Friday, November 30, 2007

Favorite Ingredients Friday- Casserole Edition

Overwhelmed With Joy is hosting Favorite Ingredient Friday, the Casserole Edition.  I love the easiness of this breakfast casserole especially when we have company.  We serve with salsa and sour cream.  Sisters please participate...I need more ideas.

Breakfast Sausage Casserole

1 pkg. (12 oz.) fresh breakfast sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled
4 cups cubed day-old bread
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cans (12 fl. oz. each)  evaporated milk
10 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 green onions, diced
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Ground black pepper to taste

GREASE 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Place bread in prepared baking dish.
Sprinkle with cheese. Combine evaporated milk, eggs, green onions, dry mustard,
onion powder and pepper in medium bowl. Pour evenly over bread and
cheese. Sprinkle with sausage. Cover; refrigerate overnight.

PREHEAT oven to 325°F.

BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Cover
with foil if top browns too quickly.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Belated Thanksgiving Greeting

We had a very good Thanksgiving weekend. The Evans family (25 all together) gathered at our home for food and family. Cooking for a large group is usually not a problem for me. I guess you could say that growing up in a large family I really didn't know the difference. I remember peeling potatoes for an hour when we were fixing dinner as a kid and doing dishes by hand.....don't get me started there. We stood for hours washing, drying and of course fighting over who's turn it was to wash or dry. During a teenage period of wise mouthing our mom, I witnessed mom throwing a jar of something at Barb and I think it landed in the dish water. Barb just kept washing the dishes like nothing had happened. I still have that picture in my head and laugh each time I think of it. Of course it is funny to me since it wasn't me that it happened to.

Things were going well. I even thought we would be on time which is not really an Evans thing to do. As I am working away I look over at the oven and notice that the juices of the turkey don't seem to be bubbling and ask Dave to check the thermometer. Still at the same temperature as a couple of hours ago. Hmmmm! We check the oven and determine that it isn't working for some reason. But we have double ovens so we pulled it out and put it in the top oven. As embarrassed as I am to say this, after we tested the ovens later, I realized that I had reset the oven to a hotter temperature during cooking and accidentally reset the wrong oven. So instead of 4:00 dinner we ate at around 7:30.

Don't look at me like that!

Dave's parents, Max and Delpha or Grandad Max and GG (for Great Grandma). Sweetest couple and have put up with a lot of antics over the years.

Look here. Wonder what all the Evans guys are doing here. Nothing like being obvious about dessert time.

Little pregnant Jill eating and reading. Nothing like a good long weekend with good food and time to read and relax.

I love this picture of the cousins.
By black Friday here is what I looked like. No shopping for me. I stayed home and cried over my aching feet.

Saturday and Sunday we spent the days and evenings with Lacy and Greg, friends from our home town. They were in town for some work Greg was going to do in Corvallis and so we were able to catch up and tour King Estate Winery and have a late lunch at the new restaurant they opened. We had a busy but wonderful long weekend.

Hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Blue Sky and White Paint

This is what I woke up to this morning. Isn't it wonderful? Blue sky and sunshine. We have had gray clouds and rain for several days now and this felt so good to see. My brother-in-law, Tony let me borrow his camera to see if I liked this model. I am getting ready to purchase a new camera and I have changed my mind oh about twenty times about which model to get. This is my 50th birthday gift only almost three months late. I think his model took a pretty decent photo. The only thing is that I want an image stabilizer and this model doesn't have one. I am still thinking of a Nikon D40 but then I wouldn't have the video capability. Oh I don't know.

What have I been doing for the past week? Well our kitchen cabinets needed a fresh coat of paint and so I have been slowly painting these when the little guys aren't around. But I am finding that Dave being around is almost as bad as the two-year-old babies. I have had to touch up butt prints (or I should clarify that....jeans prints) a couple of times when he leaned into them.

Never mind about the stuff on my counter tops. I am painting I said. I don't have time to tidy up when I am painting. Stop nagging me sisters.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

We Could ALL Use Some Help!!!!!

