It’s All In The Way You Look At It..

PLEASE BE SURE TO READ THE WHOLE THING……. 

I live my life according to these beliefs…..

God does not exist

It’s just foolish to think

That there is a knowing God with a cosmic plan

That an all-powerful God brings purpose to the pain and suffering in the world

Is a comforting thought however

It

Is only wishful thinking

People can do as they please without eternal consequences

The idea that

I am deserving of Hell because of sin

Is a lie meant to make me a slave to those in power

The more you have the happier you will be

Our existence has no grand meaning or purpose

In a world with no God

There is freedom to be who I want to be

But with God

Life is an endless cycle of guilt and shame

Without God

Everything is fine

It is ridiculous to think

I am lost and in need of saving.

STOP.

REVERSE YOUR THINKING AND RE-READ THIS FROM BOTTOM TO TOP FOR THE REAL TRUTH,

I live my life according to THESE beliefs…..

Praise the Lord for His grace and forgiveness!

~T

Christian-Wallpapers-Free-Proverbs-3-6

My Little Ladies: 8 & 3 Year Old Photo Sessions

  My little ladies are 8 and 3 now.  I grabbed a shot or two of each girl at Destiny’s party, but I wanted a few more.  And, of course, some of them together too.

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  I am pretty happy with how these turned out, considering it was past bedtime on a school night and they were exhausted & whiney.  A lot of Avery’s turned out blurred. :(  I’ll have to get some more of her another time…..

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“Looky, Momma! My dress spins!”

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The rickety old junk-filled outbuildings on our property that used to drive me crazy, are looking more and more appealing all the time!  What a fun place to take photos of my sweeties!

~T

Yoder Heritage Days & Club House Chicken Squares

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  009This weekend was Yoder Heritage Days….a wholesome and fun way to spend a Saturday, at a little Amish town about 20 minutes from us.  The population, at the time of the 2000 census, was 742.  “Quaint” is the best way to describe it!

Saturday dawned sunny and beautiful, but boy, was it sticky! 

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  We arrived around 9, but it didn’t take long before everyone was sweaty and flush cheeked.  Here was the schedule for the day:

6 am Pancake and Sausage Feed
8 am Draft Horse Plowing
8 am Vendor Village Opens
8:30-9:30 Darrel Grudbf (Gospel/Bluegrass Band)
9 am Children Games
9:45 – 10:30 Jake Schmidt (Country Gospel)
10:30 am Parade (9 am Parade Entry Check-in Begins)
11:30 – 12:30 Jake Schmidt (Country Gospel)
12:00 Buggy Races
12:00 Kid’s Peddle Pull (State Qualifier)
12:30 – 3:30 Draft Horse Events
1:00 Quilt and Craft Auction
1:00 Antique Tractor Pull
2:30 – 3:30 Nyle Henderson (Cowboy Poetry)
3:30 – 4:30 Arlene Barb (Gospel)
3:30 Horseback Football
4:30 Cattle Sorting
5:00 pm Drawing for Quilt
5:00 – 7:00 Miller’s Mule (Bluegrass band)
5:30 Horse Fun Show
7:30 – throughout the evening Aaron Yoder (Country Gospel)
Dusk – Fireworks!!!

Fun, right?!  We have never gotten there much before 9:30 am and we’ve never stayed through fireworks.  We keep saying “Someday” when the kids are older we’ll stay all day, or at least go back for the evening festivities, but at this age? We usually do 1 walk through, the parade, and eat lunch before calling it quits.

  Here are some photos of our day:

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Look at all those tractors, a lot of Amish families choose to leave their horse and buggies at home and drive these instead. See the trailer in back? 051

That’s for the family to ride in!

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There was lots to see!

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  The kids were invited to be in the parade this year: Destiny and Avery in Uncle Dan’s ‘64 Impala, and Tylan on his Great, great Grandpa Schrock’s tractor that he bought brand new way back in the day.  He rode with Great Uncle Larry who comes from Georgia just about every year for this event!  How special!

