I have always had a love of art, and when I discovered several years ago that I could turn my photos into a painting, I had a blast. As apps have improved, I couldn't wait to try the latest. I used ArtCard on a few of my favorite photos.
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Monday, January 30, 2023
Crispy Parmesan Potatoes
Calories per serving: 176
1/3 cup pre-grated Parmesan cheese (see in notes)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons melted, salted butter divided
2 pounds baby potatoes halved lengthwise
Optional garnish and serving suggestion:
2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
2/3 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 400˚F.
In a small bowl stir together cheese, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper.
Brush 1 tablespoon melted butter into the bottom of a glass 10”x14” baking dish.
Sprinkle cheese mixture evenly over brushed butter, in the baking dish.
Press cut-side of potatoes into the cheese mixture (trying not to move the potatoes once they are set down).
Carefully brush tops of potatoes with remaining butter and season with salt if you want(but I found that the extra salt isn’t needed due to the salt in the butter and cheese).
Roast potatoes for 28-32 minutes or until tops have wrinkled and potatoes are just fork tender.
Remove from oven and break apart any Parmesan crisp pieces connecting the potatoes together.
Transfer potatoes to a platter and top with chives. Serve with sour cream for dipping if you want!
Pre-grated Parmesan cheese that you find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Do not freshly grate the Parmesan for this recipe. The pre-grated Parmesan melts and sticks to the potatoes the best and creates the best cheese blanket, which is just what you want! (Denise's note: I grated my Parmesan using a microplaner similar to this one. I would be interested in using the pregrated product to see the difference, but I was very happy with the way mine turned out.)
Press the potatoes into the Parmesan mixture, don’t move them around. This will ensure a full and even coating of the Parmesan is crusted onto the potatoes.
It’s important to use potatoes similar in size for this dish to ensure even roasting.
Add some herbs and/or other spices to the Parmesan mixture. we like adding cumin for a smoky kick or rosemary and thyme for an earthy flavor!
Add a teaspoon of honey to the remaining butter mixture for a sweet touch.
Serve the potatoes with ketchup, ranch, bbq sauce, or honey mustard instead of sour cream for dipping.
The potatoes really taste the best when they’re eaten fresh from the oven, but if you have leftovers, you can reheat them in the oven.
To reheat the potatoes:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place Parmesan potatoes in a baking dish, cut-side down and cover baking dish tightly with foil. Roast for 10 minutes until heated through. Uncover and flip potatoes so they’re cut-side up. Lightly sprinkle with a little more Parmesan, salt and pepper. Continue to roast for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and enjoy!
Saturday, January 28, 2023
To this he replied,
“I worked so hard
To store up my food,
I buried it in a
Said this sad little soul.
“How long has it been?”
Said I to this sad little face
“Quite a while “ he said
With barely a squeak,
“As I don’t remember this
Wood when I fell asleep.”
I said, “Your brother
must be Rip Van Winkle
My dear little friend.”
And I said as a tease,
“All those nuts that you buried.
Are now very big trees.
You’ll have nuts a plenty
But next time you bury,
And from one nut to another,
May I suggest
With not as must jest,
You make an extra large map,
And mark each hole
With a very large ‘x’!”
In the meantime this dear little squirrel won't have to put up with my poor prose, as I keep filling up the feeder in which to bury her nose - ahhhhh!!!!!
And patiently wait I for the little birds to appear, when squirrel has had her fill for never fear, she will be feeding her own babies in the spring of the year.
Welcome to one and all to my feeder I say, room enough to go around on this kind of day.
And now I leave so that you can stop your groaning, I say. Denise is feeling better and will be out of the house for the rest of the day.
The sniffles have almost gone, no more time on her hands to mope, for there are lots of lovely things with her camera to be found, now that she is no longer cabin and fever bound.
Prose over and done!
(This is one from a while ago and though I was under the weather at the time of writing, I am perfectly free of sniffles.)
Friday, January 27, 2023
I felt like sharing a few flowers today. It was a chilly 48 deg. F (9 deg. C). Not as cold as some have it in parts of the world but enough for me to start thinking of spring and how lovely it will be to see the first flowers. That led me to looking for a few favorite photos, three of which you are seeing today. I hope they bring a smile. These pretty yellow flowers were found on one of our road trips several years ago. We were driving through the Little Missouri National Grasslands in the western part of North Dakota. They are called Curlycup gumweed, also known as Gum-weed, Pitch weed, Broad leaved gum plant, Tarweed, Sticky heads, Gum plant and Rosinweed, to name a few. Their botanical name is Grindelia squarrosa. It is a small biennial plant native to North America.
Thursday, January 26, 2023
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
"When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying, 'You’re too this' or 'I’m too this.' That judging mind comes in. So, I practice turning people into trees - which means appreciating them just the way they are."
