Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Favorite Summer Recipe ~ Stuffed Squash

Crispy stuffed squash, a summer favorite!
by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Ahh. The bounty of summer awaits my growling tummy!

Though I am posting this recipe today, I made this dish several weeks ago. Due to the odd weather this year and very early and hot spring temperatures, the produce schedule is very early or entirely off schedule!

I know. But we take what we get and have a fancy meal. I also acknowledge that I post this recipe in some form almost every year. It is that good.

This year, on July 1st (so early), I harvested a zucchini and a yellow squash plus wax and green beans. So delish!

Stuffing for the squash
Stuffed Squash


1 pound ground turkey
washed and chopped green and wax beans
2 squash, washed, cut in half lengthwise, and scooped out
1 can of black beans, rinsed
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 cups chicken broth
black pepper
crushed peppers
Mrs. Dash
onion powder
olive oil
grated cheddar cheese

Prepped squash. I sometimes like to add olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper before I stuff them.

1. Saute onion, garlic, and carrot in olive oil. Add turkey meat to brown it.

2. After turkey is browned, add black beans, beans, tomatoes, and spices (to your taste). Add enough chicken broth to make a thick mixture. Let cook until bubbling and fragrant.

3. Stuff peppers with stuffing. I love them full and overflowing. You will probably have leftovers, which makes a tasty soup or casserole base. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

4. Place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet and bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Check often as you near the end of your cooking time to make sure squash ingredients are not overcooking. We like a crispy cheese topping, so we let them cook the full time.

5. Remove and enjoy!

Ready for the oven.
You can add almost anything to this dish. If I have quinoa, it goes in the mix. At times I've added broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms - you name it, I've probably had it in my stuffed squash.

I just love summer gardens and their tasty treats, don't you? What's your favorite summer dish?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Thinking in 12's ~ RV Living

12's become significant...
by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Lately, I've been thinking in 12's.

12 towels (the hubby uses many each week, plus there are the grands . . .)

12 dish clothes

12 sets of silverware (in case we have company)

12 wash clothes (we are messy)

I don't know why 12 seems like such a good number. Except 12 towels will hold us if I can't get to the laundry for a bit. Dishes shouldn't be a problem, though we do go through them each day.

I am a 12th Fan (Go, Seahawks!). Maybe that's the influence of 12.

A dozen. That usually means good things. A dozen eggs, donuts, months in a year . . .

Hmmm. 12's were always the hardest for me to remember when it came to multiplication facts. I still have to think hard (or cheat) to figure out 12's.

Moving into an RV trailer is a huge commitment. The storage space. Oh, boy. I mean the lack of storage space. That is the challenge. But we are up for adventure.

To end on a positive note, let's have a list of 12 great and wonderful reasons to live in an RV!

1. Life will be one big adventure.

2. It will feel like camping. all. the. time.

3. We can move our house any time we want a change of scenery.

4. Less square footage means less area to clean!

5. Change. Change is good. Change makes you think outside of the box in which you currently reside.

6. Weeding. This is necessary to reduce personal effects to a sufficiently tiny amount that they fit inside the RV.

7. Cooking requirements will force creativity!

8. Potential for blog posts (the good, the bad, the ugly) will increase exponentially the longer we abide in each other's hip pockets.

9. The porch. Sitting under the awning enjoying the evening quiet (and chatter of young grands) will be exquisite.

10. Free time! No sense in shopping - there's no place to put it.

11. Clothing choices will be easy each day. With a limited wardrobe, it's recycle outfits over and over again.

12. Fairy tale living. It's true! I will be snuggled up to my honey in our home sweet home.

13. And for the baker's dozen - Living in an RV will get us ready to live in our small home.

Now. That being said . . . I'd love to hear your RV living suggestions, tips, and strategies! Pretty please!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Rubber Stamping Amidst Chaos

50 card total. I think it's a record low, but they are so pretty!
By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Distracted? Yes. But still productive.

These are the cards I stamped while visiting my college friend and co-stamping nut. I mean hobbyist.

Despite the multiple phone calls, texts, and emails that transpired due to the pending sale of our home, I was able to squeak out a tiny bit of concentration which allowed me to create greeting cards.

It's what we do. This process works best when we are together, as our ideas bloom and feed off of each other. Our stash of rubber stamps, tools, papers, and supplies is doubled when we pool our resources. Life events are discussed, food is enjoyed, and cards are produced.

A win-win situation, even when one is selling a house.

I suppose I should apply this special superhero focusing power (giggle, giggle) to my picture book writing.

Yes. I really must.

Regardless of exterior distractions and influences, I need to be seated in the computer chair and producing manuscripts (or editing or submitting or querying). This shall become increasingly interesting when my office, chair, desk, and computer space becomes that of the RV dinette.

Whatever will the two gray girls do? Cause havoc and sleep on my papers. Without a doubt.

Onward and upward.