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Pax spotted them right away!

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“Hey you, way up there, lets go eat!”

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  As soon as the parade was through, it was time to feed the kiddies.  Dale’s Aunt Lucy and Uncle Phil had a stand there featuring their free range chickens.  Freshly butchered of course.  It was DELICIOUS! And no, once again I did not remember to snap a shot before partaking of my meal.  Hey, I had hungry little ones to deal with!!! :)  It was a grilled BBQ chicken quarter, awesome secret recipe baked beans, homemade potato salad and a Strawberry lemonade.  The kids had BBQ chicken sliders or Pronto pups.  YUM-O!  The line to their food tent was LOOONG, we are hoping it was a blessed day for them!

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  We quick grabbed snow cones and got out of there before we started losing kids.  Losing as in, getting grumpy, not losing as in “Where is Avery?” although with these crowds it was possible! 

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    It was such a great day, and a fun tradition we look forward to continuing each year! (We missed last year due to Paxton just being born, but we’d gone the 8 years before that.)

  Before I go, I have a summer recipe to share with you. Gotta get these to you quick before September.  I usually transition to more casserole type dishes then, followed by soups and comfort food in October! YUMMMMMMM! 

We make this EVERY summer……simple, fresh and easy!

Club House Chicken Squares

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  • 2 packages (8 Oz. Each) Refrigerated Crescent Rolls
  • 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 1 whole Small Garlic Clove, Pressed
  • 1 teaspoon Dill Weed
  • 1 can (10 Oz) Chunk White Chicken, Drained And Flaked (I Just Cooked And Cubed 2 Chicken Breasts)
  • ½ whole Cucumber
  • 2 whole Plum Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheese
  • 1 package (4 oz ) Bacon Bits

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Unroll one package of crescent rolls across one end of a Pampered Chef bar pan or sprayed jelly roll pan, with longest sides of dough across the width of the pan. Repeat with other package. Seal the perforations and press up the sides to form a crust.

Bake 12-15 minutes, till golden, then remove to stackable cooling rack and cool completely.

Mix mayonnaise, cream cheese, dill and pepper until smooth. Spread over crust. Sprinkle remaining ingredients over cream cheese. Cut and serve.

  We usually eat this for supper with corn on the cob, but it’d be a really great appetizer for a party, too!

Happy Monday to you!

~T

This post linked to Wonka Wednesday!

The Best Breakfast Casserole YET!

My Sunday school class went nuts over this casserole! So much so, that there was not one piece left to photograph when I got home from church.

Trust me, it was GOOOOOOOD! This would be a perfect weekend brunch for ya, its nice and hearty and will make the man in your life weak in the knees.

Creamy Sausage Breakfast Casserole

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Ingredients

  • 1 package Pork Sausage, Any Kind You Like. 12 Ounces
  • 8 Tablespoons Butter, Divided
  • ½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 4 cups Milk
  • 1 – 3 oz packet Bacon Pieces
  • ¼ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 1 dozen Eggs
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk (5 Ounce Can)
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 – 8 oz. cans Refrigerated Biscuits, Flaky Buttermilk Kind Cut Into Quarters  (It is VERY important you get no more than 16 oz. of biscuits on the top of this dish or you will have doughy biscuits!)

Heat oven to 350 degrees (F).

In a large saucepan, crumble and brown sausage. Drain off fat and set aside. In the same large pan, melt 6 tablespoons butter. Add flour and milk, whisking until smooth. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Add sausage, bacon pieces and pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, evaporated milk and salt. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add egg mixture and cook until softly scrambled.

Pour 1/3 of sausage mixture into lightly greased 13 x 9 x 2 pan. Top with egg mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining sausage mixture.

Place cut biscuits on top of the casserole with points facing upwards. Bake uncovered for 20 – 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated and biscuits are golden brown.

