Saturday, December 31, 2011


I DO believe this is my new FAVORITE salad!  My Aunt sent us a box of pears from Harry & David’s for Christmas!  (THANKS AUNT ANN... You got my “recipe search” juices flowing all through a box of pears!!)  I needed a recipe so I could use them all up!  I was asked to bring a salad to a dinner for a family friend.  It’s always scary to take something you’ve never made before but this just sounded too good to not try!!  I gave it a was delicious!  Matter of fact, I made another one the next night for Mike & I to eat and he liked it too!  It will definitely go in my recipe book and I WILL make it again!  It’s a KEEPER...
Note:  I’m sure you could use bottled dressing but it would most definitely alter the taste!  The dressings were super simple to make!

~*~Oh my GOODNESS Salad~*~

*8 c. chopped romaine lettuce
*2 medium pears, chopped
*1 c. dried cranberries
*1 c. chopped pecans
*8 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
*6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
*Poppy seed Salad Dressing
(recipe following)
*Balsamic Vinaigrette
(recipe following)

*Combine the lettuce, pears, cranberries, pecans, bacon and feta cheese. Drizzle generously with a mixture of the dressings. (2/3 poppy seed dressing and 1/3 balsamic vinaigrette...about 1 c. total, more if you like!)

*Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
3 T. Dijon mustard
3 T. honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 c. olive oil

Whisk together first 6 ingredients until blended. Gradually whisk in olive oil.

*Poppy Seed Dressing
3/4 T. poppy seeds
1/3 c. white vinegar
3/4 c. oil
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. onion
3/4 tsp. salt
2 T. prepared mustard

Mix together in a blender, mixer or food processor until creamy.

Monday, December 12, 2011

*It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I do believe this is the latest I’ve ever put my tree up!  Does that mean I should keep it up longer?  Once I get going I have a blast putting all the ornaments on it and remembering when…

Topper…this is always my favorite part!!

No maybe this is my favorite...I made these little stars a couple of years ago…they add so much grandkid personalization to my tree!!

A picture is worth a thousand words...aren't they precious!

My Mom gave me a bunch of wooden ornaments a few years ago!  I will treasure them forever!  She made them when I was a little girl (she said I helped but they are all too neat for that!).  They were on our Christmas tree year after year!  I think this Santa one is my favorite!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

*Simple Sweetness Satuday*

Just because she's SO SWEET...I thought I would share this new picture.  I "stole" it off of FB from my sister!  Sweet Karmyn...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

This week's FAVORITE new recipe!!

Oh My.....!!  I knew the ingredients sounded good but...this was amazing!!  Again...Pinterest is my best friend!  I found the original recipe here and changed it a little bit.

~Southwest Chicken Chili ~
8 oz. pasta noodles (I used bow tie)
2 T. extra virgin olive oil (or butter...shhh!)
1 c. finely chopped white onion
1/2 c. finely chopped sweet peppers (or bell peppers)
1 T. minced garlic
2 c. cooked shredded chicken breast
1o oz. can Rotel diced tomatoes
1-2 cans chicken broth (I used 2)
1 can shoepeg corn
1/2 c. white beans, drained and rinsed
1 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
1 tsp. dry Ranch seasoning from packet
1/4 c. finely chopped fresh cilantro (or 1 T. dry cilantro)
1.    Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and run under cool water to stop cooking.
2.  Heat oil in soup pan.  Add onions and peppers, cook stirring until softened about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook stirring for 1 minute.
3.   Add chicken, tomatoes, broth, corn, beans, 1 cup pasta, chili powder, cumin, Ranch seasoning and cilantro.
4.   Stir until well combined. Reduce heat to low and simmer until ready to serve.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Only one step left...

