"Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5

Monday, June 20, 2011

Back stage at the Grand Ole Opry

One of the dressing rooms.

Standing in the famous CIRCLE!!!
Peggy & Connie
Remember Connie that Diana and I met at  the Loveless Cafe?  She is a quilter and came to Franklin to see the sites and check out The Quilting Squares while I was working on Tuesday.  We hit it off and met at the Grand Ole Opry on Wednesday morning to take the backstage tour.  We got to see where the performers come in, the post office,  the dressing rooms, and where the performers wait to go onstage.  There are lots of pictures of Grand Ole Opry members and famous people who have either performed on visited the Opry.  It was a fun experience!

When our tour was over it was pouring outside - big time:)  We waited it out before dashing to our cars and heading to the Puffy Muffin for lunch - one of the popular local eateries that visitors don't always know about.  As soon as we got there the electricity went out and the skies opened up once again.    Fortunately, the power  came back on in a few minutes so we were about to have lunch. Connie even stocked up on some Chocolate Crinkles and muffins for later before we said goodbye.

Fun day!!!!
Great guide - she was a lot of fun and made it interesting.
She had lots of stories to share about the entertainers.
Where the performers wait to go on to the stage.

Back in the Kitchen with Peggy

Sounds like I am not the only one who finds it difficult to plan meals/cook for one.  Besides the comments on the blog, I have gotten several emails and calls so thought I would expand on what I have been doing.
Several people have asked for recipes, too.

Its easier for me to have a "cooking day" and fix several things at once.  Yesterday was a cooking day and I added several items to my freezer stock.    First up was Vegetarian Stuffed Poblano Peppers.  This was my first experience using vegetarian crumbles!  All four of these were frozen for later - I left off the cheese and will add it before baking.  Pork tenderloin is one of my favorites and was on sale at my local Kroger this weekend.  My fresh rosemary is doing great so I found a recipe for  Orange Marinated Pork Tenderloin It has been marinating overnight and will get baked this morning.   This will be sliced and frozen in one person portions.  As a tip, when I need something like orange juice for a recipe I buy one of the "single serve" bottles since it is something I don't usually drink.  The last thing I fixed yesterday was a Vegetable Curry dish.  I had bought the ingredients at a local Indian grocery.  This turned out great but it is not something that can be frozen.  It'll get eaten over the next few days.

Rosemary and Basil
Several people asked how I did the roasted vegetables.  This is a recipe from the South Beach Diet and is one of my favorites.  I usually do a big pan and eat the leftovers during the week - either hot or cold.  Super simple:  Slice all the vegetables (experiment!!)  you want to use and toss or drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and fresh ground pepper.  You can use other spices of your choosing.   Roast at 450 for about 20 minutes.  Really good with some freshly grated parmesan cheese (the real stuff!!!).
Green beans, sweet potato, asparagus,
red onion, green pepper, tomatoes & yellow

My freezer is pretty well stocked!  Besides the things I have blogged about, I also have several "stand-bys" to choose from.  I buy salmon (wild-caught), chicken breasts, and tilapia frozen in single serve portions from Sam's Club.  These are easy to cook and I'll usually have them with a salad.

My two favorite easy salads of the moment:

1.  Sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzerella cheese and fresh basil topped with some balsamic vinegar, salt and freshly ground pepper.

2.  Spring mix, diced chicken, strawberries, almonds - topped with Honey Dijon Dressing (see post on April 14, 2010)  This is a great light meal.

FYI:  The Indian recipes I make come from the cookbook "Easy Indian Cooking" by Suneeta Vaswani. I have taken lessons from her in Houston.

If its underlined - its a link!  Just click on it.

PS:  Repost of dressing recipe

Honey Dijon Mustard Dressing

1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard (Grey Poupon)
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Mix all ingredients well in a food processor or blender, cover and use on a variety of salads.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Together again:)

My good friend, Diana, came to visit for several days (she is the one I went to Ireland with in December) and we packed a lot of fun into those days!!!
Diana and I on the front porch.

Diana by huge Osage Orange tree
First appearance at the Opry
The first night we toured Franklin with a stop at Cici's!   A must do in Franklin.  Diana is a history buff so Friday morning we went to the Carnton Plantation and did the tour.  It is really interesting - the house was used as a hospital after the Battle of Franklin during the Civil War.  After we toured the house, we walked around the grounds and visited the cemetery.   Friday night we went to the Grand Ole Opry and saw a great show.  Nashville was celebrating country music with the annual Fan Fest Celebration so we saw lots of great performers.  Included in the list were the teenagers who just won on American Idol as the youngest all the way to 90 year old Little Jimmy Dickens.  In between were some old favorites like Mel Tillis, Charlie Pride, Roy Clarke (all in their 70s) and Billy Ray Cyrus and Josh Turner.  We came home and googled all these performers to see how old they were:)

At the Opry!
With Jack Daniels!
Saturday morning we headed south to the Jack Daniels Distillery.  When we were in Ireland we toured the Jameson's Distillery so it seemed only fair!  Funny, the county where the distillery is located voted to go "dry" after the distillery was built so no tasting allowed!  You can buy bottles in the gift shop so we did:)  After the tour, we went into town and ate lunch and checked out a few shops.

Sunday morning we drove to Huntsville, AL to visit Janet and Nick.  We all went to lunch at the Brickhouse and then to see the progress on the new house!  Wow!  Amazing how much work they had done in one week.  It is really coming along and looks great.

Sunday night we headed over to the Natchez Trace and the Loveless Cafe for dinner.  Can't come see me without a visit to the Loveless:)  We shared photo taking duties with a couple from Phoenix (Ken and Connie)  while we waited.  We ended up sitting next to them in the restaurant.  After seeing their peach cobbler, we shared one, too!
She made me do it!!!

Monday morning we headed to downtown Nashville to see the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Ryman Theater.  We had saved this for Monday to avoid all the crowds (and parking issues) during FanFest.  Great idea!  Parking was a breeze and things weren't too crowded.   We spent most of the day there and came home and collapsed:)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sewing Update! (warning for my non-sewing friends)

The last couple of weeks I have been working on three little Oliver + S patterns.  One is on display at The Quilting Squares and the other two are for Kay's granddaughter, Abby.  They'll be used as samples when she outgrows them!  These are all size 12-18 months.  I was impressed with these patterns - the instructions were very well written.  That's not always the case with independent pattern companies.

Two cotton shirtings!

This one is a knit!
Now its time to sew for me!  Textile Fabrics here in Nashville had their semi-annual 50% off sale last week.  I went and got two fabrics for shirts and one for a dress.  I've also been knitting!  My scarf is coming along and should be done soon.

From the Farmers' Market
In cooking news, this week I fixed my favorite chicken curry.  I love this recipe and it means I've got five more meals in the freezer.  Soon I should have a decent variety.  Great success at the Farmers' Market this week.  I roasted some of my purchases - so good with some fresh parmesan grated on top.