Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Do you make New Year's Resolutions?
Not me...It has always amused me when people make their list of things they plan to do better in the coming year. Most of the plans go out the window after a few weeks into the new year. So, I figure why waste the time to make the list! I do send you wishes for a safe, healthy and happy New Year...

Sunday, December 30, 2012


I planted these chives years ago...I have just let them "do their thing" never digging them up or splitting the clumps or anything you read that should be done to them. I think they are quite beautiful with these white fall blooms on them. In the spring they have purple blooms. They seem to stay green most of the year here in Western Oklahoma. I found this article by Amy Jeanroy on that I want to share with you about chives.


By , Guide

What Are Chives Known For?

Chives are one of the most well known herbs, but often one of the least used. Everyone seems to know someone else who grows chives but other than snipping onto baked potatoes, Chives never seem to get used to their total potential.Chives are a wonderful addition to the beginner's garden. They impart a light onion flavor in any dish and can be used interchangeably in recipes calling for onions. There is even a variety of chives that tastes like a blend of onion and garlic. Chives keep their lovely green color when cooked so they make a fancy addition to butters for an aromatic blended topping for corn on the cob, pasta dishes or garlic bread.

How To Grow Chives

Chives are easy to grow. They require full sun and will benefit from rich, moist soils. Keeping your chive plant snipped back will cut down on the dried, yellow stems from overtaking the entire clump. These are simply the chive leaves that have finished their growing cycle. Cutting them back will create a new batch of bright green leaves. If you continue to cut the blossom heads from your chive plant, the flowers will keep coming and you will have a special ingredient for the following culinary delight. Chives need to be divided every two to three years. You simply dig up the entire clump of chives in early spring, chop it into two or three pieces with a shovel and replant each one separately. This ensures a fresh start for more chives.

What Do I Use Chive Blossoms For?

Chives have a stunning purple blossom that offers a culinary treat that will become a fantastic treat for any food lover. Fill a one quart jar about 1/2 full of white vinegar. Start snipping and submerging the blossoms as they open. If you continue to snip and remove all the blossoms, this will force the plant to keep making flowers. Once the jar is full-with vinegar covering the blossoms, cover and let steep in a dark cupboard for at least 2 weeks. The blossoms will fade to white and the vinegar will become a shockingly pink color. The delicate taste of chive blossoms will arguably be one of the finest infused vinegars you will ever taste. Be sure to keep this treat in the dark as sunlight will fade the color rapidly. This makes a wonderful gift for your food loving friends.
Note the rain drops on these...we actually got rain in Western Oklahoma!
How Do I Store Chives?
Chives are easy to grow and abundant. To store them for winter use, you must not dry them. The taste fades rapidly. The proper way to keep chives tasting fresh all year long is to freeze them. I have frozen them in long stems and snipped them into the foods as needed or you can snip them before freezing in a freezer proof bag. Chives also grow very well on a windowsill. If you would like to try growing herbs inside and do not think you have enough light, try chives at first. They will grow almost anywhere as long as they don't get too dry.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Zio's Italian Kitchen - YUMMY!

Zio's Italian Kitchen is a regional concept with 20 restaurants to serve you in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico and Texas. We stopped in at the Zio's on south Meridian in Oklahoma City and OH was really good food.
My daughter and my husband both love Italian food. I am not that crazy about it, because it usually makes me feel ill after I eat it, but this place was awesome and did not make me sick. They bring fresh baked bread to the table that is just heavenly!  I highly recommend Zio's Italian Kitchen.

What others are saying about your favorite Zio's:
Voted Best Italian dining by the readers of the "Daily Oklahoman" in their "Reader's Choice Awards" 2006.
Voted Top 20 Casual Dining Favorite by the readers of "Tulsa People Magazine" in 2006.
Voted Best Italian dining and Best Downtown Pre-event dinner by the readers of the "Daily Oklahoman" 2004 & 2005.
Voted Best Italian restaurant by the readers of the "Springfield News-Leader" 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004. And, it was voted best Italian (Chain) "417" magazine in 2004.
Voted Top 10 Favorite Chain Restaurant, Best Dinner worth twice the price, Best Place to Eat with Kids, Best Carry Out and Best Italian - Family by the readers of "Tulsa People Magazine" in 2003.

417 Magazine, Best of Springfield 1999 Best Pasta
417 Magazine, Best of Springfield 2007, Best Italian Food
417 Magazine, Top 5 Local Restaurants and Best Italian 2008
This is what we ordered...
Italian Nachos
A bed of crispy pasta chips topped with Alfredo sauce,
our four-cheese blend, chopped pepperoni, Italian
sausage, kalamata olives, pepperoncini and green
onion, all drizzled with our balsamic reduction.

