Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kitchen FAIL, but not all hope is lost!

I tried to make flank steak tonight on the George Foreman.  They were not cooked as well as they should have been.  I'm not a big steak person myself.  I liked the appeal of these very thinly cut steaks.  I used a store bought marinade.  HH says it was good.  His definition of good was that he did not have to put ketchup/steak sauce on it.  It stood on it's own to eat.

Mac n Cheese Muffins

The Happy Home Fairy scores another home run in our household!  HH and I loved the mac n cheese muffins.  At first they would not come out right, but it was because I did not let it cool long enough.  Once they cooled, they popped right out!

Strawberry Soup:

2 cups strawberries (I used frozen ones)
8 oz. vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup orange juice
whipped cream topping

Other AWESOME News!

I am going to be teaching Jumpstart August 1-4 and 8-12.  This will be for incoming sixth graders, so I may even have a few of my students.  I am really pumped about this, because it will afford me the opportunity to make a surprise trip to Kentucky to see my parents.  My mom will be here for four days of summer school, but she was already going to be at the school doing small projects with me anyhow.  I cannot wait to surprise them!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dinner is Served

Green Pea Salad

Creamy Spinach:

* 2 T Butter
* Minced Garlic
* Let spinach wilt
* Add 1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
* Add Parmesan Cheese (4 T) until thickened

Parmesan Tilapa:

* Broil Tilapa in oven for 5-7 minutes.  Put cooking spray and lemon juice on it.
* Mix 1/4 cup mayo, 1/8 t Hot Sauce, green onions, and Parmesan Cheese together
* Put mixture over Tilapa, cook for 2-3 minutes

I loved that this fish didn't taste too "fishy" when the topping was applied to it.

Final Plate:

Just waiting on HH to get home so I can make his plate for him.  :)

Cleaning Up Other People's Trash

I worked in my classroom from 1:30-6:00 today.  HH had church business to take care of, so he helped me from 4:00-6:00, and worked HARD! 

I spent a lot of time getting rid of stuff that I didn't want.  Granted, most of this belongs to the school, so I had HH put it in the cupboards of the room I was supposed to move in.  I seriously need all my space. 
  • I put away about 3/4 of the random books.  These were the books that my students were reading right up until the end of the year, and didn't have time to go back into their appropriate containers. 
  • I put a lot of supplies in my desk and organized my filing cabinets by subject area.  (When my mom visits she will organize them by sub-category: Reading...Poetry, Below Grade Level Comprehension, etc.)
  • HH carried out tons of things that I didn't need.
  • HH hung my diplomas and a few other items.
  • I started creating my student access supply center.
  • I started organizing cubbies with student textbooks.
It was a good day.  It's not finished, but another good dent was made. 

My mom said for me not to do everything, and I laughed.  I can always think of things that need to be done.  I never got it when people couldn't keep their assistant busy (back in the day when an assistant actually got to help you do whatever you needed as a classroom teacher). 

I'm going to do another half day tomorrow, probably in the afternoon.

A Few Quotes from Julia Child's "My Life in France"

I think what I like so much about Julia Child is that she learned to cook as an adult in her early thirties.  She has shown me through her writing that I CAN cook, it will just take time and practice.  I've ordered several more things from her, which I will be sharing soon.

"I don't believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make....
Usually one's cooking is better than one thinks it is.  And if the food is truly vile, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile-and learn from her mistakes."

"One of the secrets, and pleasures, of cooking is to learn to correct something if it goes awry; and one of the lessons is to grin and bear it if it cannot be fixed."

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook - try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!"

"Nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should.  Good results require that one take time and care."

It's Our Second Anniversary

Dorks unite!  :)  Yes, we are celebrating at Dairy Queen, because the closest steakhouse (20 miles away) was closed when we got there. 

So we've had two blizzard cakes this month.  We need a reason to have one next month....hmm, I am thinking....Admit Your Happy Month, Work Like a Dog Day, National Smores Day, or Just Because Day.  Who knew we'd have to narrow the field with so many great things to celebrate!

Back in the kitchen at FBC.  Getting into serious potluck mode.  Today's potluck was special because two of our members are moving back to Knoxville.  They have been a part of the community for four years, and it was a sad day seeing them move on.

I want to give a huge shout out to The Babbling Brunette and The Happy Home Fairy.  You both made me look really good today, and I got lots of compliments.

Cornbread Salad

The Babbling Brunette was right, this dish isn't much for looks, but it packs a great taste!  I "almost" ruined it though.  I was scraping a jar of mayo out for the dish, and needed more.  I grabbed what I thought was mayo, but was actually miracle whip.  If it were not for the saltiness of the Fritos, I think the dish would have been a wash.  I made a rule that we cannot have Miracle Whip in our household anymore.  (HH's mother purchased it for a dish she made.)  We are a mayo only household, since this is the second time I've almost ruined something due to miracle whip.

Sausage Cream Cheese Rolls

Popcorn Cake:
Note:  The Happy Home Fairy is right that you need a bowl the size of Jupiter to mix this up in!  This dish was a huge hit with the kids!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Crockpot Cajun Chicken

I cut up four tomatoes, one green pepper, used 1/4 cup Worchester Sauce, 1/4 cup soy sauce, some garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and minced onions to make this dish.  I poured it over cauliflower.  The cauliflower added some great texture to the dish.  It would have been very quick to make, but my chopping skills are pretty sorry, so it takes a bit of time to get everything chopped up.

One of My Favorite Songs by Amy Winehouse

My New Winter Hat

Lunch Yesterday and Shopping!

Yesterday, one of the ladies from our church came over to have lunch with me, and I made

Smothered Beans and Rice Burritos

It was just us girls for about half the lunch, and then HH joined us for the rest of lunch.  I really enjoyed gettign to know this lady, and about her family at lunch.  We have a lot of sweet people in our church.

My official Chef's tasting spoon came in the mail yesterday:

I love my Toms shoes.  I've never bought a pair before, but several people at my old job had them.  I love that Tom's gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair that you buy.

These are my new hiking/snow type boots.  (I have another pair that would be for more heavy duty snow, that go up higher, and have a thicker base.)

I got a much heavier duty fleece jacket that will do me as we transition into the colder season.

Today is a day of REST!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Two Dinners

Italian Frittata

This was just ok.  I wanted it to be better than what it was.  I know I did not fluff the eggs as much as I should have.  It is a protein packed meal, so it was good for me in that regard, but I'm not sure that I will make it again any time soon.

Cuban Tacos

I LOVE the Cuban restaurant in Louisville, Havana Rumba.  Oh, the many many good meals I have had there.  I saw this recipe, and was very excited to try it.

2.25 pounds ground beef
1 green pepper, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
10 pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped
1.25 cups tomato sauce
2 T Capers
3 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine beef, green pepper, onions, tomato sauce, cumin, oregano, and garlic.  Heat oil in large deep skillet.  (I did not pay attention and cooked my beef first.  I can imagine how much better it will be next time when I really let the flavors marinate together.)  Cook until beef is no longer pink.

What a Day!

I did cook last night, and will post that tomorrow.  I had plans to cook tonight, but that wasn't what happened. 

I started off the day by going back to bed on the recliner when HH went to work.  I got up with the chickens again, and had a bad headache.  I got two hours of sleep in.  BLISS.

Our garbage can finally arrived.  It only took two and half weeks, one visit, and one follow-up phone call to get.  We can now stop using the lady's dumpster across the street.

The furniture store came with HH's desk and three bookshelves.  Two of the bookshelves went to the church, and the other one went to our house.  They had to take one of the legs off the desk in order to get it down the hall and in the room, but they were able to do it.

Next, I call the driver's license branch of South Dakota.  We were denied a driver's license because we didn't provide mail that was professionally addressed (no handwritten envelopes would do).  We live in a county that is not 911 equipped, there are no street sign names.  It took a month to find out what street we lived on, only to find out later that was supposedly wrong....yet we have no way of confirming that.  They also want proof of our physical address (even though our P.O. Box will be on our driver's license), and we have no way of providing that.  The church doesn't own the parsonage, the association (two hours away) does.  All bills go to the post office box, etc.  I finally think the lady took pity on me, and had her supervisor override us, so our license could be mailed out.

I read more of Julia Child's, "My Life in France."  I really like her!

