Posts Tagged ‘grandkids’

Sleepless in Sienna Plantation

July 16, 2016

 

 

It’s early Saturday morning and I cannot sleep. It’s still dark outside in Sienna Plantation. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday this week we were out the door by 7 AM on our way to MD Anderson for blood work, review, and transfusion or appointment with my oncologist. On Thursday, I was on my way to La Grange, Texas for a Quilts, Inc. Executive Committee meeting. Today was my day to sleep in. I love to sleep late, but not today. There’s too much on my mind.

Was it the excitement of yesterday’s blood work revealing  my  platelets count went up since Wednesday’s results? Or was it the fear of needing a stem cell transplant if my numbers don’t elevate to at least 20,000 over the next few weeks?

Yesterday’s results were reason to cheer and hug with my two favorite Physician’s Assistants. However, just last week we were nervous and worried about dipping to 3,000 platelets until it got to 1,000. Starting back up, instead of dropping lower, was reason to cheer. I was on a high when we got home even after a stop at the Quilts, Inc. office for a few hours of work.

Over the last few months I haven’t felt like concentrating on anything in my studio other than an order from the Texas Quilt Museum for collage cards and design packets. When I got home yesterday late afternoon, I went into my studio and decided it was time I spend some time creating or catching-up on adding merchandise to my etsy shop. Or maybe I start with straightening my design wall clutter and work table mess.

Design wall

Design Wall in my Studio

My whole studio is a far cry from the order it was in for the photo shoot of my work space for the publication, Where Women Create. My studio is featured in the Nov/Dec/Jan2015 issue. What a fun day with my kind friend, Jo Packham, the editor of the magazine.

So last night I had the energy and desire to add to my etsy shop two little frocks I made early this year. When our children were here for Easter, our granddaughter, Madison Murrah modeled the frocks while another, Lindsey Huebner photographed them. The garments have been hanging in my studio since then. It was good to get those posted last night. The pattern I used is Simplicity 1080. The frock on the left is made from a vintage cutwork tablecloth. The frock on the right features a 1930’s embroidered hostess apron I imagine was worn by the hostess for a bridge party. Both pieces are in excellent condition.

I have collected vintage linens, laces, patchwork, and trims since I started having an interest in sewing and embellishing when I was in my twenties. I have boxes and closets full of everything you would ever need for a lifetime of stitching and creating. Madison would take all those things in a heartbeat, if she weren’t just 19 and going to college.

Where did all this begin? How did a young woman with a degree in Elementary Education, who just wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and wife to an executive husband have a life-time career as a teacher, author and show planner?

It all started when our youngest son, who is now 41, was an infant in arms. His brother was 6 and his sister 2 1/2. I was sewing fabric squares together to make quilts when I had a few minutes to myself. There were no books to follow, but occasionally an article in Women’s Day or Woman’s Circle on quilting.

One lucky day I learned of an antique shop teaching quilting classes at night. What joy I found that one night out each week that I could be with other quilters and learn how to make a quilt. In a little over a year, my first full-sized quilt was hanging at Great Expectations Quilt Show, and my quilt was featured on the advertising postcard. There was no turning back.

Quilting and creating became my passion. I started teaching classes in a Continuing Education program at our church while Todd was in second grade, Holly was in pre-school, and Troy was in the Mother’s Day Out program at our church. I was actually using my degree. As a thirty-three year old young woman, I loved teaching women many years older than I how to create something beautiful. They were of a generation where women did not work outside the home. For many it was the first time they were so proud of their accomplishments. It became a mission for me.

Quickly the word was out and I started teaching at a couple of small shops. I sewed well into many nights once I had the children to bed. I couldn’t get enough of it. Oh, to have just a little of that energy today.

sewing

My Sewing Corner in the 1970’s

It wasn’t long after that that I had a meeting with the owner of Great Expectations, Karey Bresenhan. She had added fabrics to her antique shop and wanted me to make some samples for her. That led to teaching classes for her on how to make tote bags, bibs on pinafores, notebook covers, etc. from the quilt blocks I had learned while taking classes from her mother, Jewel Patterson. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t taken that first meeting with Karey. I have worked for her for 40 years now.

My career took off. Wait a minute…I didn’t plan to have a career. Remember I am raising three little children. I’m a mom. Somehow I was propelled and soon teaching at Quilt Fair ’78, designing a garment for the first Fairfield/Concord Fashion Show which later became the Bernina Fashion Show,

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Patchwork and Lace Jacket for the Fairfield/Concord Fashion Show

designing and creating large fabric pieces for a debutante ball, being published in magazines, becoming VP of the Greater Houston Quilt Guild, part of a two-woman fashion show,

Holly

Holly Modeling for Fashion Show

creating special decorative items for antique shops from vintage quilts and linens, designing and making rodeo vests for a trendy dress shop, etc.

