In My Kitchen ~ December 2015

It's A Wonderful Life

In My Kitchen… it’s time to CELEBRATE!

This was our Thanksgiving dinner “for two” — lemon & herb roast turkey breast, smoked ham slices, and his ‘n’ hers dressing. His was “Stove Top” — by request — but I always throw in sautéed onions, celery, and homemade stock. (What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him!) Mine was homemade with gluten-free croutons, the aforementioned additions, “Craisins” and pecans. The Man Of Few Words isn’t real wild about cranberries, but I simply must include a few in “my” holiday menu.

I also dolled up some sides (can’t help myself!) — mashed Yukon gold potatoes with cream gravy, sweet potatoes laced with maple syrup, and pumpkin pie topped with whipped white chocolate ganache and orange-glazed pecans. I love combining flavors! I’m also looking forward to “thinking up” something special for Christmas dinner.

In My Kitchen… things are crystal clear. (Most days, ha!)

My sweet friend, Marla, gave me this set of faceted glassware (originally from Canada) and I feel compelled to bless others with her gift of graciousness.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your thoughtfulness, Marla, xo.

In My Kitchen… is an assortment of table linens — from practical to whimsical to sentimental — courtesy of my lovely friend, Ally.

Life (and dinner) are SO much more fun with this colorful selection to PLAY with. :)

They were tucked between another “Ally gift”… a 48-pound box full of cookbooks!

Cookbooks

In My Kitchen… are dinner ideas for days and months to come!

(Truthfully, there were so many cookbooks they didn’t all fit in the picture.)

Thank you very much, my friend, xo. This gift will last all year, and then some.

Coffee Trivet

In My Kitchen… there’s always coffee. (And recently, a coffee-inspired trivet.)

It adds a lil’ pizzazz to our coffee counter, don’t you think?

Whether you’re a java junkie or tea aficionado, a “cuppa” offered with a smile is the perfect warm welcome for impromptu celebrations.

Pecans & Pasta

In My Kitchen… (in the background of the previous photo)  are white chocolate chip pecan cookies — made with Oklahoma-grown pecans.

The cookies are long gone, but I don’t think I’ll run out of pecans any time soon…

I brought home five pounds. (Let the holiday baking begin!)

Stockpot

In My Kitchen… is an 11-quart stockpot. (Yay!)

I’ve been making do with a 6-quart, but it just wasn’t “roomy” enough. This one is suitable for stewing a whole chicken or mega-batches of veggie broth — and, its arrival was most timely — it’s getting chilly here!

Come to think of it, a good-sized batch of chili would simmer nicely in it, too.

Potato Salad in the making

In My Kitchen… (in the aforementioned 6-quart stockpot) some spuds are simmering for another batch of potato salad.

Although potato salad is considered a “summer” food here, TMOFW loves it year-round. (Me, too!)

Potato salad = PARTY!

Recipe Box 2

Last, but not least, In My Kitchen… is a “recipe box” … of sorts!

I was looking for something to house my printed-off recipes and this was the perfect size for file folders — plus, the beautiful carving and patina caught my eye — yes, another thrift store find. Do you have a recipe box? (Or remember writing recipe cards?) Whether you use old-fashioned means or the latest technology, cooking for your loved ones (or YOU) is cause to celebrate!

Please pop in and visit other kitchens around the world (or add your own festivity by the 10th) at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, hostessed by the ever-welcoming Celia.

Enjoying hearth and home… and holiday dinners,

~ Kim

P.S. The next two weeks are “musically crazy” for moi… 3+ evening rehearsals, dress rehearsal, the performance, and a side gig. If  I don’t respond immediately (or in a timely fashion) I WILL get back to you after that! Thanks ever so much for visiting my kitchen… I’m looking forward to visiting yours. Happy Holidays!

A Totally Unedited Post (okay, a couple of times to proofread) and an Appeal…

6 December 2013

Dear Ones,

I’m sooooo at the mercy of my creative soul. (Inspiration comes in the most unlikely forms and at the most unexpected times.) Thanks for bearing with me, blog world pals and new friends! xo

Take our recent snowstorm, for instance. Some might view it as an inconvenience, but I look at it as a break from life… and blogging.

A much needed break. (Back at’cha next weekend.)

I’m talking slow-simmered, re-evaluate as you go, throw another log on the fire, take a NAP, think it over twice before you hit the “send” button (except now), and give it some serious consideration first.

Why are you blogging? What do you want from it? What do you get from it? What do you give? (Emphasis on the last musing.)

In this online world of pretty pictures (some? all? enhanced…) as opposed to the very real world of poverty around me, it gets to be a bit much at times. The dichotomy of it digs at me — deeply.

Folks are starving here… and not just here.

Frankly, I plain ol’ don’t care if my pictures are food photo worthy (or not) or if my recipes are on the cutting edge of trendiness. (Well, I do to some extent…if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy; refer to “creative soul” above.)

What I care about more is that hungry people are fed.

Staring that statement in the face, I guess that’s why I’m here.

No. I know that’s why I’m here.

To feed your soul (hopefully)… as well as the stomachs of those in hunger.

I love having a purpose!

Between the surreal (albeit blessed) world of posting about my latest kitchen paraphernalia (and/or recipes) versus the real need of donating to our local food shelf, I might just make a difference to someone somewhere. It’s not for naught.

My efforts matter… and so do yours!

O Christmas Tree

During this holiday season (often fraught with excess), please choose to make a difference to someone in need. Step up to the plate — not just those with artful backgrounds — and donate generously to your local food pantry.

That’s it. Thank you. Love y’all!

