Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Foodie Penpals Reveal

Update:  I was wrong about Kristin Baker not having a blog.  She does have one called Size Matters, and you can see what it sent to her in this post.

A quick apology:  Today is our 50th anniversary so I was very busy elsewhere.  I did something wrong and this didn’t post earlier like I thought I had it scheduled.  I am so sorry.

The Lean Green Bean

After sitting out May because we were on vacation, I am back to joining in Foodie Penpals for June.  This month my package came from Danielle Nadeu who doesn’t have a blog.  She does pay attention when reading them, however, as she sent items that  I really like.  I told her that she really “got me” when I sent her my Thank You email.

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First up is a bottle of bourbon vanilla.  I love bourbon vanilla and am almost out of the bottle that I am currently using so this is very welcome.

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Next is this bottle of a “new to me brand”  of Stir Fry Sauce.  I love trying new spice blends and sauces.
 
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Speaking of new spice blend.  Danielle sent this little container of Baharat, a spice blend used in Arab, Turkish and Iranian cuisine.  The word means spice in Arabic.  She says to use it on beef, lamb, fish, chicken and add to soups.  She included a recipe using the spice with ground chicken that sounds marvelous.

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This is a little jug of pure Maple Syrup purchased at the local farmer’s market.  I love it when I receive something from the area where the sender lives.  I think the little jug is so cute, I will save and reuse it.

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This is a fudgy vegan brownie.  I had never eaten one, but it was very good.

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Danielle included this great little cookbook.  Although my cookbook collection is huge, I did not have this one, so it is a welcome addition.

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There were two little cards included.  One listed the contents of the package and the other one explained about the spice blend.

I am going to have great fun with everything that Danielle sent, and I thank her so much.

I sent my package to Kristin Baker who didn’t seem to have a blog.
 
Foodie Penpals is hosted by Leslie at The Lean Green Bean.  You can find all the details about how to participate here.

I am linking up to Foodie Penpal Reveal Day.  You can hop on over there to see what others received in their packages.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Finds

Another round of great recipes found at link parties and the blog parties where they were found.

Crumbs and Chaos

Each week, Tiffany over at Eat at Home hosts Ingredient Spotlight where she highlights a specific ingredient.      I do subscribe to Crumbs and Chaos, but had not seen this recipe.  It features two of my favorite summer fruits and is the way I like to make a pie.  This is on the "must try" list to do very soon.  Whenever I have an ingredient that I want a new recipe for I head on over to Eat at Home and check out the Ingredient Spotlight link ups.

Lemons for Lulu

My favorite candy bar mixed with other candy.  What more could I ask?  This delicious looking recipe was found at Cast Party Wednesday at Lady Behind the Curtain.

Old-Fashioned Housewife

This looks like another new great way to prepare potatoes.  This was found at Whole Foods Wednesday at This Chick Cooks.  This party focuses on healthier for you ideas so there are no recipes with white flour or white/brown sugar.

Wonky Wonderful

Not sure it can be called a recipe with just two ingredients, but I will be making this as soon as I can pick up some Greek Yogurt.  What a great idea.  I found this at Wow Me Wednesday at Gingersnap Crafts.

Back for Seconds

This one probably won't win any health awards, but I am certainly anxious to try it.  A bar cookie that has the name blondie in it, it calls my name every time.  This comes from Strut Your Stuff at Fireflies and Jellybeans.  There are actually four different parties here:  Crafts and Sewing, DIY and Home Decor, Recipes, and Inspirational/Creative Writing.

All photos were taken by and are the property of the owners of the respective blogs represented.  The party links are for Wednesday, June 27th.  Newer parties can be found by clicking on the home page of the host bogs.

I am linking to Friday Favorite Finds.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ingredient Spotlight-Quick and Easy Raspberry Sauce

I love berries, and raspberries are my favorite.  Here is a little recipe that I like to make up and keep around to spoon over ice cream, angel food cake, pound cake, vanilla or white chocolate pudding, waffles, pancakes or French Toast.  It is also good made into a parfait layered with some plain Greek yogurt and topped with a little crushed granola.

This sauce can be made with fresh or frozen raspberries.  If frozen are used, do not add any water.

This can be thickened to suit your tastes.  Add another tablespoon of corn starch mixed in a little water if it is not thick enough for you.

Blackberries can also be used, they will need to cook a little longer to get soft.

