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June 2011

Spicy Bourbon Chicken

This sweet, and slightly spicy bourbon chicken was a big hit with the Georgia Boys and Hoosier Man. Very similar to other Asian meals I've made but the sweetness from the brown sugar and orange juice made it just a tad different. The Georgia Boys and I topped ours with some of that Asian Sirracha sauce. I thought the combo was necessary because the meal struck me as just a bit too sweet. Hoosier Man would like water chestnuts added next time and both of us though some sliced Vidalia onions would go heavenly. All in all this meal is a keeper!

Spicy Bourbon Chicken

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3 cups dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons ketchup

½ cups water

¼ cups orange juice

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/3 cups soy sauce

2 pounds chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces

1 tablespoon butter

3 cups fresh broccoli florets

1 red pepper, sliced and chopped

2 cups sliced mushrooms

6 cups cooked rice

1 bunch green onions, sliced, for garnish

Combine the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, ketchup, water, orange juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, cider vinegar, and soy sauce and whisk to combine and set aside.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook until no longer pink, and browned. Pour the sauce into the pan, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli, red pepper, and mushrooms and cook covered until the broccoli is tender, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the lid and let the sauce thicken. Stir in the green onions just before serving over the cooked rice.

Memorial Day - 2011

(Photo courtesy of the History Channel)

"...gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime....let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude,--the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan." --General John Logan, General Order No. 11, 5 May 1868

Today, Memorial Day 2011, remember those who have sacrificed and have fallen. At 3:00pm observe a time of silence to pray for all those who have given their lives - and in gratitude.

(Photo courtesy of the History channel)

And join our active duty soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines presently serving to protect our nation who will do the same and honor those who died protecting our nation.

Bahamas Tour - Even more album pages

Fun pages to do. I can't believe I'm already up to pages 18 & 19 in my album. Of course many of the pages I've already done aren't in any kind of order.

Because it's my album I wanted to include just me on some of the pages. Those things that meant the most to me. I loved this. Taking my shoes off and walking on the beach of the Bahamas. Very cool feeling walking into the crystal clear blue waters the Bahamas are so famous for.


Moving right along on my album. Here is another Nassau page spread. We went on an amazing private tour of Nassau. Our driver did an exceptional job of not only showing us the 'hot' spots of Nassau like Paradise Island but the not-so-hot spots, and interesting facts about how Bahamians live and work. It was an fun filled morning of sightseeing. I would suggest everyone take a private tour over one generated by the cruise line. Our driver was most attentive and caring and went above and beyond stopping at places we wanted to see further or up close. Great morning.

More Bahamas album

We were ready to eat lunch after spending all morning touring Nassau via taxi-van with an amazing guide, Marcus. We asked Marcus to take us to the row of restaurants we'd seen, and he'd mentioned in his tour. Everyone else on the tour had already gotten off so when Marcus dropped us off he said he'd be back to pick us up in an hour - how's that for service. We were all after Conch for lunch. While everyone else liked their meal I wasn't to thrilled with it but I absolutely loved the Conch Fritters that I ordered and ended up eating them as my main course. Loved them so much I even came home to find a recipe for them and the sauce that was served with them.

Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich

Messy! Divine! Yummy! This combination of flavors packs a punch. I made these sandwiches for lunch for the Georgia Boys and I. Oh, so yummy.

Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich

1 1/2 cups grated (not shredded) sharp cheddar cheese                      

1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used light mayonnaise)

1 small jar of pimentos, drained well

1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I'm going to try chipolte pepper next time)

Sourdough bread


Gently combine the grated cheese, mayonnaise, pimentos, and cayenne in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours to merge the flavors. When ready to prepare use about 1/4 cup pimento cheese mixture onto sourdough bread and butter the outside top and bottom. Grill on medium-high until both sides golden brown.

(Note: This sandwich is very messy. I would suggest not spreading the cheese mixture to the ends because it will melt over. Unless you want it to melt over and eat it messy. Then go for it!)

100 days of summer - 2011

To celebrate summer this year we made a list of 100 things to do, to have fun doing, to accomplish this summer of 2011. We will continue to homeschool through the end of June and then again the beginning of August but there will still be ample opportunity to 'check off' things on our list of 100 things to do this summer. The Georgia Boys are so excited about the list. The one that stood out the most was sleeping during the day and staying up all night. They said I pretty much rocked as a mother for coming up with that one. So, without further ado here is our list of 100 things to do this summer - 2011:

