Friday, May 22, 2015

Something About Sunflowers
























I LOVE sunflowers

A contrast between delicate
and strong

A variety of components
all working together to make
something beautifully unique

A name perfectly suited ...
a ray flower with each petal
ensconcing the center

A yellow flower that looks amazingly
similar to the 'sun' I drew
when I was a little girl







And another point of symbolism with this majestic flower ...
it's one of the rare ones that looks as gorgeous when it's dying
as it does when it's full of life.


Sounds a bit like a life lesson to me ...



The petals are closing in, signs that the days of living are almost gone.




Yet they still stand ... gorgeous, strong & tall.




Thank you, Gunnar & Abigail, for blessing me on Mother's Day.








Who doesn't love a good party?!
You can find me here linking up with these great blogs.

Monday           Amaze Me Monday  The Dedicated House
                     I Should Be Mopping the Floor     The Hankful House     The Modest Mom
Tuesday        A Delightsome Life    A Bowl Full of Lemons   So Much At Home
                                    Titus Tuesday  A Stroll Through Life
Wednesday   Raising Homemakers        Savvy Southern Style      
                              The Thrifty Home   A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Thursday    Between Naps on the Porch    Katherines Corner   Lamberts Lately
Friday      Rooted in Thyme  The Thrifty Groove   Farm Blog Hop  Best of the Nest
                                French Country Cottage  The Girl Creative
Sunday    Nifty Thrifty Things  Sew Many Ways

Thursday, May 21, 2015

White Hot Baked Cheese Dip

Hello there, sweet friends!
Hope this finds all of you doing well & enjoying the spring season!
We've had a bit of a cold snap here in Indiana ... in fact, I made a big pot of chili last night to warm us up!
It'll be back up into the 80s by the weekend though, so I'm enjoying this cooler weather while it's here.

I can hardly believe that it's already Memorial Weekend!
Goodness gracious = Time, slow down!
Our major plan for this holiday weekend, we'll be starting on a big project here at home.
We're getting a hardwood floor in the living room!
James will be doing the installation & I'll be sure to show before & after pics.

 

I've wanted to share this recipe on here for a while now & thought this would be the perfect time.
You may need a new dish to make over Memorial weekend ... maybe for a pitch-in
or to just enjoy around the house as you are doing your weekend activities.

We LOVE this dip cause it's super cheesy & we are cheese lovers around here.
And it's so easy & quick ... you can have it stirred together & in the oven in just a few minutes.






Hot White Baked Cheese Dip

2   8 ounce packages cream cheese
1/2 cup of chopped onions
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1   16 ounce package of shredded Monterrey jack cheese
1   16 ounce package of shredded Parmesan cheese 

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.





Bring cream cheese to room temp or zap in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften.
Stir in onions, garlic salt, & mayo.
Lastly, add in all the shredded cheeses & mix together.
Put mixture in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until browned & bubbly around the edges.
Serve with tortilla chips.




 James loves burnt cheese so he likes the part that's all browned on top.



I've taken this to our church fellowship meal several times & it's always gobbled up in no time.
Hope it's a hit for you too!

Happy Memorial Day to all <3




Who doesn't love a good party?!
You can find me here linking up with these great blogs.

Monday           C.R.A.F.T    Amaze Me Monday  The Dedicated House
                     I Should Be Mopping the Floor     The Hankful House     The Modest Mom
Tuesday        A Delightsome Life    A Bowl Full of Lemons   So Much At Home
                                    Titus Tuesday  A Stroll Through Life
Wednesday   Raising Homemakers        Savvy Southern Style         Adorned From Above
                              The Thrifty Home   A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Thursday    Between Naps on the Porch   Serving Joyfully    Katherines Corner   Lamberts Lately
Friday      Rooted in Thyme  The Thrifty Groove   Farm Blog Hop  Best of the Nest
                                French Country Cottage  The Girl Creative
Sunday    Nifty Thrifty Things  Sew Many Ways


Friday, May 15, 2015

Smokehouse Lasagna



Smokehouse Lasagna ... just that name of it makes my mouth water.
I mean, just the word 'lasagna', well, it is strong enough to stand alone ... no embellishment needed, right?
But add 'smokehouse' to it, I am all ears!


This was my first time to make Smokehouse Lasagna,
but I've been making Smokehouse Spaghetti for years.
It's one of our very faves.
Again, it's the name that got me.
This time around though,  I just had a hankering for lasagna.
So, I adapted this recipe very easily & now we've got 2 favorites!



