Four Years and Counting!

April 12, 2017

Four Years and Counting!

IMG_0434.jpgWalking the beach on a windy day by The Red Sea, while living overseas .
July 2013

Time flies!  

Wow! Time flies!!!! Facebook recently informed me, via their
“You have memories on this day” feature,
that I have been blogging for four years! Yep, FOUR YEARS!!! 

My blogging adventure began in 2013, as I prepared to move overseas with my hubby. (The move was originally scheduled for a few months, but morphed into two and a half years abroad!) I had determined that to occupy my spare time overseas, and to share my travels and experiences, I would begin a blog. My initial blog post is shown in its entirety, below. 

 I’m Annette‘s Debut Post 

Ya’ Gotta Start Somewhere!

cropped-mommickey4.jpg
This is my first official post for my blog “I’m Annette!” My goal is to post every week
(or occasionally more, or less),and share recipes, my travels, classic movie and tv information, and anything else that comes to mind. :o) Thanks for joining in!

My first blog post, in 2013, was brief, and to the point.  :o)

Looking Back with a Smile

IMG_0203        I happily stand in front of the Disneyland Paris ride, It’s a Small World, in 2013.

To commemorate my four years of blogging, I borrow from the world of the classic TV sitcom, using their, “clip show” technique.  That is, using previously seen snippets from earlier shows, to make up an entirely new episode. In that same fashion, I will be using a few of my earlier posted photos to reminisce, with a smile, about this past four years of
I’m Annette.  :o)  Feel free to click on any of the post titles (shown above each photo) to revisit that particular blog post, or go to imannette.net to view them all.  In addition to the photos and travel bits, you will find recipes, craft/art ideas, movie suggestions, and free printables)!
Enjoy!

Touring with Swiss Miss/Mrs.
 

2013-08-05 15.49.36.jpgMy daily walk in Thann produced this breathtaking scenery.
For another photo-filled post on France, click here, .

The Quiet Man’s Ireland-Day 2, or
A Day Fit for a “Quiet Man Crazy”
 

IMG_0345IMG_0492Beautiful Ireland tops my list of favorite places that I have visited, especially the tour of 
Quiet Man 
movie locations.
For Part 1 of this Ireland/Quiet Man blog, click here.

Irish Gold, Part 2
 

IMG_0938The Irish Cliffs of Moher were stunning!
For other posts on beautiful Ireland, click here and here.

London!

100_3321This “WOW” view of London was from The London Eye in 2013.
For another post on London, click here.

Jolly Old England

img_0832
I always enjoy strolling around York, especially on a sunny day like this one.

For another post on England, click here.

Delighting in Dubai
 

I feel blessed to have traveled to such wonderful locales, including amazing Dubai. On one occasion the Burj al Arab sat just outside my hotel window!
See another post on Dubai, here, and a photo here.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 6.28.02 AMOur 2014 trip to Walt Disney World was made extra special by the
engagement of my son to his future bride.
They are expecting the arrival of their baby daughter on this Easter! :o)

You can read about their wedding, here.

Read my other Walt Disney World posts, here and here.
Read my Disneyland posts, here and here .

For Disney recipes, click here, herehere, here, and here.
For a free Disney printable, click here and here.

Annette and Dale’s Excellent European Adventure:
Part 1-Germany

Dale and I with Stahleck Castle, and The Rhine, as our background,
during our stay
 in idyllic Bacharach, Germany.

Anniversary in Scotland 

As always, thanks for Reading!
Wishing you and your family a Happy Easter!

Annette

2013-03-28 10.40.43.jpg
Cute chocolate Lindt Easter bunnies greeted us as we embarked on our overseas flight
in 2013.

Read a past Easter blog post,  here.

To enjoy any of my past blogs and photos, click here, or go to imannette.net and select the posts that you desire to see in the Recent Posts, or Archives, sections on the upper right-hand side.

I attempt to post (around) every other Thursday, but lately life has been crazy busy! Things do not show any signs of slowing down in the next few weeks, and include the addition of a new grand baby! :o). Look for my next post on Thursday, May 11.

Receive my blog via email, FREE, immediately upon posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

IMG_0068 (1).jpgI relax overseas, most likely contemplating my next blog post.  :o)
2013

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(No Pre-cooking Noodles) Crock Pot Lasagna

March 15, 2017

(No Pre-cooking Noodles) Crock Pot Lasagna

IMG_6500.jpgEnjoying the delicious taste, and ease of preparing, my Crock Pot Lasagna.

 

Winter

Spring begins in a mere five days, or so the calendar indicates, yet Mother Nature says otherwise.  

IMG_6676My friend, Michele, took this beautiful photo in northern Maryland, last week.
Photo thanks to Michele Shockley!

In the aftermath of yesterday’s snow-sleet-freezing rain storm, a cold strong winter wind whips the empty tree branches just outside my back window, as I type.

IMG_6769
The view out my back window today, not looking much like Spring.

With winter kicking up her heals again, my thoughts turn to comfort food; a comfort food meal, followed by fun movie watching, while snuggled under a nice warm blanket.  

IMG_6775Kali has the right idea on this wintery day!

 

Comfort Food-Lasagna!

One comfort food that comes to mind for me, this winter’s day, is Lasagna!  As cartoon Garfield the Cat , once aptly put it, “I never met a lasagna I didn’t like.” I concur!
Jenn Bare, of www.getcrocked.com, kindly shared this wonderful lasagna recipe with me a few months ago.  It is great, and you do not even have to pre-cook the noodles! This is now my “go-to” lasagna recipe 
for my family. I have tweaked the recipe to fit my family’s preferences, and now share my version with you, below.

Find Jenn Bare on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/crockpotgirl/,
or check out her cookbooks on crock pot cooking!

