Saturday, June 18, 2011

Making a Purple Basil Sauce (pesto?) from on-hand ingredients

At the first conway farmer's market of the season, we purchased a purple basil seedling. It was so petite and pretty. We separated it into 3 plants and potted them. One we gave away, the other two we set in sunny/shady spots. They have been doing wonderful!

Well, they started to flower and I realized I have not been harvesting. Therefore, this morning I pinched off the flowers, lower leaves and a couple of stems from both Purple Basil plants. I was not sure how to store them or what to do with them.

While looking up articles on storing fresh basil, I stumbled across a recipe for Purple Basil Pesto from this website I said hmph. I like pesto. I don't have that ingredient. I almost moved on. In fact, I did move on to another site, but then decided let's see what happens.

I created my own version of the above clickable recipe from ingredients that were already at home.

pecans- freshly shelled (not roasted) about 3/4 cup
purple basil - freshly harvested (stems, leaves, flowers) (about 4 ounces)
2 cherry tomatoes - freshly picked perfectly ripe sweet 100 tomatoes
Grated Parmesan Cheese - the remainder of what was in container (6 tablespoons)
Garlic - 2 cloves (I couldn't taste it so I sprinkled on just a touch of Garlic Salt)
olive oil (for desired consistency-I used all of my olive oil and added canola oil)

Place all ingredients in food processor. I did not pre-cut or crush anything, you could if you want, but you don't have too. I scraped the sides a couple of times to make sure everything was good to go, I ended up pulling out one stem that refused to be a part of the party. When satisfied with your food processor's work. Add oil till pesto preference is achieved.

Enjoy! I am going to have mine on noodles and vegetables. I might even bake some on some chicken breast.

ps. If you don't have a food processor, you can chop all ingredients and use a mortar to mix.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Where I can remember I've been...

visited 17 states (34%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

There's alot of places I'd love to go. Every state in the United States. A few choice places in along the Amazon River, Costa Rica, Galapagos Islands, Kenya, Ireland..actually all of the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Israel, Greece and I'd like to tour some of the world's oceans. Is that too much to ask?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Just a rice recipe

So, feeling adventurous and uninspired on what to pair with the pork. I look in the cabinet and see:
Rotel diced tomatoes with cilantro and lime (my that's been in there a long time)....
Rotel Mexican Diced Tomatoes with Lime Juice & Cilantro - Click Image to Close

So I grab it and dump it into a pan. I add 1/3 cup of sour cream. 2 cans* full of rice. and I think 3 cans* of water.
I make it like you would make rice on the stovetop. I stirred. Brought to a boil. Covered and let simmer until the rice is soft. Then, I added so cheddar. I'm waiting to see what it will taste like.

Okay. It's done. I tried it.
Have you ever had the "fiesta lime chicken" from Applebee's?
It tasted like the rice from that dish.
I'm going to serve it with more cheese.
It didn't go with the main/meat, but it was tasty.
It's too spicy for DD.

**By can I mean the empty can that once held the diced tomatoes, cilantro and lime. Whose image will look like the one above except it will be sans top.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Weekend Fun

On Saturday, we went straight to Wal-mart to buy our groceries. We were going to cook Easter supper on Saturday and take it to the Farm. We got back home and started cooking immediately. I also set the food coloring up for egg dying.
This was the menu:

appetizer-- (made from the dyed eggs) deviled eggs

salad--lettuce, black olive, tomato, cucumber

bread--french bread

meat main: HAm (pineapple, cherry, brown sugar)


macaroni and cheese-kraft

green-bean casserole-modified campbells recipe

corn casserole--paula deen recipe

potato salad-star private stock store bought...yum

sweetness: charoset with pecans-.

Took it to the farm. Had a delightful dinner with MIL,FIL, DH, DD, DS and me. Afterwards, the in-laws gave the kids easter baskets and hid easter eggs. I am sure they all had a tremendous time.

