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Posts Tagged ‘Bad photography’

Hi All,

How is everyone doing?  We are doing well here.

So one of my assignments here was to create a BlogRoll that lists the blogs that I like to follow – that’s quite a list by the way because there are some great blogs and websites out there.  I will try to do that later today.  This one is more techie, and I seem to be having a blocked moment with techie stuff.  Maybe because it’s just too nice out lately :).

Another assignment was to make a blogging prompt that I had read in someone else’s blog personal.  In other words how reading someone else’s blog post hit me personally.

So I decided to use a post I read the other day on one of my favorite food bloggers – We Are Not Martha.  They are a Web site that I try to check in on at least once a week because they always have great recipes, great drink ideas, 🙂 great craft ideas and a lot of cute stories.  Recently, they did a blog post featuring a recipe from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon cookbook.  The recipe was for Croque Madame and of course it looked delicious (all “WeAreNotMartha” recipes look delicious) but the way that the author talked about this cookbook hit me, and I immediately had to Google it.  I found it on Amazon along with another one of his cookbooks – Bouchon Bakery, and I of course immediately purchased them.

At first I thought I had never heard of this guy before but then when I saw that he was the owner of the French Laundry restaurant, I realized that not only had I heard of him.  I think I already have his French Laundry cookbook…  That’s scary when you can’t recall all of your cookbooks…

I have the same problem with quilting books too by the way :).

Anyways, both of these cookbooks are beautiful!!  Beautifully written and have beautiful pictures.  They look more like coffee table books, and I can’t wait to try some of these recipes.  One of the reviewers for Bouchon Bakery said the cookie on the front cover was the best cookie she’s ever had in her life.  You can’t ignore comments like that – at least I can’t anyways.  He also has a recipe for his version of Ho Ho’s.

Here are some photos of the books and some of the pictures inside.  I apologize for my bad photography.  While the pictures inside his book are beyond beautifully done, my iPhone photos of his photos might be less than perfect.

Bouchon Cookbook

Bouchon Cookbook3

Bouchon Cookbook2

Bouchon Cookbook1

Bakery Cookbook1

Bakery Cookbook4

Bakery Cookbook3

Bakery Cookbook2

Bakery Cookbook5

Bakery Cookbook6

Like I said – really beautiful cookbooks.  I am looking forward to trying a few of his recipes (especially those “Oh Ohs” which are his version of Ho Ho’s), and will let you know how they come out.

Have a great day and Lots of Love!!

Cheryl

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Hi there, My next assignment is to help with targeting a new audience.  Since I am hoping to speak to quilters out there, I thought I would write about my recent trip to the Vermont Quilt Festival.  Here is my post.  Let me know what you think!

How are things going w/you? Things are going well here. I was on vacation for the last week and a half. First, some friends and I went to the Vermont Quilt Festival in Burlington, VT. As most of you know, this was my first time attending this yearly event,  and I was very excited to check out the 80 or so vendors. Spent way more money than I wanted.  But it was a nice and low key trip – no rushing around… Next year, I might take a class, but I’ve heard rumors that if you want to take a class you need to sign on around midnight the day the class schedule is released or else the classes sell out.

Plus if you’re a quilter and you’re anything like me – taking a class means another UFO** hanging around that will probably NEVER get finished….

**Quilters’ slang for unfinished projects

On our way to the Quilt Festival, we stopped at a place called Simon Pearce.  Simon Pearce is a place that does beautiful glass blowing but is also a great restaurant.  We had a nice meal, observed some glass blowing techniques and perused their beautiful shop.

SP Fire

SP Tools

SP Display

Finally – we made it.

The Vermont Quilt Festival had about 80 or so vendors!  OMG…

VQF Vendors

And I said hello to every single one of them 🙂 !!

They also have the most unbelievable quilt show.  I could have taken photos of every single quilt that was hanging there.  Speaking of hanging, there were quilts even hanging from the ceiling!

