Saint Nicholas Day

One of the traditions our family celebrated was St. Nicholas Day on December 6th. St. Nicholas was the patron saint of children, unmarried girls, and sailors.

I remember as a child this day was always a rare treat. St. Nicholas came on the evening/night of December 5th (of course while we children slept). We woke in the morning to find a dish of candy on the middle of the kitchen table. It was a nice ‘interlude’ for all of us who were anxiously awaiting Christmas to arrive.

Remembering those many years/times of waking up the morning of December 6th and the excitement I felt each of those times still makes me smile.



joys of cats

Mnewtost people can print any time they want if a printer is connected to their computer … but when a cat or cats are involved, such convenience can change.

The feline fur children have defined our laser printer as the neatest thing since canned cat food. ‘Tisn’t a printer don’tcha know, ’tis a cat bed and our favorite since it is right next to one of our humans.

Printing, therefore, occurs when: (1) the human becomes adamant about using the printer and forceably removes said cat from sleeping on the machine, (2) the human goes to the kitchen and shakes the cat-treat container luring them off the machine, or (3) when the feline has awakened and discovered it is in need of food, drink or facilities and vacates of its own volition (this generally only occurs when no one wishes to use the printer or when the computers are turned off). [#1 or #2 are the most frequent methods – when printing is needed that is.]

Cheese Dip

Cheese Dip – It’s super easy, and you’ll have everyone asking for the recipe.
You can switch up the cheese to one of your favorites, a combination of favorites or just cheddar.
  1. 1 8 oz. package cream cheese
  2. 2 cups grated cheddar cheese OR cheese of your choice
  3. 1 cup mayonnaise,or miracle whip, or sour cream,
  4. 1 small purple onion, diced (you can use chopped green onions as well or omit onions if you don’t like them)
  1. Place all ingredients in a shallow baking dish (9″ square pan, round quiche pan or bread bows will be perfect!) Microwave on high until the ingredients are melted enough to stir together. (about 2-3 minutes)
  2. Stir until all ingredients are mixed together well
  3. Bake at 350 until lightly browned. (20 minutes)
Dip your favorite crackers or veggies in and enjoy.

Frozen Berry Cobbler

  • Two 12-oz bags frozen mixed berries  frozen_Berry_cobbler
  • 1 box white cake mix (no pudding)
  • 1 can of diet 7-up or sierra mist (clear soda)
Instructions: Place frozen fruit in a 9×13 baking dish. Add dry cake mix over the top. Pour soda slowly over cake mix. DO NOT stir the cake mix and the pop – this will give you a ‘crust’. If you stir the two, you will have a cake like topping. Bake 350 for 45-50 min.
You may be able to use frozen peaches instead of mixed berries. []

Cowboy Casserole

Cowboy Casserole [this is based on a recipe at Taste of Home]
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used 80/20) Cowboy_Casserole
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can (15.25oz) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 bag (30 oz) frozen tater tots (I used Ore-Ida Crispy Crowns) Can either let them thaw a bit first or use them frozen.
  1. In a large skillet cook the onion until tender and translucent. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the beef and cook over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain the mixture and place into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine the soup, milk and sour cream. Whisk until smooth. Add to hamburger mixture and stir to combine. Add corn and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Gently mix to combine.
  3. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  4. Layer half of the Crispy Crowns on the bottom, pour the hamburger mixture over the top and then layer with the other half of the Crispy Crowns. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese
  5. bake at 350 for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy.

11th hour, 11th day, 11th month

 November: the month of honoring our veterans and of giving thanks.

For all who have served: “It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protestor to burn the flag.”  Author: Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army

Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

History of Veterans Day: [Not to be confused with Memorial Day which is for remembering those who gave their lives for freedom, this is to honor all who have served.]

In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice or truce between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. In 1919, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day, saying the day should be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory”.

On May 13, 1938, an Act was approved which made November 11 a legal holiday known as Armistice Day. This day was originally intended to honor veterans of World War I, but a few years later World War II required the largest mobilization of service men in the history of the United States. The Korean War started in 1950 and was followed by the Vietnam War, with more wars to come.
In 1954, the veteran’s service organizations urged Congress to change the word “Armistice” to “Veterans”. Congress approved this change and on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor all American veterans, where ever and whenever they had served. It is a day mostly intended to honor and thank the veterans who are still living for their dedication and loyal service to their country, and for Americans to be “filled with gratitude for the victory”.