"Meow, meow, Mommy! Get writing!" says Monet.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Silverware Drawer

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

I loosely say silverware, though there is probably only 1 or 2 pieces that actually contain silver. Utensil ware is so much less exciting and refined.

This is what happens when one steals the silverware basket to check and see if it fits in the RV drawer. Which it does, but only in one of them. So that drawer is now the official holder of utensils.

Not to get too deep here, but this drawer neatly - I mean chaotically - represents my life at present. Transistion. What that really means is that there are plenty of opportunities for untidiness, cleaning out the cobwebs, decluttering, and paring down life to what is really important.

- Things appear to be a jumbled mess.
- We have to dig around to find what we need. But that leads to . . .
- Glimpses of treasured items and favorite memories.
- Everything feels topsy turvy.
- So many pieces, but they can't all go with me. Sorting becomes necessary.
- I want to get cracking and put it all back in order.
- But I don't have time. Yet.
- The search and rescue approach to gathering dining necessities is in force.

My life looks like my silverware drawer. But that's just outside appearances. All is well, and in time, all will be sorted.

In the meantime, why not enjoy the adventure?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

He Sold the House While I Was Gone!

Colors from our garden

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Go on vacation, buy an RV trailer.

Go to see my friends, the hubby sells the house.

What next?

The rest of the story . . .

When we sold our first home, I was at a conference in New Mexico with some wonderful ladies. Kevin repeatedly called me, updating the news and asking questions. Finally, his calls took on a list-like look.

"Honey, I sold the fridge."

"Honey, I sold the boat."

"Honey, I sold the . . ."

In desperation, I turned to my ladies, who were totally tuned in to the situation. "I've got to get home before he sells the kids!"

Many, many years later, the story is similar.

Last week was vacation. We enjoyed a few days with my cousin. We shopped for RVs but didn't find one we could live in for any length of time. We discussed in great detail EVERY single option of selling our home and finally beginning our bucket list plan to build a small home. And I mean EVERY detail.

After returning home, we made an appointment with our realtor to ask questions and prepare to sell. That was Thursday.

The following Monday we met again and listed the house. The signs went up and photos were taken.

Tuesday was the realtor walk through day, so I loaded up the cats and headed to the other Quantrell's for most of the day. Not only did several realtors visit our home, we had a showing with a different realtor. Just as I was putting quiche in the oven, we received a text for another showing. We quickly ate, grabbed the cats, and vacated the premises.

On Wednesday, I headed to visit college friends, leaving Kevin in charge of the home selling adventure. Kevin was texted for yet another showing. This one lasted almost 2 hours.

On Thursday morning, we received an offer! After another already scheduled showing later that day, paperwork was completed, and we accepted the offer for our home.

Guess where I was? Not at home. I was with friends on the other side of the mountains. Texts flew back and forth.

"We got an offer."

"We are meeting to discuss the deal."

"You need to sign these papers."

I really need to not leave my husband at home alone! There's no telling what he is planning on selling next . . .

Providing all goes well with the various sale-of-home proceedings, we will soon be living the RV life.

I guess that means we really are old Nana and Papa grandparents. (And we love it!)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Love locks at Chambers Bay Park
By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

It's true. Time flies. But not only when you are having fun - though those particular minutes, hours, and days seem to sleep more easily through our fingers.

I've found that time. Just. Flies.

For instance, my honey was on vacation last week. There were just not enough hours in the day! We . . .

We had a wonderful time. I think maybe they were embarassed by us!

- traveled to see my cousin in the Tacoma area where we ate, hiked, visited, walked, sipped coffee, ate some more, and watched exploding fireworks

- shopped for an RV trailer as a part of our long term plan to build our own small home

- returned home and cleaned house with much attention given to fine detail

On the first hike we got lost. This was our trick for choosing the correct path on the next hike.
- decluttered, packed boxes, moved furniture, and prepared our home for sale

- shopped again for an RV trailer - and purchased a lovely used model that we pick up on Saturday where we will attend a class on how to make everything work

- washed windows and removed cobwebs

- spackled and touched up painted walls

- filled the garage with boxes, bags, and large items for storage and donation

Titlow Beach at low tide
- spent hours talking on the phone with various service providers and business people, asking questions and learning the ropes about selling and building homes

- and finally, put our home on the market

We are exhausted!

The above schedule did not allow time for reading email, blogging, writing, or any other creative endeavor. I barely had time for grocery shopping, but we were getting hungry and I had to cave and make the trip.

The fun continues tomorrow. The gray girls and I are banished for 4 hours while realtors visit and walk through our home. I think Monet, Mabel, and I will visit some grands. Won't that just make their day fantastic? The grands will love it. The cats, not so much.

Oh, friends, I could have used you. At the least we could have stopped for a bit and sipped a cup of tea. Rest and relaxation. Do consider a visit soon so we can catch up. I may not have furniture, but I always have hot water and tea.

Fireworks on the 4th