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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sunflower Fields


With all the rains this year in Texas, wildflowers have just flourished!  They are just gorgeous and one flower that is in abundance is the sunflower. 

 We were in the middle of our big barn build so we didn't plow or plant some of our fields and the sunflowers took advantage!  



I had to climb up on top of my four wheeler to get this shot, yep the sunflowers are not only plentiful,  they are super super tall! 



I can't even see the tree line in the distance in this field!  


This is a four wheeling trail behind the dirt tanks (ponds) and the sunflowers are giant!!  


Here is a quick visual measurement of the size of these guys.   That's me standing in the shade and I'm 5'7" so you get the picture!   These are at least 7-9 feet tall!  
Yep, I do believe we have sunflower trees!! 

A few of these sunflowers even drifted into my yard!

From the Land of the Sunflower!! 


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Monday, July 27, 2015

Frozen Watermelon Mint Shooters


 Remember when tuperware parties were all the rage and of course the old tuperware popsicle maker was in about every home?     I remember my mom would let us make frozen popsicles with about every flavor or color of kool aid.  We just about wore out those popsicle makers!   We ran around all summer with different color lips and tongues from these fun treats.
Yep, life was simple growing up in the sixties!     
        Now that I am an adult, kool aid popsicles are just not enough, I do like reliving these fun memories but with an extra kick.  
 And since I don't think one could think of summer and not also think of watermelon or hot sunny days, these shooters bring all that together since they are the perfect treat for hot summer days.

Frozen Watermelon Mint Shooters


Ingredients
  • 2 cups of Watermelon, cubed
  • 3 oz of rum
  • 3 Tablespoons of Simple Syrup, click for recipe
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract
  • 12 plastic shooter glasses
  • 12 swizzle sticks
Instructions
1. Place watermelon cubes in a blender and puree
2. Add rum, simple syrup, mint extract
3. Blend until smooth
4. Pour into plastic shot glasses
5. Cover each shot glass with foil
6. Insert swizzle sticks in center of shot glasses
7. Freeze until firm
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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Social Media Weekly #28 (Twitter)



New Year!     New Goals!
New Ways to Meet Those Goals!

Welcome to Social Media 
Weekly.


We are back with a great new party and we are throwing out some challenges to grow your social media one week at a time!!


We're also here to make sure everyone has the best possible opportunity to make connections with each other on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+.  

  Each week, we will focus on a different social media platform and we challenge you to increase your following and increase your interaction on these social media sites each week!


Now for this week's challenge,
 it's Twitter

 Link up your Twitter account, then go get some Twitter CONNECTIONS from everyone else who's here! 


Reminder:  Be sure and link up your Twitter page not your blog so we can find you easier!  





Sign up to be notified when the party goes live


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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Freedom Fridays With All My Bloggy Friends #90

Welcome My Friends to another week of sharing, bloggy love and lots of fun!! 
This party is a Rules Free Party and we welcome all your recipes, crafts, projects, giveaways, etc!!
 Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes , Linda @With A Blast and I love to see what you are doing and we work hard sharing as many of your links as we can on our social media sites!! 


If you don't already like us on Twitter, I would love for you to follow us - you can even do it right here:






This Week's Features!
 Blueberry Sour Cream Skillet Bread with Streusel Topping from Dad What's 4 Dinner ***Most Viewed*** 
DIY Vintage Soda Crate Tutorial from I Should be Moping the Floor
Mandarin Orange Salad from Atta Girl Says
Chalk Painted Side Tables from Across the Blvd
American Lava Burger from Cooking with Carlee
French Toast Cups Recipe fromCincy Shopper
15 Minute Picnic Blanket from Flamingo Toes

If you were featured grab your lovely feature button






Disclaimer: By submitting a link to this party, you are allowing authorization for your projects to be shared and/or featured on social media and our blogs. All features will be linked directly back to the original site.  Any links shared will either link directly to your post or it will link back to the party and your corresponding number in the party.






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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Balsamic Tomatoes with Feta Cheese

I remember as a child, going out to the garden with a salt shaker and enjoying a few fresh tomatoes right off the vine.   Juice running down my chin and all the great smells of tomato vines in the air, it was the "Taste of Summer".  
Balsamic Tomatoes with Feta Cheese make a great side dish for all your summer meals, it combines "the Taste of Summer" with the great flavor of balsamic vinegar and topped with feta cheese.


Balsamic Tomatoes with Feta Cheese


Ingredients
  • 3 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of feta cheese, may use more
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
1. Arrange the tomato slices on a serving dish.
2. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the top
3. Salt and pepper to taste
4. Loosely cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
5. Prior to serving, sprinkle the feta cheese on top
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These tomatoes make a gorgeous side dish!




Other taste of summer dishes:




Zucchini Tots










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Monday, July 20, 2015

Zucchini Tots

Right about this time of the year, my garden is loaded with zucchini and yellow squash.  I believe zucchini and yellow squash is best eaten fresh, not frozen nor canned, so I have a regular line up of my favorite ways to prepare this veggie.  
This is probable my all time favorite way to prepare zucchini, but I think I say that about every dish I prepare!  In fact my children have a standing joke that I believe, every meal, every day, every trip and even every Christmas tree, every etc is, "The Best Ever".  Even our Fantasy Football League  was even called, "The Best Football League Ever", (yep they named it just to have another laugh at their dear old mom)!  
But this is indeed, "The Best Zucchini Dish Ever"!  
 I can hear my children laughing right now and loads of eye rolling is going on!
But wait till they try it!




