Monday, August 31

Ariel's Candelabra and “Under the Sea” Party

I'm hosting an Under The Sea BabyShower for my son Daniel and his long time girlfriend, Jennica, (they got engaged early this year).
Jennica decided about 2 months ago that the baby shower was either going to be themed for a boy, (King Triton) or a girl, (Ariel). We found out in July that we're having a girl, and they're naming her Lilly! 
So Ariel's Under The Sea it is.

One of the decorations we decided to make was Ariel's candelabra.
And really it has been one of the easier decorations for the party I've made!
I was able to find an old brass candle stick at a thrift store for .90 cents. Also, used silverware at a thrift store usually only runs around .30 cents each.

Friday, August 28

Lemonade Vodka Thirst Quencher

OK, so this was going to be either a post about building an arbor in the garden for gourds and pumpkins
or a post about painting and restyling a garden lantern.
But while digging through my photos for those posts,  I came across the pics I took earlier this week for a drink I mix up occasionally for my hubby and me on hot summer evenings!

This delicious and refreshing adult beverage with a kick, won out over the other posts, sign.
It's been a long week!

I suggest you mix this drink up the first time according to the recipe, then you can tweak it from there.
Example:  You can add more lemon or less sugar or adjust the vodka amount to your tastes, etc.

Tuesday, August 18

Baltimore, Maryland and Edgar Allan Poe

Recent photo I took
Baltimore Poe
I have always been fascinated by what drove certain authors to write what they did, or where they were living at the time of writing such great works.  I have toured a few famous authors’ homes, or “chased an author” as I call it, including Washington Irving’s Sunnyside in New York

And we recently started a book club and along with reading books from all different genres, we also sometimes take field trips related to the current book we're reading.
For August we read two tales and one poem by Edgar Allan Poe (or more if we were so inclined). I grew up on Poe and loved his stories of lost love, terror, suspense and horror.
A few of us in the book club, The Bookworms Literary Guild, decided to take a trip to Baltimore, Maryland to visit the many Poe sites located there.
Although Baltimore has been in the news lately concerning riots and is listed on a few websites as being in the top 10 most violent cities, we found it to be a beautiful city full of culture, historical buildings and sites, harbors, ethnic neighborhoods, churches, restaurants, statues and many parks.  My nephew Anthony lives and works in Baltimore as a luxury yacht builder and assured us it’s a safe city in most areas and that we would love it.  We did.

Tuesday, August 11

Zucchini Bread

Yowza! What to do with all the zucchini my garden produced this year!
Zucchini is one of the easiest vegetables to grow and as such, it's known far and wide among home gardeners for overwhelming crops. 

When cooking, zucchini is treated as a vegetable and is usually cooked and served as a savory or side dish. 
Botanically, however, zucchini is really a fruit.

With zucchini, you can make Zucchini bread, sautéed zucchini, grilled zucchini, zucchini muffins, marinated zucchini salad, zucchini pancakes, zucchini fries, zucchini brownies, zucchini lasagna, zucchini frittata, zucchini pizza, zucchini quiche, zucchini in zucchini sauce, zucchini stuffed zucchini, and many other zucchini dishes!

Thursday, August 6

Shrimp BLT Sandwich

My son Daniel is always looking for new and unique recipes for me to make.  Recently he picked up a magazine from the grocery store and marked a few recipes to try and this one for a Shrimp BLT sandwich was at the top of his list. 

My husband Bill and I just got back from visiting Historical Jamestown and Assateaque Island along the coast of Virginia and enjoyed fresh seafood for 4 days straight.  Right now, anything with seafood sounds really good to me.

Variations and Tips:

  • I just so happen to have all the ingredients on hand except the Old Bay Seasoning.  I used a little garlic, course ground black pepper, Cajun seasoning and seasoning salt to replace the Old Bay. The sandwiches turned out wonderful!
  • Spring or Bibb lettuce or similar is best but a good old head of lettuce works just fine.
  • Lightly toasting the bread will help keep the bread from getting soggy.

Tuesday, August 4

Building A Hog Trough

We decided to raise a feeder pig this past spring for butchering in the fall.  We purchased “Burt” a Hampshire breed, from a farmer for $50.00.

Hampshire Hog History
Hampshire hogs are black with a white belt, heavily muscled, lean meat breed.  They are the fourth most recorded breed of the pigs in the United States.
The Hampshire breed is also the oldest, early-American breed of hogs in existence today. The Hampshire hog originated in southern Scotland and Northern England. These pigs were known as the "Old English Breed". They were noted and criticized for their large size, as pigs were commonly killed at 125 pounds live weight. However, they were admired for their proficiency, hardy vigor, foraging ability and outstanding carcass qualities.
Hampshire pigs were imported into America between 1825 and 1835 from Hampshire County in England. Some of the first importations were also known as the McKay hog because a man by that name was thought to have imported these hogs from England to America.

Sunday, August 2

Canning Carrots

We love carrots in our house and eat them in many different ways.  There is nothing better than raw carrots dipped in Ranch dressing! I put carrots in just about all my homemade soups, chicken pot pie and we love them steamed or candied (brown sugar and butter).

I try to grow a crop of carrots every year, but some years I only get enough to eat fresh and not enough to can.  
This summer Ohio was reported to be the wettest in history, so I'm having a pretty poor crop harvest, and that goes for vegetables such as onions, garlic and green beans too, ugh. 

Carrots have become very popular as a quick snack for most kids (and adults too).  Parents love the petite size carrots because not only are kids eating their vegetables, they like them!