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Archive for July, 2012

Is it Monday again already?  Wow, where did the weekend go?  Oh, yeah, now I remember…I worked Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon, C & I went to another RC airplane show in nearby Bowling Green.  Sunday was spent going to church, attending a 10th birthday party for Chad’s cousin, and dinner at my Nanny’s.  Whew…I am tired just thinking about it.  I can’t complain though because we had a lot of fun and spent some good time with family and friends.

I am still working on cleaning out the fridge and freezer this week before heading to the grocery next week.  I will need to stop and get a few essentials, but I think most of our meals will be made with ingredients we have on hand.

Paula Deen’s tacos (new)

Grilled steaks with oven fries and fresh cucumbers

Grilled pork chops with grilled potato slices and fresh cucumbers

Pizza night (should have enough for leftovers the next night)

Easy shredded pork BBQ

Please join me at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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One weekend I had my dessert all planned out, but then Pinterest reared its ugly head once again.  When I saw this recipe, all other thoughts of sweets went on hold.  It was just begging to be made, especially since I had the ingredients to try my hand at frozen yogurt to go with this.  This recipe certainly did not disappoint and I want to thank the wonderful writer over at Back For Seconds for this delicious treat that makes you go back for seconds and maybe even thirds.

cookie pie

chocolate chip cookie dough (I used my recipe which is here.)

3/4 cup mini marshmallows

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 12 inch cast iron skillet. Mix up the cookie dough and press half of the dough in the bottom of the skillet. Drop the peanut butter in dollops around the cookie dough then put the marshmallows around the peanut butter.  Top with the remaining cookie dough and make sure to go all the way to the edge of the pan.

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Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the center is set.  Then just dig in!

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Please join me at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday.

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Welcome to this week’s edition of Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader.  Get yourself a drink and kick back to see what I and other bloggers have been reading and what our thoughts are about these books.

Today I am bringing you the first lines of “Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart” by Beth Patillo:

"The taxi pulled up outside Christ Church and I climbed out of the backseat, but the scorching July heat stole my breath and threatened to press me back inside the cab.  I swiped at the sweat dripping down my forehead and righted myself on the pavement.  When my sister talked me into taking her spot in a summer seminar on "Pride and Prejudice", I’d expected the dreaming spires of Oxford, intellectual conversation, and long walks along the tranquil river.  I hadn’t expected to arrive soaked with perspiration and deeply in need of a shower, all because of my sister’s obsession with one Fitzwilliam Darcy."

This is a wonderfully descriptive beginning and the story just gets better from there.  If you are a Jane Austen fan (I am), then you definitely need to give this book a try.  It is witty and entertaining…the perfect summer read.

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Good morning, my dear readers!  Did you miss me last Monday?  Sorry I was MIA with my menu plan, but we had a little computer problem.  Never fear though, C came to my rescue and now our PC is up and going again.  Gotta love having a tech-savvy hubby!

Since I didn’t have a chance to catch you up with our goings and doings from last weekend and week, I’ll do it now.  Saturday before last, we went to Jets Over Kentucky in nearby Springfield to watch some world-class (literally…there were pilots from Spain, Great Britain and Canada) pilots fly their very fancy and very expensive remote-controlled jets.  C loves RC planes and this show was a treat!  Admission was only $5 a person per day and it lasts several days.  I will have a Thoughtful Thursday post later with photos! 

Also, last week was my birthday and it was my last one in my thirties.  Yikes!!  That means I will be forty next year.  That just can’t be right!  It was a great day and I look forward to many, many more.

Here is this week’s menu plan.  It is close to the end of the month so I am trying to use ingredients I have on hand before going to the grocery.

Sausage Bake with fresh cucumbers

Baked ham slices with oven baked fries

Taco ring with cucumbers

Pizza night

Honey butter pork loin (new) with oven baked fries

Please join me over at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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When I received an ice cream maker and dairy free ice cream recipe book for my birthday last year, I was thrilled.  Since then, many experiments have happened with that little piece of equipment and most of them have been successes.  As I have written on here before, I am lactose intolerant, but I can eat cheese and yogurt without any problems.  Knowing that, I went on a search for a frozen yogurt recipe and found this one on Pinterest, of course.  It was pinned from the website 101cookbooks.com.

The site says this yogurt rivals Pinkberry yogurt.  I can’t claim that because there are no Pinkberry stores anywhere close to me, but this is some good frozen yogurt.  It is sweet but still has that tang of yogurt that I really like.  One note about the recipe: it calls to strain the yogurt before freezing it.  I didn’t because there wasn’t enough time and it still turned out great.

vanilla fy

3 cups plain or Greek yogurt

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

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Mix together all 3 ingredients in a large bowl until the sugar is dissolved.

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Refrigerate the mixture for one hour then process in your ice cream maker according to instructions.  That’s it! Easy, peasy!

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This was some awesome stuff with the deep dish cookie pie.  Don’t worry because that recipe will be here next Saturday.  Come on back now!

Please join me at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday.

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We have finally gotten around to cleaning up the area where we built a new raised flower bed this spring so I wanted to show you how we did it.  Using the stacking wall blocks was a new experience for us, but it turned out to be pretty simple.  Our wall is just two blocks high so we didn’t have to worry about drainage pipe and gluing the blocks together.  It was a great project to cut our teeth on.

