Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Cooking Thursday

My friend Arlene from Nanaland, posted last week that she had made these yummy chicken Fingers.  I asked for the recipe, which she graciously passed on and they were so good!  I had to stop Bob from eating them, or we would have had no left-overs!  She soaks her chicken in buttermilk before preparing it.  I've never done that before, but this chicken was so tender, that I'll for sure do it again!
We loved them, and Arlene gave permission for me to share the recipe with you.  Try it - you'll like it!

Arlene's Parmesan Chicken Fingers
Chicken Tenders (Arlene does 2 packages and I did too - they are good cold)
Parmesan Cheese  - the cheap, grated kind
bread crumbs - I used Italian
vegetable oil
melted butter

Place chicken tenders in buttermilk for 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare a pan by lining it with foil or using parchment paper.
Pour vegetable oil over pan, enough to cover it.
Mix equal parts parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.  Remove chicken from the buttermilk and roll it in the crumbs.  Place it on the parchment paper.
When the pan is full, melt butter and pour it over the tenders.
Place in oven and bake for about 45 minutes to one hour.  (My chicken was done in 45 minutes)
Remove from oven and let set for about 15 minutes, then drain on paper towels before serving.

Thanks Arlene!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Tip for Tuesday

I know a lot of people are doing a lot of canning and freezing right now - it's the season, right?  Did you know that you can freeze celery though?  I try to watch for it to go on sale, and I buy several bunches.  Last week, my grocery story had it on sale for 88 cents a bunch.  I bought 4 bunches and chopped it in my food processor, then popped it in freezer bags.  It works great in soups and casseroles.
It's a winner in many way.  I save money, I only have to clean up my stuff once and it saves time to have it already chopped and ready to go.
I do something similar with pepper.  When it goes on sale, I cut in in strips and freeze it, one pepper per bag.  It's perfect for fajitas or stir fry.
So that's my tip - buy on sale and use your freezer!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bob's latest project

Bob usually has a project that he tries to accomplish in the yard every summer. He really enjoys flower gardens and I think he's very good at it!

 This is last summers project; he built this gate, put in the walkway in front of it and did the landscaping.
There were a lot of hosta planted along the garage when you walked through the gate, but no path or other flowers.  So, this year his project has been to put in a walk there, and add more landscaping.

Here's what it looked like when he started.  He has the sod dug up for the walk, but nothing else.

Here you can see the finished walk.

He's added some flowers along the other side of the path.

This is the path when viewed from the other direction.  When it gets a little cooler, he's going to split the hosta on the garage side and fill in the open spots.

We got this on Friday night:

It's a knockout rose and it'll be planted at the end of the path with the other new flowers.
My job in this?  I just go along to the greenhouse and point out pretty plants! 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Friday Funny

Did you hear about the Italian Chef that died?
                 He pasta way.
               We cannoli do so much.
             His legacy will become a pizza history.
           Here today, gone tomato.
         How sad that he ran out of thyme.
       Sending olive my prayers for the family.
     His wife is really upset. Cheese still not over it.
  You never sausage a tragic thing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Cooking Thursday

It's peach season in our area!  I love fresh peaches.  Bob likes them too, but his favorite way to eat peaches is in a pie.  I made his favorite peach pie this week, and thought I would share it with you.  This pie filling is so easy to put together, and if you are like me and use Pillsbury pie crust, you can have it in the oven in no time.
I also freeze this pie filling. Make it as directed and put it in a freezer bag. When you are ready to make the pie, all you need is the crust. I thaw the filling, add about 2 tablespoons of flour right into the freezer bag, seal it and mix it in. Then pour it into the crust and finish as directed on recipe. It turns out great and gives you the taste of summer!

Peach Pie

Pastry for 9 inch, 2 crust pie
5 cups sliced fresh peaches
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pastry, and place one crust into 9 inch pie plate.
Mix peaches and lemon juice.
Mix 1 cup sugar, flour and cinnamon; stir peaches into mix.
Turn into pastry lined pie plate. Cover with top crust, and place slits in crust.
Seal crusts and flute edges.
Brush water over top crust and sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar on it.
Cover edge of pie with 2 inch aluminum foil to prevent excess browning.
Bake for 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes or until crust is brown.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016

Old married folks!

Sunday was our 35th anniversary!  Here we are all those years ago, thinking we knew it all!  It's hard to believe it's been that long, but we know we have God to thank for the blessings of those years.
We went to our favorite restaurant to celebrate on Friday night, but here's what we did on the actual date.

We went to church in the morning, where a good friend surprised us with this balloon and some chocolates.

After church, we took a picnic lunch out to a park we love to visit.  We had lunch there and walked the trails.

This park has:

 beautiful flowers...

 lots of fun bridges...

beautiful trails...

 fun things to see along the trail, like mushrooms and mosses...

 a pretty little stream...

neat tree roots...

 hollowed out tree trunks where Bob can goof around...

 this gorgeous lookout spot that give beautiful views of a huge ravine...

 lots of ferns...

and so many beautiful trees.

