Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Parting is such sweet sorrow

I'm a little blue from having to say goodbye to my parents at the airport. They were visiting from Texas. We had a great time visiting so it was hard to see them go home.

When my mom comes to visit, she always bring some goodies for me to enjoy. This visit was no exception...what with some bargain silver shoes she found in my size, an elegant black scarf with velvet trim for those "dress up nights" and a nice big Christmas check to help with the holiday budget...I was feeling pretty darned loved. But what delighted me most was another gift she brought me that I initially thought was pretty mundane: a cookbook. "Great", I thought at first, "another cookbook that will sit on my shelf and collect dust". I have many un-used cookbooks in my house reminding me of how bad a cook I am and I tend to resent each one for different reasons. This one is too gourmet, that one includes ingredients found only in the remote parts of Taiwan, this one is endorsed by a skinny celebrity cook (never trust a skinny cook, right?), that one has only bland 1950's food, this one serves a family of 4 (is that all?), and that one recommends using Splenda for everything...yuck! But most have complicated recipes that take too much time and wayyy too much effort. However, I will resort to the cookbooks if I am looking for that "something special" to impress my friends; but all too often I just return to an 'ol classic dish that I know will pass muster.

One lazy afternoon while my parents and I were lounging in the den, I opened up the cookbook and browsed through its glossy pages and beautiful photos. I was still skeptical. My mom encouraged me to look closely, "Look, Georgie! Many of the dishes only require 15 minutes of prep!" Yeah, I thought, 15 minutes if you are a professional chef!

But I did look closer. There were some easy recipes in the book as well as some that required a bit more effort...but they all seemed possible to recreate! There were 3-ingredient biscuits, basic gravy recipes, beloved favorites, chocolate cakes using a mix, easy soups and yummy holiday treats to give as gifts. Wow! But one recipe in particular made me run out immediately to buy ingredients. It was a recipe for Slow-Cooker turkey and stuffing. The directions for cooking were straight forward, the pictures made the dish look delicious, make things more intriguing, there were step-by-step picture instructions. I threw all the ingredients in the crock pot and 6 hours later Viola! Turkey and stuffing...and it tasted really, really good! My kids loved it and we we had the left-overs the next day. ( 2 dinners in the bag! Bam!)

Here is the recipe:

Prep:10 minutes Cook: 7 hours

1 (8 ounce) pkg herb-seasoned stuffing mix (we tested with Pepperidge Farm). 1 onion, chopped 2 celery ribs, chopped 1 c dried cranberries 3/4 c chicken broth 3 Tbspn butter or marg, melted 1 (3-pound) frozen boneless turkey breast, thawed 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 1/4 dried thyme 1 (0.88 ounce ) pkg turkey gravy mix Coat inside of a 4-quart electric slow cooker with cooking spray. Add stuffing mix, onion, celery, and cranberries. Combine broth and melted butter. Pour over stuffing, and stir gently. Remove string from turkey breast. Rinse turkey breast. Place turkey in slow cooker on top of stuffing. Combing salt, pepper, and thyme; sprinkle over turkey,. Cover and coot at HIGH 1 hour. Reduce to LOW, and cook 5-6 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted in turkey registers 170. Remove turkey to a serving platter. Stir stuffing gently in slow cooker; cover and let stand 3-4 minutes. Prepare gravy. Spoon stuffing around turkey on platter. Yield: 5-6 servings

In case you are interested in purchasing this cookbook for yourself, you can find it at any
Dillard's Store for only $10. It's called the Southern Living Christmas Cookbook. Dillard's has teamed up with Southern Living to offer this cookbook to benefit Ronald McDonald House charities.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Faith and Family Live


For those of you needing additional inspiration on being a Catholic mom, as well as great ideas for recipes, gifts, and relevant family articles, be sure to visit Faith and Family Live. Just click on the button above and be blessed!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Turning points

The Fall Evening Competition (The moon and Jupiter seen.)The performers. In uniform.

Their arrival on the field.

The beginning. (Rebecca is on the front left: trombone)

The middle.

And the end of marching season! Congratulations to the band for a great season of hard work, competition and tenacity!

Below is the entire show entitled: Turning Points: 1968
Commemorating the history making events of that year.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Immaculate Heart of Mary,
help us to conquer the menace of evil,
which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today,
and whose immeasurable effects
already weigh down upon our modern world
and seem to block the paths toward the future.

From famine and war, deliver us.
From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.
From sins against human life from its very beginning, deliver us.
From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us.
From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us.
From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us.
From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us.
From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us.
From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us.

Accept, O Mother of Christ,
this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings,
laden with the sufferings of whole societies.
Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit conquer all sin:
individual sin and the “sin of the world,”
sin in all its manifestations.

Let there be revealed once more in the history of the world
the infinite saving power of the redemption:
the power of merciful love.
May it put a stop to evil.
May it transform consciences.
May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of hope.
ALL: Amen.

(Novena for faithful citizenship-USCCB)