We purchased the wall blocks, leveling sand and rock at our local Lowe’s Home Improvement store and we were lucky enough to score free delivery, because these babies were heavy.  You would need a pretty heavy duty pick-up truck to haul these around.  Anyway, the Lowe’s delivery guy, who we have known for a long time and went to school with, put the pallets exactly where we wanted them with a small fork-lift.  So easy!

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This is what we started off with:

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Not real attractive, is it?  We had the sidewalk poured last year and left the big empty space on purpose, but the weather was so hot that we didn’t get it done then.  We proceeded to dig out the weeds and level the dirt as much as possible.  It looked so much better just doing that.

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C dug a small trench along the sidewalk and started pouring in the gravel and we leveled that as we went.

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Next, a thin layer of leveling sand was poured on top of the gravel and we leveled as we went again.

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Now for the fun part…the blocks!

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We put two rows of blocks, but we had bought enough for three layers.  Two was deep enough for what we wanted so we can use the others somewhere else.  C’s dad was nice enough to bring us a load of dirt with his front end loader and then I went to planting.  C & I had moved two Knock-out roses from my grandparent’s front yard that they didn’t want anymore so I planted those in there along with some perennial salvias and Shasta daisies. I love the dark blue, white and bright pink color combo. Since perennials are kind of expensive, I filled in the other areas with bright pink Vincas. Next spring, I want to add a couple of bright pink coneflowers.  The roses have finally came out of shock and are blooming their hearts out.  We are so pleased with how it turned out and how relatively simple it was.

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We still have a little work to do on the other side of the sidewalk, but that will have to wait until cooler weather so we can seed a little grass.

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We are a bunch of potato lovers around here…fried, baked or grilled.  We will eat them just about any way so when I found this recipe from Skinny Taste on Pinterest, I knew I HAD to try it.  This is a great way to fix potatoes on a hot day when you don’t want to heat up your kitchen.  Just throw these on the grill with whatever else you are cooking and your whole meal will be ready in no time.

grilledpotatoslices

2 Idaho potatoes

2 tsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

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Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and slice the potatoes to about 1/4 inch thick pieces.  Toss the slices with the oil and seasoning.  I didn’t put quite enough seasoning on mine, so go pretty heavy handed with them.

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Lower the heat to medium and put the slices right on the grill grate.  Cook on the first side for about 7-10 minutes or until they slices are golden brown.  Turn and cook until they are done to the crispiness you prefer.  You may have to adjust the temperature of your grill if they are getting too dark or not dark enough.  Just keep an eye on them.

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I served these with cheesy steak sandwiches and fresh cucumbers from our garden.  Now that is some good eating!!

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Please join me and other book reading bloggers at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings.  Do you like to read and blog about it?  You can link up your reviews there, too.  All you have to do is type the first few lines of the book and then your thoughts about.  It’s as easy as that!

Today I am bringing you the first lines of a very special book…”Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, which is the seventh and last book of this very, very popular series by J.K. Rowling.  Let me tell you, if I thought the tone of the series had changed with the 6th book, it was nothing compared to this one!  Ms. Rowling’s writing is out of this world and I have so enjoyed the maturing of the characters.  I am not sure if I could ever pick a favorite from this series, but I think this one would be very close to the top of the list!

"The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane.  For a second they stood quite still, wands directed at each other’s chests; then, recognizing each other, they stowed their wands beneath their cloaks and started walking briskly in the same direction."

Doesn’t these words make you wonder…who are the men?  Are they friend or foe?  Are they good or bad?  Don’t worry because it doesn’t take long for you to figure them out or does it?  I loved the twists and turns of this book and I might have to go back and read it again for good measure!  You know it is a good book when you can read about 800 pages in just two or three days! 

Now I want to watch the movies again because it makes so much more sense now!

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Ever seen the bloom of a Venus Flytrap? 

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Here we are again at the beginning of another hot summer week, but hopefully we will see some rain around here.  (We had rain last night! Woo hoo!) The chance is greater this week than it has been in a long, long time so say a little prayer that South Central Kentucky gets a good slow soaking rain!

Last week’s menu went a little sideways with me because there were a few unexpected things that popped up. I made famous pork chops instead of the baked ziti.  C’s family decided to have an impromptu family reunion on Saturday so I made cheeseburgers bundles and lemonade cake for that.  The cake recipe was new so I will be posting about it in the next few weeks. C, my dad and his friend, and I celebrated Independence Day by watching the new Spiderman movie at the Imax movie theater at Opry Mills in Nashville, TN.  If you haven’t been to that theater, let me tell you…it is really nice!  It was re-done after the 2010 flooding and it is a wonderful place to catch a movie.  I ordered tickets online and was surprised to see that you can actually choose your exact seats just like in a big arena or auditorium.  We will definitely go back there again.  Oh, the movie was really good, too!

Here is what I plan on fixing this week:

Bubble Up Enchilada (new)

Cheesy steak sandwiches with oven fries (2 nights)

Sausage bake

Pizza night

Homemade sloppy Joes

I am having a big urge for some kind of pasta salad so I will probably throw one in somewhere.  Hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed week!

Please join me at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday

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