Yes,Virginia, I Can Cook

Oh, yeah! Uh-huh! (Insert strutting with unique head motion — sort of like an emu)


The very reason I started this blog almost two years ago (say what?!?! it’s been two years?!?!?!) come December, was to cook and entertain.  I would say two meals in two years may be, in some people’s eyes, a slow start; however, I am not just your normal, run-of-the-mill, do-it-like-everybody-else gal.  No, siree.  Blame it on the genes (have I told you about my Aunt Gladys?) or my mother — no, you can’t blame it on her; she was super together — or my father (after all that’s his Aunt Gladys) or life, but the fact remains I am, if truth be told, a dork, ding bat, space queen, whatever.  I have, after decades of living, almost, almost gotten used to it.


Yippee!  Woot! Woot!  I’m so happy.  Not because I cooked, but because it tasted good.  See, I just never know. So far I’ve thrown away a peach pie, an apple pie, and had to doctor an apple cake to make it at least edible.  Men will eat anything!


Since it’s apple season, all the dishes were centered around apples and winter squash.  We should all be on a sugar high today.  The pork chops came from Pioneer Woman’s cookbook, Pioneer Woman Cooks.  How appropriate is that?!?!  There is a picture at the bottom of this post, but I won’t put the recipe in here.  Ree, the Pioneer Woman, has a recipe section as well as talks about her cookbooks with some of the recipes from them on her blog.  So I will just let you click on this web site:

Having fun with Kay taking my pics

My friend, Kay, took

oooh, bad bad 

all sorts of pictures.  These are the only ones I can let you see.

The menu:

Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing (from a Martha Stewart magazine I believe)

Pork Chops with Apples and Grits (I left out the grits) (The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook)

Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing

Apple Crisp Pie and Apple Cake with Brown Sugar-Cider Sauce

The stuffed squash came from the internet:

Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing Recipe


  • 3 medium acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds each), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice mix (1 cup uncooked)
  • 2/3 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • I cooked my rice in chicken stock; added some minced carrot for color; used ground thyme because I didn’t have fresh; and omitted the brown sugar since I was having a sweet sauce on the pork chops.
    1. Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
    2. Place squash cut side up on a baking sheet, brush 1 tablespoon of the melted butter over the tops and insides of the squash halves, sprinkle with brown sugar, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast in the oven until just fork tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, place 1 tablespoon of the melted butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it foams, add the onion, shallots, and celery, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the thyme and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute.
    4. Remove from heat and stir in the rice, pecans, cranberries, and measured salt and pepper.
    5. Divide the rice filling among the roasted squash halves (about 1/2 cup for each) and drizzle the remaining tablespoon of butter over top. Continue roasting until the squash is completely fork tender, the edges have started to brown, and the filling is heated through, about 20 to 25 minutes.

      Spinach Salad

      Brown Sugar-Apple Cider Sauce  adapted from In The Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley. Artisan; September 2001; $35.00/hardcover

      (I substituted the brandy with apple cider.)



      The Aftermath


The Family Business

My family comes from entrepreneurs —  grocers, cattle farmers, grain farmers, insurance, horses, all sorts of businesses they started — from generations back.  Way back in 1973, when my younger sister married her husband, 39 years ago, little did she know that he had that same entrepreneurism ingrained in him.

Over the years Dave has envisioned and enjoyed, sometimes more than others, different businesses.  Some were successful; some were not; some he made the decision to opt out of them.  He has always been on the look-out for just that perfect business; the one that satisfied him totally as well as made him some cash.

I believe he has found it.  The whole family is involved making it a most rewarding adventure.  It’s something he’s very good at, very knowledgeable, something he really enjoys doing.  And I am so happy about the whole thing that I had to share it with all of you.

The website is but here is a preview:

About Us

Our company is based on the belief that our customers’ needs are of the utmost importance. Our entire team is committed to meeting those needs. As a result, a high percentage of our business is from repeat customers and referrals.
We would welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and deliver you the best service and products in the industry.
At D&D Enclosures we are committed to building with excellence and integrity as we excel in customizing various electrical and communication needs. Our goal is to offer a very high quality product at an extremely competitive price.
We are a family-owned business that believes in the value of serving our customers with honesty, diligence and care as we aim to reflect the goodness and mercy of God found in Jesus.  Take a look at some of our products and contact us with any questions or needs.
Sincerely,  Dave, Darla, Davy, Julie, Wes & Amanda Martin
Harrisburg, IL 62946
1 (888) 257-3390
Mon – Fri: 9AM – 5PM
Sat: 8AM – 12PM
Sun: Closed

©2012 MapQuest  –  Portions ©2012  | Terms
I’m so excited for them!!  Check it out!!

