Saturday, October 30, 2010

Better Late than Never

So sorry about my late Pink Saturday post. I needed the picture on my camera for my post. My camera that I could not find had gone to the woods with my husband and son. They're all home again, so here it is.

Rain, rain come today
I've new boots
and want to play

Splashing in puddles
is so neat
Just stop in time
for Trick or Treat

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vacuuming Lizards

I was trying to get in a little housework between appointments and managed to vacuum up a baby lizard. Don't know how he managed to get in the house, but I was pulling the vacuum apart trying to coax him out. How could one little lizard produce that much guilt?

I'm vacuuming lizards. Yep, it's one of those kind of weeks.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trying to be Flexible and Tomato Soup

Yesterday was a busy day where I didn't get around to cooking supper as early as I should have, so I ended up cooking something different instead. That's the beauty of having planned my menus for the week and shopped accordingly. It didn't leave me scrambling for what to cook. I just looked at my menus and picked one that would be quick. I try to make out my menu list to include some quick meals and some that take longer and schedule them according to what I have going on that week. So now tonight, instead of cutting my pork into medallions and doing it in the frying pan, I'm going to put it in the slow cooker and let it cook all day since I'll be gone. I am a planner, but it's not always because I have to stay the course. Sometimes I have to "fly by the seat of my pants" as they say, and I like to have alternate flight plans available.

I guess that's a lot of talking to say I didn't make the pork and made soup instead. Here's the recipe. I loved it, husband's and kids not as much. They didn't think it tasted like the kind out of the can. (I do believe that's the point of good food.) If you'd like to try some tomato soup that tastes like it's fresh from the garden, you can try this recipe. If you want it to taste like it's from a can, you'll have to stick with Campbell's. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Tomato Bacon Soup

1 qt crushed tomatoes
3 tsp. beef bouillon
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 c. half & half
6 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
8 oz shredded cheese, pepper jack or sharp cheddar

Blend tomatoes in a blender until smooth. Place in a saucepan. Add beef bouillon and pepper. Stir in half & half. Add crumbled bacon to soup. Heat just until boiling, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15-20 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with cheese. Serves 4

Monday, October 25, 2010

Something So Good

Today I thought I'd give you a peek at my marigold's. They are African marigolds that I started from some seeds last year that were given to me by a farmer that lives just down the road. They grown very tall and numerous. To give you an idea, that's one of my peach trees that it's growing around. They've only just begun. They'll be as tall as me, which really isn't saying much since I'm on the short side, but they're pretty just the same.

I'm not giving you the whole menu for the week. I need to go to the grocery store today, so I'm undecided on one night's plan and for what I'm taking to our church dinner on Sunday. Any suggestions? Here's what I've got so far this week--

Monday--Glazed Apple Pork Medallions, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Oatmeal Rolls

Tuesday--Tacos, salad, fresh fruit

Wednesday--Chicken Pot Pie, applesauce

Thursday--Cheesy Tomato Bacon Soup, Cuban Sandwiches


Saturday--homemade pizza


The pork recipe is one I'm playing with tonight. If all turns out well, I'll share pictures and the recipe tomorrow.

I was getting ready for church yesterday morning and my five year old was sitting on my bed talking to me and looking at a jewelry catalog (start 'em right, start 'em young). She was pretending to sell me things out of the catalog. She came to something thing and said, "This pink one is so pretty it just wears me out." Excuse me? I thought that was funny. I hope this day is filled with something so good it wears you out!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mayberry Myths

I came across a verse when reading my Bible the other day that made me laugh and I thought I'd share it with you. It's found in Ecclesiastes 7:10. "Do not say, 'Why were the old days better than these?' for it is not wise to ask such questions. How many times have we said something just like that?

We all long for Mayberry, but Mayberry is a myth. The "good old days" weren't really so good when we start looking. There have been times when societies had stronger moral codes, that's true, but since society began there has always been sin to contend with and problems that plagued its people.

