Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday Words of Wisdom


"Hold on, man.  We don't go anywhere with "scary," "spooky," "haunted," or "forbidden" in the title".
~Shaggy, from Scooby-Doo

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum


Did you know that President Eisenhower grew up in Abilene, Kansas?  Abilene was a stop over point so we could visit the library and museum before heading out on our next adventure. 

Eisenhower was a great man and a great president... everyone says so.  The area is beautiful and includes the home where Dwight grew up.  It is small by today's standards but served the family well. 

Chapel - the final resting spot of the President and his wife Mamie (isn't that a great name)!

It does not cost anything to visit the grounds but if you want to see the house, chapel, museum, etc you will have to pay a nominal fee.  The museum has an exhibit about World War II that Doodle enjoyed along with the life of President Eisenhower and his time in office.  Take advantage of seeing this when you are traveling through Kansas!

Good Friends, Good Food

Last night we had friends over for dinner.  Whenever someone comes to dinner, it gives DB and I an excuse to try new recipes.  I think we may have found a couple of winners.  We decided on enchiladas, with all the fixings.  Here are the recipes give them a whirl:

Simply Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas found on Food.com.

1 lb chicken breast, diced (I used rotisserie chicken)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 flour tortillas, softened (8 inches each) (I used corn and flour)
1 1/2 cups grated monterey jack cheese or 1 1/2 cups Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 (15 ounce) can chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies

In frypan, cook chicken and onion together in oil over medium-high heat until chicken is just done.  Divide cooked chicken evenly between 8 tortillas; add 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese to each tortilla. Roll enchiladas and place seam-side down in 9x13" baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with no-stick cooking spray.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan; stir in flour to make a roux; stir and cook until bubbly; gradually whisk in chicken broth then bring to boiling, stirring frequently. 

Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and green chiles; pour sauce evenly over enchiladas. Top with remaining 3/4 cup cheese (baking dish may be double-wrapped and frozen at this point) and bake at 400F for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce near edges of baking dish is bubbly.

Three Cheese Enchiladas from Taste of Home.com

1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup picante sauce, divided
1 medium red or green bell pepper, diced 
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 teaspoon crushed cumin
8 flour tortillas (7-8 inch) (I used corn and flour)

Combine 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, 1 cup cheddar cheese, cream cheese, 1/4 cup picante sauce, the red pepper, onions and cumin; mix well. Spoon 1/4 cup cheese mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll and place, seam side down, in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Spoon remaining picante sauce evenly over enchiladas; cover with remaining cheeses. 

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until hot. Top with lettuce, tomato and ripe olives; serve with additional picante sauce if desired.

Of course I did not take any pictures, trying to get everything out on time and keep it warm when it was 50 degrees outside is a challenge.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Fragments - October Version

Hello everyone!  As always, a huge thank you to Mrs. 4444 for hosting this weekly event where all brain matter can be dumped.
Mommy's Idea
Doodle and I had a grand time in Kansas.  Although most of the people we encountered looked at us like we had sprouted an extra head when we told them we were there on vacation... on purpose.  I am still working on posting the highlights from the trip.

We learned how to tell the difference in an overgrazed prairie and a prairie that is in good condition.  Also, learned that acreage is selling there for a high of $2,500.00 an acre... what a great deal if you want to live in the heartland of America.

I am thankful the election is almost here, I am so tired of hearing about the candidates, what they said, what the didn't say.  Just remember to vote, if you don't you cannot complain!

I am having a difficult time remaining positive at work, office politics are running rampant.  I wonder if that will end when the election does?  Something tells me it won't.

One of the horses from my barn that showed at Morgan Nationals, came away with a national title in pleasure driving.  How exciting!  My goal is to ride at nationals.  The trainer seems to think this is a realistic goal.

Cooler weather is due to return to Georgia this weekend, thank goodness, it has been in the 80's here again and I am ready for the cold.  We need rain, everything is drying out again.  Maybe the perfect storm will drift south instead of north.

Have a great weekend everyone and be sure to visit all the other blogs.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mushroom Rock State Park

One of the more interesting adventures in Kansas was visiting Mushroom Rock State Park.  According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism:

"This is a 5 acre park that was donated to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (Kansas Park and Resource Authority) by the Ellsworth County Historical Society, the property was dedicated on April 25, 1965. Part of the Smoky Hill region in the north-central part of the state, the Dakota formations are the remains of beach sands and sediments of the Cretaceous Period, the interval of geologic time from about 144 to 66 million years ago. Sanstone and sedimentary rock, is held together by natural cement. The concreations that make up Mushroom Rocks are cemented calcium carbonate. The largest rock measures 27 feet in diameter. This area is truly a site to see".

