I love to cook but don't really do a lot of it any more unless I am having company. But, I watch almost every cooking show that is on the air...and, I download a lot of recipes. I saw a Mexican Lentil soup on The Chew that intrigued me and most of the ingredients I already had in my pantry so this is the one that got the cooking juices going this week.
This is like a chili-soup and really delicious. It got thick and yummy and full of lentils. There is also a recipe for Skillet Cornbread that sounds fabulous. They suggest you serve a wedge with the soup to sop up all of the goodness. I was so tempted but didn't make it this time because I knew I would have no "off" switch and would end up eating all of that yummy cornbread probably covered with another new favorite - Irish butter...but that is another story all together!
I did decide that I needed something so I pulled out another of my favorite friends and made a loaf of wheat bread.
I think I told you I have been gathering up stuff for a garage sale and every time I walked through my sun room, I noticed how huge my basil plant was becoming. Usually I have my herbs planted outside the door on the side of the house but I love fresh basil and knew it wouldn't survive the winter so decided to try it in the sun room. It did so well that it was hard to get by it going in and out of the door. And so, I decided to do a large harvest and knew I would be making some pesto. Again, I had everything I needed already. I had pine nuts in the freezer but they are so expensive and I love them on my salads or pasta so I decide that rather than mix them into the pesto I would use a slightly less expensive pecan.
This too is delicious. Guess I will be making some pasta for dinner tonight!
I also had a lot of veggies around so I whipped up one of my favorites, Cauliflower Fried Rice.
As if feeling like Martha Stewart in the kitchen wasn't enough for me, I put on her crafting apron too. I got some Valentine cards made, started gathering ideas and supplies for the grand kids' Valentine weekend and finally decided on something to do as a gift.
I will be the first to admit that this is not my favorite idea ever but I bought some keys many months ago in the dollar bin at Michaels and just decided that I HAD to do some sort of "key to my heart" craft. I'm having fun just because I love to craft but there might just be some tweaking to come. I still have to go buy some frames but I'm working on a sample - still not love at first sight or even second but I'm just happy to be crafting something so I am going with it for now.
My grand children are old enough now that they like a bit of a challenge when crafting. They also like using tools. So, when I saw an idea on Pinterest that I thought they might like AND their mom wouldn't mind using in their house, I decided to make up a sample and see where it went. I found the original at hazelandgold.com.
The original of this wood heart used slices of 2X4s. Since another of my goals was to use up lots of scraps that I already had on hand, I switched the wood to 1X2s. I had some 2X4s but they were pressure treated and not right for this project. I will say, the larger wood produced a more realistic heart shape but this is art - up to interpretation - and my eye interprets this as a heart. Lol
The original also has mitered corners on the frame but my chop saw is so old it can no longer give true cuts so I just went with the overlapping wood on the corners and I am good with it.
I had quite a day pre-cutting all of the wood. I am going to let each grand make one to be given as gifts to their mom and aunts so it was a lot of wood slices. And then I decided that I needed to take an inch off of each to help retain the heart shape a little better. The kids will need to sand, stain the wood ( it uses a colored stain which is just watered down acrylic paint ), glue, nail and stain the frame, distress the pieces and assemble. That should keep them busy between baking, cooking, playing "Minute-to-Win-It" and making Valentines for the birds!
And, as often happens with me, one thing leads to another. I have had a HUGE stack of stuff that needed to be taken to the dump but somehow life kept getting in the way. All of a sudden I realized that while I had both the chop saw and the jig saw set up and ready to go, I could tackle some of that stack. Well, several hours later I am happy to say that except for the two metal French doors that used to be leading out to the porch, EVERYTHING else is broken up and ready for the garbage men!!! I am barely able to stand up but I am feeling SO accomplished that I really don't care!! Towanda returns!
And, I still have this beautiful reminder of a lovely visit with daughter #2! I love fresh flowers. They make me smile every time I look at them!
A bit more Valentine decor to show you and some decisions on blinds in the making. I know you're on the edge of your seat...lol. Stay tuned.