Thursday, July 31, 2008

A day late...

but still yummy. I'm trying to do a better job of remembering to take a picture of recipes I make that I want to share with you. I know that I like to see what I'm making to get an idea of the finished result. And I don't think I've ever bought a cookbook that doesn't have pictures! (Joy of Cooking doesn't was a gift...but I adore it despite it's black and white pages!)

This was fabulous. Our whole family loved it. The recipe calls for arugula...which I couldn't get my hands on here (how I miss my old grocery store. sigh.) I just used some baby greens and it was fine, though I'm sure the arugula would be fabulous.

Grilled Peaches and Pork

4 (4 oz.) boneless center cut pork loin chops

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, divided

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

3 tsp. chopped thyme

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

4 large peaches, peeled, halved, and pitted

6 cups arugula

1 tsp. sugar (turbinado or granulated)

1. Place each piece of pork between plastic wrap and pound to 1/4 inch thickness.

2. Combine @ Tbsp. vinegar, lime juice, thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Reserve 1 Tbsp. of mixture and set aside. Pour remaining juice mixture into a large ziploc bag and add pork; seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally.

3. Preheat grill to medium heat. Place peaches, cut sides up, on a plate; drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar.

4. Place pork on grill rack, coated with cooking spray. Grill 3 minutes per side until done. Set aside. Place peaches, cut sides down, on grill rack; grill 4 minutes until soft and slightly browned. Turn and cook 2 minutes on other side. Remove from grill.

5. Cut each peach half into four slices. Slice pork in 1 inch thick strips.

6. Toss arugula with reserved juice. Divide among 4 plates. Top each with meat and peaches; sprinkle with sugar.

Serves 4.

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, July 25, 2008


Yum. I just finished a bowl of summerwhite nectarines and blueberries. Summerwhite Nectarines. I can't remember (before this week) when I last had a nectarine. But I bought three(at WalMart of all places) on Monday night and now I need more. Deliciously sweet and perfectly ripe. They actually satisy my sweet tooth cravings. Which is good since Brent and I are trying to eat more healthily and exercise. And I must say, I've done pretty well on the eating part this week...the exercise...let's say next week, okay? Of course, now I just want to go buy enough nectarines for a rustic tart (I have a fabulous rustic plum tart recipe that I think would be perfect for these.) but I doubt that the delicious crust and the vanilla ice cream that MUST accompany such a thing would be as healthy as the nectarine by itself. But they really are tempting me. A weekend reward, maybe? :)

So inspiration. Lately, I have been so intrigued by the sewing world. And I know that it's mostly the fabrics...but some projects I've been seeing are just as cute as can be. (And I am telling myself that I can figure out patterns on my own, right?) Ideas for quilts, baby gifts, childrens clothing, etc. And I already own a sewing machine, so it's just a little investment in fabric :)

How cute is this? I have a feeling I will have fun making these for baby gifts and first birthdays!

So much better than the little red tomato, doncha think???

And a bowl full of these in a little girl's kitchen...perfect. Or hanging from a little tree for a spring luncheon... (The above three pictures are from Heather Bailey's new online shop.)

I know I've mentioned Sandi Henderson and her blog Portabellopixie before. She has a new line of fabric out...and new children's clothing patterns including the one above and below.

Cute, huh?

A gorgeous quilt, using some of her fabrics.

Covered books...a no-sew project. Perfect.

Her gorgeous new fabric line called "Farmer's Market".

And her booth at the quilt market. I never thought I wanted to go to a quilt market. I do now. (And besides the gorgeous inspiration on her blog...she has a fantastic playlist...I leave her site open while I'm doing computer's a great blend of music!)

And some free Amy Butler patterns from her website. Very cool quilt.

as well as pillows. I think I could do that. (Sorry those pictures aren't great...check out her site for lots more stuff, including great purse patterns.)

About now, blogger stopped letting me upload if you want a few more places to go...I also enjoyed these things:

little birdies

Anna Maria has a fun fabric line and lots of fun ideas on her blog and store sites. I love the pillow case dress she made on her blog...I had an idea (and pillowcase) for that when Hadleigh was just born...maybe I should find it and get started!

