Friday, July 31, 2009


Just wanted to share these pictures with you. We have lived in our house about 30 years, and these plants are about 10-15 years old. But what i find fascinating about them is the flowering. They just started doing these a couple of years ago. They are real pretty, but the blooms only last a week and then there are gone.
Just thought you'd like to see these.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Noodles with Chicken in a Alfredo Sauce

This was our dinner tonight. It was goood!!!

I had some left over BBQ chicken from last night so I shredded it . Boiled some egg noodles according to package directions.

Drained noddles, added bottled Alfredo sauce, then added noodles mixed well, and added left over chicken.

This could be done with chicken, ham, pork, beef anything that is left over.

Good way to stretch your money and not waste leftovers. I also served a vegetable to go with it , it was a very rounded dinner.

Candy Wrappers

Candy Wrappers you ask ....
What are Candy Wrappers

Well,I'll tell you .. They are a unique way that my daughter Jennifer has come up with to wrap a 1.55 ounce size Hershey bar. Or any size or shape candy bar for that matter.

These are just 2 examples of the graphics you can choose from, she has many and she designs them all custom to your order.

What you are actually purchasing is the template and you can add any text that you fancy.

You can then print as many as you need, the only thing she asks it that you do not resell them or the digital file which they come on .

They are great for birthday party invites, baby showers, wedding, any occasion at all.

You can see more examples and if you have any questions you can email her. She would be glad to help you with your order.

Take a look , I think you will be impressed.

Backpack Buddies

These backpack buddies are perfect crafts for back to school. Kids will love to hang them on their backpacks or share them with friends.
What you'll need:
Pen or pencil

Key chain of backpack clip

Plastic cord

2 large foam circles about half dollar size


White craft glue

Wiggle eyes

Feather boa or yarn

How to make:

1. Using one of your foam circles. trace a circle onto the cardboard and cut out. Cut the cardboard circle a little smaller that the foam circle, so cut within the lines you traced rather than on the lines.

2.Poke a hole near the middle of the cardboard circle with a scissors or a pen.

3. Cut a piece of jewelry cord about 12 inches long

4.Thread the cord through the hole in the circle.

5. Line up the open ends of the cord and loosely tie know with the key chain or backpack clip in the knot.

6.Glue the foam circles to the cardboard circle, one on each side of the cardboard. This will hide the plastic cord and the hole.

7.Line up the foam circle so they are even with each other, and apply slight pressure to flatten them close together.

8.Glue wiggles eyes on the front of a foam circle.

9. Cut a piece of feather boa about an inch or so long.

10. Apply white glue to the top of the head.

11. Glue feather boa to the top of the head.

12. Let it dry

Mexican Pizza

Sorry, i don't have a picture on this one , but trust me it's worth trying.


1- 16 oz can refried beans
1 pound ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 corn tortillas
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
8 tablespoons sour cream
2 roma tomatoes chopped
2 green onions chopped
1 4 oz can dices green chilies drained
1/2 avocado diced
1 tablespoon black olives sliced


1. Heat the refried beans

2.In a large skillet, brown the ground hamburger and stir in seasoning packet

3.Preheat oven to 350

4. Place a small amount of vegetable oil in a large skillet,Let the oil heat then place one corn tortilla in the skillet. After 15 seconds, flip the tortilla over and it fry for another 15 seconds. Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas, letting them drain on paper towels once they have been heated. When the tortillas have been drained, arrange them on a cookie sheet.

5. Spread a thin layer of beans on the tortillas,followed by a layer of beef,and cheese.

6. Bake the tortillas in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Slice the tortillas into wedges and arrange then on plated or a serving platter and garnish them with the sour cream, tomatoes,green onions and chilies,avocado and olives.

Personalized Pencil Toppers

"Hey, that's my pencil" You won't have to worry about that anymore with these personalized pencil toppers. When you pencil wears down, simply remove the topper and put it on a new one. Make an ordinary pencil something special . Use beads to spell out a name, nickname or favorite phrase.
What you'll need:

Pencil eraser heads


Alphabet beads

White craft glue

How to make it :

1. Place eraser head on a pencil

2. Put a little white glue around the base of the eraser head.

3. Wrap string around the eraser head,smoothing out the glue as you go. Wrap enough to cover most of the bottom half of the eraser head

4.Cut a a piece of string that is about 8 inches long.

5. Tie a knot in one end and string beads on from the other end. The knot should keep the beads from falling off the other ends.

6.Once all the beads are on, tie a knot after the last bead.

7.Apply some more glue to the string wrapped around the pencil head.

