Saturday, April 19, 2014

Doggy days & Left Over Ham!

 Happy Easter Weekend! A three day weekend for Bill, dinner at Rita's his sister on Sunday and three days Bowser sitting. Bowser is a miniature Pincher  & Chihuahua mix. He is so tiny and cute and my two big boys have no idea what to make of him. I will let the pictures show you what I mean. I wasn't at my best with the camera but I caught the cuteness even if it is blurry or a tad out of focus. 

Before this weekend is over I will have at least one good clear and focused picture of that little ball of energy one way or another.

    This afternoon I will be taking the mason jar of coins to the bank and cashing them in for the lucky winner. I have managed to fill the jar to the brim and before I leave for the bank I will make one more pass through the house. Please if you haven't already voted go and vote for one of the two worthy causes I have featured in last Saturdays blog. Tomorrow is the last day to vote and I will announce the winner on Monday. You will find the link at the bottom of this post.
   " What Was Dinner" Dinner was salad and corn bread. Not just a salad really more like a meal all combined and served on lettuce. 

It is a recipe I found 25 years ago when I was just starting out as a mother and wife. It is simple and easy with little effort needed. How ever when I first made this recipe it seemed so complicated and exotic. Avocado was not a usual ingredient in my kitchen and making my own dressing rather then pour it out of a bottle was a whole new idea to me, not to mention that I had to make a ham first to have left over ham. Now it is just second nature and all the ingredients are always in the house and when we have a ham I already know what I am doing with some of the leftovers at least. It is as natural to me now as boiling the bone for soup.
  Ham and Guacamole Salad
 For the Vinaigrette:
 2 TBS red wine vinegar
 1 tsp Dijon mustard
 1 tsp sugar
 salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
olive oil
  whisk the first five ingredients together in a small bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil whisking as you drizzle, until the dressing is thickened. Set aside.
  2 ripe avocados, peeled, halved and pitted
 2 TBS lemon juice
 Cut the avocado into large slices and in a bowl mix with lemon juice and set aside.
  2 lbs baked ham cut into coarse pieces
 2 medium sized ripe tomatoes halved and thinly sliced
 1 medium onion red or white thinly sliced
 6 cups baby salad mix or spinach or any lettuce you choose.
  Place the ham in a large bowl and gently mix with tomato and onion and the reserved avocado slices. Drizzle with half the vinaigrette and toss.
  Toss remaining vinaigrette with your greens and divide between 6 to 8 dinner plates. Top each plate with the ham mixture and serve.

   I found this recipe in the Philadelphia Inquire recipe section about 25 years ago. I follow as written having changed nothing over the years. I have changed how the recipe was written using different words that mean the same thing so I could share it with you. This is not my creation I am not the author I am just a lover of this recipe.
 Have a Happy Easter and a wonderful weekend. Thank you for stopping by.
give away

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Madeline and more Madeline & Our New Style of eating

 Good Wednesday to you. I am sorry I missed you all on Monday. I was busy being Grandmama on Monday and by the time Madeline had gone home on Monday afternoon I was a worn out Grandmama. 3 full days with a 5 year old can really be fun also dog gone exhausting.
  It was a busy busy weekend for us we did just about everything we could think of. The weather was perfect almost bordering on hot. The swing set got a work out that is for sure, every time I would look around and not see her all I had to do was go to the back door and there she would be swinging sliding or begging Domino to chase her. I am not sure who was more tired when she went home, me or Domino. He never lets his girl out of his sight and she runs him all over the place.
 We tried out the new sewing machine this weekend. That was fun. I have to remind my self that she is 5 and I can expect nothing from her but having fun. She did better then I expected and was able to run a straight stitch down the seam of the dress we made for her. Then her attention was on to something else. This was a pre prepared type of deal all you had to do was sew a back seam and add straps if you wanted and the dress was done. It took about a half an hour and Madeline had her pretend Easter dress.

 She was very proud of herself to say the least.
  Madeline learned how to spin honey, what a honey comb looks like, and the pure joy of tasting honey fresh out of the comb. She would most assuredly give Pooh a run for his money in a honey eating contest. Dziadzi was teasing all day how we were turning her into a farm girl.

 Shes been sewing, planting seeds, and helping to harvest honey, yep he's right that doesn't sound like a city girl to me.
  After we were done decorating the yard for Easter I handed Madeline an Easter basket, grabbed my camera and we played model for me.

 She likes the game and it helps me learn.
  Sunday was what I call pretend Easter. We do everything you would do on Easter Sunday only a week early. Making it easier for the kids to have an enjoyable Easter without having to visit a dozen different homes spread far and wide. We enjoy a leisurely dinner, Madeline hunts for eggs, and a basket  filled with money or toys, no candy here that is for the real Easter. We convinced her last year or so that the Bunny will come and hide everything but I have to get it all ready for him. It works at least for now, and there is a Movie out there that makes my story possible, I just can't think of the name of it. Pictures of the egg hunt and Domino meeting Bowser were taken by my daughter in law. She did a very fine job catching all the fun and excitement as well as Madeline's sweet new dress.

  I made the choice to leave my camera in its bag and just enjoy the day. Not even 1 picture of the dinner table and it was pretty. Madeline's mom set the table using my pastel Fiesta ware and I served traditional ham, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and salad. Yummy !
  Just a few pictures of Madeline being silly while having a tea party with Grandmom Hopp. 

  " What Was Dinner" In the last few months dinner has changed. When insulin was removed from Mom's life that didn't mean she could free graze and return to eating any ole way she wanted. In fact it meant just the opposite.It meant that foods she could eat while taking insulin would now be removed from her diet or seriously restricted. Carbs and Glycemic indexes now are important words in my world. Understanding what they are, why they are, and how they work have become almost more important than sugar and salt.  Once a while back when I first started writing a blog I would faithfully every morning write about what we had for dinner the night before. I rarely missed a day. ( strange it was easier to write a daily blog when I was working then it is to write a 3 times a week and now I am a stay at home care giver) Anyway I heard more then once from different readers that Bill and I ate a lot of starch. I would smile say yep and plan my next pasta night. Well that isn't true anymore. I didn't just change Mom's diet I changed all of our diets. I totally with out shame admit I am Jonesing for a white potato all mashed with cream and topped with just a dab of butter and salt, or better still some thin spaghetti smothered in red sauce. Instead it is a sweet potato mashed with a dab of butter and no salt, and my oh so loved thin spaghetti is being replaced with  spaghetti squash or thinly sliced zucchini. Our plates look so different now, with little or no starches at least 2 greens and a protein. Breakfast is also no longer the same gone are the cold cereals and toast replaced with fruit and cheese or eggs and bacon or sausage oatmeal or yogurt.
  I have been enjoying the challenge that dinner has been giving me lately and am always on the look out for ideas, and recipes to help me reach my goals. For the most part it is pretty easy and takes little time or imagination, you just reach in the crisper and pull out your greens a fibrous root vegetable or wild rice add your protein and bam you have dinner. So I am always happy to come across an idea that is unique and tasty looking.

  This recipe is just that unique and tasty looking. It also happens to be very good. We all know I love a recipe I can dress up or dress down depending on my mood. Well you can have a blast with this dish. What you can do to a cheese steak you can do to this. 
Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers
1 lb Thinly Sliced Sirloin Steak (or you can use deli roast beef)
8 Slices Provolone Cheese
4 Large Green Bell Peppers
1 Medium Sweet Onion
1 pound White Mushrooms
3 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbs. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper – to taste
Slice a thin piece off each pepper lengthwise, remove ribs and seeds.
Slice onions and mushrooms. Saute over medium heat with butter, olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. Saute until onions and mushroom are nice and caramelized. About 25-30 minutes. Salt and pepper the steak and saute in a little olive oil until just not pink. About 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400*
Add steak to the onion/mushroom mixture and stir to combine.
Line the inside of each pepper with a slice of provolone cheese.
Fill each pepper with meat mixture until they are overflowing.
Top each pepper with another slice of provolone cheese.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown
I made the recipe as written except I didn't use my cast iron pan. Here is a link to where this recipe was found.Hillbilly Cast Iron
 I have to admit the photo on the recipe is better then mine but that didn't stop my dinner from being delicious.

  Happy Wednesday! Thank you for stopping by.
    Please remember to go vote for your favorite worthy cause. The vote is open until April 20th. You can find all the info right here.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Give Away Time

 Yes that is right it is give away time again. Do you remember the Snowman give away? For me that was just so much fun I want to do it again. Well there are no snow men to judge so who is going to win this give away? Well that will once again be up to you my readers. All you will need to do is vote. The vote will be open until Easter Sunday and Easter Monday I will announce the winner.
  So who or what are you voting for you ask? Well that is a good question. The answer is easy. The Rancocas Nature Center in Westampton  NJ or the Animal Welfare Association (AWA) in Voorhees NJ . Both worthy organizations that run on the generosity of strangers. What will the winner get? The jar of change you see at the top of the page. I hope to fill it a little more before next week. 
  Rancocas Nature Center is a natural habitat for all forms of wild life and caters highly to birds.

Rancocas Nature Center
  There are trails through the woods and in the meadows. All the trails combined add up to about a mile of walking and not an inch of it is boring. 

There are summer camps for children as well as a museum with live critters to check out.

 The woods and meadows are amazing to walk through. Even this early in the season there was a lot to see and wonder about.

 Naturally a wet land The RNC is home to a lot of different life forms  not just animals, but birds, reptiles, trees, and a large variety of strange looking plants.  

 I will walk this trail many more times before I see all there is to see. 

I recommend that you take a trip and see for yourself how cool this place is, that is if you live close enough. Voting for Rancocas Nature Center will feed the birds and help keep a natural habitat safe from progress.
   The Animal Welfare Association is a wonderful animal shelter that is a no kill shelter.
 Animals that find their way to this shelter are lucky animals indeed. The people of AWA work very hard to get every animal that passes through their doors a happy forever home. While the animals are hanging out at the shelter they are treated to walks, pets, hugs, and kind words. There are employees as well as volunteers looking after all the different animals living there. There is a vet's clinic at the shelter and I have seen some amazing stories come from there. Helping people help their pets is #1 on the shelter staffs priority list. AWA reaches far and wide to help animals find homes. They host online pet surrender for people that need to re home their pets and don't want to put them in shelters, and many other worthy adventures as well to help all concerned be comfortable and happy.

 If you are thinking about adopting a fur baby please visit AWA you never know who you might find there. I found Domino there and I couldn't be happier.

 He smiles and bounces and runs and just makes my day.  Right now there is a silly little girl named Jodi that really and truly needs to find her forever home. 

I saw this sweet little girl on one of my visits and if I could you know I would, but as everyone keeps telling me I can't save them all. Believe me I wanna save them all and writing this blog is one way I can help even if it is just a little. So a vote for AWA will help animals too , to feed and shelter them as well as finding forever homes.
  Both worthy causes and a hard decision to make. I leave it to you who gets your vote. And no you can't vote for both.
  Vote here on the blog or on the link you used to get to the blog, I will check them all. Voting starts today and ends Sunday April 20th. 1 vote per person please. Please vote.
 With all the information I had to give today please for give the lack of " Whats For Dinner " It will be back Monday bright eyed and beautiful. 
  Happy Weekend I hope it is a good one. Thank you for stopping by.