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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Okra and Tomatoes

As I was picking the last of my harvest from the garden last night, mainly okra, few carrots and tomatoes, I reflected over some of the recipes that I used from the garden this Summer. Mr. Miller LOVES Okra! I found a Paula Deen recipe for "The Lady and Sons Okra and Tomatoes" and I gave it a shot, of course with a few modifications made by me. This was a great dinner and you can make it year round by using diced tomatoes and frozen okra, but it is so much better when fresh out of the garden. I served it over a Parmesan Risotto.

Okra and Tomatoes
4 slices bacon ( I use Turkey Bacon), diced into small pieces
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 Cup Chicken broth
1 tbsp sugar
2 Cups fresh okra, cut into 1 inch pieces
Pepper to taste
Cook bacon slightly. Saute onion and garlic with bacon until tender. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, sugar and pepper. Stir well and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning to your liking. While that is simmering wash okra and remove fuzz, I just use a damp cloth and gently rub the okra, and cut into pieces. Add the okra and simmer until okra is tender, about 20 minutes.
Serve over rice, noodles or whatever you have on hand.
Look at those fresh tomatoes, that evening I used big boys and grape tomatoes.

The star of the meal.

Letting the onion, bacon and garlic get to know each other.

The tomatoes joined in the fun.

Now the okra came to play.

Voila, goodness in a bowl = very happy Mr. Miller!

Doesn't this look amazing?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Layout...

I was in need of some changes here. It was either move furniture around or maybe change my blog layout. OK so the blog layout won, I just couldn't ask Mr. Miller to move furniture around after he put in 65 hours last week. Yes, I just said 65 hours last week. He worked so hard on inventory, he was just plain worn out today. I even took both boys to Wal Mart with me this afternoon so he could have some quiet time. I must love him!

I will be glad to have him around this week and I am so looking forward to our anniversary trip in 2 weeks. The Deacon and Pops are coming to town to look after Cameron and Henry.

Pops and Cameron on the swing set earlier this summer. Clearly they will be in good hands while we are gone!

Pops and Cameron on their "camp out" in the basement. Cameron has already told me they will be "camping out" again.

What do you think of the new layout. I am a sucker for lighthouses. After all I am from Seattle!

Friday, September 25, 2009

My date night

I have a very special date night planned tonight with 2 very special guys in my life. Cameron and Henry! It is that time of year again when Mr. Miller is pulling the forever days of inventory for that big green tractor company. So tonight I am spending a lovely evening with my boys.

Our plans include a trip to see daddy after Junior Mint and I pick Cameron up from school. We are going for 2 reasons, the first is for our "drive by" kisses and hugs because it will be very late when daddy gets home and the second is to take Mr. Miller jeans and the Earth Muffin insect repellent. He will be counting outside and the mosquitoes just love him. We will then come home for pizza, movies and Lego's. Can't beat that for an exciting evening.

What are you plans for the night?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sausage and Potato Soup

First let me apologize for being a day behind on my recipe post. We have been dealing with a head and chest cold here at Green Acres. So far it has hit myself, Junior Mint and Mr. Miller. Yesterday Junior Mint and myself took it easy and did a lot of resting and cuddling. I believe the best cure for any ailment.

Needless to say here is whats for dinner tonight. This is a hearty, "soul-warming" soup filled with Italian Sausage, Chicken, potatoes and kale. This soup recipe came from and of course I made a few changes.

Sausage and Potato Soup

1 lb Italian Sausage Roll

2tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 48 oz can of chicken or beef broth

6 oz diced chicken

1 1/2 lbs potatoes, cut up

1 bunch fresh kale, washed and chopped


In soup pot, crumble and brown sausage with olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 3-4 minutes longer. Add peppers, broth, chicken and potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer covered until potatoes are soft. Serve and enjoy. We usually get 6 servings.

This is a perfect fall soup. I love to serve with GF cornbread or GF banana muffins.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's here!

FALL! OH how I love this time of year. It just makes me smile. I am going to share a few of my favorite sites, tastes and smells of the season. Hopefully they will make you smile too! Enjoy!

First that stands out in my mind are the mums. I love driving down the street and seeing the bright colors of the season start to show up on the front porches.

Making treasure cans out of the old formula cans and finding our "fall treasures". Our little friend came to play and this is some of what she found. We shared the story of "Chicken Little" while we heard the snaps and rustle as the acorns fell to the ground. Who is your favorite in that tale? Are you Henny Penny, Loosy Goosey or maybe Chicken Little?

Oh the majestic trees and colors that their leaves give us before they go away for winter. The sounds of children chasing the little leaves and jumping into that pile that you have spent the last hour making. Priceless!

The smells in the kitchen. For us the fresh GF corn bread and sandwich bread that I bake to go with Chili, which is a staple on our autumn menu.

Lazy Sunday afternoon naps while Football is on! I love football!

The sights of Halloween showing up.

How could I forget the pumpkins?

The creativity that those pumpkins inspire the week of Halloween.

Happy Fall to you, may it bring wonderful changes your way.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

How we spent our last weekend of the Summer 2009

We had a wonderful last weekend of summer here at Green Acres. Cameron and I got up early on Saturday and planted mums and marigolds. I should say transplanted the marigolds from the Inagural Garden. It was so exciting to be able to prolong the life of those marigolds. Cameron and I thought they would be just beautiful out front. He was right. He helped Mama and Daddy pick out the perfect Mums to match.

We also painted the mail box and storm door. It was much overdo, the door was a dingy white with lovely star stickers left by the former family. I hated it! I have said for the last year I wanted it painted and for $4.35 you too can change the whole look of the front of your home.

Mr. Miller brought home an Exterior Illumination Demo Kit, OK outdoor lighting! It was mainly so we could see how we wanted to use the lights that have been taking up space in my garage for some time. Yes, I know this is his busy season and he did finish the patio, but my list for him never ends. He said it best tonight to the neighbors, "as long as she is happy, life is good!" I know he was being sarcastic in his own way but I love him and he loves me!

Mr. Miller bought brackets to hang my metal flower boxes. He bought these for me when we were first married. Almost 10 years ago. He told me "Happy Anniversary", and I love it. I really am a simple girl and it doesn't take much to make me happy. Look how awesome they look!

Cameron planted these mums himself. I just sat back and watched. It was a little hard not to take control of it but overall he did a great job!

Junior Mint was busy himself. We worked really hard on learning to crawl this weekend. He took his "first crawl" tonight! Of course Mr. Miller and I were out front admiring all of the fruits of our labors, but Mimi saw it all!

Isn't he so smart?

Cameron made his first Peanut Sandwich, aka PBJ, all on his own this weekend. He is growing up too fast.

What an amazing summer that we have had. Thanks for sharing with us. See you in the Fall!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

As good as it looked!

I just had to share that the bread from yesterday was as amazing as it looked. Were you proud of me Mom? It brought back great memories of childhood in the kitchen with you and watching you make the bread. How it would rise on the counter in the big yellow bowl with your dish towel over the top. I also fondly remember that it would come out of the oven and you would slice it and put honey on top. MMMM...

It went perfect with the chicken and noodles. It was even still warm so the butter just melted. It made the perfect bologna and cheese sandwich for me today. Mr. Miller got salami and cheese and Cameron got his favorite "Peanut Sandwich" aka PBJ with the crust cut off. This one is a keeper!

Do you have a favorite bread recipe? I would love to hear them, I will entertain both gluten free and non gluten free. Please share in the comment section. I love to hear from you!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bread, Oh heavenly Bread!

I wasn't going to bake bread today but Heather over at gave me the itch. I tried a new recipe for Gluten Free Bread a couple of weeks ago and it is fabulous. Up to this point I had been making it in my bread machine but I got the courage to do as my mom did when I was a girl and put it in the oven. I was a little nervous doing this with a gluten free recipe but it looks amazing.
Isn't it beautiful? Do you just want to slice of a hunk and dig right in? Its OK I am not asking you any questions that I have not already asked myself.
It will go perfectly with the chicken and noodles that we are having tonight. I feel like Olivia Walton today. I really loved that show. I roasted a chicken, cleaned windows while the kids were napping and baked bread. Now all I need is Mr. Miller to come through the door. Ah, as the saying goes, "Life is Good!"

Gluten Free Bread

3 eggs

1 tbsp of cider vinegar

1/4 olive oil

1/4 cup honey

1 1/2 cups room temperature milk, I use skim but you can use buttermilk, rice or almond

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp xanthan gum

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup potato starch

1/2 soy flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup sorghum flour

1 tbsp active dry yeast

Step 1: Place dry ingredients in large bowl and whisk together. Set aside.

Step 2: Place wet ingredients in smaller bowl and mix well.

Step 3: Combine wet into dry and mix well.

Step 4: Preheat oven to 200.

Step 5: Spray bread ban with Non stick spray and place bread dough into pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Be sure to spray wrap on side next to dough.

Step 6: Turn oven off and put bread in and set timer for 50 min. Go read, play with kids, I started a load of diapers. Come back and beat dough down and repeat process.

Step 7: Remove bread from oven and preheat to 350. Put bread in oven for 45-55min. Check with thermometer it should read 210.

Voila, GF bread that is amazing. Enjoy!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My new favorite online shopping experience

I have found a new favorite shopping excursion since I have been home. I don't even have to leave the house. It is! It is a wonderful shopping experience. For those of us that love all natural and recycled products it is the place to shop. Each shop is individually owned. These are great people selling great products. I discovered it looking for cloth diapers but have found so much more.

My new favorite shop is I have to admit the name is what drew me to them. This was started by a mama that was in desperate need of bath and body products for her child with overly sensitive skin. Mr. Miller and I recently purchased 2 products from her.
Bug Off Lotion Bar $8.50
Headache Balm $2.50.
I can't believe how wonderful these products are. The Bug Off is amazing and it is all natural. I just couldn't stand the thought of putting the toxins that are in regular repellent on my sweet little guys any more. Well now thanks to the ingenious mom behind Earth Muffin I don't have to any more. The Headache Balm is amazing. Mr. Miller has been a long sufferer of Migraines. This really seems to help. You simply put some on your forehead, temples and back of neck. I had a terrible sinus headache this weekend and within 1/2 hour it was gone. WOW!

Please do yourself a favor and check this mama out.

I will definitely be buying more. She is super sweet to deal with and has super fast turnaround. While your at it check out some of the other shops you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Breaking News!

Under the watchful eye of Wonder Mutt the last piece of Belgard paver was set in place this afternoon on the patio also referred to as the "Great Project of 2009". I didn't know whether to cry out of shear happiness, jump for joy or just plain kiss Mr. Miller. I am so excited and I know the neighbors are too! Yes, we still have some of the AB3 in the driveway but it will be moved this week as long as there is no rain. I can't say the project is finished because he still has a whole list of steps left to do but I can say it is functional. We are complete even with a fire pit. So come on over neighbors next evening fire council is at the Miller's. I feel an evening complete with roasting hot dogs, smores, Oktoberfest Ale and maybe some Hermannsberger might be in my near future!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Creating my perfect diaper!

I have been blessed to have the day to spend sewing diapers for Junior Mint. I got some Organic Bamboo Velour in and have been working on a new diaper pattern. This fabric is so soft. I use 100% Cotton Flannel for the outer layer and the OBV for the inner layer. I use 3 layers of micro fiber for extra protection in the diaper. I think I have come up with two pattern ideas for a fitted diaper. I love being able to take the aspects of diapers that I have test drove and using the ideas that work for us to find that perfect diaper for our needs. I don't know that I have it yet but we are getting there, I have done one with a Hook and Loop (velcro) closure and the other is going to be a Snappiable Fitted. Snappi's are the new pins in the Cloth Diapering area. I can't wait to get them out of the wash and on a certain little Bum Bum.

Here are some pictures of the progress.

I have found that I can use brown paper grocery sacks for my pattern ideas. It is a great way to recycle those bags.

Of course every job site needs a Supervisor. Junior Mint fit the job title especially since they were for his little bum. Notice the bib matches the diaper material. Have to use every scrap you know!
Here is the inside of the Fitted with the Hook and Loop. I added wash tabs so that I could fold the hook over during wash cycle so it doesn't get hung up.

The front.

All sealed up and ready to go!

What do you think? I will finish the other here soon and get those pics up. Fitteds go best with wool and I can't wait to get these under a wool soaker or pair of longies. Oh, Fall get here soon!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Western Potato Rounds

I trust that everyone had a safe and fun Labor Day weekend. We were very busy here at Green Acres with projects, friends and family. I have to apologize for not posting in the last few days it seems as my days have been full getting ready for the JBF sale. I will tell you about it later this week.
As I said we enjoyed time with friends this weekend and on Saturday we helped our neighbor, Tony, celebrate his 28Th birthday. PUP! It was great fun. His wife, Kristi, arranged the celebration as a surprise for him. We celebrated out on their front lawn with some of the other neighbors. Tony broke his hip and femur bone a couple of weeks ago and has been tied down to the house so we thought it would be great fun to get together and celebrate him! We all brought dishes to share, which is always so tasty, while Kristi worked the grill. The meal was followed by the husbands going to watch the Nebraska game in another neighbors, Craig, basement. Craig and Misty are a lot of fun. Once we decided to actually meet we discovered that they were Parrotheads too. You know that made it all good! I don't even want to know how they got him down the stairs let alone back up. Brad assured Kristi he would get him from point A to point B. While they watched the game, Kristi, Misti, Lori and myself sat out and enjoyed the evening and our little Junior Mint. He is such a flirt. It is such a blessing to have the wonderful neighbors that we do.
I brought a new recipe. We had not made these but they sounded great and were. I found these in The Pampered Chef Cookbook, Stoneware Sensations.
Western Potato Rounds

2 large unpeeled baking potatoes
Vegetable Oil Spray
1 C shredded Co Jack Cheese
6 Bacon slices, crisply cooked, drained and crumbled
1/3 C green onion slices
1/4 C BBQ sauce

1. Cut your potatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices, spray with oil on both sides. Place on baking sheet at 450. Bake for 20 min or until lightly browned. I sprinkle pepper and garlic salt on mine.

2. While potatoes are cooking time to cook the bacon. I can't help but burst into " I can bring home the bacon...fry it up in the pan..." some of you know the rest of that jingle. Yes, I am a little warped at times.

3. Slice green onion and reserve in bowl until later.

4. Once bacon is cooled and crumbled add to onion and then mix in cheese.

5. Top cooked potato rounds with BBQ sauce.

6. Put cheese mix on top of sauce.
7. Put back in oven and bake until cheese melts.

These were great and super easy. Enjoy!