Sunday, February 26, 2023

Italian Cabbage Soup... and Sunday

Hello, dear ones...
Today is warm and March-like, even though the calendar still tells me it's not quite Spring. Several hopefuls in my neighboring town have announced they've seen robins strutting around their yards. I always cringe at news like that because, after all,  it is Missouri, and we have pretty big snows even into April!  I think of that song, "Poor Little Robin...  walkin' walkin' walkin' to Missouri. He can't afford to fly." In 1952 the Sammy Kaye orchestra recorded that song, written by Bob Merrill....  Finally... something a little bit before my time! But I do recall a slogan,  "Swing and sway with Sammy Kaye." That dates me,  I'm sure. 
My cat is sleeping on the end of my bed. She has to get her zzzz's in so she can keep patrol duties high during the night. She and I, both, it seems. I seem to have night time, on duty behavior...
This was taken a few years in the past. 
I have been watching all the seasons of FBI. I love watching movies and TV about high tech crime, and this fits the bill....  It is not very conducive to resting and calm, anxiety free life. However, once a person makes it through all thirteen seasons of Criminal Minds, they can pretty much stand up to anything...  but they may not be the same. We are watching The Mentalist for the fourth time (for me, 3 for my son)...  I think we will get the finale in tonight. Ah...  Lisbon and Jane...  very satisfying finale. One of the few in my opinion...

My supper awaits, and I can't really say enough about how yummy the house smells. I decided to create a huge Dutch oven of Italian Cabbage Soup.  It is soooo good! and totally healthy, I think. If a person is doing Paleo or Keto, the carrots might be pushing it, but for what we're doing, it's perfect.
Here is my recipe. I just made it up today, based on every cabbage soup anywhere.
Italian Cabbage Soup

Brown and drain if needed:

    1# Italian Mild Sausage
    1# ground chicken
In a large Dutch oven, 

Add the following to the meat
( didn't steam the vegetables in olive oil like I usually do because I had the pot all full of my meat already...)
2/3 large head chopped cabbage
1 chopped onion
1 chopped red pepper
1 c. chopped celery
4 sliced carrots
32 oz. chicken stock
2 cans or boxes (Colvita or your choice) crushed tomatoes
1 T. garlic paste
1 T. tomato paste
large pinch red pepper flakes (optional if you like heat)
1 t. salt (to your taste)
large handful Italian seasoning
1 T. Thyme)
1 T. Parsley flakes
1 t, onion powder
1-2 c. water (depending on how thin you like your soup)

I cooked it for a long time until the vegetables were soft enough for this girl to partake! I used to be an al dente afficionada.. when I had dentes...  At the end, I turned off the stove and added in a half of a large bag of fresh spinach leaves. I don't really taste it, but I've read it's really good for people...  lol...  I squeezed in two small, not very juicy lemons...  I'm not strong enough to really get much juice, but it made be feel very fresh and gourmet...  That's half the battle. I grated some fresh Parmesan Cheese on top....  Oh, I dare say I felt just like Giada... (but one glance in the mirror? Nah...  not Giada. My top isn't low-cut enough! lol..  Boy, howdy, did my mother used to fuss about that girl's low-cut sweaters. It was too funny!)
I think this soup will keep a while, and it would even freeze, but we probably won't be doing that. I thought about adding black beans or cannelloni, but my stew pot runneth over as it is! When there is cabbage in the soup, I never re-heat the whole pot because it starts to be a little too cabbagey for me. I just heat the bowls or a small batch (if I heat it. My son and I are those kind of people who really love a lot of foods cold.  This soup will be delicious chilled, I know. Like a big salad almost...  It would have been delicious with home made bread or bread sticks, but...  I am after all, trying for the health aspect. I thought the chicken might balance out the sausage, although lean ground beef  would be spectacular! Or leave that all out and add some more kind of salty flavoring for a Vegetarian Soup... 

Well, time to throw a load of Our Lady of Perpetual Care Laundry in the machine. I am pretty sure I could never keep up with a large family's laundry. Two of us really keeps me spinning...  (yep. I did that.)
Today is my cousin's birthday. I sent a bag with a few gifts with her daughter. It must be fun to have a Winter birthday. I was born on the 29th Day of June, and it is always hot, hot, hot...  We've had some doozy storms on  that day, too. But it feels like a good month to be born. As are all of them! Take good care of yourselves. Thanks for stopping by.
Whimsy and Hugs!

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Have a lovely month...

Whimsy and Hugs!

