Saturday, February 28, 2009

11 Days and Counting...

You just have to check out the incredible giveaway going on over at In His Hands called Baby O's BIG Prize Package Drawing!!!

In an effort to raise enough money, roughly $30,000, to adopt a child from South Korea, Rachel and Josh have teamed up with some very special people to host this amazing giveaway.

There are several ways to enter and even some tricks to increase your chances...and, if you feel so inclined, by donating even a little bit, you will be a part of bringing their dream that much closer and maybe have your Christmas shopping done to boot! And it's not even Easter yet! To learn how to enter, click on their button below or on my sidebar to the right.

And remember, all donations will go toward their adoption fees to Eastern Social Welfare Society, the agency in South Korea that is caring for and arranging the adoption of our child.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pot Roast, Wine and Lots of Family...

I probably should have broken this up into at least a couple of posts but it was a fun-filled weekend with good food, good 'beverages' and most of all, good company! So let's start by flashbacking to Friday...

It started with the last post - Sauteed Shrimp and Guam Rice...check out the comment from the 'diner'! Apparently, that went over very well! And then onto Saturday...

Bananas, tangerines, English Muffins, coffee, etc., in the morning...then we did BLT's and chips for can anyone find something to complain about that! Mike and Mikey spent a good part of the morning and afternoon with us and I'm still wondering why I didn't take pictures! But that little boy is just such a joy to sit and watch!

So on to the Pot Roast...

Start by browning a chuck roast or any cut of your choice in olive oil and Worcestershire Sauce. Garlic pepper sprinkled heavily on the roast is definitely a plus!

Dutch Oven or Crockpot...either way...add a little water and let the roast cook for several hours.

Then add the potatoes and carrots...or anything other veggies you desire! Roast until done.

There were only 3 of us and not that much left over...must mean I did a great job! Pat on the back for me!

Onto Sunday...

A little brunwich bar...fix your own sandwich, add a few pickles and chips to prepare for the next adventure.

And then off to the San Sebastian Winery in St. Augustine...

I can't tell you how relaxing it is to just sit and listen to the music with good company...

Vinny Jacobs was our entertainment for the afternoon...he does a little bit of Billy Joel, Jimmy Buffet...just kind of laid back enjoyable and relaxing.

I was able to get the recipes for the best part of the day. So first, (my personal favorite)

White Sangria...

1 Bottle Vintners White
1 Bottle Dry Sparkling Wine
4 oz. Triple Sec
Sliced Fresh Fruit (oranges, apples, kiwis, limes)
Add ice, chill for a few hours and serve


Spiced Sangria...

Okay, first I need to be honest...this picture is not Spiced but Red...looks the same but they don't serve the Spiced...

1 Bottle Vintners Red
1 San Sebastian Mulling Spice Bag
1 Orange, sliced
1 Lemon, sliced
1 Kiwi, sliced
1 can 7-UP

Combine first 5 ingredients in large pitcher and refrigerate. Remove spice bag after one hour (can be reused if placed in plastic bag and freeze). Add 7-UP immediately before serving over ice.

And now onto the dinner at Darumas...

Well, first we had to have the meet and greet at David and Lianna's house...

Are you lookin' at me???

"Appetizers with Kodi"

And now really onto the dinner at Darumas...

Anyone who has ever been to a Japanese Steak House is salivating right now...we didn't take pictures of the food but we all know how phenomenal it is...


And done! He couldn't have said it better!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sauteed Shrimp and Guam Rice...

I think probably everyone has had sauteed shrimp at some point in their lives...but this is my take on it.

Sauteed Shrimp

1 lb large shrimp peeled
1 half stick of butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons parsley (just guessing...I don't ever measure stuff like that!)
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in frying pan. Add all other ingredients and cook over medium heat until shrimp are pink.

Guam Rice is another story and the ultimate for a rice dish. My Mom clipped this recipe out of the Florida Times Union many, many years ago. I tried to look the author up (someone who lived in Atlantic Beach, FL at the time) to give her credit but no such luck. So now I guess it's mine! It is jam packed with all kinds of goodies and goes especially well with seafood. My sister and her husband are visiting this weekend from West Union, SC., and I decided that this blast from our past should start the weekend off right. Main dish will be sauteed shrimp and our other side will be fresh steamed broccoli...

Guam Rice

1 cup rice
1 cup tomatoes
1 cup sharp cheese (I used shredded)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can mushrooms (stems and pieces)
1 can sliced ripe olives
1 1/2 cups boiling water (very hot from the tap is fine!)
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

Going in the oven...

Finished product and oh, so good! I am sparing you pictures of us...not a pretty sight! ha!

Try 'em out and let me know what you think!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


There are some great giveaways going on right now...actually they are going on everyday but I want to share some of them close to my heart with you.

Please check them out before the deadlines...

Lianna at Be Thou A Knight...Deadline is February 22nd

And Lianna #2 (she has 2 giveaways going on at the same time!) at Growing Our Own Garden...and again, deadline is February 22nd

Heather and her precious Zoe at Mammas Little Sugar just HAVE to check out Zoe's dimples!

And MckMama...I don't know how much time is left on this one but there are already over 1700 comments so hurry...get in before it closes!

These 3 awesome women all support motherhood and yet all are here for different reasons...please support all of them!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baby Update

First we have dear sweet Abby. She went into the hospital yesterday for the 19th time and will be starting a very intensive chemotherapy. She just had a few great days...please pray for her!

Next we have very newborn Jordyn. She is still in the hospital and as a preemie, she is still having a few issues but I think for the most part she is doing well...please pray that she will progress quickly and that Kendra and James will be able to take her home soon.

And just to show how the power of prayer works - - -

Stellan is thriving...after a 'death sentence' before birth and a life-threatening illness at 10 weeks, he is absolutely thriving. He has even gone on a Bahama cruise! Check out the MckMiracle and all the other MSC! What a trip!

Baby Harper, born on January 16th, spent 3 weeks in the NICU and went home on February 5th! What a blessing and she is absolutely beautiful!

Baby Brayden, born on January 14th spent 33 days in the NICU and finally came home on February 16th! Welcome home, are just precious.

And last but not least, thank you to all who have visited Cora's Playground. She was only with us for a few short months but what an impact she has made on our lives...what better tribute could be given to such a special child than a playground. Please contribute if you means so much.

So we have some prayers yet still to pray and we have thanks to give to God!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Friday the 13th...

Okay...I admit it...I was so consumed with my Valentine's Day gift and my new look that I totally neglected sharing our Friday the 13th "Bunco" night. I highlight "Bunco" because it's literally been months since we have actually played "Bunco". We have been playing a game called "LCR". Silly no brainer game...requiring no more skill than Bunco. But so much fun...

The good part about this game is that we all sit at the same table. With Friday being the start of the Valentine's Day weekend, hearts and the colors pink and red dominated the decorations. Aren't those the cutest placemats. I tried to figure out a way to smuggle them out, but I guess I'll just have to spring for them myself next year...

Anyway, the hostess always provides the meal and this month we were treated with some delicious chili and awesome broccoli cheese soup. I can't wait to get those recipes to share with you.

And so here are this month's winners!

Babs - the hostess with money? Ha!

Melissa - the hostess' convenient! Ha!

Brenna - my absolute favorite "niecester"...very long story - if you need the definition of a "niecester", please email me...way TMI to share here!

And our 'final' winner - Melody - the hostess' first-born and my BFF - someone everyone should know (and you probably already do...she doesn't know a stranger)...Ha!
We did play one more game but for some reason the cameras didn't come out...Melanie, our newest member of the group was the big winner. Sorry, Melanie...we'll catch ya next time!