Easter morning:
We all woke up and took our time getting ready. I finished up the hand ribbons for the kids. We were all dressed beautifully. I meant to get pictures, but it just didn't happen. We made it to church early. Made sure we had everything ready for the kids Easter special. The kids arrived. We went over the chorus and signs before church started. I had all the kids hold hands, and we prayed. We prayed that God would use the kids to minister to everyone. Got the robe for the choir special. Sat with the choir. The church service began and it finally came time for the kids special. I was going to introduce their special, but when I said 'Happy Easter' to the Church, I felt like we should just do our thing. Two of my older girls sang the verses together while the rest of the kids sang and signed the chorus. We did "My Redeemer Lives". The children did wonderful. At one point, I was kinda losing them, so I prayed and said "come on guys". Then they started to really sing the song-- they all got louder, more expressive, put smiles on they're faces, made all the motions. It was great. I heard that there were very few dry eyes afterward. People were blessed, touched, ministered to. The Spirit moved. IT was special. Now, if only I can get my hands on a copy of it. lol.
We came home from church and ate yummy leftovers. We set out on the road to see mom, g'ma, aunt and other family. The drive took us 2.5 hours. My kids were so happy with their surprise! (seeing their g'ma and great g'ma). I was happy to see mom and my g'ma too. We ate Easter supper again at my Aunt's house. We talked and then spent the night at the hotel. In the am, the played in the CCOLLDD pool. Then, mom, me, dd, ds went shopping. Later, we met back up with the rest of the family. A good time was had by all. Driving back home was a challenge. was so tired. Was happy to see DH.

It sure was hard getting DD awake and to school this morning.

Friday, April 22, 2011

An account of Good Friday

I can't imagine the joy and confusion that Mary must have felt when carrying God's child. If or How many times as HE grew did she doubt who HE was? All the pain and confusion she must have felt when Christ made His way down the Via dolorosa. The tears, the suffering she must have endured watching Him die on Calvary. The helplessness, the emptiness, the unbearable feeling of not only losing a Child, but the One who she believed--she knew was the Messaiah.

The disciples, followers, ones who had been healed, set free....they lost their friend, their teacher. The Man who they thought was the Chosen One had been crucified. He had committed no crime. He didn't put up a fight. They had seen him triumphant in debates with the Pharisees. Pilate knew of Jesus' innocence. As a man, He could have eloquently pleaded and won His case. He could have shamed the Pharisees. On the cross, as God he could have called forth anything to cease His crucifixion...

That trial began around 6 am. By approximately 9 am: Jesus had been scourged, mockingly dressed as a King, a crown of thorns was forced onto His head, a farce of a scepter was placed in His right hand. The soldiers mockingly hailed Him as king (HE who fulfilled prophecy a week earlier, the triumphant entry, when the People cried out and greeted Him as king as He entered Jerusalem "HOSANNA.") The soldiers spat on Him, and they took the reed and hit Him on the head. They mocked Him some more and then gave Him his Cross to carry. From a distance, His acquaintances and a group of women who followed Jesus observed His death and later His burial.

About noon the day as Jesus was hanging on the Cross, a darkness fell over the land. 3 Hours later, it was still dark and Jesus recites in His native tongue Psalm 22...quoting David in a Psalm that begins as a lament of the suffering Servant and ends in Victory..."My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?" Then, to quench His thirst (in accordance with prophecy), He sipped sour wine (not the drugged wine offered earlier but vinegar-like drink) from a sponge.

Finally, the time had come. The fulfillment of prophecy completed. In a loud voice, Jesus said to the Father that He was giving up/yielding His spirit and He exclaimed to the people "It is FINISHED." At that moment, Jesus CHOSE to release His spirit from the body.

The veil (our separation from God) was literally torn in two from the bottom up! The earth shook! Rocks were split! Jesus had died on the cross. The centurion, a gentile, a witness to the crucifixion of Jesus, recognized that the land itself testified and declared "Truly, this Man was the Son of God!"

The late afternoon had come. The Sabbath was to start at sunset. [Jewish law (Deut 21) prohibited the bodies of criminals to remain hanging overnight. Therefore to maintain the Law, it was necessary to hasten the death of those who were crucified; the soldiers normally accomplished this by breaking the legs of the offenders.] The 2 men crucified on the same day as Jesus had their legs broken, but when the soldiers came to Jesus, he was already dead. To make sure He was dead, a soldier pierced His side with a spear. As Jesus' lifeless body hung on the cross, blood and water poured out from His side.