I called to double check that everything was set for my South Dakota teaching license, and they need a paper from my undergraduate institution signed.  This was an oversight on my part, so I'll hop right on that.  I do not want to be getting substitute teacher pay come August!

The fifth grade teacher drops by and introduces herself, saying the principal wants me to call her.  She also invited me to attend the South Dakota Reading Association Conference next week in Sioux Falls!  She didn't have to twist my arm to get me to say yes to that!  I looked up the conference and the main speaker is Danny Brassell of www.lazyreaders.com!  He has easily caused me to purchase a few hundred books over the years, and I've read a few of his books too.

There is a small chance I might be teaching a program called "Jumpstart" for eight days in August.  It will depend on a lady who has had surgery.  If she is not up to it, I will fill in.  It is four hours a day.  It would be a good way to get to know kids too.

My principal gave me the choice of two rooms.  I decided to take the one NOT backing up to the boy's restroom.  It wasn't as much the restroom, but hearing the hand dryers go on and off all day long would get to me after awhile. 

HH calls to ask if I want him to come over and move a few basics around, so I can start setting up.  I eagerly said yes!  He calls back about fifteen minutes later, and says that TEN people from the church group are on their way with him to help.  Think several teenage boys who have healthy backs!  I was afraid that HH had not prepped them for just how much they would be moving.  They were prepared and eager to help.  I was floored having so much help.  They sorted out my book boxes into categories, which was very helpful!  All my shelving is along the walls, and they exchanged desks for tables.  It took them about an hour to do what it would have taken HH and I a week to do.

We treated everyone to blizzards from Dairy Queen afterwards.  Well. Deserved. Blizzards.

Tomorrow I am getting the oil changed (reading my Kindle while I wait), grocery shopping (small trip for odds and ends I forgot), cooking lunch (it was supposed to be tonight's dinner), working in my classroom, going to VBS (I don't have a working role here, just "there"), then coming home.

The temperature on the gas station sign said 111 degrees this afternoon.  Granted, I will never feel like I just want to stand out in the sun being the indoors girl I am, it felt like the equivalent of 85 degrees back in Kentucky.  I can't believe what a difference it is with humidity.

My principal invited me to come to her house to learn to make jam.  How awesome is that?  I've wanted to learn, but just never took the time to do so.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Totally GEEKED OUT!!!

I have used VistaPrint before, but I've never known how to make it work for me.  I've seen teachers get tons of stuff from there for pennies on the dollar.  Well, this is my version of Extreme Couponing.  For $3.00 per child I was able to get all the following PERSONALIZED items:

  • hat
  • t-shirt
  • 4x6 photo book called "Sixth Grade Memories"
  • key chain
  • address labels
  • notecards
  • car magnet (with homework help information on it)
  • window decal
  • TWO rubber stamps
  • post-it notes
  • ink pen
  • mouse pad
  • mug
  • tote bag
It did take about two hours to do this, but look at what all I got for my work!  I went ahead and bought enough for 25 students, even though I should only have no more than 20.  The total cost per student is: $2.98!  The post office ladies may just kill me.

Another Good Recipe I Want to Try

Smothered Beans and Rice Burritos

I invited a lady from church who works at the bank to come have lunch at our house on Friday.  She works about two blocks from our house.  I think I might make this recipe then.

Tonight's Dinner

This blog is going to pretty much go all foodie for a bit.  That's all I have folks.  We are still working on the house, specifically the office/bunk bed room, and the sunroom.  I am trying to decide how much I will blog about the specifics of the church or where we live, as I don't want to be the target of a Google search gone wrong.  I know I will blog about my life, I just want to think about how I go about that living in such Small Town USA.

I am going to start working on my classroom soon.  It may not be until next week, because I will need HH's help.  I do know that I want to do a classroom makeover.  My classroom was never blah, but I need some new decorating themes/ideas.  I will be on the lookout for things from Target, etc to make my room more personal and homey.  After all, I have to spend eight hours a day there, I need to like it too!

Mediterranean Pork Chops:
I used the George Foreman grill (second night in a row).  I don't know why I got away from using this thing, I used to use it quite a bit in college back in the day.  While the pork chops were grilling, I sauteed zucchini in a skillet, added 3/4 cup chicken broth, 1.5 t Oregano, and some cherry tomatoes.  I poured this over the pork chops.

