Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Garden Tuesday, squirrel proof?

My Honey is frustrated with the squirrels, me not so much, I think they are rather cute and fun to watch. But Honey is a "bird guy", he is having a good time identifying the birds that come to eat. The problem was, the birds did not get a chance to eat, the squirrels always beat them to the chow! So he set out to make a feeding station that was squirrel proof.........





He took a long wire and strung it between the two large trees in the backyard. Then attached 2 open feeders to the wire, so far so good! There have been a variety of birds and a few squirrels that have attempted to "walk the wire", but the birds are winning with this one!

 yes, I did forget to get my photos last night, so these are 5:00 am photos!


Shredded brown paper bags work great as top mulch for weed control. For stubborn areas, I might lay down several layers of plain newspaper (no glossy inserts) moisten the newspaper then cover the top with the brown shreds and moisten again. If you use a soaker hose, all of this goes over the hose.

Now I just need to get the rhubarb transplanted into a new bed and see if that helps in any way, I was so looking forward to rhubarb pie.........

As always, thanks so much for stopping to visit.
I appreciate your time and your comments!

this post will be shared with:
garden tuesday @ sidewalk shoes
tuesday garden party @ an oregon cottage
frugal tuesday @ juliecache
cottage flora thursday @ fishtail cottage

key words:  garden, squirrel proof bird feeders, mulch

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hearth and Soul Hop! #54

Hello and once again it is time for the Hearth n Soul blog hop.

Thanks for joining us and sharing your food ideas and recipes, philosophy and wonderful new discoveries. I learned a lot last week and I look forward to learning even more in the weeks ahead. If you are new, please read the Hearth and Soul mission statement page which includes the rules for linking up.

If you have any questions, just drop me a line at MomsSundayCafe@gmail.com.

Here are a few of the links that caught me eye from last week's hop.

Apple Cheesecake Pie.
http://allaboutkaylittle.blogspot.com/2011/06/apple-cheesecake-pie.html

Beets and Goat Cheese Salad.
http://wineladycooks.blogspot.com/2011/06/beets-and-goat-cheese-salad.html

Blueberry Ice Tea.
http://domesticallydivinedivas.blogspot.com/2011/06/blueberry-summer.html


And now, on behalf of all the hosts, welcome to the hop!

Alex at A Moderate Life

Jason at Alternative Health and Nutrition

Alea at Premeditated Leftovers

April of 21st Century Housewife

Kankana at Sunshine and Smile

Swathi at Zesty South Indian Kitchen

and me, 

Melynda at Mom's Sunday Cafe

What are you sharing this week?



Sunday, June 26, 2011

Our Sunday Cafe, June 2011


Gosh what a busy weekend. Helping family move, taking excess to charity drop-off sites, and of course the obligatory run to the land fill. Can you tell already that the Sunday Cafe menu will not be homemade? But such is life and you just get to pretend you are really into football and punt!


I remembered thinking, you know I have a secret Grandmother for occasions just like this, Grandma Costco. She has some pretty good dishes ready to go, and in case anyone has forgotten, a nice selection of desserts - my favorite! Today we are letting Grandma do the cooking. But we will sit down as a family and get caught up and share in the meal that Grandma has sent our way.


Next Sunday is Cookbook Sunday and I hope to see you all there! And now, have the best weekend ever, hopefully filled with good weather, family, fun and good times!

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and share a visit here.
I appreciate your time and of course your wonderful comments!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Homemade White Chocolate Peanut Butter.....

Yes, you did read that right. When I signed up last month for taste and create, little did I know what I would be exposed to. And now my friends, here it is....White Chocolate Peanut Butter.


For those not in the know, and that included me, until last month, taste and create is an opportunity to get to know another blogger by cooking from their blog. You submit a request to be a part of the next months happenings, and you are paired up. I was paired up with I will not eat oysters , which I think is a lot of fun, because I won't eat oysters either!

