Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Weekend Fun and the Recipe of the Week: Spicy Tabasco Cheese Spread

Hello! I hope you enjoyed a fun and relaxing Memorial weekend! Our family celebrated the long weekend at the home of my brother-in-law and sister-in-law in Edmond, OK. (Thanks John and Lea Ann for your hospitality - we had a blast! Love you!!)

Here are a few fun photos from Sunday's pool-time festivities:

Up first is my cutie-patootie great nephew, Ian paddling around the pool:

Ian's 'lil sis, Kayle Ann, also had so much fun in the pool...my brother-in-law Don, (known as "Poppa Don" to Kayle and Ian), was close at hand!

My sweet sis-in-law, Sandy, enjoyed kicking back on the lounge chairs to get a little sun:

This is Ian and Kayle Ann's dad and mom...my nephew Ryan and his adorable wife Ashley. Ryan made delicious homemade ice cream for us all...soooooo goooood!!

Here's a quick shot of me with my lovely sister-in-law, Lea Ann hanging out on their AWESOME patio. (Their patio is to DIE FOR!! It has a fully equipped kitchen, complete with granite countertops, a margarita machine, and a large flat screen TV that comes down from a hidden cabinet in the ceiling - all at the push of a button! SUPER COOL!)

Here's my sweetie kicking back on the patio...I LOVE this guy!!

Justin was able to be with us too - YEAH!!! Love spending time with my sweet and handsome son!

My brother-in-law John is an AMAZING cook!! We feasted on his delicious BBQ ribs, potato salad, and baked beans...YUMMMMM!!!

The newest addition to our family, my PRECIOUS great nephew Jack, slept through most of the festivities! Isn't he just SOOOO SWEEEET?!?!?! (His mom and dad, my niece Meg and her hubby J.T., were in Dallas to attend the wedding of a friend, so Jack stayed with his Grammy and Grampy - John and Lea Ann.)  

Now for the Recipe of the Week! I created a Spicy Tabasco Cheese Spread to snack on while the ribs were in the smoker. It's pretty spicy, so if you don't like a lot of heat in your food, you can decrease the amount of Tabasco sauce and red pepper flakes you add to the cheese mixture. Below is my recipe:

Spicy Tabasco Cheese Spread

  • 8 oz. brick of lite cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 5 or 6 shakes of Tabasco sauce
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. minced onion
  • chopped parsley
In large mixing bowl combine all ingredients except chopped parsley. Beat ingredients together until well combined. Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle chopped parsley on top. Chill for several hours before serving with crackers or veggies. ENJOY!!

NOTE: For a less spicy spread, reduce Tabasco and red pepper flakes. For a hotter spread, increase Tabasco and red pepper flakes.

Wishing you a terrific week!!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Quote Sunday

With much gratitude for the great sacrifices of our servicemen and women who protect our freedoms as Americans...God Bless America!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Banana Split Brownies

Justin came over for supper Monday evening - YIPPEE!! - so I made chicken and noodles, which he loves! (Click HERE for my chicken and noodle recipe). Anyhoo...I wanted whip up something to serve for dessert, but I didn't want to go the grocery store. (As I've mentioned before, I LOVE to cook, but I HATE going to the grocery store...I'd almost rather take a poke in the eye with a sharp stick than grocery shop - ha! ha!) I had a box of brownie mix in the pantry, but I didn't want to make plain 'ole brownies...not that there's anything wrong with plain brownies, I just wanted something with a little more pizazz. I rummaged through the freezer and found a few mini chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, a little bit of flaked coconut and nut topping, so I tossed those into the mix. I had one large banana sitting on my kitchen counter, some mini marshmallows in the pantry, and part of a jar of maraschino cherries in the fridge, so those got tossed into the bowl as well. The outcome was sooooo gooooood and a huge hit with Mike and Justin!!! Give it a try...you'll see what I mean!

