Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Food Pantries.....

With school out, the food pantries are being hit hard for food, toiletries, paper products and soap. If you can spare a $ or several $$"s, go to the store and pick up a few items. They really need your help. It doesn't matter where you live, all the pantries need your help.
It would be great if all the pantry shelves were stocked like this one or even better. Even one item helps. If 100 people give one item, that's 100 items for the pantry. Do what you can, many people use the food pantries. If you can't give your money; give your time, at one of the local pantries in your area.
Till next time......

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Contemporary Statue.....

I was privileged to go to a Fiber-Art exhibit at the Jewish Community Center in Omaha, Nebraska. There were two full walls of amazing art work. Several  of them, I really liked. After looking at all the very creative Fiber-Art pieces displayed, a statue caught my eye. So I wanted to share it with you. Hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I did. I would have shared some of the Fiber-Art pieces with you, but for that, I need the artists' permission. Perhaps next time I will see the artists and be able to share their talent with you.
Till next time....
Photograpy by KarenStiehlOsborn


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Peanut Butter Clusters......

I am asked to take something to a group picnic sometimes and I'm never sure what to take. It just seems a lot of times, the children of the group are kind of forgotten. So once in a while I take cereal clusters. They are easy to make, take only a few ingredients and are relatively healthy for the children.  (Adults like them, too.) I have several different recipes for cereal clusters, so I can vary them a lot.

Peanut Butter Clusters
11 oz peanut butter (milk chocolate chips)
2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 cup Crispy Rice Cereal
1 cup miniature marshmallows
34 cup peanuts (unsalted roasted, chopped)
Microwave peanut butter and milk chocolate chips in a large glass bowl on high for one to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in peanut butter until well blended. Stir in rice cereal, miniature marshmallows and chopped peanuts. Spoon mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls evenly into miniature paper candy cups. Chill one hour or until firm.

These clusters are something the children can make as well, with supervision. It's perfect for a rainy day project to keep the children busy and happy.
Till next time......

Monday, July 22, 2013

Olive Garden & Red Lobster Products.......

We've all enjoyed the soup and salad at the Olive Garden and the Chesapeake Bay Cheddar Biscuits at the Red Lobster. Well, guess what? You can now buy some of their products and have them at home.

The Cheddar Bay Biscuit Mix is now available at Sam's Club. That's right! You can buy it and make them at home. There are 3 packs of mix in the box. Each pack makes 10 biscuits. I know.....run right out and buy a box, right!!  Oh, and don't forget to brush them with garlic butter when they come out of the oven. Very important!
The next item is Olive Garden's Italian Dressing. Who knew you could buy it at Sam's Club? If you are an Italian dressing fan and enjoy the dressing from the Olive Garden, here's your chance to buy it by the bottle and enjoy it. Remember, as with any salad dressing, a little goes a long way. Don't douse your salad in dressing, it really spoils the taste of the salad.
Till next time.....

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline......

This story starts out with Bennie Rosato's identical twin sister stealing her identity and taking her place at work. Bennie owns a law firm and is quite well to do. Her twin drugs Bennie and buries her alive in a box. After a night of terror Bennie escapes from her underground nightmare. But because her twin stole her ID, her car, and her purse, Bennie has no way to identify herself to authorities. From that point on it is her struggle to regain her identity and to stop her twin from ruining her business and stealing her money. Not an easy thing to do since her twin looks exactly like her and has been living in her home and wearing her clothes. Bennie has nothing but borrowed clothes that make her look more like a hooker than a lawyer. Bennie goes to some extreme measures to prove who she is. This is another fascinating and mystifying story from Lisa Scottoline with more than one twist to it. Do take the time to read this book.
Till next time.....

Friday, July 19, 2013

Witness by Nora Roberts......

This is the story of a young girl, just sixteen years of age, who has been dominated by her mother. To what she eats, wears, studies and what she will be when she grows up. The Mother goes out of town and the young girl rebels. She meets a girl at the mall, they become friends and she proceeds to buy what she wants, clothes, make up, music, etc. She cuts and dyes her hair and agrees to make false IDs to get into a nightclub. That's where her trouble starts. The two young girls meet the owners of the club and after several "free" drinks; agree to go to one of the owner's home. They have drank a lot and continued to drink a bit more. The evening went terribly wrong when she witnesses the murder of one of the men and her new friend. She realizes her life is in danger and runs. The book jumps twelve years ahead where she is living the life of a recluse under an assumed name. The Police Chief takes an interest in her and decides there is more to her than what appears to be true. As he gets to know her he realizes she may be in trouble. From there the author takes you on a path to see how she destroys the people she is running from. Since she is a genius with a photographic memory; she is capable of many things with her computer. She is quite cunning in what she does to bring down this organized crime unit. Yes, the Police Chief and her have a relationship that is at the very least, very trying, but he doesn't give up on it. This is a great read and will definitely keep you interested in the story.
Till next time......

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Olive Garden.........

I had lunch today with some of my friends at the Olive Garden. They have a Chicken Gnocchi soup that is to die for. Their lunch special is all you can eat soup and salad for $6.99. So you really can beat it.


This is the Chicken Gnocchi soup that I had. It was so good, I had two bowls of it! Can you imagine that? I seldom have seconds on anything, but the soup is so good. It had lots of little pieces of chicken, spinach, carrots and nice sized gnocchi. Just yummy!!
We also had all the tossed salad we could eat and nice warm bread sticks. The salad was full of lettuce, hot peppers, olives, onions, tomatoes and topped off with grated Parmesan cheese. What could be better than that. We had a wonderful time.
Till next time.......

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Beach House by James Patterson......

I just finish a great book today. The name of it is Beach House by James Patterson. The story starts off on the beach. One of the residents on the beach is throwing a huge posh Memorial Day party for the elite, celebrities and a few friends. But one of the valet men goes for a break on the beach and turns up dead. His death is ruled an accident; saying he went for a swim in turbulent water which accounts for his bruises, etc. But his brother and grandfather say there is no way he went for a swim in turbulent 50F degree water. They insist he was murdered. The story is how the two of them decide to prove he was murdered. They find out that everyone seems to be involved in some kind of cover up. The question is....what are they covering up and why. Was the young man murdered and do the two of them prove he was murdered.  Or are they just two bereaved family members who can't accept the young man's death was an accident? Do they ever find out what the cover  up is all about and who all is involved? It seems at every turn someone else is involved the cover up.   
You really must read this book.
Till next time......

Tomatoes.........

 I looked at the garden the other night and things are growing so fast, it is hard to keep up with it all. I saw string beans on the vine, cucumber blossoms and the tomatoes are doing great. I can hardly wait for the nice red tomatoes!
With all the little green tomatoes, it looks like a bumper crop to come.
Till next time......

Monday, July 15, 2013

Flowers.......

I love all the colorful flowers in the summer. If we just could have them without the temperatures getting hot. This is a miniature hollyhock. They are just starting to bloom and are so pretty. 
These are marigolds and as you can see, starting to bloom up a storm. Buds and flowers all over the place. What a burst of color they provide.
Till next time.....

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Clematis Arbor......


The clematis arbor is so pretty this year. I want to share a few photos with you. The blossoms are just gorgeous!


The center of the clematis is so colorful and intricate. I had such a good time taking these photos last evening.
Till next time......

Friday, July 12, 2013

The House on the Strand.......

I wonder how many of you have read books by Daphne Du Maurier. In the 1960's I read a good many of her books. I found one of her older books at a rummage sale and I just HAD to buy it. It was a stretch from her other books, but still interesting. This books takes you on the exploits of a man and his mentor through Hallucinogens. The hallucinogenic episodes take place in the 14th century and are the same for both men. Needless to say, they become obsessed to seek knowledge about the people and places of the time they were seeing.  There is a twist in the story several chapters from the end. Definitely not something you were expecting. Although this is not the type of story I would seek out, it did hold my interest. 
Daphne du Maurier was born on May 13, 1907, in London, England and died at age 81, on April 19, 1989, at her home in Cornwall, England. It was a great literary loss to be sure. You will find a complete list of her works at Daphne du Maurier Books
Till next time......

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Crab Cakes.......

Crab Cakes are such a delight to eat. Probably one of my favorite things. I find the simplest recipe for them is the best. The crab meat is so delicate and sweet in flavor. I don't know why anyone would want to mask it with unnecessary ingredients like; green or red peppers or onions. Just enjoy the sweet taste of the crab meat.

Crab Cakes
1 lb. crab meat, back fin or lump is best
2 slices of white bread
1 tsp Old Bay seafood seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
1 egg
1 tsp mustard
Break bread in small pieces and moisten with water. Mix all ingredients and form into cakes. Fry until golden brown.
This recipe comes from Hilda Crockett's Chesapeake House on Tangier Island in Virginia. So they should know what a good crab cake is. I've enjoyed this recipe a lot and hope you do, too. I have found  that crab meat is difficult to find except around the holidays in this area. If you live near a fresh seafood place you will have better luck.
Till next time......
 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Jewels of the Road....

When I am driving around in the country, some things just pull me like a magnet. This was one of those things. I just found it interesting.

This post was in the same fence area. I'll be out an about again when the humidity take a change for drier air.
Till next time......

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Doughnuts........

You get hungry for a doughnut so you go to the store's bakery. Most of the doughnuts you see are way overpriced. The next thing is, do they have the kind you like. Then you think, do I really want a doughnut. Of course you do! So go to the refrigerator section, buy a Pillsbury Buttermilk biscuit tin and make your own. There are 8 biscuits in the tin, so you get 8 doughnuts and 8 doughnut holes for the price of the biscuits. Cut out your doughnuts, heat the oil to 375F and fry away. Roll the finished doughnuts in sugar, cinnamon/sugar or dip them in chocolate ganache.  Dress them up any way you like. Now really, how economical is that? Do they not look as good as any doughnut you can buy and look at the money you save? You can use any biscuit dough you like, I just prefer the Buttermilk biscuits.
Till next time.....

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hosta.....

Our weather has been perfect for the Hostas in the garden. It's been hot, but with the right amount of moisture. The Hostas in the garden are thriving.
I ask you....could you want a prettier Hosta than this?
Till next time.....

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Perfect Hope.......

This is the last book in the Inn Boonsboro Trilogy by Nora Roberts. The Innkeeper (Hope) falls in love with the last of the three Montgomery sons (Ryder). In the first few chapters, there is a twist that might complicate the life of Hope. But you know early on, there are more twists to come later in the story  as that's the way Nora Roberts writes her stories. Their romance seems to go along smoothly until the second twist in the story. The interesting thing, is how Ryder chooses to handle this twist. The Montgomery sons are quick tempered and ready to handle things in a physical way. However, after thinking about it , Ryder decides on a much better course of action and solves the problem forever. You really need to read this book.
Till next time.....

Friday, July 5, 2013

Mimosa Bloom.....

The Mimosa trees are all in bloom now and their delicate blossoms are so pretty. It's really hard to get a nice photo of them as the wind is always blowing. It's take ten photos and hope a few are good.
As you can see, in this photo to the right, the wind was blowing. But you can't deny how pretty the blooms are, that's for sure.
Till next time.......

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Chili Dogs.........

What could be better on the 4th of July; than a chili dog. Take a bun, add some chopped onion, grated cheddar cheese, mustard, a grilled hot dog and some homemade chili. Yum! I've always said the best dog is a chili dog; at least for me it is. Don't buy that canned chili, have some respect for the hot dog and make your own chili. I keep a container in my freezer, so it is always there.
Till next time......

4th of July.......

Happy Birthday, America!

Till next time......

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lilies........

One of the wonders of summer, is all the beauty in a flower garden. These Asiatic Lilies are at their peak in beauty. You just want to keep them forever at this stage of their growth.
Just look at the intricate design of the center of this lily. Sometimes you just have to sit back and be in awe of such a design. Enjoy your summer and take time to see the beauty of nature and all it has to offer.
Till next time......

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Garden......

I was walking through a backyard garden last evening and I just had to take a few photos. It was so relaxing and beautiful. There was this adorable little bird house hanging from an arbor. What could be cuter than that?
Till next time......

Monday, July 1, 2013

Egg Strata for One.........


Sometimes you want a hot breakfast but everything is a casserole. You sure don't want leftovers for a week or more either. So here is the answer to your prayers. An egg strata for one! That's right, it fits in a small ramekin and is perfect for one hungry person.
Egg Strata
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup flavored croutons
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 slices of bacon, fried crisp
Small splash of Worchestershire sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fry the bacon crisp and cut up 1 slice for the egg mixture.
The second piece of bacon is to eat with the strata after it is done.
Whisk the egg, milk, Worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
Add the cheese, 1 slice of bacon, crumbled and the croutons. Let the croutons sit in egg mixture while the oven preheats to 375F. Pour into an individual ramekin. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
Till next time......