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  You have to make this over the weekend….think biscuits with homemade sausage gravy, except BETTER! I served it with a Cinnamon Butterscotch Cake, which uses 2 pudding mixes and is OH-SO moist and FABULOUS!!! You must go check out the recipe here. You won’t regret it!

I’d normally put a photo up right here, of the cake, except it was DEVOURED by my class and alas, there were only crumbs left when I got home. I didn’t figure you’d want a picture of crumbs!

MMmmmm! Is it breakfast time yet?!

Have a great weekend!

~T

This post linked to Wonka Wednesday.

Made It On Monday

This Chick Cooks

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Hammcock Tracks

 

Rosemary Walnut Chicken Salad

  I am growing Rosemary in my garden for the first time this year, so I was excited to get to try it out in this salad recipe.  It was so delicious!  Simple, fresh flavors, amazing creamy goat cheese, the crunch of the walnuts, and ooey gooey cheese covered chicken, YUMMY! 

  Check out the recipe below for an easy week night supper!!!!!

Have a great one!

~T

This recipe is adapted from a blogger friends foodie site, but I can’t remember which one. SORRY! If this is yours message me and I’d be glad to give credit where credit is due!  :)

Rosemary Walnut Chicken Salad

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  • 1 cup Walnuts, coarsely chopped 002
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 2 tsp. Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper (you know how much you like)
  • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 15 oz bottle Kraft Tangy Bacon Catalina dressing
  • 4 oz. Herb & Garlic Goat Cheese
  • Mixed greens or Butter lettuce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Combine the walnuts, cheese, rosemary and 001salt and pepper. 

Take a small scoop of mixture and place underneath each olive oil sprayed chicken breast.  Top with remaining mixture and pat down.  Spray again to coat. 

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Bake for 30 minutes .  Scoop chicken off baking stone making sure to get the crispy cheesy goodness surrounding it, cool slightly, then slice the chicken carefully to keep cheese and nuts intact.005
Serve over a mixed green salad with crumbled goat cheese and a drizzle of Tomato Bacon dressing.  OR extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar if you are the healthy sort.

  Enjoy your flavorful and salad!  It’s such a nice change from “the usual”!

This post linked to Wonka Wednesday.

Peachy White Chocolate Chip Muffins & Whole Wheat-Wheat Germ Buttermilk Pancakes

  So, what do you think about breakfast foods, like muffins, having dessertish ingredients like white chocolate chips?

  It makes my brain confused as to whether or not I am willing to allow my kids to have said “Muffins” for breakfast on school mornings!  So far I am letting them have ONE, and only IF they eat their scrambled eggs first.  They are actually not very sweet, so that makes me feel a bit better.

  Peachy White Chocolate Chip Muffins

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  • 1-¾ cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • ½ cups Vegetable Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 heaping cup Peaches, Chopped
  • ½ cups White Chocolate Chips (I totally did more)
  • ½ cups Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Water

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line muffin tins with paper cups.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Make a well in the flour mixture and add eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla and mix well. Fold in peaches and white chocolate chips.

Pour into muffin tins, ⅔ full.

Bake for 23-27 minutes until tops are golden brown and a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Let muffins slightly cool in the pan and remove to a wire rack.

While muffins are still warm, mix together confectioner’s sugar and water. Dip the tops of the muffins into the glaze and set on a wire rack to cool completely.

  I got 1 pan of mini muffins and 1 pan of regular with this recipe.  These got better over a couple days time as the Peach juice kinda spreads in there. YUM!

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  I have been on the hunt for recipes using Wheat Germ.  I have been hearing all SORTS of good things about it and thought maybe if I found a healthy whole wheat, wheat germ-filled pancake, my kids could have them on a school morning (rather than waiting for Saturday morning pancakes & eggs with daddy) and I could feel good about sending them off with “Brain Food” in their belly’s.  I found this recipe in the More With Less Cookbook, a really great book for low-budget, healthy cooking! 

