Remembering Amy….. (In the above picture, we were in Puerto Rico at a Boeing Regional Meeting and that is Amy in the turquoise blouse and white skirt in the front row, she had made all the arrangements for the meetings) […]
Christmas in New York City! I really do love walking around the streets of New York in December….the hustle and bustle of the busy sidewalks filled with Holiday shoppers! Just like the song, Silver Bells proclaims: City sidewalks, busy […]
Have you heard that old phrase “If you’re waitin’ on me… you’re backin’ up”? Humor runs in our family! well, humor doesn’t actually run …but our family has some pretty funny people! Not in funny, odd… well, there is that […]
Sky City…Acoma Pueblo…New Mexico! While living in New Mexico. I discovered so many beautiful and unique places to visit. I love New Mexico and I would like to share some of it with you, my dear readers. Did you know […]
Reflecting….The Beauty of Churches! We all know the Reason for the Season….and we all worship in different ways. I came across some wonderful pictures of churches from around the world and here in the United States. Some of these are […]
(In the above picture, we were in Puerto Rico at a Boeing Regional Meeting and that is Amy in the turquoise blouse and white skirt in the front row, she had made all the arrangements for the meetings)
I’ve started this post many times over the past couple of days, trying to find the words to express my shock and disbelief at the passing of one of our own.
For my readers who did not know Amy Kelley,…please bear with me.
For those FSA’s who are following me on this Blog….of course you remember Amy.
Amy always had a smile…a great big infectious smile and she cared about people.
As I have stated in previous posts, I retired from a large Aviation company….and that company was Boeing, Field Service.
During the many years I worked for Boeing, I came to know a lot of wonderful people, and among the Field Service Associates, I came to know Amy Kelley.
Amy passed away on December 13, 2014, she was only 46 years old.
On Saturday, Amy had taken some pain medication to ease the chronic pain in her neck and lay down to take a nap and never woke up.
(Several years ago, she injured her neck, when she fell while attempting to check on a Swan’s nest just outside her back yard fence).
I have been told, Amy could have had a blood clot or the meds could have shut down her organs.
At this point in time….nothing is certain.
But I would like to talk about Amy and her love of life.
Ahhhh, the memories I have of Amy ….were many.
Once while she and I were in Boeing Meetings …her husband Tom and my Captain, went panning for gold and precious gems up in the mountains surrounding San Diego.
They did find a few bumpy rocks and Amy and I laughed at the fact that we were not going to get rich off those pebbles.
Another time, we sat in her family room in Verdigris, Oklahoma …on newly purchased, leather theater seats, eating popcorn and pizza and watching movies.
Amy was a very generous person and she and I had a friendly rivalry with our Big 12 College Basketball teams.
She loved the Oklahoma State Cowboys and I loved (still do) the Kansas Jayhawks.
Even though her loyalty lay with the orange and black Cowboys…she made this red and blue lanyard for me, that says Rock Chalk Jayhawk.
Amy also had a compassion for all animals, her favorites being her four dachshunds, which were like children to her. She and Tom were never blessed with children so she adopted everyone to be a part of her family, whether four legged or two.
Since I no longer work at Boeing, I didn’t feel it my place to go on the Boeing site to talk about Amy.
However, I couldn’t just let Amy pass without saying a few words.
Sooo, when a fellow FSA suggested I pen my thoughts, I felt this was the best medium.
I will ask that those FSAs who follow me, to forward this link to other FSAs …as we take a moment to remember Amy…she was one of us.
AND let us celebrate Amy, as I am sure she would want us to do.
I will keep Tom, her husband …and Amy’s Mother and Father and her siblings in my prayers for the difficult days ahead.
And I hope you do too!
White Almond Bark is a wonderful way of making quick Christmas Candy…
But it doesn’t have to be a “Christmas only” candy.
I always keep both white and chocolate almond bark in my freezer to be whipped out when guests are coming and I want something nice and sweet and “purty”
I have two recipes below using white almond bark.
One is a recipe I make every year for our Christmas Open House and the other recipe was sent to me by my “TWA singing friend”…just the other day.
My standby recipe uses dried apricots and toasted slivered almonds…sometimes I add a few dried cranberries….I have been on a cranberry kick lately.
I couldn’t get enough cranberry-apple drink on the airplane last week….but that is another post!
But I digress, as usual.
The white almond bark is melted and poured onto foil or waxed paper and then I drop the fruit on top and break (or cut) into pieces.
Personally, I like to break the candy….reminds me of peanut brittle.
The other recipe calls for roasted peanuts, chocolate chips and a German chocolate bar and it is all thrown into a crockpot for two hours….no muss, no fuss.
