Friday, March 20, 2015

It's Spring!! Special Menu to Celebrate!

One of our family traditions is to have a special meal when the season changes ..
Today is the first day of Spring ...
So we enjoyed
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
 (with spiced apples and bacon)
Rosemary Potatoes
for dessert ... yogurt fruit bombe with apples, strawberries and bananas
... both are really easy to make ...

and I found the potatoes in the freezer section of a local grocery.
Even better ... DH was off
(normally he works evenings),
so no rush to make this for lunch!
Do you celebrate a  change of seasons?
I would love to hear of your traditions ~



Monday, March 16, 2015

Check out my German Easter Tree!

Germans decorate trees, bushes, branches ...
indoors and out with eggs for Easter.
Lots and lots of eggs!
Yesterday, I saw a huge, green pine garland wrapped with egg loops ..
DH and I have been visiting Easter Markets
the last few weekends ~
these markets focus on decorated eggs
 (beaded, drilled, painted, embossed and more)
 and other spring yard and home décor items.
I have two trees ~ here's one with the eggs bought over the last two years ~
Do you do anything special
to welcome Spring
into your home and life?
Would love to hear what you do ~
Please share.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy Pi Day!

Today is Pi Day ~
PI= 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510
March 14 is written (American style) as 3/14
On the news, it was brought out that today is also a once every century event ..
3.1415 (the first 5 characters of the Pi calculation).
Time to go eat some pie ...
How are you going to celebrate Pi Day?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Irish Ham and Potato Pie

"Irish" Ham and Potato Pie
6 large eggs
1/2 cup green onions chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups cooked diced potatoes 
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup diced cooked ham
1/2 cup finely chopped red or green bell pepper
1/2 cup half-and-half
or milk
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter a 9-inch pie pan.
Mix together eggs, onions, salt and pepper in large bowl.
Add potatoes, cheese, ham, bell pepper and half and half to egg mixture.
Stir to blend. Pour into pie pan.
Bake until tested done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Could be 50-minutes or up to 1 hour 30 minutes. 
Cut into wedges to serve.

Makes 4 to 8 servings.
Holly's notes:  This last time, only had medium eggs in the house ~ so I used seven instead of six large eggs.  Also used about 3-1/2 cups of potato (couldn't see tossing the last bits of the potatoes) and only 1-cup of shredded cheese.  Forgot to add the milk entirely ... oops.   But since I had included the extra 1/2-cup of potato, that was probably for the best.   The pan was completely full and if I added anything more - it would have over-flowed.   Still turned out fine.   Pretty forgiving recipe.   Mine only had to cook for about 50-minutes.
Most likely will make the same changes the next time  I make this.  Uses things that I commonly have in the house (other than the ham ... rarely do I buy ham --- though we both love it).

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Caricature talents

While wandering through the Frankfurt Easter Market last weekend,
came across this artist sketching a client.
Pretty good likeness ~~
Surprised the shot came out as good as it did .. was taken on the fly.
Wish I could draw more than stick figures ....

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Owl placements I made

The local shops have been featuring oilcloth quite a bit recently.
Saw this owl patterned one and it struck my fancy (and sense of humor!).
Bought enough to make a table covering for our lava table
(it's an odd size due to the lava slab size it was created from).
Cut out some placemats from the leftover piece.
Kinda fun and kicky !
Hummm... need to have the neighbors over for dinner soon and use these.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Suspicious Kitty

Watching DH and I closely as we pass by on our morning walk ...

DH said Kitty was hoping for a mouse in our pockets ...


Monday, March 9, 2015

Bunnies ... bunnies ... who has the bunnies ?

Dh and I visited an Easter Market up in Frankfurt over the weekend.
These was a new experience for us ...
DH found one for his tummy  ~ I found one for our Easter Tree ~

Good day for both of us ~

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Happy International Women's Day !

Happy International's Women's Day ! 
DH and I got flowers for three of our neighbors!
Here is the set he bought for me.
I hope you can celebrate the day with a special female in your life !

Friday, March 6, 2015

Ultra- Easy, Yummy-in-the-Tummy Mac N Cheese Muffins ... really good!!

A friend shared this with me recently --
just got around to trying it this week.
Oh my.. they are wonderful! 
And easy to put together ~
Decided to make over-sized muffin sized ones and not normal size ones this time.
DH took some to work for his dinner.
Mac and Cheese Cups  
2 cups uncooked macaroni (I used shells, Bonnijean used elbows - doesn't matter)
1 Tbl. butter
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese 
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 
1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 tsp. olive oil
Salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin (or a mini muffin tin, depending on the size you want) with nonstick cooking spray.
Stir together the bread crumbs, oil and salt. Set aside.
Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water, for about 8 min. Remove from heat, drain, and return to pan. Add the butter and egg and stir until the pasta is evenly coated. Save out 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese and stir the remaining cheddar, mozzarella and milk into the pasta.
Spoon the noodles into the muffin tin. Sprinkle the top with the reserved cheese and the bread crumb mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from pan.
Comments:  I only used about a cup each of the cheeses.    The olive oil I used was from my garlic jar (When I get garlic, I separate the head of garlic into the separate teeth and then store the teeth in just enough olive oil to cover the teeth.  The garlic stays usable for a long time in the fridge and then I have flavored oil to use in cooking.)  Anyway, this gave the crumb topping a bit of a garlic taste ... which was a nice accent to the macaroni and cheese. 
Really good recipe ... will make this often.  Thanks bunches, Bonnijean!

Looking over Weilerbach

It was a nice day ~ so DH and I wandered up to the overlook to take photos.
Our home is off to the left outside the picture ...
These are the Catholic and Protestant churches.
Part of the Catholic Church building is documented back to the 1100's.
Is there a place in your town you enjoy spending time?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Special delivery from Buckingham Palace !

I feel so special!
In the post was a letter from Buckingham Palace!!
I have long admired Queen Elizabeth II for her dignity and pose.
While I may not agree with all of her decisions ...
but in many ways, I believe she has been a great role model for the world.
I sent her a short note a few months ago - just to say I admired her.
not expecting any type of response ~ but ... one came !!
Granted it's a form letter and signed by a lady-in-waiting ...
that's okay.
Over the last few months, I have been sending quite a few letters out to all sorts of people (public and private) thanking them for sharing their talents with the world, or aspects and behaviors that I admire about them ... or just being part of my life.
This is the first response I have gotten back.  Cool Beans!!
What has totally made your day?
Has anyone told you that you made a difference?
Have YOU shared with someone else the positive effect THEY have had on you?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Laundry room re-do

DH and I picked up some shelves today for
our laundry room ~
since we rent, can't paint the room
(would love light rose color walls)
~~ this looks so much better than it was before !
Before the shelves, we'd just toss the kitchen towels into a pile on the floor
(I go through a lot - at least two a day) ~
and the baby blankets I make for charity would be piled on the washer until I had a full load.
Now I have baskets to corral them both ~
that's a roll-up ironing pad on the top. 
Before I could iron on washer ~ need to find
a new place now.
Don't you love the "tin" laundry room box?
Found it in a Sicilian flea market
 a few years  ago... brand new!
What have you done to simplify
or organize your life?
Always on the look-out for more ideas!    Holly 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Did I ever show you ...?

Did I ever share the picture I have in the guest bath?
It is supposed to attach to the commode lid ,,,
but we weren't able to get it to stick.
I decided to frame it and it proudly sits on the shelf above the commode.
Probably should have it over the urinal for male guests to enjoy...
but now it is easily seen and enjoyed when one opens the door.

Do you have a fun decoration somewhere in your home?
Please share!


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Going to the zoo, zoo, zoo

DH and I like going to the zoo ... most any zoo ...
took a day trip over to the Stuttgart Zoo the other day ..
I didn't plan well, my camera battery died almost immediately ..
oh well ... just another reason to go back
... as if I "needed" a reason to go back to a zoo....
Going to the zoo, zoo, zoo .... how 'bout you, you, you?
Do you enjoy visiting the animals in a zoo?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Feasting on Friday ... Scrat

A friend sent me this photo she found on the Internet~

She knows DH and I love Scrat in "Ice Age"

hummmm... may want to add Scrat to our 25th anniversary party cake ..

gotta have something fun and kicky on the cake!

