Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wood...It is What We Haul

This wood pile is used to heat my parent's home.
 The wood needs to get from that pile to this window.
 And the window leads to this room.
My dad built slats that slide inside the door frame.
The slats protect the door as we throw
the wood through the window into the room.
 Dad and Mom are all smiles during the first load.
 The Handy Dandy Ranger is backed in close to the wood pile.
 And we start stacking log by log.
 Then Dad drives the Ranger to the house.
From the smile on his face you'd think
he is having fun!
 Shouldn't there be a song played
while looking at this cute buggy!
 At the house, each log...
 is tossed into the wood room through the window.
 My Dad and The Husband work on a load here.
 Notice the black insert sitting in the window.
My Dad made that to protect the window sill.
It is solid steel and "made to fit" this window.
 Between the eight loads we made,
I'd check on our progress by peering
into the window.
Can you see the top of the door?
 The room wasn't full so back we go
for another load.
 Eventually Dad went into the house and
removed the top two slats.
Mom used a metal poker to push logs
around to fill the open spots while
Dad re-arranged logs closer to the door.
 So after a few more loads, we were getting
closer to having that room full.
 From the inside of the house, you'll
see some of the slats gone so we
can check on the level of wood.
This roomful will heat my parent's home
until mid-January.
 The remaining woodpile needs a blanket
to stay warm and dry until we
visit it again in mid-January.
That is when the room will need to be
filled again!
 Tarps are brought out, strung with rope, and
spread to cover the wood.
 My parents.
Happy to know they will have
a warm home this winter!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Meat and Potato Pie

This is a quick, fun dish that I usually make for Sunday brunch.  One recent evening when I got home from work I started the usual dialog of "what should I make for supper" with The Husband and Kidlet Three.  Any food item I mentioned didn't sound good.  So I opened the freezer and stared at the contents half expecting something already made to pop out at me.  Ha!  That never happens but I stood there looking anyway.  The bag of hash browns caught my eye and I then remembered the Meat and Potato Pie recipe.  So I made it and Kidlet Three raved on and on about how good it was.  Maybe on that next evening when nothing sounds good to you, this will hit the spot!

Meat and Potato Pie

3 T. oil
3 cups shredded frozen hash browns
1 cup grated Swiss or cheddar cheese
3/4 cup diced ham, sausage or bacon
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup milk (can use evaporated)
2 eggs
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
Chopped parsley

Mix together the oil and hash browns in a 9-inch pie plate.  Press into pie crust shape.  Bake at 425 degree for 15 minutes or until crust begins to brown.  Remove from oven.  Layer on cheese, meat and onion; set aside.  Combine milk, eggs and seasonings in a bowl; beat all until blended. Pour egg mixture over layered ingredients.  Sprinkle with parsley.  Return to oven (same temperature) and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.  Allow to cool 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.  Yield 4-6 servings.

An amazingly healthy supper!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mints Take 2

Another friend's daughter got married this past weekend.  This bride requested wedding mints, too.  Also,  this bride wanted help making her bouquet from fall silk flowers.

We made the bouquet with feathers and flowers and it turned out beautifully.

We left the mints white.  They were so elegant looking with the sugary coating.
And on the wedding table, on that silver tray, they looked really expensive!

Here the happy couple is cutting their cake.  I did see the bride munching on a mint, too!
Mint-making may be my side job with all the requests I'm getting to make them!  That would be an amazingly fun job!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Views of Fall

I'm so thankful I live in an area that has "color" for the fall season.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken

3 to 3 1/2 pounds chicken (This time I used just two boneless chicken breasts)
1 (13 1/2 oz) can chunk-style pineapple
1 cup sugar (I use Splenda)
3/4 c. cider vinegar
1/4 t. ginger
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 green pepper, cut in strips (optional because no one in my family will eat this)
2 T. corn starch
1 T. soy sauce

Heat over to 350 degrees.

Flour chicken.  Pan sear (brown) chicken in olive oil.  I used my cast iron frying pan for this. 

Drain pineapple in a separate bowl.  To the pineapple juice, add enough water so the liquid makes 1 1/4 cup juice/water. 

In a sauce pan, combine the juice and all remaining ingredients except the pineapple and green pepper.  Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.

Arrange the chicken in a shallow roasting pan.  Usually I use my glass baking dishes but on this particular day, I left the chicken in the cast iron pan (since that can go in the oven).  Pour the cooked sauce over the chicken.

Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.  Add pineapple and peppers.  Bake 30 minutes longer.