Hanging Quilts!!

After visiting with the vendors, we walked around the quilt show.

One spectacular quilt after another.  My photos don’t do them justice.  They were beautiful…

Here are just a few of them.

CS -Quilt CS - Ribbons CS - Credit

COL  COL - Credit

I just love bright jeweled tones on a black background!

Hey, does this quilt look familiar?

Tonga Nature Quilt   Tonga Nature - Credit

How about now?

My Tonga Nature

This quilt was NOT in the VQF, but I just finished it and had it hanging in my Guild’s (Rising Star Quilters) yearly quilt show.  It was nice to see the Paula Higgins’ version at the quilt festival, and I loved her choice of colors -very beautiful!

This is the last quilt I’ll show you, but I think it really represents the creativity within quilters.  I just loved it!!

WW Quilt    WW Credit

I could have posted so many more pictures – they were really quite exquisite but unfortunately I know that my photography wouldn’t do them justice!!

The last thing we did was attend a lecture by Bonnie Hunter.  If you ever have the chance to take one of her classes or see one of her lectures, don’t hesitate.  She was such an energetic, hilarious speaker.  I wish I had an ounce of her energy!  The auditorium was packed to see her!

Bonnie Hunter  Bonnie Hunter Audience

After the Vermont Quilt Festival which was Friday through Sunday, I spent the following week organizing my kitchen and basement. I bought four shelving systems that my Dad installed in the basement.

That last part probably sounded like the worst vacation EVER, huh…

I feel pretty good about it though. When we moved here, Jim’s health was in a bad place, so we literally dropped boxes and unpacked the bare essentials so even after almost three years here, I still had boxes to unpack.  But boy do things accumulate!! I cannot believe all the stuff I have accumulated over the years.

My Dad did an awesome job putting together and leveling the shelving.

Now, everything that was cluttering the kitchen counters and cabinets that I didn’t use on a regular basis was brought downstairs and put on the shelves so now I can see what I have and I know where it is. The kitchen looks beautiful – nothing on the counters and even all the drawers have new utensil holders…

Nice and clean…

We won’t discuss the number of boxes of fabric that I have in the attic though – EEEEEEK!!

That’s my next organization project.

Well, it’s getting late, and I think I’m an assignment behind now because I decided to go to bed early last night.  I’ll leave you with a picture of Kendall.  She always likes to lay down with one arm stretched out so I was trying to make it look like she was taking a selfie…  Like I’ve said before, bad photography…

But she just wouldn’t look at the camera!!

Kendall Selfie

Have a great night!  Lots of Love!!

Cheryl

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Hi All,

How is everyone doing?

We have been enjoying life without a pacemaker, defibrillator or LVAD.  No more lightheadedness or dizziness and no more passing out on a semi-quasi regular basis.  An eight-year battle is over and hopefully no more battles are in our future for a very long time.  We can only hope…

Jim’s one-year post heart transplant journey has consisted of mostly monthly biopsies — they were more frequent in the first two months post-transplant.  He also has been gearing up back at work.

All his biopsy results have come back as ZERO REJECTION.

Now, no more biopsies unless something happens.

I still can’t believe a year has gone by.  It actually was a great year and went by pretty quickly.

The two years with the LVAD, not so much…

We have so much to be thankful for and still think of the donor family who even in their time of grief were able to be so thoughtful and giving.  They have no idea what a difference they have made in our lives.

We also owe an immense amount of gratitude to family, friends and co-workers.  Without your love and support, neither one of us would have been able to survive this…  I still get overwhelmed when I think about it.

Eight years…

We are now on the other side of the heart transplant and Jim is back to his life’s passion – his business.

Me – I’m actually having a bit of a tough time adjusting to life post-transplant.  I had a “what do I do now” crisis.  It was very strange.  I think I need to find something to be passionate about.  Any suggestions?  Going back to school was one idea…  I’m just not sure for what and wonder out loud if I am too old.

