Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mural Project: San Angelo, TX

Ron's granddad took us to see a mural that's being painted in downtown San Angelo. It's still a work in progress, but it's already truly amazing. Instead of trying to convey just how amazing in words, I'll just post my photos for you to enjoy!











Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy Homemaker Monday

hhm
Thanks to Sandra for hosting!


The weather in my neck of the woods:
Hot and today...windy!

One of my simple pleasures:
Gathering my kids around for a good story.

On my bedside table:
My iPod and cell phone.

On my TV:
No TV here.

On the menu for tonight:
Worked tonight and the kids ate with their Gramps and Granny.

On my To Do List:
I don't even wanna think about it! LOL

New Recipe I tried last week:
Funnel Cakes! See our fun here.

In the craft basket:
Not a thing.

Looking forward to:
The end of the week!

Homemaking Tip for this week:
Don't know if this is considered a tip but...if you're thinking about doing something new, but are afraid of the mess it might make, just do it. The mess is worth it almost every time.


Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
Check out this adventure of Maa-Maat, the sheep.


Favorite photo from last week:

REE_1642

Lesson learned the past few days:
That some people just refuse to be happy. I pray I will not become one of those people.

On my Prayer List:
Safety for friends traveling
Family

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
Matthew 7:25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against the house, it won't collapse, because it is built on rock.




"Just for fun" Category at i ♥ faces!


This week at i heart faces they are hosting a "just for fun" category. No judging on this one. Just a lot of great photos to enjoy! Be sure to check them out here!

Here's LOTHF's contribution. Doesn't this capture the spirit of a summer day?



Sunday, June 28, 2009

Funnel Cakes!

I'm wanting to do some fun stuff in the kitchen this summer and funnel cakes was on the top of my "want list." I love getting a good crispy, chewy funnel cake at the Stock Show every year but don't like the price they charge for them. I knew making them at home would be easy, if messy. The recipe I used is very simple.

The ingredients are all pantry staples. Don't forget the funnel (not pictured, drat the luck)! Flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, egg, milk, and oil for frying. And yes, that is a blue egg. Isn't it darling?

After you mix the batter, add more milk if necessary to get the right consistency.

I'm about to die of funnel cake lust right about now. It smelled so good!

Don't forget to have a few kids around to ask, "Why are you doing that?" and "When can I do one?". The experience won't be the same without it.

Top them with cinnamon sugar, honey, maple syrup, chocolate syrup....our favorite is powdered sugar. I'm salivating, sorry.

They're a hit with Maddy!

Tristan has not grasped the full funnel cake eating experience. Put those utensils down! Are you having any fun at all?

Morgan is also using a fork, but there's no doubt she's enjoying her treat!

Honestly, these were better than any we've ever had! And the mess? That's what the kids are for!

Funnel Cake

Ingredients:

1 egg
2/3 cup milk
2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder



Directions:


1. In a deep skillet, heat about two cups of oil over medium-high heat until hot. Test the temperature by dropping a pinch of flour into the hot oil. If it sizzles right away without smoking, it's perfect.

2. Beat egg and milk. Mix all other ingredients in a separate bowl and slowly add to the egg mixture, beating until smooth.

3. Using a funnel, drop into hot oil working from center outwards in a web pattern. (You can use a gallon sized freezer bag instead of a funnel by pouring the batter into the bag, snipping off a small corner of it, and squeezing the batter into the oil.)

4. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, remove from the oil when golden brown and crispy.

5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wind farming in west Texas

On our trip to San Angelo last weekend, we drove by this wind farm just west of Abilene. You almost need an aerial view to truly appreciate the expanse of this place. There are wind generators as far as the eye can see. It's called Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center and it's the largest wind farm in the world.

These generators are simply enormous!

Look how small the stairs and doorway are!

I think this is a great source of energy and I hope it is made more widely available in the future.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Eggplant Zucchini Bolognese

Unlike the Watermelon Gazpacho, I did actually prepare this recipe. We had it last night for dinner and let me tell you, it was yummy. Now, it's obviously not a true bolognese, but it does have quite a bit of meat in it like a traditional bolognese. A couple of notes: I used only 1 teaspoon of sugar versus 1 tablespoon. I don't like my tomato based sauces too sweet. Also, instead of following the directions, I cut my zucchini and squash in chunks like the eggplant. This is because I tend to jump right in without reading recipes all the way through. But no matter, it turned out fine. And last, I don't own any Italian seasoning, so I just threw in some dried oregano and basil.
The kids loved this and it's a great way to get some veggies in!


Ingredients:

  • 1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 8 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions. In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, zucchini, squash, onion, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Transfer to two 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 20-25 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomato puree, Italian seasoning and brown sugar. Drain pasta; stir in tomato mixture and roasted vegetables. Sprinkle with cheese.
Yield: 8 servings.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Watermelon Gazpacho

Disclaimer: I haven't tried this recipe. But it just looked so refreshing that I wanted to share it here for anyone that's looking for a great summer dinner. Let me know how it turns out!

Ingredients:
4 cups cubed watermelon, seeded, divided
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon grated lime peel
1 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper

Directions: Puree 3 cups watermelon in a blender. Cut remaining watermelon into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the watermelon puree, lime juice, lime peel, ginger and salt. Stir in the tomato, cucumber, green pepper, cilantro, onion, jalapeno and cubed watermelon. Chill until serving.
Yield: 4 servings.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day mini-reunion

Our family went to San Angelo to attend a Father's Day bar-b-que. Ron's granddad smoked a brisket (or three) for about 75 of his closest friends and neighbors. Most everyone brought some sort of dish or dessert and we had ourselves a grand ol' time.

This is Granddad. He looks likes he been through some hard times doesn't he? He's going strong even though he's well into his eighth decade.
We got to visit with some family we hadn't seen in a while. Ron's brother Kevin was there with his family. Doesn't that red hair look like trouble? That's Grandmother on the left. She lives in a nursing home now and loves visits from her grandbabies.
This photo of Kevin's family was taken in front of a mural that's being painted in downtown San Angelo. Doesn't it look like you could almost walk right into it?

Here's our little family with Grandmother.
And here's a close-up of that red-headed terror. I kid, I kid! Sort of. Seriously, I love this boy. Reminds me of my own child of extremes, and she doesn't have the red hair to fall back on.
Speaking of children of extremes...here they are together. That's just a whole lot of disaster waiting to happen right there.
Last, but not least, is this cutie. I don't even know his name or who he belonged to but he captured my attention that afternoon. I think I have more pictures of him than anyone else!
We also got to see Ron's aunt Trish from New Mexico. It was a fast trip, but well worth it!


Monday, June 22, 2009

“LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS!” PHOTO CHALLENGE


Be sure to check out all the great entries this week by clicking on the button above!

In honor of Father’s Day, it’s “Boy’s Week” over at I Faces this week. No girls allowed!


Kids Category:


This has always been one of my favorite photos of my son. It just speaks "boy" to me and he is ALL boy!


Happy Homemaker Monday

hhm
Thanks for hosting, Sandra!


The weather in my neck of the woods:

HOT! (Sandra, we live about 30 minutes from Six Flags, so you know exactly what I'm talking about!)



One of my simple pleasures:
Getting to run errands with my hubby. No kids, just him and me doing everyday stuff together.



On my bedside table:
My iPod. And I'm still trying to finish Eldest.



On my TV:
No TV here, but watched some Deadliest Catch in the hotel room this weekend. Scary job!


On the menu for tonight:
Hmm...whatever it is will include lots of vegetables. Need to eat those down before I go pick up more tomorrow!


On my To Do List:
Oh good grief! So many things...clean out my refrigerator, revamp my schoolroom, refinish a dressing table...you get the idea. Plus we want to do all the things on my kiddos' summer list.


New Recipe I tried last week:
Didn't try a thing. Was too tired! LOL



In the craft basket:
Oldest DD wants to learn to make friendship bracelets with embroidery thread, so I plan on helping her with that.



Looking forward to:
A good vacation. Possibly to San Diego in August. YAY!



Homemaking Tip for this week:
Your kids are capable little beings. They might surprise you with what they can accomplish with just a little guidance from you.




Favorite Blog Post of the week (mine or other):
Lavender Ridge Farms. This place looks awesome and can't be too far from me. Thanks for sharing it, Sandra!



Favorite photo from last week:
From the above blog post.
2009_06200057



Lesson learned the past few days:
That by just relaxing and not worrying about what everyone's opinion might be, I can have a much better time.


On my Prayer List:
Family


Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
No, O people, the Lord has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8




Sunday, June 14, 2009

Barn kitty #1

Meet one of our new barn kitties:

Ashes
I'll introduce barn kitty #2 tomorrow!


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