Friday, October 31, 2008

Recipe Swap Friday

In honor of October being "National Cookie Month" I have decided to post a cookie recipe. :-) I intended to post the "Fruit Cake Cookie" recipe that I mentioned in the previous post, but I forgot about the swap, again, and I don't have time to look it up and type it into a post this morning. (I'm truly busy baking cookies that have to go in the mail TODAY.) :-)

So, I have decided to link back to a cookie recipe that I posted awhile back. :-) It is EASY, CHEAP, and AMAZING! :-) Enjoy! :-)

For more recipes head over to Gayle's. :-)

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

National Cookie Month

I had no idea that October is "National Cookie Month", did you?
I have to say that I am very happy about it. :-)

I have always loved baking cookies. For the most part, I prefer to make cookies from scratch. Store bought dough just doesn't taste the same. I will use it in a pinch, but only if I have to for sake of time. :-)

One of my favorite things to do at the holidays is bake cookies and box them up for gifts. People just love getting the cookies, and I love making them, and taste testing them. :-)

I guess my favorite cookie to make is the Fruit Cake cookie. I love it! :-)

How about you? What is your favorite cookie? I think that in honor of "National Cookie Month" I'll bake some cookies this week. October doesn't end until midnight Friday, so it's not too late to bake and celebrate. :-)

Wendy Darling

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Welcome to the "Bloggy Give Away Carnival." Thank you for visiting to sign up for my give-away. :-)

Today I will be giving away this wonderful cook book you see pictured here.

"Cooking With Angels: May No Soldier Go Unloved or Unfed" contains 268 pages of mouth watering recipes. Most of the pages have 2 recipes per page. It also includes dedications to our military/Veterans, and even pictures! Recipes were submitted by "Angels", celebrity chefs, political figures, radio and TV personalities and MORE... ;-)

This give away is open to everyone. You don't have to "jump through hoops" to sign up. :-) Just leave a comment, with an e-mail address so I can notify you if you should win. Yep, it's that easy. You don't have to have a blog, just a working e-mail address. :-)

Once I have notified the winner, they will have 4 days to contact me with a mailing address. If I have not heard from them in that time I will draw another winner. :-)

I will close the comments at midnight, Friday, October 31st. The winner will be drawn Saturday morning at 9:00 am Central Time, using the random number generator. So, check back that morning to see if you won. :-)

If you do not win, please check out Soldiers' Angels and order one for yourself, and another as a gift. This is definitely a "must have" for any cook book collector. Remember that all of the proceeds are used for our military and their families. Support our Troops! :-)

To sign up for more giveaways, please click the link at the top of this post. HAVE FUN!! :-)

Wendy Darling

PS - in the interest of getting this posted as early as possible I wrote this post on Sunday, so the date shown may reflect that. If so, ignore it. This wasn't posted until Monday morning. :-) Thank you for understanding.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Someone stop me....

I apparently have an addictive personality. When I find something new, that intrigues me, I latch onto it. HELP! Remember "Hammer Heads?" Case in point.

Has anyone heard of "Green Spot?" This is from their website:

Green Spot is a MySpace application that wants to help save the rain forest. Green Spot includes a Green Garden, where you can buy and arrange plants and animals to make a beautiful garden! The more friends you get to join Green Spot, the more rain forest you'll help us save!

When I first began receiving "gifts" I ignored it. I didn't know what it was, and certainly didn't want to waste time on it. After a few weeks my sister sent me a "gift." So, I checked it out. I still didn't understand the concept, but I figured "why fight it" and signed up. I didn't know anything about the garden though, and "gifts" were stockpiling in my "shed."

I finally figured out about moving things to the garden, I looked at a couple of others, handed out a few bones and carrots, and now.... NOW.... I... AM.... ADDICTED!

I can't stop visiting gardens. I can't stop trying to see how many "green dollars" I can get. How much rain forest I can save by buying gifts. It's INSANE!!

Last night I even dreamed about it! And now there are the gnomes.... I'm pretty sure I'm gonna need therapy....

Wendy Darling

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Deep Dish Apple Pie

I got this recipe out of a magazine from the 1930s. Anytime I have made it for a bake sale it goes for around $20. It is easy, and GOOD. I am also including the recipe for the crust. :-)

Plain Pastry (Double Crust)
2 C sifted, all purpose flour
1 t salt
2/3 C shortening (I like Crisco)
5-7 T cold water

Sift flour and salt together; cut in shortening with pastry blender until pieces are the size of small peas. (For extra tender crust cut 1/2 until the size of corn meal, and the other 1/2 until the size of peas.) Sprinkle one tablespoon of water over part of the mixture. Gently toss with a fork and push to the side of the bowl. Repeat until all is moistened. Form into a ball. Divide dough in half. Roll out on lightly floured surface until 1/8 inch thick. Trim lower crust even with the rim of the pie plate, place in plate.

At this point I leave the top crust between two pieces of wax paper and refrigerate both parts while I prepare the mixture.

Perfect Apple Pie

6-8 tart apples; pared, cored and cut thinly sliced about 6 cups. I prefer to use Granny Smith)
3/4 C - 1 C sugar
2 T all-purpose flour
1/2 - 1t ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg (fresh is best)
1 recipe of the Plain Pastry (above)
2 T butter

If apples lack tartness, sprinkle with about 1T lemon juice. Combine sugar, flour, spices, and dash of salt; mix with apples. Remove your pastry from the refrigerator and fill with the apple mixture. Really let it "mound" up. Dot with butter. Adjust the top crust, and fold edges underneath. Crimp the sides. Cut slits in the top to allow the steam to escape. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour, or until done. This is more involved by doing it from scratch, but it is TOTALLY worth it.

For more wonderful recipes head on over to the Recipe Swap at Gayle's. :-)

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


We just came back from voting, and I had to tell you what happened. As we approached the door there was a group of about 5 older adults looking at the sample ballot on the door. A gentleman was explaining to an older lady about filling in the circle next to the candidates name. (Yes, we still use the old pen and paper method here in our little town, and I like it that way. :-) There is one machine for those who want to be "fancy".) :-)

My Mom finished voting before me, and was sitting outside the door waiting. She said the lady came out with a huge smile on her face and told my mom, "I just voted in my first election, ever." My mom said, "That's wonderful!" The lady replied, "I felt it was that important." :-)

Shouldn't we all?

We took "Little Mark" with us, of course, because I never pass up a chance to impress upon him the importance of voting. LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD! We have been studying the election process for awhile, and have been using this book:

He is really into it, and one thing that he has been interested in is the "Women's Suffrage." He has the School House Rock songs on his iPod, and really likes the music to this song. Of course, the lyrics stick. We were listening to it in the car a couple of weeks ago and he commented that he liked the song. He liked the music and style of the song.

So, I thought I would test his knowledge on the message. I asked him what amendment gave women the right to vote? What year did that take effect? He knew the answers, because of the songs.

Then he asked a couple of really good questions. "What does suffrage mean? What did the women do?" So, we had a very in depth discussion about it. We compared it to the Civil Rights movement, and talked about how sometimes you HAVE to take a stand for what you believe in. For what is right. He really "got it."

So, today after I voted I sat for a moment. I observed the people around me; women and men, young and old, white, black... all all taking advantage of not only our RIGHT to vote, but our DUTY as Americans to vote. And I remembered my conversation with "Little Mark", and how we acknowledged that it is every American's God given right to vote, and remembered all of the people in our history who fought and died for that right. Man and Woman.

I've said it before, we may not be a "perfect" country, but we are a great country. And last time I checked there was no one in China, North Korea or Cuba who got up this morning and went to a polling place to give their opinion. We are blessed.

Just thought I would share...

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Shameless Plug...

I'm pretty sure I have mentioned Eric Dodge's Christmas CD. Maybe once or twice... or 20. Anyway, I have been listening to it for a couple of weeks now, and just let me tell you, it is AWESOME.

Just simple, straightforward, classic Christmas songs. The man rocks. :-)

So, I'm going to give him a shameless plug here. Why? Because it's my blog, and I can. :-) Thank you. :-)

If you would like to hear the samples, or download the songs, please go here.

Wendy Darling

Monday, October 20, 2008

FYI- Give Away notice

Just to let you know, the "Fall Bloggy Give Away Carnival" is set for next week, October 27th-31st. Translation: FREE GIVE AWAYS!! :-)

If you would like to participate please check out the rules/guidelines HERE.

I plan to give away THIS. So if you would like to win THIS, please visit back here next Monday to sign up. :-) It will be fun. :-)

Wendy Darling

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Vacation Day #7 - The Last Day

I told y'all I would be back on Friday with Day #7, but I forgot that Fridays are recipe swap days. Sorry about that. :-) But, here is Day #7.

