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Archive for March, 2011

Well, spring has finally sprung around here and that means it is gardening season!!! YAY!  As some of you know, I have one raised garden bed in the backyard already and I hope to build another this year.  Here is a shot of last year’s garden at the end of May:

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I have already purchased quite a bit of the seeds that I will need so there will just be a few things that I will pick up later, like sweet pepper plants and a few herbs.  This year, the seeds came from R.H. Shumway’s because Nanny wanted some tomato seeds that only they carried, so I ordered mine from there, too.

Hopefully in just the next couple of weeks I will get the lettuce and carrot seeds in the ground, then around the first of May, the remaining “crops” will be planted.  Here are the lettuce and carrot varieties that I am trying this year:

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I also ordered the cucumber seeds and a package of sunflower seeds as well.

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My father-in-law raises bees and he went to the “bee store” for supplies a couple of weeks ago and brought me these:

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I think I am going to make a small bed around the corner of the fence in the backyard and make that a  “bee garden”.  Hopefully these seeds, along with my sunflower seeds, will draw in bees and birds alike.  I can’t wait to get started!  Happy gardening!

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Wordless Wednesday

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Menu Plan Monday

Another week has flown by and it is Monday all over again.  It is also back to cooler temperatures after a few beautiful, warm days so this week is chili/soup week one more time.  Easter is so late this year, we may have a few more chili/soup days before it stays warm for good.

Saturday is C’s birthday (love you!), so this week’s dessert is just for him!  I also have to venture to the big grocery store this week, so one evening will be used for that. Oh, joy!!!

Chili

Grilled pork chops & roasted potatoes (I didn’t make this last week as planned because I had a night of leftovers.  Yay!!)

Beef vegetable soup with cornbread

Pizza Night

Steak/Seafood Night

Beef Roast Italiano (new)

Oreo Pie

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Basic Meatloaf

Meatloaf is one of those foods that you either love or hate.  I used to hate it but now I love it!!  C still hates it and will not touch it with a 10 foot pole, so when I make this, it gets taken to a family dinner.  I had searched for a good, easy meatloaf recipe that resulted in a firm, dry loaf because I did not want it to be too wet and sticky. 

This quick and easy recipe is perfect!  It was given to me by my co-worker, K, who is a great cook.  If you like a dense, solid meatloaf that has just the right amount of moisture in it, try this one.  I think you will love it. 

P.S.  It also makes great leftover sandwiches.  You just can’t beat two pieces of white bread with a warm slice of meatloaf in between them.  Yummy!

1 lb ground beef

8 oz can tomato sauce

1/2 medium onion, chopped

2/3 cup crushed saltine crackers

salt & pepper to taste

1/4 cup ketchup

1 tbsp brown sugar

pepper to taste

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Please ignore the sleeping dog in the above photo!!  Ha, ha!  Ellie has such a hard life!  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a baking sheet.  Since I didn’t want the meatloaf to sit in the juices while it was cooking, here is what I did.  Put a piece of foil on a baking sheet to catch the drips.  Take a baking rack that is smaller than the sheet pan and cover it with foil.  Punch a bunch of holes in the foil on the rack to allow the juices to drain.  This results in a slightly drier meatloaf which is how I like it.  If you want it wetter, just skip this step.

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Combine the beef, tomato sauce, onion, and cracker crumbs in a large bowl.  I just use my hands to mash it all together.  Season with salt and pepper.  Shape into a loaf and place it on the rack.

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Cook for one hour.  Just before the hour is up, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, and a little black pepper.  Spread this mixture on the top of the meatloaf and cook for 10 more minutes.  Enjoy!!

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Whew!  What an afternoon!  Thunderstorms hit our area just at going-home time and left quite a sight in their wake.  While I was at work this afternoon, the heavy rain and hail came down.  Thankfully, the hail was small, but there was a lot of it.  It looked like snow in the landscaping at work.  The street in front of the building next door flooded for a short time, and the rain still came down! 

The drive home was not much better.  I ran through at least two more heavy pour-downs with a little bit of hail in those, too.  Just a few minutes ago, I looked out the back door and, behold, a gorgeous double rainbow!

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I couldn’t get the whole rainbow in one shot because it was so big and made a complete half circle.

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What a sight!

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Spotlight

Check out Eat At Home Cook’s site today for a spotlight on pudding mixes. Yum!!!

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Menu Plan Monday

Happy spring!!!  I am so glad that spring has finally showed its lovely face around here!  The daffodils are blooming and new leaves are starting to bust out everywhere.  I am also happy to report that C and I had a successful car shopping day on Saturday.  We purchased a 2008 Chevrolet Equinox All Wheel Drive in black and it is sharp if I do say so myself.  I do not know anyone who actually likes to car shop and I don’t either, but it was time.  It had been almost six weeks since our accident and I had spent a lot of time in the last couple of weeks looking at vehicles online and, boy, are they expensive!  We still had to give a little more than I wanted to for this one, but I think overall we got a pretty good deal.  I am really glad that it over!

Back to the fun stuff…food!  The only thing I did not have time to make last week was the lemon chiffon cake since we were out all day Saturday, so I am moving that one to this weekend.  I have a 20 year class reunion meeting on Saturday (gulp! 20 YEARS!), but I should have time to make the cake as well.  Here is what I have planned:

Leftover pineapple pork loin

Sausage bake and fruit

Round Steak Italiana (new recipe)

Grilled pork chops with butter roasted potatoes

Salisbury steak

Lemon Chiffon Cake (new recipe) For some reason, I just can’t get this recipe made.  Last week, I didn’t have time, and this week I discovered that I was missing some ingredients.  Oops! 

Southern Plate’s Banana Crumb Cake (new!)

Pizza night

Neighborhood restaurant night

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