Garden Ideas

I’m putting these on here because I want to put them on Pinterest and can’t figure out any other way. The florist is Mabel’s Florist but they only show flowers on their website but on Facebook they post these gorgeous things but you can’t Pin off Facebook so here goes.

How cute are these “rain barrels?”

I love all of these “gardening” idea’s.

And since I saved the best for last, check this out! I will do this next year. Oh purple, purple, how I love thee……

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Magic Eye

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Mushroom-and-Bacon Dip

  • 3 dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 large or 2 small leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise, and washed well
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 pound cremini, white, or shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and chopped, plus sliced mushrooms for garnish (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sour cream (16 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons sliced scallions (dark-green parts only), plus more for garnish
  • Waffle Chips, for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, soak porcini in the boiling water until soft, about 20 minutes. Working over the bowl, lift out porcini, and squeeze out liquid. Coarsely chop porcini. Pour liquid through a fine sieve into another bowl, and reserve.
  2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Pour off rendered bacon fat, reserving 1/4 cup. Wipe skillet clean. Coarsely chop bacon.
  3. Return 3 tablespoons bacon fat to skillet. Add leek and garlic; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until trans-lucent, about 2 minutes. Add fresh mushrooms and porcini, then the salt and pepper. Raise heat to high; cook, stirring, until mushrooms are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add thyme; cook 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate; let cool.
  4. With an electric mixer, whisk cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Gradually add sour cream; whisk until smooth. By hand, stir in mushrooms, three-quarters of the bacon, scallions, and 2 tablespoons porcini liquid. If necessary, add more porcini liquid to reach desired consistency.
  5. Garnish dip with scallions and remaining bacon. If desired, cook sliced mushrooms in remaining tablespoon bacon fat in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Scatter over dip. Serve with waffle chips if desired.

From Martha Stewart

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Been There…

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Question of the day from SKL

What’s a lifelong dream you still hope to accomplish?

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Magic Eye

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Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin

Ingredients

  • 4-5 whole Russet Potatoes, Scrubbed Clean
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • 1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Whole Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Freshly Grated

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Smear softened butter all over the bottom of a baking dish.

Slice potatoes, then cut slices into fourths.

In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, milk, flour, minced garlic, salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes.

Repeat this two more times, ending with the cream mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and really bubbling. Add grated cheese to the top of the potatoes and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving by the spoonful. Delicious!

*I didn’t bother with the whole repeat with the cream mixture steps. I just poured it over the diced potatoes and gave it a stir. I do recommend freshly grated cheese, it is much more cheesier and creamier!! I know most won’t like the fact that this recipe calls for heavy cream and whole milk, because of the calories. I need recipes like this, because I have 2 skinnies in this house. I just made sure I only had one cup, which was hard!

Recipe from : The Pioneer Women 

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Bachman Chocolates from mssc

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Question of the day

Have you ever been to a Broadway play? Have you ever been to a regular play?

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T.G.I.F.

I hope everyone had a great week. Ours ended a whole lot colder than it started! Tonight, Jason and I are celebrating our 12 year wedding anniversary. It was on Tuesday. The three of us are going to our favorite Mexican restaurant, El Molcajete. I have no idea how to pronounce it, so I call it, El mocha latte. Hey, it works! We’re also renting Moneyball. We’ve been wanting to see it since we saw the previews. I haven’t heard one bad thing about it.

I started this new online program that has worked great for me, so far.  It’s helped me in so many ways. So, I thought I’d share it. Maybe you already know about, it’s called My Fitness Pal. At first it may just look like a calorie counting site. But it’s so much more than that. You can customize it to count fat, calories, protein, cholesterol, sodium, sugar, etc. You add whatever you eat into your food diary, and if you can’t find in their search engine, you can add it to their database. It’s made me very aware of what I’m eating and how much. I don’t need two pieces of pizza, one is just fine! This keeps me in check, and has taught me to eat better, and drink more water. It has a water meter on it. My biggest problem was, I was eating way too much at night. Now, I have my last “snack” at 7pm, and then I complete my daily food journal. In my head, my eating for the day is over because I can’t enter anything else. It’s kept me honest! And that, for me, is huge when it comes to eating right and working out! It also keeps track of your exercising. It’s set up like Facebook. You have a wall to write on, friends can comment and encourage each other. So, if you are interested, check it out! I’m so glad I did. Today (Friday) will be one full week. I’m anxious to get on that scale! 🙂 I won’t do this forever, but for right now, it’s teaching me a lot. Anyways, have a wonderful weekend! Any fun plans??

