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Saturday, June 27, 2015

From The Flower Garden

The weather here in southern Illinois is some of the best I have seen for a while. The cooler summer weather and the amount of rain we have been blessed with has been great. The flowers sure do agree with me about the weather. Don't they just look wonderful

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Come Visit Be Ready To Be Spellbound

We discovered a new park today. This mystical park was one that has been around for a while and we had even heard a tale or two about it. The magic inside this place is one that will mystify every prince and princess as well as those interested in Dungeons and Dragons. This mystical magical place where sward and sorcery live is a place that is undefined by time. It is a place where on August 22nd 1993 a young man last his life. Jeremy "Boo" Rochman died on that date as a result of a car crash on Giant City Road only a few hundred feet from his home.

Barrett Rochman the father of this young man who was also the president investment firm decided to build a memorial park to honor his fallen son. He purchased 3.5 acres across the street from the Rochman house. The theme would be Dungeons and Dragons as his son had loved D&D From the near by university sculptors, carvers, and painters were hired to create out of wood, stone, metal, and cement a mystical place.

The park officially opened in 2005. The wood and stone castle is the centerpiece of the park. My grandchildren spoke of how the castle winds in paths and is full of tunnels, stairs, and bridges. They were delighted to find the hidden doors and passageways. My adult son went in the castle with the young ones and stated while they could easily travel around the castle it was harder for him as he crawled and scooted to get around. Flag pennants fly from the castle, gargoyles and knights stand guard. Jeremy's own extensive sword collection is bolted to one of the lofty inner ceilings of a tower of the castle

 While the castle is grand it is not the only attraction at the park. The trees and flowers help nature play a role in and among the gremlin, gnome and other fantasy creature sculptures. Don't forget to check above your head as the sculptures live there as well in the trees and poles that extend past the ground. Follow the stone path and you will find a giant , sleepy dragon waiting there. Three wizards seem to be frozen in time waiting to have a battle of spells. Pegasus and unicorn are found in the park as well. Perhaps one of my most favorite places were the fairy and butterfly benches that seemed to call you to sit a spell.

helpful information was found here

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pecan Praline Candy for National Praline Day

happy national praline day!!!! National praline day happens on the 24th of June each year.
Are you aware that there are a few different types of praline? Well there is.
French Pralines contain a combination of almonds and caramelized sugar and is a bit harder than American praline. American praline is a combination of syrup and pecans, hazelnuts or almonds with milk or cream and are softer and creamier as a result. American praline often resembles fudge

Praline cookies are chocolate cookies that contain ground nuts. Belgian pralines are some of the most luxurious candy. Belgian chocolate shell with a softer, may be liquid, filling made up of hazelnut, almonds, sugar, syrup and milk based pastes,
Pecan Praline Candy Recipe

1 1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 tbsp salted butter
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

  1. In a pot, combine the milk, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Stir, and bring to a boil( over medium high).
  2. Let boil for 1 minutes then add in the pecans, and butter. Stir in. Let the candy reach 240 F degrees ( use a candy thermometer )
  3. Remove the pot from the heat, and add in the vanilla.
  4. Stir the ingredients, and let cool for 3 minutes.
  5. Stir the mixture, until it starts to thicken.
  6. Grease/ Butter a cookie sheet.
  7. Spoon out the mixture onto the cookie sheet, and let the candy cool and firm.
  8. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pink Day - special treat recipe

Princess has 2 favorite colors they are purple and pink. So when we saw that today , June 23rd , was pink day we had to create a treat especially for the day. It is hot outside and we love us some lemonade to drink so we decided that these Pink Lemonade Cupcakes would be awesome

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
For Pink Lemonade Cake:

1 box white cake mix
3/4 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 egg whites
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 muffins tins with liners
– Combine all of the ingredients in an electric mixer and begin by mixing low for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium for another minute.
– Divide the batter evenly, filling the liners about 2/3 full
– Bake cupcakes for about 25 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean
– Allow cupcakes to cool before frosting

For Two-Tone Pink Lemonade Buttercream:
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 tbsp frozen pink lemonade concentrate
Pinch of salt
2 colors of food coloring
– Combine all ingredients in an electric mixer fit with a paddle attachment and mix on low until combined
- Increase speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is light and to your desired consistency
– Separate frosting in 2 bowls and color as you desire

recipe source here

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Father of My Children

This is my husband, the father of my children holding his oldest grand-child. My husband has trusted the lord and led us through many rough trials in our life. It has been said to fear (and to me trust) in the Lord and He will provide a fortress that will protect his children. I feel blessed to have been loved and shared parenting responsibilities.

26 He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.

Onion Ring Day


1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
seasoned salt to taste
1 quart oil for frying, or as needed

Pre heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 375 degrees F.
In a medium sixed bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Place the bread crumbs into shallow dish.
Dip the onion slices into the flour mixture until they are all coated; set aside.
Whisk the egg and milk into the flour mixture using a fork. Dip the floured rings into the batter to coat. then place rings one at a time into the crumbs, and scoop the crumbs up over the ring to coat.
Repeat with remaining rings.
Deep fry the rings a few at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to paper towels to drain.
Season with seasoning salt, and serve

recipe source here

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Refrigerator Pickled Dilly Beans

Refrigerator Pickled Dilly Beans


1 lb green beans
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar (I prefer this to cider vinegar in this recipe)
1 teaspoon coarse salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 teaspoon dill seed
6 cloves garlic, cut in slivers
5 or 6 fresh dill sprigs

1.              Wash beans, remove any discolored areas, and trim off the ends, leaving beans whole.

2.              Combine remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and add beans.  Simmer the mixture, covered, over low heat for 4-10 minutes, or until beans are cooked through, but still retain some snap.  Timing will depend on how thick and how fresh your beans are, so check them often.  How will you know they’re done?  Bite one.  Add more salt if needed.

3.              Put beans and pickling mixture in a smallish, non-aluminum dish, arranging them so liquid covers the beans.  Cover tightly and refrigerate. These can be served as soon as they are cold, and will keep getting better in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

This is an adaptation of an old Vermont recipe for spicy, garlic-infused pickled green beans.

You can put the beans in sterilized canning jars and process in a boiling water bath, if you wish, and then keep the jars at room temperature for up to a year. (See the University of Georgia's National Center for Home Food Preservation for how to do this.)
recipe source

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Easy Recipe : Pickled Beets

My grandmother and mother were the canners of the family. Always making up tasty treats that would last us through the fall and winter. My sister always love her pickled veggies. This recipe for pickled beets would make her very happy and put a smile on her face. Eat them straight from the jar, with an entrée or along with a delicious salad

These pickled beets will keep about a month in the refrigerator, but eat them within a week because they get very overpickled!

Pickled beets

3 pounds medium beets, greens removed (leave a half inch of stem)
2 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon whole cloves
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
6 bay leaves
1 large onion, thinly sliced

Put the beets in a saucepan, cover with water and boil for about 25-30 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain, rinse in cold water, peel and cut into chunks.
Bring the remaining ingredients – except the onion – to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Layer the beets and onions into four pint (or two quart) jars, and pour the liquid over. Let cool before covering the jars. Refrigerate for two days before eating.

recipe source here

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