Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hibiscus Beauties!

 The Hibiscus are so beautiful this year, I just couldn't resist sharing their beauty with you!
 There have been more blooms this year than ever before and we are enjoying them and remembering the dear friend who gave them to us!!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Blueberry Almond Mini Bundt Cakes

 These tasty morsels are perfect for gifting!!!
 If you like a moist "cake" you will love this recipe and the bonus...you will yield approximately 30 bundts!
 I have just one mini bundt pan (Wilton) and be prepared that baking and filling the pan multiple times (3) will take some time.  But remember, the result is awesome!
 Blueberry Almond Mini Bundt Cakes:

1 box white cake mix
1 small package instant white chocolate pudding mix
4 large eggs
2/3 cup oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon Madagascar Vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 generous teaspoon nutmeg
1  1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Orange Glaze:

2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon milk
1  1/2 cups powdered sugar to start and more to make the consistency you desire
Sliced almonds, toasted, for garnish

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease or spray (baking) the mini bundt pan
Sift cake mix and instant pudding mix into a small bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl combine eggs, oil, milk, sour cream, vanilla extract, almond extract and nutmeg until smooth.
Stir in the cake mix and pudding mix.
Fold in the blueberries.
Fill the each mini bundt about 2/3 full and bake about 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool about 8 minutes or so and then invert bundts onto a wire rack for additional cooling.  Repeat with remaining batter.


Sift the powdered sugar into bowl and add the remaining glaze ingredients (adjust powdered sugar if you want thicker glaze or add milk for a pourable glaze.  Immediately garnish with the sliced almonds.

Not a weigh watcher recipe but surely a nice treat occasionally...Gifting the mini bundts was my choice!!!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Ben's Grilling Apron

 Every griller needs an apron and why not make it a homemade one?  Actually, this apron was made for those special occasions when Ben is in public (like church coffee hours, etc.).  I used a simple apron pattern and appliqued a colorful duck on it!  I have made several aprons using this particular pattern over the years...school teachers, fathers and friends have been the recipients.  Of course the applique's are endless and I hope this has inspired you to get the sewing machine out and get creative!

Friday, August 9, 2013

High Fiber, Low Carb, Whole Wheat Chicken Wrap

 Are you watching carbs?  If so, these Tortilla's are a pretty good choice.  When counting carbs, you can deduct the grams of dietary fiber from the total carbohydrate grams to get the net carb count.  That is the carb lesson of the day!!!
 I prepared three small chicken tenders by quickly frying in a tiny bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, really only takes a few minutes.  Set them aside to cool just a bit.
 Now the choices are many for the filling...I chose the following:
Romaine, cut as desired
Chicken Tenders, cut into pieces
Green Onions, sliced
1/2 Granny Smith Apple, cut in matchstick pieces
Dried Cranberries, amount desired
Fresh Blueberries, for taste and color
1 Tablespoon Light Hellmann's (no joke)
Six Lugs Cherry Viniagrette, just a small amount
 I did season the chicken with a little Caribbean Citrus Salt-Free Seasoning by Mrs. Dash

Very Tasty if I do say so myself!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Maggie's First Fishing Trip

 Grandpa took Maggie, Courtney, and I fishing and what a fun time we all had.  It was Maggie's first experience on Grandpa's boat and she is ready to go again!

 You are probably wondering if we caught any fish and the answer to that is a resounding no!  But don't be fooled, you don't need to catch fish to have a fantastic boat ride!

 The weather was strange...cloudy for awhile, then sunny, then rain, and finally rather windy!  But there again, with good company and a great attitude you can always have fun!

 The magic of a child is priceless and we love this little girl to pieces!  
I will also add, that I love Courtney and Ben! We had such a blast!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Olsen-Sayles Distinction

 The Olsen-Sayles staff is humbled once again at being voted best gift shop in Benzie County for 2013.  To receive this distinction from the people of Benzie County means so much to us and we thank each of you for casting your vote for Olsen-Sayles!  
 It is our pleasure to serve you all and we look forward to your continued support!
Thanks so much to our loyal following!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Frankfort's Annual Street Sale

