Friday, November 30, 2012

Fried Ravioli - The Healthier Version

 

It is a great idea to keep some ingredients on hand during the holidays for easy appetizers in case company drops by. This appetizer only takes four ingredients, plus the marinara sauce for dipping and is quick to put together and serve. And, as I like to do, a healthier version is achieved by baking the breaded ravioli, instead of frying. Serve these hot from the oven and the cheese will be melted and delicious, along with a crispy coating that is perfect for dipping.

The original version of this recipe can be found here, but I have changed it to make it lower fat.

Fried (Baked) Ravioli

2 cups Italian Bread Crumbs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

1 cup buttermilk

1 package (about 24) fresh cheese ravioli

1 jar marinara sauce

Mix breadcrumbs and cheese in a shallow bowl. Pour buttermilk in another shallow bowl. Dip ravioli in buttermilk and then dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place on a cookie sheet, sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. Serve with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

Have a great weekend! I plan on getting in the Christmas spirit and hope to see some snow :-)

{Linking this post with these friends}

Gooseberry Patch

Rattlebridge Farm

This Gal Cooks

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Mom's Test Kitchen

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Homemade Ginger

Simple Living and Eating

Barns and Noodles




 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday...blog, DWTS, diabetes, etc.

 

Things I am thinking about today...


  • Having recently published my 100th blog post, I want to say, thanks so much to all of you for reading every day. I have so enjoyed getting to know you in the past few months and if you have a blog, I also look forward to reading your wonderful posts every morning. I love discovering new blogs and finding blog friends with similar interests or in the same stage of life. Comments are a great way for me to get to know you and I enjoy responding to every one.
 
  • Don't hate me because I am almost done with my Christmas decorating. I don't normally start this early, but with the extra week after Thanksgiving, I decided to use the time to decorate at my leisure. I will now have more time to enjoy the holiday season and be less stressed. I am all about reducing stress, so that is a very good thing. Diabetes = the need to lower your stress. I try to stay calm, even during the holiday shopping madness. Bring on the Christmas music, hot chocolate (sugar free of course) by the fire and twinkling lights :-)
  • My favorites won Dancing with the Stars! I thought Tony and Melissa were the best, from the beginning and really enjoyed their style of dance, as well as their attitude. I loved that they were so thrilled to win.
Happy Thursday!

 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sentimental Favorites

 

Every year, when I unpack my Christmas decorations, there are some sentimental favorites that mean so much to me. Each has a story to tell and a memory of a Christmas past.

My snow globe collection is very special to me and I now have around forty of these snowy, sparkling, musical treasures. Each is unique and has a story of when and where it came from.

This snow globe is one of my favorites, because it represents my two daughters; one blonde and one brunette.

You could call this ceramic tree vintage at this point, but I love it, because it was handmade and given to me at a wedding shower, 30 years ago.

Another collection I love, are my White House Christmas ornaments. Each was given to me by my brother in law, a former Secret Service Agent, at the White House. The ornaments have historical significance and a different one is created each year.

Perhaps the most sentimental of all, is our nativity set that originally belonged to my husband's mother. It is made of brightly painted ceramic, now a little faded, worn and chipped, but all the more precious and beautiful in my eyes.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Linking with Mockingbird Hill Cottage

 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas on the Porch

 

I have been dragging the Christmas bins and boxes from here to there, carrying countless ornaments, garland and bows up the stairs, from the basement and placing all my favorite Christmas decorations in just the right spot. There is still a lot to do, but it has been fun and I am definitely in the Christmas spirit. I will share my decorations a little at a time, but I first I want to show just a little corner of my front porch.

I saw this on Pinterest and decided to adapt it for a tabletop display. Using a basket I already owned, I filled it to the top with pinecones, greenery with berries and red and white Christmas ornaments. The addition of a burlap bow adds a rustic and welcoming touch.

This sweet birdhouse is a new find and I love everything about it, from the bright red color, to the snow on the roof. This tabletop display will welcome guests to my home this holiday season, along with the beautiful outdoor lights my husband has been working so hard on. Over the next few weeks, I can't wait to show you more of the Christmas touches I am making to my home.

