Archive for the ‘A Little of That’ Category

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Practicing What You Preach

There are so very many places I could go with this on this Tuesday morning in March but I won’t.  I will spare you a lecture.  I would say sermon but that would be ludicrous 😉 So this fine March day I will just say it feels good when you actually practice what you preach in relation to what you eat.  Last night our supper consisted of nothing more than what we grew here on our little property or killed locally.


Our middle son provided our meat from a deer he killed in the fall.  A fine, lean backstrap that Jerry put on the grill – and it was delicious.  The cole slaw is made from green and purple cabbages and carrots we grew.  The sliced carrots are from our garden and I sauted them with a pat of butter and sprinkled a little saffron on them – I LOVE saffron!  The asparagus is from either the 4th or 5th picking so far this season – perfect just warmed in a skillet with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper.  As with most meals while Jerry is home, it was a team effort, even the clean up 🙂

Some one asked last night over on Facebook what we plant and when.  Here is a quick rundown.

We have something planted all the time. Early Spring (now) we plant tomatoes (some I had started in the greenhouse), peppers, squash, green beans, corn, cucumbers, herbs and flowers. No later than July 4th, but hopefully before,  I need to have my pumpkins in the ground. I will probably start them mid April – first of May to give them a head start. I would like to harvest them well before I go on vacation October 16 and have them delivered to their new homes :).  All that depends on when the corn is ready. The pumpkins are planted when we pull the corn stalks. Then early September we plant winter stuff like carrots, lettuce, cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, English peas, sometimes radishes. And it all starts over…

I will try to snap some pictures this afternoon of Jerry’s hard work from yesterday.  He set out a couple of tomato plants I had started in the greenhouse and got beans in the ground.  We will pick up more tomatoes, bell peppers and a few herbs today while we are in the city.  Oh and our window box selections, whatever they end up being. If our top soil is delivered by Wednesday, he will get the corn planted in the corn patch.  If it looks like it won’t, then likely he will go ahead and plant anyway and we will put out top soil after corn and before pumpkins.

That’s it for this morning except for these last few photos.  I have to go do something with my hair before it revolts completely.  Can’t go to Jerry’s dr’s appt with a mop on my head!



Hello Springtime, my old friend…

so nice to see you again. Now stay out of my nose please.  Enough already!

When you live where I do, Spring seems to slip up on you around mid February for a few days, run away again and then is back with it’s own brand of vengeance around mid March.  Don’t misunderstand me, I LOVE the Spring blooms and buds and leaves.  It’s the necessary evil called pollen that I don’t get excited over.  Unless you count that feeling of my scalp moving and skin crawling that the decongestants and antihistamines give me :/

I figured it was as good a time as any to start blogging again.  I took a bit of a break and of course my ego hopes you noticed.  Writer’s block was an understatement.  I had absolutely nothing pleasant to say.  I was worried and blue and cranky over the fact that my husband was in and out of Tunisia like he got paid to be.  Oh.  Right.  He does get paid to be there.  But that fact has nothing to do with making it easier on my feelings.  What would it say about me if it did?  He is scheduled to go back a week from today so this week will be spent in the garden, doctor appointments, tidying up chores and projects and getting corn and beans planted.

Lots of things have changed in our lives since I started this blog in December 2006.  I have had some really high highs and some really low lows.  Just like every other person and the world.  And my lows certainly don’t compare in the big scheme of things for the most part.  Losing people has taken it’s toll on me for sure.  I am a different person now than I was 4 years ago.  Some parts of me are better, some are not.  I don’t think people, especially women, who still have their mothers, no matter the relationship or lack thereof, can understand what it is like to no longer have her.  Just as those who have lost a sibling can understand that loss much better than those who either do not have siblings or still have them.  Again, no matter how strained the relationship might be, as long as their is a breath left in both of them, nothing is impossible.  But once that possibility is gone forever, it is a hole that can never be filled again.  And a bitter pill to swallow.  Especially for a person who deep down believes they can do or be or make or fix anything.

I have at times done my best to stay on track and give you something to read if you pass this way.  Other times, I just couldn’t.  Nothing came to me.  I was stagnant and not doing anything worth sharing.  I have tried to give myself deadlines and daily writing assignments but always somehow found a way to let myself off the hook.  I am lenient that way 🙂 I have started and stopped book clubs and reviews, movie reviews, cooking projects, craft projects and like everyone else hopes a new season,  Spring 2011 will somehow be the time for me to stay on course.  Keep my nose to the grindstone and contribute to the blog world.  If for no other reason than I love visiting other people’s blogs and know from your emails and comments, some of you like visiting mine.  It’s almost like I invite you over for coffee and either left before you arrived or made a pot of joe, fixed your cup and then sat across the table from you staring through you like you weren’t there.  Not friendly or friend like.  And certainly not very hospitable considering your time is at least as valuable as mine.

