Day 23 – Dining fun


Today, I’m doing something a little different and blogging from a local restaurant. Sometimes I draw a blank trying to blog in the morning right away, so we will change things up a bit.

Tonight after work I had to run some errands, and decided to go to supper all by my lonesome. I have developed a real taste, if you will pardon the phrase, for eating out alone.

I am at Sakura, which is a Japanese-style hibachi restaurant. It’s one of my favorite places to eat. The sushi is good, and the people are nice, and they play good 80’s music, which is right up my alley. Tonight, someone was having a birthday supper around one of the big grills, and the owner came out with his guitar and sang. It’s really fun to watch the hibachi cooks do their thing.

I love to just hang out and watch people sometimes without actually having to interact with them too much. As a natural introvert, I get all peopled out by the end of most days.

Looks like my sushi is here, so time to pay attention to that. Before I close

Spicy shrimp and cream cheese roll. Yum!

this post, I’d like to say that I highly recommend Sakura. It’s good food in a great atmosphere.

Here’s hoping you are having as good a time as I am at supper tonight. Blessing all!

Day 6 – Pancakes. That’s right, I went there.


This morning, I did something a little different. Usually I get up, walk on the treadmill, pancakes-1-29-17write a few words, throw back a smoothie, run through the shower, get dressed, and run to work.

Today, given that it’s Sunday, we slept in. Then we went to my favorite place in town to eat breakfast, Ebeneezers. It was amazing, as always. Not only is their coffee the best in town, but their pancakes are to die for.

Yes I ate the pancakes, with butter and syrup, and it was worth every bite.

So why, if I am trying to lose weight and get healthy, am I eating luscious things like Pancakes? Because I wasn’t born only to go to work, pay bills, count calories, and die.

I really do try to pay attention to what I am putting in my mouth, but if stopping to smell the roses means indulging in the best pancakes in town once in a while, so be it.

On Day 6 of this challenge,  I have  already noticed a positive outcome. I seem to be experiencing a little less brain fog than usual, and I am sleeping better. Hopefully that trend will continue.

Here’s hoping you find some interesting ways to stop and smell the roses. If you live close to Minot, ND, try the pancakes as Ebeneezers…they are worth it! Blessings all!

Of beer, bologna and beets


I had a very interesting conversation today about bologna. No kidding! If it’s one thing that North Dakotans take seriously, it’s food. All food. And, you better take 2nd’s, as someone’s going to get their feelings hurt, or wonder if you are unwell for not being a “good eater”.

The discussion started out as a simple plea for ideas as to what to do with ring bologna on Facebook. The flood gates opened and there were so many suggestions, as well as references from people’s childhood memories of eating it, either in the ring or sliced version. Personally, I loved when my mom would either fry bologna, or put it in a sandwich with cheese, pickles and Miracle Whip. Good stuff!

How lovely to have a discussion with a whole bunch of folks I haven’t even met, about a simple subject like food. We all have our likes, and dislikes, but still had a very good, positive discussion. Okay, we were talking about ring bologna, but it was a good time! We talked about other things as well, but the bologna is what brought us together for a few minutes for some fun in talking about one of the most mundane subjects ever: food.  Big thanks to my friend “E” for starting the discussion. It was fun, and I got a lot of interesting ideas!

I also ran into a discussion about beets. Yes, I love beets. I know it’s not a favorite veggie for a lot of people, but it’s one of my favorites. One of the best ways I have ever eaten beets is sautéed in butter and tarragon, on a grill. SO YUMMY!  For those of you who are not fans of beets, give it a try. I bet you might like it.

Last, but not least, I had a really interesting beer tonight.

Firestone Walker - Stickee Monkey BeerI was gifted with this amazing  beer from my friends whose cats I babysit sometimes. It’s made by a very interesting brewer, which you can check out here: http://www.firestonebeer.com/

I’m a sucker for a good dark beer, and this was a good one. In fact, it was so good, I drank the whole thing. It was a 22oz,  11.6 % alcohol beer. What does that mean? That means that I am one very tipsy Sparrow. But I’m getting ready to head off to bed for the night, so it’s no matter.

