Saturday, August 30, 2008

Scrumptious Saturday #12

Irish Stew
Please don't be mistaken, this is NOT my original recipe, but I am so thankful I tried it. The recipe is taken exactly as printed in the October 2008 issue of of Cuisine at Home.
"Traditional Irish Stew recipes are usually made with lamb, and lamb stew meat works great here. But if you're not a fan, feel free to substitute beef instead."

Makes 8 cups; Total time: about 1 1/2 hours

2 lb. lamb or beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2" cubes, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil, divided
2 cups onion, diced
2 T. garlic, minced
2 T. tomato paste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dark beer (Guinness is best choice)
2 cups beef broth
2 cups chicken broth
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup carrot, chopped
1 cup frozen peas (keep them frozen until ready to use to prevent soggy peas)
1 cup savoy cabbage, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Brown lamb in 2T. oil in a large pot over medium - high heat, 8 minutes. Transfer lamb to a bowl and set aside; reduce heat to medium.

I got the lambs meat, carrots and garlic at the local farmers market. The lambs meat came from Laurel Creek Meat, check them out. Boy does it make a difference!

2 T. oil and onion to the pot and sweat, covered, until soft, 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste, and cook until paste darkens, 2 minutes. Add flour, stir to coat and cook, 1 minute.

Deglaze with beer, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pot, then add both broths, lamb meat and its juices, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 1 hour.

Stir in potatoes and carrot(s). Cook until potatoes are tender, 12 minutes, then add peas, cabbage, salt and pepper; simmer 5 minutes.

So the recipe calls for being served with Mini Cheddar Scones and to be honest I didn't have the drive to tackle that one with the stew. So instead I got a package of Bisquick Brand 3 Cheese Biscuit Mix, and instead of 1/2 cup of water as it called for I used a 1/2 cup of Rachael Ray's Chicken Stock, and added in some more fresh thyme (stripped the leaved off the stem). It was really good, I wish I could have smell-o-vision for you all to know how good this whole meal smelled.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


All Scruffies are up for adoption, each one needs a new home with someone to love and care for him or her.

Each is a hand altered bear. He / she is 6" tall sitting and fits nicely into any little loving arms for hugging and snuggling. I've added lavender to the stuffing in a separate cotton bag and each bear will have a special heart sewn onto him or her.

Each Scruffy will have adoption papers and an individual story. Whats so great about this Beddy Bye Bear? Lavender is long reputed to help calm the nerves and allow sleep to come more peacefully. My daughter inspired this idea when she started sleeping with her boo boo bag every night. I decided that we needed something a little more fluffy to fill that role and the first Scruffy was born.

These are pretty much listed as is. If you have a special request please contact me and I'll see what we can come up with. If the desire arises I can see if Scruffy has larger brothers and sisters for adoption.

**eyes are not stitched, but are permanently affixed plastic**

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Personalized Tote Bag

So for this year at Preschool the teacher prefers to have a tote bag as opposed to a back pack. She says they fit better in the cubby's which makes perfect sense to me. So in an effort to make something nice and personalize it here is what we did.

1) Start with a commercial ready to decorate tote bag for $2.47 and if you plan it well you can get it for 50% off (as we did).

2) Go to a website with free coloring pages and select your picture. We used Free Coloring Pages and selected one from the sports section looking for something that resembled a gymnast.

3) Right click on the picture and "copy image" open Paint from your desktop and paste the image into the paint program. Utilize the paint program to "color" your picture as you choose.

4) Cut picture from Paint and put it into a Word Processing program to add text as desired.

5) Remember to go into the Print Properties and be sure to print your work in Mirror Image (yes I made the mistake AGAIN and had to reprint). Print it onto a iron on T-shirt transfer, iron it onto the bag.

6) Decorate as much as your heart desires. We are not finished as this one will need to be jeweled and trimmed in some lavish trim of some sort. That is for after school tomorrow!

Hope you and your kids have as much fun as we did!

When we finish it tomorrow I'll post the last pictures. Look for them sometime in the late afternoon.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Treasury Made it to the Front Page

Titled: Another Gold for Aqua Man - Rock on Michael Phelps!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I've been tagged! Remember playing tag as a child..."You're It." Well this past week I was "tagged"; maybe you will want to play too.

I was tagged by Teresa of MayRae, Life Craft Love

Here are the rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you
2) Post the rules on your blog (this is what you are now reading)
3) Write 6 random things about yourself (see below)
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them (This is only a game)
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up

Random items about me...

