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Showing posts from November, 2016

Garden Pic Wednesday: About Rose Hips

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 Do you know anything about Rose Hips?  I'd herd the name, but didn't know that much about them until I looked up. Rose hips are the fruit of the rose the appears after the rose is spent. Roses are actually members of the crab-apple family, so their fruit is basically like a very small, slightly tart crab apple. They are also called Rose Haws. To get them, you have to leave your roses untrimmed and let them "go to seed." This is a photo a my own climbing rose on it's trellis, thick with hips. The bright orange are ripe, I think.   Yes, they are edible---but not the seeds within. Those should be removed. Slice open, removed the seeds, rinse and prepare as desired. Rose hips can be used for teas, sauces, jelly, seasoning & tea---fresh or dried. Any rose hips can be used, but there is a certain kind of rose called Rose Rugusa , which makes very large size hips that are easier to work with. Rose hips are valued for their high Vitamin C. Co

Good Eating Monday: Slow-Cooker VELVEETA Mac & Cheese

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T oday's Good Eating recipe is for Slow-Cooker Mac & Cheese made with Velveeta. I found this recipe in Pinterest pinned from Kraft. I found it pretty tasty and worth making again. (I forgot to take a photo of my own, so the photo here is a general slow-cooker mac & cheese from Pinterest .) Slow-Cooker Velveeta Mac & Cheese Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked 3 1/2 cups of milk 1 lb Velveeta, cubed (a full box of Velveeta is 2 lb, so that's half ) 1/2 cup water 1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces. Directions: Spray inside of slow-cooker with oil cooking spray.  Combine all the above ingredients in slow-cooker. Give a stir to combine, then cover and set on LOW for 2 1/2 hours or HIGH for 3 1/2 hours. At end of cooking time, turn off, give a stir and let sit 15 minutes prior to serving. (It's best to time this or any slow-cooker mach & cheese to be done exactly when you want to serve it, since pasta continues to absorb t

Mama Kat Thursday: Thanksgiving Past

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Today I thought I'd revisit childhood memories of Thanksgiving, particularly the menu. Our dining room table was made from a door. It was a smooth wood door with a shiny, dark-brown varnished surface. Our Dad was something of a hobby-carpenter and he put it together. So it made an economic and roomy table. Our two tall glass oil lamps were the annual centerpieces. Later, my middle sister found a flat piece of worn driftwood down at the creek that she wanted to turn into a centerpiece. It was some kind of hardwood, so weathered it was nearly black in color. Sister cleaned it up, Dad drilled 3 holes in it to hold candles and it joined the two lamps at the center of the table yearly after that for every holiday meal. Our parents were from Minnesota, so our Thanksgiving menu naturally had a northern bent. No pecan pie. No cornbread stuffing. Certainly not. We always had Turkey and sage stuffing. I recall Mother saved bread ends and buns in the freezer for making the stuffi

Garden Pic Wednesday: Rosemary So Pretty

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Christmas Rosemary! Just bought this cute little Rosemary last weekend. I plan on putting a bow on it and setting on the kitchen counter for Christmas cheer! Eventually, it will replace my sick and dying Rosemary in the back garden. I thought, being larger, it would have a better start then the tiny size normally available in herb sections.  This topiary is about 10 inches tall. Uniquely, Rosemary can be trained into a topiary or even a bonsai, I think.  When we bought the Rosemary, we also bought these Pinks: These are sitting where they'll be planted near the front door, though they aren't planted yet. They don't mind Florida winter and will offer a bright spot of color for Christmas.   A bi-annual, they'll last a couple years. Finally, a pretty shot of our Cat, Sunni: My computer is right by this window and she enjoys sunning herself here on her cat-pad, just behind me. She generally enjoys being where we are. If we watch TV, she likes to s

Good Eating Monday: The Hilarious Sandwich Debacle

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On Fridays, on our way back from the Fitness Center, Hubby and I usually stop at Chick-Fil-A for a to-go lunch, since it's right on the way home. He usually parks the car and goes inside to order our take-out while I wait. (He feels this is faster then the drive-thru, since it's nearly always bumper-to-bumper at lunch hour.) Normally our order consists of one combo Grilled Chicken Sandwich with one iced tea and plus another Grilled Chicken Sandwich. (photo) Though, we get ours plain, without the lettuce & tomato. (Hubby doesn't like it and leaving it off makes the meal cheaper.) So, it's just a couple plain grilled chicky's on a multi-grain bun that we take home.  For this story, it's important you get that picture. Plain chicken. No cheese. No lettuce or tomato. We order this because Hubby's doesn't prefer fried crust and, for me, it's the lowest calorie sandwich option. Once home, I always fix my sandwich up with Vlasic spicy-sweet pick

Mama Kat Thursday: Rust & Iron

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The Mama Kat blog writing prompt for today is to write something inspired by the word, "Rust." In a conversation about cast iron skillets, the topic of "rust" seems to always come up. Mostly how to avoid it. This past Sunday, one of the young men who attends our Sunday leadership team Bible study, named Randy, asked me how to go about "seasoning" cast iron skillets. We've known Randy several years, ever since he was in the Air Force. He's been working for Walmart now, for several years since getting out, and what prompted his question is he saw a 3-set of cast iron skillets on sale for $20, which seemed a good deal, and if he got them, how to go about seasoning them? To show him what he wanted to end up with, I showed him one of my skillets: (pictured)  "This sheen you see," I explained to him, "is what you want to achieve."  Of course, 2 of my skillets are 34 years old and one not included in this photo used to be

Garden Pic Wednesday: Autumn Marigold!

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Today I was doing a little yard clean-up. The ground is thick with pine needle and I used the mower to mulch as many as possible and dump it in various beds, especially around shrubs.  The rain garden in particular, needed pine needles cleaned up. I only got half done before time to come in. So the Garden Pic of the day is this shot of a Dwarf Marigold in my front bed. They make good fall color all the way to hard frost here. The flowers on this one are especially pretty and rusty red is my favorite color, so I'll be saving a few of it's seeds for next year. No doubt, many others will spring up on their own as they always do, but having the extra seeds is a good back up. That's it for today! Stop back tomorrow for Mama Kat!

Good Eating Monday: Kinds of Rice

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I recently purchased some "Black Rice" and came to wonder about varieties of rice. What's the difference between Basmati and Jasmine? Or long, medium or short grain rices? So, today's Good Eating is all about rice: an explanation of various kinds. I've gleaned this information from various references on the web and I really appreciated coming to a better understanding of things like basmati rice or sweet rice and even Uncle Ben's rice! First of all, rice is divided into 3 general categories: all purpose, aromatic & specialty of which I'm only listing a few of the most common. There are many more breeds of rice, some only grown in local areas for local use. All Purpose Rices: White Long Grain Rice : This is a long, slim polished rice that is doesn't stick together on cooking and fluffs-up nicely making it preferred for Chinese cooking or any thing that calls for a fluffy, non-sticky rice.  White Medium & Short Grain Rices:  These

Friday Finds: Thanksgving Slow-Cooker Cranberry Wonder Sauce

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With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I've pulled this wonderful recipe for "Wonder Cranberry Sauce," from a previous Good Eating post that's fantastic for cooking a single Turkey breast or several thighs or legs--or any meat or roast that will fit in your Slow Cooker! It makes fabulous gravy for your mashed potatoes, too! *** For how to slow-cook a whole roasting hen, go here . Just add the wonder sauce & cook! Thanksgiving Slow Cooker Cranberry Wonder Sauce Just 3 ingredients: 1 15oz can jellied cranberry sauce, any brand 1/2 cup Italian dressing, any brand 1/2 cup LIGHT  cranberry juice, any brand or cranberry combo, like apple-cranberry, etc Directions: Spray slow-cooker with an oil spray. Salt & pepper whatever meat you're planing to cook and arrange in your slow-cooker.  (A large oval slow-cooker can accommodate a roasting hen or whole turkey breast.) In saucepan: combine jellied cranberry sauce, Italian dressing & light cranber

