Sunday, July 29, 2012

Corn and Tomato Salad With...

Wait for it.....
LEMON Dressing.
That's right, mom, I said

FYI, I dislike all things lemon.
It stared as a child when Mom and Big would
terrorize me every Saturday morning
by vacuuming incessantly
and dusting the house to within an 
inch of its life with 
Lemon Pledge.

I don't
or do lemon.

But I may be easing my stance in my old age.
I won't get so carried away as to start
dusting or vacuuming, 
but lemons,
a little bit.

This recipe came from
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As mentioned before, I have an 
abundance of tomatoes.
The salad would have been even prettier had I 
used all red tomatoes but I have 
many yellow ones.
It's still pretty.

The only variation  I made
was reducing the mint by half.
I really wanted to get that hint of flavor in there
but did not want to off-put Honey.

He thinks mint only belongs in toothpaste.
Wonder what childhood story is lurking there...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Year Of Hot Dogs

 I love that I can mark my time here on earth in
hot dogs.

That is all. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Summer

That's a 
a kitchen, 
a bedroom 
2 nurseries. 

Any wonder my poor blog has
been neglected?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's Tomato Season

And as a public service I will
post every dish I think of to 
make use of the 
fruits of my labor.
Four tomato plants.

When will I learn?
Plus, three of the four are
cherry/grape tomato size.
I'ma gonna have a bazillion tomatoes!!

So, here I present to you todays
A gallette, if you will.
It's a pastry crust layered with
goat cheese
onion bacon jam
and parmesan.
I brushed the crust with an egg wash and
baked it at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

I'd call it a good start.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Embrace A Family

We match the time and talents of volunteers with the needs 
of the single parent.

Most of what we do is to try to make life a little easier.
Easter baskets are just one added expense to a budget
stretched as tight as it can get.
But getting out and shopping without the kids in tow
can be just as challenging.
We also do Christmas stockings.
Lots of Christmas stockings.

We also provide school supplies.
Other organizations will do this but what you get is pretty generic.
Have you seen a school supply list lately?
There is nothing generic about them
ie: a purple 2 pocket folder with 3 brads.
We get each child's specific list and fill it.
With very generous help from Office Depot.

We have social time together.
Happy Hours!
Being a single parent can be very isolating.
Sometimes they just need to get together and realize
they are not alone.

Not all of our mothers have financial issues.
Lots of them do.
Some of them have family nearby to help out.
Most do not.

One thing I have come to realize is that there is
a huge crack in our social services establishment.
While some of the ladies make too much money to
qualify for services, the fact that they may
make as little as $7 a month over the limit
does not mean they can afford
to pay for the services they do not qualify for.

That's what separates one of our moms from
the subsidized school lunch program.

Some of the aid is only available if you
are in arrears. These moms credit scores
are dicey at best, they can't afford to be in arrears.

My newest soapbox is utility assistance.
There are programs in place for
assistance with heating bills.
It's a little more challenging to find help
with cooling costs.

I had a mother call me during our 100 degree plus
heatwave. She and her son had been
taking turns soaking in a cold bathtub.
She lives in a rural area.
Cooling centers aren't heard of.
She had access to an air conditioning
unit but was afraid to use it for fear of what
it would do to her electric bill.
I told her to get.
Plug it in.
We'll figure it out.

Well, here's me figuring it out.
Embrace A family is a 501 (c)(3)
charitable organization.
And while we match time and talents of
volunteers the money has to come
from the generosity of strangers.
We get some from service organizations
in the area but our school supply
costs reach about $4,000 alone.

We really don't have the funds to assist with
utility assistance.
I want to fix that.

Any contributions can be sen to:
Embrace A Family
1005 Prairie Street
St. Charles, IL 60174

It's hard enough to be a single parent,
but a hot single parent?
Come on!

Well, depends on you definition of *hot*.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ava And The Arboretum

You know "Where's Waldo"?
It's like that.
And once you find Ava the next question is,
where is this place?
The Morton Arboretum.

I knew the Morton Arboretum existed
because I see the sign for
it every time I drive up 88 coming
 home from Indianapolis.
I was never much interested in exploring it till I saw
the pictures a friend of mine posted of
her grandkids there in the
children's garden.

What a fun place!
We took Oma and the little guy she watches with us.
They have a tadpole pond that in theory
you can search for tadpoles in.
In theory,
you walk on those rocks and look into the water.
In actuality,
little boys fall into the
water as much as they can and it becomes
rather murky.
But that's still fun!
There are tree houses that you get to
by way of rope bridges.
There are play structures.
Manmade and otherwise.
Not sure which category this picture
falls into.
But it's all fun!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What A Little Time, A Little Wine.....

And 235 corks will get you.
I have been collecting corks for years.
Many years.
I have been in search of the perfect
 thing to do with them. 
I found it.
On Pintrest.
But really, it was Anthropologies to 
begin with.
If you look on the left there you can see the 
depth of the corks.
Luckily I drink red so there are all sorts of
shades of purple on the cork bottoms.
I used the band saw to slice off the tops
of the corks and therefor get a flat surface
and then I hot glued a flat thumb tack to each one.
I drew out the pattern with chalk and then 
just started pushing away!

I have more corks.
Art Installation
may expand.

Pretty sure that by calling it 
I can get away with it.

Strawberry-Honeydew Coolers

These came from 
Cuisine At Home.
I think I had an issue with consistency.
The picture on the recipe looked more like
a granita and mine was more of a puree. 
Next time I will puree the frozen fruit but then
put it in a shallow dish and freeze hard
then scrape with a fork to make more of
a crystalline texture.
I think it will layer easier that way.
I also used my mini glasses as opposed to the
regular size ones called for in the recipe.

That being said, these were really good and refreshing.
Especially on a HOT Margarita Friday.
There is basil in with the honeydew.
Who knew?
It's a great combination. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Nursery

Or at least the beginning.

Michelle loves giraffes.
We are hoping the baby will too. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Donut Topiary

Wonder where I got this idea?
Whereas I did get the idea for this on
I did not, however, get instructions.

So here's the down-low:
it's a 12 inch styrofoam  cone,
50 donut holes,
(could have used 60)
and one little extra,
mini cupcake liners.
You could see the styrofoam 
between the donuts.
I used brown because it was an 
animal theme but how 
cute would colorful liners be?
Those are Oreo balls around the bottom. 

Like I said, could have used 60.