Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tomato, Tomahto


We have tomatoes coming out of our ears! :) I've made lots of tomato-basil pizza and tomato-basil pasta, homemade salsa, tomato sandwiches and anything else I can think of that includes tomatoes. Maybe I need to start canning them.

Isn't it nice to be blessed with such abundance?

Speaking of tomatoes and "tomahtoes", here's a cute video for your Saturday evening viewing pleasure.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Planting Bulbs

Inviting Path
Inviting Path

I love fall and one thing I look forward to is planting spring flowering bulbs. Some of my favorites are daffodils, tulips and irises. They are so easy to plant that even amateurs like me can do it. I love going to the store and looking at all the different types of bulbs and thinking about where they would look best. I think they are so pretty under a deciduous tree and they can get plenty of sun before the tree puts on its leaves.

We buy the bulbs fairly early in the fall and then put them in the refrigerator for a month or two before we plant them. I'm sure someone else could explain it better, but from what I remember the bulbs need to have cold temperatures for a certain length of time before they will flower and here in Texas that means the fridge. It does get cold in my part of Texas (we are in zone 7), but not for long periods of time. if you live somewhere colder, get them in the ground before it's frozen.

We also buy bulb fertilizer (the cheap kind at WalMart)and mix some in the hole that we dig for the bulb, but I've heard some people say this is decide. :) Make sure you plant the bulb right side up. It will say on the package but it's usually with the point up.

I like to plant a lot of bulbs together. There's just something about a mass of tulips in a flower bed or along a path. They look so much better that way to me than in a thin line or in one or two lonely spots.

What are your favorite flowers? Do you like to plant bulbs?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Easy Monster Cookies

These cookies are super easy and would make a great back to school lunch box treat. I found the recipe on my Betty Crocker calendar. You can print coupons too so they are cheap to make, especially if you combine the coupons with a good sale. My kids love them!

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® chocolate chip cookie mix
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® peanut butter cookie mix
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 eggs
2 cups candy-coated milk chocolate candies (I used Reese's Pieces)

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir all ingredients except candies until soft dough forms. Stir in candies.
2. On ungreased cookie sheets, place about 1/4 cupfuls dough about 3 inches apart.
3. Bake 12 to 13 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely. Store in covered container at room temperature.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Yes, as a matter of fact, I have been cooking my way through the August/September issue of Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade magazine. And no, I did not get the magazine free nor was I asked to review it. :) I just happen to want to try nearly every recipe.

We recently had stuffed bell peppers and green olive breadsticks. They were SO good and I will definitely be making them again.

Both recipes are on the magazine's website, but I'll go ahead and post the stuffed pepper recipe here.

3 green bell peppers, halved, seeds removed
1/2 cup water
1 (1-pound) package ground hot pork sausage
1 (15.25-ounce) can corn, drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup cooked rice
1/4 cup diced green onions
1 (1.25-ounce) package Southwest marinade mix, divided, McCormick Grill Mates®
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Place bell peppers, cut sides down, in a microwave-safe dish; add 1/2 cup water. Cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on High for 3 to 4 minutes, or until peppers are soft; drain, and set aside.
In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat until browned and crumbly; drain. Add corn, black beans, tomatoes, rice, and green onions to skillet. Add 2 tablespoons marinade mix to sausage mixture; stir well to combine. (Reserve remaining mix for another use.)
Spoon sausage mixture evenly into pepper halves. Place on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each evenly with shredded cheese. Broil 5 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Reprinted with permission from Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade magazine and Hoffman Media, LLC.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chicken Artichoke Bake

Tonight's supper was another Sandra Lee recipe. Find it here.

I guess I've been taking too many food pictures. When I set this plate on the table Cindy said "Is this for us to eat or is it for show and tell?"

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fruity Freeze

I recently discovered Sandra Lee's new Semi-Homemade Magazine and I love it! It has some great recipes. Today I made her recipe for Fruity Freeze from the August/September issue and it was a big hit. It's very simple and easy to make, plus it's full of vitamin C.

Process one 16 oz. bag of frozen strawberries, 3/4 cup orange juice and 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice with one to two cups of ice in a blender until smooth. Top it off with a straw or a spoon.

What could be easier?