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tuesday Retrospect -- My Son at (3)

When my son was three, I was working in as a data entry clerk
(yes, this was a loooong time ago) ...
one of the benefits was discounted tickets to Disneyland.
We went several times that year ...
 this photo is from the first visit. 
He was a special boy then... and is a wonderful man now.
Do you have a treasured memory to share?
I would love to hear it.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you!

This morning DH mentioned wanting pumpkin waffles ... fortunately I have everything I need to make them.  If I had thought about it last, night I could have thawed out the bacon in our freezer and made heart bacon for breakfast as well.  (you fold the streaky bacon strips so it approximates a heart-shape).
Tried to make heart shaped waffles ... major flop.  Next time I'll put the waffle batter into a container with a spout ... that should let me  "shape" the batter.
Waffles turned out great ...
Aren't they pretty?  Yummy too!
We're off to visit a wild animal park ... hope you all do something fun today!

Feasting on Friday ... or is it Friday Funny?

My niece sent DH and I a care-package for Christmas ... she was so sweet to send us treats that we can't easily get over here.  When DH and I visit someplace new (for us), we really enjoy wandering through the different shops and seeing what food items are offered that we might not have seen before ... often buying them to enjoy.

Anyhow ... one of the items she sent us was Split Pea Soup mix.  It's one of our favorite soups ...though some people have a hard time getting past the weird green.

Had some leftover ham ... so decided to make it this evening and have an easy lunch tomorrow.

 Green Garden Soup?   
That's a different name for Split Pea ... oh well, it's only a name ....
 Hang on a minute.... 
the ingredient says the number one ingredient is Great Northern Beans ....

Nope ... not a white bean to be seen...
Oh well,,, it was accidentally mis-labeled ... no biggie.
Found a sorta HoneyBaked Ham Split Pea soup recipe on the web -
soup turned out fairly well ... 
but it is missing something - probably the ham bone.  
Never the mind ... we'll enjoy the soup ... and the love that sent it ....

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

European Snow Storm

Really cool video of snowfall in Slovakia ... buildings in our village are generally stand-alone, but the peaceful feeling is the same.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Icy fruits ..

Yesterday's snowfall was light enough to just make things pretty ... not like the three or four or eight feet of snow falling in the US Northeast region as part of Storm Juno 2015.

It's our lava table (a fond reminder of our life in Sicily) shows off the dusting ... it really does seem like granulated sugar has been sprinkled over it ...

Love the granada (pomegranate) ~   

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Boston Blizzard 2015

Comments from the posting:

Published on Jan 28, 2015
A time lapse of the 2015 Boston blizzard from 3 pm on January 26 to 8 am on January 28, 2015.

The video was created from 5,000 images, recorded at 30-second intervals on a GoPro.

The snowlapse was recorded on a roof in Back Bay Boston. For reference, the tall building on the far left is the Hancock Tower. The building in the distance in the middle is the Westin Copley Plaza and the illuminated "The" is from the roof of The Lenox Hotel.

Impressive to watch the snow level rise as time goes by ... sometimes I wished I lived in the in New England or the Mid-Atlantic states, just because of all the wonderful historical and cultural opportunities ... then I see something like this and think... maybe I'd rather not.   Holly

Spring is coming ....

It may be snowy here ... but my tulips are starting to peek out of the ground ... Spring is on its way!

Do you see any signs of the coming season in your corner of the world?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

It's snowy ... it's not ... it's .. winter in Germany

 Started snowing a few days ago ...

Then it cleared up and the snow all melted away ... but ....

Yesterday ... it snowed again... a little

Well .. since it was only a little, it looked pretty and didn't take long to clear the walkways in compliance with German law ...

Our sun from Thailand sports a new hair style in his place under the tree....

