Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

December 8, 2012

Bits and Pieces

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:53 am
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Hi there bloggers, readers, friends.  I’ve been a slackerly blogger once again.  But I have been thinking of you!  It is busy time of year for many of us, but I do hope to post from time to time this month.

I haven’t been inspired for a photo hunt this month, but I did have a group-blog idea pop into my head.  Some of you may remember this post that I did two years ago looking for dinner ideas.  There were many wonderful suggestions.  I never did put that binder of favorite recipes together like I promised myself that I would!  Anyway, the idea that I had was to ask all of you (myself included) to take pictures of what you are having for dinner for a week.  It wouldn’t matter if it was homemade or take-out, carnivorous or vegetarian – I’d still like to see it.
I even started to do it myself:

then kind of forgot about it.  So let me throw the question out to you:  Would you have any interest in photographing your dinner for a week and then doing a post afterward showing what you ate?  I thought it might be a fun way for us all to maybe get some different dinner ideas.  I’m not looking for fancy food here – unless you want to go that way.  I think it’d be great to see everyday kind of dinners.  Let me know what you think in the comments and maybe we can get a group blog-along project going, and pick a date to do it.

In other news, I have a picture of my girls to show you.

The semi-formal dance was at their high school last weekend.  It seemed like a good excuse to show you their smiling faces.

This made me smile  just the other morning.  A fiery sunrise was getting started as I was on my way out the door to work, so I grabbed a quick shot before I went out the door.

Sorry for the blur.  I was taken in by the gorgeous color and didn’t really take the time to stabilize myself before running out to the car.

It is a rainy Saturday morning as I sit here at my keyboard typing to you out there in the blogosphere.  We’re planning to brave the icky weather today to get our Christmas tree and get some more shopping done.  I’m getting there, not too much more to do.  That makes me happy since I host Christmas dinner for my family.  Once my gift shopping is done, I can focus on cleaning the house and planning for the big day.

I hope to be back at the blog later this weekend, maybe with pictures of the tree all decorated.  I plan to spend some time catching up with all of you too.  Please let me know what you think of the blog-along idea!

April 28, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things…

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 5:39 pm
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I’m taking a little break from the story of my cruise vacation to bring you this month’s photo hunt results.  Well, it isn’t a complete break, as you are about to see, but this isn’t an “official” cruise post.  I’ve had lots of submissions for the hunt rolling in today, and I hope to get around to seeing them all this weekend.  As usual, if you had planned to participate in the hunt and just forgot, go ahead and take the rest of the weekend to finish it up!  It isn’t likely that I’ll get the wrap-up posted before Monday night anyway.

In the blurb that I saw in the pingback when Robin posted her photo hunt, she mentioned that people aren’t technically things, when all along I had planned to use a picture of my girls in this post.  She’s right, of course, so how about smiles on my girls?
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This is from the day we boarded our ship – I took this picture with my phone when my mom texted me saying that she’d love to see the looks on their faces.

Favorite food!  So hard to choose!  I love many kinds of food.  One of my dinners on board the ship was quite delicious and prompted me to take its photo, therefore it gets to be my favorite food for this post.
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Lobster tail and grilled shrimp!  Yummy!

As long as I am still taunting you with vacation photos, here’s another favorite:
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The sea.  I always long to be near it.  Whether it is the wild and cold Atlantic Ocean or the warm, turquoise Carribbean Sea, the smell of a salty breeze puts me in heaven.

For my other favorites, I needed to head to my archives.  To go along with that beautiful blue water, how about a lovely blue margarita?
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Margaritas are one of my favorite summertime drinks.  They aren’t always blue, depending on the ingredients I choose, but they are always delicious!

This next picture gets you a favorite sport and a favorite hobby all in one shot!
Quilt square

I made this quilt square a couple years ago for the quilt of a retiring teacher at my school.  Just so happens she loves my favorite team too.  Quilting and baseball – there’s a combination I bet you never thought you’d see.

For my final favorite, you knew I’d have to include a flower picture didn’t you?  Some of my favorites are not in bloom yet this year, so I chose a picture from last year:
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I just love bearded irises.  When they are in bloom, I see them each time I pull into or out of my driveway.  Sometimes, when one of my daughters is in the car with me, I screech “IRISES” in a silly voice, just because I can’t help my silly self.

I guess this time around I can’t participate in my bonus shot, since technically my whole post is my bonus!  I’m really enjoying the favorites I’ve seen so far, and I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of the posts.  Keep ’em coming!

