Monday, June 30, 2014

One more for summer....

This Monday begins a holiday week.  Before retirement, The Husband would often take vacation this week since the holiday wouldn't count off on the actual number of days vacation he was due. 

I am sharing one more summer recipe with you today.  It comes from the same Konnarock Cooking book as other recipes I have shared.

1 8-oz. pkg. spaghetti or fusilli, cooked (I used rotini. It was what I had on hand.)
1 6-oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 4-oz. can sliced ripe olives, drained
1 cup frozen English peas, thawed
1 small chopped zucchini
1/2 small purple onion, sliced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs. parsley flakes
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
- Drain cooked pasta and rinse in cold water.  Mix with salad ingredients together in large bowl.  Set aside.  Mix dressing ingredients until well blended.  (I used a jar for shaking.) Pour over pasta mix as desired.  I didn't use all of it and stored the remainder in the refrigerator to use as a dressing for other salads, as needed.  Cover.  Chill one to two hours before serving.  Flavor improves overnight.

Another good summer salad!

I think it would be good if you wanted to add grilled chicken, a can of tuna, or chopped shrimp to this!  I left it plain, though the vegetarians in the family eat seafood.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014....

President John F. Kennedy spoke these words:

                               "We want to build a world of peace where the weak are secure

                                                            and the strong are just."

As listed in the United Methodist Women 2014 Prayer Calendar, the Mission Focus for today is the Bethlehem Community Center in Winston-Salem, NC.

I send wishes for a blessed Sunday to all!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Picnic Game....

Good Saturday morning!

This is my first journey into the linking world, and I hope I am able to do this with a minimum of frustration.:-)

Louise at Months of Edible Celebrations is organizing The Picnic Game.  She will go online with all the offerings on July 1.  So - I am going on a picnic, and I am bringing Zucchini Cake (Double Chocolate)!

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium zucchini, shredded (about 2 cups)
1 6-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, chopped (or pecans)
Confectioners' sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan.  In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla.

Using an electric mixer, blend the ingredients at low speed.  Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Turn the miser to low speed and add the sour cream, flour cocoa, soda, and salt.  Mix until well blended.  Increase the speed to medium and beat one minute.

With a rubber spatula fold in the zucchini, chocolate chips, and nuts.

The batter will be thick.  Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

Baking pan - Strawberries and Cream by Villeroy and Boch, now discontinued.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cooling on the rack!

-Cool the cake on a wire rack.  Sprinkle the top of the cake with confectioners' sugar.

This cake would also be good with a cream cheese frosting or a chocolate frosting, if desired.  I'd also enjoy it with a dollop of whipped cream!

Cut and ready to serve!

Serving plate - A Proper Tea by Lenox, designed by Susan Branch.

Now, let's see if I am able to let you know what else is coming along for The Picnic Game.

A-Angel Food Cake
B-Basil Leaves in Caramelized Prawns
C-Chicken Piccata
D-Darned Easy Potato Salad
E-Eccles Cakes filled with Leeks, Spinach, and Blue Cheese
F-Fourth of July Picnic S'more Tartlets
G-Gluten-free & Eggless Chocolate Steamed Cake
H-Ham Cheese Patties
I-Italian Frittata With Vegetables
J-Jelly roll
K-Kahlua Zucchini Chocolate Chunk Bread
L-Lemon Lavender Cupcakes
M-Meringue Roulade with Raspberries
N-Nutella Rice Pudding
O-Old-time Favorite iced Red Bean Popsicles
Q-Quinoa Blueberry Mango Salad
R-Raspberry and Fig Cobbler
S-Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
T-Two-ingredient Ice Cream Bread
V-Vegan Mango Salsa
W-Watermelon Salad
X-Xmas Coconut Wreath Cake
Y-Yellow Squash Crustless Quiche
Z-Zucchini Cake - Double Chocolate

Wow!  This is going to be a grand picnic!  This is publishing without all the links.  I am working on that skill!  It may take awhile!:-)

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Simple for Friday....

Are you glad to see Friday arrive?  This has been a busy week here.  Hopefully the week-end will offer a change of pace.

I am sharing another recipe with you today.  It came from the same Konnarock Cooking cookbook that I featured earlier this week.  You will see why I like it!  It is really easy to put together.