For now I’m enjoying a sense of normal – reading books and finishing some quilting UFOs (or unfinished projects).  I am planning on organizing the house and rethinking the blog’s direction.  The blog was originally supposed to be a quilting blog and the inaugural post was going to be about my trip to the Vermont Quilt Festival.  Instead, decided to cancel last minute because I just felt that Jim was not doing well.  Cancelled on Thursday and his defib hit him Saturday night and he passed out.  Glad I was home otherwise he would have been alone when that happened.  If you’re interested, you can read about that here https://welcometomyworlddotme1.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/

We have come full circle – I have a hotel reservation for the Vermont Quilt Festival next month…

Any other ideas that could fuel my passion or be a good direction for the blog?

While you’re mulling that over, did I ever tell you how Jim was diagnosed with his heart condition in the first place?  It was because of our cat – Spooky.

Spooky and Jim were buds.  They would greet each other every single morning in the hallway with high fives and a meow and every night he would wait at the front door for Jim to get home from work…  So sweet.

We both love all animals but have a soft spot for black cats.

Two days after Jim’s mother passed, Jim was home complaining of chest pain and “pressure” going down his left arm.  He was very sweaty too.  Classic heart attack symptoms yet he didn’t want to go to the hospital because his PCP said he was just experiencing anxiety from his mother passing and prescribed blood pressure meds.  Spooky apparently didn’t agree with that thinking, and he wouldn’t leave Jim’s side.  He kept circling and pacing around Jim while frantically and loudly meowing.

He knew something was wrong….

He followed Jim into the bathroom – butting the door open with a combination shoulder / head maneuver and when Jim went to lie down for a while, Spooky started his pacing / frantic meowing routine alongside the bed.

I asked Jim if he thought we should call an ambulance, and he indicated he was sure it was just anxiety.  Meanwhile, I am still watching Spooky who continues his pacing / meowing and suggested that we just go to the ER and get his blood pressure checked.  Since, his PCP had just prescribed the blood pressure meds, I said let’s just go see how your blood pressure is doing – it can’t hurt, I said.

I said to the woman at the ER’s Registration that my husband was having chest pains and she took one look at him and said we’ll bring him right in and worry about the paperwork later…  We were there for most of the night.  All the tests came back normal except one…

Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy

So that’s how we first learned of Jim’s heart failure.

Thank you, Spooky!  When Jim got home, Spooky was his normal self again.

First, you start out on medications and watching your sodium intake.

We would order Italian subs and Jim would just pop an extra diuretic (if it was even needed) and bounce back no problem.

Heart disease is progressive though…  Suddenly, he wasn’t bouncing back.

After a period of time, he started landing in the hospital to have fluid removed because the diuretics would get overwhelmed.

This went on for a few years.  One day while Jim was in the hospital having some fluid removed, he was talking with his Dad on his cellphone when the entire team of the Cardiomyopathy Unit at Tufts Medical Center barged in his room.  He had a vtach storm.

The doctors informed Jim it was time for a defibrillator.  They actually implanted a pacemaker / defib but not without some, oh let’s just say…  Issues..

The “leads” that are inserted into the heart somehow kept coiling up and out of the heart and they would have to do surgery to reinsert them.  The last straw was one day when Jim woke me up around 2:30 a.m. saying “I think we have a problem”.

Picture me trying to focus at 2:30 a.m. after being woken up from a sound sleep with the lights on…

Once I focused, I could see, his pec muscle is pacing like his heart should have been…

We head back at Tufts where Dr. Pham had to go in through his rib cage and basically “sew” the leads to his heart.

Now we are cooking with gas!!

Then the defib started to hit him on a bit more of a regular basis.  The team then informed us that Jim’s heart had approximately 6 months left if he didn’t get the LVAD.

A rather humbling moment.