March 18, 2012

Pickity Abstracts

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 8:50 pm
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Time is running short to get an entry in for Scott’s current assignment.  I took advantage of our visit to Pickity Place (fabulous food as always!) to look for some natural abstract photos in the gardens that surround the restaurant.  Here’s what I was able to find:

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This last photo isn’t abstract at all, but I definitely thought worth sharing.  Dessert from yesterday’s Pickity luncheon:

March 16, 2012

Thoughts on a Friday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 6:03 pm
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It’s Friday afternoon.  I feel like writing a blog post.  I’m going to do what Kathy tells me to do when I’m blog-blocked.  Just start typing and see what happens.

I started doing what I normally do when I want to write a post and checked through my pictures. Sometimes I find something that sparks a memory of something I meant to blog about, but never got around to it.

I found some food pictures that I think I meant to share with you and tell you about something fabulous that I ate.  I’m not sure, maybe the food wasn’t so fabulous?
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I found some pictures that I took in hopes of completing Scott’s current assignment, but none of them moved me. **sigh**  I kind of like this one that I took quite a while ago:
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but we’ll see if I can do better.

I considered creating one of my silly animal conversations with pictures of cardinals,

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but my humor/wit doesn’t seem to be flowing concerning Mr. & Mrs. C’s possible domestic situation.

I thought about flipping through some photo albums (yes REAL photo albums,  not on the computer) and trying to recall some funny story from my early days of motherhood to tell.
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That would require pulling out the photo albums, finding the ones from the mid-to-late 1990’s, plucking the photos from their carefully nestled positions in the albums, hauling my clunking old scanner up from the basement, connecting to my laptop, scan the photos, put them back, put the the photo albums away.  It’s Friday!  Nope, didn’t want to do it.

I considered mentioning that it is only one month until we leave on our cruise and blathering on about how excited I am and how I went to see the travel agent today to ask a bunch of questions and about how I’m even excited to start my “electronic check in” procedures on Carnival.com, but I thought who’d want to read about that? (oops, I kind of did that anyway didn’t I?)

I could blog about the fact that we are off to Pickity Place once again tomorrow, but how many blogs have I written about that?
Pickity!

Many of my favorite blogs, including Robin’s and Holly’s, have been proclaiming the joys of early spring and showing lovely signs of it.  It’s about time I took a stroll around my yard to find some of that myself,daffodils to be

but today is a bit drizzly and cool (funny to be calling 50° cool at this time of the year, but that’s how it feels after the week of 60’s and 70’s we’ve had) and not inspiring me to go poking around outside.

So what happened when I started writing a blog with no plans?  I think I just wrote my first blog about not blogging!

January 8, 2012

Beauties and the Beast

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 4:37 pm
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According to the Online Slang Dictionary, the definition of beast is : “very good, excellent, cool, awesome.”  You can probably guess who my beauties are:
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The annual semi-formal dance was last night at the high school.  The girls had a great time at the dance and I didn’t have to go pick them up! Definite benefit of having a licensed-to-drive daughter!

So what was the beast?
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The food of Pig Out! (read here for the uniniated)  As usual, we had an unbelievable spread for an afternoon of eating and laughing.

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Included here: “cheesy poufs” – a recipe created a few years ago of shredded cheese and mayo (I think?) baked on slices of French bread, apricot salsa-cream cheese spread with pretzel crackers, crescent roll pinwheels with cream cheese and bacon, fresh veggie tray with ranch dip, fondue (my own thrown together creation made with cheddar, brie and gouda) with breadsticks, chips and dip and our perennial favorite:
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chocolate-dipped strawberries!  Mom added dried apricots to the mix this year.  And this wasn’t everything!  There were also bites of puff pastry and filo-dough creations and dough-wrapped cocktail weenies.  I forgot to get a picture of the three kinds of homemade cookies we had.  It was quite the afternoon of indulgence.

Recipe for creating your own “pig out”:

Combine people who have known and loved each other for over 30 years.

Add in pot luck style food of both savory and sweet.

Mix in laughter, tears, stories and hugs.

Stir well and enjoy!

October 11, 2011

A Week in the Life, Day 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:39 pm
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I must tell you how pleased and surprised I was with everyone’s interest in a little peek into my life!  Thanks again, everyone, who stopped by and left a comment – and those of you who popped over from Adventuroo, welcome!  I’m looking forward to peeking in on your lives too.

On to Tuesday!  It is always a busy,  non-stop kind of day for me, and today was no exception.  Not a holiday today, so back to work.  My work days start before the sun, with breakfast while it is still dark outside:
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Bags ready to go, the girls head to the bus stop and I to my car when the sun has been up for maybe 15 minutes.

