Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Our neighbors gave us some plants this Spring and there were 4 Chinese Broccoli plants. She remarked she had no idea what it was and I was not sure. It is also known as gai lan.
 I have been researching it and last night was my first try at cooking with it. I decided to go with the blanching first. I read I needed to cut the stems on a diagonal after pulling the leaves off. I discarded the largest leaves. I had the water boiling and added about a teaspoon sea salt and tablespoon sugar. I added the stems and cooked them about 3 minutes and took them out with a slotted spoon and into ice water. Than I added the chopped leaves and boiled them for about 2 minutes and into the ice water.
 About an hour before I this I had sliced a round steak very thin and marinated it in the following:
  6 tablespoons light soy sauce
  6 tablespoons red wine
  1 tablespoon sugar
  2 tablespoon cornstarch
   few drops of sesame oil
  1Tablespoon olive oil
Now it was time to drain the meat.
Next I cooked a pack of Ramen Noodles and drained them and set them aside.
I sliced 4 garlic cloves
1 onion
1 sweet bell pepper
3 Tablespoons candied ginger
2 hot peppers
and fried them until the garlic was brown and than added the beef and cooked it for about 5-6 minutes or until it was tender. 
 I stirred into that about a cup of stir fry vegetables and cooked that until tender.
I pushed all that to one side and added 1 cup of beef stock and the 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 4 tablespoons wine and 2 tablespoon cornstarch I had blended together and brought it to a boil. I added the noodles and Chinese Broccoli and stirred until it was well coated with the sauce. I added about 1/2 cup Trader Joe's Generals sauce before serving it.
This may be as clear as mud.....I honestly read and combined many recipes to use what I had in my pantry. Going to the store is not an option right now. We loved the broccoli and marveled that it was still a bright jade green.
So many recipes mentioned it was bitter and I did not find it to be so. Next time I will cook just the broccoli.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


 This is our favorite coffee. I was one happy camper when I found this at a Discount Grocery Store. When we lived in Atlanta we would go to Harry's Market and but German coffee. There we paid top dollar for it but I learned it worked for John and I because it has low acid from a unique processing they do. This is a quote I found about this coffee: "Dallmayr coffee is good for people with coffee/stomach sensitivities". We have found this to be true.
 After we moved away I was never successful in finding any German coffee and I would have to have 2 cups of coffee but now that we found it again I can enjoy the third cup. If you all can find this coffee you will find a unique smooth cup that starts the day in a wonderful way.
 If you want a strong robust cup of coffee that this French Roast is for you. I make a pot of this every now and than because I have to be honest and say sometimes I need a jolt in the morning and this will do it! After the storms on Friday night that kept us up until after 2:30 I was up at my regular time and as dawn broke I was sipping on a cup of this wonderful French Roast and I soon was wide awake. This is a very bold but yet smooth cup of coffee.

If you are a tea lover that I will share my favorites with you.

  I like a cup of Earl Grey Tea with a sprig of mint on a rainy afternoon. I do not use any kind of sweetner in any of my teas. I want to taste the tea only. Some time ago I found this tea has health benefits. You can see some at this site:

 Recently a friend gave me a few bags of  Tea forte' teas. This was a new brand to me and I am impressed. I love the lemon sorbetti. I love the citrus taste that seems to have a sweet taste. I am ready to try more. Check out all they offer here. 

I am sure all of you that drink tea know how wonderful Stash Teas are and my favorite are Licorice Spice and Lemon Ginger. Both of these are herbal teas and I love the have several cups of tea in the afternoon.
My favorite mint tea comes from Trader Joe's and I want this in the evening before bed.

I like a treat with my mid afternoon tea and this is a very special treat on a cracker on in a stalk of crisp celery.

  The first here is raw and unsalted but it is still a wonderful taste. My favorite is the creamy and salted Almond Butter. I have had almond butter from many stores but by far Trader Joe's is my favorite. To be honest Trader Joe's is my favorite store. When we lived in Midtown Atlanta we had one close by and I did most of my grocery shopping there. If you have never been to a Trader Joe's you are missing a wonderful store that is affordable and yet good with a selection that will surprise you. This Friday we are going to visit Trader Joe's and I am so excited! I have to tell you this....
" *All Products In The Trader Joe's Label Promise:
NO artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
NO genetically modified ingredients
NO added Trans Fats"Here you will see if any are close to you. Make sure you check out the recipes!