This is a versatile recipe as one can use only white almond bark OR as my “TWA singing friend” suggests, make it even better by using chocolate chips and a candy bar.
I would like to share both of these with you and remember, you can choose any ingredients you like…and just drop them on top of the melted almond bark.
In fact, I am going to have a couple pieces right now!
I will worry about “candy moderation” later!
Do you, my dear readers… have a favorite candy recipe?
- 1 pound of white almond bark
- 1 small package of dried apricots, diced
- 1/4 cup of chopped dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup of roasted slivered almonds
- Chop the apricots and cranberries while the almond bark is melting in the microwave OR in a double boiler on the stove top. (don't let it burn...it will look like it hasn't melted but as soon as you stir it...you will see it is smooth and melted.)
- Use a small nonstick skillet to toast the slivered almonds for about 30 seconds...and then chop into smaller pieces.
- Pour and Spread the melted almond bark onto waxed paper or aluminum foil and immediately drop the fruit and nuts on the top.
- When solid, break apart and serve on a pretty platter.
- I have also mixed the fruit and nuts into the almond bark and that works too...however, I like to place the fruit and nuts on top...makes it prettier!
- Add more or less of the fruits and nuts....your choice!
- 2 pounds of white almond bark
- 12 ounces of chocolate chips
- 24 ounces of roasted peanuts
- 4 ounce German Chocolate Bar
- Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker (crock pot) on low for 1 hour.
- After one hour, stir every 15 minutes for another hour (total cooking time)
- Make sure to combine all the ingredients.
- Drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper and let cool.
- This recipe makes about 48 or more.
- This is so easy and it really tastes good too...just ask the Captain! :)
- If you want to get fancy....you can drop the clusters into little cupcake wrappers....but I like the "globs" of chocolate covered peanuts just waiting to pop into my mouth. :)
Christmas in New York City!
I really do love walking around the streets of New York in December….the hustle and bustle of the busy sidewalks filled with Holiday shoppers!
Just like the song, Silver Bells proclaims:
City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas
Children laughing, people passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you’ll hear
Silver bells, silver bells
It’s Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring
Soon it will be Christmas day
Yes, I know I have told you in previous posts that I shop on-line…and that is true!
I have also confessed that I don’t particularly care for large crowds and that is true too!
Which is why the Captain and I love to make the annual trip to New York City in one of the busiest times of the year.
An oxymoron you say???
The difference is that I get to choose where to walk (not shop with the crowds) as we leisurely walk hand in hand and gaze into the shop windows.
I will never be the one inside a hot store/shop with 5o other shoppers grabbing and clutching for the same sweater or gift.
Ain’t happenin’ !!!
However, the atmosphere is different when one does not have an agenda or shopping list.
Our ONLY agenda is to relax and enjoy ourselves and stay out of the way of the busy shoppers.
Such was our trip to New York City last week.
We try to always go to Radio City Music Hall and watch the Christmas Spectacular Show that is put on by the Rockettes!
And we make it a point to stroll over to Rockefeller Center and watch the ice skaters and admire the huge Christmas Tree.
We also manage to go to a few Broadway Shows, which is always exciting!
Live productions are a must see…it is just not the same on film.
We really get into the spirit of Christmas in New York City.
But, I have to also borrow a fellow Kansan’s famous saying…”there is no place like home”
The Captain and I are always glad to be back in our warm, laid back little city in Florida.
So do you, my dear readers, have a favorite Christmas tradition?
Have a great week!
I am going to sip my hot tea in my Secret Garden and reflect on the sights and sounds of Christmas in New York City.
I really think there will be sugarplums dancing in my head….:)
Who doesn’t love fudge…and if you like peppermint, you should really like this easy peppermint fudge!
This fudge recipe has only three ingredients and takes about 5 minutes to make.
Four ingredients, if you count the crushed peppermint!
First ingredient: Semisweet Chocolate Chips!
Second ingredient: Sweetened Condensed Milk.
Third ingredient: Pure vanilla, Optional.
Fourth ingredient: Peppermint candies, crushed.
Now how easy is that?
And most importantly, it tastes good and rich!
Do you, my dear readers….like to make candy for Christmas?
I certainly do….and my hips and thighs prove it!
Moderation is the key isn’t it?
Of course, moderation is the key to life too!
Have a great week.