1) I was raised in Orlando, FL.

2) I am very motivated and spend very little time doing "nothing."

3) I have written over 200 poems.

4) I had my first business idea for the bath and body products over 5 years ago, but the Children's Clothing line came to fruition first.

5) I work for my mom's Interior Designs business in addition to having two of my own businesses.

6) My best friend and I have been friends for 24 years now and can step into each other's house after years apart and know where everything will be (even if we haven't been to that new house before).

People I’m tagging:

2) Jessi of Two Seaside Babies
3) Emily of Ella Bear Bowtique
4) Jennifer of Monster Bug Blankets
5) Terry Ann of Just So TerryAnn
6) Liz of Fray Baby
You're It!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Scrumptious Saturday #11

Artichoke Soup for Two
To begin with, let me be sure to tell my loyal readers that I had NO intention of doing 2 soups in a row and especially not in August. I had been wanting to try the Chowder (last weeks recipe) for several weeks and that was my first opportunity. Then this week my poor husband had to have some oral surgery done just yesterday so I decided to make this soup for him tonight as it is one of our favorites. This soup is wonderful as a beginning course, with salad, bread or baked potato or just on its own as we had it tonight.

2 Tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, minced*
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp. flour
1 can (14 ounces) of artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped.
2 cups of chicken broth (I use one can - it's only 1.5 ounces short and works just fine)
1 Tbsp dry white wine (I didn't have any, so I substituted white vinegar - it works)
2 Tbsp chopped parsley (I used dried, so cut the amount in half)
1.2 cup of heavy cream (this time I substituted plain fat free Yogurt and it tasted great)
salt and white pepper
* for directions on how to mince garlic see my previous post #2 for directions

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and onion and cook three minutes. Stir in flour. Cook stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the artichoke hearts, chicken broth, "wine" and parsley. Bring the soup to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cook stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

Puree the soup in a blender and return it to the pan. Blend in the "cream" and season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat until very HOT, but do not boil. Divide into two soup bowls and serve immediately.

Please note that the Onions came from a local organic farmer Mint Road Farms and the garlic too was from our Farmers Market

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Scrumptious Saturday #10

Lobster (or Shrimp) & Corn Chowder

This Recipe is from Martha Stewart Living (hope she doesn't mind). I have never tried one of her recipes so this is a first. Since she is the Queen of All Things About the Home, I figure she probably has some good ideas, but first thing is first; the first paragraph says "Feel Free to substitute three pounds of shell-on shrimp for the lobsters." WHEW! In East Tennessee Lobster is 17.88 a pound (plus we pay tax on food), each lobster is 2 pounds minimum and I needed TWO!?! $75 was a little out of my budget for a Chowder, so I opted to substitute the Shrimp. Maybe one day we can try the Lobster. The corn, zucchini and summer squash all came from one of my Homefront Team Members, Smokey Mountain Scents garden. Thanks Tee, the produce has been fabulous!


Serves 6 to 8
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 lobsters (1 1/2 pounds each) - please see info for substituting shrimp
  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 large leek, halved lengthwise and rinsed well, 1/2 coarsely chopped and 1/2 thinly sliced crosswise
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (from 3 ears), cobs reserved and halved crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 small summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced, for garnish


Cook shrimp in step 1 until pink and cooked through, three to five minutes. Remove and reserve the shells, and continue with step 2.

1) Bring water to a boil in a 12-quart stockpot. Add lobsters, cover, and cook 13 to 15 minutes. Set a colander in a large bowl. Working over colander, snip the tip of each lobster claw to release juices into bowl. Separate lobster meat from shells, and cut into bite-size pieces. Reserve meat and shells separately. Strain cooking liquid through a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth into bowl with lobster juices.

2) Using the same stockpot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add chopped leek, corncobs, and reserved lobster shells. Cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add reserved lobster liquid, and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve. Discard solids.

3) Puree 1 cup lobster broth with 1 cup corn kernels. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot over low heat. Add sliced leek, and cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in flour, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in pureed corn mixture, and cook, stirring often, until broth thickens, about 2 minutes.

4) Add remaining lobster broth,
raise heat, and simmer. Add zucchini, summer squash, and remaining 2 cups corn, and cook until squashes are tender, about 2 minutes.

5) Stir in reserved lobster meat, and heat until warmed through, about 1 minute. Season with salt, and garnish with basil. Serve immediately.

Duck Tales Inflation Lesson


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