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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Things That Make Me Smile

We have had beautiful Spring weather.  It's been a little cooler than normal which is nice to not go straight from having the furnace on to the air conditioner.  We haven't used either in probably a month which I love.

These beauties are frequenting our bird feeder along with SO many other gorgeous birds.

For Cinco De Mayo I made beef nachos with salsa and Queso dip.  I tried yet another recipe searching for the perfect to me dip.  So far, everything I've made is good but not quite what I'm looking for.  So the search continues.

How is your Spring going?  Anyone have a favorite Queso recipe I could try?

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Shawarma-Inspired Skillet Chicken

 This recipe is seriously delicious.  It's probably the best 'new' recipe I've tried in quite a while and it will be in our dinner rotation from now on.

I found the recipe here Havoc In The Kitchen - Shawarma-Inspired Skillet Chicken.  This food blog is amazing and I know I will be trying many of the dishes, especially if they are half as good as this.

My picture doesn't do it justice but I was in such a hurry to try it.  I served it with sauteed onion and broccoli and homemade Naan.  I drizzled the tahini sauce on top and it brought the entire dish together.

Has anyone tried any new recipes lately?

Sunday, April 25, 2021

My Week

Not a lot going on  this week. Who am I kidding, not a lot has been going on since March 2020.  Other than work and going out to eat yesterday I have been no where.  It was nice yesterday to sit outside and enjoy a meal.  

Today, I did a LOT of laundry and home projects.  I wanted to work outside but ran out of time so that is on my list for this week.  The weather is supposed to be really nice.  Hopefully no more cold or snow like we had on Tuesday.  Thankfully it didn't seem to hurt any of our trees or bushes. I don't like to freeze things for more than a couple of months so it was kind of nice to have a brief cold front to finish up the soups/chili in the freezer.

This weeks menu was...
Monday-Beef roast, onions and potatoes and corn.
Tuesday- The last two servings of spicy white bean chicken soup from the freezer
Wednesday- The last two servings of chili with cheese and Fritos
Thursday- Left over beef roll ups with pepper jack cheese and cilantro

Friday- Grilled Chicken, potatoes, salad

Saturday-We were still pretty full from lunch so I made a one pan omelet. Not sure why the photo is coming out this way, but this really is the easiest way to make an omelet for more than one person.

Hope everyone enjoyed the weekend. What did you cook/eat this week?  

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Saturday at Firefly

One of the few places we eat out at is Firefly Grill Firefly Grill - Restaurant in Effingham, Illinois ( . It's a beautiful restaurant inside and out.  It has that incredible atmosphere where you feel comfortable whether you're wearing jeans and a sweater or all dressed up. We've been going there for years and have enjoyed every single dish we've had. They grow a lot of the food they serve right there on the premises and source locally for everything else. We haven't been there since November 2019 because of the pandemic.  Today we finally got to go and the meal was as amazing as always. 

We had the fried green tomatoes for an appetizer. In the summer they do fried green tomatoes with a corn relish that is to die for.  Today they were toped with a house made pimento cheese, house smoked bacon and pickled jalapeno relish.  This was as equally amazing.

The big guy chose crab cakes and declared them exquisite.  His word not mine. I could tell they were filled with large flakey pieces of crab with very little filler.

I have such a hard time choosing what to get since everything is so good.  Today I chose the All American Burger.  The local beef is very tasty.

It was a nice ride, good company in a beautiful setting over looking their large pond and fabulous food.  I'm already trying to think what I want to choose when we go next month for my Birthday.

What is happening in your world today?

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Key Lime Cookies

I should be back to a more normal schedule this week and I am so happy for that. I had a three day weekend which unfortunately is passing by too quickly.  Our temperatures have been a little lower than usual but nice.  Lot's of sunshine.  Everything is SO green.

Thanks to Martha from Seaside Simplicity who used Key Limes for her A-Z challenge I have been craving Key Lime Cookies.  So today I had to make them. The cookies are slightly crispy with a delicious lime flavor. They will remind you of Spring.

1/2 cup butter room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg and another egg yolk room temperature
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (approximately 3 limes)
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest (approximately 1 and 1/2 limes)
1/2 cup confections sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl cream butter, sugar, eggs until smooth.  About 2 minutes with a hand mixer.  Stir in lime juice and lime zest slowly.  Add the flour, baking powder and salt and blend into the creamed mixture.  Form dough into 1/2 inch balls and arrange on the cookie sheet. ( I use parchment paper)

Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.  Cool on wire rack. Cover with powdered sugar while still warm.

