29 February 2016

Bacon Pesto Spread~SRC Leprechauns and Bunnies

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I'm participating in a special Secret Recipe Club project:  Because there are 5 Mondays in February, we get to play with a theme and this month the theme is Leprechauns and Bunnies!  This fun and funky event, I was paired up with Ashley from Cheese Curds in Paradise.  What a great name!



Ashley is from Green Bay and if she only knew how big of Packers fans this family is, she'd just hand over her season tickets and call it a day.  Wishful thinking on my part, I know.

28 February 2016

Shepherd's Pie Hand Pies #SundaySupper

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This week's theme for #SundaySupper is PIE!  You know it is pie month, as we've celebrated here at Our Good Life in a couple of different ways!  I love hand pies, and have a board on Pinterest dedicated to them!

I make the filling for a shepherd's pie and encase it into puff pastry that is sealed around the edges with a fork.  Sometimes the filling leaks through, but that just makes it more delicious!  Instead of putting the mashed potatoes in the filling, I serve them on the side.  These neat mashed potatoes will be featured on the blog on March 6.  Come and check them out!

Shepherd Pie Hand Pie


26 February 2016

Food 'n' Flix~

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Our movie this month was The Lunchbox, an Indian film about a crotchety accountant who received the wrong lunchbox, or rather, tiffin box, over and over. It seems that in India, housewives cook lunch during the morning, pack it up in a tiffin box, where it is picked up and delivered to working men in an elaborate system that has been recognized by Harvard and other institutions for its efficiency.


Efficient or not, the lunchbox is delivered to the wrong person.  Realizing that he is not receiving the bland food he typically gets from the restaurant he orders from, he places a note into one of the tiffin containers.  In case you haven't seen a tiffin, it looks like tuna fish cans stacked one on top of the other.  The housewife who receives the notes, is lonely and looking to impress her husband, who is a louse.  From the notes, a relationship develops between the accountant and the housewife.  I won't tell you more, but I am glad I saw this film.  It's not one I would have picked out for myself, but I loved it all the same!

25 February 2016

Easter Morning Breakfast Casserole

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Easter breakfast is one of my favorite times to cook, but usually with church and all, it is difficult to get everything ready before services.  This wonderful dish, can be made the morning of or the day before, so all you have to do is bake!

Look for fresh berries in the store.  This is delightful with blueberries, strawberries and blackberries.  So good!

Breakfast Casserole

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24 February 2016

He Named Me Malala #withMalala

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I was given an advanced copy of the television debut of He Named Me Malala to view and to promote for the February 29 show.  Between now and the debut, supporters can change their profile picture on Facebook using a custom designed animation AND with the hastag #withMalala, Twitter fans can contribute by sending out a tweet (with the hashtag) and 21st Century Fox will donate $1 for the Malala Fund. (up to $50 grand!) The show will premeier commercial free on Monday at
8PM ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel and on Nat Geo MUNDO.  It will roll out within a week to 171 countries and in 45 languages.

malala film


Please leave a comment if you are going to tweet and change your Facebook profile.  In the meanwhile, you can learn more about the film by continuing to read!

Benvenuto! Welcome to Dinner!

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Tonight we are featuring Italian cuisine from bloggers all over the world!  You will be served several courses and even a couple of printable a and table decor to round out your experience!

Soups are a traditional peasant fare all through Europe and here, too, and this minestrone is so satisfying.  The soup is best made with a bean broth, but that not always being available, I have substituted chicken broth.  The bean of choice is the fagioli romani (the Roman bean), hence the name of the soup.


22 February 2016

Lebanese Potatoes and Eggs~SRC Reveal

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Welcome back to the Secret Recipe Club.  I was so thrilled and a bit nervous, to get Tara from Tara's Multicultural Table as my partner this month.  I know Tara from a couple of different foodie groups and she is a consistently wonderful chef and to recreate one of her recipes, well, I'm shaking a little bit.



