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Archive for March, 2014

Who doesn’t love a good adventure story?  I have gotten hooked on Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone series and can’t wait to get to the next one.  Today, I am bringing you the first lines to The Paris Vendetta:

GIZA PLATEAU, EGYPT
AUGUST 1799

General Napoleon Bonaparte dismounted from his horse and stared up at the pyramid.  Two more lay in succession nearby, but this was the grandest of the three.

I really enjoy how Mr. Berry intertwines actual historical facts with historical myths and completely fiction writing.  Every time I read one of these books, I have to have Google Images on a screen nearby to look up all of the places Cotton travels to.  This book was great fun!

Please join me at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings today.

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Well, folks, there is light at then end of the tunnel.  We have had warmer temperatures and sunshine finally in the last few days.  What a change from last Monday and Tuesday when we were being bombarded with this:

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I am so glad to see all of that mess gone!  I was so inspired by the warmer weather that I started a few seeds on Saturday.  Our breakfast table is now temporarily a gardening table.

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We have a couple of fun things going on this week so I am keeping the menu on the simple side.  Our local library is having a photography class one evening and I am excited about that.  Then the second annual Kentucky Green Living Fair is next weekend in Somerset and we can’t wait!  Last year’s fair was so much fun and informational so I expect this year will be even better.  If you are in the area, come and check it out.

I am including one new recipe to try if time permits.  Have a great week!

Chili/Vegetable soup (I have lots in the freezer that needs to be eaten.)

Southern Plate’s Deep Dish Pizza with fresh fruit

Tacos with salad

Panko Pork Chops (new) with oven baked fries and salad

Baked ziti with cheesy bread

Join me and so many other talented bloggers for Menu Plan Monday hosted by I’m An Organizing Junkie.

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Who doesn’t love a tender pork chop smothered in a tasty sauce?  No one that I know!  Real Mom Kitchen has found anyone either so she posted this delicious and simple recipe on her blog.  I can’t recommend this enough!

Fall Apart Pork Chops

6 bone-in pork chops

garlic salt to taste

black pepper to taste

1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (I used Kroger honey BBQ sauce.)

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(I didn’t have garlic salt so I Just used garlic powder and salt separately.) Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and spray a 13×9” baking dish with non-stick spray. 

Season the chops on both sides with the salt, pepper & garlic powder.  Place the chops in the baking dish no more that 2 chops high.  Pour the sauce over the chops making sure all of them are covered in sauce.

Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.  You will know that they are done because they will literally fall off the bone.  Yumm!!!

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Friday Brain Dump

How’s that for a title?  I think this winter weather is seriously affecting my mental capabilities, because I have had tons of post ideas swirling in my head this week but I can’t seem to put pen to paper so to speak.  So here goes nothing…please forgive the randomness.  I blame it on this:

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That’s right, we had another winter storm last Sunday night with about a quarter inch of ice with 4 inches of snow on top of it.  Oh, joy.  As you can tell, the wind blew and piled the snow up to our back door so it has been pretty much useless up to today.  Sure, it’s pretty, but one can only take so much of this.  We actually got a “snow day” from work on Monday and that is RARE!  Here are a few shots from Monday:

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At least the dogs enjoyed it.

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C & I slipped and slid our way to work on Tuesday, but the roads were still messy.  I felt so sorry for the road crew workers, because they were doing their best. I feel like I need to put a disclaimer on these photos.  I was riding shotgun and taking these the whole way to town.

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Thankfully the temperatures are getting warmer every day so hopefully this won’t last much longer.  On another note, I had my first root canal yesterday and it actually wasn’t bad at all.  In the last 4 or 5 months, I have had a filling replaced, a crown, and now a root canal with a crown coming up for this tooth.  I think my teeth started falling apart the minute I turned forty. 

I can’t complain though since my “problem” was easily fixed and I have been very blessed with good health. There are so many people that aren’t so fortunate.  On that note,  I want to send out a special request to all of my readers.  A little 5 year old boy, whose parents are originally from my area, has been diagnosed this week with Stage 4 Birkett’s Lymphoma.  I ask you to please pray for him and his family.  The doctors say that this is a treatable disease, but he will probably have chemo treatments for at least a year.  He is a precious looking little boy who doesn’t deserve this.  Check out his Facebook page here.

Speaking of prayer, this week was the beginning of the Lent season leading up to Easter.  As a Christian, I find the Easter holiday just as inspiring and important as the Christmas season, maybe more so.  Since the protestant faith doesn’t do quite as much for Lent as the Catholic faith does, I am not really “giving up” anything except a little more of my time every day to Bible study and prayer.  The Bible app on my phone and iPad has 3 different Lent reading plans and I am going to try to study through all three.  Why don’t you join me?

Shew, I think my mind feels a little clearer now.  Oh, no, wait…there is one more story to tell about our trip to Nashville last weekend, but that might have to wait for another post.  Have a great weekend, everyone and thanks for plowing through my untamed thoughts!

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Welcome to another Polar Vortex edition of Menu Plan Monday.  Yes, you read that right-another winter storm is rearing its ugly head.  In fact, I am writing this post on Sunday since I am not sure whether we will have electricity because there is a possibility of serious icing.  Ugh, spring can’t get here fast enough for me.

C & I did make the most of a pretty Saturday by heading down south to Nashville for a little fun and relaxation.  Lots of eating and shopping went on so check back on Thursday for all of the details.  The restaurant we tried was wonderful!

I get to have a root canal later this week (oh, joy) so this week’s menu is pretty simple and straight forward.  I do have a new sweet treat to try next weekend, but thankfully they are being given away as thank you gifts so I won’t be tempted to eat the whole pan. 

Hope it’s warm and dry where you are and I wish I was there too!

Chili/Spicy vegetable soup (I have both in the freezer.) with cheesy bread

Beef & cheese sandwiches (new) with oven fries

Sausage bake with salad and fruit

Pizza night

Salsa burgers with oven fries

Cheesy meatloaf minis (new) with curly fries

Raspberry brownies (new)

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

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I know the official start of spring is (finally) right around the corner, but I have one more soup recipe to share with y’all.  This is a delicious and easy slow cooker recipe from My Kitchen Addiction that I have made multiple times already.  This soup is easy to adapt to your favorite ingredients and flavors. Try it and I think you will love it as much as I do.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 sweet onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

32 oz. low sodium vegetable stock or broth

28 oz. diced tomatoes with juice

16 oz. frozen mixed vegetables

1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup small pasta (I used elbow.)

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In a skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil and add the chopped onion and minced garlic.  Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until the onion/garlic mixture is soft and tender.  Transfer this to a slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients except the pasta.

Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. About 45 minutes before you are ready to serve the soup, add the pasta and cover.  Continue to cook on low until the pasta is cooked.  I served this with a side of cornbread and it made a wonderful meal.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

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