Saturday, August 23, 2014

Potato Casserole

This is one of my dad's recipes.  He passed away in 2007.  He was a great cook and I am so glad that I was able to get his recipes.

Potato Casserole

3 lbs potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup butter
2- 3 oz pkgs cream cheese softened
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 - 2 oz jar diced pimento, drained
1 small green pepper, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt

1. Cook potatoes in boiling water 15 minutes. Drain and mash.
2. Add butter and cream cheese. Beat at medium speed till smooth.
3. Stir 1/2 cup cheddar and next 6 ingredients. Spoon into a lightly greased 11 x 7 x 1 1/2 baking dish. Cover and chill.
4. Remove casserole and let stand at room temp. 30 minutes, then bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
5. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar and bake 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tri Tip Steak with Mr. Yoshida's Sauce

The other day we were in Costco and sampling their new foods.  We came across a lady in the meat aisle and she was sampling tri tip steaks.  She had marinated it with Mr. Yoshida's Original Gourmet sauce.  Oh my goodness!  This was steak heaven on a toothpick.  My whole family went CRAZY over this!  I mean the "mom you have to get this!" kind of crazy!

So I asked the lady how she prepared it and got the ingredients while I was there.  The next night we had Tri tip steak with Mr. Yoshida's Sauce and veggie kababs.  I served them over rice.

The sauce is a sweet and tangy sauce, similar to an Asian stir-fry sauce.  It is delicious with steak and veggies.  So delicious that the next day I cut up the left over steak and veggies into smaller pieces, made some more rice, and stir fried the steak and veggies.  Super yummy.

To cook the tri tip I cut it into a little larger than bite-sized pieces and marinated them for about 30 minutes in the sauce.  I cut the veggies into chunks and then put the veggies and meat on skewers.  I grilled them for about 8 minutes total, until the meat seemed done enough for us (medium).  I let the kababs rest for about 3-4 minutes before serving.

You can also cook tri tip steak on the grill in large long lengths.  Cut against the grain to make a more tender slice.

I know you can get Mr. Yoshida's Original Gourmet sauce at Costco.  I looked at Kroger when I was there but didn't see it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cute Crochet Coasters

These are so cute and fun to make.  They whip up in no time flat.  I can make one in about 35-45 minutes time and I am a slow crocheter.

I got the pattern off someone else's blog.  I can't seem to find it again unfortunately.

I am an intuitive crocheter when it comes to making things I look at a bunch of patterns and then put a couple together to make what I am looking to create.

My pattern may not be exact nor might it be exactly what you are looking for.  I will try to explain it as best I can though.

Coaster Pattern:
1 skein of 100% cotton base color (you will be able to make several coasters with just one skein)
1 skein of edging color (100% cotton)

Chain 14.
Single crochet in 2nd loop and each loop after.  (13 SC) ch 2 and turn.
Next row: SC in first SC. *Skip next sc, dc and sc in next sc* to end.
Next row: sc in first sc. skip dc, dc and sc in next sc. You will be doing a dc and sc in every sc in previous row. 

Continue until it looks like a square, about 10 or 11 rows. 
Change colors and sc all the way around the square, with three sc's in each corner. Then slip stitch around the entire thing again to finish it off.

And there you have it.

Pens, Pens, Glorious Pens!

I love to do pen work on my pages and cards.  I love how it gives a little bit extra to whatever project I am working on.

My go to pens are usually Sakura Souffle or Glaze pens.  I also love my Micron pens.  The points are awesome and gives such detail to things. Use the .05 and the really fine tips, .01.  LOVE them!!

When I am journalling I love my Creative Memories colored pens.  The CM pens are about a .05 tip. The thin tips are awesome for journalling. 

I have several cups of pens on my desk.  I love that they are right at my fingertips. I also have some markers, from Creative Memories in thick  point that I use sometimes.  Watercolor pencils are also on my desk. I do love shading with those when using stamps. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Teachers need cards too!

I was a classroom teacher for 19 years.  Now we homeschool our kids so I am not in the classroom anymore.  When I was teaching in school I always needed note cards.  I would use them to write a quick thank you to a child for doing something awesome, a thank you for a parent who contributed to the class in some way, a thank you to another teacher, principal or guest speaker.  I used the cards to write a quick note home to a parent about their child (usually a good note) or requesting something from a parent.  Anyway, I loved it when I would receive gifts of a note card set from others.

Here is a set that would be fun to receive if I were teaching again.

I used the DCWV Grade School (with glitter) stack.  I love the foil and glitter on the papers.  I had the 4.5" by 6.5" paper stack that I had gotten on sale a couple years ago.  These are so much fun.  I used pen on the edges to draw the dots and lines.  The pens were Sakura Glaze and Souffle.  I love these pens!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Scrappy Goodness-Note Cards

I haven't scrapped in like forever (in my best Valley Girl voice).  So I decided to start with some cards.  Everyone needs a few note cards laying around the house for when you need to write a note. People still do that, right??? Write????

I was unpacking my FEW supplies I still had and came across some old scrapbook kits I had never used.  Well I did use this kit but I didn't like it.  So I had a lot of paper and embellishments left over. I decided to dust off the rust with this kit because if I didn't like what I created it wouldn't really matter.

However, I really liked what I came up with.  These all came from the same kit.  Like I said, I didn't like the kit so much for scrapbooking so I had a lot of paper left.

Time Flies:

 I used pen around the edges to make the dots.  This pen was a thick point pen.  I stickled the butterfly's body with Gold Stickles to give it some bling.

True Love:

I had fun with the Diamond Stickles on these cards to really make them shine.

You're such a HOOT!

These cards were a lot of fun and I used more layers on them.  I blinged them out with Gold Stickles and made them really extra shiny.

I am taking these up to a local store where people can sell their handwork. Maybe I might actually sell a few. Who knows!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Moving - What happened to my craft stuff?????

Last year we moved out of our house.  We sold the house and put all our belongings in storage.  We had lived in this house for 13 years and accumulated a LOT of stuff.  No big deal.  We can weed out the stuff we don't really need and have a yard sale.  So before packing a single box we went through the house and gathered all the stuff we didn't need and had a yard sale.  We got rid of a lot of stuff!  It was great.

Then we gathered some more stuff and had another yard sale.  We got rid of a bunch more stuff. It was good.

Then we started packing.  While packing we found that we still had stuff we didn't need so we had yet another yard sale.  After each sale we gave all our leftovers to the Goodwill. They loved us! :)

With each yard sale I got rid of my yarn stash, paper stash, and material stash. I still saved stuff but I got rid of a LOT of stuff.  Everything else went in storage.

This past April we came back into town and went through our stuff one more time.  We had the MOTHER of all yard sales and got rid of HALF of all our belongings, including ALL of my yarn stash (save a few hand dyed items), ALL of my paper stash (save for a few boxes), and ALL of my material.  We didn't want to move it 1000 miles away.  It is really far and the less we had to move the less money it would take. I was saving money.

Now plans changed and we actually moved back to our hometown and are in a new house. The reality has hit me that I no longer have my awesome yarn stash, my awesome paper stash and my awesome fabric stash.  I want to make curtains but can't because I have no material for that. I want to scrap a bit but am missing paper that I got rid of. I want to make some placemats but have no yarn to crochet them.  Oh and did I mention that there are only 20 weeks until Christmas???  I have no stash from which to make presents yet.

I have learned my lesson.  I will no longer listen to my husband when he says I have too much stuff and need to get rid of it.  I will no longer listen when he tells me that "we can just buy new later".

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A bit of hospitality in the south

One of the truly shocking things we discovered when we moved to Florida was the lack of southern hospitality.  Well, the lack of anything southern at all in Florida.  From the beginning I teased that we didn't move to another state, we moved to another COUNTRY.  Florida seemed to have more northerners there than southerners.  I even learned to speak with a New York accent!

As we were traveling back to Richmond, me in the suburban that just turned 200,000 miles towing a 12 ft. Uhaul trailer and my husband in a 1996 Dodge Ram Diesel Truck towing our 40ft fifth wheel (16,000 lb of weight) we happened upon a bit of trouble. While prior to our departure we had some work done on the truck it seemed to be having some other troubles on the road.

It developed the "Death Wobble".

This is a real term and a very scary real thing.  Watch the front driver's side wheel.  It looks like a floppy fish.  When I saw my husband's wheel doing this it looked much floppier.  We pulled over on the next exit and we lucked out.  We didn't know where we were or if we would be able to get it fixed.

We pulled into a Walmart there (we were lucky there was one on the exit). I walked into the store and headed straight to the automotive section.  I hoped I would find someone there shopping who may look like they could help us find a mechanic who does front end work.  A Death Wobble occurs when there is any type of play in the suspension. I didn't find any shoppers but I did find out that they sold tires and had a shop right at Walmart.  I walked around to one of the open bay doors and called a mechanic over.  He told me that they don't do any front end work, just tires, rotations, and oil changes. Great.  I ask if he knows of anyone in town who does work on front ends.  At that time a lady came over who had a Walmart tag on but she wasn't dressed in mechanics clothes.  She asked if she could help.  I explained my situation and told her I didn't even know where I was.  She was so helpful.  She told me where I was, where the best place to get the work done was, the address of the shop, the phone number, and their hours.  She also told me we could keep the trailer in the parking lot, no problems.  She also told me where to find a hotel for the night.  Her name was Julia and if you ever happen to be in Walterboro, SC at the Walmart and see her, say hello!

I take all this information back out to my husband who is still looking under the front end for damage, something broken, etc.  Even though the shop we need to get to is closed, my husband calls anyway.  He gets an answering service who patches him into a mechanic.  The shop also works on commercial trucks so they are available 24/7 for road emergencies on commercial vehicles.  We are not their kind of emergency but they tell us to bring it in the next morning at 7:30 am.  They will have someone on it immediately for us.  We spend the night.  Everyone is friendly.

The next morning we take the truck over to the repair shop.  They immediately put it up on the rack and discover we have a bad steering suspension.  The part is 45 minutes away and will arrive by delivery driver at 1:30 pm.  They then say that they are trying to contact a brother of another mechanic to see if he can go get it and bring it to them earlier.  The brother can't do it but no problems we are stuck until 1:30.  I leave but my husband and son stay behind with the truck and trailer.  I had to get to our destination to meet the realtor and get the keys to our new place.

Once the truck part was put on the truck they did a test drive but that didn't solve the problem.  They found another issue and solved it but this put them possibly not leaving that evening.  The mechanic who had been working with my husband invited him to his home for dinner that evening.  How nice was that!  Southern hospitality at its best.  My husband and son considered it but felt they needed to get back on the road and put some miles under them that evening.  They were still 8+ hours away from us girls who went ahead.

At one point during this ordeal, my husband said to me, "We are back in the south and it feels so good to be here."

So much can happen in a month

The long and short of it......

Short: We've moved.  We are no longer living in a trailer in Florida.  We are now living in Richmond again and my husband starts his job tomorrow morning at 8 am.

Long:  Just after Independence Day we received our first flavor sample. At this same time we asked the manufactured to work up some numbers for us.  We needed to know how much this was going to cost us per bag, per case, etc.  We had many potential retailers ready for this information and we were ready to get some real numbers put together for them.  The flavor sample came and it was bland.  We asked them to work on the flavor some more.  They did and also sent us some preliminary numbers.  We were shocked at what they sent.  They were quoting a 1 1/2 lb bag of jerky for double what we were expecting.  In the beginning we had told them our price range and they said they were sure they could hit that mark.  They doubled it!

After two solid days of pencil to paper we just couldn't figure out how to make this figure work for us.  We were the middle man but the manufacturer cut us out of any profits on our end.  We would do all the selling work for them and make zero in return.  It just didn't make any sense to us.  We had to tell them to put the project on hold.  The numbers were just too high.  The manufacturer understood and thought it may be a problem.  So that was the end of the jerky.  We definitely tried and it was a great learning experience for us.

Now what to do?????  My husband had been working hard to find a job, any job that paid more than minimum wage but just couldn't find a thing.  We agreed that we would move to where ever there was a job for him, including back to the same city where we had just moved from a year ago.  He made one phone call and lo and behold he had a job.  It was more than minimum wage and he has the opportunity to start up his lawn care business again.

In two weeks time we found a house, sold our flea market booth, packed everything up and we have now moved.  We are living in Richmond again and so far all is good.  We have been here three days.

Currently my view is a sea of boxes and jumbled furniture.  The trailer is currently parked on the street but will be going into storage in a day or so.  The kids have their own rooms again but last night I heard them all together giggling.  While they will enjoy their own spaces I love that they are each other's best friends.

We have had many excitements recently but I have to say one of my biggest excitement is that I have a dishwasher and two refrigerators in my kitchen right now.  I can't wait to go grocery shopping and fill them up and begin cooking again on my real sized stove and real sized oven.

I have lots of things I want to write about and will get to them in time.  Please keep checking back!  And leave me a comment or two.  It makes my day to see a comment posted on my blog.