Wednesday, August 20, 2014

 
I am sharing a few things that I like today.  First of all, the roses I brought in from
the garden. 


Secondly, the sauce I made tonight for dinner.  I mixed equal parts of honey (see last post),
and Dijon mustard.  Stirred together until smooth.
I cut up chicken breasts into pieces and sautéed them in olive oil, until lightly browned.
Then added the above sauce and let them cook on low for 40 minutes, in a covered pan, until tender.

 
I cooked a pack of this rice in the microwave oven, for 90 seconds.
I placed the rice on the plate, added the chicken breast pieces, and then
poured some extra hot sauce over the chicken and the rice.
 

 A quick, simple, and delicious dinner.  We both liked the combination of honey and Dijon mustard.


For dessert, I mixed equal parts of the honey and peanut butter together.
I cut up a banana, and then in another little dish, I placed some "coconut, cashew
crunch" from a past post.  This truly is one of my husband's favorite combinations for
a dessert or snack.  He dips banana pieces into honey/peanut butter mixture, then into
cashew crunch.

 
 This coffee drink on ice is now my husband's favorite coffee drink.  I enjoy it too!


 Now, quite hesitantly, I am going to show you my oven door.  I do have a self cleaning
oven, but for some reason, it never gets the glass door clean.  I have tried various cleaning
products but was never satisfied.  Recently, I visited a blog where the
writer had the same problem as I did.  She found the perfect solution, and now I too,
am a believer in her method.


Jessica, on www.decoradventures.com/2014/02/how-to-clean-oven-door-naturally.html
says she found the solution when she read the book, "Salt, Lemons, Vinegar, and Baking
Soda" by Shea Zukowski.

I made the paste of baking soda and a bit of water, and placed it all over my door.  I let
it set for just a bit, then scrubbed it with damp paper towels.  Guess what?  It came off.
So easily and so thoroughly.

 
Here is my newly cleaned glass oven door.  I am so happy!  Now, I won't have to
make sure the oven light is off, when my mother comes for dinner:)
 

Last, but not least, the beautiful bouquet of white hydrangeas that my
daughter picked for me. 
 
So, there you have it.  Just a very little something just for you, this
evening.

Monday, August 18, 2014



A new hobby has been developing for some of us.  Our son-in-law and family
have become "Bee Keepers".  I must admit, I did not know much about bee keeping, but
I am discovering that it is a most interesting adventure.  Here is one of my grandson's,
with his dad's supervision, holding a tray of bees.  This picture makes me smile.


The bee keeper stops by and together they are examining the many trays of bees.
I am thankful for the valuable lessons that these young children are learning, through
it all.



Look what we were given last evening.  A jar of golden, raw honey.  It was a gift from
our son-in-law and daughter, and it came from their own bee hives.


Here the chopped up honey comb is placed on a wire mesh tray.


Below it, in the same big, metal pot, is the collected honey.  A beautiful, rich looking gold
honey.  The honey can be collected two or three times a year.  He could have collected more,
but he wanted to be sure he left more than enough for the bees, because it is their food supply
for the winter.


Our granddaughter took a canning jar and filled it by opening the spout, carefully holding
it with her little hands.  She took the job quite seriously.


What a special gift to us!  She was proud of her bees and delighted to share the
treasure with us.  It tasted exceptionally good to both of us, especially on warm,
wheat toast for breakfast. 

I want to share a web site that I found recently, on the benefits of raw honey. 
Just in case you are interested too, you can find some valuable information here;
http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/honey-and-lemon.html



Last evening, we celebrated our son-in-law's birthday, with a great tasting taco bar dinner. 
The dessert was angel food cake, vanilla pudding, whipped cream, and lots of fresh peaches.
What fun to celebrate this special guy!




On the way home, we were blessed with a gorgeous sunset. 

Thank you for stopping by.  Do you have any uses for raw honey that have worked well for
you?  I must tell you, we have found on different occasions, that 1 teaspoon of
raw honey did help with easing our grandchildren's times of excessive coughing.  We
were pleasantly surprised with the results.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

 

My Saturday morning in the kitchen.  Why was I in the kitchen on a perfectly beautiful, sunny
weekend day?  Because my neighbor and my friend, each gifted me with zucchinis from their
gardens, and I knew I could not keep those big  guys in the refrigerator forever:).  Every time
I opened the refrigerator, there they were, staring at me, begging to be used for something special.

In the last few weeks, I had perused the internet, and found two good looking recipes that
I saved, thinking I would purchase some zucchini and try the recipes.  Maybe you do that too,
but then, even better, I was gifted with zucchinis, and did not have to purchase them.

The first recipe I saved, was "Lemon Zucchini Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frost"  by
Doreen Fish.  You too, can find this really good recipe here;

www.justapinch.com/search/recipes?k=lemon+zucchini+cake+with+lemon+crea



You will need a lemon cake mix and instant vanilla pudding.  I never partnered zucchini with
these two products.  What a delicious combination! 




