Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Hope everyone has a wonderfully relaxing weekend with those they love.  Let's all remember to not only make this a time for celebration, but one of reflection.  Are we teaching our children that everything should be a celebration with food and fun or are we teaching the a bit about sacrifice?  I would love to hear how some of y'all use Memorial Day as a opportunity to educate their children.  My hubby and I always visit our loved ones in the cemeteries as well as having babygirl write a letter to a soldier.  The letter writing will be particularly enjoyable this year as babygirl is an independent writer.  Of course, being the good ole' Southern family we are, we will have a cookout, too.  We will be having several people over on Sunday and as I sit here and type I realize I have much to do to get ready.  MUCH to do.  First things first, my menu.  I have a bit of a dilemma...I am a self-professed foodie.  My family members are not so much.  They enjoy plain jane food....basic grilled burgers and dogs along with the usual fixin's.  I long for fancier fare.  This weekend, I've decided to do it my way for a change and see how it goes.  

My menu:


Spinach Dip with assorted veggies and crackers
Caprese skewers
Marinated slow-cooked mushrooms


Pasta Salad
Prosciutto wrapped asparagus, roasted
Green Beans with bacon, onions and carrots
Banana Croquettes


Grilled hot dogs (for kids)


Banana Pudding
Fruit Salad


Sweet Tea
Strawberry Slush


Friday, May 25, 2012

Be in constant prayer....

I had a lovely post typed up that was seeminly eaten by Blogger (grrr), so this will be short and sweet.  As usual, it's something that is on my mind.  If you have a husband that is the real deal (as according to scripture), who supports you, prays for you, puts your needs above his, etc., PRAY FOR HIM.  Pray for his emotional and physical health.  He will be attacked.  Satan does not want strong fathers and husbands....strong men lead strong homes.  Strong families raise strong satan, this is a vicious cycles that must be stopped.  Godly men have a tough job ahead of them.  They are often taken advantage of, often by their own families.  Godly men must always consider the needs and desire of their family above their own.  It is stressful and tiring.  How often do you show your husband how thankful you are?  Do you ever sit back and look at his life empathetically?  I encourage you to do so.....

If your man has a stressful job, a position in the church or a position with children, his need for your prayer is even greater.  Finally, be a light to your can mean the world to them. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tidbit, my new niece or nephew....

I have some exciting news.....I am going to be an aunt again.  Our new bundle of joy will arrive mid-October and we do not know the sex as of yet, but I am affectionately referring to the baby as "tidbit".  The whole family is excited and the joy if abundant.  When I married my husband almost thirteen years ago, I inherited one niece and two nephews.  They have been like my own children, one in particular, but this will be my first experience of being able to go to the hospital when the baby is born, etc.  It will be a new experience.

Our babygirl is adopted, so I've had very little hospital/pregnancy experiences and I plan to enjoy every moment along with my sister and husband (if they will let me).  I pray that GOD will keep me grounded and allow the joy I feel now to continue and not let the sorrow creep in that it is her instead of me.  I also pray that tidbit and my sister progress and grow in the most healthy way.  God always knows best and I trust that he will guide our lives as he sees fit. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Pineapple Tomato, extraordinairre....

"God Almighty first planted a Garden; and, indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures; it is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man..." Francis Bacon

Hello friends, I would like to introduce you to my new favorite tomato.  It is an heirloom variety and oh so lovely.  Last year was my first year growing "Pineapples" and I am in love....this is what I had the pleasure of growing and devouring.

Isn't it lovely?  This plant grows very large and produces an abundance of huge fruit.  Below is a picture of the colors inside the tomato.

The fruit is sweet and tangy...everything a good heirloom tomato should be.  Think the coloring of a Mr. Stripey with the taste of a Brandywine.  I am in love....have I already said that?  Sigh...happy gardening, y'all.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dark Chocolate-Nutella Buttercream...

