Too Delicious Not To Share

It has been a very long time since I made homemade Alfredo sauce. I usually use fettuccine noodles, but we only had regular spaghetti noodles. You can also use angel hair pasta. I almost always add chicken or broccoli to it as well.

A few people have tried it and always ask for the recipe for the Alfredo sauce, so I thought I would share it with you!

Ingredients

  • ½ Cup Butter
  • 4 Oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preparation

  • Add the butter cream cheese and cream to a large skillet.
  • Simmer over medium heat until melted.
  • Whisk in the garlic/garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and whisk until smooth.
  • Whisk in the parmesan cheese slowly .
  • Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes or until it starts to thicken.
  • Serve immediately.

Enjoy!!

Happy Birthday to The Mitten!

My home state of Michigan became the 26th state on this day in 1837. Happy 186th Birthday!!

Here are some cool facts:

Pledge

Did you know that there is a pledge of allegiance to the Michigan flag?? Next time you glance up at the dark blue banner with its shield, elk, moose and eagle, you’re welcome to utter these words written by Harold G. Coburn and officially adopted by the Legislature in 1972: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of Michigan, and to the state for which it stands, two beautiful peninsulas united by a bridge of steel, where equal opportunity and justice to all is our ideal.”

Michigander or Michiganian

The term many of use and love today was coined by none other than Abraham Lincoln in 1848. Then an Illinois congressman, Lincoln referred to Michigan governor Lewis Cass, who was running for president as a Democrat, as a “Michigander”, meaning he was as silly as a goose. Lincoln was mad at the Democrats for making more than they should have of Cass’ military experience, and the term was meant as an insult. “There is one entire article of the sort I have not discussed yet;” Lincoln said, “I mean the military tale you Democrats are now engaged in dovetailing onto the great Michigander.” Many prefer “Michiganian.” Neither is official.

Mining Precious Metals

Before anybody ever trekked to California to seek all that glitters in 1849, speculators flocked to the Upper Peninsula for copper in 1843, spurred by reports from the state’s first geologist, Douglass Houghton. Michigan copper was pure and plentiful, and the population of the remote Keewenaw Peninsula exploded as miners flocked from around the world, living in tent cities because houses hadn’t yet been built. Over the next 130 years, more than 5 million tons of copper would be mined. These days, the mines generate money in a different way: The Keewenaw National Historical Park draws visitors who want to learn about the area’s rich mining history.

The Lines Were First Drawn Here

We have Edward Hines to thank, who came up with the idea in 1911. He lobbied the state Legislature to give responsibility for roads to counties instead of townships and cities, a measure that was eventually adopted. As a Wayne County road commissioner, he lobbied for long-lasting concrete roads instead of gravel or asphalt. His brilliant idea came to him as he watched a leaky milk wagon drip a strip of milk down a dusty road and thought something like, “Hey! If we painted lines on our good concrete roads, drivers would know where the middle is!” It’s hard to imagine navigating Michigan road without help from Hines.

Other Random Things

In 1817 the University of Michigan was the first university established by any of the states. Originally named Cathelepistemian and located in Detroit the name was changed in 1821. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1841.

Michigan State University was founded in 1855 as the nation’s first land-grant university and served as the prototype for 69 land-grant institutions later established under the Morrill Act of 1862. It was the first institution of higher learning in the nation to teach scientific agriculture.

Although Michigan is often called the “Wolverine State” there are no longer any wolverines in Michigan.

The Mackinac Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. Connecting the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan, it spans 5 miles over the Straits of Mackinac, which is where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. The Mighty Mac took 3 years to complete and was opened to traffic in 1957.

Indian River is the home of the largest crucifix in the world. It is called the Cross in the Woods.

The Kellogg Company has made Battle Creek the Cereal Capital of the World. The Kellogg brothers accidentally discovered the process for producing flaked cereal products and sparked the beginning of the dry cereal industry.

Vernors ginger ale was created in Detroit and became the first soda pop made in the United States. In 1862, pharmacist James Vernor was trying to create a new beverage when he was called away to serve our country in the Civil War. When he returned, 4 years later, the drink he had stored in an oak case had acquired a delicious gingery flavor.

Michigan was the first state to provide in its Constitution for the establishment of public libraries.

The first auto traffic tunnel built between two nations was the mile-long Detroit-Windsor tunnel under the Detroit River.

Happy Birthday, Michigan!

Blog Milestone

WordPress was kind enough to let me know that I had reached the 5 year blogiversary this week.

Wow! Five years of blogging. To my followers – THANK YOU! As many of you know, I started this blog as a way to put my thoughts to “paper” so to speak. I was and is therapy for me.

The fact that so many of you read my blogs and comment regularly means a lot to me. Many of you I have come to know as friends. I look forward to reading about your lives, reading your stories and poems, taking part in your blogathons, submitting thoughts on your features, and more.

In the past, I have written guest blogs for friends and been “interviewed” by others. I really enjoyed that. As a reader, you are familiar with the content I post and if you ever feel inclined to write a guest blog for me, please reach out and we can discuss that. Much like the days of radio where DJ’s cross-promoted each other, I am always glad to help promote other bloggers – especially those I follow.

Thank you again for reading. Here is to another 5 years (and more!)

Keith

Monday Memory

Do you remember SRA cards?!? 

I remember these from elementary school.  I want to say that we started using them in 4th grade. 

Basically, it was a box of card that were color coded based on difficulty level. Each card contained a story on a topic and questions to answer about it. There were also vocabulary words you had to find in the story.

I remember there being some very interesting topics, but I seem to remember a lot of topics that just didn’t peak my interest.

A search of the internet found these pictures of an SRA card:

After reading the story, it was time to answer the questions:

Grading was on the honor system. There were answer key cards in the box as well.

As I recall, in our classes anyway, there was a specific number of cards you had to read and tests to pass before moving on to the next level.

Some people read faster and comprehended better than others. There was probably a chart up on the bulletin board with everyone’s name and gold stars for every test you passed.

I had never heard of Arthur Ashe (the tennis player) before SRA cards. The only reason I remember this is because I kept calling him Arthur Ash-ee and the teacher corrected me.

Thinking about these and writing about them reminds me of other things from elementary school that I should write about later….

* Academic Olympics

* Weekly Readers

* Book Fairs

* Paint shirts

Maybe another day ….

Turning Pages

I often question whether I should post about books I read. Then I remember that more often than not, I only read that book because some blogger I follow posted about it!

Now I understand that just because someone praises a book doesn’t mean I will enjoy it. If, however, it sounds like something I find interesting, I will pick it up. That’s what happened with the latest book I just finished.

I don’t recall who suggested it, but the title caught my attention. As a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I recognized the name of his arch nemesis. Sure, enough, that is who the title is referring to.

I found out after I had the local library order it for me that he has actually been commissioned by the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write a new Sherlock Holmes mystery. It was called House of Silk (which I have on order from the library now).

Moriarty takes place after Holmes and Moriarty are “killed” at Reichenbach Falls. A Pinkerton Security man arrives to investigate something connected with Moriarty. He meets a man from Scotland Yard who is working a case closely connected with him too.

At any rate, Sherlock is mentioned in the book, but is not a character. It did not take away from a good story. I found it entertaining enough to not only order the Sherlock Holmes story from the library, but to pick up another one of the author’s books. I am reading that one right now.

It starts with a woman who walks into a funeral home and pays for and plans her entire funeral. Six hours later she is murdered. That was enough to hook me. I just started it, but so far I am enjoying it.

I hope that the Sherlock story will be as good as Moriarty. You never know what you are going to get when you have a new author writing for a familiar character.

In the past that has worked. I enjoyed the new Columbo novels, the new Perry Mason stories, and hope the Sherlock one is just as good.

We’ll see….

Thought of the Day

I have a few blog ideas running around in my head, but nothing I am ready to write. So today, I thought I would offer a short bit of wisdom for you as we head into the weekend.

It is no secret that I still love to read the Sunday Comics. Many of them (Drabble, Peanuts, Overboard, etc…) make me laugh out loud. Sometimes, however, you can pull out a nugget of wisdom from them. With that wisdom today – Calvin, from Calvin and Hobbes (written by Bill Watterson):

Make the weekend count!

I may have to frame that – or this version:

Friday Photo Flashback

Welcome to another edition of the Friday Photo Flashback feature! This time around we go back to 1988 (and 1999).

In the past it has been fun for me to find a picture and examine the things in the background. The picture I have chosen really doesn’t allow me to do that, because there’s not really anything more than some of my favorite people.

In going through photos, I came across one from my graduation party and it made me smile and sad at the same time.

The photo above features from left to right: Papa Joe, my Uncle Tom, my dad, my grandpa, and Mr, Kanne.

What I love about this picture is the connection to another picture, which connects some friendships. Look at the photo below, which I may have posted on here in the past. It was taken at my first wedding in 1999:

I think it is extremely cool that the two photos are almost identical in that Papa Joe is on the left in the top picture and his son, Joe, is on the left in the bottom photo. Mr. Kanne is on the right in the top picture and his son, Steve, is on the right in the bottom picture. My dad is in the center in the top picture and I’m in the center (center-left) in the bottom picture.

(In the wedding photo: Joe, my brother Chris, Me, Steve, Jeff, and Steve)

Sadly, in the top picture, my grandpa, my uncle and Mr. Kanne have all passed away. My uncle and Mr. Kanne are buried in the same cemetery as my mom and are not that far from each other. I often stop at all three graves when I am there.

Collectively in those photos are 10 men who all played (and continue to play) important roles in my life.

On a humorous note, I can’t help but think that both photos look like a police line up …

… or maybe a funnier line up ….

Macaroni and Beans!

I have never been diagnosed with OCD. That being said, I do tend to be a creature of habit. I tend to take the same way to work every day, I like my coffee the same way every day, and such, but I don’t think I am OCD. My books and DVDs are NOT alphabetized, crooked pictures don’t bother me, etc… There are, however, some things that take my anxiety through the roof.

