I've had some really good granola lately. It had the best pecans in it. They were the kind I loved from Texas but hated to shell. Those of you in that area know what a pain it is to shell those tiny hard shells but you also know that they are so much better than any other kind. Their flavor is so special. Much more flavorful. I love them. They are unmistakable. This granola also has larger, flatter flakes of coconut and it isn't an overwhelming amount. The thing that really tips the scales on it for me, aside from the wonderful pecans, is the touch of cinnamon. I've got to try and duplicate this stuff. Mmmmm.
Emmi has been doing a lot of cooking with Mimi lately. We made a very special meatloaf. She helped me pour in some of the ingredients that I'd chopped. And together we shredded carrots and celery. If she's at all like her Mimi, she will remember little lessons learned along the way for a long, long time. Like how you need to be careful when hand shredding not to get your fingers too close.
Mimi and Emmi's meatloaf
Ground beef, 90% lean
mushroom pieces chopped up
carrots and celery shredded
chopped bell pepper
Mix all that up good with an egg. If it's too gooey, add a little rolled oats, crushed crackers, crushed plain variety cereal, or torn bread pieces or bread crumbs. Anything works good as a binder. If you want to think it some, a bit of catsup, tomato sauce or even a blop of milk should do the trick.
We flattened it into a nice rectangle and then "fancied it up." She helped me lay spinach over it, then provolone cheese. We then carefully rolled it up and pinched the edge closed. Next we put it in the oven to bake until it was done. 305 degrees for about an hour for the size we had.
A nice variation would be to press balls of the mixture into muffin tins. Then you could put a couple small spinach leaves and a chunk of cheese in the center and top it with a little blip of the mixture to seal it. It wouldn't have to cook as long in this small size.
You could also just chop the spinach and chunk the cheese and mix them in. Then bake it as one larger loaf or as small individual loaves. Any way you cook it, it's good!
It's bitter sweet that the little ones are growing up. I do miss the wee babes, but I love this age where they drink in so much knowledge and show every day how very smart they are.
We are in the game playing stage, the educational shows stage, the reading and telling stories stage right now. Our favorite games now are Go Fish, Penguin Pat, and Lucky Ducks. At least at our house. Emmi and I spent an entire day, eight full hours, playing games recently. I was sore sore sore from all the floor sitting, but I had a great time. It totally wore me out too!! lol
The swiss steak I made recently was so good! I think it's because we didn't just add the gravy with onions, we added chopped up mushroom stems and shredded carrot. I had slow cooked the meat in the crockpot for hours. I love using the crockpot. There is just so much you can do with it.
New Year's Eve for us was very special this year. Our second oldest son Corry got married! He and Angel said their vows early in the evening in front of their parents and their children and then everyone else went over for their reception/New Years party. Great fun! And now we are officially grandparents of 13.
We are preparing for Rusty and Caitlin's wedding at the end of April. I'm making a few things for them. I did Cait's garter and will do their unity candle with my daughter Missy. I'm also going to be writing the reading to be done in the ceremony. I'm so glad to be involved in all this. Being the mom of boys means you're not always included. I had the best fun working with Missy on her wedding and I was fortunate to be able to help with Kris and Darlene's and with Corry and Angel's. It means a lot to me to be included. Thanks, guys!
While I've been gone from here, I've accomplished some major tasks. I have defrosted both my big freezers. I have sifted, sorted and purged all the Christmas totes and now have it down to....probably 20. I had a sit down Thanksgiving dinner here using my best china and things handed down by family and friends' families. I organized the Christmas progressive dinner. And the latest accomplishment was to trade closet areas with Cliff. While doing that, I purged my wardrobe. It's nice to have it all handled now. I have many, many more projects and somehow they will be handled.
Well I need to close this out and get a little shut eye. Tomorrow I will be on the phone finding out some things about the insurance company and some coverage. The ins and outs and dos and don'ts. I need this MRI and I need it open. Wish me luck!!
Many hugs and much love,