  This General's Sauce is another "best" from Trader Joe's.  John loves General's Chicken when we eat at any Chinese Restaurant. But with this sauce and my panko crumb chicken and great rice we do not need to eat out anymore. I get wonderful rice and the best panko crumbs at Trader Joe's too. Can you tell I love this place?
 These products are a must in my fridge.
 I love to cook with hers and these allow me to do that. No how much I try when I buy these fresh it seems like some always goes to waste. With this I have fresh for 3 months. They are gluten free and are grown without pesticides or herbicides.
This site will give you GREAT recipes and lots of information on each product. You can sigh up free. I spend a lot of time there and make some great food by combining several just to our likes. One I plan to make is the
Italian Sausage & Potato Strata with Basil & Oregano. I am adding some of the chili for a bit of pop!

Monday, April 11, 2011


It is a cloudy day in Georgia. They say we may have storms tonight. I hope it is not a repeat of last week. That was one mean storm we had! We are to have some bad ones tonight.
 I love to read blogs and I saw a wonderful idea for water. I want you all to check out Marmee's
I saw the Thirst Quencher and thought....I am getting up and making that right away. I love oranges and I love Rosemary so I sure would like the combination. So here is what I did:

I went out and picked some Rosemary and sliced a orange and put that in my favorite depression glass pitcher. I was getting ready for a tea time with John (mom refused to come out) and set it on my favorite Antique sideboard that came from my great Aunties. John came in and asked what it was and I talked him into trying it and he also felt it was refreshing. His other comment was that it looked so pretty and he thought my presentation made him want to try it.....OK that is fine with me but I just set it there to wipe the table. That is our secret.
The clock you see is a antique John was given when his father passed away. It came down in the Godfrey family and was traced back to a relative that was a sea Captain out of Savannah, Georgia. He kept it in his  Captains Quarter in the ship.It is called "Art And Commerce" and made by Ansonia. John treasures this clock
 One of my treasures is the blue cup and saucer. It came from my precious Grandma Shearer. It does not have a handle.The one behind it does not have a handle either and I think it came from my Aunties. Here is a close up of the blue one. And no....the handle is not broken off.
 It is very dainty and although I would love to use it I don't because I am afraid it will break. 
 It has been a long day. I started this early this morning and went with John today to get mulch and see my friend. I just made another pitcher of  Rosemary and Orange water for tomorrow.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


 I was so excited to make a fresh salad fresh from our garden.
 There are 2 kinds of lettuce and arugula. They are so crisp and tender! So the main part of our meal is salad.
 Mom wanted a salad but she is not dressing and therefore she wants all meals in her room so I made her a separate salad. John does not really care for tomatoes so I will add them to my salad. All I added was cukes, carrots, onion and red and green sweet peppers
 I had some beautiful tilapia thawed and decided to fry that in Panko crumbs.
Panko flakes (or crumbs) are Japanese breadcrumbs. When used for frying, they produce a
lighter, crunchier coating that´s more tender and delicate. They seem to absorb less oil and stay crisp longer
than regular crumbs.
 I season mine with Italian seasonings and Hot Hungarian Paprika.

On the other side of the plate is flour with freshly ground sea salt and freshly ground pepper with garlic powder. I dip the fillets in the flour than in milk with 2 beaten eggs with a good dash of hot sauce. They go into the panko crumb mixture and this is what you get.
  I allow them to air dry on my rack for about 5 minutes and than fry them in a good oil. I added the brand of Panko Crumbs box that you can get in most grocery stores. My favorite panko crumbs come from Trader Joe's.
  My husband gave me a compliment that any cook wants to hear...."This fish is the best you ever made and sure is better than what you get when you eat out". The salad was the star of the meal to me.

I want to show you the raised bed John made for me. We have rabbits that eat greens they tell us so he re-purposed a above the ground swimming pool that was trashed. He is a genius when it comes to using  materials. Our neighbors brought us the plants we have in this one.