8.If necessary ,trim the long end of the string that the beads are on so that your excess is about 3-4 inches in length.

9.Wrap the excess string from the beads around the eraser head, adding more glue of needed and smoothing with you fingers as you go.

Thanks !!

Thanks Joanne and Roger . You are my first 2 comments . Wow !! That makes me feel great. I have not been doing this for very long, but your comments will keep me going to a long time.

THANKS AGAIN!!! Please come back for more.

Herb Dryer

I also like this idea. For all of you that grow your own herb's, here is an idea to dry them for further use.

It's merely a used frame, and some screen . It can be made to lay flat or hang.

They used 2 pieces of screen a little large than the frame and stapled one piece to the frame, and the other one they used eye hooks to attach on the front.

For hanging , just attach eye hooks on the back, and a piece of wire from one hook to the other, and twist tight.

To lay flat, attach small pieces of wood on each corner, to allow air to flow underneath.

Framed Jewerly Organizer

I saw this in a magazine, and thought what a great idea.

It is merely a new or used frame (we all have these around.) But if you don't the dollar store has tons.

Then they took a piece of plastic canvas and stapled it to the back of the frame.

I think that you could use window screen if you wanted. I thought that you could also use small hooks of some kind and hang your necklaces also.

Cute Huh?

Potato Salad with Country Ranch Dressing

This a great accompaniment to the Summer Breeze ribs. Oh yum this is going to be goood!!


3 pounds red potatoes, cut in 1 inch pieces

1 small red onion cut in wedges

6 cloves garlic minced

1 cup frozen whole corn

3/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1- 1oz envelope dry ranch salad dressing mix

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 stalk celery, bias sliced

3 hard cooked eggs peeled and chopped

1 avocado, halved,seeded,and chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh Italian parsley


1. Preheat oven to 425 Place potatoes, onion and garlic in a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil, toss to coat. Roast uncovered 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and browned.

2. For dressing, in a large bowl whisk together mayonnaise,vinegar, salad dressing mix,and cayenne pepper. Add roasted vegetables:toss to coat. Stir in celery,eggs and avocado. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve warm or chilled.

Summer Breeze Ribs

Don't these look yummy !! How bout these for your Labor Day BBQ. There are easy to prepare and believe me they are worth it.
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
4 pounds pork loin bake ribs or pork spareribs
1/4 cup yellow mustard
4 cups hickory or fruitwood chips
1/4 cup favorite bottled BBQ sauce
1. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, seasoned salt and chili powder. Brush the ribs with mustard. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture onto ribs. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours.
2. At least 1 hour before grilling soak wood chips in enough water to cover. Drain.
3. In a grill with a cover arrange preheated coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above the pan. Sprinkle some of the drained wood chips over the coal. Pour 1 inch of water into the drip pan. Place ribs, meaty side up on the grill rack over the drip pan but not over the coals, or use a rib rack placed over the drip pan. Cover and grill for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until ribs are tender, adding more coals and wood chips are needed.
4. Brush with the bottled BBQ sauce. Grill for 5 minutes longer.
Now those are some ribs !!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Italian Basil Tomato and Pasta Salad

This is a great lite idea for dinner and it's tasty too !!
Ingredients :
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablspoons Dijon style mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 gloves garlic minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup silvered fresh basil
8 ounces dried pasta
2 9 ounce packages frozen cut green beans
6 medium tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
1 cup sliced pitted olives
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
Directions :
1.For dressing, in a small bowl whisk together vinegar,mustard, pepper and garlic. Gradually whisk in oil. Sitr in the silvered basil Set dressing aside.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions:drain. Rinse with cold water:drain again.
3. Meanwhille,in a large saucepan,cook frozen beans according to package directions:drain> Rinse with cold water:drain again.
4. Toss one third of the dressing with the cooked pasta:place pasta in the bottom of a very large bowl.Layer ingredients on top of the pasta in the following order: cooked green beans, tomatoes, and olives. Top with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with the basil leaves,the Parmesan cheese,and parsley. Cover and chill for 4 hours.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bill's Woodworks

This is some of Bill's scroll saw cuttings. These are just a few of many. If you would like to look at more or purchase any of these you can contact me for prices and shipping information.
You can see more of his work at and you can contact me at for any information or questions you might have.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Customized Picture Frame

With school approaching, our kids are always looking for new ideas to decorate their lockers, books, backpacks,etc. I have found a few cute ideas. Hope they enjoy them!!
1. Paint four craft sticks yellow and four blue. (Any color you want really. School colors would be neat.
2. Place the yellow sticks in a square shape crossing them as shown in photo,glue in place.
3.Repeat for the blue.
4. Decorate the frames with stickers. Anything they want would be fine.
5.For a top hanging wire,cut 26 inch piece of purple wire. Make a coil at each end. Bend wire to form an upside-down U. Bend the wire around the frame.
6. For side hanging wires, cut copper wire into two 13 inch pieces.
7.Coil each end
8. Tape photo in place,hang from a magnetic clip.

