Thursday, February 28, 2019

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Cooking Thursday

This weekend we had our small group  gathering.  This is 10 people from church that we meet with monthly, have supper, talk, share prayer requests and just enjoy being together.  It was at our friends Neil and Barbs home, and she made a delicious supper.  One of the things she served was cheesy garlic bread that everyone loved, and she gave me the recipe to share with you.

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Frozen garlic bread slices
Beau Monde Seasoning
Dill Seasoning
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Line Cookie Sheet with foil.  Lay garlic bread slices out on pan.
Sprinkle Beau Monde seasoning and Dill seasoning over bread slices.
Spread cheddar cheese over bread slices, then sprinkle parsley and parmesan cheese over top.
Bake as directed on garlic bread package.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Monday, February 25, 2019

A "new" playhouse

When our kids were little, Bob built them a playhouse.  It had a front and two sides that were hinged, so it could open out into a corner, giving them lots of room to play.  It's been up in the rafters of the garage for years now.  About a month ago, Alaina spotted the front of it and asked about it.  She thought it should come down so they could play in it.  I mentioned it to Bob, and being the good Grandpa that he is, he got it down.  It was looking pretty sad and dirty, so he took it to his shop, cleaned it and repainted it all.  Then he set it up in the spare room downstairs which had only been housing our treadmill.

Last weekend when the girls were over, they were so excited to see it!

They wasted no time in getting inside and checking it out.

Bob put an old end table inside, with a lamp and a few chairs.

Happy Girls!  They were ready to play in it early the next morning.
Do you see the window boxes on each side?  We picked up some new artificial flowers to put in them the next time they come over.  I also got some cute kitchen type toys for them to keep in it.
It's so fun to see them playing in something their mom used to play in.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

A productive day!

I have some vacation days I need to use up, and last week I had the opportunity to take one.  I didn't have anything planned so I had a stay at home and get things done day!  I love days like that, and they serve me well on days I end up working late.

Bobs work gave him a large turkey breast at Christmas and I hadn't used it.  So the night before, I made it for supper, but with only the two of us, we barely made a dent in it.  I diced the rest of it up in preparation for the next day.  Then I looked for some freezer meal recipes and made a grocery list.
The next morning, I started some laundry and then headed to the store to get the ingredients I needed.
I was soon back home and the meal prep was started!

I take my computer right into the kitchen to follow recipes.

 The stove was full with pasta boiling and a sauce simmering.

In the end, I had 8 meals made!  I had 3 pans of turkey enchiladas, 2 Curried Turkey Noodle Casserole, 2 Tuscan Pasta and 1 Turkey and Stuffing Casserole.   This will be a huge help in the coming weeks.  I'll share the recipes as we try them out.

I even had time to clean out a few kitchen cabinets.

Don't you love having days like this?

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Cooking Thursday

It's still cold here!  As I write this (Tuesday night), another storm with ice and snow is predicted overnight and into the morning.  That means it's good weather for soup!  The recipe I'm sharing today is probably the easiest soup recipe ever.  If you have these ingredients on hand, you can have a big pot of soup ready in about 30 minutes!  I like to do it in the crockpot, but if you're in a hurry, you can just open cans and heat it up.  And - it's good!
PS - it may sound spicy with the taco seasoning and the green chilies, but it's really not.

Chicken Taco Soup
1 - 13 ounce can chicken or 1 cup diced, cooked chicken
1 - 11 ounce can diced tomatoes with chilies
1 - 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 - 4 ounce can green chilies
1 - 15 ounce can kidney beans
1 - 15 ounce can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 - 11 ounce can corn
1 package taco seasoning
1 package ranch dressing mix
Put contents of all cans, including liquids in crock pot. The only exception is the black beans (drain them and then stir in with the rest).  Stir in taco seasoning and ranch dressing mix.  Heat on low for about 4 hours.
Serve with cheese and taco chips.  Yum!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Monday, February 18, 2019

Famous Logo's

I came across an article with pictures of famous company logo's,  Most of these are logo's we see frequently, but there are things in each one that we never notice.  Hope you find these as interesting as I did!