Remember this and this well, I'm one step closer!  I started this little project back in August right before my mother in law got really sick.  Life just seemed to get crazier and crazier and the table and chairs seemed very unimportant!  I'm back in gear now and ready to finish what I started!  Table is done...and has been since August!  Now all four chairs are together, holes filled and sanded, and ready for paint!  I can't wait to put my new Chalk Paint on them!!  They will get bathed in this new color very soon!  So excited to show you the finished piece with color on!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Greatest gift is TIME...

Last year I received one of the greatest gifts ever!! A Recipe Box!  Not just ANY recipe that was personalized and specially made for me!  The reason I titled this post "The Greatest gift is TIME..." is because there are over 125 HAND TYPED FAMILY recipes inside this little gem!  Not only did I get one, so did all the other female grandchildren in the family!  SO many recipes we've all grown up with.  Some I've used for years...some I've forgotten about and can't wait to try again!  Like Great Grandma Coral's Orange-Apricot Jello Salad (I don't really like apricots and I could have swore it was Peaches...not apricots!)  Funny what we remember (or don't remember)!  It was one of my favorites as a little girl and I haven't had it in years!

I'm not even sure if my Grandma knows how special this little box is to me!  BUT...she will now...she reads my blog!  Hi Gram!  THANK YOU SO MUCH for spending your time making this for me!  I will treasure it forever!

If you follow my blog you will see a LOT of recipes on here, that's because the LOVE of baking is something that runs deep in my family!  As far back as I can remember!  My Great Grandma N. ...My Grandma Tincy...My Mom...then me!  I'm sure it goes further back than that but that's as far back as my life takes me!

Several years ago my Grandparents went to Alaska (like they did every summer) and when they came home we had a fish fry!  HALIBUT!!  It was the best fried fish I have ever had!  Might have been the fact that my Grandparents were the ones to actually catch the fish!  If I remember right...Grandma out did Grandpa and caught the biggest fish!

I decided to stink up my house tonight and fry us some fish (unfortunately not Halibut).  I couldn't wait until we go to Alaska to catch my own Halibut so I made due with the fish I had!  I was so excited to try Grandma's BEER BATTER recipe!  Yes, Beer Batter!  It's OK...the grease is SO hot the alcohol cooks out of it!

Below are copies of the actual recipes inside my box:
While I was at it I decided to make her Tarter Sauce too!  I didn't have the Capers or Parsley.  I'm also too impatient and didn't let it refrigerate overnight.  It was the best ever and I'm sure letting it rest over night would have made it even better!
One of the greatest gifts of all...~TIME~... and the family recipes I'll have forever!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Little Lovey...

When I saw this Ruffled Blanket I knew I had to try to make one!  The name caught my attention AND I love Ruffles!!!  We called one of our Grandma's "Lovey" so I knew it was a fit for my new little niece Karmyn!  It's just the right size for the car seat, to cover her up with, to use in her stroller...etc.) and will be something soft she can snuggle up with when she's a little older.  I mailed it on Monday and they received it on Wednesday!  Pretty fast delivery!
Kamron (my youngest sister) text me a picture today of her covered up with it!  Made my day!  Isn't she sweet...
 And...a car seat picture!  Have binky, lovey, and friends...ready for my car ride!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like...

...Thanksgiving!!  We can't skip Thanksgiving!!  I honestly can't believe it's time for the fireplace!  It's a love hate relationship for me!  I love to snuggle up by a warm cozy fire but I hate the cold that it brings outside!  I'll take a mug of hot cocoa to go along with that fire please!  Enjoy November and be thankful because December is right around the corner!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I had to wait MANY years (as in 16, 17, & 21 yrs.) for my was completely worth the wait!  I got 3 of the best!!

And NOW I'm blessed with another bit of sweetness...
Miss Karmyn Ann...
Yes, I know, all my sisters are blondes and I'm the odd ball!  So happy for a little dark headed sweetie (after me of course)!  I would love to claim that this trait came from me but...her daddy has dark hair!  Oh well, I think I'll claim it anyway!!

