Friday, July 31, 2020

Friday’s Five Things....

How has this week been for you?  Are you feeling relieved today is Friday?  Well, Friday it is, and it’s time for those five things I love!

1)  I love afternoon tea!

No scones on this tray; however, the mini-English muffins served nicely.

2)  While we’re on the subject of tea, I love this teapot from my childhood!

Mother used loose tea, of course, and this always had tea in it.  It was never sweetened, and I remember adding a teaspoon of sugar to my glass before I poured the tea in, stirring to help it dissolve, then adding the ice to the glass last.

3)  I love the way these shutters look after Macho Man and Munchkin #1 worked on “refreshing” them during the recent camping visit.

The 16-year old shutters look brand new!  

4)  I love the way the birds enjoy the bird feeder, of course, and I also love the way it appeals to other wildlife in our yard.

We have some brave bunnies this summer!  

5)  I love this series of books!  

I have been rereading them and find myself comforted by them during these uncertain times!

Sending you comforting and encouraging thoughts!  Be safe, and stay well!

Monday, July 27, 2020

A day late....

Did you know that yesterday was National Coffee Milkshake Day?!?  Well, I didn’t either....until after I had already made specific plans!  That didn’t interfere, however, with enjoying such a treat today....not a bad way to begin the week!

A scaled down version, but delicious, nonetheless.

We were right on time for Sunday Lunch, however.

Of course, there was dessert....

  This was not a one time only thing, either.  We are happy knowing there are leftovers!  Blackberry Velvet Cake....a very good thing!

Thank you to those who gave suggestions for keeping spam/undesirable comments from appearing in the Comments section of my blog.  I have turned on comment moderation and have already used it three times!  I’m really relieved to catch them before they appear publicly.

Sending good wishes as we begin the last week in July 2020!

Stay safe! Wear your mask!  Be well!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Sunday, July 26, 2020....

The United Methodist Women Mission Focus for this last Sunday in July is Shesler Hall in Sioux City, Iowa.

May this day be one in which you are surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace.  Blessings to all!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

On the menu....

Back again guessed it!  More food!

It’s fair to say that all our lives have changed during these uncertain times.  Each of us copes with possible anxiety and worry in our own way.  For me, I seem to have settled on cooking.

Now, this is not a new area for me.  In fact, many of my posts pre-virus have been centered on food.  It seems only natural for me to spend some extra time planning and preparing, and the arrival of the weekend puts me to thinking about making something special.

Today was the day to think about breakfast, and this is how our day began....

Of course, there are leftovers, and we consider that a blessing!

I’ve also heard that today is National Hot Fudge Sundae Day, so I might have to include one of these....

Moving on to tomorrow, grilled ham steak, succotash, pasta salad, and blackberry velvet cake will be on the menu!  Update due next week!

It’s important to take care of ourselves during these days, and cooking helps me feel that things are almost “normal.”  You may have some special ways you work through these times.

I do have a question for my blogging friends.  How do you keep “spammy” comments from being tacked onto your blog posts?  This is becoming very annoying for me, and it’s one of the reasons I stopped blogging as often.

Good wishes to all for the remainder of your weekend!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Five things I love....

Another Friday has rolled around, and I’ve been thinking about things to share with you today.

1)  I have always loved the combination of blue and white.  Something about it is calming to me, so when I saw this display at Tuesday Morning in pre-virus days, I really paid attention!

 I did stand firm in my resolve and didn’t bring any of it home with me, though.

2)  I love reading!  These are what I read in June.  Oddly, I haven’t made such progress in July, but there is one week remaining in the month!

3)  I love Walker’s Shortbread!  It was while making an online grocery order that I stumbled across these, and they have become my favorite store bought cookie!

4)  The potholder illustrates another “love,” close call between strawberries and blueberries; let’s just say “berries!”😋

5)  Last summer, I was introduced to Peach Iced Tea! Thank you, Cracker Barrel!  When I researched making it at home for my enjoyment, I decided there had to be a simpler method to have this refreshing drink at home.  Sure enough, there is Snapple!

How about you?  Are any of these on your list of things you love?

Take care!  Be safe!  Stay well!  Wear that mask!  Wash your hands!

Monday, July 20, 2020


That new kitchen appliance has been put to work for something other than pancakes!  Our Sunday Lunch had an impromptu addition, thanks to the zucchini from our neighbor’s garden!

Grilled zucchini!  Love that caramel color on it! It joined the yellow squash casserole already planned for the table.

The Husband is known for saying many things, but my favorite is, “A good meal is not complete without dessert!”😄 I believe the Lemon Blueberry Cake is a tasty way to complete a meal!

We have a hot day here today, and once again our focus is on staying cool.

Take care of yourself! Be safe! Stay well!  Remember your mask!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Sunday, July 19, 2020....

This is the day that the Lord has made....
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

The United Methodist Women Mission Focus today is the Ruth M. Smith Center in Sheffield, Pennsylvania.

May you be surrounded by hope, joy, love, and peace on this day!  Special blessings to all!

Saturday, July 18, 2020

On the menu....

There is an addition to our kitchen this week!  Most people in our age range have probably already happily disposed of this appliance, and here we are happily adding one!😂

Now, we have never been huge pancake fans, though they were probably almost a Saturday breakfast staple when the family was still living at home.  We never had a griddle for preparing them though, using an electric skillet which could only cook four at a time.  With all our blueberries these days, I became motivated to try Blueberry Pancakes, and online ordering from Target with curbside pickup presented the opportunity to add this griddle to our kitchen.  It will be used for things other than pancakes, of course, so it’s not limited to only one function.  By the way, the pancakes were good this morning!

Moving on to plans for Sunday Lunch....on the menu will be roast chicken (baked with lemon halves in the cavity; love the lemon flavor with chicken), sweet and sour green beans, yellow squash casserole (thanks to generous neighbors who have shared their squash harvest with us), and lemon blueberry cake.  The squash casserole is one that has been a favorite through the years.

I love that it can be assembled ahead of time, refrigerated, then removed from the refrigerator about a half hour before baking.

I’ll try to remember to post a follow up on Monday.

Have a relaxing Saturday evening!

Friday, July 17, 2020

Five things I love....

The weekend is here!  Is there anything you have planned to give time for something you love?

This is my list of five things I love on this Friday!

1)  July has given us true summertime days, with high temps above 90 degrees.  On these hot days, I love to find a shady spot in the yard.

2)  Even though our days are beginning with warm temperatures, I love to choose from this collection for that cup of coffee first thing.  Susan Branch designs are likely to pop up in various places throughout the house, and I love seeing these cups displayed on a shelf in my kitchen.

3)  There is something comforting about a fire in the fire pit at dusk.  I loved having this fire when the family paid their camping visit recently.

4)  I love watching the birds enjoy this bird bath, whether drinking or jumping in to flap their wings for an overall dousing.  The bird bath has been used as a fairy garden for a number of years, and it is now back to its original purpose.

5)  I love hot fudge sundaes!  The cold ice cream, topped with that warm fudge sauce, with fresh whipped cream on top of it all and garnished with a maraschino cherry....well, in my opinion, it’s a perfect treat!

I hope you are able to enjoy what you love, especially during these days!

Stay cool!  Be safe!  Stay well!  Remember your mask!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

This summer....

How is this summer going for you?  For many, summer usually presents special possibilities.  One of those options may include vegetable gardening.

For a number of years, we planted and worked a 30 x 60 ft. garden space, an activity we halted a couple of years ago.  This year, The Husband has intentionally left part of the space to encourage the growth of clover.

That seems to have worked rather well.  We hoped to encourage the bees to return....

If you look closely, you will be able to see a honeybee enjoying that clover!

Our vegetable garden has shrunk a bit, though we believe we will have enough to enjoy.

There are a few potato plants, sprouted by potatoes from our own kitchen, tomato plants, red pepper plants, and a lone corn stalk!  The corn voluntarily grew near the bird feeder, most likely “planted” from the corn that was part of the bird feed mix.  Do you think we will have any corn develop from it?

The potatoes are blooming now, and there are tiny green tomatoes on the tomato plants.  The harvest will be small, but it will be tasty!

Do you have a garden?  Have you been able to harvest anything from it yet?

Monday, July 13, 2020


That seems to be the theme for many of us during these uncertain days.  With the visit from family, who have not been quarantining, they determined they would all set up camp in our backyard!

It isn’t exactly “tent city,” though all three daughters have staked claim to their spot on a rare level space in the yard.

This has called for special food prep/serving.  I made a version of Holy Smoke for our dessert on Sunday, and there was enough leftover for a small dish for The Husband and me after everyone leaves, which will happen way too quickly!

The basic recipe for this comes from a church cookbook from 1977!  It was titled simply “Chocolate Dessert.”
1 stick butter, softened (I placed a simple vanilla wafer in the bottom of these disposable cups).
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix together and spread in the bottom of an oblong baking dish; bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool.
1 pkg. (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup whipped topping
Blend together and spread over above crust.
2 pkgs. (small) chocolate pudding
2  3/4 cups milk
Mix and let stand 2 minutes, then pour over above.
13-oz. whipped topping (I sometimes use fresh whipping cream, whipped)
Spread over above. Sprinkle with slivered almonds. Chill 6 hours.
It’s great for a summertime dessert, and the recipe can be varied to suit your preference.
It is another lovely summer day here, with very warm temperatures expected. We’re focused on staying cool, being healthy, and staying well!  Masks, social distancing, hand washing, and a place in the shade....the order of the day!

Saturday, July 11, 2020

On the menu....

How quickly the week has passed for us!  I am still working via Zoom/email as Chair of the Nominations Committee for my Conference United Methodist Women, and arriving at a complete slate of officers for 2021-2022 by our deadline has been a challenge.  It seems that time passes more quickly when I am busy with something.

I jumped ahead of things several days ago when I made Blueberry Muffins.  Today is National Blueberry Muffin Day!

Moving on to Sunday Dinner....which will be really different this weekend.  Our “crew” is coming with tents in tow for a couple of nights to camp out in our back yard, so I am holding our Sunday meal to serve when they are here.  Since The Husband and I have been out of the public for four months now, any food I prepare will be safe to eat.  We will have to serve it on disposable plates, with disposable everything, which they take care of disposing in their own trash.  We will have to wear masks and practice social distancing as most of our family has been out in public, and we have not.

Their dinner will be: Eye of round roast (prepared in the slow cooker); baked potatoes, steamed broccoli, shoe peg corn casserole, and Holy Smoke.

6-oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 cans of white niblet shoe peg corn, lightly drained
1 can green chilies, undrained
1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
1 1/2 cups rich round cracker crumbs (like Ritz)

Combine cream cheese and butter until well-blended.  Add corn, green chilies, and red pepper.  Place into an 8-inch square pan.  Top with cracker crumbs.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until bubbly.

I didn’t write down the source for this recipe,  but I believe it came from one of my online Yankee newsletters.  I love receiving those in my email!

If you assemble this ahead like I did, it will need to be out of the refrigerator awhile before baking, or it will need longer than 15 minutes.

It has definitely been summertime here, and we are doing what we can to keep cool.  It’s time for some cold lemonade now!  Wish you could join me!

Will keep you posted on the activity from here!

Be safe!  Stay well!  Wash your hands!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Mustn’t miss this!

I am about to let this day go by without reminding you that this is National Chocolate Day!  Can’t miss such an amazing day!

So happy I had the ingredients for this delicious hot fudge sauce!  Recipe is straight from my friend Marci Ferguson’s book North of Supposed to Be.

Hot Fudge Sauce
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup half and half
6 oz. chocolate chips
Place in microwaveable measuring cup.  Microwave for two minutes; stir; one more minute; stir; one final minute; stir.  Add a splash of vanilla; stir; cool slightly before using!  I think anything is better with hot fudge sauce added to it!

Ready to add this to some ice cream after dinner!

What is your favorite chocolate treat?

Monday, July 6, 2020

It’s time.... share a recipe!  I may have posted this on the blog in past years; just don’t remember.  Some of you have asked about Two-week Slaw.  A longtime friend shared the recipe with me many years ago.

Two-week Slaw
1 large head of cabbage, shredded
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
3/4 c. salad oil
1 cup white vinegar
1teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 Tablespoon salt (I use less)

Mix vegetables together.  Sprinkle 1 cup sugar over all.  DO NOT STIR!
Bring dressing ingredients to a boil, and pour over cabbage mixture while hot.
Refrigerate, without stirring, for at least 4 hours and overnight, if possible.
Keeps up to two weeks, if it isn’t all eaten first.

I halved this recipe for us, and will have plenty!  In the picture below, it is hiding behind the glass of tea.

It is also time to mention that today is Fried Chicken Day!  That has brought back memories of my childhood when fried chicken was a birthday treat!  I remember that the drumstick/leg was the piece that was always offered to me, and I remember eating more than one of them on that special occasion!

It is also time to offer you a slice of blueberry pie!  That was our special treat on the Fourth of July!

Sending wishes to all for an enjoyable day!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

On the menu....

This weekend will find us participating in our usual Sunday church activities by connecting online.

I have planned the menu for our Sunday dinner, and it sounds like a good introduction to “Picnic Week.”  We will have oven fried chicken, potato salad, two-week slaw, and blueberry pie!

The recipe we like for potato salad comes from “The Summer Book” by Susan Branch.  I have featured that recipe on this blog in the past, I believe.  It is ready and waiting!

Happy Fourth of July!

Friday, July 3, 2020

To review....

Friday!  Do you look forward to this day in the week?  I remember past years when there was much anticipation for the arrival of this day!

Some mention has been made about the "new Blogger."  Are there any of you who have tried it?  I'm not always convinced that "new and improved" applies to all changes that are made.  I'm wondering how other bloggers guard against those spam-type comments.   Seems like I'm receiving a few of those.

This turned into "Italian week" for us here.  From last Sunday's lasagna, we added Chicken Fettucini Alfredo and pizza in the iron skillet, using the remaining portion of the sauce from the lasagna.  We are here for all our meals, so almost nothing is wasted.  

We continue to follow the safe at home policy and haven't been out in public since March 12.  Curbside pickup is much appreciated!  Locally, today begins a mask wearing policy for everyone who is in an enclosed space.  Virus cases have been on the increase here, with daily numbers higher than the preceding day.

Take care of yourself!  Be safe!  Stay well!  Wear a mask!  Stay away from crowds and large gatherings!  Celebrate at home!  Check your TV schedule.  There is some really good programming for the 4th of July!

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

But first....

Rabbit, rabbit to any who may still be following this blog!  That's the first order of business on this first day of July!

Well, someone may say that the first mention should refer to the ripening of the blueberries!  That indicates there will be Blueberry Pie for the 4th of July!

Ah!  But first....the muffins....

An especially nice breakfast treat!

Blueberry season is here, and it appears that we will have a good harvest.  Now....if the rain will just hold off enough for us to pick them....:-)

Take care, be safe, stay well, and wear a mask!!