Tonight’s theme has been food and drink. Here’s hoping that you have many opportunities to try new foods and drinks, whatever that looks like for you, and that you have awesome people to share and discuss it with! Blessings all!

Getting my way on Mother’s Day


Greetings all,

First, let me wish all of you Mothers in the blogosphere a very happy Mother’s Day!

I’m being selfish with my time today, because I can get away with it. Mother’s Day, much like a birthday, is a good excuse to gather with family and friends, eat good food and enjoy each others company. It’s not necessarily my favorite holiday, as that slot has been occupied for a very long time by Thanksgiving, but it does have it’s good points. Top on the list of Mother’s Day’s good points is that I get to say what goes.

Here’s my list of things I want today… and by golly, I’m going to get all of it.

1. I want to spend time on my blog (check…mission accomplished!). I get precious little time to come out here anymore, to write or to read my favorite blogs. Today, I get to spend time here. Yes!

2. I want to cook lasagna from scratch today. I love to cook, and don’t get a chance to very often. I have invited my parents over for supper tonight, and when I told Mom what was on the menu, she tried to tell me I should buy a frozen lasagna instead of making it from scratch. I was surprised at how I almost came completely unhinged. I know her heart was in the right place – she didn’t want me to put too much effort into cooking dinner on Mother’s Day. She just doesn’t understand how much like to cook, and how deprived I am in that department. That’s ok… I’ll get my way in the end.

3. I want asparagus. (Demanding wench, aren’t I?) I haven’t had asparagus in years because my picky children won’t eat it, and it really doesn’t pay me to buy it if I am the only one that likes it. Today, it’s just too bad for everyone else that doesn’t like it. I. Will. Have. My. Asparagus! In fact, I have a lovely new recipe that I found on Pinterest for roasted asparagus with olive oil and thyme. I can’t wait!

4. I want to clean my house. The boys are generally pretty good about helping out around the house, but their idea of clean and my idea of clean are galaxies apart. I’ve spent such precious little time at home lately that what little I am able to do gets undone pretty quickly. Today, that gets corrected, even to the point of scrubbing out the fridge. I think something died in there, and is crying out for a decent burial. Argh!

5. I want to spend time in my yard. Spring finally did make it to North Dakota, and there hasn’t been a snowflake in sight for a good three weeks. I think Winter is finally gone for good this year, but I’ll leave my collection of snow shovels out until June 1, because I am just that superstitious about that sort of thing. My yard needs a good raking, and my strawberry/kitchen garden needs to be weeded. There are lots of plants returning from last year, but the grass is trying to overtake them. Time to get out the gloves and open a can of whoop-ass on that nasty invader.

There it is…my top five demands for today, in all of their glorious depravity. Like I said, today I get what I want, and no one best get in my way…or else! 😉

Lilacs half bloomed on May 23rd 2010

Here’s hoping all of you Moms in the blogosphere get exactly what you want, how you want it, and when. More importantly, I hope you have a lovely day with your families and friends.

Aunt Salley Cookies…a recipe from happy times


Hi all…it’s been a long time.

Writer’s block has had me in its crusty iron grip, when I’ve tried to blog in between other things. I finally decided just to suck it up and get back on the blogging band wagon by posting a recipe I thought I’d lost. Here is as good a place to store it as any, so I’ll put it here not only for preservation’s sake, but also because it’s an amazing recipe I remember well from my childhood.

This recipe comes from the kitchen of my Aunty B, who I have blogged of once before. She had a way with food that made it feel like you were getting hugged when you sat down to her table, whether you were there for a big meal, or just visiting and being treated to some of these fabulous cookies. The interesting thing about these cookies is that they are rolled out, and a Spam can is used as the cookie cutter.

I haven’t ever attempted to make these myself, but it’s my plan to give it a try in the near future. First thing I’ll need to do is buy some Spam! When I do get around to making these, I’ll come back and update this post with a picture.

Cookies:
1 C sugar
1 C butter or oleo (margarine)
2 eggs (beaten)
2 tsp cream of tartar
4 tsp soda
5 C flour
1/2 C molasses
1 C sour milk or buttermilk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
Mix all together and chill in refrigerator on our. Roll out and cut with Spam can. Bake 10-12 mins in 350 oven. When cool, frost.