Food for one thing is looked at in a completely different light.  Being born and raised in the South, everything we did, planned, hoped, bought, every party, celebration, gathering started with a menu.  From birth to death, meals were the center of attention.  Well, combine my list of food allergies and now gluten intolerance and wow, talk about being put in the back seat.  How about just go ahead and put the subject the trunk?  NOW, Jerry is trying his hardest to be diabetic.  Just kidding. He’s really trying hard not to be.  And it makes menu planning a whole new ballgame.  Those sugar heavy, gluten saturated baked goods are few and far between.  But we are learning.  He is much better about accepting the difference in the taste and more over, the texture of food than I am.   I mean come on, with catering for half my adult life, and loving to bake for my family, baked goods ranked real high of my list of Earthly pleasures.  But I am learning.  Not only to accept the differences but adapt our favorite recipes into things we can partake of.  Just a couple of weeks ago, I made gluten free,  “much reduced sugar” Chocolate Chip Cookies and they were not terrible.  Jerry said they were good.  I think he was just so hungry for something sweet his taste buds were off.  But they were edible and I have to realize gluten free and sugar free will never compete with the real things.  Ever.  But with proper quality  ingredients and a little will and skill, they can be pretty tasty.  And fill a void left by the real things.

So…what’s a gluten intolerant cookbook reviewer to do?  I tell you what.  Improvise.  Meet the challenge.  Walk in to the kitchen with a renewed attitude and make something great.  Over half our family is still happily eating like normal people so this means they shouldn’t be subjected to our restrictions.  Their villi and pancreas haven’t turned on them.  So, reviewing a brand new and amazing cookbook from Gooseberry Patch affords me the opportunity to not only cook something amazingly delicious for the majority of the household but develop something the other 2/5ths can eat and it also gives me the pleasure of sharing my adaptations with so many others who suffer with these restrictions as well.  I did a little of that adapting here and here.  And plan on doing all my reviews and trial recipes this way.  New challenges, new ideas…hey it’s Spring – start anew, right?  Yes, there will be more Gooseberry Patch news soon.  VERY soon and you don’t want to miss that.

Thanks for continuing to come here, even in my absences.

Happy First Monday of Spring 2011 Everyone.



In a hurry? Gooseberry Patch has a new cookbook just for you!


Hearty, satisfying recipes for busy families…from fridge to table in 30 minutes or less!

And really who isn’t in a hurry from time to time?  Or most of the time!?  Well I am!  I have several  WONDERFUL recipes for you, the first one  this morning. I am also happy to announce you can enter to win a copy of this amazing new cookbook from Gooseberry Patch. This giveaway will go a little faster that the last.  You will only have a week to get your name in the drawing so leave me a comment, letting me know you want to add your name and be sure and try these recipes – they were huge hits here at the Dahlem house. I will draw the winner’s name next Saturday January 22 at noon CST.  But hey don’t just leave your name today and then not check back.  There will be opportunities during the week to get your name in a second, third or maybe even fourth time!  So try to check back.

I really can’t say how much I loved reading this cookbook.  So many great recipes plus helps and hints on nearly every page.  A real treasure.  As you can see, I have a few things marked to try – in fact making one today that I will post tomorrow (and another chance to enter for you!)  As you can see I have quite a few recipes marked 🙂


And one of the greatest things about the book is it isn’t just for supper meals.  There’s a whole section on Busy Day Breakfasts!  I am telling you for reals, if you don’t win it you so need to buy it.

My first recipe is for On-the-Run Chicken Pot Pie. This homemade chicken pot pie is done in less time than you can open the box and bake a store bought one.  Can you beat that???  And just look at it!


My kids LOVE chicken pot pie.  They even love the little boxed ones but they LOVED this one.  Ooo’d and ahhh’d and there were NO leftovers.

On-the-Run-Chicken Pot Pie

  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 10 3/4 ounce can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 /2 cup milk
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 9 inch pie crust cut into one inch strips
  • 1 egg beaten

Place potatoes, carrots, onion, celery and 1/2 cup water in a microwave safe bowl.  Cover and microwave on high for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat soup with milk and remaining water in a saucepan over medium heat, stir in chicken, salt and pepper.  When vegetables are done, drain and place in an uncreased two quart casserole dish.  Add peas, spoon chicken mixture into dish.  Arrange pie crust strips on top lattice style; brush with egg.  Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes until crust is golden and mixture is hot and bubbly.  Serves 4.


YUM and here is my little crustless pie ~ gluten free 🙂   Baked it along with the other one.  Delish!

Jan2-2010 GooseberryRecipes 129


Happy Saturday Peeps! And best of luck – I wish you could all win!  However since that’s not possible, as soon as we all congratulate the winner on January 22, and if you are not that lucky duck, zip over to Gooseberry Patch and get yourself a copy of Homestyle in a Hurry.  Oh heck ~ go ahead and order several – they make great gifts for all your foodie friends.  Now leave me a comment and get your name in.

More great places to find Gooseberry Patch:

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On a personal note: If you are following the news you know of the hell that Tunisia has become quickly and almost over night and you know if you follow my blog that my Jerry works in Tunisia.  He is home safe and sound. Now I just want to hear that all his co-workers are out of Tunisia and someplace safe. Preferably with their families.   It’s amazing to me how quickly things became complete chaos. I know the office personnel sent their families out of the country two days ago. But the men are still there. I am so thankful when Jerry was asked he declined to stay over. They needed him but he said no. With the few extra days he was needed, then the weather between here and there it is very likely that he would have been in the country trying to get home when all this happened. I think you know about how well I would have handled it. No idea how this will affect his job.  Jerry said the crew going out made it to the rig. But the crew coming in had to stay. No flights in and out. At this point hey are probably safest on the rig.

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