DSCF0910_2.jpg“I never met a lasagna I didn’t like” Garfield

My daughter baked and decorated this Garfield cake for her high school graduation party in May 2009.

Other Winter Worthy Posts

You may view my…

January 2014 post- Baby, It’s Cold Outside, here.

January 2015 post- An Ideal Lazy, Cozy, Winter Afternoon, here.

January 2016 post- One Wedding and a Whale of a Snowstormhere.

Cooking Lasagna

img_6486-1My ingredients wait to be transformed into Crock Pot Lasagna.
I gained a real appreciation for fresh parmesan cheese while living over seas,
where fresh parmesan from Italy was readily available.

img_6492I love using my handy-dandy chop turner to easily cook and break up
the sausage into small, even, pieces.

Recipe

(No Pre-cooking Noodles) Crock Pot Lasagna
img_6496

Ingredients

PAM cooking spray
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 small onion, chopped
29 oz. tomato sauce, canned
6 oz. tomato paste, canned
1 tsp. dried oregano
12-24 oz. cottage cheese (small curd)
1/2-3/4 c. grated fresh parmesan cheese
 1/2-3/4 cup grated fresh asiago cheese
12 oz. lasagna noodles, uncooked (I could only find 16 oz. size)
1-2 (12 oz.) package(s) of fresh very thinly* sliced, or grated, mozzarella cheese
(*Too thickly sliced cheese on the top layer will result in toughness,
rather than yummy meltiness.)

Directions

Spray crock pot insert with Pam, and plug in crock pot, turning dial on low.

In a skillet, cook onion until limp, then add Italian sausage until browned.
(I do this in my electric skillet.) 
Drain off grease, if necessary.

Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, and oregano,
cooking just long enough to get it warm.

Spoon half of meat sauce onto the bottom of the crock pot.
Add a double layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (break to fit).
Top with 1/2 of the cottage cheese,
1/2 of the parmesan cheese,
1/2 of the asiago cheese,
and 1/2 of the sliced mozzarella cheese.

Repeat with remaining half of meat sauce,
doubled uncooked lasagna noodles,
Remaining 1/2 of the cottage cheese,
Remaining 1/2of the parmesan cheese,
Remaining 1/2 of the asiago cheese,
and  remaining 1/2 of the sliced mozzarella cheese.
Making sure that the very thinly sliced, or grated mozzarella cheese ends up on the top.

Place cover on crock pot.
Cook on Low for 4 to 5 hours.

Serve with hot bread and a tossed salad.

Enjoy!

What recipes do you “cook up” when the winter winds howl outside.
Please, share them in the comments section below.  :o)

Thanks for Reading!

Annette

Enjoy my past blogs and photos. Click here, or go to imannette.net.

I attempt to post every other Thursday. Look for my next post on Thursday, March 30.

I would love to hear from you!
Did you enjoy a post, want to share a similar experience, or try out a recipe?
Use the form at the bottom of this post for you kind comments.

Receive my blog via email, FREE, immediately upon posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

IMG_6755The wintery view from my front window today.

 

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(Birthday) Queen for a Day

March 9, 2017

(Birthday) Queen for a Day

img_6588Relishing my delicious birthday lunch of Baked King’s Onion Soup at Gettysburg’s 
Springhouse Tavern/Dobbin House Tavern
March 2, 2017

What are your earliest childhood memories? Most of my earliest memories (age four and before) are just snippets, really, of everyday events. Interestingly enough, several involve television. (The beginning of my life-long interest in classic television and movies!)

IMG_6672.jpgA photo of me at around age 4, in 1962.

 I remember watching on our black and white TV set, the then new cartoon The Flintstones in the evening with my parents, seeing a rerun of Leave it to Beaver during the day, and being frightened by an alien on a roof on a Adventures of Superman rerun (The “Moleman” episode, perhaps? You can see it here.). I also recall being impressed by the giant bouquet, regal cape, and sparkly crown bestowed upon a woman as she sat upon a royal throne on the daytime game show Queen for a Day.   (To view and episode of Queen for a Day, click here.) 

IMG_6602.jpgA few items from my current DVD collection,
and yes I do own Superman and the Mole Men episode.  :o)

Birthdays

Like Queen for a Day with all of its fanfare , I believe birthdays are truly days to be celebrated, and in a big way!  After all, birthdays only happen to each one of us, just once a year! Why not embrace it? As Jack Benny once aptly put it, “Age is strictly a case of mind over matter.  If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”.

Click on the blue  Age is strictly a case of  to bring this printable up to print it.

screen-shot-2017-03-03-at-1-28-01-pm

My March 2 birthday, last week, was an enjoyable and memorable occasion. Sit  back, relax, and follow along on with me, as I take you on a photo tour of my birthday fun. :o)

To view my past birthday blogs, click on the sites below:

At Disney Studios and Disneyland, click here. 

In Germany, click here.

Overseas, click here.

In Dubai, click here.

 

Birthday Fun on March 2, 2017

I determined that Gettysburg, Pennsylvania would be my birthday destination for lunch, stopping for a quick breakfast along the way at The French Twist Cafe in
Sykesville, Maryland.

The French Twist Cafe

IMG_6519 (1)IMG_6517My crepe choice of the day was The Maryland, a savory crepe, carefully and happily created with crab meat, scallions, cheese(in lieu of mayo), and Old Bay seasoning.

IMG_6521 (1)It is a combination that never disappoints! YUM!

IMG_6526 (1)I am enjoying the remainder of my hot tea, as I leave The French Twist Cafe.

First Things First

An unusual birthday gift?
No, a necessary purchase, as our 28 year-old toilet seat had decided to
crack the day before!

