Monday, July 30, 2012

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Easy Refrigerator Pickles
This year we planted our first garden.  We were blessed with an abundant crop of cucumbers.  This recipe was my first attempt at pickles.  They are delicious!  The cucumbers stayed crisp and crunchy and they are just sweet enough.  They remind me of bread and butter pickles. 

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

6 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
2 cups thinly sliced onions
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves


Place cucumbers and onions in a large bowl; set aside.
Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil.
Cook and stir just until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over cucumber mixture; cool.
Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.

Yield: 6 cups.

~peace and blessings~

Menu Plan Monday, July 30, 2012

Welcome to another Menu Plan Monday, hosted by Laura at!  Here's our plan for the week:

Sunday~Pollo alla Panna (Chicken in Cream Sauce), Salad and French Bread

Monday~Slow Cooker Cube Steak with Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Tuesday~Bacon Topped BBQ Turkey Meatloaf,  Oven Roasted Potatoes, and Steamed Brocolli

Wednesday~Best Ever Grilled Pork Chops, Pierogies, and Corn

Thursday~ Work Picnic

Friday~Pizza and Wing Night

Saturday~Dinner Out~John and I are going to see The Addams Family at the Benedum

Have a super week!
~peace and blessings~

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Zucchini Bread Cookies

Zucchini Bread Cookies

First, sorry about the photo.  It doesn't really give the cookies justice.  They are a flatter cookies, but so moist and soft.  My kids, 7 and 13, love these "vegetable cookies".  I think the oatmeal provides a nice texture to the cookie.

Zucchini Bread Cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Coarse salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg or 1/4 cup egg beaters
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup finely grated zucchini
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a bowl. Beat 1 stick butter and the sugars until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  2. Beat flour mixture into butter mixture. Mix in zucchini and oats. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  3. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop (about 2 tablespoons), drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden, about 17 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

~peace and blessings~

Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini Fritters

It's that time in the summer, when Zucchini is in abundance.  I've made several Zucchini dishes that have become family favorites.  You can see them here.  I made these fritters the other night as a side.  They were delicious and would serve 6-8 people. 

1 whole Medium Zucchini, Unpeeled And Grated
1 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoons Salt
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 whole Medium Eggs or 1/2 cup Egg Beaters
1 Tablespoon Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 whole Small Onion, Diced (I omitted the onions)
1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
1 dash Oregano
1 dash Garlic Salt
Oil, For Frying

Add all of the ingredients (except the last amount of frying oil) into a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
Cover the bottom of a skillet with oil and heat over medium heat. Drop the mixture by tablespoons into the hot oil. Brown on both sides. Remove the completed fritters onto a paper towel lined plate and repeat with the remaining batter.

~peace and blessings~

S'mores Cookies

S'mores Cookies

These cookies are very good.  The original recipe comes from Nikki at Chef-in-Training 
I made them a little bit different to cut some fat and to get a larger cookie.   This is a perfect recipe for kids in the kitchen.  DD crushed the graham crackers for me, stirred together the dry ingredients and dumped them into the bowl.   Here's my recipe:

  • 3/4 cup butter softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding dry
  • 2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg beaters
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 sheets graham crackers finely crushed
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 - 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2-2/3 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I use milk chocolate)


  1. Cream butter and sugars together. Add in pudding mix and beat until well incorporated.
  2. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well blended.
  3. In a small bowl, stir graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and flour until evenly mixed.
  4. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until well incorporated.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips and mini marshmallows until evenly mixed in. Add more if desired.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. You want these cookies to be slightly undercooked. It helps make them extra soft :)  I used a cookie scoop for each cookie.  They were nice sized.  You may want to use a teaspoon for smaller cookies.  I also baked them on a parchment lined baking sheet for 10 minutes, let them sit on the sheet for another 3, then cooled on a wire rack.  They were soft and yummy.
~peace and blessings~

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

First Harvest

This is the garden this afternoon.  It has grown so much since it was planted in late May.

We did our first "harvest" yesteday.  Above is Romaine and Hungarian Hot Peppers.

These are the sweet peppers and a bit of the green beans.

These are 2 of our zucchini, along with the beans snapped and ready to be blanched for freezing.  I blanched them in boiling water for 3 minutes, then shocked them in ice water for 3 minutes.  John dried them on paper towels and then vacuum sealed them.  I did them in one pound batches.  We ended up with about 5 lbs. of beans.

One pack of our freezer ready beans

We had visitors to the yard during dinner last night.  This is one of the fawns.  There was another fawn and a doe on the hillside as well.

~peace and blessings~

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sharing A Meal

My aunt had triple by-pass surgery last Thursday. She is healing well and was home by Monday.  She is unable to do much of anything and my uncle, who had a stroke a few months ago, is not able to do much to help her out.  The kids and I took them dinner yesterday.  I made them Crescent Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Country Style Green Beans and Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies.  They were surprised to see us and that we brought them dinner too.  It was nice to visit with them both. 

I involved my kids in the process of preparing the food and the delivery to show them how important it is to reach out to those in need with kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity.  Hunter was touched by the gesture and told me I had a "good heart".  That was unexpected, but touched me deeply.  I can only hope that in leading by example, it leads them both on the right path in life.

