Thursday, May 24, 2012

 We have lived in this location for 16 1/2 years and this is the first time I have spotted a Mama Deer and her Baby in May.  Generally the first sighting is in mid-June.
The above picture is Mama being very cautious of every little noise...
The first picture below is Mama grazing on some fresh greens, just prior to nursing her little Fawn in the final picture.
The fawn is so tiny and hopefully this is just one of many sitings to come!

Friday, May 18, 2012

It's Lilac Time In Michigan!

 Living in Northern Michigan is beautiful in all seasons...I do however think of spring as my favorite!
No air freshener necessary when you have a bouquet of lilacs in the house!
To experience the rebirth of nature during the spring is simply miraculous ~ do enjoy!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Brunch Baked Eggs

 This is our go-to egg casserole recipe...perfect for anytime, especially for special family get-togethers!

Brunch Baked Eggs:

3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (12 ozs.)
12 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup sweet red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter
8 ounces cooked ham, diced
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
8 beaten eggs
1  3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup flour
Fresh chives & parsley, chopped, if desired

Sprinkle the first 3 cups cheese in the bottom of a 9" X 13" baking dish (spray with Pam)
In a fry pan, cook the mushrooms, onion and red pepper in the unsalted butter until the veggies are tender...drain well.
Place veggies on top of the cheese then spread the ham evenly over all, and finally sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.  Cover and chill overnight.
About an hour before serving...combine eggs, milk, flour, parsley & chives thoroughly.
Pour over the casserole and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.  Allow to stand for 10 minutes before cutting.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cinnamon Pull Aparts

 This is a cheaters version of Monkey Bread and it is quick and easy, especially important when time is of the essence!
 Adding a little cream cheese frosting to the morsels places them a notch above just plain cinnamon muffins.
 Cinnamon Pull Apart Muffins:

2 cans Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar

Remove and separate the biscuits from cans
Cut each disc into 1/4's and roll into balls
Dip balls into melted butter and then immediately into the sugar/cinnamon mixture
Place three balls in muffin liners, place in muffin tins & bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from muffin tins and cool on wire racks
I made these the day before serving and stored in a Tupperware container.  Just prior to brunch I placed the muffins on a large cookie sheet, covering with aluminum foil, and placed in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
Then to dress them in their Sunday Best, I slathered on some cream cheese frosting~Yum!
I used an 8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese, 1/4 cup unsalted butter, and powdered sugar to taste (at least one cup, depends on how sweet you want them to be)


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

 The combination of rhubarb and strawberries is pleasing to the palate to say the least!
The strawberries, of course, are not ready for picking locally but they were nice ones at the local market.  And the rhubarb???  Right from the garden!!!
Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce:

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
5 teaspoons cornstarch
1  1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup sliced rhubarb
5-6 drops red food coloring, if desired

Combine the sugar, orange juice, cornstarch, and vanilla in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and then add the strawberries and rhubarb.  Reduce heat a bit and cook until tender and thickened...stir occasionally.
Remove from heat and add food coloring, if desired.
After cooling, I placed in fridge until serving time.
This sauce was served over "cake/ice cream towers"  (recipe can be found here

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day...Forget-Me-Not

 The above picture is a remembrance of Grandma Bessie...she was loved beyond compare and played a special part in my life.  Her husband died and she was left to raise three boys and one daughter (my Mom) and did a fine job indeed.  She took in laundry, worked in a restaurant, and then received her LPN license.  Grandma Bessie worked at the local hospital for many years and I always thought everyone in town knew her as their kind, sweet, loving nurse! 
 So many patients gave Grandma gifts...especially tea cups and candy...both of which she loved.
I was blessed to be the recipient of many of the tea cups and they grace our china cabinet with so many memories of one fine lady.
The tea cup and saucer pictured is decorated with forget-me-nots and violets so I decided to make a trip to the flower garden and gather more of the you, Grandma Bessie, I send my love and great have been such an inspiration to me and my family;
thank you from the bottom of my heart!
 This vase has significance of another fine lady...Ben's Mother and the best mother-in-law I could have asked for!
 Arlene was also in the nursing field, an RN that served proudly and gave the best injection ever!
This vase was a gift to her from our family and she returned it to us prior to her passing.
She was not only a fine nurse but a great cook and I learned bread making from her!  I do wish I could make baked beans like she did...we always knew when someone died because she would be found in the kitchen making a huge batch for the grieving family.
The lily of the valley grew in abundance around her house and when she passed, I went and dug up a few starts and planted them at our house and they continue to thrive, reminding me of such a sweet, kind, loving mother-in-law and friend!  
Miss you Arlene and love you!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Honey Nut Salmon

 You must try this is so delicious and the bonus, you ask???  It is very easy to prepare!
 I purchased a salmon fillet and went on the search for a recipe and came up with this one, which happens to be Weight Watchers!