Enjoying more blessings than I can count,

~ Kimby

Back To The Basics II

Back to the Basics

It seems that my body and soul (and stomach) need to do a “regroup” about every six months or so.  In my first Back To The Basics post, I’d just “retired” from a job outside the home, which — while, philanthropically fulfilling — didn’t meet my need to write, cook, make music…

Here it is, six months later and I’m at it again… what shall I do with this life o’mine?

Frankly, I feel blessed to ask that question!

I also feel blessed to be the recipient of some fabulous gifts, aptly timed to arrive during the holidays.  (Who doesn’t love extra presents under the tree?!)  Actually, they were the only presents under the tree, lol.  ‘Tis better to give than to receive…

Anyway, these gifts fulfilled the basic need to treat myself

Thank you so much, to Robin from Simply Southern Baking:

And Christine Lamb from Christine’s Pantry:

And Shirley, from Luxury Haven:

(Yes, I know “eye liner” doesn’t have one whit to do with cooking… but in a way it does!  The more glamorous you feel in the kitchen, the more you can “treat yourself”  — and your special folks — right! ;)

In case you aren’t familiar with the aforementioned lovely ladies, please click on the links in this post — or on my blog roll any time you wish.  You’ll be glad you did!

(And hooray for Random Number Generators!) xo

Getting back to treating myself

As of right now, the house is “undecorated.”  Life is simpler.  Time seems slower… or more basic.

And there’s nothin’ more basic, to me at least, than bread and jam. :)

Recipes forthcoming in following posts… after January 7th!  Until then, I’m taking a much-needed hiatus.  Happy New Year, everybody!

Enjoying time off,

~ Kim

My Guest Post for Choc Chip Uru on Go Bake Yourself

Twinkle, Twinkle...

Seasons Greetings!  (And surprise, surprise!)

One of the perks of blogging is the ability to be instantly transported around the globe at the click of a button — not just to a place, but into someone’s home.  More specifically… their kitchen!

During the past year or so, we’ve all had the pleasure of getting to know Choc Chip Uru at Go Bake Yourself.  Uru has thrilled us with her baking creativity, restaurant reviews (love your CCU Undercover Series!), wit, and humor, but she’s also invited us into her life — and an interesting and delightful one, at that.

This busy young lady was due for a much needed break and asked if I’d be willing to write a guest post.  Needless to say, I was on it like a rolling pin on cookie dough!  Glad to help while you’re away, Uru! xo

Today, I invite you to travel with me far, far south of my usual neck of the woods to my guest post in the land “down under.”

Happy, Shiny, Shimmery Holidays everyone!

Enjoying global friendships,

~Kim

My “Boho” Blue Christmas

Blue Christmas

Sometimes I can be soooo serious when I’m pursuing my pursuits, I need to be reminded to have FUN.  (Plus I live with the King of Calm — aka The Man Of Few Words.)  He rubs off on ya after awhile. :)

Thankfully, someone came along out of the blue to shine their sparkle on the possibilities in front of my eyes and make me realize that I’ve settled for the same ol’, same ol’.  (Which is pleasant and peaceful, but it doesn’t accurately portray the party going on in my head!)

That special someone is Ally Phillips…

If you’re not acquainted with Ally, please head over to Ally’s Kitchenor better yet, check out her Holiday eCookbook series!  Chock full of sumptuous recipes and exquisite (yet inexpensive) decorating ideas, Ally’s ebooks are guaranteed to make any day (not just holidays) more sparkly — spontaneous — FUN!

After reading (and drooling) through Boho Holidays Sweet Treats and Boho Holidays Sides of Delight & Soulful Giving, I was inspired to go on a scavenger hunt for treasures with “Boho potential” in my own home!  Here’s what I found…

Boho bouquet

A vase full of silk flowers (from our wedding) with a lil’ added sparkle!

Boho frankincense and myrrh

Boho blue plates

Decorative bottles (which have starred in many a Christmas pageant as “Frankincense and Myrrh” holders), along with these plates I’d tucked away for a virtual baby shower earlier this year… just in case another sweet blogging friend o’mine had a baby boy. ;)

Then I added a few baubles…

Boho soup bowl

Boho bling

And while I was at it, I took down the drapes and hung ornaments from the curtain rods…

Boho danglies 2

Converted a bench into a serving table…

Boho side table

And followed that with a break!  (Gather ’round the tree…)

Boho "family photo"

After which, I dressed up the center of the dining room table…

Boho centerpiece

Rearranged “faux gifts” under the tree (I don’t shop ’til Dec. 24th!)

Boho gifts and tree

Set out my favorite Christmas decoration of all…

Jesus is the Reason for the Season

And called it a day!!!

Welcome to My “Boho” Blue Christmas…

A Boho Blue Christmas

(There’s food involved, too… more on that in the New Year!)

Wishing you blessings, memories, and FUN during the holidays. xo

Enjoying a lil’ inspired creativity,

~ Kim

P.S.  ‘Twas my own idea to to promote Ally’s ebooks.

Deck The Halls (A Teeny Tiny Lil’ Post)

Deck the halls... and chairs

Hi, everybody!  Just wanted to let you know I’m still holding down my corner of the planet… festively, I might add. :)

There’s something magical and exciting about decorating for the holidays.  It creates a wonderland of merriment and transforms ordinary days into “somethin’ special.”

Whether it’s putting the same time-worn trinkets out year after year, or setting the table “just so,” or trimming the tree (and/or walls, doors, & chairs…), there’s joy in the process and memories in the making.  Most importantly, there’s remembering loved ones, past and present.  “Deck the halls!” I say… with love.

Next up on my agenda is a guest post “coming soon” to a blog y’all know & love… thanks for staying tuned!

Enjoying festivity and memories,

~ Kim