Gettysburg

IMG_6531Dale and I just had to get a selfie with our good friend Abe at the
Gettysburg Visitor’s Center.

IMG_6534Dale, checking out a souvenir in the Visitor’s Center gift shop.

IMG_6542I stand in front of Ike’s house.
I had hoped to tour the Eisenhower House /President Dwight Eisenhower’s home in Gettysburg during out visit, having once visited there many years ago.
Unfortunately, the Visitor’s Center informed us that the house was being
recarpeted the day that we were there.
(Moral of the story, call before going. :o))
Although, not open, we were permitted to drive up to it (not normally allowed),
and walk the grounds fee free.

To view the Eisenhower House and grounds, including an online 2-minute video,
click here, scrolling down until you see the house, and click on the arrow to begin.

IMG_6549The back of the Eisenhower home is behind me.

IMG_6547.jpgIke’s putting green sits directly in back of the house. 

IMG_6556.jpgThe Eisenhower house has beautifully peaceful views all round.

Little Round Top

IMG_3397A trip to Gettysburg demands at least a quick stop at Little Round Top.
As beautiful and 
idyllic as the Gettysburg countryside is now, in July 1863 this was the site of one of this country’s most horrific Civil War battles. 

IMG_6564Col. Patrick O’Rorke‘s monument at Little Round Top.
His nose has become shiny due to visitor’s rubbing it for good luck.

IMG_6566A view of the countryside, looking out the Castle at Little Round Top.

The Dobbin House’s Springhouse Tavern

IMG_6572This is the Dobbin House Tavern.  In-between the brick building and the white one is the entrance to the best Onion Soup around at The Springhouse Tavern.

IMG_6573Finding the door to The Springhouse Tavern is a little tricky, but well worth it!

IMG_6574Notice the leaves that had blown in as we stepped into the cellar entrance.

IMG_6576The relaxed ambience of The Springhouse Tavern is part of its charm.

IMG_6580Dale gives Dr. G’s, a local orange soda pop, a try.  He liked it!

IMG_6670.jpgI opted for the refreshing fresh brewed iced tea!  :o)

IMG_6581An enjoyable birthday lunch started with Baked King’s Onion Soup!

IMG_6592.jpgFor our main course, Dale and I split an Open-face Turkey Rueben Sandwich
with potato salad. Both were delicious.

To read about another earlier Gettysburg trip, please click here.
This blog post also includes the recipe to The Springhouse Tavern’s Onion Soup!

Birthday Cake

IMG_6595The day ended right, with birthday cake and a movie, two of my favorite things.  :o)
It has become a tradition at my house, for my husband to bake my birthday cake each year.  He always makes my birthday cake of choice; this Raspberry Continental.
It is always wonderful!

For the recipe for this luscious cake, click here and here.

Birthday Movie Night

IMG_6600I love classic movies!  On most birthdays, I usually choose between two 1939 masterpieces for my birthday viewing: Gone with the Wind, or The Wizard of Oz.
Since it had been several years since viewing Gone with the Wind, it was my cinematic classic choice for this year. I must admit that it took more than my birthday night to view all four hours worth, though! :o)

IMG_6669.jpgIt had been a wonderful birthday in 2017! :o)

Thanks for Reading!

Annette

Grab a cup of tea/coffee and take a few minutes for yourself, while enjoying my past blogs and photos? Click here, or go to imannette.net.

I attempt to post every other Thursday. Look for my next post on March 23.

I would love to hear from you!
Did you enjoy a post, want to share a similar experience, or try out a recipe?
Use the form at the bottom of this post for you kind comments.

Receive my blog via email, FREE, immediately upon posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

IMG_6577

A courting candle at The Springhouse Tavern

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Beach Getaway

February 17, 2017

Beach Getaway

img_6306I delight in Hilton Head Island’s wide beaches, sparkling blue ocean,
and warm sunshine during my recent long weekend stay.
February 11, 2017

My love affair with Hilton Head (Island), South Carolina began in the late 1970’s. My hubby and I were living in Columbia, South Carolina at the time, and we slipped away to the island for a three-day weekend.  The unspoiled beaches and surroundings (thanks to careful planning by developer Charles Fraser) stole my heart, and continue to do so, to this day.

img_6300The walkway from our hotel leads to the stunning and unspoiled Hilton Head beach.

It was good to visit my “old friend” Hilton Head again.  I share this photo album from my recent visit with you (below). Relax for a minute, as you visit the island of Hilton Head.

Photo Album

img_6262-1
This incredible sand sculpture greeted us as we stepped into the lobby of the
Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa, our hotel.

IMG_5461 (1).jpgWhat an incredible view to wake up to each morning!

img_5468The views at sunset were pretty spectacular, too!  

img_6265A Hilton Head part-time resident suggested breakfast at the nearby
Palmetto Dunes golf club cafe, Big Jim’s/BJ’s
.  
It was delicious (the biscuits were super flakey and yummy),
and reasonably priced. We liked it so much that we ate breakfast there twice!

img_5506Ya gotta love these fishy bike racks near Big Jim’s! 

img_6297Signs like this are no joke!  We saw a 6 foot alligator being removed by authorities from a bike path! Unfortunately, authorities quickly shooed our car along before I could snap a photo of Mr. Gator. 

img_5466I did get a photo of this turtle, though, earlier in the day.

img_6310Sunset near Hudson’s Restaurant, a Hilton Head institution
We first ate here in the 1970’s, and it is still serves up great seafood and a great view.
We ate here twice during our recent visit!

October’s Hurricane Matthew affected a lot of the island, including Hudson’s.
You can read about Hudson’s recovery here.

