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We made it!

Missouri 1canoe2

MO print via 1canoe2.  I also have their MA print.  They're totally rad.

Well, we made it to good ole Missouri!  We’ve been here for about 4 weeks now and we love it!  Such a change from Massachusetts :)  I had thought that by now I’d be back in the blogging game, but we’ve had family visiting and then school starting so my time has been a little preoccupied.  I’m thinking I’ll be back and going strong next week. I’ve also been experimenting with my layout.  Sorry about the mess! And thanks for being patient with me!

 

Picked from the Tree: Tamale Pie

I come from a long line of divine cooks.  Their recipes were written on hundreds of little cards and shared. Eventually some of those cards were passed on to me.  Every once in a while I like to pull one of those recipes from my ‘family tree’ and get all nostalgic.  ’Picked from the Tree’ is a series where I document those recipes from my family tree and maybe share a memory or two.

Tamale Pie Casserole easy recipe

Sorry there is no “after” photo of this meal.  Somehow it got lost in the wilds while being moved from my camera to the computer.  This ones an instagram I took while cooking.  I think it’s very pretty don’t you?

This recipe was given to my mom by her step-dad.  I never meet grandpa Ken as he did a few years before I was born, but he sounds like one amazing man.  And I love the recipe cards my mom has from him.  He doesn’t just give the recipe, he narrates a bit throughout.  This one starts by saying, “Kay: TAMALE PIE is a wonderful dish for a crowd coming in – filling and fun.”  Isn’t that great?

Tamale Pie Casserole easy recipe

Tamale Pie – serves 6

1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 – 8oz can tomato sauce
1 – 12 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup pitted ripe olives
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
2-3 tsp chili powder
dash pepper
+++
6oz sharp cheese shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups cold water
1 tbs butter

Oven 375*

Cook the meat, onion and pepper in a large skillet until meat is browned and vegetables are tender.  Stir in tomato sauce, corn, olives, garlic & sugar, salt, chili powder & pepper. Simmer 20-25 minutes until it thickens.  Add cheese; stir until melted. Turn into greased 9×9 baking dish.

Then stir cornmeal and 1/2 tsp salt into cold water. Cook and stir until thick.  Add buttermilk; mix well.  Spoon over the hot meat mixture. (Missy’s note – I actually mix the cornmeal in with the meat mixture instead of leaving it on top).

Bake about 40 minutes.

Now: One can put some bacon slices on top of the casserole and add some more olives, sour cream or green onion if you wish on top.

Nursery Pillow and a Leather Key Chain

A few weeks ago, when I realized that my sewing machine was going to be in storage for maybe close to a month, I got a little bee in my bonnet.  I made 2 skirts, a dress for Abi, a few pillows and a key chain.  Here are two of the little projects I made.

Lion Nursery pillow 1

I got this pillow panel from Purl Soho while I was in New York.  Isn’t it so darling?  It’s a print on a tea towel by British designer Sarah Young.  She also has 5 other prints (all equally awesome).  This one is Clarence the lion.  He’s very dashing don’t you think?

Lion Nursery pillow 2

After I saw how great this little guy turned out I decided to finally cut into some of the delicious leather I picked up from Mood.  I was so nervous about it.  I didn’t want to waste even a tiny little scrape of it.

Leather keychain 2

I have needed a new key chain for a few months.  I’ve had the same big, hot pink letter M for the past 10ish years and it was starting to get a little rough around the edges.  So I cut out a rectangle about an inch wide and 7ish inches wide, grabbed some fantastic orange chambray ribbon (from Purl Soho – really wish I had bought more) and decided to try out one of the decorative stitches on my machine.

Leather keychain 1

One row of stitching down the center, another to stitch the strip into a loop around the key ring and we’re good as gold.  I’m a fan, are you?

That time we were NYC tourists

Last month Brad and I celebrated our seventh anniversary.  Since Abi joined the family 5 years ago we have never spent more than a night away without her.  With New York City being only a 3 hours train ride away we decided to take advantage.

