Surprise, surprise.

Well, contrary to my own denial about how much I had to do over the weekend belief about how much free time I would have over the weekend, I did not do any pre-blogging. So, dear readers, this week you will just get me, on the fly, with whatever catches my fancy or my eye.

This morning, it was my brand new stack of mismatched dinner plates. I’ll just say that they were inherited form the living, and they came like this, all together. And they are all brand new.

Most people probably wouldn’t care for this, but I have actually dreamed of having a set of mismatched dinner plates for about 15 years. Because of the transient nature of my life since then, I actually only came to own any glass plates for dinner about a year and a half ago. They are cute and square and perfect for me and Mr. Thor and the small meals we frequently eat. But they are not quite fancy enough for Thanksgiving.

30-*cough* years old and I finally have plates for guests.

The one on top there is my favorite, due to its coupe style and its totally rad pattern. I shall eat turkey from that plate.

The other plates that I have had for a few years, but have been in almost-constant storage, are some adorable brightly colored glass dessert plates. Of course I had to choose them all in different colors; that’s just the way I am. I know it’s hard to see under the glaring overhead light in my dining room, but the plate on top is actually a different color from the plate on the bottom.

My favorite plates in the universe. Purchased at a now-closed boutique in Nashville, TN.

So, there you have it. My fancy plate collection in its entirety. Aren’t you glad that you tuned in today?

My favorite things: Coffee

Today, because it’s the weekend before thanksgiving and just looking up recipes on the internet gave me panic attacks, I decided to post a nice easy post about something I truly love.

This is coffee from a local roaster and coffee shop, Heavenly Cup. I recently got into a great conversation with the daughter of the owners. She explained to me how meticulous her dad is about his roasting. He sends her samples to try out new roasts, and he is just devoted to getting it right.

I have to tell you, his dedication really shows. Every cup I ever had in the coffee shop was so delicious that Mr. Thor and I decided to forgo buying our coffee in the grocery store and start buying the beans exclusively from Heavenly Cup. What a great idea. This is our third pound so far. Coffee used to be just kind of daily medicine just to kick start my brain. I would fill a travel mug every morning and leave most of it in my mug. No more – now coffee is a pleasure that I anticipate. This may seem like hyperbole or flattery, but I assure you that I am dead serious.

I have tried other local and regional roasters in an effort to spend my money locally and support small businesses. I am a coffee snob in my own way, and this is the first place I have purchased coffee that I would describe as perfect.

It makes a heavenly cup, if you will.

(ha, ha, ha)

So, if you’re stumped for gifts or stocking stuffers, or just sick of your coffee, consider Heavenly Cup. They even have a gift page and offer a sampler. Honestly, though – you’ll probably just want a whole bag.

Help a sister out.

So, I have this way that I like to think of myself: creative.

I’m definitely a creative thinker. I often create things in general, and I often think about creating still more things.

But I have a confession to make.

Most nights, for dinner, I have one of two things: chicken sausage or chicken breast.

I don’t mind that my dinners are mostly made of chicken products, but I only have one setting when it comes to cooking chicken: The three amigos. Basil, Thyme, and Rosemary, and a little pepper (because pepper goes on almost everything I cook).

My "famous" chicken.

So, there it is. Most of that chicken will be consumed in one of two ways:

-doused in Frank’s Red Hot Wings and fried with a torn up string cheese in a wheat tortilla

-shredded up and turned into chicken salad.

Help. What else can I do with chicken that fits well with healthy eating?  Or, vegetarians, what are your favorite alternate sources of protein?

Just wondering. I am seriously stuck in a rut over here.

Monday: Let’s think about something else.

Today is a Real Monday, one that feels like a Monday and makes me want to crawl back under the covers until Friday. So, in honor of a bad day, I will give you one of my all-time favorite recipes.

Fancy Macaroni

This is not just a side dish of macaroni and cheese. This involves bacon and half-and half. And it is magical. Take it as a side dish on Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or New Year’s Eve. Feed this to someone this year.