I love my wife, but I think sometimes she suggests things that she knows will drive me crazy. (Side note: This is probably because I do NUMEROUS things that drive her crazy. She is WAY more OCD than I will ever be!) So let me give you an example of what happened this morning.

After breakfast this morning, she sat with the kids and I for a bit before going to bed. She received some text messages from Andrew’s speech people about things we could do with him. One of those things was to so some sensory games with beans or rice. She came out of the bedroom and went to a cabinet in the kitchen and grabbed a bag of beans.

She told me as she grabbed some Tupperware and cookie sheets what she was doing. She suggested I get a blanket or sheet to put down on the shag rug we have in the living room so they wouldn’t get stuck in the rug. She then grabbed a box of elbow macaroni and opened it. She said, “Ella will want to play, too.”

I put the sheet down and out came the beans and macaroni. Sam gave them a couple mixing cups so they could scoop from one Tupperware dish to the other.

It started out fine. Ella was playing with the macaroni and Andrew had the beans. At some point they swapped.

They also were good about just dumping from one container to the other … for a while.

I’m truly surprised that this photo didn’t catch the beans and macaroni that Andrew was throwing up in the air and all over the living room. (Side Note: Yes, he is wearing his sister’s underwear over his pants. She is potty training and he wanted to wear a pair, too. Does he look ridiculous? Yes, and I am happy if he is happy.)

Half the battle was getting Andrew to NOT eat the raw beans or noodles.

Slowly, but surely, the beans mixed with the macaroni and vice versa. My anxiety was at an all time high as I was trying to keep the beans and noodles out of the carpet. It was everywhere!

Eventually, they lost interest and got lost in a show on TV. When the alarm went off to tell Ella it was time to use the potty, I took advantage of her being off the sheet and wrapped all the beans and macaroni in it. I wrapped it in a big ball and put it in a shopping bag.

Hours later I was still finding beans and noodle on the carpet! I’m sure as a kid, I was making messes with stuff like this, but it was all I could do to not wrap it all up 10 minutes into them playing with it!!

I know my wife, and I am sure the beans and noodles will reappear sometime in the near future. I guess I will just wear socks when I am walking around in the living room ….

Breakfast Fun

For the most part, it was a normal morning. Andrew was up first, followed almost immediately by Ella. As I was getting them out of bed, Sam came home from work.

Sam recapped her night at work with me and the kids were taking turns being in her arms. During this time we asked what they wanted for breakfast. We offer them a few choices each day. Today, it was pancakes, waffles, or French toast.

“Waffles!” Ella said!

“French toast, actually sounded good,” Sam said.

I was thinking the same thing, but I figured waffles would be easy for the kids to eat. They usually just hold them in their hand and walk around eating them. Sam reminded me that we had blueberries in the fridge and I would add those to the batter.

I reached up in the cupboard and grabbed the Bisquick. I could tell by the weight of the box in my hand that there probably wasn’t enough for waffles – or pancakes for that matter. So, French toast it was!

Ella always wants to help, so I cracked the eggs into a bowl and had her shake some cinnamon in. She helped me mix it up as the griddle warmed up.

“Do you want smiley face French toast or bear French toast?” Sam asked.

I looked at her puzzled and asked what she meant. She told me that you cut up bananas and can use them for eyes, ears, and a mouth. The kids were excited to help with this step, too.

Ella has a step stool, which Andrew has been using to get to things on counters and why have you. He was standing on it, so Ella needed something to stand in. Sam brought in an laundry basket and turned it upside down. So the two of them were standing on their “stools” and helping mom cut bananas

Once the French toast was done, she dished it out and made bears or smiley faces. Then she cut it up in small pieces for Ella to dip in her syrup, and in slices so Andrew could hold it in his hands.

They both stood on their respective stools and ate as I finished fishing out French toast for Sam and me. After that, we all were just standing in the kitchen, plates on various spots on the counter and each of us eating our breakfast.

As silly as it sounds, this was one of my favorite family breakfasts to date. I shared French toast with Andrew, Sam and Ella were sharing bananas, and we all just enjoyed the moments together as a family.

What a great start to the day!

Flatpack Wisdom

One blog that I follow belongs to a friend in Scotland. She’s a poet named Britta. She has fascinating backstory and through her blog I have come to know a bit about her.

You can read her blog here:

In a recent blog, she mentioned that her son had purchased a desk/chair set from IKEA. She described the various bumps and noises that she heard from her son’s bedroom as he put it together.

We bought something for Ella from there and I recalled the challenge of trying to put it together while looking at the “directions” or lack thereof! It was certainly a challenge.

There is an episode of Bluey called Flat pack that comes to mind. The dad andom have purchased a porch swing and they are trying to put it together while following the “instructions.”

Anyway, I say all of that to get to the nugget of wisdom that came about while commenting back and forth with Britta. I mentioned that there are plenty of jokes about IKEA’s lack of real instructions and stated that it is kind of like life. “

“Life is kind of like an IKEA flat pack. It doesn’t come with any real instructions,” I told her. She agreed and reworded my sentiment. “Life. The flat pack without instructions!”

We’re all just trying to get through without no real directions, so grab your Allen wrench and tackle life day by day!