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Quick and Easy Raspberry Sauce

2 c. fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water (do not use if using frozen berries
1 T. lemon juice
2 T cornstarch mixed with 1/4 c. water

Combine raspberries, sugar, water, if using and lemon juice in a medium saucepan.  Cook over low heat until sugar is dissolved.  Bring to a low boil.  Stir in cornstarch and water.  Cook until thicken and clear.  Chill until read to serve.  Makes about 2 c.

Linking to Ingredient Spotlight

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Finds

I continue with great recipes shared at Tuesday link parties and the blog link parties where I found them.

This Chick Cooks

Just two ingredients to get a hard shell chocolate topping just like at the ice cream shop.  This was found at the "Show Me What Ya Got" party hosted by Not Just a Housewife.

Raising 4 Princesses

This one starts with a yellow cake mix.  Looks simple and delicious.  I found this one at Tuesday Talent Show hosted by Chef-in-Training.

Recipes We Love

Love BLT's, love pasta salad, love this.  What a great summer lunch idea.  Found at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Blessed with Grace.

 
2Crafty4MySkirt

This looks like a great combination and would be a super make-ahead, freezer dinner.  This one comes from   Tuesday Time Out hosted by Reasons to Skip Housework.

Galley Kitchen

Love it when I find a new recipe for serving veggies.  Think this one would go great with the casserole above.  This one was shared at Tasty Tuesday hosted by Naptime Creations.

 
Passionate Perseverance

The poster says sweet, tangy, crunchy.  Chicken and fruit, what a great combinations.  This was shared at Totally Tasty Tuesday hosted by Mandy's Recipe Box.

As always all photos were taken by and are the property of the owners of the respective blogs represented.

The links to the Link Parties are for Tuesday, June 19.  More recent link parties can be found by clicking on the blog's home button.

I am linking to Friday Favorite Finds at Finding Joy in My Kitchen.  Hop on over there to see what other bloggers have found on the web this week.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Improve Challenge-Cherries in Snow

Cherries and almonds were the ingredients that our Improve Challenge host, Kristen at Frugal Antic of a Harried Homemaker, gave us this month.

I love this flavor combination and chose to adapt a recipe that I found on the web many years ago.  I don't know where it originated, perhaps Kraft.  This dessert consists of a almond/cracker meringue layer, a cream cheese/Cool Whip layer, and a topping layer.  The topping may be any flavor of canned pie filling, pudding, or fresh fruit.  Since this must be made ahead, it is a nice dessert to make for parties and potlucks.

I like to break up the slivered almonds some beyond how they come in the package.  Other nuts can be used instead of the almonds.  They all will be better if they are toasted.

Since eggs separate best of they are cold, separate them right out of the fridge and let the whites warm to room temperature before beating them.

For easier handling, line the baking pan with foil.

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Cherries in Snow
3 egg whites, at room temperature
1 c. granulated sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. almond extract
1 t. vinegar
12 saltine crackers, crumbled
1/3 c. toasted slivered almonds, broken
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened (may be low fat)
1 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip, thawed (may be low fat)
1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling or other desired topping
1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted.

Beat egg whites until stiff.  Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.  Stir in vanilla, almond extract, and vinegar.  Fold in almonds and crumbled crackers.  Spoon mixture into a foil-lined baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until light golden brown.  Let cool completely.  Mix softened cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth.  Fold in Cool Whip.  Spread mixture over cooled meringue layer.  Chill 30 minutes to 1 hour.   Spread cherry pie filling over the top.  Cover lightly with plastic wrap and keep chilled until ready to serve.  Sprinkle sliced almonds over the top before cutting into squares to serve.  Makes 12 to 15 servings.


Check out the links below to see what the other Improv bloggers have made with cherries and almonds.  If you would like to join in next month's Improv Challenge, you can find all the information on Kristen's Improv page.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Homemade Rice-A-Roni

Welcome to my new followers.  I appreciate that your are here.  Thanks to all who take the time from their busy lives to read my blog.  I know that I only post a "thank you" weekly, but in my heart I say it every day.  I hope that you find the information here useful.

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When I made the Hungarian Beef that I posted last week, I served it over Home Rice-A-Roni.  I said that I would post that recipe so here it is.

I found this recipe in Sunset magazine many years ago.  They called it Rice and Vermicelli Pilaf.  Since it has the same main ingredients as Rice-A-Roni, I have always called it Homemade Rice-A-Roni.

Vermicelli is not always easy to find at the grocery store so angel air pasta that has been broken up may be used in its place.

Since my hubby isn’t particularly fond of regular steamed rice, I use this recipe a lot, changing the seasonings to go with whatever main dish I am serving with it.

If I want Italian flavor I use Italian seasoning, Greek flavor I use Greek Seasoning.   For Mexican I use taco seasoning or cumin and chili powder and add tomato bouillon.  The tomato bouillon is a product that can be found in the Hispanic section of the grocery store.   For Asian flavor I sauté the rice and vermicelli in sesame oil and add soy sauce and a bit of ginger or Chinese 5-spice.

This is a good recipe to have in your recipe arsenal as a change from potatoes.  Since it is homemade it has much less sodium and chemicals than the commercial product and is significantly less expensive.
 
To save time, the rice and vermicelli can be combined and put into zip-top bags and stored in the cupboard.

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Homemade Rice-A-Roni
Adapted from Sunset magazine

3 T. butter, margarine, vegetable oil or 2 T. vegetable oil and 1 T. sesame oil.
1 c. regular long grain rice  (I usually use Calrose which is an oriental rice)
1/2 c. vermicelli or angel hair pasta broken into about 1-inch pieces
2 12 c. water
1 t. thyme leaves or seasoning of choice
2 T. fresh parsley ( may also use dried or omit)
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. onion powder
1 T. granulated beef, chicken, tomato, or vegetable bouillon (I like to use Better than Bouillon Organic Paste)

Melt butter or margarine over low heat in a medium saucepan.  Add rice and vermicelli, stir well and cook until it is lightly toasted, stirring often.  Add water and remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer over medium heat until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, abut 15 to 20 minutes.  Makes 4 servings.

Linking to:  Tuesday Talent Show
Show Me What Ya Got
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Take a Look Tuesday
Tip Me Tuesday
Totally Tasty Tuesday
Tasty Tuesday
Tuesday Time Out

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Trip Report 3

This is the part of the trip that was the highlight for me.  I was going to get to meet my blog friend, Danni from Silo Hill Farm.  We were going to do that on Sunday, but we spent the day Saturday in Branson Missouri.

We were lucky enough to book passage on the noon sailing of the Branson Belle, the showboat that cruses on the lake.  The meal was delicious, the scenery pretty, and the show fun.




We also toured the Titanic museum.  Cameras are not allowed within the museum so I had to make do with a couple of photos of the outside which is a half size replica of the Titanic back to the second smoke stack.



This museum is a “must see” if you are ever anywhere near Branson, Missouri.   Be prepared for experiencing all sorts of emotions as you move through the exhibits.  It is very moving.

We moved on to Springfield on Saturday and made a mad dash to Super Cuts so that I could get my hair cut.  With the lack of air conditioning and having to keep the truck windows rolled down, my hair was constantly being tangled and I looked like a raving maniac whenever we had to stop anywhere.  I felt so much better after the hair cut.

I “met” Danni on the internet thanks to Jamie over at C.R.A.F.T. through her Package Pal exchange.  We were matched up for the month of April.  For some reason after we had emailed each other a couple of time and I started following her blog, I just knew that we would “hit it off.” 

A little voice in my head keep telling me to check and see where Willard, Missouri was on the map.  I finally obeyed the voice, and lo and behold there was Willard right outside of Springfield which we going to pass through on our road trip.

The little voice than said to email Danni and see if she was interested in doing a “meet up.”  I envisioned getting together for lunch or dinner.  She wrote back and invited hubby and me for brunch.  What a nice offer.  I then had to ask hubby if he would be willing to make this stop.  He said, “yes” so the meet up was on.  I was so excited I could hardly wait for the trip to begin.

Danni wrote a lovely post about our visit entitled “How to Meet a Blog Friend.”  Our hubbies hit it off and had a good time together which I think surprised mine.  I think that he was prepared to sit in a corner somewhere while I did my thing.  Neely and Sam both like 4-wheeling so I think that broke the ice.  Sam gave Neely a 4-wheel tour of the farm.  They have wonderful property.  It is so pretty.  Sure beats our sage brush scenery.

