Amy Artisan

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Month: May 2016

Wonderful Weekend

On this Tuesday after the Memorial Day holiday weekend…joining in on the Ten on Tuesday Weekending edition to recap a great extended weekend in the ‘Ville with the family – earlier this month, Dad had emergency back surgery and the days and weeks since then have been filled with rehab and recovery. As the month progressed – and Dad progressed – I started formulating a plan for a visit…we decided it would be best for me to just “show up” and not tell Dad I was coming. Last week started with a work trip and when my meetings were done, it was time to detour to Georgia for family time.

  • Caught the 5:55 Thursday morning flight from Milwaukee to Atlanta. The early departure time didn’t dampen my excitement to be going home.

Surprise

  • Walked into Dad’s rehab room at lunchtime on Thursday and rendered him speechless with my surprise visit for the weekend.
  • Hung out with Dad each afternoon and balanced rest time for him with plenty of activities. While I spent a bit of time with him each morning and evening, the afternoons were “my” time to provide Mom with some respite for her nonstop presence by his side.

Meal Prep

  • Made yummy meals for us to enjoy as a family sitting together in Dad’s rehab room: Roma Italian Pie (with extra veggies) and Shepherd’s Pie. We have all decided that Dad needs “tastes of home” for each meal instead of the tray from the rehab dining room.
  • Sat in salt…on Saturday morning, Rebecca & I tried out the halotherapy/salt room at a local med spa and thoroughly enjoyed it. We see future sessions for us.

Color

  • Colored pictures with Dad on a Friday afternoon. I pulled out my “travel” coloring book from my work bag and Dad worked on a coloring book that was under the Christmas tree for him.

Stroll

  • Strolled the halls each afternoon with Dad – our laps through the building provided more opportunity for him to strengthen his legs by powering his wheelchair with his feet.

Knit

  • Knit on a new shawlette – digging into the stash from 2006 for this version.
  • Read several books in my down time – when Dad was resting in the afternoons; while easing into the days after seeing Mom off to the rehab center; while waiting up for Mom to return in the evenings.

Merry Mom

  • Celebrated “Merry Mom Day” – finally spoiling Mom with gifts for Mother’s Day and her May birthday. The quick way to get everything wrapped was to use our Christmas fabric bags – which provided plenty of giggles for all when I carried in the bag of bags.
  • Split a yummy Cheesy Chicken Sausage & Spinach omelette with my sister when we met “Uncle Mike” for breakfast on Monday morning.

Farewell

Much too soon, the weekend was over and it was time to head to the airport and wing my way back to PA. Thankfully I managed to get through the security line at the ATL airport in under 10 minutes in spite of all the recent security line troubles. As I settled into the backseat of my ride home from the airport, I was so thankful for the ability to be home with the family for these 5 days.

What did you do over the holiday weekend?

Recently…April 2016

Ah APRIL…a month of…spring showers…spring snow(!)…spring blooms…primary voting and the associated ads and calls…longer and longer days…in the midst of it all, these are the things that filled my April days…

Vote

Reading…snowy days…rainy days…travel days…a decent amount of reading time…since the last reading round-up, several more books are complete (All the Light We Cannot SeeEnchanted AprilThe Travelers) and will be shared in a future QuickLit…

Joy Mail

Opening…joy filled mail from my TX cuties on a Friday afternoon…the plate that we painted when I visited in March a new picture for “their” frame on the mantel…

Coloring…continuing to spend moments with coloring books and markers to provide some calm in the midst of crazy

April Eats

Cooking…doing my best to stay focused on healthy eating in the midst of busy work times…weekend food prep is still the best bet; however, on several occasions, a quick supper of a skillet of crispy spinach and soft eggs at the end of a long workday was such a satisfying meal…other good cooking: Egg & Bacon Salad with Homemade Herb Mayo for breakfasts; Pan Grilled Steaks with Roasted Asparagus; Savory Oatmeal Muffins; Pizza Egg Bowl; Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast Pie; Cocoa Coconut Pecan Tea Cookies;

