Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I look out the window and what do I see….No tree

Every morning, as I wash dishes, I look out of my kitchen window and watch the squirrels playing in a large tree two houses down. It’s kind of fun watching them run from limb to limb, playing there little games. I look at the sky and marvel how clear it is after a front pushes thru. Other days it is grey and the rain is pouring down. I look out into my little world and marvel at it’s beauty.

Several weeks ago Hurricane Rita side swiped Houston. Our next door neighbor had, the very tree that the squirrels play in, fall over and hit her garage. It was leaning on the garage for two weeks before they finally cut the tree completely down. I looked out there the other day while I was washing dishes and couldn’t believe how different it looked. It looked so “open”, for lack of a better word. Where were the squirrels? Do they have a new tree to play in now? Where did that palm tree come from? I had never seen it there before. Things looked so different. I was so used to the same basic scene every morning. It was soothing and I loved it. Ahhh..How life changes. I wonder if I would have ever seen that palm tree if the other tree were still standing?

Tips for the day:

Make quick croutons from day old bread. Here's how: Cut 3 slices of bread into 1/2-inch cubes. In a medium skillet, heat 3 Tablespoons Shedd's Spread Country Crock® Spread and 1/4 teaspoon Lawry's ® Garlic Powder with Parsley. Add bread cubes and cook, stirring frequently, until bread is crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels. Makes about 1 1/2 cups croutons.

Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole
Recipe By : Real Food for Real PeopleServing Size : 12

2 pounds Hash Browns, frozen -- thawed
1/2 cup Margarine -- melted
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 cup Onion -- chopped fine
10 1/2 ounces Cream of Chicken soup
2 cups Cheddar Cheese -- shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine soup, margarine, salt, pepper, onions and cheese. Gently mix in the potatoes and pour into the prepared pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F, for 35 minutes.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip:

10 oz package of frozen, chopped spinach, drained
1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 parmesan cheese
12 oz cream cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil

Mix all ingredients together, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly


At 1:52 PM, Blogger Oh great One said...

I've been looking for a good crouton recipe. I used to love the homemade ones at a restaurant I used to work at and I haven't been able to duplicate them. I'll give these a try.


At 4:25 PM, Blogger T. F. Stern said...

Popcorn poppin on the apricot tree...

At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love that spinach artichoke dip, never knew i even liked artichokes until i had it!

At 7:09 PM, Blogger Jahn said...

"Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole
Recipe By : Real Food for Real PeopleServing Size : 12?!"

What the...? How many people you cooking for? LOL

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Jahn, next time you have a ward dinner to go to you can sign up for the hashbrown cassarole...

At 1:32 AM, Blogger Live, Love, Laugh said...

there you go again, making me hungry, can you at least wait until I am home so I can cook. I have to print these and add them to the collection.


At 9:35 AM, Blogger TC said...

I have made that casserole. it is so yummy! I have always loved homemade croutons and artichoke dip but I have never made either! Yummy!

At 6:09 PM, Blogger Nettie said...

Hope the squirrels learn how to play in the palm tree and not fall down the trunk.

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Running2Ks said...

It reminds me of how every winter, when the leaves are gone, that you suddenly see houses that were hidden.

Reminds me--but I'm still sorry that the Hurricanes have been so tragic.

My fingers are crossed right now that Wilma won't hit my parents and my husband's grandparents.

At 1:39 PM, Blogger lime said...

oh man, i love that cracker barrel potato stuff. thanks for the recipe!

At 2:31 PM, Blogger Texas_Ivy10 said...

These recipes sound delicious!

Fellow Houstonian here! ;)

At 5:54 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

My daughter loves croutons. If I order a salad, she always reaches over and snatches my croutons. I will make her some homemade ones. That recipe is easy, and I know she will love them. Thanks, Lucy.
It's too bad that tree got blown over, but you are so right about how things happen that change our whole view. Sometimes the changes are minor, and sometimes they are major. We have to learn to adapt, but it is not always easy.

At 11:46 PM, Blogger Danielle said...

i'm suddenly so hungry! great tips, thanks!

At 6:13 AM, Blogger Mitey Mite said...

Can't wait to get home & try that dip -- sounds like just the thing to eat while watching The Game Saturday.

Your tree story was a good parable about life and change. But forgive me if on a literal level I don't say awww, poor little squirrels. With pecan trees all over my neighborhood, the little thieves are everywhere. I don't mind sharing, but they take the good nuts and leave the rotten ones!

At 8:05 AM, Blogger BagOfNothing.com said...

Spinach and Artichoke Dip at Cheddars is the bomb!


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