Even in the ancient days, the Bible tells us that things got so rotten God destroyed them all except for eight people! And remember, the Bible never even told us that seven of those were righteous, only one.

God is patient with His people. He would have them all come to salvation. He gives us opportunity after opportunity. I'm certainly glad He was patient with me. I have to be willing to extend that same patience to others as well.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Aunt Betty's Chocolate Cake

Yesterday was my aunt Betty's birthday. She is famous for making her chocolate cake. For all family functions, she is required to bring three things--macaroni & cheese, rice consumme, and her chocolate cake. I had been thinking of her and decided to make the cake myself. You make it in a 13x9 pan and it cuts well for lunch boxes. The cake is very dense and rich, almost like a brownie or fudge. I thought you might all enjoy giving it a try. Maybe it will become one of your family traditions as well.

Aunt Betty's Chocolate Cake

2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. butter
1 c. water
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 c. sugar

Add baking soda to buttermilk; set aside. Mix flour and sugar in a large bowl. In a saucepan, beat butter, cocoa powder, water, and oil until it boils. Pour mixture over flour; mix well with a spoon, not mixer. Add buttermilk and eggs. Add vanilla. Pour in a 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


1/2 c. butter
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
6 Tbsp. buttermilk
4 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1 c. pecans, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix butter, cocoa powder, and buttermilk until boiling. Pour over powdered sugar; stir until blended. Add nuts and vanilla. Pour over warm cake.

So today for Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for my aunt Betty, for her sweet and giving ways, for traditions passed down on dinner plates, and for a life blessed with lots of love.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vintage Pics

Today I went digging in my stuff for something to share. It's a few of my treasures. When I was a little girl we lived across the street from an older lady. She had an attic full of very old magazine. She shared a few with my mom and here are some of the clippings. What I wouldn't give to have the things from that attic now! Enjoy your Wednesday and visit the other Rednesday participants.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

That Stinks

I have come to a very sad conclusion--
weight loss requires exercise. (I know, I was shocked too.)

And another one--
I can't eat all the junk I want and not have it show up in unwanted places.

Reality stinks.

Today I made the choice to embrace reality and actually spend 30 minutes exercising. We'll see if that works better than my "Just Wish It Off" plan did.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Post

It's getting late so I won't take long but I did want to share the picture of our pumpkin that I told you about on Saturday.

This actually wasn't the end of the carving. I carved more around Patrick and it looked better. If you only knew how quickly we made this and how many other things were going on at the same time. I thought it turned out fairly well.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pink Petals

Today has been filled to the brim. I just finished carving a cartoon pumpkin for our fall festival tomorrow. (I did take pictures, but you'll have to wait until another post to see it.) I'm officially adding pumpkin carver to my bio. Tomorrow promises to be even busier but so much fun.

I did manage to slow down long enough to take a stroll outside and find some pinks to share. I even caught a caterpillar taking a nap in one of my roses! Enjoy your weekend. And be sure to visit all the other blogs featuring pink through the link below.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cornbread Sticks and Fine Art

I tried a new recipe for cornbread from Southern Living and it turned out great. It was one of the few times I've actually used my great-grandmother's cornbread stick pan. I guess I'm always a bit timid of the food getting stuck in all those nooks and crannies. But, this recipe made it so simple to cook in it and gave me confidence that it would turn out right, which it did. I'll use it more often now, following this same technique. I guess that's one of the main reasons I liked this recipe. It not only tasted good, it gave me a way to draw closer to my past.

Now for the fine art. I appreciate a painting or sculpture as much as the next girl, but for this I'm talking about an art form closer to a southern girl's heart--brunswick stew. I can't really give you a recipe, because it's never the same way twice. It's one of those things you have to keep going back to and working with until what is in the pot matches the taste you have in your mind. It depends on region or family tradition.

