Whats Cookin with GraceandGravy:Meal Planning Week #2

What's Cookin
 WELCOME Back Y’all  to “What’s Cookin with GraceandGravy: Meal Plans” Week #2!
I hope everyone enjoyed some of the meals from last week.  I know some of my families favorites this week were the Chicken n Dumplins and the Mexican Chicken served with Mashed Potatoes. Yum!  In fact when I make Mexican Chicken I always make a large casserole dish because it is so well loved.  I invited over a friend and her two boys to share with us because I know its one of her favorites as well.
If this is your first time here, every Sunday I will share my families Meal Plan for the week to help everyone stay organized and have some ideas on what meals to fix.  No one likes coming home after work or being gone running errands all day, to realize you have no meat thawed for dinner, or you forgot to pick up noodles for your casserole.
So come aboard and share your meal planning for the week as well.
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 Meal Plan week 2
 This week I wanted to keep it simple.  This week I still have a lot of canning to do, a new Bible Study starting on Monday and lots of yard clean up from a storm last week.  I knew it was best to have easy meals with at least one good, hearty meal to last a few days.
I had intended to make toasted subs tonight, until we decided to have dinner with our pastors, which I cooked.  They hosted at their house, but I brought the food.  They are not only our pastors, but great, close friends.  Our families have been so busy with vacations and church events lately that we haven’t had much down time just to relax and visit with one another.
I decided to bring my Homemade Chicken Alfredo because I know its a family favorite and my easy Strawberry Summertime Pie.
After dinner the kiddos walked next door to swim and then everyone came back for pie.
It was a great night, and a great first night of Meal Plans Week 2!
Would love to hear your meal plans for the week.   And I hope you enjoy a few of my meals!

Arkansas Po-Boy Dog

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Here in the South, summertime is in full-swing.  Hot humid days, cool and relaxing evenings.  I so love sitting on the front porch swing sippin Lemonade, or my all-time favorite, Sweet Tea.  There are some things I just wouldn’t trade for the world, and one of those is fireflies for city lights, old farmhouses for condos and country barns for skyscrapers.

Of course, I completely understand if you were raised in the city how this would be reversed.  And believe me I love to visit cities with bright lights, fancy stores and amazing restaurants, but after a visit I’m ready to come back home to the dirt roads, hay fields and stars in the sky.  And it wouldn’t be the South in Arkansas that I love so deeply without good southern comfort food.

Here is Rural Arkansas we have a few staple foods.  There isn’t any summertime meal complete with a side of coleslaw or baked beans.  Whether its a weekend BBQ friends, a church potluck on Sunday afternoon or supper during the week, these two sides are always among the favorites.

I guess you can say along with our slower pace and a more laid back simple style of  life, we still enjoy a little gourmet now and then.  A couple weeks ago I was trying to think of an easy and fast mid-week meal but also something filling for my family.  I had buns and hot dogs, and well really you can’t get any easier than that.  Not only are hot dogs super fast but they are also super cheap.  But in order to make it a complete meal I needed sides.  Well of course I came back to cole slaw and baked beans.

As I was preparing the sides, I started thinking, why can’t I make a more elaborate meal out of what I have.  If Chicago can have their own Chicago-Style Dog  and San Francisco can have their own BLT Dog then shouldn’t Arkansas have their own dog?  So I got to work.

 

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First I made my cole slaw.

 

Grace and Gravy’s Southern Slaw

 

Ingredients:

1 Package of Pre-Shredded Cabbage Mix or a Head of Cabbage (to save time)

3/4 cup of Mayo

1/4  cup of Sugar

2 tsp of Lemon Juice

2 tbsp of Vinegar

1 tsp of Salt

1 tsp of Black Pepper

1 tsp of Paprika

 

How to Make:

1) Rinse your cabbage mix (remember this was supposed to be a fast and easy meal) and place in large serving bowl

2) In a separate bowl add your mayo, sugar, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix well

3) Add your wet ingredients to your cabbage mix

4) Mix together well

5) sprinkle your paprika on top of slaw

6) Serve right away or place in fridge til serving time

 

Just enough sweetness and just enough tart!

 

Now it was time for my Baked Beans.