- 1 can (14 ounce) of sweetened condensed milk (I use Eagle Brand)
- 1 package (12 ounces) of semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (I use Mexican clear vanilla)
- 8-9 peppermint candies, crushed for the top of the fudge.(you know the kind you sometimes get at restaurants after eating)
- Prepare an 8X8 inch baking dish by lining with foil. Be sure the foil goes up all four sides as this will aid in lifting the fudge from the dish
- Spray the foil with nonstick spray and set aside
- Place the peppermint candies in a sandwich bag and crush with rolling pin or use a heavy pan and set aside.
- In a double boiler, (or microwave) melt the chocolate chips
- Remove from the heat and add in the condensed milk, stirring until incorporated and smooth.
- Stir in the vanilla (if desired)
- Quickly pour the fudge into the prepared dish and sprinkle with the crushed peppermint.
- Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until hardened
- Carefully lift the fudge out of the dish using the foil "handles"..and cut with a sharp knife (I use a bread knife)
- Place on a pretty serving dish...I use a pedestal cake plate.
- Very pretty and looks like Christmas Candy.
- You can also use your microwave to heat your condensed milk and add in the semi sweet chocolate chips
Have you heard that old phrase “If you’re waitin’ on me… you’re backin’ up”?
Humor runs in our family!
well, humor doesn’t actually run …but our family has some pretty funny people! Not in funny, odd…
well, there is that too…
but funny like, making jokes; … not only about the life that surrounds us in our every day living, but we also poke fun and laugh at ourselves!
We often tell someone (family member of course, or those close enough to us to know us, and know that we are joking…we certainly don’t want to offend)…“if you are waiting on me, you are backing up!”…which is a way of saying “I am already way ahead of you”!
However, if it is a family member; we don’t care if we offend them! Just joking!
Another example: Have you ever been in a rush to do something, say something as simple as to hurry out the door to an appointment?
AND you are running a bit late….finding keys… or forms you have filled out… or anything like that…and a family member or pet keeps getting in your way and under foot as you rush about?
If I am the one rushing, I am likely to say to the one in my way…“you are a nickel holding up a dollar” which of course, is implying that I, (and my task), is more important than the person or the obstacle in my path.
Keep in mind that this is never said angrily…always with humor and a smile!
(You know and I know that the focus should be on why I am running late…which is my fault, for not starting earlier….. yada yada yada)!
Our family uses phrases from famous, and maybe not so famous, movies to illustrate a point we are trying to make… and by interjecting a serious phrase or line in a situation..it not only diffuses an awkward situation, it brings humor to lighten things up.
One phrase is: “Luuuceee, you got some ‘splainin to do!” if we come upon a broken dish or the dishwasher was not emptied as promised!
( I am sure you recognize this phrase from the “I love Lucy” television show)
Or we might say, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat”...if we find a task we are doing together needs another tool or something bigger.
(I am also sure you recognize this phrase from the movie “Jaws”!
Or…we use the phrase “I can’t consencrate” …true, it isn’t even a word, ….but one time, a long time ago…. someone in our family mispronounced the word “concentrate” …and so now we use the word consencrate in place of concentrate as a standard phrase in our family.
The only problem with these little phrases is …if you say them in front of strangers or even some acquaintances….they look at you funny!
And that is funny in itself…and we laugh at that!
As this Holiday Season moves forward….and it is really moving fast,….. if we can laugh, it makes for a ho! ho! ho!, Merry, Merry Season!
Do you have any funny phrases that your family uses?
Thanks for hangin’ in there with me as I celebrate one full year of writing this Blog!
I luv all of you!
Chicken ‘N Orange Sauce is one of my favorite dishes when eating out…especially if it is that restaurant with the large trojan looking horse out front.
But, I have put together the simple ingredients to make a chicken in orange sauce that I like as well if not better than the restaurant version.
The first thing I did a bit differently is that I used chicken thighs instead of breasts!
If you have followed my posts, you will remember that I prefer the thighs (more flavor)… but you can certainly use the breast of the chicken.
To each his own, I always say….;) sometimes! Often! Oh well, you get the picture!
The second thing I did is I used a egg white and cornstarch coating for the chicken in place of a thick, batter coating…sort of a healthier version.
The coating is not hard and crunchy, but a more delicate coating… which makes the chicken chunks very light and perfect if you ask me.
Or there it is if you didn’t ask me….
You will have to forgive my humor this afternoon….for some reason I am just giddy!
I think it is because of the trick I am playing on the Captain…but that is for another post!
Sorry, for the teaser….but it is an on-going little game that I am playing for the Holidays!
But I digress…..again…what else is new?
Sometimes, I serve this chicken ‘N orange sauce with a light garden salad and sometimes I add fried rice, brown rice or just plain white rice.
Whatever is your fancy.
