29 August, 2010

My college boy

Today was my oldest son's college convocation ceremonies. His classes begin in the morning! This is a picture my middle son took of us before it began.  He looks excited doesn't he?  Actually, he is excited, but a little nervous like any college freshman would be.  
I don't have any clue where the last 18 years have gone.  I only know that as we stood in that college auditorium listening to the band play the Star Spangled Banner, the reality was that a new phase of his life was beginning.  As I looked over at him, with his hand on his heart, tears welled up in my eyes.  I am so thankful to the Lord for this wonderful boy He blessed us with.  We dedicated him to the Lord many years ago.  We pray that no matter what he decides to do in life that he will seek Christ above all. That he'll hold fast to truth of scripture and never be ashamed to proclaim the gospel. No matter what. There is nothing more important than that.  It's all about the cross.  That is all. 

25 August, 2010

Cabbage rolls

As summer draws to an end and temperatures begin to drop (be it ever so slightly), I begin to think of using my oven again.  Today I'm thinking of cabbage rolls; one of my favorite comfort foods.  This picture is from last spring. Underneath these top cabbage leaves lie little cabbage packages full of delicious meat filling.  If you're a cabbage fan and you've never made rolls, you must try them.  Great with garden tomatoes you've got in your freezer.  
I don't follow one recipe. There are a couple recipes I like so I adjust the meat seasoning to what  I know we like.  Here's a good video of how to do it: 



18 August, 2010

Creamy tomato soup

Do you love tomatoes?  Do you love creamy (literally) soup?  Then here's the recipe for you.
Once again I found myself with a lot of tomatoes.  Friends and neighbors have been generous and we really appreciate it.  
This soup is quite delicious. Rich yet not too heavy.  I didn't have a couple things on hand so I substituted. I didn't have plain tomato juice so I used Clamato.  If you use Clamato you could skip the salt.  It gave it a great flavor.  Also, I was out of chicken stock so I used water with chicken bouillon cubes.  It was still very good and I will make it again.  It's so worth the effort.    

10-12 Roma Tomatoes, peeled (other types of tomatoes work fine too)
(or, in a pinch, you can use 1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes drained.)
3 C. tomato juice (I used Clamato)
2 C. chicken stock (homemade is best)  I used chicken bouillon.
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder
2-3 tsp. dried basil leaves
*1 1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
*3/4 C. (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter cut into pieces and slightly softened
*freshly grated Parmesan cheese
*15 or more fresh basil leaves

Combine tomatoes, tomato juice, and chicken stock in a large saucepan. Add dried basil. Bring to a boil, turn down heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer tomatoes in batches to a food processor or blender and process on a pulse setting (it's nice to have a few small chunks remaining). Return the tomato mixture to the liquid in the saucepan and simmer over low heat. Slowly whisk in cream and softened butter. Whisk until butter is melted and soup is thoroughly heated. Top each soup bowl with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil.

15 August, 2010

Stuff I'm diggin' on

I finally found a lampshade for my favorite lamp.  It's the Brentwood lamp from PB.  The distressed look is way cool and very intentional.
Next, I found these cool Referee towels at Dollar Store for $1!!  They are really cute, and of course they match my kitchen.  They are fitting too, being that I am the referee of my kitchen.  With 3 boys I am a referee quite often actually.   With the start of football season, what a cute way to accessorize your kitchen! 
Happy Monday ya'll!

14 August, 2010

Chicken Enchilada casserole

This is a really yummy casserole I made today.  It is especially delicious with homemade salsa and tortilla chips. 

  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 (8 ounce) can chili beans, drained
  • 6 (12 inch) flour tortillas, cut into strips (I used tortilla chips instead)
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cooked and shredded
  • 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix sour cream, salsa, cream of chicken soup, onion and chili beans.
  3. Layer the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish with 1/3 tortilla strips. Top with 1/3 chicken, 1/3 sour cream mixture and 1/3 Cheddar cheese. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Let stand about 10 minutes, or as long as you can stand it!!! You're done!

I love my new dry erase calendar decal for my wall!  I defintely need this to keep our schedules straight starting in the next couple weeks.

11 August, 2010

Schriver's Thriftway Market Gothenburg, NE

                           my cousin David pictured (early 70's)  Many a fun times we had on that picnic table.
 My Grandparent's small town market--Schriver's Thriftway Market, Gothenburg, NE.  My  grandma's house was connected to the store.  It went out of business in 1996 but the memories live forever in my heart.


09 August, 2010

School is upon us

Cayden and Carrason in their new Converse tennies.
This is the time of year that I always feel overwhelmed.  Tomorrow is three weeks before the boys begin school and my oldest begins college.  Where does time go??

06 August, 2010

Blessed Redeemer by Casting Crowns

Up Calvary's mountain one dreadful morn
Walked Christ my Savior, weary and worn
Facing for sinners, death on the cross
That He might save them from endless loss

Blessed Redeemer, precious Redeemer
Seems now I see Him on Calvary's tree
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading
Blind and unheeding, dying for me

"Father, forgive them," my Savior prayed
Even while His lifeblood flowed fast away
Praying for sinners while in such woe
No one but Jesus ever loved so

Blessed Redeemer, precious Redeemer
Seems now I see Him on Calvary's tree
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading
Blind and unheeding, dying for me
Dying for me

Blessed Redeemer, precious Redeemer
Seems now I see Him on Calvary's tree
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading
Blind and unheeding, dying for me

Oh, how I love Him, Savior and Friend
How can my praises ever find end?
Through years unnumbered on Heaven's shore
My songs shall praise Him forevermore

Blessed Redeemer, precious Redeemer
Seems now I see Him on Calvary's tree
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading
Blind and unheeding, dying for me

Blessed Redeemer, precious Redeemer
Seems now I see Him on Calvary's tree
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading
Blind and unheeding, dying for me

05 August, 2010


I've never been a contemporary kind of girl.  A matter of fact just a few years ago I turned up my nose at just the thought of all that minimalistic, clean line kind of craze. 
 Years later I find myself becoming much more accepting.  I'm not only accepting, but actually craving a mix of my beloved traditional pieces with something modern or contemporary.  Mixing pieces is what I really enjoy.  Maybe my taste is becoming more eclectic. I choose to call my taste "Tratemporary".  Yes, I just made that up.
Here's a piece I admire:  Crate and Barrel's Hendrix desk (below)  I love it!!  I would call the style contemporary, yet it seems to have a bit of a rustic, traditional flava. I'm not degreed in design, so I don't know if my assessment is spot on.  To me though, design is like art, in that it's  very subjective.  These are just the facts...according to me. :)  Although I'm not going to be shelling out $1299 for it any time soon ever....   a girl can dream. 


03 August, 2010


For some unexplained reason, every summer, usually in July, a hankering for red beer overtakes me.  I'm thinking it usually happens after a trip to my midwest hometown.  I don't know why it is,  but it really is kind of funny.  After all, I am a self confessed beer snob who turns her nose up to any "cowboy pee" domestic trying to call itself a real brew. I do however drink a Michelob Ultra often in the summer for the sake of calories and fill.  When we're talking red beer tho'...I will even tolerate a Bud light.  I draw the line at Miller lite, Coors, etc...  Ewww.  Sorry if you're offended, but that's not beer.  These are just facts...according to me.
Sooo... I grab my favorite beer mug and pour with abandon the cheap, caloric friendly, domestic "cowboy pee" I wouldn't touch otherwise. I fill my cup 3/4 full.  Now, I top it off with some crazy good Clamato.  Have you had CLAMATO???  That is some salty goodness girls!!  I'll worry about the water retention tomorrow. :)    rEd BeEr.  mmm.

02 August, 2010

Stuffed peppers

Got some green peppers you need to use? Thanks to my mom and Larry for the green peppers from their garden.

     dInNeR dEliCiOuSnEsS:

  • 6 green bell peppers
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2-1 t. Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (more for the bottoms and tops of peppers)
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed tomato soup
  • beef broth or water as needed

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tops off the peppers, and remove the seeds. Cook peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes; drain. Sprinkle salt inside each pepper, and set aside
  • In a large skillet, saute beef and onions for 5 minutes, or until beef is browned. Drain off excess fat, and season with salt and pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.   Stir in the tomatoes, rice, 1/2 cup water and Worcestershire sauce.   Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat, and stir in the cheese. *** Taste and adjust seasoning!  What is too salty to one is too bland to the other. 

  • In a medium bowl, combine tomato soup with just enough beef broth or water to make the soup a gravy consistency.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C).  Put a little cheese in the bottom of each pepper. Stuff each pepper with the beef and rice mixture, then a little tomato soup mix, and then a little more meat on top.  Top with a little cheese. and place peppers open side up in a baking dish.  Pour the rest of the tomato soup around peppers in dish.
  • Bake covered for 25 to 35 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly.

Presto PESTO!!

About this time every summer my basil plants are producing more leaves than I usually know what to do with. I just love basil.  Look for more recipes here using my favorite herb!!  Sooo...it's time to make another batch of pesto. Leave out the cheese if you're going to freeze it. These specifics are given in my recipe below.  There are sooo many uses for pesto.  I love to make some pasta and stir in a spoonful of pesto with a little pasta water makes it combine easily.  This a a super quick lunch, dinner, or side dish.
My kids aren't crazy about pesto this way but I use it in all sort of other ways they do appreciate; over fish or chicken, as a marinade, on sliced french bread with tomatoes and cheese as an appetizer, on corn on the cob instead of butter,  mix it with mayonnaise for a delicious dip or spread, with eggs, etc... etc..... etc.... the possibilities are endless.
**If you want to freeze the pesto you make, omit the cheese (it doesn't freeze well). Line an ice cube tray with plastic wrap, and fill each pocket with the pesto. Freeze and then remove from the ice tray and store in a freezer bag. When you want to use, defrost and add in grated Parmesan or Roma.
Easy Pesto:
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Makes about 1 cup.

Home again

Our little beloved poodle Spurgeon is back home with us again after being kenneled during vacation.  :)