Thursday, July 21, 2011


This is a recipe we've enjoyed a lot this summer.  I've been finding the ground chicken/turkey at Wal Mart.  I've also used iceberg and green leaf lettuce with great success.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps


16 Boston, bibb or butter lettuce leaves
1 pound ground chicken breast
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Asian chili pepper sauce (see Note)
1 can (8 ounce size) sliced water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil


Rinse lettuce leaves, keeping them whole. Set aside to drain.

Cook chicken in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often to break up the meat. Add onion, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar and chili sauce. Cook until the meat is crumbled and brown. Add water chestnuts and green onions. Cook until onions begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.

Stir in sesame oil. Arrange lettuce leaves on the outer edge of a platter. Spoon meat mixture in center. Allow diners to spoon meat mixture into lettuce leaves and eat like a taco.


Asian chili pepper sauce can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets. Some brands contain garlic, which is fine. You can use 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes instead.

Talking Bread

Bread Recipes?  This time of year is not the time of year to be baking bread in my house.  But I was talking bread today with my sister in law, Cari ( mysixpack)  and thought I would post a few recipes.  (These pictures are not mine, thank you google images!) 

(supposed to taste like Outback's bread!

Dark Honey  Wheat Bread
1 1/4 C. water
2 t. sugar
2 1/2 t. yeast
2 C. bread flour
1 3/4 C. whole wheat flour
1 T. cocoa powder
1 t. salt
2 T. softend butter
 1/4. C. honey
2 T. molasses
**add this coloring to the mix to really darken the dough
1 1/4 t. red food coloring 1 t. yellow food coloring 1 t. blue food coloring

This dough makes 6 small loaves.  Bake at 350-400 for 35 minutes or until bread tests done.

**I proof my yeast in a bit of warm water, with sugar or honey and let set about 5-10 minutes.  I measure my dry ingredients into my food processor with the dough hook attachment.  When yeast is ready I add it to the flour.  Put on food processor lid and turn to ON.  Then I stream in the warm water.  I let the dough mix until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl and looks incorporated.  I Set my dough in a large bowl that has been coated with oil and set it, covered in a warm place to rise until double.  Then form my loaves, place in pans and let rise again.

( Haven't tried the following recipe.  If I was making it, I'd use half whole wheat flour and half bread flour.  I find using all whole wheat makes the bread very heavy.)

Honey Oat Bread

4 1/2- 5 1/2 C. whole wheat flour
3 pkg. yeast
2 c. milk
1/3 C honey
1/4 C. oil
2 t. salt
 1/2 C quick oats
Mix egg and water together to brush on top of loaves before baking
1 beaten egg white
1 T. water
Garnish top of unbaked loaves with a sprinkling of oats

Bake 375 degrees 35-40 minutes
Breadsticks - Pizza Hut Style. Photo by Chef #923419
Pizza Hut Style Bread Sticks

1 1/2 C warm water
2 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 C. nonfat dry milk
1 T. yeast
3 C bread flour
1/3 C. melted butter

Combine all ingredients in food processor with dough hook attachment.  Combine until dough pulls away from sides of bowl and dough is combined.  Roll dough out onto floured surface, shaping to pan size.  (I used a  9X13)  Spread  half of the butter onto the bottom of pan.  Lay crust on butter layer.  Cut into sticks  Spread with remaining butter.  Top with garlic, salt and parmesean cheese to taste.  Let rise 10-15 minutes.  Bake 400 degrees 15-20 minutes until golden.  Serve with heated marinara sauce.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Thinking About Camping!

We took a drive on Sunday and brought along a picnic lunch.  Stopped by this little pond and tried to fish.  Nothing was biting, but it sure was pretty! 

The purpose of our drive was to check out southern New Jersey for some camping sights where we could take the Toyota and go fishing.  We think we found some great possibilities and are going to try to go camping this weekend.

View from Apple Pie Hill fire tower, Wharton State Forest, New Jersey

Friday, July 15, 2011

~~It's Friday!~~

Some more pictures from our Tennessee trip.

Fishing at a farm pond with our cousins!

(Isn't cousin Terry beautiful?)

(McKinley and #2 son)

(Cousin Mark, McKinley and my husband)

Cousin Scotty and his wife Terry)

Outside My Window~ 
Outside my window, it's sunny.  It's supposed to be warm today but not unbearable.  I noticed our lawn is starting to dry out.  We need more rain.  We don't water our lawn with sprinklers.  I don't think our yard is  nice enough for that.   I also noticed, while we were on vacation the deer ate the new growth of my knockout roses in my front flower bed. My tomatoes seem to be doing well.  I'd harvest some more if my dog would quit eating the ripe ones!

(At the Bass Pro Shop in Sevierville, Tennessee)

(Taking pictures of decorating ideas!)

(That was a four arm lamp for task lighting over a fly tying station with a copper light.  So unique!)

Getting close to black bear!

Gonna do some shooting next!

Cute Taxidermy work was displayed throughout the store!

Around The House~ 
I like to leave for vacations, camping and overnights with a clean house.  That way when I come back home, everything is already done and I can unpack and relax.  So the house is still pretty clean.  There is a bit of dog hair on the rug upstairs but it's not disgusting yet.

I Am Thankful For~ 
I am thankful for a good vacation to Tennessee.  It was a fun filled trip with good activities and good visits with family.  I already miss the peace and quiet of my in-laws farm. 
(These are pictures from our drive back to New Jersey.  This is the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, a scenic highway.  We seem to find interesting things everywhere we go!)

(my manly man thought this was a Northern Copperhead snake.)

(I want to live here!)

(Virginia is so beautiful!)

From The Learning Room~ 
I didn't get as much bible reading done as I wanted.  I did finish a few chapters.  I am halfway through the book of John now.  I think when I am through with that book, I'll start my audio course and read the rest of the New Testament after starting.  My mother in law gave me a CD to listen to that she enjoyed, "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus"   Have any of you read the book?

((Click on the picture for a larger view))

(Can you see what I am pointing to?  It's a Wolf SpiderOn her back, she is carrying her babies.  Near her was another large Wolf Spider with no babies.  The children and I spotted her while looking at Sensitivity Plants near the farm pond.  Tennessee wildlife, so AMAZING!  ((click on the pictures to take you to a link with more information on these amazing species!)

((p.s.  it's amazing what we see when we put our cell phones down and LOOK at HIS creation.))

From the Kitchen~ 
Got some plans in the making.  I am waiting for a phone call from my manly man to see if we're going to go camping this weekend.  If no camping, Sharon and baby Anastasia are coming for grilled chicken and green salad and carp fishing in a local pond.

Can you imagine the fillets from this catfish battered and fried with hush puppies and collard greens?  I can.  This was actually the fish I caught.  I had to call the handsome super-hero over to help me get it out of the water without breaking my pole.  I wish I had a scale to weigh it.  I am guessing 3-5 pounds.  Cousin Scotty was actually the one who was fishing for catfish.  He was using a huge night crawler set on the bottom of the pond.  He caught nothing.  I was using a green crappie jig on top water!
I Am Wearing~  A new color for my toes, Black Cherry.  A deviation from my usual bright happy colors.  I'm not sure that I like it.  What do you think? 

I Am Creating~ 
I received an order for two large bible covers!  I haven't sewed any since living in Alaska.  It's already got my creative juices flowing.  I even have some fabric set aside for bible covers.  While I'm sewing, I'll probably make myself one.

The ones I craft are very similar to the two pictured here!

(I love the little homemade flowers on these bible covers!)

I Am Thinking~ 
I am thinking about what I believe as a Christian and why I believe it.  Is it something someone told me or did I investigate it for myself and see what the bible really said about it?  A verse I quoted to my husband recently. . .
Luke 10:27
"And he answering said,
Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul,
and with all thy strength,
 and with all thy mind;
and thy neighbor as thyself."

I Am Reading/Watching~ 
We went to the library this week.  I got several books but have no recommendations yet.  We are still watching. . . Pie In The Sky and Road to Avonlea

My Favorite Things~
Instrumental music with lots of banjo, mandolin and fiddle.  I love the sounds of this c.d.   . . .  . . (click on the picture to take you the sight to listen to excerpts from the c.d.)

I Am Praying~ 
Praying for a certain young couple.  Praying for our future.  Praying for my husband.  Praying for far away family. Praying for my blog friends!

I am so thankful that I was able to meet  victoriantomboy  in Tennessee!  We are kindred spirits and I knew we would be.  April is such a sweet, dear lady.  I wish we lived closer.  I know we'd be the best of friends and maybe get into a lot of trouble too!
She even brought me a "first meeting" present!

Something To Share~
  A recipe!

Beth’s Potato Salad

5-10 pounds potatoes washed well.  Placed in plastic bag and microwaved until cooked(cooking times will vary according to microwaves but maybe 10-15  minutes.  Allow potatoes to cool thoroughly.   Remove skins.  Dice fine and place in X- large bowl.

4-5 hard boiled eggs, chopped and added top potatoes



1 sweet Vidalia onion, diced fine

½ c. chopped dill pickles

2 T. dill pickle juice

1-2 T. yellow mustard

1 T. Mrs. Dash

Garlic powder to taste

Pepper to taste

Salt to taste

Mix dressing with diced potatoes and eggs. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

**Allow dressing to chill separately in covered bowl and then mix with chilled potatoes.  Set for a few hours covered in the fridge.  It will taste better the linger it sits alone.  REALLY!)


Hope you don't mind the really long post!!  Forgive my MANY types of FONT here too!  The computer is acting funny today!