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Archive for April, 2013

Good morning and welcome to this week’s Menu Plan Monday post.  Please join me and many others over at I’m An Organizing Junkie and you will find menu planners with some great food ideas.

I am afraid my menu plan for last week did not go so well, but that just means I can re-use the ideas for this week.  Right? Right?!?!  Yep, that’s right.  I am taking a few vacation days this week to do some spring cleaning and painting that I haven’t had time for so I hope to get lots accomplished in the days ahead.  C & I have a few landscaping projects so I am hoping to get the inside of the house in good shape so we can work outside in the coming weeks. 

What’s that?  Will there be photos of the our projects?  Well, of course there will be!  Just keep checking back and eventually you will see what we have planned. 

Bubble up enchiladas

Grilled pork chops with oven fries & salad

Spicy beef vegetable soup

Sausage bake with fresh fruit

Cheesy steak sandwiches with oven fries

Cheese stuffed mini meatloaves (new) with curly fries

Pineapple upside down cupcakes (new)

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Welcome to this week’s edition of Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader.  If you love books as much as I do, please check out this great link party to see what other bloggers are reading and writing about.

I have been re-reading a few old favorites the last couple of months and this week’s line comes from “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon.  This is the first book in a series that follows a time-traveling female doctor from the 1940’s to the Scottish Highlands in 1743.  It is an epic tale that continues through several books and I believe the next one comes out soon.  Can’t wait!

“It wasn’t a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance.”

This makes you wonder what you might find at a second glance, doesn’t it?  If you haven’t read these books, please give them a try because I think they are wonderful!

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Welcome to this month’s edition of the Lady Behind The Curtain’s Dessert Challenge!

Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge

The two special ingredients in the spotlight for April are pretzels and caramel.  This turned out to be a pretty easy choice for me since I had a recipe pinned that used both of these tasty items…Caramel Pretzel Bites from La Dolci Vita.  The original recipe makes 50, but I just made 25 bites.

CaramelPretzelBites

25 pretzel nuggets

25 soft caramel pieces

12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

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Unwrap the caramels and, using a rolling pin, flatten each one into a circular shape. Place a pretzel nugget on the caramel and wrap the caramel around it.

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Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave by heating them on high for 45 seconds.  Stir to start the melting process and then microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each to completely melt the chips.  This shouldn’t take more than about a minute and half, if that long.

Dip each caramel/pretzel bite into the chocolate until they are completely coated.  Let the chocolate set and then eat up!

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CaramelPretzelBites

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A few more shots from the first Kentucky Green Living Fair held on March 30th:

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Good morning, folks, and welcome to this week’s edition of Menu Plan Monday hosted by I’m An Organizing Junkie.  Sorry I was MIA last week, but we an unexpected life event rear its ugly head.  C’s grandmother passed away and her service was held last Monday. She was blessed with 88 long years, but that is never enough to the people that love her.  She was greatly loved and will be greatly missed.

To say that through our routine into chaos is an understatement. Both C and his mom are both only children so that makes (in my experience) family members extra close to one another.  Everyone is doing well, but please join me in prayer for comfort and strength for our entire family, but especially for C and his mom, J. 

We are finally having some gorgeous spring weather around here so it is time to get outside and enjoy!  With that, I am keeping my menu pretty simple to have more opportunity to get out and soak up the sun.

Salsa sloppy Joes with oven fries

Taco ring with salad

Grilled pork chops with butter roasted potatoes and salad

Cheesy steak sandwiches with oven fries

Cheese stuffed mini meatloaves (new) with potatoes of some kind

Oreo pie (late birthday treat for C)

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I know, I know…another soup recipe, but I have been on a soup kick lately and when one had the words “easy” and “pasta” in it, I just had to try it.  This didn’t disappoint either, but most of Real Mom’s Kitchen’s recipes are great.  I did make a couple of little tweaks to it by using only a half pound of Italian sausage that I had previously cooked and frozen and I used Italian seasoning and a little more pasta than it called for.

SimplePastaSoup

3 cups pasta, cooked & drained

1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage, cooked & drained

½ cup onion, diced

1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced

3 cups beef or vegetable broth

1 cup water

1 cup frozen corn

1 (24 oz.) marinara sauce

1 tbsp. Italian seasoning

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In a large pot over medium heat, cook the onion and green pepper until soft.

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Add the remaining ingredients except the cooked pasta and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the pasta and let it cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. 

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SimplePastaSoup

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Yes, you read that right…this is the first post of several about the first annual Kentucky Green Living Fair that C & I attended last Saturday at the Barn At Redgate in Somerset, Kentucky.  Thanks to Jamie at Sustainable Kentucky along with the other sponsors: ClearChannel Media, eat., Good Foods Market & Café, JD Country Milk, Somerset Farmers Market, Story Magazine, Rough Draft Farmstead, Sweetgrass Granola, and Tim Farmer’s Country Kitchen, this was a remarkable first time event that brought together people interested in sustainable and clean living.  We loved it and had a great time! 

Today, I would like to thank those wonderful sponsors above along with others that gave items for the Kentucky Food Bloggers’ gift bags.  I will list them all below with several photos of the goodies.  It was great just to get free tickets by being a member so I was overwhelmed with the contents of the bag.  I also got my first media pass…

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Who knew that being a blogger meant that you were media?  I sure didn’t, but it felt pretty good to wear that little badge.  I am not normally an extroverted person, so it took me a little while to warm up and strike up conversations with the different vendors, but I am so glad I did since all of them were full of personality and information.  I also got to hand out a few blog business cards for the first time.  I just might make a go of this yet!

Without further ado, here are some photos and links of the gifts that were given to us bloggers:

Watermelon mint tea from Rooibee Red Teas:

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A pound of ground beef from Pike Valley Farm Foods:

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I plan on using that beautiful ground beef tonight for hamburgers.  Yum!

Salmon filet from Caught Wild Salmon:

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Boston Brown Bread from Halcomb’s Knob Farm:

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A cute re-usable shopping bag:

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A beautiful hardback book named “the pantry” by Catherine Pond (loved talking to her):

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Another wonderful hardback book: “A Feast For The Eyes” by David Domine:

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Two magazines: eat. and Story:

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Cherry Almond granola from Sweetgrass:

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Moisturizer and soap from Rock Bottom Stables & Soap:

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Honey from Solar Place Farm:

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Organic sheep soap from Windsor Wool Farms and native grass/wildflower seed from Sustainable Kentucky:

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I also got a free baked item from Clementine’s Bake Shop.  Thanks to all of these wonderful vendors and if I left someone off, I apologize, but I have listed as many as I can remember.

We had to give back a little so C & I purchased a few t-shirts along with some delicious cheddar cheese from Heavenly Homestead. You can’t have too many tees, can you?

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Please come on back next week for the next installment of the Kentucky Green Living Fair redux.  I have so many post ideas swirling in my head that it may take a while to get organized.  Can’t wait ‘til next year…March 29, 2014!

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