Panda

Sipping…lots of iced tea…in rotation is Tangerine Zinger…Spicy Oolong…Mint…and using a cute new panda for the tea accouterments…

Flats

Wearing…my new ballet flats are a perfect addition to my wardrobe and a 2nd pair has been added to the mix…work…errands…travel…these are becoming a staple…

April Travel

Traveling…a new project at work has me gearing up for more travel in the coming months…in April was a trip to Milwaukee and dinner one night was at a cafe that I enjoyed 15 years ago when I had project work it in the city – it was as enjoyable this time…

Looking ahead…May days are filling up with work and fun…at least 2 work trips on the calendar…weekends filled with seeing some of my favorite people…contemplating a new chair for the patio for reading…summer vacation planning continues…

Linking up with Leigh’s monthly What I’m Into round-up. What are you into these days?

 

Mom Made

As the calendar turns to May and Mother’s Day approaches, Carole prompts us today for 10 Favorite Foods Mom Made. Of course I’ll share in this list! My Mom is a wonderful cook and baker! When she was in college, she spent her summers as a camp cook; when I was in elementary school, she managed to cook for the high school youth group missions trips to San Quintin, Mexico in a small kitchen in an airplane hangar. From an early age, I learned the lovely art of hospitality from my Mom – she loves to share from the heart by way of the kitchen. Growing up, we were often delivering a meal to new moms at church – something that I have done many times since I’ve been on my own. Missionaries, church friends, college kids and more have sat around our table and shared life over simple and delicious meals from Mom. In the age of Martha Stewart and Pinterest and Instagram and trying to portray “the” perfect dish, I’m so thankful that I learned from Mom the true joy is in the making and sharing of the dish – not in the picture and presentation.

Mom's Strawberry Pie

Mom’s Strawberry Pie

In no particular order, here are some favorites from her kitchen…and really, this list could go on and on and on…

  • Strawberry Pie – I’ve written about this once or twice; a simple and tasty recipe that always brings to mind Grandma’s strawberry patch in the backyard of her home in Southern California…
  • Lemon Chicken Florentine – A simple mix of chicken, spinach, onion, lemon juice & tumeric; a great make ahead dish – just as delicious hot or chilled…
  • Santa Maria Beans – A simple and delicious staple of Santa Maria BBQ from our time in Lompoc – even better when paired with a Tri-Tip…
  • Italian Squash Soup – Another Artisan Mom “recipe.” Brown & drain a pound of Italian sausage. Add in 24 oz tomato sauce, a couple of zucchini & yellow squash diced, some chopped mushrooms, & Italian seasonings (basil, oregano, pepper, garlic, etc) to taste. Bring to a boil & simmer for 20 minutes…
  • Simple Sausage & Cheese Biscuits – A favorite for breakfasts and perfect for parties and holiday teas
  • Pot Roast with Potatoes, Carrots, Onions & Mushrooms & Gravy – Always a delicious Sunday dinner to come home to after church…
  • Sugar Cookies – A recipe Mom discovered in a book on hospitality, this is a “go to” recipe – delicate and dainty cookies that are a good excuse to use a cookie stamp…
  • Cardamon Cookies – A family staple in the Christmas baking – delicious with or without or without frosting…
  • Tater Tot Casserole – Keeping the theme of simple…ground beef, onions, green beans, mushroom soup and a layer of tater tots on top…
  • Green Enchiladas – A recipe that Mom found in the Air Force news when we were in Wichita more than 40 years ago – turkey, onion and cheese enchiladas with a spinach sour cream sauce. My sister requests this for her birthday dinner. Thanksgiving turkey leftovers often are set aside for a batch of these…

….and this list could go on…Lemon Meringue Pie…and on…Fresh Salsa…and on…Ebelskivers…and on…Applesauce…and on…

Today as I putter in the kitchen, I’m so thankful for all that my Mom taught me (& my sister) through the kitchen…not only the recipes…the kitchen tips and tricks…the fun…but also the art of simplicity…the focus on taste…the joy of hospitality…

What are some of your favorites from your Mom’s kitchen? 

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