I'm SO glad I made the 4 1/2 hr. trip to meet her in person!  Pictures on the computer just weren't cutting it for me!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

~*~Karmyn Ann~*~

Introducing my new niece!
~*~Karmyn Ann~*~
7 lbs. 5 oz.~ 19 1/2 in.
October 26, 2011
Welcome to the world sweet little one!
Congratulations Joe & Kayda!  She is PRECIOUS!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

~Caring vs. People Pleaser~

My friend posted something on Facebook that got me thinking. Here is what she said: ”One of the greatest emotional freedoms is truly not caring what anyone else thinks of you.”
That can be a VERY conflicting statement! After reading in Galatians today…I believe that statement needs to be re-worded to say “One of the greatest emotional freedoms is truly not being a people pleaser.”
Galatians 1:10 (NLT) says “Obviously I’m not trying to be a people pleaser!  No, I am trying to please God.  If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.”
One of the comments made back to her post was, “the only way to truly not care what someone thinks is to not care about them....or am I wrong????”
Being a “people pleaser” and “caring what anyone else thinks” of us are two totally different issues. I think we get the two mixed up sometimes. I feel we should take into consideration other people’s feelings, we should care!
Are we in line with what God want's us to be doing?  Are we pleasing Him or the people around us? Remember, we may be the ONLY “bible” some people ever read, so we need to be careful! If we’re reading God’s word and walking the walk then others will know and say, I want what she has! But if we’re living in sin,  and it’s obvious to our friends and peers, then maybe we need a reality check so we can change it! Do you want to be a stumbling block for someone else? I know I've not always made the right choices and if I've ever been that stumbling block for you...please forgive me.
I DO care what others think about me and I need to be careful of the choices I make which may impact their life in a negative way. I also struggle with being a people pleaser but I’ve been working VERY hard on pleasing Christ first! As long as we’re pleasing Him and in line with His will the rest will work itself out.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

~Pink Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies!

I’m getting so excited to meet my new little niece! She’ll be here any day!  So in honor of her today…I made some Pink Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies!  I found the original recipe on Pinterest. I had to tweak it because I didn’t have all the ingredients (sugar cookie mix)!  So I took 3 of my own recipes and combined them to come up with my own.  They are wonderful and Oh So Pretty!!  I’ll post my recipe soon...I just wanted to share the beauty of them!

Hurry and have that sweetie Kayda...I can't keep honoring her by making pink food and eating it!  You know how I love pink!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Oh what a beautiful thing...RAIN!!!

We haven't seen this for a long long long time!
Time to go outside and do a happy rain dance!!!
Thank you Lord for sending it our way!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pink Lemonade Pie

Oh how I wish I could take full credit for this was amazing!!  Thanks to Pinterest I now have tons of new recipes to try!

My picture isn't the best because we were ready to eat it and it wasn't quite set up. You can find a better picture here!
Molli (my daughter in law) mentioned tonight something about this pie but she called it a Cherry Limeade Pie.  This got me thinking...change the pink lemonade to limeade and tint the coconut green and add a cherry or two on top! OR OR (better idea) even mix in some cherry maraschino juice into the filling!  Oh...I can't wait to try this one!!  Well, after typing all the hype about the Limeade Pie I rolled over to the blog that had the recipe so I could link to it and as I scrolled down to the original recipe she already had "the cousin" of the Pink Lemonade Pie listed!!  The only thing I have on her is the Cherry Juice!
 Oh...the magic of homemade whipped cream on top!  I can never get enough!  This was a super fun pie to make!  And would be fun to take to a church dinner!  Go make yourself one!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

*Beef & Noodles*

Well, I promised my Daughter I would do a blog post after I made this and tried it and tonight was the night!  It was DELICIOUS McKenz!  And VERY VERY easy to make!  I'm sure some of you have a Beef & Noodle recipe but I totally made this one up!  Mike remembered his Mom making it when he was little but he had NO idea how she made it.  That's all he had to say...I LOVE a challenge!  I just based my thinking off of my Chicken and Noodle recipe and made the adjustments for beef!

Beef & Noodles
1 Roast (seasoned to taste and cooked like you like it)

In 3 T. butter saute 2 celery sticks & ½ yellow onion (diced) until crisp tender.
(32 oz.) box beef broth
2 c. water (more if needed)
salt & pepper
Bring to a boil then add in noodles (Kluski type)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
roast (cut into bite size pieces)

Boil until noodles are done!  Can be served over mashed potatoes just like you would chicken & noodles.  But is awesome all by itself!!
I will DEFINITELY be making this one again!  It was a hit!

Bado Bean!

Not sure why he's acquired the name Bado Bean but it just seems to fit!  I've always heard that Basset Hounds were a dog with a HUGE personality!  There isn't a day that goes by that we don't laugh at something he does!  One of us will look out the back door and holler "come here, you have to see what he's doing now!"  You never know what position he'll be laying in or hanging off the back step from!  I've completely given up on the idea of having clean windows on my back door!  I think he's obsessed with Windex because every time I clean the door...he's licking off where I've just sprayed and wiped!  I give up!  He's brought lots of laughter into our life!!  I think he's a keeper!!!

Yes, he's asleep!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

~Groovy Baby Shower~

My little sister, Kayda, is going to have a sweet baby girl!  She's due October 30th!  I'm crossing all my fingers AND toes that she arrives during my birthday month...which is OCTOBER!  Kayda is hoping for 11-1-11 which is a pretty cool date to have as a birthday!  Someone suggested at the shower that an even better date would be 11-11-11!  Kayda said NO WAY!
We had so much fun giving her a shower on Saturday!  It was a Groovy/Hippie theme!  We had fun with that!  Lot's of tie dyed stuff!!  Have I told you before that I LOVE to be in the kitchen??  Well, I do!  I got to make most of the goodies!  It was almost as much fun doing a photo shoot for them (the goodies) as it was making and eating them!  I'll share a few pics with you...and as soon as my sister (KEESHA) gets me more pictures...I'll share the whole table scape view!
These cupcakes were SO much fun to make!  There is actually 4 colors in there but the yellow and green were so close that I should have separated them more!  I used...1 Strawberry cake mix-1 Lemon cake mix-1 white cake mix tinted purple-1 white cake mix tinted green.  The flavor was amazing!  It was kind of like a "Lemon/Berry" taste!

I got the idea from here!  Candy Wafers melted tinted and peppermint flavoring added!  Dropped out on wax paper in blobs and swirled together with a tooth pick!  I was a little gun shy on the first batch to "get with it" and really swirl!  The second batch I kicked it up a notch!  Be VERY careful to NOT over heat the wafers when melting them in the microwave!

Here's the candy all broken up...after the shower was over and it had been picked through!  I forgot all about taking a picture of it before so there weren't little candy crumbs all over!
Kamron, Me, our Mom (Karlea), Kayda (the pregnant one), my Grandma Tincy (our Mom's Mom), Keesha (the sister that wants to wait another 5 yrs. to have a baby!  HA...she's the planner...we'll see how well that all works out for her! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Apple Cobbler w/ warm Vanilla Sauce

I'm addicted to the kitchen right now!  Oh well, I guess fall is in the air!  Mike loves anything with cinnamon in it so I know if I find a recipe and that is one of the ingredients...I'm in luck!  I saw this recipe, made a few changes, then added my Vanilla Sauce on top and it took no time at all to whip up!  I had 2 Granny Smith apples that needed used and I threw in 1 Pear (only because I didn't have another apple) to have my 3 or so cups!  It's SUPER delicious!!  A Keeper for sure!!

Apple Cobbler
w/ warm Vanilla Sauce
(Preheat oven to 350°)

½ c. butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 c. sugar
1 c. flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ c. milk
½ c. whipping cream
3 c. apples (Granny Smith) peeled & sliced
1½ tsp. cinnamon

*Place butter in a 2 qt. baking dish & place dish in the oven until butter is melted.
*Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add cream & milk to dry mixture and stir.
*In a large bowl toss apples with cinnamon.
*Pour batter into prepared dish and scatter apples over batter.  Bake about 40-50 min. or until light brown and bubbly.

Vanilla Sauce
1 c. sugar
2 T. flour
1 ½ c. whipping cream
½ c. butter
2 tsp. vanilla
Cook over med. Heat whisking often until thickened.  Serve over cobbler!

Monday, September 19, 2011

I can't stay out of the kitchen!

I really don't know what's gotten into me!  I just want to be baking!!  I had some banana's that needed to be used up... and I found a new recipe!!!  Introducing *Coconut Banana Bread w/ Lime Glaze*The lime gives a sweet new twist to Banana Bread!  It's absolutely the best banana bread ever!  Wouldn't these make cute little Christmas breads to give to friends! doesn't even have to be Christmas to share...does it?!?  One batch makes 4 mini loaves.
ps...Mom if you read this before I get to your house...I'm bringing you one!  You missed out on the Peach Cobbler so I thought you deserved it!!

Coconut Banana Bread w/ Lime Glaze

Preheat oven to 350°

1 c. sugar
¼ c. (4 T.) real butter, softened
2 large eggs
1½ c. mashed ripe bananas (about 4 lg. bananas)
¼ c. sour cream
3 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla (or coconut extract)
2 c. flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ c. coconut (+ a little more to sprinkle on top)

Glaze: ½ c. powdered sugar whisked with 1½ T. fresh lime juice

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until blended.  Add eggs and beat to combine.  Add mashed bananas, sour cream, milk, and vanilla (or coconut extract).  Beat until blended.
Add flour, baking soda, and salt.  Beat on low speed until just combined.  Stir in ½ c. coconut.
Pour batter into a 9×5″ loaf pan (or 4 mini loaf pans) that have been sprayed with non-stick spray.  Sprinkle additional coconut on top before baking.
Bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until a knife or skewer inserted in center comes out clean.
Note: Check bread after about 40 minutes.  If the top has browned and the coconut pieces are looking toasty, cover top of bread lightly with a piece of foil.  Continue baking until done.
Let cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes.  Whisk powdered sugar and lime juice together for the glaze and then drizzle over top.  Cool for another 15 minutes before slicing.  Package up and share!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Homemade Hot Rolls...

In Honor of my Mother in law today...Homemade Rolls!

I'm sure I'll never be able to make them exactly like her but, I think they're pretty close!  Making them really made me miss her today!  She was an amazing unselfish person!  She loved us through her baking!  She would do anything for her family, always putting everyone else before herself...  Her family was her life!  Miss you...

I tweaked her recipe to work in my bread machine (dough setting)... something she would have never used and I don't think I ever told her that I was using it!  She did it the old fashioned way... LOTS of kneading!!

Lorene's Rolls (bread machine version)

1 c. warm water (not too hot...about 110°)
1/3 c. white sugar
1 pkg. Red Star yeast or (I use bulk yeast...2 1/4 tsp.)
4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. vegetable oil 
1 egg (beaten)

Gently mix the water, sugar, and yeast and pour in the bottom of the bread machine. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for about 10 min.
Add: flour, oil, salt, and egg to the yeast mixture.  Select the 1# dough cycle and start.  When it's done pinch off your dough and place in a greased 9x13 pan and cover with a greased sheet of wax paper and a kitchen towel over that.  Let rise until doubled in size.  Bake at 375° 15 min. uncovered then lay a piece of foil on top and continue 5 more min.  Right after you pull them out of the oven, rub a stick of butter over the top of the rolls until all roll tops are covered!