Friday, September 24, 2010

Crockpot Apple Sauce

I made some apple sauce today. I've wanted to try making some and saw this recipe on the "Eat At Home" blog. It is so easy to do. So here's the recipe:

13 small apples (1 bag) (I got a bag of Fuji apples and there were 9 in the bag)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
4 T brown sugar
1/3 c apple juice

Peel, core and slice the apples. (I cut the apples in chunks). Toss them into the slow cooker with all the other ingredients. Give it a stir, then turn the cooker to low and cook for 4 to 6 hours. (I preheated the cooker while I prepared the apples).

I cooked them for 4 hours as the apples were tender. Using a whisk, I whipped the apples a few times until the apples broke up a little, removed the insert from the cooker and set on a stove burner to cool. My stove has an electronic start so there's no open flame. After they cooled a little, I removed them to a Corning Ware casserole dish to finish cooling.

Gerry and I just had a bowl of the apple sauce. It tastes good, although I can taste the brown sugar and cinnamon. It is kind of runny too. Will have to have some tomorrow after it has set overnight in the refrigerator and see what its like. So the jury is still out as to whether I'll make it again.

For dinner, I pan fried some Red Snapper fillets that I got at Bel Air today. We stopped at Trader Joe's the other day and they had some really nice looking eggplant. We both love it so I sliced that up and pan fried that too. It was so yummy.

Tomorrow morning we are going to a breakfast buffet at a Presbyterian Church in Sacramento. The husband of a stamping friend is doing the cooking. He use to have a restaurant in Sacramento and so he is fixing all the items that were on his menu. They attend this Presbyterian church so that's why it's being held there. Evidently he has done this before and the turn-out is fantastic. I'm sure my friend and others will be helping with the cooking and serving. It starts at 8am and my friend told me people start lining up about 7:45. It ends at 11am, so it is just for 3 hours. They sell tickets for the event at $12 for adults. It should be pretty good.

Then tomorrow night we have a birthday party to go to out in Dixon. A friend of ours is celebrating his 50th birthday. We'll go to eat and be back home early. So sometime tomorrow I need to get a birthday card made...maybe I have one in my stash.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Forgot!

I wanted to mention that I have a new blogger follower. She lives in Georgia and found my blog while she was cruising "blog world". The post that caught her attention was one I did about fixing Spam and using "shoyu".

She is Filipino and her husband is part Portuguese, born and raised on the Big Island. The largest of the Hawaiian Islands is called Hawaii, however is commonly known as "the Big Island". His Portuguese ancestors came from the Azores Islands of Portugal to Hawaii, my Portuguese grandmother's family also came from the Azores Islands. He is a retired Army helicopter pilot. He had been stationed at Ft. Rucker during his Army career and they lived in Ozark, AL which is one of the towns that surrounds Ft. Rucker. Enterprise, where my Denise and family live is also one of the towns surrounding Ft. Rucker.

She is a sketch artist and has a blog showcasing her sketches. I need to add her blog to my blog list here on my blog. Her sketches are beautiful. The thing that really perked my ears up as I read her blog is that she and her family are Christians. I thought to myself how wonderful that a fellow believer would find my blog and then also have connections to "home" and Ft. Rucker.

The other thing I wanted to draw attention to are two blog buttons that I've added to my sidebar. I don't remember exactly how I found these food blogs. They have the most incredible recipes on their blogs. I am going to try the apple sauce recipe that "Eat at Home" blogged about today. It looks so easy and Gerry loves apple sauce so I'm going to give it a try. There's another one that I was going to add, however, for some reason it didn't work when I copied the link.

Okay, that's it for tonight. Take care!!


I've been meaning to blog all week and just haven't done it. When I think about it, it is too late and I just want to go to bed.

This past Monday we got this packet of Lawry's seasoning in the newspaper. It sounded interesting so decided to use it for dinner that night.

