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Archive for February, 2013

Happy Monday to everyone!  Sorry I was MIA last week, but I had a touch of something that left me tired and weak.  I went home from work early on Friday with a fever, chills, and body aches.  Thankfully those symptoms were short lived and the rest of the weekend I was just tired and lazy.  I did absolutely nothing all weekend except lay on the couch to read or watch tv.  That is not like me at all!

After that, I have played catch-up all week with laundry, housework, etc. so this week I am back to normal.  Yay!  I did make a new cookie recipe this weekend and it was divine.  They are Chocolate Truffle Cookies and will be coming up this Saturday so please check back for a delicious treat.  This menu is actually starting with yesterday’s supper since I didn’t get to post my new recipe on last week’s menu.  Have a great week, everyone!

Country-style pork loin (new)

Hamburger stew with quick peppery cheese bread

Grilled pork chops with oven fries

Tacos with salad

Grilled hamburgers with oven fries

Pizza night

Salsa sloppy Joes with curly fries

Peanut butter pudding cake (new)

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

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I love to try new soup recipes, especially when the weather is cold.  Soup just warms the body and soul.  This is a quick and simple, but filling, soup from Simply Klassic which I found on Pinterest.

Even though I don’t have kids, I think this would be a very kid-friendly meal with some cheese and crackers or cornbread on the side. 

HamburgerSoup

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1 lb. ground beef

salt & pepper to taste

1 can condensed tomato soup, plus 1 can water

28 oz. beef broth (I used vegetable since I was out of beef.)

1 small can corn (I used Mexicorn.)

2 cups uncooked pasta of your choice

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Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion has softened.  Add the beef and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the meat is no longer pink.

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Add the rest of the ingredients except the pasta.  Bring to a boil, turn down the heat to medium.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

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Since the President gives the country a State Of The Union address and our governor gives a State Of The Commonwealth address, I thought I would give my own version, The State Of The Blog address.  As of March 9th, 2013, I have been blogging for 4 years at this little site.  When I look back at some of those first posts, I will chuckle at myself and realize how far I have come in my writing and photography skills.  I am still not the greatest, but at least I have improved.  While my dad was in the hospital and rehab facility for weeks these past few months, I worried that I would have to give up blogging for a while since there wasn’t much free time.  Thankfully he is now at home and doing great so back to blogging I go, very happily I might add.

This is my creative outlet.  The cooking of the food, the photographing of the food, and, finally, writing about all of it brings me joy.  This is kind of like my alter-ego and it is a place I can go express myself and write about what I want to write about. 

Since this is definitely not my full-time job (hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?), I try to keep my hobby as inexpensive as possible.  The most expensive thing I have bought for blogging is a new camera, but we use that for many other things.  I have purchased a few bowls, plates, and pretty dishtowels to use as props, but that is about it.  I love to look at other blogs that are professionally designed with all kinds of buttons and gadgets, but didn’t want to pay for it.  Enter my amazing husband, C! 

A few weeks ago, I needed to learn how to enter HTML code into a blog post using Windows Live Writer (another great FREE product).  While C showed me how to do it, he asked if there was anything else I wanted to add.  YES!!! Many blogs had “Pin It” buttons so readers could “pin” their posts and I wanted one.  We did a little searching on the WordPress site and found by going to “Settings” and “Sharing”, we could make those buttons a reality.  Now at the bottom of every post, there is a Pinterest, Print, Twitter and Email buttons.  Love it! 

Speaking of the print option, this is due to another freebie that C knew about call Print Friendly.  Just go to their site and click on “website button” at the top right and you, too, can have a print option on your site.  I really like it because it pulls the photos to one side so all of the text is together and that makes it much easier to read as an actual recipe.  Also, you can hover your mouse over sections and delete them so they won’t print and empty your ink cartridge.  Genius, I say, just genius.

I also added a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button right under my “About Me” info on the right hand side of the page.  I love Pinterest so please follow me and see all of the stuff I may never get around to doing or buying.  Ha!

If you are new to this space, thanks for stopping by and I hope you return many times.  If you are a regular reader, thank you from the bottom of my heart!  I love doing this and if only one person gets enjoyment out of besides me, then it is completely worth it.

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Happy Friday!!  Please join in with me today for Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader and visit some of the other great bloggers over there, too.  My book today is the third and last book in the Magdalene series by Kathleen McGowan called “The Poet Prince”. 

Here is the first line:

“The Roman emperor Antoninus Pius was not a butcher.”

Hmmm…really?  This makes me wonder what, exactly, is going on that he has to make that distinction.  I won’t give too much away, but Pius has to make a grave decision about something that starts the ball rolling for this book.  Again, this is a FICTION book, but Ms. McGowan is excellent in combining fact and fiction.  The historical and art references are right on (I have been burning up Google while reading these books), and the weaving of the fictional story into these facts is outstanding.

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Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge

I usually post a new recipe every Saturday, but this week’s recipe is part of new special link party hosted by The Lady Behind The Curtain.  It is the first edition of her “Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge”!  She will give all of us participating bloggers two ingredients to use and we will either find or create a recipe using those.  This month’s ingredients are chocolate and cherry and this is my contribution…The Southern Lady Cooks’ Exquisite Chocolate Cherry Cake.

I had never used chocolate and cherries together so I went on an online hunt for a recipe to try .  The Southern Lady Cooks is one of my favorite food blogs and when I saw she had this cake on her site, I knew it would be good.  I wasn’t wrong…this cake is so moist and flavorful.  Most of the other chocolate cherry cake recipes I found were made with a cake mix and there isn’t anything wrong with that, but I had a feeling that Southern Lady’s would be better since it was from scratch.  This would be a great special occasion cake especially for Valentine’s Day.

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For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup baking cocoa

1 1/4 cups white sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup buttermilk (I used 4 tbsp. dried buttermilk & 1 cup water.)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling

For the frosting:

3/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

3 tablespoons butter

3 tbsp. milk

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa, sugar, and dried buttermilk.  Mix well with whisk. Add eggs, melted butter, water (for dried buttermilk), vanilla extract and cherry pie filling mixing well each time with a spoon.

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Prepare a Bundt pan by spraying with non-stick spray and sprinkle in cocoa to coat. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 55 to 60 minutes until center is cooked. Let cake cool for 20 minutes before removing from Bundt pan.

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Combine sugar, sweetened condensed milk and butter in pan on top of stove. Bring to boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add regular milk, vanilla and chocolate chips. Stir with spoon or whisk until chips are melted. Pour over the cooled cake.

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It’s Monday all over again and can you believe that we are almost halfway through February, because I sure can’t.  We have been blessed weather-wise here in South Central Kentucky with fairly warm weather and a few beautiful sunny days.  I feel so sorry for the people in New England.  First Sandy the Hurricane comes barreling through and now a huge snowstorm.  I guess if you live up there you expect the snow, but this much?  It is not for me.  I will keep the wild wacky weather of Kentucky, thank you very much.

This week looks to be another busy one around here.  My dad has minor surgery on Wednesday to remove a few wires that were put in his wrist after his auto accident.  They can now come out so we get to travel to the big city a couple of hours away for that.  Hopefully it is quick and relatively pain-free.  A very close friend of mine is starting to sell Mary Kay cosmetics and she is having an open house on Friday afternoon and I will be stopping by to try a few products and probably purchase a little as well. Don’t worry though…there will still be plenty of kitchen action going on at home.  I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed week!

Leftover shredded pork bbq with oven fries

Chili and grilled cheese

Cheesy steak sandwiches with oven fries

BLTs with chips and fruit

Sausage bake

Chubby Hubby Truffles (new)

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

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Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Roast

This simple recipe is mainly my own creation that came to mind after using other slow cooker roast recipes and wanting to use ingredients that I had on hand.  Usually I just use BBQ sauce on pork roasts, but I decided to give it a shot on a beef roast and the results were really good.  The roast was tender since it cooked for hours in the slow cooker and the BBQ seasoning and sauce gave it a great flavor.  The leftovers made excellent sandwiches the next day.  Just shred the beef and layer on buns with a little extra sauce.  Yum!

EasySlowCookerBBQRoast

1 beef roast (approx. 2 lbs.)

BBQ seasoning (I used Penzey’s BBQ 3000.)

BBQ sauce of your choice (I used Kroger’s honey bbq sauce.  Cheap & good.)

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Sprinkle the seasoning on the roast and rub in well.  Place the roast in the slow cooker with just a enough water to cover the bottom of the crock.  Pour about half of the bottle of sauce over the roast.

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Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours until the meat is tender and cooked through.  Enjoy!

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