That surgery went fine but because Jim had gone into the surgery sick, his recovery was rough.  He came out of it with a condition known as post-op delirium.  For me – it was horrible.  Jim doesn’t have too many awful memories from it (quite the contrary if you speak to him about it), but from my perspective it was just very scary to see someone you love in that condition.

So that pretty much wraps up 8 years of heart failure to a heart transplant.  It’s been quite a journey.

An eight-year battle in our ten year marriage.

I’ve been more of a caregiver than a wife…

You want to get married; you better take those vows seriously.

In sickness and in health…

See how fast the tables turned… We got married and had stupid dreams of starting a family.  Hey, I actually wanted four kids…  We were going to have to start fast because I was getting old.  Yet 8 months into the marriage, I had a diagnosis and then about a year later Jim got his diagnosis…

I tried to be a good caregiver.  It wasn’t always pretty.  There were times when I was grumpy.

Many times :)…

You also develop a sort of sixth sense.  I think even before Jim saw them I would know when something wasn’t right.  You go on alert.

Calling 911 was never pretty for me.  Those kids who get called out on the evening news for calmly calling 911– not me…

One of the strangest incidents for me during this entire 8-year ordeal was actually the last time Jim passed out – January 2014.  I did my frantic call to 911 then ran to put some clothes on and then ran to open the front door and put the porch light on then ran upstairs again to tend to Jim who was now regaining consciousness.  I followed the ambulance to Tufts as best I could – they can blow through lights.

So there we are in the ER again.  It’s our second home.  Jim is sleeping on the gurney and I’m sitting next to him watching the hustle bustle of life in the ER and the snow starting to fall faster.  Boston was bracing for a large snowstorm that day.  I was thankful that I had taken that week off from work so didn’t have to worry about that.  I remember watching him sleep and feeling the familiar pain start to creep in to my back.

ER Chair

These chairs are not comfortable.

Anyways, I was watching the snow come down and started to feel anxious because I don’t like driving in snow, let alone on the upper deck of 93North, and I started to really wonder when is this (the transplant) going to happen?  Is it going to ever happen?

Then I hear this little voice way in the back of my head say – “Anniversary”.

Ahhh OK – I go back to being anxious about driving home…

Our anniversary is May 15th.  My parent’s anniversary is May 19th and we celebrated w/them on May 19th.

We got the call on May 22nd.

CRAZY!!??

Thank you to whatever / whoever out there who helped to calm me down – appreciate it.

Now can I have the numbers for the lottery?  Just (slightly) kidding…

Like I said it was a great year (except for the month of February).  I’m glad that we broke records but that was the first time in my entire life I actually thought about leaving New England for a warmer climate.

Here are some photos / highlights:

So this is the front of our house after a day of snow blowing / shoveling.  See the avalanches – those happened after the snow blower broke…  The snow blower actually broke down twice this year.

Front of house

Speaking of breaking…  This was the second shovel to break.  NO EXCUSES!!

Broken Shovel

Here’s the view from the back of the house…

Backyard View

These are the famous ice dams that everyone was talking about…  This was the first year we had this bad a problem.

Ice Dam

Lastly, here’s Kendall having a “Holy MeWow!!” moment looking out the slider off our kitchen.  I had tried to keep the back porch clear but as you can see I gave up…

Kendall MeWow

So that’s pretty much a quick overview of the last year.  Jim is doing extremely well, and I am trying to determine what I want to do the rest of my life.

Travel!!??  Hmmmm….  That’s an idea…

Anyways, look for a new, improved (and possibly newly named) blog coming soon.

Lots of Love!!

Cheryl

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It seems spring finally has sprung. Although I heard it’s supposed to cool down later on this week – BUMMER.

I went for a walk the other night to clear my head a bit and was happy to see evidence of springtime wherever I went.

Flower1

Flower2

Flower3

Flower4

Flower5

Pretty…

It was nice to see the flowers. I saw my first Robin too but it was too fast for me to take a photo.

Then I come home and find a certain someone konked out…

Kendall Sleeping

Good Lord, Kendall!!

She has no shame whatsoever…

I hope you liked the Stuffed Peppers recipe. I am still in a bit of a cooking rut. I did make the Pioneer Woman’s Salisbury Steak Meatballs yesterday. They came out great but needed a couple of eggs as a few of them fell apart. Really good recipe though and all the ingredients are ingredients that you have on hand.

I make beef broth from powder bouillon packets that have zero sodium.

Just thought you’d like to know.

I finished the top of my wall-hanging. I love it. Not sure I centered the tree properly though – it looks a little “Bonsai-ish” in this picture… I bought some red crystals to decorate it and a big snowflake to use as the star. I will quilt it first though – I don’t want to chance a crystal falling off and getting stuck in the sewing machine mechanism…

X-mas Wallhanging

Not sure how I’m going to quilt it yet. Was thinking of doing what the Author did and that was echo the shape of the tree outwards and then “stitch-in-the-ditch” the stars. This is a pattern from the book Christmas Sparkle by Mary Jane Carey of Holly Hill Quilt Designs. Great book!

I see some metallic sparkly threads in my future!!

Jim is still doing very well although I did jinx him with the last post. He fell down the stairs at his parent’s house while trying to carry two bags… He really did a good job on his leg and of course the bruising from the Coumadin is pretty… Nice shades of purples. Matches the comforter and blanket…

Jim Leg

Hey, see the green / white thing with a hint of a pink poking out? It’s in the bottom left-hand corner of the pic. That’s a Dresden Plate quilt I made years ago from reproduction depression era fabrics.

One of my favorite quilts.

A couple of weekends ago, Jim’s cousin Charlie and his lovely wife Donna came to visit us from western New York. We had a great time catching up with them. As a surprise we hired a guide from Antique Limo to come to the house to pick us up and give us a tour of Boston.

We wanted to do something in Boston while they were here.

Our guide, Mark, was great. He dresses up like a mobster and he drives a GORGEOUS 1939 white Cadillac and gives a very informative tour of Boston.

The car is spectacular… If we had a penny for each time someone took a picture of us while we drove around Boston. Mark would roll down his window and tell them he needed to confiscate their cameras because we were all in the Witness Protection Program.

He would also periodically roll down his window and ask – how you doin’?

When we got back home I put some chicken that was marinating into the oven.  It was a Chicken Marbella recipe that was on the Simply Recipes website along with Chocolate Pot de Cremes by the Pioneer Woman.

Delicious!!

While they were visiting, Donna mentioned she wanted to see my sewing studio. While showing her around, I found a box tucked away in the closet and realized it was for a quilt that I had committed to making years ago with some friends of mine.

Like back in 2008.

The quilt is known as the Dear Jane quilt and it is made up of 225 blocks. Some friends and I had decided to meet on a monthly basis to make a few blocks. A bit like a Block of the Month quilt.

I was so excited to find those little blocks. Emphasis on LITTLE. The blocks are 5-inch squares.

DJ Lesson 1 Blocks

I was making a PURPLE Dear Jane. Cool!

I emailed the girls and asked if they would be willing to meet at my house once a month again… We met this past Saturday and it was great to see everyone. We sat around the dining room table and discussed the logistics of getting the band back together. We are going to meet on either the 2nd or 3rd Saturday of each month.

Most of us managed to do three blocks since 2008. Some have more and some have less. We’ve decided to start with Lesson #1 again. I might send Lesson #2 for the girls who are ahead. The next two blocks are an applique technique.

Explains why I stopped…

Here is a picture of the entire Dear Jane quilt.

DJ Quilt

We guestimate that it will take approximately 5 to 6 years to complete. Most quilts I have no idea how long it took me to make them. People ask but you really can’t answer because sometimes you work on a quilt or project constantly but then sometimes life gets in the way and you have to put it away for awhile. I have the Dear Jane software that has information sheets for each block along with a place to make a notation of “time started” and “time finished”. It would definitely be cool to know how long this quilt took to make.