 

Grace and Gravy’s Southern Baked Beans

 

Ingredients:

6 Slices of Bacon

2 cans of Pinto Beans or 1/2 pd of dried Pinto Beans  (Remember this was a fast, easy meal so I used cans)

1 can tomato paste

2 Tbsp Honey

1/4 cup of Brown Sugar

1/2 Diced Onion (I prefer white)

1/2 Bell Pepper Diced

3 Medium sized fresh Jalapeno Peppers

1/2 tsp Paprika

1/2 Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Ground Mustard

1/2 tsp Cummin (optional)

 

What to Do:

1)  Fry your bacon in a skillet (I prefer to use cast iron for this recipe)

2)  Remove bacon but leave the bacon grease

3)  Add your onion, jalapeno and bell pepper to grease and cook til soft

4)  Dice your bacon up and add to pan

5)  Drain your beans and add

6)  Now add your brown sugar and honey and mix well

7)  In a small bowl add your dry seasonings and mix lightly

8)  Add your seasonings to pan and stir

9) Simmer on low to medium heat for appx 15 minutes

10) Enjoy

I really love the sweetness of the brown sugar and honey with the spicy of the peppers!

 

Okay!  Now that I had my sides done, I was ready for my dogs.

How I make my Dogs:

I really like to have deli style hot dog buns.  I really like the flavor to them better than the packaged kind.  Sometimes your choice of bread will make all the difference to your dog, hamburger or sub.

Here is the thing about being Southern, we think everything should be fried! Oh yes!  The greasier the better.  So fry up your dogs on a griddle or a skillet.

Oh Boy, its gettin good now!

When grilled you now have two choices!  I suggest trying them both to see which is your style.

You can leave your dog whole and place in bun, or you can spilt in half so that your toppings fit better!  Thats my choice!

Now your ready for toppings!  My husby enjoys mustard, so its whatever you enjoy,  then I add a big ole scoop full of baked beans, and a big ole scoop full of slaw!  What could be better than this for a Good Ole Southern Meal!

 

So Easy, So fillings and will serve eight! Or four if you have big ole boys!

I really hope you enjoy my Arkansas Po-Boy Dog!  Would love to hear your thoughts!

 

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Wake Up Wednesday #26

   
Welcome to the 26th week of 
 
 Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” 
 
30 Blogs  –  1 Party
 Giveaway
We are so excited to have you all party with us.
Thank you so much to all those who participate in our party.
Last week we had  393 awesome linkups!   
 
 Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 
We want to be inspired, entertained, laugh and have a good time!
 
 The hop is hosted and posted on 30 different blogs
Your link will appear on the blogs of
 
      Notes from Heidi
 
Interested in Co-Hosting Wake Up Wednesday?
Fill out this form and Angel will be in touch with you?
This weeks 
Featured Bloggers

Announcing the Arrival of Our Little Guy + Birth Story

So if you follow me on Instagram this is old news but for those who don’t I am SO HAPPY to FINALLY announce our little guy, “E” arrived last Wednesday, 6/25. He was 7 lbs. 4 oz. 20.5 inches long with a full head of hair! He is perfect in every way! I am SO incredibly thankful to God that He blessed us with this little guy- it was quite the delivery but “E” was totally, completely worth it! 

Strawberry Cheesecake Yogurt Pops

Summer itself screams for creamy, ice cold treats to make a really authentic summer day. Sticky hands and happy smiles are the reward these delicious Strawberry Cheesecake Yogurt Pops. Kids and adults will love them, the kids can help making them too. Creamy, sweet, and tangy they satisfy a sweet tooth without overindulging it. Just perfect for a hot afternoon treat. Beautiful enough to serve or bring to any summer BBQ or pool party get together.
English Muffins

from The Pink Recipe Box

English Muffins | www.pinkrecipebox.com

English muffins are one of the very first types of bread that I ever attempted, which is why I always have a soft spot for them. For years I adored English muffins – whether they came from the supermarket out of a packet or in the form of a McMuffin from McDonalds, but it wasn’t until I made my own that I fell completely head over heels in love with them. 

This week, we’ll be touring Becky’s garden again.  This is my third post about her beautiful yard, so be sure to check out the two previous posts to see more of this lovely yard.   Today we’ll be looking at the potting area, and you’re going to love it.

20 Attributes of Pride: Examining Ego, Hindrance & Deliverance from My Salt, His Light

betterthan
I recently attended a mind-blowing bible study on the topic of “Pride”. It’s amazing how we hear a word like pride, and automatically think of others – and not ourselves.
poor Milo
So over the weekend it was time for our dog to get his bath.  Usually my husband is in charge of this process but I happened to be in the bathroom and I was looking at the shampoo he picked up awhile back at the pet store and I was like what?!
This tote was inspired by Ren’s Tote-ally Thankful for our Teachers post at The Inspired Wren! 
 She has a wonderful FREE Lined Canvas Tote Tutorial!  Thanks, Ren!