It’s That Time Again… Time To Remember

All over Facebook are pictures of the 9/11 destruction and stories of where people were on that harrowing day.  There are remembrance collages and photos.  Remembrance sentiments.

Since I couldn’t say it any better, I decided to post some of those things people said and created.  They are not my creation nor my words, but they do convey my sentiments.  The photos have no recognition of who took them or created them, and for this I apologize but I have no way of knowing.

So, as I remember:

Skyline of New York before 911

Remembering 911

Statue of Liberty and Twin Towers


9-11 Destruction

fire fighter in 911 destruction

“Thinking of those who lost their lives, and the families and friends they left behind.”

” never will forget! it was (name removed) and me opening that tuesday morning, the entire store was dead but of coarse we stayed open, i got off at 4 and tried to get gas, but it was like 6 bucks a gallon, it took almost on hour to get home and i lived 5 minutes away!”

“I was in Equality on a roof.  (Name removed) and (name removed) were with me.  … had the radio on in his truck. When the horrible news started pouring in, finishing that roof or any other work was the last thing on our minds.We all just sat on that rooftop stairing out over the town praying for good news to come soon. For so many that day, good news didnt come, we will always share their pain and remember them in our prayers. God Bless Them and GOD BLESS THE USA.”

“I was at (name removed) Nursing home in the break room when it came across the TV. My heart sank into my stomach and eyes filled with tears.”

” I was at the Office in Old Shawneetown watching the Horror on TV, with (name removed), and (name removed)”


” was at work, had just sent out my landscape crews and getting ready to head out myself. Our branch administrator came running into the kitchenette and yelled “turn on the tv, my mom said a plane hit the WTC!” As we watched, we saw the second plane hit and were in shock, did that really just happen? What the heck was going on? The kids and I were to fly out the next day to Washington DC for my niece’s wedding on Saturday. All of a sudden the news flashed about the Pentagon, and that’s when I panicked. I had friends working there, my family was right across the bridge from the Pentagon. Were they safe? It was a long and terrifying day until I knew for sure they were all safe. A co-worker’s father was in Charge of Indianapolis’ Task Force One, and he was immediately readied with his crew to head to Ground Zero. And of course we had to drive to DC instead of fly, and it was so creepy to be in the busiest place of the US and not see a single plane or helicopter in the air. We went down to the Pentagon later that week, and I cannot express the multitude of emotions that coursed through me. I’ll never forget…”

” I was in Cancun, stuck there bc no planes …..scary to be out of the country”

‎8:00 a.m., I’d just dropped my two precious sons off for their day at Grade School. I turned the car radio on to catch up on the morning news…..”

The date that will be remembered forever……God bless the families of the fallen and injured.”

I rem I was at hburg er with mama she’d had a mild heart attack when I heard the news. (name removed) was 3 and at (name removed) funny how you know everything about that day”

“Remembering 9/11”

“Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?” Take a moment today to stop and remember…and pray.”

“My prayers go up for the survivors of 9/11 and their families, as well as the families of those who lost their lives. I pray for God’s protection of this great nation, and our emergency personnel and military personnel and their families!!!! I pray for a return to Christian morality for our elected officials and our nation as a whole!!! ”

“For the husband who told his wife I love you one last time before his plane went down in a field ~ For the wife who stopped in the stairs to call her husband to say I will love you forever ~ For the mothers and fathers who kissed their kids goodbye the morning they died ~ For the policemen and firemen who rushed in to help, only to die themselves ~ For the soldiers who fought back and lost their lives. Today, tomorrow and ten years from now…. WE WILL REMEMBER! ♥”

“Myself, my family and friends here in South Africa will never forget that horrific day xxx”


Joyce Meyer Ministries

Our thoughts and prayers are with those of you who lost loved ones on this day eleven years ago. As we remember and honor those who gave their lives on 9/11, let’s also remember that our hope in any situation is Jesus Christ. We pray that you know this hope and the comfort that only Christ can give. 

“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” -2 Thessalonians 2:16-17