Or depressing…

There is some history with this quilt which I will be glad to provide (if you want) at another time. It’s late and I’m getting a little tired.

Hope everyone is doing well. Lots of Love!!

Cheryl

 

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Hi there – how is everyone doing today? We are doing well here although I may have overdone things a bit.

Apparently, working full time, being caregiver to Jim and taking care of a house made planning his surprise birthday party and redoing the bathroom under strict deadline my breaking point.  A couple of days after Jim’s party, I was in the shower and noticed that I had some numbness on my left side. Ugh!! Before fearing the worst, I recalled that because the bathroom was so tiny, I did have to sometimes scrape wallpaper and paint using my left-hand. My left shoulder was very “crunchy” for lack of a better word so I am wondering if I pinched a nerve or something.

Orders for rest and relaxation have been given by my doctor.

Then she said “really rest.”

They know me… If no improvement or it gets worse, we’ll do an MRI. Fun stuff.

I did relax for a little bit, and I’ve had some nice pops from my left shoulder and now all of the numbness is gone.

I’ll be fine.

Jim is doing extremely well. (I’m almost afraid to admit that for fear of jinxing him.)

I’m very superstitious.

January 2nd was the last time Jim passed out. After that incident they considerably reduced the amount of diuretics that he takes. The diuretics were wiping out the potassium in his body and when it gets too low, he passes out…

Before that, (way before that) he was coughing to the point that he would black out. I don’t really think that Jim was even aware that he was blacking out, but it was very scary for the rest of us.

I made a point of going to LVAD clinic one day to mention it, and they had determined that it was caused by one of his medications (of course) and they stopped it altogether.

By the way – now whenever I show up at LVAD clinic, they assume something is wrong :-)…

So, no more coughing and no more lightheadedness or dizzy spells…

After the unconventional experiment, they removed his PICC line – see below (ignore the bruise). The PICC line is a Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter which is used for intravenous access for a prolonged period of time. Jim had two PICC lines actually and had them for almost a year and a half.

JA - Arm

No more infusions. He was doing four a day – now none…

I was doing dressing changes at least twice a day – sometimes more due to an incision that just wouldn’t heal. Now it has healed, and we are down to one dressing change every other day.

LVAD clinic visits have gone from every Monday to now once a month.

No lightheadedness, no dizziness, no blacking out or fainting, no more infusions, one dressing change every other day and LVAD clinic once a month.

Savor the moment!! Now hopefully things will stay like this for a while.

Having all this free time is seriously messing me up though… I don’t know what to do with myself. I just sit in a near catatonic state on the sofa until it’s time for bed. It’s a very strange feeling.

I don’t even think I’ve done much sewing.

Also, for some strange reason, I am in a cooking rut.

Ever get like that?

I’m just tired of cooking the same ‘ole things, or I just have no idea what to cook. No clue. I wander around the grocery store or peruse recipes on my favorite recipe blogs and cookbooks looking for some inspiration, but nothing… I cannot get motivated for some reason.

I did make some stuffed peppers recently that came out pretty good. I had a bunch of bell peppers leftover that I was planning on putting on a salad but decided against it at the last minute. I decided instead to use them to make stuffed peppers but was lamenting because we had had enough “saucy” things at that point. Jim then asked if we could stuff them with chili.

Good idea!!

Here is the recipe if you’re interested. Apologies in advance for the bad photography. This is my first attempt at being a food blogger.

 

Chili Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Ingredients:

Bell Peppers – any color – I love color so used an assortment

Two packages (approx. 2-2 1/2 lbs. total) of ground whatever floats your boat – chicken, beef, turkey, etc.

One can of beans – I used Black Beans but again use whatever you prefer

One can diced tomatoes

One can sweet corn

Two cans of diced green chilies

1 to 3* Chipotle peppers (remove the seeds) in Adobo sauce plus a tablespoon of the Adobo sauce (*depending on how hot you like it! :-)) NOTE: There are typically three to four peppers per can so one can is enough and just leave any leftover peppers in the fridge for another recipe (add to mayo for a special sauce).