When I went exploring to find the recipe I would make, I ran across the White Chocolate Peanut Butter and thought straight away, that is it! But then I did the mature thing and decided I did not need a kazillion calories at my fingertips. And since I have been a bit busy at work and with other assorted life tasks, my second thought is that I should make something for Honey. That is when I noticed her Nanner Bread, thinking yes, make a loaf of bread and save yourself a kazillion calories, well for now anyway.

But yesterday was very tiring. I had a tenant luncheon at work for my tenants, and then there is laundry, life and love to fit in there too, and the Nanner bread just seemed like too much for this tired lady. So I am going for the kazillion calories. Oh and one more thing, it is called White Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter, but I am going to eat it with pretzels, so there won't be any in there.....I'm just sayin.


White Chocolate Peanut Butter
adapted from: I Will Not Eat Oysters

1 4oz bar premium white chocolate
1 c lightly salted* or unsalted peanuts
1 T mild oil - if needed

*If you do not want an assertive salted flavor to your peanut butter, pour the salted peanuts into a mesh sieve and shake out excess salt.

Place peanuts and chocolate into the bowl of a food processor. Process until crumbly, scrape down sides of bowl, continue to process until smooth. You may need to add the oil to achieve a smooth finished product.




Take care to not lick the processor blade and cut your tongue. Enjoy with pretzels or from your finger, it is that good!

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.
I appreciate your time and of course your wonderful comments!

This post is shared with:
foodie friday @ designs by Gollum
sweets for a saturday @ sweet as sugar cookies
weekend round up @ the life and times of the 21 century housewife

key words:  taste and create, white chocolate, peanut butter

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Homemade Mustard, Recipe rewind, because some things are too good to miss!

Recipe rewind, because in the beginning there is a blogger who has no readers. She still posts great food in hopes that the readers will come..........you can also view it here in the archives, Saturday September 26, 2009. But it is better here.....


That little jar looks innocent, doesn't it? Well it is innocent, it has done nothing wrong, but it also happens to be a quart. Yep, you read it right a QUART. Who makes a quart of homemade mustard? Only someone like me, that has no idea when they first begin, actually how to do it.

So here is the confession, I love mustard. I like to do things myself. So the next step was homemade mustard.

After Honey installed the spice racks, I had lots of mustard seed.

When I put the spice racks together with filled jars of the herbs and spices that I use, that resulted in sandwich bags of herbs that were in the jars from the manufacturer. Most of it went into the garbage. But I did save the mustard seeds. In a moment of frugal glory, I thought, make homemade mustard.

There was about 1 1/2 c of mustard seed. No big deal I thought at the time. I poured them into a plastic container and poured the last of the Marker's Mark whiskey (left from several Christmas' ago) over the top, put the lid on and left them alone. I would shake it up every now and again. When they had taken up the liquid, it was mustard making time. During the resting time, I researched mustard making on the internet. What I learned right away, is that it does not take a lot of mustard seed to make a small jar of mustard. My brain began thinking about that 2 cup container of drunk seeds...........

This morning I dumped the whole mess into the food processor. It sure looks like a lot! Then I began to grind and process. Let me tell you this right now, mustard seeds are hard little things, even when they have partied for a couple of weeks.

Another thing I learned is that the ratio is about 3:1. Three parts liquid to one part mustard. I like my mustard on the sturdy side, thick enough that when I dip a knife into the jar, the mustard will mound a bit onto the knife and not run off like a sauce.

Ultimately here is what is in the quart jar,

1 1/2 c mustard seeds
1/2 c Maker's Mark
2/3 c water
2/3 c cider vinegar
2 t salt
2 T French Thyme
3/4 c honey

Grind, age, enjoy.

From here on out, I will follow a recipe. Well for mustard anyway!

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and visit.
I appreciate your time and of course your comments!

This post is shared with:
full plate thursday @ Miz Helen's country cottage

key words:  mustard, homemade, frugal

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Garden Tuesday, still have rain

This is the climbing rose that was on the side of the house. The side of the house that did not get watered. The side of the house that did not get watered or was considered part of the garden. The side of the house, where it was dieing. So I moved it. I was not certain it would survive, but I knew it would not survive on the side of the house. I shall call this a success.

