Happy Tuesday

6/26/2012


Hello Tuesday!

I know.
I've been falling behind on my blogging. The summer weekends have been getting the better of me and if I can help it, I don't open the computer ALL WEEKEND! Yahoo!

However, could somebody PLEASE turn the heat down!? The temperature is set on Hell around here and I don't appreciate it.
It's going to be like this ALL week. Boo!

Thank the Lord Jesus for his free gift of eternal life because THIS girl does NOT like it Hot. Ok?

Over the weekend we set up at the Farmer's Market and sold some jam.

And of course there was LOTS of other yummies there too.



 
And since it is summer, I'm eating up fruit like it's going out of style.
Well really, like it's going out of season.
 
And this is what a hint at what our (messy) fridge looks like.
 
 
 
 
 
Not pictures are the kiwis, cherries, and other melons.
It's like a fruit-a-palooza!
Ha!
 
Early Sunday morning before it got WAY hot, and this guy took me blackberry picking.
 
 
 
We picked up breakfast at the little diner in town and headed to the farm where we ate it on the back of the truck.
Nice!
 
 
Isn't this view lovely?
On both sides of this little path are wild growing blackberries.
Much sweeter and flavorful than the tame blackberry bushes.
 
And we looked stylish with our pants tucked into our socks and then tucked into our boots.
I wasn't interested in picking off ticks later.
Eeeew!
You can take the city girl to the country, but you can't completely take the city out of the city girl.
 
Right next to our table at the Farmer's Market on Saturday was this lovely couple named Katie and Chester who we are friends with.
They serenaded us all morning with their sweet music!
 
{Please forgive the background music and talking- I'm new at this!}
 
video
 
 
How was your weekend?
 

Meet Me At The Farmer's Market

6/21/2012

I saw this print online by the EXTREMELY talented Katie Daisy .


And I fell in love with it instantly.
How could I not?
Then I hurriedly clicked over to Etsy and bought it.
Again......how could I not?
This will definitely be finding a spot in my kitchen.

She has a lot of other great prints too.
I have visions of plastering her work all over my walls!
Hubby? Hello? Is this thing on?

Here are some other pieces.







And check out her work space.
Sigh.


Is that dreamy or what?!
I love it.


Katie,
You inspire me to be creative.
Thank you!


Did I mention that the hubby and I watched The Vow earlier this week?
It's based on a true story.
It was really good.
And sad.
And I cried.
And I missed my hubby even though he was sitting right next to me.
Do you ever feel like that?
So thankful and in love with your hubby/wife that you can't imagine living without them? And it somehow makes you feel like you miss them?
It sounds weird typing that out, but that's the only way to explain it.

{ There was a little bit of foul language in this movie. Just so you know.}

And on a completely other topic.
WE have some weird bugs on our bell pepper plants. They look like squash bugs, but with bright orange and yello with black spots!
Any ideas on how to get rid of them organically?
Anyone else's garden being invaded with bugs!
Ugh!

Have a great thursday!



6/20/2012

Good Morning Good Morning!
Happy Wednesday!

I am so excited about today's post.
My friend Megan from Contented Sparrow is here with us today and she has some yummy things to share!

Hey there! I'm Megan and I tap out words over at Contented Sparrow. It's a pleasure to share a simple recipe here with you today in Rachel's lovely space!
Baking makes me happy. Filling the house with scrumptious smells and special treats for my family is one of my favorite ways to serve them. My mom gave me a new cookbook recently, the Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook, and these Cinnamon-Sugar-Doughnut Muffins are the first recipe I tried. (I was able to visit the bakery during a recent trip to Savannah and it I highly recommend you pop in if you're ever in the area. Cutest bakery ev-ah!)  The muffins are doughnut-like and cakey in texture.  The kids gobbled them down alongside of their cold cups of milk and said, "Ohhhh, they're sooo good, Mom!"  Now, that's the reaction I was hoping for! Here's a photo journey through the muffin-making and then the recipe is posted below.
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muffin
Have at it and enjoy!
(And, thank you so much to Rachel for having me!)
Cinnamon-Sugar-Doughnut Muffins from Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook Ingredients For the Muffins 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, preferably aluminum-free 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk 2 tablespoons buttermilk 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 3/4 cup sugar 2 large eggs For the Doughnut Coating 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted 1 cup sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon Directions To make the muffins: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly spray 12 large muffin cups with vegetable oil spray. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom.  In a medium bowl, combine the milk and the buttermilk. In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, cream the butter for 2 to 3 minutes.  Turn the speed to low and gradually add the sugar.  Continue to mix until the mixture lightens in color.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until combined.  Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the milk mixture, mixing just until smooth; do not overmix. With a large ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them approximately two-thirds full.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are firm to the touch and lightly golden. While the muffins bake, set up two bowls to dunk them in.  In one bowl you will have the melted butter, and in the other bowl you will have the cinnamon sugar. Let the doughnuts cool completely on a wire rack.  Dunk them in melted butter, then coat them with the cinnamon sugar.  The muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.


Are you guys drooling yet? I've been having a serious donut craving lately and I think this just about settles it!

I LOVE Megan's blog and her pictures. She has such a way of capturing the moment and telling a story with the photo's she snaps and the words she so beautifully describes.

And not only does she do all that, but she also has an Etsy Shop!

You must go check it out!



Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe with us Megan!
You are the Bee's Knees! :)

Summer

6/19/2012

Well Hello Summer!
Technically it starts tomorrow.

But the weather has been so smokin hot around here, it's hard to remember it's not technically summer yet.

Not to mention all the summer foods are available now.
Does anyone else out there love summer for the food?
I'm raising my hand.





I really wish I could say these beautiful tomatoes are from our garden. But sadly they aren't.
Our garden has had a hard time so far. It was doing really well and then it got so hot and even though we water regularly, the city water is just not the same as rain water and all it's nutrients.
So alas, I took a trip out to our Amish friend's produce stand and picked up a LOT.
I could eat one everyday and then some.
So good!
My plan is also to can some this summer.
Can you just imagine how delish fresh tomato sauce in the cold hard days of winter will taste?

And since I'm such a tomato lover, I whipped this little mixture up for lunch yesterday and it was fantastic!
Maybe my new go to dish.

So simple, yet so satisfying.

2 Tomatoes
1 Avocado
The juice of half a lime.
Salt and Pepper
And a dash of Mrs. Dash. (Actually an organic version, but you get the idea.)
Cut up fruit in like sizes.
Add seasonings and lime juice.
Dig in and enjoy!

You could of course double or triple this recipe or add things like fresh mozarella, bacon, lettuce, cucumber, pine nuts or whatever else fits your fancy.
And can we say Healthy?!


I've been using my cuppow EVERDAY! I love it that much!
And you will too.
What are you waiting for?


We picked a whole mess of plums from my hubby's grandma's house. She has all these amazing trees on her property. Apple, peach, plum, cherry.
Some of them she didn't even know she had.
My hubby's grandpa planted all the trees many years before he passed away and part of me thinks he did this so she would be well taken care of someday when he wasn't around anymore.
They live on a pice of property that I would consider a homestead.
In their younger years they had more animals like chickens and hogs and maybe a goat or two.
Today she gardens and has beautiful flower beds.
She also has a lovely pool that we jumped in after a hot day of plum picking.
What a grand way to spend a summer day huh?
And of course picking plums turns into making jam! Yahoo!
Jeter's jams is on the run!

For those of you girls that won the jars of jam.....I haven't forgotten about you!


The other day I came home from work and these glasses were on the table in the living room.
I walked past them and then back tracked and took a good look.
Do you know what my first thought was?
Harry Potter came to my house while I was at work and left his glasses here!??!
I seriously had no idea where they came from.

I asked the hubby later and he said he found them in a drawer!
Still don't know whose they are or where they came from!

Dear Harry Potter,
If you are reading this, I clearly have your glasses.
Although you may not be able to read this because I have your glasses.
Hopefully you have a spare pair or contacts.
If you want to meet up and get your glasses let me know.
Or you could come back and get them. I should be home after 5pm.
Love,
Your Fan

Ok then.
Now that I have flown my dork flag, we can proceed.
{ I know the hubby is shaking his head right now!Ha}


My bloggie friend Annie and I are doing the Soul Detox plan on YouVersion .
YouVersion is a free app you can download for iPhone.
You can do it online as well.
They have LOTS of different devotions/studies that you can choose from. And you can choose if you like reading it from the NIV, New King James, The Message etc.
It's "your version".

So I started this morning. Yesterday was supposed to be our starting day. Annie was on it. I....welllllll, didnt.
Sorry girl :(
But I took the time this morning before work and wrote down some notes in my journal.
I am praying and believing that God will work me out thru this devtoion.
My attitude and overall self could really use a detox. For real.
That last question,
"How have toxic thoughts affected your life?"
Oy.
Guilty.
Not how I want to feel.
So often I think of the negative instead of focusing and being thankful of the good.
Help me see the light God.

And my last little tid bit for our Tuesday is this picture I found at my grandparent's house.
A litte Valentine from 1987.
It says God Loves Rachel.
Thank goodness He does :)






Happy Day Project- Summer Plan

6/13/2012

Good Morning Wednesday!
So nice to see you! :)
How is everyone today?
Already looking forward to the weekend?
Yeah, me too.

I'm linking up with Alicia from La Famille today.

giveaways

{I seriously LOVE this picture }

She inspires us to do something for ourselves and to stay happy.
Great idea right?!

Her last challenge was to come up with a summer plan. Her's was on the healthy side.
And I think mine will be too.

The past couple of weeks I have not been real concerned about healthy eating.
Here's a quick peak into some of our dining adventures.

1. Cheesecake- Check!


2. Chinese Food, TWICE- Check!


3. Gallons of coffee with a side of Nutella Crepes- Check!



4. Red Velvet Pancakes- Check!


5. Sweet Corn Tamala Cakes- Check!


And of course there was Chicago Pizza, Chicago Hot Dogs, chicken salad,gyros, burritos, bagels and cream cheese, cookies, cake, pie, pop.