Whole Wheat – Wheat Germ Buttermilk Pancakes (What a title…say that 10x’s fast)

(click title to print)

My kids said, EWWW, we are going to be eating germs? And then proceeded to gobble the pancakes up with not another boo about it! :)

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  Combine in a bowl and mix with fork:

2 c. buttermilk (Or make your own using 1 cup milk and 1 T lemon juice)

4 T. olive or veggie oil

2 eggs

Add and mix only until moistened:

1 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 c. unbleached white flour (I did white wheat here)

1/2 c. wheat germ

2 t. baking powder

1 t. baking soda

1 t. sea salt

  Fry in a hot, lightly greased skillet.  Mmm! Enjoy your hearty, healthy pancakes!

——————————————————————————————–

   I am looking at my blog draft folder right now and you should SEE how many recipes I have ready to share with you, and there are a bunch more to come!!!! Guess we have been hitting the jackpot with new recipes lately? :)

Here is a sneak peek of the next few weeks:

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~T

This post linked to Wonka Wednesday.

Lark’s Country Heart: Made It on Monday.

This Chick Cooks

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Mom’s Crazy Cooking

1st Day of School & BBQ Chicken Pie

Yesterday was Destiny’s 1st day of school, so I, OF COURSE, had to take the obligatory front porch picture. 

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Thinking about her day.                                                 Avery: “I’ll miss you, sissy.”

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Sweet big 3rd grader….such a little lady!

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032Take my picture too, Mommy! Do I go to school today?”033

  Soon, my little Peanut.  All too soon…..

Thankfully, Tylan & Avery don’t start until September, so you better believe I am spending as MUCH time as possible enjoying my 3 remaining kiddos at home with me.  I just still can’t figure out how in 1 year I went from 3 home except Friday’s to only 2 home and 1 lone ranger on Friday’s.  My time as a stay at home Momma is flying by too fast!!!!!!

  “Bye, have a great day! We miss you already!”

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“Wait for me! Here I come…”

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  Just for fun, I thought I’d pull Destiny’s other school pictures up until now. A trip down Memory Lane if you will……can’t go far, she’s only a 3rd grader after all but boy has she changed! :)

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   So, I have a delicious new recipe for you to try, it came together really quickly and would be a great school night supper:

BBQ CHICKEN PIE

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  • 1 whole Refrigerated Pie Crust
  • 3 whole Seasoned Chicken Breasts, Cooked And Chopped Or Shredded
  • 4 whole Green Onions, Thinly Sliced With Tops (set Aside 2 T Worth)
  • ¾ cups Of Your Favorite BBQ Sauce + More
  • 2 cups Shredded Cheese
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Sour Cream For Garnish

Preheat oven to 425*. Lay crust out for 15 minutes. Place crust in pie plate or deep dish baker, press up sides gently. Prick bottom with fork and bake for about 7 minutes or until light brown. Set aside.
Toss chicken with 3/4 cup BBQ sauce and green onions. (set aside 2 T green onions for pie topping) Sprinkle half the cheese into crust. Top with BBQ chicken mixture. Squeeze a couple more tablespoons BBQ sauce and spread evenly. Add remaining cheese, reserved green onions and cherry tomatoes to taste.
Bake another 7 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut & serve. Add a bloop on sour cream and fresh, halved cherry tomatoes to each serving.

Enjoy! It’s sooo good!

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~T

Linked to:

Wonka Wednesday

Made It On Monday

This Chick Cooks

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Gooseberry Patch

You’re Such a Peach!

It’s time for Peaches again! Fresh, juicy, lean over the sink to eat them kind of Peaches.

We prefer the Colorado ones, and they are coming to Kansas soon.  We order 3 big boxes every year, 1 1/2 for the kids to eat in various states of up-to-their-elbows stickiness, the other 1 1/2 to put in the freezer for the long, cold Kansas winter.  Did you know that if you freeze fresh ripe peaches whole in gallon freezer bags, (single layer, maybe 12 per) later you can bring them out frozen, run them under a hot tap and VIOLA! the peel just falls off.  Let them thaw a bit, and slice them up for a fresh taste of summer.  Easy smeasy!

  In going with the “Peach Theme”, I have 2 recipes to share with you today. One that uses canned Peaches (gasp! I know, I know, but they have their place in the world too), the other….ripe, juicy, make your whole house smell good, fresh ones!  Also, very fitting for this time of year:

One reminds me of summer, the other? Fall.

  For those of you who missed it, this summer I shared a Mexican Chicken Salad with Chili Lime Dressing and this recipe over at my friend, Brandie’s blog: The Country Cook

  I decided this Peaches & Cream Torte needed to have a place on my blog as well, for easy future reference since I WILL be making it again.

  Oh my goodness, do you know how some desserts just scream SUMMER!?

  Well, this is one of them!  Light, fresh, cold, airy, fluffy and oh-so delicious.087

  The texture will surprise you I think, I was expecting a bit more of a heavy cream cheese base, but man, you put this in your mouth and it just melts away.  Comes together quickly, looks pretty and tastes like summer should!

PEACHES & CREAM TORTE

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Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Filling

  • 1 can (29 oz.) sliced peaches
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream

   In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar.  Stir in butter. Set aside 1/4 cup topping.  Press remaining crumb mixture onto the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a greased 9 inch Springform pan.

  Place pan on a baking sheet.  Bake at  350* for 10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

Drain peaches, reserving syrup in a 2 cup measuring cup.  Add enough water to measure 1 1/2 cups. 

  In a large saucepan, combine 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch;  stir in syrup mixture until smooth.  Add peaches.  Bering to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. 

  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth.  In a small bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form, fold into cream cheese mixture.

  Spread half the cream cheese mixture over the crust.  Top with half the peach mixture, repeat layers.  Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.  Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.  Remove sides of pan just before slicing.

  Serves 12.086

Enjoy this decadent, creamy, fresh tasting piece of Summer before it leaves us for Fall!!!!! (oh my goodness, I need to get some sleep, I just totally cracked myself up right there.) 

  Speaking of cracking up, this next recipe is going to leave you scratching your head and muttering to yourself….it’s called PEACH PUZZLE.

  Dale’s Aunt Lucy made this for us after we had Paxton last summer, along with some AWESOME Chicken Pot Pies that I WILL be making again soon.

Here is the Puzzle about Peach puzzle:  This “Magic” recipe includes placing a ramekin bowl upside down in the center of a pie plate. Peeled peaches are arranged around the ramekin and drizzled with a mixture of brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. Buttery biscuit dough is domed over the peaches, and then the Peach Puzzle goes into the oven.   NOW, get this!!!!!!

Once cooled, the pie plate is flipped over (quickly!) to reveal tender peaches nestled into the flaky biscuit—and a caramel-like sauce in the ramekin.

WHAT?!?!?!?!

How does the sugary sauce end up in the bowl? It’s just sitting there, ready to drizzle over your Peach Puzzle & Ice cream.  Look again:

Oh. My. Word.   Incredible! 

Peach Puzzle

Peaches and Syrup

  • 7 medium peaches, peeled 
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Dough

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon  baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled
  • 6 tablespoons milk

Directions:

  1. For the peaches and syrup: Adjust an oven rack to the middle
    position and heat the oven to 400°F
  2. Place a 6-ounce custard cup or ramekin upside down in the center
    of a 9-inch pie plate and arrange the peaches around the custard cup.
  3. Combine the brown sugar, water, butter, vanilla, and salt in a
    medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the
    butter melts, about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour the syrup over the peaches.
  5. For the dough: Pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in
    a food processor until blended. (If you don’t have a food processor grate your butter and do this by hand until you get a coarse crumbly dough.)
  6. Add the butter and pulse until the flour mixture is pale yellow
    and resembles course cornmeal.
  7. Put the mixture into a medium bowl.
  8. Using a rubber spatula, fold the milk into the flour mixture,
    pressing the mixture against the sides of the bowl to form the dough.
  9. Squeeze the dough together and flatten into a disk.
  10. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a 9-inch
    circle.
  11. Lay the dough directly over the peaches and press and fit the
    dough so that it fits snuggly around peaches. (The dough will stretch as you fit
    it around the peaches, but do not attach the dough to the pie plate.).
  12. Bake until the top is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
  13. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes.
  14. Place a large rimmed serving plate over the top of the pie plate
     and quickly invert the puzzle onto a plate.
  15. Cut into wedges around each peach and serve, pouring syrup over
    each portion.

Note: Since this dish is all about the peaches, save it for when fresh local peaches are in season. And it is important to choose peaches that are neither very ripe nor rock-hard — they should give a little when squeezed. 

  Soooo, I didn’t snap a photo of this last recipe….Hello! I just had a baby and no blog at the time, so I used this one from: http://www.cookscountry.com/recipes/detail/8301  Gotta give credit where credit is due! :)

 Happy Baking!!

~T

 

This post linked to:

Gooseberry Patch Recipe Round Up

Good-bye, Sweet Summer

  Well, Monday school starts and with it the Summer season draws to a close.  It doesn’t seem possible, I need more time with all my kids home!  More peeking out the kitchen window to kids shrieking and having fun in the yard, bunk bed sibling sleepovers with giggles late into the night (well 9:00, but that’s late for them), pool time, swimsuit tan lines, towels on the line, Popsicles, backyard BBQ’s, summer sunsets, watching the fireflies come out and hearing the locusts call their bedtime chant. 

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  I didn’t get my fill of corn on the cob, watermelon, cucumber salad or tomato sandwiches this year, due to my poor over-heated garden…..so we wait for another year, another season.

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  It’s back to early bedtime, alarm clock setting for early mornings, hearty breakfasts, homework, evening backpack checks, uniform filled laundry and required reading.  But, with the end of Summer comes the promise of Fall……the return of crisp Kansas air, leaves crunching under your feet, pumpkins, soups and all that Fall entails.

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  The kids have really had a fun summer together and I love the changes I see in 002them as they all grow up a bit, they really really play well together.  The latest craze? “Barbie Beauty Salon”.  Destiny is the best stylist around!

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  I have let the kids play outside EXTRA long this week, and for the first time in all our years out here, they have started to explore the property, expand their territory a bit.  They found a “Hideout” for themselves in our old lean-to.

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Fun!

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  It even has an emergency escape hatch….cool!

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Aren’t my kids so fashion forward?  I mean really, snow boots with shorts is a really good look, wouldn’t you say?  :)

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  Apparently, the Goat Head stickers (MEAN ol’ stickers that look like thorns and put poison in your foot…) poke them when they wear their Croc play shoes.  Hey, we live in the country, whatever works!

  In other news, Pax has started signing more at meal time.  We’ve done Baby Sign with each of our children and LOVE it!  He’s been good at “All Done” for a while now, but has added “More”, which I have yet to capture on video  (The little booger will do it before and after the camera, but never when I have it on, STINKER!) and “Please.” 

  I also, due to supper-making chaos, handed him the fork for the first time, to allow him to self-feed.  He went after his turkey, sweet potatoes and peas with gusto, doing waaaay better than I imagined…….

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Scooping the bites to his mouth with ease…. 

Sorta.

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  Half a bowl later, I was still working on the Broccoli & Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes (yum~recipe coming!) so he gave up the fork and went to hands….

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And later still, face. 

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Success! Messy success, but he the job got done none-the-less and was so proud of himself!

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  Well, I should close.  Like I said, school starts Monday and I need to go write “Destiny” on a million and one more individual markers, marker lids, notebooks, folders, crayons, pencils and erasers.  How do you people with multiple kids in school get this accomplished in good time? 

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What an undertaking!  The old Tonya would have had this done a month early. But this new Tonya, the one with 4 kids?  She’s more of a “Fly By The Seat of Her Pants” kinda gal…..waiting until the last weekend before school starts to get it done.

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Rebel, I know.

~T

Southwest Cream Cheese Stuffed Red Peppers

  I don’t know about you, but my garden is NOT doing well this year.

Sad tomato plants:

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Even more sad green bean plants:

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  We are barely getting any tomatoes and got only 1 batch of green beans before the plants fried in the hot sun. 

  It was 112* almost everyday we were gone to Florida and with Kansas being behind 10 inches of rain, things are very brown and dead here.  :(  Praise the Lord we did get some rain recently, but not before farmers lost cattle and crops.  In comparison, this seems minor, but I’m still mourning the loss of Blackberry cobbler and a freezer full of blackberries to get us through the winter….all our blackberries shriveled up before plumping up for the first time in 9 years.  Yes, it was THAT hot!

  Right now we are getting carrots, red peppers and jalapenos from the garden, for those we are thankful! 

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We love to grill out jalapeno poppers.  Just halve and seed the jalapenos, fill with seasoned cream cheese (we like to use Southwest Seasoning), wrap in bacon, secure with toothpick and grill.  DEEELICIOUS!  What do you mean do I have a photo?  Noooo, that would’ve required me to think before Dale and I gobbled them all up pigishly.

{Oink oink}

  With our Red Peppers I made this for supper:

Southwest Cream Cheese Stuffed Red Peppers049

  • 2 Tablespoons Southwest Seasoning (from Pampered Chef, it’s AMAZING! But you can use cumin, chili powder…anything you deem Mexican flavors, instead.)
  • 4 ounces, weight Spreadable Cream Cheese (I Believe Its Called Whipped And Is Found In The Bagel Section)
  • 8 whole Large Red Peppers
  • 2 cups Cooked Meat Of Your Choice: Shredded Pork, Taco Meat, Or Shredded Chicken.
  • 2 cups Shredded Cheese, More Or Less As Desired
  • Optional Garnishes: Sour Cream, Guacamole
  • FOR THE MEXICAN RICE:
  • 1 cup Uncooked Brown Rice
  • 2 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
  • 1 whole Small Onion Chopped
  • 1 whole Garlic Clove, Pressed
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 whole Large Tomatoes, Chopped
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth

Preparation Instructions

First, make your Southwest Cream Cheese by adding 2 tablespoons of Southwest seasoning (or cumin, garlic and chili powder) to 4 ounces of spreadable cream cheese. Refrigerate until ready to make supper, pulling it out of the refrigerator 20 minutes ahead of time to soften up a bit.

Make Mexican rice: In a large skillet over medium heat, saute rice in hot oil until slightly browned. Add the onion, garlic and salt. Cook over low heat until onion is tender. Add tomatoes, cook over medium heat until softened. Add broth; cover and simmer until water is absorbed.

Cut each red pepper in half vertically (from the stem straight down). Remove seeds and pop off the green top. Place in a large pot of salted water, bring to a boil and allow peppers to cook for 5-7 minutes or until starting to soften. Then remove them from the water, drain and cool.

Meanwhile, prepare meat of your choice or grab whatever is leftover in the fridge.

Spread each pepper with 1 Tablespoon (or more to taste) of seasoned cream cheese. Add shredded meat, Mexican rice and top with cheese, filling pepper just to the brim.

Place peppers on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve hot with sour cream or guacamole on top.

This is SO versatile!  You could use black beans, corn, cilantro, anything you deem “Mexican-ish” in this. Don’t have time to make Mexican rice? Then get one of those Knorr packets of Mexican rice for even faster prep time.

They were delicious, and despite my children’s first reaction: “But I don’t like red peppers!”, they ate them and even asked for seconds.

This is PRECISELY why “No Thank You Bites” are required at our house!

So, how does your garden grow?

~T