Tips:  Wash your limes in warm water and then roll on the counter firmly for a minute to make them a little easier to juice.  

How is everyone's Sunday going?

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Things That Make Me Smile

Sorry I just dropped out of sight for the past week and have to totally ditch the A-Z challenge.  I'm disappointed about that as I had the list complete and the photos taken.  Everything is OK I just have a couple of projects that have taken up a ton of time.  By next weekend, I will be back to regular postings.  

Yesterday I witnessed some awesomeness.  I saw a deer in our front yard in the late afternoon.  While we do have a large population of deer you do not see them in the front yard much at all.  She was pacing around a little.  I was worried that maybe she was sick.  Then she wandered over to the side of our house.  Our back yard is fenced in but I could still see her.  One minute she was standing behind the neighbors shed and then when I looked back out less than 5 minutes later...she had had a baby!! The pictures aren't great but I didn't want to disturb her so I took them from the sliding glass door which is quite a ways from where she was.  I guess nothing says Spring like this.

Have you experienced any amazing signs of Spring?

Saturday, April 3, 2021

C-Country Cookbook

 My Mother sent me this cookbook back in 1987 when I was living in Florida.  She loves organization cookbooks.  Unfortunately most of them from the 80's are filled with recipes that include boxed and canned ingredients that I just don't use.  They are still a fun read though.  

This one has a page with 23 suggestions on appetizers. Chicken livers minced and moistened with mayonnaise anyone?

I do like the weights, measures and equivalents page in this one.  It is very helpful.  

I hope everyone has a blessed weekend and a Happy Easter.  I will be continuing this challenge on Monday.

Friday, April 2, 2021

B-Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

This was my Grandmothers 1953 edition so it is very special to me.  It's in good shape for as old as it is and as much as I'm sure she used it.  Tucked inside I found a few recipes she clipped from the newspaper over the years.  I haven't cooked anything out of it but I love all of the information it provides and I enjoy seeing how much what we eat and how we cook has changed over the years.

I love this picture of a kitchen from the 1950's.  

I like a cookbook that lists all of the recipes before each category. It's makes finding something very easy.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

A-America The Great Cookbook

I'm doing the A-Z challenge. Well I guess I should say I'm really going to give it an attempt. Wish me luck.

The topic I chose was cookbooks/food memoirs from my bookshelf.  

This cookbook was published in 2017.  The subtitle is The food we make for the people we love from 100 of our finest chefs and food heroes.  It gives a brief description of the chef and then shares two or three of their favorite recipes which was a lot of fun to read. Just a few of the chefs included are Marcus Samuelson, Jose Andres, Nancy Silverton and many many more. I also really liked that the proceeds went to the organization No Kid Hungry. I've tried many of the recipes or gleaned ideas from them.  One I really enjoy to this day is Grilled Steak Salad with Charred Sugar Snap Peas, radishes and herbs.  SO good!

Sunday, March 28, 2021

My Week

For some reason this week flew by and unfortunately the weekend did too.  I'm seriously thinking about working 4 10 hour days instead of 5 8 hour days.  I used to do that and it was really nice.  I just feel like I never have enough time at home to do everything that needs done and that is with a lot of help from the big guy.  This week I am really going to pay attention to how I spend my time to make sure I'm maximizing it.

The weather was pretty nice this week.  Yesterday was the warmest so far, hitting 78 degrees.  I did take a couple of hours and sit outside in the sun reading.  That always rejuvenates me.  This week though the temperatures looks like a roller coaster with a few nights down below freezing.

Dinners this week:

 Monday-Nacho chicken legs with rice

Tuesday-Italian Chicken Sausage with pasta

Wednesday- Chicken, potato salad and lettuce salad

Thursday- Italian beef sandwiches and oven fries

Friday- Alfredo sauce, ham and red onion pizza

Saturday-Chicken fajita and rice

Alfredo Sauce: ( I used it on the pizza and will be using the rest tonight over pasta)

1/2 stick unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 Cup flour
2 Cups room temperature milk
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 Cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

How was your week?

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Things From My Kitchen

I don't measure a lot when cooking but for baking you have to. So a couple of years ago I found this scale and I LOVE it.  It is so easy to use and it seems to be very accurate.  I haven't had anything flop yet.  I think this is the easiest way to convert measurements.  It's awesome that all of the information is right on the glass.