Then in 1982, my husband moved us to Victoria, Texas, so he could run an independent bank there. Did my career or my association with Karey Bresenhan end there? Guess again. She did not want to see me go, but that didn’t mean she let go. Shortly after we moved, I came back to Houston to a wonderful surprise going-away party Karey had in her shop. I was presented with a quilt full of hearts and signatures from my students at Great Expectations Quilts. I continued to go back to Karey’s shop to teach a full load of classes.

What’s next? It wasn’t long after I arrived in Victoria, Texas that I started teaching quilting and related decorative classes at the Open Door Creativity Center.

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Open Door Creativity Center

Quilting caught on quickly. The classes were popular and it wasn’t long after that that Susan Manning and I formed the Quilt Guild of Greater Victoria under the umbrella of the Nave Museum. I was their first President and remained active in the Guild for 20 years. I also became very active in the Victoria community. Soon one of the Guild members opened a quilt shop where we gathered for classes. I taught there and in a shop in Edna, Texas on a regular basis for many years.

During that time teaching picked up in other towns, more of my designs were published in books and magazines including Virginia Avery’s book Quilts to Wear. In 1983, I took charge of the Education program for Quilt Festival and Quilt Market and became first President of South/Southwest Quilt Association which is IQA today.IMG_2977

Later in the 80’s we started taking Quilt Market to other cities in the summer. Not long after that, we took Quilt Market to European countries along with Quilt Expo. That made for lots of over seas travel for 20 years, but what a delight to see all those European countries and to meet so many wonderful people. Life was busy and children were growing older.

In the early 90’s I was approached by the Editor in Chief, Barbara Weiland, of That Patchwork Place to write a book on the garments I was creating. I had started a series on collage patchwork jackets about that time. After much hesitation, I did write the first book, Jacket Jazz. A series of 6 more books and a pattern line followed over the next 10 years. The first two books put me on the teaching circuit map. I began teaching all over the country for many years. That was gratifying, but hard, exhausting work. I also designed a line of fabric with a Jacket Jazz flair during this time.

Judy Murrah published books

“Jacket Jazz” series

Kids continued to grow, went off to college, graduated, married, had babies. I quit teaching in 2006. We moved back to Houston in 2007. Since then my life has been filled with being with my husband, VP of Education and Administration for Quilts, Inc., mother and Grammy, and active in our church.

Now my focus is on getting well so I can enjoy these golden years, play in my studio, be with our family and travel with my husband. I want to be able to manage MDS. I know the only cure is a stem cell transplant, if it’s successful. Please keep praying for more platelets. Your prayers sustain me, and I am so thankful for you, my friends. God bless you all. Judy

golf

Our Family

 

Happy 50th Anniversary

June 17, 2016

By the grace of God and love of family, we made it through thick and thin, sickness and health, outside interference, and just every day life happening to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. And we are so happy we did!

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50 Years of Marriage

A close friend of mine told me what her Dad always says when people ask what’s the secret to a long marriage. “Don’t leave and don’t die.” I love that quote and used it on the elevator at MD Anderson this week. Lots of laughs from strangers who may not have been experiencing a very good day.

My daughter asked me over a year ago if we wanted a party to celebrate our Golden Anniversary. I told her the best party would be all 14 of our family members together to celebrate for a few days. She offered the house she and her husband own in Park City, Utah. We had to work around everyone’s personal schedules, including my care at MD Anderson, but we were all able to get together for several days, as a family, to celebrate our lives.

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All 14 of us in Park City, Utah

The weather was beautiful, the house and grounds magnificent, and there were plenty of fun activities to enjoy during the week.

On Sunday we had a great brunch at Stein Erikson’s Lodge on the terrace overlooking the mountains. Then it was on to the “Sunday Silly Shopping” event on Main Street in Park City.

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Sunday Brunch

On Monday, the grandchildren loved the ropes course and Museum at Olympic Park.

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Ropes Course

We gathered back at the house where Troy decorated Thompson’s one-year-old birthday cake as Fenway Park. He used little plastic baseball figures that had been on his cake as a little guy.

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Fenway Park Cake

Todd arranged for us to go back downtown for pizza galore. The proprietor said, “You guys rock!”

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Yummy Pizza Dinner

Then it was back to the house again to celebrate Thompson’s one-year-old birthday a few days late.