Version 2img_5473Hudson’s cute mermaid logo

img_5472Hudson’s tasty hushpuppies begin each meal.

img_5474These broiled oysters smothered in Parmesan Cheese made for a luscious  appetizer.

img_5475I devoured these awesome (broiled) crabmeat stuffed shrimp.

img_5478Dale and I shared this mammoth, and oh so good, mud pie.

img_6376Hudson’s recipe for 7 Day Slaw is on their menu’s back page,
along with their map of the foot-shaped Hilton Head Island.

img_6257img_6254-1Dale and I enjoyed getting reacquainted with Laura and Bill,
not having seen each other since our sons’ high school graduation in 2005.
Our sons are friends, meeting when we moved to Ohio in the late 1990’s,
and remaining good friends since we relocated to Maryland in 2005.
Their son was even a groomsman in our son’s wedding!

Happily living the majority of the year in Hilton Head now,
Laura and Bill showed us
that islanders can find good barbecue at One Hot Mamas.
In addition to fall off the bone, yummy ribs,
was OHM’s  Luzianne unsweetened fresh-brewed black iced tea.
Being a big iced tea fan, I have found that fresh-brewed iced tea
often goes hand in hand with good restaurant food.

img_5512It is always a wonderful time at Hilton Head, and always hard to say good-bye.

To see my previous 2015 blog post on Hilton Head, please click here.

Thanks for Reading!

Annette

Grab a cup of tea/coffee and take a few minutes just for yourself, and enjoy past blogs and photos. Click here, or go to imannette.net.

I attempt to post every other Thursday. Think of Thursday as I’m Annette days. :o)
I plan to post next on March 9.

Thank you, to my faithful blog followers!!!
Your encouragement keeps me writing! :o)
I love to read your positive comments, and always enjoy hearing from you!
You can now use the form at the bottom of this post for you kind comments.

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower,
and receive email, FREE, immediately upon my postings,
sign up today, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

img_6305A lone seagull dips his”toes” in the water at the beach.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

February 11, 2017

 

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 Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

January 27, 2017

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

IMG_0726.JPGEnjoying a delicious gourmet meal prepared by the chef at The Hotel du Parc of Thann,
in 
France.
October 2012
 Read more about my Thann visits here and here.  
See more of the Hotel du Parc here.

It is no secret that I enjoy dining out.  My husband’s work travels have enabled me to enjoy wonderful cuisine in some rather exotic locations overseas (I feel blessed!), and when state side, I am continually on the lookout for local epicurean delights.

IMG_1655 (1).jpgMy hubby treats me to a glorious birthday dinner at the top of the Burj al Arab in Dubai.
March 2014
Read about this once in a lifetime dining experience
here.

img_2050Getting my chocolate fix at Ristorante San Marco in Zug,
in
 Switzerland.

September 2014

Read more about my Switzerland adventures here and here.

More often, than not though, my dining experiences take place at home.  I love to cook.  There are those days, however, when time does not allow one to create ala Julia Child. Those days require more of the easy peasy lemon squeezy type of recipe. Today I share with you just that type of recipe.  It is one that my son brought home from work for me.  Prepared in the crock pot, this barbecued chicken is yummy!  This recipe is a keeper!

Did you know that the term “easy peasy lemon squeezy” originates in England from a 1950’s dishwashing detergent jingle?!

Recipe

img_5339This delicious and simple recipe requires these simple ingredients.

Easy Peasy Crockpot Barbecued ChickenIMG_5338 2.JPG

Ingredients

2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or skinless chicken breast tenders

1 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbecue Sauce
1/4 cup Wishbone Italian dressing (I use the light)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

PAM non-stick spray

Directions

Spray crock pot with PAM non-stick spray

Place  chicken into crockpot.

Pour barbecue sauce, Italian dressing, light brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce
over
 the chicken.

Place cover on crock pot and cook on HIGH for 2.5-3.5 hours, or until done.
(I read the other day, but I do not remember where, that oval crockpots cook quicker.)

Once cooked, shred with chicken. (I use 2 forks for this. )
Place cover back on and let cook in sauce for about 5-10 more minutes.

Serve over a hot baked potato
(Potatoes can be done in the microwave, if you are in a hurry),

or on a fresh potato hamburger bun. 

Enjoy!

I like my Easy Peasy Crockpot Barbecued Chicken served over a hot baked potato with onion, cheddar cheese, and a sprinkle of coarse black pepper.

Free Printable

I hope that can find a spot to display this cute Julia Child quote.  Click on the blue PDF to bring it up to print and frame.

julia-childs

screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-6-15-19-pm

Enjoy!

Thanks for Reading!

Annette

Why not grab a cup of tea/coffee and take a few minutes for yourself, to enjoy these and more past blogs and photos? Click here, or go to imannette.net.

I attempt to post every other Thursday. Think of  Thursday as I’m Annette days. :o)
I plan to post next on February 16.

Thank you, to my faithful blog followers!!!
Your encouragement keeps me writing! :o)
I love to read your positive comments, and always enjoy hearing from you!
You can now use the form at the bottom of this post for you kind comments.

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower,
and receive email, FREE, immediately upon my postings,
sign up today, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

img_6645-1I love exploring the”Queen of Cooking”, Julia Child’s actual kitchen, on display at the
Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington D.C.
July 2015
Check out Julia’s kitchen for yourself here in text, or video version.

i

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In Search of the Perfect Maryland Crab Cake

January 12, 2017

In Search of the Perfect Maryland Crab Cake

img_5246I hold my colorful Crab Marty Mummert metal sign, with another
Mummert sign in the background. Yes, I am a fan!  :o)

It was December 30th. Christmas, with all its joyous preparations, was already a sweet fading memory. The yummy holiday goodies had been gobbled up before New Year’s diets would begin.  The array of wonderful Christmas gifts had taken up residence in their appointed locations throughout my home. My star-topped towering green pine, and retro shiny aluminum Christmas trees, were at T-minus 24 hours, and counting, before their dismantling. I was now ready to dine out.  I was hungry for a Maryland crab cake!

img_4873My son and I, in front of our Christmas tree, happily wear two of
our 2016 Christmas gifts; he in his Santa Cleveland Cavs basketball tee
and I in my cute “It’s a Small World” top. 

I love a good crab cake, and having lived in Maryland (the king of crab cakes) for over 10 years, I have a discerning/picky palate where crab cakes are concerned.  My hubby, during a business meal, had found a crab cake that he was sure would meet with my approval.  With anticipation, we drove through the rain, arriving at Pappas Restaurant & Sports Bar in Glen Burnie. Walking through the front door,  a”Home of Oprah’s Favorite Crab Cakes“sign met my eye.

img_4946Version 2This Oprah sign greets restaurant patrons as they walk through the front door.

img_4947Oprah’s Winfry’s photo is proudly displayed on Pappas’ wall. 
Oprah often has these crab cakes shipped to her,
according to the Baltimore Sun article here
.
(I apologize for the poor quality of this photo.
You can see the snowman Christmas tree’s reflection on the right-side of the glass. :o)) 

I knew exactly what I wanted to order, even before being seated: Crab soup and a crab cake.
The luscious cream-based crab soup was brought out first, piping hot. It did not disappoint! YUM!
The next course was wonderful, as well, as a snowball-sized crab cake was set before me. Oprah and my husband were right, Pappas’ crab cakes were delicious! Large pieces of crab, with just the right amount of seasoning, forming a glorious Maryland crab cake!

img_4948The luscious crab soup did not disappoint!  YUM!

img_4949Old Bay spice, a (made in) Baltimore tradition, was available in a shaker at the table.
I loved the shaker idea so much that after my meal I  went out and bought a shaker and filled it with Old Bay for my own house. :o) 

img_4950img_4951Pappas crab cakes were indeed delicious!

img_4952My hubby, Dale, enjoys his crab cake meal, and is happy that I agree. :o)

Recipe

I have had the pleasure of enjoying several wonderful Maryland crab cakes while residing in  The Old Line State , but I am still on a quest for the perfect Maryland crab cake recipe to create at home.  I do, however, have a seafood recipe to share with you today.  This rich and creamy soup tastes like you have been in the kitchen all day, but actually uses Safeway
Tuscan Tomato & Basil Bisque as its base. The “hardest” part of the whole recipe is peeling the shrimp.:o) If you are not a shrimp fan, this recipe can also be made without shrimp, for a rich, plain tomato bisque.

img_5055

img_5052

Easy Tomato and Shrimp Bisqueimg_5103

Ingredients

1 (24 ounce) container of Safeway Select’s Tuscan Tomato Basil Bisque (sold near deli)

1 (12 fluid oz.) can Evaporated Milk

2 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

½-1 pound shrimp*, steamed lightly with Old Bay at the grocery store,
and peeled.
Cut shrimp into half, or in thirds

Old Bay Seasoning

Fresh Ground Pepper

 Directions

Put together in nonmetallic pan: soup, evaporated, milk, and Parmesan Cheese.
Heat just before boiling.

Add cooked, cut shrimp until warm.

Ladle soup into bowl, and garnish with additional Parmesan Cheese, Old Bay, and Pepper, if desired.

*I recommend Gulf shrimp, but am biased, having lived in Houston by Galveston Bay for 16 years.

 Serve with tossed Salad and French Baguette, if desired.

Enjoy!

Thanks for Reading!

Annette

Why not grab a cup of tea/coffee and take a few minutes for yourself, to enjoy these and more past blogs and photos? Click here, or go to imannette.net.

I attempt to post every other Thursday. Think of Thursday as I’m Annette days. :o)
I plan to post next on January 26.

Thank you, faithful blog followers!!!
Your encouragement that keeps me writing! :o)
I always love to read your positive comments, and enjoy hearing from you!
You can now use the form at the bottom of this post for you kind comments.

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower,
and receive email, FREE, immediately upon my postings,
sign up today, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

img_5100My free calendar from Pappas Restaurant & Sports Bar to assist me with my
blog posting this year. :o)

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A Christmas Story Christmas

December 24, 2016

A Christmas Story Christmas

img_4545My son and I proudly display our 2016 A Christmas Story 5K Run medals,
just after completing our race. Kali (dog) also participated in out 5K. 
December 3, 2016

I love the movie A Christmas Story!  Apparently, I am not alone. According to IBT, the 2008, TNT’s annual marathon, drew an audience of 4.4 million viewers! Yes, this 1983 Christmas film has become a beloved holiday classic.

IMG_4835.jpgMy family and I watch The Christmas Story each Christmas Eve’s Eve
(That is the night before Christmas Eve.) on DVD,
laughing our way throughout. 

A Visit to Ralphie’s House and The Red Ryder BB Gun

Much of A Christmas Story, including Ralph’s house,  was filmed in Cleveland, Ohio. I enjoyed visiting Ralphie’s house in 2009. I was fascinated by the location, and all of the props from the film that were on display.

Last year, I was happy to assist  A Christmas Story’s house in adding to their prop collection. I spotted, through one of my connections, an original Red Ryder BB Gun used in the film that was for sale! After a few emails, and only hours later, A Christmas Story house had purchased this “holy grail” of movie props. The difficult part for me was keeping it a secret  for several months, until the BB gun was unveiled.:o)  Read the articles about the acquisition  here,  here and here.  I am proud to say that I am “the fan” mentioned in the articles. Honest!!!!