On the last day of vacation Cleggy, "Little Mark" and I went to Sci-Port in Louisiana. We purposely went on a Tuesday for 2 reasons; 1) They have "Terrific Tuesday" which means everyone gets in for $2 a piece. MAJOR savings on the entrance fee; and 2) less crowds. We scored on both counts.

We left around 8:00 am and had no problem getting to Shreveport. We listened to music all the way there, sang, laughed, stopped for a potty break and a drink. :-) It was fun. But, when we reached Shreveport, and got off at our exit we realized that the street we were to turn on was closed. As a matter of fact SEVERAL of the streets surrounding Sci-Port were closed. Needless to say we were confused.

We, finally, found a parking garage a few blocks down from Sci-Port, parked and began walking. And walking. And walking. Thankfully, all of the walking in Dallas had built me up for this and I did just fine. ;-)

We got about a block away from Sci-Port and we noticed a "carnival" type thing setup in the parking lot we were originally supposed to park in. And we saw A LOT of school buses. Uh oh, this might be crowded after all. (We found out later that some festival called "Revelry" was happening that week, and that's what everyone was there for)

We maneuvered our way away barriers and stuff and made our way into Sci-Port. We looked around, and were pleasantly surprised to find only a handful of people inside. All of the school kids must be at the thing in the parking lot.

We paid to enter and began the days journey into fun and education. :-) We saw a video about life on the bayou, and then a demonstration about Newton's 3 laws of motion. That was particularly cool, because we were the only there for most of it, so it was like a one on one science lesson for all of us. :-)

Then, we headed to the Planetarium for show of the constellations. :-) Again, a nice time, and we stayed in that area studying the planets.

We decided to have lunch at the snack bar, and then went to the second floor. That was really neat. I think Cleggy enjoyed some of the things even more than "Little Mark." :-) I have to admit I was having a lot fun too.

We especially liked the human body, and we even went to a demonstration where we extracted our own DNA. That was interesting, but I drew the line when they poured it into little plastic bottles for us to wear like a necklace. Mine went in the garbage. But, again, it was very interesting to do. :-)

We made paper airplanes and then sailed them through a hoop.

Cleggy and "Little Mark" tested the speed of throwing a baseball. We learned about river systems, and toured the geological area. It was great.

My favorite part was the "Bible Times Tech: Then and Now" where they showed life in Biblical times compared to now. They even had a "goat" you could milk. It was really neat. :-)

After a trip to the gift shop we made our way back to the parking garage. The school buses were gone, and there was a nice breeze. I have to admit that, after several hours of walking around Sci-Port, I was pretty tired; but it was nice. :-)

We stopped at a little station made up to look like an "old town" to get drinks and head home. We made very good time. And, sadly, that ended our vacation. We packed a lot into a few days, but we were able to have fun, learn some new things, make some new friends, spend time with some old friends and family, make some memories, and relax. :-) It was a much needed vacation, and it is one we will remember for a very
long time. Thank you for taking our journey with us. :-)

Wendy Darling

Friday, October 17, 2008

Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap

Today is Friday, and that means another recipe. :-) If you would like to see more recipes, please hop on over to Gayle's and see all of the yummy recipes other people are posting. :-)

OK, yesterday "Little Mark" and were studying fungus. As a "hands on" lesson about spores we activated some yeast and watched it "grow". What does one do when they are already activating yeast? They make bread. :-)

So, "Little Mark" made this all by himself. All I did was supervise, and they were fantastic. :-)

Southern Yeast Biscuits
1 pkg dry yeast
3 C sifted flour
3 T sugar
1/2 t salt
3 T melted butter

Dissolve yeast in 1 cup of warm water, and add 1tablespoon of sugar. Let rise until it almost doubles in size. Melt the butter on the stove. Combine yeast with dry ingredients. Roll out on lightly floured surface to desired thickness and cut out with a biscuit cutter. Dip in butter and place on baking sheet. Let rise for 1 hour. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until brown. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.

I ate mine with honey. :-)

Wendy Darling

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vacation Day #5 - Lots of pictures

Sunday was day #5. We all got up fairly early, ate breakfast, got dressed and loaded the car. The whole family went to the Dallas World Aquarium, and then we were headed home afterwards. Let me say right off that 1) This place is on the pricey side, and 2) It's totally worth it. We literally saved our change for months just to get the entrance fee, and I think we are all very happy that we did. We will be going back. :-)

We followed loving sister and dear brother in law there. On the way, we ended up at.....
Pioneer Plaza! The very place we couldn't find on Wednesday. :-) I swore up and down that dear brother in law did on purpose, although I was told later it just happened because he got lost. Whatever. I got to see the statues and tried to get photos, but most of them didn't come out. Oh well, at least now we know how to get there. :-) LOL...

Once we arrived and got in we were all amazed at how breathtaking this place is. Let's just say it is an amateur photographers DREAM!! And I personally took over 300 photos, so I can testify. Well, I say personally, but truth is Cleggy took many of them as well. Especially the "underwater" shots. I think the man needs a digital camera. :-)

OK, here are some, but certainly not ALL of the photos we took. I didn't want to bore y'all too much, so I painstakingly chose a FEW to place on the blog. It was difficult choosing I assure you. :-)

I started not to post this one, because I'm in it, but I just couldn't resist with the Mayan Indians. They danced and then took pictures with anyone who wanted one. "Little Mark" and his mom got one together, and then I stepped in with them. The youngest nephew wouldn't do it. He was a little nervous.

Cleggy actually took this one of the fish. He did great with the underwater shots. :-)

I did take the shots of the sea anemone and the octopus. :-)
Did I mention how cool this place was?

I didn't have really good pictures of the sharks, but I have to tell you that they do have the "tunnel" that have benches on either side, and it runs the length of the tunnel. All around and over you is glass, and all kinds of sharks swim all around you! It is just amazing.

We were there for a good two hours. They also have 2 gift shops, and restaurants/cafes inside. We did not eat there, but did get a couple of souvenirs. Like I said, we would love to go back sometime. I highly encourage you to go if you are ever in Dallas. There is also one in Houston, but I've never been there. :-)

Day #6 we were home, and just pretty much relaxed the whole day. :-) I'll be back tomorrow with Day #7, the final day.

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Vacation Day #4- It's a long one folks. :-)

Day #4 started very early, but it was one of the best days. :-) I got to spend most of the day with Princess Ladybug, and I met FlyLady, and Eric Dodge IN PERSON!! ;-) (If you don't think that excited me you would be wrong.) :-) I have been looking forward to meeting them for a couple of months, and I planned a surprise. :-)

My plan was to make them cookies with their pictures on them. That idea turned into a large cookie for each one, with their respective photo. I planned to make the cookies from scratch, since that is how I prefer to bake cookies. However, since I was going to be on vacation, and at my sisters house, I decided to use store bought dough for convenience sake. Sandra Lee would have been proud. :-) So, I bought the dough, 2 throwaway pans, and decorator icing. I packed my cake decorating kit with th
e supplies I would need, and had the photos printed on edible paper. I was set. I had baked the cookies before leaving for the restaurant on Friday, so when we got home they were cool and ready to decorate. These are the results:

Now, don't look too close, I was afraid I would run out of icing so I didn't go all the way to the edge. That normally would have REALLY bothered me, but I kept hearing FlyLady saying, "Don't let your perfectionism get in the way." :-) (Don't you just love her?) :-) So, I let them set overnight, and the next morning I put them in the Costco pizza boxes, provided by my dear brother-in-law, and we headed out. :-)

I wore the cranberry shirt I had bought the day before, with black pants and black flats. On the way we stopped and took pictures of the Mustangs at Los Colinas. They are breathtaking. :-)We arrived at the hotel very early and began our search for Eric and FlyLady. I had told them we would be there early. :-) To our delight Eric met us in the lobby, and was very excited about the cookie. He then arranged for us to meet Marla (FlyLady) before the festivities and it was a lot of fun.

We also got to meet the other Dodge Brothers, Andy and Ashton. Just in case you were wondering, they are VERY NICE. :-) For those who listen to Eric's Show, yes, he is just like he is on the show. They are very down to earth guys. :-)

We got to meet other Flybabies and we did a little shopping in the Fly Store before everything began. I piked up 2 CDs for the nephews, and Princess Ladybug bought me Eric's new Christmas CD as a late birthday present. :-) I am well on my way to wearing it out playing it. :-) It is awesome y'all. If you plan to buy new Christmas music for this year, please consider this one.

Then, the doors opened and we took our seats. It was actually a "party" that Yahoo had set up for, because they had 500,000 members now. It was amazing. FlyLady was very funny, and inspiring. Pam Young was great. We got to hear from many members of the Fly Crew, and Eric and Andy sang several of their wonderful songs, including "It's a Woman's World" and "Why Not Today." I think the highlight was when he sang "God Bless the U.S.A. and brought the whole room to tears. Even the men y'all. It was amazing.

We broke for lunch and Princess and I ate in the hotel restaurant. We both chose the vegetable and mushroom on flat bread with veggie chips. It was amazing, and the restaurant was just beautiful. :-) We then went back to the party. We got to meet Alan Levy, the creator of Blog Talk radio, and hear why/how he started it. It's an amazing story, and he is so nice.

There was a huge cake, and it tasted wonderful. Yahoo, and the Omni hotel really took care of us. :-) Marla was just so inspiring and motivating in how she reminded us that we don't have to be perfect, and to keep taking baby steps to improve ourselves. I can't even express the feelings I have from that day, but they are just as strong as if I had just left there. :-)

After the party we stood in line to meet everyone, and get autographs. Princess and I had our picture taken with FlyLady and the Doge Brothers. I am sure she won't mind if I post it here. :-)

Aren't we a handsome bunch? LOL... :-) After leaving we immediately put Eric's Christmas CD in to play and we headed back to the apartment. I have to say that it was a long day, but I would put that up as one of the best days I've ever had. :-) I can truly say that I made some new friends, and had a wonderful time with "old" one. (Not age wise, Princess) ;-P After getting home we had dinner and prepared for Day #5 and a trip home. Day #5 was really great too, and I'll be back to tell you about it tomorrow. :-)

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Vacation Day #3

Day #3 was a great day. It started off with Cleggy, "Little Mark" and I going to the King Tut Exhibit at Dallas Museum of Art. (I still believed we walked 5 miles to get there, but I'll let Cleggy tell you about that.) ;-)

Anyway, it was very exciting, and educational for all of us.
To prepare for this "f
ield trip" I recorded a National Geographic Special on TV, and "Little Mark" and I watched it on Tuesday before we left for vacation. So, he had a good grasp on just what it was we were going to see.

At the time that purchased the tickets I opted not to do the audio tour. I kind of regret that now seeing how much we liked it with the JFK Museum, but still it was really good. We were there opening day, and at th
e FIRST tour of the day. We were numbers 3,4,and 5 in line. How could it get much better? I was excited! :-) They even had the Dallas paper there, and Cleggy was interviewed. Our picture was on their website the next day.

Anyway, as we went through the tour I kept trying to wrap my mind around just how ol
d these pieces are, and where they were discovered... Again, it was a surreal moment. We all learned a lot about the people and their culture. We did see the mummy cases (no mummies), organ urns, etc. It really made an impact on "Little Mark", and I love that it gave him that "real" experience seeing the things we had been talking about, up close and "sort of" personal.

We were even able to tie it into our Biblical studies as well as history. To see these things and know that these are not just stories from books, but these people
really did exist. This was all a part of their life and culture. It took about 1 1/2 hours to go through it all.

The way it is set up is really neat, especially when you walk into Tut's "tomb." The museum did a great job. It is truly a o
nce and a lifetime experience. If you live anywhere near Dallas, or can get there before May 2009, I strongly encourage you to go. (That's the end of my commercial.) ;-)

After the museum we went back to the apartment and ate lunch. Then, we separated for the rest of the day. The guys went to play putt-putt golf, and Mom, loving sister, and I went shopping. :-)

We went to Catherines, and I got two new outfits.
I got this shirt:

I also got a jacket.

This picture is the closest I can find to
what I bought, but it's not the exact one. Mine is a cream color, and is a heavier material than this. I also bought a black tank to wear underneath it. :-)

After the "shopping spree" we all met back at the apartment where we learned how the golf game went. Each nephew got 1 hole in one, while Cleggy got two. :-) Then we all went to a really nice Mexican restaurant to have dinner. They even made our guacamole at the table. :-) I have to confess, I was VERY tempted to take the avocados they had displayed on our table, but I resisted. Do you know how much the large avocados cost now? Yeah, you'd have been tempted too. :-)

Then, we went back to the apartment and I decorated two really big cookies I would need for the next day... But, that's another post. ;-)

Wendy Darling

Monday, October 13, 2008

Vacation Day #2

Sorry this one is late. The weekend got away from me. :-)

Well, this one will be relatively simple, because Day #2 was filled with Doctors appointments.

"Little Mark" had one at Children's Medical Center to see if he might have a mild form of Tourret's. The 3 student doctors were very nice and patient with him. They said he did very well, and consulted with the head doctor. He came in and tested "Little Mark" as well. He said he did not think he had Tourettes, but could benefit from a speech therapist.

We then went to a different "Half Price Bookstore", and to an eye doctor appointment.

The day was not as "exciting" as the other days, but it was productive.

There was one thing about the day that did bother me for awhile, and I pretty much kept it to myself, because I needed to sort how I felt about it. For those of you who have homeschooled for awhile you may relate.

When the doctor at CMC found out we homeschool he began to ask "Little Mark" questions. It kind of took us both by surprise. He asked "Little Mark" two fairly simple problems, and "Little Mark" could not answer them. Now, I KNOW he knew the answers, but he was flustered and could not think on his feet. He felt he was being put on the defensive. The doctor then asked him several questions like "Who is the President? Vice-President? What's the Capitol of Texas? Capitol of the US? "Little Mark knew all of those answers and said them confidently. Then the doctor asked him what is the capitol of Argentina? At this point I got my bearings and spoke up, "We have not studied that yet, but overall he does very well." I'm glad he didn't ask me the capitol of Argentina, because I don't know!

It was after we left that I realized I was angry with myself, because I know that "Little Mark" knew the math answers, but he works problems out writing them down. If I had simply said, "Please give him a pen and paper. Now, "Little Mark", draw a rectangle, give it the measurements of 12" X 7" and find the area. He could have solved it in seconds, shutting the doctor up. (His question had been what is 12x7, that "Little Mark did not answer.)

So, why did it bother me so much? Was it a pride issue of "now he thinks I am not doing a good enough job teaching? Was it a "how does this reflect on homeschooling as a whole" situation? Why was I not more assertive? I realized I was angry with myself for not taking a stand.

In the end I realized it just didn't matter. I know what curriculums we use, and I know that based on those curriculums "Little Mark" is right on target, and ahead in some areas. So, I am not worried. I am no longer angry with myself, because I can't change the past. However, you can bet that I will be more on guard, and if the situation ever arose again I know I will handle it better. After all, don't we teach the kids that "life" is and education, and we are always learning and growing? We learn from our mistakes, and the mistakes of others, and we strive to do better.

For those of you who homeschool, has this ever happened to you? How did you handle it? Do you feel that people base their opinion of homeschooling on what they see YOU do, and does that make you put more pressure on yourself, and your children?

I think that while we do need to be mindful of how we represent homeschooling, we can't put the undo pressure on ourselves thinking "the world is watching us", because we would go crazy! I know I have been guilty of it in the past, which is why I have chosen to "let this one go" and just learn from it and move on. However, I really did need to vent. :-) So, thank you for listening.

Tomorrow, I will be back with Day #3, the King Tut Exhibit. :-)

Wendy Darling

Friday, October 10, 2008

Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap

OK, I know I said I would post Day #2 of our vacation today, but I forgot it was Friday; and Friday is recipe swap day. :-) So, I'll post about Day #2 tomorrow. :-)

Just the other day I posted about the NEW Soldiers' Angels cook book. I have some recipes in the cook book, so I thought I would post one of the ones that I submitted. That way you would get an idea of what kind of recipes are included. ;-)

This one was actually given to me by my sister, Michelle, so she does get the credit. ;-) It is a really great recipe. Enjoy.

Easy Lasagna

3 lb. ground beef
2 jars Prego Spaghetti sauce (we use tomato,onion,garlic flavor) 1 large jar and 1 medium jar
2 cans Italian tomato paste
1 box lasagna noodles
1 medium onion, chopped
garlic, chopped; to taste
About 3 8oz packages of Mozzarella cheese

Combine ground beef, onion, and garlic in a pan. Cook until meat is browned; drain all excess fat and return to the pan. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomato paste, simmer until hot.
Cook noodles until almost done (you will need about 12 noodles) Drain. In a 13 X 9 casserole dish layer bottom of dish so that it is covered. (About 6 noodles). Spoon the sauce over noodles, so that all of it is covered. Cover with mozzarella cheese. Repeat steps for a second layer. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake on 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until noodles are soft, and it is baked all the way through. Serve with salad and garlic bread. refrigerate or freeze leftovers. Tastes just as good reheated.

Wendy Darling

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Vacation - Day #1

We left for vacation on Wednesday morning at 5:00am. We arrived in Dallas about 8:00 am and dropped the younger nephew off at home. He missed Mom and Dad, and we are pretty sure he would have no interest in the plans we had for the day. :-)

Our first stop, after the bathroom break, was the Sixth Floor Museum, aka "The JFK museum". This is an amazing place y'all. It was rather surreal going through it, given its history and all. It was very interesting, and the way the tour is set up it really gives you a feel for who John F. Kennedy was, and all the turmoil of that time. I am sorry this is the picture I have of the outside. I was told that we couldn't take pictures, but I didn't know I could take them BEFORE we entered the tour, and I left my camera in the car. Oh well...

The admission includes an audio tour that tells you what section to look at when, and describes everything that is going on. You get to hear actual footage of interviews, reporters, policemen,etc. You get to see old news reels of JFK's speeches, etc.

The thing that impressed me most how much "Little Mark" was interested. He really listened to everything, and even asked questions. Insightful questions.

I think the part that struck me most was when the tour instructed us to look out the side window and we were overlooking the grassy knoll and the street that the car was driving down at the time of the assassination. Like I said before, it was surreal.

After the Museum we drove around and tried, unsuccessfully, to get a picture of the grassy knoll. We did drive past the JFK Memorial, and I got a picture of it out the window. :-) We were actually trying to find the Pioneer Plaza so I could get a picture of the "cattle drive." We never found it.

So, we decided to abandon our quest and head to lunch. We had lunch at Denny's. It rocked. :-)

We then went to "window shop" at the galleria. Yeah. Window shop is about all most people can afford to do at the galleria. Holy Moly the prices at Nordstrom alone almost made me pass out!
All "Little Mark" really wanted to do was ride the escalators , so we obliged him. We went to the third floor and looked down on all of the people ice skating. We did go into a few shops and look around. We tried some "Armadillo Droppings", which is just overpriced, chocolate covered sunflower seeds. :-) Cute idea though. :-)

After an hour or so in the galleria we decided to head to a "Christmas Store" I read about on the Internet. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Christmas?! :-) Anyway, it was very nice to look at all of the ornaments, trees, villages, etc; but it was a little hot in the store, so we didn't stay long.

We then went to "Half Price Books" and browsed around. I purchased a Beth Moore book, and Mom sat and drank coffee. :-)

We also hit a $0.99 store, and then ran by to get some groceries toward dinner. All in all it was a very nice day. The weather was great, and we had a lot of fun. :-)

Be back later with Day #2. :-)

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

New Cookbook!!! :-)

Hi, everyone ;-) Well, we are officially back from vacation. We had a great time! I will be blogging about it this week, but first I wanted to just let you know that we are back, and let you know about this great new cookbook. :-)

You may remember that I gave away a cookie cookbook a few months ago. The cookbook was put together by Soldiers' Angels, and the proceeds are used to help soldiers and their families. Well, we have put together another one, but this time it is REAL FOOD. :-) Here is a Direct quote from the website describing the cookbook:

Cooking with Angels: May No Soldier Go Unloved or Unfed. Treasured Recipes from Soldiers' Angels Dedicated to Our Veterans and Troops has almost 280 pages of heavenly recipes from Soldiers’ Angels and supporters of Soldiers’ Angels. Recipes are given for hors d’oeuvres; breakfast foods; breads; soups; salads; vegetables; potatoes; pasta, rice, and grains; meat; poultry; game; fish and shellfish; vegetarian main dishes; desserts; cakes; pies and pastries; cookies and candies; drinks; and salsas, sauces, dips, and dunks. Celebrities, such as Paula Deen, and sports and political figures also contributed recipes. An original poem honoring our brave troops is included.

You will certainly be able to find recipes for that special Welcome Home dinner as well as quick and delicious recipes for a homey dinner after a long day at work.

Almost all recipes have a dedication to a hero, wounded warrior, fallen warrior, or veteran, and these from-the-heart dedications are what makes Cooking with Angels so special.

An excellent companion to Angel Delights, the cookie book, Cooking with Angels will make a wonderful holiday present for all the cooks or heroes in your life.


It is a must have for any cook book collector. :-) Hop on over HERE to order your copy now. It also makes great gifts. :-) I'll be back tomorrow with the first blog about our vacation. :-)

Wendy Darling