Saturday, January 25, 2014

Drive a mile and the weather changes!

We are on our way to take Sheala out for dinner. We have been through wind tunnels, snow storms and now blue skies and sunshine!

Can't wait to see her - hope it stays sunny!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Windy Day

I have been playing all day! The windchill is supposed to get to - 20 so they closed schools. So that meant Javier and Ayva could come play.

We dipped dried apricots in chocolate, cut circles out of cake for cake push pops and dipped Pretzels in chocolate. (There is a bake sale at church this weekend.)

We played school, Wii, and dress up.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


We had a delicious dinner. I began with my niece, Kim 's, basic soy marinade. She uses it for shrimp. I added a couple ingredients and took one out!

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 TBS garlic puree
1 tsp sesame seeds
Juice of 1 lime
1 TBS Brown sugar

Cover cookie sheet with raised edges with foil - THIS IS IMPORTANT.  Cover the second pan for the squash at the same time. No clean up and it would have been bad without it.

Put the salmon skin side down on the foil
Pour the marinade over the salmon

Broil until the salmon pulls away easily with a fork. About 12 minutes. I basted it once. I also turned the pan a couple times.

The edges turn dark and crispy and the salmon pulls away from the skin to serve. The marinade on the foil was dark and stuck to the foil.

At the same time I cooked the squash cubes with salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash and olive oil. When the fish was done I let it sit on top of the stove as I moved the foil lined pan the squash was on to the top shelf.

Another six minutes and the squash was done. Served with rice. Pat and I both thought it was the best dinner.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Phone Help

We went to help Pat's parents yesterday. Their car had a dead battery. Mom mentioned they didn't have a TV that worked! Yesterday was the deadline for getting the box to go digital.

So after Pat and Dad bought a new battery and put it in they went to Charter to get a box.

Pat hooked it up and I called to activate it. Now Dad told me there was a line out the door when they picked up the box. So when he thought I was on hold too long I explained all those people in line ahead of him at the store were now in line ahead of us on the phone.

Then Bob answered the phone. Well I had to say I was calling for Paul Clifford. He hesitated. I looked at the receipt and explained it had an account with Dan Clifford as the name. Then he asked, "Who are you?" I said Mary Ellen Clifford.

After trying a few things we got the box working. Then he was about to hang up and said we should set up the remote. That took a few more tries.

I thanked him for his help and he said "No problem, goodbye Clifford!"

He gets a pass on that one I did say Clifford several times. He was pleasant, helpful and patient. And Pat's parents have a TV that works.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Saved several trees!

Two sided printer - yahooooo!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownies

These are delicious! Very rich, cut small.

Brownie layer:
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup baking cocoa
3 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
Heaping cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Mix butter and sugar well. Add sugar, cocoa, mix well. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Stop mixer. Add flour, salt and baking powder. Mix slowly until well mixed. Pour into lined pan and set aside.

Cheesecake layer:
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
4 oz semisweet chocolate
8 ounces very soft cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

Melt chocolate. Mix room temperature cream cheese and sour cream. Make sure there are no lumps. Add eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. Add melted chocolate. Scrape bowl often so there are no lumps. Spread over brownie layer. It did not cover completely - it went almost to the edges.

Preheat oven to 350 F (330 if convection). Cover 9x13 pan with foil and spray.

Bake 40-45 minutes. Cool completely. Remove brownies with foil to cutting board. Cut off edges and save for another day. Cut small pieces. Arrange on platter, cover with saran wrap. Refrigerate.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Downton Abbey

Into season 2 - I am hooked! I think Pat likes it too.
We connected the Wii to the TV and the Wifi. So we are streaming from our prime membership on Amazon.
In season 2 the world is changing because of the war. It is 1917 and in real time my Mom would have been 2 years old.
I really like the story. It's fun to see the servants lives and the Lord and Lady with their family.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Not a Smart Bird!

Oh Fran, your little Flamingo is up to his keister in snow!  I did leave the little sun to try to keep him warm.  There is a reason they should stay in Florida!  -33 windchill today!  We went out for a bit and now came home to find a little ice on the back entry way ceiling.  Goodness the wind has been blowing so hard the walls and roof was making loud sounds last night!  YIKES!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Festival of Books

YEAH!  My books have been featured on the Festival of Books website.  
Velyn Cooper has graciously created a space for authors to meet.
I can't tell you how much it means to me to have someone else promote my books!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Meat Pie!

I finally made a great meat pie. Pat's favorite food. Every time I made it the potatoes and the meat just didn't meld together right. It seemed the meat and potatoes stayed separate.

Now when I make meatloaf and baked potatoes I make three extra potatoes. Then I combine the leftover half a meatloaf with the potatoes and mash up and refrigerate overnight. Keep 1/4 cup of the drippings from the meatloaf and refrigerate that separately.

Today I made the piecrust. Then heated up the meat and potatoes. I added garlic powder, sage, Mrs. Dash, salt and pepper. Mixed well and added it to the piecrust. Make a small hole in the middle of the pie filling.

Take the leftover drippings and discard the fat layer. Put a tablespoon of the drippings in the hole. Cover with the top crust.

Bake for 40 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Day to be Proud!

Robbie signed up for the Air Force.  He had his swearing in ceremony in Troy.  I think he was embarrassed by how many of us came to see it!  Too bad - we loved seeing him follow through on his lifelong dream.  He will leave this summer after graduation.

Winter Reflections

This Winter has been so beautiful.  Breathtaking, literally, the cold has been making it difficult to breath.  But the ice on the trees has been wonderful.  On a recent trip to Owosso I took these pictures.  Except for the cardinal who was perched in the Forsythia in our backyard.