One packet of Williams Original Chili Seasoning (for all our heart failure / LVAD friends – this has zero sodium)

One large onion

Shredded cheese – whatever kind you like (we used 2% Mexican Four Cheese)

Cumin (not pictured because I forgot…)

Chili Powder (not pictured because I forgot…)

For the garnish:

Sliced olives

Sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°. Put a teaspoon of oil in a sauce pan or Dutch oven and sauté the onion until tender.

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Then add your meat of choice. We used very lean ground turkey.

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Cook until completely browned.

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While the meat is cooking, take a pepper and

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carefully cut around and remove the stem.

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Cut each pepper in half length-wise to make cute little boats. Rinse and clean.

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Set aside for later. I just love all the colors!!

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Now back to the chili.

To the meat and onion mixture, add the Williams Original Chili Seasoning, corn, tomatoes, beans, both cans of green chilies, the amount of Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce that you’re comfortable with (I added two) plus the tablespoon of the Adobe sauce from the can, two tablespoons of Chili Powder and one tablespoon of Cumin.

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Pretty colors!!

Stir until combined. Let simmer for 30 minutes. This makes a great weeknight meal because it takes practically no time to prepare.

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You can eat this as is or put on top of baked potatoes, hot dogs or hamburgers but since we had so many peppers leftover, I filled each little boat and put in a casserole pan filled with about an inch of low-sodium chicken broth (you can also use water). I use Trader Joe’s chicken broth as it’s the best tasting with the least amount of sodium I can find.

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Then I put them in a 350° oven for about a ½ hour or until the peppers soften to your liking. Cheese can have a large amount of sodium so I only put cheese on a few peppers for myself.

Pop them back in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the cheese melts.

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Also, for anyone interested in purchasing the Williams Original Chili Seasoning or anything else that is no – to low sodium, I find great items on www.healthyheartmarket.com. Check them out sometime.

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They even have zero sodium pickles.

The Chili Stuffed Peppers are done!! Top with any garnish you want – sour cream, sliced olives or green onions and enjoy!!

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So that’s it for now. Take care – lots of Love!!

Cheryl

 

 

 

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Hi All!!

Did you guys survive the storm OK?  That was a LOT of snow!!  It took me and my parents (Dad with a snow blower) four hours to shovel out…  Jim felt bad that he couldn’t help but he made up for it by making breakfast complete with home fries and eggs and dinner which was a Giada de Laurentiis recipe for swordfish and a salad…

I went food shopping before the storm.  I hadn’t been to the grocery store in a couple of weeks, and we were out of almost everything – bread, milk, eggs, toilet paper – you get the idea…

 

OMG…

 

I thought it would be best to go Wednesday night instead of the night before the storm because – well, you know how it gets the night before we get any type of a major snow storm.  Unfortunately, everyone else in New England had the same idea.

So, I’m at Stop and Shop with my list, doing my thing and a woman near me makes this comment about how “everyone is going just crazy” and she’s looking in MY cart!!  I just looked at her and said Hey, this isn’t blizzard shopping!!  This is grocery shopping…  We had a good laugh…  She was blizzard shopping, by the way.

Here are some photos I took before, during and after the storm…  I apologize in advance for my lack of talent in the photography department…

Here are the front stairs just as the storm started on Friday:

Blizzard11

The storm starting to ramp up as we were heading off to bed:

blizzard22

Here are the stairs after the storm on Saturday:

Blizzard33

Mom in waist deep…  Poor Dad snow blowing the plow-made pile at the end of the driveways – yes, plural…

Dad w snowblower

Our cars – UGH!!

