Thursday, May 30, 2024

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Cooking Thursday

 This is a recipe I got from a friend at work.  She said she made it and the whole family gave it a thumbs up.  So I tried it out, and we agreed it was good!  It reminds me of chicken and dumplings.

One Pot Gnocchi Chicken Pot Pie

4 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped carrots
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
pinch dried thyme
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
12 ounce package gnocchi (usually near the pasta in the store)
1 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 cup frozen peas
Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Once hot, melt butter in pan, then add carrots, celery and onions.  Stir to coat vegetables in butter then saute for 3-4 minutes.  Season with seasoned salt and pepper, turning heat down slightly until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.
Add garlic, poultry seasoning and thyme. Saute for another 1-2 minutes until garlic is tender.
Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Slowly pour in chicken broth while stirring to avoid lumps, then add milk and turn up heat to med-high. Bring mixture to a bubble, stirring occasionally, then add gnocchi and stir to combine. Turn heat down to medium and simmer, stirring frequently until gnocchi are tender, 5-6 minutes.
Stir in chicken and peas, taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Ladle into bowls and serve.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Monday, May 27, 2024

Button Dolls

We made a fun craft when the girls were here last week end.  I saw something a while back about kids making button dolls years ago.  When I saw something that gave a layout of how to do it, I knew this would be a fun thing to do with them.  I gathered buttons, beads, a wooden bead for a head and dental floss to hold them all together.

We spread everything out on the table and the girls started choosing the buttons.

To start they had to gather 9 medium buttons for each leg.

Alaina has her legs done and is starting on big buttons for the body.

Then they had to choose 9 small buttons for each arm.

Ruby has her arms on and is adding 2 tiny buttons for a neck, then a wooden bead for a head, and some fun buttons on top for a hat.

Rubys doll is blue and green

And Alaina chose pinks and oranges.

Here they all are - I did one for Cassie.  They took a lot of thinking and planning but were fun and turned out cute!

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Cooking Thursday

I'm a fan of Tex-Mex food.  I also like chopped salads. So when I saw this recipe that combined both, I knew it would be a hit! It's full of protein from the chicken and black beans, and is full of chopped veggies.  It doesn't take long to throw together and it's so tasty!

Tex-Mex Chopped Chicken Salad

1 cup ranch dressing
1-2 tablespoons taco seasoning

3 cups cooked, diced chicken
4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce (1 used one 11 ounce bag of chopped romaine)
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
4 green onions, sliced
1  15 ounce can blak beans, drained and rinsed
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 jalapeno, diced

1 cup crushed tortilla chips

In small bowl, stir together dressing ingredients and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
In large bowl, toss all salad ingredients together, then stir in dressing a little at a time.
Stir in tortilla chips and serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Monday, May 20, 2024

Weekend fun with our girlies

Alaina and Ruby spent the night this weekend. It's been a little while since they were able to do that and we had lots of fun.

We went out for supper, then spent some time in the back yard. They still like to play on our play set.

They did a little routine for us, laughing the whole time.

They asked if I would paint their nails, then Ruby thought it would be funny to paint Bob's toenails.  He allowed one to be painted, so now he has an iridescent purple toenail!

Saturday morning we walked to the neighbors farm to check out their animals.  They have miniature ponies, a Clydesdale horse...

a donkey...

miniature highland cattle...

and more cows!  So fun to see.

When we got home, we worked on a craft that I'll share with you next week so this doesn't get too long.

Then we made lunch.

Bob impressed them by making grilled cheese sandwiches out of buns on the waffle maker.  They said they loved them!

It was a beautiful day, so we spent some time outside in the afternoon.
I snapped these pics of the girls sitting on the porch.  Here's Ruby.

And here's Alaina.
We brought them home mid afternoon, thankful for such a good time together!

Sunday, May 19, 2024

A trip to the Greenhouse

Every Spring we visit a huge greenhouse in our area. It's well known and people come from all over the state to shop there.  They have 8 acres under glass, and so many plants!  There are flowers, trees, shrubs, vegetables, gardening supplies and decorative items for your yard and garden.
We usually wait till after Mother's Day to visit, because it gets so busy there is no place to park!
Here's a few pictures to show you what it looks like.

This is the front of the building, but it doesn't begin to show the size.

Here is a picture from their website that shows it from above.  You can see the red entry building in the center, with all the greenhouses behind it.

When you get inside, you can't see from one side to another - just lots of plants!

We added things to our cart as we walked around.

Here's our purchases setting on our porch ready for planting the next day, flowers, hosta, ferns, tomatoes, green pepper, rosemary and basil.

Here's a few pics of other things that are blooming in our yard right now.

Dwarf lilacs, almost ready to bloom.

Brunea blooms

Shasta Vibernum

Snowball bush

And Alliums - a round purple globe that looks like something from Dr Seuss and is such a fun addition to the garden.

It's a fun time of the year to see things grow up change.  Also, Bob is always planting and moving things so it's never the same. This won't be our last trip to the greenhouse this summer!

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Cooking Thursday

I tried a new recipe last week for steak bites that was so quick and easy!  I think these were done in less than 15 minutes.  They were tender, juicy and full of flavor.  Pair it with a salad or veggies and you have a quick and tasty meal.

Garlic Butter Steak Bites

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak cut into bite size pieces or beef tips
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Add olive oil to large skillet and heat over high heat. When oil is hot, add steak pieces. You want to get a good sear on them so the oil needs to be hot. Cook for about 2 minutes, then turn over.  Cook until golden brown, being careful not to overcook and dry them out.
Transfer steak bites to a plate and in the same skillet, add butter and turn heat down to medium. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for about 30 seconds until garlic begins to brown.
Pour the garlic butter over the steak bites and toss together. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Monday, May 13, 2024

A Day in my Life - May

I know I'm late with this one, but I was busy telling you about the Smoky Mountains last week, so I'm here now to tell you about how I spent the first day of the month.

May 1 was the day after we got back from our trip.  I had that day off so we could bring our rental car back and get all the things taken care of post vacation.

It was a beautiful morning and this is how things looked when we left the house around 10am.

We had parked our car at Laura and Aarons house as it's pretty close to the rental place, so we stopped there to pick it up. We admired the plants she put in last year and how nice they were all coming up this Spring.
We had some shirts for Alaina and Ruby, but they were in school so we are waiting to give them in person.

After dropping off the rental, we stopped at Heather and Andrews place to give Cassie this Smoky Mountain sweatshirt. She was happy to see us and of course, we were happy to see her!

When we got home, I dropped Bob off and left again.  I had to pick up our stopped mail and get some groceries.

It really looked like Spring in our area.  The farmers were all out in the fields.

When I got home, Bob was finishing up mowing the lawn.

I did some laundry and got all our luggage and packing things put away.

Later Bob and I went out and walked the yard, enjoying the many things that had started blooming while we were gone.

We had an easy supper; breakfast for supper, and then a quiet evening.
It was a good day to get things done and get ready to go back to work!