  • 1 - 19.5 oz. box brownie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 large banana, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/3 cup nut topping
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stirring by hand until just mixed. Pour into 9" x 13" greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream, (or frozen Cool-Whip Lite!), additional cherries, nuts, chocolate or caramel sauce, etc. if desired. Delicious!

Have a blessed day!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Good Read! "Ten Cents a Dance"

Recently I heard about girls becoming "Taxi Dancers" during the 1920's, 30's and 40's. I had never heard about "Taxi Dancers" before, and I was curious as to what it was. Luckily, we had a really good historical fiction novel about them in the school library where I work. The book is called "Ten Cents a Dance" and was written by Christine Fletcher.

The story takes place in the late 1930's/early 1940's in Chicago. The main character of the story, Ruby, is only 15 years old and is forced to quit school and go to work at a meat packing plant to support her sick widowed mother and younger sister. Ruby hates the job at the plant, and is approached by the handsome neighborhood bad boy about becoming a "Taxi Dancer" at a local dance hall. Ruby quits her job at the plant; lying to her mother and sister that she has taken a job as a telephone operator, and begins her job as a dancer-for-hire. Lonley men come to the dance hall and pay Ruby and the other girls to dance with them. Ruby learns quickly from the other girls how to get other perks like dresses, jewelry, etc. from the men who pay to dance. (The dancers nickname these fellas "fish").

Ruby has to be scrappy to survive the dark side of Chicago during the difficult era she lives in, and is forced to make many hard decisions to get her life back on track. This is a wonderful coming of age story about family loyalty, first love, self-respect and preservation. Although Ruby has to learn many difficult lessons, you'll find yourself cheering for her as she fights to come out on top in the end.

Have a GREAT week!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Quote Sunday

"The hard thing to understand is that faith is the one area in our lives
where growing up means we must grow to be more like a child,
trusting simply in the goodness and complete knowledge
of a Father who has our best interests at heart."
~ Colleen Townsend Evans ~


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Kerr-afty Creations Giveaway

My blogging pal, Justine, is giving away the following goodies:
  • A super cute hand-stitched owl Iphone case 
  • A fat quarter of fabric
  • And a pretty pearl bracelet

Click HERE to go to Justine's blog and to find out the rules to enter the giveaway, which is open until May 22nd. While you visiting her blog, be sure to check out her other crafty posts...she is SUPER talented!! Good luck!!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Second Little Peek at My Craft Room Makeover...

Happy "Hump-Day"...we're half-way to the weekend, yahoo!! I wanted to share a few more photos of my craft room makeover-in-progress. I've still got a way to go, but it's coming along nicely! (Click HERE to see the previous "peek" at my craft room makeover.)

The first photo is of the new Closet Maid shelving unit that I bought at Target with my birthday money. (Thanks, Dad & Mom!) I love the little slide out cubby drawers...I use them to store some of my wood mounted stamp sets, spools of ribbon, paper crimpers, etc. My Cricut sits nicely on top of the shelf, and to the right of it hang the cutting mats. (I attached a 3-M removeable hook to the wall to hang them on.)

Yup, the old baby photo on the wall is me! Also, the tiny little baby shoes that are hanging on the wrought iron rack, just under the clock, are mine as well. The sunbonnet is mine from when I was a little girl, and it holds some very special memories for me. You see, my Grandma Franklin made that bonnet for me; as well as making one for my little sis and herself to wear when we would go blackberry picking with her. The three of us would pick bucketfulls of blackberries and then she and my mom would make cobblers, jams, etc. for us to enjoy. I can remember eating bowlfuls of lightly sugared blackberries for breakfast during the summers when I was a girl....yummmmm!! That is still one of my very favorite treats to indulge in!

On the lower shelf you'll see some of my old canning jars which I use to store ribbon, ric-rac and baker's twine in. Some of the ribbon is wound on old wooden spools, which I collect as well:

Lastly, here's a close-up photo of the cross stitched picture that is sitting on the top shelf of the wrought iron rack. It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years since I stitched that fun little piece...where on earth does time go???

