Chicken Burgers! Yum!

First of all, let me tell you that the Fresh Market has non-antibiotic, non-hormon boneless, skinless chicken breast every Tuesday for 2.99 per pound. The ground Chicken is also 2.99 per pound. I had laid out ground chicken for dinner yesterday but I was not really sure of what I was going to make with it. While looking in my fridge I decided to make Chicken Burgers. We do not eat a lot of bread so I came up with something a little different. Also, I needed to clear out a few veggies from my refridge so I used what I had. I cleaned the fridge and made dinner. Two birds with one stone!

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I needed to use the brussel sprouts and spinach before they went bad so I placed the burger on a bed of wilted garlic spinach with a fresh cut tomato and diced red onions.

The spinach is cooked in olive oil that I sliced fresh garlic up in. Then I just watched the spinach and stired it until it was done.

The brussel sprouts have 1 inch peice of fresh ginger,  1 garlic clove and butter in them. I sauteed them until they were ready. I don’t like real soft, smushy brussel sprouts so mine are a little under cooked.I squeezed a fresh lemon half over the top at end of cooking them.

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Here is the recipe for the burgers:

1 pound ground chicken

1/2 carton of mushrooms chopped

1 large or 2 small garlic cloves diced small

1/2 cup raw bacon chopped

1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese crumbled

1 egg

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup heavy cream

Mix well!

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Make burgers. I made 5 good size burgers from mine.

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I live in an apartment right now and I do not have my grill so I pan seared each side for about 2 minutes and then put them in the oven at 350* for 15 minutes to finish cooking. Remember, this is not beef so we need to cook it all the way through.

It was the most flavorable burger I have ever had! There was a party going on in my mouth! Beleive me, you have got to try this one. Happy cooking!

Vacation Happened

Our vacation has come and gone. It is amazing how long we look forward to vacation and then how quick it is over. We of course had a great time and our house was perfect for our family.

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The beach was across the street and we had a pool in the back yard. The kids had there own rooms and a TV room downstairs. Not that they used the TV downstairs. We were all together most all of the time.

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I prepared a lot of food before we left and then made a lot of food there. Food really brings a family together and our table fit all of us so there was great conversations nightly! Jason & Amy smoked a pork butt and ribs on their night with homemade mac-n-cheese and collards, Kelly and Michael made curry chicken and Hunter and Amanda made flank steak sliders. It was all wonderful! And there was always help in the kitchen and on the grill.

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We had deer in our yard daily. Caleb even had one eat from his hand.

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We did our fun family things like Super G drink tastings and from the looks of things some didn’t taste that good:

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We always do cheers with each wonderful drink. They are all worth a toast until you taste them.

I laughed so hard that my face was stuck in smile mode. Amanda thinks I need to take part in the drink tasting too.

This year we did a candy tasting too. Again, bought at Super G. It was not quite as dramitic as the drink tasting.

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We did do a puzzle but I forgot to order the personalized puzzle due to moving. Bummer, but they understood.

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And this year there was a “George” group. Elijah is 2 and loves Curious George.

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There was a “Beach Fairy”  brought each kid a gift every night. I think the older kids are catching on.

The beach was beautiful and we didn’t see one shark!

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These guys are all worth the hard work and many laughs that happen while we are there. I hope they always remember our fun family trips and continue great family fun for their children. It is always my prayer that my children are better parents than I was and their children better than them. We have to change the world’s idea of family back to the old fashin family one generation at a time. Friends come and go but family last forever.

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Big Adventure- Small Apartment

My husband and I have never lived in an apartment. You may be thinking high maintence and in some sence you are right. Once upon a time we did live in a 12×63 trailer which was very small with 3 little ones. We have lived in small but not in a while. Our apartment is around 1000 square feet and is a lot compared to some.

I recently heard a story of a young man who lived in Africa that had a 6×8 house with dirt floors. So lets get this in prospective. We are very blessed to have our small apartment but I am not used to it yet. It also makes me very excited for our new house that we are getting ready to build.

Since we are living small and I cook big we have made our coat closet a second pantry. My kitchen accomidates cooking fine. I don’t have all of my kitchen appliances or pots and pans here but it works.

He is a good summer recipe for you to try this summer and it can be grilled so if your kitchen is small, take it outside:

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Mediterranean  Burgers with Aioli Sauce:

2 lbs. Hamburger

1 roasted  red pepper chopped

1 red onion sliced

2 cups fresh spinach chopped

4 garlic cloves minced

1 cup feta cheese crumbles

¼ cup bread crumbs

1 egg slightly beaten

1 teaspoon garlic salt

A little bit of black pepper

Roast red pepper on the grill or in the oven on broil turning a few times.

Put hamburger in a large bowl.  Chop red pepper and add to hamburger. Chop fresh spinach and add to hamburger mixture.  Add all other ingredients and mix well with hands. Make 6 large burgers or 8 small.  Put on grill and cook 5 minutes on each side. Depending on the size of burger you may want to cook longer.

Cut 1 red onion into thick slices; pour a little olive oil over onions and salt and pepper. Grill until soft.

Grill burgers and onion at the same time.

Aioli Sauce:

¼  plain Greek yogurt

¼  cup Dukes Mayonnaise

4 garlic cloves minced

½  cup feta cheese

Salt and pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients in food processer. Chill for 1 hour before using. When cooked, put burgers on a bun and layer with red onion and aioli sauce. Yum!!!

The Adventure Has Begun

Last Friday, Mike and I moved from a home we built in 2002. When we built this home we thought we would stay there forever. Who would need anything else? At that time we had 3 adult children, one was married and had 2 children. Life was great!

Since that time we have grown from 8 people in our family to 14 people and still growing. For me, our kitchen was just too small to accommodate cooking for that many. Of course, I could have done it anyway but since the new loop around our city was coming in right behind our house it gave me leverage with Mike. I had been telling him I needed more space in the kitchen for a while. Mike would have stayed in our home forever. And let me just say it was a great house! So the next adventure in our life has begun.

On moving day I was answering questions about what goes where, climate controlled storage, conventional storage or the apartment? We had lots of great help from our big family and our friends. Yes, we moved ourselves with help from others. As I was watching everyone bring furniture out and placing it all over the yard and driveway it brought a tear to my cheek. We had so many memories in that house. So many people had come through those doors, so many parties and dinners had taken place there. It had served us well. At that point, I had to remind myself that home is where we are and not a building or house. I am really excited to have the next house built but when you are in that “homeless” place it all gets a little emotional. We are not homeless of course. We have an apartment. But we went from this:

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To this:

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We chose an apartment because we did not want to sign a year lease for a house. And if I can live in a tent at the beach for a week, I can live in a apartment for 6-8 months. But again it is different.

Our little apartment is our home now because we are there. It was busy and fun having everyone there to help. These are the beginnings of our new memories because “home” is where we are!

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We have lived in our new apartment for one week now. Our family has been over and we have had some spend the night, dinners have been made and we are making memories!

The first thing I made at the new apartment was….(drum roll please)…..COOKIES! Cookies always make everything good.

I like the apartment life for now. I actually feel like I am on vacation!

The moral of the story….. Home is where your family is. It doesn’t matter if it is a tent, apartment or house.

Adventures

Summer has started off with a bang! Weddings, beach trips, more weddings, pool days, grandchildren, family and more weddings! We have attended eight weddings this spring/summer and enjoyed every minute of them. I love spring/summer so much because it brings people out of there home into the warm, bright sunshine where we can all interact with each other. The picture below was a tent camping beach trip with friends and family. And yes, I said tent camping. It was a blast!

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This type of vacationing together came with no TV’s!  It makes everyone depend on each other for entertainment and socializing. Making dinner was also a very social time. Things went slow and conversations were had.

I love the great outdoors! If you plan well and have friends and family, you are set!

Mike and I are getting ready to start a new adventure. We are going to build a new house (and, no, it’s not a tent). We invite you to come on this journey with us. I am sure there will be ups, downs and dollar signs daily. We have sold our present home and our first adventure starts with living in a 1000 sq. ft. apartment with 37 years of stuff. I have started the packing process which will continue for days.

The first thing I did was pack my kitchen up with all the items to go to storage. I left all the things to take to the apartment in the cabinets for now. I have basically done this in every room. Mike, my husband had the idea to label large items that go to the apartment instead of labeling both apartment and storage. He is a time saver and loves to be efficient with his time so I am trying it. I would rather label everything so there would be no questions.

I label every box for storage or apartment, fragile, and all the contents. I then label the storage boxes with a room for the next move. Like living room, keeping room, garage, etc. . I hope this helps with questions on the next move that will take place in 6-8 months.

Some of you may think we are crazy for doing all this work and moving twice within a year. For us it is wonderful! We love to build our house just as we like it and I love that no one else has ever bathed or showered in my bathroom.

To be continued…….

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Adyson’s First Birthday Party

It almost seems impossible that it has been a year since our sweet Ady was born. Time flies by these days! But, never the less, she is one!

Amanda wanted to have her first birthday at their house and this meant we had some decorating to do. As most know, I am not the paper streamers kind of gal. I had tons of fun doing this project for such a sweetie!

First, Amanda and I went to the fabric store and pick fabric. Then, I made the table runner and place mats.

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For the table runner you just take a piece of fabric and fold it over inside outward, sew it together except for one space small enough for your hand to get into. After sewing it, turn it inside out and iron. Then fold the little hole that your hand went in and sew it closed. To save fabric on the place mats I folded the ends in twice and sewed around the edges. EASY! And adds lots of color. Adyson can reuse the place mats on her little table.

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Now on to the next item. To decorate the high chair.

Measured the length across the high chair I needed and started cutting stripes and stripes of fabric that I tied on twine.

