Saturday, August 30, 2008

Photo Hunt - Beautiful

The Photo Hunt theme for today is "Beautiful" - that certainly falls into many categories for me, so I will have a tough time narrowing it down, here are several things that make me think of the word Beautiful...

A Beautiful Bahia Honda Sunset in the Florida Keys - a lovely gift from God...

The joy of laughing with my son...

A Yucca plant against a gorgeous blue sky at White Sands, NM...

My sisters...

My mother at the age of 16...

Another fantastic sunset at Bahia Honda...

My wedding day...

For more "Beautiful" Photos, visit PhotoHunt at

Have a blessed day

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Funnies - Key Lime Cheesecake

This particular funny took place SEVERAL years ago (note: the youthful thighs and groovy early 90's clothing).

I had made a delicious Key-Lime Cheesecake for a going away party that we were holding at my dearest friend Kim's house. I safely managed to get the cheesecake there (still in the spring form pan). Kim wanted me to pose for a photo with it, and I placed one hand on the rim, and one hand flat on the bottom, "springing" the cheesecake out of the springform pan. It flipped upside down and hit the counter, then landed on my thigh, shoe and the floor.

OF COURSE, Kim and I ate the part that hit the counter, and it was VERY tasty, lol. Yup, this was not the first faux pas of that kind that I have made, nor was it the last... :)

To see more Friday Funnies, visit homesteadersheart
Have a blessed day...and keep your hands off the bottom of your springform pans!

Chocolate-Cherry Biscotti

This is a recipe from a Cooking Light, I put my changes in parenthesis.

Chocolate-Cherry Biscotti

2 cups all-purpose flour (I use
King-Arthur-Organic_100%-Whole White Wheat for all the flour)
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I replace with Nutiva-extra-virgin-coconut-oil )
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2/3 cup dried tart cherries (I prefer sweet or mixed tart/sweet cherries)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I ALWAYS add a little more chips than called for, lol)
Cooking spray

PreparationPreheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flours and salt in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.
Beat sugar and eggs with a mixer at high speed until thick and pale (about 4 minutes). Add oil and extracts, beating until well-blended. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in cherries and chocolate chips.
Divide dough in half; turn out onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Shape each portion into a 10-inch-long roll, and flatten to 1-inch thickness. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove rolls from the baking sheet; cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
Cut each roll diagonally into 20 (1/2-inch) slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Turn cookies over, and bake an additional 10 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool). Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire rack.

Yield 40 biscotti

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Beach - Our God is Amazing!

I moved to Florida from Texas about 14 years ago. Thinking back, I remember that after I moved here, one of the things that made me stay was the beach.

When my son was young, we spent countless weekends body surfing and jumping waves, building sandcastles and looking for shells. As he got older, the trips became few and far between, he mostly went with his cousins to go surf now and then, and I went on my lunch hour to have a little quiet time and contemplate and be reminded of how Great our God is. As life progresses and my days are filled with the things that need doing, I realized that I had not been to the beach in 3 years, not our beach that is.

Now, understand me, I have no desire to be a sun "junky", I do not want to have skin cancer, nor do I want to look like a leather handbag when I get older. I just really like the beach, there is something so amazing about looking out at the ocean and the vast sand and knowing that our great God created it all with his hand.

I began to miss the smell, the breeze and the sound of the waves. So I decided that I would plan a trip to the beach. Today I packed my swimsuit, sunblock and a beach blanket. After I left the gym, I headed East for the entire 12 minutes that it takes (and I haven't gone in 3 years???).

This really is the perfect time for a visit; school is in, the tourists have gone home, the 9-5ers are still at work, and the beach is just as I like it...quiet and calm.

I spent about an hour just enjoying the sights, smells and sounds of the beach. There were only a handful of people there. No radios, no loud teenagers, no obnoxious drunks, no beach bunnies, just a few small family groups and some individuals soaking in the sun. I sat there watching the waves and loving the sound of them rolling down the coastline - God in his greatness created them to make just that specific sound. I enjoyed hearing some distant screeches and giggles from young girls playing in the surf - sweet laughter that our God was so gracious to gift us with. I watched birds running through the surf snatching little critters out of the sand - His beautiful creation. The salty sweet smell of the ocean is unique and I know that God made it's delicate balance to hold sealife.

Then a storm began to roll in from behind me, the sky was beautiful. Brightest blue ahead of me, dotted with puffy white clouds, then as I looked to my left and behind, the deep gray blue was rolling in and distant thunder rolled through the clouds - how fantastic and awsome our God is. Then I knew it was time to head home (you don't hang out on the beach when there is thunder...). It was a nice break from the routine of my day and a breath of fresh air - Florida really is a pretty place to live, and I am thankful that God created this little piece of land sticking out into the ocean. I am thankful that He moved me here and I am thankful that I can see His handiwork in all that He has made.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Jane Austen Brunch

The Jane Austen Birthday Brunch

My best friend Kim, has been so kind as to provide me with a daughter... ok, not REALLY, but close. I never had a daughter, so I have fulfilled all my "girlish mothering desires" through hers, as "Aunt Kathy", and I am thankful for the relationship we have.

Since she will be having her 15th birthday soon, and the three of us are obsessed with all things Jane Austen, I decided to throw her a Jane Austen style brunch. I began a few months ago by making each of us a Regency Era day dresses, I made each bodice and sleeve just a little different for variety, and for some reason I decided on "blue hues".

For brunch, I prepared Spinach-Bacon-Quiche, spiced-blueberry-muffins, stuffed-strawberries, Italian-Cream-Cake, and of course coffee and tea - during this time we listened to the soundtrack from Pride and Prejudice.

For a craft we made Regency Era bonnets while Pride and Prejudice (the movie) played in the background. Unfortunately Kim took home two nice size glue gun blisters.

Of course, we had a lot of fun and laughs and took a gazillion photos of our time together. Kim, however, went into a laughing fit over one of our photos and when this woman laughs, there is often no way to pull her out of it...

It was so much fun, next year maybe we'll do Civil War Era....I think I'll need a bigger living room with those hoop skirts though, LOL. :)

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Works for me Wednesday - Tropical Storm Fay

Yesterday, for Tackle it Tuesday, despite the storm I was able to get to Joann Fabrics to get some craft materials. Today, for Works for me Wednesday, my hubby was able to get to work by wading through almost 3 feet of water and carrying his uniform, gun belt and laptop in a bag over his shoulder, LOL...he had a fellow officer meet him across the bridge at the entrance to our neighborhood, and he'll have to borrow a car from the shop at work... yup, a Tropical Storm is no excuse to miss work when you are a cop!

Bye Honey, have a nice day! :)

I guess Miss TS Fay has decided to sit herself right on top of us (going about 3mph) and dump rain continually, and it's still coming. This morning we looked down the street and saw yellow tape crossing the road at one of the intersections...

We went for a little bike ride to see if there was ANY way out of our neighborhood. I couldn't take photos of the deepest part because it began to rain hard and I didn't want to ruin my camera. However, at the deepest point, it came to the base of my husbands handlebars - sidenote, just in case you were wondering, it's a great workout to ride your bike through deep water, LOL.

Because of the deep patches at the intersections, there was no way that a car, or even a large truck could get out of the neighborhood, we saw MANY people in various vehicles trying (but it was raining too hard to get photos, sorry). We saw a couple of cars that had been washed up onto the sidewalks.
Not everyone was having a bad day though, plenty of people were out having fun, we saw several canoes and quite a few kids with floaties. Note - not a good idea considering the animal waste and who knows what else that has most likely floated up into the streets. Our neighborhood is surrounded by several canals and we do live in Florida, so I wouldn't be surprised at all if someone spots a gator in street!
Heading back from the "pool" - LOL

Come on kids - let's go get some pizza!

The most recent photos I took were from about 2 hours ago, and the water has risen so much since then. We are quite lucky, as we are located in a good spot in the neighborhood and sit a little higher than some houses. However, the street in front of our house now looks like a river and people are able to canoe in front my house now!!!! However, 3 hours ago there were houses near the entrance to our neighborhood that already had water coming inside, it makes me sad to think of what is happening inside their homes right now.

It continues to be an interesting day, even as I type this, the water has "broadened" our road so much more. I don't want to even think about how my hubby will get home tonight!!!! Hopefully not wading through chest high possibly alligator and snake infested water - I never thought I would say this, but I think he should sleep at work! :(

Stormie says "Mom, what's happening out there????"

UPDATE: Hubby was able to call me from work. The Outback restaurant brought all the guys at his precinct Steak and Lobster for lunch - what a blessing and a special treat. Also, his "loaner" car is a big 4wd truck, so he won't be swimming with gators tonight, (sigh of relief!). :)

For more Works for Me Wednesday posts, please visit worksformewednesday
Have a blessed and DRY day!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kathy's Chicken Noodle Soup

This is a basic recipe, so it can be varied according to your tastes. I am kind of a "throw this in the pot" kinda gal, so most of my recipes change each time I make them. This is what I did for dinner last night...

  • Leftover BBQ chicken from Sonny's - LOL - Remove bones and skin and shred the chicken (you can use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery, or any other leftover roasted chicken you have)
  • Cooked Noodles - I had Fettucine on hand, so I broke it into 2 inch lengths and boiled it.
  • Chopped carrots, celery and onion (you choose the amount)
  • Minced garlic (I like garlic so I use about 2-3 big cloves pushed through a garlic press)
  • Herbs de Provence (this is one of my all around favorite herbs for cooking) -use 1 tsp
  • Kosher or Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper (to your liking)
  • White Wine (about 1/2 cup)
  • Chicken and/or Vegetable Broth Homemade is BEST! :) (use a couple of cans plus enough water to give you some broth)
  • Whole Wheat flour (ok, you can use regular flour, but I use WW) - about 2 Tbsp
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Get some water boiling, and cook your noodles, set them aside when they are done. In a large soup pot, heat some olive oil. Saute onion and garlic until soft, add carrot, celery, Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. Saute a few minutes. Add chicken broth (set aside about 1/4 cup broth in small bowl first), add wine, chicken and noodles. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes. In the small bowl, mix with a whisk 1/4 chicken broth and 2 Tbsp flour until smooth. Whisk this into the soup. Uncover and simmer about 10 more minutes, stirring a few times. Serve with biscuits! Yum.

Tackle it Tuesday - Tropical Storm Fay

This little storm is bringing in plenty of rain and wind. Nothing out of the ordinary as far as good size storms go for our parts, and at least there isn't any lightening! woo-hoo! :)

Today I decided that since the gym was closed and I wanted to finish up some sewing crafts for a special lunch this weekend, I needed to run over to Joann Fabrics - stormy or not! :)

The roads were VERY full of water, so it was interesting. Plenty of wind, but no lines down or anything crazy like that. JoAnns was open (I called first), and I got what I needed just before they decided to close early. As I ran out to my car I got soaked by a nice thick rain band that decided to fall at THAT moment, lol - oh well - I didn't melt. :)

Me and my soaked jeans! :)

So, first thing after changing clothes, I decidedto warm up a nice bowl of leftover homemade chicken noodle soup, check here for my recipe...KathysChickenNoodleSoup

The most interesting thing I saw on my way home was a man jogging. Let me tell you, the rain is coming down as if I was starring in a 1940's movie titled One Dark And Rainy Night. It was POURING, the roads and sidewalks were at least 6 inches deep with water. This guy had on his jogging shoes and running shorts and didn't seem to notice the rain at all. Every step he took this huge splash came up, it was pretty funny - wish I had my camera!!!!

I made it home safe and are a few not so exciting photos from this storm...

One of my pretty plumeria plants (this one is almost a tree) became uprooted by the wind. Well, I have been wanting to move it to a new location, so I guess I should be thankful - no digging required. :)

My puppers Stormie, wondering why we have a swimming pool on our back porch!!!!

Out front the rain was coming down pretty hard and the wind was doing it's thing...

This is inside the porch, the screen door leading out to the yard, my feet are in a couple of inches of water...

Oooops.... I guess I should have taken down that plant, it got upturned by the wind and now it is on top of another plant - yikes - I'll have to repair this mess tomorrow...

Two views of my planting area just outside of the back screen porch. There is a step up where you see the cement change color, the water is all the way to the top of the step, about 5 inches.

Have a blessed, and dry, day!

For more Tackle It Tuesday Posts, visit 5minutesformom