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Something on the side


CheesyZucchiniRice

I tried a new side dish recently that I had pinned on Pinterest quite a while ago. Rob and I both liked it and thought it was tasty and attractive. I served it with some boneless pork chops but it would also pair well with fish or chicken. Another plus is that it uses zucchini, so tuck this one away for later in the summer when zucchini is bountiful and people start leaving bags of it on your porch--if you are so fortunate.

Cheesy Zucchini Rice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup white rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 or 2 small zucchini, grated
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder or Johnny's Seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet then add the rice. Stir and cook until the rice starts to turn light brown. Add the broth and then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Most of the liquid should be absorbed. Add the zucchini, cheese, and garlic powder and mix well. Cover and let stand for about five minutes to melt the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste and then serve.

PlatedCheesyZucchiniRice
Any new recipes coming from your kitchen lately?

Becka

Red sails in the sunsuit


Every now and then Hobby Lobby has their patterns for sale for $.99 or $1.99. During a recent sale week I found this pattern on sale and just couldn't resist:

SunsuitPattern

Shortly afterwards I found a remnant of some cute red and white fabric for 50 cents and made this little sunsuit and bonnet for Della.

DellaRedSunsuit

DellaRedBonnet

Here she is modeling them:

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In a couple of weeks we will find out if her new sibling will be a brother or a sister. We are happily anticipating another little grand in the fall. :)

Becka

All boxed up


Last fall we purchased a new dishwasher to replace the twenty year old one that came with our house. The new one is so quiet that I sometimes have to walk right up to it to be sure it is running. It also plays a little tune when the cycle is finished. :)

After the man finished installing the new dishwasher I asked if we could keep the box for the grandchildren. Rob cut a "skylight" in the top so they could have some light. Ryan, Avery, and Buddy have all enjoyed playing in the box.

RyanAveryBox

AveryInBox

BuddyOnBox

It's the simple things.

Becka

Something new for supper


I'm sorry about neglecting my blog for so long. I've been busy with a variety of things, including some sewing projects and some family events. I've cooked a lot of old favorites but nothing much new to talk about here.

Recently, however, I did try a new recipe that both Rob and I thoroughly enjoyed. It is called One Pot Chicken and Potatoes and we both thought it was delicious. I pretty much followed the recipe as it was written with the exception of the garlic. I did not have any whole garlic cloves so I used what I had on hand which was frozen crushed garlic.

OnePotChickenPotatoes

I've been wanting to talk about this garlic for a while now. It occurred as a sort of happy accident. My daughter, Nora mentioned that she had bought a large bag of garlic at Costco and it kept well in her refrigerator for quite a while. So, when I went to Costco I purchased a large bag of garlic and brought it home.

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What I did not realize was that Nora had bought fresh heads of unpeeled garlic. I purchased a bag of peeled cloves of garlic and as I read the information on the bag it stated that it would only be good for just a couple of weeks. I knew that we could never use that amount of garlic quickly so I did a little research on the internet and read that some people had pureed the garlic in the food processor and then frozen it and cut it into little cubes which they then stored in the freezer. I tried this technique and have really enjoyed the convenience of having this garlic all chopped and ready to go. It thaws very quickly and is easy to pop into soups, salad dressings, casseroles or wherever needed.

Here is the chopped garlic ready to be frozen and then cubed:

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Here is the frozen cubed garlic packed into snack bags which are then put into a larger freezer bag. I keep most of them in the chest freezer and keep a small bag or two in the kitchen freezer for ready access.

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So, if you have an abundance of garlic I would recommend you try this technique. If you need a new chicken idea try this recipe.

Becka

A tale of two birthday parties


We've been doing some celebrating around here recently. We have five grandchildren. Four of them have birthdays in the months of January, February, March, and April.

Little Della has the January birthday. She turned one on the eleventh. Her dad's family came from Iowa, Maryland, and Virginia to help celebrate this very special event. The party was held at our house so I got to help Nora with some of the preparations. We all had a good time helping Della celebrate.

Nora made this cute birthday banner:

DellaBirthdayBanner

She also made these cute little elephant cookies:

DellaElephantCookies

I made this strawberry cake and her little smash cake:

DellaElephantCakeBetter

She loved it when we sang to her and she would just beam. Later in the evening as she got fussy we would sing again and her mood would change instantly. :)

DellaSeesECake

She also quickly learned that birthday cakes are quite tasty!

DellaElephantCakeEnjoy

The February birthday child is Maddie who turned three on Valentine's Day. She and her parents and her brother Drew were here in town for a conference for several days the week of her birthday so we planned a little joint birthday celebration for our side of the family for both Maddie and Della. This party had a Woodland theme.

Unfortunately Maddie was sick on her actual birthday so we had to postpone the party. On the new party date we had a snowstorm so some of the guests were unable to attend. We still had fun even though our numbers were diminished.

Nora made gnome hats for the boys and purchased fairy wings for the girls at the Dollar Store.

KidsWoodlandParty

The birthday girl:

MaddieWoodlandBirthday

Megan made banners with each girl's name:

WoodlandBanner

Nora made gnome cookies and I made a toadstool cake. I made the cake the day before the party and overnight it shifted somewhat so it looked a little like a toadstool that had been through an earthquake. :)

GnomeToadstoolCookies

ToadstoolCake

Nora and Drew made some cute little acorn Nutter Butter treats and some strawberry marshmallow "toadstools." We rounded out the meal with some cole slaw, baked beans, and some delicious loose meat sandwiches. We actually served the loose meat sandwiches at both of the parties. They are delicious and are a great recipe to remember when you want to serve a crowd.

FoodWoodlandParty

We had a good time celebrating these two birthdays and as my husband would say, "A good time was had by all."

Becka


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