Sunday, August 7, 2016

Just Breathe

Happy Sunday morning to you all!    I'm trying to get back into the swing of writing consistently on both blogs.   Admittedly, I've been showing preferential treatment to Learning Curve...but really, it's out of necessity more than anything.  (Reviews, reviews and more reviews.)

So now that I've apologized, I'll share that I have a semi-inspirational post up over on that busier blog today, ahem.   Pop over and read and ponder on my post Just Breathe.

I'll be updating this site with newer photos of the kids soon, and I have a couple of posts floating around my head too.   Be patient, but don't go away!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

My Gardens - 2016 Edition

I've been a bit lax in posting to this blog in recent weeks and months.   I'm hoping to rectify that at some point, humor me, ok?

I thought I'd take time to share some photos of this year's garden.  This post serves a dual purpose, first you get to see my lovely flowers, and it we get the terrible storms in out forecast for this afternoon and overnight, I may not have anything but photos of the flowers by morning.

My mailbox garden is one of my favorites, I love the day lilies.


 My rosebush has taken on a life of it's own.  I need a trellis for next year.

 My shade garden is on the left side of my drive way.   I have evening primrose, hostas, day lilies, lambs ear and lamiun growing under there.   I also have some little white flowers, but I'm drawing a blank on the name.   I have a couple of wind chimes and homemade gourd bird houses hanging in the branches of the big pine tree.


This next little back yard garden has all sorts of things in it, a rosebush, lambs ear, lamium, fever few (which has taken over) black eyed Susan's, columbine, irises, obedient plants, chrysanthemums and purple spider wort.  Not everything is currently in bloom obviously.


The garden below is my the upper corner of my back yard.  There are day lilies, lily of the valley, cone flowers, spider wort, red hot pokers, a wisteria vine and a hydrangea bush.


The vegetable garden (below) is coming along nicely.   I'd thought the late frost had killed the squash, but they have rebounded, and all of them now have blooms.   We have 8 squash, 13 tomatoes (4 varieties), lettuce, spinach, endive and onions growing.   We've already harvested all of the radishes, so I'll replant those come early fall.   I also have a huge patch of sunflowers growing by the garden gate.


Lastly, here's my little garden shed garden.   It has white peonies, cone flower, mums, day lilies, spider wort, parrot irises, lambs ear and a few other little odds and ends that haven't come up yet.

I missed getting photos of my peonies and red hot poker gardens this year.   Here area few close up photos of some of my lovely flowers.




Thanks for touring my gardens with me!







Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day Encouragement

Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful, and not so wonderful Mom's!    Yes, even the not so wonderful ones still need recognition and encouragement.   Maybe you're struggling today because your Mom wasn't the person you needed or wanted her to be.     Please take a minute to pop over to Learning Curve  read my article Changing the Course, and get a little insight and encouragement.

Happy Mother's Day!!


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Victim or Victor?



While at the park today we saw an epic duck vs. goose battle in the fish pond.  The goose was much larger, and much stronger, and by all appearances the duck was dying as the goose pinned the ducks head under the water.  The ducks struggling began to slow, his wings going limp.  Suddenly the ducks desire to breathe and live erupted into a powerful onslaught that upended the goose and sent it screeching out of the water and onto the bank with the duck in hot pursuit, where it thoroughly pummeled the goose.  I stood there and cheered for that victorious bird. You can learn a lot from that little duck.

I’m sure many of you are thinking “why didn’t you help the poor duck to begin with?”    Sometimes, the absolute WORST thing we can do for someone is fight their battle.  In our quickness to intervene, we often teach victim mentality instead of victor mentality.

When you’ve finally had enough, you will engage the enemy, and go on the offensive, and do what’s necessary to move into victory.   

The choice is yours.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls - Recipe

During our recent blizzard I had a sudden hankering for hot cinnamon rolls.  Unfortunately I hadn't planned for this hankering, so there were no pre-made rolls in a tube in the fridge.   Google truly is a lovely thing.  Finding that most cinnamon rolls require all-purpose flour and yeast is not so lovely.  But, Google didn't let me down and I finally found a recipe which used self rising flour.  Insert angelic choir voices here, grins.

Here's the recipe I found.

1/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp. shortening
3 cups self rising flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup margarine/butter softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp. cinnamon


Place flour in bowl and cut the shortening into the flour.  Then add the milk and stir well.  When a soft dough has formed, place the dough on a lightly floured counter top and knead briefly.   Roll out your dough into a 20X14 inch rectangle.  Spread butter/margarine evenly over dough.

Combine sugars and cinnamon and sprinkle over the butter.  Roll the dough up, jelly roll style and slice into 1/2  inch thick slices.  Place slides side by side in a greased 13X9 baking dish.  If any of your sugar/cinnamon mix fell out of the edges, just dump it back on top at this point.  Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

While the rolls bake, make a simple glaze.

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla


Pour the glaze onto the rolls while warm and serve.  

Since this recipe uses self rising flour, these rolls have a more dense, biscuit consistency...but they still taste amazing on a cold winter morning.  These rolls also rewarm nicely in the microwave. 

You could also add cream cheese to your glaze mixture....and a little vanilla to the dough mixture.y

Enjoy!




Thursday, December 3, 2015

Corn-Flake Cookies

Every now and then I find myself with things in my pantry that I don’t normally buy.   Sometimes, I find myself needing to create a “food to share” at an event, and when the planets align and I have unusual things on the pantry, I make the best of it.

Such was the case this week, and I found out on Tuesday morning that the kids needed to take finger foods to their 4-H club meeting…on Tuesday evening.   (Gah!)  I whipped up a tasty batch of corn-flake cookies and amazed the children with it’s simplicity and taste.  I thought I’d share with you, in case you happen to have extra corn flakes to use up, ahem.

Ingredients:

1 cup corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
6 cups of cornflakes (or Cheerios, or other cereal)

Pour the cereal in a large bowl and lay out a couple of sheets of waxed paper or parchment paper.  Trust me, you want to have this step ready and waiting.

In a saucepan, combine the corn syrup and white sugar and bring to full rolling boil (stirring constantly).   Add the peanut butter and stir until well blended.

Pour the hot mixture over the cereal and stir to combine and coat all the cereal pieces.   Try not to crush the cereal, but you do need to work pretty quickly.

Drop by the spoonful onto waxed or parchment paper.   Allow to cool completely before putting in containers.    

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You can tweak this to make it your own.  Vary the cereal, add chocolate chips, or nuts or mini-marshmallows and see what you come up with !

Monday, September 7, 2015

Using Up All Those Tomatoes–Bruschetta Recipe

Fresh, vine ripe tomatoes are one of my favorite things about the summer.  Tomatoes are great with any meal, or nice as a stand alone snack.   However, there are times when tomatoes are coming in faster than you can eat them.   Your choices are to can the excess (salsa, spaghetti sauce) give them to neighbors and strangers alike and then you still have.more.tomatoes.

Here’s a yummy dish that can accompany a meal, or be used as an appetizer or snack.   Behold, the Bruschetta!

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Ingredients:

1 loaf of French or Italian bread
olive oil
fresh tomatoes
basil (fresh or dried)
garlic (fresh or in the jar)
shredded mozzarella

Wash and core your tomatoes, then cut them up into bite size pieces.  Place in a bowl, add a generous amount of olive oil, a clove or two of garlic and some basil.   Stir and then set aside and allow the tomatoes to release their natural juices.

Slice the bread into 1-inch thick slices.  (I buy these loaves for 50-60 cents on clearance and throw them in the freezer.)

Brush each slice of bread with olive oil, then place a spoonful of the tomato mixture on top of each slice.

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Top with grated mozzarella and sprinkle with a bit more basil.    The pop the cookie sheet into the oven for 5-8 minutes (at 350) until the cheese begins to melt.

Serve alongside pasta dishes, salad or with a little extra olive oil dipping sauce.

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We may have had this several times in the last two weeks.  We have more tomatoes, so it looks like I need more bread!