Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Blog Begins

I've read blogs for several years now, considered blogging myself, but felt a little intimidated by the process. Recently I reconsidered the idea and decided that not only could I share my life’s experiences with others, the blog would serve as a diary of my life’s experiences and expectations.

I love my business of
Home Health, caring for the elderly and disabled and giving West Virginia’s children a healthy start in life but I am most content sitting in my sewing room creating projects with fabric and thread. I sew and machine embroider on my Bernina Artista 200/730E. I digitize and tweak my embroidery designs with Bernina Artista Designer Plus V5 software. My fabric stash and thread collection is huge. I have more projects and ideas (in my head) than I will ever have time to complete.

Cooking is another hobby of mine and I should say, "it's not very good for the figure." I love baking, especially breads and sweets and trying new recipes. I spend a lot of time during the winter months watching the FOOD channel while I sew. I recently tried this different recipe for chicken salad. I used left over homemade rotisserie chicken. The couscous was different.

Couscous Salad with Chicken and Chopped Vegetables

The yogurt dressing has a hint of sweetness from the honey and an extra zing from the vinegar.
4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked couscous
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped zucchini
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 1/2 cups chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup (1/8-inch-thick) diagonally cut carrot
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
3 tablespoons dried currants
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Salad Preparation

To prepare salad, bring water, 1 teaspoon oil, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Place in a large bowl; cool to room temperature.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining oil to pan. Add the bell pepper, zucchini, and mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Add bell pepper mixture, chicken, carrot, onions, currants, mint, and black pepper to couscous; toss gently to combine.

To prepare dressing, combine yogurt and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over couscous mixture, tossing gently to combine.
Carla Fitzgerald Williams
Cooking Light, JUNE 2004

Don and I spend 8 months a year camping in Summersville. Our home's about 24 miles away and 1 of my 3 offices is only 10 miles from the campground. We have a 30 foot Terry Camper with slide outs and it sits on a seasonal campsite from March 1 until November 30. We spend about half of our time at the campground and the other half at our home every year. My office is a converted lake home in a wooded area about 1 mile from the lake. Don and I own the home and rent it to my business for use as an office. It is a peacefully place and I love working from this remote office. Even though we converted it to an office we kept the lake house character and someday when we retire we can use the home as a second home or rent it on a weekly basis to lake vacationers.

The picture at the top of my page is Summersville Lake in the fall after the Core of Engineers starts letting the water out of the lake. White water rafting seasons begins. The boaters start complaining about the rafters taking our water. Our fall season was long and warm. What a shame that our lake water was drained into the Gauley River. Oh well, it brings millions of dollars and white water enthusiasts from all over the world to our state every year. But we hate to give up boating especially when the fall weather is warm and dry.

I will post pictures of my sewing projects in a day or two after I figure out this blogging thing. Right now I'm doing good getting everything set up to post.

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