Stamped Clock Face

Neat clock for a girl's or boy's bedroom.
Replace a clock's traditional number's with creative stamped images for a personalized gift. Use a letter opener to pry open the cover of inexpensive clock. Remove the arms, and stamp designs on the face. Then replace the arms and the cover.
Ok, I have seen these clocks in the stores for next to nothing. Wamart for example. This idea is cute, but I think that you could use your imagination and do just about anything you want.
The scrapbook paper they have now, would be one idea. Remove cover and replace with scrapbook paper matching the theme of the room .
Have fun with this and let me know what you came up with.

Mediterranean Pizza Skillet

This one is a winner !!
Ingredients :
3 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 Roma tomatoes chopped
1 -14 oz can quartered artichoke hearts ,drained
1 2.25 ounce can sliced pitted ripe olives , drained
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups romaine lettuce
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves shredded
Sliced crusty Italian or french bread toasted.
1. In a 10 inch skillet cook the chicken and garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 5 minutes or until chicken is browned, Stir in tomato,artichoke hearts,olives,Italian seasoning and pepper. Bring to boil reduce heat and simmer covered about 10 minutes. Top with lettuce and cheese. Cook, covered for 1 to 2 minutes or until lettuce starts to wilt. Sprinkle with basil and serve on or with bread.
Yum Oh !!

Grilled Skillet Peach Pie

As long as you have the grill fired up . Try this one !!
3 1/2 lbs. peaches , peeled, halved and pitted
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup snipped fresh basil
3 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 15 oz pkg rolled refrigerated unbaked pie crust (2)
Nonstick spray
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sugar
Directions :
1. For charcoal grill arrange medium high coals on one side of grill. Brush peach halves with canola oil. Place halves cut side down on grill for 3 minutes until lightly browned.
2. Cut peach halves into wedges, In a large bowl toss peaches with 1/2 cut sugar, basil,cornstarch and lemon juice.
3. Roll out each crust to a 12 inch diameter. Coat a 9 1/2 to 10 inch cast iron skillet with nonstick spray. Line the skillet with one of the crust. Place the peach mixture into the pie crust. With a sharp knife cut several slits on the top crust. Tuck any extra dough at the edges between the side of the skillet and the bottom crust. Crimp. Combine egg and water and brush the pie with the mixture. Then sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar.
4. Place the skillet on the grill over the empty side of the grill. Cover and grill for 1 hour or until crust is golden.
Cool and slice.

Fajita Beef Salad

This is another yummy grilled salad idea. You need to try this one ,it is so easy .
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
1/3 cup lime juice
3 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic minced
12 ounces beef flank steak
2 tablespoons powdered fruit pectin
2 tablespoons honey
6 cups torn mixed salad greens
2 small red or yellow tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 small avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and chopped
1.In a screw top jar combine the lime peel, lime juice,3 tablespoons water and olive oil. Cover and shake well. Pour half of the lime juice mixture into a small bow:stir in onion and garlic. Reserve remaining lime juice mixture.
2. Score the beef,in a diamond pattern. Repeat on other side. Place beef in a plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Pour the lime juice mixture over the beef. Close bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
3. For dressing in a small bowl gradually stir 3 tablespoons water into fruit pectin:stir in reserved lime juice mixture and honey. Cover and chill .
4. Drain beef,discard marinade. Grill beef on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals to desired doneness.
5. To serve, thinly slice beef across the grain. Arrange greens, tomatoes,and it desired the avocado . Top with beef. Drizzle each serving with remaining dressing.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Have an Eco-Smart Trash Day

Learn how to properly dispose of old stuff around your house. We all have stuff.

K.J. McCorry, owner of eco-officiency in Bolder Colorado, tell you how to get rid of your old stuff the right way

1.Paints, fertilizers, mercury thermometers,rechargeable batteries

Bring them your town's hazardous waste collection site for recycling or proper disposal

2.E-waste: Computer monitiors, printers, TV's,fax machines, laptops (all contain dangerous metals)

Return items to manufacturers that have take-back programs or find a nearby e-waste recycler at

3.Appliances: stoves, refrigerators, air conditioners,washing machines

Donate working items to charity. For broken appliances, call your town's recycling center, they may use them for scrap metal

How to Recycle Candle Jars

I love to reuse candle jars, but dislike the task of cleaning out the old wax. I found this tip that might help you and me.