And in case you didn't notice, it is a requirement that if you win, you stuff the dollar bills down your shirt! We had such a good time as you can see...'cept I didn't win...boohoo!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My New Look

Check out my new look! For Valentine's Day, my daughter-in-love gave me this awesome apron! Are you kidding me? Is that not the sweetest thing ever??? How could I not change my bloggy design to match the colors, etc? And guess who did most of it for me! You guessed sweet daughter-in-love, Lianna!

Ok the lighting in the picture lacks a lot (my camera sucks) but it is SO cute! I just wanted to share!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hot Slaw

My sister, who by the way, is an excellent cook, gave me this recipe a few years ago...of course, we've all heard of dirty rice...well, this is more like dirty slaw and serves up HOT, HOT, HOT! In the first place, who would have thought you could mix all these ingredients and end up with not only a healthy side dish as a result but something oh so good? And anyone who knows me, knows I love, love, love spicy food! Can you say the best of both worlds?

Hot Slaw

6 slices of bacon (or cheat and use a bag of real bacon pieces, Oscar Mayer preferred)
1 large chopped onion
1 medium chopped green pepper
1 large head shredded green cabbage (or cheat and use a bag of shredded cole slaw mix)
4 tablespoons chili powder
Salt to taste
1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes and green chiles (recommend Ro-Tel)

In large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain. Crumble bacon and set aside.

In reserved bacon fat, cook onions and bell peppers until limp, about 5 minutes.

Add shredded cabbage and cook until limp, but not soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add chili powder and salt to taste. Add tomatoes and simmer just until warmed through. Slaw should be slightly crisp. Seasonings can be adjusted to taste but like I said, the hotter the better! Add crumbled bacon just before serving.

This side dish goes especially well with pork (whether it be a roast, tenderloin, chops, etc.) or seafood.

Enjoy! Feedback is so appreciated!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

UPDATE #1: Welcome to Jordyn Elizabeth Ponder, born 02/08/09 weighing 4 lbs. 7 oz.!

UPDATE #2: I had some computer problems last night and wasn't able to get this posted. It's Monday morning but the same still holds true...

I fully intended to post a new recipe tonight but lacked a key can that be me...I am so not prepared...

I spent my weekend, blog-, twitter-, and facebook- stalking. I'm not quite understanding why all the things that I probably have heard about forever are now in the forefront of my life. It is killing me because I think there must be a reason and that there is something I am supposed to be doing. So right now, all I can think of is that maybe I need to share some of the stories I've read.

Praying for Abby

Sweet Baby Cora

Baby Harper...Welcome home!

Please pray for these precious little girls and their families!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday...

You just can't let a Super Bowl Sunday go by without some good snackin' recipes. My daughter-in-law, Susan, made the Buffalo Chicken Dip for Mikey's birthday party back in September and it was just too good NOT to chow down on today... She also gave me the recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip. Though I'm not making it today, it is definitely a crowd pleaser...

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 lb. softened cream cheese
1 cup ranch dressing
1 cup Frank's Red-Hot Sauce
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 chicken breasts cut into small pieces

Mix all the ingredients and heat in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve hot with veggies, chips, crackers, wings...the list is endless!


Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion diced
2 minced garlic cloves
4 tablespoons flour
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups milk
2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons Frank's Red-Hot Sauce
2 cups Parmesan cheese
1 box frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed out
1 can chopped artichokes

Saute onion and garlic in the oil and butter until translucent. Add the flour and whisk together. Cook about 5 minutes, then add milk, salt, pepper, hot sauce and lemon juice. Cook while whisking to remove lumps until just before a boil. Add the Monterey Jack cheese and whisk. Turn heat down to low. Keep whisking until cheese is melted. Add Parmesan cheese and sour cream. Mix until incorporated. Add spinach and artichokes. Mix together. Serve warm in a crock pot with chips and celery or other veggies.

So there you have a couple of yummy snackin' dips for the big day. But if you're just not into the Super Sunday thing, how about a Super Giveaway? Hop on over to Lianna's blog and check out this very "Springy" Vera Bradley Limited Edition Sateen purse and wallet set. Don't the colors just scream Spring???