Tara is a stay-at-home mom for her two littles and lives in West Virginia.  Someday I hope to visit West Virginia, and if I do, I'm inviting myself to Tara's for lunch.  She's a traveler and loves many types of cuisines.  So do I.

I went through Tara's extensive list of recipes, which is sorted by CONTINENT and food group, by the way.  Knees are knocking together, now!   When I saw Loco Moco, I did find myself calming down, as I love this and it isn't too hard to make!  I settled on the Egg category because we love eggs and when I did, I knew I made the right choice, because then I found this: Batana Wa Bayd Mfarakey.  Just for fun, though, I checked out the European section and found these fabulous Vanilla Crescent Cookies, which look like they'd melt in your mouth.

Lebanese Potatoes and Eggs


21 February 2016

Breakfast Salad #SundaySupper

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I crave salad in the winter and it is easy to understand why.  Even in this world of fresh produce all year long, my body longs for Farmers Market goodies during the winter.  I began ordering my avocados from California recently and so this avocado breakfast salad was a perfect addition to this week's #SundaySupper Winter Salad week!


20 February 2016

Top Ten Rainbow Cupcakes

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Shamrocks and leprechauns aren't the only thing that March is famous for, the typically rainy month gives us great opportunities to talk about and see rainbows.  But in case the weather doesn't cooperate, here are some darling cupcakes to demonstrate how gorgeous a rainbow can be!  Be sure to visit their lovely blogs to find out exactly how these were made!



19 February 2016

Mug Cake

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I have seen these mug cakes all over the Internet. I have actually made one I really love that is so simple and tasty. I was out of that mix so I tried another one that is a bit more complicated but very tasty. This is a mash up of many recipes so here goes!

Mug Cake dry ingredients

17 February 2016

St. Patrick's Budget Craft Hop

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One thing I love about blogging is the chance to meet others all over the world who love the same things I do.  Last month I was fortunate to meet Megan from C'mon Get Crafty when she asked if there were others who liked to do budget crafting.

St. Patrick's Day Craft


16 February 2016

Homemade Febreze

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I love using Febreze in my house to eliminate odors.   I love the smell and how quickly it works.  I use it a lot, and when I realized that, I wondered what chemicals I was adding to the air in my home.  I did some research on the product and this post was instrumental in motivating me to do something different.



I experiemented with a couple of different homemade versions, one with vinegar that didn't leave a super pleasant smell, and one that uses hair conditioner, which is also full of chemical.  I settled on this recipe, which I believe is effective at removing odors.

13 February 2016

Garden Planning Time!

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Three things have happened this month to get me thinking about spring and planting.



The first was my husband asking me what plans I have for our backyard this spring and I was so glad he asked!  I would like to stain the concrete, purchase a table set for the deck, refinish the wood table and plant our small garden and fill our planters.  I would also like to expand our butterfly garden a bit and maybe put in a window box where the our garage window is.  Hoping to create the planting station I've been wanting and, if I'm not stretching my luck too much, build an overhead awning over the back door.

(smile)

10 February 2016

#asweetpairing

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My husband and I are busy people.  He is the director of a college campus and teaches college course for the same college.  I am an educational consultant and teach college courses.  So when we both are home on the same night, it feels really nice and very special.




08 February 2016

Potatoes with Broiled Citrus Dressing

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It's National Potato Lovers' Day and I wanted to share with you a simple recipe that is fancy enough to serve guests, but super easy to do.  I'm always looking for a side dish to accompany my husband's delicious steaks.  This side dish will hold it's own but not take the star away from the main dish.


Potatoes with Broiled Citrus Dressing

by Terri Steffes
Ingredients (2 servings)
  • 10 baby yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T juice from roasted lemon, orange or lime
  • 1 T grainy mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • red pepper flakes
Instructions
Cut each potato in quarters. Coat in olive oil. Salt. Roast at 400 for 25 minutes or until fork tender. Set aside.
Mince garlic, then mash it with a little salt.
Broil fruit for 10 minutes, cut side up. Let cool for 5 minutes, juice using a citrus press.
In a small bowl, whisk citrus juice, red pepper flakes, oil, garlic, mustard and salt and pepper (to taste).
Pour over potatoes. Serve warm.
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06 February 2016

What I Like, Products I Love!