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Missing Socks

I got inspired by this the other day on Facebook. Michael (mssc) said this:

“Something is wrong with our washing machine. I just finished folding the clothes and the socks came out evenly! What’s up with that?”

It brought me to think long and hard and guess what? We have no missing socks anymore. Since we’re empty nesters, no more missing socks. What’s up with that? Is it the kids? Just what is it that they’re doing with our socks? Is it the washer? Or is it the dryer? Just where is it our socks go when they go missing and really, do they ever turn up again?

I like having no missing socks. Of course, like Laura’s dad, I like my mates to be side by side so when I put them in the hamper, I clothespin them together. The white socks go through the dryer like that and my fuzzy socks get hung on special hangers.

Do you have missing socks?

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Easy Chocolate Truffles

Makes about 60 truffles
Prep time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Toppings* (unsweetened cocoa powder, crushed pistachios, etc.)

*Tip: You can coat truffles in just about anything, like shredded coconut, cinnamon, crushed peppermint candies and cookie crumbs, to name a few. To intensify the flavor, add natural extracts—vanilla, almond, hazelnut and cherry are especially yummy with chocolate.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with handheld or stand mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well. Mix in flavored extract, if desired.
  2. Melt chocolate. Create a double boiler by boiling a pot of hot water and placing a heat-safe bowl on top, or use your microwave to melt the chocolate.
  3. Add melted chocolate to cream cheese mixture and stir well.
  4. Refrigerate truffle mixture for at least one hour, then mold into 1” balls.
  5. Fill small bowls with toppings, then roll truffles in toppings to coat. Transfer to paper cupcake liners, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tip: If time’s tight, freeze the truffle mixture for 10 minutes, mold, then roll in toppings and refrigerate until ready to serve.

From Martha Stewart 

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The Disney Housewives

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Question of the day

What’s your favorite lifesaver (candy)?

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Newscaster or Opinioncaster

When you listen to the news or a sportscast or any other kind of “reporting”, take after a debate for example, would you rather hear the person’s opinion that’s reporting it or do you just want the facts as they are?

I quit listening to the CBS World News when Katie Couric started broadcasting because I can’t stand how she gives the news via her opinion. I don’t care about her opinion. I just want to hear the world news so I switched to ABC.

Paul and I have watched WCCO for as long as I can remember and really only watch any other channel if it’s running late or something. We have up until this year LOVED Mark Rosen. He’s the sportscaster and we honestly have loved this guy our whole lives.

I know for a Minnesota sportscaster, the last year had to have been hell. All our teams except the Minnesota Lynx, who won the championship, did HORRIBLE. AND they did horrible last year. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to know the Vikings had a lousy 2 years and this last one was a doozy. The Vikings sucked but was worse was the way Mark Rosen told us this day in and day out during every single newscast. It really turned us off.

He also has a Sunday night program that’s a MUST in our house but it did get really tiring listening to him. That show we had control over whether we watched it or not but I take offense of the news.

When I listen to the news, I want to hear the news and not what the person delivering it to me thinks about it. Just the news. Otherwise, it’s not really the news is it? Doesn’t it then change to a show like Entertainment Tonight?

Do you find people you watch tend to tell their opinion more than the facts and does that bother you?

