Green Acres in the City ~ Join us a begin the journey in search for a simpler life...

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Poor Camera!

Well we decided that I would just get a new card for my camera and keep the duck tape over the batteries, after all it still works. I am trying to lead a frugal life here. So we went on adventure to Best Buy to get a new card and well lets just say that the staff all but laughed at me when I pulled out what I was looking for. The comments were as follows:

"OH my haven't seen one of those in a while"

"Hey Joe, do they still make these?"

"You might try Amazon or Ebay"

"Mam, have you thought about buying a new Camera?"

I wanted just to smack the kid right there on the last one especially when he call me "Mam", but I kept my cool. I responded with "No sir, I don't want a new camera." I also wanted to say "have you not seen the news lately we are in a recession, we should be conserving and trying to fix what we have. This buy, buy, buy attitude is what got us into this mess!" But again I remembered my Lenten vow of calm, cool and collected plus I had Cameron with me and I didn't think he needed to see his Mom go off on a tangent on this poor unsuspecting kid in the middle of Best Buy.

Needless to say I came home and found the cards on both Ebay and Amazon. Not terribly expensive either. I will be ordering one and the Old Olympus and I will have a few more years together hopefully. I might break down and get the battery door fixed but not a this time. I do hear that they make Hot Pink duck tape and that could be kind of cute for the old girl.

Friday, February 26, 2010

My new winter comfort food

I have found a new favorite winter comfort food. Cauliflower Soup! I know you are saying "ugh!" but seriously this is amazing. In the last few week I read 2 blogs that had their own recipes posted, so I thought and looked at both and came up with one based on what I had in the pantry. Check theirs out at and .

Here is what I came up with:

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

1 bag frozen cauliflower
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 med onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
6 small yukon gold potatoes, cubed with skin on
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups NSA chicken broth
1 cup milk, I used whole

In a 4 quart sauce pan saute olive oil with onions and carrots until onion is translucent. Add garlic for a minute, make sure not to scorch. Add broth, cauliflower and potatoes. Salt and Pepper to taste. Bring to a boil until potatoes and cauliflower are tender. Remove from heat. I then add 1/2 of soup to my food processor, you could use immersion blender too, I pureed it and while doing so I add 1/2 of milk. I then transferred to serving bowl and did the second half. This would be easier with an immersion blender but I do believe in using what you have.

I served this with a pinch of shredded cheddar on top and "OH MY!" this was yummy! I think next time a few drops of Louisian Hot Sauce and it could be a keeper!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

GF Peanut Butter Cookies

I have a 6 year old Cookie Monster that I live with and in that case a 39 year old one too. There names are Cameron and Mr. Miller. Cameron has had a great week so far and Mr. Miller has been working extra hard. Henry and I were talking this morning and we decided that Daddy and Cameron needed a treat at the end of their busy days. We are going to make COOKIES!

This is a super easy recipe and a favorite by the family. 3 simple ingredients, well 4 if you choose to add Chocolate Chips.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies
2 Cups Peanut Butter
2 Cups Sugar
2 Eggs
Mix ingredients together and drop mixture onto a non greased cookie sheet with a tablespoon size drop of cookie dough. Bake at 350 degrees until done. I take a fork when they are done and make a criss cross pattern on the top of each cookie.These cookies will crumble while hot. Let them cool thoroughly before removing from cookie sheet.
You can add 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
This is really GOOD, especially when the cookie monsters in your house like Reese's Peanut Butter cups.
Go on make them, what are you waiting for? You will be the hero tonight!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Where does the time go?

The past few weeks I have been working in the storage room downstairs also referred to as my "hoarding room". We have some boxes that have been moved 3 times and never been opened. It was time for a serious intervention. I'll admit it "Hello my name is Maeghan and I am a pack rat!". To make matters worse I am married to Mr. Miller another pack rat.

I have a system to my madness down there. I put a keep box, shred box and donate box. Yes there is also a trash bag at my side. When I open a box I have a 10 second rule on decisions. Have I used it or worn it in the last year? If the answer is "no" then out it goes. I am quite sure that it will be a wonderful treasure for someone else. Yes there are the special circumstances of Aunt Flo's Silver Tea Set that I am not willing to part with yet. I am down to 8 boxes left to go through and have only 2 keep boxes that Mr. Miller and I will sit down and go through together. I have made countless trips to the DAV with donations. This process has been so invigorating for me, I really feel like I have accomplished something. I wish I could take some pictures of my progress but alas we are still sans camera.

