Friday, July 29, 2016

Cheesy Chicken Crescents and a skull: July FF

It's Friday! YEAH, but these days it doesn't matter. I'm working 5-7 days a week so the weekend or Friday has lost it's appeal. I'm just happy when I have a day off, or a down moment. Wait, when did that happen last? I'm not sure. BUT since you're here, it's a writing challenge day and this one is Funny Friday, which is a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. It's a collaborative project, each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with.
First a recipe, quick, easy and delicious. Cheesy Chicken Crescents!
1 can of crescent rolls
2 mozzarella sticks, sliced in half
2 cheddar slices, cut in half
8 chicken tenders, seasoned and sauteed in a pan
Cook the tenders, allow to cool. Slice the cheese. Unroll the crescents, on the large end of the triangle, lay a tender and top with cheese. Roll up. Place on the baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 9 minutes on a baking sheet.
I was told that these were great, one suggestion. Use only cheddar and replace the chicken with beef. So much for great, huh?
Funny Friday  150 X 150.jpg

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Spatulas on Parade ( Yep, that's my photo. Do you see the irony? A chicken recipe and this photo, lol.
30 - Spatulas on Parade - July 2016 (bird skull).jpg
1. Walking to the mail box, ooh what's that bright orange object on the ground? Bends over to pick it up...stops. OMGOSH is that a skull? A ... bird skull? Eww, oh wait, COOL! Grabs phone, takes a photo, then tries to figure out WHAT kind of bird, because it's too big to be a Cardinal. Hmm...yep, that's really how it happened.
2. The cat hiding in the bushes sees his human. He lays low. The human says "OH NO, I found Bert! HOW did he get out here and what happened to my precious?" The cat snickers, burps and a feather flies out of his mouth. Mmm tasty the second time around too.

3. Does this remind you of Animal from the Muppet show? No? Guess it's just me.

4. HOW did an animal eat the bird, leave the head, eye lashes and beak but the brain and everything else is gone? Yes this was really my thought as I stood inspecting the head.

5. My my the bait has been seen, the cat crouches low to see if anyone else is around, as he stalks the carcass his human watches him. The cat stops, looks up and sees the human, he stops, looks sad, sniffs and bats at it, lays down and looks all sweet and sad. The human, "aww look, Poor Ernie is missing Bert. It's so sad." The cat tries not to smile, haha she bought it!

Now be sure to Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:                Not That Sarah Michelle                Southern Belle Charm                                  My Brain on Kids          Baking In A Tornado     The Bergham Chronicles     Measurements of Merriment                            Dinosaur Superhero Mommy Molly Ritterbeck

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Friday, July 22, 2016

Milk-less pancakes and July FOTW

I woke up one morning in the mood for pancakes and was in the kitchen. Then I realize I have no milk, which by the way I only use Almond Milk, but either way I was out. Dang it, I REALLY wanted pancakes. So I set about trying to figure out making light fluffy delicious pancakes without milk. AND I DID IT! Oh yeah baby, you know it.
I cooked mine in a skillet with a dab of coconut oil, you can use a griddle or anything else you prefer but I like mine light, fluffy and with a little crispy edge. Don't judge... 
Don't they look great?

2 eggs
2 TBSP coconut oil
1 cup water
2 1/4 c baking mix
1 TBSP vanilla
3 TBSP (heaping) of sugar
In a bowl beat 2 eggs and 1 cup of water, in a separate bowl combine all your dry ingredients and stir well, now add the dry slowly into the wet and stir well. Let the batter sit for about ten minutes then in a skillet with coconut oil cook them up! I added fresh blueberries just before flipping the pancake over. I found they cook better this way. I have put them IN the batter but placing them on the pancake just before flipping works better to me.
Last month I turned the big..cough 5 - 0. My oldest son, Jim and I were texting. This cracked me up!