I have 4 of these. One has my garlic and a few onions and the other two are waiting for seeds to plant herbs. This week I hope to get them and get them started. The danger of frost is about over for this area.
 We cannot afford vegetables at the cost they are now and so I am praying this garden will give us a wonderful yield.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I first got a notice that I won a book from Michelle over at Give A Girl A Fig. If you never have visited this blog than you need to go and visit. It is so pleasing to the eye and easy to find your way around. But more than that she will inspire you to be a better woman for your family and for the Lord. I look forward to her posts and I am never disappointed.
Thank you Michelle!

Here is what I just opened. I have wanted this so much. The Lord does know the desires of your heart.
 A day later I got a email from Ruby for Women to tell me I had won a book there. Now I never win but I do so love to encourage ladies by leaving comments. I have already read some of this book today. I know I can recommend it by the things I have gleaned. It is called "I DO" by Gladys Hunt and Keith Hunt. I will share more from this book I am sure. Make sure you visit all the Christian Ladies at Ruby for Women at:
  Earlier this week a package came for mom from a sweet lady I met through another blog. She wanted to make a shawl for mom and she sure did! It is beautiful and so soft and mom loves to wrap herself up in it. She allowed me to have it to take a photo but wanted to make sure it would be right back. If you want another great blog to visit make sure you go to see Plain Pam. I want to say she is a real Titus 2 lady and if you read what she writes you will learn. I have tried many of her recipes and they sure are good! She is a dear Mennonite lady.
Here is the shawl.
 Last thing I want to share is something I signed up for to share. It is called Celebrate Urban Birds and the poster, sticker, lesson ideas and sunflower seeds that came today are simply beautiful! You can get yours here:

 I sure had a good week when it comes to the mail and friends.


 I thought today I would use my felt bears(that I love to make) to share a topic near and dear to my heart. I simply loved having my 3 children at home. In fact I hated when breaks were over and they had to go back to school. I missed them so much when summer vacation was over and back they went. There are 7 years between the girls and 8 years passed when Ryan joined us. I really got to enjoy each of the children alone because of the years between. I liked that. Our home always seemed the place the kids friends gathered and I welcomed that. One way to learn to know their friends was to have them around and join us in fun. It was not unusual for one of their friends to live with us for a season. I often got up late when they needed something to eat and make it and join them. These were happy days for me.
 When my oldest left home I missed that girl so much. I missed her friends and I missed all the ups and downs we had. When her daughter was born I learned the joy of being a grandma and keeping her daily was so much fun. She was a good baby, a girl that loved to be read to and learned quickly. Than her baby brother was born and I had 2 to watch while their parents worked. He was a cuddle bug! But this all came to an end when we moved to Atlanta. That was the year the second daughter left for college too and I was really at a loss. I felt emptiness and really was not prepared for these feelings.
 With Ryan I homeschooled him and that gave me wonderful time to spend with him. We often had tea mid afternoon and that was the time we learned about a composer and listen to the music, or I would read a poem and we would learn about the poet or we read a book and learned about the author. Those were precious times to this mom! It was during this time that my husband's mother came to live with us and his uncle. So we had to turn our energy to their needs to. After Uncle Joe died and Nana declined Nicole moved back home to help me. I relished the time I had with her again. She was now a grown up lady and I was proud of her.
Several days before 9-11 Nana passed away and the loss I felt was something I cannot express. She had not known me for a long time but she was indeed My Mother-In-Love!
 Soon I watched  the 3rd one leave the nest and move south. I remember crying that night. It was quiet. There were no more work shirts and pants to iron for Ryan. No more "mom can you make me a peanut butter sandwich" and I would tell him he could and he would say "but mom you make the best ones ever" and I would do it.
 John and I made a major move and Nicole left home and she was my TV Buddy. I missed that. I missed having lunch with her. I missed her hugs! I missed her!
 The move was sure a new adventure! I still had that hole in my heart because the kids were all gone. I did go through a time of grief but I also opened my eyes to what was ahead of us. I began to feel excitement at all we could do and my husband who I loved and I were becoming closer to each other and worked with each other. Our passion for nature was something we embraced. We went places we wanted to go and enjoyed what we wanted to. Than Ryan came home again. I loved him being there but I knew it was for a season and understood that was the way life is to be. There is much I could write about but I think I will end this entry by saying all 3 are married and now we have a fourth grandchild that I got to watch and play with. Being a grandma is the best!
 I shared all of this to say that empty nest feelings are so real.
The term “empty nest syndrome” was created by psychologists in the 1970’s to define the sense of loss or depression that parents often feel when their children leave home. What I found is that this is the time we should learn to rest and reflect. It is a wonderful time to set goals for you and do the same with your husband.
I learned to really journal and look back at the times I nursed my babies, played with them and did all the "firsts" in their lives. It is also the time I really got to take the time to grow closer to God. It was the time to down size and simplify and to really enjoy my stitching.

