Sunday, April 29, 2012

Forever Young

A friend up in Illinois told me that her son is graduating from college in two weeks.

Huh?  When did THAT happen?  Just yesterday he was just this high   (hand by shoulder).

Today I have a sister who turns 46.

I still picture her in the sixth grade, primping herself for a night out at the roller skating rink.  Read here for a good chuckle on roller skating rinks and big sisters.

Happy birthday, Mary!  We will remain forever young in my mind!

Last Thursday, Clementine turned 3 months old.

Okay, so would somebody please inform me of when or how that happened?



She isn't saying :)

But she did surprise us yesterday.

(Surprised herself, too!)

Mabel was dancing, trying to get Clementine to smile and Clementine responded with a deep, down, from the bottom of her pit, belly laugh.

4 times!

No encore for daddy yet.

And I celebrated a bloggy anniversary on Friday.  Two years now!  Doesn't seem like it has been two years.

I haven't done a give-away in eons.  I'm thinking of something to do and will post it later this week.

In the meantime, I'm sending  forever young vibes your way today!

Happy, blessed Sunday!

~  Patty  ~



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Field trippin'

We love field trip days!

The big girls had a four hour, aquatic, science class at a lake today...about 35 miles from where we live.


Near 90 degrees today in North Texas.  But there was a breeze, thank the Lord!

Since I didn't want to drive the distance twice, Stan and I had a mother/son date while we waited :)

(Clementine stayed home with David.)

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We went the a nearby mall...and I am NOT a mall person.

Thank God we hit the jack pot in finding this particular mall.  Oh the things he did!






(The darn thing didn't give us enough time to position the lens so we just had fun with it!)


(Being a gentleman and waiting for our ticket number to be called.)




(Stan scored on his wacky meal from Sonic...a bug guide!)


Waiting for the glass elevator to arrive...







Going down.

Down.


Down.





(The boy has some moves :)



(Found him looking at himself in the mirror :)



After 2 1/2 hours in that mall, I had enough.  So we headed across the interstate...


...where we window shopped...


...until it was time to head back to the lake area.

The lake is 30,000 acres with a six mile dam.


It's always a little bit strange parking there!




And last but not least...


Mabel :)




Can you believe I forgot their bug spray?!

~  Patty  ~

Strawberries and Cream Cake

This dessert topped off our delicious Sunday dinner last week of Slow Cooker Sweet and Tangy  Chicken.


Yowzer!  It screamed spring!

Ingredients:

1 box white cake mix
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup strawberry syrup
1 container (8oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed  **I forgot to add this to shopping list so substituted with vanilla frosting**
3 cups fresh whole strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup strawberry jam
2 tbsp sugar


Directions:

1.)  Heat oven to 350 degrees F (or 325 for dark or nonstick pan).  Grease bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan and flour.

2.)  In large bowl, beat cake mix, half-and-half, oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds.  Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.  Pour into pan.

3.)  Bake 23 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 20 minutes.  Poke cake every inch with tines of meat fork or a table knife.  Pour syrup slowly over cake, allowing syrup to fill holes in cake.  Cool completely, about 35 minutes longer.

4.)  Spread whipped topping over cake.  In medium bowl, gently mix strawberries, jam and sugar.  Top each serving with strawberry mixture. Store covered cake and strawberry mixture separately in refrigerator.

Enjoy!


~  Patty  ~

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

FYI


If you have a Keurig, I highly recommend this...Black Tea and Lemon (with REAL lemon in it!)   

(Happy to say it helped me get off of diet coke...a bonus for me!)

Enjoy,  

~  Patty  ~

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Slow Cooker Sweet and Tangy Chicken

I love crock pot recipes and a great one is sometimes hard to find.

This is a GREAT one!


Ingredients:

2 (18 oz) bottles barbecue sauce (I  bought 1 large bottle that was close to the needed amount.)
1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks AND juice
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped (I used onion powder)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used garlic powder)
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves.