One recipe made six little bundt cakes for me.  I will wrap them and freeze them until
I need them.  The frosting is simple to make and adds the best taste to the little cakes.  I
wished that I had some lemon curls and a tea leaf to add the pizazz that is a part of my
baking:)

If you like the taste of lemon, I am sure you will enjoy this recipe.  The zucchini makes
it so light and so moist.  Thank you Doreen, for sharing this keeper recipe with us. Here is
what she says about this recipe;  "I love lemon and zucchini...and together...delicious!!!
Easy, fast and nutritious...somewhat!...LOL"  Now, I agree with her, and this recipe
will go right into my recipe file.


The next recipe I tried, was "Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread", courtesy of Paula Deen.
It was rated every bit as scrumptious as the lemon recipe by my husband.  Seriously,
he said, "he could not choose which bread tasted the best."
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped pecans (I used chopped walnuts)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips(I used white chocolate chips)
1 tablespoon orange zest

Directions;

Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.  Grease (2) 9x5-inch loaf pans(I used smaller loaf pans and
muffin tins).

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and baking soda.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy.  Add sugar, and continue beating until well
blended.  Stir in oil, vanilla, zucchini, pecans, chocolate chips, and orange zest.  Stir in sifted
ingredients.  Pour into prepared loaf or muffin pans.

Bake 50 minutes(I baked the smaller loaves and muffins for 25 mins.), or until skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Remove
loaves from the pans and cool.  Chill before slicing.  Serve with whipped cream.


Thank you Paula for sharing your recipe with us, too.  She advises serving this bread with
a dollop of whipped cream:)  I like that idea!

I used up all three zucchinis, with these two recipes, and now I can open my refrigerator
without being troubled.


As for me, I lit my tiny coffee candle, cut a small slice of chocolate chip bread, along with
my big mug of hot coffee.  Happy me!

In our part of the country, we have had one of the perfect growing seasons this summer. 
I am so thankful for that gift from God!

Thanks for stopping by.  I do hope you take a few moments to stop and relax this
weekend.  After all, we all need a break or two, just to enjoy the fruits of our labors...right?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

 
 
My grandma had a garden.  Well, actually she had gardens...flower gardens and
produce gardens.  She lived simply and was frugal in her summer work.  Summer was
hard for her, and work was what she did.  Summers were not for relaxing, or vacationing,
or visiting with others on the side porch.  No, she worked.  She grew the produce, tended
her gardens, kept the weeds at bay, and picked the ready fruits and vegetables whenever
they were ripe.  But, at that point, her job was not over.  No, she canned the tomatoes,
the pickles, the applesauce, and the peaches.  She cut and froze the corn. 
Along with growing, tending, putting away food for the winter, she had a
roadside stand at the end of the long, stone driveway.  She filled boxes of
strawberries, lima beans, green beans, and sugar peas to be sold.
She had neatly made signs, with the pricing on them.
Many a summer morning or afternoon hours, I would sit on the chair by the
wooden table, and sell her wares for her.  I clearly remember it all.
I remember the metal silver box where I was told to keep the money.
I remember running in the lane to get more needed nickels and dimes
to give as change to the customers.
 
For many summers of my early years, you would find me, along with
my mother, sisters and brothers, on my grandparent's working farm.
Interestingly enough, I never remember my grandma or my mother ever
complaining about all they had to do. 
 
So you see, this is probably the reason I so enjoy stopping at the
abundant roadsides stands, that still grace the countryside in my
part of the world.  I find solace when I visit them.  I know
what hard work is required to make them profitable, and
for a few moments, it transports me back in time.
 
For me, the lessons of the garden from my grandmother,
produce far more than just what meets the eye, and what
I can share with you on this blog.  She shared great wisdom
and a positive attitude, in her love for her God and her family.
 
Today, I share the above collage with you.  I took the pictures in my
visit to some local roadside stands recently.
I do hope you find beauty, wonder, and delight in it all, as I do.
 

Down the road from one of the stands is a gravel pull off area.  I stopped the car by the creek,
and could not resist taking these pictures.  I found tranquility here.  I found beauty that no
man could create or copy.  I discovered peaceful rippling water, and lush green foliage.


 "Life isn't a matter of milestones but of moments."    ~Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy



"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it."
~George Moore

Perhaps this poem, reflects the memories you hold in your heart, from
childhood summers, with a different slant to it, than my grandma's summers.  I read it's
words, and wanted to share it with you.

Summer Shade

"It could have been just yesterday
The way the memories are remade
That I claimed the canvas hammock
Hanging in the summer shade.

In Grandma's wide backyard
With fruit ripening on the trees
I was young but had my dreams
And could do just as I pleased.

