Meatloaf.  I think you'll like it!

xoxo     Elizabeth