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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Preoccupied

Boy, I must be really preoccupied.

This morning I left the driveway to head to work.  When I got to the end of the street I'm supposed to turn right to drive to work.

For some reason I pulled into the left lane and had my left signal light on.  It was then that I stopped myself and said, "WHAT AM I DOING...THIS ISN'T THE WAY TO WORK".

I've only worked at the same company for 32 years....I should know the way to work by now!

Most days I would've giggled and just shook my head at myself.

But as I made that left turn and then drove way out of my way to get to work, I pondered on why I made that silly turn.

What was it that was preoccupying my mind.

Here it is 12+ hours later and I haven't yet figured out what was causing me confusion.

So, I'll go to bed soon and just pray that I can drive straight to work in the morning!

Tee hee hee....

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Joy from My Garden

Isaiah 35

Joy of the Redeemed

1 The desert and the parched land will be glad;

the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.

Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom;

it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.

The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,

the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;

they will see the glory of the LORD,

the splendor of our God.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Friends

I am so blessed to have good friends.
My friend, Prairie Woman gave me this Willow recently.
It depicts our friendship.
And something we both enjoy...
...talking.
...and talking
...and talking some more.
The other day we talked for almost an hour and a half on the phone
We hadn't talked for three days so we had a lot to catch up on!
There are other dear friends that I love as well
...in my neighborhood
...in my city
...in my state
...and some out of state.

Proverbs 17:17
Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.


God has amazed me with incredible friends.
And I am so very thankful

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wedding Mints

What is it about those little bite-size mints that is so addicting?
Do you know what mints I'm talking about?
The mints usually found at bridal showers, graduations or weddings.
Mints shaped like roses or petals or a graduation cap.
Cream cheese mints.
Oh, my mouth is watering for one right now just thinking of them!
My friend, Prairie Woman, had one of her children get married this summer.
I volunteered to make mints for the wedding.
You'd thought I had told her she'd won the lottery for the excitement
she displayed over my offer.

These mints are super easy to make.
They can be flavored and tinted to any color.
They do take awhile to make since each mint
is pressed into a mold manually.
The mints freeze well.
Because they freeze well, I made the 300 mints in July
for the August wedding.
On my mint-making day, I allowed the the mints
to set (about an hour),and then transferred them
to a 13x9 pan covered with waxed paper.
Layer by layer I stacked mints in the pans,
wrapping each layer in waxed paper.

Let me show you how to make mints.  You will need:
1 8-ounce box cream cheese at room temperature
2 pounds powdered sugar
Food coloring, if desired
Flavoring (I used peppermint)
Candy molds
1 cup granulated sugar
 Sift the powdered sugar and set aside.
 Place cream cheese in mixer and add sifted powdered sugar
a little at a time until well blended.
Add the flavoring and coloring at this time.
 Pour granulated sugar into a small bowl.
Make little balls from the dough and drop them into a bowl,
rolling each bowl to cover with sugar.
 Place a ball into a mold space and press gently to flatten.
 If the ball is too big, scrap off excess dough.
You'll want the bottom of the mint to be flat.
 Cover a table or counter with strips of waxed paper.
When the mold is full, turn it over on the
waxed paper and in my case,
20 mint roses appeared!
This recipe made 225 rose-sized mints.
 Allow the candies to sit for about an hour to "set".
They should be kept refrigerated or in the freezer.
The colors for the wedding were red and yellow. 
My mints turned out more pinkish than red.
Alongside the yellow, however, they were all beautiful.
 The day of the wedding I pulled the frozen mints
from the freezer and allowed the
pans to sit, covered, for about 3 hours.
They were nicely thawed, yet chilled,
for the serving table after that length of time.