Homemade Espresso Drinks (Lattes, etc) – No Fancy Machine Needed!from Thrifty N Woman

This cold weather is causing me to seek some solice in a warm, cozy cup of coffee. Well, more accurately, a creamy foamy latte (hazelnut is my flavor of choice this morning). I worked my way through college as a Barista, and have not stopped whipping up espresso drinks since. Now my family and neighbors are the ones drinking my lattes. 

 

5 Ways to Experience His Presence

from Faithful Feat

In this world of go, go, go and do, do, do, it’s easy to drift far from the One who holds us secure. The One who goes before us, stands at our right hand and has the ability to keep us from being shaken.

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Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly.



Please visit some other bloggers and make some new friends and say hello to old friends..

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  • Please Link to your post and not to your blog home page
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where two or three are gathered

graceandgravy:

I want to introduce you to an amazing idea my friend Heather has put together. Where two or three is gathered, is a way to connect and inspire others with love, encouragement and kindness. If your interested please comment to her directly!

Originally posted on Thee Angel Project:

Good Morning Friends! I’m so excited for today! I’ve been waiting and preparing for your return and I am thrilled with all of the possibilities that this next month has in store for us!

First, I’ll tell you about the name of our group, and then I’d like to introduce you to some lovely children of God.

The book of Matthew is filled from cover to cover with the enchanting true story of Jesus and His work for our salvation. We have been walking through it on Sunday mornings in Bible study and are currently right in the midst of chapter 7. It’s one of my new favorite sections of scripture. Really, a treasure trove. But if you continue reading, eventually you’ll come upon chapter 18 and these words, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Now, I would imagine as women…

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Whats Cookin with GraceandGravy:Meal Planning

What's Cookin
It’s a Tuesday afternoon, I’ve been running errands most of day and trying to catch up on laundry for the few moments I have been home.  Then I look at the clock and a uggggg sound comes out of my mouth.  It’s already time for the husby to get home for work and I haven’t even thought about dinner.  I run to the pantry to skim the contents, then head to the fridge only to remember I don’t have any meat thawing.  Now what am I going to do?  Supper is going to be late, and I can’t think of anything to throw together.
Does this sound like you?  Do you ever have those days when you cannot think of another single meal to cook?
Well, your not alone, I think as wives and mothers we all have those days more often than we would like to admit.  That is when I started Meal Planning.  I used to just write a menu and tape it to the fridge, but then I decided why not share it with you guys.
So WELCOME to “What’s Cookin with GraceandGravy:Meal Plans”!
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Each Sunday I will share with you what my meals for the week will be.  Maybe we can help to spark creativity in each other for our nightly dinners.
My dad raises chickens for eggs.  He recently had a few “heavies’ as they are called.  I really felt sorry for these chickens.  They were so heavy they could barely move,  it was really, really sad and worse of all they weren’t laying.  He made the decision to butcher them and  asked if we would like the  meat and of course I said yes.  Free chicken for the family.  They are so large they take up to much freezer room so I have been boiling them, and picking off the meat to put in freezer bags.  I also have saved the broth.  One chicken was large enough to make 4 meals.  Ummm YES!
So needless to say, my family will be having a lot of chicken this week.
Meals
Would love to hear your meal plans for the week.   And I hope you enjoy a few of my meals!

Baked Granola & Peaches

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Do you have local festivals?

Our county (which consists of 5 small, mainly rural, towns) hosts The Peach Festival, every July, that has been ongoing 1938! Wow! It’s actually the oldest festival in the state of Arkansas. I feel honored to be a part of such amazing history every year.

And did I mention food?

Just like county fairs, our festivals have some of the best food around!  Funnel Cakes, Fried Pies, Foot Long Corn Dogs, and Snow Cones, you can pretty much find it all here.

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Photo Courtesy of The Peach Festival Board

The Peach Festival will start next week, so to get in the “Peachy” spirit I decided to start experimenting with peach recipes.

I love peaches! I love the sweet, juicy taste that runs down your chin as you take a big bite (: In fact I don’t think I have came across a single peach dish that I haven’t loved!

If you have read my bio, then you know I’m a crunchy girl. Technically I love the Earth, try to eat organic as much as possible and I make a lot of our soaps and cleaners. I’m also a vegetarian so I eat a lot of granola.

I really like making my own so I can determine exactly what I am adding to it.  So I wanted to share this super easy Baked Granola and Peaches recipe with you today.

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Baked Granola & Peaches

What you need:

4 fresh peaches

For Granola:

1  cups oats

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 brown sugar

1/8 cup oil

1/2 cup homemade or organic maple syrup

Peaches 2

What you do:

1) Cut your peaches in half and remove pit.

2) Spoon a small amount of peach out to make room for granola.

3) Mix the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and oil together and then add in maple syrup.

4) Spoon granola onto each peach half.

5) Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lay peaches on.

6) Bake peaches at 350 for appx 15-20 mins or until peaches are soft.

Another option for Granola:

If you want granola for later, spread evenly on lined cookie sheet and bake.  Store in a dry container.

Super easy and super delish!  Great for breakfast, brunch or a mid-afternoon snack.

You can top with cream (pictured) if you desire.  This cream consists of heavy whipping cream which I mixed until it become creamed.  I’m not a cream snob (:  I enjoy my Ready Whip and Cool Whip just like anybody else!  Ice Cream is also very good on top of the warm peaches!

Pick your Pleasure and Enjoy!

Peaches 1

 

And don’t miss The Peach Festival Blog Post coming soon!

Peaches 3

 

 

Wake Up Wednesday #25

               Welcome to the 25th week of  “Wake Up Wednesday”  “Linky” 
 
29 Blogs  –  1 Party
 Giveaway
We are so excited to have you all party with us.
Thank you so much to all those who participate in our party.
Last week we had  347 awesome linkups!   
 
 Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 
We want to be inspired, entertained, laugh and have a good time!
 
 The hop is hosted and posted on 29 different blogs
Your link will appear on the blogs of
 
      Notes from Heidi
 
Interested in Co-Hosting Wake Up Wednesday?
Fill out this form and Angel will be in touch with you?
This weeks 
Featured Bloggers
Cocoon Minutes
My girls turned five last month.  Five years old.  I almost cannot remember what my life was like before they were here. 
Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizza
In our family, we don’t need a big reason to celebrate. Of course, we love to celebrate the big things like birthdays and holidays. But, I love to throw little celebrations too! A few weeks ago, we had a “Summer is Here!” brunch to ring in the new season. Nothing huge – just our family and a few fun treats.
Hungry for sourdough bread but lacking a starter, I was happy to run across this recipe. It does not produce a true sourdough bread, but it’s a great substitute. There’s just enough of a slightly tangy flavor to satisfy that particular taste, yet mild enough for everyone. The dough is easy to work with, and produces a tender, hearty, pleasantly chewy loaf.

A Summer Day at the Oregon Garden

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There were so many beautiful flowers, there is no way I can show you them all! 

 I’d run out of space.  But here are a few….    

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After getting all decked out in Patriotic colors for the fourth, I wore a very summery outfit for church. And there were actually a few other in summery colors instead of dark this week. Yay!!
It’s so comfy, cool and colorful and it was a fun outfit to wear!

DIY: Cucumber Mint Body Scrub + Free Printable Labels from Living Frugal with Erika

diy-cucumber-mint-body-scrub-3
I know that we all need a little relaxation from time to time, and what better way than with a DIY Scrub? 

Are You Eating “Healthy” But Not Losing Weight? 10 Reasons Why I Love “The Virgin Diet Cookbook” from Urban Naturale

Are You Eating "Healthy" But Not Losing Weight? 10 Reasons I Love "The Virgin Diet Cookbook"

“Drop 7 Foods Lose 7 Pounds Just 7 Days”

If you’re from Hawaii, you know about Guri Guri – Hawaiian Ice Cream. The best way for me to describe Guri Guri is if a slushie and ice cream had a baby, the product would be Guri Guri. It’s a creamy delight that is a perfect dessert for the hot summer days. Plus, it’s super easy to make, takes only three ingredients, and you don’t need a fancy ice cream maker. Winner!
Beach Mantel Decor
A little piece of nostalgia and of summers long ago. 

The lifesaver garland was picked up at Cost Plus World Market on one of my recent weekly trips into the store. 