In the evening, Laura and the girls came over to bring good wishes and a nice gift certificate from all our kids, to put towards an upcoming vacation.

Here's some beautiful roses that Bob gave me.

And here we are, attempting to take a selfie!  35 years later, we're still happy and thankful that God brought us together all those years ago.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Wild Weekend

This past Saturday we had plans to go to an annual chicken BBQ held in a little town near my hometown.  It's one of those small town events, with good food,  a band, a petting zoo, old cars and of course - tractors!  We've been going to this as a family for as long as I can remember, and my Dad still invites the whole family and pays for their meal!  Most of the family was planning to go today.  But then, the rain came.  As I was on the phone with my sister trying to decide if we should attempt it, we got news that there was a tornado warning, and then that the tornado was right near the little town we were going to be going to.  We then knew there would be no chicken that night.
We are blessed in Michigan to rarely have severe tornadoes.  Usually they are small and short lived.  This was not the case on this day.  Soon there was a tornado warning for the county I live in, and then I heard the tornado was now headed toward my Dad's house, then it headed toward Grand Rapids, passing near my daughter Laura's house, and then passed Heather in the city. 
The tornado was on the ground for over and hour and cut a 3/4 mile swath when it touched down.  It was apparently bouncing up and down as it traveled.  They say now that there was possibly 3 other tornadoes.The amazing thing is that no one was hurt in all that time.  There was damage to some houses and cars, and lots of trees came down.

Here's a photo, courtesy of Wood TV.

We went for a ride that evening and I took a few pictures.

 There was a lot of debris on the roads and sidewalks.

 Trees were down all over!

 This street was closed because so many trees were down.

 You can see that some trees were down, and right between them others remain standing.

At the end of the day, the clouds moved on, the sky was blue, and we are thanking God that there were no injuries!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Friday Funny

Yes, this about sums up our recent weather!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Cooking Thursday

The recipe I'm sharing with you today is one I've been making for most of my married life, which is 35 years.  It's one that has stood the test of time and we still like it!  This is a recipe for sloppy joes, or BBQ's as we call them in our area.   I often make this the evening ahead if I'm going to have a busy day, then pop it in a small crockpot to warm for several hours.
You may notice on the picture, that we put cheese on it.  It's something Bob's family did and it's very good.  Try it sometime!

Sloppy Joe
2 pound hamburger, browned and drained
1/2 cup chopped onion, optional
4 tablespoons corn starch
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup catsup
2 tablespoons mustard
Put browned hamburg and onions in bowl and microwave on high until hot. Add cornstarch, salt and sugar and stir together. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together. Microwave on high for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. This recipe reheats well, so may be refrigerated for later use or just place on low in slow cooker to keep warm.
*This makes a large amount.  I make half of this for Bob and I and it's still enough for a few meals.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

Touring our new addition

Last week we were given the opportunity to tour the new addition to the skilled nursing facility I work at.  They did a couple of tours, letting 6 people in at a time.  We've been watching progress on the outside, and it was fun to get an idea of what the inside will look like.

Here's the outside of the new part as seen from the parking lot.  The old building runs next to it like the top of a T. We are a 60 bed facility and will remain that, but will have more private rooms, a new gymnasium for therapy and a chapel.  I like having a fairly small facility.  We know everyone and thir families this way.

They are finishing the brick on this part.

They are planning open space in this facility - high ceilings, and a great room for gathering and dining.

This is our activity coordinator and our MDS nurse.  We all had to wear hard hats to be in there.

Here are a couple of our CNA's goofing off when I tried to sneak a photo.
This section is supposed to be done the end of October.  Then they will move to the existing building and begin renovation there.  We're all pretty excited about it!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Seen on the drive in to work...

You never know what you may see on a normal drive to work!  Last week I was driving on the back roads to work, as I often do.  These are country roads, with very few cars and lots of open fields.  I often come across deer, a bunny or two, maybe a woodchuck or an opossum.  However, on this day, as I went past a field I thought "what was that I just passed?"  Since it was a quiet road with no one around, I backed up, and saw this!

These are sandhill cranes. I occasionally see them flying but have never seen them just standing in a field.  They stand 3-4 feet tall.

They didn't seem to be at all bothered by the car that stopped on the side of the road about 15 feet from them.

They just ignored the lady in the car when she opened her window and started taking pictures.

I couldn't stay and watch them or I would have been late, but they certainly were interesting.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Cooking Thursday

One of Bob's favorite meals is meatloaf.  I have a recipe I usually use, but a friend posted this recipe on facebook and said it was good, so I decided to try it.   We really liked it - I think I have found a new recipe!  If you like meatloaf, you should give this one a try.

Best Meatloaf Ever

1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix 
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef 
1 c. fresh bread crumbs 
1 egg 
1/2 c. water 
1/4 c. ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients. In large shallow baking pan, shape into loaf. Place in oven and bake 30 minutes.  While meatloaf is baking, mix:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
When meatloaf has been in oven for 30 minutes, spread ketchup mix over top.  Return to oven and bake another 15 minutes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016