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Showing posts from December, 2018

Mama Kat Thursday: Favorite Movies

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For Mama Kat today, I'm doing a list of some of our favorite movies. Really, the only movies we buy are movies we enjoy watching over and over, so all the movies we have are our "favorites," but for this list I've picked our a few special favorites. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure ...is probably our all time favorite, highly quotable movie!   I've heard Alex Winter & Keanu Reeves are making another, with them older, of course. The Princess Bride A classic favorite nearly everyone loves and probably the most quoted movie ever!  Once, years ago at a wedding reception we attended, a guy across the table from us spent the entire dinner quoting the whole movie to us. It was hilarious. Joe & The Volcano This is fun movie full of great music and romantic sweetness typical of a classic 90's Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan film. Sahara In this adventure film, Matthew McConaughey portrays Dirk Pitt and Ste

Garden Pic Wednesday: Christmas Flowers

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Today's picture is of a vase of long-lasting red, white & green flowers I bought to bring home and arranged. (I used to be a floral designer) Hubby asked if I enjoyed myself and I said, "I did."  To make it, I snipped some Gardenia greenery, since it's so glossy and pretty, then arranged this still life for a photo, which includes a few slices of home-made fruitcake. The Gardenia I clipped the greenery from out front, is the one that's  still  happily making buds and blooming. 

Ways to De-Stress the Holidays Now

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Instead of a Mama Kat today, I'm going to do a list of ways to relax & lower the stress of the Holidays. These ideas come from various blogs & articles on the topic I perused online that I thought were simple and easy to do right now, since Christmas and the New Year are nearly upon us. 1)  Create A Restful Moment  Put on your favorite Holiday music, sit down with a cup of coffee or hot tea, sip, close your eyes and think over some things you're thankful for. Give yourself a moment like this everyday, if you can. 2)  Do Fewer Holiday Activities.  Don't pile your schedule with tons of events and holiday parties. Say no to some. Instead just choose a very few things to do that your and your family consider meaningful and truly enjoy. 3)  Laugh. Get out the popcorn and your favorite funny holiday movies and laugh, giggle and snicker. Laughter is good medicine. 4)  Silence the Tech for Family Meals Turn off the phones and enjoy your family meal

Garden Pic Wednesday: Memory Ornaments

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Our Christmas tree, a live Frazier Fir, is decorated with memories. (the photo is of our Christmas tree this year, 2018) When my sisters and I were kids, beginning when I was about 10, we started getting fancy pin ornament kits in our Christmas stockings. These kits contained a pattern for decorating a foam ball and all the pins, sequins, bits and ribbon to create it. Many were spectacular designs back then. I was talking on the phone with Mother about this and she remembered it all got started because my younger sister got an ornament kit on her birthday a couple months earlier. After that, we were hooked and got a new kit every Christmas. When I left home and was in the Air Force, I continued ordering these kits every year for myself from Wards craft catalog. Mother said she didn't know that. So, today I'm going share a few photos of ornaments I made after I left home: This little Santa in a Chimney pin ornament is a fond memory to me because it was the first orn

Good Eating Monday: Eggnog Crumb Loaf

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Today's recipe is "Eggnog Crumb Loaf" It's this month's new quick bread Pinterest recipe I tried. It's a good Christmas Holiday bread, because when else are you going to have Eggnog around? Actually, it was posted as a muffin recipe, but I just put it in a loaf pan because that was easier. So now it's a Quick Bread recipe here. This is a little baking trick to remember: You can turn any muffin recipe for 12 muffins into a loaf or any recipe for a single quick bread loaf into 12 muffins.  Baking time changes though: short for muffins; longer for a loaf. I think getting enough flavor in a Eggnog quick bread is a trick, because it depends more on the spices for flavor then the Eggnog. Just a bit of nutmeg isn't enough. This Eggnog Crumb Loaf recipe has cinnamon & nutmeg in the mix and in the crumb topping! So plenty of flavor! Having made it, I think it would benefit from having pecan pieces added to the mix. (photo is my Eggnog Cr

Mama Kat Thursday: Best Christmas Lights

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The Mama Kat blog writing prompt I chose today was "Best Christmas Lights," where I live. And really I don't have to go anywhere to see a great Christmas Light display. It's right in my neighborhood. I  just have to walk out the door. Right Across The Road: Right Across the Road, Next Door to the One Above: Next Door One House Over: Two story house. These guys went all out. If I drive down the road, there lot's more. No musical set-ups, but lots of lights! 'Tis the Season! **** So with outdoor Christmas expression, do you do a lot or a little? Thanks for Visiting!