It went together very easily. Gerry and I both enjoyed it, it had a very good flavor. It did, however, need a little bit more liquid as the some of the pasta didn't get cooked. And the chicken needed some salt and pepper. So here's the ingredients and how to fix it:
1 1/2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast halves ( I used a package of 4 breasts)
1 1/4 cups of penne pasta, uncooked
1/4 cup of sliced pitted black olives (I used 2 small cans)
1 cup water
1 can (15 oz) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (I didn't measure...just sprinkled the cheese on)
Place chicken, pasta and olives in a 9x13 inch baking dish
Mix water, seasoning mix and tomatoes in a bowl until well blended.
Pour over chicken and pasta. Stir to coat well. Cover with foil.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut chicken into serving size pieces. Stir pasta before serving. (I didn't cut the chicken up).
Options: To make Chicken Cacciatore Casserole: Prepare as above using 1 cup each of sliced mushrooms and bell pepper strips, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese in place of the olives and feta cheese.
Tonight I made a big pot of stew. It is very simply made and is so good. I forgot to take a picture so here is a picture of the tupperware bowl I put the leftovers in. The aroma was so incredible when I was taking this picture. It will be even better tomorrow. :-)
Here's how I make my stew:
2 packages of cut up stew meat
1 onion cut in wedges
3 potatoes, peeled and cut up
3 carrots, peeled and cut up
2 cans of stewed tomatoes
1 small can of tomato sauce
a small amount of water to rinse out the cans and add to the pot
salt and pepper
First, I brown the meat in a large pot with some olive oil. Then I add the onion and stir them together. When the meat is just about all browned, I season it with salt and pepper. Then I add the stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir everything together, put a lid on the pot and turn the flame down on the burner. It simmers away happily for a couple of hours or more. I'll check on it a few times and give it a stir.
While it is cooking away, I'll get the potatoes and carrots ready and put them in a bowl with some water so the potatoes don't turn brown. About an hour or so before the stew is done, I'll add the potatoes and carrots and season it again with salt and pepper. I don't add any other seasonings. The stewed tomatoes I use are seasoned. I cook rice and serve up the stew over rice. This is pure comfort food!!
Our weather has been so nice. However, according to the weather service, it is suppose to heat up into the 90's for the rest of the week and Sunday is suppose to be about 94 degrees. The nights are nice and cool so its okay if it is hot during the day. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Overnight Trip

I forgot I was going to blog earlier.....

Friday afternoon we left Sacramento and drove to Modesto which is about 90 miles south of Sacramento. A Christian group that we enjoy was doing a concert at a church there in Modesto. It was the closest they were getting to Sacramento so we decided to drive down to hear them. Gerry told me we had quite a few points on our Choice Hotels membership and we could have a free room for the night instead of driving back to Sacramento.

It was a pleasant drive down was in the 80's here and about the same down there. It took about an hour and 45 minutes to drive down. We had a room at the Clarion Conference Center. This hotel was probably a show piece when it first opened years ago. It is still in good shape yet shows its age. Our room was very comfortable. It had two off the inside hallway and then one from the parking lot. We had to enter from the inside hallway.

After we checked in, we sat and watched TV for a little bit then changed clothes and drove over to the church. Gerry had googled BBQ restaurants and he found a Korean BBQ. The reviews were very good and it was just a couple of blocks from the church. So we went and had dinner after we found the church. We were the only ones in the restaurant, it was still early. It is run by a husband and wife...she's Korean, we couldn't figure out what nationality he was. He looked East Indian to me, however am not sure. I had beef bulogi and Gerry had pork bulgoi. The food was fantastic...the husband brought out all the different little dishes that are served with a meal. Half of them were spicey and half weren't so I could enjoy some of them. They will refill them if you want more. We were stuffed by the time we left.

We drove back to the church and for it being an hour and a half before the concert, the church was already filling up. It turned out that the church was packed. The name of the group is "Selah". It was actually a benefit concert for Bethany Home Services. They provide crisis pregnancy services, adoption, counseling and have a home for teen mothers. The concert was outstanding!! I had bought their newest CD so after the concert Gerry stood in line to get their autographs on the CD cover.

Saturday morning, after having breakfast at IHOP (it was the closest to the hotel and next to the freeway), we drove over to Tracy to see my niece Amy and her husband, Joe. Amy had called me Thursday night and I didn't return her phone call until Friday morning. She told me Tracy was about 30 minutes away from Modesto. So when I mentioned it to Gerry he didn't have a problem with driving over to see her. We had to take 4 highways to get there. There was another way to get there, however, I didn't write down the directions on how to get to the particular road. We had a great visit. Joe works for United Air Lines at the San Francisco airport. I think he's an airplane mechanic...I'm not sure. Anyway he works at night and gets home after 9 in the morning. He is part of a vanpool and they could see the San Bruno fire. In fact he called Amy to turn on the news to see exactly where it was. They wanted to be sure they could get to the airport. Amy use to live close to that neighborhood and has a few friends that live close by where the explosion was located. Joe sat up and watched football with Gerry for a little bit and then had to go to sleep. Gerry watched football by himself while Amy and I gabbed. Amy is a scrapbooker/paper crafter so we had to go up to her craft room and look at all her stuff.

We left there about 3:30 pm and drove home. We got home about 6pm, I think, because we stopped out by Arco Arena and had dinner at On the Border. It might have been later. We weren't hungry while we were at Amy's...she offered to fix lunch...however we were starved by the time we got back to Sacramento.