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Here is the view Danni has from her deck.  Isn’t it great?  The guys are 4-wheeling there in the center.  Just to the left of the tree in the foreground are little cow painted carts that are used to take children around at corn maze time.

We had a delicious brunch.  Danni had made an egg casserole, hash brown patties, bacon, banana bread, and a cranberry frozen salad.  Her table was beautiful.  Mine never looks that nice.

While the guys were 4-wheeling, Danni and I visited and talked about blogging.  Like me, there is no one else in her family who blogs. 

I had packed a box of things that I though Danni would like to have to craft with.  She has already used some of them to make this great 4th of July craft.

Danni had made some “road food” and put them in cute decorated containers, one for each of us.  It is like caramel corn, but not.  I can’t wait for her to post the recipe on her blog which she said she would do closer to the fall when they have the corn maze.

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The one on the left which was for hubby has Danni’s little mod podge stars on it.  We still have a little of the the contents left as I have been rationing it out a little at a time.

We had such a wonderful time together  It was too short and I was so sad to see it end.  We had reservations in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday night so had to get on the road.

I know that if we lived closer that Danni and I would be fast friends.  As it is, we are just going to be BFF internet friends.

I probably won’t be attending any blogger conferences so won’t have many opportunities to meet fellow bloggers.  My advice, if you get an opportunity to meet another blogger, be willing to take it.  I so appreciate that Danni was willing to respond to my request to meet her.

A little story here.  Hubby and I managed to leave our laundry bag of soiled clothes at the hotel in Springfield.  Danni and Sam were willing to retrieve them and send them on to us.  Now, in my book, that really is being a friend.  Thanks guys.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Finds

I missed the last couple of week while we were on our road trip.  Glad to be back.  I link up to a number of link parties when I can.  For the month of June, I am going to share links to wonderful recipes I have found through these parties.  I am also going to share the blogs that host the parties.

Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Miz Helen and I both agree that these are not the healthiest thing to eat, but sometimes you just have to splurge.  A few drive-ins used to serve these, but I have not seen them in years.  I am anxious to try her recipe.  I found this at Hunk of Meat Monday hosted at Beyer Beware.  Be sure to check out the instructions there for browning ground beef in a slow cooker.

The Traveling Spoon

Strawberries and sour cream are a great combination.  Other berries can also be used in this recipe. This one looks like a wonderful summer dessert and was at Melt in Your Mouth Monday hosted at Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms.

Back for Seconds

In my humble opinion, one cannot have too many recipes for cereal mixes.  They are so easy to whip up and have on hand when guests come.  This recipe was linked up to Busy Monday at a Pinch of Joy.

The NY Melrose Family

Aren't these just the cutest?  The blogger made these for her toddler, but I think that they would be great to serve at a party for grownups or for a lunch.  They sound quick and easy, too.  These were at Mop It Up Monday hosted by I Should be Mopping the Floor (love that blog name).

Growing in Grace

This is an interesting idea for mixing bottled Ranch and Italian salad dressings and adding Parmesan cheese.  The salad recipe that is included looks delicious, too.  I found this at Making Monday Marvelous hosted by C.R.A.F.T.

Picture Perfect Cooking

Here is another recipe that would make a great party dish.  I am going to give them a try for our lunches.  I think you could reduce the ingredients back to make a smaller amount if you didn't want as many.  This link came from Must Try Monday at My Favorite Finds.

Heather's French Press

Sometime I cannot find chocolate graham crackers when I want them.  I want to give this recipe a try and maybe I won't need to buy chocolate grahams any more.  This recipe came from Recipe Sharing Monday at Jam Hands.

Storybook Reality

One more recipe that would be great for both a party and for a lunch.  I am always looking for something new to make for lunch.  With the recipes I found this week, I have some new recipes in my arsenal.  This one came from Mangia Monday hosted by both Delightfully Dowling and Shine Your Light.

One Note:  The links to the link up parties are for Monday, June 4, 2012.  If you visit the blogs sometime in the future, click on the home button to find the current link party.

All photos were taken by and are the property of the owners of the respective blogs represented.

I am linking up to Friday Favorite Finds.



Thursday, June 7, 2012

Trip Report-Part 2

After touring the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, we drove to Tucson to spend the night with my hubby’s sister.  Our GPS really saved us here as it was late and dark.  We would never have found her place without it.

