Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Reality Shot Thursday

This is a meme hosted by Claudia at Mockingbird Hill.  As much as we all love seeing perfection in decorating blogs, and even in our own pictures that we choose to share on our blogs, we all know -- it's not reality.  Claudia invites us to loosen up a little and share some "real life."

Here's mine.  This is how I keep the top of my desk clean (most of the time).
It's important that I keep the file drawer open at all times, so notebooks are within easy reach!

If you'd like to share a touch of reality, join Reality Shot Thursday.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Favorites

Such a good week!  Here's some good stuff that blessed my days. . .

1.  Watching re-runs of Reba.  It is such a funny show and my kids laugh at how hard  laugh.  Laughter.  Good stuff.

2.  A new table runner for my kitchen.
3.  My kids' orthodontist.  He is one of the most generous, kind individuals, and my kids think he's "chill."  Yesterday evening, he met us at his office to fix  a broken wire that was digging into my daughter's mouth.  On his own time.  He gives so much to our community and to our church.  Just a good man.

4.  Last night, we had to close all the windows, because it is so cold outside.  Fall is here.

5.  Pizza.  It always seems like a party when we have pizza for supper.  I'm happy, because I don't have to cook.  The kids are happy, because they love pizza.  DH is happy, because I'm happy.  And it's one of the rare times that we eat supper in front of the t.v.

How was your week?  If you'd like to join in on Friday Fave Five, check in with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Feathering the nest

I was out shopping yesterday and came across some of these:
 I suppose you would have to be at least as old as I am to know what drawer liners are.
Since I had spent the previous day cleaning out my closet and dresser, I decided to buy some, to freshen things up.  I remember when my mother used to do her spring or fall cleaning, she would go through our clothes and pack away the things that weren't in season.  Woolens went in moth balls, summer clothes got put away in a box downstairs.  It kept the closets and dressers neat and tidy, and it was actually fun getting out our clothes the next season, when they all seemed 'new' but comfortably familiar.  Anyway, once a year or so, Mom would change the paper lining in the dresser drawers.

Scented drawer liners (and matching hangers) were a popular wedding shower gift years ago.  I wonder if  young girls do that anymore? 

I find that even if it's just a utility cabinet under the kitchen sink, if I take the time to put down some pretty contact paper, it inspires me to keep that area tidy and clean.  I'm a nut for pretty paper and pretty fabric, so it's one more way to support the habit:)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Saturday doings and a recipe

I'm obviously deep in nostalgia these days, as evidenced by the photos in my blog header this month and last month.  But, I guess it's a mother's (and a blogger's) prerogative, after all, to display photos of her kids;)

We're throwing the chore list aside today, and taking a drive up into the hills to see the fall foliage.  We plan to drive for a while and then stop for lunch in one of our favorite mountain towns. 

In the meantime, here's a recipe I tried last night that was a huge hit with everyone.  It involves a few more steps than my normal Friday night cooking (ordering pizza!) but Dan was gone this week and the weather has been nice and cool, so I felt like making something special.  The aromas that filled the house while this was cooking were to die for!

Braised Chicken with Butternut Squash and Cranberries

I served this with egg noodles, but couscous would be a delicious side dish, too.  This recipe is a revision from the Martha Stewart Cooking magazine.

1 small butternut squash, peeled, cubed and seeded
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
4 chicken leg quarters (2 1/2 pounds) split into drumsticks and thighs
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
4 tsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dried cranberries

In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 Tbs. oil over medium-high heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and, in two batches, cook, skin side down, until skin is golden and crisp, about 5 minutes per batch.  Transfer to a plate; pour off fat from pot.

Add 1 Tbs. oil, squash and onion to pot, and cook until vegetables are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add sage, flour, coriander, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add broth and cook, stirring up and scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, 1 minute.  Nestle chicken, skin side up, in squash mixture, add cranberries, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through and squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.