Friday, July 30, 2010

Zucchini and Dressing Casserole

I find the best recipes in small town newspapers.  When hubs and I go on one of our short mini vacations here in Michigan we always pick up the local paper to read when we go to breakfast.  A particular stop a couple of years ago I found two zucchini casserole recipes that sounded promising.  I pulled these out a week ago because we have a few zucchini......we have a lot of zucchini and yellow summer squash and my poor chickens can only eat so much a day.  I am sorry I forgot to take a picture before we scooped into this dish.  I also forgot to take a picture each time we warmed it up.  You'll have to take my word that it looks as good as it tastes.  But I do have a picture of one of the zucchini right out of the garden because I just cannot write a post and not include a picture.
Zucchini and Dressing Casserole
6 c. sliced zucchini, can use half summer squash
1 diced onion
Boil together in salted water 10 minutes. Drain Well.
1 c. grated carrot
1 box Croutettes or Stovetop Stuffing (I used the chicken flavored Stovetop)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c. sour cream
1/2 stick melted oleo
A few leaves of crumbled dried sage, optional
Parmesan cheese (I used shredded, not the grated in the can)
Mix all ingredients but cheese together.  Spray a 10x10 inch (or equivalent) baking dish and spread mixture evenly.  Sprinkle generously with grated cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes.  Serves 8.

This recipe was included in the paper  by columnist Edna Shaffer.  At the end of this column there is the following quote that I am not sure if it is Edna's or another persons.

Only when the last tree has died,
and the last fish has been caught,
and the last river poisoned,
will we realize that we can't eat money.

Hubs and I truly feel this way.  We love to garden and take care of our land the best we can.  We always plant more than we can eat, freeze or can, so we give to our family, friends and neighbors.  One of the items that we have so much of is of coarse the above mentioned zucchini.  I bake many loaves of zucchini bread each summer from a long time family recipe.  My hubs jokes that if someone stops by and he asks them if they would like some zucchini they often say no.  But if he asks them if they would like some zucchini bread they hold out their hands and say you bet!  I try and make it quite often and share it with everyone.  This week I found these really nice mini bread pans at Bed Bath and Beyond.
They are very heavy duty and were less than $4.00 each.  I can make six small loaves now instead of two regular sized ones.  And it really is perfect when you are giving to single family members or couples that would really like some but a full loaf is too much. 
Let me know if you make this casserole if you enjoyed it or if you would do anything different to it.  I might have to share a couple more zucchini recipes yet this season but I promise to remember to take pictures of the end product next time!  Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  Blessings!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Praise

Good Morning!  Have a blessed day!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm Late, I'm Late for a Very Important Date!

Do not know what I was thinking.  Actually I was thinking it is Wednesday and I forgot that we had one more week to post to the Alphabe-Thursday meme.  This week is Alphabet Soup and we can post what ever we want. I was not prepared.  I was not thinking about a post because last week was the letter Z.  You know like Z end?  So when in doubt what is a grandmother to do but show pictures of her grandchildren!  Without much ado G is for Grandchildren.  We have two groups of them.  There are two granddaughters in one family and four grandsons in the other.  We have had each group for a weekend this summer and the girlies came over to play with the boys for a while when they were visiting.  Here come the pictures!  There are many because I take many and have a hard time picking which ones to share.
 We spent some time at the little park in our small town.
The girls brought their balls and bats and grandpa gave them some lessons.
I think Ladybug was hoping to get a hold of the ball.
We do not have a pool but we do have sprinklers.  And it was hot both weekends!
I am not sure what this next picture was about.  Maybe a little time out.  Sweet though.
Some swinging in the tree swing.
Bug with her favorite boy.
Some sandbox fun!
Everyone can always count on a wagon ride behind grandpa's tractor.
The end of a long weekend for our littlest and Ladybug.  They will both be two, boy in August and Bug in November.

Of course there were trips to the ice cream shop and Popsicles in the back yard. The tubs of toys were out and the DVD was playing Disney movies both weekends.  Gramps and I love it and we are always worn out and feel like we need a day off after everyone goes home. 

Jenny Matlock

Have a great time checking out the other Alphabet Soup posts!  Blessings!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Giveaway Over at Jenny's

Hi all!  Just a short note to send you over to Jenny Matlock's blog.  She is having a $60.00 CSN giveaway and if I give you the link I get another chance to win!  So check it out here at Jenny Matlock
And while you are there check out some of her other posts!  She might just be off on a tangent!
Jenny Matlock

Have a great day!  Blessings!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Garden and a Recipe

Our garden is doing its job this year.  If you have read any of my previous posts you know that the first year our garden went gangbusters but last year the weather did not cooperate and it did not produce much for all the work hubs put into it.  This year is much better.
Hubs just uncovered this sign a couple of weeks ago.  It was still packed from our move 3 years ago.  We made this sign together when we were first married and planted our first garden together.  It is missing the single vegetables that I had painted and was hanging from the bottom.
Tomatoes of course.
Summer squash and cantaloupe.
 Green beans, lima beans and the cucumbers are growing through both.

More tomatoes.
Tomatoes, bell peppers and many varieties of hot peppers.
These vines are the gourds that I plant along the fence inside the garden.
This our pumpkin and winter squash patch.  Hubs probably would not like this picture because it shows the grass that we are always battling on that end of the garden.  I wanted to give you a small tour of what our garden looks like and a share a recipe for cucumber relish that I am making my second batch of this season.  I have tried a few different recipes but this is my family's favorite.  I thought my mother gave it to me around 30 years ago but she says she never canned relish.  I am still leaning toward it coming from her recipe box because it has her recipe for pickled beets on the other side of the note paper I have it scratched out on.

Cucumber Relish

Night before:
Chop (I use my little Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus chopper)
10 cups cucumbers
1 stalk celery
3 sweet red peppers
3 cups onions
Mix together in large bowl and cover with 1/4 cup salt and 6 cups of water.  Leave overnight.  I cover the bowl with a large tray and leave it sit on my counter.
The next day drain mixture well. 
Make mixture of:
4 cups sugar
4 cups distilled vinegar
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
Bring to a boil and pour over mixture and simmer for one hour.  Seal in hot jars. 
I process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.

Use some old utensils that you do not care about turning a yellow color from the turmeric.
This recipe usually makes around 14 half pints.
Let me know if you try the recipe how it turns out for you and if you like it.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a great week so far.  Blessings!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Praise

Good morning!  Well I have to admit  it is late morning.  Just sent the four grandsons home with their mommy and am late getting this posted.  Blessings!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Z is for Zucchini
Zucchini plants in our garden.
Zucchini Bread
And the favorite treat of the feathered ladies is what?  Zucchini!

Yes I shred it for them.  Yes they are spoiled hens.  They had a hard time all managing to fit their heads in this bowl that I usually put their vege treats in so I brought out another one today.
 It was smaller than the first one and they all gathered around it and the three left had the larger one all to their self.  Not real sure how smart my hens are at this point.

But of course after finishing off the smaller bowl they all crowded around the larger one.  There was not a bite left in either one within fifteen minutes time.
This is Dottie (or Fred) bossing the other ladies around.  She is standing on the side of the bowl giving out orders like she always does.
Here is my favorite Florence.  And she knows it too.  I have finally named the last two of the Ameraucana hens.

Lou, somewhat looks like a bearded lady.

This is the last week of Alphabe-Thursday so I hope you will all go over to Jenny Matlock's and enjoy this weeks stories, photos and great humor that everyone has been sharing with us for the last 26 weeks.
Jenny Matlock

Sorry Mrs. Matlock that I did not share the great chicken treat info earlier in the week so you could take some along with you while you are working on you chicken sitting business.  But I did not want to give away my Z post for the week.  Hopefully you can still treat the one lonely chicken you are taking care of to some Zucchini this week.

Thanks to everyone that has visited during this fun weekly party and I hope you will still stop in from time to time.  Hope your week has been great!  Blessings!

Monday, July 12, 2010

What I Planted Annuals in this Year

At our city home our deck was mostly shaded and I always moved my houseplants outside and planted tons of annuals in pots and odd containers.  Our deck here is always sunny and very hot.  The first summer we lived here I put most of my houseplants on it and lost about half of them because they burnt up.  So I have learned to place some pots around the yard in other areas where they get some sun or just plain shade.
This is an old tool carrier.  There is a handle across the top but the plants have covered it up now.
Hubs built this box for me quite a few years ago.  It started out as an old wire freezer basket and he used it for a base to build a cedar planter for me.
Back side.
These pots sit outside the door of the garage that everyone uses to enter our house.  These are my favorite floral combination that I use almost every year.  The white flowers were something new I tried this year.
This is how it looks now that the flowers have grown together more.
Notice my newly painted red door.  It is the same red we painted our hen house and I like is so much I have started painting all the exterior doors with it.  They are all different colors so it will be an improvement.  This is our third summer here and every year I expect to get more done than I can ever accomplish.  One day we will feel like it is truly ours, finished with the colors and style that we like.   Thanks for coming by and visiting.  I know there have been days of flowers.  I can finally say I do not have anymore floral pictures to show you.  I bet your relieved. On to the garden!  Have a great week!  Blessings!