Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Picnic by the Pond: Crab Melt Loaf

(Photo by Taste of Home)
We had another picnic by the pond last night. No special occasion, but it was a nice evening and our meal was easily transportable.  I have been making this Crab Melt Loaf for years.  The original recipe states it can be made with tuna instead of crab and with a variety of cheeses.  Cheddar, Swiss and Monterey Jack are all good.  It also can be made using sandwich rolls or hamburger buns rather than with the loaf.  Last night I used some Portuguese rolls I had in the freezer, along with imitation crab and shredded cheddar for the seafood and cheese options.

I had also made a Rainbow Salad, which is easy enough to just describe.  You mix coleslaw dressing to taste, a bag of rainbow slaw mix, a can of pineapple chunks, drained, some sunflower seeds or sliced almonds, raisins or craisins, and, if you like, some chopped apple or pears.  I have also added blueberries and that is good too.

With a few potato chips and some cookies and freshly filled water bottles, we had our picnic.  It was sunny, cool and refreshing by the pond.  We are so blessed to have this little spot only five minutes from home!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Citrus Coasters

Here is a fun little summer project I found at the Purl Bee:  Citrus Coasters.  I have made two sets of these delightful little coasters as gifts; just couldn't resist making these.  In addition, my 8-year-old granddaughter made a set of them for her mom's birthday and is now making a set for me.  These are so easy, and so summery and cute!
lemon and lime

pink grapefruit and tangerine

orange and lemon

This is the packaging I devised for the coasters as gifts.  

Aren't these fun?  Hope someone else will enjoy this project as much as we have!

After the storm

Photo by Photos Public Domain
Well, tropical storm Irene is history.  Our area has experienced lots of flooding and washed-out roads, etc. but here at our home we fared well.  We did have some fairly heavy wind and rain here last night, but nothing earth-shattering.  The biggest casualty (that I know of) was that our clothesline came down.  Apparently when the wind blew really hard, it blew the tree the clothesline was hooked to, in the opposite direction and it pulled the hook on the other end right out of the house!  But it was easily fixed, and Mr. T managed to do so before he left for work.

Today is beautiful, sunny and breezy, and just warm enough.  We're so thankful for the wonderful way God brought us through the storm, and of course we're continuing to pray for those who've been severely affected by it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weathering Irene

Photo by Photos Public Domain
So far it has been rain, rain and more rain, and yet Irene, now a tropical storm, has not even officially arrived in northern New England yet.  This morning we lost power for about an hour and a half, and were so thankful when it was restored.  We've had some wind, but it could be (and may yet be) much worse.  It's felt like a different Sunday, as the decision was prayerfully made to cancel our church services for the day, but we are thankful for the safety we've had so far.  Only a little bit of water in the cellar!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Great garden veggies

Photo by Taste of Home
Here is a new-to-me recipe which I recently tried from an older Quick Cooking magazine:  Great Garden Veggies.  It's a simple but very tasty skillet side dish that makes wonderful use of fresh garden produce and is so easy to prepare.   Our zucchini didn't come up, so I bought squash at the grocery store for this, but it still came out very good.  If your garden is producing more zucchini than you know what to do with, give this a try!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chicken in Lime Butter

(Recipe from Taste of Home)
I promised to post some of the recipes I've been trying lately (or old ones that I use a lot but haven't posted before).  This is a new one I recently tried:  Chicken in Lime Butter.  I had some chicken tenders and was looking for a good and easy way to prepare them that might be a bit different.  This was easy and very flavorful.  I changed just a couple of things.  I used olive oil to cook the chicken in, and I used only about half the butter called for in the recipe -- that is, I used 2 Tblsp. as opposed to 1/4 cup.  Also, I used fresh chives from the garden.  I had cut a handful of them not realizing that the recipe called for 1/4 teaspoon!  I used them all and it still came out very good.  Life has been so busy and hectic lately that I can't even remember what I served with this, but I think it was leftover yellow rice and some steamed Swiss chard.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lemon Artichoke Romaine Salad

I don't think I've posted this recipe before, but it is a real favorite of mine.  Here's the link:  Lemon Artichoke Romaine Salad.

(Photo by Taste of Home)
I found it in a Light and Tasty magazine some years ago, and we really enjoy it.  The flavors are perfect with any Italian-type main dish.  I have served it to company with lasagna (or even pizza many times).  If you are looking for a side dish to perk up spaghetti, pizza, calzone, or any Italian meal, give this a try.  You may find it perks up your old standard Italian style menus.  Enjoy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bacon & egg burritos

(Photo by Taste of Home)

I've been trying some new recipes lately and have been wanting to share them.  This recipe for Bacon & Egg Burritos has been on my list to try for awhile, and I finally got around to it this past week.  These were easy to make and very delicious!  I didn't fry bacon, but just used some real bacon bits.  Instead of using bacon fat, I used a bit of butter to saute the veggies and eggs.

One could go either way with side dishes on this -- make breakfasty sides like home fries and maybe applesauce or fruit salad -- or dinner-type sides like rice and veggies.  I went the dinner-type route this time.

(Photo from Vigo-Alessi)
My preferred rice with any Mexican-type entree is Vigo Yellow Rice, available at most supermarkets.
  My local Hannaford store carries it, as does Walmart.  Walmart has it available in larger bags.  This rice has a nice authentic flavor but is not overpoweringly spicy.

For a salad, I love to serve  Fruit & Nut Tossed Salad with spicy foods.
(Photo by Taste of Home)

It has a nice light fruity flavor that complements Mexican foods so well.  I haven't tried it with curry, but think it might go nicely with curry-flavored foods too.

Hope these recipes provide inspiration for someone else!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Out for ice cream!

After our most recent picnic by the pond, we also took the girls out for ice cream at a favorite ice-cream place.  One of them had rainbow sherbet:
Mr. T and I had peanut butter cookie dough ice cream with a caramel swirl.

We really like the relaxing setting at this ice cream place.  Lots of trees and green grass.
I couldn't resist trying to get a picture of the shadows of the weeping willow branches and leaves against the Coke® umbrella.  It just looked refreshing to me!

A fun time on a summer afternoon!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Another picnic by the pond

A week ago Saturday, on a  perfect summer day, we took a little break from our busyness with another picnic by the pond.  This time we  took our two oldest granddaughters along.  We brought a simple picnic lunch of sandwiches, chips, and cookies, and water bottles.  Here's a view of the pond:

And of the leaves and clouds overhead.

We didn't see the heron this time, only lots of dragonflies and bumblebees.
A perfect day for a picnic!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Strawberry cross stitch

Many of my readers know that I collect strawberry items and that my kitchen and dining room pretty much have a strawberry theme.  Here is my newest acquisition.  I participated in a Christmas in July gift exchange at a favorite forum and received this in a parcel from my talented friend Fuchsia. 

Isn't it so cute?  Smiling strawberries, plus ladybugs and bees!  It is currently in a place of honor with other strawberry items on my hutch.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Our August garden

Here are just a few pictures of our early August garden.  The top 2 are taken from the balcony off the master bedroom, so that's why they have the "aerial view" effect.
This shows most of the garden.  No, it is not very big.

From left to right we have squash, green beans, tomatoes, lettuce, Swiss chard, and more squash.
The second half of the garden

One of the pretty squash blossoms.  This one had a bumblebee in it, but he flew out.
Last but not least, some of our marigolds.  We always plant marigolds along the edge of our garden.
I love this color combination!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Misty green summer morning

This morning I had my prayer time on the porch -- something I love to do in summer.  It was a misty, overcast morning and the varying hues of green that met my eyes were so restful and quiet.  I thought I would like to share some of what  I saw.

The misty green doesn't show up too well when the photo is taken through the screen.

Hope this conveys a little bit of what I saw, though.

On the porch table, I have a PEI table runner and a summery-looking candle holder.   
I took this from outdoors and it really shows up the different shades of green, plus the misty background.
This was a fairly good one, also.

The mistiness doesn't show here, but still many shades of green.

I love the quiet restfulness of green, don't you?

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Apple Crisp Pizza

 (Photo by Taste of Home)
 For Gooseberry Patch's Recipe Round-up, I thought I would share this wonderful apple recipe.  It's been posted here before, but is my favorite apple recipe which is what they're asking for.  I found the recipe in Taste of Home ages ago and haven't changed a thing about it.


Pastry for a single crust pie
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 medium apples, peeled and sliced 1/2” thick
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup old-fashioned (or quick-cooking) oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 to 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping

Roll out pastry to fit a 12-inch pizza pan; fold under or flute edges of
pastry. Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl; add apples and
toss mixture together well. Arrange apple slices in a single layer over
pastry in a circular pattern to completely cover pastry. Combine the
first five topping ingredients in a bowl; mix well and sprinkle over
apples. Bake at 350ยบ for 35 to 40 minutes or until apples are
tender. Remove from oven and immediately drizzle caramel topping over apples. Serve warm.

Yield: 12 servings

This is a wonderful dessert to make in the fall when the apples are
ready to pick. It makes your kitchen smell so good! You may add
vanilla ice cream on top if you like, but it’s delicious just as it is.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Scripture cross-stitch samplers

For Building our Homes Together
 today, I would like to share some Scripture verse cross-stitch I have made.  I have posted about these before, but wanted to share them again today.  I love that these have not only been wonderful projects to complete, but especially that they kept Scripture before me as I stitched and that now, on the walls, they keep Scripture before my family and guests.

First, here are four samplers that are hanging in the hallway between our kitchen and living room. For years this hallway, which is narrow and short, was sort of a dead space as far as any sort of decorating is concerned. I had these samplers, which I had made years before, and had never gotten around to framing them. The main reason for that is that they were all odd sizes and the frames would have had to be custom-made. Either that, or (my preference) my hubby would have to make the frames.

Amazingly, a couple of years ago he finally did find time to make them. I thought that rather than scatter the samplers all over the house in different rooms, or put them in a large space such as the living room, they might have more impact if I painted all of the frames the same color and put them all together in a smaller space -- such as this hallway. I am so glad I had that thought, as I pass through that hallway many times a day. The busy colorful designs of the samplers always make me smile, and the Scripture verses they include bless my heart as well.

Here’s the first one:

This was the first of these samplers I made. It features Isaiah 1:18, a favorite Scripture verse. I just love the falling snow outside the window.

Here’s another one. I think this is the second one I did. It features Philippians 1:11.

I love all of the detail in this one. That teapot? It was originally a cat in the pattern. I am not a fan of cats and I certainly would not want one on my kitchen counters or tables, so I turned the cat into a teapot.

Here’s the third sampler:

The verse on this one is Luke 6:38.

And the last one on this wall has a very helpful, practical verse -- Colossians 4:6.

I do apologize for the quality of some of the photos. The hallway is so very short and narrow, I had to lean into the hall to take the photos and they really aren’t the best. But I think you can get a good idea what the samplers look like.

The patterns are from Cross Country Stitching magazines. As far as I can tell by looking at the web site, all of these back issues are still available. Here are the issues the samplers may be found in:

The Luke 6:38 sampler (titled "Good Measure" was in the June 1996 issue.

The Philippians 1:11 sampler (titled "Kitchen Wall") was in the February 1995 issue.

The Isaiah 1:18 sampler (titled "Scarlet & Crimson") was in the February 1996 issue. The one I have is wrongly labeled Feb. 1995, but it's definitely the 1996 issue.

As for the Colossians 4:5 sampler, it was in the October 2000 issue, and is (I think) titled "Teapots".

You can order any of these back issues from Cross Country Stitching via catalog or from their website. Here's the link: Cross Country Stitching.

And here is the most recent one I have finished.  It's sewed onto a dish towel (cut to size) and hung from a recycled calendar dowel/cord.  This one is hanging on my living room wall.


Above is a closer look at the top part of the sampler.

And here is a closer look at the bottom part of the sampler.  I love the quilt hanging from the wooden spoon and also the yummy looking Bundt® cakes.  This sampler is titled "Country Baking" and may be found in the December 2005 issue of Cross Country Stitching.

If you are interested in joining in Building our Homes Together, see below:

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Picnic by the pond

Last Saturday morning, Mr. T proposed that we plan a picnic for lunch in the midst of a very busy day.  There was so much we both had to accomplish, but I liked the idea.

The place he selected is about 5 minutes from our house, a picnic table beside a little pond at the edge of a park.  We are adopting this as our new favorite picnic spot, since it's so close to home we can go there at a moment's notice.  We made some turkey sandwiches with our garden lettuce and grabbed a partial box of thin mint Girl Scout cookies from the freezer.  We picked up a bag of chips at the dollar store and some potato salad at the Walmart deli* (since these stores were on our errand list anyway).  He got a bottle of Dad's Root Beer at the dollar store also and we brought cups and ice cubes from home.

When we got to the parking area, we were so surprised (and so wishing we had brought the camera!) to see a blue heron waiting at the edge of the pond.  We almost hated to disturb him by starting down the path, but of course we did and he flew off majestically.

Our picnic by the quiet little pond was such a wonderful respite in the midst of a busy day!  We will be doing this again ... and next time we will be sure to bring the camera!

* In the "who knew?" department, would you have guessed that the Dollar Tree carries containers of Reser's Potato Salad?  Only 12 ounces, to be sure, but when we compared them to the 16-ounce size at Walmart, they turned out to be cheaper per pound!