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It's been a crazy fun month trying out some new products and I want to share with you some of my favorites.  I like it when I know that someone else has tried a product and given their seal of approval, so I hope that some of these products will be helpful to you, too!

1.  I loved my Ipsy bag this month!  The bag itself was adorable, covered with sunglasses, and inside were products for the eyes.  Nothing to outlandish, and I have used all the products.  If you haven't tried Ipsy, you can do so by clicking on this link and signing up!


2.  My two furbabies were in love with Merrick's Grammy's Pot Pie Kitchen Bites this month.  These are oven baked treats with real chicken, potatoes, peas and carrots in them.  I love watching how excited they get to have one!  I get excited knowing I know all the ingredients in the treat!



3.  This darling picnic blanket is going to be so useful this summer.  It has a waterproof bottom and folds up fairly small.  I think it will be put in our golf cart for those spontaneous chances to sit and look at the lake, or for movie nights at the ampitheater.

I love the blue plaid!  
4.  I have been wanting a set of salt and pepper shakers for the island, but I love fresh ground pepper and didn't want to settle for less at the island.  When I saw this set of grinders, I knew I had found what I was looking for.  Stainless steel, glass and a ceramic grinder.  Great quality, too!

I was given the Grammy's Pot Pies for free in exchange for my honest review.  The blanket and salt and pepper shakers were purchased at a reduced price in exchange for my honest review. I pay full price for my Ipsy bag!

Thank you and if you purchase any of these products, give me a shout-out!  I'd love to know how you liked them, too!

05 February 2016

It's Friday and We're in Love...with Crock Pot Meals!

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It's the middle of the winter and some of us are needing a boost in our crockpot meals!  Here are some of the best crock pot meals on the planet, just in time to freshen your recipes for the end of winter.  Spring is certainly around the corner!



It's my turn to host this lovely Blog Hop and Linky Party!  Each week there is a different theme which makes it so fun and exciting to participate!  I am so excited to share these recipes with you!

First highlight is this wonderful shredded beef recipe and it includes how to use the leftovers!  Head over to Momcrieff's for the entire recipe!


My second feature is this brisket!  The pictures of the sauce made me swoon!  I think that these larger cuts of beef are perfect for the slow cooker.  Visit Oak Hill Homestead for the recipe!


Now for a soup!  This Tortilla Soup from Close to Home will please your family for its fun factor and for the easy-to-make recipe.


I love anything served in a bowl and this Southwestern Chicken Bowl from Made in a Day looks amazing!  Add a few slices of avocado and call it a meal!


Look at this soup recipe that's fancy enough for your friends!  This Tomato Basil Parmesan from Practical Mommy would be perfect with homemade biscuits or ultimate grilled cheese!

My husband would love, love, love this Sausage and Peppers slow cooker dish!  Thank you to the Crosbie Crew for this hearty dish!


Here are the other cohosts for It's Friday and We're In Love...  Fabulous bloggers that you should get to know and follow on their different social media pages!


Be sure and follow the HOME page for this great event and so you, too, can have access to all these wonderful ideas!

Here are other It's Friday events that you might like to see:

Apples Sunny Day Family
Leaves Playground Parkbench
Owls Crafty Kids at Home
Pumpkins Nemcsok Farms
Fall Decor Our Good Life
Halloween Garden Chick
Pine Cones Rhythms of Play
Cranberries Nemcsok Farms
Snowflakes HEN Family
Thanksgiving Sunny Day Family
Christmas Our Good Life
Holiday Cookies Playground Parkbench
DIY Gifts Crafty Kids at Home
Organizing Sunny Day Family
Snow Nemcsok Farms

CROCK POT MEALS

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04 February 2016

The Choice

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How far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

Literally.  Fun and fiesty medical student, Gabby (Teresa Palmer) meets confirmed bachelor, Travis (Benjamin Walker) when her dog becomes pregnant supposedly through Travis' male dog.  Gabby "reams him a new one" by complaining about loud music, boisterous friends and a promiscuous dog.  The pair find themselves attracted to one another and what seems most unlikely, become involved with each even though both are in relationships with other people. The story continues to build with their marriage and the family comes along.  Life is treating them very well, until a tragic accident puts Gabby in the hospital.


Travis is confronted by Gabby's doctor (her ex, by-the-way) and her parents, asking to make the most difficult of all decisions, when to pull the plug.  A hurricane postpones "the choice" and if you want to know the rest of the story, you are going to have to see the film.

Nicholas Sparks is the producer of the film and wins my heart with beautiful and romantic cinemtography of the North and South Carolina coastlines.  Breathtakingly beautiful, the film shows us the small islands that dot the Atlantic close in to the shoreline.

There were problems with the medical concepts throughout the film, and several loose ends not tied up well for me, but this was a movie that had me in tears at the end.  Great date night flick!

Favorite Quote from the film:  Momma always said, sometimes people don't recognize opportunity because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Let me know if you go see this movie!  I'd love to hear your take on it!

03 February 2016

It's Pie Month! Baked Penne Pie

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"February has so many food holidays...chocolate, of course, heart healthy, Red foods, Fondues, Berries, Cherries, Grapefruit and Hot Breakfasts to name just a few. And American Pies....perfect...you can make them red, you can make them chocolate, you can use berries or cherries, you can make them savory and serve them as a hot breakfast, you can make them out of grapefruit....well, maybe not, but if you do you will be my hero!!!"  This is what us going on Pie Month!  And.... there is a grapefruit pie among us!

Welcome to the 2016 February issue of #FoodieExtravaganza!  We're a bunch of foodie who love to blog and cook together.  Here's what we created with the theme of Bye Bye Miss American Pie.




This is my pie:  pie for dinner!  Made with whole grain pasta, jarred pasta sauce, leftover veggies and cheese, it is a frugal and healthy choice!





Baked Penne Pie
by Terri Steffes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (6 servings)
  • 1 box whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 4 oz herbed goat cheese
  • 4 oz shredded mozzerella cheese
  • 1 c or more of cooked vegetables. I used broccoli
Instructions
Cook penne pasta in boiling water for 6 minutes. It will finish cooking in the oven. Drain, and add the jar of pasta sauce, goat cheese and cooked vegetables. Mix until noodles and veggies are coated with sauce and some of the cheese has melted. Spray a springform pan with cooking spray. Pour noodle mixture into the pan, pressing noodles firmly. Cover with mozzerella over the entire top. Make a band of aluminum foil for the pan and wrap it around the sides. Cover the top with foil as well. This keeps the pasta from overbaking. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until cheese has melted. Remove foil for the last 3 minutes of baking to brown up cheese.
Let rest for 10 minutes. Carefully remove sides of pan. Cut into sixths and serve.
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Check out all the other pies from this fun round up!  





BLT Pie by Georgina of G'Gina's Flavors Palatte

Cheddar Leek Potato Pie by Lauren at Sew You Think You Can Cook

Cheeseburger Pie by Kathleen at Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Grapefruit Pie by Rebekah at Making Miracles

Ham and Broccoli Quiche by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm

Homegrown Blackberry Pie by Carlee of Cooking with Carlee

No Bake Peanut Butter Pie by Lauren of From Gate to Plate

Peaches and Cream Pie by Elaine at Cookin and Craftin

Penne Pie by Terri at Our Good Life

Red Velvet Pudding Pie by Teri of The Freshman Cook

Tar Heel Pie by Tara of Tara's Multicultural Table

The Impossible Coconut Pie by Stacy of Food Lust People Love

Walnut Crumble-Topped Apple Tart by Caroline at Caroline's Cooking

02 February 2016

DAR Good Citizens Brunch

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This year I took on the challenge of organizing the DAR Good Citizen Award.  I know my interest in the DAR came from my Aunt Sissy (Florence Oliver Leach) who had worked for years on her papers but didn't finish before she passed away in 1999.  Her advanced work helped me get my papers in and I became a member in 2008.

