We are deeply saddened by the death of our Black & Decker Handy Steamer earlier this evening. We learned of its passing just as dinner should have been done. When we realized it had only heated lukewarm it was taken off life support, and our sweet potatoes and peas were carefully transferred to a stockpot on the stove to finish cooking.
This steamer has been a close friend to us over the years. My husband first used an identical one (loaned from his dad) to cook me dinner very early in our relationship. This gesture was how my father-in-law knew his son would soon propose.
Four years ago, following our marriage, we moved back to our hometown. As we transitioned from a condo to a house, we greatly accepted hand-me-down items from family. At the same time, my grandma moved from a house to an apartment. This steamer was one of our gratefully received items from her move. It’s been a staple here. Used multiple times a week, if not daily. It is arguably a more important asset to our kitchen than the toaster, microwave, and, perhaps, even the oven.
This hand-me-down from my grandma was preceded in death by her retro Kenmore dryer (2009), and survived by her hand crank mixer.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers as we learn to cope with this loss. Memorials will be donated to the purchase of a new, larger steamer to accommodate the appetites of our growing girls.
When you’re living through a remodel, or endless mini remodels, the smallest corners of clutter can drive you up the wall. When there are messes, clutter, and undone projects out of my control, I fixate on the ones I can control. This week’s target: spice clutter. Solution? After scouring internet retailers and reading about different spice storage strategies across the blogosphere, I decided on $10/doz. jars from World Market and return address labels.
From messy cloves of garlic to beautiful Tumeric… I have a streamlined, clutter-free drawer of spices and seasonings. I opted for the drawer vs. decorative storage because I read spices keep better in a dark place. Don’t forget the expiration date!
Did I read that right?
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Yes, they need to tell you it’s chicken TWICE…
because it looks the same as the pork patty.
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It's just dip
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Family dinner can be tough to pull off in our busy lives, but the time and effort is worth it. That’s why I blog about family dinner here, and have join the Blog for Family Dinner Project’s Family Dinner Movement. I submitted a post, and learned today that it will be published on October 8! Sign up to be a supporter, help spread the word, or submit your own blog post to be featured.
Visit blogforfamilydinner.org today!
Photo by Aleathea Anderson November 2009.
When I was in college, I went to a classy “Tour de Franzia” party at a friend’s on-campus apartment, and she had made spinach and artichoke dip. “Wow!” I exclaimed, “Did you make that?” She looked at me like I was from Mars.
You see, I lived in a dorm — never an apartment – steps from the campus dining service. I didn’t know how to make ANYTHING. Ramen or Stove Top from my trusty hotpot was literally it for me.
It turns out a great homemade dip really is easy. This is a significantly altered version of a Better Homes and Gardens recipe. I couldn’t bring myself to include Miracle Whip or Mayo (that’d be far too Lutheran cookbook-ish of me), and anything that comes out of a Holland kitchen is required to include extra cheese.
Baked Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Combine the following in a large bowl:
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup dairy sour cream
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
- Sprinkle of crushed red pepper
- 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup loosely packed, coarsely chopped spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
Spread into a 9″ pie plate. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until heated throughout. Serve with pita wedges, French bread, corn chips, and/or crackers.