Gerry usually goes for a walk after dinner and picks up the mail. Our mailboxes are down at the clubhouse. Tonight he comes in and tells me all the mail is for me and there's one envelope I will really want to open. Guess what...I received a summons for jury duty. YUCK!! I have to report in next month. I have several card swaps that are due next month so I am going to be super busy getting them done in case I have to actually serve.

Its 10:30 pm so I'm off to bed.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Viet Nam War Memorial Moving Wall

The Viet Nam War Memorial Moving Wall has been in Sacramento this Labor Day Weekend. Its displayed at one of our local cemetaries. Its not too far from us so we drove over last night to view it. It is really quite impressive. I have no idea how many panels it consists of, each one is numbered. I noticed that there were 70 panels in the eastern section of it. Maybe as many on the west side of the wall.

Taking pictures was very difficult...of course...I just have a Casio Exlim digital camera. There were pairs of several flood lights directed towards the wall and the glare from those lights bounced off the wall.

This was one of two floral wreaths in front of the middle section of the wall. I tried to get a whole picture of the wreaths and couldn't get a clear one. I got this picture up close. It was presented by a Vietnamese organization here in Sacramento. This is the one picture I got of the Wall looking east. This is about the middle section so judging from the spotlights, it is quite a distance to the end of it.
These are some facts from the website for The Moving Wall:
  • This Wall is a half size replica of the Wall in Washington, DC
  • It has been touring the country for over 20 years
  • This Moving Wall was built by Vietnam Veterans
  • There are 2 structures that travel the US from April to November of each year
  • There are 58,228 names listed on The Wall in Washington, DC. This Wall contains 58,182 names. Over 200 names have been added to the original wall.
  • The names are listed in chronological order of the casualty date, then alphabetically within the given date.
  • The names of The Moving Wall are not exact in the same order as the names on The Wall in Washington, DC
  • The names listed start 10/21/57 and end 5/14/75.

The PGR had been asked to help with providing security through the night hours while The Wall was here in Sacramento.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Wow...Over 10k Hits

I just looked at the counter on my blog and I've gotten over the 10k mark of hits to my blog. That's interesting. I wonder who was the 10k one....well, whomever it was...thank you. I hope people who do visit my blog enjoy what I've shared. Would love to read any comments...I will delete any that I deem unacceptable, though.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Today - Friday, 9/3/10

It was another hot day in Sacramento. It was over 100 on our outside temp gauge.

I've been needing to get a hair cut so this morning I had an 11 am appointment with Brent. He has gone back to the salon he first worked at. Its in Granite Bay so it was a little farther to drive. He cut, I think, at least 2 inches off. My hair had gotten quite long and I was wearing it pulled back in a pony tail or held with a barrette. He also put some low lights in, blending the gray into the rest of my hair. Surprisely enough, I have very little gray. It was mostly at my temples. I told him I've been letting my hair dry naturally instead of blowing it dry so that's what he did too. He dried some of it while he scrunched it up. I have natural curls and waves so it was all curly and wavey. The length is now just below my ears. I think I'm going to like it and it will be so easy to take care of.

After I got home, I worked on another card swap and then left home about 5:15 pm to go down to The Paper Garden, my local Stamp Store, for a card class. It was an hour class and we made 3 really cute, simple cards. This weekend The Paper Garden is celebrating its 4th anniversary so Linda Carnell who owns AMuse Art Stamps in Seattle came down for the weekend. She taught tonight's class and then is teaching a couple of projects tomorrow.

This past Tuesday I had lunch with friends, Stan and Donna Warehime. We all went to church together and were neighbors. Donna and I worked together in ministry and are the best of friends. Stan retired from driving trucks with Raley's, a local grocery chain. When he did that, they sold their house here and moved to southeast Missouri. They found a town on the internet that was for sale. It had a general store, post office, hardware store and feed store. It was a lot of work for just the two of them and the winters really got to them. So they sold everything and moved to Mesa, AZ. Stan has a couple of brothers in the area. They are loving being in Arizona and have been busy fixing up the house they bought.

Personally, I don't know why anyone would want to live in Arizona. It is just too HOT for me...110 in the shade is not for me. :-)

Donna's family had a reunion up in Oroville so they came out for that. They were here in June for a granddaughter's college graduation. We didn't get to see them on that trip so Donna was determined to get together this trip. I met them at The Golden Corral. We got there at 11:30 am and didn't walk out until after 2 pm. Donna and I don't know when to stop yakking. Stan is quite a talker too...anyway we had a nice visit. They'll be back in town in December. I think they are headed back to Arizona this weekend.