Put the used jar in the freezer, and a hour later, you can tap the bottom a few times and pop the wax right out.

Better yet,stick to tea lights. As long as the package says that the metal cups are aluminum, you can pull out the used wick and toss the metal in the recycling along with your cans.


Travel Tip : No more Heavy Lifting

With all the traveling we are doing this summer, these helpful hints might help.

Overpacking can really harm your health. Last year there were more that 53,000 visits to the ER for luggage related injuries around the holidays accoriding to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission.

1. Choose wheeled luggage that right for you height. You shouldn't have to bend dowm to pull the handle .

2. Use a backpack instead of a shoulder bag for your carry-on.

3. Lift luggage with both hands, and bend at the knees.

4. Before grabbing your luggage, do a quick stretch=especially if you've been sitting in a car or on an airplane for a long time. Extend your hands high aboue your head,then bend down slowly and try to touch your toes.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lavender Sleep Tight Baby Oil

Try this on your baby, the next time he/she is having a hard time sleeping We all try different things that will help our babies sleep better maybe this is your answer.
1 tablespoon of dried lavender buds
3 cups of light olive oil or similar oil
This natural baby oil is delicately scented with relaxing lavender sprigs, which are sure to calm your baby.
Using a sterile bottle fill with oil and add the flower buds and allow to steep
Use a cotton bud to apply,avoiding the coarse flower sprigs(which settle in the bottom)
Please keep away from eyes and open cuts.
This would make a great gift for a new Mom ,as a shower gift .

Chicken-Brown Rice Salad

This is another way to use your grilled chicken. Cook up several pieces at a time and freeze and keep for recipes like these.

2/3 cup bottled fat free Italian salad dressing

6 small skinless boneless chicken breast

1/cup loose -pack frozen cut green beans

3 cups cooked brown rice or cooked Kasha,chilled

1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

2 cups shredded cabbage with carrot

lettuce leaves

1. Place 3 tablespoons of the Italian salad dressing in a small bow. Set aside remaining Italian salad dressing

2.Place chicken on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals. Grill for 12 -15 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink,turning once and brushing chicken with the

3 tablespoons dressing during the last 2 minutes.

3. Rinse green beans with cool water for 30 seconds:drain well. In a large bowl toss together beans,chilled rice,artichoke hearts, and coleslaw mix. Pour the reserved salad dressing over the rice mixture:toss to gently coat.

4.Remove chicken from grill, Slice chicken. Arrange lettuce leaves on 4 dinner plates. Top with the rice mixture and chicken slices.

Makes 6 servings.

Bath Bags

These are sooo cute !! Make one of these pretty bags for someone you care about,fill it with bath beads , lotions, or even homemade soaps. Use colorful washclothe or a pretty patternedmaterial, topped off with a dainty ribbon.
What you'll need:
Washcloth or square piece of material size of a washcloth
18-24" of ribbon or lace
Hot glue or sewing machine
How to make:
1. Lay the washcloth onto your work surface and fold in half.
2. Fold your length of ribbon in half.
3. Place the folded end of the ribbon inside the folded washcloth. You will place the folded end of the ribbon about 1/3 of the way down from the top of the washcloth, leave the folded end of the ribbon sticking out a little. The rest of the ribbon should be on a slant,coming out of the upper left side of the top of the washcloth, not straight up and down. This will allow for the ribbon to tie around the top of your bag when you are finished.
4. If you are using a sewing machine,pin up the side of the washcloth and be sure to capture the ribbon before sewing along the bottom and long side, leaving the op open.
5. If you are using hot glue,simply hot glue the bottom and open side and be sure to glue the ribbon end inside as well .
6. Carefully turn the bag inside out.
7. Fill with bath beads, bath salts,or handmade soap.
8. Tie the bag closed with your ribbon.
9. You can add a couple of small silk flowers or dried herbs to the tied ribbon as a pretty accent.

Mexican Fiesta Dip

Sorry I don't have pictures for this one, you will just have to use your imagination !!!

