; Life is like champagne......: 2008-06-29

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Strawberries are here!

Yes, it is one of my favorite time of year for fruit, strawberries are here! Did you know that California produces about 88% of the nation's strawberries? This year for them seems to be a bumper crop! So much so they have made a special place called Strawberryville for you to brush up on some facts, activities and maybe find some new recipes to use the bounty of those strawberries available to us.

A few fun facts I found:

* There are at least 200 seeds on an outside of a strawberry!
* One acre of land can produce 50,000 pounds of strawberries. That is equivalent to the weight of four elephants!
* Strawberries were carved by medieval stone masons at the tops of pillars of churches symbolizing perfection.

You can pretty much eat strawberries for every meal, such as:

* Strawberry Pancakes fro breakfast
* Strawberry smoothie for a snack
* Strawberries cut up in spinach/chicken Salad for Lunch or dinner
* Strawberry shortcake for dessert

My bugaboo girl loves strawberries and as for nutrition, they are in the red! Using the color wheel of eating fruits and veggies, strawberries take the cake for having more vitamin C than an orange and high in fiber! So go ahead and eat strawberry shortcake!

This year I planted my first strawberry plants, hoping for my crop to build and watch my daughter be able to pick them in the years to come. Strawberryville has some wonderful activities you can use with your child. I especially like the strawberry playdough recipe and the "Picked a Strawberry" song which my daughter loves.
Enjoy the strawberry season and visit Strawberryville for fun activities, facts and recipes. I know I picked up a few ideas there to try, strawberry ornaments and playdough!

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Taquila Lime Chicken

Here is a great recipe for the 4th of a July that is a step away from hamburgers and hotdogs! My knit friend Kathleen and I swear by this recipe. Two main ingredients.....Lime and tequila! You can find the recipe here. Check out the tequila I have shown, it came out of my grandmother's house and she has had it for at least 30 years! Does tequila age? I figure it was best for a marinade instead of a margarita. Anything the has Montezuma on it for alcohol is probably something you might not want to drink. I could be wrong but not taking any chances.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Up early on the 4th

Woke up at 5:30am with all good intentions of doing a lot of cooking this morning. We will be spending our 4th of July with Aunty Deb and Uncle T, a small BBQ on the river. Of course I see now it is raining so no idea what the forecast is for the rest of the day. I have started off with Banana Bread, for the Bugaboo Girl, which I will post the recipe later. Hopefully I will get to making a Independence Day Trifle with strawberries, nectarines and blueberries. I use what I have and that is what I have right now. Again, I will post this reicpe later. Then it is off to making cookies for tomorrow, our trip to NYC for the NY Yankee vs. Red Sox game with Aunty Melissa and Unk Mak, who are of course Red Sox fans. I have yet to decide which cookie whether it is oatmeal raisin or ginger snap. Those probably will not get done until tonight. And finally I will finish off my abundance of chick peas with some humus to bring with us which I roasted the garlic last night. And there is my cooking schedule for today! Have a safe 4th of July!

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Happy 4th of July!

Take time to remember how fortunate we are to live in this country and the freedoms we have. Have a safe and happy holiday!

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Vegetable Garden Update

I have been spending every day out in the garden, weeding and checking on the progress of the plants.

The Kohlrabi is doing excellent and the tomatoes have been growing very nicely. Can anyone tell me what is kohlrabi anyway? A radish or cabbage? Looks like a mini cabbage.

So far so good! The zucchini will be ready for picking this weekend, yea! Here comes the zucchini bread!

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Cupcakes you wear for the 4th of July

My friend Suzanne gave me this cupcake T for the Bugaboo Girl, perfect for Independence Day! She got it at Target, a dangerous store I stay away from!

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A Kat in the Hat Has a Giveaway at that....

O.k., so I can't seem to rhyme but Kat in the Hat is cute custom clothing company that is giving away a customized baby, toddler or Kid T-shirt over at Chic Shopper Chic. Pop on over to Kat in the Hat, browse through their cool clothing and see which T you would like then go back to Chic Shopper Chic and post which one you want! Giveaway ends by Midnight July 10th. Maybe you can think of a better rhyme than me!

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Although I could easily think of a few words....

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The Early Bird Gets the Raspberries!

Every year it is a battle between me and the cat birds for the raspberries. I spied last night that my black raspberries are just starting to become ripe and my next three weeks every morning will be picking them before my little kitty cat bird friends get them. Oh of course they will have their fare share of the ones I cannot reach or not get in time. They do have a couple of benefits over me as I usually get completely scratched up from walking in to the bushes and they can go places I will not! But look how I did on my first picking! I usually end up making about 10 jars of jelly with all of my

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Top five uses of Lousiana Hot Sauce

I love Louisiana Hot Sauce, heat is good! Here are my top five uses garnishing it on a meal.

1. Eggs
2. Pizza
3. Mashed potatoes
4. Red Beans and Rice
5. Gumbo

What are your top five uses of any hot sauce?

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Chick Pea Humus

I discovered that the Bugaboo girl like chick peas...garbanzo beans. Great! Something good for you, no taste but at least high in fiber. I asked Eric to pick up some at Costco expecting a 6 pack of cans. Nope, this was a very large can of chick peas, enough to last us a year with the Bugaboo Girl. My mother-in-law just bought some so I could not pawn any off on them. What can I make? How about some humus!

I was surprised to see how few ingredients there were in most of the recipes found and how easy it looked! The only item I needed to buy was the tahini, which smells and looks like peanut butter. In fact, if I had peanut butter, I would have used it! Here is the recipe and I did improvise on it a second time, which I have to say tasted better. Here is what I added.

1 whole roasted head of garlic
2 tsp of paprika instead of one
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of lemon juice.

If the consistency is too thick, add a little more EVOO or a little water. I prefer the EVOO. Serve with veggies, tortilla chips or crackers! Yummmmm....

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Vintage Apron Giveaway

I have a few aprons, as you can see from this weeks posts, Bugaboo Girl like to wear them. I notice that Vintage Indie is giving away a Vintage Apron, and why not let everyone join in on the apron band wagon! Let's all keep our clothes a little cleaner! Not to mention look quite cute! Pop on over to Vintage Indie and post which one you want, contest ends July 3rd!

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Tackle It Tuesday

This Tackle it Tuesday, sponsored by 5 Minutes for Mom, I am dreading to do! I know I have been guilty of buying something at the grocery store that I already have in this cabinet because...well you can pretty much see why! It needs a desperate makeover and somehow an easy way to see what is in this cabinet.

The after picture may not look any better to you but I decided to take everything out, clean the cabinet and then organize it according to what I use the most, with largest in the back of the cabinet so I can see the small items in the front. Yes this took one full nap time!

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Take 5...Summer Safety Tips That Is!

My bugaboo girl loves to be outside, especially in the warm weather. Her little turtle pool is filled everyday and she of course has to have her water toys spread out around her for easy access. Since she is spending every waking hour outside, I have to be more away of her surroundings such as mosquitoes and sun protection. MommyDocs has teamed up with The Clorox Company to help spread the word of the importance of Summer safety with 5 tips.

*Have a Sun Protection Strategy: Regular use of sunblock is one of the safest ways to protect your child against sunburn. Applying a sunblock of at least SPF 15 thirty minutes prior to going outside then every 2 hours is an easy routine. Providing a wide brim hat and sunglasses to wear is also important.

*Keep Pests Off of Your Little Ones:Biting insects are always a challenge this time of year. Mosquitoes and ticks can be repelled by using a product that contains DEET. Depending on the percentage DEET in the product, it can be applied to skin sparingly but can be applied to clothes also. Avoid applying to the backs of hands, around mouth and eyes as it can be an irritant.

*Keep the Pool Cool and Clean:The little kiddy pools are great for the summer and keeping kids occupied. To ensure there are no critters and ready for use each time, empty the water daily and clean with a bleach/water solution. Supervision around any type of water is a must whether it is a pool or a bucket, besides it is good quality play time with your child!

*High Heat Means Hydrate: Keeping hydrated helps prevent heat-related illnesses such as cramps or heat stroke. Avoid playing in the sun during peak times of day, play in the shade or take breaks in the shade.

*Rid Rashes and Relieve Itchies: Barefoot and summer go together. There is nothing like feeling the grass under your feet. Being barefoot outdoors in the summertime also means being exposed to plants that may cause rashes. Poison Ivy, poison oak and poison sumac can all cause allergic skin reactions. Consult your physician on what should be used whether it is a topical product or oral prescription needed.

Stop by MommyDocs.com for these tips and spread the word on how to make it a safe and fun summer for everyone!

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Five Things Meme

Posted by Mommie Daze. Feel free to play!

What are five things on your to-do list for today?
1. Clean the upstairs bathroom
2. Pick raspberries
3. Fix the AC in the car
4. Get a dog licence and dump pass
5. Make some humus, got an over abundance of chick peas!

What are five snacks you enjoy?
1. Chocolate chip cookies
2. Ice Cream
3. Chips, Utz preferably wavy.
4. Ripe peaches
5. wasabi peas

What are five things you would do if you were a billionaire?
1. Buy a house in Maine on the shore
2. Buy a house in Maine at Moosehead Lake
3. Hire someone to do the housework
4. Spend all day working on my gardens and playing with my daughter!
5. Give back to my town through charities.

What are five of your bad habits?
1. Did I say potato chips as a snack? Well that is a bad habit also!
2. Not getting enough sleep
3. Waiting too long to finish a project
4. Skipping lunch
5. No corresponding with friends enough.

What are five places you have lived?
1. Currently in Haddam, CT
2. Maui,HI
3. Bristol, RI
4. Willimantic, CT
5. Clinton, CT

What are five jobs you’ve had?
1. Boat washer
2. Naturalist Interpretor
3. Waitress
4. Manager of a Coach store in Maui
5. Manager of Waterworks Catalog/Web Sales, sold bathroom fixtures and tile.

What five people do you want to tag?
1. An Island Life
2. A Cowboy's Wife
3. Little House in the Big Woods
4. Chickens in the Road
5. All my friends!

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Candy as a purse?

Well not really, but how about recycling candy wrappers, food packages and other non-biodegradable material to make a handbag or portfolio? Ecoist does just this! What a great idea! Right now Green & Clean Mom is giving away a portfolio worth $138 from Ecoist. Pop over to Green & Clean Mom, post about what you do for a unique recycling idea and you could be a winner. In the end we all win with some new ideas on how to be more green!

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Yard Sale Finds

It has been a while since I stopped at a yard sale. We had to go out and pick up a tractor part so on the way, stopped at a few. I think we scored! Although there were a few things that I would have loved to have picked up like a tugboat sandbox some children's chairs, you can't have it all. Besides, my backyard is starting to look like I grow colorful plastic! Yes I was one of those moms that said I would never do it, wrong! Majority of the items were free, yard sale or gifts. The girls have so much fun on the toys.

Anyway, for the adults we scored a soda siphon with cartridge's, perfect condition. I was happy to have found 12 Cake & Food Decorating publications by Wilton from 1972, great condition and fun decorating ideas. For the Bugaboo Girl, we scored a Melissa & Doug pizza puzzle, pretty good condition. All good finds.

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Why I should wear an apron...

I don't know why I have not learned this lesson yet. How many shirts do I have to ruin by getting olive oil splattered on it? Not to mention it is usually when I plan on going out in the clothes I wear. Today it was making a pasta salad, spaghetti with garlic and olive oil, spattered on a white shirt and shorts. I should have listed to the The Happy Housewife post where she stated the same thing! Now I think i will be practically wearing one as an outfit. You'll see me in it gardening, cooking, cleaning, what ever may cause me to get dirt on my clothes. I do not have an endless budget to buy new clothes and don't have enough of "painting" clothes to wear every day. Ooooo...an apron to paint with...another good idea!

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Waffles

I love to make homemade waffles, and Sunday always is a good day since we can eat the leftovers for breakfast the next few days. I always referred to Betty Crocker for the basic recipe until about a year ago when I started to look for whole wheat alternatives. I found a great recipe that incorporates several different grains and yet does not make the waffles feel like a rock in your stomach! It is a Whole Grain Waffle Recipe and uses applesauce in place of more oil. I happen to use some applebutter I had left over, works the same but adds a little more kick to the flavor. Just a note to the recipe, the batter does get thick so to thin it out, add about another 1/4 cup of milk. Yes I happen to use a hand mixer, the old fashion way works instead of dragging out the Kitchen Aid! I also have the antique waffle iron my mom gave me which I love! I am still working on using last year's blueberry crop so today we will have some warm blueberry syrup over them! The Bugaboo girl loves waffles...what child doesn't!

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