Now enjoy the "Fly On The Wall" post. Today 10 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.
Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:
Juicebox Confession                                     
Menopausal Mother                                           
Searching for Sanity                      
Never Ever Give Up Hope                           
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                    
Southern Belle Charm                                
Go Mama O                        

If you follow me on INSTAGRAM you know I LOVE my kitty, Beau. Here are a few shots. He loves this shelf in the laundry room. Top right, he is loving on our boy, Jesse came over for a few days and Beau was in heaven.
Every since Potato May taught me how to use the snapchat filers, I'm like totally addicted! When I'm home alone, or late at night, I will flip over to snapchat and play around with the filters. Some I send to my Sissy, some are on my story. Others I promptly delete! LOL But this one I love! Someone told me I look like Rosie the Riveter. I'll take that. It's also a great way to try make up styles without having to actually put it on.
Here's a question for you ladies...does your sex life diminish in the summer? I was told "it's too freaking hot". Damn! Really? I'm turning the a/c to 65 tonight. 
Then a commercial comes on, for what? KY his and her gel!!! OMGosh really?

LMSP goes to school in a month, she is sooo excited! She was trying to tell me about open house and when she will meet her teacher. Look at her, she's grown up so much! And like her MiMi she is a huge animal lover.
Not a lot of "funny" stuff going on. I have pretty much done nothing but work, sleep and go to the doctor. Hopefully next month will be funnier!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Spiced Banana Honey Roasted Pecan Cake and July UYW

Oh honey, baby, sugar pie! You are going to LOVE this cake, and as you read this post, you'll see the word LOVE several times. Let's focus on that, okay?
Since some people do not like chocolate, I am being challenged to come up with desserts/cakes that are not chocolate. I love this, it is simple, different and delicious! It was gone in just a few days, well, more like 5. I took a few slices to my mom and she sent me a text "the  cake was delicious" well now, how about that!? My mom, who rarely gives me compliments, liked the cake. WOO HOO score one for me! YES, I love my mom, we are just two entirely different people in every way, shape and form. And she liked my CAKE!! Happy Dance!! WOO HOO, yes, it made me that happy, I had to tell you twice :)
Banana Spice Honey Roasted Pecan Cake/Bundt
2 bananas
spiced cake mix (Duncan Hines)
3 eggs
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil
2 heaping TBSP brown sugar
1/2 cup honey roasted pecan halves, finely chopped
I put the bananas, eggs and oil in my little mini blender. In a large bowl I poured the cake mix, added the blended to it along with the water and brown sugar. I stirred this well, by hand, but you could use a mixer. Then I added the chopped honey roasted pecan.
The batter went into a greased bundt pan. I baked it for 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Allowed it to cool on a rack and then....I used a can of whipped marshmallow frosting that I put into a zip top bag and clipped one corner, squeezed it over the cake and placed honey roasted pecan halves to go on top.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them. 
  Your words are: 
freedom ~ diversity ~ love ~ summer ~ ice cream
They were submitted by:

The words this month ring strongly with what is going on in our country. I try to stay away from politics, religion and current events. However, there are a few things I'd like to say:

Our freedom is in jeopardy. Our country was founded on diversity, many people from many countries all starting out in a foreign land. Fresh, new, adventures, hardships, adversity, language barriers and all of these things made them band together to form this great country. 
I love my country but right now I do not love some of the people. I believe that ALL lives matter and I do not care where you are from, what you believe, what you practice, what color you are or who you vote for. God created each and every one of us and in that we ALL matter.
The police have a job to do, we have laws me must obey but no one has the right to take a life. There are extreme circumstances like war, self defense where it is kill or be killed. Every one is too sensitive, too on edge and I believe that if we focus on LOVE and not color, race, religion, etc... we could all get along much better.
So this summer I want to focus on eating ice cream, going to the beach and having fun, not watching the news and hearing of more senseless deaths.
I'm done.

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:
Baking In A Tornado              
Southern Belle Charm                                 
Not That Sarah Michelle                            
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy     
My Brain on Kids                 
The Bergham Chronicles        
Never Ever Give Up Hope      
Confessions of a part time working mom   
The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver
Molly Ritterbeck                       
Juicebox Confession               
When I Grow Up                       
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo                                        
On the Border                                 
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Chocolate Dipped Fruit:You make me melt: Sizzle Poetry

I love chocolate and I love fruit. One evening after dinner I was in the mood for chocolate but didn't feel like baking. Digging around in the cabinet I found a bag of chocolate chips and I knew I had fruit that needed eating. A whole pint of strawberries for one and some leftover blueberries. So I said to myself, "self, let's dip some fruit" yep. I melted the chips with a tablespoon of coconut oil and then dipped the fruit. After letting it set in the fridge for about an hour I had my snack.