But, if you’re taking it to a party, make sure you take the first serving. Because in the time it takes you to get a plate and walk back to the pan, you will be left with nothing but what is stuck on the serving spoon.

Sunday: Happy Snaps

Rocky.

 

Eggs in a basket. From chickens I saw with my own eyes.

 

Once upon a time, I bought a cabbage bigger than my head for $2. I didn't know what to do with it. My dad saved me, and turned it into sauerkraut.

 

Sunny day walk with Mr. Thor.

 

New journeys.

The little things

This weekend, it really has been the little things making me happy.

I took a vacation day yesterday and spent the day “tooling around” with my husband. We cleaned and organized, took a load to the Salvation Army, and dropped our old TV for recycling at React.

Then we went shopping for a few things at Target, and my list had the following written on it: “new welcome mat?”

I hate, hate, hate the welcome mat that was here when we moved in. It was one of those bristle kind, but that’s all it was – no pattern, and practically worn down to the nub.

I found a new welcome mat. It’s nothing amazing, but it was exactly what I was looking for. And, I took a picture, but my SD card reader seems to not want to read my SD card at the moment. Let’s just say that IT MADE ME HAPPY.

I can leave you with a picture of another little thing that made me happy, just this morning:

Just like Grandma used to make.

I finally used my grandma’s old egg poaching pan. The picture is only of the tray that goes in the pan. The actual pan is positively ancient, and beat all to Hades, dinged and dented and the lid barely fits right. But when I saw it in my parents’ garage, I begged to have it. I fondly remember this thing and the delicious poached eggs that used to come out of it when I was a little kid staying overnight at the farm. I realize that I am lucky to have this memory.

Happy eggs.

Sunday Afternoon

This afternoon, as I pretended not to be interested in Mr. Thor’s football game, I engaged in a diversion.

Peanut butter cookies and football. Who knew they could be so perfect together?

Savannah Tea Company

I love the low, muted clatter of a teacup on a saucer as I hold it in my hand, trying to keep it steady. This morning I pulled down my only teacup and my only saucer to make myself some Earl Grey tea. I don’t use the teacup on a regular basis. Actually, until July, it was packed away in the box it came in – a gift box that I received over three years ago on my 30th birthday. Until today, it has never been used.

The teacup is absolutely beautiful to me. I have never been one for girly designs or dainty and delicate things. I don’t like flowered patterns or china. But one fateful day, when I was living in Nashville, something happened to me that changed the way I felt about teacups, at least.

A Saturday lunch date with a dear friend of mine, L took a turn for the divine. We decided that, rather than just go for any lunch, we should go to the Savannah Tea Company for a full tea. I have never had a tea of any kind, other than a cup of tea, so I had no idea what to expect.

It was wonderful. Scones, clotted cream, jam, finger sandwiches, soup… and it was all presented with such care. Everything was lovely, down to the shape of each finger sandwich. Eating made me feel like I was participating in an art project. Every bite was magical. Every sip of tea was smooth and golden.

And my teacup. Oh dear.  My teacup. It made me swoon. I loved the intricacy of the pattern. The color. The shape. Honestly, I thought that if there was ever a perfect teacup made, then I was holding it, drinking from it, and admiring it.

isn't that the most perfect blue?

And I can’t even talk about the creamer.

My dear friend L, noticing my enthrallment, returned to the Savannah Tea Company after our tea and bought me the cup and the creamer for my 30th birthday.

And this morning I decided that I had looked at the teacup I have had on display since July one day too many. Life is short, my friends. I want to use the beautiful things I have, not simply look at them. I want to pull down my beautiful teacup and feel the happiness I felt on that enchanting day at the Savannah Tea Company in Nashville. I want to remember the way my eyes welled with tears when I opened the gift from my dear friend, L on my 30th birthday.

I want to remind myself, even on this small scale, what it is like to be overcome by beauty, overwhelmed by the intricacies of life, and overjoyed at being known well.