Spaghetti Feast

Our famous tomato sauce with meatballs, Italian

sausage and sliced chicken breast served over spaghetti.
Greek Pasta
Sliced chicken breast sautéed in garlic, white wine and
olive oil with kalamata olives, green onions, red pepper
flakes and oregano. Tossed with penne, diced Roma
tomatoes and feta cheese.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Foto

Logan loved his Charlie and the Christmas Kitty by Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond.
He already had the first Charlie the Ranch Dog book.
Logan loves books and I love Logan!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bobby's Salmon

Bobby's Salmon
How yummy does this look?
Bobby prepared:
Maple Glazed Salmon Steak
Mango Glazed Salmon Steak garnished with Mango slices
Wild Rice
Asparagus Stalks Grilled with butter and sea salt
and Fried Potatoes
He is an awesome cook and comes up with the best flavor profiles!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

WHEW! Holidays are WORK!

We traveled to my sister-in-law's ranch in South Central Oklahoma for Thanksgiving
and we traveled to Northwest Arkansas to Mom's for Christmas.
Traveling for the holidays is WORK! 
Shopping for the holidays is WORK!
Wrapping the gifts is WORK!
Preparing all the food to feed the families is REALLY WORK!
Our niece Debra loves to cook and this is what she prepared:
She brined this beautiful bird...
if you do not brine your birds you need to start.
There are lots of brine recipes you can look up.
Here is our Great Nephew Jason carving the bird.
OMG...this ham was to die for...carmelized top was awesome!
This is our niece Debra fixing her mashed potatoes.
Her cornbread dressing was so yummy!
This is our Great Niece, Jessica
(Debbie's daughter) getting the rolls ready for the oven.
I forgot to get the name of these rolls, but they were so good.
Here is Debra doing the gravy on the gas stove in the canning kitchen.
(The electric stove is in the photo above by Jessica)
No meal is complete without deviled eggs.
Sweet Potatoes
Cream Cheese Corn
Green Beans
Mashed Potatoes
Blackeyed Peas.
Squash Casserole
AND she had half a dozen pies and cakes and fruit salad...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Watching the Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren open their gifts is the best time ever. Just seeing the excitement in their eyes is awesome.

Christmas is a special time for us, because that is when my husband and I met. He was actually dressed as Santa Claus! This year our daughter found this neat Santa t-shirt for her dad! Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Our daughter is so funny...
she drove us to Arkansas for Christmas and on the way back we both nodded off.
She took photos of us sleeping and made the following Christmas photo!
Now, I was in the back seat behind her and her Dad was in the front seat beside her and she has the nerve to yell at me for taking photos while I am driving????



Monday, December 24, 2012

OKC Thunder Cares

Our Oklahoma City Thunder team members work just as hard off the court as they do on the court for the Thunder Cares Foundation. They have gone to the boys and girls clubs, served food at the shelter, passed out groceries and gifts to those in need and have done lots of other things to make the holidays a brighter time for others.
Thank You Thunder team members!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Coat Hanger Outdoor Decoration

This is the result of watching one of those Christmas craft shows and nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon. Redneck Christmas Tree. To make gather 13 green plastic coat hangers, 14 gold plastic Christmas balls, some red curly ribbon, florist wire or bread ties. Tie the coat hangers together in the shape of a Christmas Tree. Then tie on the gold balls and curly ribbon for decoration. If you wanted to make it fancier you could string it with Christmas lights. The result is a durable outdoor decoration that is very inexpensive to make.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Brad Cohen - Tourette Syndrome

Brad Cohen speaking in Denver, Colorado
When my daughter went to Denver, with her University of Oklahoma class for a conference, the featured speaker was Brad Cohen. I was so excited that she was going to get to see him...he is like a rock star to me! The man is totally incrediable. I have see the movie about his life on the Hallmark Channel several times and he amazes me. She had never seen the movie, but I told her about him, and after hearing him speak she was just as impressed as I have been. This man is a hero to anyone who ever struggled through school. 
I looked up the following information about Brad Cohen to share with you.
Living with Tourette Syndrome can be a challenge, but Brad Cohen believes he has overcome his disability by living life to its fullest. Brad has been a highly respected teacher for 14 years and is currently an Assistant Administrator in Cobb County, just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Brad previously taught second and third grade at Tritt and Mountain View Elementary in Cobb County and was the technology lab instructor at Stripling Elementary School in Gwinnett County. He also was responsible for the staff development as an Area Lead Teacher for several schools in Cobb County.
Brad has not only taught reading, writing and math, but he also teaches his students how to accept people for who they are, no matter what their disability may be. One of Brad’s biggest honors was the Sallie Mae First Year Teacher of the Year Award for the State of Georgia. Brad received this award for both his outstanding teaching and positive role model abilities.
Brad attended Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois where he graduated Cum Laude and received his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. He went on to attend Georgia State University where he received both a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Specialist Degree in Leadership and Administration. Brad later was recognized as the Bradley University Outstanding Young Alumnus. Brad has been active with the Tourette Syndrome Association where he served on the Board of Directors in Georgia. He helped start an one week overnight summer camp for children who have Tourette’s and has traveled around to help other camps in the U.S. He speaks to parents, teachers, children, and adults about his experiences with Tourette Syndrome.
Brad volunteers with many community events. Brad was the chairman of Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society in both Roswell and Cobb County. He has been a little league coach for a 4th grade baseball team. He was recognized for his community involvement and selected as a semi finalist in the Ben and Jerry’s Citizen Cool Contest. Brad was named the Atlanta Braves/Bell South Excellence in Education winner and was presented with an award at Turner Field. During the baseball season, Brad use to be found at Turner Field where he worked part time as one of the Atlanta Braves mascots. Brad is married to his wife Nancy and welcomed their first son, Dylan, in March, 2010.
Brad has been featured on Oprah, CNN, Inside Edition, People Magazine, The New York Times and several other magazines and newspaper articles.
Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had, was Brad’s first book and is available in hardback and paperback in bookstores across America. It was named the Education Book of the Year and was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie for CBS television in 2008. Since the first airing of the show, it has been seen across the world on various stations. It is now featured regularly on the Hallmark Channel.
Brad’s personal website is

