Thursday, December 17, 2020

Things I Love Thursday // 12.17.20

Eight sleeps 'til Christmas... I hope you feel like you're doing enough. I'm certain you are. Cheers to these extra minutes of goodness and this week's edition of TILT.

My Grandpa's Sugar Cookies

Several weeks ago we miraculously "recovered" 2+ years of lost photos in our storage cloud. All of a sudden late-2009 through 2011 were visible in our Apple photo albums (still no sign of 2012). It has been delightful (and a complete time-suck) to go back through these pictures that I haven't seen in close to 8 years. One series of photos is from a visit to my grandparents' house in the winter of 2011. I have a few shots of my grandpa making his "famous" sugar cookies. One of them is a partial photo of his recipe, written out in his scratchy handwriting --no doubt with the oddly-shaped carpenter's pencil he always kept handy in the front pocket of his scratchy flannel shirt, just under the leather vest he wore when the weather was chilly. The picture showed the ingredient list but not the oven temperature or baking time. To my sweet delight, Geneva decided this week that she wanted to tackle the recipe and give these cookies to some of her girlfriends for Christmas. {heart melts along with the butter} After much trial and error --she crushed it!

Grandma's Coffee Dispenser

Quite in-line with the warm feelings brought on by Grandpa's Sugar Cookies, I was moved to bring Grandma's well-loved coffee dispenser up from the basement this week. I had a friend over on a wet day, and as we were meeting outside for tea, I needed something to keep the hot water hot as we visited. Surely the occasion for this has presented itself before --but for some reason, this week was the first time I recalled the device (that I've had ownership of for almost a decade). It had been carefully boxed up and was easy to clean up. I was shocked to find that by the end of the day and well into the evening, the water inside was still piping hot! As big tea sippers, our family has decided to keep the vessel on the counter this winter, always filled with hot water for an easy cup of tea. Such happiness. I doubt they "make 'em like they used to" but this is the brand in an updated look.

Mom's Fuzzy Socks

One of the things that my Dad was sure to give to my girls after my mom passed was a pair of her fuzzy socks. Mom spent most of her early mornings sipping coffee in her loud tie-dyed nightgown, colorful terrycloth robe, and a pair of funny fuzzy socks. It was a guaranteed "hit" to give her a pair for her birthday or Mother's Day. I can't tell you how much it lightens my heart to see my girls pad around the house in a pair of their grandma's beloved socks. We miss her.

New House Plants

My sweet girlfriend, Laura, via text this week: "Get your tushy to Lowe's... Epic plant shipment just arrived... Unique stuff... Philodendron Birkin." Me 30 minutes later:

"Keto" Tuscan Sausage Soup

I first saw this recipe on Pinterest. Are you on Pinterest? Care to follow me? Link HERE. In any event, I made this soup for the first time a couple months ago. Since then, I have made it nearly every week. I'm not exaggerating. Y'all already know how much I love my InstaPot (+air fryer)... I think you can make this recipe on the stovetop as well (just add extra time for simmering so the flavors meld together). I won't type out the entire recipe here... you can find the link to it here --> EatWell101. You'll need to wade through all the ads and pop-ups (which are especially bad if you're on your phone) --but it will be worth it. Just get to the "print this recipe" part of the post. Also: I always boil a pound of pasta on the side. When serving, I scoop a ladle of noodles into the bowl and then several ladles of soup on top. We sometimes add a dollop of creamy ricotta as well. It's SO good! Of course, if you are watching the carbs --it's excellent without the noodles as well. Make it! And when you do, let me know what your family thought!

Thai-Inspired Spicy Salad

This isn't so much a recipe as it is an appeal for you to try our new favorite dinner salad. It's so good that I pretend it "goes with" everything. For example, if I make it on the same night as the Tuscan Soup, then suddenly it's "International Dinner" at the Jones household. See how I did that? Anyhoo... it's just a box or bag of fresh greens, diced avocado, green onions, and crumbled goat cheese tossed with Trader Joe's Spicy Cashew Butter dressing and topped with Trader Joe's Thai Lime & Chili Cashews. So yum. 

Even tastier from Grandma's Pyrex with my MIL's vintage Gotham Hacienda servers.

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  1. I am making this tonight and will report back!

    1. Yes! And if your were still just two houses away, I would even make it for you. 💛