A pharisee, a member of the council, a follower of Christ, a rich man, Joseph went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus. Pilate obliged. Joseph had a brand new tomb [it was customary to bury the dead in family burial crypts. If Jesus' body had not been placed in a new tomb, it would have been preposterous to claim that the tomb is empty] and it was nearby. Jesus' body was removed from the cross. Joseph and Nicodemus, a rich pharisee and follower of Christ, lavishly and lovingly prepared His body for burial. They used up to 1200 ounces of myrrh and aloe. They bound His body in strips of linen and with the spices. Then, they laid Him in the tomb. A large stone was rolled against the door of the tomb.

The chief priests (Sadducees) and Pharisees went back to Pilate, and expressed their concern that Jesus' followers would steal the body and claim that Jesus would rise on the 3rd day. Therefore, Pilate granted them a guard and instructed them to make the tomb secure with wax and the Roman government seal. The Sadducees and Pharisees made certain the tomb was guarded and that the tomb was sealed.

On the Sabbath, the mother, friends, and followers of Christ grieved and rested.

[mushroommommy typed it. The Bible said it.] I appreciate correction.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I made refried beans....

I had a can of pinto beans sitting in my cabinet. Someone gave it to me. It sat and sat.

Tonight for supper we are having Paula Deen Mexican Chicken, rice and black beans. After the main course, we will be having a small serving of ice cream covered in apple sauce and topped with blueberries and garnished with raspberries and cherries.

I open the cabinet and to my dismay, I have no black beans. No dried black beans in the bag, no cans of black beans. I have dark red kidney beans. I have black eyed peas, but those just won't go with the mexican-ness of the meal....actually the rednexican-ness (I made up the word rednexican. If you decide to use it please give credit to mushroommommy) of the meal....ugh what to do.

Wait, I could use that lonely, could-expire-any-day-now can of Pinto beans. How do you cook a can of pinto beans that is edible? Doesn't the spanish actually mean well-fried not refried? hmmmmmm should I deep fry the drained beans. Sure!!! Why not? It can't make them worse.

While they are draining from that canned goo, let me cook some onions in butter. mmmmmm onions in butter. Okay fry. WEIRD. Jiggle. Jiggle. I love you fry daddy. Work some magic. I fried the pinto beans for 2-5 minutes. I then transferred the beans to the pot of sauteing onions. I stirred then squashed. I seasoned with paprika and black pepper.

Apprehensively, I tasted the experimental refried beans. To my surprise, I like them. Any even bigger surprise, the little people say the beans were incredible/fantastic. Woo HOo!

abandoned can of pinto beans
1/2 small onion
about 2 tsp (or more) black pepper
about 2 tsp (or more) paprika
more than 1/4 but less than 1/2 stick of buttery stuff (smart balance, margarine, butter, etc)

Saute chopped onion in the butter.
Deep fry the DRAINED pinto beans for 2-5 minutes
drain oil from beans
add beans to sauteing onion--turn to medium heat
stir mixture
squash beans continue stirring.
Let sit for at least a minute.
Add pepper and paprika.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Valerie's Easy Pink-eye peas-y Recipe

My DH is growing Pink-eye peas. I had to learn how to cook them. The following is what I came up. It turned out great and it was super duper easy. 

This is "Valerie's Easy Pink-eye peas-y recipe":  

3 cups shelled and rinsed pink-eye peas 
1 can progresso french onion soup 
some butter  
1. In pot, melt butter to cover the bottom 
2. Add soup 
3. Bring to a boil, add peas and stir 
4. Let boil 2-5 minutes 
5. turn to lowest heat and cover for one hour 
6. Serve and Enjoy......they're BETTER than black-eye peas

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Children's Sermon "What it means to be a Christian?"

Good Morning. How is everyone feeling? Are their any prayer requests? Let's Pray.

Can anyone tell me what we were supposed to do when we left church last sunday?

Sing "I am a C"

What it means to be a christian?

Can anyone tell me what it means to be a christian? (wait for answers). 

Let's look at what the Bible says...THe Bible uses the term Christian 3 times(Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28 and 1 Peter 4:16) and it comes from the the greek 'Christianos' which means Follower of Christ. Hmm, so according to the definitions in the dictionary about "follow" being a Christian is about being somebody who comes behind, supports, imitates, obeys and even takes over for --meaning carry on the ministry of Jesus. It is a an awesome responsibility and the universe's greatest gift, but where does your journey as a Follower of Christ start? Let's see what Jesus said..... in (1)  John 3:3 that we have to be "Born Again" or accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior believing with all your heart (make playdoh heart) that Jesus died on a cross for your sins (make playdoh cross)  . God's word tells us in (2) 2 corinthians 5:17 that when we are born again we become a new creature. How can he make us new all over? 

