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Showing posts from April, 2018

Good Eating Monday: Melted Mix-ups!

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Today's recipe is an old family favorite from my growing up years:  Melted Mix-ups! As I kid I thought it was a really fun sandwich: diced wieners, melty cheese with just a tangy touch of pickle relish individually wrapped in foil, then baked! It's a super great recipe for kids to make! I recall making this recipe back when I was a kid as part of meeting requirements for a certain number of prepared family meals I was supposed to plan for my 4-H Food project. (photo is my own) Melted Mix-Ups Ingredients : 2 hard boiled eggs, diced 4 wieners, diced (use your favorite kind) 1 8oz block of cheddar, cubed (or any cheese or Velveeta) 1/4 cup pickle relish (or you can dice your own pickles) 1/4 cup salad dressing (mayo) 8 buns--any type 8 sheets of foil of a size suitable for wrapping one sandwich Directions:  In a bowl, combine diced wieners, diced hard boiled egg, cubed cheese, pickle relish and salad dressing until mixed.  Spoon mix onto buns, div

Friday Finds: Exercises for Feet & Ankles!

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Today's find is simple exericses for feet and ankles to strengthen and relieve swelling. These come from a   post from Living Strong that I found in Pinterest. Motion encourages circulation, which in turn can reduce or prevent swelling. Toe tip-ups and ankle turns are easy to do while seated at your desk at work. For heel raises, do a count of 10 with feet straight, a count of 10 with feet turned outward and a count with feet turned inward. If standing, place a hand on a chair back to maintain balance. This can be done seated also. As an alternative, you can also freeze a bottle of water and roll that under foot to relieve tired and achy feet. Sitting down is easiest, but, if you'd like to stand, place a hand on a chair back to maintain balance.  Best relaxation pose for legs and hips: I f you're comfortable getting to the floor , this relaxation position, pictured, helps lower back, hips, legs and ankles. It helps

Mama Kat Thursday: Garden Joy

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Today's Mama Kat topic is about sharing something that gives me joy.  I was walking around the garden today with my camera looking for new blooms and I passed my row of teacups. Fixing those up as miniature landscapes with gravel, rocks, Hen & Chicks and Chinese Stonecrop gave me a lot of joy both creating as well as being an enjoyable view as I walk past. Teacup Plantings: I have series of teacup/saucer planters dotted along a narrow bed that runs along a block wall. I only recently added fresh stones, and some Chinese Stonecrop to several cups that already had Hen & Chicks established.  Mini Stump Scape: I love this stump now that it's fixed up! It's my favorite thing! Last fall, I decided to mini-scape this rotting pine stump  with some Chicks and Stonecrope. I recently added more Stonecrop and stone to cover parts of the stump turning to dirt. **** What's your favorite joyful thing? Thanks for Visiting!

Garden Pic Wednesday: New Bird Houses & Blue Birds!

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I've been slowly working on adding more bird houses to my back yard.  I like bird houses that have a way to clean out the old nests, so I only buy ones with a door or a port of some kind. New Blue House! Here's my new blue bird house! This is at the very back border of my back yard.  We just put it up this week, since Hubby observed a pair of Blue Birds examining real estate options around my yard.  It's got two doors, one on either side. One is for "viewing" the nest and has a protective clear acrylic panel to keep babies from falling out when the door is opened; the other is for cleaning out. Blue Birds love nesting boxes! But they have specific needs for hole size and height. Plus they do like their house facing a open area.  Luckily I had the perfect spot! New Nesting Bottle! Also new is this "nesting bottle." It's terra cotta and has a hole in the back end for cleaning out and hanging. Just slide it over a nail. It's e

Good Eating Monday: Quick Korean Beef Bowl

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Today's recipe is from Pinterest and I've made it 3 times now, it's so good: Quick Korean Beef Bowl! It's a quick, simple version of Korean BBQ  (Beef Bulgogi) using lean ground beef. I add sliced onion and a handful of carrot matchsticks to the skillet before adding the beef to mine, because the Korean restaurant we used to love before the owner retired made their beef bulgogi that way. But the basic recipe is just seasoned beef over rice topped with sliced scallions and takes 15 to 20 minutes to prepare.  You'll want to put your rice on to boil before starting the recipe, so it can be steaming while your preparing the recipe and be ready to serve.  Makes about 4 servings. (photo is mine) Quick Korean Beef Bowl Ingredients 1 lb lean ground beef  3 cloves garlic, minced  1 Tablespoon olive oil  1/4 cup brown sugar, packed 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce  2 teaspoons sesame seed oil 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (or grin

Mama Kat Thursday: Kitchen Mistakes!

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The Mama Kat blog writing prompt I chose today is, "tell a story about a mistake in the kitchen." I've made my share.   Rules to Live By with a Gas Stove: 1)  When boiling water to make ice tea on a gas stove, never add tea bags while the burner is still on.  The little tea bag tags draping over the side catch fire. 2)  Always check out the smell of something burning.  My previous gas stove didn't have sealed burners, but had burner plates I kept covered in foil. It wasn't uncommon for bits of spattered something on the foil to occasionally catch fire and burn off quick, so I didn't really think much of brief smells. I guess one time I accidentally left a small wood-handled cutting knife laying across the iron grid and it fell through, so it was laying across the burner itself, so when I put a pan on (probably to boil water for tea) I didn't notice it.  I did smell something burning, but, you know, that wasn't terribly abnormal.

Garden Pic Wednesday: Vase Of Japanese Privet!

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The air around her right now is heavy with the sweet perfume of Japanese Privet flowers! Here's a vase I've had on my table this week! Japanese Privet is a pretty common landscape shrub around here.  There's a whole subdivision along the drive to our house with unruly, tree size Privet draping over the backyard fence line, their flowers filling the air with fragrance! The only thing nicer then that smell, is driving by an orange tree field when the flowers are in bloom. Japanese Privet flowers perform very well in a vase. I brought these in to make the house smell nice. The leaves are a nice glossy green and I left a few on each stem near the bloom head, plopped them in a clump right into a vase and viola---beautiful arrangement!  The Privets I have were actually given me by a friend years ago, when we first moved into the house. He was something of a scrounger and got his hands on some pink Indian Hawthorne and Japanese Privet shrubs someone else was a

Good Eating Monday: Chocolate Nut Bars!

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Eagle Brand is famous for their "Magic Bars," made with their Sweetened Condensed Milk, but they actually have tons of recipes. I have a Eagle Brand recipe book and that's where this particular recipe came from. For someone who doesn't like coconut, these Chocolate Nut Bars are a perfect solution! They taste very much like Magic Bars, but just chocolate & nuts! (Photo is my own) Chocolate Nut Bars Ingredients 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted 1 (14oz) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk 2 cups (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips, halved 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup chopped nuts Directions: 1) Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 10 x 13 baking pan with cooking oil spray.  2)  In small bowl, combine crumbs and melted butter, then pour into baking pan and press evenly over bottom. (I usually use my hand.) 3)  In a small saucepan over medium heat: combine 1 cup of chocolate chips, vanilla

Mama Kat Thursday: Spring Views!

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Spring is really the best time for a good show of blooming flowers here in Florida---before the heat sets in! Here's some views of spring around my yard: My container of Gladiolas and Creeping Jenny Moved this container here last fall. Now it gets lots more sun. I've never seen the Creeping Jenny looking so golden! My Containers in the Semi-Shade of the Gardenia: The purple plant is a Wandering Jew houseplant that I keep in a vase of water all winter, then in the spring plant it in this pot, where it will generosity spill over it's container. (The old crock pot liner under it provides height) The double clay pots I just replanted last week with Hen & Chicks on the bottom and Chinese Stonecrop and Creeping Jenny on top.  (Hen & Chicks, Stonecrop and Creeping Jenny are all so prolific, I just move bits and pieces around wherever needed.) Spring Means Planting Petunias! I love Petunias! They're a must-have in all my patio containe

Garden Pic Wednesday: Nests & Blue Buntings!