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Loaded Baked Potato Dip

  • 2.1-oz.) package fully cooked bacon slices
  • 1 (16-oz.) container sour cream
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) freshly shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup sliced fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • Garnishes: cooked, crumbled bacon; sliced fresh chives; freshly cracked pepper
  • Serve with: waffle fries

Preparation

  1. Microwave bacon according to package directions until crisp; drain on paper towels. Cool 10 minutes; crumble. Stir together bacon and next 4 ingredients. Cover and chill 1 to 24 hours before serving. Garnish, if desired. Serve with crispy, warm waffle fries. Store leftovers in refrigerator up to 7 days.

From My Recipes

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That awkward moment from Karen Joy

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Question of the day

Do you wear sunglasses?

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Overstepping

I was in the store today with Josh, and he had a serious case of the CanIGets. As in, “Mom, can I get this? Can I get that? We were, blessedly, next in line to check out, and he’d gone through pretty much everything on the candy shelf. My tongue was ready to fall off from saying “no” so much.

Then he gets this silly grin on his face and says, “Hi” to a passing customer. I turned to find one of the aides from his school standing there. She greeted us, made small talk, and the subject of his CanIGets comes up. “Yeah, Mom’s been saying no.”

So she looks at the candy and asks him what his favorite is. This didn’t bother me, since lots of people would do that. “What’s your favorite? Oh, mine is M&M’s.” And leave it at that.

But no. This time, it was, “which one is your favorite?” “The Orange gum.” “Ok, I’ll get it for you!”

I’m sorry, what???

Mom says no, and this woman just goes and buys the gum for him!!

And if I say no thanks, then I look like a world-class b*. Petty. Have to make a point. Even though I wanted to.

To Josh’s credit, he was very polite about it, thanked her several times, and offered (without being prompted) to share with me. But what the heck? Since when is it ok to find out that a parent has said no, and you just go right around and buy the stuff for him yourself???

I really need to be faster on the uptake, because I should have told her, politely, thanks but no thanks, I told him no. But I was just so shocked that she’d do it, that I didn’t say a word.

What would you have done?

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Chicken Roll-ups

This is a quick weeknight meal. You can make the chicken mixture ahead of time and just scoop and roll when you get home from work.”
2 (8 ounce) cans Reduced Fat Pillsbury Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup, undiluted
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese or swiss cheese (or any cheese of choice)
1/2 cup milkFilling
4 ounces cream cheese (very soft) * I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese*
2 tablespoons butter (very soft but not melted)
1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tsp minced onion flakes
2 large cooked chicken breasts, finely chopped (or use about 2 cups, can use cooked turkey)
1/2-3/4 cup finely grated cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
2 Tbsp. milk
1-2 cup grated cheddar cheese (for topping)Set oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 dish with cooking spray. Mix together milk, 3/4 cup cheese and undiluted chicken soup (can season with black pepper if desired).

For the filling — (make certain that the cream cheese and butter are very soft) in a bowl, mix the soft cream cheese with butter until very smooth, then add in garlic powder. Add in the chopped chicken, onion and cheddar cheese; mix well until combined. Add in 2 tablespoons milk; mix to combine (add in a little more if the mixture seems too dry). Season with seasoned salt or white and black pepper to taste. Unroll the crescent rolls. Place 1 heaping tablespoon chicken mixture (or a little more) on top of each crescent triangle, then roll up starting at the thicker end. Drizzle a small amount of soup mixture on the bottom of the dish. Then place the crescent rolls seam-side down on top of the creamed mixture in the casserole.
Drizzle the remaining sauce on top (you don’t have to use the full amount of cream sauce, just use as much as desired) and sprinkle with 1 cup (or more) grated cheese, or amount desired. Bake for about 30 minutes.

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How to Prepare Soup

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Question of the day

Did you pass your driving test the first time?

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Bigger, faster…..extremes

This post today is more of a vent for me. I’ve been VENTING about this for many years now. Ever since my cousin and Toby got really hurt in snowmobile accidents ON THE SAME DAY 12 years ago. It may be 13 years ago now.

Anyway. Have you all heard about this boy from Minnesota who is now paralyzed after a hit in a hockey game? Jack Jablonski. His name is everywhere and it would appear this story has gone viral. It’s such a sad story. Such a tragic accident. I hope this boy can make it and prove everyone wrong and walk again someday.

