Sunday, May 31, 2009

What A Great Mom!

My mom is wonderful for so many reasons...but, she is especially wonderful because she makes the best fried okra in the world. You might have to be from the south to truly appreciate it, but I could eat a whole plate full and get sick before I'd stop because it is so tasty. My mother and my grandmother taught me how to cook, which I appreciate more than they will ever know, but I'll never be able to make okra as good as my mom's.

Recipe of the Week - cool summer fun

This is one of those recipes that is not very impressive, and that you probably already have. However, I thought it was worth posting because it is a quick, easy, delicious cool treat on a hot summer day. You can double it for a potluck or just make it as listed for yourself. It keeps for several days in the fridge. Give it a try, even if you don't like pistachios (because you really don't taste them).

Pistachio Jello Salad

1 small package instant pistachio pudding
1 large can crushed pineapple, undrained
3 cups mini marshmallows
1 large cool whip, thawed

Stir together pudding and undrained pineapple. Let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in mini marshmallows and cool whip. Store in refrigerator in an air-tight container. Enjoy as salad or dessert.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Let's Play A Guessing Game!

The game goes like this:
Guess whose ear this is. I will give you three hints: 1) It is not mine, 2) It has gray hairs growing on the head above it, and, 3) It has gray hairs growing IN IT!!! YIKES!!! When did my husband start growing enormous, prehensile, thick, disgusting hairs out of his ears? It is no wonder he can't hear half of what I say!!! So, congratulations if you guessed. Even more congratulations if you can get this image out of your head while trying to sleep tonight! In some strange way, you can blame Ali Edwards...she wrote a book called Life Artist which led to the creation of this blog. Thanks Ali! Now, does anyone have one of those nose and ear hair trimmers. Eeew!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day

My dad served in the Navy, and was on a ship that treated the injured from the battles at Iwo Jima. Years later, as I was growing up, he told a lot of funny and interesting stories about being in the Navy, but he never talked about the tough, sad, or scary moments. Then, when my parents visited the Iwo Jima memorial during the 1990s, my dad (who never showed emotion in public) stood and looked at it and cried like a baby. We realized then that he must have seen a tremendous amount of suffering during that battle, and probably throughout his Navy career. He survived a tour in WWII and a re-enlistment in Korea. He was one of the lucky ones.

Veteran's Day was established on the anniversary of the WWI Armistice to honor all who had served, and Memorial Day was established at the end of the Civil War to honor the war dead. On this Memorial Day, say thank you to a vet no matter what you think of current wars and politics. I hate some of the decisions made by the governments of the world, but I hold our fighting men and women in the highest esteem. And, as this day is to remember those who have fallen, give any size of donation to the VFW or to one of the great organizations, such as the Yellow Ribbon Fund, set up to help our veterans as they return and deal with many issues.

You know that statement that says "we do more before 6:00 a.m than most people do all day"? That is true. And, because of their efforts, we have the freedom to do what we want for the rest of our day. The men and women who have fallen have traded all of their tomorrows so that you could have today. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Recipe of the Week - Thanksgiving Time! isn't time for Thanksgiving Dinner. That is actually 6 months away - what a bummer! Right about now we start craving turkey and dressing and all the trimmings. So, to help curb those cravings just a little bit, we make this easy, summery version of a pumpkin pie.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie Cake

1 large can pumpkin pie filling (not the pre-mixed kind)
All the ingredients that the can says you will need to make a pumpkin pie
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desired

Follow directions on the can to create your pumpkin pie filling. Pour that into a 9x13-inch glass baking dish, sprayed with nonstick spray. In small bowl, melt the sticks of butter. Sprinkle the yellow cake mix over the top of the pie filling, and then drizzle evenly with the butter. Sprinkle nuts over top. Bake for 55-65 minutes at 350 degrees (knife inserted into middle should come out clean). Let cool 20 minutes before serving warm, or cool completely and store in refrigerator. Best if served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Words

My friend, Michelle, created her own blog! She will soon find that it is fun, addictive, and a great way to forget about the world for awhile as you post deep and meaningful thoughts (or jokes, or recipes, or whatever). If you are reading this and haven't started a blog - DO IT!!! It is free and worth the time and has a bit of sanity to it in a world that is getting more insane. By the way, if you want to check out her blog, go to

So, Michelle has this great quote as her header. I hope she doesn't mind that I am stealing it for this blog (she can steal anything I have, if there is anything worth stealing). Here it is...