Thanks for taking the time to check out my craft space! Stay tuned, as I'll be posting more pics as I continue redecorating!

Wishing you a blessed day,


Monday, May 14, 2012

Just a Little Monday Rambling....

Happy Monday, All! WOW - the weekend seemed to fly by, don't you think so too? I am on the final countdown 'til school gets out for the summer...there are only 8 days of school left, and I only have 10 work days left - WOOT! WOOT! Things have been really, really busy with the hustle and bustle of end-of-school-year activities, so I haven't been very crafty lately. I've got several cute projects lined out to work on, I just haven't had the time to "git 'er done"! Don't give up on me...I'll have 3 months off this summer and LOTS of time to craft and post my creations and tutorials - yippee!!

I hope that all of the terrific moms out there enjoyed a wonderful Mother's Day! Mike and I enjoyed hearing Justin play guitar during our morning worship service. Here's a picture of me and my boy:

After church Mike and Justin treated me to one of my favorite meals...here's a photo of my "guilty indulgence" Mother's Day lunch - chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes with cream gravy, green beans, hot roll, and sweet tea. Sooooo goooood!!

Wishing you a SUPER week ahead!!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Quote Sunday - Happy Mother's Day!!

Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal
human being to do the impossible.
~ Marion C. Garrety ~

Wishing you all a WONDERFUL Mother's Day!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Melissa's Fabulous Goodie Giveaway...

You definitely don't want to miss out on the wonderful giveaway from Melissa at Creating From the Heart. Melissa is SUPER talented...you'll want to check out her blog to be WOWED by her beautiful card creations!

Anyhoo...here's the incredible prize package that she's giving away:

Grand Calibur Machine by Spellbinders:

Grand Scalloped Circles Nestabilities:
Grand Labels Four Nestabilities:
6x6 Hello Summer Paper Pad by Echo Park:

 Hello Summer Chipboard Stickers by Echo Park:

240 Yard Spool of Pink Sorbet Bakers Twine:

 To enter you must do the following:

 ♥ Leave a comment on her blog post.

♥  Let her know how you will spread the word. Either put a link to her giveaway on your blog, on your Facebook page, by email, etc. She will check on this!

♥ And for a second chance, become her friend (follower)...and stick around!

 That's all you have to do! The giveaway will remain open until May 22nd, and the winner will be posted on her blog a day or two after that. Good luck everyone!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Flea Market Finds for My Craft Room Makeover...

Good morning! I am in the process of re-decorating/organizing my craft room, so I wanted to share a few "sneak peek" photos with you this morning before I head out the door to work.

Mike and I went "treasure hunting" at the flea market at the Tulsa Fairgrounds last Saturday, and I came across these cute crates, which are PERFECT for hanging on the wall behind my craft table to store supplies:

Here are close-up views of each of the crate shelves:

The baskets inside of the first and last crate shelves hold some of my CTMH stamps:

The center crate shelf holds my ink pads within easy reach:

I scored the cute little pottery pitcher above for only three bucks!! It houses my antique spools, which will eventually have pretty ribbon on them.

The final crate shelf holds more CTMH stamps as well as my buttons in an old canning jar. I LOVE old canning jars with bale or zinc style lids, and I am constantly buying more to store stuff in. (It's kind of an addiction...I wonder if there is a 12-step program for hoarding old jars - teehee!)

I scored the old cooking pot for only three bucks as well, and I added a cute fabric garter to the outside of it. The pot holds my CTMH acrylic blocks for stamping.

Well, that's it for the craft room "sneak peek" this morning...stay tuned for more photos to be posted in the near future!!

Thanks for looking! Have a blessed day!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Quote Sunday

"Life is uncharted territory. It reveals its story one moment at a time."
~ Leo F. Buscaglia~