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Showing posts from June, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: June 29th~July 4th

It's Monday again! Time to do a little pantry inventory and plan those meals. How did your week go last week--kitchenwise? It was pretty on-track here, with just a couple of changes.


Also, I just noticed that I never shared a couple of recipes that I promised you last week. So here you are (both are yummy!):
Maple Teriyaki Salmon Fillets
(Taste of Home)
1/3 cup apple juice
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 Tbls. soy sauce
2 Tbls. finely choped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 salmon fillets (about 2 lbs)
*****
In a bowl, combine first five ingredients. Reserve 1/2 cup for basting; pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag. Add salmon; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate 1-3 hours. Drain & discard marinade. Broil or grill salmon, basting with the reserved marinade. Salmon is done when it easily flakes with a fork. Serves 4.
Skewered New Potatoes & Fennel
(The Summer Book, Susan Branch)
2 lb. new potatoes
2 lb. fennel
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbls. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. dried thyme …

A Photo Shoot at the Beach

While we were packing for our trip to the beach last month, I decided to throw in some photo-shoot-worthy clothes for the kiddos and try to take some of them while we were there.
I knew it was a long shot (pun intended) because I am no professional children's photographer with a seemingly-endless-supply-of-patience. Nope, that is not me at all.
I am, however, on a tight portrait budget this year and I do love to take pictures. And while I don't love the standard-Sears-portrait-studio-type shots, I do LOVE outdoor, natural-light shots. So, I thought, why not at least try.
I was pleased with my first try at this. Just had to share some of my faves.

Fresh From the Garden

These were gobbled up in no time!! Aren't they pretty? For more Show & Tell, visit There Is No Place Like Home.

Our Vacation in Photos

See, I really didn't forget that I promised pictures of our trip to the beach. I was just getting organized. Once again, we went to the Gulf Shores, AL area, this time staying in Orange Beach. The two cities are really just side-by-side there on the gulf. We love those beautiful sugar beaches!! So get prepared for picture overload!
the kiddos hitting the beach our first evening thereMr. B taking it easya picturesque sailboatgetting ready to hunt for sand crabsan lovely evening walka beautiful sunsetone of many crabs we foundbuilding and sculptingthe kiddos and I built a very small sandcastlemy sister's sharkVince and The Princess' mermaid*Mr. B cool*loving the sand between my toes!beach babiesour fave miniature golf placeThe Princess and my sister, Karithe annual shark pic--the kiddos love this placesaying goodbye to the beach till next time

The Front Yard Re-Do~Part 1

I optimistically named this *Part 1*, because I know there's more to come! Like I've mentioned before, the landscaping at our new home left a lot to be desired. Pretty much a couple of beds of weeds hiding some bushes in the front. Vince got inspired though and decided how he could use some of the leftover lumber from the kiddos' new beds to create some lovely new landscaping. I'm very impressed!
Here is a shot of part of the front bed--the part he hasn't redone yet. You can see how neglected it is. Can you even see any of the *real* bushes in there? It's hard to! To begin the process he had to actually dig out the true plants and set them aside while he dug out the weeds. He took the bed down to just dirt. Then he added some topsoil (free, from my dad's yard!) and then put down that black fabric to keep future weeds out.
Then he took his leftover lumber and began cutting it into three different lengths.
That created a very nice border (there wasn&#…

Menu Plan Monday: June 22nd~27th

So how did your week of dinners go last week? I must say, I was glad to be back in the saddle again with my menus! We had a good week of dinners, even if there were a few interruptions. The Korean grilled chicken, bbq beef sandwiches and stuffed peppers were the highlights! If you make them (or one of them) I'd love to hear about it!


This week I'm working toward getting back to my weekly goal of incorporating a new recipe from one of my cookbooks (since they're finally out of boxes!). This week I'm using a couple from The Summer Bookby Susan Branch. I'm a HUGE fan of hers and have lots of her books. She is simply wonderful! If you're not familiar with her, you can check out her site here.

The Summer Book is full of delicious warm-weather recipes, plus gardening tips, decorating ideas, fun stories and all kinds of more good stuff. The Santa Maria style grilled steaks and the skewered potatoes for this week come from this book.

By the way, today (Monday) is Nationa…

Stuffed Peppers

Last night we had a yummy new dish! I've only made stuffed peppers once before and only eaten them a few times. My mom didn't make these when I was growing up, but my mother-in-law made them for my husband and he loves them. So this past week when I got this new recipe from a friend, I thought it would be good to make for Father's Day weekend. And it was!! Italian Sweet Stuffed Red Peppers (from my friend Mikki) 6-8 red bell peppers
20 oz. mild Italian sausage
26 oz. jar Classico Italian Sausage spaghetti sauce with peppers & onions
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano
1 egg, beaten
1 pkg. Uncle Ben's ready-to-cook Whole Grain Medley/Vegetable Harvest
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
*****
1. Remove casing from sausage; crumble and brown in skillet. Drain and set aside.
2. Wash peppers, remove stems and cut in half lengthwise.
Remove seeds from the insides and set aside.
3. Cook rice medley as directed.
4. In a large mixing bowl combine …

Shredded BBQ Beef Sandwiches & The Fixin's

I deeply apologize for not taking pics of this at dinner tonight~we were so hungry after a long day of unpacking, we ate it so quickly that I forgot:) So you'll just have to take my word for it that it looks just as good as it sounds!!

Overnight Barbecue Beef
(Among Friends, Jr. Auxiliary of Russellville, AR) 4-6 lb. chuck roast
5 oz. Worcestershire sauce
5 oz. liquid smoke
1 cup ketchup
2-3 cups reserved liquid
1 cup ketchup or bbq sauce
1 cup brown sugar
onion rolls
*****
Place roast in the crockpot. Combine the next three ingredients and pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours. Remove meat, reserving liquid. Shred cooked meat into small pieces and return to crockpot. Mix last three ingredients and pour over shredded meat. If that seems too saucy, just serve it on the side. Take the onion rolls apart and place on a baking sheet. Brush the bottoms of the rolls with melted butter and sprinkle the tops with shredded cheddar. Place under the broiler until cheese is melted. Serve …

Boxes, Weeds and Packing Fun Facts

I think all of these boxes are starting to get to me. We are making tons of progress though. I promise to have some pictures for you soon!

Today I worked more on unpacking and getting decor up. I'm still looking for stuff I can't find~despite my fairly well-doctumented packing list. I'm a little embarassed to say that it totalled 414 boxes. There were lots of little boxes in there though!! Seriously, how does a family of four have that much stuff?! I am really the queen of the keepsake~I admit it!

Here are some packing list fun facts for you:
Some people think I'm really weird for numbering and listing my boxes. I thought everybody did that! I mean, how do you know you got everything after the move?!I had 66 boxes of kitchen things. This number does include both dishes and pantry items.We had 43 boxes of books. Yes, we like to read!The Christmas boxes came in for a total of 38. I {heart} Christmas!Today Vince worked on that front bed of weeds. He is literally digging out …

*A Work In Progress*

Last night a very good friend, Ashley, came over to give me a hand with some of the decor in the house. Most of my decor I've used in several houses and still like it very much. But sometimes you just need a fresh pair of eyes to look at it and come up with some new ideas on how to use it. Ashley & her mother formerly owned a home decor/antiques shop where I worked for five years. She is so talented with this sort of thing! So since my brain is a little frazzled with all of the packing/moving/unpacking, I decided to call her and say *help*! :) We got quite a bit accomplished: some things are up on the wall, some are placed waiting to be hung. Some things we simply grouped together for a specific room after brainstorming about them. I plan on getting much more accomplished today!! Hopefully by the end of today I'll be able to take some *completed* shots. But for now here is just a glimpse of some things by the front entryway.

Korean Grilled Chicken

Korean Grilled Chicken
(Country Kitchen Collection *Great on the Grill*)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup corn oil
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 sm. onion, chopped
1 lg. clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
8 boneless chicken breast halves
*******
At least 3 hours ahead: combine first 8 ingredients in a shallow baking dish. Add chicken, turning to coat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours, turning occasionally. Remove from marinade. Grill over hot coals 30 minutes; turning and basting. Serves 4. I served it with Sesame Almond Salad and...
Roasted Potatoes
(from my friend Kathy)

1 1/2 lbs. new or red potatoes
3/4 lb. shallots, peeled & halved (regular onions substitute nicely)
2 tbls. vegetable oil
1 tbls. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
******
Heat oven to 425F. Half the new potatoes or cut up the red potatoes. Add the other ingredients to them and toss all together well. Pour into a baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes…

Menu Plan Monday....Finally!!

Oh, my menu plan, how I've missed you!!

We are starting to have a little bit of routine again and I'm SO glad. I really don't function well flying by the seat of my pants. I need a PLAN!! My sister has been laughing at me this past month during the whole packing/moving process because, even though I can roll with plan changes, I just don't like them. I like to know things ahead of time and be prepared:) Call me type A, retentive, whatever...it probably fits:)


I made my first grocery trip since the move and got some things. I am missing my Aldi store though. There is one in the area, about 25 minutes away and I know I'm heading there this week. I've really gotten addicted to those great deals!


The grill season is in full swing at our house now! I plan to have the hubby grill several times this week. I've got some of our family faves and also some new recipes to share this week. Check back each day, I'll have them posted with pics!


Monday: Korean grilled chic…

Weekend Breakfast

*Apple cinnamon mini funnel cakes* Our first "cooked" breakfast in our new house:)

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Look what my sweet hubby built me! He took time today to create a small raised bed for me and we transplanted our veggies from pots to the bed. I hope that's not a big no-no...

I'm going to plant some herbs in there, too. I've just been waiting until we moved for that. Now I just really need to figure out an organic pesticide. I've been looking online a little and have seen a few good ideas.

I'd love to hear how you control the pests in your gardens!

Menu Plan Monday...I Wish!

I am really missing some regular routine these days. It won't be long though...things are slowly, but surely getting unpacked. And we plan to actually have a refrigerator by Wednesday. That will probably speed up the menu planning process, don't you think?!
Did I mention that the people who bought our house in Alabama also wanted the fridge? Well, they did and we said "yes". It all worked out for the best though because our old one wouldn't have worked in our new house anyway. And I get a bigger one~yea!! Next: a deep freeze! Then I'll really be out-of-control with the menu planning-ha!
And...in the spirit of keepin' it real, I thought I'd post some pics of what my new house currently looks like.
Inspiring, isn't it? This is why I haven't had time to blog and, oh, how I've missed it!! It's getting better though. One by one, I'm tossing those boxes out the door!

Finally!

After wiggling and wiggling that first loose tooth for a good month, it finally came out. The Princess is so proud! And we are so proud of her!!

Happy 4th Birthday, Mr. B!!!

Today my baby boy is 4 years old! We've been celebrating all weekend. Saturday we took a break from the unpacking process to have a family party at my parents' house. I don't know if I've ever seen Mr. B so excited~he looked like a pogo stick bouncing around the house:) Here he is with his very special birthday cupcakes. He picked these out from the *Hello, Cupcake* book a couple of months ago and his choice did not waver. He was in the kitchen with me for the entire process, "helping" all the way. It was so cute!! The cupcakes turned out cute, too. I found the cutest party supplies at (of course) Hobby Lobby, too! When it came time to blow out his candles, big sister wanted to get in on the action....
...but I'm afraid Mr. B wasn't willing to share his wish.
After cupcakes we had some fun playing with his new toys.

Mr. B especially enjoyed taking on his dad and uncle in a sword fight! Happy birthday, my sweet son! I look forward to many more ye…