 Beats by Dre - the red circle represents a persons head, and the b is a pair of headphones over the ears.

 Goodwill works to improve peoples lives and put a smile on their face.  The g shows up twice as a smile.

 Hershey's Kisses - you can see the two large kisses, but did you know that if you turn the logo sideways, you will see another one between the K and the I?

 FedEx - if you look at the Ex, you will see an arrow pointing to the right between the E and the x.  It symbolizes speed and precision.

 Toblerone - it was founded in Bern Switzerland which is known as the city of bears. If you look at the side of the mountain, you will see a bear on it.

LG - you can see the winking face in the logo, but did you notice that it's made of an L and a G?

 The Bronx Zoo - This zoo is located in New York City, so hidden in the legs of the giraffes is the city skyline.

 Amazon - the arrow is specifically placed, signifying that you can find anything you need, from A to Z.

Baskin Robbins is known for it's 31 flavors.  If you look at the B and the R in the logo you'll see the number 31 in pink.

 Tostitos - the two small t's represent two people sharing a chip, and the dot on the i  is a bowl of salsa.

The Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium - check out the negative space on the sides of the tree and you'll see a gorilla on the left, and a lion on the right!

Aren't these fun?  Hopefully some of them surprised you.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Girls trip!

My sister Cheri and I took a little trip this past weekend.  Our sister Terri couldn't come because her daughter had ball games so it was just the two of us this time.

We left Friday afternoon and had a 2 1/2 hour drive to Canton Michigan.  We had a hotel reserved and had the GPS set with the address.  However, we had issues when we got close to our destination.  First, it seemed to us that we were driving past the city, then it had us drive into a residential area and turn around.  Then it took us to a college campus that was being built. We thought maybe there was a side road that led to the hotel, but instead it took us to an empty parking lot and told us we had arrived at our destination!  After getting better directions from the hotel, we finally made it there!

 The hotel was a Fairfield Inn and it was really nice!  It even had a separate seating area.

 The next morning, we went to IKEA!  We don't have any closer to us than this one, so it's not a place I visit often, but it's fun and has some great deals!

 The upper level of the store has a lot of areas set up like rooms, most of them showing amazing ways to make good use of small spaces.

 I love the kitchen ideas!

The lower level is filled with about anything you might need in your house. This is the plant area; there is a kitchen area, storage, organization, bedding, towels, curtains, lighting, furniture...  They have it all.

 The back seat of the vehicle was filled...

And so was the back section. These are Cheri's - a bookcase and 2 cabinets.
We had lots of fun, got good deals, and were thankful for clear road and no storms!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Cooking Thursday

Earlier this week I told you that the girls and I made cupcakes.  Today I'm sharing the recipe for them.  This is a very moist cake, and the frosting recipe that came with it is also very good, and holds up well if you want to use a decorative tip.  That being said - this frosting takes some time to beat.  You wouldn't want to use a hand held mixer, and it's not one to make in a hurry!

Moist Vanilla Cake

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until the eggs and oil are well incorporated and the batter is lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
Mix in the sour cream and beat until well combined.
Add half the flour followed by the baking powder and salt, and beat on low speed while pouring in half of the milk and mix just until the flour starts to incorporate.
Finally add the remaining flour, mixing on low speed while pouring in the remaining milk and beating until all of the ingredients are well combined.
Pour the batter in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and bake at 350°F for 28-32 minutes, keeping a careful eye on the baking during the last few minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Do not overbake - test for doneness using toothpick in the center of the cake.  If toothpick is clean, the cake is done.  Because this cake is so moist, it doesn't rise as high as other cakes, so don't be concerned.
*This can easily be made into 24 cupcakes by using a large (3 tablespoon) cookie scoop. Bake for 16-20 minutes at 350°F

Perfect Vanilla Frosting

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) cold, unsalted butter
5 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Cut butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until butter look light in color.
Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated into butter then add 2 tsp of vanilla extract and mix to combine. Beat for about 60 seconds.
Next, add an additional 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes.
Add last 1 cup powdered sugar along with 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract . Beat on low until ingredients start to mix together. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 3-5 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting.