I’m really not one to blame accidents on things. I’m more of a “it won’t change anything” so I deal with it. I’m not one who if I lost someone in a hit and run accident that I wouldn’t be able to find closure if the person never came forward or was ever “caught.” It wouldn’t bring my loved one back so to me so I’d try and find closure on my own. It wouldn’t be determined on something outside myself.

I think what bothers me is that everything now has to go so fast. Everyone now has to tackle so hard. Hit so hard. Push people so hard. Snowmobiles, cars, boats and motorcycles have to go so fast. I remember when Evil Knievel jumped a few buses with his motorcycle, the world thought he was nuts. Well, he was nuts but he was NOTHING compared to what people do now.

Look at all the athletes that are now walking around without their brains intact. There are people fighting for them now. Some can’t tie their own shoes. Look at all the boxers and hockey players are walking around the same way only they don’t have teeth either.

Why the extremes? What is it in people who LOVE to see fighting and race cars going hundreds of miles an hour just waiting for a crash? Why do people yell at sporting events “hit em in the head” and such things? I know mostly it’s for fun and just something to yell and that most people don’t mean literally but man, things are so rough now. I see football players taking cheap ridiculous shots on their fellow-man and think it’s okay to ruin their careers and play dirty. These players shouldn’t be allowed to play ever again. It’s my opinion that if you hurt someone to the extreme that they can’t play anymore, neither should you.

What’s going to happy in 10 or 20 years? How fast will cars have to go then? How hard will you have to hit someone? How many home runs will they have to hit or how many miles will someone have to bike or run? Motorcycles? Boats? How much faster can we make machines? They aren’t safe now.

When you look at the past, the sporting equipment has changed. Speed has changed. You only had to tackle someone to stop the clock you didn’t try to take someones career away. Snowmobiles used to be really fun to drive and going 30 or 40 miles an hour didn’t hurt as many people who get hurt on them now.

I know there will always be accidents but when will people step back and at least try to prevent them?

When will it stop? Do you feel this way? What will it take for us to slow down? Is it possible to go back to a time when things were a touch safer? I just feel it’s gotten to be too much.

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Cheeseburger Salad

This was on Pioneer Woman a few days ago. I needed a quick dinner before I headed out to a PTO meeting, so I threw this together, and folks, we have a HIT. It is wonderful! Steve kept making approving grunts throughout his entire two and a half helpings, and Josh even ate more than he normally does, and he eats like a little bird. It’s wicked simple to make, and very worth it.

photo credit: Ree Drummond/Pioneer Woman

  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1/3 cup Ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Yellow Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Or Spicy Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Barbecue Sauce
  • 2 heads Romaine Or Green-Leaf Lettuce, Torn
  • 8 whole Dill Pickle Spears, Cubed
  • 4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 whole Red Onion, Sliced
  • 4 whole Hamburger Buns
  • 1 stick Butter

Preparation Instructions

(Adapted from The Pampered Chef.)

Brown meat in a large skillet, then remove from heat and drain off the fat. Add ketchup, mustards, and barbecue sauce to the meat and stir to combine. Taste and add more of whatever you think it needs. Keep warm.

Cut hamburger buns into 1-inch cubes. Melt 1/4 stick butter in a separate skillet, then add the bread cubes and toss to coat. Toast the croutons in the skillet over low heat for about 10 -12 minutes, adding 1/4 stick of butter every couple of minutes until you’ve used the whole stick. (This will ensure all the croutons soak up the butter and toast nicely.)

To assemble each salad, pile torn lettuce on a plate. Pile on a good quantity of the meat mixture, then top with plenty of grated cheddar. Add diced tomato, chunks of pickles, and slices of red onion over the top, then sprinkle warm croutons all around the plate.

Serve immediately.

Original recipe, along with step-by-step instruction, commentary, humor and photos can be found at ThePioneerWoman.com.

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Burger King from Jenny

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