Mama Kat Thursday: Favorite Free Time Fun

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The Mama Kat blog writing prompt I chose this week was, "If I have a day off, how do I spend my free time?" Hubby and I enjoy playing online multi-player adventure games as a free-time hobby. Young military guys he knows envy he's so lucky to have a wife who enjoy's that sort of thing.  We used to play Pirates of the Caribbean for several years before it was closed down and currently we're playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. Hubby and myself as our Star Wars characters on the ice  planet Hoth: a Jedi Knight & a Republic Commando Storm Trooper. Star Wars is actually more interesting then Pirates of the Caribbean. In Pirates of the Caribbean, you could only be a Pirate and there was a single set of quests everyone did. In Star Wars, there are 8 different character categories: you can be a Jedi, a Smuggler, a Commando, a Sith, an Imperial Spy, etc and each character category has it's own unique story line and quest missions. So that means to

Garden Pic Wednesday: Zebrina Pendula

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Or, as this houseplant is more commonly called: Wandering Jew. I believe in another earlier Garden Wednesday post I ought to photograph mine before cold weather does it in, so here it is: Don't worry. I clipped a vase-full of trailers to keep indoors over winter, then in spring I'll replant it right here and it will start over.  I've been recycling it this way for years.  It blooms, In a past Garden Pic Wednesday post, here , I featured one of it's little flowers. Wandering Jew makes a gorgeous table arrangement during winter, too! ****** That's all for today! Stop back to see what's up for Mama Kat!

Good Eating Monday: Italian Chicken

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Sunday nights are a good night for me to try out Pinterest casserole recipes that serve a small crowd, since we have 4 or 5 people over for Bible Study weekly! This week's dish is called, "Italian Chicken."  It's baked in the oven, then served over spaghetti. Now there are some things I did differently from the recipe: #1) I doubled the recipe because I needed enough for seconds. #2) I used thin-sliced chicken breasts instead of whole, boneless chicken breasts, because I didn't want to have to worry about my chicken not getting cooked through.  Now thin-sliced chicken breasts are basically cut Scallopini-style, so each piece is only 1/4 inch thick. S I either tri-folded them, if they were large, or single-folded them if they were smaller, so that way I could cook a dozen in my 9 x 13 pan.  This made a nice size "chicken bundle" that cooked through and was easy to serve. #3) I served my Italian Chicken "seasoned spaghetti" instead

Mama Kat Thursday: The Case of the Scary Holes

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Today's Mama Kat prompt is, "Share something that scared you when you were young and whether I'm  still afraid. " Back when my sisters and I were kids, our parents were friends with another couple named Lucille & Virgil. They lived in a suburb of Indianapolis, so a family jaunt up to visit occurred fairly regularly. Conveniently, they had 3 children just like us, though we were closer in age to their youngest daughter, then her older brothers. Lucille & Virgil lived in a red brick home with a double garage. It had a septic system. I recall this because their drainage field, unlike ours which was set far away from where anyone might walk, ran out upon a grassy slope not terribly far from the back door and I was forever stepping in that stinky mud. Their house also had a feature ours didn't. It had a basement. Not the finished sort. Just a plain ole' basement with gray cinder block walls and the traditional basement musty smell. I vaguely recall s

Garden Pic Wednesday: Salvia Ablaze!

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I finally finished planting all those Dutch Iris Bulbs!  A couple weeks ago, I'd dug up the 5 year old bulbs in two containers only to find they'd been fruitful and multiplied--creating about a 100 bulb-lets ranging in size from 3/8 to 1 inch in size! I'd already planted half, while the rest have been waiting in a bucket of dirt in the garage! As I planted them, I discovered a few were showing growth-tips proving it was certainly time to get them in the ground! Here in Florida, this time of year is when Dutch Iris puts up it's greenery to drink in sun for spring bloom! Today's photo is one I shot just this past Sunday as the setting sun rays fell upon this Red Salvia that's in a container just outside my patio door!  As soon as I saw it, I ran for my camera!  It's enjoying a period of prosperous growth & bloom right now, as it is does every fall--until the first hard frost. Though, the roots generally survive and the plants come back in spring.