Chicken & Asparagus Stir Fry

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Asparagus is in season and very present at the local farmers’ markets. The price varies though, so look around! I would rather buy it from the local farmers at the farmers market than in the store.

I found this recipe, and I wanted to make it right away. Thank you to the blog I found this on. http://www.dinneratthezoo.com/chicken-and-asparagus-stir-fry/

Tim and I really liked this. I know Tim did for sure because he had a second helping. I served this with brown rice.

I did not add the salt when cooking the chicken. I rarely add salt to any meal I make. I figured we got enough sodium from the chicken broth and soy sauce.

I did not have any boneless skinless chicken breasts, so I used thighs instead. That worked out quite well.

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Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb asparagus stalks trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Directions:
Heat the vegetable oil in a pan over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken to the pan in a single layer. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes per side or until browned (mine took a little longer). Add the asparagis to the pan and cook cor 3 -4 minutes or until tender. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds.

In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch. Pour the sauce over the chicken and asparagus and bring to a simmer. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened.

Enjoy!

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Farmers Market Time

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I love this time of year! I look forward to it!

The farmers’ markets are opening here in Southeast Wisconsin.  I love going to the farmers market to get fresh produce, a nice lunch from the local food truck vendors, and to chat with my friends that are selling their products.

Nothing beats good fresh veggies that were picked from the field that morning.

Early in the season we get fantastic asparagus and rhubarb.

I look forward to fresh sweet corn, so sweet you can eat it right there at the stand without even cooking it.  I can’t wait for fresh spinach, cauliflower, cantaloupe, and strawberries.

In the fall my favorites are butternut and spaghetti squash as well as apples.

Please help support your local farmers.  Shop local.  Enjoy the freshness!

Beautiful Day in Desert Heat

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I love butterfly cards. My dear friend Vikki does not like butterflies. I think of her every time I make a butterfly card, which I am sure you all know is often!

This set is in the Stampin’ Up! Occasions catalog. I believe I was told that it will be in the new catalog that starts in a few weeks. Yay! There is also a large flower image that I cannot wait to use as well.

I picked up a Kaleidacolor ink pad at my friend (and SU! Demonstrator) Barb’s rubber rummage. It is Desert Heat. I was thinking it was mostly fall colors. They are perfect for summer too! The one shade (each pad has five pads) is very close to Stampin’ Up! Strawberry Slush. That worked great for me. For fall, I will try to find an orange that matches.

I made two of this card. One was a birthday card for my dear friend and fellow stamper Lora. The other was for my Mom for Mother’s Day.

I’m sorry the picture is a little dark.

I added pearls to the Modern Label punched piece for my Mom’s card.

I am not good at fussy cutting as you can probably tell, yet I still do it.

The butterfly is embossed onto glossy white card stock. Then I inked up my brayer using the Kaleidacolor ink pad. I left the ink pads separated. I usually only slide them together when stamping an image. I was taught to push the brayer in one direction over the card stock. Going back and forth can get messy. When you are done you can use a dry kleenex to remove the ink from the embossed lines.

Stampin’ Up! Product:
Stamp Sets: Bright Day and Teeny Tiny Wishes
Card Stock: Glossy and Strawberry Slush
Other: Spring Flowers embossing folder, Modern Label punch, Embossing Buddy, Winter White embossing folder

Non-SU!: Papertrey Ink white card stock, Kaleidacolor Desert Heat ink pad

Thank you for stopping by!

Sharon’s Fantabulous Fruit Salad

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My ex-sister-in-law Sharon is a great cook. I have always enjoyed meals she has prepared.  She is famous for her fruit salad! She was often asked to bring to family functions.  It is so easy, and it really is super yummy!  With Memorial Day weekend coming up soon, I wanted to share the recipe with you in case you were looking for something different for your cookout. Maybe you just want to make a batch and sit down with a spoon. The thought has crossed my mind. 🙂

Please read through this recipe before you make it.

