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Showing posts from April, 2013

Sweet and Smoky Baked Beef Boats

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I needed something quick and filling for supper last night, and because it was cool and rainy all day and I had a headache most of the day, some comfort food was definitely needed as well.

I needed a few groceries, so while I was at the store I decided to pick up some fresh Bakery Club Rolls and some Chipped Roast Beef and Smoked Cheeses. What could be easier and less demanding than Baked sandwiches? Well, maybe a bowl of fresh fruit with granola with a cup of tea, but that would never work for my guys. :)

These are simple and quick and bake in about 15 minutes. They enjoyed them except for a few minor details. One of them said there was too much roast beef, another didn't like the crusty bread. But the rest of us really enjoyed them! And I liked the crusty bread. :) I guess it's a good thing that not everyone enjoys the same things. It keeps life from getting boring and teaches us to be flexible. :)

You can add Spicy to the title of the one I made just for me because I als…

Ohio Weekend

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We spent a very short weekend in Ohio with family. In front of my brothers house, where we always stay, is a very large pond and I love to sit on the dock and watch the swallows as they dip and dive, eating bugs and gathering water to make their mud nests. I love to feel the breeze that is usually present and listen for the Spring Peepers and Bullfrogs. I like to walk around the pond and look for big fish, too. The kids like to fish sometimes, but no one did it this time. It was a beautiful afternoon and I was waiting there hoping for some pretty sunset pictures but the sky kept getting more and more overcast. So, no sunset pictures but I did get a few shots that I love of the neighboring farms. I love how they reflect in the water and how the hill envelops the homestead in it's embrace. I loved each of the editing processes so I thought I'd share them both with you :)  My Uncle raised his family on this farm and now his son and grandsons do the farming. I had a cousin who …

A Birthday, A Basement, and Random Things of Beauty

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Over the last month we've celebrated Shawn's 16th Birthday several times. Once with just our family, once in Ohio with my family,



and once with extended family and school friends. We rented a gym and they played some volleyball and basketball.


That's Shawn going for a spike! He came home a few weeks ago from school and said "Mom today we were playing volleyball and when I went up to spike it, all the girls on the opposing team ran screaming for the sidelines!" He had a big grin on his face and I believe he got a kick out of that. From what I hear he can really pound it. But I guess if you're 6'2" and have decent athletic ability you really should be able to do that.
 It's always fun to watch how your kids grow up from year to year. The character strengths that are more pronounced as they grow older and of course there is always the evidence too that our parental guidance is still needed :)

He loves action, is a loyal friend, has a tender heart…

Light Balsamic Tomato Feta and Onion Salad

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 Here is a quick, simple, and versatile salad that has lots of potential. It is also really, really delicious! I had about 3 cups of grape tomatoes just waiting to become wonderful and we were having company over for supper. I knew this would be enjoyed as a salad topper instead of a sugary dressing so I stirred it together in the forenoon and let it marinate till the evening. I've enjoyed it plain with avocados (shown above),  or with avocados over a bed of spinach for a quick but satisfying lunch. Sometimes I eat it just as is without avocados. And I've enjoyed it over a bed of Romaine.  I have yet to try it on Bruschetta or over grilled steak but I think it would be amazing served like that! I like that it doesn't have sugar and I give tribute for that to the White Balsamic Vinegar that is used. It has a light and fruity flavor and makes this such a treat to have on hand. The Feta makes it special too. The juice that settles on the bottom as it marinates is wonderfu…

Pillowy Personal Cheesecakes

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This past weekend I was asked by a friend to bake a few things for the Open House she was having for her new clothing store. These were some of the goodies I made.



We also had another dinner at church after the services on Sunday so I made some more cheesecakes and put different toppings on them. Just to make it fun. :)

These little individual ones bake in just 15 minutes! Compared to the 1 hour baking and the 2nd hour cooling in the oven (no heat) I'd say these are more fun and less time consuming. Although they may not always be practical, they are a fun change from the big cheesecakes that I make.

The second batch I made I added only the whites of the eggs and the texture was different. Because of that and the sour cream they were lots more fluffy and it felt in your mouth like you were actually eating fluff.

The Lemon Curd on top with the blueberries was fabulous!

Preheat oven to 350°. Line cupcake pans with liners.

Nilla Wafers or Oreos
32 oz. softened Cream Cheese
1¼ cup…

Random Beauty...

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...all things Bright and Beautiful, all creatures great and small...  ...The Lord God made them all.
We had a few rainy days this week and I happened to notice this Finch on the bejeweled tree outside my kitchen window. So I had to stop and make sure it was properly appreciated. :)  This little beauty was singing, even in the rain. It was a reminder for me that I can still offer an encouraging song when life 'rains' on me. Someone who needs the encouragement might be watching. And in turn, I myself, will be encouraged, and the 'rain' won't seem so unbearable. I've enjoyed watching and listening to birds since I was very young.  I asked Serena to find our bird books and asked my hubby for his hunting binoculars so that when the migrating birds start passing through I'll be ready. :) I can usually hear (if the windows are open) when a different bird comes into the area by it's song. Then it's always fun to go outside and try to find it. Happy weekend…

Peppery Parsleyed Parmesan Oven Roasted Waffle Fries

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Yeah... that's kind of a mouth full but to make it easier you could say The Kitchen Cookies' 3 P Waffle Fries. Haha :) Cheesy! Anyway, we did some experimental grilling last evening and I thought something like this would go nicely with the steak. They are delicious! And just enough crunchy to make you want one more. We don't eat a huge amount of potatoes for various reasons but now and then I like to make something like this for a special treat. The children really enjoyed them, and our 2nd son informed me that the next time I make them I should make more of them! They usually look like a lot more when I start out but they really shrink as they bake. If you do not have a waffle cutter in your kitchen... go... get one! They are useful and handy and I love to use them for these fries and for fixing veggie trays. You know how most of the time on veggie trays they have big chunky radishes? Well... this waffle cutter is perfect for those big chunky things and you end up with…

Chocolate Bunny Cake with Caramel Buttercream Icing

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Happy 9th Birthday Serena! Yesterday was Serena's 9th birthday! Wow time sure flies! She wanted a bunny cake and I thought "oh good that will be easy!" Several years ago I had bought a bunny cake with those plastic pieces for the head, feet, and tail so I thought for sure this will be a quickie. Not to be. I looked everywhere for those plastic pieces but they were not there. I suppose this had something to do with the fact that I couldn't be accused of being a hoarder. ha :) I decided I can figure it out on my own because I didn't feel like heading to the store for plastic bunny pieces. Seemed kind of ridiculous. :) I had a bigger problem. No eggs in the house that were not hard boiled. Luckily there is a simple but decent chocolate cake you can bake without eggs so that's the one I made. Preheat oven to 350°. Place parchment or waxed paper (fitted) into the bottom of two 9 inch round pans that are non stick sprayed. 3 cups flour 2 cups sugar 1/3 cup coco…