Roasted Asparagus:
I set the oven to 450, and put salt and pepper (and a bit of cooking spray) on the asparagus.  It cooked for eight minutes, and I added Parmesan cheese to it.

I personally think this meal was a whole lot better than last night's dinner.  (Remember HH is staying mum.)  I used chicken from a bag, and there was a bit of a "weird taste" to it that had to have come from the chicken itself.  My pallet is very picky, and I noticed this right away.  It certainly wasn't the sauce it marinated in, because I sampled that several times while making it, and loved it.

Lessons I am Learning:
Cooking is less time consuming than I used to think.  I am learning the art of multi-tasking, and this whole dinner took me about twenty-five minutes.  I used to send HH all the time to get me Moe's Southwest Grill across town, had I just known how I could have made myself something quick and easy.  Nothing like the learning you are forced to do when your back is against the wall...I have the time and resources to cook here, so I might as well.

Reading Material:

I have burned through all nine Pretty Little Liars books.  The next one doesn't come out for months.  I am now going to read Julia Child's My Life in France.

Completely Unnecessary, but I wanted it...

When I was taking my cooking classes, all the chef's who taught it had their own "tasting spoon."  It was just as much a part of their tool kit as their knives and apron.  I ordered mine off an etsy shop tonight!

Of course mine will say Chef Tiffany!

Tomorrow I am learning how to make Indian Tacos and Fry Bread at the church.  I will try to snap a few pictures!  I have already sampled Fry Bread (think funnel cake without the powdered sugar, yet it is sweet enough to stand on its own), and know I like it.  The Indian Tacos will be a new venture for me.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dinner Tonight

Balsamic-Garlic Chicken:
I grilled the chicken on the George Foreman Grill.  The sauce in the skillet was: 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 T Lemon Juice, 1 1/2 t honey, and garlic.  The sauce was supposed to thicken, but it really didn't thicken up too much.  The sauce smelled amazing, and it made the chicken very tender.

Pesto-Tossed Cauliflower:
I boiled cauliflower, and tossed a few spoonfuls of pesto into it, after I drained the water.  Cauliflower is quite bland, and this helped give some taste to it.

Brown Rice

Cookies and Milk for Dessert

HH's Current Role:
I know that eventually I need to know which recipes HH really likes, and which ones he doesn't care for.  I told him that right now, I am so excited about putting this energy into really making one good meal a day, I didn't know if I would get emotional if he told me he didn't really care for a dish.  So he is cute, he is remaining neutral, and just eating what is served to him.  Like I've said before, he is so polite that if you served him shoe leather he would eat it up, and ask for seconds.

After I build up my confidence, I'll be able to handle a bit more honest criticism.

Awesome Artwork

I just placed an order for two of these:

I'm going to submit a local paper to replace where it says "The Tennessean."  The artist has quite a bit of backlog, so I probably won't receive them until September, but I am excited about these!  (One is going in our house, and the other in my classroom.)

Up at the Crack of Dawn

I got up at 5:00 this morning.  I will be having a nap later on today! 

Yesterday, we went into Pierre, and I bought two weeks worth of groceries.  I have enough food to make thirteen recipes.  This is the first time in our marriage that I will have cooked like that.  I have a plan, and it feels good.  Our cart was full, and we had to ice down our food so that it would not perish on the drive home. 

I am in love.  I got to go to the Italian Restaurant in Pierre.  I had Lobster Mac and Cheese.  I had creme brulee.  These are things that I thought I was giving up for good living in South Dakota.  I know where I will be eating at next week when I go back!

Last night I made Pineapple Pretzel Fluff:

This was a big hit!  It is a great balance of salt and sweet. 

We played a board game called Dicecapades.  It was a lot of fun.  There were five of us who got together.  She made homemade pizzas, and I loved the crust.  I want to get the Pampered Chef Pizza cooking board now.  She didn't have her air conditioning on, which made the place hotter than you can imagine.  I am so spoiled when it comes to AC.  A lot of people don't have it here, or it takes a lot for them to turn it on. 

On the Agenda Today:

2.  Clear off the dining room table.
3.  Cook dinner from one of my recipes (pictures forthcoming)
4.  Get packages from the post office.

