Monday, December 6, 2021

This and That and What I Bought

 


This and That and What I Bought!


Hard to believe it is already December - the end of November has been busy and December is gearing up for the holidays.  Low key, as we are still hiding from Covid and be VERY careful as the cases are high in our area and the vaccination rates are not great.  But, I still decorated for the holiday and finally got around to making new pillows for our living room.   
These are the old pillows.  When we moved here I thought we needed a change - and made these to pull the colors of the apartment together.  I also made a drape for the table between our chairs - 
but I never really LOVED the fabric.  I had some fabric leftover from our last home.  This fabric was used for the drapes in the living and dining room - and when I saw photos of our old home I remembered how much I loved this fabric and it would work great here.
Walmart had pillow forms in a larger size than what I used before and I bought several.

I used the packaging as a pattern...
Then I cut out two smaller, overlapping pieces for the back of the pillow.  I decided to make the covers removable so if I change my mind again or see fabric I like in the future I don't have to purchase any more pillows.   

I turned over the ends on the backing pieces, put right sides together and got ready to sew...

Digging around in my sewing supplies I found navy piping 
and added it to the edges.


then started to sew the whole thing together.  This is my 48 year old Sears Kenmore sewing machine.  Wow...has this served me well.  Made more clothes, pillows, etc. - and still going strong.
I sewed together the ends of the piping to fit the size of the cover...
It took me a few minutes to remember which presser foot to use.  I used to sew a lot...now, not so much except for crafts and repairs.
Once the sewing was complete I inserted the pillow...

And there it was!

I love the way the piping turned out...and the richness of the fabric.
With some scraps I made the other accent pillow...
The table cover completes the look...

and one more pillow to finish off this chair.  I am so glad I saved the fabric and love the way this project turned out. 
The rest of the last few days has been busy with cleaning out the upright freezer in our laundry room to get ready to store holiday baking...and shopping.  
Here are some of my latest finds - 
I had one of the old Misto olive oil sprayers for several years and it was not spraying very well ...so I found this one on Amazon, and so far, so good.  Sprays a nice, fine mist!  
You can find it here - 


There is a nice little thrift shop near my favorite grocery store.  I always stop in to look for some books and found all of these for 1.00 each
I rarely look at the clothing - because I have WAY too many clothes already - but the 1.00 rack was being stocked with NEW items - I think from the tags they are from the recently closed K-Mart.
These two shirts looked cute, and were supposed to sell for 5.00 but there were several of each style for a dollar!

When I got them home I found the original tags...

This one looks like it would be good with black leggings for the holidays...

And I loved the colors of this teal and navy one.
Then made a stop at Good's Store...a treasure trove of everything you need and can't find anywhere else...plus many things I did not know I needed.

Happy to find this shoe stretch product that I have been looking for - works great on tight boots and shoes.
The next day was a sale day at Yankee Candles...this medium two wick jar was only 9.00 and I think the scent will be nice and fresh after all the holiday scents are finished in the New Year.
Last stop was the Talbots sale...50% off of any one item and I have several pants that will work well with this sweater.
And that was it...no more shopping for me...at least until next week.
Have you been shopping and sprucing up your home for the holidays ?  What are your favorite buys or bargains.  Please leave a comment below and let me know - and thank you so much for stopping by Our New Vista.  Have a fabulous week !

Monday, November 15, 2021

2-Step Chicken Broccoli Divan

 


2-Step Chicken Broccoli Divan


As you an see from this recipe card, this is an OLD recipe!  I really can't remember when I found it in a magazine, cut it out and pasted it to a card.  I am thinking it has to be at least 25 years ago.  It is a favorite at our house and I forgot about it and did not make it for awhile.  While cutting the white meat off of a Costco chicken I remembered this dish.  Yesterday was cold and blustery here in PA....the perfect day for a warm casserole. The recipe card might be a bit hard to read, so here are the ingredients - 

1 lb of fresh broccoli cut into spears ( or one package of frozen broccoli)