Simple and delicious! Every night for a few days I could open the fridge and grab a chocolate covered berry. Oh man I thought, this is what I NEED to keep on hand. Yes, NEED.

You Make Me Melt
Oh my gosh
Let's get over the hump
You are my hot stuff
My love, my life
Hot, smooth and melting
Yes, you can make me sizzle...
Oh how I love you

Come on, what did you think I was talking about? Shame on you!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Check out the other talented bloggers:
Karen at Baking In A Tornado
Candice of Measurements of Merriment
Jules of Bergham Chronicles
Diane of On The Border
Lydia of Cluttered Genius

Monday, July 11, 2016

A lunch to "Chill" with and #BlogWithFriends

HOT HOT HOT OMGosh, Eastern North Carolina is hot and humid!! Way back in June, on the 23rd to be exact it was over 100 degrees with heat indexes of over 105. Imagine a wet HOT blanket wrapped around your head, that's what it feels like. Seriously.
This last week, the first week in July, we had temperatures in the 100's with the heat index of 105-110. DANG you talk about melting...that's how I felt.

This post is part of the monthly "Blog With Friends" and if you will scroll to the bottom you'll find their projects and links. But first check out my recipe! Perfect for this hot weather.
SO....with that in mind. (all the HEAT)I need to chill. Especially when it comes to lunch. I don't want to leave work and get in a hot car, so I have been bringing my lunch. However, I'm not a fan of using a microwave and I love salads. I also love pasta salad. I thought about it and decided to make a tortellini antipasto salad. I made this on a Sunday, let it "chill" and ate it all week long!

1 bag frozen tri color tortellini (cook according to package)drain
1/2 jar sliced olives
2-3 tablespoons Sweet N Hot sliced salad peppers
1 jar drained, Italian Mix Giardiniera mix
1/4 cup Italian zesty salad dressing
8 oz diced Canadian Bacon (I was going to use Salami as it fit better but the fat and calorie content is very high so I opted for this)

Very simple, I drained and tossed in a bowl the olives, giardiniera mix, pepper rings and cooked the tortellini. Once that was done, which only took a few minutes, drained and added to the bowl. Stir well, add in the diced bacon, salami or whatever you choose, add the dressing, mix and chill.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Friday, July 8, 2016

Gourmet Burgers by W and SSS

My children are all grown and are scattered all over. I miss them terribly but have many many happy memories. Most of those memories are from our days of home-schooling. It was a blessing that I enjoyed and have days where I miss it.

During those early years, we struggled. There were things that the boys 'got' right away and others things, that I would explain over and over and over only for them to look at me like I had three heads and they had NO idea WHAT I was talking about. Those were the hair pulling days, mine not theirs.

(something else I learned, is that there are times when we have to let go and let others do things for us and in their own way) hence letting W cook supper and in his own way. Scroll to the end of this post for the recipe.
Then one day on the radio I heard this lady talking about "teaching them how they learn" and I was intrigued. I listened intently to the program and as soon as it was over, I was online looking for her book. "The way they learn" by Cynthia Tobias. It was life changing for us. I found out what my boys "learning style" was and mine. See, we teach how we learn and since I am a visual learner and audio, my "let me tell you while I show you" approach was lost on my kinesthetic learner. I started learning how to teach in their learning style and they took off! It changed our world immensely and so I was super excited to share this with my home-school friends. I held a special meeting for our group where I shared with our members what I had learned and how it had helped us. Many of our members ordered a book of their own and were soon telling me how grateful they were.

I thought about this a few weeks ago at work. We have a temporary and she just was not getting it. Our finance officer said in frustration, "YOU show her, I'm sick of repeating myself." I thought, now why is this lady not getting it? So I asked her a few questions and found out that she is NOT a audio learner but visual. So I handed her the notes I had typed up and had her follow along while I showed her on the computer WHAT to do. Then she said "OH gosh I feel dumb, why didn't I get this before?" I said, you were just shown in a why that you could not comprehend. Soon she was doing great and again, I thought about that little book, that once again has changed not just my life but someone else's.