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Foto

In October when my daughter went to Denver they received snow.
These are some photos she took from the window of her hotel room.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Blueberry Breakfast Rolls

This is another of the recipe cards I received in the mail. I love blueberries and these breakfast rolls look so yummy! I love breakfast foods, but we usually have "breakfast" at other times of the day instead of mornings. These look more like brunch rolls to me:)
Blueberry Breakfast Rolls
1  12.4 ounce package (8) refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
1  cup frozen blueberries, thawed and well-drained
1/3  cup blueberry preserves
1  teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/4  cup chopped pecans, toasted
Preheat oven 375 degrees.
1. Lightly grease sixteen 2 1/2 inch muffin cups.
Remove cinnamon rolls from package; set icing aside.
Cut each cinnamon roll in half crosswise.
Press a roll half in bottom and about 1/2 inch up the side of each muffin cup.
2. In a small bowl stir together blueberries, preserves, and lemon peel.
Spoon filling into muffin cups. Sprinkle with pecans.
3. Bake in a 375 degree oven about 12 minutes or until golden.
Cool in muffin cups on wire rack for 5 minutes.
Remove from muffin cups and place on wire rack.
Cool for 5 minutes.
4. Place icing from the package in a small bowl.
If needed, stir in a little milk to make icing of drizzling consistency.
Drizzle icing over rolls.
Serve rolls warm.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Peppermint Pie

I received these recipe cards in the mail the other day. They were trying to sell me a cookbook. I saved a couple of the cards and tossed the rest of the package of stuff. This recipe looked like something I could make in a hurry and I thought I should share it with you.
3 pints (1 1/2 quarts) peppermint ice cream
1 chocolate-flavored crumb pie shell
1 12-ounce jar fudge ice cream topping
Coarsely crushed candy cane
1. In a chilled bowl stir ice cream until softened.
2. spoon ice cream into pie shell, spreading evenly.
Return to freezer for at least 4 hours.
3. To serve, warm the fudge topping in the microwave per directions on jar.
Let pie stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before slicing.
Serve with warmed topping.
Sprinkle with crushed candy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Diet Friendly Sweet Potato Tart

I have featured Recipe Lion on some of my previous posts, but I want to remind you to go there and sign up for their newsletter. They have awesome recipes and more and more they are directing us to SUGAR FREE, GLUTEN FREE, GRAIN FREE AND VEGAN recipes! There is also a website called FAVE GLUTEN FREE RECIPES that offers a newsletter and lots of yummy gluten free recipes. I am using one example of their recipes below.

If you're looking for a dessert to top off your Christmas dinner menu, try out this tasty Sweet Potato Tart. Besides being delicious, this dessert is suitable for a number of diets--it's sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, and vegan. If you're entertaining guests with dietary restrictions, there's a good chance this tart will be right up their alley. This savory sweet potato tart is a wonderful recipe in its own right. The crust has a nutty flavor that perfectly complements the sweet potato filling. Your entire family is sure to devour this tasty dish.

Sweet potato tart

Yield: one 5-inch tart

    For the crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • pinch of salt
  • For the filling:
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potato
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp nondairy milk
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 8 pecan halves, for garnish
    For the crust:
  1. Place the almonds and walnuts in a food processor and process until crumbly (but don't process for too long or it will become oily). Add the dates and pulse to combine. It should form a crumbly dough and stick together when pressed between two fingers. Press the dough firmly into the bottom of a small springform pan or a tart pan with a removable bottom (I used a 5-inch springform pan). Set aside.
  2. For the filling:
  3. Soak the dates in the boiling water for about 15 minutes to soften, and then puree the dates and soaking water in a blender or food processor.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. It will be fairly thick. (You can add more agave if you prefer a sweeter pie.)
  5. Spoon the filling on top of the crust and smooth it out with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Top with pecan halves.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the filling is no longer sticky when touched. Be careful not to overbake or the crust will burn. Set the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Drizzle with maple syrup or agave nectar before serving, if desired.