In addition to organizing the Good Citizens for the brunch, I made this breakfast casserole that was featured in a video called Tasty.  It was very well received!




Biscuit and Gravy Casserole

1 can of canned biscuits, I used the large biscuits
9 eggs
salt and pepper
1/2 c milk
1 lb ground sausage
4 T butter
4 T flour
2 c milk
1 c cheese

Preheat the oven to  350.  Prepare a 9 by 13 pan with cooking spray.  Cut the biscuits up into eighths.  Beat eggs, salt and pepper, and milk.  Set aside.  Fry sausage in a large skillet until done, then remove from grease, set aside 2 T grease for gravy.  Melt butter into grease, spoon in flour.  Stir with a whisk to remove lumps.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Add in milk, stir constantly, until gravy thickens.  Put biscuits in baking pan, spread out.


Add sausage over the biscuits.  Sprinkle on cheese.
Pour eggs over sausage and biscuits and then pour gravy over everything.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until eggs are set and biscuits are cooked through.  Rest 3-4 minutes, then cut and serve.

The gravy stays creamy.  The dish is really good and what a great way to get everything to the table hot and ready to eat!

01 February 2016

Taste Creations: Leeks!

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Welcome to this month's Taste Creations Linkup where we will be sharing recipes using Leeks! The Taste Creations Linkup happens on the 1st Monday of Every Month at 7am PST / 10am EST. You can participate by submitting your recipes below any time until the 8th February at 7am PST / 10am EST.



Next month we'll feature our favourite and most creative recipes from this month, so make sure you submit your post below!

Here are the rules for participating in the Linkup

1) Everyone is welcome to link up 1 family friendly recipe, using the featured ingredient of the month. (No homepages please). We reserve the right to delete any posts we don’t believe to be “family friendly.”

2) Please follow your Hosts on social media!


3) Have a Visible Link Back to *Our Good Life* on your blog and in your recipe submission post. You can grab the Taste Creations button below to do this!




4) Please do not link up any round up posts. We ask that all images be original by you.

5) Visit at least 3 other posts and don’t forget to comment! We will try our best to visit as many linkers as possible.

6) By linking to this party you are giving Lauren Caris Cooks, Our Good Life, Tikkido and Mom Home Guide permission to feature one picture on our websites, social media, and blogs. Proper credit will always be given to you. Neither Lauren Caris Cooks, Our Good Life, Tikkido or Mom Home Guide is responsible for stolen and/or misused images, misused projects and ideas.

This month we are featuring the lovely LEEK. Leeks belong to the onion family and differ in that the leek forms a loose set of leaves around a stalk, instead of packing tightly together like onion. Therefore it is easy for dirt and sand to get trapped in the leaves. Soaking leeks helps remove the trapped dirt and sand. Leeks are one of the national emblems of Wales and is used extensively in that country's cooking.  Today I made for you a soup with frozen leeks. I love having a bag of leeks in my freezer ready to go. Leeks are easily grown, so to freeze the excess means you can have your own leeks ready for you at a moments notice. It does not take long for leeks to thaw.




Winter Vegetable Soup

by Terri Steffes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Ingredients (4 servings)
  • 6 c water
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 bag frozen leeks, thawed
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 2 medium turnips (8 ounces) or 1⁄2 rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1/4 -inch wedges
  • 2 bok choy, sliced in half length-wise
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • fresh ground black pepper
Instructions
In a large heavy saucepan, bring the water, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and salt to a boil. Add the vegetables and garlic and simmer, half covered, until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. Pepper liberally.
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