Creative contemplations on the possibilities in life.
Gratitude Day 28: Great Aunt
I was pleasantly surprised by a visit from two of my nephews, their wives, and two of my great-nieces today. We had several hours together, just hanging out and talking. Well, you know me, that would be talking and taking pictures of the kids. I love all my nieces and nephews. Being an aunt is the greatest thing ever. Nothing brings me more joy than "auntie time." I'm grateful for wonderful nieces and nephews who generously share their lives and families with me so I have lots of family too. I am so blessed!
If I had to be a vegetarian I would be in big trouble because I'm not all that keen on eating veggies, especially those nutritionally important leafy green vegetables. I'll pass on plain wilted or steamed spinach over and over again, but I could sit down and eat all of this spinach casserole and smile. Yes, it's that good. Best of all, it's super easy to make. Portion sizes of the ingredients are totally forgiving, so if you use a little more or a little less of something, no worries!
Crunchy Spinach Casserole
1 pkg. (12 oz.) frozen chopped spinach 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. salt
Pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 stick (1/2 c.) butter, melted
1/2 pkg. (~7 oz.) Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing Preheat oven to 350 °F. Coat an 8 x 8"ovenproof glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.Cook spinach in medium-sized pot according to package directions. Drain well and return to pot.Add cream cheese, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir until com…
This was the featured image on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Facebook page this morning. It's the perfect image for a Sunday morning, especially on Memorial Day weekend when we remember the lives of those lost in the service of our country. This weekend many of us also choose to remember the lives of family and friends that have passed on. And so the illuminating rays of sunlight over the Missionary Baptist Church in Cades Cove speak to each of us and to those no longer with us. It's not hard to feel the spirit and the peace portrayed.
This morning my friend, Bryan Nowak, noted that the sunlight looked like heavenly beams. I smiled knowing I had titled this image "Heavenly Light" shortly after the photograph was taken last June. The name is inspired by a sacred choral postlude I was introduced to by my nephew, Chris Plaas, who sings with a men's chorus called Brethren. The hymn, featured on the Brethren's CD Prayers and Praises, was written by the …
It's not often that I love a recipe straight out of the cookbook. Typically I make it the way the recipe says once, then fix it to my satisfaction the next go round. This pound cake is no exception. The first one was good but not quite perfect. This time I nailed it. It's about ingredients, the way I mixed them, and having the perfect pan for the desired result. Here's the finished recipe, modified from the original I found in the November 1990 issue of Southern Living magazine.
Kristina's Eggnog Pound Cake
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
3 c. granulated sugar
6 lg. eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 c. commercial dairy eggnog
3 c. all-purpose flour (spooned into dry measuring cup and carefully leveled off; sift if necessary)
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan, place on baking sheet and set aside.
Using a heavy duty mixer, beat butter at medium speed for 1-2 minutes until pale and fluffy. Gra…