I have an old recipe hanging on my wall of the best one I've ever had. It came from a little old lady that I knew growing up. I never realized until I got the recipe as an adult that the main ingredient was '1 whole hog head'. Never fear, I'm not that much of a traditionalist. I work hard to get my modern ingredients to match the taste of hers, without having something staring back at me from the pot. I often use a smoked Boston butt as my meat. Last night I tried a packed of prepared barbeque that I bought at the store as my base. It worked fine. I was so glad I'd done that because it cut my time and ingredients way down, and yesterday was the day I needed a little extra help in the kitchen.

That leads me into Thankful Thursday. I have just one big one today. I am thankful that my younger son's accident yesterday wasn't worse than it was. I've never been so glad that he's so hard headed! I'm going to have to buy that boy a helmet. If he gets hurt, it's always on his head. He was playing tag at recess and was running full force (do 9 year old boys know any other way?) when he tried to duck under some playground equipment. Fast boy + metal pole + bad judge of distance = slight concussion. After a long afternoon in the doctor's office and a long night of waking him up every two hours, this mom is also thankful for the nap I am going to take when they're all off to school.

P.S. I told him he is now officially banned from tag. (This is his third whack to the head since school started this year.) But I have to smile when I say it, because I am officially banned from the skating rink. But that's a story for a different day.

Texas Cornbread Sticks

1 c. yellow cornmeal (I used white and the world didn't end)
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Combine first five ingredients; make a well in center. Stir together buttermilk, butter, and egg. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Heat cast iron cornstick pans (you need two) in a 450 degree oven for 5 minutes or until hot. Remove pans from oven, brush lightly with oil. Spoon batter evenly into hot pans. Bake at 450 for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans immediately; cool slightly on wire racks.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Fired" Up About Rednesday

My little one has been learning about fire safety at school and brought home this picture she'd made of a fire truck. No burning buildings for her, her fire truck is frollicking in the flowers (with a glittery siren, no less). I thought it would make a nice picture to share with you all for Rednesday. Plus, she likes to be featured on the blog.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rice Done Right and Beachy Shrimp

The new shrimp recipe that I tried last night turned out great. My younger son had three helpings and declared it the best shrimp ever. It was a little on the salty side, so if you're watching your salt intake, you might want to fidget with the Worcestershire and Old Bay amounts.

I also wanted to share with you the recipe I use for rice. Now you might think rice is rice, not much you can do to change white rice. Not true. It takes rice to RICE. Try it and let us know what you think.

Perfect Beach Shrimp
Not sure where I found this recipe, I think it was from an advertisement.

1 c. butter, melted
1 c. ketchup
1/2 c. Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp. ground pepper
3 lb. unpeeled, large raw shrimp
Garnish: lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together first five ingredients. Place shrimp in a pan; pour butter mixture over shrimp (I sprayed my pan first). Bake for 25 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink, stirring every 10 minutes.

Plain Rice
I found this recipe in an Arabian cookbook my husband brought me once from his travels, it's called 'Arabian Cuisine'.

1 1/4 c. rice
2 1/2 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter

Rinse rice several times in running water. Place all ingredients in a coated (sprayed with Pam)saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir, and cook uncovered over medium high heat. When the water level is equal to the surface of the rice and little holes have appeared in the pan, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until done (won't take long). Total cooking time is 25 minutes.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Handiwork, Help with Menus, and a Horrible Diet Week

I hope you all had a great weekend. We had lots of funny visiting with family. Going to the reunion, with tables full of good food, didn't help my diet cause. Although, I only ate one small piece of pound cake and tried to watch what I ate. Apparently that pound cake meant I added a pound and I watched what I ate show up on the scale. For all my work last week, I lost a whopping eight-tenths of one pound. But I shall not give up. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming as the blue fish says.

I thought I'd show y'all my little apron I made yesterday. My little one and I were at home with sore throats and I found the material for it while digging through some of my craft things. I figured it was the right time. It's just one of those simple ones that you buy and just cut out. I got it in a pile of craft stuff at a yard sale. My younger son came in from outside and I showed it to him. Here's our conversation--

Me: "Hey bud, want to see what I made?"
Ry: "What's it for?"
Me: "It'll be my Thanksgiving apron."
Ry: "What! You can't wear that for Thanksgiving!"
Me: "Why not? What's wrong with it?"
Ry: "You might spill food on it. You can't mess up a work of art!"

Y'all, the boy was seriously concerned, and he called it 'a work of art'. I can promise that it's not, but it sure was sweet to hear.

Here's what I have planned for supper this week. I promise not to wear my special apron, lest I soil it. =)

Monday--Perfect Beach Shrimp, Rice, Hot Pecan Peas, Oranges
Tuesday--Meatball Subs, Salad, Macaroni & Cheese
Wednesday--Brunswick Stew, Texas Cornbread Sticks, Pear Cobbler
Thursday--Crunchy Parmesan Chicken Tenders,Glazed Carrots, Fried Potatoes, Applesauce
Friday--Ham, Hashbrown Casserole, Green Beans, Rolls
Saturday--Homemade Pizza

Saturday, October 9, 2010


We've got a family reunion to go to today. I was cooking yesterday and have a little more to do this morning. Jon's taking some of his famous deer sausage. I'm sporting a black bean and corn salad, hashbrown casserole, and the pound cake Jon's mom makes. The whole time I've been cooking I've that old song from the seventies stuck in my head, I think it was by Peaches & Cream, 'Reunited'. Like I said, it's been stuck im my mind long enough for me to play around with it. Here's my version in honor of today. Sing it with me...

Reuniting and I'm cooking food.
Reuniting and it's smelling good.
There's only one perfect cake,
and that's the one I did bake.
The crust, it kind of crumbled,
but I'm still gonna take i-it.

Reuniting and I made salad.
Reuniting and I'm awfully glad.
I really like this dish
and I only wish
that my kids did too.
But, honey, they don't,
so I'm servin' it to you-oo-oo.

I could go on with verses about potatoes or sausage, but I'll be kind and spare you. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Just 4 Today

Just for today...can't remember how the rest of that poem goes. Anyway, just for today, we will think of four things (at least) that we can be thankful for. We're always quick to gripe when things go wrong, can we be vocal about the things that are right? There's always much around here to be thankful for.

1. Dancing in the kitchen the other night with my little girl to some Willie Nelson. Who doesn't like to listen to Willie sing?

2. My new $4 jacket. We stopped at a yard sale the other day and I picked up the cutest red (oops, guess I should have shown that yesterday) quilted barn jacket from Old Navy. Red, barn jacket, my size, $4.00=SOLD. I love red coats.

3. Last night my oldest son spent two hours helping his younger brother do a project to earn some extra credit being prodded along and without one moment's complaint.

4. I started watching what I eat (yes I know, again) and I've stuck to it this week. And, I made chocolate cake and, no matter how many pieces I've cut, have not once had a bite or even licked my fingers when they had icing on them.

This has been a great week of finding bargains, having a good time with my family, even displaying a little will power in the food area. That's the good stuff in life and I am thankful. I even put makeup on a bear yesterday--my friend Dana had to dress up as a mama bear for her son's preschool program. I got to glam her up. If only I'd thought to take her picture!!!

I hope your week has been full of things to be thankful for, and a little unexpected fun. Caution--if you should have an urge to put a bow and lipstick on a bear of your own, just make sure they're not of the real variety. I've heard they don't particularly care for the pearls. ;)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Library Love

Our friend Deb asked yesterday about my new love that I brought home from the library sale. The dates aren't blank to write in, they are filled with snipits of information about things that happened on that date or useful information for the season. The illustrations are so beautiful and vibrant. I thought I'd share a few for Rednesday. Every page is just this pretty. The book was printed in the seventies, but would be well worth tracking down a copy of your own. If you want to do that, take a look at yesterday's post picture. It should have the authors' names on it.

In case you've ever wondered what my mom looks like, this lady in the blue dress looks EXACTLY like my mom when she was young.

I realized I never gave you menus for the week, partly because I never made them up. I've just been winging it this week. Monday I did try a new recipe for pork roast and it was yummy. The potatoes turned out a bit spicy. The kids kept accusing me of adding hot peppers (I love spicy food). This time it wasn't me. It may have been the cumin, but I think the red bell pepper I used must have been rubbing up against some cayennes before they made it to the pan. I didn't have time to do the apple step. You'll have to let us know if you try it and like it.

Roast Pork with Potatoes & Apples

This is a recipe I'd clipped and stuck in my 'To Try' notebook. I'm thinking it came from Family Circle, but can't say for sure.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 lb boneless pork loin roast, well trimmed

1 lb small red-skinned potatoes, cut in chunks
1 medium red onion, cut in chunks
1 large yellow bell pepper, cut in eighths
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 Granny Smith or Gala apples, each cut in 12 wedges
tossed with 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. baking pan with nonstick spray. Mix rub ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Rub on roast and place in pan. Toss vegetables and ingredients. Scatter around meat. Roast for 1 hour (I had to bake mine 15 extra minutes to get the potatoes and meat done) or until meat thermometer in the center of meat registers 160 degrees. Place meat on cutting board and cover with foil. Put vegetables in a bowl and cover to keep warm. Increase oven heat to 475 degrees. Spread apples evenly in same pan. Roast 10 - 12 minutes or until tender and slightly caramelized on bottom.

That meat will give a lot of juice when resting. Put it in a bowl while working with the apples and then you can take the juice and the pan drippings to make a nice, flavorful gravy.

Be sure to visit Sue to her great site and lots of other bloggers~
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday Treasures

I wanted to show y'all what I picked up today in the library's sale room. Kate Greenaway is probably my all-time favorite illustrator and I was excited to find this Book of Days. I also got a book by Victoria on bedrooms, a crafting book and magazine full of ideas to get me started on Christmas work, even a book or two for the kids...all for the grand total of $4.50.

Monday, October 4, 2010

What a Delicious Day

Today actually feels like October at my house. The windows and doors are open. The birds are singing. My oldest son just smiled and waved from outside, dressed from head to toe in camoflauge. He and his brother are out playing some sort of game. Ever so often I see them run past the window. I know this will come as a shock to most of you, I actually slept late this morning! And when I woke up it was to the sound of my little girl singing to her dolls down the hall. I have reached that magical time where everyone can get out of bed without a mom's assistance. Yes, this is what I like to call a delicious day, a day you can feel in your bones. If you could bite it, it would taste so sweet.

It isn't that we have some spectacular plans. As a matter of fact, they're playing all day (school break) and I'm doing a little (lot) of fall cleaning, since I don't think I ever got around to it in the spring. I think these make the best days, everyone here, having a good time, enjoying the sunshine and cooler weather. Fall is my favorite time of year. Well, enough of my rambling. I'd better get started with that cleaning before I lose my momentum. I hope your day is delicious too.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pink Flowers and a Funny Poem

This is one of my favorite pictures that I've taken. I took it while we were on a trip to Alabama. We stopped at a place called DeSoto Cavern. It was a great place to visit with the kids and they had the prettiest landscaping, so many good spots for taking pictures. I thought this would be a good picture to share for Pink Saturday. Be sure to visit over at How Sweet the Sound to see all the participants.

I came across the best poem and thought I'd share that too. It is funny, but very true, and I knew it'd be a great thing to give us some Food for Thought. Besides, you're all probably tired of my ramblings for a bit.

Buttprints in the Sand

One night I had a wondrous dream
One set of footprints there was seen
The footprints of my precious Lord
But mine were not along the shore

But then some stranger prints appeared
And I asked the Lord, "What have we here?
Those prints are large and round and neat
But Lord, they are too big for feet."

"My child," He said in somber tones
"For miles I carried you alone
I challenged you to walk in faith
But you refused and made me wait

"You disobeyed, you would not grow
The walk of faith you would not know
So I got tired and got fed up
And there I dropped you on your butt

"Because in life there comes a time
When one must fight and one must climb
When one must rise and take a stand
Or leave their buttprints in the sand."

Author Unknown