My good ol' Amish cookbook is where this recipe comes from.
I love this cookbook {it's my go-to}.




Nothing too crazy in the way of ingredients ... the usual lasagna fare with the exception of one thing 
& we are about to get to that ;)






That's right:  BACON!




The bacon is what makes it SMOKEHOUSE LASAGNA!




After frying the bacon & the ground beef together {& draining},
the sauce is added in & the lasagna assembly begins.




And cheese.
Did I mention there is A LOT of cheese in this recipe?
You may have noticed, there are 4 kinds of cheese in this dish!







And no lasagnas were ever harmed by adding a few pepperonis to the top.




This is one massive pan of lasagna.
I'm glad I had this disposable pan on hand cause I'm pretty sure 
it might have otherwise overflowed.




I sprinkled some of this seasoning over the top & stuck it in the oven.







And here it is ... in all it's smokehousey glory!





This is one delicious treat, let me tell you.
My family gobbled it up, leaving 1.5 pieces to spare.

 
Next time you are in a lasagna mood, do yourself a big favor & give this recipe a try.
Pin it on Pinterest so you'll know just where to find it.
You can even share it on your FB page if you want.
Something this awesome oughta be shared, right?!
;)




Smokehouse Lasagna

1/2 lb. bacon
2 lbs. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2  24 ounce jars pasta sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
9 lasagna noodles
15 ounces ricotta cheese
12 slices of provolone cheese
5 ounces grated parmesan cheese
1 lb. mozzarella cheese
sprinkle of dried rosemary & garlic (any italian seasoning will work)
25 slices of pepperoni

Fry bacon, ground beef, & onion together.
Drain off excess fat.
Add in pasta sauce, garlic, salt, & pepper, stirring well to combine.
Simmer for  20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare lasagna noodles as directed on package.

In a large, deep dish, begin assembling lasagna by putting a layer of meat sauce on bottom.
Next, put 1/3 of noodles, 1/3 of sauce, 1/3 each type of cheese.
Repeat layers twice.
Top with pepperoni & dried rosemary & garlic seasoning.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, uncovered.
Cover with foil & bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


*additional recipe notes:
The original Smokehouse Spaghetti recipe does not use jarred pasta sauce.
I will share the homemade sauce ingredients when I share the spaghetti recipe.
 







Who doesn't love a good party?!
You can find me here linking up with these great blogs.

Monday           C.R.A.F.T    Amaze Me Monday  The Dedicated House
                     I Should Be Mopping the Floor     The Hankful House     The Modest Mom
Tuesday        A Delightsome Life    A Bowl Full of Lemons   So Much At Home
                                    Titus Tuesday  A Stroll Through Life
Wednesday   Raising Homemakers        Savvy Southern Style         Adorned From Above
                              The Thrifty Home   A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Thursday    Between Naps on the Porch   Serving Joyfully    Katherines Corner   Lamberts Lately
Friday      Rooted in Thyme  The Thrifty Groove   Farm Blog Hop  Best of the Nest
                                French Country Cottage  The Girl Creative
Sunday    Nifty Thrifty Things  Sew Many Ways





Friday, May 1, 2015

May is for the Birds



credit

In May
I truly think it best
to be a robin
lightly dressed
concocting soup
inside my nest.
Mix it once
mix it twice
mix that chicken soup
with rice.


a poem from one of my favorite authors
Chicken Soup with Rice ~ A Book of Months
by Maurice Sendak





 Who doesn't love a good party?!
You can find me here linking up with these great blogs.

Monday           C.R.A.F.T    Amaze Me Monday  The Dedicated House
                     I Should Be Mopping the Floor     The Hankful House     The Modest Mom
Tuesday        A Delightsome Life    A Bowl Full of Lemons   So Much At Home
                                    Titus Tuesday  A Stroll Through Life
Wednesday   Raising Homemakers        Savvy Southern Style         Adorned From Above
                              The Thrifty Home   A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Thursday    Between Naps on the Porch   Serving Joyfully    Katherines Corner   Lamberts Lately
Friday      Rooted in Thyme  The Thrifty Groove   Farm Blog Hop  Best of the Nest
                                French Country Cottage  The Girl Creative
Sunday    Nifty Thrifty Things  Sew Many Ways

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Make Your Own Powdered Sugar!


I learned something new today from good old Food Network!