I had been twice before, but both times it was for the BlogHer conference so I was a little preoccupied and didn’t really get to do much site seeing. So I was excited to really see the city for the first time with my husband. We spent a whole 4 glorious days there.

We didn’t really have a plan going into it.  There were a few of the main touristy things that we wanted to hit and a few restaurants that we had to try out (I’ll talk about those a little more next week-so good!) but no real plan.  We woke up each morning and looked at our list and decided what looked fun that day.  I highly recommend traveling like that.  There was absolutely no pressure to do anything.  It was marvelous.  We just wondered around eating and gawking at everything.  So great!

Ready for a photo dump? Please excuse the cell phone pics.  I refused to carry a big heavy camera all week.
Train Ride

^^ Train travel is my favorite way to go.  And it’s even better when I’ve got that guy sitting next to me :) ^^

Times Square

^^ We visited Times Square once on purpose and a few more times on our way to other places.  It’s pretty great fro a few minutes, but don’t hate me, I honestly think it’s over rated.   ^^

World Trade Center

^^ The World Trade Center Memorial is pretty incredible.  I remember the day of the attack vividly and to see the site is amazing. ^^

Stock X and Bridge

^^ One day as we were wondering we discovered the Stock Exchange. That part of the city is crazy cramped.  The buildings are so tall and so close together.  It’s pretty cool.  Once we realized how close we were to the water we decided to head over to Brooklyn and hit up Grimboldi’s Pizza (that’s in another post).  We made it as far as the subway station nearest the bridge.  I literally did not think I could take another step so instead of walking across we took the train. ^^

NYC Streets

^^  I loved the street vendor and corner markets.  Such pretty colors.  The old painted advertisements on the sides of the buildings were pretty awesome too. ^^

Flat Iron

^^ I wanted to see the Flat Iron Building so one day we made sure to wonder past it.  Wouldn’t it be so great to have an office in one of those rooms on the end?  We also stopped to check out the art installation across the street at Madison Square Park.  So cool. ^^

FAO Schwarz

^^  Had to stop at FAO Schwartz and get a little something for Abi.  We ended up getting her a great stuffed tiger.  I wanted to dance on the piano, but there was a line and we were too impatient. ^^

Empire State Building

^^ Brad is a lover of chick flicks (don’t tell him I told you) and one of his favorites is Sleepless in Seattle.  So of course, the Empire State Building was one of the very few “must see’s” on our list.  The views were spectacular. ^^

Central Park Visit

^^ We walked though Central Park a few times.  On our last trip through we had to stop at the castle to make sure we got a picture of it for Abi. Since she’s a princess and everything. ^^

Movie Locals

^^ I’m sure you know at least one of those places, right?  The Seinfeld one is pretty recognizable, but the one on the left?  Any guesses?  The window is what helped me.  It’s the little shop around the corner!  You’ve got Mail is Brad’s favorite movie, and one of mine too, so we had to stop by. ^^

All Kids Are Artists

Did you see the cool new series that Melissa started over at her blog I Still Love You?  On the first Wednesday of every month she is hosting a “virtual gallery stroll” of kids art work.  This works out great since Abi wants to grow up and be an artist someday so our house is overflowing with masterpieces.  Now I have more of an excuse to share her work with you all :).  The series is called…

istillloveyou-melissaesplin-allkidsareartists-banner

The day after preschool ended for the summer I instituted a new rule at our house.  I started restricting screen time.  If I didn’t do something she would spend all her watching tv.  She is allowed to watch for an hour in the morning (because neither of us are morning people and we need some sort of buffer from each other while we fully wake up), then another hour at lunch time and the final hour after dinner and before bed.

It has worked out really well for us so far.  We get more chores done, more books read, more games played. Most most important – more pictures drawn.  But there is a point during the day – usually right before lunch – where action needs to be taken.  We need a real “project” to do, not just a coloring book to color.

Lately she has been obsessed with the little wood things you can paint.  The ones that are only a buck at the craft store.  So a few weeks ago I bought a bunch of those and we’ve been painting one every day.

Abi horse painting

Her favorite so far has been the horse.  She even decorated the paper :).

Head over to I Still Love You to check out the other great stuff linked up today.

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