Monday, July 31, 2006

We're kidless for a week! (and other thoughts)

Kinsey has gone to Grandma and Grandpa's for the week so we are without a kid. After dropping Kinsey off with Grandma we went to Roswell and went shopping at Sam's and Wal-Mart. It was so nice to shop and not have someone asking for a drink, the bathroom, or toys (Ok, Neal found a few toys but he knows he has to wait). Then we went to Red Lobster and had a very nice lunch. I didn't have to cut up anyone's food..yipppeee! When we got home we both took a long nap then had a nice little supper of tuna fish and chips.
Tonight we both have shows we want to watch so we'll be in separate rooms enjoying our evening. I do miss her but really enjoy this week we get every summer. It kind of recharges my batteries.
School starts in 23 days.....only 23! Where has the time gone? It just seems like yesterday that Kinsey was learning to walk and getting teeth in. Now she's starting school. I'm sure I'll be the Mom boo-hooing outside the school because yes, I'll miss her but wow! she's grown up so much!
Kinsey is so ready for school. She has learned so much and is ready to read. I was helping her on a website the other night ( ) and she was just almost getting it. I think a few more times and she will "get" reading.
I'm excited to see how she is going to do in school. Her perception of what school is and what it actually is are pretty far apart. She went for a 2 hour trial day and thought it was wonderful but wait until she's there from 8am to 4pm (we are on a 4 day schedule). I'm sure the first few weeks she is going to be super tired but she'll get used to it.
Don't ya hate trying to decide what to make for dinner?? If I was smart I would make a menu for a week or month and buy the things for that menu so I would just know what to make...but that would just be to easy. I usually buy meat to last a few days then hopefully pull something together about 5:30pm. By 6:30pm we are eating. During the summer we grill a lot so it's not so bad but man in the winter I just about die. I tend to go to my old stand-by's but that gets boring too.
tonight we are having grilled pork chops, chicken rice-a-roni, and a yet to be named veggie. Guess I had better get to dinner...............

Friday, July 28, 2006

Playing around with templates

You may notice a different look to my blog. I have been playing around with templates. I'm not sure if this is the look I want so it may change again. I really want one with a food theme but am having a hard time finding one I like so for now I'm under construction!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Garden delights!

After picking the garden yesterday I did have enough sugar snap peas for dinner. I washed them, snapped off the ends and boiled them for about 5 minutes. Wow! They were so good. Even Kinsey liked them. Neal grilled some little steaks and corn on the cob and I made the was a good meal.
Tonight I made chicken tenders and oven roasted veggies. I had zucchini, potatoes, onions, and bell pepper to use up today. You preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line a cake pan with foil. Spray with non-stick spray. Cut the potatoes in to small cubes, the zucchini into thick slices, onion into wedges, and bell pepper into cubes. Put the veggies in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with citrus grill seasoning (or any seasoning of your choice). Give it all a good stir then pour into your pan. Put it in the oven for about 30 minutes then enjoy! I use whatever veggies I have on hand for this so it may also include squash, carrots, or tomatoes.
Occasionaly we will also make veggies in a foil packet to put on the grill. It's basically the same but you use heavy duty foil and make a packet. I like to put 1/2 stick margarine in the packet to keep it from burning. Neal cooks it for 20 minutes over medium heat on the lower rack then moves it to the top rack while the meat cooks. The veggies have an entirely different texture than when you roast them. Roasting them gives everything a bit of a crust but packet grilling makes them soft all over.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Good intentions

I have good intentions of posting then it goes to the wayside. I haven't been making very exciting meals this week so I haven't posted about them.
On Thursday I did finally try out a new roast recipe. I read it on another food blog and thought it would be interesting. You take a roast and put it in your crock pot, pour in a 12 oz can of Coke, a package of onion soup mix, set it to low for 6-8 hours and you are done. You could also add onions, potatoes, and carrots if you wanted. It turned out so good!! My Mom has occasional made a roast with coffee in it and this had a similar taste to it. That works out good for me because we don't drink coffee so I never make a coffee roast. Now I can get the same flavor with a Coke. The drippings make a great gravy.

I had intended to make real mashed potatoes with it but when I peeled the potatoes I had just bought at the store they had bad bruises and were black in the middle..YUCK! I ended up making instant which were ok.

My garden in doing great!! In fact, I should be outside pulling weeds and picking it instead of posting right now. I think I'm finally going to have enough peas for dinner tonight. I also have 2 squash I need to pick. I'm sure there is enough lettuce grown again to cut. The lettuce seems to be my best crop. I have been eating more salads and lettuce on my sandwiches since all I have to do is walk out the door to get it. One day last week, I pulled all the radishes. The had gotten hard and not very good so it was time for them to go. The tomato plants and okra aren't doing very well. Neal needs to work on them more.

Guess I had better get out to the garden..................

Thursday, July 13, 2006


So you may be reading my blog and wondering what those letters mean...DH, DD, LOL etc. When I first started getting on the internet, I chatted so I learned shortcuts for words to make typing faster. When I found out I was pregnant with Kinsey I joined a message board for Mom's of babies born in March 2001 and learned some more shortcuts. I forget people don't always chat or read message boards and don't know the lingo. So here's a quick little dictionary for you!

DH--dear husband or damn husband, depends on the situation
DD--dear daughter
DS--dear son
BIL or SIL--brother or sister in-law
FIL or MIL--father or mother in-law
LOL--laugh out loud
BTW--by the way

I can't think of any others that I use reguarly right now. If I think of others, I'll add them later.

I also want to add that I am a terrible terrible speller and do use spell check but sometimes I have problems getting the commas in the right places so please excuse the errors!

Pictures of Kinsey

I keep thinking I will post some pictures of Kinsey and never get around to it. Today I'm making it a priority. Here she is

This is when she lost her first tooth

She lost her 2nd tooth not long after

Here she is with Uncle Bill at his graduation

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Squash patties

We finally got to grill last night! It stopped raining for a few hours so Neal grilled some steaks for dinner. Last weekend when I was at my parents, I bought a big bag of small yellow squash. I really needed to use them so I looked for a recipe. Someone on one of my food boards recommended squash patties. They are a lot like potato pancakes but with a squash taste. Neal and I both loved them. So with our steaks we had squash patties and Ranch Style Beans.


2 cups grated yellow squash
1/4 cup self-rising flour
1/3 cup self-rising cornmeal
1 small onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Spoon out into hot greased frying pan. Brown both sides. Drain on paper towel.

I have some more to use up and found a recipe for yellow squash muffins that I might try later today. If I don't, I'll just slice them and freeze them for another day.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Speedy Cassoulet

I have been trying to use what I have in my freezer and cupboards so I can start stocking up again for fall and winter. I've also been wanting to try some recipes in my new cookbook~~Betty Crocker's Healthy New Choices. Last night I decided to try Speedy Cassoulet. It was really good and cooked up very fast. I also had a can of French bread in the refridgerator that I needed to bake. It was the perfect thing to go with the cassoulet. Here is a picture of the ingredients

Here is a picture of it done with a piece of the bread

Speedy Cassoulet

1 can (15 to 16 oz) cannellini or great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) dice tomatoes with roasted garlic, undrained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) ready-to-serve chicken broth
1/2 pound fully cooked turkey kielbasa (Polish sausage), cut into 1/2-inch slices (1 1/2 cups)***
1 1/2 cups frozen chopped bell peppers (from 10 oz bag) thawed***
seasoned bread crumbs, if desired

Heat beans, tomatoes, broth and turkey kielbasa to boiling in a 3-quart saucepan, stirring occasionally; reduce heat.

Stir in bell peppers. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

***I didn't have any turkey kielbasa so I just used the Smoked sausage I had in the freezer. I also didn't have any frozen bell pepper, but I did have some peppers from my Dad's garden that taste like bell pepper. It gave it a nice taste.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Shrimp gumbo and Paula Deen

Have I mentioned yet that Paula Deen is my favorite personality on The Food Network?? I hesitate to call her a chef because she is not professionally trained but I think of her as more than a cook. I have several of her cook books and love watching her show. Her food is always wonderful and she reminds me so much of my favorite Aunt Marilyn. Paula's food reminds me of the food I grew up (and out) on...a lot of butter and love go into every recipe.
Neal spent some of his teen years in Louisiana and loves gumbo so I have searched for the perfect recipe to please him. I finally one in Paula's The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook. It's actually called Shrimp Gumbo Casserole and I loosely based my recipe on it. We don't care for celery so I leave that out and I don't have all the spices called for so those get replaced by Old Bay seasoning. The lemon pepper seasoning adds such a good flavor to this dish. Instead of making the cornbread on top of the gumbo, I make it in a separate pan. We always have so much left over that I don't want it to get mushy on top. Let me tell you that this gumbo is so good for leftovers! By the 2nd day the flavors are wonderful. Here's a few pictures from the last time I made it.

I didn't get a picture of it finished because I had to rush off to the rodeo before it was completely finished. Neal gave it a thumbs up though!

Big Brother starts tonight!!!

I'm so excited that it's starting tonight. I LOVE Big Brother and this year seems like it's going to be really good. I get my updates from Morty's, Hampster Watch, and Joker's. I already know who is in the house and have been reading what's going on.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Brenda, Brenda quite contrary How does your garden grow?

We decided to grow a garden as an experiment this year. We are on water restrictions so we had to be careful what we planted. The last 2 weeks we've had quite a bit of rain so everything suddenly started growing really good.

Here's some radishes Neal picked yesterday. That is a full size steak knife under them

Here are my lettuce, cucumber plant, and peas

Lastly is Neal's tomato plants which are not doing so great

Yes, yes, I know I need to weed but it's been so muddy that it's been almost impossible to even get to the garden. I guess I will get to that in the next few days. We also planted some carrots which never came up. DH planted okra but is was so late that they will probably not produce any before our first freeze.

This year was more more of an experiment so we can see what to do next year. We will definitely start earlier in the house with seeds.