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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Internet Inspiration

I love Pintrest. LOVE IT! There are so many creative people out there and they have great ideas. I also enjoy "stealing" recipes from Facebook--again so many people willing to share. So here are a few new "inspirations" I had to pass along. Maybe once I get back on top of life I will be back to share more...right now we're just surviving.

Happy Tuesday!

Facebook Salsa
2 jalapenos
1 TBSP garlic (minced)
1 onion
1 bunch cilantro

1 TBSP lemon juice
8 plump tomatoes
1-2 TBSP sea salt (or regular salt)

Mix together and if not hot enough add more jalapenos or salt if needed.

Aunt Fanny’s Baked Squash
(Serves 6-8)
3 pounds summer squash (or a combo of zucchini and crookneck)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers or bread crumbs
2 eggs
6 Tbsp margarine or butter, divided
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and wash and cut squash into 1/2 inch chunks.Place squash and onions in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork tender. Drain VERY well. Mash with potato masher; add 1/3 c. cracker crumbs, ¼ cup butter, melted and eggs-mix well. Pour into 2 qt casserole dish. Top with remaining cracker and butter. Bake 55-60 minutes, until golden brown.

Facebook Chili 

2 lbs.  Hamburger
1 medium onion
4 cans of kidney beans
2 cans of pinto beans
2 TBSP chili powder
2 tsp. Cumin
1tsp of garlic powder
salt, pepper
1-2 jalapeno peppers cut, leave seeds in
3 cans of whole tomatoes
Add a bit of water if it seems too thick.

Facebook DOLE WHIP Pineapple Drink
2 cans (20 oz. each) DOLE crushed pineapple
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. lime juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

How to make it
Drain pineapple: reserve 2 tbsp. juice.
Set aside.
Place pineapple, lemon juice, lime juice, sugar and reserved pineapple juice in blender.
Cover and blend until smooth.
Pour into two 1-quart freezer zipped bags.
Store bags flat in freezer.
Freeze 1 1/2 hours or until slushy.
Stir pineapple slush gently into whipped cream until slightly blended in large bowl.

(I was not compensated for this post by Facebook or anyone else. These opinions are entirely my own. If you use these on your electronic mediums please give credit where credit is due.)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Summer Wrap Up

Bittersweet day as I get ready to send my oldest two to the random-scary-growing up world of tweens tomorrow, and while I am glad that summer vacation is coming to an end, I will always miss the lackadaisical time we've had. We just finished our annual "staycation" in a few of the cities around us. Ya know when you are poor because simple things really get amped up so they sound really cool. Actually we had a great last week of vacation. We visited lots of cool places and got some true family bonding in. I think I will have to preserve the memories here because it's going to be slim picking on fun and free time until December around here.

So before I go into the whirlwind of school, college, PTO, scouts, youth groups, late night classes and all else that I get the opportunity to balance over the next several months I leave you (and myself) with these highlights of Summer 2013.

1. The Canyon-we visited a few times this summer for breakfast and nature walks. I call it a nature walk because no one wants to "hike" with 5 children--at least no one here. The canyons are beautiful and peaceful and calm. Can't wait to visit again to see the fall leaves.

2. Smores in the backyard. Can't go wrong with food  around here, but the stories and games surrounding our campfire fun are unbeatable. We had a great time laughing and storytelling this year.

3. The Conservation Garden. I love this place. Lots to see, do and learn. We watched butterflies here and learned about all the amazing things we can grow in our backyard. Next project: Yard overhaul and re-landscaping of yard; and next summer the garden will include fruit of some kind.

4. Family Movie Night. We borrowed a projector, made a screen and watched movies in the backyard. Even movies we've seen before were way better outside on the very large screen (once a twin mattress cover). Renting movies was a great treat too-especially with Redbox codes (DVDNIGHT will get you one free night) and we also visited the Dollar movies to escape the heat.

5. Everyday Adventures. Maybe it was the need to suck up the childhood that is fleeting in our house, or the need I have to explore new things--but nearly every day this summer we did something fun--golf, laser tag, bowling, amusement rides, library events, water wars, treasure hunts, shopping, park visits and picnics were just a few of the adventures we had. It was truly a memorable summer.

6. Redecorated/Reuse/Repaint/Redo multiple project plans. This summer the hubs and I have painted 3 rooms, moved 3 rooms, refinished 5 pieces of furniture, redecorated 5 rooms and rearranged almost every room in the house. After nearly 6 years I can finally say that this house is finally feeling like "mine." The kitchen and table projects still remain much debated--and someday they may come to fruition. For now we are staying put and doing what we can to continue making our house our home. 

I do love summer, but am ready to get back into a predicable routine--yah, I know, boring, but reliable. Having only 1 kid all day will be a big change for me--it's almost "freedom" but not quite. I am sure I will find plenty to fill my time--and some peace & quiet may be a welcomed change.

I will never forget the fun times this summer--and if I do I now have a fancy new craft room/office where I can scrapbook all these beloved treasures. What memories did you make?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Funnel Cakes and Other Good Stuff

This summer I asked each of my darling children to set a goal for the summer--"Let's learn new things," I said with much enthusiasm. "Let's watch endless hours of TV," they thought. They didn't really say anything, but I am sure learning and summer vacation do not equate in their minds. Some of them wanted to learn how to build something--something ended up being shelves in a closet. One child has been obsessed with Popsicles--so we've made everything from star shaped Lime Margarita Popsicles to Pudding Pops. Another wanted to make Funnel Cakes! Yes, please!

We discovered Funnel Cakes at our local Arts Festival earlier this summer. They are delicious, deep fried goodness and a cheap, easy breakfast--so of course I was all in. Between reorganizing, redecorating and moving our house around I haven't done much else, but this morning I decided that if I was going to offer to teach my kids something--even if it leads to unhealthy eating habits--I needed to follow through and Funnel Cakes would be had!

This is a fun way to start the day! Or a great dessert--or "Welcome Home" treat--or "Welcome to the Neighborhood Treat"--or "Thinking of You Treat" get it!

Festival Funnel Cake

3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups milk
3 2/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
vegetable oil, for frying

1. Beat eggs and sugar together and then slowly add the milk and continue beating. Add the dry ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.
2. Pour batter into a funnel using your finger to plug the hole at the bottom. In a large frying pan (use one with a heavy base for frying), add 2 inches of oil to the bottom and turn on heat.
3. When the oil becomes hot, move your hand over the pot and slowly release your finger so the batter can start cooking.
4.Swirl the funnel around to make designs.
5.Brown on both sides--then immediately remove and drain well on paper towels.
You can top them with powdered sugar, jam, whipped cream, honey, syrup, peanut butter, fresh fruit, chocolate, caramel--just about anything is delicious.