This was a delightful, unique wedding.
The bride and groom were so excited to be married.
The color theme of red and yellow was carried
through details down to the bride's shoes...
 The serving table was so cute with home-made pin wheels and fresh flowers.
 The mints were definitely a hit.
And a fun addition to this cake and punch reception.
 Wedding mints
Amazingly addicting...yum, yum!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"Wetting" the Baseball Field

At one of the kajillion baseball tournaments Kidlet Three played in this summer, the field was "wet down" after each game.  The water helped to keep the dust to a minimum for the players sliding into base. 

It was very obvious the grounds crew at this tournament had a great sense of humor.  I captured a video of this grown man, complete with his red, plastic fireman's hat and the fire hose, "wetting" down the field.

Enjoy!

video

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

I found this great recipe for Pulled Chicken Sandwiches on Food.com.  On two separate occasions I've made this recipe and both times there have been great reviews by my family and friends. 

1 medium onion, sliced thinly and placed on the bottom of a crock pot
Add 3 boneless chicken breasts.  I have used frozen chicken breasts. 
 Mix all of the sauce ingredients together and pour over the chicken:
1 cup ketchup
2 T. cider vinegar
2 T. molasses
1 T. yellow mustard
1/4 t. black pepper
1 t. onion powder
1/4 t. cumin
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. Tabasco sauce
pinch of salt
Cook on low 6 - 8 hours.
When the chicken is falling apart, use two forks to shred the chicken. 

I have served this with buns, chips and a bowl of fresh fruit (peaches, raspberries and apple).
This is an amazingly easy, delicious meal!  Enjoy

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Aioli

I watched the season finale of Food Network Star last night before I went to sleep.  I've been recording these shows and have so enjoyed this series.

Maybe that is the reason why I awoke several times during the night with the word aioli (eye-oh-lee) going through my head.  This word wasn't used, from what I remember, on the last night's episode but it sure was in my thoughts during the night.

This morning when I woke up, there was that word floating through my head again.  As I laid in bed wondering why I was thinking of that word I realized I didn't even know exactly what aioli is. 

When Kidlet Two graduated from culinary school, he gave me this cookbook that was used in his classes.  When I got out of bed, the first thing I did was grab the book and look in the index for aioli. 

Here is the recipe I found:
10 garlic cloves
1/4 t. salt
3 egg yolks
1 pint olive oil
1-2 T. lemon juice

I didn't write down the steps to make the aioloi from this cookbook.  When I googled it, here are the steps from another recipe:

Mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt using a large heavy knife. Whisk together yolks and lemon juice in a bowl.  Add a few drops of olive oil at a time to yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until all oil is incorporated and mixture is emulsified. (If mixture separates, stop adding oil and continue whisking until mixture comes together, then resume adding oil.)

Whisk in garlic paste and season with salt. If aioli is too thick, whisk in 1 or 2 drops of water. Chill, covered, until ready to use.

So aioli is like a garlic mayonnaise.  I don't know that I've ever had it but with all the attention it is getting in my thoughts, perhaps I should make it sometime.

I think I'll wait to make it when the chef of the family, Kidlet Two, comes home for a visit.   
Isn't it amazing what goes on in our brains as we sleep!  Aioli! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bird Chorus

The Frozen Tundra is out of a heat wave now and enjoying cooler temperatures.  At this very moment, the temperature is 65 degrees.  The Husband and I have turned off the air conditioner and opened the windows.  Last night falling asleep with a refreshing breeze flowing into the house was delightful. 

The bird chorus awoke me.

With the windows now open, I had the privilege of being serenaded by a bird chorus this morning.  At 5 a.m. there was one bird that was singing, singing, singing.  I laid in bed listening.  Within minutes, there was a different bird singing.  Both were singing in their own language (or should I say 'in their own chirp'). 

It didn't take long before there were a number of songs being sung outside of my window.  There was a complete chorus assembled by 5:30 a.m. when I finally got out from under the covers.  When I looked out the window, I couldn't see any of the birds but they continued on with their song.

