Saturday, May 23, 2015

Property tour

Here's a picture tour of my happy place...garden, flowers and such on our property.  Notice i didn't take any pictures of the sink hole in our driveway, the boys messes, or weeds.  but those are here too!

We didn't get our mulching and edging done yet...next week hopefully.  

Our creek when it rains lots...


Our creek 2 days later.... 










Tomatoes and cucumbers.  We already gotten several cucs

Lettuce table

Our fig tree


Strawberries!  I should probably pick them instead of just take pictures of them





Meadow tea anyone?

The orange tree trying to make a comeback after a long winter inside with inconsistent watering

Flower bed by the apartment

Concord grapevine, we've been pretty unsuccessful with it, but there are a lot more clusters hanging on this year

2 hives going strong (last time i checked)

Back porch where many meals have already taken place

Our tamest cat, Fisher

Thursday, May 14, 2015

a few recipes

I've been looking through old recipes and making things i haven't made for a while, or trying things i haven't tried yet but have wanted to.

This one was a new one that i've been wanting to try out.  A keeper!

Cauliflower cakes:
1 head cauliflower
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt
olive oil

Cut cauliflower into florets and cook in boiling water till tender.  Drain.  Mash while warm.  Stir in eggs, cheese, bread crumbs, cayenne, and salt to taste.

Coat bottom of a griddle or skillet with oil over med-high heat.  Form the caul. mixture into patties about 3" across.  Cook until golden brown and set, about 3 minutes per side.  Keep each batch warm in oven while cooking the rest.  (i just covered them in tin foil and they stayed warm)


The boys really liked this shrimp scampi.  No leftovers on this one.  It's delicious!

Shrimp Scampi with veggies:

1/4 cup olive oil (or more)
1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp
1 zucchini, chopped
1-2 tomatoes, drained and chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup cooking wine
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon (or more)
5 T butter
1 lb angel hair pasta
fresh or dried parsley to garnish

- Bring a 6 qt. pot of water to boil
- In the meantime, heat oil in large skillet over high heat, then saute shrimp, stirring once or twice, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to bowl.
- Add garlic to remaining oil in skillet along with red pepper flakes, cooking wine, salt, pepper and cook over medium heat for about 1 minute.  Add butter to skillet, stir until melted.
- Saute chopped veggies in garlic mixture for about 2-3 minutes or until slightly tender.
- Add shrimp back to skillet, squeeze in lemon juice.  Turn off the heat and cover the skillet.
- Cook pasta in boiling water until tender, about 3 minutes.  Drain pasta in colander, reserving some of the pasta cooking water.
- Toss pasta well with shrimp mixture and add in parsley.  Add a bit of the cooking water if needed to keep pasta moist.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!

Clay and I made this fruit pizza one afternoon.  A few hours later i took a picture of it and this is all that was left!  Also, you can be creative with how to arrange the fruit, but that was Clay's job and it's more fun to just throw the fruit onto the pie.

Fruit Pizza

Crust: (cookie dough recipe)
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/3 cup flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugars.  Add remaining ingredients.  Mix until smooth.  Spread on pizza pan and bake at 375 for 10 minutes.  cool.

Filling:
1 -8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz. whipped topping
1/2 c sugar
Blend together and spread on top of cooled cookie crust.

Arrange fruit of your choice on top.  Such as - strawberries, bananas, grapes, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, etc.

Orange glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
1 T cornstarch
1/2 cup orange juice
dash salt
1/4 cup water
Mix and bring to boil, until thickened.  Cool slightly.  Make sure all fruit is covered/sealed.  Enjoy!

**  I cut back on the sugars all 4 times and it was still sweet and very yummy.


Not sure if i ever shared this one, but if you want a quick and easy lunch (or supper), quesadillas are a good one.  The boys love these (seems like i base meal quality on whether or not the boys like it!)  I use chicken (or bunny :), but you could also do ham and cheese, ground beef with taco seasoning, pork, etc.

Chicken Quesadillas:
Preheat oven to 425.

-Brush oil on the bottom of a soft tortilla (9" burrito size), place on a cookie sheet.
-Layer cooked, diced chicken, tomatoes with green chilies, and shredded cheese on the tortilla.  Place another shell on top and brush the top with oil.
-I make 2 or 3 of these and use a full can of tomatoes with green chilies between 2.  
-Bake for 10 minutes or until they start to brown.  Serve with salsa, sour cream, etc.

Friday, May 8, 2015

MAY

I love May, it's my favorite month!

I have the garden and flowers planted.  I have a planting obsession and our neighbors who sell beautiful flowers and vegetable plants are not helping my addiction!  The boys got their little gardens in.  The new thing this year to try is peanuts.  I am so excited to see what happens there.  I'm also very naive, to buy them and think they might be able to grow peanuts in the state of Pennsylvania!  We shall see.  Not much to look at yet.   In addition to peanuts they planted gourds, popcorn, radishes, flowers, and green beans. 

I also planted celery for the first time, along with my usual stuff.  i took this picture a couple days ago and everything's already noticeably bigger than this. 

We've been getting hummingbirds this week, at least 2 different ones.  This beauty is our male. 

B and B had a field trip yesterday to Zoo America and Hershey Chocolate World.  The weather was great, and it was fun and fitting trip for 2nd grade.  The twins are so popular because they are twins (and because they are awesome) i love it. 

Clay begged to photo bomb, so we let him

We're on the home stretch with school!  really wish we were Amish these days and get done next week, but i must wait until June 4th.  Which isn't bad.  This week we started Adam on ADD meds, and it made a huge difference, not just in his school work, but in his relating to his brothers.  This actually happened.....  

I'm not quick to run for medication, but there is a time and place.  It's been beneficial for Adam and i'm glad we can help him.   He is a sweetheart.  He gave me a card yesterday that he made in school, i will treasure it.  He gave me permission to share it...


Oh my heart! 

After a rough winter i'm so glad to be on the other side and am savoring all this springtime goodness. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

40

He had this coming....
I remember when my parents turned 40...and now my husband!?  (deep breaths)

Rod wanted to plan his birthday weekend, and he did a wonderful job.  He took us overnight to Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos.  It's an indoor water park and we had a really good time.  We've never been there before but heard good things about it.  The boys are at a really good age for it.  3 out of 4 were still small enough to go in the little kids area but big and brave enough to do the big slides.  Adam and Rod did all the big slides.  They were so fast, Rod's contacts came out on the one.  Adam loved them, I thought they were slightly torturous.






Wave pool

Lazy river

Clay is recovering from a fast ride called the "toilet bowl".  So if he tells you he rode the toilet bowl, you know why. 

The motel rooms have themes.  Bunk Beds in the "wolf den" 



Saturday evening we took a shuttle to a nearby Hibachi restaurant.  It was the best Hibachi we've ever seen or tasted.  This was the boys first time at one.  Nothing around here would ever compare!

His hat is on fire....No biggie




Happy Birthday Babe, i hope this is your best decade yet!