Frosting:
1 1/2 C sugar
1/2 C water
1 tsp vinegar
Boil to medium ball stage and add 2 well-beaten egg whites, then add 12 marshmallows cut up or 1 c miniature marshmallows.

Special instructions: Share liberally with friends and family. Enjoy!

Make big plans…


…so sayeth my fortune cookie.

I get a charge out of fortune cookies, and always look forward to opening one upon having finished a meal at my local Chinese restaurant. Yesterday we ordered out from work, and I had the Kung Pao Chicken..Yummy!

Even better than the meal, I got this fabulous fortune cookie. Let me back up a bit…I’m taking the fortune as fabulous, and not ominous. On first sight, I was reminded of a curse I heard once: “may you live in interesting times.”  Personally, I prefer my times boring and smooth. If I want life to get interesting I’ll make arrangements for that myself, thanks. Big plans don’t necessarily mean plans for a trip or for anything fun. And, what the heck is big? I’m sure that means something a little different to everyone.

Make big plans…I can do that. Have done that. Will continue to do that. I have plans of all shapes and sizes. Big plans belong on bucket lists, and on lists for preparation, and lists for rainy days. Big plans can be made ahead of time, or be a spur of the moment idea.

You might wonder why I’m making such a big deal out of three words I randomly received in a fortune cookie. I guess I was having such a rough day, and this little fortune showed up like a ray of sunshine in a dark dingy room. You could say that I found a small blessing, and clung to it.

I’m don’t necessarily believe that fortunes in cookies automatically come true, but I think allowing something positive to plant a seed of positivity in your mind is very worthwhile.

Here’s hoping you have lovely fortunes in your cookies, and that you live in times only as interesting as makes you happy. Have a great day, all!

 

 

Love in the form of a brownie


Today has been one heck of a day. Of course, this time of year, everything is hectic…even the good stuff. In fact, this whole week has been one giant roller coaster, and there’s been much that’s bad, but so much that has been great.  I have several things to talk about, but not enough time or room to put them down here coherently, so I’ll just blather a bit about what’s happening right this moment.

It just so happens that I have a pan of freshly frosted brownies sitting on my stove. These aren’t just any brownies either…this is my Grandma’s recipe. Grandma knew all about how to feed people, and she delighted in it. The more you ate, the better she felt. It seems that cooking was her favorite way to show her love for us, and she did it well and often. Every time I went to visit, she always had a batch of these brownies waiting for me. She passed on in 1996, and now I have her recipe box and her cook books, including the one the brownie recipe came from. I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but I have not made this recipe in years. Today I made it because I have been invited over to my best friend’s house for an early Christmas celebration. Apparently “C” is a lover of brownies, and I instantly thought of this recipe.

The smell of these baking brought back a lot of memories, and I realized that I baked this particular recipe not only because it is just an excellent and easy recipe, but because I really do love these people and I wouldn’t take the time to make this favorite of mine for them if I didn’t.

As it turns out, the recipe book this comes from is so old, and the page is so beat up from use, that it’s falling apart. So, I’ll put the recipe down here for posterity, and to guard against losing it altogether. Because this brownie recipe is like a whole bunch of love packed into each little square, I encourage you all to make this for your loved ones who love chocolate too.

Grandma’s Famous Brownies

Beat together:
1/4 lb softened margarine

1 cup sugar

4 eggs (add two at a time and beat well)

1 tsp vanilla

1 lb can of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. (That’s right…get out your can opener and pour that whole sucker right in)

Once all is beaten together add:

1 cup, plus 1 Tbsp flour

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Mix and pour into a 10×15 pan. Bake  for 30 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. While still hot, make the frosting:

Melt and stir together 6 Tbsp milk, 6 Tbsp margarine and 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Bring to a rolling boil and cook rapidly for 20 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Beat together until chips are melted and it’s ready to pour over brownies. If you still have lumps of chocolate, you can pour it through a sieve right onto the brownies. Spread it quickly as this frosting sets up fast.

Enjoy!