Thursday, May 24, 2012

On vacation.........GUEST Post & FREE Giveaway!

Hey y'all......Doug & I have been away this week, down in Southern Indiana (Madison, to be exact) celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary.
So, I've asked a fellow blogger and friend to guest post here today.  Ginny is also helping me announce my next FREE cookbook giveaway, so be sure to read through this post and I do look forward to some great new recipes being sent my way!

~Summertime blessings,

Summertime Grilling
by Ginny Marie

Last weekend was the first time—the first time we turned on the air conditioning. The temperatures soared to 90 degrees, which is unusual for May in Chicago. But even though we turned on the air to keep the house comfortable,  it didn't feel so hot outside since the humidity was low. Just wait 'til August; when the humidity soars along with the temperatures, that's Chicago in the summertime.

When temperatures get hot outside, I don't like to heat up the kitchen while cooking dinner. So instead, I fire up our grill. Oh, I just love to grill! I suppose most people think of the man of the house as being one who grills, but in this house, Mom grills.

There are so many things I love about grilling! The beautiful grill marks on our meats, veggies and even fruits. The lack of pots and pans to wash after dinner. The way the kitchen stays cool in the summer.

Beyond the usual hamburgers and hot dogs, I grill chicken breasts and pork chops. I love using cedar planks soaked in water to grill salmon. And there's nothing like roasting zucchini and peppers on the grill! I've heard that grilling fruit is fun, and really brings out the flavor and sweetness of fruit. I'd love to try my hand at grilling some pineapple this summer.

What is your favorite food to grill? Have you tried grilling fruit before? I'd love to read your grilling tips! 

Submit your favorite summertime recipes and you can enter to win a FREE “Backyard Entertaining, Great Tips for Grilling” Cookbook illustrated by Debbie Mumm!! 

This cookbook is 223 pages, spiral bound.  Recipes are included for:  Salads and Sides, Steaks, Chops & More, Burgers, Chicken, Fish & Shellfish, Sauces and Marinades and what cookbook doesn't include desserts!??! 

Rules are soooooo simple!  Each recipe submitted will earn you ONE entry for the giveaway, so you may submit as many recipes as you wish! 

ALL entrants MUST live in the continental United States.

Winner will be drawn on Father’s Day, which is June 17th, 2012.  That gives you (and your friends!) plenty of time to enter.  Good luck!!

Ginny Marie blogs about becoming a mother after breast cancer on her blog, Lemon Drop Pie. She occasionally lets her husband man the grill.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cafe au Lait Ice Cream

Simple to make and elegant to serve!

 I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE coffee-flavored ice cream and haven't made this in years.  I got to thinking about it yesterday and wanted to share.  It's on my to-do list this summer as my husband's more a vanilla ice cream kinda guy.  He'll have to step outside his 'lil box in a BIG way.......or.........I'm ok with eating the entire quart myself.  Not in one sitting; I do have standards, lol!

Cafe au Lait Ice Cream

2 egg yolks, beaten
2/3 C sugar
1 C milk
2 Tbsp. instant coffee granules
1/4 C miniature marshmallows
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 egg whites
1 C whipping cream

In a medium saucepan, combine beaten egg yolks, sugar and milk.  Cook and stir over low heat until mixture thickens and coats a metal spoon. 

Stir in coffee granules.  Add marshmallows  and remove from heat; stir until marshmallows melt.   Stir in vanilla.  Set aside to cool 15 minutes.  In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry.  Fold into egg yolk mixture.  In a medium bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form.  Fold into egg yolk mixture.  Pour into a 9" x 5" loaf pan or several undivided ice trays.  Cover with foil or plastic wrap.  Place in freezer; freeze until firm, 3 to 6 hours.  To break up ice crystals, stir 2 or 3 times with a fork or spoon as mixture freezes.  This makes a smooth ice cream.
Makes about 1 quart

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The game of Life


      Please excuse my neglect of this blog for the past several weeks.  Or has it been months?  I know it's been TOO long.

      I will not bore you with details, but suffice to say I've been battling some rather serious medical issues which were a result of an incompetent (new) dr. who took me off the thyroid meds. I've been on for 23 years.  Looooong story. I also am still trying to mend from Plantar Fasciitis in my right foot.   Just getting through each day/week was a challenge so to tackle my other interests/hobbies was just more than I could handle. 

     But I've missed y'all!!!!
      My health problems escalated to a trip to the ER about a week ago, but I'm thankful I went in as my thyroid levels were 3x higher than the normal zone.  The ER dr. sent me home with a new doseage and a hefty dose of potassium, I've been feeling SO much better!

      Yesterday hubby and I spent the afternoon on a "date" and went antiquing and out to lunch--it was quite nice to just do "normal" things again.  It was a wonderful day and I came home with some new treasures, which is always fun!

      These first pictures I'm going to share are of my "finds".  I've been wanting to decorate this cute little room we have where you come in from the garage.  It's a good size area and just needed *something more*, ya know?  I have 2 gorgeous HUGE French hand painted pictures, one of which hangs on the wall in this area I'm speaking of.  Then I had a pedestal with a silk plant on top.  Here's how my little room between our kitchen and office & laundry room NOW looks:

      My favorite is the distressed chair (only $30!) with French writing on the seat!  The 2 roosters give me that French "country" kinda feel and I plan to put a nice silk flower/greenery arrangement in what they were calling a wastebasket.  I like to think outside the box.  I love the look I was able to create and this room's about done!

      Hubby has already said we'll be going back in a month or two---he just loves this antique mall too!  Next time I'll be concentrating on some things I want for the living room. 

      After 5 hours of sleep, we were up early this AM for our granddaughter Lindsey's T-ball game.  All 5 grandchildren came to root for her so it was great to see them.  I've been laid up at home so much that I've really missed them all!  I got lots of hugs and love (and some ribbing/bantering from the older!) which never fails to warms my heart.

Miss Lindsey in her uniform

Lindsey rocked ~ batted without using the T!

Left to Right:  Julie, Julie's friend and KoKo (Korey)

The gang! Left to right:  Nick, Korey, Lindsey, Julie, Ben

Sister love <3

      We'll be seeing the girls again in a few days and we're all going out to dinner.  These sweet, beautiful little people sure brighten my day!

       I hope you are all enjoying the warmer, Spring weather.  I love checking out how my perennials are popping up and what is blooming from day to day.  This year I want to plant lots of flowers so I pray my health will continue to improve so I can get back to doing everything I love!

       ~Blowing blessings out to each and every one of you!