Archive for February, 2012

A Lenten Main Dish

Dear Readers,

The season of Lent begins today, which is Ash Wednesday, and for Catholics that means meatless meals today and for the next six Fridays.  It really isn’t much of a sacrifice because there are so many delicious meatless dishes.  Here’s one I copied from a carton of Kraft’s cottage cheese.  My husband and I really enjoyed it.

Italian Spinach Pie

2 cups cottage cheese

1 – 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and well drained

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 – 7 oz. jar roasted red peppers, well drained, chopped

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients until well blended.  Pour into greased 9-inch pie plate.  Bake 40 minutes or until center is set.

Enjoy and don’t forget to

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

The idea for this trip started as an off-hand remark from my daughter-in-law about six months ago.  She commented that she missed coming to California and that Maggie would be almost two years old, old enough to endure a long cross-country plane ride.  Maybe, just maybe, they could journey to Palm Springs in late January or early February.

That’s all it took for me to start promoting this excursion.  Ideas were spinning right and left in my head.  Our large master bedroom with adjoining bathroom was an excellent spot for the whole family to camp out.  A corner of the room would house the twin aero-bed for Emily and there was ample space for Maggie’s pack-n-play near the bed.  My husband and I could sleep in the guest bedroom and use the guest bath.  We would make closet space and drawers available so that they wouldn’t have to live out of suitcases.  My son determined a convenient time for his vacation and plane reservations were secured.

About a month before the visit, my daughter-in-law and I e-mailed quite a lot.  A list of food for the girls was formulated, discussions of the weather and appropriate clothing was reviewed and even what books could be checked out of the library were decided.

Suddenly I was shopping for pink and rose towels for the girls, sheets for the new aero-bed and groceries such as graham crackers, whole wheat Eggo waffles, fresh blueberries, lots of bananas and even YoBaby peach yogurt.  (Not easy to find!)

The girls arrived late on a Saturday evening with both of them calling for Mimi, when I greeted them at the garage door.  It felt so good knowing we would have them here for a full ten days!  The first three nights were rough because Maggie was on east coast time and thought everyone should be awake at 3 AM!  Eventually we settled in a routine of unhurried family breakfasts, trips to a nearby glayground and daily swims in the condo pool after Maggie’s nap.

Our condo bustled with non-stop activity.  Maggie loved to open and shut doors and explored for pots and pans in the kitchen cabinets.  Emily was content to color and draw pictures on a small table and chairs.  She enjoyed hiking with her parents and walked almost three miles on a local trail.  The days passed quickly and all too soon it was time for everyone to depart.  The extra equipment and suitcases were packed up for the plane ride back to Raleigh.  We kissed and hugged goodbye before the departure for the airport.  Then the clean up began; sheets and towels were laundered and floors were swept and washed.

I thought to myself:  I’m doing okay with missing those two little sweethearts; that is until I opened the fridge and the sight of three little cartons of YoBaby yogurt immediately caught my eye.  Then the tears started to flow!

Keep smilin’!


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