Directions:

1.)  In a large bowl, mix together barbecue sauce, pineapple with juice, green bell pepper, onion, and garlic.

2.)  Arrange chicken breasts in the slow cooker.  Pour barbecue sauce/mixture over the chicken and stir.

3.)  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours.

I served mine over real rice and steamed broccoli.  It was absolutely delicious!  Another great fine on allrecipes :)

Enjoy!

~  Patty  ~

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hello there!

Not sure how much time I have to write this post due to a very sweet, little distraction sitting next to me in her pumpkin seat...


This afternoon she started clicking her tongue and smiling like crazy when we clicked ours right back.    

She  enjoys  looking at "the baby" in the mirror...


...and seems to have taken an interest in crocheting...



And  because it was a lazy, Sunday afternoon...


...we lay around watching the Texas Rangers baseball game.  (Man!  They are doing awesome this spring...won 9 out of their last 10 games!)

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Stan's Blue Knight suit (minus two pieces:  spear and sword).


Note the forced smile.  

When I realized we were missing two pieces of his armor I wanted to take another shot in full costume.  

He reminded me that I said "one photo only, Stan."

Fine. 

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The Easter Bunny brought these cute, ceramic, pastel-colored Easter eggs.  You crack them open, water them, stick them in the sun, and hopefully see a beautiful plant grow :)

(I happened to see these at Lowe's, too :)

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I'm really excited that I FINALLY planted a Jasmine plant!!  I LOVE the smell of Jasmine, don't you?  Simply intoxicating!  


I also planted an Autumn Sage bush in front of the Jasmine Star climber.



Both are small right now, but I will definitely show you pics as they grow over the summer.  

(Looking at that pic reminds that I need to throw down some mulch.)

BTW, I made sure the Jasmine was next to the back porch rocking chair.  I'm already enjoying the aroma of it while rocking and drinking my iced tea.  Heavenly!

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I tried two new recipes this weekend.  DIVINE!  I'll post them later on.  

(In the mean time, think BBQ Chicken and Strawberries and Cream!)

Gotta run...Clementine wants her mama!

~  Patty  ~


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

A different twist on serving vegetables to the Littles.

They LOVED it!

I liked it a LOT.

David said it was "okay".

Since the Littles love it, I will serve it again :)


Ingredients:

2 tbsp minced garlic  (I used garlic powder that I had on hand.)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large head of cauliflower, separated into florets.
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Grease a large casserole dish.

2.  Place the olive oil and garlic in a large resealable bag.  Add cauliflower and shake to mix.  Pour into the  prepared casserole dish, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and broil for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.

Prep Time:  15 minutes
Cook Time:  25 minutes
Ready In:  40 minutes
Servings: 6

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com while perusing for new vegetable dishes to try.

Enjoy!

~  Patty  ~

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Faith-filled Days

Friday was Ester's baptismal birthday.

It was kind of a hectic day in our house but I did manage to pick  up a statue of St. Ann for her.


Ester is all about horses :)

I recently found out that St. Ann is the patron saint of horse women.   The other patron saints of horse men, riders, and equestrians were males.  I thought St. Ann was more appropriate.


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Divine Mercy Sunday.

We decided to use Lacy's Divine Mercy Sundaes from Catholic Icing.




I was looking for something super simple and she always has super simple and super easy ideas :)

And they also made the Divine Mercy craft from Catholic Icing.


Mabel was able to do both of these twice since she did them with her group of Little Flowers earlier in the week as well.  :)

*************************************************

Speaking of snacks...

I found these at the Target dollar section::


It made eating popcorn (especially during Lent) a little bit more fun!  They are plastic and easy to clean, stack, and store.


Whew!

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Today, David and Stan hosted their Blue Knights group.  More to come since I haven't downloaded the photos.  Stan just LOVES Blue Knights.  He waited for an hour on the porch for his buddies to show up.  (They weren't late....he was just eager :)

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday to you all!

