Monday, March 25, 2013

What a weekend!

We had lots of fun this weekend!  We had a surprise birthday party for my husband's cousin, she's 80, looks 60 something and is still sharp as a tack, funny & interesting!  Wow, was she surprised!

We met for lunch at a local and delicious seafood restaurant in Massachusetts and then went back to the birthday girls home for cake and catching up!

How the day started for me! Tea & warpaint!

both turning 80 next year & married 60 years!

The birthday girl & her 84 year old hubby of 58 years!

The birthday girls daughter, son-in-law & hubby

 She was thrilled beyond belief that relatives from Connecticut, Georgia, New Hampshire, Western Massachusetts came to celebrate her birthday!  She kept saying "I can't believe this."

Another cousin and her husband, married 45 years!

The delicious lemon birthday cake with raspberry filling & butter cream frosting!
All the numbers meant something special for the party girl!  And yes,
she enjoys going to bingo 2 nights a week!

Her great-niece just happened to be in the neighborhood - from Tennessee!

A 4th of July racing quilt in process!

The cousins!

A quick stop at a lake in Littleton, MA

A quick stop at a pond in Dunstable, MA

Pure love at the end of the day!

Then it was back to the birthday girls home on Sunday morning for delicious mushroom & spinach omelets!  The biggest meal I cooked this weekend was tea!!!  LOL!!!  Hmm, I could get used to that!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day My Friends

My favorite teapot!

Come sit with me and enjoy a cup of tea while I tell you what's been going on lately.

It's been a crazy week plus! I'm involved in a few committees at work. We had a district wide middle school competition which has taken up a bit of my time as a coach. While we didn't win, I'm very proud of our students for stepping up to the plate and trying their best!

Last Sunday I got together with a bunch of my cousins and an aunt (just the girls) for a Sunday brunch. I don't know if I ever told you, but I'm one of 40 grandchildren on my mom's side - yup Irish and very fertile!

The reason we got together was to wish one of my cousins luck - she had a brain tumor removed Friday at MGH. The outlook was grim - it was sitting on her brain stem and the MD's couldn't tell if it was attached to her brain stem or not, they couldn't get a clear picture. After just over 7 hours of surgery I am happy to report that she is doing well, the surgery was a success and there is no sign of cancer! Her mom, my God-mother was a wreak, I kept in touch with her throughout the day.

Most people know MGH as Mass General Hospital but around here it's known as Man's Greatest Hospital. Please say a prayer for Tracey's speedy recovery.

It may sound corny, but you could feel the love of family at our brunch. We decided when Tracey is well, we'll have a "Sláinte Brunch" for her and we'll be having many more brunches! We have a huge family and we want to stay connected, not always easy to do today.

Saturday evening we celebrated St. Paddy's day at our cottage in Maine with some friends and family. There were eight of us and we had a wonderful time! The company and the food was wonderful.

Finally friends, I'm leaving you with this Irish Blessing to enjoy!

May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings, 
Slow to make enemies, 
quick to make friends, 
But rich or poor, quick or slow,
May you know nothing but happiness 
From this day forward. 

Happy St. Paddy's Day from Duke!

Thank you & Happy St. Patrick's Day friends!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Spicy & Flavorful not Salty, Taco Seasoning Mix

My sweet friend Susan at From Beyond My Kitchen Window shared this recipe on her blog about a year ago.  Last week I got to sample the recipe when she used it in a delicious soup she made for us, check out her latest post here!

Here's Susan's home made Taco Seasoning Mix!! The best part, there's no salt, and you don't need any!  This is a great way to add rich and bold flavor without adding salt, especially if you need to watch your salt intake.  The beautifully blended flavors in this recipe will help you on your journey to become one of the biggest losers too!  Oh, in case you're wondering, it smells amazing also!

This week, I added some to my Deviled Eggs, that I made for a work party to kick the recipe up a notch!  So, be creative and enjoy!
4 tbsp. chili powder
3 tbsp. paprika ( Susan uses smoked paprika )
3 tbsp. cumin
2 tbsp., plus 2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Add all the ingredients to a bowl, mix and store in an air-tight container!  

I love how rich & beautiful the colors look next to each other
Mix it up in a bowl, isn't it pretty!

Store it in a small 8 oz. jar.

Easy to spoon out and use!

Aww, look who's relaxing after a hard afternoon of playing!