Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Christmas Lights

One morning, I woke up early to see the sunrise; so early that it was still dark out.  I wanted to see the lights lit up around town, so I headed for the roads to gaze at all the Christmas beauty that surrounded me.
I brought a couple of fresh baked cookies
from the night before,
 a hot cup of coffee,
and was on my way.  Come along with me.
The little church that has stood
for 100 years.
A very charming shop in town
that I go to often.
It was closed, but the windows
were all lit up.
Driving through the mall,
and now we're at my favorite
shopping center.
I am always reminded that I live in
when I see this palm tree decorated
every year.
Then, I saw the most glorious sunrise.
It was so pretty,
that the reflection of it was shown
on my car.
I hope you enjoyed the drive
around my town
to see the Christmas lights.
Isn't it the most wonderful time of year?

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Greek Love

The girls at Red Rose Alley love our Greek heritage. 

And I love to cook!

The cold winter weather calls for comfort food. How about we make a batch of pastitsio?

Saute some chopped onions in olive oil, add in a pound of lamb, season with garlic, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, and cayenne until the smell of spices fill the kitchen, then add a can of crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper, and simmer.

Make a bechamel sauce by heating up some milk and heavy cream, and adding it to a mixture of melted butter and flour. Stir in some nutmeg, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese, and when it's nice and bubbly, add a couple eggs, some Greek yogurt, and whisk!

Add a box of cooked elbow pasta (al dente) to the tomato sauce mix and then spread the bechamel. 

Bake for an hour and serve hot with steamed veggies or a crisp salad.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a plate to tend to...
you know how us Greeks love to eat! ( :

~ Nel  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Jewel Ornament

Those that really know me, know that I love jewels.  When I saw this jewel ornament, I thought it was a beauty and had to buy it.  I can't wait to get my tree so I can hang this right in front.
Different angles of the ornament.
The most precious jewels
you'll ever have
around your neck are the arms
of your children.

Jess, I was your age in this picture, and your brother was around two.  Since I'm getting over a bad cold, I thought a hot bowl of soup would hit the spot, so my son met me at one of my favorite restaurants this week for a bowl of tortilla soup.  I love soups when it's cold out, especially when feeling under the weather.
Two pies,
because one is just never enough. ; )
Baby roses for Francesca.

*ornament is from Pier 1 Imports.

Monday, November 20, 2017

A Wondrous Windy City

Since I was a little girl,
the city of Chicago loomed large in my mind.

The Sear's Tower was the world's tallest building when I was growing up. Between that and the promise of bright lights in a big city, what else could a small-town girl with an adventurous spirit ask for?

Well, I finally had a chance to visit America's "Windy City." It made my heart swell. Traveling Teddy's too. 

Read about Traveling Teddy's story here

Here's one of the city's oldest and most iconic skyscrapers, the Wrigley Building. 

And here's the view from the 96th floor of
the Hancock Center.

The lighting in the lobby was truly stunning. This sculpture with 3,115 lights mirrors the number of stars you can see with the naked eye.  

I was only in town for the weekend (and just for work), so I didn't get to do a lot of the things I wanted to do (like eat a huge slice of deep-dish pizza while strolling around Millennium Park before a visit to the American Writers' Museum...), but that's just an excuse to plan a second trip, right?

So you want to know my favorite part of the weekend...? Even though it was so freezing I was still refusing to unwrap my layers 20 minutes into dinner...

...I was absolutely enchanted waking up to snow!

Thanks for a great trip, Chicago!
I can't wait to come back!
~ Nel