If you have a recipe that calls for powdered {confectioner's} sugar & you have none in the pantry,
you can make your own with 2 simple ingredients!

All you need is granulated sugar & cornstarch.
Throw those 2 things in the blender / food processor until the sugar is fine & powdery
& viola:  powdered sugar!

I've seen a lot of substitution charts through the years, but this one, I've never heard of
& I had to share it, just in case it's new to you too.






Happy Saturday,




Who doesn't love a good party?!
You can find me here linking up with these great blogs.

Monday           C.R.A.F.T    Amaze Me Monday  The Dedicated House
                     I Should Be Mopping the Floor     The Hankful House     The Modest Mom
Tuesday        A Delightsome Life    A Bowl Full of Lemons   So Much At Home
                                    Titus Tuesday  A Stroll Through Life
Wednesday   Raising Homemakers        Savvy Southern Style         Adorned From Above
                              The Thrifty Home   A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Thursday    Between Naps on the Porch   Serving Joyfully    Katherines Corner   Lamberts Lately
Friday      Rooted in Thyme  The Thrifty Groove   Farm Blog Hop  Best of the Nest
                                French Country Cottage  The Girl Creative
Sunday    Nifty Thrifty Things  Sew Many Ways

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring April



credit

In April
I will go away
to far off Spain
or old Bombay
and dream about
hot soup all day.
Oh my oh once
oh my oh twice
oh my oh
chicken soup with rice.

a poem from one of my favorite authors
Chicken Soup with Rice ~ A Book of Months
by Maurice Sendak

Monday, March 30, 2015

Creamy Mushroom Soup

 
There's a little local Italian restaurant that we absolutely adore.
It's called Vito Provolone's.
It's small, quaint, family-owned & operated with an interesting history to boot, 
has a bit more of a refined crowd, & always has Frank Sinatra playing through the speakers.
And as if that isn't enough ... we love their authentic Italian fare!

But what we are really nuts about their mushroom soup!
It's only served on Tuesday & Wednesday ... 
so when we go there, it has to be on one or the other of those nights.
I promise, it's a struggle to remain calm while eating it!
It's just that good.
A few weeks ago, I wanted it so much that I decided to see if I could find a copy cat recipe for it ...
but no such luck.
I did, however, find plenty of recipes to choose from on the internet.
After deciding on a few that sounded similar, I made my list, picked up all the ingredients,
& made my own pot of Creamy Mushroom Soup.
It wasn't exactly like the one from Provolone's but it was completely delicious!
It took care of my mushroom soup craving.

The one at the restaurant is lighter in color & less mushroomy.
We really like mushrooms, so I added quite a few ... that probably made a difference.





Ingredients

4 cups fresh mushrooms {2 cups button, 2 cups crimini}2 garlic cloves, minced
1 med. onion, diced
1 Tbsp. butter + 1 Tbsp. olive oil
2-3 Tbsp. chicken base
1 Tbsp. parsley, fresh or dried
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
4 cups water
3 cups milk
1 cup greek yogurt



Instructions

In large kettle, saute the onion in butter + olive oil til softened.
Add garlic & all mushrooms, finally chopped, & saute for another minute or two.
Add in the water & all the spices & bring to a simmer.
Reduce to low & cook for at least 30 minutes.
Add milk & greek yogurt.
Heat for another 10-15 minutes.
Serve with croutons or buttered crackers.

*My recommendation, use an immersion blender after soup has finished cooking.
This will make it more smooth & creamy.




If you are in the mood for a delicious pot of soup & want to try something a little different,
give this recipe a try.
It will not disappoint!






Who doesn't love a good party?!
You can find me here linking up with these great blogs.

Monday           C.R.A.F.T    Amaze Me Monday  The Dedicated House
                     I Should Be Mopping the Floor     The Hankful House     The Modest Mom
Tuesday        A Delightsome Life    A Bowl Full of Lemons   So Much At Home
                                    Titus Tuesday  A Stroll Through Life
Wednesday   Raising Homemakers        Savvy Southern Style         Adorned From Above
                              The Thrifty Home   A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Thursday    Between Naps on the Porch   Serving Joyfully    Katherines Corner   Lamberts Lately
Friday      Rooted in Thyme  The Thrifty Groove   Farm Blog Hop  Best of the Nest
                                French Country Cottage  The Girl Creative
Sunday    Nifty Thrifty Things  Sew Many Ways