1 can black beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup dill pickle relish
1/2 cup chopped onions
Ranch dressing or mayonnaise (I liked using olive oil!)
-Mix all together with enough dressing to moisten.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve on a leaf of lettuce.  Serves 4 to 6.

Isn't this simple?  It is also good to have in the refrigerator for the vegetarians in the family!

Very healthy!  

I hope you will return for the next post.  I will be joining The Picnic Game.  That is, if I am able to figure out the "linky" thing.:-) 

Thank you for reading .  I really appreciate your comments.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Simple in the country....

We are at Thursday already!  Is the week passing quickly for you? 

I need to post something that I couldn't locate for my previous post.

This is the salad from yesterday!

Now, for today's post.

I have mentioned earlier about a recent visit we made to the Country Couple.  We always enjoy our time there, and it is interesting to see what decor is displayed.

Simple in the country!

 The long wooden bread bowl holds rose petals.  It sits on a round of wood accompanied by carvings done by Country Man from crepe myrtle wood.

Food was involved!

Of course, food was involved.  Doesn't this look tasty?  It was a fresh, homemade cheesecake made better by that chocolate sauce on top!:-)  Chopped nuts helped, too.:-)  Country Girl made this for our dessert.  Of course, I don't have the recipe.:-( 

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer time is salad time....

Summer time always seems to call for salads, and today's recipe is simple to put together.  The recipe comes from the Konnarock Cooking book which I bought last summer during a visit to the former Konnarock Lutheran Training School.  Unfortunately, I am unable to locate the picture at this point, though I know I have it somewhere.:-) 

1 (1 lb.) can shoe-peg corn, drained
1 (1 lb.) can french cut green beans, drained
1 (1 lb.) can small peas, drained
1 cup chopped celery
1 green pepper, chopped
green onions, tops and all (as many as you like)
3/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp. salt and pepper
- Mix all vegetables together.  Mix dressing ingredients together in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Pour over vegetables.  Let stand overnight.

We really like this!  It is a perfect accompaniment for a cookout!

GARDEN UPDATE:  The church community garden has donated over 60 pounds of produce to local food banks and agencies.  The Husband and I have donated 18 pounds of green beans to this effort.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate  your comments.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

On this day....

We have known one another for 35 years.  Through those years, she has given me some wonderful gifts.  One of those gifts was a copy of The World According to Mister Rogers, published in 2003.  In this book, Fred Rogers says:  "Human relationships are primary in all of living.  When the gusty winds blow and shake our lives, if we know that people care about us, we may bend with the wind, but we won't break." 

I thought these words were appropriate, as she will be spending her time in the surgical lounge of a local hospital while her husband undergoes very serious surgery.   Having just a month ago received the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, he will be undergoing the Whipple procedure today.

Please join The Husband and me - as well as many other family members and friends - in prayer for these dear friends and the entire medical team as NW goes through this very risky and dangerous surgery.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Time in the country....

Happy Monday to you!  I hope the week ahead will be a good one for you.

We recently were able to visit with the Country Couple where they live about an hour away.

Isn't this a beautiful butterfly?

Goosey-gander preening his feathers.  He is the only one of three remaining.

One of the tractors.

Another tractor.

Cob and Cupcake in the chicken coop.

Who knows how old this mulberry tree is?

Ripe mulberries waiting to be picked....

.....and here are part of the ones we enjoyed!

The sheep - Isaac, Esau, and Jacob.

This is Rebekah - a Barbados sheep.  She is a bit camera-shy.
As I mentioned, there were three geese at the beginning.  Unfortunately, the other two have fallen prey to predators.  Coyotes are suspected.  A few days later, Sprout disappeared.:-(  This is when the chickens became full-time residents of the chicken coop.  There is a slight electric charge on the fence that encloses the sheep.  On the day we were there, however, Rebekah became quite the "escape artist," and she found herself on the wrong side of the fence!  I think she resembles a fawn!

I have more to show you of the visit, but this post is a bit long with all these pictures.  I'll leave more for another time.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014 - Second Sunday after Pentecost

In John 8:12, we have these words ~

                      "Again Jesus spoke to them, saying,

                          'I am the light of the world. 

                          Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness

                          But will have the light of life.'"

Today's Mission Focus from the United Methodist Women Prayer Calendar is Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC.

May this day be one of blessings for you.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

It is now official....

Happy Saturday - and welcome to the first official day of summer!