DIY Hair Treatment

Hair
A while ago, I hap­pened upon this inex­pen­sive and incred­i­bly easy recipe for a do it your­self hair treat­ment to add mois­ture to dam­aged, col­ored or dry hair. I don’t know where I found this recipe, and I apol­o­gize to the orig­i­nal source but a huge thank you for com­ing up with it.  It works wonderfully!
Lombard Street Crossbody Bag By Gina's Craft Corner (Design by ChrisWDesigns)
This is the Lombard Street Crossbody by Christine at ChrisW Designs (Click here to visit ChrisW Designs.) This bag is an iPad case and purse all in one!  I do not think you will be disappointed with this pattern.

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Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly.



Please visit some other bloggers and make some new friends and say hello to old friends..

  • Please leave me a comment , I love to hear from you.
  • Please Link to your post and not to your blog home page
  • I’d love for you to grab my party button for your blog party site but it’s totally optional
  • Please No adult content blogs
  • Please do not add links to shops or selling websites (they will be deleted from the party)
  • Giveaways are always welcome.. Add your giveaways to Sew Crafty Angel’s Pinterest Community Giveaway Board too.  
Adding your link to this blog hop gives Sew Crafty Angel permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts.  Note- All features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts will be linked back to the original source .Social media features are linked back to the linky party.

Summer Dates on a Budget: Local Aquatic Park

Summer Dates on a Budget Pool Welcome Back!

I am so glad you decided to join me again for our series on “Summer Dates on a Budget”.

Everyone loves getting to spend a few hours alone with the husby, boyfriend, or partner, without having to eat your food cold because you fed the baby first, or wiping food out of your hair that your 2 year old threw at you, or in my case having 2 nosey teenagers listen to your every word that I’m trying to say to my husby :/  How romantic is that!

Our emotional, mental and physical (: health strives for these outings alone.  But I know that for most of the time, money is tight and the last place you think to spend it is on your self. Right?

There is always diapers to buy, water bill to pay, school supplies to think about, not to mention that for some reason these little people in our house think they need to eat 3 times a day (:

If you are having some of those same thoughts I just mentioned, then you come to the right place, because I am going to give you another Summer Date Idea on a Budget.

And if you have missed my last 2 posts in the series, I hope you will catch up.

*Click on picture to take you to link farmersmarket1 Movie Night1 Have you heard the old saying “While the kids are away, the parents will play”?

Well thats exactly what my husby and I did!

A couple weeks ago while K and L were away at church camp, husby and I took advantage of the alone time and had a summer date. You might be saying, “Well, why did you have a date if you were home alone?” This is my thought, sometimes you need to do things that you don’t normally do.  Take advantage of having a night alone and go somewhere or do something together to laugh and have fun.

If I stayed home, this is what would have happened……

1) I would have cooked dinner

2) Then I would have cleaned up the kitchen

3) After taking the kitchen towels I just used to the laundry room,  I would notice the laundry piling   up and automatically started laundry

4) Of course the dryer would have been full of dry clothes so I would have to fold them and put them away.

Do you catch my drift?  There is always something at home that needs to be done and there would have been alone time alright, but it would be me alone doing housework and the husby alone doing whatever :/  Not a very romantic night in my book!

So we chose to a have a date night at our local aquatic park instead!  I think it was a definite win-win for me!

I know, I know, aquatic parks can be expensive, especially if your whole family is in tow.  If my family of four takes a day to enjoy the park, we leave spending no less than $50. Ekkk  That is a chunk out of our weekly budget.  But out local water park offers “family nights” certain days of the week from 5-8 pm.  Perfect time for us, and the best thing is its only $3 a person on those nights! SCORE!

So I put swimsuit on, packed the sunscreen and beach towels and we were ready to get our swim on! Our Aquatic Park just opened last year.  It’s not extremely big but they do have an awesome lazy river I love to float on!

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You would think with it being family night that it would be extremely over crowded.  But that wasn’t the case.  In fact, we got lounge chairs right away, laid our towels on them, and because it was so hot decided to get in the lazy river right away.

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After floating for quite sometime, we headed back to our lounge chairs to relax.  And you know what was amazing, no kiddo’s yelling, “Mom watch me slid!”, or “Mom I’m starvinggg.” for the hundredth time, or worrying that your kids have drowned while the lifeguard wasn’t watching.  Yes, I’m one of those paranoid moms :/

After relaxing, I decided I was starvingggg!  LOL  So off we went to the concession stand to see how much junk food we could find!  No judgement, its Date Night!

