Friday, June 27, 2014

Grilled Pepper Popper Stuffed Mushrooms

...and as you can see there is bacon involved.
Win Win!
...and they're here just in time for the July 4th grocery list!
A while ago I bought a jalapeno pepper for another purpose, then forgot to use it, and I had this cream cheese languishing in the fridge along with everything else for these beauties.
It's been a really long time since I've felt anything close to creative in the kitchen, I've been in something more akin to survival mode but I'm happy to say I think maybe that dismal period is ending! :) At least I hope so!
Anyway. Moving on to the good stuff.
These are easy and tastier than all get out and so much more pleasing with a little bit of zip in them thanks to the pepper versus a plain hunk of cream cheese in the mushroom, but, maybe that's just me. If that's how you prefer them, by all means, enjoy! :)
7 lg. white stuffing mushrooms
7 bacon pieces
4 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 Tablespoon dry onion flakes
1 Tablespoon bacon bits
3 Tablespoons shredded and chopped fine
cheddar/jack cheese blend
3 twists dried garlic and sea salt blend
½ lg. jalapeno pepper, finely diced
Mix well. Stuff mushrooms. Cut bacon pieces in half and wrap crosswise around mushrooms securing the ends with toothpicks. Refrigerate until ready to grill. These can be stuffed several days ahead. It's good to keep them refrigerated until the cream cheese and the bacon are thoroughly chilled after handling. This prevents the cream cheese from dripping out as much while the bacon is being grilled.
Before grilling brush with BBQ sauce.
BBQ Sauce:
1/3 cup Original Sweet Baby Rays
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons Sriracha Sauce
Mix well and use to baste mushrooms while grilling.
(I used maybe half of this mixture)
Grill until the bacon is cooked.
Have a great weekend!
 Lin and I are heading to the mountain with Shawn's class from school.
We're looking forward to a fun filled weekend! :)


Tuesday, June 24, 2014


She's my 'right hand lady' these days and she is learning to enjoy it. Laundry, cleaning, baking, helping outside, etc. She told me the other day "I bet you were so relieved when you had a girl! Haha I was indeed, but what she didn't think about was that the 3 boys before her did their fair share of these chores as well. :) And I distinctly remember them being relieved that we finally had a girl :) but I had to explain to them that they're stint of housework, etc will probably be traded for real jobs before she can take over. :)
She adores her pony.
...and keeps him sharp with the 'tricks' his former owners taught him. I declare he smiles when she rides him. I think it makes him happy too!


"Endless Summer"
It's the season my Dad always wished for here on earth and is now enjoying up in Heaven. :)

 I recently hosted a Garden Party for the ladies and girls from church and we enjoyed it a lot! Alas I didn't take many pictures that evening but can assure you it was lovely with candles burning at twilight and friends gathered to sit and chat and enjoy good food. One thing I especially enjoy just now is the honeysuckle!! How does one photograph the scent of honeysuckle?! Well, yes, of course it can't really be done but it is absolutely amazing to sit outdoors on a warm Summer evening at twilight with a slight breeze that is heavy with that scent. I've discovered a way to prolong it perhaps by burning honeysuckle candles from (Walmart) outdoors near where I sit . Heavenly! 

 Enjoy your evening!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Chocolate Ganache Strawberry Pie

Or just simply "Chocolate 'Covered' Strawberry Pie".

Either way it's delicious! Even the big guy that hates tasting new/different food gave a thumbs up! :) When I told him what I was planning to make this he said, "Oh don't! Why would you ruin a good thing?!" But he loves chocolate covered strawberries so this was an easy thing to get him to taste.
It's a really quick way to dress up a classic, and the Ganache is super yummy!
¾ cup strawberry danish dry mix
 2 cups water
  fresh strawberries, washed, hulled
1 teaspoon butter

Combine dry mix and water in a saucepan and and stir with a wire whisk over medium high heat until it comes to a boil and is thickened. Add the butter and whisk it in. This gives it a smooth silky texture. Allow to cool completely.
For the Ganache use your favorite recipe or try the one that I used. I don't always add the Karo and vanilla. It is yummy either way.

4-8 oz. milk chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon light Karo
½ teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup heavy cream

Place the first three ingredients into a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat the heavy cream till bubbles form around the edges. Pour over the chocolate chips and allow to sit for a minute or two. Whisk until smooth and allow to cool and thicken a little before pouring into baked 8" pie shell.

Place a layer of same-ish sized strawberries on their tops over the ganache and press them down slightly. Spoon some Danish over them and if they are small add another layer over top and more Danish. Top with Whipped cream and a drizzle of ganache.



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Zucchini 'Pasta" with 3 Cheese Cream Sauce and Roasted Vegetables

 I had a nifty kitchen gadget to try out and was hungry for roasted mushrooms and asparagus so I combined them all into a yummy lunch today. I'm not usually keen on zucchini but I enjoy it like this and the cream sauce was lovely. :)
1 medium sized zucchini
1 Tablespoon butter
Saute till tender, drain away the liquid. Toss with cream sauce just before ready to serve.
3 Cheese Cream Sauce:
½ cup heavy cream
1/3 cup each finely shredded
Asiago, Romano, and Parmesan cheeses
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the cream until bubbly around the edges. Gradually add the cheeses and whisk until melted. Add the pepper.
Roasted Veggies:
lg. mushrooms
Vidalia onion slices
olive oil
sea salt
grated Parmesan cheese
Cut desired amount of vegetables and toss with oil, sea salt, and Parmesan cheese. Spread onto a non stick sprayed cookie sheet in a single layer. Roast at 400° for 20 minutes.
Assemble and enjoy!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Lancaster Sunset

It's been a beautiful day!
The weather was perfect and we
 had a relaxing Father's Day. The
boys were busy doing there things tonight 
and Serena spent the evening at Bible School
so Lin and I chose a spot to watch the sunset. :)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Grilled London Broil & Some Catching up

Grilling season is here and I thought it would be nice to grill up some of the yummy grass fed steaks we had handy. It's simple but tasty and goes perfectly with a salad and fresh strawberry lemonade.
1 cup water
¼ cup white vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
6 turns of dried garlic and
sea salt crystals
½teaspoon each of cumin and chipotle chili powder
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of stevia
2¼ lb. London Broil
Combine ingredients for the marinade and place into a gallon sized Ziploc bag. With a fork poke holes in both sides of the steak and place into bag with marinade. Refrigerate several hours turning a few times to make sure both sides absorb flavor. Allow to come to room temperature before grilling.
Grill over high heat until both sides are seared then reduce heat until internal temperature is (this one was around 140) remove from the grill and cover with foil for about five minutes. Enjoy!
Busy is what we have been the last while. Getting all the kids through those last few weeks of school is not always easy. No one is really in school mode anymore when the weather turns warm and beautiful and the ball season starts. But still there are those last few assignments that won't go away on their own. Thankfully, that's over and the Summer is ahead of us for fun things.
When I think back to a year ago and the Summer we knew we were facing with my FIL ill with cancer I feel ever so grateful that we are not expecting a repeat of that time. Well, really, a repeat of the last whole year would be overwhelming what with my Father also ill with cancer and passing on in March. How very much we miss them both! And grief is something that everyone does different. And because we are human sometimes we misunderstand others in their grief, or they us. So thankful God is always their helping us forward and up.
A couple of weeks ago we went to mountains just for a break in routine. We all love it up there this time of the year when everything is fresh and green. We had a lovely time!

We came home and resumed our push to the end of the school year and graduation for our oldest son.
 Some days I still feel on the wisdom level of a 20 year old. And please, if you're 20 and you're reading this I mean no offense. Just let me make you aware that there is much to learn and most likely unless you have children you haven't learned it yet. :) How can it be that I/we have a child out of High School?! I like to look back and think about our parents and how they were (looked, acted, etc.) when they were the age I am now and think about what I thought of them and how I perceived them to be and I wonder will my kids ever do this? Does anyone else do this?
My sister Becky and some of her family came for this special occasion and we so enjoyed our time together!
Rachael, Becky, yours truly, and Trisha
My nephew Jordon has been an inspiration and a true friend to Andre and so it was doubly special that he was here. :)

And he has a date set in September with the lovely Trisha. Now if I could only persuade them all to move to Pa my world would be ever so much closer to perfect! :)
Have a wonderful afternoon!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I Love You!

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness."