Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

Have a safe and fun Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy 13th Birthday Katie!!!!

Our baby has turned into

quite the young lady!!

Happy 13th Birthday Katie! We are so proud of you and love you very much!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


It is cold windy and snowing here. Yes, I said accumulation but still!! I am so not ready for winter.
The weather encouraged me to write this post.
One warm, sunny, and beautiful day we were at the Buckman's home. I was admiring their tall, gorgeous sunflowers. They were enormous with beautiful yellow petals and chocolate brown centers. Their faces soaking in all of the rays. As I was oohhing and awing about their beauty, Ron said he would give me some seeds this fall. I was super excited!!
This past weekend we had a visit with them. As we were about to leave, Ron came running out with this "seed pod."
I can't wait to plant them this spring. Hopefully we will get some gorgeous sunflowers in our backyard next year. Thanks Ronnie!!
Stay warm friends!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Grilled Cheese with Ham and Pears on Sourdough

This is my new favorite sandwich!! The sharpness of the cheese, the salty ham, the sweet pears, and the crunchy bread...yum...yum!! This is so easy to make and you can vary each sandwich to suit your own tastes. Take out the ham, or use apples instead of pears, use gouda instead of cheddar. You get the idea. Now please go make yourself a ooey, gooey sandwich!
Grilled Cheese with Ham and Pears on Sourdough
2 slices of good quality sourdough bread
Enough thinly sliced sharp cheddar cheese to cover one slice of bread
Red pear cut, cored, quartred and thinly sliced. I use 3-4 slices.
1 thin slice of black forest ham
Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat until warm. While the pan is warming assemble your sandwich. Lay a piece of bread on a cutting board add your cheese, ham and pears in that order. Add a little bit of butter to your warm pan. How much butter you use is determined by how big your pan is. The butter will brown and toast the bread. So don't add too little or too much. Otherwise butter each slice of bread on one side before you assemble your sandwich Use which ever method works better for you.
Place your assembled sandwich in your warm pan. Turn the heat to medium low. Cook the sandwich on one side until the cheese is mostly melted and the bread is golden brown. Turn the sandwich over and cook until the cheese is completely melted and the bread is golden. Transfer to a plate cut in half if you like and enjoy!
Makes one sandwich

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bits of Encouragement

"Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women." Ephesians 6:7
Happy Monday !!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Griswold Cast Iron Pan

It has been crazy busy around here! Last week we had Katie's party, Uncle Shaney came for dinner one evening, we had a birthday celebration for Katie and Mira at my parent's, conferences, and we just got back from a whirlwind trip to Uncle Shaney's and Aunt Jen's.

We did a little antiquing while we were there and picked up a few neat things. A Red wing pottery crock, jadeite cup and saucer, cameo necklace, marbles and last but not least the Mr. got himself a Griswold cast iron pan. He's pretty happy with the purchase. It needs a little love, but he's already started on it.
Have a great weekend and enjoy this gorgeous day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Birthday Party

Katie turns 13 in a couple of weeks...I know crazy, right. Well, our ladybug has quite the busy schedule so we had her party this past weekend. Take a peek.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Bits of Encouragement

"May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing in your sight." Psalm 19:14

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My son

Ian Summer of 2010
Little boy, when you speak
I can't help but kiss your cheeks
I love the way you grab my hands
And tell me all about your plans
Rocket high, comets fly
You and I could take a ride
And fly away to Neverland
And give our best to Peter Pan
When you reach for the stars
Don't forget who you are
And please don't turn around and grow up way too fast
See the sand in my grasp
From the first to the last
Every grain becomes a memory of the past
Oh, life's an hourglass
Life's an hourglass
Stories read, prayer is said
Close your eyes sleepyhead
While angels linger in your dreams
And hold you in their feathered wings
Just like you, I was small
Not that long ago at all
I wish you all the happiness
That God gives freely if you ask
~ Mindy Gledhill

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bedroom Makeover ~ Part Three

Well the Mister and I started and finished painting on Saturday. It was a team effort. Brian kept saying it looks awesome! I really like it and I am happy with it but, it is a little more green than I thought. Sorry the photo isn't that great.
Window treatments next, probably velvet in khaki (thanks Angel)! I want to get a new fixture to hang them on as well. I priced them out this week and they are not terribly expensive at Target, but I think I will wait for a sale. We're in no huge rush. We have white sheers right now they aren't the best as far as the look we are going for, but they are fine. We also have a chair that I want to do something with. Probably recover the seat with a different fabric. Then in the spring Brian will take up the carpet and we will get a rug.
The rooms is very warm, cozy and inviting! Since I am a Viking's widow tonight, I might just go enjoy my cozy room with a good book.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bits of Encouragement

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 1:3-6

I hope you all were able to enjoy this beautiful Monday!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dried beans