Thompson

Michelle, Troy, and Thompson

We all loved getting to celebrate our California baby’s birthday. We had a little cake for his very own, but he didn’t like that icing on his fingers.

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Blow out the candle.

Tuesday was a big surprise when Tommy and I woke to the living area all decorated with gold and white balloons, party decorations and pictures of all of us through the years.

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Golden Anniversary Decorations

Julie, Holly, and Michelle had stayed up into the wee hours the night before pulling together all the things they had each brought for the celebration.

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Julie, Holly, and Michelle

After wonderful breakfast tacos, cooked by Scott, we headed for Park City Center for rides and miniature golf.

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In the afternoon we all headed back home for a rest while the caterers cooked and set-up a gourmet dinner in the Huebner’s backyard.

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Ashton Welcomes Us

During the appetizers we enjoyed 60’s-70’s music. I took the opportunity to dance with my oldest grandson, Tyler.

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Dancing with Tyler

We also took family pictures to commemorate this special Golden Anniversary.

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Our oldest son, Todd, his wife, Julie, Madison and Tyler

They live in Dallas. Madison will be a Sophomore at Texas A & M and Tyler a Junior at Jesuit in Dallas.

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Our daughter, Holly, her husband, Scott, Lindsey, Ashton, and Sydney

Lindsey will be in the 8th grade at Seabrook Middle School. Sydney will start 6th grade at Seabrook Middle School and Ashton will be in the 3rd grade at Ed White Elementary school. They live about an hour from us in Texas.

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Troy, our youngest child, Michelle, his wife, and Thompson

They live in Long Beach, California, where they own and operate Olafson Creative. We get together with them several times each year.

We feasted on a gourmet dinner of salad, vegetables, elk and trout, fresh from the area. It was all topped-off with a delicious cake and happy singing.

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Our six grandchildren and us

What an indescribably blessing our family is to us. As the evening cooled outdoors, we adjourned to the game room in the lower part of the house for beautiful gifts with emotion, gratefulness and love throughout. Troy read from a framed listing of the 50 things they all love about us. We all laughed and cried throughout the presentation. I can’t help but write a few of them for you.

  1. I love that you have made me a part of your loving family.
  2. I actually do love that you made us go to church and Sunday school. I realize now the great morals and ethics we learned.
  3. I love how Grammy taught me how to create–everything from little scrapbooks to crafts to quilts to gowns.
  4. I loved the Sunday picnics and playgrounds all over Houston.
  5. I love the two of you dancing the jitterbug, knowing you’ve been dancing together since you were teenagers.
  6. I love the warmth you show each other when arriving or leaving a family event. It may be as simple as Granddaddy gently rubbing Grammy’s back to comfort her or Grammy making sure Granddaddy has everything he needs to enjoy the special event.
  7. I love our family backyard wiffle ball games.
  8. I loved sharing the birth of our three babies with you, and I loved having your help for those first few weeks.
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    Moms and Daughters continue reminiscing

    Then everyone geared-up for the action-packed Shuffleboard competition. It was close, but Tyler and Julie were named the champions.

    Wednesday and Thursday we slowly began to go back to our homes. We’d had so much fun together. It was great for the older grandchildren to spend time with baby Thompson. He did not lack for attention and love.

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    Backseat baby entertainers

    It was hard to say good-bye to him and his mommy and daddy. California is a long way away.

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    Goodbye at airport

    But how thankful we are to have all these babies and their parents. Thank you for spending those precious days with us all together.

    Tommy and I had our own little morning celebration on Saturday, June 11, 2016, our actual wedding anniversary date. In the evening we attended a Sunday school party with many good friends.

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    Our Sunday school party

    They had a cake with candles and singing to conclude the special evening. Thank you everyone.

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    Happy 50th Anniversary

    May there be many more. We love you all family and friends. Life would not be the same without you. God’s blessings on you all. Judy

 

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 17 Pecan Pie

November 28, 2015

My husband and I started our Thanksgiving dinner preparations at 6:30 AM on Thursday. We were ready to sit down to dinner at 1:30, shortly after our  daughter and her family arrived. As a friend of mine said, “You still have to prepare everything no matter if your group is large or small.” We were happy to have one of our families with us. It was extra nice to have Lindsey, Sydney, and Ashton stay with us for a couple of days when their mommy and daddy left after dinner.

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The Huebners with Grammy and Granddaddy

We served a Honey Baked Ham, Cheesy Potatoes, Green Bean Bundles, Jello Salad, and Sister Shubert rolls. We didn’t make the traditional turkey or pumpkin pie. I made Pecan Pie and Lemon Meringue Pie, which are more popular with this group.

Pecan Pie

My sister, Suzanne, comes for a treasured visit each summer, and we sew and cook. She usually brings a new recipe for us to try. She’s a great cook, and I love her Pecan Pie recipe. It’s so easy.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Ingredients

¾ cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup white Karo

2 eggs

2 tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup whole pecans

Instructions

Blend sugar and flour in a bowl. Add other ingredients one at a time, mixing with a spoon. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees. It should be done when a knife inserted comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake.

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie ready to serve

If you plan to enter my Christmas recipe and/or project contest, please note the deadline is December 1. I will post the winners that day. Two lucky winners will receive a pack of 24 Christmas fat quarters. Good luck.

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Stack of 24 Fat Quarters

Good luck with your Christmas shopping and decorating, too. All our Christmas lights went up and on today. I love Christmas lights.

From Our Home to Yours

From Our Home to Yours

Tomorrow, after church, we have a friend from the Quilts, Inc. office coming to help us with putting up decorations in our house. We have a group of 44 people from church coming for a sit-down dinner next Saturday. Should start off the Christmas season for us in a special way.

Make your week special. Hugs, Judy

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 15 Meringue

November 14, 2015

The party’s over, but my studio is still suffering from the projects before and after Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival. I’m embarrassed to say that I just move things over or onto the floor or another table to make room to create.

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Messy Studio

The shows were full of color, classes, shopping, events, and friends. Whenever I could, I spent time in classes taught by Julie Craig from Wichita, Kansas, where she has a dreamy Attic Heirlooms Needlework Shop. She never stops coming up with new ideas using patchwork, trinkets, trims, buttons, and lace. I love all her classes. I had the opportunity to take her big “Crazy Tomato Pincushion” class. Students love Julie’s classes. Everything you need is provided in a kit. Often the machine sewing is done for you before class, so you can start creating immediately.

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Crazy Tomato Pincushion

Maria Shell, from Alaska, taught for International Quilt Festival for the first time this fall. I enjoyed spending Saturday in her “Blogging for Beginners” class. She taught us a few tricks for streamlining our blogs or starting one. I enjoyed the interaction with group discussion and one-on-one consultation with Maria.

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Class Catalog

My thoughts now are focusing on the holiday season. I put some new Christmas items in my etsy shop today including Christmas stockings. I hope you will take a look.

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Stockings made from a Vintage Quilt

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Red and Green Patchwork Stockings

It’s time to get out my boxes of Christmas fabrics, trims, and ephemeral to create more. My sister wants me to make stockings out of this crazy quilt vest. Should be fun to do.

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Crazy Quilt Vest

What will you be creating for the Christmas holidays? Will it be a special recipe or a new project?

For Thanksgiving and Christmas, I always make two or three pies. Everyone has their favorite. At least one of them will be topped with meringue using my mother’s recipe.

MeringueIMG_2065

People told my mom she should make pies to sell because she was a superb pie maker. It took me many tries before I could make a good. tall meringue. 

Ingredients

3 egg whites

¼ tsp. cream of tartar

½ cup sugar

Instructions

Separate egg whites from yolks. Let set out at room temperature while you make pie. Beat egg whites on high speed with heavy mixer and blade. Add cream of tartar once you have started mixing. When egg whites are just starting to get thick, slowly add sugar as whites are beating.

Continue beating until soft peaks form. Stop beater when you think meringue is ready, and lift with spatula. If peaks remain for a couple of seconds, then it is ready. It’s hard to over beat, but very easy to under beat the egg whites.IMG_2051

Spread on pie filling all the way out to crust with spatula. Lift meringue with spatula to form peaks.

Place on middle rack in pre-heated oven set to 350 degrees. Check after 10 minutes that it is lightly brown all over. If not, bake up to 15 minutes total.

Try making meringue for your cream pie. Your family will be so impressed with the magic you create for their Christmas dinner.

Christmas Table

Christmas Table set for 14

I have an idea. I think it would be fun to share your favorite holiday recipe or Christmas project with our friends on my blog. What do you think?

I’ve created two stacks of 24 fat quarters of Christmas fabric. I made them from a variety of some of my collectible Christmas fabrics. Some I couldn’t part with because I didn’t have enough to share. There were many that I had plenty of yardage and could share with you.

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Stack of 24 Fat Quarters

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Ready for a Creation

Send me your favorite holiday recipe or Christmas project. I will have a small committee to choose one of each as our favorites. The winners will receive one of the fat quarter bundles. If it’s OK with you, I will post the winners on my blog with reference to you. I’ll let you know the results on December 1, 2015.

Soon my husband and I will be going to Long Beach to see our younger son and his family. We haven’t seen our new grandson for two months. I know he has changed and grown so much. Can’t wait to kiss those fat cheeks and get all that sugar in his neck.

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Thompson Murrah

We will go to Disneyland while we’re there. I can’t wait. I was 14 years old the first time I went to Disneyland. I loved it then and still do. The photo below is me in the hat holding my nephew Jimmy D. My sister, Joanie, is holding his brother, Timmy. They are now in their 50’s. My mom is in the center. Family get-togethers are the best.

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First Visit to Disneyland

Make plans for some family or friend time. What could be more special? Blessings and hugs to you all, Judy

 

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 11 King Ranch Chicken Casserole

October 3, 2015

For most of my adult life, I crammed as much as possible into every day and often well into most nights. I was on deadline day after day. For many years I drew income from four different sources: teaching quilting/wearables, writing books, crafting to sell, and running the Education Department for Quilts, Inc. When this page showed-up in my Mary Engelbreit calendar one day last month, I thought, that’s me!  It’s so true.

Me

That’s Me!

I don’t even like to go to the grocery store any more. My husband is the shopper in our home now. The family has always joked that he gets antsy staying home all day. He has to be out and about. So he is happy to run all our errands. I love it!

I started feeling a little guilty.  I needed to plan and cook a few meals each week. Several friends recommended Hello Fresh, a company that delivers ingredients to your front door once a week to make three healthy dinners. We received our first box this week. Last night Tommy, my husband, chopped while I sautéed our first dinner. We fixed a Thai noodle dish called Shrimp Pad See Ew with broccoli, mushrooms, and peanuts. I left out the Thai chili pepper, but included the garlic, basil, shallot, and ginger. It was good, and there was enough to serve a third person. Tommy asked if the meal was healthy enough to off-set the Chicken Fried Steak he’d had for lunch earlier at Tip-Top in San Antonio. Ha-ha.

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Shrimp Pad See Ew

But this is not Page 11 for your recipe book. It’s King Ranch Chicken Casserole. My cousin, Mary Jane Fawver Nyberg, sent me this recipe she received from my mom. I didn’t have Mom’s recipe, but used one from another friend. After I received this one, I combined the two recipes.

Growing up, Mary Jane lived in Austin, Minnesota, where my mom and dad grew-up. Mary Jane, my mom’s sister’s daughter, is my age.  Every summer my parents would pile us all into our car and drive to Minnesota for Daddy’s two weeks of vacation. They both had many brothers and sisters to visit, who were still in the area. Mary lived on a dairy farm. What a special experience it was for me to stay with her those two weeks. We were little kids playing outside, and then we were teenagers interested in boys. We corresponded throughout the year, and she also visited us in San Antonio. I still get to see her occasionally at Fall Quilt Festival. Yes, she’s a quilter, too. The pictures below are of us swimming at Mary Jane’s friend’s house. I’m the one without a cap. Mary Jane is to my left. Such fun.

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Summertime in Austin, Minnesota

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Ingredients

4 lbs. chicken white meat with skin

12 corn tortillas

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can Rotel tomatoes

1 cup chicken broth

2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

3 garlic cloves chopped

1 tsp. chili powder

1 small can diced tomatoes

1 onion cut into 4 pieces

3 stalks celery cut into 3 pieces each

Instructions

Low boil chicken with skin on and garlic, onion and celery added to water. Cook until chicken starts to fall away from bone. Remove chicken to cool. Strain onion and celery from broth. Puree in blender with 1/3 cup chicken broth. Refrigerate until ready to use. Strain 1 cup chicken broth and reserve in refrigerator. Discard chicken skin. When chicken is cool to touch debone chicken and cut into chunks.

One hour before serving, combine the following in medium saucepan: pureed mixture, soups, Rotel tomatoes, and chicken broth to make a sauce. Heat to a slow boil.

In a large rectangular casserole 13 X 9 X 2 pan/dish, alternate layers of heated sauce, torn tortillas, chicken, and cheese. End with cheese. Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes. It should be bubbling before removing from oven. Serve with green salad, tortilla chips and salsa.

We are off to another A & M football game in College Station. We’ll tailgate and sit with our son Todd, and his wife, Julie, and see our granddaughter, Madison. Family…what could be better or make me more happy? Nothing. Love you all, Judy

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 10 Jello Fruit Salad

September 26, 2015

When Troy, Michelle, and Thompson were here for a visit recently, we went through old photographs of my family. It was interesting to see history repeat itself. My daddy was six feet tall. That was tall for a man born in 1912. My mom wasn’t quite five feet tall.

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad in Love

Troy, our younger son, is 6’3″ tall. Michelle, his wife, is not quite five feet tall.

Troy

Troy & Michelle in Love

I love family photographs and family traditions. For many years everyone in the family came to Mom’s house for Thanksgiving Day. It was not unusual for her to welcome thirty-six people in her home. My husband’s parents joined us the years they did not go to College Station for the A & M vs. Texas game.

Mom’s Red Jello Fruit Salad was always on the menu for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Our children grew to expect it for holiday dinners. When Mom moved from her home to independent living, we no longer celebrated in her home. It was time for me to make these holiday dinners for our family.

It’s rare now that we have Thanksgiving dinner in our home, as none of our family is here. Everyone does come together for a few days before Christmas for our Christmas dinner. Red Jello Fruit Salad is on the menu. One or more of our grandchildren is usually on hand to help me make it. Julie, Lindsey, and Tommy are the biggest fans of Red Jello Fruit Salad. They always have more than one helping.

Red Jello Fruit Salad

Ingredients

Following ingredients can be doubled easily to serve more than 8 people.

1  six oz. pkg. of strawberry Jello

1 can 15 oz. fruit cocktail (drained)

1 yellow banana (firm)

Cool Whip for topping

jello

Jello Ingredients

Instructions

Use the following speed method for making jello in a mixing bowl that is heat-resistant.

Dissolve gelatin mix in 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Add 3 cups of ice cubes. Stir into jello until slightly thickened. Remove any  ice pieces that didn’t melt.

Fold-in drained fruit cocktail and sliced bananas. Pour into a pretty bowl.

Put  in refrigerator to congeal completely. When ready to serve, top with Whipped Cream. Mom made the real thing. My family is just as happy with Cool Whip added to their own helping.

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Jello Fruit Salad

I made jello fruit salad for our dinner last night. Tommy grilled steaks and fixed everything else. He takes good care of me. I am so thankful to have him. He brought this heart home as a surprise for me recently. I hung it in my studio and look at it every day.

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Brave Girl

Tomorrow will be a month since my last blood transfusion. In the last 6 months this is the longest I’ve gone without a transfusion. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that when I’m at MD Anderson for my weekly appointment on Tuesday, the news will continue to be good. When I saw my oncologist, Dr. Garcia-Manero, this month he said the chemo is working on my MDS. I see him again on October 12. I should start the sixth round of chemo that day.

The good news is I won’t be on chemo when I move downtown for Quilt Market and Quilt Festival on October 23. Will you be there? I would love to see you. I usually can be found on the third floor of the George Brown Convention Center. That’s where the classes, lectures, luncheons, and special events take place. Come by for a hug and a chat. Until we meet again, blessings to you and your family, Judy

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 9 Hershey Bar Pie

September 19, 2015

Surprise! Here I am visiting you on Saturday with the next page in my recipe book. For a change I’m not several days late. Yippee!

Today we’ve been to the A & M game in College Station and home again. The Aggies won, but the highlight for me was getting to see Madison, our oldest granddaughter. She and a couple of her friends met us for a little while in the Lettermen’s Club at Kyle Field. It was a hot, sunny morning so Tommy and I chose to watch the second quarter inside. After seeing the half-time and Madison, we headed home again.

Madison

Madison & I in the Lettermen’s Club

When Tommy suggested we leave the game early, I was happy to go. We gave our tickets to Madison and her friends so they could watch the game in seats better than the Freshmen receive. She said they were “Awesome.”

If you haven’t surmised by now, my family is so important to me. My daddy died of a heart attack when he was only 51 years old. I was 20. When I was 49 years old I started having heart problems. When I was 50 years old I had a single by-pass. My cardiologist said I was healthy otherwise, but I chose the wrong parent.

I wish I could have had more time to know my father. We don’t really know adults when we are children. It takes a little experience being an adult to understand our parents, I think. When Troy was here recently, he went through any Olafson family pictures I have and others my sister had. Troy’s middle name is Olaf, and he has named his company Olafson Creative. Suzanne and I think he looks like our Daddy.

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Suzanne, Daddy, & Me

When we were children, our daddy loved to make us happy with small surprises. He was the one in charge of choosing the best and sweetest watermelon. He chose our Christmas tree and let it stand in sugar-water in the garage until the limbs were just right. He would bring a very large Hershey bar home from the grocery store and he, mom, and all 5 of us children would gather around. He would break the Hershey bar into segments and give each of us equal amounts as he grinned from ear to ear passing out chocolate to his giddy children.

When I received this recipe for “Hershey Bar Pie” from Susan Manning, I thought of Daddy and the big Hershey bar we shared. Holly loves this Hershey Bar Pie. When she was in elementary school and junior high school she loved to go to Susan’s small luncheon place in Victoria so she could have this pie. Many years after the restaurant closed, I got the recipe from Susan to make it for Holly’s 34th birthday. (Last week Holly turned 43 years old.) Lindsey helped me make the pie for a surprise for Mommy. I’m not sure why Lindsey made such faces when she unwrapped the big candy bar. The Hershey bars are not as large as they used to be. Imagine.

lindsey

Lindsey Helping to Make Mommy’s Pie 9 Years Ago

Hershey Bar Pie

Ingredients

1 prepared and cooled pie crust (I make my own pie crust which I’ll share with you another day.)

2 Hershey’s 4 oz. bars with Almonds (You can use milk or dark chocolate.)

1 sixteen oz. container of Cool Whip

3/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

Ingredients

Ingredients

Instructions

Melt the Hershey Bars in a double boiler on the stove until stirable. Reserve 1/2 cup of Cool Whip and 1/4 cup of almonds.

Stir the remainder of almonds and Cool Whip with melted chocolate.

Mix well. Pour into pie crust.

Top with 1/2 cup of Cool Whip and the remaining almonds.

Chill really well and then serve.

Pie

Hershey Bar Pie

Tommy is on his way home from picking-up salads at Chili’s for dinner. The pie should be plenty cool by the time we finish our dinner. I’ll be sure to clean my plate so I can have dessert. Did you know desserts spelled backwards is stressed? So if you are stressed, make this pie, eat a piece and all your stress will go away. Try it. You just have to believe. Take care, sweet friends, until we meet again. Judy

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 8 Green Bean Bundles

September 15, 2015

Here it is Tuesday again, and I am sending your recipe for last Saturday. We have had our son, Troy, and his family here from Long Beach for a special visit. It was hard to do anything other than love our youngest grandson, Thompson. It was a joy to see him laugh, smile, talk and squeal. He was easy to please and liked looking around at all the colors and things in my studio. Of course I loved that.

Thompson in My Studio

Thompson in My Studio

We spent time with Todd and his family and Holly and her family when we could. Last Saturday, we all met for the Texas A & M football game in College Station. It was great to have all 14 of us together for a tail gate lunch before the Aggie win.

Huebners, Murrahs, Murrahs, and Murrahs

The Huebners, Us, Todd Murrah and family and Troy Murrah and family

It will be Christmas time before we are all together again. I will make all the things the family expects for our early celebration Christmas dinner including Green Bean Bundles.  A friend from our First Presbyterian Church in Victoria Sunday school class brought these to a pot luck Christmas party at our house. I made them for our family Christmas dinner that year, and they’ve been on our holiday menu ever since. Everyone in the family likes them including the grandbabies. These are so easy that anyone helping in the kitchen can make them.

Green Bean Bundles

Ingredients

3 cans whole green beans (Drain)

Package of bacon (Cut each strip in half and cut off excess fat.)

1/2 cup butter

¾ cup brown sugar (packed)

Minced garlic to taste (I shake in a LOT. My guess is a tablespoon.)

Instructions

Melt butter, brown sugar, and garlic in saucepan. Stir until comes to a boil.

Loosely wrap 5-6 green beans with a half strip bacon. Place in rectangular Pyrex dish with small space between for browning bacon. Use all the green beans and bacon. Your dish will be full unless you use two smaller dishes.

Cover with all the melted mixture.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Then…

Brown under broiler for 10 minutes.

Beans Ready for Oven

Beans Ready for Oven

We are soon approaching Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas which are all fun holidays. I wish they were spread out a little more throughout the year. There’s very little sign of Autumn approaching in Houston, Texas. I’m looking forward to it getting here. I hope you have something to look forward to this fall. May you receive many blessings. See you again next week. Hopefully, it will be on Saturday. Hugs, Judy

 

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 7 Ginger Cookies

September 8, 2015

Here it is Tuesday morning, and I am just now getting Saturday’s recipe to you. Our son, Troy, came with his wife, Michelle, and baby Thompson for a two-week visit. The first week has been wonderful. We’ve had a great time on the go every day. Thompson is an unbelievably sweet, agreeable 3-month old baby. We take him everywhere, and he’s happy and content to be with us wherever we go. He laughs and coos and is intent on what everyone is doing around him. We love having all three of them with us.

Troy, Michelle, & Thompson Visit Grammy & Granddaddy

Troy, Michelle, & Thompson Visit Grammy & Granddaddy’s House

I made a batch of Ginger Cookies before they came last Tuesday. I know how much they both love them. My mom, Ruby Earl Olafson, made these cookies at Christmas each year. Several years after Mom died, Troy asked me to make the cookies. I found a recipe for “Crinkle Tops” in a cookbook I received when I married in 1966. I imagine one of my aunts sent the book to me because it came from St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Austin, Minnesota. Everyone in our family loves these cookies. The “little girls” love to roll them into balls and dip them into sugar for baking. They are so easy.

Sydney Huebner Helping Me Bake Cookies

Sydney Huebner Helping Me Bake Ginger Cookies

Ginger Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup shortening

½ cup butter

4 cups flour

2 cups sugar

½ tsp. salt

4 tsp. baking soda

3 tsp. ginger

3 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

2 eggs beaten

½ cup Grandma’s Molasses

Instructions

Sift dry ingredients together. Add other ingredients and mix with mixer. Roll in 1” balls and dip in sugar. Place sugar side up on cookie sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven 8-10 minutes or until light brown and crinkled on top. Remove from cookie sheet after 1 minute and cool single layer on waxed paper.

Cookie Jar Half Empty

Cookie Jar Half Empty

Hope your day is full of love and fun things to do. Today I will go to MD Anderson for bandage change,  blood work and bone marrow aspiration. Hopefully my  PA  will say there is no need for a transfusion, and I’ll be home after review with her. Thursday I’ll be back at MDA for an EKG, more blood work, and appointment with Dr. Garcia-Manero, my oncologist. If all my counts are good, and he says the chemo is still working, I’ll start the fifth round that day. I take chemo by tablet, so I’ll be home the remainder of the days the Murrah family from Long Beach will be with us. I don’t want to miss a minute more than necessary being with them. Be with someone you love today. I wish you a happy day. Love and hugs, Judy

What Joy!

What Joy! My Happy Boy.

 

 

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 6 French Toast

August 29, 2015

It’s Saturday evening and I haven’t sent your recipe for this week. But it’s still coming. My goal today was to finish one of the three garments I need to make for the Houston Quilt shows.

We have many fabulous fabric manufacturers who are exhibitors at Quilt Market. Two or three of them donate fabrics each year for the members of the Education team to make garments to wear on the same days. This all began when my first book, Jacket Jazz, was published. For many years, I wore garments from my books, and many of our staff did the same. When I finished writing this series of books and teaching, I quit making garments until last year. It has been fun to create these show garments again. The one I finished today is made from a jelly roll of fabric strips by Robert Kaufman. Jennifer Sampou is the designer. A pattern company,  Indygo Junction by Amy Barickman, donated our patterns of choice from her line. I chose the Gathered Back Top & Tunic pattern for this fabric. I’ll wear it with black tights.

Strip Pieced Tunic

Strip Pieced Tunic

Now that my first show garment is complete, it’s time to give you the recipe for this week. A book of family requested recipes could not be complete without my French Toast. I learned how to make it while watching my mother as I grew-up. There are much fancier ways to create French Toast, but most everyone in our family loves Grammy’s the best.

Holly and Julie getting a Lesson

Holly and Julie Getting a Lesson at Christmas

Once, Troy ate 8 pieces at one time when he was home from college. I think that’s the record. Madison has loved Grammy’s French Toast passionately since the first time I made it for her. Now Lindsey is just as great a fan. Ashton, Tyler, and Sydney get caught-up in the excitement, but they aren’t fans like Madison and Lindsey. They all enjoyed French Toast during our “children only” Christmas Tea last December

Christmas Tea

Christmas Tea

Grammy’s French Toast

Ingredients

White bread from the grocery store

2 eggs

1/3-1/2 cup milk

Dash of salt

1 teaspoon Vanilla (The secret ingredient)

Butter

White sugar

This will make 5-6 pieces. Just double it for more.

Instructions

I make mine in an electric skillet. I can use other skillets, if necessary, but really prefer my electric skillet.

Beat together eggs and milk in pie pan. Stir in salt and vanilla.

Melt butter in heated skillet. Quickly coat bread in batter on both sides. Place in skillet. When slightly brown on one side, turn and brown on other side. Add more butter if bread sticks to skillet. Remove to plate when brown on both sides. Butter one side and sprinkle with white sugar. Eat while hot.

waiting

Waiting for French Toast

If you have a leisurely Sunday morning, you might want to try my recipe. Try topping it with plain white sugar before you pull out the powdered sugar or maple syrup. That’s the way we like it. Have a great day. Hugs and sugar, Judy

 

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