First off, who doesn't love Nutella?  Not loving Nutella means one of two things--either you haven't tried it or you are mentally unstable.  No way around it!  I have posted previously the delicious s'mores recipe, but I also very much enjoy nutella with fresh strawberries.  Some people also choose to ear the nutella by the spoonful right out of the jar.  Such obsession!  Such lack of restraint...I don't know about such  I try not to hand around such uncivilized folk (clearing throat and changing subject now!). 

Anyways, my dear sister graduated from nursing school this weekend and we had much to celebrate!  The family went out to eat after graduation and my sister chose a lovely little restaurant housed in a historic home.  The atmosphere was relaxed and private, but unfortunately, we arrived very close to closing and the dessert staff was leaving.  My sister didn't get a celebratory dessert and being the foodie that I am, I was bothered by that deeply.  This morning, I got up and decided to make her favorite dessert.  She loves a basic yellow cake with super rich homemade chocolate butter cream.  While this old standby is delish, I wanted to kick it up a notch.  I decided to come up with a butter cream that included nutella.  I began to search the internet for recipes and quickly decided to come up with my own.  Here's what I came up with:

Two sticks salted butter, softened
3-4 cups of powdered sugar
2-3 TBSP milk
1 tsp pure vanilla
1/3 cup dark, dutch unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup Nutella

Cream butter, add nutella and mix well.  Add vanilla and cocoa, mix.  Add powdered sugar and enough milk to bring to desired consistency.  I beat this for a good minute to stiffen the mixture up.

The end result was delish!  My family went crazy over this new concoction.  Right now I am dreaming of fresh strawberries that can be dipped into the leftover butter cream.  WOW!  This recipe makes more than enough to frost a 13x9 cake.  Believe me in that you want a bit extra to enjoy! 


Saturday, May 5, 2012

It's the day of the Derby....

and I couldn't care less.  My homestate is something I'm proud of, but horses, Derby festivities and snobby individuals invading the state...don't float my boat.  Churchill Downs is nice to visit and should be a source of pride for all Kentuckians, but that is where it ends for me.  The Derby represents so many things that are distasteful for me.  Firstly, I do not like animals being put on parade; gambling and betting are not my cups of tea and finally, I do not like the atmosphere of greed and facetiousness.  Everyone is trying to "one up" each other with finer dress, hats, bets, etc.  I just do not like it, Sam I am.  So, what's a gal like me to do on such a day?  My sweeties and I have been Geocaching, and I grilled out a delicious, healthy meal earlier.  We are now getting ready to head to the lake to walk, fish, and sit around a campfire.  A bit of blackberry wine and s'mores will be involved if I have anything to say about it.  Most of our friends will be there and an hour or two of karaoke will probably happen.  Lol. 

P.S.  IFFFFFF I were to attend the Derby, below is the hat I would have chosen.  I do love fashion, I just don't like being surrounded by!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Asian Green Beans

(Picture taken from

I apologize for not posting my own glorious pictures of this recipe as y'all know I love to go step-by step, but I am not in a position to grab my camera and upload, so the above pic will have to suffice.  I just love a good Chinese buffet.  Y'all know what I'm talking about!  A good buffet must have 1) Crab Legs, 2)  Broccoli Chicken, 3)  Stuffed Clams and 4)  ASIAN GREEN BEANS!!!  I love green beans prepared this way and have been on a mission to create them at home.  This weekend, I picked up a lovely package of French green beans at Sam's and went to work.  The end result was wonderful.

You will need:
1lb of Haricot Verts (they really are the best, do try to find them!) or fresh green beans
4 or 5 baby Bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 TBSP Oyster Sauce
a few dashes of low-sodium soy sauce
2 finely minced cloves of garlic

First, blanch the haricot verts for 1-2 will not take long.  Plunge into an ice bath and set aside.  Saute 1-2 tbsp of butter in large saute pan along with garlic and mushrooms.  Take care not to burn garlic.  After mushrooms are cooked, add sauces along with green beans.  Cook over medium heat to warm beans and reduce sauce.  

These are quick and easy and my whole family loved them and couldn't get enough.  Other than the sodium content (and it is crazy high), these little jewels are pretty healthy.  I fixed these alongside pepper steak and rice and egg rolls and my family was very appreciative.