Monday, April 30, 2012

Come Home by Lisa Scottoline......

I just read a good book over the weekend. It's called "Come Home" by Lisa Scottoline. She has a way of weaving intrigue into her stories that keep you wanting to read more. This one is about a blended family, a divorce, four  stepchildren and a boyfriend who seems to be the one with a level head and keeps perspective on the whole situation. One stepdaughter appears to be hateful, another seems to be a diva looking for attention and believes her father was murdered. The Mom in the book has to bury the past before she can move on, to a new future. Her struggle with the past and the murderous path of intrigue that pursues will keep you wanting to know more about these families. This is a must read. The author does not let you down in this new book.
Till next time......

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium

This is my friend Angus. He is resting against an animal skin at the Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium's stuffed animal museum. It made him a bit uneasy to see all these "stuffed" animals around. So he decided to just rest and wait for me by the door. He didn't want to become a bear skin pillow! No Sir!!!
This animal skin was on a "touch" table where you were encouraged to pick up and feel the different items.
 This is Angus being a bit of an imp or maybe he is just being a boy and climbing on everything! He actually got to see some deer and elk at another place we visited. For someone so young, he is getting quite the education.
Up on one wall was this prairie dog, standing up to greet us. It was an amazing place to see all these fish and animals. We had such a good time and hope you will go see this educational and fun place..

21502 West Highway 31
NE 68028 Gretna
Tel.: 1-402-332-3902 FAX: 1-402-332-5853
Till next time.....

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sunrise on Melia Hill Inn B&B...........

I just got back from vacation and one of the highlights of my stay was the sunrises. Although I had cloudy weather a lot of the mornings, I was able to sneak in a few sunrise photos.
Another highlight was a delicious broccoli and egg quiche that was served to me for breakfast. So good! My hostess was so generous, as she was willing to share the recipe with me! No, I will not be posting it here as that would be crossing a boundary and giving away her trade secret. If you want to taste it, you will have to book a stay at Melia Hill Inn B&B, in Gretna, NE. I'm sure if you ask, Mary Ann would be happy to make it for you. Don't forget to check out my  other blog for more info about the Melia Hill Inn B&B,
Till next time.....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Black and White Photos....

There is something so cool about black and white photos. Dramatic comes to mind. I hope to take more photos like this in the coming week.
Till next time.....

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ham and Pickle Appetizers.......

Do you ever want a little bite of something different. These little appetizers are so easy to make and can be done ahead of time.
Ham and Pickle Appetizers
8 kosher dill pickles, patted dry (or sweet gherkins)
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 ounces thin-sliced beef, pastrami or ham
Spread or pat cream cheese around each pickle.or spread on meat. Wrap 2 sheets of meat around each pickle. Refrigerate pickles overnight, slice before serving. These are so simple and so good.
Till next time.....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vacations and Vineyards..........

Sometimes you dream of taking a vacation to Napa Valley's wine country or maybe to Disneyland. Then reality sets in and you realize you don't have to go far from home to have a nice vacation. You pick a place close to home and then look for all the tourist attractions in that area. I plan to take a four day mini vacation and my days are packed with things to do! Hopefully, I will have enough time to do it all. How far away am I going.....probably about 15 miles from my home and then little 6-8 mile day trips from there. It's amazing what all there is to see. Why the photo of grapes, well, I am going for a wine tasting at a local vineyard. Who needs Napa Valley!
In Austria, Sturm is the semi-fermented wine from the first grape harvest of the season and comes in red or white. It is a delightful drink.
Till next time.....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Soap Carving..........

As kids, we used to make soap carvings. You can make them as plain or fancy as your creativity allows. You can use your imagination or look in a book for a picture you would like to carve. Some easy ones to start with are whales, dolphins, birds, cars and boats. Flowers, ships and bridges get a bit intricate but are lovely. This is a book on soap carving for children of all ages. Soap carving isn't as hard as you might imagine. You don't waste soap; as you can always use the scraps for washing your hands or soaking some laundry.
You need to use Ivory soap as it is soft and easy to carve. So on the next rainy day, dig out a bar of Ivory and let your imagination run wild.
Till next time.......

Monday, April 9, 2012

Gram's Bread Stuffing......

One of the first recipes I got from my Gram when I was getting ready to be married years ago; was this bread stuffing recipe. I love stuffing, but I had no idea how to make it. So her recipe was a priceless piece of information for me. Over the years, I have found I like sausage in my stuffing and I like to use Pepperidge Farm Original White Bread for the bread cubes. If you have a family member who can't eat onions; adding dried cranberries, chopped mushrooms and English walnuts are a great addition to the stuffing. It only takes about a 1/2 cup of each. There is no salt in this recipe; as the bouillon or broth adds enough salt.
 Bread Stuffing
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups finely chopped celery
1 1/2 cups melted Swift’s Brookfield butter (any brand will do)
16 cups dry bread cubes  (Pepperidge Farm bread)
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

4 cups water with 2 bouillon cubes or 4 cups broth from cooked giblets.

Brown the onion and celery in butter in a heavy skillet. Combine with bread cubes and seasonings. Pour on the broth and toss lightly to blend. Bake in 350 degree for 30-45 minutes. Or stuff the poultry and cooked to desired temperature for stuffed poultry.
Till next time......

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Homemade Rolls for Easter........

If you are thinking about buying rolls for Easter, why not try the frozen dinner rolls. They are little nuggets of frozen yeast dough; a little smaller than a golf ball. You let them thaw for a few hours and rise like the photo (3-4 hours). Then you bake them for 17-20 minutes and you have these wonderful homemade rolls and your house smells yummy! What could be better! I used the Generic brand from the grocery. They are every bit as good as the more famous brand of frozen bread dough.
Till next time.....

Friday, April 6, 2012

How to Care for Blackberries and Raspberries.

If you are like me, you have spent good money on Blackberries and Raspberries this winter, only to find mold on those berries at the bottom of the container. So my berries just doubled in price,  as half of them had to be thrown out!!
This tip on how to keep the mold at bay comes from Cooks Illustrated test kitchens. Rinse the berries in mild vinegar solution (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water) before drying them thoroughly and then storing them in a paper towel lined airtight container.

This is one tip, I'm going to try for sure!
Till next time.....