I have been immersed in some really fun projects, and I decided to bob up to the surface today. Because February is 72 hours shorter than some of its sisters, I really always get a little anxious along about now! I feel that I'd better work quicker or things will never get done. A lot of our February days have been pretty and warmer... almost a false start for Spring. Today... not so much, and it will get colder toward the weekend. That's going to be a good thing because my hauler got his trailer stuck in my yard, and he's waiting for freezing ground to get out. 

I created a little note-taking Irish Journal for a friend in Kentucky.  She was my first customer on Etsy, and she really has been loyal! I love to make things for her, and she does special request orders, too.

I also finished this crocheted afghan for a friend in Florida. She had a stroke several years ago, so she goes out in a wheel chair. I guess she makes quite a fuss over handmade afghans. I've made her several, and she really enjoys coordinating them to her outfits. She is quite a stylin' lady. Once she had a minor heart attack, and she told me she knew she was having one, but she took the time to take a shower and do her makeup~~~  Wow!  What is that saying?  "It is better to 'rook' good than to feel good. "

We had a storm this morning... the perfect weather for baking. I made regular brownies with white chocolate chips. This is my Beleek Irish baking dish, and it has a great lid, too. Mom bought is for me on QVC years ago during one of those wonderful Irish celebrations they used to have on March 17th. 

 I also made chocolate brownie butterscotch Gluten-free cookies. They were so easy with a Gluten Free Mix from Aldi's. I used the recipe on the back. 
Brownie Mix, 2 eggs, 5 T. melted butter, 1 c. chips. 

Well, I stored away the Valentine things and got out my Irish fixings... Such a cool respite for the eyes after all the red of Valentine's Day and Christmas...

Have a lovely end of the month. I might see you again in February, but again.. I might not! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Valentine Memories... 2023

I really hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day. We sure did, although we really didn't do anything too different from the other 365...
My son got a good report from his ordeal when he went to the doctor on Monday. I had prayed for a good report, the doctor to be in a kind mood, and for helpful instructions. All three were granted, so that was wonderful. We had springlike weather until the actual day, when it was a bit grey and gusty. My son surprised me with some food on Monday from a favorite Chinese Restaurant, China Garden.  We had that for Monday and Tuesday!  So I still have my menu I'd planned ready for the weekend.... (it's just spaghetti, so it isn't really ready yet...)  I think after a while, planning what to fix is harder than fixing it. Don't you?

I had several surprises for Valentine's Day...  candy, flowers, leather journal...  homemade fabric Valentines for my collection....  It was simply a loverly day all over. My son and I did some little surprises, and I made some heart-shaped Rice Krispie and Peanut Butter cookies...  Now we go back into diet mode...  C'est la Vie...

I guess this blog is the place for me to pour out all the silly, dumb, absolutely dopey things I have done...  Well, last Thursday night may have to top the list, I hope, for a while....  I am so blessed, lucky, and grateful! Super late at night I was sitting there in the darkened living room watching a movie, and I decided to use some of those wonderful eye drops for dry eyes...  You know... the kind that are are all slick and soothing...  Well, I grabbed mine, so I thought, and suddenly... 

Ooooh, cheee. chow... wow!   Instead of that, I had grabbed the Compound W...  I had purchased some of that because I had misidentified an arthritis bump on my thumb.... a few weeks ago...  I know. I should have put that little bottle up and all that...  But it just sat there tucked into the little row of meds on the back of my side table.  I smelled that awful smell, and liquid fire poured down my face.  It was just awful. It was so painful, and it coursed down my cheek, across my lips and down my neck. I called out to my son, but he had already gone to sleep, and he didn't hear me. So, my first thought was to thank God that I had missed my eyes...  Yep.  I am just terrible at putting in eye drops...  I had just barely missed my eye.... but in this case that was a life saver, I think. I called 911 and Poison Control. They both said it would be ok, and to flush my face with warm water and mild soap and follow with some kind of ointment like Petroleum Jelly. My friend's pharmacist husband told me the next day this med was the same ingredient that they use in some acne medicine ... only more concentrated.  My face was bright red and really sore for most of the week, and my lips were a little blistered...  I have been peeling little layers of skin kind of like a sunburn, but it really looks okay.  I guess I got a "free" chemical peel.  Maybe I will look younger on one side...  Believe me, I won't be doing that again to even up the face!  

I really haven't had much other news.  I postponed my Cardiologist appointment on Friday due to snow on Thursday, but in typical Missouri fashion, I could have easily gone. All the snow was gone, and it felt like spring! 