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Yum!  Pretzels with cheese, corn dogs and Pina Colada Slush Puppies! This is the life!  And we only spent $6 for food!

After we ate, we went back to play.  Husby even talked me into going down the slids!  It must be love, because I’m not a slid kinda girl (:

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Overall it was a great night!  And really, 3 hours at a water park is long enough for me.  But it was a great time to relax and be with the husby.  And all together we only spent $12!  Wow!  Cheap Date huh!

I encourage you to check out your local aquatic parks and pools.  See what specials they have going on!  Remember as long as you are having fun together, thats all that matters.  And I got a nice tan as a bonus (:

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pool

Food, Freedom and Festivities: 4th of July

Food, Freedom and Festivities

 

I love the 4th of July!

I don’t remember exactly when I decided it was my favorite, or really why it was my favorite.

Maybe it’s the summertime and sunshine, or flag blowing in the wind.  Could be just the Freedom and Fireworks with friends and family.

No matter what the reason be, I just know I love the feeling I get on the 4th!

I love to make goodies for the BBQ’s and Picnics and crafts to decorate the house.

This year we spent the 4th at friends house having a BBQ/Pool Party.  I wanted to make it special for the family who invited us.  I always find it a treat to be invited to holiday’s and I want sure I impress to be invited again!

For the BBQ, I chose to make Freedom Frost Spritzer, Patriotic Mini Apple Pies, and Freedom Sprinkle Sugar Cookies (Y’all, all 4th of July goodies have to be named).

The hostess was more than happy to turn over the dessert making to me, but I wanted to make sure that since it was a Pool Party, the desserts were easy to grab and eat.

drinkredo

First up is the Freedom Frost Spritzer.

Here is Arkansas, it is super HOT, and the humidity makes you sweat buckets after being outside for even 5 minutes.  Because of that, it is super important to stay hydrated.  This drink is cool and refreshing, as well as, great to help you stay replenished because it contains electrolytes.

I’ll be honest with you.  I’m not a huge fan of gatorade, but adding in the lemon-lime soda and the ginger-ale, completely changes the flavor and I really love it.

Go all out if you feel like it and add whole cherries or a few strawberry slices for a more festive look.

Ingredients:

1 32 oz bottle of Frost Glacier Freeze Gatorade

1 20 oz lemon-lime drink

1 20 oz ginger-ale

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How to make it:

1) Freeze your bottles of drinks until slushy (If you don’t have time to wait til they are slushy, just add ice to your drink dispenser)

2) Add your gatorade, lemon-lime drink and ginger-ale together

3) Add any fruit that you like

4) Serve

So quick and easy!

 

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For one of the desserts I decided on Patriotic Mini Apple Pies.

I LOVE making these!  They are so cute and easy.  You really can’t mess them up.

So if you are frightened of your pie looking like it was made by preschoolers, then this is definitely the way to go.

And who doesn’t like bite size apple pie? Right!  I think my husby consumed 6 in a matter of 5 minutes!

 

What you need:

1 package of pre-made Pie Crusts

(or click on picture for Pie Crust Recipe)

1 Can of Apple Filling

1 tbsp of Cinnamon or sugar crystals

1 tbsp of Butter

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Now let’s begin:

1) Start with making your pie crusts.

If you are not a pie making person, then use the ready made pie crusts out of the dairy section of your local grocer.

Simplify!  There is no shame in using a pre-made crust (:

My favorite recipe is The Pioneer Woman’s Pie Crust.  If you don’t have a favorite recipe, then by all means try this one!

 

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Click on picture for Pie Crust Recipe

 

Don’t you just love old pastry cutters?  I do!  I love cutting the butter into the flour! Makes me think of simplier times.  Sigh

2) After you crust is complete and rolled, cut out 4 inch circles.  I use a lid of a canister that I have because it is perfect size.  Anything you have will work.  Don’t panic if its not the exact size.  I promise the pie will go on.

3) Use a cupcake/muffin pan and cut 3-4 inch long strips of parchment paper appx 1 inch wide.  Enough for all slots in your pan.

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The parchment paper will make it so much easier to lift pies out of pan after they have cooked.

4) Take your crust circles and place in cupcake holes.  I try to make pleads in my crust as much as I can for a little extra character.

5) Fill your pie crusts will apple filling.  I used can apples for these and used appx 2 apples and a little filling in each pie.

**Check back soon for my post on Homemade Apple Filling! (The Apples are just now ready to pick)

6) Save enough dough to cut out mini stars.