Part of the joy of this task is finding wonderful trinkets and memories from years past. The baby clothes have been great fun. I am unpacking all of the 18mos sizes to use for Junior Mint. When did he get so big? Where did my baby go? Please tell him to stop growing up so fast.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My poor there a Medic in the house?

Well my poor camera is on her last legs. Last week I was taking pictures of that wonderful Salmon dinner and I dropped her. Now this isn't the first time she has been dropped but this might have been the last time.

I broke the door that holds the batteries. OK so not a big deal because as my brother in law Randy says, "duck tape fixes everything". That crisis averted. Well I went to upload all my pics and my card is saying unreadable and write protected. How in the heck did this happen?

We are in crisis mode here on trying to retrieve my photos. I am going to venture to CVS this evening and see if I can upload them to a disk there. Wish me luck. I wish I had more exciting adventures to talk about from the weekend but my poor camera stole all attention this weekend.
Is there a Medic in the house?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fresh Mango Salsa

We are trying to follow the rules of Lent so on Fridays I am trying new fish recipes. This week I made a pan seared Tilapia and topped it with Fresh Mango Salsa and served with a side of Sweet Potato Fries.

I have never made this type of salsa before but the previous week I had received a Mango in our delivery so I thought this would be a good use for it. Next how do I make it so I thought what would I like in it and this is what I came up with.

1 mango, peeled and diced
1/2 cup peeled, diced cucumber
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno
1/3 cup diced onion, I think red would be a nice touch
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves

It is mighty tasty. The cucumber added a nice cooling effect. This recipe is a keeper!

Breath In, Breath Out, Move On...

As we begin this Lenten Season you hear the scurry of everyone trying to give up something. I too, have been in that group from coffee, chocolate to wine, you name it we have done it. This year I have been trying to figure out what to do and it struck me this morning as I was sitting here, rather than give something up why not change one of my behaviors to a positive. So then I started thinking again what do I change?

As I was sitting here with Junior Mint I had Jimmy Buffett playing on the computer and one of my favorite songs came on, "Breath In, Breath Out, Move On" from Take the Weather With You, fabulous album by the way. I was listening and one verse just spoke to me,

..."According to my watch the time is now
Past is dead and gone
Don't try to shake it just nod your head
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On..."
I decided for Lent I am going to be more forgiving and not let the small stuff get to me, its just small stuff. There are so many other issues in this world to think about other than "he said, she said". Yes, once again brother Jimmy has said it so true.
What changes have you decided to make this Lenten Season?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Feeling better with a side of Pancakes...

With the start of Lent this week and being Episcopalian, we traditionally have our Shrove Tuesday Supper of Pancakes at church. Well being said and that both boys were under the weather Mama made pancakes at home. I found and amazing recipe for Cinnamon Bun Pancakes on Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen Blog,, needless to say these were amazing. The only change I made was to use Pamela's GF Baking Mix instead of flour. Try them you won't be sorry. OH they are good with syrup but plain they are just as good. I had a few leftover today so Henry got a treat at lunch. I simply left them in the baggy, 20 seconds in the mircro wave and you have one happy little Junior Mint.

We are on the mend here and I do think he is feeling better. His cough is not nearly as bad and he took a 3 hour nap this morning, the real indicator is that he cleaned his plate at lunch and he has not been eating well this week at all. Yes, Mama breathing a sigh of relief.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sniffles, coughs and loves...

I am going to make this short and sweet today. My sweet little Junior Mint is under the weather. Cameron shared his cold last week with his brother and now Junior Mint is just not himself. I went ahead and took him to the Doctor this morning because with the nasty cough I was afraid of RSV or Pneumonia. Lo and behold we have a double ear infection. Rest assured all breathing tests came out at 100% lung capacity so no RSV, Thank God!

I need to love on my little Junior Mint, because we all know that hugs, kisses and snuggles are the best medicine. Well, OK I am going to get the antibiotics too along with the tea tree and olive oil drops for the ears. See you soon when we are feeling better!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cookbook Challenge

Last week my friend over at , spoke about a Cookbook Challenge at I was curious so I went on a reading walkabout. I thought I have plenty of cookbooks laying around and I don't use them hardly now with the Internet at my fingertips. I decided to take the challenge and start using my books again.

So with that said, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and I typically make Grilled Cheese or Macaroni and Cheese. Now being on a new eating plan those carbs are bad for me so I decided to make Salmon. I found these beautiful books that Mr. Miller gave me several years ago and decided to find some yummy new recipes.

I found a super easy recipe for Pan fried Salmon with Pinot Noir and Thyme in the Pacific Northwest book and to serve with I found in the New England book a recipe for Smashed Winter Root Vegetables. Both recipes are pretty basic and appear to be simple to make.

I thought I would served steamed Asparagus for the green vegetable component. I will share the results next week.

This made for such a nice morning to sit down with these books that I love and a hot cup of coffee. I forgot how much I love just browsing cookbooks. What cookbooks do you have collecting dust on your shelf? Come on don't be shy you might just surprise the ones you love with a fabulous new meal.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes ~ Makennah's Blanket

My niece Makennah decided that she needed an "Aunt Meggie" blanket too after seeing Henry's at his party. Of course I said I would, after all she is my little sweetie!

She was here this weekend for a dance competition so Cameron helped me finish the blanket for her. When I say finish he helped me cut out the backing from an old sheet and well lets just say it wasn't perfect. We ended up with a wonky corner but Makennah said it best, "that's OK Meggie, it just has Cameron love sewed into it!" Boy does that girl still know how to melt her Aunt's heart!

I used 12 fat quarters that I had stashed in the cupboard for a special occasion. I feel she is pretty special! I used a sheet that I had set aside in the scrap box and it worked great for the backing. She is going to be re decorating her room in Pink, Black, Green and White. I thought this would make a great throw for the end of her bed. She also can take it with her to competitions for her "down time" in between performances. It will wash great and she said it was very warm and cuddly.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pieces,pieces and more pieces...

The Deacon and Pops gave Cameron some really great puzzles for Christmas. These are a 3-D puzzle that he can paint. I am not sure who had more fun, Cameron or Mr. Miller.

True to form for my sweet husband, we have to lay everything out and explain what we are going to do. This actually works great for Cameron. Visual planning is an excellent way for us to explain a process. His little mind goes so fast that sometimes just stating this is what we are doing now, next and then.

Coffee, always an important factor in any home project.

Cameron reads the directions to Daddy. This is always a very entertaining experience.

We have a helicopter and now its time for the train! We have really tried to start having more creative time and less TV time. Cameron reacts so well to being creative, we find we have a much smoother day if we can let his creative juices flow.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

King Ranch Casserole

Every so often we have a treat and eat at the Whole Foods Cafe. It is a treat and always so good. One of the items I love is their King Ranch Casserole. I found a recipe that is very similar to theirs. I hope you enjoy it. I usually make it when I have cooked a large chicken. This also freezes very well if you wanted to do some "ahead of time cooking".

King Ranch Casserole

1 cup of sour cream
1 can cream of chicken
1 can rotel
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups shredded cheese
1 package of corn tortillas
2-4 chicken breast, cooked and shredded.

Combine soup, sour cream,chicken, rotel and broth in a saute pan. Mix well and heat slightly until warm. Layer tortillas in bottom of baking dish. Take soup and pour in enough to cover tortillas. Repeat steps until mixture and chicken are gone. Sprinkle cheese on top of casserole.
Bake uncovered on 350°F for 45 minutes. Let cool and thicken for 10 minutes. Garnish with sour cream and enjoy.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hurricane Warnings...

See this cute little face? I know those eyes, the cheeks and that infectious giggle...well don't let it fool you! He did some rearranging this weekend in his room

"OH no!" ~ the quick get away.
Returning to the scene of the crime to show Mama and Daddy what we had done. We were so proud of our self.

Those books that Daddy and Cameron had stacked up had been struck by Hurricane Henry. I guess I need to get busy and find a book shelf for all of the books that Cameron passed down to Junior Mint this weekend.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Throughout the afternoon I watched them there,
Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky, Whirling fantastic in the misty air, Contending fierce for space supremacy.
And they flew down a mightier force at night, As though in heaven there was revolt and riot, And they, frail things had taken panic flight Down to the calm earth seeking peace and quiet.
I went to bed and rose at early dawn To see them huddled together in a heap, Each merged into the other upon the lawn, Worn out by the sharp struggle, fast asleep.
The sun shone brightly on them half the day,
By night they stealthily had stol'n away.

~ The Snow Fairy by Claude Mc Kay
Our snowy winter wonderland on Friday.
Enjoy it while it lasts, OH how I love the snow!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Little Projects...

As if throwing a birthday party wasn't a big enough project this last weekend, I decided I needed to re-cover my dining room chairs. My wonderful, $5 garage sale purchase. We had a garage sale in Newton before we moved back to Kansas City 5 years ago and a friend of ours put these chairs in the sale for $5 for all 4. Can you believe it? I snagged them right away. They had potential, sure they were covered in awful fabric and the netting under the pad would not of held Henry up, but I knew they had potential. (Notice how the former fabric from our first move and my new curtains just don't work together.)

When we moved to Kansas City we downsized and used a clearance table that I had as a desk in the former house and these chairs for our new eating area. We recovered them and put plywood in the seat so that you could sit in them. I was over the black tropical print and decided we needed something new. The Deacon and I went to Joann's on Sunday and found this great stripe that goes with the new curtains we got for Christmas.

This was a family affair, the same as it was the last time we did this. The Deacon and Pops were in town for that adventure too. Let's just say this time went a whole lot easier and smoother.

I love my new chairs.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Wow! Thanks to all of you amazing readers, followers, friends ~new and old and my amazing family I have hit the 5000Th visit mark. I was going to talk about my "old" now "new" looking dining room chairs but I feel a round of applause to all of you and a big Thank You and Hug are in order. Are you ready?

"thank you!" and big squeezes
from Green Acres!
I could not have done this without all of your support! Keep reading because I have a lot of great adventures ahead of us!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Baked Spaghetti Casserole

A couple of years ago Mr. Miller and I took the Six Week Body Makeover challenge. It was very successful and easy to follow. Yes, I know now it has to be a lifestyle and not a "diet". (oh how I hate the word diet!) It also led me to the conclusion about my body and wheat. We have decided again to incorporate some of the rules into our lives again. I still had all the paper work, books, etc. I am really excited to feel good and get the "junk" out of our diet again.

I decided today to post a favorite recipe of ours from those days. Great source of vegetables and it happens to be GF!

baked spaghetti casserole
1 lb ground turkey or bison
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano (optional)
1-1/2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash salt-free Garlic & Herbs seasoning
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
3 small cans no-salt-added tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 medium-large zucchini, skin peeled off and discarded
Brown the first seven ingredients in a non-stick skillet. Add mushrooms, tomato sauce and water. Stir well. Simmer on low for about five minutes. Use a vegetable peeler or potato peeler to make thin strips out of the zucchini (discard seeds). These will resemble pasta. Add the zucchini strips to the meat sauce and transfer everything into a casserole baking dish. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
We don't even miss the cheese in this recipe. I did find Rice Cheese, which in moderation is OK. On this plan we cut out non complex carbohydrates and dairy. Which I can do, after all wheat is bad for me and the dairy well with rice milk products I can get a little here and there. Enjoy, its a great dinner and before long these veggies will be available in your own garden. How friendly to the wallet is that?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What a Party!

We had a CELEBRATION this weekend. Junior Mint had his 1st Birthday Party. It was a great celebration with all of our friends and family. Mama made our cake. A big Thank You to Mimi, The Deacon and Pops for bringing the rest to reality. We couldn't have done it without them. It was a great time and even Gigi was able to make up to the party thanks to our friends Mr. Tom and Ms. Norma.

We took the Deacon and Pops to the airport yesterday, saw the Chiropractor and had leftovers for dinner. We are tired. Had an amazing time and can't imagine a better day for my little Junior Mint.