Zucchini Tots

Ingredients
  • 1 cup zucchini, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of onion, finely chopped or minced
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • Salt and Pepper
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spray a mini-muffin pan with baking spray such as Pam and set aside.
3. Grate the zucchini onto a dish towel, close up the towel and wring out the excess water. (This will prevent your tots from being soggy)
4. In a small bowl combine zucchini, egg, onion, cheese, bread crumbs and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Use a spoon or a cookie scoop, fill the mini muffin cups to the top and lightly press down.
5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the top is browned and set.
6. Run a knife around the outer rim of the zucchini tot and gently remove them from the pan
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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Social Media Weekly #27 (Pinterest)



New Year!     New Goals!
New Ways to Meet Those Goals!

Welcome to Social Media 
Weekly.


We are back with a great new party and we are throwing out some challenges to grow your social media one week at a time!!


We're also here to make sure everyone has the best possible opportunity to make connections with each other on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+.  

  Each week, we will focus on a different social media platform and we challenge you to increase your following and increase your interaction on these social media sites each week!


Now for this week's challenge,
 it's Pinterest

 Link up your Pinterest account, then go get some Pinterest CONNECTIONS from everyone else who's here! 


Reminder:  Be sure and link up your Pinterest Page not your blog so we can find you easier!  





Sign up to be notified when the party goes live


read more "Social Media Weekly #27 (Pinterest)"

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Freedom Fridays With All My Bloggy Friends #89

Welcome My Friends to another week of sharing, bloggy love and lots of fun!! 
This party is a Rules Free Party and we welcome all your recipes, crafts, projects, giveaways, etc!!
 Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes , Linda @With A Blast and I love to see what you are doing and we work hard sharing as many of your links as we can on our social media sites!! 



If you don't already follow us on Pinterest, I would love for you to follow us - you can even do it right here:

With a Blast

Love Bakes Good Cakes

My Turn for us




This Week's Features!


Cookie Minions from Meatloaf and Melodrama  ***Most Viewed*** 
DIY Storage Ottoman from Live Laugh Rowe
 Bacon Wrapped Cheeseburger Dogs from Mama Plus One
DIY Mudroom Drop Zone from Worthing Court
Apple Butter Cheddar Puffs Appetizers from Southern Krazed
Fresh Basil Pesto from Yesterfood
 No Sew Burlap Sack Dog Bed from Hello Nature



If you were featured grab your lovely feature button






Disclaimer: By submitting a link to this party, you are allowing authorization for your projects to be shared and/or featured on social media and our blogs. All features will be linked directly back to the original site.  Any links shared will either link directly to your post or it will link back to the party and your corresponding number in the party.






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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mini Veggie Quiches


Here on the Ranch we are trying to eat a little healthier and watch all those fat calories but we refuse to give up flavor and some of our favorite meals.

Quiche is one of those lovely versatile dishes that can be eaten cold or hot, for breakfast, lunch or dinner and it can contain so many different ingredients and flavors. 
We do love quiche, all quiches, sometimes we just throw a few leftovers together and make a quiche.  But some quiches just contain too many calories for us right now so we had to create a lower calorie, lower fat quiche.

These mini quiches are pre-portioned, loaded with veggies and are a great meatless meal.  So whether we just grab one (or two) on the go or set up a special meal, these little quiches will satisfy us without guilt!
Two of these mini quiches are less than 250 calories.



Mini Veggie Quiche
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced, (1 cup)
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 10 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup non fat milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Spray a muffin pan (12 wells) with a cooking spray and set aside.
3. Wring all the excess water from the spinach using paper or cloth towel
4. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Sauté onions until soft (about 5 minutes), add bell peppers, tomato and salt, and sauté for another 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Add spinach and gentle stir to combine, remove from heat. Set aside.
6. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, flour, cheese, salt and pepper until well combined.
7. Portion out the vegetable mixture into muffin wells. Pour the egg mixture on top, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until firm.
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Other healthy meal choices: 









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Monday, July 13, 2015

Whale Watermelon

Throughout the years we have made several of these fun whale watermelons!  

 In the fifth grade my son's class planned a "Under the Sea' party after a session of studying the creatures and fishes that inhabit the ocean and the teacher asked we bring dishes following this theme.   My eldest daughter carved a whale watermelon and it was the hit of the party!  And of course it being filled with healthy fruit also made us a favorite of the moms!
  
We made two of these sweet guys for my mother's 75th birthday party and again they were greatly admired.  
And just recently we carved one for our Fourth of July picnic celebration. 


These are really not that hard, it just takes a little bit of patience and a couple of tricks!  



Place the watermelon on a flat surface, stem side toward you.  The stem will be the nose.   Using a "dry erase" marker draw the eyes, mouth and the top of the head. 



Make a pattern for the whales tail using the above graph or visually use it as a reference to draw the whale's tale on the top of the watermelon.





 To relieve the pressure inside the watermelon and to prevent the outline from splitting as you cut, use a shape knife to cut an X through the top of the watermelon. 


To make the shell, cut along the outline for the opening and cut away the unwanted shell in pieces.  Scoop out the watermelon fruit, leaving the shell about 1 inch thick.  Reserve the watermelon fruit to add to the other fruit in the whale.



Cut out the eyes completely.  Cut out the mouth only halfway through the shell so the juices from the fruit will not run out. 

*Note: Prior to filling with fruit,  the whale may be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.  

Before serving fill the whale with cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi and pieces of watermelon or any other fruit you would like.   








Other dishes you might enjoy:














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