Sunday, January 23, 2011

Stuffed Bell Peppers, Scrapbooking with Few or No Photos, Routines

Spent the last 24 hours with my 8 year old niece, Katie, and didn't take a single picture.  Rats!  I seem to do this a lot with family members I don't see all that often.  Another niece, Lauren, came to visit a while back and I didn't take any pictures of her, either. Ditto for Mark's brother's visit and my brother's visit.  I tend to take pictures at holidays or special events with the kids, but when it comes to those family members I don't see as often I want to spend every minute they are with me catching up.  That's not a bad thing; I never want my photography/scrapbooking to take the place of sitting back and enjoying the moment.  But when I look through my scrapbooks, these precious family members are under-represented.  And don't even get me started on the under-representation of friends!  Luckily, my daughter snapped a couple of pictures of Katie playing dress up in one of Darby's old dance costumes.  I can feature one or two photos in the scrapbook and count on journaling to tell about the rest of our day with Katie.  So, this leads to...
Scrapbooking Tip:  Creating pages with limited or no photos  Sometimes we only have one photo from a special event, or even none.  Don't let that keep you from scrapbooking an important event.  Use memorabilia, if you have it.  For our recent anniversary, Mark and I went out to dinner and to see Al Jarreau in concert.  We had a marvelous time, but I only have one photo that our daughter took of us before we went out, because photos were not allowed during the concert.  I still plan to do   a two page layout, though.  I will enlarge the one photo to a 5 x7 and double or triple mat it, include our ticket stubs, and make a color photo copy of the CD insert that Al Jarreau autographed for us.  I don't have a photo of us with him, but I can use journaling to tell the story of how close our seats were, how wonderful the show was, and how gracious he was when we met him.  We only had a couple photos from Mark's mother's 80th birthday and Darby's All City Concert.  I used similar colors to tie the two pages together, even though I didn't have enough photos from either event to do a two page spread.

Recipe:  Stuffed Bell Peppers Preheat oven to 350.  Put on a large pot of water to a boil. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown 1 lb. ground turkey (or beef) with 1 small chopped onion.  While meat is browning, cut four bell peppers in half lengthwise, removing seeds and membranes.  Boil peppers for 5 minutes, remove, drain and place cut sides up in 9 x 13 glass dish (I like to use a mixture of red, yellow and green).  Add 2 cups cooked rice to meat and onion mixture.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin to taste.  Add 3/4 can tomato sauce (about 6 oz.), reserving the remainder.  Fill peppers with meat mixture.  To reserved tomato sauce, add 1/2 cup ketchup.  Spoon tomato/ketchup sauce over the meat mixture in each pepper, a bake in 350 oven for 20 minutes.  Serves four to eight, depending on appetite and what else you are serving.

Homemaking Tip:  Daily Routines  A lot of housekeeping experts talk about the importance of daily routines, and I heartily agree!  Every single day, I get dressed (including makeup, hair fixed, jewelry and shoes) before I leave the house to take the kids to school.  This is only partly because I am afraid I will get into an accident and be caught looking my worst in pajamas, with no makeup on.  If I need to make a quick stop at the grocery store, I can do so without worrying about who I might run into!  If I plan to excercise, I still apply light makeup--I am a southern girl, through and through.  As  soon  as  I  get home, I make up the beds, get some laundry going, do the breakfast dishes, and pick up any stray items.  By 10:00, the house looks reasonably good.  If someone drops by, or if I have errands to run the rest of the day, I know that our home is in pretty good shape.  The rest of the day I can focus on more serious cleaning, organizing, laundry,etc.  I feel better because every time I pass the mirror I don't groan at my appearance.  I swear I have more energy when I am dressed and looking presentable.  My nightime routine includes making sure the kitchen is spotless (who likes to greet the day with a messy kitchen?), a look at my calendar to see what appointments I might have, and some thinking about what I will cook for dinner the next night.  I can put meat in the fridge to thaw, beans on to soak, and check if I need anything from the grocery store.  When I skip these routines, it makes a big difference. When I was working full time, an important routine to me was making sure the coffee maker was ready to go, so that in the morning, I could stagger in and hit the switch.  I tried to leave the kitchen clean before I left the house each day, so that when I got home after a long day and everyone was starving, I could get started right away on dinner without having to do dishes first.  And, I made the bed as soon as I got home.  This may seem kinda silly at 5 pm, but I love to climb into a made bed at night, and making the bed makes the whole room seem cleaner, in my opinion.  Do you have any routines that have made life a little easier or your home more pleasant?  I would love to hear them...

1 comment:

  1. My mom used to make that same bell pepper dish. It is still one of my favorites! Tastes like HOME. :o)