Blizzard55

Here is Kendall supervising our shoveling / snow blowing from the safety of her spot in the bay window…  It overlooks our porch right by our front stairs so she’s typically there to say goodbye and to greet us when we return home unless she’s sleeping of course…

Blizzard66

I did bake some bread that day.  Hey, if I’m going to be house-bound for a weekend, I’M COOKING – Errr – BAKING – Errr – BOTH!!  Anyways, I made this awesome Cranberry Orange bread – it’s beyond easy and delicious!!  Check out Maya’s site while you’re there – Alaska From Scratch.  She has some great recipes and hearing about life from another part of the world is very fun.  I’ve tried a few recipes now and they’ve been great!

Jim Update

Jim drove into work the other day.  I did my best to not worry and send out positive thoughts.  He said it went well and that it was a nice ride.  I’m still not happy that he’s driving but what are you going to do.  Like I’ve said before, I can’t sit on the guy.  Between you and me though, I think he really enjoyed it…

Things have been going well since the last “incident” we had.  Actually, I don’t think I even told you guys about the latest incident.  I’m going to start calling my Posts “Monday Morning Surprises.”  (If I posted them on time, that is J…)  Things always seem to happen very early on Monday mornings…

So Jim has recovered fully since collapsing in the bathroom and hitting his head on the tub.  I’m still having some PTS but am slowly getting my sense of humor back…

On January 28th Jim woke me up around 2:00 a.m. because he woke up from some wetness on his pillow.  Turned a light on to see three good-sized circles of blood on it.  His new $100 Comfort Revolution Pillow, mind you…  It was like he had a bloody nose but instead it was coming out his right ear.  I suggested we go to the ER, but he said that since he had an LVAD clinic appointment in five hours, he’d rather wait and go back to sleep.  Had my half asleep-self remembered that he had hit his head two to three weeks prior, we would have gone to the ER then, but, it had apparently stopped, so he wasn’t concerned.

I typically do not go with him to Clinic.  I work full-time and only have so many days a year for vacation or sick time.  On a typical Monday, I drop him off in the morning, head to work and then pick him up during my lunch-hour, bring him home, plug him in and head back to work.  This time since he was bleeding from his ear (which is close to his brain, you know), and he was complaining of being a bit light-headed, I decided to take a day off from work and accompany him.  It was the doctor who recalled that he had collapsed and hit his head on the tub two or three weeks prior and thought it a good idea to re-check the CAT scan.  Thankfully, they confirmed that it looked fine.  They decided to have an Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist take a peak, and this doctor determined that Jim had a small blood vessel rupture.  If that happened to you or me, we probably wouldn’t have even noticed, but when you’re taking Coumadin, it’s an entirely different story.  He gave us some medication though in the event it happens again.

What is it about being at the hospital that wipes a person out?  We were there from 8:00 a.m. until early afternoon and when we got home, I was completely wiped out and needed a nap…  I had actually been debating on going into work until I got in the door and decided I needed a nap instead…

Valentines Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!!

Jim’s birthday is February 16th (we have a lot to celebrate this year!!)  Since it’s so close to Valentine’s Day, I have always tried to do something special.  This year I’d like to make a nice dinner for Valentine’s Day.  It’s once a year…  He deserves it.  I’m thinking Shrimp Scampi with something very chocolaty rich for dessert.  How about this recipe?  Or this one?  If you’re not familiar with The Pioneer Woman, check out her Web site.  Awesome!!  She always has great recipes (I know – I’ve tried a bunch), great stories, lots of giveaways and it’s very fun reading about life on a working cattle ranch.

For Jim’s birthday I always invite the family over and make a Beef Wellington dinner.  For dessert, I always bake a chocolate cake but this year I’m going to try to make a carrot cake (Jim’s favorite so I don’t know why I bake a chocolate cake)…  Anyways, I’m taking this Friday off because I have a lot of shopping, prepping and cooking to do… 🙂

That’s it for now.  One of these days I swear I will do a quilting-related post.

Be safe!!  Love you guys!!

Cheryl

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