Here are some things that have been happening while summer has been "unofficial.":-)

There is a melon there!  Do you see it?

This onion is ready to pop out of the ground!

Hopefully these tomatoes will remember that red is the color we want to see!

Just a little lettuce came up from seeds.

The first harvest of our potatoes!

The Husband has worked hard in the garden, and his efforts are paying off!  The zucchini and green beans that were picked this week are not pictured, but they have already been enjoyed! 

I welcome the 101st follower to the blog! 

Have you made some good week-end plans?  I hope you have a good one, whatever you do!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Serving the community....

Happy Friday to you!  Are you anticipating a relaxing week-end?

Our church, located in an area of growth, is in the unusual position of having ownership of a lot.  The decision was made to develop a vegetable garden there this season, with the produce being donated to the food pantry that is operated by another church in the community. 

The Husband has been helping with the work on this garden, and I recently went along with him and took these pictures.

I hope you are able to see the size of this garden and the options that are available here.  Of course, life in the garden changes daily, and these pictures are already obsolete!  There have already been actual donations to the food pantry!

If you can see them, there are some raised beds.  These areas are granted to others who apply to have a space as well.  All this progress is under the leadership of a Master Gardener.  Currently, site preparation has been underway for the location of a garden shed, a Scout project. 

This is only one of the exciting programs underway this summer!  There have been mission trips to Jamaica and Plymouth, NC.

This has been an exciting week for us here.  Munchomom has been visiting along with Munchkin the First and Munchkin the Second.  We've had lots of fun doing lots of different things. 

My blogging rounds have slacked a bit.  Hopefully I will get back to visit you before too long.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Working outside....

Happy Thursday!  Is the week going well for you?  It won't be long now until the week-end.

A couple of weeks ago I went on a shopping trip.  No.  It wasn't to a dress shop!:-)  It was to a garden center.

A David Austin rose!

Oak Leaf Hydrangea!

The David Austin rose is called "The Lark Ascending," and it has a really nice fragrance.  I hope this is the first of more than one English rose.:-)

I've wanted to add an Oak Leaf Hydrangea for sometime now, and I finally just went out and bought one.:-)

We are in the process of setting up the flower bed.  I should have taken a "before" picture, but did not, and it will be a couple of days or so before I take a picture of the "after.":-)  I think everyone knows that we plant a garden this year to enjoy next  year.:-)

Have you added any different plants to your flower garden this year?  What is one of your favorites?

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Try this for breakfast....

Wednesday already!  Wow!  The week is really passing quickly!

I have no memory of where I found this recipe.  I really should be better about making those notations on my recipe cards.  At any rate, this is a real treat!

2 extra large croissants
1/2 cup blueberry preserves (I used Polaner).
3 large eggs
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Coat 9-inch square baking dish with no-stick cooking spray.  Cut croissants in half lengthwise.  Spread each half with about 1 Tablespoon of the preserves.  Replace tops.  Cut into small strips.  Place in prepared baking dish.  Using small spoonfuls, dab remaining preserves on top.

- Whisk eggs.  Whisk in sweetened condensed milk, water, butter, vanilla, and cinnamon until blended.  Pour over cut-up croissants.  Press larger pieces down into the liquid.  Let set 5 minutes.
- Bake 45-50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 15 minutes.  Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar or maple syrup.
Slices in  baking dish.

Ready for the oven.

Finished - and ready to enjoy!

Another hot day is ahead here!  Keeping cool is the order of the day!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


.....the winner of the giveaway celebrating 100 blog followers! 

The winner is - Farm Girl Kim!  I have emailed her to let her know that Munchkin the First drew her name out of the hat on Monday evening!

This is the publication she will be receiving. 

Congratulations, Kim!

We have much activity here with our guests present.  I know I will not be making my usual blog visits, so I wish all of you a good week.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A delivery....

Monday morning!  Does the beginning of this week have any special meaning for you?

I've mentioned earlier that The Husband and I went on a trip the first of April with the Muncho family.  I was truly impressed with the condo where we stayed.  The kitchen was nicely equipped with some lovely appliances, one of which being a coffee maker. 

Returning home, I began to search for one of those coffee makers to use here, since my trusty coffee maker was 10 years old and had begun to perform just a bit less than ideally.:-) 

It required some patience, but I was finally able to locate a coffee maker at a price I was willing to pay.

Delivered by UPS!


Cuisinart Coffee on Demand coffee maker!

I am thrilled with this new addition in the kitchen and have enjoyed coffee daily since it has arrived!

The week ahead is going to be a busy one for us here.  Munchomom and the Munchkins will be with us, and there is always a lot going on with them. 

We have real summer like temperatures predicted as well.  Time to close the doors and windows and crank up the A/C!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014....

Today is Trinity Sunday as well as Peace With Justice Sunday in the United Methodist Church.

These words in Deuteronomy 6:5 speak to us today ~

                                                "You shall love the Lord your God

                                                   with all your heart, and with all your soul,

                                                   and with all your might."


From the United Methodist Women Prayer Calendar for 2014, the Mission Focus for today is the Navajo United Methodist Center, Farmington, N.M.

May today be a day of special blessings for you.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

June 14 - Flag Day

The week-end is here, and we start off by recognizing today as Flag Day!  This day has been set aside to honor our country's (United States) flag!

Reposting a picture.
June 14, 1777 is when the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as our official flag.  While it is not a national holiday, some states have declared it a legal holiday, according to information I have.  It was first celebrated in 1877, one hundred years after the selection of the flag.  Two presidents, Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman, were instrumental in officially establishing a Flag Day.  President Wilson declared Flag Day as an annual national celebration on May 30, 1916, and President Truman signed the National Flag Day bill in 1949.

This is also Father's Day week-end.  I send along happy Father's Day wishes to any fathers who may be reading, as well as those others who are so deserving of having a day set aside to honor them.

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Friday, June 13, 2014

For today....

Happy Friday morning to you!  Are you looking forward to the week-end? 

For this day, there is a different kind of book I want to share with you.

Have you heard of this one?

I actually bought this book several months ago, but had not tried to bake anything from it.  Finally, one day recently, I tried the first recipe.

The bread dough with the first quarter ready for a loaf.

The dough was not complicated to mix, and it will keep in the refrigerator for several days.

The baked loaf.

I will be baking more from the book before I find a recipe that I want to share, however.  The Husband likes this bread, though it is a bit different from any I have baked before.  This is baked on a preheated baking stone!

Collecting cookbooks has been a weakness of mine that I have attempted to control in recent years.:-)  Sometimes I do better at that than others.:-)

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

One more chicken recipe....

Happy Thursday to you!  Are you having a good week?

One of the best things I am able to report about the week is the rain!  We have finally had rain!  Our rain gauge measures about an inch and a half since late Tuesday afternoon!  The garden is very happy!  There is still a deficit for average rainfall at this point in the year, but the rain we have just received will definitely be a big help!

Here is one more chicken recipe that I know isn't new to you.  It has been a favorite of mine for many years.  The basic recipe comes from Betty Crocker from the early eighties.

Out of the oven!

2 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 cups thinly sliced celery
1 cup mayonnaise (I actually use less that this amount).
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds (I toasted these in a small skillet on the stove top.)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated onion
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 cup grated cheese
1 cup crushed potato chips (I didn't have chips, so used bread crumbs instead).
- Combine all ingredients except cheese and potato chips/crumbs.  Pile into greased baking dish.  Sprinkle with cheese and chips.  Bake at 450 degrees F for10 to 15 minutes, or until bubbly.  Serves 6.  (We find it's possible to enjoy the leftovers unheated!) :-)

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Have you been waiting for this?

Wednesday!  Is this a good day to announce that giveaway celebrating 100 blog followers?  Well, it is for you - if you're reading.:-) 

Until Monday night, June 16, you may leave a comment on this post to be entered in the giveaway of - a year's subscription to Cottage Journal!

A warm and cozy winter may not be on your minds now, especially if you are having summer heat, but the cold of this past winter really gives this some special appeal.

 Look at this marvelous food feature!

Beautiful for spring.

Fresh fruit tarts!  Delicious!

Relaxing for summer.

Take lunch out to the garden!

There are wonderful features about remodeling and decorating, but I'm sure you aren't surprised that I featured pictures about food.:-)

So - to enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post.  That's all.  Just leave a comment before next Monday, June 16, and you will be entered for a year's subscription to Cottage Journal. 

I know I have some followers who do not comment.  If you want to be entered, just send me email telling me to put your name in the hat!

Thank you for reading.  I really appreciate your comments.