Interestingly enough, with all the rain, I have been concerned about there being water for the birds. I am real good about putting food out, but water not so much. While out thrifting, I found this tea light candle holder, a perfect drinking cup for the birds.

The weeds have won, no doubt about it. I think this is bound to happen when there is rain, rain and more rain, with no time to weed between rain showers. I have also come to realize I must work smarter not harder in the garden. Enter mulch. I am going to continue to compost in place and lay a thick layer of mulch over everything. Brown paper and news paper will be shredded and used as a top finish. Shredder also found while out thrifting.

How sad is this, a weed is growing through the bottom drain hole of an empty planter pot. For Pete's sake!

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.
I appreciate your time and of course your comments!

This post is shared with:

Garden Tuesday @ sidewalk shoes
Tuesday Garden Party @ an oregon cottage
cottage flora thursday @  fishtail cottage

Key words:  garden Tuesday, roses, mulch, compost

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hearth and Soul Hop! #53

Hello and once again it is time for the Hearth n Soul blog hop.

Thanks for joining us and sharing your food ideas and recipes, philosophy and wonderful new discoveries. I learned a lot last week and I look forward to learning even more in the weeks ahead. If you are new, please read the Hearth and Soul mission statement page which includes the rules for linking up.

If you have any questions, just drop me a line at MomsSundayCafe@gmail.com.

Here are a few of the links that caught me eye from last week's hop.

Flowering chives were new to me. Here they are used in a delicious stir-fry.
http://mycookinggallery.blogspot.com/2011/06/stir-fry-flowering-chives-with-prawns.html

I love pie, if you love pie, look at this.
http://modernwomans.blogspot.com/2011/06/apple-butter-pie.html

Hot Pizza Dip, enough said!
http://concettascafe.blogspot.com/2011/06/hot-pizza-dip.html

My favorite, rhubarb is used here in a delicious (and dairy free) frozen dessert.
http://amomonamission.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/rhubarb-and-strawberries-make-dairy-free-pink-sweet-tart-ice-cream/

Look at this delicious salad, fresh, and bright with flavor.
http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com/2011/06/honey-apple-chicken-salad.html

And now, on behalf of all the hosts, welcome to the hop!

Alex at A Moderate Life

Jason at Alternative Health and Nutrition

Alea at Premeditated Leftovers

April of 21st Century Housewife

Kankana at Sunshine and Smile

Swathi at Zesty South Indian Kitchen

and me, 

Melynda at Mom's Sunday Cafe

What are you sharing this week?



Take along Pork Chops

Ahhh, the crockpot and I, we are not the best of friends. We usually don't agree, and then one of us falls down on our responsibility. It might be me, letting things cook too long, or it might be the crock and things get too dry. But this recipe turned out very well, and the flavor is quite good.

Thanks to my son, for taking this photo, left my camera at home, what was I thinking!!?

I made these for the Father's day potluck we attended at my sisters house. They were well received with my sister's family as well. While cleaning up we packaged up food for sharing. Honey and I have pork chops and fried chicken to see us through the next couple of days.

This recipe can make a simple family meal, or add more chops to serve a crowd. You can also make the large batch, and freeze some for those nights where cooking is not possible, but you still need to eat a real dinner instead of a bowl of ice cream. Note: when cooking more chops, do not increase the liquid or seasonings.

Take along chops
adapted from: mels kitchen cafe

3 slices bacon, diced
6-12 loin pork chops, bone-in, 3/4 inch thick
salt and pepper
2 large onions, quartered and sliced
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 T brown sugar
2 t thyme, crumbled
2 bay leaves
2 c chicken broth
2 T soy sauce

1 T lemon juice or cider vinegar
3 T cornstarch

Fry bacon until golden, remove and set aside, reserving fat. Remove excess fat from pan, set aside to use if needed, leaving 1 T fat in the pan. Over medium high heat, brown chops until golden, seasoning each side with salt and pepper. Turn, repeat. When brown, layer in the crockpot. Continue browning, and seasoning each chop until all have been browned, use additional fat as needed.