First Quote "God know our heart..."

Let me show you with this play-doh. What color is this heart? okay red. We are going to use this red heart to represent us or our spirit...each of us is born with a spirit. It's what makes us a living person with life, feelings and emotions. What color is this cross? Okay Blue. We are going to let the cross represent God's spirit.

second quote "God sent his son..."

third quote "now look what happens..."

 (quotes have been taken from

Any questions? If anyone wants to talk about being born again and starting on their journey of being a christian, after we pray come and talk to me or _____ and we would love to talk and pray with you.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Strawberry Pizza

Favorite sugar cookie recipe or store bought sugar cookie dough 
Strawberries--about a half gallon
8 oz (1 package) cream cheese
confectioners sugar
whipped topping or whipped cream

Use a round pizza pan
Cover with foil
(Spray with non-stick spray)
put cookie dough on pan
place wax paper on top of the dough
Either smooth down the dough with hand or use a rolling pin to make cookie dough cover the pizza pan ala pizza dough
remove wax paper
-Cook in accordance with cookie dough recipe/instructions. Perform a and b while cookie is in the oven
a. Sweeten cream cheese to desired taste by adding powdered sugar to preferred taste...if unsure start with 1 cup blend in using mixer on medium speed 

b. Hull/remove the green of the strawberries 
cut tops and bottom off strawberries--to be used in 'pizza sauce'. These pieces will be crushed to look like sauce. I used my onion chopper. 
slice strawberries for the 'pepperoni' put aside

1. When giant cookie/'pizza' crust comes out of the oven, spread a thin layer of sweetened cream cheese (scc). Let cookie cool and the sweetened cream cheese harden.


2. Using the tops and bottoms of the strawberries, crush strawberries to make 'pizza' sauce.
Spread the strawberry sauce on the hardened sweetened cream cheese. 


3. I used a cake decorating bag, but this can be done using a ziploc bag or other inventive way to add the sweetened cream cheese. 
Zig-zag the sweetened cream cheese across the strawberry sauce.



4.  Starting from the middle of the 'pizza', spiral the whip cream (from a bag or the can) to the outside of the pizza



5.  Garnish with strawberry slices (to look like pepperoni)


Ta-Da Strawberry Pizza!

My tip--To add sausages (or for a red-white-and blue look)--just toss on some blueberries!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Expanding Family

I just wanted to share the news that my family has grown.... Introducing... Photobucket "Hunter Pumpkin Johnson" This boy moved in under my porch and adopted my family more than a month ago. The neighborhood kids and I named the stray Hunter. To our surprise he had a 'owner', and his name was Gus, but he didn't seem to want to live with them or be named Gus. An incident happened that was blown WAY out of proportion and the law was called on the mostly lab with a touch of lazy howling hound by the so-called owner; the officer was quick to notice that the puppy was far from aggressive and quickly left without the dog. My husband made the decision that we would adopt the creature that had already moved in. After officially having him for a couple of days and after getting the collar, leash, flea treatment, chain, etc., Amelia decided he needed a full name and by her word she added Pumpkin Johnson. :) This member came first. I am pleased to announce Country Kitty Johnson. 
Photobucket She was living by herself in a dilapidated tobacco barn that's being held up by the weeds and Ivy that encompass it. Hubby's great Aunt has a strawberry farm and everytime they walked passed the area they heard a young faint meow. There was a 'mama cat' deceased on the highway in front of the farm. They asked me to see if I could get it because it wouldn't come out or go to them. I went back to the approximate spot of the baby and just meowed for it, and me being the cat whisperer that I am, she just walked right out, let me pick her up, and I walked back to the strawberry farm. I took her over to another house where I knew a mama cat was and tried to initiate an adoption, but the mama didn't want anything to do with a new baby. Poor Kitty was desperately after the milk from the mama cat, but without success. We took her home to restore her to health and doubled her weight with-in 1.5 days. We are not supposed to have indoor pets, but kitty just doesn't like the outside....especially after Hunter moved in. I wanted to name her Sergeant Fuzzypants, but I was out voted.