I learned a lesson when I read the following verse....
As an eagle that stirs up her nest, that flutters over her young, He spread abroad His wings and He took them, He bore them on His pinions. Deut. 32:11 AMP.

A mother eagle  feeds the young eaglets for a long time, but soon the mother eagle frantically flaps her wings over the nest and, of all things pushes the eaglets out of the nest. They plummet down from that high mountain crag.  We think what a horrible thing that was to do but before those little eaglets have fallen very far the mother eagle swoops down underneath them and catches them on her wings and carries  them back up to the nest again.This practice is repeated over and over again, until the eaglets are flying  on their own but they always return to the nest. The mother eagle can push them out of the nest, and it isn't necessary any more for her to catch them. They now can fly about by themselves and they came home.One day they do fly away and are on their own.  This is what we do with our kids....we have them at home and feed them with both groceries and God's Word. We play with them and learn with them. We teach them about the world and all they can do......they begin to fly with our help as they grow older and they do come home. But one day they get married and go out on their own as the Bible says they should. We are there to offer advice when they ask for it but they do have to live their lives. To me this is when we have our real ministry......we pray and we pray because we now have time to do this.
 I am here to tell you a Empty Nest is a blessing from God we need to embrace!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Perfect Day for A Walk

                 "Expect to have hope rekindled.  Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways.
                  The dry seasons in life do not last.  The spring rains will come again." 
                                                     ~Sarah Ban Breathnach
 We were asked by our neighbor to watch their 3 small dogs this week-end. I had to go over by eight this morning to let them out and feed them. This is the picture that met me this morning as I pulled up the shade. I love our dogwood tree and it is so full of blooms. The birds were singing and the squirrels were scampering about and I stopped and thanked the Lord for all the nature He gave us to enjoy. He wants us to stop and enjoy and lift our hands and hearts to Him with all the praise we can muster. That is our thanks to Him.

 I took this as I came home this evening. I love the shadows on the blooms. You see one of the many projects John is working on. This was some sort of parking area and he wants it to be all grass and friends can all pull around to the back of the mobile home. Remember this summer when we bought this place the yard was weeds head high. I appreciate all the hard work John has done.

 This just came up wild and this is the first I saw blooms on it. Anyone know what this is? I know the butterflies love the blooms! They just would not allow me to take their pictures.....wonder why?
 I love wild violets. As a child I would find a patch of them and sit down and pick a hand full and hurry home to put them in a vase. My grandma loved them and I would take her some in the spring. During this move my antique cup and saucers disappeared. That still hurts! I had about 8 different ones and a tea pot. But they are in my memory and that is what counts.
 Our neighbor has these around his mobile home but they do not know what they are called. Maybe one of you can tell me this too.
I found a big patch of these too. The pink is so pretty.

 My seeds are coming up and some are doing good. I hope we can soon put the out in the garden. I have tomatoes, hot peppers, Brussel Sprouts, and herbs are growing each day. I have some raised beds with arugula, cabbage, broccoli, Chinese broccoli, 2 types of lettuce, onions, garlic, spinach and rosemary. I soon can cut some arugula and lettuce and I am excited about that. I am seeing with the price of groceries I need to put up as much as we can grow.
 I have some ideas to keep me using my blog more. So check back soon.