In the same pan, add the onions, garlic and addition fat if needed. Sprinkle with 1 T brown sugar and saute onions until fragrant and golden brown. Add remaining ingredients through soy sauce. Simmer, scrapping up any brown bits. Pour over chops. Cover and cook on low 8 hours, or on high 4 hours.


Carefully remove chops, to platter. Remove and discard bay leaves. Skim excess fat from pan juices. If you want a smooth sauce, drain the onions in a sieve, then puree in a food processor. Pour juices into a 2 qt sauce pan, add the lemon juice, bring to a boil. Stir cornstarch into 1/4 c cold water, stir into the boiling pan juices and cook until thickened.


Ladle some gravy over the chops, sprinkle with reserved bacon and serve. Serve additional gravy with the standard accompaniments, potatoes, rice or noodles.

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

This will be my post for the Hearth n Soul blog hop, right here at Mom's Sunday Cafe.

This post is shared with:
These Chicks Cooked Link Party @ this chick cooks

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop for a visit.
I appreciate your time and of course your comments!

key words:  pork chops, crockpot, potlucks, shared meals

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A return to Sunday dinner, for Father's Day


In celebration of Father's Day we will be having a collective potluck with my sister's family. Our family will be sharing Smothered Pork Chops, a Greek inspired cucumber salad, roasted potatoes, peppers and onions and Pineapple upside down cake.

I usually start with dessert first, that way the oven is free to cook other items, and the dessert can be cooled or chilled as needed for proper serving.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Potatoes, onions and peppers ready to roast. Along with 2 heads of garlic, I hear there will be homemade bread at this dinner. 

Pork chops, almost done.

Greek inspired Cucumber and Tomato Salad with feta

What is your favorite memory of your Dad? Here is mine, updated with a photo.

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.
I appreciate your time and of course your wonderful comments!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day and why I love old trucks

My Dad always drove one. It was usually blue or what ever color was left after the sun warmed it for many years. When a rusty spot appeared, out came the "rattle can" and Dad would touch up the paint. It always had a clutch and a choke knob on the dash.

The "pink slip" was kept in a special sleeve on the steering column, and then next year, the new "pink slip" was just slipped in, right over the top of last years. There were no seat belts, and with different laws, it was so fun to ride in the back, with the wind whipping your hair around.

Sometimes just down to the end of the country road we lived on, because we all "begged" for a ride! If Dad had to go to the hardware store or anywhere for that matter, I always wanted to ride along. I love old trucks from those days, and from memories of my Dad.

A toast to you Dad, it's your day tomorrow too. Gone for so long, but always in our lives, you live on in the generations you never got to meet.

My dad, Kenneth A Egger 1923-1968

Happy Father's Day to all the great fathers out there!

To my Honey, always ready to help get the job done, and with technical advice so others may learn. And to our Sons, the new generation of fathers doing a great job!

As always, thanks for stopping by to visit.
I appreciate your time and of course your comments!

key words:  fathers, Father's Day, celebration

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Friday view.....

Sharing the view.....

The kitchen has been unusually quiet this past week. Does your family have quiet food times, where cooking is not looked forward too? Thank goodness for a stocked pantry.

There is a nice start to having berries to make jam with. With so much rain and cooler weather, the harvest will still be months away.

Sunday will be a simple gathering to celebrate Father's Day. Some grilled meat, fresh salads and family.

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop by.
I appreciate your time and your comments.

This post is shared with:
lady bloggers society

key words:  Father's Day, grilling, berry patch, cooking

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Garden Tuesday, lets look up front

This weekend we had spent some time getting the front yard tidy. It is easy to let it get away from us, as it is largely a work free zone. What with the evergreen trees, shrubs, bulbs and ivy. But there still comes a time, when all the weeds growing between each of those items are starting to show. Also the pine needles can only become so deep, before it is time to remove a layer!