This last week I stocked up on dried beans. Thanks, for the heads up Pocket Your Dollars! Rainbow had a huge variety of beans on sale this week for $1 a bag. I decided to get eight different variety's. We don't cook that much with dried beans, but I really want to. I mean the cost savings is pretty big. I'm not bashing canned beans at all they are easy to use, and as a Mom who works outside of the home I totally get that. Sometime ago I was alerted to sodium level in canned beans, and I was shocked! Lower sodium and organic are available, but a little bit more spendy. I figure if I have the beans at home, I will incorporate them in our cooking more. Talk about veggie protein! I can't wait to make lentil soup again. I'm sure Brian would be more than willing to make ham hocks and beans. This Indian Dal Nirvana from Steamy Kitchen was awesome! This is a good Indian dish to try if you are hesitant to try Indian food. I would love to try black bean soup, spilt pea soup, homemade hummus the list goes on!
How about you guys do you cook much with dried beans?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Holiday Recipes ~ Yankee Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes, most people either love them or hate them. I had grown up with them gracing our table every Thanksgiving. My mom's recipe has a a pineapple brown sugar mixture baked on top and don't forget those gooey, toasted marshmallows.
I remember a time shortly after Brian and I were married. We had a friend over for dinner and I made a sweet potato recipe from Taste of Home. After our little party I asked him what he thought? "The sweet potatoes were too sweet." So, I began hunting for a new recipe. It didn't take me long to find one, and every year Brian requests this recipe, not to mention many other family members. My brother in-law who is a self-proclaimed "sweet potato hater" says, " these taste like the inside of a pie."
If you are looking for a new sweet potato recipe or in the "hate camp" give this recipe a try you might surprise yourself.

Yankee Sweet Potatoes
2 (16 oz.) cans sweet potatoes in light syrup, drained
1 cup thinly sliced apples (one that holds it shape like Granny Smith)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbs. butter
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup walnut halves (optional, I never have used these)
Cut the sweet potatoes crosswise into 1/2- inch slices. Evenly arrange half of sweet potatoes in shallow 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Top with all the apple slices. Layer remaining sweet potatoes over apples; reserve. In a small saucepan combine cranberries, brown sugar, butter and spices. Cook over medium-low heat until the butter melts. Stir mixture until blended. Evenly drizzle cranberry mixture over sweet potatoes. Please in a 350 oven for 20-30 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bedroom Makeover ~ Part Two

Duvet Cover: Pottery Barn (Deidre)
Shams: Same as above
Large White Square Fuzzy Throw pillow: Target
Small Red Rectangular Pillow: Target (clearance 2.75)
Cable Knit Cream Throw: Target (clearance 7.49)
We love, love, love it!!!
Tomorrow we paint...Celtic Gray.
What do you think? Do you like it?
Happy Weekend Friends!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bits of Encouragement

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Galatians 6:9-10

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Holiday Recipes ~ Pecan bars and Cranberry, Gingerly

photo from martha

I'm considering adding these Pecan Bars to my holiday repertoire. A lot of people in our families like nuts and I think it would be a nice addition to my holiday cookie tray.
Here is a delicious cocktail that we have served at Thanksgiving and a few other holiday party's. If you like the flavor of ginger, you will love these! I have even omitted the vodka to make mock tails for the kids.
Cranberry, Gingerly
This recipe comes from Bon Appetit November 2005

1/4 cup vodka
2 tablespoons ginger beer
(you can find this at Super Target, it's basically a really spicy ginger ale)1 1/2 tablespoons thawed cranberry juice cocktail concentrate
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice (fresh)
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Shake all of the ingredients except for the ginger beer with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a Martini glass, and add the ginger beer. Garnish with a slice of crystallized ginger.

Friday, October 1, 2010

FYI (if you are interested)

Brian ordered our new duvet and shams. It's from pottery barn and we both luuuv it! Once we paint and have things a little closer to being done I will show you. I found the most adorable cable knit throw for under $7 on clearance. We also purchased memory foam pillows.

Mr. Young is taking me out on a HOT date. I'm going to wear one of my favorite black dresses, not THE dress (because I need to work out a little bit more to wear that one). I have another one that I really like that is a bit more forgiving, and very sweet. I will put on my new leopard kitten heels, to give the outfit a little bit of sass, cuz he likes sass.

I will be cooking up a storm this weekend. I'm reviewing this book for ChefTalk.

Katie has a birthday party she is going to. Not to mention two projects she has to work on...welcome to secondary school!!
In honor of Susie's birthday, I'm going to brunch with my Mom and sisters. Love this tradition!!
All of the fall/Halloween decorations are coming out this weekend.
Oh, and we are going to watch the Black Stallion 2. And I'm sure someone wants to squeeze some football in there too!
How about you guys? How are you filling your weekends?
I hope it's great!!
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