At Ralphie's house/Ohio (Christmas Story)
Three of my children pose in front of the iconic Ralphie’s House.
December 2, 2009

n1682640033_75033_923232
My daughter and I inspect the leg lamp in Ralphie’s living room.
December 2, 2009

The Christmas Story 5K

When my two youngest children approached me about joining them in the virtual Christmas Story 5K, I had to stay “yes”!  I completed my first 5K at home in Maryland in good shape, complete with an autograph from “Randy”, Ralphie’s little brother.

img_4555I got this great shirt!

img_4550My race number!

img_4554“Randy’s” autograph!

Read more about The Christmas Story 5K here

The Christmas Story will play on TBS beginning at 8:00 pm EST on Christmas Eve and run for 24 hours.

Read more about the marathon here and here.

A Christmas Recipe

 Christmas Trash

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-11-32-34-am

 Ingredients:

1 box (12 .3 oz) Crispix cereal

1 lb. package plain Christmas m & m’s

1 lb. package peanut Christmas m & m’s

1 (8-10 oz) bag small shaped pretzels

1 can (12.5 oz) can Spanish peanuts

24 oz./2 lbs. white almond bark

Directions:

Mix together dry ingredients, excluding almond bark in large bowl.

In separate bowl melt almond bark slowly per instructions.
(I do this in the microwave in 30-45 second increments.)

Pour melted almond bark over dry ingredients, stirring until well coated.

Spread out onto wax paper that has been placed over cookie sheet.

Cool. (Might need to refrigerate to set.)

Store in airtight container.

Enjoy!

img_4710

Merry Christmas, and Thanks for Reading!

Annette

Why not grab a cup of tea/coffee and take a few minutes for yourself, to enjoy these and more past blogs and photos? Click here, or go to imannette.net.

I usually post every other Thursday. Think of Thursday as I’m Annette days. :o)
I plan to post next on January 12.

Thank you, to my faithful blog followers!!!
It is your encouragement that keeps me writing! :o)
I always love to read your positive comments, and enjoy hearing from you!
You can now use the form at the bottom of this post for you kind comments.

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower,
and receive email, FREE, immediately upon my postings,
sign up today, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

img_0033-1My sister (on the left) and I enjoy our Christmas bounty in 1965.

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A Fun, Day after Thanksgiving, Visit to the National Air and Space Museum

December 1, 2016

A Fun, Day after Thanksgiving, Visit to the National Air and Space Museum

img_4446-1Up close and personal  with “Neil Armstrong’s space suit”.

Have you seen the Christmas comedy Jingle All the Way (1996)? Dad and husband
Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) spends the entire movie in a humorous and constant state of chaos, all in an effort to buy the perfect Christmas gift for his son

Although, my December to-do list is long, as I am sure yours is, I am determined not to become like harried Howard Langston, and, instead, enjoy the Christmas season. So,
on this first day of December, I will take a moment to chat with you.  :o)
img_4528
Funny Christmas film, Jingle All the Way

The Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Following a day of enjoyable Thanksgiving festivities that included extended family visiting from Ohio, we made the hour+ trek to Virginia to see the Smithsonian’s
National Air and Space Museum. Please join me on a photo tour of some of the highlights of our fun visit.

IMG_4319.jpg
Thanks to this entrance, we knew that we had found the right place.  :o)

IMG_4320 (1).jpg
Entering the museum, there was aircraft displayed in every direction of the large
two hangar area
.

IMG_4367 (1).jpgHaving a Hollywood connection, this plane, The Excalibur III, peaked my interest. :o)  Captain Charles Blair, in his Excalibur III, made the first solo flight across the Arctic in 1951. Blair was married to Irish-born actress Maureen O’Hara from 1968 until his death
in 1978.
To read more about Captain Charles Blair, read here, here, and here.

img_4339Seeing the Enola Gay, the plane responsible for dropping the first atomic bomb (in 1945/ WWII) on Hiroshima, Japan was sobering.   

img_4344I loved the classic lines of this beautifully shining Boeing 307 Stratoliner
“Clipper Flying Cloud”.

img_4354img_4355The concept of this 1950’s Hiller Flying Platform was intriguing.
Unfortunately, the idea was not feasible, and the idea was dropped.

img_4345I found myself daydreaming about what a flight on the Concord must have been like.
Flying from 1976-2003, it had a top speed over twice the speed of sound.

img_4368I loved seeing this model used for the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).
Read more about this display, here.

img_4370I remembered seeing this Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) on TV when the astronauts returned from their moon flights. It isolated astronauts in the event that they had contracted some contagious disease on the moon.

img_4385Check out this 2007 R2D2 Star Wars mailbox!
Commemorating the movie, it was one of 400 used throughout the country.

img_4389One of my favorite pieces in the museum was this kitchy space capsule pay phone booth from the late 1960’s. It was once in use at Kennedy Space Center in
Cape Canaveral, Florida.

img_4395Any other Disney fans see a “Hidden Mickey” in this Apollo 11 capsule? :o)

img_4418
img_4400The Space Shuttle Discovery was the star of the museum, and with our group.  :o)

You can read more about the National Air and Space Museum, here.

Got Turkey Leftovers?

Do you need a tasty recipe to finish up that Thanksgiving turkey now stowed in your freezer? Look no further than my tried and true turkey casserole. It has become a tradition in my family to make this casserole the week after Thanksgiving.  French’s Crispy Fried Onions, added at the very end, give this recipe added flavor.

IMG_4526.jpgFrench’s Crispy Fried Onions, added at the very end, give this turkey casserole recipe added flavor.