This colorful site has some great tutorials and patterns, including a splat mat that I think we need. (Not that a splat mat is hard to figure out how to do...but I will take instructions on sewing for just about anything!)

Joel Dewberry is "eclectic modern" and I like it! Definitely not "completely" my style...but there are a few fabrics in each collection that I love. And his site is clean and inspiring.

Really looking forward to pulling out my machine and creating something soft...maybe we can find a way to keep my machine permanently set up somewhere. That would help too. If you have any other fun fabric-related sites to share, please do!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Perfect for summer.

This is a fabulous recipe that serves a crowd. (I recently made it when Brent's family was visiting: 6 adults and 7 children...mine was closer to 4 lbs.) It's delicious served with baked potatoes, salad, and of course, Texas toast!

Texas Beef Brisket

4-5 lb. beef brisket, with fat trimmed
celery salt
onion salt
one bottle liquid smoke
one bottle worcestershire sauce
one recipe Smoky Sauce

1. Place brisket in a large baking dish and sprinkle generously with celery salt and onion salt. Pour half of the bottle of liquid smoke over brisket. Marinate overnight. Immediately in the morning, turn brisket over.
2. When ready to cook, pour 1/3 to 1/2 of bottle of worcestershire sauce over brisket. Cook, covered, slowly at 250 degrees for 6 to 8 hours.
3. Pour smoky sauce over brisket for the last hour of cooking. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes. Reserve the sauce in the cooking dish. Slice and serve with remaining sauce.

Smoky Sauce

2 Tbsp. liquid smoke
2 Tbsp. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
5 Tbsp. melted butter
4 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
3 tsp. dry mustard
2 dashes of pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer 5 minutes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

July: A Little of This...

flying airplanes (we have a great mini-amusement park open during the summer: train, carousel, planes, mini-golf)
enjoying snow cones
playing at the park with cousins (Hadleigh and Em)
more of the park...with my sister-in-law Amy
imagination is a wonderful thing!
a recent visit with Aunt Katy...bubbles!
lots of coloring.
and a little of that.
What have you been up to?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Already July???

Where does the time go? At least I can account for the busy-ness of this past week!

Last Monday, Brent's parents and his brother's family came to visit. We had seven children under five in our house :) It was a TON of fun and a little bit crazy! We always have such a good time when we're all together and this was no exception. We went to several parks...ate too much yummy food...and enjoyed watching our children become friends. What a delight that is. On the day before we parted ways, my oldest niece told her mom that she wasn't ready to say goodbye yet. So sweet. Hadleigh and Nathanael loved hanging out with their cousins...although we really need another little boy in the family so that our little Buddy has someone to roughhouse with! (We have all nieces!)

On the 4th of July, we all drove to Bennett Springs National Park, near Lebanon, Missouri for a family reunion. It was so fun to see Brent's cousins who we've not seen since before any of us had children. 13 great-grandchildren at the reunion...10 girls, 3 boys. Brent's grandmother pointed out to me how the generations have "flip-flopped". Brent is one of 10 grandsons and 3 granddaughters!

We stopped in Tulsa on the way back for some shopping and dinner and a haircut for Brent. I found a new "favorite" shopping spot...Utica Square...let's just say I foresee lots of Tulsa shopping in my future :)

On our way back, I told Brent, "I just wish it would rain in the morning and the kiddos would sleep in until 9 am." Careful what you wish for! They did just that. (Normal wake up is 7.) And then today, they slept until 8 and we woke up to a very wet, drizzly day. Perfect for scones for breakfast.

And right now, I'm enjoying a rare event...all three children are napping...seriously, they all fell asleep within 5 minutes of lying down. But the joy is a little bit shadowed by knowing that they're sick...and I'm not really sure what's wrong, so we've got a doctor appointment scheduled for the morning. Hopefully it's nothing too serious.

And I apologize for a picture-less post...Brent's brother took all the pictures this past week, so I'm waiting "patiently" for those! Have a great Wednesday! (And I just realized it was Wednesday...I promise a late recipe post tomorrow...I have the perfect one...and it's not a dessert!)

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