Ingredients :

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 16 oz jar taco sauce
1 16 oz container sour cream
1 8 oz package cream cheese softened
1 1 oz taco seasoning
1 16 oz package shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 tomato cubed
2 green onions sliced
1 2 oz can of sliced black olives

Cooking Instructions:

1. Crumble ground beef in a large,deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, mix in the taco sauce and set aside.
2. In a large bowl,mix the sour cream, cream cheese and taco seasoning mix. spread the mixture into a medium serving dish .
3. Layer the sour cream mixture with beef mixture,cheddar cheese and lettuce. Top with tomato, green onions and black olives.

Creative Kitchen Utensil Holder

See how to craft this unique utensil holder with a can,a magazine,and a little creativity.
What you"ll need:
Magazine pages
1/4 glue stick
metal or cardboard can
wooden balls to fit the top of the rolled paper tubes
(approx 3/8 inch )
Acrylic paints in desired colors
thick craft glue
coated color wire
To Make It :
1. Beginning at one corner of the magazine page, roll page diagonally around the dowel and glue corner.
2. Paint the wood balls. You will need one ball for each paper tube. Let dry.
3.Cut tubes to the same height as the container.Using craft glue adhere the tubes around the side of the can .
4. Glue a ball to the top of each tube.
5. Wrap the two bands of wire around the can and knot the ends together.
Cute and functional !!

Garden Sliders

These Garden Sliders would be great at your next card party.


1 15 oz can Great Northern or cannelini beans rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 gloves garlic minced

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning crushed

1 medium yellow summer squash cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

24 1/4 inch thick slices baguette

2 medium roma tomatoes cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

1 small cucumber into 1/4 inch thick

Small celery top sprigs.

Directions :

1.For bean spread, in blender or food processor combine beans, 1 tablespoon of the garlic and Italian seasoning. Cover and blend until smooth. Season with salt and ground black pepper.

2.To grill squash, toss squash slices with remaining olive oil. Place in a grill basket. Place basket directly over medium coals for about 5 minutes or just until squash is tender,turning once.

3. Spread one side of each bread slice with bean spread. Top half of the bread with tomato, squash and cucumber slice. Top with remaining bread slices, spread side down. Secure sandwiched with wooden toothpicks. Top with celery sprigs.

Makes 12 appetizer-size sandwiches.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Margarita Grilled Corn

This is a yummy one.
8 ears fresh corn in husks
4 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel (peel from 2 t0 3 limes )
2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
1/3 cup butter melted
1 teaspoon chili powder
Small limes optional
1. Carefuly peel back corn husks, but do not remove. Scrub ears with stiff brush to remove silks. Rinse ears. Pull husks back up around corn. Place in large pot,cover with water. Soak for 2-4 hours drain well. Peel back husks and pat corn dry with paper towel.
2. For lime salt,in small bowl stir together lime peel and salt. Brush some of the butter on corn > Sprinkle lightly with lime salt and chili powder. Fold husks back around ears. Tie husks tops with strips of corn husks 100 % cotton kitchen string.
3. For charcoal grill, grill corn on rack of uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 25 -30 minutes or until tender. turning occasionally. For gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium.Place corn on grill rack over heat. Cover:grill as above.
4. To serve, remove ties,peel back husks. Pass remaining butter,lime salt and chili powder and limes for squeezing.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Enameled Bottles

These bottles are beautiful, I have seen them in stores for alot more than you can make them at home. "It's Easy !!!
1. Buy dishwasher safe enamel paint and surface conditioner(Like Delta brand at craft stores)
2. Primer the glass by pouring a bit of conditioner into clean,dry bottles to coat the inside.
3.Pour out any excess. Once completely dry,coat the inside of the bottles with enamel,then prop them each upside down in a jar or on a paper towel to catch drips.
4. Check periodically for the first hour, wiping any excess from the lips. Allow to dry completely for 48 hours.


Today on my blog post, I am featuring " Abby" our miniature schnauzer. Abby is 7 years old and she has been with us since she was 6 weeks old.

I really was not in the "market" for a dog,but my daughter Jennifer and I "HAD" to stop in the pet store one day on a shopping trip. And there she was.!! She was very quiet and timid. So she went home with us that day and has been here ever since. She's a "cutey".

Yeah right until we got her home and then she showed her true colors. Abby and I slept on the couch the first night , then things got better .

She is very frightened of thunder and lighting so those nights she sleeps with us also. That's fun. For a small dog she really can spread out.

She travels well in the car and loves to go camping and investigate all the smells and sights.

Baby Potato Kabobs

I have not tried these yet, but they are on my list of "must try" . They look great and I bet they are delicious.

1 pound small potatoes, such as baby Dutch yellow,fingerling's,baby purple, and or new red potatoes.

