Showing posts from September, 2016

Homemade Christmas!

My Christmas blog has a wonderful special that I want to share here:  A wonderful set of hand knitted hat patterns (six!) plus a great deal of 40% off that!  Go and check it out here:  Super Duper Knit Hats for Beginners!
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Pollo con Jalapeños Acristalamiento y Pimientos Rojos, Verdes y Naranjas

The movie Frida was the subject of this month's Food 'n' Flix .  This is a beautiful film that makes you uncomfortable in many ways, but ultimately finds you in a place between passion for her work or deeply sorrowful for the painful life she led.  Thanks to our hostess, Debra at Eliot's Eats for this wonderful selection! The movie has interesting cinematography, weaving a story about a young, passionate, full-of-life girl who is tragically injured in an accident that keeps her in constant pain, a "Yellow Submarine" type of cartoon that pops up randomly here and there, and a eloquent musical of beautiful ethnic music.  I knew of Frida, but did not understand her work, the movie was wonderful in helping understand what she was painting and why. The movie moves between her pain, her politics, her tempestuous marriage, her husband's betrayals, and her art, not so much in a seamless manner, but in one that jerks you into the reality of the time.  T

Beautiful Fall Wreaths to Grace Your Home

Have you ever wondered why we place a wreath on the door in the fall?  The story starts in ancient Greece, where farmers would take strands of their crops, mostly wheat, and braid or weave them with red and white yarns and place on their door in thanksgiving for the crop.  The Greeks believed that the wreath would protect them from plagues and crop failures and as a symbol of that good luck, was hung for the whole year.  The typical shape is round, to represent eternity, or eternal gratitude. In Europe, in the early days, the wreath was the identity of the home, much like house numbers are today.  Each wreath was a unique combination of flowers and plants, usually grown in their own greenhouses.  What a fun way to identify homes:  head south on the road, pass the Rose Wreath, until you get to the Lily Wreath.  Turn left, the first house with the Daisy Wreath is what you're looking for!  (how fun!) At Christmas, the wreath is round for eternity and evergreens are used as they

Amazing things to make with Pumpkin!

Pumpkin is such a wonderful ingredient to work with in recipes.  The mild but distinct flavor makes it a fall favorite, since fall is traditionally pumpkin harvesting season!  Pumpkin is also an easy ingredient to purchase, being available all year in canned varieties.  My personal favorite of canned pumpkin is Libby's.  Libby's pumpkin is made from pumpkins in Illinois, a specific type of pumpkin, and has a slightly sweet yet pumpkiny goodness that I love.  It is also very consistent can to can, which I have found not to be true in other brands. I am writing this in a separate paragraph for a reason:  DO NOT confuse CANNED PUMPKIN PIE MIX with canned pumpkin.  The pie mix is much more runny and has various spices and more sugar than what you might want in your recipe. Pumpkin pie puree is fairly easy to make yourself if you are willing to spend a bit of time.  I learned how from the Pioneer Woman YEARS ago.  It is fairly easy and it is so delicious.  Use pie pumpkins

September Reads

I love reading. It takes me on adventures that I know I will never go myself, such as living a homeless life, or that of a drug addict, or living in a 400 sq ft cabin off the grid.  Those experiences aren't for me yet, I long to know what it is like for people living in those situations.  The same for the book I just read called Hannah's Choice by Jan Drexler. The book is a historical romance about an Amish family making a hard decision to move west.  A sweet romance between Amish youth, family love, a ill pregnant woman, and a rescue, along with horse thieves and murderers, this book has a little bit for everyone!  The book engages you to sit down at the campfire, eat a little something, and plan for your future with some of the most kind people you will ever meet.  The characters are strong, caring, a bit willful, human and and God fearing.  The story is a page turner.  The author's evident research makes the story believable and interesting.  The characters are fa


