Thursday, November 29, 2007

Miss Slippers

Oh my goodness, what a big yawn for such a little girl!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Turkey Soup

One of the best things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers. Though we always celebrate the holiday at mom and dad's house, I am usually the happy recipient of the turkey carcass which, within the next day or two, will flavor a huge pot of turkey soup.

Such was the case this year. Saturday while I was cleaning the sideboard, I put a huge stock pot on the stove and started the soup - Saturday night's dinner. Turkey soup is easy to make, and so delicious! Both Kevin and I love soup. It's truly a comfort food for us. A big bowl of steaming soup, a fresh loaf of bread and sweet THAT'S a meal!

Now Weir Cooking Turkey Soup

2 medium onions, diced
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4" coins
1 celery heart, plus 2 stalks, coarsely chopped (include leaves)
5 14 oz. cans chicken broth
2 cups water
2 1/2 cups diced leftover turkey
2 cups dried egg noodles
1 turkey carcass
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt if desired
Dash of sage

Place oil in stock pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they're just beginning to soften. Add carrots and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add celery; stir to combine and cook for 1 more minute. Place turkey carcass in pot. Pour chicken broth and water in the pot over the carcass. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove turkey carcass. Add diced turkey and egg noodles. Sprinkle dash of sage and add salt if desired. Cook until noodles are al dente. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Honey, let's paint the kitchen..."

"Honey," he said, "let's paint the kitchen." Ugh. Yes, I'd love for it to be painted, I thought -- but the mess! "Now is the perfect time," he continued cautiously, "I have the free time and it could really use it." I know, I know...but the mess! "How about if we just take a look at some paint colors?" Well, that's the kiss of death. Which, of course, he knew all too well. "It won't take that long, and it will be done for our Christmast caroling party! Besides, I can do all the work, and you can decorate." Now, that's a low KNOW I love to decorate! Okay, okay - you win...but the mess! Ahhh yes, but RESULTS!!



Well, when you're right, you're right. It was definitely in need. Honey, you did a wonderful job, and I'm so grateful. How grateful? I didn't mind the mess! Well, not too much. And I had fun decorating!

Foothills at Dusk

I love living at the foothills of the mountains. It's such a wonderful backdrop -- either at dusk like this, or sometimes when there's a light dusting of snow. This photo is actually taken from my parents' front yard. They live at the foothills, too, but two towns over. Hi mom and dad!

Monday, November 26, 2007


Same tree, but different years produce different results. This year our avocado tree has been prolific! We can't keep up with all of the avocados being harvested. We share them with family and friends, and still the tree is loaded. The avocados are delicious - smooth and buttery. They do take a while to ripen (avocados don't begin to ripen until picked), but they're well worth the wait!

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!

I love fall. It's my favorite time of year. This year we had the most wonderful pumpkins! They were the perfect shapes and the most wonderful, vibrant orange. We had five sitting on the front porch - so charming! They proudly greeted Trick-or-Treaters and withstood some blustery days and nights like little orange soldiers. However, now it's time to say goodbye to the pumpkins and start decorating for the winter holidays. Yesterday Kevin and I began hanging garland and Christmas lights, so it was time to move the pumpkins. Before I moved them from the porch (actually, I wasn't ready to part with them completely - I moved them to a different area...shhhhhhh!), I snapped a few photos.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Straightening the Sideboard

Inspired by a recent article in Martha Stewart 'Living' magazine (November 2007 issue), I decided to enjoy some 'me' time this afternoon and tidy up my sideboard and china cabinet drawers. I so enjoy doing these types of chores; they give me such a sense of accomplishment. Not to mention the fact that I love looking at my treasures and remembering how I acquired them.

Doilies and small linens together with neatly wrapped table runners.

Nicely folded napkins and a selection of placemats all rolled up, ready for use at a moment's notice.

Candles and other 'essentials' at the ready.

And just for good measure, a photo of the glass enclosed china cabinet which used to belong to my grandmother (as did the sideboard).

As it happens, making the decision to tidy one drawer led to tidying up all of the drawers. Plus the small cupboards of the sideboard. Which, of course, led to straightening the tall kitchen pantry filled with plasticware, dishtowels, food storage wraps and what not. All in all, I had a wonderful afternoon of domestic bliss.

Making Peanut Brittle - a Family Tradition

Peanut brittle. It's a family tradition to make peanut brittle at mom and dad's house the day after Thanksgiving. The Maxwell women have been doing this for years and will continue (God willing) to do so for many, many more years to come. Making peanut brittle isn't difficult -- a bit time consuming, but certaily not difficult. This year, due to a very full schedule, my sister wasn't able to join us. But she was there in spirit!! Mom and I started about 9:30, refreshed and ready to go!

Assemble all of the ingredients. Check.

Cook the candy. Check.

Spread it out and let it cool. Check.

Break it up into lots of bite-sized pieces. Double check.

Place said bite-sized pieces into goodie bags....

And we're done!!

See - simple, right? Seven hours, fifteen pounds of sugar, eleven packages of peanuts, six bottles of Karo syrup...and 44 individual bags of peanut brittle later. It's a rich tradition filled with love, and many wonderful memories, that I wouldn't trade for the world. Give me another year to rest up, and I'll be ready for the next batch of peanut brittle.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

'Rescued' Linens

I've been having so much fun lately adding to my stash of vintage linens! I've bought a few old Christmas tablecloths -- I love the fun prints on these. So kitschy! And a few red and white and green and white doilies which I'll use to wrap a few Christmas gifts (ornaments). I also found a precious organza apron - in perfect condition! - at my favorite thrift store. It's so pretty in blues and greens. Scrumptuous! The best part? It was such an inexpensive treasure.

Now, I'm just waiting for my lot of vintage, hand embroidered aprons to arrive... I can hardly wait!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Christopher Robin and Pooh

Winnie the Pooh. In New York City. And all this time I thought he was a country sort of bear. Kevin and I happened onto this exhibit at the New York Public library while we were traveling in July. It's the stuffed bear that the original Winnie the Pooh character was based on, and some of his pals, too. What a happy find!


Baseball. At Pepperdine. In November. Just one of the many reasons I loving living in Southern California. Well, that and the man behind home plate.