Do you, my dear readers…like the types of food that comes from the restaurant with the horse in the front?
If so, I think you will like this recipe.
Have a great Day!
- Peanut Oil
- 4 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 boneless and skinless chicken thighs (you can use breasts if you prefer)
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 clove grated garlic,
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cold water
- zest of 1 orange for sauce and garnish
- 2 green onions
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and egg whites with a fork until almost frothy, about 1 minute.
- Add the chicken (cut into bite size chunks) to the mixture, toss the pieces around and allow to sit for about 5 minutes before frying.
- In a non stick skillet, combine the orange juice, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, orange zest and ginger and heat until beginning to boil and thicken.
- Remove from heat and set aside while you fry the chicken chunks.
- In a heavy pot (or your deep fry cooker)...add enough oil to deep fry the chicken chunks.
- Oil should be heated to about 350 degrees
- Using a slotted spoon or spatula, carefully drop a few pieces of chicken into the hot oil a few pieces at a time.(give them plenty of room to keep them from sticking to each other)
- Move the chicken chunks around with tongs or spoon for about 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is the desired golden color.
- Drain the cooked chicken on paper towels until most of the grease is absorbed.
- Place the skillet of orange sauce back on the burner and bring to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the cold water and cornstarch to make a slurry (like for gravy) and add the slurry to the sauce mixture in the skillet.Stir until the sauce is beginning to thicken.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add the chicken chunks to the sauce and stir to coat the pieces. (this is why a non stick skillet is important...you get every bit of sauce on the chicken instead of leaving it in the skillet)
- Grate a little orange zest over the top and add some sliced green onions and serve.
- The reason there are two cornstarch ingredients is because you will use the cornstarch in the egg whites to coat the chicken and in the orange sauce to thicken the sauce.
- I like to serve this with grated orange zest and a few green onions on the top...(use the spring onion's green part....it is not as strong of an onion taste, yet gives just the right amount of flavor.
- If your sauce gets too thick, just add more cold water. It the sauce is too thin...add a little more of the slurry mixture to thicken to desired thickness.
Chipotle Adobo Chile!
When I lived in New Mexico, I learned how to make so many really flavorful dishes!
I thought I liked and could eat “spicy hot” foods…. but I have to confess that the foods I thought were spicy hot…were really quite mild.
When the Captain and I go to a Mexican restaurant, we always ask for the really hot salsa….and let the server take the tomato-ey salsa back to the kitchen.
This chile is one of the Captain’s favorites….and of course, I love it too.
All the ingredients are just a little different than the chili you are most likely familiar with.
You can adjust the hotness by using fewer chipotle peppers and reducing the chile powder if you prefer a more mild chile.
This Chipotle Adobo Chile is great because it can be used in so many ways….it can be a dip for tortilla chips, a filling for tacos, (soft and crispy shells).
It can also be used for a topping for nachos.
So make a big batch of it and use it for other meals.
And it freezes well too.
Do you my dear readers like your chile spicy hot…or do you prefer a milder chile?
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds of lean ground sirloin
- 1 bottle of your favorite beer
- 1 14 ounce can tomatoes, diced
- 1 small can (14 ounces) of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 can (16 ounces) ranch Style beans
- 1 can (14 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
- juice of 1 lime for serving
- dollop of sour cream for topping
- grated cheddar cheese for topping
- cilantro, chopped leaves or leave whole
- lime slices
- Add a little olive oil to heavy dutch oven and brown the ground meat, onions and garlic, stirring to assure that the pink if no longer visible.
- Add the bottle of beer to glaze the pot (stirring the bottom bits)
- Add the drained black beans and the ranch style beans that have not been drained.
- Add the diced tomatoes and stir well.
- Add the chopped chipotles AND the adobo sauce in the can.
- Sprinkle in the chipotle powder, chili powder and cumin.
- Cover and simmer for about an hour.
- The chile should be very thick, but if it is not...use a little water with a teaspoon of cornstarch, making a slurry and add to the chile.
- Squeeze in the lime juice and serve with sour cream, grated cheese and cilantro for garnish.
- This is one of the Captain's and mine.....favorites.
Sky City…Acoma Pueblo…New Mexico!
While living in New Mexico. I discovered so many beautiful and unique places to visit.
I love New Mexico and I would like to share some of it with you, my dear readers.
Did you know there are ice caves in New Mexico? Yes, there are …and I will share that with you on another post.
Today I want to talk about Sky City, the Acoma Pueblo.
One summer, Only daughter and my two beautiful granddaughters visited me in New Mexico and I took them to see Sky City, the Acoma Pueblo.