Please note: for a small batch of fruit salad use 1 can of each, for an XL batch, use 3 cans of each

Sharon’s Fantabulous Fruit Salad
Ingredients:
2 large cans sliced cling peaches in heavy syrup (cut each piece into 3)
2 cans pineapple tidbits
2 cans mandarin oranges
2 jars marachino cherries (sometimes I cut them in half)
4-5 small bananas
1 small box cook and serve vanilla pudding

Directions:
Thoroughly drain fruit, keeping 1 1/2 cups peach juice.
Pour juice into a pan and heat on medium.
Add pudding mix when it starts to get warm. Stir mixture until it comes to a boil and then remove from heat.
Have all of your fruit ready in a bowl, draining any excess juice. Pour the mix over the fruit and stir. Be sure your banana pieces get covered so they don’t brown. Cover and refrigerate.

Enjoy!

Chicago

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Tim and I had a great time a couple of weekends ago. He planned a day trip for us to Chicago. I have driving anxiety issues, so we took the Amtrack down and walked around the city for the day.

We started with some site seeing at the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). I had not been there since I was in 8th grade! Tim had never been there. It was really neat!

I know it is a really dark picture of us, but you get an idea of the view in the background.

After this we stopped at a very good British influenced restaurant The Elephant and Castle. The food and service were both fantastic.

Then it was on to Millenium Park for a majority of the rest of the day. We really had a great day. The weather was perfect.

We stopped at the Bean. As you can see it is a very popular part of the park.

We also made a stop at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. They currently have a World War 1 display that is seriously fascinating.

We ended our day with a deep dish Chicago pizza at Giordano’s. You cannot visit Chicago and not try one. We ordered a large so we had plenty to bring home!

Thank you for stopping by!

Island Indigo Lighthouse

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I like to use lighthouse images for three types of cards: sympathy, masculine and in general for my friends that I know love lighthouses as much as I do.

My friend Dawn really helped me out with this card. I had the Island Indigo ink and bakers twine but no card stock. Yikes! As a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, I figured she might have some extra. We made a trade. I don’t get to see Dawn very often, so it was great to have a reason to get together!

I made a couple of these cards with no real reason in mind. One turned into a sympathy card. The other was a thank you card.

I thought the swirly embossing folder worked well with this card. It reminds me of water.

There is a beautiful Bible verse from the book of Psalms as part of this stamp set. It is Psalms 119:105. Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Having attended a Lutheran grade school, I have sung this verse many times. It is very comforting.

Island Indigo Lighthouse
Stampin’ Up! Product
Stamp Set: A Light Unto My Path
Card Stock: Island Indigo
Ink: Island Indigo
Other: Island Indigo bakers twine

Non SU! Product
Swirls embossing folder, notched corner punch, Papertrey white card stock

If you love the Island Indigo color, please be sure to order it soon. It is part of the retiring colors, so it will not be available much longer.

Thank you for stopping by!

Banana Bread Muffins

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I was a little crazy buying fruit for lunches a couple of weeks ago.  I had apples, oranges and bananas.  They were all great, but I bought too much.  I tend to do that.

By the way, Kwik Trip sells the BEST bananas.  I just love theirs.

I was thinking about making banana bars, but I did not have cream cheese. I had no desire to run to the store to get some.  My next idea was banana bread.  My issue with that is my breads do not get done in the middle.  No matter what I do. I think it’s our ancient oven.  What do I know?  I figured OK, make the batter and turn it into muffins!  Great thinking!  One batch made 16 muffins.

This is a recipe from Pillsbury.  You know.  The cute lil Dough Boy!

Banana Bread (Muffins)
Ingredients:
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 medium)
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional (I used pecans.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of 9×5 or 8×4 loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray. (For muffins, use liners in your muffin pans)

In large bowl, beat sugar and butter with spoon until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Stir in bananas, milk and vanilla until well blended.

In a small bowl, mix flour, nuts, baking soda and salt. Add to banana mixture all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour into pan (or muffin tin).