I made HH a to-do list.  In the evenings, it honestly felt like I was being a nag.  Asking him to do this, then that.  I don't really have anything that is "high need", I just want it to get done.  He seemed happy with that.  We have his desk and one more bookshelf being delivered on Tuesday, then he can start tackling the office.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Birthday Pictures and Settling In

Here are the few pictures we took from my birthday celebration.  The foodie Italian restaurant I wanted to go to was closed.  We missed lunch there by about fifteen minutes.  HH is taking me back there on Friday for a re-do.

Lovely HH switched my birthday candles....way to score some points!

Sorry the picture of HH is so blurry.  :(  It was his idea that we wear our "I Love" shirts.

We've had a group in here from Virginia, and they are doing an awesome job.  There are 35 people, and it has been great, but draining.  I told HH last night (which he knows to an extent about me), that having this group was very draining to my personality, while it was very much a "high" for his personality.  After they leave, I will want to seclude myself for a few days from most people just to be able to recharge.

I got our renter's insurance set up yesterday, along with ordering my winter coat, fleece, gloves, and hat.  Our cable and high speed internet has been installed.  On the renter's insurance, the lady asked if I wanted to insure my jewelry.  I had never thought about this before.  I don't have a lot of expensive jewelry, but my ring is about forty-two years old from HH's mom.  I know that his father paid $2500 for the stone wholesale forty-two years ago.  I decided that I do want to have insurance on it.  I have to get it appraised.  I won't be able to do this until the next time we go to Rapid City.  That was the only place that had a jeweler who would appraise it right in front of me, instead of mailing it off.  I am not comfortable with it being out of my sight.

At night, we have been getting in around 9:00-9:30ish.  HH has been a trooper at working when we get in.  I told him it is not about getting "a lot" done, but getting a few things done so we keep chiseling away and making progress.  Last night he hung up four pictures, helped me make the guest bed (I can't crawl around the bed) with my new comforter set, and he set up my vitamin rack.  I organized my vitamins (which also cleared off a zillion bottles from the counter.)

Lessons Learned from a Small Town:  HH takes medicine for his seizures.  We are in the process of switching his prescription to mail order, but there is an overlap between when his pills arrive, and when he runs out.  We call the Mayo Clinic and ask for five days worth to be filled at the local pharmacy.  The local pharmacy doesn't have the medicine, nor does their two other stores.  They asked if I wanted them to call it in to the next major city (which is 90 miles away), and I said yes (as if there were another option). 

We have an awesome neighbor:  We have been working on getting to know the lady who lives directly across the street.  She has let us put our trash in her dumpster while we are waiting for our trash can from the county.  We still have a large assortment of boxes in our yard, even though HH has made three trips to the dumpster.  The other night, she insisted that we fill up our boxes and put them in the back of her pickup truck since she was going to the dump tomorrow.  We gratefully did.  Unfortunately, we STILL had a huge amount of boxes (and one bag of trash that had been opened by dogs and trash was across the yard).  We came home the other night, and she had cleaned up every single box and piece of trash in our yard.  HOW SWEET!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Show Us Your Life: SIDE DISHES

Over at Kelly's Korner Show Us Your Life today is all about side dishes.  I don't have one to contribute, but I am listing the ones below that I am going to make!  I like being able to take different things than the same old same old.

This is the first dish I want to try.  I am going to make it for Wednesday night:
Cornbread Salad

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

Chinese Buffet Green Beans

Pineapple Pretzel Fluff

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Mac and Cheese Muffins

Grape Salad

Penne Bacon Pasta

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

Seafood Pasta Salad

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

White Bean and Tomato Salad

MAN I AM HUNGRY NOW!!!  :)  I'll check back in a few days at Kelly's Korner to see others that people have added.

I just discovered she did a Show Us Your Life: Breakfast Edition!  I will pour over those recipes, and post the ones I want to try of that soon!

Some Laughs From Shoebox

I love to read, but did think this was funny!  Perhaps this is a sign of our times.....


I am so nesting.  There is not a chance that I'm pregnant, but I am deep into nesting right now.  When I post the final pictures, ChiTown Girl will have to attest for everyone just how much better this place looks than our previous condo.  Everything doesn't go together perfectly, but I am darn sure making an honest effort to make things look amazing.  I am really working on the nitty gritty details of things. 