1. Eat Ice cream cones

2. Make homemade ice cream

3. Make strawberry freezer jam

4. Go to the fresh market

5. Have water gun fights

6. Play badminton

7. Go to the pool

8. Go to the beach

9. Have a scavenger hunt

10. Go to the movies

11. Go to the library

12. Go go-carting

13. Play putt-putt golf

14. Eat a piece of fruit a day

15. Watch a thunderstorm

16. Go for walks

17. Put a puzzle together

18. Go ‘berry’ picking

19. Family game night

20. Grow herbs

21. Make fresh lemonade

22. Make a weather station

23. Read books aloud

24. Join the summer reading club at the library

25. Go fishing

26. Paint outside

27. Have a picnic

28. Pitch a tent and sleep in the backyard

29. Have a salad a week

30. Eat a meal of vegetables only

31. Play Frisbee

32. Bake cookies

33. Cook dinner for the family

34. Go bowling

35. Volunteer

36. Read 100 books

37. Make crafts

38. Make s’mores over a candle

39. Work on at least 2 merit badges

40. Go to a museum

41. Go camping

42. Stargazing

43. Make root beer floats

44. Sidewalk chalk

45. Take silly pictures and make a mini album of them

46. Build a sandcastle

47. Boogie board

48. Build a model airplane

49. Make cupcakes

50. Sleep during the day and stay up at night

51. Make pottery

52. Watch the sunrise on the beach

53. Watch the sunset on the beach

54. Dress up for a photo shoot

55. Roast marshmallows

56. 24 hour movie marathon

57. Go dolphin sighting

58. Play laser tag

59. Color eggs and have an egg hunt

60. Take an  "Alphabet tour"... camera(s) in hand, journals - drive to town/city - begin with the letter a (Apple street) b (building) c (colosseum) d(dairy queen) e(eatery) you get the drift - when you are done - each child has a personal and creative alphabet memory book.

61. Play jacks

62. Blow up Diet coke with Menthos

63. Visit the Turtle Museum

64. See a Sand Gnats baseball game

65. Visit Oatland Island

66. Take a tour of Savannah

67. Go jet-skiing

68. Go without TV once a week

69. Make homemade popsicles

70. Walk to Sonics for lunch

71. Make Cards for Heroes (Operation Write Home)

72. Make homemade laundry detergent

73. Go see a Drive-In movie!!!

74. Take a walk in the rain

75. Fly a kite

76. Watch fireworks on the 4th of July

77. Do a photo booth at the mall

78. Summer Waves

79. Play dominoes

80. An evening with no lights/TV (read + play games)

81. Outdoor concerts downtown

82. Make Banana Splits

83. Make a gratitude journal

84. Light sparklers

85. Go to garage sales

86. Collect sea shells

87. Make sun tea

88. Play musical chairs

89. Wash the cars in your swim trunks

90. Write and draw a comic book

91. Visit the zoo and have dinner with Uncle Rich

92. Build a Lego world together

93. Have a sleepover

94. Write out and store up 100 scripture verses

95. Go to the Tea Room

96. Do weather experiments

97. Chase seagulls

98. Play pick up sticks

99. Make snow cones

100. Go to Boy Scout camp

Pretty cool!

Bacon Meatball Subs

Oh, these were yummy. With some of the prepping ahead of time not to difficult either. I served these with some Ceasar Salad, paired nicely. The recipe only makes about 20 meatballs so just enough for 4 people with no leftovers.

Bacon Meatball Subs    Serves 4

1 pound hardwood smoked bacon
1 pound ground beef
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dry oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon, or more to taste, crushed red pepper
1 egg

½ cup Italian bread crumbs

1 can pre-made spaghetti sauce or jar of pizza sauce

4 sub rolls

4 tablespoon butter

1 cup mozzarella cheese 

Cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces (it’s easier if it is still slightly frozen) and place into the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse the bacon until it is evenly ground and no large chunks of bacon remain. 

In a large bowl combine the bacon with the remaining ingredients.  Mix gently until evenly combined.   Scoop the meatballs into 1 1/2-inch balls, making sure not to compress the balls while shaping (I used a Pampered Chef scoop). Place on a parchment lined pan and chill, uncovered, for at least two hours.

Heat the oven to 400F.  Once the meatballs are chilled heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Working in batches, add the meatballs and brown thoroughly on all sides.  Transfer meatballs to a baking sheet once browned.

Bake the meatballs until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 160 F, about 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the oven to broil when meatballs come out. Meanwhile prepare sub rolls and heat the spaghetti sauce. Spread inside of rolls with butter and toast on a griddle. Fill one side of sub with 4-5 meatballs, desired amount of sauce, and ¼ cup mozzarella cheese. Arrange subs on a cookie sheet and broil in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts.

Bahamas Tour - Album Pages

On our third day of the cruise we made it into Nassau, Bahamas, the capitol city. As part of our tour we went to Paradise Island and visited the famed Atlantis resort and hotel. This thing is ostentatious (sp). We were only allowed to visit a small section of the hotel. While I thought the entire island and accompanying resort was amazing I just wasn't that impressed. I guess if I could afford to stay on the resort I might feel different. I personally enjoyed the rest of the island better.

More Pinterest evils

I'm going to make this and frame it for my bedroom but use red with the gray since our bedroom will be red, blue, and gray.

I love this! Frame, wire, clothes pins. I think I'd even decorate the pins to match the room I put this in.

This is a shower curtain. It is to-die-for beautiful! I want it...for the closet door in my scrap room. Remove the doors (which I can recycle somewhere else and hang this - awesome.

Ok. This is funny...and sad.

This would look awesome against gray walls in my bedroom. A sBj made of washers - would really stand out nicely.

An awesome idea. A repurposed dresser. Remove the drawers, fashion shelves - voila! A bookshelf.


Last but not least...I roared out loud!