A light dusting on one of our potted plants on the terrace ..... while the needles of our rosemary bush on the slope caught some flakes as well...
Definitely winter in southern Germany!

What is it like in your corner of the world?


Friday, January 2, 2015

Say what?

 DH and I saw these at the Deutsches Technical Museum in Munich recently ... 
just have to wonder who would use "Dummy" guides for these ... 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Farewell 2014 ... Hello 2015

I wish all of you and yours all the 
joy and happiness
 your hearts desire in 2015.

Hooray for the start of new year ~
Another chance for all things 
to become right!

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

At the market

At the farmer's market the other day ... one of the vendors was selling these ...

Wished I'd gotten a bunch for the house ...
next time.

Is there a favorite item at the market you like getting for your home?

Monday, December 29, 2014

most influential person ... thought-provoking

I found this on a dear friend's Pinterest page today ,,, I found it incredibly moving.
No matter your faith ~ or none at all ~ this could be part of anyone's life ...
and it isn't limited to only women of the world ... 
many men are belong as well ...

I realize how blessed I have been by so many people whose aid or help 
I took for granted ... how small of me ... and how great of them.
Doesn't matter your faith ... looking back, many of those who helped me
were of faiths vastly different from my own. 

Wishing all of you a Happy 2015!

Cat-sitting Harley

I'm kitty-sitting Harley again while his pet human is in Berlin with family for the weekend ...

He has grown a lot in the last few months ... 
Harley keeps wrapping and weaving himself around my legs ...

Love having a cat in the house again ... even though he keeps trying to run out the door every time it is open ...


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Finished my other major organizing project -- Hurray!!

 Taking advantage of DH's deployment to get some projects done that are inconvenient to do while he is around ... so much easier to be able to pull apart a room or and and leave everything out for a day or two (or four ... snicker) while sorting, purging and re-arranging into a more user-friendly layout.

This is the after photographs of my latest project ... our pantry 
(still have to finish the bottle shelf) ...

                                         This is what I started with ... ick!

With a new year starting soon ~ is there a project you want to start on?    

Last year's Christmas gift from my son

Don't think I ever shared one of the great gifts my son gave me last Christmas ... 
Tried hanging it on the door ... 
but the adhesive hook we put on the door keeps pulling free and crashing to the floor ...

Since I don't want this damaged or destroyed ..we display it in our entryway ...
Isn't it terrific??  
I just love it!!
I am so lucky to have such a wonderful son!!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Fantastic, Delish, Wonderful Chicken Pot Pie

I've been experimenting a lot  in the kitchen ... trying out new recipes.
DH LOVED this one ... went back and had seconds ... and thirds!!
Will make a few changes the next time ... but for the most part, it was great!

4 Tablespoons butter
3 stalks celery, finely chopped (I used 4 ... we like it really veggie)
3 medium carrots, finely chopped (I don't peel them though you can)
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/2-cup flour (can use cornstarch or sauce thickener if you prefer)
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups chopped cooked chicken (I used leftover rotisserie chicken)
1/2-cup frozen peas, thawed (think I used a full cup worth)
1 teaspoon thyme (will make it scant next time, a bit too much this time)
1 teaspoon salt (will omit this next time ... it was a bit too salty for us)
1/2-teaspoon pepper
biscuits for topping (original recipe uses a pie crust ... these were on hand)

Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.  Heat butter in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Add carrots, celery, onion and cook, stirring often until tender (about 8 minutes).  Add flour, stir until smooth (since I used a sauce thickener, I waited to add toward the end).  Add chicken broth and granules, bring to a boil, stirring constantly.   Reduce heat and stir in cream.  (This is where I added the sauce thickener) Cook stirring often until thickened.  Add chicken, thawed peas and seasonings.

Pour mixture into a 9x13-inch pan coated with cooking spray (original recipe suggested using a deep-dish pie pan).  Top with either the biscuits (I cut them in half, makes serving it easier) or the pie crust. 

Bake 30 minutes or until topping is lightly browned and filling is bubbling.  

Cool 10 minutes or so before eating ... we couldn't wait that long!!