I am proud to be a part of a group of bloggers called Blooming Bloggers.  We meet on Facebook to discuss blogging issues and to support one another with social media.  Our common ground is gardening (see what I did there?  common ground ) and we also support each other through that as well. We came up with the idea of a monthly series of posts centered around colors.  A garden's favorite thing to do is to use color to accent or highlight or to make someone say, "Wow!"  Colors permeate through much of what we do all throughout life as well, so you will get the chance to see a variety of posts all focus on one specific color for the month. In September we chose black.  If nothing, gardeners are fearless. I knew we were starting strong and with quite a challenge, but you will see that these bloggers rose to the challenge, so without further ado, let me introduce you to each blogger and their post this month. Say hi to Teri Schuler from The Freshman Cooks .  Teri m

Smashed Broccoli #UltimateRecipeChallenge

Smashed Broccoli is one of the most versatile side dishes on the planet.  It is easy, delicious and its beautiful green color adds brightness to your plate. The #UltimateRecipeChallenge is a fun event designed to inspire us to use a specific ingredient and then create a recipe to share on our link day!  This month our fearless leader, Kim Six from The Kim Six Fix challenged us to use broccoli.  Like she stated in our challenge information,    " I know broccoli isn't the 'sexiest' ingredient.. but that is what will make this link up unique!" This was the perfect choice for me because I have been wanting to make up a broccoli mash.  Ever since the cauliflower mash craze, I have been making mashes from all kinds of vegetables and loving each and every one.  Broccoli mash was no exception! Broccoli Mash by Our Good Life Cook Time: 20 minutes 6079643 Ingredients 2 pounds broccoli florets 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon butte

The Black Swallowtail Butterfly is living at my house!

Last year my husband put in a butterfly garden for me.  With the help of one of his colleagues, Sue, we put in a variety of native Missouri plants.  Last year they greened up a bit and the rabbits ended up eating some, so we wired a fence around the garden and this year the plants did very well.  So well, in fact, that we are seeing some butterflies! Do you see the caterpillar, too?  He'll be a black swallowtail, too! The first butterfly I noticed was the Black Swallowtail Butterfly.  I happened to see it first while on my front porch visiting with my neighbor, Tina.  I tried, unsuccessfully, to get her to land on my finger so I could look at her closely.  My second sighting was in my backyard.  I grabbed my cell phone and captured a few images and with the help of Sue, was able to identify the butterfly! The Black Swallowtail has a number of names,  American swallowtail, parsnip swallowtail, parsley swallowtail, celeryworm, and caraway worm (Miller 1992).   It is a common

Grilled Pineapple Guacamole #SecretRecipeClub

The Secret Recipe Club is a group of people who love to cook.  Each month we are given a blog to go to and to find a recipe we want to make.  We post our chosen recipe and introduce you to the blog!  It's a lot of fun and I enjoy getting to know some new bloggers.  We are organized by the ever lovely Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla. This month I was assigned to Cheese Curd In Paradise .  The curator for this blog is Ashley, who lives in Wisconsin *got it!!! and is a mom to two littles. I loved looking through her blog.  She posts many of her Weekly Meal Plans  and I am sure some of my other blogger friends and readers would be into seeing what a busy mom does to eat at home!  I also found these Dilly Dust Deviled Eggs  and this Crustless Quiche .  Both which will be on my future menus! The recipe that took me in, that said, Make Me, Make Me, was this Grilled Pineapple Guacamole.   When I saw this, I blinked twice and thought, "where have you b

Using my Three Tier Tray for Fall Decor

I have wanted to purchase a three tier tray for some time now, but I hadn't found the one I really wanted.  I found some pretty ones, the ones made with china plates that were dainty and perfect for cookies and tea, I found some rustic ones that were cute but didn't go with my decor, and then today, I found this lovely wood and silver tray that fit my needs beautifully. I love their versatility and I am definitely going to take advantage of that by decorating it for fall now, and later for Christmas.  I love that it has a bit of sparkle.  I used a lot of things I already had on hand to decorate this one. A handmade card, pine cones, and pumpkins and gourds from last year fill the bottom. The center section has mini popcorn eats, acorn ornaments, and pumpkins.  The top tier has pumpkins, ornaments, green berries, popcorn and oversize acorns, plus a sweet note given to me by a friend. I am using it on my dining room table with candles and a sweet chalkboard

Heath Bar and Banana Pancakes #FoodieExtravaganza

The American pancake is derived from the Johnny Cake and the Hoe Cake, both made with milk, molasses and "Indian meal."  Eggs were added but then called Slapjacks.  Whatever and however today's pancake arrived, I am so glad it did.  I am also very happy that our host for Foodie Extravaganza, Caroline Williams, choose pancakes for us! Pancakes are a blank slate when it comes to the varieties that can be made.  The simple batter allows for all kinds of additives and that's exactly what I did here.  This pancake came about because I had crushed Heath bars in my pantry and bananas on my countertop! I have a couple of must-dos when making pancakes:   1.  Let the edge become dry (see how the moist area shines and the dry area doesn't?  This is the perfect time to turn the pancake!) 2.  DO NOT push down the pancake after you turn it.  Let it rise, rise, rise! The inside will cook faster if you don't push it down! Ok, now that we&

Waffles Gone Wild #WaffleWeek2016

This is Waffle Week and a group of bloggers came together to share with you a variety of waffle recipes that you will love!  Waffles are so easy to make and with a little imagination, you can do almost anything with them, from sweet to savory! Waffles are very useful vehicles to transport your favorite ingredients.  You might know that the ice cream cone was originally a waffle folded into a cone.  This was done at the 1904 World's Fair that was held in St. Louis.   Did you know that the first Waffle House opened in 1955 in Georgia?  Once when my family and I were traveling to Hilton Head, we got caught in a blizzard in southern Tennessee and was trapped for four days there.  Every meal we ate was at the Waffle House next to our hotel.  Great memory! This waffle that I made will leave you a little W I L D.  Why?  It has taco meat, sweet corn, black beans and cheddar cheese in it for a start!  How does that sound to you?  A little wild and crazy?  I thought so, but

Sweet and Savory Applesauce #TasteCreations

Each month a group of bloggers comes together to post recipes on a particular theme.  This month it is Apples!  September is a great month for apple harvest, so these recipes come to you in the nick of time!  Are you a food/lifestyle/mom blogger who would like to join our adventures in cooking? Contact me at for more information!  We would love to extend our group of bloggers! My husband and I are big fans of bone in pork chops and pork loin.  We are always looking for new ways to dress them up.  I wanted to use apples in celebration of the upcoming fall months.  This delicious garnish for pork chops was spotted in a restaurant last week and I decided to try to make it myself!  I am very glad we did, it was delicious with our pork! Sweet and Savory Applesauce by Our Good Life Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes 6079369 Ingredients (1 cup of sauce) 3 c prepared applesauce, unsweetened 1 cinnamon stick 2 to 4 tablespoon

Honey Lime BBQ Chicken Thighs #SundaySupper

It's time for some easy football food ideas for game day!  It's Missouri Football season in my neck of the woods and we are in for some changes this year.  Our coach, Gary Pinkel, retired to fight lymphoma (we are praying for you, Gary!) and new coach Barry Odom will have his hands full trying to get the offense to help out our amazing defense.  QB Drew Lock has a lot of potential and I am looking forward to seeing him get to display it.  Our defense rocks and hard hitters like Josh Augusta, Rickey Hatley and Terry Beckner Jr. should have their talents put to good use. My family has been season ticket holders for 32 years and this year is no exception.  We are big tailgate people and we love to plan our menus to match up with our opponents.  (Georgia Hot Bulldogs, anyone?)  Even so, this chicken thigh dish is so good, we can serve it up as an appetizer or the main course, depending on how large the thighs are!  For a little extra goodness, throw those thighs on the smoker!