Friday, June 30, 2017

5 thing Friday - Teddy, quiche, estate sale scores, nests, table

When we dog-sat Teddy a couple of weeks ago, he did a fair amount of napping and moping.  He is super attached to his human and was missing her so.
But he also came up to me often and licked my hand.  And he did play with the boys in the backyard.  And Hubby did take him on walks.  And he did get the occasional bite of bacon or cheese.  Still missing The Girl, but coping a little better than the last time.  So I think each time will be easier for him.
For some reason, I rediscovered those frozen pie crusts in a big way.  We've had a few really delightful quiches.  However, as it is getting super hot here, I will probably slow down on oven cooking.  This one was plain ole Swiss cheese, no frills.
Our neighbor a couple of house down passed away in December and her family held an estate sale two weekends ago.  Hubby and I moseyed down there and came away with some amazing deals.  One of them was this storage box full of Command hooks and picture hangers.  We spent about $40 and got: two new Coleman folding chairs in tote bags, a mint condition dolly, a wheelbarrow, and assortment of gardening tools in a tool tote, this box which also had a couple of pad paint refills, door stops, pegboard hooks of all sizes, a couple of full size garden tools, two seasons of Outlander on BlueRay, two Outlander books, some kitchen storage containers, two wicker baskets, some plastic tubular hangers, leather garden gloves, and several other smallish things.  WOW.
Last weekend when we stepped out of the barn, some tiny birds started up a HUGE racket in the trees just outside of it.  It was a minute or so before we noticed this nest in the overhang.  I wonder if they thought the deer antlers were some sort of protection...
Hubby got quite crafty last weekend.  In addition to helping me with the giant Jenga project, he took the bones from our old patio umbrella, strung on $4 worth of Disney Frozen-inspired Christmas lights, and made us a sweet spot to enjoy outside evening dinner at Highlands.  It's still collapsible and the lights gently blink.  I would never have thought to recycle the old umbrella (and that table is 20+ years old).  But this is pretty sweet!
Goodness - where did June go??

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tortellini and Ham Pasta Salad

I found this recipe and thought it sounded perfect for a summer meal if you add a little chopped ham or chicken.  And the colors are so pretty!
Even though I am the main one that likes pasta salads, I thought my peeps would enjoy it because of the ham and the tortellini.  In any case, its getting blazing hot here and salad nights are going strong!
 So here's my version, adjusted for our tastes and what I found at HEB!

Tortellini and Ham Pasta Salad
1 pkg dried tortellini, cooked in boiling salted water for about 12 minutes, then briefly rinsed and cooled
1 boneless ham steak
1 16 oz container of cherry or grape tomatoes
1 jar fire-roasted red peppers, drained
1 pkg Knorr pesto sauce, prepared and cooled
S&P to taste
In a large bowl, chop the ham, tomatoes, and red pepper.  {I halved the tomatoes, but diced the other two items} Gently stir in the tortellini gently, then pour the cooled pesto sauce over it all, salt and pepper it, then gently stir again.
 Chill until ready to serve.  This pasta salad can also be served at room temp, but be sure to let it sit in the fridge a few hours to soak up all of the seasoning from the pesto sauce.
Stir well before serving!
I served myself some for my lunch at work, sprinkled with parmesan cheese, then replaced the lid, gave the container a good shake, and dug in.  It was the perfect combo of fresh and savory.  A keeper recipe for summer!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Mealplan Monday #148

Monday - Trader Joe's Chili Lime Chicken Burgers, sliced tomato, guacamole with chips
Tuesday - Crockpot Dr. Pepper roast, mashed potatoes, carrots
Wednesday - BBQ Chicken Caesar salads (using leftover BBQ chick from freezer)
Thursday - Potsticker Stir Fry
Friday - Crockpot Sweet Garlic Chicken, rice, peas
Saturday and Sunday are TBD

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fond of ferns

I took a bucket and spade with us to Highland's last weekend, to harvest a few ferns.  They grow wild all over the place, along with various cacti, cedar, and oaks.  Lots of flora to catalog up there some day...They grow very shallow roots so it was easy to dig up a couple of them.  We filled the bucket with water, and a day later, they had sucked it all up.  So I know they will be fine as long as I keep them watered.
I don't know the first thing about growing ferns, except that I love them.  I had a couple of empty pots all ready for their new homes.  Pulled off as much of the dead fronds that I could, just to pretty them up a bit.  Watered them again with a little Miracle Gro added. Then placed some large rocks in the pot to discourage the squirrels from digging.  The red rocks area off the patio is shady and a bit cooler than the rest of the backyard.  Similar to the situation they were in out at Highlands - we found them in shady areas under trees.
I moved Mr. Owl a little closer to this group of pots, in case the squirrels feel like they need to investigate.  I'm excited to see how they do!  If they thrive, I will pull up a few more for a friend and my mother.  I think potted plants add an element of  relaxation to this little corner of my world, and I really love the ferns!  
Do you grow ferns?  Got any tips?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Man Quiche

My peeps enjoy a quiche now and again.  For breakfast.  Along with other breakfast foods.
But if you try to pass it off as a main dish for dinner, they look at you sideways.  So I had to come up with a quiche that the menfolk would readily accept as dinner one day last week and I think I did good!  I pulled out one of my freezer pie crusts and a deep dish pie dish and got to filling it with eggs, half and half, cheese, spinach, sausage, and bacon.  It might not be a magazine-pretty quiche, but I barely got a slice of it the next day for my breakfast!
Rustown Quiche
5 eggs
1 1/2 c half and half
1/2 bag of baby spinach, wilted in a little bacon fat and cooled well
2 cups grated Swiss cheese
8 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 package brown and serve breakfast sausages (frozen)
1 pie crust for a deep dish pie

Preheat over to 350.  Cook bacon* and shred cheese and set both aside. Using a tablespoon or so of the bacon fat, saute the spinach until just wilted and set aside to cool.  Beat the eggs with the half and half and season with salt and pepper. Toss the grated cheese with a tablespoon of flour and sprinkle into the crust.  Layer bacon pieces next, followed by a layer of the wilted spinach.  Pour the egg mixture over that.  Top with frozen sausages.  Bake until set - about an hour and a half in my case.
I let this cool, then popped it into the fridge with instructions for them either to heat it a bit on their plate, or eat it cold.  I also had salad in there, but I can almost guarantee no salad was eaten...

*the easiest way to cook bacon is to go buy one of those microwave bacon trays!  Put 4 slices on the tray, cover loosely with a paper towel, and microwave for 3 to 3.5 minutes.  Perfectly crisp cooked bacon every time!  And the bacon fat pours out easily into a container you can store in the fridge...

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mealplan Monday #147

Monday - Sloppy Joe's (freezer leftovers), chips, carrot sticks
Tuesday - Sweet Mustard Roast Pork (crockpot), mashed potatoes, veggie
Wednesday - Pesto Tortellini Pasta with Ham (we never had this a couple weeks ago)
Thursday - Jamaican Rice and Beans with mango salsa, corn
Friday - Cafe Rio Chicken Tacos
Saturday and Sunday - staying close to home since Mom is on call - maybe we will grill!