~peace and blessings~

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Anniversary Getaway

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On July 8th, my husband and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary.  We went on a short getaway to the Canaan Valley/Davis, WV area.  We stayed in a luxury cabin in Dry Fork.  It was beautiful and had a beautiful view.  John loved the hot tub on the back deck, as well as the shower for two.  The cabin had every luxury of home without having to take care of anything.  We will return to the Golden Anchor Cabins.  We had a nice time taking scenic drives, tubing on the Cheat River, eating hot meals (if you are a parent with young children, you understand) and spending time together.  I can't wait to go back and maybe even take the kids! 

Thank you for stopping by!
~peace and blessings~

Teacher Retirement Party

Kathy opening her cards and gifts
  A friend, mentor and fellow teacher recently retired and is moving half-way across the country next week to be closer to her children and grandchildren.   We gathered last night for a final time before she starts this new journey in life. I hosted a pot-luck dinner at our home. Everyone brought yummy dishes to share including shrimp cocktail, fresh fruit and dip, salad, pasta salad, macaroni salad, veggie pizza, mini sandwiches from a local deli, brownies, strawberry cream pie and cheesecake.

We used party plates from Celebrate Express. I used the colors in the stripes to coordinate the napkins, plasticware, tableclothes and favors. 

The centerpiece was made of fresh slowers and some paper medallions I made using scrapbook paper, cardstock, stickers, and glue. (which didn't make it out of the photo!) Contact me if you need instructions on the medallions or favor boxes. 

 Each guest was given a "thank-you" gift.  I made these favor boxes from toilet paper rolls, scrapbooking paper and round Avery labels.  I filled the inside with chocolates and candy.

Laurie and Karin hanging on the porch.

Thanks for stopping by!

~peace and blessings~

Classic Cheesecake

For a retirement/going away party I hosted last night, I made this classic Cheesecake as dessert.  I served strawberries and blueberries to top of the slices.    It was given rave reviews.  Above is what is left of the cheesecake.  I apologize for the poor picture.  Here's the recipe:

Classic Cheesecake

1-1/2cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each)  Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs


Heat oven to 325°F.

Mix  graham crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. 
Beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust. 
Bake 55 min. or until center is almost set. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours. 


~peace and blessings~

Monday, July 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday, July 9th

Welcome to another MPM hosted by Laura at I'm An Organizing Junkie! This week will be light on the cooking because we have so much going on!  July is a busy month for us.  Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated our 17th Wedding Anniversary.  We spent the weekend together in Canaan Valley, WV.  We stayed in a beautiful log cabin and experienced "Wild, Wonderful West Virginia".  The kids enjoyed a visit with their grandparents on the family farm.  Here's our plan for the week:

Sunday~Travel Day--ate out

Monday~Chicken Fajitas and Fries

Tuesday~ Hosting a Retirement/Going Away Pot Luck

Wednesday~Crescent Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Thursday~ Ham Dinner at my parents' for Dad's Birthday

Friday~Church Festival for Dinner

Saturday~ Wedding

~peace and blessings~

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Fun

Last weekend, we made it to camp.  On Saturday, we went boating.  Miss M is hanging out...

 ...and so is Hunter.

They did a little bit of fishing and caught a few little fish....

... that we threw back into the lake.

On the 4th we went to our Aunt and Uncle's for a picnic and some swimming.

Hunter, Vince and Matt spent the day jumping in and out of the pool. 

 Miss M and I were debating whether or not to jump in...I am so pale!!  Love my sunscreen!

 Brenda and Sean watched the fun from the deck.

 Here Matt and Hunter jump into the pool.  I love action shots!

Miss M floating in her tube...taking it all in.

Aunt Jeannie and my mil Barb cooling off in the pool.

Barn Star Refurbished

This star used to hang on the outside of our old house.  As you can see it had rusted over time.  It has been hanging out in the basement since we moved 2 years ago.  DS wants to do a Western/Cowboy Theme in his bathroom and I thought this star would be a good addition to the room. 

First, I sanded the rust off the star using some sandpaper dh had in the garage.  I'm not sure of the grit or brand because I just pulled it from a box labeled "sandpaper".  ;0) I did this outside, as not to create dust in the house.  It's a bit messy.

Then I wiped it down with a damp paper towel and dried it with another towel.  I let it set for about 30 minutes to make sure it was totally dry.

Then I sprayed it using this Rust-Oleum Universal Paint in Oil Rubbed Bronze.  I did two coats, letting it dry about 20 minutes in between each coat.

Here's the completed star.  I'm happy with how it turned out.  I will post pics of the bathroom once it is completed. 

Thanks for stopping by!

~peace and blessings~

Monday, July 2, 2012

Menu Plan Monday, July 2nd

It's another Monday and here's the plan for the week:


Monday~ Grilled Ham Steaks, Mashed Potatoes with Country Gravy, Green Beans

Tuesday~Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce over Spaghetti, Garlic Bread and Salad--with greens from our first garden.

Wednesday~Happy 4th of July!  Hot Dogs, Baked Potato Salad, Watermelon

Thursday~BBQ Jack Chicken, Rice Pilaf, Zucchini Fries


Saturday~Anniversary Dinner Out

Have a great week!

~blessings and peace~