This star cutter was actually from a Christmas Mini Cookie Cutter Set I got for super cheap after the holidays!  Hey works for me!

7) I then added a tiny bit of butter on top of the stars and sprinkled cinnamon.  YUM!

 

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If you will notice in the picture above, these are sprinkled with red sugar crystals.  My husby thought some of the stars should be red!  If it makes him happy, then yes I will add red sugar crystals to half of my pies!

8) Bake at 350 for appx 20 mins, checking your pies along the way.

I hope you enjoy making these as much as I do.  And with the parchment paper as tabs, they should be really easy to lift out of the pan.

 

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Can you really have a Holiday without Sugar Cookies?   Are they not a staple of days gone by?  I decided for this 4th of July I would make Freedom Sprinkle Sugar Cookies, which is your basic sugar cookies with festive sprinkles.

I love making sugar cookies, but what I love more is letting the kiddos decorate them!  This has been a tradition in our house since the kids could walk.  Don’t you just love traditions? No matter if it’s Easter, Christmas or the 4th, we need decorated sugar cookies!

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For my sugar cookie recipe you will need:

2 cups of sugar (wouldn’t be sugar cookies without lots of sugar)

2 cups of All-Purpose Flour

1 cup of butter softened (2 sticks)

1 egg

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp of salt (I love kosher salt)

1 1/2 tsp of vanilla or vanilla paste (I prefer paste, so much more flavor)

1/4 cup of flour for rolling

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This is how I do it:

1) I start with a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.

I LOVE parchment paper.

I don’t know how I ever survived without it!

Doesn’t it make life so much simpler?

2) Then I cream together my butter and sugar until it is completely mixed, almost to a mixed stage.

3) Then I add in my egg and vanilla.

4) In a separate bowl, i slightly whisk together my flour, salt and baking powder.

5) I then add the dry ingredients to my sugar/butter/egg mixture.

6) Mix together well.

7) At this point you have 2 options.  You can roll into balls and bake, or you can roll out like pie crusts appx 1/8 inch thick and cut out circles.

I normally roll out and cut into circles with a round cookie/fondant cutter.  you can also use a biscuit cutter (:

If you go for this option, you will need to lay out a piece of parchment paper and use your remainder of flour so your dough does not stick.

8) Lay your circles or dough balls  appx 3 inch apart on cookie sheet.

9) Bake at 350 for 8-10 or until they start to turn slightly brown around edges.

Don’t over bake, they are suppose to be chewy.

Yields appx 20 cookies.

10) After cookies cool then decorate with your favorite icing, sprinkles and sugar crystals.

Enjoy!

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Now that the snacks are made, it’s time for a little decorating!  I drive my husby crazy sometimes with all of my decorating for parties, events, holidays and just to make the house more cozy and appealing me me.

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I wanted to do something very simple for the front porch.  We have a super cute wrought iron table on one side and a white porch swing on the other, so just a little something festive was the key.  I chose to decorate the table which sits in front of an old screen door.  I covered the table in a blue star material and added a chalkboard, a rusted star planter, which i added a flag material to, and a patriotic plaid placemat for a center piece.

Nothing fancy but perfect!

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I have several of these white wooden garden chairs.  I have some inside and I leave some outside.  I really enjoy sitting ferns and planters of flowers on the outside chairs.  In this pic I am using the rusted planter with flag print material.  Such a cute idea to sit beside your front steps or on the porch.

Sometimes all you  need is subtle touches.

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This idea is great for a small 4th of July get together or a morning brunch.  I used my table from my porch, added a couple of my garden chairs and make a super cute place sitting with all of the festive food.

Now how easy is that.  Took maybe 5 minutes.

I love having small get togethers and brunches.  This set up is also great for a Tea Party.

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And what kind of Holiday would it be without dressing festive?

My kiddos and I have done several different shirts in the past for the 4Th.  This year we have been on a Tie-Dye kick so we decided 4th Tie-Dye Shirts would be perfect.

We have done several different dyeing in the past.  We have used the regular tie-dye, we have used kool-aid, but I feel the Rit dye works the best for fading.

What we used:

White t-shirts (we chose v-necks for a different look this year)

package of rubber bands

Rit Dye in Cherry Red and Royal Blue

2 large bowls

Newspaper

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How we made them:

1) First wrap rubberbands around your shirt

The awesome thing about tie-dye is that you really can’t mess it up.  Every shirt has its own unique design.