Annette’s Turkey Casserole

img_4490

Ingredients
12 ounce package egg noodles, cooked
1 can Campbell’s cream of chicken soup
2/3 cups evaporated milk
1+1/2 cup Velveeta cheese, grated
12 ounce frozen peas, cooked (optional, but suggested)
2 cups diced, cooked turkey (chicken may also be used)
PAM for greasing dish
French’s Crispy Fried Onions

Directions
Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Combine cooked noodles, soup, evaporated milk, cheese, cooked peas, and cooked turkey in a large bowl.

Pour into greased glass dish.  I use a 2.75 quart, as pictured above.

Place in oven for about 25 minutes, or until hot.

Top with French Fried Onions (you determine the amount), and heat in oven for another
5 minutes.

Enjoy!

img_4492

Thanks for reading,
Annette

img_08461Here is a list of past Christmas blogs to peruse at your leisure, filled with movie suggestions and recipes. Click on the blog titles below.

Counting the Days till Christmas
Christmas in Black and White
Procrastination and Merry Christmas

Why not grab a cup of tea/coffee and take a few minutes for yourself, to enjoy these and more past blogs and photos? Click here, or go to imannette.net.

I usually post every other Thursday. Think of Thursday as I’m Annette days. :o)
I plan to post next on December 22.

Thank you, to my faithful blog followers!!!
It is your encouragement that keeps me writing! :o)
I always love to read your positive comments, and enjoy hearing from you!
You can now use the form at the bottom of this post for you kind comments.

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower,
and receive email, FREE, immediately upon my postings,
sign up today, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

img_4337-2While at the museum, I saw several little guys sporting this orange attire.
When leaving, I discovered that this astronaut suit is sold in the museum gift shop,
even in adult sizes!  :o)
You can get your own, here.

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Pumpkin Pie From Scratch, You Say?!

November 17, 2016

Pumpkin Pie From Scratch, You Say?!

img_4195I suppose I will die never knowing what pumpkin pie tastes like when you have room for it.
Robert Breault, author

Today I am here to “talk turkey” about making a pumpkin pie from scratch, as promised in my October 20th post.  (You can read that post here).  Pumpkin pie is the dessert star of the Thanksgiving feast. It is also a favorite of my husband. A few years ago, on a whim, I prepared a Thanksgiving pumpkin pie from scratch. I have been baking my pumpkin pies from scratch ever since. Pumpkin pie from scratch, you say?! Now, before you click the exit button on your computer, shaking your head in disbelief, bear with me. Cooking a pumpkin is really quite easy! Honest!  And the end result is well worth it! Let me show you how!

IMG_3949.jpgMy “pumpkin pie” pumpkin adorns my entryway table before being cooked.

The cute “BE THANKFUL” printable with a modern flair, (framed above),
came from creative bloggers Alice & Louis. Find their link, here.
You can find this printable, and several other Thanksgiving printables
by this talented duo, here.

Cooking a Pumpkin

img_4263Wash off the pumpkin and remove the stem.

img_4265Slice the pumpkin in half vertically. This may take a little muscle!  :o)

img_4267Remove seeds and fiber.
(My friend Suzanne recommended using this tool
used for making jack-o-lanterns.
Thanks Suzanne, it works great!)

img_4269Place pumpkin, in a baking dish with the cut side facing up.
Pour water, about 1/2 inch deep, into dish around pumpkin.

img_4271Cover (if no lid, use foil) and bake until tender/until fork pierces easily, about 1 hour.

img_4273img_4274Cool slightly.
Peel shell, or scoop pumpkin from shell.

img_4275Mash pumpkin until smooth and no lumps remain.

img_4277
I usually store the pumpkin pie filling in the refrigerator,covering once cool,
and bake the pie the following day .

My Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Pumpkin Pie Filling from Scratch

IMG_4185.jpg

Ingredients:

1 small cooking pumpkin (About 4 lbs.)

Water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash off the pumpkin and remove the stem.

Cut pumpkin into halves, vertically.

Remove the pumpkin’s seeds and fiber.

Place pumpkin, in a baking dish with the cut sides facing up.

Pour water, about 1/2 inch deep, into dish around pumpkin.

Cover (if no lid, use foil) and bake until tender/until fork pierces easily, about 1 hour.

Cool slightly.

Peel shell, or scoop pumpkin from shell.

Mash pumpkin until smooth and no lumps remain.

This makes about 4 cups of mashed cooked pumpkin.
(I usually have enough for two pumpkin pies.)

I usually store the pumpkin pie filling in the refrigerator, covering once cool,
and bake the pie the following day, .

Note: 1 pound pared fresh pumpkin yields about 1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pie

img_4281

Ingredients

1+1/4-1+1/2 cooked pumpkin(
(Canned pumpkin can be used, if desired)

¾ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon or less salt

Scant 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 slightly beaten eggs

1+1/4-cup milk, (whole milk works best, but skim may be used)

1-6 oz can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)

1 -9 inch unbaked pie crust

Whipping cream

Directions:       

Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. (I use a hand disc blender.)

Blend in eggs, milk, and evaporated milk.

Pour into pastry shell, having edges crimped high due to amount of filling.
(Note-This recipe usually makes enough for one pie, plus one greased ramekin of baked pumpkin pie filling.)

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.

Leaving the pie in the oven, turn the temperature down to 350 degree, and
continue baking for an additional 40-50 minutes.
Bake until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean.

Cool.

Serve with whipping cream.

To Store-Refrigerate cooled homemade pumpkin pie,
(not allowing pumpkin pie to sit at room temperature for more than two hours),
covering pie loosely using aluminum foil, or plastic wrap.
Pumpkin pie will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

For more information on refrigerating pumpkin pie, click here.

IMG_3956.jpgMy fun pumpkin pie-themed tea towel comes out of storage each Thanksgiving.  :o)

My Thanksgiving Menu 

To view my Thanksgiving menu, click here.