For bread: Bake 50 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely, about one hour. Wrap tightly and store in refrigerator.

For muffins: Divide batter evenly into muffin tin. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Check at about 18 minutes with a toothpick. Ovens vary.

I stored my muffins in these cute containers I picked up at the local Dollar Tree. Who doesn’t love the great deals at the Dollar Tree? That’s for another post. Anyways, check these out! They hold nine cupcakes/muffins.

https://www.dollartree.com/Sure-Fresh-Plastic-Cupcake-Carriers-with-Handles/p336354/index.pro

Thank you for stopping by!

Too Many Ingredients

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I used to be intimidated by recipes that had a long list of ingredients. I honestly assumed it was a difficult recipe to make if that much stuff goes into it.

Fast forward a few years. It was pointed out to me that a lot of the items listed are seasonings. They are easy to add, and they really make a difference.

I found that it really is not intimidating! I read the recipe. I get out all of the jars and bags of seasonong needed. I grab a few different size measuring spoons, and I am ready to go.

I recently shared a recipe with a friend who then showed a friend of hers. Friend #2 said, oh that is a lot of ingredients. Half of the items listed are seasonings. 😊

I am one that likes to have my ingredients ready before I start cooking. I do not measure the seasonings out, but I have them ready to use. I like to cube my meat if needed and prep my veggies as needed before I start. I find it to be so much easier to cook that way.

Please don’t be afraid to make a recipe with a lot of ingredients. Give it a try. I bet you will be just as pleased as I have been!

Circle Circus Masculine Card

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After all of my years of making cards, I still find masculine cards the hardest to make.

I truly do not have a lot of masculine sets to use. Yes, I know I should buy more. 😊

Circle Circus was on my wish list. I found it at my friend Barb’s annual Rubber Rummage. Yay! What a happy find.

By the way, the 16th annual rummage is coming up on April 27th & 28th. Let me know if need a copy of the flyer!

Stampin’ Up! Product:

Stamp Set: Circle Circus and Happiest Birthday Wishes

Card Stock: Always Artichoke, Cherry Cobbler, Night of Navy

Ink: Always Artichoke, Cherry Cobbler, Night of Navy

Non SU! Product: Neenah 110lb white card stock

Thank you for stopping by!

Crock Pot Cheeseburger Soup

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Oh goodness is this a good soup!  Tim and I really enjoyed it!  Please find my notes in the directions.  I of course didn’t do things as the original post did.

I found this recipe on a blog called Life in the Lofthouse

https://life-in-the-lofthouse.com/crock-pot-cheeseburger-soup/

I diced up my potatoes pretty small, and they cooked up great. At the point in the directions where it says 45 minutes before you serve – this is when I made the roux and added the milk.  I browned the meat while I was cutting up the veggies. I let it cool and put it in a ziploc bag til I needed it.  There are directions on the original post for stove top cooking if you would prefer that.

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Crock Pot Cheeseburger Soup
Ingredients:
4 small potatoes, peeled and diced (I did not peel mine.)
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
1 cup shredded carrot (I sliced mine really thin.)
1/2 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
3 cups chicken broth
1 pound lean ground beef
3 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt (I did not add this.)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 16 oz package Velveeta, cubed OR 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used extra sharp cheddar.)

Directions:
Place potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, dried basil, and parsley in a large crock pot. Pour chicken broth over vegetables. Cover with lid. Cook on low heat for 6 – 8 hours or high heat for 4 – 5 hours or until potatoes are tender.

About 45 minutes before serving, cook and crumble ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (I did this while I cut up the veggies and put it in a ziploc bag in the refrig til needed). Drain any grease. Pour cooked ground beef into crock pot. Carefully wipe hot skillet with a paper towel then add butter (I used a sauce pan to do this later.) When butter is melted, whisk in flour and cook until golden brown and bubbly. Whisk in the milk, salt and pepper. Pour mixture into the crock pot and stir to combine everything.

Add the cheese to crock pot. Stir again. Cover with lid and cook another 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Enjoy!