On days with clouds I'd see images
Or gaze dreamily at the blue
Pushing myself back and forth
I could linger the whole day through.

And might have done just that
If it weren't for the fresh lemonade
Topped with just a sprig of mint
Served at a table in the shade.

It could have been just yesterday
But many a year has gone
But when I think of summer...
These memories linger on."
~Copied from the book, "Simple Country Pleasures".




Fresh lemonade with a sprig of mint, just for you today.

Thank you so much for stopping by.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I ask you, did you ever see a wooden picnic table and two plastic tables look so good?

The evening was picture perfect!  The quiet, country setting immediately caused one to
feel relaxed.  The hostess of the evening, is a former southern bell.  Her and her husband
offer gracious and artistic hospitality...always.  Whenever, one receives an invitation to
their home, they know they are in for a treat.  On Sunday evening, our hostess shopped
her home and gardens, for all the props of the table scape.  Some people are artists using
paint, or chalk, or ink...this lady is an artist using dishes, lighting, and flowers.  We all
are inspired by her endless skills.


It makes one feel loved by her unending efforts at creating beauty and ambience for the
guests, no matter who they might be.  Hospitality and kindness would be a proper description
of this couple.


Double sconces from the wall of a bedroom, were put together to create the above
crystal piece, hanging from the tree above.


Green grapes and crystal dishes...what an unique and clever idea!


As you can imagine, when darkness set in, the lighting set a magical atmosphere. 


And, an extra special part of the evening, and a perfect way to end our time together, was
God's gift of a "super moon" above.  Breathtaking beauty in so many ways, on a late summer
evening, in the country.

I want to thank my sister for sharing her photography skills with me, so that I in turn could
share it with you.  I do hope it adds a bit of inspiration to your day, as it did to mine.

Whatever method of hospitality, whether it is in the form of sharing a sandwich on a park
bench, a cold drink at the end of a marathon, the gift of a muffin on your office desk, or
an elegant, outdoor dinner, that you may offer to others, is always considered a true act of
kindness and thoughtfulness.  Hospitality from the heart, always blesses me, and makes me
feel that others care.  In today's world, more than ever, we need to reach out to others, and
at times, be reached out to, by others.

Is there anyone you want to bless today? 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

 

Their delicate beauty, and pure colors, continue to dress up my décor in one way or
another.


Yesterday, as I sat on my screened-in porch drinking my early morning cup of coffee, this small, simple bouquet of the daisies and pink knock out roses reminded me, once again, of summer's exquisite gifts to me.  But, also, I felt the upcoming season in the morning air.  I know that
Fall is right around the corner.

 
It made me want to soak in all the remaining bits of summer beauty, before it is gone.
 

Each complex, delicate layer of the tiny pink rosebuds, included in the bouquet,
added to the wonder of it all.

7

In fact, I went out and picked a few more flowers, placed them in my old
ink well, and sat them by my computer.  This morning, the tightly
closed rosebud has opened, and now looks even prettier!  I do not have big
gardens, but what I do have, I like to bring inside, so that I can enjoy them inside
and outside.  These days, it offers much more contentment and joy, than does the
television news (seen in the background).

A Bigger Picture

"There is something satisfying, rejuvenating, comforting about the seasons.  They

remind me that I play one small part in a much bigger picture--that there is a pulse,

a sequence, a journey set into motion by the very hand of God Himself."

~Karen Scalf Linamen



Coming up, faster than we think, will be the next season of it's own unique colors and designs.




And, once again, I will be bringing it's loveliness inside my home, and
using it to dress up my décor.
 
I am so thankful that God has given us seasons of nature and also,
seasons of life.
 
Thank you for stopping by today.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


I sliced the small, ripe watermelon into thin slices.


I pulled my small, metal flower cookie cutter out of the cupboard, and proceeded to cut
watermelon flowers.  Next, I sliced the peaches, sliced the peaches, and cut peach flowers.
I laid a paper towel on top of the fruit flowers to dry them a bit.


I mixed the Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix and patted it into my cookie sheet.  I baked it in a
preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until it was lightly browned.  I removed it
from the oven and let it cool.


I mixed Cool Whip, with the strawberry cream cheese (allowed to sit out of refrigerator
for a while, making it easier to mix.)


I covered the cooled cookie crust, with the strawberry cream combination.
 
 
I lined the watermelon and peach flowers in rows, on the fruit pizza, along with
peach slices, blueberries, and canned dark red sweet cherries.  For the
glaze, I mixed some of my strawberry jelly with a teaspoon of water, and beat
it until glaze consistency, then drizzled it over the pizza.
To add a bit of pizazz, I stuck a few mint tea leaves in it.
I stored in refrigerator, until ready to serve. 
 
 
A quick and delicious way to take dessert to a summer pot luck meal.
 
 
 

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