4- 6 inch fresh rosemary sprigs

2 tablespoons oil

1/2 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon course salt
Directions :

1. Wash potatoes. In a medium saucepan cook the potatoes, covered in a small amount of boiling salted water for 12 -15 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool slightly.

2. Skewer the potatoes onto the rosemary sprigs or short metal skewers. In a small bowl stir together olive oil and snipped rosemary. Brush oil mixture over potatoes. Sprinkle with course salt.

3.Grill potato kabobs on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals about 5 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned, turning once. Makes 4 side dish servings.

I would think that you could prepare the potatoes the day before and grill when you are ready for them. Great item to take on a picnic or any out door event.

Mexican Seven-layer dip

This would be a great accompaniment to the "Mock Sangria on my previous post.
This can be made in advance and chill for 24 hours.
1 9 ounce can bean dip
14 cup picante or taco sauce
1 8 ounce container refrigerated guacamole ( or home made would be awesome)
1 8 ounce carton sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar or taco cheese
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons sliced pitted ripe olives
2/3 cup chopped seeded tomato
8 cups tortilla chips to crackers
1. Combine bean dip and picante sauce, spread into a rectangle about 9x5 inches on a serving platter making a layer about 1/4 inch thick. Next carefully layer avocado dip and sour cream. Top with cheese, green onions, and olives. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.
2. Before serving,sprinkle with chopped tomato. Serve with tortilla chips.

Mock Sangria

This drink is so refreshing, for these hot summer days.There is no alcohol in this, hence the name"Mock".


2 cups orange juice , chilled
1 cup unsweetened white grape juice chilled
1 cup reduced calorie cranberry juice
1 1- liter bottle diet lemon lime carbonated beverage, chilled
Ice cubes
2 cups assorted fresh fruit, such as oranges cut into wedges,thinly sliced lemon and or limes,pineapple wedges,seedless grapes,sliced and peeled peaches and last but not least strawberries halved.
Fresh mint sprigs


In a large bowl or pitcher, stir together chilled orange juice, White grape juice,and cranberry juice.

Add the lemon-lime drink, stir gently. Fill each of 10 glasses about two thirds full with ice . Divide fruit among glasses. Pour juice mixture into glasses. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.
Makes 10 6 ounce servings.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Easy Cobb Salad

Here is another summer recipe . This recipe calls for boiling your chicken breast, personally I would prefer my chicken cooked in a different way. Something about boiled chicken that does not sound appetizing .

What I suggest is the next time you BBQ chicken, make any extra couple of pieces, let cool and freeze. Then when you need it, it's already cooked and all you have to do it cube it up. This is what we do and it has worked out real well.


1 pound boneless ,skinless chicken breast

8 cups of salad green

2 tomatoes cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/4 cup light red wine vinaigrette

3 slices cooked bacon,crumbled

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

3 hard cooked eggs

Directions :

1. Heat a large pot of water to simmering. Add chicken ,cover and cook 18 minuted or until cooked through. Cool and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.

2. To serve, place chicken, greens and tomatoes in a large serving bowl and our vinaigrette over top: toss to combine. Sprinkle each serving with equal amounts bacon,blue cheese,and eggs.

Slow Cooker Recipe

Here is the main course to your slow cooker night.

Beef Tostadas

1 1/2 pounds boneless beef round steak
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup lime juice
3 garlic cloves chopped
1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
1 large onion chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 packaged tostada or hard taco shells
3/4 cup refried beans
1 1/2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1 cup Mexican blend cheese
3/4 cup salsa


1. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Place 3 tablespoons of the lime juice, the garlic ,jalapeno,onion,chili powder, cumin and cayenne in a slow cooker. Place beef on top and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours.

2. Remove beef to a cutting board and when cool enough to handle,shred with fingers or using two forks. Place shredded beef in a large bowl.

3. Strain remaining liquid in slow cooker over a bowl or measuring cup,discarding solids. Add strained liquid and remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice to beef in bowl and stir to combine. Cover: keep warm.