This post is part of the monthly challenge Secret Subject Swap.
If you are interested in the book I mentioned, look for it at your local library, Amazon or my favorite You can also find out more about learning styles at:

My subject was: Pick a book, movie, song or television show that has inspired you and explain how and why it inspired you.
It was submitted by:    

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:
Baking In A Tornado                                   
Not That Sarah Michelle                       
The Bergham Chronicles                      
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                      
My Brain on Kids                   
The Lieber Family Blog          
Never Ever Give Up Hope      
Confessions of a part time working mom
The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver   
Molly Ritterbeck                        
Juicebox Confession                   
Southern Belle Charm                                
When I Grow Up                      

Gourmet Burgers
1 1/2 lbs of lean ground beef
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 TBSP A1 seasoning rub
1 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
5 slices of crispy cooked bacon chopped
Mix well and form into 1/4 lb patties, cook on a grill or stove top in a non stick skillet to the desired way, well done, medium, medium rare or rare. I enjoy mine medium well.
We served them with fresh slices of tomato, with mustard and bbq sauce on the potato buns! Delicious
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

BBQ Chicken Grilled Cheese, Cooking Inspiration and Quotes

My friend Karen set an open challenge to any of the bloggers interested. I said, count me in. The challenge is to list 3 quotes you live by or that inspire you. Karen's post can be found HERE

Of course I'm also sharing a recipe and I used leftovers, so it's quick, easy, delicious and frugal!!

Three quotes I live by, that inspire me or that I just really love:

I'm a perfect size 6, I just keep it covered with a layer of fat for protection.
By: Beverly Johnson
Oh Beverly knows me so well, that is my story and I'm sticking with. Yes, a layer or two or three for protection!

I am a book worm. I love reading almost as much as I love cooking and that love has been passed on to my children. When we were homeschooling it was mandatory for them to read 25, 50, 75 and 100 books each year, depending on their age. All books had to be at their reading level or higher to count. There was always a list of at least 25 books that were a must and the rest could be for pleasure, but mom approved. 
I read this quote in a book one time and it stuck with me. I was raised by a worrier and she was raised by a worrier so I in turn became one. Until I read this quote and decided NO MORE. Do I succeed everyday? No, but I look at my rocking chair and remember that it may keep me busy but it will never take me anywhere AND worrying has NEVER changed the outcome of any problem so why do it?

And yes, Bev wrote this with me in mind, not really but it sounded good. I have often said that my blog is an extension of my creative outlet which is really creating recipes and cooking.

Yeah yeah I know, that's more than three, but like Karen, I have trouble following the rules.
I saw a commercial where they used mayo instead of butter to grill a sandwich. I thought...that's crazy but W said, it's good you should do it. So I did and WOW you really can't tell the difference. I put mayo on one slice of bread and placed it face down in a non-stick skillet. Then I placed a slice of cheese, leftover bbq chicken, another slice of cheese, then topped with a slice of bread that had butter on it. Flipped and ta-da!
Give it a try and tell me what you think. The next time I run out of butter, and yes it does happen, I could still enjoy a grilled cheese. Good to know!!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Friday, July 1, 2016

First of 5 kiddos

Welcome to my First of Five Fridays. As most of you know I participate in writing challenges that post on Friday. Well, when the month has 5, we take the first off and that is what got me started on this "First Of Five Fridays" or 5 things...
I was trying to figure out what to write about and looked at a list of writing prompts. One of them was "the night you turned 21" and that got me thinking. How about the First day of Five important events. Like the birth of each of my children. Five. Except two of them are adopted so I wasn't present for their births BUT I do remember the first time I met each of them. So...that's what I'm doing. Sharing memories of when we met, when you were born and celebrating who they have become.

The First time I met you:
Jim, the first time I met you, you were 12 years old. A tall gangling kid who made me laugh and who impressed me from the very moment as a mature young man. You became very close to my family and near and dear to my heart. My boys loved you and have called you their brother for many years now. There was a time in your life when things were not...well, they just were not great at all. You came to live with us and that made for some interesting moments. I have held my breath when you called me from a clinic. I have prayed many a night and cried many a tear for you. I have seen you fail and I have seen you get up and try again. You are kind, funny, generous and hard working, all the things that make a mom proud. I am so thankful to have you in my life and blessed to call you my son and oldest. :) yep had to throw that in there.

