“Funny how a melody, sounds like a memory…”

Funny how a melody sounds like a memory

Like the soundtrack to a July Saturday night

Springsteen

~Eric Church

Gotta love a good country song. Especially one that brings back good memories.

Speaking of memories….

With today’s weather reaching 89 degrees (by the way, in case you didnt check the date of this post, it is still April), it sure did feel a little like summer time.

There are certain things that always bring back memories of my childhood summers…

*watermelon*

*camping on the river*

*playing horse shoes and Indian ball*

*my PawPaw singing and playing his guitar*

*festivals*

*fresh sweet iced tea*

*baton and dance competitions*

*band camp*

*fish fries at my grandparents*

*dollar bill poker and the penny game*

*little brothers’ birthday parties*

*lightning bugs and mason jars*

Last night, after prepping food for the month,  I decided that I wanted to make me a little treat…some fresh cucumber salad. And I say ‘me’ because I know no one else will enjoy it. Even better. I don’t have to share. The only thing that could have made this any more delightful would have been if the ingredients came from a garden of my own.

As soon as I put it all together, I thought about summer time and all the times that my mom made this. I secretly think, that she, too, made it mostly for herself. And, that is okay in my book, as I learned to love it just as much.

So, on to the recipe…

Fresh Cucumber Salad

7-cups unpeeled pickling cucumbers sliced thin

1-cup sliced onions

1-cup sliced green peppers

1-cup sliced red peppers

1-cup sliced yellow peppers

1-tbsp salt

1-cup white vinegar

2-cups sugar

1-tsp celery seed

1-tsp mustard seed

Mix cucumbers, onions, peppers and salt; set a side. Put vinegar, sugar, celery seed and mustard seed in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool for one hour. Pour mixture over veggies. Put in or container and store in refrigerator. It will keep for up to 2 months..that is if you don’t eat it all before then! Yummy!

Makes 2 quarts

(with a little extra to eat while putting in jars)

 

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Pinterest Pin of the Day: 04.04.12

Source: NutMegNanny.com

Yummy!

I tried this tutorial twice, just as it is written. Turned out awesome. Great presentation! However, my husband suggested that maybe I could just slice the strawberries in half rather than “wasting” the inside. You know, since presentation doesn’t matter at home. 🙂 Plus, he added, that it would save time. Well….

I made them the “hubby-way” tonight. I have to say, my nerves like this way much better, as cleaning out the insides took extra patience this Momma doesn’t always have to apply to food prep. It gave us more dessert pieces, at the same time allowing for bite-size pieces that seem to have the right amount of ratio of each ingredient. However, it didn’t save that much time, if any, because I had to add an extra step of placing in the fridge for 30 minutes. I had to do the chocolate drizzle first, in a step all its own, so that the chocolate could harden and then allow me to flip the strawberries over for the cheesecake filling step.

Here is my outcome:

The chocolate drizzle step

Ready to devour…

 

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Massive Monthly Menu – April 2012 edition

I like to make a monthly menu to reduce the “stress” of deciding what is for dinner each night. If you know me, to get me to choose a restaurant or something to eat takes an act of Congress.

Making this menu gives me an idea, or options. I do not always stick to that day’s selection. Life happens. However, if we are planning on having what I have “penciled-in” for that day, I know ahead of time and it makes dinner time so much easier.

(Click on menu to enlarge and for print options)

Take a look!

Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers

When I googled “stuffed bell peppers,” I came up with several different recipes. However, most of them called for ingredients that I didn’t have on hand or didn’t really care to put into my peppers. So, here is a simple recipe with mostly ingredients that you might have on hand.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground meat (beef, chuck,  turkey or sausage) browned and drained
  • 3-4 large green bell peppers
  • Diced onion (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 can mild Rotel
  • 1 can tomato paste (12 oz)
  • 2 pouches of Taco Bell’s Home Originals Mexican Rice (or cups of cooked brown rice)
  • Shredded Cheese of your choice (I use Cheddar, Mozzarella or Monterey Jack)

1. Cut the tops off peppers and remove seeds and membranes. Chop the edible part of tops and set aside. Rinse peppers under cold water.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Sauté chopped green pepper (from tops), and chopped onion for about 5 minutes, or until tender.

3. Add Rotel, cooked meat and tomato paste . Simmer for about 10 minutes.

4. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

5. Line a Pyrex dish with aluminum foil. Your dish should be big enough to fit all your bell peppers nice and snug, to help them stand.

6. Fill each pepper with meat mixture, using a spoon to help push the mixture down.

7. Place dish in oven for 45-60 minutes or until the bell peppers have reached the texture your liking.  (I like my peppers a little on the crispy side, so I cook mine for 45 minutes.) Remove from oven.

8. Place a generous amount of shredded cheese on the tops of the peppers. Place back in over for 6-8 minutes, or until melted.

9. Enjoy!

My peppers were accompanied by refried beans and corn casserole! YUMMY!