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I finally got that block project done and planted!  Remember, my goal was to replace grass that wasn't thriving with something I don't have to mow. Hopefully, it will make a nice picture later in summer. Chickadee Nest! We have Carolina Chickadees here, which look very similar to the Black Capped, just smaller in size. This is what a typical Chickadee nest looks like: lots of moss topped with fine hair and grasses filling the cavity 3/4 full! Pretty amazing! They raised a brood earlier in March, so I was emptying the house. Indigo Buntings I called Hubby to the door to peer out at this rare sight: a pair of Indigo Buntings and their fledging picking up seed off the ground under the feeder and in the feeder! There was a male (pictured) and a female and a fledgling with them. Indigo Buntings are a deeper blue then Bluebirds and all blue. They're very common throughout the Eastern United States, but they tend to prefer brush-covered fences al

Good Eating Monday: Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken in Peanut Sauce!

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Because I still have usable Cilantro growing outside, I wanted to do something with a Thai feel, so I pulled out this recipe for this richly delicious and slightly spicy slow cooker I posted here 5 years ago! It calls for canned tomatoes with certain things added: one with green chilies and one with jalapenos, which can be either diced or stewed.  For tomatoes with jalapenos, I found a can of Mexican Recipe Stewed Tomatoes by Del Monte that included jalapenos, cumin and garlic. If you can't find  tomatoes with either green chilies or jalapenos added, you can buy small can of diced green chilies and a small, fresh jalapeno. I'd seed and dice the jalapeno and saute it with the onion, though. The original recipe is from Pillsbury , though mine is an improved version. (Photo is my own.) Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken In Peanut Sauce Ingredients: 8 to 10 boneless chicken thighs 1 to 2 Tablespoons Olive oil 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup) 1 clove garlic, minced (1 t

Friday Finds: Crystal River, Florida!

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Todays "find" is a few photos I took in Crystal River, Florida. We recently drove down to Homosassa Springs, Florida to visit Hubby's half brothers & sisters, though our motel was in the adjacent hamlet called Crystal River.   The Days Inn there was a Denny's attached, so it was a great place to stay! We live on the Panhandle and Crystal River/Homosassa Springs are on the western side of the Peninsula south of Gainesville, but north of Clearwater about a 7 hour drive away. The area is small town America, both towns situated around  two large rivers that pour into a delta on the Gulf and are surrounded by State and National wildlife preserves and parks. I took this shot below off a pier looking across the wide expanse of river at boats and residences on the opposite side: This next shot is across a river bayou is typical of the scenery in the area: lots of Live Oak trees draped in Spanish Moss: Here's a view down one street in

Mama Kat Thursday: 2 New Things I Learned In March

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For the Mama Kat blog prompt link-up today, something new I learned in March is the topic. I learned 2 new things in March: #1)  I learned Red Maple trees do not like being topped or shaped or thinned. It will cause them to die within 2 or 3 years. They'll tolerate a lower branch or two being trimmed off at the trunk, but that's it. Same with Silver Maples. I learned this from a arborist tree cutting professional we invited over to discuss trimming branches on our various trees. There are tree cutters, who will whack down anything, and then there are tree cutters who are also certified arborist's , who really know trees and how best to care for them. I wanted someone who knew trees and he came highly recommended by a friend. My red maple is native and was already on the property when we had the house built. It's a triple trunk, 29 years of age. (Saw it grow from suckers 29 years ago.) Not really that pretty in fall, but it's a healthy deciduous shade

Garden Pic Wednesday: Yellow Flag Iris!

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It started off drizzly and chilly, though, now that it's mid-afternoon, the sun has popped out! Today's Garden Pic is a nice shot of one of my yellow Flag Iris blossoms. They have a wide, flatish faces and enjoy wet or boggish areas, drainage ditches or along side ponds, etc.  This one is among those in my rain garden and more are in the back corner that's both shady all the time and fairly boggy after a heavy rain.  The blades are tall: 30 to 40 inches in height, so they remain impressive spires even after they're done blooming, even through winter. rogress on my block garden edging project: Finished arranging the blocks and put mulch down in the area behind the blocks, which is covered in landscape plastic, which allows rainwater in, but keeps weeds out.  Looks good.  What remains is planting the 5 spaces between blocks marked with red dots. I have some wild flower seed my sister sent me I'll use in the middle pace, plus assorted other