** PS:  Happy Valentines Day, and Happy Birthday to my daughter Heather - the best valentine we ever got!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Monday, February 11, 2019

Winter Continued...

I have to tell you that we are getting tired of winter!  Last week I showed you pictures of all the snow and told you how cold it had been.  Unfortunately, the bad weather has continued.  This past week we had freezing rain and ice 3 mornings in a row.  Schools were cancelled for at least three day.  The ice meant power lines were down so many people were without power.  My daughter had her in-laws staying with them for 2 days because of no power.
Here's a few pictures to show you how the week went.

 The beginning of the week had us with warm temps and rain.  All the snow we got was melting and we had some very foggy mornings.

 Tuesday night we had freezing rain, and by Wednesday morning, everything was coated with ice!

It was amazing to see everything dripping with ice.  I made it to work ok, but was thankful I didn't have to drive far.  By early afternoon, we were being told the roads were better, so I took my lunch break and went for a little drive to see what it looked like.

 Those are branches in the electrical wires.  They were breaking because of the ice and falling onto the wires.

It was certainly pretty to see!

Wednesday night we were hit with more ice, and Thursday morning was a more difficult drive until I got to a main road.

This photo and some similar were on our news on Thursday.  They called these ghost apples.  An area orchard had apples that were never picked last Fall still hanging on the trees.  They were rotting, and when the freezing rain coated them, the rotting apple fell out of the bottom, leaving this ice apple hanging on the tree.  Isn't that cool?

Friday brought more wind and snow and the roads were again not fun to drive on.

Saturday we had sunshine!  However, it also brought this news.  This is the bridge over the Grand River, about 2 miles from my house.  Ice has begun to dam up here.  They have closed the surrounding area to the ice fishermen who like to fish here and a flood watch has been issued.   I don't remember this happening at this particular area before, so we'll see what happens.
The weather people have also said there are at least 3 big storms, and one smaller one headed this way in the next 16 days.
For a winter that started so calmly, things have certainly changed!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Making Cupcakes

Our girlies came and spent the night with us on Friday.
After we picked them up and got back to our house, I showed them these cute lanterns.

One of the Doctors I work with is Vietnamese.  Last week he brought in a gift for me, to thank me for what I do for him, and he put these lanterns with it because it was the Chinese New Year.  The girls loved them and had to turn off the lights in the kitchen so they could see how the lanterns looked in the dark.  We hung them along the side of their bunk bed which they thought was pretty fun.

We made some cupcakes in the evening, so they could cool and be frosted the next day.  We were making them to deliver to my stepmom, who fell on the ice, going to get the mail, and broke her wrist.

 The next morning I made the frosting and they licked the beater.  They said the frosting was yummy!

 They both wanted to decorate, so I gave them each a tin to work on.  Alaina was very  careful.  She had a plan for different designs she wanted to try.

 Ruby had no plan, other than that she wanted to do it herself!  I had to give a little guidance though, or there would have been more frosting than cupcake on each one!

We had cute sprinkles to finish them with.

 Here's their finished tins.  They were pretty proud!


We had to try them out, and they both thought they were good.  Alaina liked the cake part best and Ruby thought the frosting was the best.

Then we surprised Great Grandma!  She was happy to see them, and she liked the cupcakes and the cards they made.
The girls liked her cast because it's purple!  She's doing good and has even been able to go bowling again.
I brought the girls home after this, and they took some cupcakes home with them.

I have to tell you one more funny story about Ruby.

This is Ruby with her well loved bunny.  Bunny has been with her since she was a baby, and bunny still goes to bed with her, and is often seen laying somewhere near her at home, but she doesn't take her along when she goes away.
Last week Aaron and Laura were going to take the girls out sledding and Ruby asked if Bunny could come along.  Laura responded that Bunny wouldn't want to come out in the snow.  Ruby's answer?  "But Mumma - Bunny is a snow shoe hare!"
Laura doesn't know where she learned about snow shoe hares, but we all got a good laugh at that one!