She fed us a wonderful breakfast and we caught up with each other a bit.  We were soon on our way, however, as we had made reservations in Carlsbad, NM for that night.

Our route took us into El Paso, TX which unfortunately we hit at evening rush hour so it was a little hairy.  We had to pass through a Border Patrol check stop somewhere outside of the city. 

We appeared to be driving around a range of mountains.  First they were on our left then they were on our right.  I finally asked hubby to stop so I could take a picture.  When we stopped there were wild flowers growing  along the side of the road right where we stopped.  I couldn’t resist taking a picture of those, too.

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I learned that this was the Guadalupe Mountain Range and we drove through it to get to Carlsbad.

We ate dinner at Chili’s in Carlsbad and spent the night.  We had never eaten at a Chili’s restaurant before so that was a new experience.  We thought that the restaurant was very busy for a Tuesday night.  We asked the waitress if something special was going on, and she said it was like that every night.

On Wednesday morning we went to the caverns.  We did not go to the natural entrance as hubby has difficulty walking steep trails due to an accident some years ago.  We decided to tour The Big Room since that is accessible by elevator.  This is an 8-acre part of the caverns that has a paved 1 mile trail that winds through it.  Below are some pictures from The Big Room.

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The rope ladder in the right lower photo was used at one time to reach passages even lower in the cave than where we were.

I have been playing with PicMonkey’s collage feature so thought it would be fun to use it for these pictures.

From Carlsbad we drove to Snyder, TX to visit with hubby’s niece and her husband.  The next day we drove to Prescott, Arkansas.  Hubby lived there as a child and wanted to see if he could find the property where he lived.  I don’t really understand his compulsion to do this, but tried to be supportive abut it.  I am happy to say that he did find what he was looking for.

Our next stop was a day in Branson, Missouri and my visit with Danni.  That will come in Part 3.

Crazy Cooking Challenge-Strawberry Rhubarb Banana Smoothie


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Before we went on our road trip, I was lucky enough to find very reasonably priced rhubarb at the produce stand where I buy my asparagus.  I bought all they had that day and cut most of it up for the freezer.  Although I love rhubarb, I don’t use it much since I can't get it for free anymore.  It is always expensive in the stores here.

I thought that I would look for some new recipes.  In doing so I came across a recipe for a Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie over at A Veggie Venture.  I cannot begin to tell you how glad I am that I found this blog.  She has wonderful recipes for all kinds of fruits and veggies.  If you are looking to expand you fruit and veggie recipe arsenal, be sure to spend some time there.

She had two recipe for smoothies, one using raw rhubarb and one using cooked.  I choose to make the cooked recipe, but in true “Grandma Loy fashion” I had to change it up a bit.  I decided I wanted to add a banana so I reduced the amount of strawberry rhubarb sauce and also used 6 oz. of plain Greek yogurt instead of just milk.  I thought the result was absolutely delicious.

I am going to make up a double batch of the sauce, put 1/2 to 3/4 c. amounts in freezer bags and freeze it.  I keep frozen bananas in the freezer all the time, so by freezing the sauce, I can just make a smoothie whenever I want.  I can have spring in the middle of winter.

As an added bonus, Alanna says that the sauce makes a great topping for ice cream.  I bet it would be wonderful on cake or vanilla pudding also.

The original recipe used an egg white.  I left that out.

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Strawberry-Rhubarb-Banana Smoothie
Adapted from A Veggie Venture

1 1/2 c. chopped fresh or frozen raw rhubarb
1 1/2 c. chopped fresh or frozen non-sweetened strawberries
1/4 c. sugar

In a small saucepan, combine the rhubarb, strawberries and sugar.  Cook over medium heat until just soft.  Let cool and refrigerate until cold.

For Smoothie:
1/2 to 3/4 c. strawberry-rhubarb sauce
1 frozen banana, peeled and cut into chunks
1 (6 oz.) cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 c. milk

Combine sauce, banana, yogurt and milk in a blender.  Blend until smooth and no chunks of banana remain.  Pour into a large glass.  Stir in a bit more milk if the smoothie is thicker than you like.  Makes 1 serving.

Crazy Cooking Challenge is hosted by Tina at Mom's Crazy Cooking.  If you would like to join in on all the fun, you will find all the details here.  

Linking to Crazy Cooking Challenge

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hungarian Beef

A warm welcome to all my new followers, and as always thanks to all who take the time out of their busy lives to read this blog.  I truly appreciate it and hope that you find the information here useful.

After my two week break, I am finally back to cooking.  I need to defrost the freezer so am trying to use what is in to get it cleaned out. 

This recipe is another one that uses round steak.  It was in an Gulden’s  Spicy  Brown Mustard ad, and I have been making it for years.  The meat will be easier to slice if it's slightly frozen.

I have adapted it to include carrots and sometimes celery to make it a little healthier.  They can be left out if desired.  Since we just got back Friday, and I have not been to town to grocery shop, I did not have celery to use in the dish in the photo.

This dish is a bit spicy.  Reduce the mustard and the paprika to make it a milder.

The original recipe says to serve it over rice.  Since hubby is not a fan of plain rice, I serve it over noodles, potatoes or Homemade Beef Rice A Roni.  I will post that recipe in a few days.


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Hungarian Beef
1 lb. round steak, about 1-inch thick
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 c. water, divided
2/3 c. catsup
2 T. brown sugar
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. Gulden's Spicy Brown Mustard
2 t. paprika
2 T. cornstarch
3-4 small carrots, peeled and cut into match sticks  (opt.)
3/4 c. chopped celery (opt.)

Slice steak into 1/4x2-inch strips.  Spray a skillet with nonstick spray.  Sauté steak strips, a few pieces at a time, until all are browned.  Add onion and garlic; sauté 3-5 minutes.  Add vegetables if using.  Combine catsup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, paprika and 1 c. water.  Add to meat mixture.  Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes until meat is tender, stirring a few times.  Combine cornstarch with remaining 1/2 c. water.  Stir into the meat mixture.  Heat and stir until shiny and thickened.  Serve over hot rice, noodles, or potatoes.  Makes 4 servings.

Linking to:  Hunk of Meat Monday
Melt in Your Mouth Monday
Busy Monday
Mop It Up Monday
Making Monday's Marvelous
Recipe Sharing Monday
Must Try Monday
Mangia Mondays
Weekend Potluck

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Trip Report-Part 1

I thought that I would get a few posts up while on the road.  However, after spending 7 or 8 hours riding in the pickup, I was just not up to trying to edit photos at the end of the day  We are home, tired, but pretty happy with the trip.  We would have liked to have spent more time with hubby’s sister, niece, and my internet friend Danni from Silo Hill Farms.  We did get to see all the sights that we planned to see.  My hubby found the location of his childhood home in Arkansas, which was a big point of the trip for him.

The air conditioning went out in the pickup on the first day so we had to pretend that it was back when we got married so we would not have had air conditioning.  It was in the high 90’s and low l00’s through all of the south, so the first week was a bit uncomfortable.  After we turned north there were temps as low as 37 degrees so we were much more comfortable.

Here is a picture of our route drawn out on a map of the US.

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The route is outlined in green.  It was roughly a big circle and covered approximately 5,000 miles.  There was a bit of a change at the bottom when we decided to go to Carlsbad Caverns.

We belong to AAA so had them help us lay out the route.  They provided a book with step-by-step directions called a Trip Tik.

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The maps indicate rest stops and advise of construction and possible traffic congestion.  Although we used our GPS (whom we call Rachel), the Trip Tik was very helpful to have with us.   AAA also provided tour books, booklets on the national parks, and maps.  If you belong to AAA and are planning a trip, remember to take advantage of all these.  They are a no-charge part of the membership.

On Saturday, May 19, we drove to Salt Lake City and spent the night.  On Sunday we drove to Zion National Park, went through Zion Canyon and drove through the park to the south entrance.

I don’t want to be like someone’s boring uncle who brings all his  vacation photos and makes you look at them so I am going to share just a few.

The first two are of Zion.

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The next two are at the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  One is to show the width there and the second one is to show the depth. 

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This second one was taken looking down from the trail along the canyon rim.  If you look at the foreground, that is the top of the near wall of the canyon.  I will readily admit that I felt very unprotected there and my husband had to take many of the pictures.

Here are two views of the south rim of the Grand Canyon.  These were all taken from the shuttle bus that takes you to 9 different view points of the canyon.

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Note in the middle of the bottom photo the path that animals who live in the canyon have made across the bottom of the canyon.

I will have a couple more reports of the trip, but will be back to posting recipes tomorrow.
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