4. Warm tostadas shells and heat refried beans

5. Spread beans on shell and 1/3 cup beef . Top with lettuce, cheese and salsa.

Slow Cooker Recipe

I think that we can all agree that it's HOT !! But we still have to eat and who wants to turn on your oven to cook a satisfying meal that everyone will love. I have found 2 dishes that can be made completely in a slow cooker. Starting with dessert.
Apple Crisp
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 large granny smith apples,peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch wedges. (10 cups)
1. Coat 2 to 4 quart slow cooker bowl with nonstick cooking spray
2. Topping: In a small bowl, mix together flour,sugars,cinnamon,nutmeg,and salt. Add butter:work into flour mixture using a pastryblender or fingers until coarse crumbs form. Stir in pecans and set aside.
3. Filling: In a large bowl, whisk together sugar,lemon juice,cornstarch,ginger and cinnamon. Stir in apples;toss to coat.
4. Spoon apple mixture into slow cooker and sprinkle topping over it.
Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours or until apples are tender. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Easy, huh?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Designer Flip Flops

These are adorable!! Another idea for your next birthday party activity.

Cloth ribbon
Flip flops with foam sides and foam or fabric straps

1. Choose a trim and cut to length to fit around the outer wall of each sole with a 1/2 inch overlap. Cut separate pieces of trim for the and right side of the foot strap,as well (again the pieces should overlap about 1/2 inch where the ends meet in the center.

2. To attach the trim to the sole,evenly apply a line of hot glue to a 2 inch section of the foam,using the low temperature glue gun tip to quickly spread it to a width that's slightly narrower than the ribbon. Firmly press the end of the trim on the glued portion so that is sticks well,then smooth it toward the unglued section. Continue applying glue and attaching the trim in 2 inch increments until you've fully circled the sole.

3. Use the same method to attach the 2 pieces of strap trim. Allow the glue to dry for at least an hour before your child takes her newly decorated footwear for a walk .

Hyro Bracelets

This is soooo cute!! Hydro means water and that's just what makes the beads and glitter in these bracelets float and sparkle. If you are looking for a great summer birthday favor, this is it . The supplies listed below are enough to make three bracelets.

Materials :

2 feet of clear plastic tubing with a 1/4 inch inner diameter
3 inches of clear plastic tubing with a 3/8 inch inner diameter (sold in most hardware stores)
Ruler and scissors
Tiny beads or glitter and water

Directions :

1. To make each bracelet, cut 8 inches long piece for the 1/4 inch tubing and cut 1 inch length from the 3/8 inch tubing(for a fastener) Slide both ends of the 8 inch tube into the fastener, and have your child try on the bracelet for fit, If it's too big, take it apart and trim to size, remembering that it will need to slip over the hand.

2.Remove one end of the bracelet from the fastener. Use a finger to stopper one end while your child drops in tiny beads or pieces of glitter-or anything shes likes that fits in the tube and can be submerged in water.

3. When she's done, slowly fill the tube with water,leaving several inches of air so it has room to move. Carefully slide the free end into the fastener as far as it will go. This should create a snug fit that won't come undone without a good tug.

Cute, Huh? Let me know how this turns out for you .

Tin Can Luminarias

These I am going to try !! These inexpensive luminarias will set a festive mood on your deck or patio.
Remove labels , tops, and bottoms of the cans. They used 26 oz cans.
Wash thoroughly. Use an old fashioned beer can opener to make the triangular holes around the perimeter of the top and bottom of each can.
Wear gloves when and be careful of the sharp edges.
Cut the flaps of metal loosely around the rims of the can.
With a hammer and a sharp nail or awl, carefully punch additional holes in a pattern on the surface of each can .
Aim for simple, stylized patterns. They recommend practicing with a spare can. If the can creases, insert a block of wood into the can to provide support .
Place each can in a terra cotta saucer with a votive candle inside. For a taller base, glue a pair of saucers bottom to bottom.
Cute, huh?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Spring Orzo Salad

Now I think that this salad would be a good compliment to the Easy Cheesy Breadsticks.
What you will need:
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup each lemon juice and water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 pound orzo pasta
8 oz asparagus, ends trimmed , cut into 1 inch pieces.
2 cups bagged shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint,dill or parsley.
1. Whisk lemon zest, juice, water,oil,sugar,salt and pepper in a large bowl until blended. Add onions and let stand while pasta cooks.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, return to a boil and cook as package directs:stir in asparagus and carrots 3 minutes before pasta will be done.
3. Cook until pasta and vegetables are just firm-tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water:drain again.
4. Put in bowl with dressing. Add mint and toss to mix and coat.
Serves 8 people

Easy Chessy Breadsticks

OH My !! I can't wait to try these.
What you will need :
1 loaf focaccia about 8 oz and 12 inches long
olive oil cooking spray
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar or Swiss cheese
1. Heat oven to 400. You'll need a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil
2. Cut focaccia in half lengthwise with a long serrated knife . Cut each half into 1 inch wide strips. Place on baking sheet:coat with cooking spray.
3. Bake 12 to 14 minutes turning once, until lightly toasted. Remove from oven. Push sticks together(it's easier to sprinkle them this way): sprinkle with cheese.
4. Bake 1 or 2 minutes, just until cheese melts.
Yummy !!!

