Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pauper's Sign

You might wonder why I am posting a photo of this sign. While I was vacationing last year, I wandered upon the Poor Farm Cemetery or Paupers' Cemetery, as it is sometimes called. The cemetery was being cleared of brush and the wood markers and burial records had long since disappeared. So no one knows where each grave is or who is buried there. I thought this was one of the saddest things ever. These people were forgotten in life and now forgotten in death. So this year, when I went back to see it, a historical marker had been erected. Finally, somebody cared that these people had lived and died. I felt such a sadness that the cemetery had been neglected and no one had cared. Now people will know it is there and it is now an important part of the county's history.
Till next time........

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day.........

Lest we forget......Freedom is not free.

Today we remember our fallen soldiers, those fighting for our freedom, those who have fought in previous wars and our own who have passed before us. God Bless Them All.
Till next time.......

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chives....

I was over at my daughter's the other night and I mentioned I was going to make some twice baked potatoes. She asked if I wanted some chives to go in them. Naturally, I said, "sure!" So this is the bouquet of chives she gave me. I used half in the potatoes and I will use the other half today in a pasta salad. They were a delightful addition to the potatoes and added just the right amount of flavor. I'm sure they will be just as good in the pasta salad.
Till next time.......

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Salt Rocks for Rainy Days..........














We've all had a lot of rain this spring. At least in my area of the world. If the children are getting on your nerves, here is a fun project, that takes only a few ingredients and the possibilities are endless. Let the child be creative. This is something that is not "electronic" and it can let them use their imagination.

Salt Dough
1/4 cup regular table salt
1/2 cup flour (all purpose)
1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 250°F.
Mix flour, salt and water together in a bowl. If dough is too sticky add small amounts of flour until it is doughy and pliable. Be careful not to add too much as the dough will dry out and your creation will crack. Carefully select the pieces you want to decorate it with and press them firmly but gently into the salt dough. I set mine on parchment paper. Bake the paperweight for 2-2.5 hours on a cookie sheet until completely dry. Remove from oven and allow to cool before handling or removing from the cookie sheet.

Note: You can spray your creation with an acrylic sealer or paint it with a clear coat sealer once it is done. This is especially important if you are using a pressed dried flower. You want to seal the flower onto the paperweight.
Note: A small amount of corn meal can be added to the flour for added texture. You can use a cookie cutter with this dough. When the dough is done, it can be a paperweight, a graphic hung on the wall (you have to put a hole or two in for hanging before it dries.) This dough can also be made in a pendant, beads, figurines and most anything you want. Just have fun with it!
Till next time........

Thursday, May 26, 2011

This and That..........

These are just a few of the things I thought worthy of taking a photo of. Here is your Grandmother's sprinkling can painted up and preserved.The saying on the can says, "Gardens are to share."
Sometimes for whatever reason, you say yes, I want to capture that moment. How many times do you see a checker board set up, waiting for two people to engage in a game? I know it has been a long time since you saw a wash machine like this one, if ever.
















How many times do you see two little bears that just ask to be squeezed? It takes you back to a time in your childhood, when you hugged your own teddy bear.
Till next time.......

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Flowers






















If you haven't planted your spring and summer flowers yet, you need to get started. Now is the time to plant, while it is still reasonably cool and wet. Let those roots have a chance to settle in before the hot weather beats down on them. The choices are spectacular this year. Decisions, decisions. I finally decided on Hens & Chicks, Ageratum, Dianthus, Portulaca, Hostas and a few assorted tuberous Begonias. I have a purple wave petunia this year. I am hoping it will do well.
There is a lot of wind in this area, so I am hoping it doesn't get whipped too much.
Oh, and I planted seeds for Chinese Lanterns. The seed pod is a bright orange, so I really hope they do well.
Till next time......

Monday, May 23, 2011

Marvels of Nature

















 










I love the different textures from Mother Nature. There is just a wonderful blend of color and different shapes. You just need to take the time to see them.
Till next time.......

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Dip

The CWS (College World Series) are about to start here in a few weeks. So to get you ready; I am sharing a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Dip. Now this has a bit of a "kick" to it. You can also make it hotter by using some hot pepper cheese in it. So the heat is in your control and that is always a good thing!





 


Buffalo Chicken Dip
1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (10oz) chunk white chicken, drained OR 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1/2 to 3/4 cup buffalo wing sauce (hot sauce)
1/2 cup Ranch salad dressing
2 cups (8oz) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
Tortilla chips
Spread cream cheese in an ungreased shallow 1 quart baking dish. Layer with chicken, buffalo wing sauce and Ranch dressing. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm with tortilla chips. Yield: about 2 cups.
Enjoy the dip and the ball games, I know I will!
Till next time.......

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mexican Party

It's nice to greet your guests in a festive way. It sets the mood for the rest of the party. The theme of the party really doesn't matter. It's all about the food, the music, decorations and most of all; getting together with friends. If you haven't planned a get together yet. Get on the phone or print out some invitations. It's time! This little gathering had Tacos in a Bowl with all the toppings, for the entree. Since it was a pot luck type of gathering, everyone brought their favorite dish.
Till next time.......

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spring Brunch Dip....

I am still thinking of Spring Brunches. I guess that's what spring does to me. After the long winter, you think about getting your friends together. A casual brunch with a bit of fruit with a nice dip, some coffee cake, a pot of tea and nice friends, what could be better than that? Here is a recipe for a sweet dip. All you need is a variety of cut fruit or pound cake to go with it.

Marshmallow Fruit Dip
2 - 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1 - 13 ounce jar marshmallow creme
2 Tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
Beat ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended. Serve with fruit or pound cake cubes. Yield: About 3 cups This is good with pineapple chunks, strawberries, pound cake, bananas, etc.
Till next time......

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Photos.......

 This is a huge Easter egg on the grounds of the Bed & Breakfast I stayed at. It was especially pretty since I was there just before Easter.
This is a wooden bird that was inside of my suite. It was dark mahogany wood and really pretty. At least, to me it was. 
I'm not sure what this is. So I guess I am showing my ignorance. But it was unique to me and worthy of a photograph for sure. Maybe in time I will know what it is.
Till next time.......

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Through The Eye of The Lens

Here are just a few interesting photos that I took while I was on vacation. It's amazing what you can see when you look through the lens of a camera. You see things in a totally different light then when you are just walking along. Or....maybe because you see things differently, you look through the lens of a camera and take the photo. Either way, there are some great photos out there just waiting to be photographed.

This was part of an old building that needed some tender loving care. Not that it was about to get any care. But the photo possibilities were endless. From one photo you can crop and get many other views. It was a great walk and so much to look at. Enjoy!
Till next time.....

Friday, May 13, 2011

Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware

Every kitchen should have at least one cast iron piece of cookware. Either a skillet, pot or griddle/grill. They heat evenly and cook better than anything. I have the grill/griddle. For me, it is the most versatile piece. It grills anything, and I use the griddle side for multiple things. But sometimes, people have trouble keeping them in good shape. Here are a few things to remember. Rinse with hot water to clean, do not use soap or abrasive cleaners. Before cooking apply vegetable oil to the cooking surface. Then slowly bring up to the cooking temperature of the pan till it is preheated to desire temperature. Avoid putting on very cold food, as this can promote sticking. Store your cast iron in a cool dry place.
Don't use sharp utensils with the cookware or wash in a dishwasher. Do not let it air dry as this promotes rust. If food sticks to the surface of your griddle or skillet, or you notice a dull, gray color, you may need to re-season your cookware.
TO RE-SEASON CAST IRON GRIDDLE
Wash the cookware with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush. (It is okay to use soap this time because you are preparing to re-season the cookware.) Rinse and dry completely. Apply a thin, even coat of melted solid vegetable shortening or vegetable oil to the cookware (inside and out). Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of oven to catch any dripping.Set oven temperature to 350°F - 400°F. Place cookware upside down on the top rack of the oven. Bake cookware for at least one hour. After the hour, turn the oven off and let the cookware cool in the oven. Store the cookware uncovered, in a dry place when cooled.
This information comes from the Lodge Mfg company. They are the leading manufacturer of Cast Iron Cookware. For more information and recipes visit their website. http://www.lodgemfg.com
They also offer a free catalog of their products and accessories.
Till next time...... 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Banana Cream

On these lovely spring mornings a brunch always sounds good. Get some friends together and enjoy their company. I am really tired of the Egg and Sausage Stratas, that everyone seems to serve. They are easy, fast and can be made ahead. But here is a new idea. Make some  banana stuffed french toast and serve it with some Banana Cream. Yes, it has a few calories, but most things that are really good, have calories. This is maybe a once or twice a year thing. So splurge a bit and exercise an extra hour tomorrow.

Banana Cream
1 small ripe banana
1 cup of heavy cream
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
To make the banana cream, mash the banana well with a fork or potato masher.
Put plastic wrap over the bowl and put in freezer while you whip the cream. Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat it with an electric mixer till it has soft peaks. Add confectioner's sugar and beat until it stiffens a little more. Then beat the banana into the cream on low speed. Cover and refrigerate. 
Make the french toast and keep it warm in a low oven. When ready to serve put a scoop of the banana cream on top.
Till next time.......

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spring Punch

If you are having a spring or early summer party and you need a beverage. This is the recipe for you. It is fast, easy and takes just a few ingredients.

Spring Punch
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
1 cup orange juice (2-3 oranges)
3/4 cup thawed pineapple juice concentrate, thawed
2 quarts ginger ale, chilled
In a saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes; remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon, orange and pineapple juices. Refrigerate. Just before serving, combine with ginger ale in a large punch bowl. Yield 16-20 servings (3 quarts) or 12 one cup servings.
I think you will be pleased with the citrus freshness of this punch.
Till next time......

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cleaning Solution

Spring is here and so is spring cleaning. There are carpets that need shampooing, windows that need washing and cupboards that need cleaning. There are so many cleaning solutions that you can make at home to save money. In this economy, we are all looking for ways to save a few pennies here and there. "Heloise" gives tips every so often and this all purpose cleaning solution comes from her. When you are using an ammonia cleaner ALWAYS use rubber gloves and NEVER use ammonia and bleach together, or with any detergent containing bleach. It creates a toxic gas that is harmful to breathe.



General Cleaning Solution
1/2 cup nonsudsing ammonia
1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
1 tsp liquid dishwashing detergent
Put all of these ingredients in a bucket and fill to the one gallon mark with warm water

This good all purpose cleaning solution is safe for most surfaces; according to "Heloise." Happy cleaning and don't forget those windows. Make sure they don't have any streaks.
Till next time........

Monday, May 2, 2011

Interesting .......

While I was out shooting photos the other day, I came across this metal. I love textures so of course, I had to snap this one.










Here is a hook that caught my eye right away. Yes, I was around some machinery. Some of the different things you see will draw you right in. Whether it is  machinery, peeling paint, or grates that have been tossed aside. Can you imagine the fun I would have in a junkyard! Chuckle!
Till next time.......