 Olsen-Sayles was the place to be yesterday if you wanted to have a little home-town fun!!!
 The weather was not ideal for a street sale, unless however you enjoy a cold, drizzly rainy day! 
The Olsen-Sayles gals put a smile on and had a good time as the above video shows...
There is a little story behind the video...we were setting up our tables out on the street and trying to keep them dry by using kitchen towels and ringing them out...when along came two kind gentlemen and asked where our squeegee was and our reply was we don't have one.  They purchased an item from us and then went on down the street.  A few minutes later they were back with a new squeegee from Frankfort Hardware for us.  We had never seen them before but we shall never forget their kindness and generosity.
Tina got right to work with her new favorite tool on a rainy day!!!  
What a great day we had and we thank not only the two men but also everyone that braved the inclement weather and supported the Frankfort Businesses!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pesky Mole

 We have had the largest mole hills the last couple of weeks that we have ever seen.  So action had to be taken and of course that would rest on Ben's shoulders!!!

He set the trap in the afternoon one day and the following morning a rather large mole was the victim.

Thankfully the mole problem is history for now and hopefully forever!

Interested in the trap???  Nugent's Ace Hardware has a supply!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Confetti Linguine

 This pasta dish goes together quickly and makes for a nice Sunday Lunch!
 As you can see, summer vegetables abound and you could certainly add more if desired.  I thought about adding some meat but something light won out this time!
 My inspiration came from the magazine, Real Simple.

1 pound linguine
1/2 cup roasted, chopped pecans
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups fresh corn or frozen if you like
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 pints of yellow/red grape tomatoes, halved (combination of the two)
2 medium zucchini cut into thin ribbons
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
4 oz. package of cranberry goat cheese, crumbled

Cook the linguine, as per package instructions, reserve one cup of cooking water and set aside.
Drain the linguine and return to the pot.
Toast the pecans (or nuts of your choice)

Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat.  Add the corn, garlic, salt and pepper, toss about and cook until tender.
Add the corn, tomatoes, zucchini, and 1/2 cup water to the pasta.  Continue to cook over medium heat, tossing mixture gently until the liquid is slightly thickened (you can add more water if you wish).

Place the linguine mixture on a large platter and immediately sprinkle with toasted pecans, cranberry goat cheese and oregano leaves.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Fish Story

 I have mentioned before that Ben goes fishing but often doesn't bring home any fish...now as you can see there was a big catch recently.
 Ben and his friend John went fishing on a local lake and brought home a nice selection of Walleye!  You just can't beat fresh walleye for dinner, teamed with salad and garden fresh zucchini!
 I simply coated the fish fillets with Panko and fried in a little olive oil and what a taste treat!!! I am hoping Ben and John continue to bring home fish for the frying pan!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Baking Powder Biscuits

 My Grandma Bessie was the Biscuit Lady in our community for years...she made biscuits by the dozens for local Church's!  I have her original recipe and watched her make them many times and felt like I had perfected her technique!

 Recently I made a batch of biscuits, for strawberry shortcake, and they just were not right...I checked the date on the baking powder and it was good until December but I was convinced it wasn't fresh.  I went on a hunt to find a baking powder with a better seal and I stumbled upon Bakewell and as you can see the can has an old-fashioned metal sealed lid.
I am a believer of the Bakewell Baking Powder and the biscuits were light and fluffy!!!
I would guess that Grandma Bessie used baking powder in a similar styled can with metal lid that actually seals well!
Wish I could serve Grandma Bessie one of these biscuits...she would love a strawberry shortcake with fresh cream from the milkman...not whipped, of course.
Thanks for all the memories Grandma Bessie and I love you and we will meet up again one day!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Creamy Lemon Pie

 The month of June has a few special birthday's...Ben and Caribe celebrate their birthday's just one day apart!  Due to travel and work, they were celebrated together this year!
 Our family likes lemon so it was decided to have a refreshing lemon pie for celebrating!

Lemon Pie:

Make you favorite graham cracker crust or use this recipe:

2  1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
4-6 tablespoons sugar, your choice of sweetness
1/2 cup melted butter
Crumble your graham crackers in food processor.  Stir in the sugar and finally the melted butter.  After thoroughly mixing place crumbs in two 8" pie pans (I used glass).  Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Lemon Cream:

2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup fresh lemon juice
6 egg yolks
Mis together the milk, lemon juice and egg yolks until smooth.
Pour into prepared crusts and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

At this point you can place in fridge overnight.

Before serving, whip 2 cups whipping cream with 1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar, depending on sweetness desired.

Cut pie into nice sized pieces and place on serving plates, top with whipped cream, and garnish with fresh fruits, lemon zest, and mint leaves!  

Be creative and enjoy~