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
I thought this was worth sharing. I found it on our local neighborhood app.
Monday, January 23, 2023
Chicken and Stuffing Casserole - 8 servings
Calories per serving: 153
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 box stuffing mix (or make your own homemade favorite)
2½ cups mixed frozen vegetables (defrosted and drained of any liquid)
Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a 9×13 pan.
Prepare the stuffing mix as per the package directions. Set aside.
In a separate bowl add the chicken, cream of chicken soup, cream of celery soup, and stir well to combine.
Add the vegetables to the chicken mix and stir gently.
Pour the chicken and vegetable mix into the greased 9×13 pan. Top with the stuffing mixture.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and topping is browned.
Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Top with parsley for garnish.
For those who don't like using canned soups because of high sodium, etc., I have included substitutions below and links provided in titles.
Author: Stephanie Manley
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped celery
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups whole milk
In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat combine butter and chopped onion. Cook until onion becomes translucent. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the onions when cooking them. Add 2 cups chopped celery to the onions and stir for a moment or two. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the pot and cook for about a minute. Cook the flour until it becomes fragrant like pie crust.
Add about 1/2 cup of milk to the pot and stir until the soup begins to thicken. Then add another 1/2 of milk and stir until the soup begins to thicken. Add the remaining milk in 1/2 cups increments until all of the milk is used. Turn the soup down to low, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the celery becomes soft and tender. You may want to garnish the soup with some chopped celery, or even croutons when you are ready to serve.
"You can make this soup in about 25 minutes.
Easy to make and so much healthier than anything you can find in a can, this creamy celery soup will take your tuna noodle casserole or scalloped potatoes to the next level. The next time you need cream of celery soup for your favorite recipe, skip the trip to the store and try this recipe instead!"
(I have not tried these yet but they sound very good and will make them at some point.)
"Want to make a vegan cream of celery soup?
Swap out the butter for your favorite butter substitute, and swap out the whole milk for unflavored almond milk or cashew milk.
Serve it immediately with hot bread and butter (or add to casserole when ready).
Serve as a first course instead of a salad for dinner.
Cut the fat and calories. Make a healthy celery soup by switching to low-fat milk and margarine.
Make it a meal. Serve with croutons and bacon bits to turn the creamy celery soup into a light dinner, meatless Monday.
How to Store and Reheat
You will want to serve any leftover portions in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. They will last 3 to 5 days. I recommend heating it up in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat. You may need to add a bit of milk as the soup can become thick when left in the refrigerator.
This soup freezes well. So you can freeze any leftover portions in an air-tight container or vacuum-sealed bag in the freezer. This will last in your freezer for up to three months. When you want to reheat the frozen soup, I recommend thawing completely and then heating up the soup in a pan on the stovetop.
I hope you give this recipe a try! I think you will be amazed at the great flavor, I bet you will think this is the best cream of celery soup recipe."
Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute by Lauren Allen
1 cup milk, cold
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon paste , or one cube
1/2 teaspoon salt
⅛ freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
⅛ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
In a small saucepan whisk together milk and cornstarch. Add butter, bouillon, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and parsley.
Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Once boiling, simmer for 30 more seconds to thicken.
Use in recipes to replace one (10.75 oz) can of cream of (anything) soup.
*Makes the equivalent of one (10.75 oz) can.
Make Ahead Instructions: This recipe is so easy to make ahead for an even faster dinner. Make the recipe as directed, and keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Freezing Instructions: The texture may change a little bit through the freezing/thawing process. Store in a freezer safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw completely in the fridge before using in a recipe.
Cream of Mushroom: Stir in one (4 oz) can of mushroom pieces to the finished recipe. Use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken, if desired.
Cream of Celery: Stir in ½ cup sautéed, chopped celery to the finished recipe. Use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken, if desired.
Cream of Broccoli: Stir in ½ cup of finely diced steamed broccoli. Use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken, if desired.
Add Chicken: Stir in chopped cooked chicken at the end, if desired.
Dairy-Free: Use dairy-free butter, and your favorite plant based milk. The flavor will be a little different depending on what milk you use.
I didn't change anything from my recipe. Our veggie combination was carrots and peas. It was excellent and my dear other half wants it again this week. We had lefovers for other meals.
I served it with a fresh spinach salad, with the following added. All very simple.
A few Mozzarella cheese balls, the small kind, or diced regular
Sprinkled with a few chopped walnuts over the salad
For my dressing I put a dash of low sodium soy sauce mixed with a teaspoon of sesame oil.
That's it! Thanks for looking and
Saturday, January 21, 2023
Friday, January 20, 2023
It has been a long time since I was in Virginia Beach, not in the last two or three years at least. These photos were actually taken on a previous trip to that, in October 2009, from our hotel balcony.