Yesterday I made HH take four million boxes out to be broken down.  I then had him take all the boxes of surplus items from his mother to the shed.  We may at some point use them, but right now, they must be put away.  I put out four boxes at the end of the street.  I suspect those items will be gone by tomorrow from people stopping to look through them.  He got most of the bunk bed assembled last night.  I asked him to go to bed, since we are making a trip into "the big city" for my birthday today.

I found an alarm system company, and should have that set up within the next 7-10 days.  Most people around here don't have them, but you can't take the city out of this girl.  There are going to be many times when HH is gone later at night, or may be doing hospital visitation 90-180 miles away.  I don't want to be in a vulnerable position.  This security system is completely cellular, and I can download an app to my IPhone that allows me to alarm it away from home.

I've bought so many things off the internet, that I'm expecting a call from my bank any minute now to "review charges" just to make sure there is no fraudulent activity going on with our account.  I got our thermal underwear, a bedspread set for our guest bedroom, two more magazine subscriptions (Real Simple and Shop Smart), a dual-control three panel mattress topper heating pad (people around here say they don't usually sleep with them all night, but turn them on about an hour before going to bed so their bed is nice and toasty), two cookbooks, and paid for the security system setup.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Great Song

I found this song over at Fairdale Diaries

Free to Be Me

At twenty years of age

I'm still looking for a dream
A war's already waged for my destiny
But You've already won the battle
And You've got great plans for me
Though I can't always see

'Cause I got a couple dents in my Fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
And on my own, I'm so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I'm free to be me

When I was just a girl
I thought I had it figured out
See my life would turn out right
And I'd make it here somehow
But things don't always come that easy
And sometimes I would doubt, oh

'Cause I got a couple dents in my Fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy

And on my own, I'm so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I'm free to be me and You're free to be You

Sometimes I believe that I can do anything
Yet other times I think
I've got nothing good to bring
But You look at my heart and You tell me
That I've got all You seek, oh
And it's easy to believe even though

'Cause I got a couple dents in my Fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
And on my own, I'm so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see

I got a couple dents in my Fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
And on my own, I'm so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see

I'm free to be me
and You're free to be You

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What I've Been Cooking...

Baptists love to eat.  On the first Sunday of the month, there is always a potluck.  We also eat together every Wednesday night. 

Tonight I am bringing:

Smores on a Stick:  I don't have the exact reference for this, but it did come from Tina's blog, "Carrots and Cake."

I will add the cute little sticks to them when I get to the church.  I love simple things that look like they take a long time and are very complicated.

I needed to bring something else, but didn't want to do any major cooking.  I didn't want to use the stove at all.  I found this recipe in an old copy of Taste of Home magazine I had at the house.

I love how colorful this recipe is!  I wish I had a different color bowl other than green, but it was the largest bowl I had.  I used colby cheese, strawberries, almonds, and broccoli.  For the dressing it was a cup of mayo, two tablespoons of sugar, and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.

On Sunday, I made Pasta Salad on a Stick (which I've made before), and Red, White, and Blue Strawberries.  The strawberries were all over the blogosphere, I'm using a stock photo from the internet to show them.

I had a massive fail with the almond bark on these.  The almond bark was not melting properly.  I always melt my almond bark in the microwave.  It looked like oatmeal.  I tried butter to help with the texture.  FAIL.  It had to be bad almond bark.  I was worried that the local grocery store would not have what I needed (we live in a very remote area), but I have really been pleased with what the grocery store has to offer.  They had almond bark, and the rest of making it was easy!


I'm posting a few pictures that I took before we moved.  I could not find my camera battery charger until yesterday, so I took very few pictures wanting to make it last.

Celebrating HH's Birthday (at my parent's house) 
Note: I was eight days plastic surgery post-op in this picture.

Dinner with my future engineer!  :)  I had to see him one last time before we left.  I am going to try really hard to see if there is a way I can fly him out next summer for a week or two.

Lunch with Cheryl...I used to babysit her kids for several years.  We formed an instant bond, and she has seen me through every big "milestone" in my life.

Best friend Mandi at the airport!  We have known each other for fourteen years now!

Posing with HH right before we flew out to South Dakota:

I really like this one: