Easy Beef Lettuce Wraps

  It’s SUMMERTIME, and that means light and easy suppers around here typically.  We spend as much time as possible outside in the evenings, so I don’t want to have to come in and labor over the hot stove too … Continue reading

Mulberry Picking, Mower Races & A Simple Summer Supper

  Thanks for letting me have a break yesterday.  Phew, it was a crazy day.  The worst part of the vacation has to be either the drive home, or the pile of laundry, bills and phone call messages to swim through.  I have lots of photos to share from our Colorado trip, but I am going to need some time to weed through them.  So instead, you are getting some “Summer Snaps” from life at the Ferguson household………

  We have Mulberry trees the grow all over our back yard.  They make a terrible mess, the chickens eat them and poo purple, and the kids get them all over their shoes.  {Which is why there is a STRICT no play shoes in the house rule!} 

  But, boy are they sweet and yummy and FREEEEEEEE!  We pop em in our mouths, green stem and all, and they are delicious.  Every once in a while, when I am feeling generous, I let the kids have them on a teeny tiny dollop of Breyer’s Vanilla ice cream. 

  Yeah, I am cool like that.  😉

  Next time we will wait to do our Mulberry gathering until Daddy comes home, so he can help us do the ol’ shake the tree with a clean sheet under it trick.  It took forever our way!  But our harvest sure tasted good!

mulberry collage censored

  I censored the following photo for the safety of my kiddos, after some perv stole a picture of Destiny fully clothed sitting on her new bedspread, we try err on the side of caution on the blog now.  The bottom right photo was of Paxton’s berry stained buns.  It was interesting to me, that when I posted the uncensored pic on my personal page, which to me feels safe, I got turned into Facebook, who removed the collage!  {sigh}  Some people!

  Do you know how many bathtub pictures and naked baby pictures I see on my newsfeed everyday? And I never once reported them.  OH! And don’t even get me started on the scantily clad women in the ads on my sidebar.

Oh well.  What can you do? 

  Moving on….

  We recently sold our John Deer mower to get a Grasshopper mower, but before we got rid of it, we held some MOWER RACES.  Guess who won?

Yup, this girl. 

  What do you mean Grasshoppers are naturally faster than John Deers?

FIIIINE, you are right, but it was still fun to lap slow traffic a couple of times. 

  After that, poor, poor, sad Paxton did not WANT to ride on the green mower anymore.  He had to wait his turn to ride with Daddy on the Grasshopper.

  As you can see by the photo below, he was not feeling it……

  Gotta love my almost 3-year-old!  We don’t call ‘em “The Trying Threes” for nothing!

mower races

  Last but not least, I re-photographed an oldie but goodie simple summer staple around here.  I enjoy seeing the changes in my photography as I learn more.  You know what they say, the only photographer you should compare yourself to, is YOU!

Potato Stick Chicken Salad

2011’s shot 

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Vs.

2013’s shot

IMG_9598IMG_9601

YAY! Improvement!  It’s so fun to work hard, and see growth.

  Now go make that salad, it’s a favorite!

Hugs, T

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Beef Nacho Bake

  Though the ingredients to this recipe are simple, the flavors of the end result, are full on complex!  You won’t be able to quite put your finger on the flavors, but it sure tastes good!

  Guess where this recipe comes from?

  From my mom’s recipe box!  Tucked between sections, is a 1980’s Miracle Whip Label featuring this very recipe!  It MUST be good, because our family has been making it ever since.  🙂

Beef Nacho Bake

{click title for easy printable}

Beef Nacho Bake txt

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Hamburger, Seasoned With Salt And Pepper
  • 1 cup Chunky Picante Sauce, You Decide The Heat
  • 15 ounces, weight Can Of Sweet Corn, Drained
  • ½ cups Miracle Whip
  • ¼ cups Sour Cream
  • ½ teaspoon Chili Powder, this was too hot for my kids, I will do less next time.
  • 2 cups Shredded Taco Cheese
  • 2 cups Crushed Tortilla Chips

Preparation Instructions

Brown beef and drain. Stir in picante sauce, drained corn, miracle whip, sour cream and chili powder to taste.
In a 2 Qt casserole dish, layer one half beef mixture, then 1 cup cheese and 1 cup chips. Repeat layers.
Bake at 350* for 20 minutes.
Serve with guacamole, taco sauce, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, whatever you like!

Enjoy!

~T

BBQ Beef Bundles

  My mom used to make these when we were kids.  It makes a really simple supper, just serve with a side salad! 

BBQ Beef Bundles

{click title to print}

BBQ Beef Bundles Collage

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • ½ whole Onion, Chopped
  • ⅔ cups BBQ Sauce
  • ¾ cups Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 can {16 Oz} 8 Count Whole Wheat Biscuits, Divided In Two

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350*. Spray 16 spots in 2 muffin pans.
Cook beef and onions, season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in BBQ sauce and heat for 5 minutes more.
Take 8 biscuits and carefully pull them apart to make 2 full circles. The dough is layered, so its easy to split by hand. Press into each greased muffin tins, going up sides.
Divide meat mixture into each cup and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with a salad or raw veggies for a simple supper.

~T

Overnight Chicken Supreme Casserole

  My little brother & his best friend used to BEG my mom to make this Chicken Casserole when we were kids, but honestly? I don’t recall it one way or another.  For me, the biggest appeal in making this casserole now that I am a momma, is that I was able to make it the night before, for an easy no-prep supper the next night.  By letting it sit overnight, you eliminate the need to cook your macaroni noodles!  Cool, right?!

Overnight Chicken Supreme Casserole

(click title for easy printable)

Overnight Chicken SUpreme (2)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Cooked, Seasoned Chicken, Cut In Small Cubes
  • 2 cups Raw Macaroni (do Not Cook!)
  • 2 cans (14 Oz Each) Cream Of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1 whole Onion, Chopped Finely
  • ½ teaspoons Celery Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter, Cut Into Small Pieces
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheese
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste

Combine all above ingredients, except cheese in a large bowl with lid. Refrigerate overnight. When you are ready, scrape macaroni mixture into a sprayed 9×13 casserole dish and bake for almost an hour at 350*. The last 5 minutes, add shredded cheese to the top and return to the oven until melted.

  We served ours with Creamed Peas, which we all ADORE!  {Cooked peas ususally make me gag, not these!}

Simple and delicious! My kids said “Mmmm” with every bite!

~T

Overnight Chicken SUpreme (3)

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