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This is the time I pull into the parking lot at work (middle school in a neighboring town), while I listen to a last few comments of the DJ’s on my morning radio show.
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Nice thing about being up and off to work so early is that it is still bright and sunny when it is time to go home.
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Of course in this profession, school bus traffic is part of the commute.

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Upon returning home, I found hubby hard at work on getting that darn pool closed.  Working on it, maybe tomorrow…
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And Sarah needs help with her algebra homework (good thing I have a mind for numbers!)

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Then it is time to drive dear daughter to dance.

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And a swing by the grocery store for some fresh bread to go with dinner
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Hubby had the day off (police officer, works nights, rotating day off schedule) and so he got dinner going.  Tonight it was tender, marinated brisket on the grill:
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While dinner finished cooking, I made a bit more progress on the baby quilts.
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After dinner, it was back to the dance studio – but for me!  Tap class at 7:00 and jazz at 8:00:

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Home from dance, get stuff ready for work tomorrow, write this blog post!  I’m pooped!

January 25, 2011

Food Photography

Filed under: Photo assignments,Recipes — Karma @ 11:05 pm
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For this month’s photo assignment, Scott said that we should take some shots of food – not just take pictures of it, but try to show it in a way that would make us really want to eat what we see in the picture.  I had all sorts of grand ideas of fabulous photos that I’d take.  I like cooking from magazine recipes for variety and I follow several cooks or cooking blogs on Twitter for inspiration.  I have cooked some interesting looking recipes recently, and guess what?  I forgot to take pictures of it before I gobbled them up!  The light in my kitchen at dinner time this time of year isn’t overly flattering either.  But enough with the excuses!  So what did I take pictures of?  Well, there was those bread pics a couple weeks ago, which you can go have a look at in case you missed them.  For my pictures today I share Homemade Oreo Cookies!  Recipe and inspiration from Fine Cooking, whom I follow on Twitter.

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Natural light, nifty-fifty, 1/320 sec, f1.8

Oreos need to be eaten with a glass of milk, right?

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Showing off cookie texture (and my wedding china!) with side-lighting.

I wish I had more to show you!  I really planned to, but we get awfully hungry around here! 😉

December 26, 2010

A Quick Christmas Follow-up

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 6:55 pm
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I’d love to style this post a la Gerry with a poem in the style of “A Visit from St. Nick,” but I’m too pooped to be creative.  I did want to share a few pictures from our weekend.  I’ve been on the go since Christmas Eve, prepping  for two Christmas celebrations here at my house – one with mom yesterday and one with dad today (mom and dad are divorced).  On Christmas Eve, I cooked all these ahead of time for Christmas Day:
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(mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry bread, zucchini bread, homemade cinnamon buns, thumbprint cookies)

I used this recipe from Sweet Savory Life for the cinnamon buns.  Yummy!  In addition to what is pictured above, I also made a chocolate pudding pie and, for the first time ever, made brine for my turkey.  I followed Pioneer Woman’s recipe.  The turkey was very moist, but I’m not sure I’d bother doing it again.  I didn’t notice any flavor added from the brining.

On to Christmas Day.
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I’m quite thankful for having kids who no longer need to be up crazy early to open gifts.  I do miss a little of the “magic” of Christmas with young children and the excitement of Santa, but things are nice this way too.

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Teddy puts up with a little Christmas decorating by the kids…

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…and with being a pillow after a big day of visiting with people, who of course only came to our house to visit the dogs.  Are my dogs the only ones who think this way?

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Happy, funny girls

Can you take another food picture?  After a big dinner, served early afternoon so poor hubby could eat before he had to leave for work, we had quite the selection at our little dessert buffet:

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It came a day late, but the snow has finally arrived here.  It started snowing this afternoon.  We have a couple inches right now, with possible blizzard-like conditions tonight.  Predictions are for 10 to 15 inches by the time it is all done.  I guess Andre will finally get his introduction to snow.

November 28, 2010

The Food Project

Filed under: Recipes — Karma @ 8:19 pm
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My post about getting bored with eating the same food and trying to plan meals must have really struck a chord with a lot of you.  I think I had the most comments I’ve ever gotten on that post, and they were all filled with fabulous ideas.  I’m going to do my best here to summarize some of the ideas I received and give you some links to follow that maybe you haven’t seen in the past.

