Posts Tagged With: kitchen

Easy-Peasy Caramel Chex Mix

Going to a Holiday party and don’t know what to bring? Want to make a home-made treat to give away to friends?  Try my Easy-Peasy Caramel Chex Mix.

Sweet and buttery, nutty and delicious, it’s a simple treat that’s ready in 30 minutes. And at this busy time of year, simple and good just can’t be beat.

Here’s what you need to make it:

  • 1 Small Box Chex Wheat & Rice Cereal
  • 2 cups of chopped nuts – pecans or walnuts
  • 2 sticks of butter, not margarine, butter. Oh Yeah!
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven 325 degrees.

Coat an cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and then pour cereal and nuts into the pan and set aside.

In a deep sauce pan melt butter and then stir in brown sugar. Over medium heat stir butter and brown sugar steadily to prevent burning; bring to a boil for one minute. Once boiling,  slowly add vanilla; mixture will foam (and may splatter) cook one to two more minutes.

bubbling goodness

bubbling goodness

Pour butter/sugar/vanilla mixture evenly over cereal and nuts, coating well.

Pop the pan into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Stir. Bake another 10 minutes and remove from oven, stir again to coat evenly.

When just about cool, remove from pan into an airtight container and enjoy!

crunchy, carmelly deliciousness!

crunchy, carmelly deliciousness!

December 1st signifies the start of the Christmas baking season at my house.  You?

.. let the baking begin!

.. let the baking begin!

Categories: Food, Holidays, Home, Recipes, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

My best day

In yesterday’s Vision Board class, one of the exercises we were given was to write a description of our “best” days.  To reflect on those times when we’ve been the happiest, have felt the most alive, and the most content.

I am fortunate for my best days happen every week: on Sundays.

Sunday mornings find me enjoying several cups of strong coffee with cream, stepping over old dog as he lazes in the morning sunshine and listening to the songbirds chirping just outside my window.

Sunday mornings,  I linger in the morning light to read the paper, a book or write down my thoughts.  Sometimes I just stay still with my eyes closed and reflect on the peace the day always brings me.   Sometimes I make plans and “to-do” lists but mostly, mostly I let the day take me where it wants to.

Sundays always involve two of my most favorite things: cooking and music.  Sunday finds me in my farmhouse styled kitchen, piddling around, cooking, sampling, stirring and chatting.   My mp3 player is set to gentle genres including classical, jazz and gospel.   I dress in casual, comfortable clothes and wear my best walking shoes as it’s not uncommon for me to stand several hours as I create.

My Auntie Irene (standing) and my Mom; those are some great cooks you're looking at!

My guys wander in and out, chatting, singing along and asking for samples and then …  lingering for more.  I laugh, I dance, I sing and I stir.  When I cook, I pay tribute to my mom, my Aunt Irene and my Grandma F. – the three greatest cooks I know.  Those moments restore me because they connect me to them. They are here with me, in my kitchen, and I swear I hear their voices, feel their presence, and heed their suggestions. (That needs some salt, stir this a little more, butter the size of an egg..)

Later, when we gather with our kids or friends or both, and my table is filled with the people I love and loaded up with the foods I’ve created, I feel it, I recognize it and I know what it is: it’s the feeling of a full heart. And those, those are my very best days.

What constitutes a “best day” for you?

Categories: Attitude, Family, Food, Gratitude, Joy, Life, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 24 Comments

Wherever I find myself

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself. ” – Maya Angelou

Growing up on a farm, when I wasn’t outside riding, playing or doing chores,  I was in the kitchen.   Looking back, I spent a lot of time in our farmhouse kitchen: cooking with Mom, reading the paper with Dad, playing cards with my siblings, ironing, folding and mending; I worked on 4-H projects, practiced public speaking,  studied for finals, debated politics and other news stories with friends and neighbors and, of course, talked on the phone. We had a wall-mounted phone with a cord that only went so far…and still does. Farm living meant a party line shared with Grandparents and another family nearby; we learned to listen for the distinct ring that belonged to us.. and for the breathing that meant more than 2 parties were in on your conversation!

Centrally located, the kitchen was, and still is, the heart of the home – bedrooms and bathroom in one direction, living and dining room in the other. It was never quiet in there, either. The countertop radio was the first appliance turned on and the last to be shut off at night.   Country music, farm reports, grain prices and weather updates peppered our conversations.

The kitchen was the place to stand up as straight as possible so Mom could hem a dress; with 5 kids, it was our makeshift “E.R.” – “stay still,” we’d hear, as liberal doses of iodine cleaned up most wounds.  It was – and still is – the place where visitors were greeted by a coffee pot perpetually “on” and home-baked goodness cooling on the counter.  Directly over the furnace, it was the warmest room in the house, and there were frequent scraps between my sibling and I over who had dibs on warming up over the floor register.

When the hubbs and I bought our Michigan house, it was not at all what we’d planned on. We’d had enjoyed a newly constructed house in Houston, and this was not only old, it was dated and needed lots of work.  It was dark and decorated in a 1970s colors – avocado and burnt orange.. ugh.  But something about it’s quiet dignity spoke to us; then, our boys were 14 and 8 and the multi level, multi-roomed house with lots of spaces was appealing.  The large yard, long neglected, held promise.  Slowly, old carpet was removed and replaced.  A fresh eggshell paint brightened the walnut-colored kitchen.  The dark countertop was replaced with a lighter color laminate and bulky overhead cabinets were jettisoned, letting sunlight stream in. Now, it’s my favorite room in this old house.  It’s there that you’ll find me: cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, helping with homework, playing board games, reading the paper, finishing projects, talking on the phone, chatting with neighbors and singing along to the radio.

Recently, a friend stopped over for the first time and paid us the most lovely compliment: “I just love your kitchen; it’s so cozy, like a farmhouse in here.” I smiled, poured her a cup of coffee, and we sat down for a long visit over a piece of warm cake.

What’s your favorite room? Does it bear any similarities to your childhood favorite?

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Fashion, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Mom, music, News, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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Planting roots on our little wild farm.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

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Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

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Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

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How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...