Friday, October 30, 2009


I said at the beginning of this blog it was a sort of Baking and Craft blog.  Well I am proud to say I finally, the day before Halloween, finished the last of this years halloween crafts.   I am a sucker for cute halloween things to paint.  I am running out of places to put them.    These were all done with acryllic paints.  I really am going to have to invest in my own scroll saw someday.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

Yet another dinner my kids won't eat.  I'm sure with all these comments of what my kids won't eat you are all thinking "Wow, she must really be a lousy cook!"  Well, YOU ALL WOULD BE WRONG.  You should see Taco Salad night.  While hubby and I enjoy a nice big salad with all the fixin's  The kids eat everything separate, meat, beans, cheese, lettuce, chips, etc.  all separate on their plates.    You see, this dish requires several ingredients to be mixed together (see illustration below).  Oddly they like my homemade Chicken soup with almost identical ingredients.  'Sigh'

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Fun

As always the Monday before Halloween we did pumpkins.  This year we painted them instead of carving.  We only had 1 hour due to dance lessons and cleaning out pumpkins does take a while.  It's also easier for the kids to do and no sharp implements to worry about.  Luckily my paints were not buried in the basement finishing project.  But now they are stuck upstairs for a while, yeah! more stuff to step over.

Robot Pumpkin side 1

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ham and 15 Bean Soup

What could be better on a brisk fall evening than a hot bowl of good soup? Whenever we have ham I always freeze the left-overs for ham-bean soup. It's one of my favorite soups. For whatever reason my boys think they don't like beans, they just pick out the ham and broth. Have I mentioned that my kids are picky yet? I'm sure they get it from me, yup Picky Nicky, never heard that before. But my kids are very picky. Luckily they eat some of it.

This soup is extremely easy to make and that makes it even better. The 15 bean package is sold in most stores around me. Sometimes its 16 bean, whatever. I NEVER use the seasoning packet if one is included. I also often add an extra handful of lentils to stretch and thicken it. 1/2 package fills my 5 1/2 quart pot just about right. I also use the quicker method of boiling the beans because I rarely plan the night before, or even that morning.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tomato Soup

What is a Good Table without family and friends to share it with? I am so excited to have my nephew Ben be my guest blogger. Ok, I begged. He and his wife Chika make such yummy food I couldn't resist. And I love a hot bowl of Tomato Soup!
Been looking to stick it to Campbell's lately? Or maybe you just need to use up a bunch of tomatoes you had to pick before they froze. Well here is the prefect recipe for making your own delicious tomato soup.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Juice Pop pleaser

My 5 yr old has been trying to get mom to pay more attention to him lately. He asks me what I like to do, where I like to go. He knows I can hardly say no to music so he makes me listen to the music on his favorite video game so I will be with him. He knows how to make me feel guilty about not playing with him more. So his idea the other day is to make juice pops in the ice cube tray. Fine, mom has too many chores anyway. He was so excited to do this. Apple juice is his favorite and he was more than happy to go get a new bottle out of the basement, a job he usually begs for someone to go down with him. Putting the toothpicks in was all his job and he jabbered away the whole time. Which he usually does anyway. His teacher's only comment at parent teacher conference was that he was good but a bit talkative. He reassured me how good they were and healthy. I'm not sure why he reassures us or him of things being healthy, perhaps as a way for us to acknowledge his good choices. He waited patiently for them to freeze, although he had little choice in the matter as I had to drag him with me to a council meeting at school then to tennis lessons for my daughter.

The truth is I need to listen to him more and spend more time on his level, and sometimes his level is above or better than mine. It was a good-table moment and a reminder to take more time to do a few little things.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Easy Chocolate Cream Pie

This week has been a kind of rough week for our family. So in an attempt to help lighten the mood around here I decided to make pie. Two of my kids will eat cream-type pies. The youngest will pretty much not touch any pie. Any attempt to get him to taste any pie is pretty much failure. Actually last week I did force him to take a bite of the apple pie crust, which I may say was my best crust ever. He finally did so with much grimacing.

Southern Fried Chicken

What better way to start a new blog than with a new recipe. Most of the new recipes I try lately come from the internet. But today I was determined to try something new from one of my many cook books and 100's of pages of jotted recipes from family and friends. I decided to keep the new theme and use a recipe from one of my newest book. This book happens to be a calendar. Paula Deen's 2009 Calendar. I got it for a buck, which is good because most of it is useless, unless I really happened to need a weekly calendar to tote around. I'm not that organized. But I was determined to find a recipe in this particular book to use. After looking through it I settled on her Southern Fried Chicken recipe. My kids might actually eat it and it is a perfect example of my cooking style. Toss that ingredient, change that one, cook in a totally different manner, yup, that about does it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why A Good Table?

I have wanted to start a blog for a while. Why? I'm not so sure. I wanted to share some things I love doing, mostly Baking and Crafts. I have a plethora of baking blogs I enjoy. That is one reason anyway and the basis on what I chose to make my blog about. This dictionary definition prompted the decision on the name. It was so long and the word table had so many connotations. Namely, for me, the phrase "She keeps a good table."

The dining/kitchen table in my house is almost literally the center of my house. It's the first thing you see when you come into my home. It's between the kitchen and family room. And, it is used for just about everything. Eating, talking, crafts, homework, experiments, general catch-all, etc. I thought about naming it the messy table but didn't want to put any negativity on it. It is truly in a messy state about 80% of the time, everything from crumbs to clutter. I love my table, I think it is very beautiful, however, I keep it covered with an ugly table cloth most of the time.

Because A - I want to protect it's beauty from fork donks and spilled paint etc. B - It's ugly because I'm cheap and cheap doesn't come pretty. C -I don't want to worry about keeping spills from a nice table cloth, then I have two things to worry about. My kids have yet to prove that the table cloth can be removed.

I was very intrigued with the "She keeps a good table" phrase. Although I do consider myself a very good cook, that phrase means more to me. I want more than good food on that table, I want good kids, good family, good times... I would hope that the things that happen around my table can bring good memories and inspire good things in those who gather 'round it.
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