From more than one person, I heard that keeping a binder helps them stay organized and makes planning easier.  I’m promising myself that I’ll do this.  I’m always trying new ideas from websites, magazines and cookbooks.  Then, after I’ve cooked them, it is rare that I remember where I found them and which ones went over well with the family.  With the binder method, you either print out a copy of the recipe, tear out the page of the magazine, or maybe direct yourself to the page of the cookbook you got it from.  This will be my New Year’s Resolution – get the binder, buy those plastic insert pages, and start putting the good stuff in it.  Building up the binder will take some time, of course,  but I think it is a great idea for remembering the stuff you like.

Planning, planning, planning.  This seemed to be important to many folks who commented.  Trying to make up close to a week’s worth of dinner ideas before hitting the grocery store seemed like the common way to do it.  That’s what I usually do too, but some days I just don’t wanna!  You know what I mean?  The task of searching the internet or cookbooks or magazines just seems like more than I can possibly bear, then I end up having a miserable time at the grocery store wandering aimlessly trying to figure it out.   I think the binder will some day make this easier.

  A suggestion I read about once was to make up a calendar for the month.  When you know a bunch of family favorites (whether from in the rolodex in your head or from the magic binder) sprinkle favorites during the month.  Fill in other dates with new things to try or with great-buy items from grocery shopping that week.  The “month-at-a-glance” idea is supposed to help prevent the ruts that so many of us seem to get stuck in.

The calendar idea makes me think about the seasonality of food as well.  Winter is the season of casseroles and stews and soups.  In summertime, as Tracy M. put it, the grill is king.  Some favorite foods may transcend all seasons.  Making the most of what is in season can be a big part of meal planning.

Freezers were a big part of the food conversation as well.  Some people mentioned having an extra freezer and choosing meals according to what they had stored away.  Making extra of freezer friendly foods such as sauces, soups, stews, and casseroles makes life easier for some folks.  My sister even had a little cooking session with friends where they made a bunch of meals together to take home and put in their freeezers ( no, she didn’t invite me! maybe next time! 😉 ). 

Freezing meals reminds me of a little story.  Excuse me while I digress…

Back in the winter of 1994-1995, I was expecting my first child.  Inexplicably, my husband and I decided that was a good time to remodel our kitchen.  Meghan was due on March 1, 1995.  The contractor said, no problem, it will all be done long before then.  We made up some easy-to-freeze meals and stored them away for the days when all we would have was a microwave, plugged in in the dining room, to work with.  The kitchen was gutted.  Of course, the work took longer than the contractor predicted.  Shocker there, right?  I got sick of the frozen meals.  I got sick of every type of take-out food in my general area.  Got sick of the house in disarray.  My husband worked the midnight to 8am shift in those days, so he slept from 3pm til 11pm and I was left on my own to grouse about the house.  One night, very close to my due date, I couldn’t stand the claustrophobic feeling of my house any more and drove myself to a big mall about 25 minutes from home.  I fed myself in the food court and wandered the mall looking at baby items and other things.  I ran into another pregnant woman and we asked each other when we were due – I told her about a week.  I think she still had a few weeks to go.  We wished each other well and went our separate ways. 

No this story doesn’t end in my water breaking in the middle of a mall.  I got home, chatted with hubby while he got ready for work and I got ready for bed.  I kissed him goodbye and settled in for the night.  At 5am, however, my water did break.  Hubby was in the middle of an arrest when I called his pager (er, he’s the police officer, not the criminal in case anyone was wondering! 😉 ).  Meghan arrived 19 hours later, about 5 days ahead of schedule.  We brought our baby home to a still incomplete kitchen.  No, it wasn’t done by her actual due date either.  I spent my first couple weeks at home with a newborn with a houseful of workers finishing my kitchen.  Ay-yi-yi!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

In addition to the freezer, I heard about deliveries that made for some variety in planning.  One commenter mentioned getting a weekly farm delivery!  Sounds wonderful.  My sister recently joined a local meat CSA (community supported agriculture).  The way I understand it, she gets a monthly shipment of a variety of meats.  I think she tells them the types of meats she’s interested in receiving, and gets whatever types and cuts are available each month in varying amounts.  This has challenged her to find some new ways to use the meats she receives, and in turn helped her get some variety in her menu planning.

Like many of us do, I scour through the internet in search of meal ideas.  Allrecipes.com and Myrecipes.com are two great sources.  I recently found out that the Pioneer Woman has a visual index of her recipes.  This is great for me because #1, I am a visual person.  I like to see things when people are explaining something to me, have a diagram drawn or, shocker here, see a picture!  #2, most of the time I have no idea what I am looking for or what I want to make.  You can scan through the pictures of P’Dub’s recipes and then click on it when you see something that looks good.

