Help for Hobbies of all Sorts by Rene' Hobbie

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Anytime that I have a few days off, I try to give myself the gift of reading an adult book.  That's exactly what I did over Thanksgiving Break.  As you might remember, Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, and I wanted to read one of her latest books called House Rules.  It's a mystery that involves a boy who has Asperger's Syndrome.  Wondering several times why this illness is on the rise, I wanted to learn more about it, especially since it has touched our family.  Although this title is a work of fiction, Picoult is very thorough in her research.  I enjoyed and learned from this book but was disappointed in its anti-climatic ending.  Dang, after reading 592 pages, I was waiting for Picoult's usual "gotcha" moment!  Regardless, I'd still recommend this title. 

When your son can't look you in the eye...does that mean he's guilty? Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. But he has a special focus on one subject - forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he's always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he's usually right.
But when Jacob's small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob's behaviors are hallmark Asperger's, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob's mother, Emma, it's a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it's another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob. And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Arlin's mom is visiting us for Thanksgiving, and mother and son are busy in the kitchen making one of the Hobbie's traditional holiday favorites...Cranberry Relish.  It certainly makes a pretty addition to a festive table and smells scrumptious, too!  Here is the recipe:

Cranberry Relish
2 sacks of cranberries
2 apples including peel
1 or 2 oranges including peel
1 1/2 cups of sugar
*adjust ingredients to taste if needed

Wash all fruit and cut up the oranges and apples into smaller pieces.

Feed the fruit into a food grinder mixing the different fruit pieces as you go. 
Add the sugar.  Refrigerate overnight.  Before you serve it, place the relish in a pretty crystal bowl. 


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Looking through the Michael's dollar bins is like digging for treasure.  You can find some real jewels there like these chipboard books. 

I purchased the ornament and tree shaped books but took them apart to use the pieces individually.  This is what I came up with.

I started my project by stamping the snowflakes with white ink then added the bottom layer of plaid paper before applying white cardstock.  The plaid and white paper were torn by hand and sanded with a sanding block.  Then it was time to build the snowman.  I stamped the tree on green paper and cut it out before adhering it to the chipboard piece.  Matting was added for my picture and the sentiment was stamped.  I edged the whole thing in white ink and applied the red and white ribbon.  Do you like it? 

Materials Used: 
Cardstock:  Whisper White, Wild Wasabi, Real Red, Marina Mist (SU)
Designer Series Paper:  Frostwood Lodge (SU)
Ink:  Fresh Snow (Papertrey Ink) Basic Black (SU)
Stamps:  Holiday Tree (Papertrey Ink)  I love this set!
Embellishments:  Ribbon

Thank you for stopping by my blog today!

Monday, November 14, 2011

I've been a trainwreck in the kitchen lately, and my guys are probably ready to hang a Help Wanted sign on the front door for a new cook.  I'll tell you that broiling instead of baking canned cinnamon rolls doesn't work very well.  Paying attention to that little bake/broil knob on the toaster oven really is important. 

Have you heard of the Crockpot Girls ?  They have become extremely popular overnight with hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook.  After looking at some of the recipes on their blog, I decided to dust off the old crockpot (and I do mean old.  Remember the ones with flowers all around them?  I don't even know where I got it from.) and give it a try again.  I succeeded in making some very dry and bland chicken, but I'm not going to give up!  I LOVE the idea of putting everything in the crockpot before work and having dinner ready when we return home.  If you have some tips or recipes to share with me in using the crockpot, I'd love to hear them.  In the meantime, I'm going to ask Santa for a new one.

After botching a couple of things in the kitchen, we were ready to have a meal that we really enjoy...gumbo.  I have seen my mother spend hours preparing her gumbo recipe, which is our very favorite, but there are some things I just won't attempt.  My gumbo comes from a mix called Zatarain's Gumbo Mix.   I can hear my Cajun relatives gasping all the way from Louisiana! 

I add six cups of water and the gumbo mix to a large pot, and bring ingredients to a boil.  After lowering the heat, I add some beef Eckrich sausage (that has been browned and drained) to the pot
along with a pound and half of peeled/deveined shrimp.  Follow the package directions for the length of cooking time needed, but you'll have a tasty pot of gumbo before you can say "Boudreaux".  One more thing...we like lots of rice in our gumbo, so I always make a pot to go with it.  The gumbo mix doesn't have enough in it for our liking.  This is the perfect warm meal for the cold evenings we've been having in North Texas. 

Thank you for stopping by my blog.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Do you remember having to sit at the dreaded children's table at holiday time?  The adult table, where all the decorations and food sat, just seemed so much more appealing.  Well, how about spicing things up a bit for the kids by using this idea as a centerpiece?  Not only is it cute, but it would give them an activity to do, too.  The colorful leaf cutouts can be purchased from any teacher supply store.  Boys and girls could write what they are thankful for on the leaves before hanging them on the branches. 

Our awesome PTA recently held a teacher luncheon for us.  These pictures were taken of the centerpieces that were in the middle of our tables.  Love it! 

Niki, the mom in charge of decorations, simply used some containers she had on hand to hold the branches.   She then added pinecones and other fall decorations to complete the look. 

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Let me know if you have any questions! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?  In club this month, we'll be making this little sign to remind you of how many shopping days you have left to purchase those perfect gifts for the people on your nice list. 

Here are the ingredients I used:
Designer Series Paper: Holly Berry Bouquet
Cardstock:  Real Red, Wild Wasabi, Whispering White
Ink:  Wild Wasabi and Real Red markers
Stamp Sets:  Heard from the Heart, Tags til Christmas
Embellishments:  Real Red satin ribbon, Wild Wasabi button
Tools:  scallop punch, scallop square die, Big Shot, crop-a-dile, magnet sheets, white chalk

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Let me know if you have any questions.