I also postponed my dental appointment to get my dentures...  I am in a big postpone it funk, I guess...  I just figured I needed to get straightened out with all the other things going on...  Ya know?

So on my agenda for today is maybe to put away the St. Valentine's Day decor and whip out St. Patrick's Day. I'm making an Irish Journal for a sweet repeating customer on Etsy...  I was supposed to make her a Valentine one, but I had to cancel because I thought at the time my son had Covid. The doctor hasn't ruled out that he might have had it to begin his troubles. I don't think so...  but who knows for sure.

I have been doing quite a bit of crochet lately. I just basically do different things with the Granny stitch because it seems to be the thing that soothes my spirit the most...  I guess it is almost automatic...  

Callie fears I will make her one of these outfits.  I would, but I know she would just flop down and never get up...  She did that with the little coat I made her wear one day a few years ago...   

I finished this afghan for a friend in Florida.  She has had a stoke, and she navigates in a wheel chair.   She seems to really enjoy the fruits of my labor, and she really gets a little joy wearing an afghan to town or the doctor... or even just at home.  I think they run their air conditioner to the level to make their house cold enough to feel like the Philadelphia they loved so much...  

This cozy blanket (about 48 inches or so) is out for the mail lady this morning if the box doesn't just blow away.  I think the winds on our Missouri prairie have grown during my lifetime.. Is that because so many of us cleared out land of the trees?  I think I read that. Dunno, but it sure does blow a lot!  lol...

I sure hope I have nothing to confess in my next blog.  I know it gets kind of  incredible to hear that I have done something like that Compound W thing......  I mean, try living in my self-deprecating skin a little!  On second thought, wait until it gets over this escapade...  My skin needs a break!  lol...

Enjoy the rest of the month. I'll be back soon...

Whimsy and Hugs!

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Febrero, La Joya Querida del Invierno!

What a cad I was to promise cookies and then disappear! I fully intended a quicker post, but we have been so busy here trying and succeeding at feeling better.

 My son has been quite ill, and finally went in an ambulance last Saturday to the Emergency Room. He had most of the symptoms for a great many problems... Covid, Flu, C-Diff, Strep, Thrush, Infection... just no fever.... We pushed fluids and water and tried everything. Even the trip to the ER just ruled out all the above ailments.  Sunday morning our doctor called. My son had bottomed out on sodium and several minerals... too much water. We are in a dangerous spot where they say there isn't room in our hospitals. They're "full." is what they say, but really that translates to the fact that while our hospitals have beds empty, they are understaffed and do not have nurses for more patients. Our local hospital recently had to send an emergency patient to Wichita, Kansas (344 miles away). I am not going to indulge political commentary here... But this is a sad and scary fact for our area. So my son was instructed to limit fluids to 1.5 liters of Gatorade or Gatorlyte. Someone really should have told his Mama not to Google Hyponatremia or the dangers of having it, getting it, or of reversing it. But, thank the Lord, he is so much better. SO MUCH!!! Our doctor is quite good... not so easy to get along with... rather known for his yelling and all that... but he seems to have been right "spot on" here. 

So... time to get back to the original plan... tea and cookies!

I decided in early January to make at least one batch of cookies, even though this house needs NO cookies. What was happening for the past six years has been good old Denial. While I would NEVER make just us something like cookies, I used to make them for friends. Then we went into hybernation/isolation. and no more homemade... but I would indulge in some from Aldi's bakery. (May I recommend their Kitchen Sink cookies?)

January had only one batch. I rolled the cookies into parchment tubes and created slice and bakes... I put the final tube in the oven this morning and enjoyed a whimsical cup of Jasmine tea... maybe the penguin is intended to put his elbows on the cup, hot tub style? Not sure, but it is worth trying tomorrow.

Here is my recipe:

Oatmeal Chip-iful Cookies

1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. softened butter
1 t. Vanilla
1 large egg
2 c. Quick oats
1 1/2 c. flour 
1 t. baking soda
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. butterscotch chips
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
You could do any flavors here or raisins!
(I omitted a 1/2 c. crushed pecans)  no teeth!!!!!

I used a big spoon and started mixing from the top... Yes, I had to sprinkle in some cold water at the end. I divided it into four logs and twisted the ends of  the parchment. The recipe called for the usual steps... I baked a few at a time for about 10 -12 minutes at 350 degrees on parchment-lined cookie sheet. They really don't look done, but they set up fine. 


 February, the Darling Jewel of Winter
(blog title translation)

Whimsy and Hugs!