Andrea, a friend from high school, emailed me a list of some of her favorite dinners.  Many of them are  stand-by’s most of us probably make, but she’s given them their own twist.  Some are ideas I just don’t think of making.  Here’s her list of favorites:

Mexican lasagna

Ginger glazed meatloaf

chicken enchiladas

Roast chicken, which I then turn the leftovers into chicken and biscuits (just leftover chicken, a bag of mixed veggies, 2 cans of chicken gravy thinned with chicken stock if necessary, heated up and served over biscuits).  I also then make chicken, veggie and rice soup with the rest of the leftovers.

Spaghetti sauce (either marinara or meat if we haven’t had a lot of meat lately).  I usually freeze half of this and we get a total of 4 meals out of it.

Baked ziti

breaded pork chops

Orange-ginger pork chops

pork tenderloin seasoned with whatever we’re in the mood for, or I buy the pre-seasoned ones if they are on sale.

Chicken breast sautéed with veggies served with whole wheat noodles

Baked lentils

Fish and peppers

I make a lot of soup and we have soup and sandwiches.  The soups I make the most are vegetable, carrot-ginger, lentil, leek and potato, butternut squash, lasagna soup

We also eat a lot of fish b/c it cooks quickly.  Some favorites are: Salmon with lemon and rosemary, Salmon with onions and capers, crab cakes, steamed mussels

Chicken or beef fajitas

Beef taco bake

Chicken romano

Lemon Chicken

Mediterranean Chicken

Chili

Grilled portobellos on salad

Frittatas made various ways

Port marinated grilled flank steak

Stuffed pork chops

Meatballs made various ways

Sweet potato and kale

Fajita salad

Red curry pork and noodles

Thanks, Andrea!  For a super-easy dinner night, I found out many of you like “breakfast for dinner.”  I was so happy to find out I wasn’t the only one who occasionally served up pancakes to the kids on a night when I just didn’t know what else to make! 

I thought I’d finish this post with a couple recipes I’ve made recently that I’ve thought were really good.

I made ham, peas & pasta the other night and Meghan actually said,”I wish you’d make this more often!”

I made this recipe that Jennifer blogged about and gave me a link to, a fabulous chicken pot pie:
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Just tonight, I made the most awesome turkey soup I’ve ever made in my life:
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It was based on this recipe from Fine Cooking magazine, but I tweaked it to my own liking.  No parsnips or swiss chard for me, regular celery instead of celery root, plus I added some corn.  I touched up the seasoning with just a bit of “Slap Ya Mama” cajun seasoning.  Instead of dumplings, I made my favorite cheese biscuits:
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Did you ever notice that homemade biscuits can make almost any meal feel hearty and delicious?

I hope this post gave you at least a few ideas for dinner that maybe you hadn’t thought of before!  I will continue to share some of my interesting recipes from time to time (but like I said, I am not a food blogger, so don’t worry, I won’t do it too often) or any great ideas that people may share with me.  If you are one of the fine folks who mentioned sharing recipes or ideas with me and haven’t had the chance to do it yet, send your thoughts along whenever you have the chance and I will pass them along.

November 12, 2010

I have more questions for you!

Filed under: Recipes — Karma @ 4:37 pm
Tags: ,

Food Mosiac

My food project idea is off to a great start!  I’ve received LOTS of helpful ideas from folks in the comments.  Gerry over at Torch Lake Views,  is planning a post to help me out, I’ve emailed and tweeted with some people, and I’ve responded to your comments.  Your comments have created even more questions from me!  So, if you are one of the kind and  helpful people who left me a comment on yesterday’s post, if you have the chance, could you go back and read my comment back to you?  It most likely contains another question or request!  Please feel free to email me as well.  If you need my email address, drop me a comment saying so.  I am hoping to photograph a few recipes and do a big round-up blog post for everyone to maybe get some new food ideas.  I know there are plenty of food blogs out there you can read, but I’m hoping this will turn into a post for us to enjoy everyday ideas and get out of those ruts!

If anyone was curious, those pictures are from my 365 photo-a-day project in 2008.  I took a lot of food shots on days when I felt like I couldn’t possibly find one more interesting photo subject.

E.T.A.:  Occurred to me after Michaela’s comment that it might not be obvious what each of those foods are.  Top left – homemade egg rolls, top right – crab cakes, middle left – fajita fixings, lower left – frittata, lower center – spaghetti with sauce made from tomatoes grown in my garden, lower right – pork chops with bacon butter!

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