Tuesday Tunes – “If I Needed You”

Something pretty for an October day:
This beautiful arrangement of Towles van Zandt’s original is from Lyle Lovett’s “Step Inside This House” album (available in CD or MP3 format).

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Sunday Funnies – Happy Mother-In-Law Day!

Yes, Virginia, there IS a “Mother-In-Law Day” – who knew?

It seems that since 1934, the fourth Sunday in October has been designated as the day when we honor the women who have been the target of a lot of good-natured ribbing through the years.

Paul and I are both lucky – we have great mothers-in-law, and we love them very, very much.

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Foodie Friday – Caramel Corn

Caramel Corn 1
With Halloween only a week away, I thought it would be fun to post a recipe for Caramel Corn.  I got this recipe from an old booklet that’s been in my kitchen for over 30 years – it’s so old, in fact, that it pre-dates microwave popcorn….

This recipe reminds me of Cracker Jack – but there’s a lot more to go around 😛

Midway Caramel Corn

(For a pictoral walk-through, Joe Pastry has a fantastic tutorial at his site – his method is slightly different from this recipe, but it’s a great reference!)

5 qt. popped corn
1 c. butter (2 sticks)
2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. toasted nuts (optional) – salted Spanish peanuts work well

Preheat oven to 250F.
Combine butter, sugar, syrup, and salt in 2-qt. heavy saucepan over medium heat.
Stir until sugar dissolves, then continue to boil/stir to firm ball stage (248F).
Remove from heat and stir in soda (mixture will foam up).
Pour hot syrup over popped corn and nuts, stirring to combine well.
Pour out onto baking sheets; bake in oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15-20 minutes.
Cool thoroughly and store in airtight containers in cool place.

Makes about 5 quarts.

Caramel Corn 9.

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Happy Birthday, Rachel!

It was 34 years ago today that our lives changed in the space of an instant. One second we were a couple, and the next we were a family. It still never ceases to amaze me how seamlessly that transition occurred, and how it felt like things had always been that way.


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Tuesday Tunes – “Claire de Lune”

Claire de Lune 2.

If you ever have a stressful day, this tune is a wonderful tonic…

This is a lovely arrangement of Claude Debussy’s hauntingly beautiful “Claire de Lune” performed on a 10-string guitar – I heard a version of this on the “Falling Skies” episode titled “Young Bloods”. I don’t know if this is the one that was used in the show***, but it’s close enough.

I have only ever heard this done as a piano solo or in a symphonic setting, so this was quite a treat:

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Where There’s Smoke…..

Happy Birthday to me:

A fireman, a kitten, and margaritas.

I’d better go check on that fire that I set earlier smell in the back yard…..

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Foodie Friday: Easy as (Buttermilk) Pie

Whenever we go to visit Paul’s mom, we know that there is always going to be pie.

Mary has these wonderful old cookbooks filled with recipes from long ago – all of those little “church” and “small town” cookbooks fit into one of her kitchen drawers. All of the recipes that Paul and his siblings grew up on are in that little drawer, and now that all of them are grown, those recipes have been copied and taken to new homes.

While Paul is perfectly happy with just pouring a can of cherry pie filling into a crust and calling it a day, I fell in love with the buttermilk pie that Mary makes – it’s sweet and lemony and oh-so-good.

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“Teresa” – A Forgotten (and Not-So-Golden) Oldie

Teresa Wright 45

The lovely actress Teresa Wright

Growing up, I always wondered why my parents had named me “Teresa“. It isn’t a particularly common name (“Theresa” did make it to #65 in 1950); I lost track of the number of “Mary”s I grew up with, however!

The only other girl I knew in Elementary School who shared my name was a friend’s little sister – she was the 3rd or 4th daughter in a Catholic family, and I remember thinking that they must have run out of names by the time she came along (come to think of it, “Teresa” was her middle name; three guesses what her first name was….)

Don’t get me wrong – I like my name; it’s just that I never really had anything that I could point to as a kid and say, “Hey, look – there’s my name!” (that all changed in 1988, when Mattel introduced their “Teresa” Barbie, but by that time I was already a mom).

Teresa Barbie 7

She’s been glammed up a bit since she was first introduced

When we went on vacation, my sister (Beverly) and I would always look for something with our name on it – a cheap license plate, a mug, a thimble, a necklace, etc. Bev lucked out more often than I did.  Most of the time there was a space – and sometimes even a product – for “Terry” (which, I’m told, was originally going to be my name, until I was born; Mom took one look at me and declared that I “didn’t look like a Terry”, so “Teresa” I became) or “Theresa”, but very rarely was there a spot for something with a “Teresa” on it.

And when there was, it was ALWAYS empty. Apparently all of the other “Teresa”s had gotten there before me….

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Sunday Funnies – A Light-Hearted Tribute to Chick-Fil-A

My friend Bob passed these along a while back (go pee first….):

Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays 😦 , so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to get yourself some of that yummy goodness (it’s worth the wait…).

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Foodie Friday: Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

chicken and dumplings ladle
Yield: serves 4-6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8.5 hours

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