Thursday, March 31, 2011

An Early April Fool's Joke

Earlier this week, the local mid-day news program had their regular feature on a local veterinarian who usually brings in a cat or dog to discuss during the segment.  This week, the vet brought with him a lady who works with baby animals that are rescued when their home is accidentally destroyed or the mom is hurt or killed.  The lady had this cute little squirrel with her!  I decided to take a picture of the squirrel with my iphone.  Then, I'm not quite sure why.....but I decided to text it to my husband.....

But instead of a comment like, "Look at this cute squirrel on t.v."  Or, "Isn't he cute?!"  I decided to text,

"I caught a baby squirrel!!  Can we keep him?  Pepper and Pumpkin like him and he doesn't seem to want to climb on the furniture."    

I'm sweet, so I didn't let him think I had a squirrel in the house for very long. ;o)  I called and wished him an early April Fool's Day.  He said everyone at lunch got a good laugh-thinking that I had caught a baby squirrel and wanted to keep it in the house.

I think I picked a pretty good joke...something that really could be happening at our house.  After all, my daughter and I accidently let this cute little chipmunk loose in the laundry room last fall. ;o)

                                                                                              I hope you have a great Friday! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bees and a Book

Sunday afternoon, I decided I was going to start reading a book by my favorite author, Mary Kay Andrews . It was such a beautiful spring afternoon, that I decided I would read outside.  Before I started reading, I decided to take a quick tour of my spring flowers.

 I just had to go get my camera, because there were several large bees in my azaleas.

They didn't seem to mind that I was there with my camera. 
 They kept right on visiting all the blooms that they could find.

My goal was to try to capture a bee in mid-flight.

I got a couple shots of the bees as they visited the blossoms.

I love this picture!   

Making a visit to a Coral Bells azalea.

Bees on a Red Ruffles azalea.

Oh, and yes, I did get my book started.

 I didn't know on Sunday that it would be
gray and overcast on Monday and Tuesday. 
 Nor, did I realized that we would have a lot of rain today (Wednesday).
  If it is cold or rainy where you are today, I hope this post brings you a little breath of spring!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Trying Something New

Do you ever try a food and just love it and wish you could make it at home so you have it all the time??  Well, I've decided that I really like  KIND BARS.  They have a lot of different bars and all the ones that I have tried have been delicious!  The other day, I decided that I would try to make some KIND BARS.  I walked around the grocery store and carefully thought of the items that I thought should go into my Kind Bars.  I went down several isles more than once!  Here are items I thought should go into my Kind Bars.

As you see, I thought a lot about a variety of items. 
I used most of the items pictured for my bars.
  Some of my ingredients were what I had at home
 and some I bought for the recipe attempt.
  Some ingredients were organic and some were not.

I used some very tasty roasted almonds- without any salt. 
I roughly chopped the almonds. 
I had to do them in about four little "batches" because
they moved around on the cutting board when I chopped them. 

I chopped up some dried apricots, too.
They didn't hop around on my cutting board ;0) 
I  mixed the apricots in with a little water and some fruit pectin and then
heated it up in the microwave for about a minute.

Then, I started adding  the other dried fruit (cranberries, blueberries and cherries), granola, sesame seeds, honey, flax seed and pepitas.

I mixed it all up. 
Doesn't it look yummy?

Then I gently folded in the unsweeted coconut shreds.

I then spread it into a lightly greased 8 x 8 pan.

After I spread the mixture into the pan, I covered it with waxed paper.

Then, I placed another 8 x 8 pan on top of the pan and the waxed paper.

I then pressed the pan.
 I made sure I pressed all the edges, corners and in the center.
 I pressed it kinda hard.

Doesn't it look great? 
 Doesn't it look nice and smooth? 
Doesn't it look delicious?

I brushed the top with a little bit of apricot fruit spread and a little bit of pectin and a tiny bit of water.  I heated this up for about a minute and then covered the surface.  Then, I decided to lightly bake my bars.
  I baked them for ten minutes in a 325 oven and then I let them cool for a while. 

 My Kind Bars taste great. 
The almonds have stayed crisp- even three days later! 
 I thought they might get soggy, but they haven't. 
They are a little bit crumbly on the bottom...but not too bad.
 I cut my bars a little bigger than the real KIND BARS. 
My bars were also a little bit thicker than the real thing.
I think the whole experiment was a success!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Peirce-du Pont's beautiful Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania.  While there, I had a delicious bowl of mushroom soup that I was never able to forget. This recipe tastes like that delicious soup.    Longwood Gardens

Creamy Mushroom Soup

1/4 c butter
2 T olive oil
2 c yellow onion, chopped fine
1 c celery, chopped fine
2 t garlic, minced
1 1/2 t fresh thyme, chopped
3 8 oz packages sliced fresh baby portobello mushrooms
1/3 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
6 c chicken broth
1 c whipping cream
Garnish: fresh thyme, if desired

In a large pot, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook for 15 minutes until tender. Do not brown. Add garlic and thyme and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.  Add mushrooms and cook for 15 minutes.  Stir often.  Add flour, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes and stir often. Gradually add chicken broth. Stir until smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add cream and return to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Garnish with thyme, if desired.

Now if you haven't visited Longwood Gardens and want a soup that is closer to home...then this soup may remind you of the Mushroom Thyme soup that is served at Olexa's in the Mountian Book Village section of Birmingham,  Alabama.

Saturday, March 19, 2011



We went to see RANGO this afternoon and we all enjoyed the film.   It is a western-themed movie that features a lizard (voice-Johnny Depp) who finds himself in the small desert town of DIRT.  A few quick fibs finds the lizard trying to live up to the lie of having "killed all 7 of the Johnson Brothers with one bullet."  Thus, the legend of "Rango" is born.  The movie is very entertaining and I loved all the little details in the buildings and characters that found me already wishing for the DVD so I could watch it again.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fairhope Art Festival

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Read Across America

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!    I hope everyone had the chance to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday today.  I enjoyed a visit at one of the local schools and was delighted to see THE CAT IN THE HAT and THING ONE and THING TWO.

I made these super cute and fun GREEN EGGS and HAM cookies to share with the teachers at PI.