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I decided on a pattern and kept it in eyes view the entire time:

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The finished product:

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The little letters were purchased at Michael’s for .59 cents and glued to a piece of twine that we attached to the hooks we used to hang the fabric. I also used a glue gun in some areas to secure it to the chair.

The mantel is the same process as the highchair. Measure the length of the mantle and added fabric.

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The letters again were added on twine. We used hooks the 3M hooks to hang the entire thing on.

For flowers we went to the Fresh Market and bought tulips in the same color scheme as the fabric. I had vases on hand that someone gave me years ago that I had never used which worked out beautifully with our color scheme

The book is a book Amanda had made of our family and friends. Everyone signed it with a blessing for Adyson.

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Amanda made the banner in the back on the window. It is hard to see due to the lighting but it says, Happy Birthday Adyson.

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Some of these colored flowers below were from Ady’s baby shower. Amanda added the balls and color to the pile. Something old, something new!

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The cake was ordered Adyson’s from Delicious and a free smash cake came with it. Decorated like her big cake of course. We took fabric to Delicious and they matched the cake to the swatches. Great job Delicious!

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Amanda also made this great board behind them! Below it she has pictures of Adysons first year. I wish I had a better picture of the board because it is amazing!

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And of course, Great Grandma Dot was there!

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Here comes the cake…..

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To end the party Amanda gave rock candy for party favors.

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Which Adyson LOVED

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Happy Birthday Ady girl! Nana loves you!

Yummy Side Dish

Our family got together on Sunday like everyone else did for Easter. I wanted to make a few things for the gathering so I made a coconut cake, chocolate chip cookies, and appetizer and green beans. Well, lets face it, green beans are boring! I don’t like boring! Thank goodness for the food network website. I found a recipe by Pioneer Woman that was awesome. You have to try it.

Roasted Green Beans

All you need is:

2 lbs of fresh green beans (ends trimmed)

1 sweet onion chopped (larger chop so onions don’t burn)

1 lb of raw bacon (chopped)

olive oil for drizzling

salt and pepper to taste

Put green beans on a cookie sheet sprinkle onions, olive oil and bacon over beans. Mix with your hands. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 325 and your done.

These beans were a huge hit. Not a lot of work but you get a lot of flavor!

I pasted the link to the food network page if you would like to watch Pioneer Woman make the beans. She used 4 lbs of beans and I used 2 lbs. Enjoy!!!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/roasted-green-beans.html

Sewing Class

Next week I will have my first sewing class for our neighborhood. I am not a professional by any means but I can make a few household items. Our first week we are making a pillow. It is a pretty simple project. But in the spirit of sewing I wanted to share this great video that shows how to make piping. It only takes 18 inches of fabric and it makes 18 feet of piping.

I was shown this video when I took a sewing class from a friend and it has changed my pillow making a lot. I can really customize my decor and home. The video is a little dated but the finished product is great! This video has a part one and two.

Part One:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTWbRPv9HZo

Part Two:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRmMEsto6ks

I am not sure if it will load from this post. If not just copy and paste to your search bar.

I was surprised at how easy it was to do. The first time I tried this I used a old piece of fabric from a previous project in case I messed up.  If you can sew, you should try this.

Here is an example of my last project that I made my own piping for:

Thank you Jenni and Jenny for teaching me how to sew!

Coconut Cake

This recipe was on Facebook a few weeks ago. When I saw it I knew I needed to make it! Talk about a great dessert for Easter…! Wow! The flavor is amazing and if you don’t like the shredded coconut on top, leave it off. If you took this cake to a family Easter party there would be NO leftovers.

CREME OF COCONUT CAKE

1 box yellow butter cake mix
1 14 oz can creme of coconut
1 14 oz can Eagle Brand condensed milk
8 oz. Cool Whip
1 pkg. of coconut 

Bake yellow butter cake mix by directions on box in 13x9x2 pan. While cake is hot, pierce with fork. Combine can of creme of coconut and can of Eagle Brand milk and pour over cake. Cover and refrigerate. When cake is cool, spread with 8 ounces of Cool Whip and a package of frozen coconut (thawed). Store in refrigerator.

You will love it!!! Happy baking!

Cold Weather=Taco Soup

With the forecast of more snow on the way it makes me want to make a warm cozy soup! This soup is full of flavor and textures.

Ingredients:
  • 4 uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package frozen corn (about 14 oz)
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of half and half or heavy whipping cream (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • corn tortillas
  • cooking spray

Directions:

Boil the chicken breast for about 20 minutes and chop or shred the meat.

Add all other ingredients in a large pot including the chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes so the flavor have time to marry.

I add a few topping to our soup but it is totally optional:

I took tortilla’s and brushed them with olive oil and sprinkled a little garlic salt on them and broiled them for 2 minutes in the oven. It gave the dish a fun look because they puff up! Spray your pan so they don’t stick. And watch them carefully. I burned the first pan of tortillas.

Enjoy this delicious, easy and fun meal! Happy cooking!!!

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