The Pueblo is over 1200 years old and lies on a 365-foot high mesa… about 60 miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The mesa gave protection for the Acoma community from the other Indian tribes, the Navajos and Apaches.
Originally, the only way up to the pueblo atop the mesa, was to walk up makeshift stairs made of rock.
In 1929, the film Red Skin asked permission to build a road to the top so their production crews could get all their equipment up top.
It is the only existing road to this day, but is only used for shuttle tour vans for the tourists.
After visiting the pueblo, one can choose to ride down in the van or walk down ….as Only daughter, granddaughters and I chose to do….and one did have to be careful walking down.
Only daughter and myself found it very interesting to learn that the San Estevan Del Rey Mission Church was built somewhere between 1629 and 1641 and all the materials were hauled up the mesa by the people.
This meant that the ponderosa pine was brought from Mount Taylor, which is over 40 miles away….and 20,000 tons of adobe, straw, mud and sandstone were moved up the Mesa to form the church walls. It took 12 years to build the church.
Inside the church, the alter is flanked by 60 foot high wood poles. The roof is adobe with wooden beams called vigas, that span the 40 foot wide ceiling!
This photo is from the cultural center at the base of the mesa and shows the church as it was in 1902.
Today, this is what the church looks like.
In 1970, the 6,000 square foot building was added to the National Register of Historic Places and in 2007 it became the 28th designated National Trust Historic Site…the only Native American site designated with that title..
The Acoma people are a simple people who farm the valleys below their dwellings.
Their livestock pens are at the base of the mesa.
They also sell Acoma pottery and jewelry to the tourists who visit their mesa.
They also bake in their outdoor ovens called a horno! (I have actually baked in a horno and it is much like a pizza oven.)
If you ever get a chance to visit Sky City, please do so. It feels like one has gone back in time to a simpler, more peaceful time.
Although I really wouldn’t want to be the one carrying all that building material up a 365 foot incline.
I have issues with carrying my groceries into the kitchen from my garage.
That is what “Captains” are for, aren’t they?
Enjoy your Monday!
Reflecting….The Beauty of Churches!
We all know the Reason for the Season….and we all worship in different ways.
I came across some wonderful pictures of churches from around the world and here in the United States.
Some of these are such masterpieces of architectural design.
And some are just very simple.
Some, I am sure you will recognize instantly…others, perhaps you have actually visited.
Yosemite Valley Chapel, Yosemite National Park, California
St. Vinzenz Church, Heiligenblut, Austria
Nuestra Nenora de Gracia, Nuenca, Spain
Lutheran Church of Hallgrimur, Iceland
Heddal Stave Church, Norway
Basilica of the National Vow, Quito, Ecuador
Salisbury Cathedral, Britian
St. Bartholoma, Lake Konigssee, Germany
Air Force Academy, Colorado springs, Colorado
There are many more beautiful churches from around the world, perhaps you, my dear readers have some pictures you would like to share or mention?
Have a great week-end!
Wanna Know How Many Games There Are?
For non-sports fans, I thought you might want to know!
Twin number two is a big Nascar fan (that season is over) and his spouse counts the days until the Nascar season ends!
Soooo, my dear readers…Baseball season is over….Football season is winding down….and NCAA basketball is getting into full swing!
My Kansas City Sports teams have really stepped up to the plate….so to speak!
The KC Royals made it all the way to the World Series, it only took 29 years to get back there, but they certainly made us proud this year. (FYI…Baseball has 162 games in a season and that season is over)
The KC Chiefs started a bit slow but gained a bit of momentum…they were first place in their division, but now they are struggling to get a wild card spot in the play-offs. ;(
The NFL plays 16 regular season games, with a couple preseason games thrown in…and the regular season ends on Dec 28th….with the Super Bowl played on Feb 1st.
So now it is college basketball…with a game every 3 days (or so) through March!
There are 31 regular season games played in college basketball, right up to the tournament play beginning March 17. The Final Four will be played April 4-6th!
The Jayhawks (KU) have lost only one game (so far) ….losing to another blue and white team, Kentucky….or UK.
Yes, it can get confusing!
So far in this season, the Kansas Jayhawks have won 7 games and lost one …they play again tonight AND they play the Florida Gators…in Lawrence, Kansas!
No, I don’t cheer for Florida teams….I am a die-hard Kansas Sports Team Fan!
So if you do not care too much for sports…you can mark your calendars as to the ends of the sports season.
I mark my calendar noting all the games played and yet to play!
But I am weird…I’ve told you that before!
Rock Chalk Jayhawk!