Patty

Fresh Fruit Medley

Talk about a fresh fruit salad!!!  The honey and lemon juice mixed with the vegetable oil dressing tasted delicious with the fruit mixture.

It was a fresh addition to this new beef kabobs recipe we tried.



Dressing:
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 3 tablespoons honey
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 1 1/2 tsp poppy seed

Fruits:
* 2 cups halved seedless grapes (1 small bunch.)
* 2 nectarines sliced, or 1 1/2 cups frozen sliced peaches, thawed.
* 1 orange, peeled, sliced
* 1 medium pineapple, rind removed, cored and cut into 1-in pieces

(I was in a hurry and substituted Dole canned pineapple chunks for the fresh pineapple.)

Directions:
1.)  In tightly covered container, shake dressing ingredients until blended.
2.)  Place fruits in large bowl.  Shake dressing again; pour over fruits and toss.  Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Enjoy!

~  Patty  ~


Sensational Sirloin Kabobs

I was looking for a new dinner recipe for our Sunday dinner and came across these.  What I really wanted to try was the marinade sauce.  Highly recommended by the Littles :)



Ingredients:

Marinade Sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp distilled white vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp seasoned salt (I used regular salt)
4 fluid ounces lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage

Kabobs
2 lbs beef sirloin steak, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 green bell peppers, cut into 2 inch pieces
skewers
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, stems removed
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 fresh pineapple - peeled, cored and cubed

Directions:

1.  In a medium bowl, mix soy sauce, brown sugar, distilled white vinegar, garlic powder, seasoned salt, garlic pepper, and lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage.  Reserve about 1/2 cup of this marinade for basting in refrigerator. 

2.  Place steak in a large resealable plastic bag.  Cover with the remaining marinade, and seal.  Refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight.

3.  Bring a saucepan of water to a boil.  Add green peppers, and cook for 1 minute, just to blanch.  Drain, and set aside.

4.  Preheat grill for high heat.  Thread steak, green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, and pineapple onto skewers in an alternating fashion.  Discard marinade and bag.

5.  Lightly oil the grill grate.  Cook kabobs on the prepared grill for 10 minutes, OR to desired doneness.  (I like my meat med - well so I grilled mine longer.)  Baste frequently with reserved marinade during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Prep Time:  15 minutes
Cook Time:  15 minutes (or longer)
Ready in: 8 hrs 30 minutes
Servings: 8

This recipe was found on here.  

The Littles mentioned that I could substitute the steak with chicken.  That would be delicious as well!  I served Fresh Fruit Medley on the side.

Enjoy!

~  Patty  ~



Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Do you love lemon- flavored anything...or cheesecake?  This one received lots of "mmmm....'s"!



Ingredients:
1.)  1 box lemon cake mix
2.) 1/3 cup butter, softened
3.) 3 eggs
4.) 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
5.) 1 cup powdered sugar
6.) 2 tsp grated lemon peel
7.) 2 tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

1.  Heat oven 350 degrees F (or 325 for dark or nonstick pan).  In large bowl, beat cake mix, butter and 1 of the eggs with electric mixer on low speed until crumbly.  Press in bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch pan.

2.  In medium bowl, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. On low speed, gradually beat in powdered sugar.  Stir in lemon peel and lemon juice until smooth.  Reserve 1/2 cup for topping; refrigerate.  Into remaining cream cheese mixture, beat remaining 2 eggs on medium speed until blended.  Spread over cake mixture.

3.  Bake 25 to 28 minutes or until set.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.  Spread with reserved cream cheese mixture.  Refrigerate about 3 hours or until firm.  For bars, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows.  Store covered in refrigerator.

**To make a lemon-blueberry cheesecake bar, stir in 1 cup dried blueberries after beating the remaining 2 eggs into the cream cheese mixture.  Continue as directed.**


Enjoy!

~  Patty  ~

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