OK, OK - so here's the deal (by the way, your love and support means more to me than you guys will ever know) Picture number 1 - Yes, indeed - that is my handsome, strapping young son and beautiful little tease of a daughter; 2 - I, as you can see, had already begun my beauty career, I was poised and ready to begin (although I do believe I had delusions of being a beauty queen, but those soon fell by the wayside), while I obviously had begun my hair stylists career with critiquing your bang cut. I obviously had some "clean up" to do after the boys had cut your bangs while you slept. I think in retrospect I should have utilized a better guide in "straightening" your bangs. On the other hand, just look at that beautiful curler set. Now as far as Barb goes, she was patiently awaiting her turn for me to delve into the unknown and fix er up good and purty, but then who could blame her for having a do like that with all us siblings to contend with. Then there is John and Dave. Just look at those side walls will ya. I started young but dang don't you think I was good hmmm? And there is little Patty Haw. You can tell she just happened to be there and I was able to fix her up good too!!! Now on to 3. Brian, Brian, Brian - it just so happened as part of my Cosmetology course I took wiggery and that included taupe! You lucky boy - I just know I could fix you up good. I am just trying to imagine you with an Afro - could be kind of cute! Now for Jill, Kelli and their friend. It just so happened that on the day they came to see me I was able to make a miraculous "make-over" and you now have before you the beautiful little princesses that everyone knows. Don't you think they have come a long way from their former selves? And Jilly Bean - you know when you ask me to give you a hair color that no one else had - I was able to accomplish it on the first try. And who better to practice the tricks (or treats) of the trade than on family - hmmmmmmmm. Now for the last but not least picture of my beautiful sister - Vonda. You know I could really never improve on your natural beauty but come on in to the shop and I will provide a wonderful makeover, facial included, for you at no charge. I bet I could even give you a color like no one elses. It does appear though, that you could use an eyebrow wax. Maybe Barb could get a lip wax at the same time. What do you think? Kris, I am sorry I was never able to practice on you but once I have a shop, come on in and I'll fix you right up. All kidding aside - I love you all. Thank you!

Friday, November 16, 2007

My Little Family Needs Help

Help that is, from Loretta. She just passed all her exams and is now a full fledged, licensed Aesthetician, beautician and soon to be nail technician. Here she is with her strapping beefed up son and cute little daughter. Congratulations Loretta! We are all so very proud of you and the hard work you have done to get where you are. It isn't easy to go back and completely change your career at this time in your life and do something that you absolutely love. I know I admire you for doing this.

Now to get down to business. Here we are with two of our brothers and our cousin many years ago at our grandmothers house. It looks like maybe Barb could use a few styling tips from Loretta for her hair. Notice how neat and tidy Loretta looks while Barb looks wild. Of course my hair was styled by our mom. Or maybe that was Loretta while I slept. She practiced a lot!

Here we have Brian. Loretta, do you think you could do something? He seems to be lacking a hair or two. In fact that glare off the top of his head makes his face fade into the background. Maybe you could just buff it up a bit.

Oh my. Here Kelli and Jill along with a good friend of theirs, Dez are in dire need of some fashion and styling. Could you help, please?

Jill, Jill, Jill. You better hide before Loretta comes to visit next. Was this when she dyed you hair last year? Hint....never let someone in a beauty school practice on family members before training.

Kelli and Jill in a more recent photo. Perhaps there is really nothing to be done! I give up.

I on the other hand might never need any improvement. Loretta, can you make me a star?

Favorite Ingredients Friday (Muffin Edition)

This week Overwhelmed With Joy is featuring muffin recipes. These muffins are so yummy, especially warm out of the oven.


1 1/3 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. sour cream or yogurt (plain)
1/3 c. softened butter
1 egg
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. orange peel
2 tbsp. orange juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In bowl mix all dry ingredients. Add all other ingredients until moistened. Spoon into greased or paper lined muffin cups. Bake 17-22 minutes or until lightly browned. While still warm I brush the tops with butter and lightly dip in sugar. Yum!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Overheard Conversation

Both Dave and I came down with a stomach virus last week and although we were both sick I think Dave may have been a little more ill. While I was fighting off birds and blowing up pillows here is what I heard.

D: "Oh I think I hear the angels. At least I see one"

V: "Don't think so. Your pillow blew up in the washer"
D: "But it was more than that. I know I saw wings"

V: "Must have been the birds, the birds. You are just having a gastric indigestion dream. Go back to sleep."

Friday, November 9, 2007

Favorite Ingredients Friday

This is a recipe that I have used for years for a quick fix meal that everyone loves. I just add rolls, a green salad and even the littlest people are happy. Go visit Overwhelmed with Joy for more great recipes!

Hamburger Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove minced or chopped finely (or 2 tsp. minced in a jar)
1 lg. can plus 1 small can tomato soup
2 small cans mushrooms, drained
2 cans french cut green beans, drained
grated cheese
5 to 6 medium size potatoes

Peel and quarter potatoes. Boil until tender but not overcooked. Mash with a about a half of cup of sour cream and 2 tablespoons of butter. If not soft enough add a little bit of milk or sour cream. Basically just mashed potatoes.

Brown hamburger, onion and garlic until no pink shows in meat. I add salt, pepper and season salt to taste to this mixture as it browns. Add mushrooms, green beans and tomato soup and stir together. Pour this mixture into an ungreased baking dish and sprinkle cheese on top. Then spread the mashed potatoes over the top of this and bake until hot and bubbly (400 degrees for 10 minutes or so).

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What Bird?

I think maybe our animals have some serious issues. That and the fact that I need to get out more. You all remember our fearless dog Cricket the Racoon Fighter? Last night (it always seems to happen at night) I let them out before tucking all of us into bed. Ten minutes later they're at the door ready to be let in, Missey bounds in and heads for bed Cricket enters with a little more trepidation and starts to do the "I'm going to hurl a luggie" throat deal so I pick her to throw her back outside and notice what I thought were some twigs in her mouth. I shouted her name and out pops a dead bird on the floor. EWWWW! Those twigs were little bird feet. Evidently she had visions of a midnight snack. So remove bird and dispose of, no I refuse to brush her teeth, bird breath or no, and the night proceeds as usual. I's starting to wonder if our home was built over some kind of chemical land fill that is affecting all the creatures. Thank goodness the humans are still normal? Have a great day all, and Vonda stay away from all fowl.

Monday, November 5, 2007

I Think I Might Be St. Francis

How else do you explain all of the creatures that seem to follow me in my house? Oh what a weekend! You know it is going to be eventful when you begin by trying to catch a two-year-old before she empties her pull-ups. Lucy is at the stage where she is telling us she needs to go but sometimes doesn't quite make it in time and ALWAYS says "I do it self". Not only for potty events but most every other thing from making her own oatmeal to getting her own ice and water when I am not looking to putting her clothes and shoes on upside down, inside out and backwards. She and Byron both know how to turn on the microwave and I have to be on the lookout all the time. Byron is so tall that he can reach things on the counters that Lucy can't. So all knives, cooking utensils and such have to be guarded. But this is one of the best times I think...just to watch them learn and grow.

So after Jed picked up the girls on Sunday Dave went to help his parents for a little while. I wasn't feeling too well, you know achy and such, so I stayed home. I couldn't stand to just sit there so I mowed the lawn and was just generally taking care of some things that my loving spouse had left out. Well unfortunately for me I left the sliding glass door open about a foot while I was cutting the tops off of our garlic and getting it ready for storage. I don't know how this happened but the next thing I know I turn to go in the house and there flapping against our family room windows inside, was a bird. I ran around closing doors hoping to keep it contained to just one room. Once that was done I opened both sliding glass doors wide and tried to get it to go out. All that managed to do was scare it into pooping all over the window and the floor and blanket on the back of the futon. So I ran outside and around the house to try and chase it away from the windows but it must have found its way out before I got there because it is nowhere to be seen. At least if it is still in here we can't find it. I began to feel pretty nauseous by this time but still had bird poop to clean up. Sorry no photo of that.....

So Dave comes home and I by that time was feeling pretty bad and went to bed. The next thing I hear is him getting sick in the middle of the night. Now wives, I don't know about you but my booby boy man turns into a heap of crying mess when he is sick. So I spent most of the morning cleaning up after him. When he began to feel a little better this afternoon I decided I would wash the bedding including his pillow. Nothing like vomit smell in the room.

I didn't mention that his pillow is down filled, did I? Well yes it is WAS, yes sir.

His pillow is no longer down filled. In fact it exploded so the only thing down filled is my washer.
And my deck. And now the dryer because of course the flannel sheets were in the same load.

Just a few feathers remain in my hair. You should have seen me before I thought to take a picture. I had feathers everywhere....up my nose, in my mouth, on my clothes. Well just lets say I looked like big bird in drag.

The rest of my day has been spent vacuuming the washer, dryer vent every twenty minutes and the house trying to catch the tiny little beasts. I swear that there must have been thirty geese used to fill that pillow.

Oh yes. Dave asked me why I was vacuuming the deck and the ground. He thought I was just bored but my only reply was "I don't care if you are sick, you are using a rock for a pillow tonight, buddy".

Friday, November 2, 2007

Favorite Ingredient Friday-Cookie Edition!

Go to Overwhelmed With Joy if you want to find more cookie recipes. Can't have enough of these for the upcoming holidays.

Sisters do you remember this? This cookie is so yummy. I love the smell, texture and taste. Reminds me of grandma so much.

Grandma Tarvin's Soft Molasses Cookies

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses
3/4 cup sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon; set aside.
2. Cream butter, and gradually blend in sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and molasses. Mix in sour cream alternately with sifted dry ingredients. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Treat or Trick - and Halloween Memories




What more can I say?

Actually, Pat is quite the handsome guy - even without hair:

And, what a sport he is, to put up with my humor and constant teasing! I do love that man!

All this dressing up got me to thinking about some Halloween memories growing up. So I dug out a few pictures. These pictures were taken at a dear neighbors -the Petrikats. These wonderful, elderly people were very "high class" and excentric. For cry'in out loud - they even had a pool table and a cow rug!!!! Joyce wore a fancy gold evening robe with gold or silver elf slippers. Ted said "hup, hup, hup" whenever he stood up. We Fuzi trolls were very impressed and in awe of them. They must have felt sorry for us because they welcomed us with open arms. Many a Friday evening and every Christmas Eve our family spent at the Petrikats. The memories are many of this wonderful couple and we'll all have to share more about them. Here are some pictures of a Halloween we spent at their house:

Our brother David and his first (and only, I hope) try at drag:

Here is Vonda adjusting my ghost costume. Note: Vonda thought she was huge in high school - yeah right - what a bean pole!

Here is my brother Jay and me in our classy football and gypsy costumes another year:

Another picture of Jay as a fat hobo (I think):

O.k. sisters - share some of your fond memories of the Petrikats - I've got more, I'm sure you all do too!