Oh dear.

I think I feel my pants getting tighter as we speak.

So now that we are home and not in the land of anything.goes.restaraunts, we can get back to healthy eating.

So the very next morning when we arrived home we headed over to the Farmer's Market.
Not only were we greeted by friends and familiar faces saying they missed us but the selection of produce that was now available since the 2 weeks we had been gone was AWESOME!

Here's a peek at the bounty we brought home.

The tomatoes are my favorite.
But the squash provided me with so much too.
And the bread! So delish!
Crunch carrots to snack on or if your my husband you might boil them and add them to oatmeal. It was surprisingly good.
And then there was these little cookie pie things. Made by a woman who was also selling chickens and goat's milk soap. I made the hubby go back for more of the cookie pie things. They had a cookie/pie like crust with blackberry filling. OH MY WORD!

Attention:
If you are in any way squeamish towards anything bloody/gory/gross.
Just click away and we'll say goodbye for the day.
If not.....proceed.
Consider yourself warned. Ok?


The hubby brought home a rooster from the Farmer's Market.
At first he asked if he could. Knowing that I myself am a little uneasy with this sort of thing.
At first I said no.
Because we had just gotten home from being gone and the house was a mess and I didn't want to clean up chicken guts. I know that seems unrelated, but that's what my brain was saying at the time.
Long story short, he brought it home and within 30 minutes or so it was in the frying pan.
The flavor was unreal! I have never had fresh chicken like that before.
But I highly reccomend letting your hubby do the dirty work.
I think he had to do something outdoorsy/mountain man-ish after being in Chicago for 2 weeks.
That poor guy just couldn't wait to get home.


So back to the getting healthy.
I'm going to make better choices when it comes to food.
Fresh, local, organic.
Less processed and packaged.
We normally do this anyway.

Oh yea, and back to ZUMBA! :)

Happy Wednesday!

I'm Baaaaaaack!

6/12/2012

We made it back from The Chicago Suburbs last Friday.
It was quite the trip.
So much to be told.
So many tears shed.
Emotions everywhere.

I don't even know where to begin.
So I will just share a little here and there.


Our trip started Thursday night with packing.
With all trips, packing is a must.
And every trip I have ever taken has begun with a suit case that is bulging at the seams. I always take to much.
I worry about not having enough underwear, one never knows what could happen there.
I worry about not having the right shoes or enough choices.
I bring books and a lap top and barely had time for either.
My new motto:
Less is DEFINITELY enough!

I just made that up, so feel free to use it :)

While I was packing for both myself and the hubs, he made some cookies.
And because he loves me and shows me thru cooking/baking, he made me this.


I mean really, what says love like a heart shaped cookie?

We left out early Friday morning, one day earlier than expected.
My mom has been up in the Chicago area for 5 weeks helping my grandparents pack up there house, and get ready to move into the assisted living apartment.
And everything was going well.....until it wasn't.
My grandma who was the stronger of the two fractured her tail bone, ended up in the hospital for a week, then at the same rehab facility that my grandpa is at.
Oy!
So back to my story, we left one day early to come and relieve my mom.

Here I think we're taking a nice pic and he's picking his nose.
Boys.


My Charlie boy came too :)


We took a different route this time.
Very scenic and lovely.
And I thought of my girl Annie Loo when I passed this sign. :)
I really wanted to turn her direction, but alas, we continued North.

We picked up some pizza from Lou Malnati's on the way into town.
Man that is some GREAT pizza!

Dear Chicago style Pizza,
You will forever hold my taste buds with your buttery crust, cheesy goodness and savor sauce.
Thank you for being the bomb.com!
Love, Rachel

While we were there my grandparents celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary.
Can you even imagine that amount of time?

I love this picture. I found so many pics like this thru the house. Some in books to mark a page, some in drawers tucked away for later.

And then I found this one, which is how I remember my grandparents.

Vribant and Smiley.
And my grandma, always polished with a matching earring and necklace set.
And the geraniums in the background were a summer staple with them. Every year she bought them and kept them so Alive.

To see them both in a nursing home now is beyond hard.
Have any of you been thru this?
They are seriously like a second set of parents to me.

So before I start crying....again......let's move on :)

Several mornings we sat on their back porch drinking coffee and enjoying the scenery.




I remember when these trees were planted and now they are huge!
Making the backyard a nice and shaded oasis.
The new owners of this house have no idea how lucky they are to get this back yard.
Or how many family gatherings, gardening, swinging on the swingset or splashing in the blow up pool went on back here.
So many good memories :)

And of course since we were in a bigger city, we took advantage of the coffee situation.
And a few times we brought the GP'S coffee over to their rehab facitlity.

Because coffee makes everything better.
It really does.

In the midst of everything, I found this little magnet in of the drawers I cleaned out while at their house.
It definitely came home with me and needs a place on the fridge.



Happy Tuesday friends!
Sorry for my long absence.

For all the jam winners, I haven't forgotten you!
I will take care of that this week! :)
If you haven't sent me your address, please do!


 
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