Monday, March 31, 2014

Easter's on its Way

Okay…….. it’s here!  It’s officially here!  I am declaring today the official start of spring in the Midwest. 

 
 
 
The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, baseball opening day is Thursday, and we have had two days in a row of temperatures over 50°. 

Perhaps the most important indicator that spring is finally here is that I’m not wearing any shhhhh…………..socks! 

You know what that means, girls.  We’re just one small step away from open toes.  What a celebratory day this is!
 

 
 
 
I call this elation - spring fever. 


You may have caught it too and are daydreaming about relaxing on your patio, planting some annuals, catching some rays and riding your bicycle around the neighborhood. 
 

 
 
Although it may be a bit early to partake in these activities, we can rejoice in knowing that Easter and the sense of renewal it brings is on its way.
 

 
 
 
I wanted a little Easter cheer for my island, so I looked to the garden for inspiration. 


The brightly colored spring plants and the moss runner that I found led me to create a bolder display rather than using the traditional pastel colors for Easter. 

Here’s to inspiration, renewal and a Happy Spring………….officially!
 
 
 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring it On

Now, I know that it’s not technically spring yet…...... And yes, Easter is still more than a month away….....it's just that I can’t help it.  For it has been such a long winter.  And I’m really ready.  I’m really ready for the big thaw.  I’m really ready to spring forward.    
 

My spring door basket
 
And I know you are too because I saw you day dreaming today…….

About tulips...

And chirping birds…

And Easter eggs…  



A still snowy woods



And even though our local parks still look like the above……there is still something inside all of us that is happily anticipating the feeling of renewal that comes when the world is woken up from its deepest winter sleep….zzzzzzz.
 
 

Flower market display at our local Pottery Barn
 
 
Technically (snow or not) spring will be here this Friday, and I can’t wait to write upcoming posts about gardening and grilling and farmer’s markets and fresh veggies.
 

Easter dining table at Pottery Barn
 
 
I hope that I’ve provided you with a little inspiration to help you shake off those winter blues and allow nature to infuse your homes with happiness and cheer.   
Happy Spring!

 

Welcome spring door basket
 

 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Happy Birthday, Someday Cowgirl!

It’s a bit surreal to me, but it has already been a whole year since I began The Someday Cowgirl.


The Someday Cowgirl ready for the day's adventure
 
 
After writing about special trips, recipes, holidays and favorite places, I have to admit that I have never enjoyed a hobby in my entire life as much as I love writing this blog……..well, except for when I was a high school show choir superstar…………jazz hands!

I know……drama, but it’s true. 
 
 
My husband taking a break during our ride on the Rio Grande Gorge rim trail just outside of Taos
  

And the crazy part is that it took someone else to suggest that I do this.  Someone who sees what I do in the workplace each day.  One day Wilma and I were working on an upcoming campaign and she said, “Jen, you should write a blog. You would be really good at it.” 
 
 
St. Francis of Assisi, adjacent to the historic Santa Fe Plaza

Really, what the heck would I write about?   I did minor in journalism and have wondered what it would've been like to have taken that career path, but a blog?  And one year later, I have a beautiful online journal to reflect upon. 
 

Looking down after hiking to the top of the Tent Rocks trail in New Mexico


 
So, a big thank you goes to all of my friends and family who support me.  I love all of your comments and post suggestions – Wilma, Melinda, Yvonne, Nitja, Gina, Mom, my brother, Dad, Stephanie, Gail, Carla, Aunt Marion, Sally Oh, Jamie and the most wonderful husband in the world (who consequently always has to wait to eat his dinner until after I take the blog pictures).
 
 


The best place to shop for turquoise jewelry - outside of the Governor's Palace in Santa Fe
 
 
I do realize that all of this may sound a bit Academy Award acceptance speech–ish,  but to be honest, I really do feel like a red carpet gal every time one of you tries a recipe that I’ve posted,  comments on a decorating idea, or tells me you were just checking in to “see what Jen is up to.”



Historic San Isidro Church in Santa Fe
  
Thank you and keep the comments coming!





 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Pie

Can you believe it?  The first day of spring is less than three weeks away.  You wouldn’t know it though from the tundra that is my backyard and the below freezing temperatures that we are still experiencing.  I did see a chunky robin yesterday which was chirping away – that’s got to be a good sign.


 
 
 
But until the Big Thaw and before the foot of snow melts off our grill, we still have time to enjoy some warm and comforting dinners.   

Baked Spaghetti Pie is one of our favorites.  It’s saucy and cheesy, and the preparation is much less involved than lasagna, making it an easy weeknight dinner. 



 
 
 
So, before you say adieu to your winter blues, make some Spaghetti Pie……. and hang in there – spring is on its way.



 

Baked Spaghetti Pie
6 oz. uncooked spaghetti
(or about 3 cups cooked)
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 c. grated parmesan and Romano cheeses
2 well-beaten eggs
1 lb. ground beef
16 oz. of your favorite pasta sauce

1 ½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese
More grated cheese for the big finish


Heat oven to 350°.

Cook spaghetti al dente according to package directions.  Stir in butter, grated cheeses and eggs.  Coat a 10” pie plate with cooking spray.   Pour in spaghetti mixture.  Using the back of a spoon, make a shallow well in the center of the mixture.  Fill the well with ½ c. of mozzarella cheese.  Leaving a ring around the edge will give you a nice crust on your pie.

In a skillet, brown ground beef.  Drain well and mix with pasta sauce.  Fill the crust with the meat sauce.

Bake pie for 20 minutes.  Add 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and sprinkle grated cheeses over the meat sauce.  Bake 10 more minutes or until cheeses are brown and bubbly and the crust is crispy. 


Pour yourself a glass of Cabernet and have a wonderful week!