Saturday, June 27, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

I think I once knew all the moves, ha ha.

Best selling album of all will be missed, MJ!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The beginning of something...I don't know yet.

I got the urge to crochet today, and decided to make something for the Fourth of July. How about a nice afghan to cover up with and cuddle while we're watching fireworks? Sounds great, but I'd better get busy!

Here's all I have so far:

The square pattern is inspired by one of my favorite crochet pattern books,

200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws, and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix and Match by Jan Eaton.

This afghan will be made from Caron Simply Soft yarn, in red, white and blue patriotic colors, using a G hook, and I'm not worried about gauge this time. Not at all.

This book is a must-have for any crochet library.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I love my zinnias!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

30 Days of Giveaways: Day 10 – Giant Fortune Cookies Review and Giveaway!

Head on over to Miss Modern and enter to win a free GIANT fortune cookie! YUM!

30 Days of Giveaways: Day 10 ; Giant Fortune Cookies Review and Giveaway!

Hurry, ends soon!

Veggies to be picked!

Well, not enough to share with anyone, but I was able to pick the first pepper, cherry tomato, and a handful of green beans this morning! My little garden loves this hot and humid weather!

Monday, June 22, 2009

First cucumbers of the season!

WHY am I so excited?

The Indiana weather has been hot and muggy so far this summer, with lots of rain and intermittent sunshine. Our garden was planted, according to tradition, on Mother's Day. Every year I always plant tomatoes, for slicing and salsa (Mr. Stripey), and for making spaghetti sauce (Romas). We usually plant a few varieties of peppers, too (green bell, red bell, hungarian wax and cayenne). Beyond that, each year I like to mix it up and try new veggies I haven't tried to grow before.

Last year I had great success with growing cucumbers, so I'm giving it another shot this year. They did great and had very good yields until the end of July rolled around, and then the cucumber beetles invaded, killing off my plants. I will have to watch out for that this year!

I am growing a variety called "Bush Pickle" in a large deck box, with 6 foot stakes for them to grow up on. This variety is ideal for small gardens and containers, and the cucumber size is more ideal for pickling. As of today they are nearly 2 foot tall, and I picked the first 2 cukes! Once I get a larger yield, they will become bread and butter pickles. YUM! These 2 little cucumbers don't know it yet, but they are about to be made into Cool Cucumber Salad for tonight's dinner.
Here's my recipe, if you want to try it for yourself:
Cool Cucumber Salad
1 or 2 large cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 onion, preferably a sweet variety such as Vidalia, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper (I like to use sea salt)
8-oz. container of sour cream
Thinly slice the cucumbers and onion and combine in medium size bowl. Salt and pepper, then stir in the sour cream and combine all ingredients well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving, to allow the flavors to marinate.

This is a traditional recipe, given to me by Mom several years ago. I have made it for hubby for many, many years. Goes great with anything you grill and is a summer favorite at my house. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Homemade Coffee Can Ice Cream

So easy and so delicious!
You'll need:
3 lb and a 1 lb coffee can
rock salt
duct tape
bag of ice

1. Put the coffee cans in the freezer for about an hour to chill before you make the ice cream.
You will be mixing ingredients in them, so they need to be cleaned very well.

2. Mix all ingredients together for the flavor you choose (vanilla and chocolate are both great!) in the smaller coffee can. Put the lid on and tape it tightly with duct tape. The tape will prevent any water from melted ice from seeping into your ice cream.

For vanilla ice cream:
2 cups half and half (or 1 cup half and half, 1 cup heavy cream for a richer ice cream)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

For chocolate ice cream:
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup sugar
4 Tbsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Mix-ins: chocolate chips, M&Ms, chopped up candy bars, nuts, strawberries, raspberries, cookie dough or cookie pieces, coconut, etc. These will be added in step 5.

4. Measure 1 cup rock salt and sprinkle some into the bottom of a 3 lb coffee can. Put a little ice on top of the salt. Now place the small can inside the large can. Pack ice around the smaller can, sprinkling in the rock salt as you go. Put the lid on the large can. You can seal the lid with duct tape if you want, but it is not necessary.

5. Roll the can back and forth between two people for 15 minutes. The agitation process is what makes the ice cream freeze and become solid. After 15 minutes, take the lid off the large can, remove the small can and pour out the ice and water. Dry off the small can and open it. Scrape the sides and stir. Now is the time to stir in any goodies or candy you wish to add!

6. Tape the small can again and put back into the large can. Pack large can with ice and salt as you did in step 4. Put the lid onto the large can and roll back and forth for another 10 to 15 minutes. Open the small can to reveal homemade ice cream in a coffee can!