I prefer to wad my shirt up and place rubberbands in random places (:

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2) Add 1/3 bottle of dye to appx 2 gallons of hot water in a large bowl.

I use the same color bowl as dye so it won’t stain.  And yes I use a little more dye, and less water than called for because I want my colors to pop!

3) Place newspapers on floor (or go outside) and set bowls of die on top.

4) Dip one section of your shirt in a color and hold for 3-4 minutes.

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5) Gently wring out using a glove or plastic bag on hand and dip another section in same color or other color dye.

You can do half the shirt one color, the other half another color or sections in each color

6) When shirt is covered in dye, place in plastic bag and let leave for 12 hours so colors will set in.

7) After the 12 hours, remove shirt from bag and rinse with warm water as you start to remove rubberbands.

8) After all bands are removed, rinse shirt in cool water, until water is mostly clear.

9) Hang shirt up to dry part way and then continue drying in clothes dryer.

10) Remove shirt and you are ready to wear!

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After all the drinks, desserts and shirts were made, we were ready for a great night of Food, Freedom and Festivities with friends.

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We ate, and swam, and got ready for fireworks!

 

 

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And after dark we enjoyed playing with a few sparklers.

 

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Overall it was a another wonderful 4Th of July.

I hope you had am amazing day of Food, Freedom and Festivities in your neck of the woods!

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DIY Tutorial Thursday: Mod Podge Letters & BABY ON THE WAY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ten years ago, my husby and adopted a little, bright and cheery twelve year old girl. No one explained in depth what an emotional roller coaster life would be like for all of us. Sure you are given the ins and outs, but come on, this is life, real life. There is no script that can prepare you for the struggles of when past and present collide.

And Oh Boy, did they ever collide!

Fast forward ten years. Our daughter Gracie is getting ready to give birth to our second grandbaby on Thursday! Yes I did say grandbaby! My husband and I were both fairly young, married 5 years with two toddlers when we adopted. I knew there would come a time when I would be a “young” Mimi, but I’m not sure if I was really prepared for when it happened!

When I think about grandma’s, I think of little gray haired ladies with buns, sitting in the rocking chair. (:
Not sitting at a laptop blogging about my crazy life of cooking, homeschooling and TEENAGERS!

One good thing is, I am young enough to chase after those kiddos!  And yes there is more than one.

Last year Gracie got remarried to a man who has two boys from a previous marriage.  Gracie, has her daughter Lilli from a previous marriage for a total of 3 children.  Now with Gracie getting ready to have Laila, there is a grand total of 4 children 6 and under.  Wowzers!!

They were very limited on space for a baby room, but after finding an awesome “Closet Nursery” on the ever so wonderful Pinterest, everything started coming together.

The closet was painted pink, in with the crib, and up with a design on the wall. VOILA!  Ready for baby Laila.

nursery

photo courtesy of my daughter Gracie

 

I really wanted to make something special to personalize the space, even if it was small.  I found these adorable letters that came 2 in a pack from a local craft store and they are only appx 3 inches tall.  PERFECT, for above the crib.

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The theme is owls, but I wanted to incorporate other designs onto the letters, so I choose a variety of polka dots, chevron, stripes, and a cool old sheet music design.  I even found a sheet that had all the designs I picked out on that one sheet, which tied the letters all together.

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I pilled out my old Mod Podge and Glue Gun (for owls and birds), and got to work.  I really like using a pencil to trace around the letters on the back of the paper.  It makes it so much easier to cut out evenly.

After all my letters were cut out of paper, I Mod Podged them onto the wooden letters and added one extra coat of Mod Podge on top to seal them good.

After all the letters were complete, I added wooden owls and birds to some of the letters to tie the theme of the nursery in!

I am really excited how well they turned out.  All together it was appx a 1 1/2 hr project.  Not bad for a Crafternoon!

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Did I happen to mention Baby Laila will be making her appearance today?  Yes, you heard right!  My daughter is being induced this morning so Laila should be here before tonight!

Even though I am so very excited, I am also very nervous.  See, when Gracie was in labor with my grand daughter Lilli, She started having some issues with her blood pressure dropping which caused Lilli to go into distress.  Very scary moment for me as a mom, watching your daughter have complications during Labor.

I’m asking for Prayers today for Gracie and Baby Laila, that everything will go smoothly!

And I would love to see any  Mod Podge Projects you are working on!

Miranda