What a blessing to have a choir awaken me with a song of joy.  Songs of praise and thanksgiving.  I found myself humming a song by Kim Walker as I sipped my coffee, still enjoying the bird songs.   Here are the lyrics:

Words could never say, the way.
He says my name
He calls me lovely
No one ever sees, the way.
He looks at me
He sees me, holy.
Words could never hold, this love that burns my soul
Heaven holds me.
Heaven holds me

Chorus:
I can't hold my love back from you
I can't hold my love back from you
I've gotta sing, I've gotta sing, sing my love.

You would not believe, the way.
He touches me
He burns right through me
And I could not forget, every Word He Said.
He always knew me
The earth could never hold, this love that burns my soul.
Heaven holds me
Heaven holds me

Chorus 2:
Oh praise the Lord, praise the Lord.
My soul makes, makes its boast, in the Lord.


I believe those birds were starting their day off in praise.  I am choosing to do that also. 

How about you?  Let's fill this world with a beautiful, amazing song of Love!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vacation Day 3: Find The Waffle

Grandma's Belgian Waffles are really, really good.
Especially when buried under whipped cream.
It took awhile to even see the waffle under that creamy coating.
Waffles on vacation are a treat.  Only at Grandpa and Grandma's is all that whipped cream allowed!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Vacation Day 2: Moustaches

Scene:  Two 13-year-old young men, bored in a restaurant, waiting for the parents to finish their meal.  Near the front door is a gumball machine and this Fuzzy Face Moustaches machine.

Suddenly, both young men needed 50 cents.  After receiving their two quarters each, off they ran to this machine.
Oh so carefully those two quarters were inserted into the machine. 
Each of these young men needed two sets of moustaches.  Here is Kidlet's Buddy getting his second moustache.
Each moustache has a paper-backing so they peeled this off and pressed their facial hair into place.
Kidlet Three is at the left in this picture and he has a blonde moustache which was a perfect match for his hair color. 
Who would've thought that coin-purchased-moustaches would be a highlight of a vacation day.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Vacation Day 1: Fishing

The alarm was set on day one of vacation.  My Dad, Kidlet Three and his Vacationing-With-Us-Buddy, and I got up this early.
In the early dawn we headed to the boat.
 Here is a picture of the house, in the trees, from the dock.
 It was a fast ride in the boat...
...with the speed-o-meter hitting 32 miles per hour.
The lake is separated into a north and south lake.  To move between lakes you go through this old bridge...
...and head under this new bridge...
...making sure to duck under the new bridge otherwise your head could hit the top!
Off to the "hot" fishing spot we go.
Kidlet Three is diligent in his fishing technique.
Kidlet's Buddy is really excited about his "catch"...weeds.
Actually,  Buddy got the biggest fish, a nice crappie.
Although weeds were often what we caught (smiles)!
My Dad even got the chance to fish.
The boat has a live well so the fish we catch get thrown into that.  Our catch this morning was 1 crappie and 4 blue gills.
Even the Fishing Guide caught weeds.
It was an amazing morning enjoying God's beauty, the silence of the lake and the fun of catching fish.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Apple Crumble

Here is a delicious and very easy dessert I made for my parents and brother recently.

Apple Crumble


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Peel, core and slice 4 large Golden Delicious apples (about 3 pounds).
To the apples add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 lemon juiced, 1 T. flour, 1/2 t. cinnamon.  Mix well and pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Spread evenly.  Set aside.
In another bowl, mix 1 cup walnuts or pecans roughly chopped, 1 cup flour, 1 1/4 cups rolled oats, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar.

Add 1 stick butter.  Using a pastry cutter or fork, work butter into mixture.
I used a fork and "smooshed" the butter until pea-sized lumps are formed.
Top apples evenly with mixture and bake until apples are bubbly and topping is golden brown.  About 45 minutes.
The flash on the camera distorts the brown.  We enjoyed our warm apple crumble with whipped cream. 
This would also be amazing with ice cream--either vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.

Enjoy!