Stephanie, my only girl. You my sweetie stole my heart from the moment I saw you, like all my kids. You were a shy, unsure, scared little girl. We had lots of talks about boys, school, friends and what not to do, sitting up watching movies, riding in my truck, eating pizza late at night and jamming out to the radio. I loved taking you to cheer-leading practice and seeing all the other moms faces. Boy they thought I was some cheap trailer trash with a teenager as young as I was. It was funny and sad at the same time, to be judged so harshly by other moms. But I didn't care. I was so proud of you. Stepping out of your comfort zone, cheer-leading, band, traveling, making friends. Having just watched you graduate,while working and raising a family, a true testament that where there is a will there is a way. Seeing you raise your own children with love, kindness and understanding that you did not always receive as a child but are so able to give. You are generous to a fault and as we near August and your first anniversary I reflect back on that wedding day and my proud moment of walking on that field as your mom. The love that you and Eric share is rare these days and with all the hardships you two have endured so far there is no doubt in my mind that you have a love to last until the last breath.

Justin, wow...The night you were born, well that WAS my 21st birthday. People remenise about what they did the night they turned 21, most got drunk and don't really remember much at all about it. I remember mine vividly. I was in labor. I thought we would have the same birthday but no! You wanted your own day, so you hung in there until the next day. It was long and hard, very difficult and it took me several weeks to recover but you were worth every second. I have watched you grow, mature and become a man I am proud to call son. You are a hard worker, a provider for your family, you love your wife and adore our LMSP. You work hard and play hard. You are surrounded by friends and family who adore you. Of course we all know you look like me and my Daddy which is not a bad thing. You have the Gardner temper and tolerance for alcohol, which can be bad, but you have the Gardner smile that lights up a room and never take a bad picture. LOL

Jesse: the morning you were born, it had been a long night. Deep in the heart of winter, a cold one for us here in NC. I woke at 3 a.m. and thought OH NO my water is going to break. As I tried every so carefully to get off the bed, WHOOSH there it went all over my brand new carpet. Your dad thought we had a pipe burst. I said, "well we kinda did" and off we went to the hospital. You were in a hurry, because by 7 a.m. you came into the world. You were the perfect baby. Sleeping straight through the night from day one. Not fussy, never sick, happy to sit on a blanket with a few toys. If I said no, you didn't do it. You were smart as a whip early on. We used to entertain ourselves by dumping several boxes of puzzles onto the floor and timing you to see how fast you could pick out the different ones and put them together. It was amazing. As you grew your talents increased. Music, computers, art, hair, if it was artistic you were drawn to it and excelled. My dear you have had your moments of rebellion and learned from them but you have not given up and continue to move forward in life and find new dreams and goals to work toward. Life has not been easy and health wise you were dealt a shitty hand, sorry but no other way to put it and you know it's true. BUT you do not sit around and wallow in self pity. You push yourself, sometimes too much. You like the rest of my kids are generous to a fault, loving , kind and funny as all get out. You have made me laugh when I didn't feel like it. I pray you continue to follow your dreams and reach them.
Joey, my youngest, my baby boy. It is so hard to believe that you are now a dad, married 3 years now and serving proudly in our USAF. It is funny, you were the dare devil, the sickly baby, the fit throwing, gotta have my way, argue with a sign post child but you have grown into a quiet, calm, mature, career man, husband and dad. It amazes me. Not that I thought you couldn't but when you were growing up most people told me "he will never leave home" you were a "momma's boy" and I enjoyed it which makes you living over 2500 miles away that much harder. You were a difficult pregnancy, which should have clued me in that you'd be a difficult child. You came into the world early, tiny and fighting. Looking at you now, at 6 feet tall, no one would guess that you were 7 weeks early, asthmatic and sickly. Thank God he has healed you and you've surpassed all our expectations.

I love each and every one of you. You are all unique, each special in his or her own way. I am proud of all of you and am so thankful to be your mom whether by birth or by choice, you are all my children now and always.

There is my FIRST...I'm sure you remember the day or night each of your children were born and if you're not a parent, there are days etched in your memory. It may be your 16th, 21st birthday, graduation or something else. Wanna share? Feel free to tell me all about it in the comments.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic