Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cindy's Coming Home!

After a 7 hour surgery on Friday, Cindy was sitting up, talking and eating grits and waffles on Saturday morning. On Sunday morning I called my brother but he couldn't talk long, he was getting ready to pick Cindy up from the hospital to come home!
As Cindy has said over and over...this is amazing!
Thank you for all your prayers!
as we were coming home on Friday, I saw this brilliant sunset and had to get a photo!
we are truly blessed!
Cindy's mom and hubby are smiling, even though it was a very long day!
I cannot say enough great things about Vanderbilt and how wonderful
they were to us and Cindy. This is a fantastic facility!
We had over 30 people waiting with us
thanks to all the girls that helped Ali with her wedding invitations, we were able to get so much done
Folks brought so much food and where Andrew works, the Y, sent us box lunches and we love those lemon cookies!

Cindy's mom, a sweetie
Cindy's dad, another sweetie
Friends came and prayed with us and we had folks all over the world praying for Cindy! Thank you my blog friends for your prayers once have a special place in my heart!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

You Made the Blog!

My sweet, sweet sister-in-love ( don't you just adore that, got that from one of you !) Mickie invited me to spend the night on Thursday before our other sister-in-love, Cindy, had her brain tumor surgery at Vanderbilt on Friday morning. Cindy is amazing she is standing and talking and is progressing right on track!

Back to Mickie, not only does she have a lovely home, beautiful, talented children, sexy husband(can I say that about my own
brother??? he is adorable!) she is a terrific chef! She had planned this wonderful meal for me and it was DELICIOUS! Mic and Kevin(my cute brother) love Macaroni Grill and her fav is the Chicken Cannelloni, so what did that smart girl do? She googled the recipe and made it for little old me! Yummy, yum! At the end of the post I have the recipe if you want to try, it is terrific!
Don't you want it to jump off the screen into your mouth!
some of those "Mickie" touches
Yummy to the tummy
here we are at Thanksgiving, she's the cutie I'm the curly

here's the hunk!
strawberries for our dessert, it's almost time for them to be fresh off the plant here in Tennessee...I can't wait
oops, my blond is showing, downloaded this photo twice....don't know how to remove....oh well
Mic loves fresh flowers and these are the personal touches all over her house!

P.S. Mic just used manacotti shells instead of the sheets, she couldn't find them and the shells worked great!

Macaroni Grill Chicken Cannelloni

Cannelloni Filling
8 ounces chicken breast (about 2), cooked thoroughly
1 ounce fresh spinach, chopped
1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
16 ounces ricotta cheese
3 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon table-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
12 lasagna pasta sheets, approximate size of 5 x 6 inches

Cannelloni Sauce
16 ounces
Asiago cream sauce, or your favorite Alfredo sauce
16 ounces Macaroni Grill tomato sauce, or your favorite
tomato-based pasta sauce
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated

Once the chicken breast has been cooked thoroughly, allow it to cool to an internal temperature of 45 degrees F.

Dice the cooled chicken breast into 1/2-inch pieces and place into a large mixing bowl. Add spinach, tomatoes, ricotta, mozzarella, pepper and salt, and mix thoroughly.

Arrange precooked pasta sheets on a cutting board and place two or three rounded tablespoons of filling mixture down the center of each pasta sheet and carefully roll pasta around filling in a cigar fashion. Place the rolled cannelloni, side by side, into an ovenproof shallow baking dish. Place
Asiago sauce (or Alfredo sauce) and tomato sauce in bowl and mix until well incorporated. Pour sauce over cannelloni covering completely. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over top of sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 20 minutes.

Remove foil and continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached. Remove from oven and serve family style or on individual plates garnished with fresh diced tomatoes, and basil or Italian parsley.

Serves 6.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Much Love from my Family for All Your Prayers!

I just returned for Nashville. Cindy's 7 hour surgery went very well! She was talking and knew who and what had happened. Will know more tomorrow. I cannot express my heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you for your kind words and prayers. When I showed my blog and all your wonderful posts to my family, there were tears and smiles from all of them. I am so blessed to have such wonderful blog friends! Thank you so much!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jenny's Group Join Together!

Our Family

Sorry I don't have my catchy title with lots of "J" but this is a serious, I need your help!

A few weeks ago my sister-in-law was diagnosed with a brain tumor, ON her brain, not IN her brain, and it is the size of a tennis ball. The doc said it was the biggest one he had ever "seen". To be on the brain is supposed to be better. There is a high percentage that it is NOT cancerous, but we will not know until they operate. That is Friday, in Nashville, at Vanderbilt.

I need you prayers, positive thoughts, and anything else you can send her way on Friday to help her get through this surgery and it's outcome. I know so many of you have dealt with cancer and other terrible diseases and understand what our family is going through, so please take a moment on Friday for Cindy.
Thank you

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's Spring!

I must give my hubby all the credit for these lovely photos! He has been snapping away each day and has gather quite a collection of spring scenes!
I know that many are fearful of bees, but as a novice bee keeper (I started last April) I have only been stung twice and both times I did not have on the proper gear. Not really the bee's fault... more mine!
I cannot wait to gather my first honey!
These little guys were planted several years ago with the idea of a circular bulb garden but the squirrels had a feast and all that is left are these lovely crocus.
The Irish are looking for the leprechauns and I hope they find the pot of gold. Hubby purchased these a few years ago for a small area beside our picket fence. I adore little venues in my yard and there are several seating areas where you can go and reflect. I am planting a zinnia garden in the back and plan to start my seeds very soon!

Monday, March 22, 2010

What a Home!

Let's go on a tour of this lovely home. Everywhere you look there is a vignette of color and textures. It was such a treat to meet the author of this amazing decorating feat! She is also a wife, a mom and a teacher. Remember those of you in the Cookeville area, this home is for sale.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What Wonderful Women and Wine!

On Friday afternoon, as soon as the final school bell rang, I jumped in my hybrid and headed for Cookeville Tennessee. I was attending my very first "official" wine tasting and what was really neat is that most of the "tasters" were teachers that I have never met! A perfect opportunity to meet new friends and taste some wine!

The type of wine is selected by the hostess and we were tasting white Merlot, which I had never sampled before. I was spending the night with one of my dearest friends, Cheryl, and I was so excited to visit and catch-up with her and her lovely husband, Frank.

We had a yummy dinner of grilled chicken, scalloped potatoes, snow peas, and a green salad. Amy, their middle child, joined us for supper and she showed me some amazing photographs she had taken, she is truly an artist. so after a wonderful dinner, we were on our
wine-tasting way!
We had a wine check list that explained how to evaluate a wine. Of course the most important aspect is ....did you like it! Here we are examining the legs of the wine, the more the wine "sticks " to the glass the better the legs, also the higher the alcohol content!
Chatting with friends between tasting is a must...anytime you get a group of teachers together they instantly began to share and talk, it is so much fun to meet new people!
These lovely ladies drove from Nashville to attend our little party and they are so sweet!
3 wonderful women that were so gracious to me

my buddy, Cheryl
2 teachers smiling and having fun
Our hostess, who has such grace and charm, her house is absolutely amazing and reflects her strong love of family. I will be blogging tomorrow about her home, every room looks like a magazine spread, and guess what ???? IT'S FOR SALE!
A different color ribbon is tied to each wine glass that corresponds with the wine. We keep the wine bottles covered and at the end you tally up the scores to see which wine you like the best. This is not a contest, it's to find out what you wine pallet is.
Here's to the wonderful women of Cookeville that I was fortunate to share an evening with and I hope to join them again!
Thank you all!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Infusing Individual's Olfactory with Intense Aroma

I was almost able to use all "I" words in my title! There are so many interesting words that start with I....incognito- when I retire from teaching I want to be a private detective and I need to be this!imagination- I teach small children and I better have this, Irish- I am and how appropriate for today, and the last and my favorite-IKEA, my sweet children will accompany me to Atlanta so I can spend the day there, my hubby knows better.

You are probably wondering how all this relates to my incredible title so I will tell you. I play this great game called Bunko, which is kinda like Yahtzee but we have prizes and lots of food. My Bunko group has been together for over 18 years and most of the members are teachers, sorry Yvonne I know it's hard for you, a pharmacist. We have themes and the hostess buys cool prizes, fixes dinner, and dessert. I'm not very lucky and we started giving "pity prizes" because there were some of us who hardly ever won (me). We first started bringing 1 five dollar gift and exchanging them but because we are all Dollar Tree fans, we decided to bring 7 one dollar gifts then everyone would get lots of prizes. It is just as much fun to get the little gifts as the big ones (not really but I keep telling myself that!).

Most of the time my prizes are home made and last night I took Lavender Rice bags. These lovely rectangular bags are filled with a combination of rice and lavender buds. I sewed them with material that I got from our great Thursday Leader, Jenny, when I won a candy giveaway and she included some wonderful fabrics. Just pop them into the microwave for a minute or two and then you will not believe the incredible aroma that will lull you to sleep in minutes. Also it feels really good on those sore muscles. So if you need to make a little house warming gift or just want to treat yourself, make yourself a lavender rice bag! Irresistible!