4-5 tablespoons of chopped almonds (you could use pecans)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
Mix the above ingredients and place in a large Zip-Lock bag along with the salmon and allow to marinate for at least an hour

Remove salmon from bag and place on a greased, foil lined pan
Save the marinade for basting
Place salmon in preheated 425 degree oven and set the timer for 5 minutes...pour half the marinade over salmon and return to oven for another 5 minutes.  Pour remaining marinade over salmon and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and season as desired...I used freshly ground pepper, chopped chives fresh from the garden, a little dill, and some lemon rind.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

 The first three pictures were taken on Friday evening, May 4th, 2012. 
 The evening was beautiful and clear, perfect for viewing the bright moon.
 The remaining two photo's were taken on Saturday evening, May 5th...the sky was partly cloudy but oh my, the moon was spectacular!
 As I have mentioned before we live in a wooded area and seldom have any noise at night...other than coyotes...but this particular evening there was rap music playing quite loudly in the vicinity...should have been a bit more serene!
Hope you all were able to take in this awesome sight in the evening blessed we are!

Poke Cupcakes/Cook For The Cure

 The decision was made with a few questions in mind of the treat I would share on the Cook For The Cure plate...mentioned in an earlier post.
 Cupcakes in a jar was new to me but I decided to press ahead and I am pleased with the decision.
 Intimidated I was but please don't feel in glass jars is easy and the end result is pleasing to the palate and eye!
 Poke Cake:

1 box Classic White Cake Mix
Prepare according to box instructions
Fill 4 oz. glass canning jars a little over half full with batter and bake at temperature suggested for 18 minutes and check to see if they are done with a cake tester.
I didn't fill mine quite that full but would the next time.
Cool on a wire rack.
Poke Mixture:
1 small box jello (flavor of your choice)
Add one cup boiling water to the jello and dissolve thoroughly.  Then add one cup cold water and mix well.

With a fork, toothpick, or skewer in hand, start poking holes in the cupcakes.  
Pour jello over the cupcakes won't use all the jello.
Place cupcakes in fridge for at least three hours.

1 small box instant White Chocolate pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 container cool whip (medium size)
Mix the pudding with milk until completely smooth and thickened.  Now blend in the Cool Whip.
Using a piping bag and tip of your choice, pipe the tasty frosting on your cupcakes.
I made just twelve jars and then 12 cupcakes in liners.

The Cook For A Cure plate is pictured below...I lined it with a doily and then placed the jars on...but first I decorated the jars.  I used linen that I cut in strips and fringed a bit.  I wrapped the strips around each jar securing with double sided tape and then wrapped twine around and tied into a bow.  The finishing touch was...flower shaped buttons that I cut the shank off and then hot-glued onto the bow.

I am so excited to watch the journey of this plate...each time it changes hands, Kitchen Aid donates $5.00 to Susan G. Komen For The Cure!

Friday, May 4, 2012


 I just couldn't resist posting this...
We had a stormy day yesterday, with heavy rains, strong winds, lightning, thunder, and hail; forcing us to stay inside.  There was a break in the weather, so Maggie and I went out to get the mail and she spotted something...she said it's a slug Granny...eeewwww!  But she would have picked it up since she has a fascination with bugs and creatures.
I am not fond of slugs myself but I thought this one was unusually large...what do you think?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Turkey Vultures

 These pictures were taken through our kitchen window and are not very clear, nor do they do justice to the size of the turkey vultures.
 It has been about three years since I have seen any of these birds...there were three in this grouping going from tree to tree just looking for their dinner.
 I was taking my Mom home the other day and sure wish I would have had my phone or camera with me...there in her yard was a vulture snacking on an expired opossum...gross for sure!
 We never know what is lurking around our neck of the woods...thankfully I have not been up close and personal with the bear that has been spotted locally.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Papa Cardinal

 We have a burning bush by the living room window that the birds seem to love, especially the cardinals and chickadees.
 It is so calming and peaceful to watch the polite chickadees take just one sunflower seed from the birdfeeder and fly back to the safety of the bush and munch away.

The cardinals are so beautiful and they always announce their arrival with singing!

How blessed we are to witness nature right out our windows.

I think I spotted a hummingbird a couple days ago so better get the feeder out so we can enjoy them also!