Long Car Trips

How to make getting there half the fun !! As we all head out this summer on our vacations, we need to make it as enjoyable as possible on that long car journey. Here are some tips from Jamie Jensen author of Road Trip USA
1. Take the road less traveled. Rather than hurling yourself down interstates jammed with fast food restaurants and billboards, take local roads. When you see something that piques your interest,stop the car for a few minutes. It's not a huge investment of time and it makes the journey as enjoyable as the arrival.
2. Slow it down. In order to explore those local routes, gives yourself a little more time,so you don't feel rushed. If you are driving across multiple states,Jensen suggests scheduling a destination for every other day. That way if you find something interesting you can slow down and enjoy it and then drive a little more at night.
3. Do research. One way to make a trip more fun is to investigate roadside sights before you leave.
4. Games on Wheels. If you're whizzing down a particularly dull bit of highway, you can always play the license plate game. Or you can sing old songs or play 20 questions.
5. Tune in. Rather than blasting the same CDs over and over again, tune your radio to the local AM stations and listen to the new of the community you are passing through. You may find out about a fair or a church bake sake you can visit along the way .
Good Tips !! I plan on using them the next long trip we take.

Stainless Bliss

Laundry stains , we all get them. Try this easy stain-removal tips published by Woman's Day magazine.

As soon as you get a stain,flush it with cold water, and then apply a portable stain stick. Once you are at home, here's a cheat sheet for the most common confusers.

Stain: Coffee or tea

Solution: Douse with water:apply white vinegar. Any remaining blotch is likely milk or sugar:apply a stain stick and let sit. Wash as usual.

Stain: Gum,wax,crayon

Solution: Hold an ice cube onto the offender and crack off what you can. Apply a stain remover like Carbona, let sit, then rinse in cold water. Wash as usual.

Stain: Mustard

Solution: Soak in 1:1 vinegar/water mix, then spritz with diluted liquid dishwashing soap. Scrub and rinse.

Stain: Deodorant

Solution: Apply stain stick and let sit for 30 minutes. Hand wash in cold water, then machine-wash.


Solution: Douse in cool water to remove as much of the stain as possible. Apply stain stick, let sit, then wash.

Stain: Ballpoint ink

Solution: Apply glycerin , then rinse in cold water. Apply liquid dishwashing detergent and rinse. Repeat until the offender is gone

Journal Jars

I need to share this adorable craft idea that my daughter Jennifer has made. It is a journal jar. This attractive jar is filled with thought provoking questions that help you with your daily journal entries.
The journal prompts help you fill your journal with interesting thoughts and answers questions that you might not have thought of on your own.
You can find these jars on
Check them out.They make great gifts. !!

Gussy Up a Bucket

I thought these would make attractive centerpieces. You can embellish them in any color to match your table.
Accent this store bought vase or a galvanized bucket .They have used a leather band , but you can use whatever fits your decor. They have used three dimensional silver dot stickers, to replicate the look of upholstery tacks.

Magnetic Memo Board and Tacks

I thought that was a very good idea. Help clean off counters with little notes and reminders.
A cookie sheet or a jelly roll pan, minus the dough.
Measure your pan and cut scrapbook paper or wallpaper to fit the inside of the pan.
Use a corner rounder to round each corner of the paper. Adhere the paper to the pan using double stick tape.
Back flat florist stones with colorful images,and glue magnets to hold your messages in place.
Great gift idea!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Company's Coming

We have all had this happen at one time or another. I hate when this happens. You think that your house is in good shape and then unexpected guests call and want to stop by and visit.

According to Judy Baier and Becky Beyer, home stagers in the Kansas city area, tell us how to whip it into shape before the doorbell rings.

Prioritize.. Tackle obvious messes in the rooms where guests will gather. First impressions are important, so get rid of jackets tossed on chairs and newspapers strewn on the table. Load the dishwasher.

Delegate.. Have your husband do a quick vacuum of high traffic areas, while your kids pick up stray toys.

Refresh.. Use wipes to quickly clean and deodorize bathrooms. Hang fresh towels.

Welcome.. Keep prepackaged cookie dough on hand and pop a tray in the oven before your guests arrive. Your home will smell delicious and you'll have a sweet treat to offer your friends .

Hope this helps the next time this happens to you .


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