Friday, June 16, 2017

5 thing Friday - Brunch, rain, Firstborn, graduation, injury

 Weekend before last we attended a brunch in the vineyard at Torr Na Lochs.
It was cloudy but somewhat cool, so no one minded.  They served breakfast pastries, fruit, kolaches, and some white wine and rose sangrias.  It was nice to sit there and chat with other wine club members and enjoy an outdoor breakfast for about 2 hours.
Petite Syrah grapes!
Normally they don't let you wander amongst the vines.  The owner was also out there with us and answered everyone's questions about growing grapes - a very interesting process.  His wife remarked that once you got him started, you couldn't stop him.  He had a crowd of people around him the whole time.
Highlands is only 3 miles away.  The minute we got there it started storming!  Although we were inside Mabel, the rain on the barn was loud.  It was quite relaxing, though, and the lake really needs the rain.  After it rained we sat outside and got a bit of sun.  Then it was back to Austin to start the work week, but what a nice break.
I don't see this person very frequently anymore, but when I do, it's nice.  He's an adult in every sense of the word, but when I see him, I also picture him as a small child.  Weird, huh?  Your babies never stop being your babies, I guess.
Creeper photo bomber on the graduation bus!  On graduation day, the boys and I got to school early enough to ride an air-conditioned coach bus, so it was a nice trip to the Erwin Center.  However, it was a yellow school bus back from downtown in Friday rush hour traffic back to the school where we had all car-pooled from.  Can't win them all.
"Minor" mishap following graduation:  falling outside on the gravel sidewalk.  Week three at this point and it's still itchy and a bit painful.  If you want to see gory photos and read my tale of woe...go here.  Sigh.
Happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Giant Jenga

It seems like wherever we go now, there's a giant Jenga set.  And it makes sense, because it's the perfect reason to put down the phone and play a fun game.  Takes very little skill and only about 10 minutes or so per game.  Hubby won most of the games we played last Saturday!
We want to make a set like this for Highlands.  Seems like the perfect outdoor game to enjoy at a picnic table in the shade.  We have plenty of wood in the garage left from taking the kids' playscape down years ago...This particular one was at Twisted X Brewery in Dripping Springs, but we have seen them at a couple of wineries, too.  People had signed them and doodled all over them and they were well-worn.  Very low tech, but fun!  What do you think about giant Jenga?  

Monday, June 12, 2017

Mealplan Monday #146

[Last week was all-around not much fun.  I didn't post but once - just wasn't feeling it.  This week will be better!  There are a couple of oven meals in the mix this week, but I'm thinking this may be the last week for that - too hot!}

Monday - Chili Dogs, chips, fruit
Tuesday - Cowboy Beans, corn muffins
Wednesday - Chicken Fajita Salads
Thursday - Swiss/bacon/spinach quiche, salad
Friday - Creamy Jalapeno Pork Chops, rice, corn off the cob
Saturday and Sunday are TBD

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Checking in on a hump day...

I'm not really sure of who all is reading my little ole blog, but I love to post here, and I haven't really been able to until this's been a very busy time since last Friday.  I had every intention of posting all about Bubbie's graduation, but things just got busy and I thought "oh, I'll never catch up!"
But I did take the time to "borrow" some pretty shots from my favorite photographer's blog:
 {I think these are the tiny flowers\weeds that cover the ground at Highlands}
Maybe in the next 5 thing Friday post I will re-cap.  Maybe this week.  I don't know - I feel a little frazzled still with all I need to do.  In fact, I need to get up from here and get ready to leave the house!
I've also felt under the weather - scraped my lower leg and had a big bout of vertigo.  So, in with all the other things I am trying to get done, I'll be visiting my doc.  {Gory pics might be posted on the other blog, we'll see.}  Life happens.  I'm pretty happy it's June and Hump Day!  Now to get on with the rest of my week...

Friday, June 2, 2017

It's fairly apparent...

...what this blog is not about.  You'll find bits and bobs about my family and myself, but am I trying to be an expert on how to raise kids?  Manage finances? Create Pinterest worthy meals and desserts?  Or decorate my house fit for a magazine spread.  No to all that!  Just a mom.  Trying to mom as best I can.
A lot of times I find myself throwing something together last minute, as I rush around the house getting ready to leave for work.  But somehow, I don't think Bubbie will view this little tableau as anything but a sincere effort on mom's part to make the house a little more festive on graduation day.  {more on that next week}  After all, it's the people that live in this house that are the most important - and they're the reason I document it here.  Happy Graduation Day, Bubbie.  I can barely believe it's here. 


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