 More of My Thanksgiving Recipes

 Hot Apple Cider, click here.

 Cranberries from scratch, click here.

Morning Monkey Bread, click here.

 Peanut Clusters, click here.

Pumpkin Cake, click here.

Thanksgiving Eve/Christmas Eve Stew, click here.

Thanksgiving Morning/Christmas Morning Bacon and Eggs Casserole, click here.

 Thanksgiving Trash, click here

Turkey Cookies, click here.

Thanksgiving Movies and TV Shows to Enjoy

For a list of my favorite Thanksgiving movies and TV shows, click here.

Pumpkin Pie and the First Thanksgiving

img_4187My pilgrim couple presides over my kitchen table this Thanksgiving.

Just in case you were wondering, pumpkin pie was NOT served at the First Thanksgiving.  According to History.com, although the Pilgrims and Native Americans had a variety of pumpkins and squashes available to them, they would not have had butter, or flour, to make pie crusts, nor ovens to bake pie in. Also, there were no mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, or turkey dressing at that First Thanksgiving, and probably no turkey. :o(

For more interesting facts about The First Thanksgiving’s menu, click here and here.  

Enjoy These Free Thanksgiving Printables

What is your favorite dish at the Thanksgiving Table: the turkey, the turkey dressing,
the mashed potatoes, the pumpkin pie?  My own personal favorite is the turkey dressing*. YUM! In honor of this feast of Thanksgiving, I have made a fun printable to frame, or put on the fridge during the Thanksgiving festivities. Just copy, paste, and print.

( *Dressing is called stuffing in some parts of the U.S.  You can delve into the dressing versus stuffing debate here.)

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-9-51-55-pm

Screen Shot 2016-11-17 at 10.26.57 AM.png

I would love to hear about your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal, and your Thanksgiving traditions!  Please, share them in the comments section below.

Prefer a humorous printable inspired by the classic Thanksgiving TV episode of
 WKRP in Cincinnati? Click here.

Turkey Quote Without Frame

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks for reading,
Annette

Grab a cup of tea/coffee and take a few minutes for yourself, and view my past blogs and photos by clicking here, or go to imannette.net.

Normally, I plan (or at least, plan to try) to post every other Thursday.
Think of Thursday as I’m Annette days. :o)
For December, due to the fun and busyness of the season,  I plan to post only on December 15th.

Thank you, my faithful blog followers!!!
It is your encouragement that keeps me writing! :o)
I always love to read your positive comments, and enjoy hearing from you!
You can now use the form at the bottom of this post for you kind comments.

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower,
and receive email, FREE, immediately upon my postings.
Sign up today, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

IMG_8361.jpgWishing you and your family a Happy Harvest and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Being brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furious Ocean, and delivered them from many perils and miseries.
William Bradford
Referring to when The Pilgrims first reached America.
History of Plymouth Plantation, c. 1650


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Movies To Vote By

November 8, 2016

Movies To Vote By

img_3851Today is Election Day!  While periodically tuning into election results this evening, I will enjoy a movie, or two, that are apropos for the occasion. The difficult part is choosing which ones to watch.  :o)  Here are a few of my favorite movies for election time.

img_3847Election Night calls for a few election-themed films.

img_3848Kisses for My President
(1964)

This fun comedy stars Fred MacMurray
and Polly Bergen.  Bergen is the first female U.S. president, and Mac Murray plays her husband, who struggles to fit into his role as America’s “First Husband”.

img_3852The Farmer’s Daughter
(1947)

Loretta Young is the Farmer’s Daughter in this humorous film about a hard-working Swedish farm girl, turned maid, for a bachelor congressman (Joseph Cotten) and his mother.

img_3849Dave
(1993)

Kevin Kline stars in this fun movie as a temp agency owner Dave, who is a dead ringer for the president (also played by Kline) of the United States.  When the president is taken ill, Dave is asked to substitute. 

img_3850Meet Me in St. Louis
(1944)

Judy Garland’s classic musical is my sentimental entry into this category.  It was on election night in the 1970’s, on PBS, that I first saw this film.  I became an instant fan!

Cook book 

I love cookbooks. Although,  I have pared down my cookbook collection significantly over the past couple of years, this one is a keeper.  This souvenir purchased on a visit to
Washington D.C. years ago, it not only supplies one cookie recipe per president, but it has interesting historical stories to match.  The George Bush Cookie, with a bit of tweaking on my part, has become a favorite of mine. I include my recipe below.  ( I will add a photo soon.)

img_3844

img_3843

Recipe

Texas Governor’s Mansion Cowboy Cookies
Makes a lot!

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
Dash ground cinnamon (optional)
Dash teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups packed light-brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2-1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli 60 % cocoa)
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups usweetened flake coconut (optional)
1 cups chopped pecans (8 ounces)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a very large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy.

Gradually beat in sugars, and combine for 2 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, beating after each.

Beat in vanilla.

Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt until just combined.

Stir in chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans.

For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. (I use a cookie scoop.)

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until edges are lightly browned; rotate sheets halfway through.

Remove cookies from rack to cool.

Enjoy!

Happy Election Day!
Thanks for reading,

Annette

If you wish to grab a cup of tea/coffee and take a few minutes to view my past blogs and photos, click here, or go to imannette.net.

I plan (or at least, plan to try) to post every other Thursday.
Think of Thursday as I’m Annette days. :o)

Look for my next post on November 17.

Thank you my faithful blog followers!!!
It truly is your encouragement that keeps me writing! :o)
I always love your positive comments, and enjoy hearing from you!
You can now use the form at the bottom of this post for you kind comments.

To become an “I’m Annette” blog follower,
and receive email, FREE, immediately upon my postings.
Sign up today, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.

img_3842

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