Garden Pic Wednesday: Dressed up Holly!

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After several days of gray cold gloom, I was quite happy to see sunny days again today and yesterday! I actually went outside today. I wanted to water my containers and some of the newly bulb planted areas in front bed with Miracle-gro. Also the garden veggies. Broccoli is just starting to head. I walk around and see so much growth---everything that blooms in the spring is poling up it's greenery right now to energize from the winter sun: Dutch Iris, Easter Lilies & Daffodils greens so far. Today's Garden Pic is my Oakland Holly all decorated up for Christmas! It's about 4 feet tall now. I had a box of unused plastic ornaments and bought two strings of 50 light battery lights. Those are genius.  No worries running extension wires to power anything. Once turned on, an auto-timer runs it a few hours nightly. This Holly was bred for the Southern climate. It's self-pollinating. The berries are edible for birds. It doesn't grow overly tall.

Good Eating Monday: Easy Mexican Casserole

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Today's recipe: Easy Mexican Casserole I found it on Pinterest in a collection of Weight Watchers Casseroles and tried it because I liked the recipe. But it wasn't Weight Watchers anymore once I got my hands on it, because I didn't think a 1/3 cup smidgen of cheese on top was near enough---so used a whole bag (1 1/2 cups) 2% Milk Mexican Cheese Blend!  (Might as well. I didn't have any other use for it.) I always find these sorts of recipes calling for "8 Corn Tortillas."  I've never found Corn Tortillas packaged in "8." Ever. I had a choice of 10 or 30. I chose the 10 pack and for a 10 x 13 pan, 10 worked perfectly! I also used light sour cream instead of fat-free and for diced tomatoes I had on hand a can of Mexican diced tomatoes with Green Chili's added, which was a plus. I also used Ground Sirloin, which very lean and makes next to no grease during browning.  The original recipe was super spicy with a lot of jalapeno, bu

Mama Kat Thursday: Thanksgiving Tag Questions!

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The Mama Kat blog writing prompt I  chose today is answering a series of questions regarding my assorted opinions regarding Thanksgiving, called  "Thanksgiving Tag Questions. "   1) What is my favorite Thanksgiving side-dish? During the years of family feast while I was growing-up in Indiana, my favorite side-dishes were Cauliflower with delicious, melted Velveeta Cheese Sauce or Broccoli with Velveeta Cheese Sauce. Velveeta makes anything good. However, nowadays my favorite side-dish is usually  Garlic Sauteed Sweet Potato Strips with Halved Brussels. 2) What is my favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Definitely Pumpkin Pie.  My Mother used to make the most delicious pumpkin pies with home-made lard crusts.  I remember eating cold slices of pie for snacks and even breakfast the next day!   3)  What does your ideal Thanksgiving outfit look like? I've never really dressed up for Thanksgiving. As a kid, our Thanksgiving was just immediate family at home an

Garden Pic Wednesday: Succulent Tea Cup!

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I have all these teacup planters all sorts of places with various succulents in them. This particular cup was empty before I moved it to this spot pictured and where it was, wasn't working.  One thing about teacup planters outside is they need to be put on a slight slant, because though they drain, they drain so slowly they overflow in rain if they're set flat. So I moved this teacup to this spot between red blocks out front in my new landscape project area, on a slant, filled with Chicks and Chinese Stonecrop and a few red lava rocks in and around the cup. The next picture below shows a larger perspective of where it is. (red arrow) This bit of landscape is planted with ground covers plus shamrock, daffodil and grape hyacinth bulbs and a couple other things. I intend it to be a no-mow area. The grass never liked it there anyway.

Good Eating Monday: Apple Pumpkin Dump Cake!

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I had a can of apple pie filling and a box of yellow cake mix I wanted to do something with, so I searched through Pinterest for dump cakes. Apple Dump Cake calls for 2 cans of pie filling, so that was out. I did have pumpkin. Then I found this:  Apple Pumpkin Dump Cake! It uses both apple pie filling and pumpkin and yellow cake mix! Perfect! It was so delicious, my guests gobbled-up the whole pan! It's super easy and only calls for 4 main ingredients! Nuts are optional. Apple Pumpkin Dump Cake Ingredients: 1 20oz can Apple Pie Filling 1 15oz can plain packed Pumpkin  1 box yellow cake mix 1 stick butter or margarine (1/2 cup) 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg Optional: a handful of pecan pieces or walnut pieces. Directions: Preheat oven to 350 and s pray a 10 x 13 baking dish or pan with cooking spray. Open the Apple Pie Filling and dump it in the baking pan, then spread out over bottom. In medium bowl, add pu