This is delicious served with rice and a green vegetable!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Double Rainbow

Seven a.m. driving to work.
The eastern sky ahead of me is painted with golden hues and streaks of pink.
God's paintbrush was full of brilliant colors that morning.
This sunrise that He painted was breathtaking.
What I didn't pay attention to was the western sky behind me
as I drove into work.
See, the western sky was getting dark as if rain were going to roll in.
As I got out of my car, this was the western sky
This brilliant, full-color Kodak-Moment rainbow with a second bow starting.
This quickly snapped photo doesn't do the colors justice.
I needed to get into work so I couldn't stand outside to enjoy this phenomenon .
God is quite the Artist.  And what color He chooses to get our attention. 
And when He has our attention, He says, "I love you...this beauty is for you to enjoy."
That is why I am So Amazed!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Another great devotion from Grace For The Moment, Volume II, Max Lucado.  Here is the October 3 entry:

I give you this...prayer for the thirsty heart.  Carry it just as a cyclist carries a water bottle.  The prayer outlines four essential fluids for soul hydration:  God's work, God's energy, his lordship, and his love....Just think of the word W-E-L-L.

Lord, I come thirsty.  I come to drink, to receive.  I receive your work on the cross and in your resurrection.  My sins are pardoned, and my death is defeated.  I receive your energy.  Empowered by your Holy Spirit, I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.  I receive your lordship.  I belong to you.  Nothing comes to me that hasn't passed through you.  And I receive your love.  Nothing can separate me from your love.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hockey Tryout Food

Kidlet Three is starting his tryouts for hockey this week.  Believe it or not there are five days/nights of tryouts.  The first was last Sunday.  In prepping for the day, I asked Kidlet Three what he would like for lunch.  See, he gets a little nervous for tryouts and I thought food would bring comfort.  Did I just hear some laughter out there? 

Anyway, Kidlet Three picked Spaghetti and meatballs for his lunch.  I've never made meatballs when I make spaghetti so I was really surprised about this.  But I made them.  Here is a pictorial essay of spaghetti and meatballs for Hockey Tryout Food.

Kidlet Three did a great job on day one of tryouts.  I believe he is going to rock on his next tryout adventure, too.  The hockey gifts that God placed inside of Kidlet Three are amazing.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Green - It is Good

This is a planter outside of my work building.
Can you see the door in the background?
That gives you some perspective as to how BIG this planter is!
I stopped to investigate this planter the other day
and became spellbound by the beauty and details on the plants.
There are multiple plants in the planter, as you can see from this picture.
 I've never seen flowers like this.  They are beautiful.
And the leaves of this variegated plant made me speechless. 
The greens, the purples, the details that are on these leaves took my breath away.
As I stood there, I shook my head in disbelief. 
That God loved us so much He would create such beauty just for us to enjoy.

Genesis 1:11-13; 31 
God spoke: "Earth, green up! Grow all varieties
of seed-bearing plants,
Every sort of fruit-bearing tree."
And there it was.
Earth produced green seed-bearing plants,
all varieties,
And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts.
God saw that it was good.
It was evening, it was morning—
Day Three.

...31 God looked over everything he had made;
it was so good, so very good!
It was evening, it was morning—
Day Six.

Oh God..thank you for Your goodness to us!  Thank you for making green and such variety in the plants You gave us.  I applaud Your creativity and details.  Thank you, thank you!  You are amazing, Oh Lord!  Amen

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Grilled Herb Chicken

I found this recipe in a magazine years ago and decided to try it this weekend.  There were many "yums" and "oh this is good" comments as we were eating our meal.  Here is Grilled Herb Chicken for you to make and enjoy!

1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 T. finely chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. grated lemon peel
1 t. minced fresh thyme (I used 1/2 t. dried)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
3 boneless chicken breasts
In a large resealable bag, combine the marinade ingredients and chicken.  Seal bag and turn to coat.  Refrigerate overnight, turning bag occasionally.
When ready to cook, heat grill.  Drain and discard marinade.  I put aluminum foil on the second rack of the grill.  Maybe it is my imagination, but the chicken seems to be more moist when grilled on the foil for the majority of the grilling time.
Grill, turning occasionally.  I do throw the chicken on the plain rack for 5 to 10 minutes at the end of the grilling time.
We enjoyed our chicken with a baked potato and sweet corn from the freezer. 
I bet you'll lick your plate on this meal!  It is an amazingly good recipe!