Truly a site to see, Doodle and I just had to visit this park!  After driving for what seemed hours, on dirt roads, through small towns, past farms, cattle, and prairie... we came upon this:
And this:
 And this:
And this (on the other side of the road):
I tried to convince Doodle to jump up on top:

I cannot say what I thought I would be seeing but I truly thought that after driving so far into the country, I would spend more than 10 minutes wandering around wondering why we drove all this way to see rocks. 

Alias, if you visit Kansas and are in the area of Mushroom Rock State Park, you should stop, if only for a conversation point.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

"Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't you think?"
~ L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kansas

We are back from our great adventure to Kansas!  Our travels took us far and wide to see such exciting places and towns.  We landed in Wichita and immediately headed out to see the Keeper of the Plains.


The Keeper of the Plains is at the meeting of the Big and Little Arkansas rivers.  Native American artist Blackbear Bosin donated the 44-foot sculpture to the citizens of Wichita in 1974.  The sculpture stands on a 30-foot rock, surrounded by a plaza which describes the Plains Indians way of life.  You can access the sculpture from one of two bridges that cross the rivers.  The sculpture is lit by five fire drums nightly (depending on weather) for fifteen minutes.


This was one of the highlights of the trip for me.  The sculpture is awe inspiring and to see the Keeper at night surrounded by fire should be on your must see list while in Wichita. 



Next up, Mushroom Rock State Park.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."
~Steve Jobs

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Getting Old

Sent to me by a friend. This is truly how I feel some days! 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Local County Fair

source
This weekend is the last for the Cumming Country Fair and Festival, so Doodle and I decided we should check it out.  Okay, I really wanted a caramel apple and I love state fairs, they are just so American.  The Georgia State Fair was this weekend also, but a couple hours away. 

The local fair was crowded, they had all the games that no one can win at, the rides, a petting zoo, a four foot rat, man eating snake, chainsaw carving, a working cotton gin (really neat), Indian camp, some local businesses, and of course the food.  Fried Koolaid, Fried Dough, Fried Chicken, Fried Snickers, French Fries... are you getting the idea? 

But, wait, where is my elusive caramel apple? 
source

I began to despair!

Does no one eat caramel apples?

Oh, there they are... Candied and Caramel Apples!  It was good!  The apple was fresh and tart, the caramel not overly sweet.  I enjoyed every last bite of it!

So while the fair was just okay, they did not have all the animals raised by kids in 4-H or quilts or any of the stuff at the state fair, I did score my caramel apple and it only cost us $24.00! 

hhhmmmm, maybe I should rethink the whole going to a local fair just to eat an apple... NAH, it was worth it!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Creole Jambalaya

Source
Doodle and I have been looking for a recipe to use with smoked turkey sausage.  I happened across this new product by McCormick Gourmet in the pasta area and decided to take a chance.  We used the recipe on the back of the package and it actually was quite good

The recipe called for:
1/2 pound chicken
1/2 pound smoked turkey sausage
1/2 pound large shrimp
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup onion
1 cup celery
1 cup rice
oil
water


Everything cooks in a large pot on the stove so clean-up is a breeze and it made more than enough for us to have left-overs.  I was quite impressed with the flavor, not overpowering but with just enough of a kick to make it good.  It was easy; total cooking time, including cleaning the shrimp (YUCK) was just over an hour. You could also use this product as a base and add whatever meats or seafood that you wanted. 

PS. This is not a paid advertisement, I just liked the product and thought I would share. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

Monday, October 8, 2012

Browned Butter & Bourbon Blondies

I found this recipe on the Tasty Kitchen website... if you have never checked it out, you definitely should.  This website has so many recipes and honestly, everything I have tried as been good and most of them "keepers".

Amazingly, I had all the ingredients for this recipe with a few minor substitutions.  I did not have unsalted butter so I used salted butter and omitted the salt.  I used pecans instead of walnuts and semi-sweet chocolate chips.  I would put more chocolate chips in the next time, but over all, these are wonderful and easy!  I would share a picture but they are gone, all gone!

Ingredients

6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Browned And Cooled
½ cups Walnuts
¾ cups Unbleached All-purpose Flour, Plus 1 Tablespoon, Divided
½ teaspoons Baking Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
¾ cups Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 whole Egg
2 Tablespoons Bourbon
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
½ cups Milk Chocolate Chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a small pan on medium heat, melt the butter, stirring occasionally. Cook the butter until it begins to have a nutty smell and turns an amber color. Do not overcook or it will burn easily. Remove the browned butter to a glass bowl or cup and set aside to cool.
Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350ºF for about 15 minutes or until they are golden brown. Transfer the nuts to a cutting board and chop lightly. Set aside.
Cut a length of parchment paper to fit a 8×8 baking dish, allowing the paper to come up to the top of the pan on both sides. Cut another sheet to fit in the opposite direction, trimming at the top of the pan. Spray the parchment paper lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
Whisk 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
In another medium mixing bowl, combine the browned butter and brown sugar until blended. Add the egg and mix well. Blend in the bourbon and vanilla and mix just until incorporated. Fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture just until combined. Do not overmix.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour to the chocolate chips and toss until the chips are somewhat covered. Add the chocolate chips (with flour) and the toasted walnuts to the batter. Fold in gently. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
Bake until the top is shiny, cracked and light golden brown, 22-24 minutes. Do not overbake. Blondies should be chewy, not crunchy.
Cool the blondies in the pan then lift out using the parchment paper. Transfer to a cutting board and slice into bite-sized squares.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

$800 Estimate

Thanks for all the well wishes for Mo!  She spent the day at the vet (kitty motel) and is now home with us for the weekend.  She will return to the kitty motel on Tuesday for removal of the growth.  The estimate the vet provided ranges from $500.00 to $800.00 depending on what they find when the remove the growth.  They want to send it off to be analyzed but I am going to decline this expense. I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the cost of this.  $800.00 is a house payment! 

I suppose others spend much, much more on their babies and we have been very lucky that everyone has been relatively healthy throughout the years.  So I will make the $800.00 payment to the vet on Tuesday and eat Ramon Noodles for the rest of the month!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Fragments - Early Morning Style

Mommy's IdeaWelcome to another edition of Friday Fragments, where you get a chance to dump all the extraneous stuff from your week hosted by Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin' Time.  Thank you all for stopping by.


* This has been a long week.  I am tired of working two jobs and getting paid for one.  While I complained mightily about my employee, I certainly miss them now.  I had forgotten how tedious that job is.

* Mo, our cat is at the vet today.  She has a growth on her shoulder that I thought was just a mole.  Then it started growing and growing and last night it was oozing.  Looks like it may be infected, so I am hanging out waiting on the vet to open before heading to work. 

* It seems that fall is here to stay in Georgia.  The nights are cool and we have been sleeping with the windows open.  What a wonderful time of year, the days are shorter, the bugs less active, and soon the time change will make everything right with the world again.

* Speaking of the time change, can someone please explain why we continue with this practice. I just do not get it!

* The Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show starts tomorrow.  The barn I ride at is there in Oklahoma City with two horses. I will be cheering them on from here.  All classes are available to watch online.  Take a look, you will definitely be impressed. Maybe I will get to ride there one day..

* I wish you all a happy weekend.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Princess Bride

'The Princess Bride', the greatest movie ever made is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a special Blu-Ray edition.  For those who have never seen the movie, it is centered around a love story, with pirates, sword fighting, a giant, an evil prince, a beautiful princess, and true love.

There are many websites devoted to the movie and the cast of characters.  I will not go into the entire story line, although, I can just about recite the whole story.  If you are looking for something to do this weekend, many  theaters are showing the movie in honor of the anniversary.  If you have never watched it, go, enjoy the fantasy of pirates, giants, rodents of incredible size, and most of all true love!   

All photos courtesy of http://princessbrideforever.com/.








Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

When you lick a slug, your tongue goes numb.
~ Bethany, Age 11
from H. Jackson Brown, Jr book 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

No Redeeming Quality

Source
I tend to like most animals and I love the outdoors.  However, I can find no redeeming quality in cockroaches.  Yes, we had a cockroach in the bedroom last night! If you have never been to the south, you have no idea how large these creatures can get!

YUCK, YUCK, YUCK

I turned on the light in the bedroom and a cockroach was walking across the floor.  In the bedroom no less.  I am honestly quite proud of myself, I did not scream in terror, as usual.  Instead, I walked, okay ran to the kitchen grabbed a bowl.  By this time, the sucker was under the dresser and I had to get on eye level with this creature to trap it in said bowl. 

When Doodle came down, I calmly told him there should be a cockroach trapped under the bowl that is under the dresser.  (Of course, I was fully dressed and sitting in the middle of the bed staring at the dresser.)  How he managed to scoot the bowl and dispose of the insect is beyond my comprehension.  I wonder how long it would have taken for the bug to die under that bowl?

Thanks to the 3 inches of rain in the past two days, Doodle says it is too wet outside for them.  Needless to say, the pest control people will be coming out as soon as possible!