Thursday, December 6, 2018

Throw Back Thursday - Frankie’s First Christmas

There’s just something about kittens and Christmas trees.  They don’t seem to be able to resist them. 

We got Frankie the weekend before Thanksgiving in 2009.  We put our Christmas tree up on Thanksgiving weekend, so he was fairly certain it was a special toy for him.

Fortunately, he was a tiny little guy at the time, and didn’t damage the tree. 

Do you have any kittens climbing your Christmas tree? 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Music Monday: Gayla Peevey - I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas

Now that it’s December, I think it’s officially alright to start posting Christmas songs for Music Monday.

This is my absolute favorite Christmas song.  It’s so cute and happy.  I think it’s impossible not to smile when you hear it. 

We’ve also dubbed it Howard’s official Christmas song.  We just change it to Howard-potamus.  I think he’s pretty happy having his own Christmas song.    

Friday, November 30, 2018

Lavender Bath Salt

I’m not usually one for making many homemade gifts, other than food, but last year I started experimenting with making bath salts.  I don’t think it gets much more relaxing than a nice long soak in a hot bath after a stressful day.  Lavender oil is known for promoting relaxation and restful sleep, so lavender bath salts can really enhance the experience.

This comes together relatively quickly and easily, and makes for a practical gift.  The recipe I use has Young Living Essential Oil.  If you’re using a different brand you may need to use more or less oil, depending on the strength and quality of the oil.

Lavender Bath Salt:

12 cups Epsom salt
35 drops lavender essential oil

Place the Epsom salt in a large glass or metal mixing bowl.  Don’t use plastic because it can absorb the essential oil.  Break up any chunks of Epsom salt.  Add the essential oil, and mix well.

Spoon into jars, and close them tightly. 

Now you can get as creative as you’d like.  I kept it relatively simple with just a ribbon and printed labels that I hole punched to get the ribbon through.  If you’re more into crafts than I am, I’m sure you can do all kinds of fun things with different ribbons and labels. 

This recipe makes seven pint size jars of bath salts, so it works well if you’re making gifts for multiple people.  The bath salts are really nice, though, so make sure you keep a jar for yourself as well. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Black Bean Soup

As much as I love Thanksgiving, and all of the food that comes with it, it’s nice to change things up a little the week after.  After all of the rich food and dessert last week, something simple is just right this week. 

This also seems to be the time of year when things just keep getting busier, so easy meals are very welcome.  A Crock Pot meal that’s ready and waiting when I get home is perfect. 

I love this recipe for so many reasons.  First of all, it’s delicious.  It’s also very simple to put together in the morning before work, especially if you do the chopping the night before.  The beans don’t have to soak, so that’s one less step.  I think it’s reasonably healthy since it’s vegetarian, and doesn’t have packaged ingredients. 

Black Bean Soup:

16 oz. (1 pound) dried black beans
2 onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
½ cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 Tbsp salt
1 ½ tsp chili powder
1 ½ tsp cumin
½ tsp pepper
4 cloves garlic, pressed
10 cups water

Rinse beans, and place all ingredients in a large slow cooker.  Cover and cook on Low 9 - 10 hours. 

The soup is great on it’s own, but it’s also really good topped with diced onion, avocado, or salsa.  And it pairs well with cornbread. 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I hope you’re all spending the day with the people you love the most, and will be enjoying a wonderful meal today. 

Safe travels, happy cooking, and best wishes for a truly wonderful day.