1 and 1/2 cups of cubed cut chicken or turkey

1 can of Cream of Broccoli soup

1/3 cup of milk

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 T. butter, melted

2 T. dry bread crumbs

I never used frozen broccoli in the recipe.  I like the crunch of the fresh broccoli...and I cut it into small spears, rinse and drain.
The recipe calls for a shallow pie plate - I like to use an 8 inch baking pan because I like to use more milk to make it saucier, and I love the way nothing sticks to this Temptations dish - which has a plastic cover to fit so I can easily store the leftovers.
I spray the pan with olive oil spray...
add the cut up chicken on top...
then prepare the sauce.  I do not use the Cream of Broccoli soup...I like the taste of Cream of Celery, and I always use the Healthy Request or low salt version...
And, because I am using the "healthy" soup, I add Half and Half instead of mile.  I don't really measure, just add enough to make a creamy sauce.
Pour the mixture over the entire dish...
and top with cheese.
I like the reduced fat mild cheddar from Aldi.
I use whole wheat Panko bread crumbs...it gives the dish such a nice crunch!
Spread the crumbs evenly over the dish, and then....
I don't use melted butter.  I find that Squeeze Parkay works for us - 
Drizzle the butter ( or Parkay) over the entire dish and bake.  In a conventional oven you bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.  You can also microwave , covered with wax paper, on HIGH for 6 minutes or so.  You can see from the directions that you are supposed to rotate the dish halfway through heating.  This leads me to believe that this recipe was printed when microwaves were fairly new.  We got our first microwave in 1983 ( I think) and it did not have a turntable.  I think most all units have turntables today.  I used to make this dish in the microwave, but I like the crunchy way the bread crumbs get very brown in the regular oven.
It smells so wonderful when baking !
We like to enjoy it over a small amount of brown rice, with a side of applesauce.  This is GREAT with leftover turkey and a side of cranberry sauce, too.   If you have Thanksgiving turkey leftover this works great!
We enjoyed this meal and then I used the plastic lid to cover and refrigerate the leftovers.  My husband is already asking "when can we have that again???"   I reheat the dish in the microwave.
My Temptations bakeware are wonderful...nothing sticks, they heat evenly, come with ceramic lids, plastic covers, and a trivet for the 13 x9 pan.  I purchased my set on sale at the QVC outlet in Lancaster.  You can find Temptations on QVC or Amazon.  Seriously...I have stored away my other pans and am going to donate them to a charity because these Temptations work so well.  They clean up perfectly in the dishwasher, too!
Hope you enjoy this recipe - please let me know if you make it, or make something similar.  Thanks so much for stopping by Our New Vista today and if you leave a comment below I would love it!
Have a great week!




Sunday, November 7, 2021

Kutztown Revisited #2

 




Kutztown Revisited - Take Two

Last post I shared how my sweet husband decided we should celebrate our anniversary on the 8th of each month....not just once a year.   We started the day at Renniger's Farmers Market and then headed to the place where we met - Kutztown University.  Well, then it was Kutztown State College.  One of the first things I learned about Kutztown was that the tower of Old Main looked like a chicken if you saw it from the right angle.  Can you see it?


We parked near the football stadium - all new since my time - and noticed all the apartments in the area.  Also new...
We strolled down the long walkway that used to separate the girls and boys dorms...co-ed dorms were just starting back in 1973.  On the guided tour map this walkway is called the long walkway.  In my day we referred to it as the DMZ....a leftover term since we were not that far away from the VietNam years.

The beautiful fountain has always been there...but it was upgraded with nice landscaping.  Only problem was a sign you cannot see says "keep out of fountain area".  Don't know why.
We visited my old dorm...Johnson Hall!  This is where we met - and where I met some of my dearest friends/sisters. Oh, yeah - we were "Johnson's Babe's" - and we even had tee shirts that said that in the iconic Johnson &Johnson font.   Wish I could re-create some of those shirts.


We couldn't figure out why the dorm looked deserted and tried to get in and ask at the desk.  Back in the day I was a "DA"...Desk Assistant.  I thought it would be fun to see if in this day of cell phones they still even HAD DA's announcing that " Jane Doe has a long distance telephone call on 4A"...because we did not even have phones in the rooms, just pay telephones on each wing.  Wow...how did we survive ?

Found this when we tried to get in...CLOSED ?!?!?!

While strolling back past the other dorms we stopped a student to ask "what happened to Johnson Hall?" and she said it was being used as the COVID dorm for a short time, but she was not sure why it closed.
We strolled past Old Main...



Then crossed Route 222 ( many more crosswalks these days) to find Rohrbach Libary.


SUCH fond memories of this library...when I visited here for a "library camp" while still in High School I remember walking in and finding a reception with coffee, the best little danish pastry I ever had, and the Bach Brandenburg Concertos playing in the background and I thought..."WOW, this is my place".
I had a fantastic education in Library Science and was thrilled to graduate in 1977 with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Education, Library Science, K -12.
The education I received helped me get my first job as a librarian in a very small library, then as a catalog librarian in a suburban Philadelphia library, a Children's Librarian in a large public library, and then - my best years - a School Librarian in a small Elementary School and then Jr. High/Middle School for the majority of my career.  I really LOVED my job - and that all started here!

The library department has changed over the years...like my career.  Started being thrilled to type catalog cards on an IBM Selectric typewriter instead of a manual...and grew to learn/love/teach technology!

Love the saying on this display...
Left the library to make our way to the Campus Store.  We had to ask directions....let me just say - everyone was so gosh darn YOUNG!!!  AND...when I asked what happened to Johnson Hall this young woman said "yes, it was being used as the Covid Dorm, but then there was a huge sink hole on the ground floor and they had to condemn the building !!! We picked a good day to visit and I was able to get some KU shirts.
This yard sign was in front of the house where we parked....loved it!

That was our trip last month...What will be the treat for November 8th ?  Well, the Covid pandemic is still playing havoc with our plans.  We will not eat at an inside restaurant as the positivity rates are 11 - 12% in this area.  So, it will be a ride and if warm enough, lunch outside.
Do you ever go back to visit your college or the place where you met your special 
someone ?  I was overcome with the feeling of how blessed we were to have met each other ( my husband did not attend Kutztown, he went to the University of Pennsylvania, and we met through his sister - who was also a Library Science Major.  What if we never met ???  Oh, no - it was meant to be!   Have you had good return visits to the places in your past?  I would love to hear about it!  Please leave a comment below - and thank you so much for visiting Our New Vista!

This and That and What I Bought

  This and That and What I Bought! Hard to believe it is already December - the end of November has been busy and December is gearing up for...