Happy Tuesday!

{Linking with these friends}

Lori Ann's Food and Fam

Full Circle Creations

Savvy Southern Style

Handy Man Crafty Woman

The DIY Dreamer

The Charm of Home

Simple Home Life

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Funky Junk Interiors

I Heart Naptime

Sunny Simple Life

Between Naps on the Porch

Alderberry Hill

Salt Tree

The Dedicated House

Cozy Little House

a bowl full of lemons

Love and Laundry

Kathe with an E

Life on Lakeshore Drive

Katherine's Corner

My Repurposed Life

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

A Delightsome Life

Cedar Hill Ranch

Skip To My Lou

Stonegable

The Shabby Creek Cottage

Rooted in Thyme

The Girl Creative

At The Picket Fence

You Are Talking Too Much

Debbiedoo's

i love you more than carrots

A Stroll Thru Life

Keep Calm and Carry On

1929 Charmer




 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thirty Years

 

My 30th anniversary is today and every year on this day, I realize that the thing I am most proud of in my life, is my marriage.

We met our freshman year (1977) at MSU, in Akers Hall and have been together ever since. This photo sits on my dresser and I am so happy we took it together, on graduation day, so many years ago. It helps us remember how young we were then and also remember how far we have come.

We have lived in Texas, Tennessee, New Jersey and now Michigan. We have traveled to many places including Florida numerous times, Phoenix, New Orleans, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Boston, Vancouver, Toronto, the Bahamas and Maui, twice. Our dream, is to travel one day to Italy, and also to Scotland for a golf trip.

Of course, our daughters Megan and Melissa are the greatest accomplishment in our lives and we continue to be proud parents as they grow into adulthood.

We are enjoying our empty nest, and like being able to do things at our leisure. To celebrate our anniversary, we attended the MSU basketball game together on Sunday and also have a trip planned soon to the wineries in Northern Michigan.

Happy Anniversary to my hubby and may there be 30 more!

 

Friday, November 23, 2012

New and Old Traditions

 

Thanksgiving has come and gone for another year, and while a lot of work, I still love to host the dinner at my home. There is something so special to me about having everyone here, watching football and enjoying the meal I have prepared.

A new tradition I started this year, is a First Annual Thanksgiving quiz, with prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. It was a fun activity to do during halftime of the Lions game (after Kid Rock of course) and everyone seemed to enjoy it. We will think of new categories each year and may do a family trivia quiz next.

For the past five years, the girls and I have braved the Black Friday craziness and gone to Old Navy for some fun purchases. We don't Christmas shop, because that is too much work at midnight. We look for sweaters, scarves, slippers and fuzzy socks. It is a tradition we look forward to and the chance to laugh and say how crazy we are to participate in such madness. We love continuing the tradition and making new memories each year :-)

Have a relaxing day today!

Linking with Mockingbird Hill Cottage because any time spent with my daughters is my favorite thing.

 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Faith and Family

 

My empty nest will be full once again, as family arrives for Thanksgiving dinner and I want to focus on two things I am thankful for.

I am thankful that my family will all gather around my Thanksgiving table today. This includes my husband, my daughters (who I love to have home), my parents, my sister and her family, as well as her mother in law and father in law. We will miss my brother and his family who couldn't join us this year. Another year all together, thankful for health and happiness.

I am thankful for our faith and the many blessings we have been given during the year. We will start the meal with this prayer - Bless us O Lord and these, thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ready or Not - Thanksgiving

 

Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, if you are hosting, like I am, you will be very busy today with the final preparations. I am looking forward to that point on Thursday where my house is clean, the turkey is in the oven and the candles are lit. That is when I can anticipate my families' arrival and the chance to sit and relax, with a nice glass of wine.

My tables are set up in the basement this year, because there is enough space so we can all sit together. I will be serving the food from a buffet table, to keep things easy. There will be a lot of willing hands to help carry the food from the kitchen to the table.

I am cooking everything, but the desserts - appetizers, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and all the side dishes. My fridge and pantry are full of fresh veggies and all the other ingredients I need to make the traditional recipes we enjoy every Thanksgiving.

source

One of the recipes I am most looking forward to trying, is this overnight Pumpkin Chai French Toast that I will be serving for breakfast, Thanksgiving morning. I love the idea of making it the night before and then popping it on the oven, while I get the turkey ready in the morning :-)

Hope you have a stress free day before Thanksgiving!

 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Recycled Magazine Bowl - Pinterest Success #7

 

 

It always seems such a shame to put the magazines we subscribe to at our house, in the recycle bin, without getting some good use out of all those pretty, colored pages. Megan likes to find DIY projects on Pinterest for when she has some free time and loved the idea of repurposing her magazines.

source

This pin was her inspiration, but she decided to make a bowl, instead of a basket. This pretty bowl, sits on her dresser and can be used for makeup, hair accessories or any kind of organization you can think of. It was a time consuming project, but the result is a unique piece of art she can be proud of. The steps are as follows:

  • Make the base of the bowl by cutting magazine pages in half lengthwise, then fold each piece 3 times into a strip. Make a coil with the first strip to form center of base. Edge of strip with fold should face up (what will be inside of bowl) for a neater look. Continue to glue strips with glue gun around center coil, beginning a new piece where the last ended. Alternate colors as you go. Make base as wide as you want (approximately 5-6 inches).
 
  • Make the circles for the sides of the bowl my cutting and folding the same strips as above. Wrap strip tightly around a pen, such as a permanent marker and glue ends. You will need about 150 of these.
  • Assemble bowl by gluing circles sideways around base, smooth side out. Glue in between circles for stability. For next layers, do not place circles directly on top of previous row, but stagger slightly. This bowl has 4 layers of circles, but size can be varied.
  • Modge Podge entire bowl for strength and stability.
I hope you enjoy this fun and earth friendly project.
 
{Linking with these friends}

Tutus and Tea Parties

Centsational Girl

2805

Full Circle Creations

Savvy Southern Style

Handy Man Crafty Woman

The DIY Dreamer

The Charm of Home

Simple Home Life

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Funky Junk Interiors

I Heart Naptime

Sunny Simple Life

Between Naps on the Porch

Alderberry Hill

Salt Tree

The Dedicated House

Cozy Little House

a bowl full of lemons

Love and Laundry

Kathe with an E

Life on Lakeshore Drive

Katherine's Corner

My Repurposed Life

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

A Delightsome Life

Cedar Hill Ranch

Skip To My Lou

Stonegable

The Shabby Creek Cottage

Rooted in Thyme

The Girl Creative

The Thrifty Groove

At The Picket Fence

You Are Talking Too Much

Debbiedoo's

Keep Calm and Carry On


The Vintage Apple


i love you more than carrots

 

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Perfect Day for Soup

 

Sunday, we needed to recharge and recover from all the fun we had at the MSU football game on Saturday. Tailgating is so much fun and it turned out to be a beautiful, sunny, but long day. In fact, I actually sat in the stadium during the game, comfortable, wearing a scarf and a sweater - I didn't even need my coat and that is unheard of for a November game. So, after braving the grocery store and all the Thanksgiving craziness, the turkey is purchased, the tables are set and I was ready to take a break, before the final cleaning and cooking starts. This Lasagna Soup was the perfect lazy day meal and I will have leftovers to enjoy, the rest of the week.

There are many recipes for this soup on other blogs and Pinterest, but the one I ended up using can be found here. I changed it slightly by using 1 1/2 pounds of ground chuck, instead of the Italian sausage. We thought it was delicious, especially with the ricotta and parmesan topping. It smelled exactly like Lasagna when it was cooking.

We were able to see Melissa too! She stopped by our tailgate, before the game and then we took her and her roommate out to dinner, after the game. She is really looking forward to coming home for Thanksgiving on Tuesday.

Another year of fun, home football games is over, and this photo of Spartan Stadium, at sunset, is the perfect reminder of the memories we made with friends and family.

Happy Monday!

{Linking this post with these friends}

Gooseberry Patch

Rattlebridge Farm

This Gal Cooks

Back For Seconds

Must Try Mondays

Mom's Test Kitchen

Stonegable

Kelly's Korner

Semi Homemade Mom

Homemade Ginger

Lori Ann's Food and Fam

Simple Living and Eating

 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Busy, Social Week



Weeks like this do not happen often. Most of the time, my days and nights are quiet and spent at home, just like I enjoy. But, I do also enjoy getting together with friends and belong to a Bunco group and a Book Club, that meet once a month. And, sometimes there are birthday celebrations for a girlfriend or just a spur of the moment girl's night, with a glass of wine and conversation. This week, my schedule was full with all of these.

On Wednesday, I had fun catching up with my neighbors at Bunco. I have been a part of this group for 18 years, since the preschool days and when a babysitter might be needed to go. It gives me a connection with my neighbors at least once a month, since we don't spend time outside chatting, while watching our kids anymore. We have a lot of fun too - see I got 2 Buncos!

At book club last night, I picked the book for us to read (The Unfinished Garden) and since it was about how gardening is a metaphor for life, I took my friends a hyacinth bulb to plant now and enjoy in the spring. Each year when the flower blooms, they can remember the book we read and our fun night.

I had to show you one of the beautiful and delicious dishes our hostess prepared for us. Endive leaves with lots of fresh, chopped veggies, then drizzled with a light, flavorful dressing. So good - and healthy too!

Today, I am taking a friend to lunch, for her birthday, and tonight I will be at a friend's house for a small get together. Wine will be enjoyed at both :-)

My weekend continues to be busy, with MSU football and Thanksgiving preparations. Hope you all have a fun weekend and enjoy time spent with friends and family.



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday...diabetes, DWTS, etc.





Things I am thinking about today...

  • With the holidays approaching, I can't help but be a little concerned about all the food temptations coming up. I eat very little carbs on a daily basis and that helps me keep my diabetes under control. Thanksgiving is only one meal and I will have my turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, by exercising portion control. There will be more veggies on my plate than potatoes and I will skip the dinner roll. I can even have a small piece of pie. The problem is the constant parties and holiday meals in December. Also, the Christmas cookies I like to bake and the egg nog I like to drink. In the face of all this temptation, I will remember how good I feel when I am following my diet and how great it is to have good test results. I will still enjoy the holidays, just have one cookie instead of two (or three).
  • On Dancing with the Stars this week, I adored Melissa and Tony's dance to the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy song. It was so much fun and was a really nice salute to Veteran's Day. I don't really care who goes home at this point, as long as Melissa and Tony make it to the finals.
  • Even though I will be in crazy, busy Thanksgiving mode, over the next week, my mind is anticipating the start of Christmas decorating. These empty flower pots, filled with greenery, pine cones and Christmas ornaments are such a pretty way to fill up those empty, eyesores sitting on your porch, once the mums are thrown out. I may adapt this to compensate for the snow we will likely have by Christmas and put the flower pot on a small table, so it is higher and away from the snow drifts.
  • This is a very social week for me. Bunco last night, book club tonight, a birthday lunch with a friend on Friday, a wine night at a girlfriend's house later that night and then tailgating on Saturday. And, I need to fit in grocery shopping and cleaning, in the midst of all that fun. Life is full...and good :-)
Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Change of Scenery





When I get out and walk every day, I usually take the paths that go throughout my neighborhood. Yesterday, I felt like a change of scenery was needed, so I went to a nature park a short drive away.

We had the coldest weather we've had so far this fall, and the grey skies were even spitting a little snow. It was chilly, but I bundled up with my scarf, gloves and ear muffs and it felt great to be outside.

The paths are surrounded by these tall grasses and natural ponds. There is not a whole lot of color left to see, but there is still beauty in the simplicity of nature, against the overcast sky.

My favorite part of walking in this park is the covered bridge that crosses one of the ponds.

My walking buddy loves to go over the bridge too. Cooper likes the cold weather and will be so excited for the first snow.

A change of scenery, along a different path, is the best thing to clear your mind from all that needs to be done in this busy season.

The new details along the way remind us that the beauty of nature can be found around every corner and along every path we take.

Happy Wednesday!

{Linking with these friends}

A Southern Daydreamer

A Rural Journal

Mockingbird Hill Cottage



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