I love all these trees, they can be messy with the needles on the roof-top and in the rain gutter. But still, I like them. Especially this "twin" tree.



This little guy just showed up! I usually pull the starts out, because we won't even have a front yard in a few years if I don't! I wanted to uproot this one also, but I was over-ruled by Honey.






We also have iris.

And this beautiful roddie in the front yard. 

There is also a dark purple lilac, a couple of smaller flowering shrubs (that I do not know the names) succulent ground cover, some heather, and other spikey leaf plants that have a beautiful plume of flowers, Yuccas?

It is busy, but comes together in an organized and mostly work free way.

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and visit.
I appreciate your time and your comments.

This post is shared with:
garden tuesday @ sidewalk shoes
tuesday garden party @ an oregon cottage
cottage flora thursday @ fishtail cottage

key words:  evergreen trees, seedlings, lilac, ground cover

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hearth and Soul Hop & Happy 1st Anniversary!

 Welcome to the 52nd Hearth n Soul hop!

And we all know what that means, yes the Hearth n Soul is one year old. And what a year it has been!

Congratulations on a great year of  sharing and making of new friends, along with the opportunity of learning more of what is of interest to you and important for your family.

And now, it is time for the Hearth n Soul blog hop.

Thanks for joining us and sharing your food ideas and recipes, philosophy and wonderful new discoveries. I learned a lot last week and I look forward to learning even more in the weeks ahead. If you are new, please read the Hearth and Soul mission statement page which includes the rules for linking up.

If you have any questions, just drop me a line at MomsSundayCafe@gmail.com.

Here are a few of the links that caught my eye.....

Gorgonzola and Walnut Salad @ Delighting in the days.

Rhubarb Sorbet @ food farm health

Garlic Bread @ Debbi Does Dinner Healthy

Oregano, Thyme and Almond Pesto @ A-Z Apples to Zucchini

Homemade Breakfast Sausage @ Another Marvelous Meal


 
And now, on behalf of all the hosts, welcome to the hop!

Alex at A Moderate Life

Jason at Alternative Health and Nutrition

Alea at Premeditated Leftovers

April of 21st Century Housewife

Kankana at Sunshine and Smile

Swathi at Zesty South Indian Kitchen

and me, 

Melynda at Mom's Sunday Cafe

What are you sharing this week?


Garden Harvest Swiss Chard

There is a garden where I work. It is an "experimental" garden in the eyes of the gardeners. But it is lovely. I have the pleasure of going each day and taking a peek. There might be a change in what is now sprouted up or what is being harvested.

Here are some highlights,


This strawberry tower made from a plastic
garbage can.











The center core of rocks keeps air moving
 and allows easy watering.










Raised bed of peas and swiss chard.









 I will be cooking some of this!

There are lots of lovely flowers, with roses being a favorite. Not surprising as this is Portland, the city of roses and the rose festival. 




We have had a lot of rain in our area, but they are out there when ever possible. One of the gardeners use to have her own small gardening service, you may remember her.

Let's make some dinner,


Garden Harvest Swiss Chard
by the seat of my pants!

1 bunch of Swiss Chard
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
4 green onions, sliced or 1 thick slice of regular onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
olive oil
sea salt and fresh pepper


De-rib the chard. Cut ribs in thin slices, and green leaves in 1' squares (I prefer square pieces to shreds)


Saute the ribs, red pepper, onions and garlic in olive oil. When fragrant, add the green leaves and 1 T water. Cover and let steam 2-3 minutes.


Remove cover, turn up the burner to cook off any excess liquid and serve immediately with salt and pepper.

Yum!

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always, thank for taking a moment to stop and say hello.
I appreciate your time and your comments.

This post is shared with:
hearth n soul @ Moms Sunday Cafe
garden variety wednesday #7 @ Ms. enPlace