When you laugh be sure to laugh out loud, 'cause it will carry all your cares away. And when you see, see the beauty all around and in yourself, and it'll help you feel okay. And when you pray, pray for strength to help you carry on when the troubles come your way. And when you dream, dream big as the ocean blue. 'Cause when you dream it just might come true.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Love Words

Here is a quote that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE...this is why I have to make scrapbooks, make cards, paint weird things, and write in this blog. Visit if you want to see creative expressions, unique crafts, and true artwork:

Sometimes the obligations of life along with pent-up frustrations or stress can crowd the spirit, leaving it weary and longing for an outlet.
The power of art, whether viewing or creating it, can offer peace to the spirit and refreshment to the soul.

– Amanda Belle Nolan
Managing Editor

Recipe of the Week - Anniversary Chicken

This is called Anniversary Chicken because it was made by someone who needed to cook for a lot of people at an anniversary celebration. You can easily double or triple this recipe, which I have written to serve about 6, or two with yummy leftovers for lunch. I don't have a photo, and it sounds weird, but don't let that deter you!

Anniversary Chicken

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/2 cup ranch salad dressing
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup imitation bacon bits (or real ones, if you want)
1/4 cup sliced green onions (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Place chicken strips into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, sprayed with non-stick spray. Evenly pour salad dressing and teriyaki sauce over chicken. Sprinkle cheese, bacon bits, and onions over top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until chicken juices run clear when cut. Serve with salad and rolls. Delicious!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Pet Peeves

I am home for the second day with a fever, headache, and cough - probably not swine flu, but it feels just as bad. Having said that, I find myself pondering things that tick me off. I see these errors daily from a lot of people. Here is the first in my series of SHEILA'S PET PEEVES:

1. Quit writing "alot". That is not a word. It is two words and should always be written "a lot". Put the space in and do it right!

2. Quit putting an apostrophe and an s at the end of plural words. There is no such thing and "Cup's are five cents extra" or "I have two dog's". An apostrophe does not serve to warn someone that an "s" is approaching. It is to signify that a letter has been removed, such as "It's going to be fine". If you want to write a possessive pronoun like "I want to see its picture" then you don't need an apostrophe.

3. Despite my use of quotation marks above, they are to signify when someone is talking, and not to emphasize words. I am sick of seeing ads on sides of trucks that say, "We bring the "service" to you". Service in not a quote. If you want to emphasize a word, write it in a bolder or an italicized font.

4. Learn the difference between loose and lose. Those are always being misused. You lose your keys and lose weight, and if you lose enough weight, your pants will be loose.

5. Finally, please learn from the Dan Quayle days. Tomato does not have an e at the end until you write about more than one tomato - tomatoes. Also, potato does not have an e at the end either, unless pluralized - potatoes.

Thank you for listening as I complain about grammar errors. It drives me crazy on a daily basis. I promise the next post will be kinder, and keep watching for more recipes of the week!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Recipe of the Week

If you are keeping track, you know I am a week behind. I hope this recipe makes up for my is DELICIOUS! Serve warm or cold.

Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Mint

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice
2 T. grated orange peel
2 T. maple pancake syrup
1 T. mustard
1 and 1/2 cups wild rice or wild rice/white rice blend
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped, or 2 tsps. dried mint
2 green onions, thinly sliced

To cook rice, put in a heavy 2-quart saucepan with 3 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. If you want to serve this salad warm, immediately follow directions below and add to hot rice. If you want a cold salad, your rice can cool on the stove before you add the following ingredients.

In small mixing bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, orange peel, syrup, and mustard. Stir into rice. Add pine nuts (you can also use cashews, pecans or walnuts), cranberries, mint, and green onions. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Did you know that this recipe calls for ingrediente indigenous to North America? It makes a great vegetarian entree or a nice side dish for meat or chicken. It is delicious as leftovers, as well.