Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring? Perhaps an early one this year (2010)

The above photo of miniature daffodils was taken this morning (3/16/2010) and they are approximately 1 1/2 inches high already! Can't wait for the bright yellow flowers to appear!
Here we have poppies and clearly you can tell that I have not groomed the garden yet but if I were not on my way to work I would be grubbing in the flowers today because the temperature is supposed to reach sixty degrees by afternoon!!! Spring is such a beautiful time of year (once we get beyond the "dirty snow sludge").

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jazzed Up Ravioli

Some time ago Coco introduced me to a recipe from Real Simple Magazine entitled Ravioli With Apples and Walnuts; she had made the dish and it was very tasty! My better half enjoys meat at dinner so I thought I would jazz up this particular recipe with turkey kielbasa and also add a few other ingredients for our taste!

1 pound fresh cheese ravioli
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1 crisp apple, sliced thinly
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan
My Additions:
1 green onion, sliced
1 small package sun dried tomatoes
1 small bunch asparagus, cut in thirds & blanched
1-10oz. package turkey kielbasa, sliced diagonally
2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon
crumbled feta cheese to taste (I used feta with basil & sun dried tomatoes)
Marinara Sauce to hold the mixture together

Cook ravioli according to package directions & drain. Blanch asparagus, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan and add the walnuts and toast to perfection. Add the apple slices, asparagus, tomatoes, turkey kielbasa , parsley and lemon. Toss gently and then add the feta cheese & Marinara sauce stirring slightly to coat ravioli. Sprinkle with chopped green onion.

We will surely place this recipe in our go-to quick meal folder!!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Maggie Lou, Olivia, and Ben at Cookie Party!

This is Olivia (Sarah's daughter) holding Maggie Lou which is Caribe's daughter, Courtney's niece, and my little precious 7 week old grand-daughter! Olivia is a natural with babies, she will be a good little mother someday!
Here we have Ben explaining the Ninja info-mercial to the "cookie ladies", but we really thought his motive was to raid the finished cookies and give us some "tips" on how to improve our technique!
Here we have Olivia cuddling Maggie! How sweet!!!

Cookie Tutorial by Coco

What better way to spend a Saturday than with friends and family learning the technique of frosting cookies with modified royal icing? Courtney, of Coco is cooking , was our instructor and she made the frosting ahead of time and then showed us how to pipe it on around the cookie. Then she thinned the mixture to "flood" the cookie and made it all look so simple. We all enjoyed this time of learning and now will try and perfect the technique on our own. Edie, Sarah, Caribe, Courtney & I had a great time working, visiting and eating (and not just cookies, we had a nice lunch with Courtney's famous chicken salad, Edie's special dips and crackers, and Sarah provided drinks and croissants and Dale prepared fruit salad). We all decided we should get together again for a cooking class...can't wait! Please visit Courtney's blog (highlighted above) for the royal icing recipe.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Is It Woody?

No, it is not Woody but instead a Pileated Woodpecker! This particular woodpecker is quite large, about the size of a crow I would guess. They are beautiful but surely can damage a tree in no time and this one is on our tree that was a gift from Zippy! Apparently the long tail aids in balancing the bird while they are pecking away for food! If you care to learn more about the bird please follow this Pileated Woodpecker

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Egg Hearts!!!

Ben is out in San Diego on business for several days so I have not been cooking much. I decided last evening that breakfast for dinner sounded good so decided to use my little heart shaped egg cookers! They are made of a silcone material and were purchased at Crystal Crate and Cargo in Beulah, Michigan. They are clever for sure and easy to use. Just place the heart in a pan with a little butter and crack the egg right in the center and when the egg has cooked just use the "lifter" to remove the silicone heart. I placed a lid on the pan to make sure the heat cooked the egg thoroughly. These little gadgets are only $4.oo and what a nice little surprise for a special occasion breakfast/brunch! The cranberry pecan bread pictured is a favorite at our household and it can be purchased at local grocery stores or directly from the Pleasonton Bakery in Traverse City, Michigan. I happened to have some turkey bacon on hand and for a low calorie bacon it is pretty good! My choice of fruit was raspberries and sliced strawberries topped with a little yogurt ~ then sprinkled with a few toasted pecans.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Ole' Ford Tractor-Oh the memories!

This Ford tractor has been around for many years...it was first Uncle Alfred's pride and joy, making his farming a bit easier. He gardened and also had a cherry orchard to care for. The orchard was located where we live now. His nephew, my Dad, inherited the tractor and it became his loyal friend! Dad plowed in the winter with it, making shoveling not quite as difficult for Mom & I ! In the summer the ole' Ford assisted Dad with one of the finest gardens around. We lived on M-22 just south of Elberta and the garden was right near the road where everyone could admire it and that they did. My Dad passed on back in September 1998 (9/8/98) and the tractor now resides at our place...part of why Ben needed a new barn to put it in. As you can see, Courtney decided she needed to take the Ford for a ride and she and Ben had a good time! One memory that never seems to fade away regarding myself and the tractor took place when I was a young girl (old enough to know better)...I was behind the wheel and nearly ran over our dog. Thankfully the dog was brighter than me and he scooted away in a hurry. Ben still plows with the tractor in the winter and in the summer he rigs up the bush hog and mows the field. Happy Memories, indeed!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Special Recognition for Mom's 90th

The following was read at the Frankfort-Elberta vs Benzie Central girls basketball game on January 15, 2010 in recognition of Mom's 90th birthday! This was also the day that Maggie Lou McClellan was born!

A very special Panther fan is getting ready to celebrate a landmark birthday! On Wednesday, January 20th, Sis Erickson will turn 90 years old, but you'd never know it. As one of "The Calendar Girls", Sis is an avid fan of Frankfort athletics, rarely missing a game along with her dear friends Margie, Joyce, and Buni. Sis can often be seen in the stands at both football and basketball games, cheering supportively for her beloved Panthers.

Sis' love of Panther sporting events dates back to her own high school days when the young Sis Mix played basketball for rival team Elberta High. Known on the hardwood as "Mix-It-Up-Mix", Sis was a tenacious player who dominated her opponents.

Please join us in wishing a devoted fan a wonderful birthday with many more to come. Happy Birthday, Sis!!

*This idea was the brainstorm of Ben and he worked with Tim Reznich (Frankfort-Elberta girls basketball coach & our neighbor) to have this special lady recognized! Caribe & Courtney wrote the little speech so many thanks to all who played a role in this special evening that will long be remembered by Mom*