Friday, July 29, 2011

Spinach Salad

with Hot Bacon Dressing.


Happiness on a plate...


Years ago I received a small recipe booklet from my mother-in-law. It has 14 recipes and this salad dressing is our favorite. When I try a recipe I always write a comment so I'll remember if it was a hit or miss, or if I would tweak it with different ingredients, cooking time, etc.

On this page I had written Perfect!

We've had some very warm days in Pennsylvania and they have kind of killed my appetite. I don't even think about heating up the oven to cook because just the thought makes me kind of nauseous.

We had not eaten Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing in years and because of the scorching temperatures I finally wandered outside of my usual rotation meals, found the little booklet, and Wonderful Husband and I enjoyed our dinner.

For your taste of inspiration, I introduce you to Pennsylvania Dutch Recipes by Nancy C. Berzinec (c) 1987 Wellspring. York, Pennsylvania.

Hot Bacon Dressing

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

6 slices bacon
4 tablespoons bacon drippings
1/4 cup vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 egg

croutons (optional)
sliced (or crumbled) hard-cooked eggs (optional)

Cook bacon, remove from frying pan and set aside.
Measure out bacon drippings, and return four tablespoons of the drippings to the frying pan.
Add vinegar and water, and set aside.
Combine sugar, salt, cornstarch and egg, and stir into vinegar mixture.
Cook slowly over medium heat until smooth.
Wash and dry greens. Roughly tear greens into a salad bowl.
Sprinkle with crumbled bacon, croutons and eggs, and pour warm dressing over all.

Yum.

A few tips:
I serve this spinach salad in individual servings. Sprinkle with bacon and hard boiled egg and I use the dressing very sparingly.
It is very sweet and I don't like soggy salad.
I'm a drizzler and Wonderful Husband is a pour-er.
We both enjoyed our salad, our way.
I am usually a big fan of croutons on salad but have determined that the crunch of the bacon is good enough for me on this one.
Lastly, let the dressing cool a bit before putting on the salad.

Enjoy!

Bonus Note:
Wonderful Husband did the dishes after dinner. He lives up to his blog nickname again! Booyah!

Monday, July 25, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (282-291)

Continuing my journey of counting toward one thousand gifts...



A recurring theme during my week was relationships.

My relationship with Christ while reading the devotional Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.

A great post by Jon Acuff at "Stuff Christians Like" called The tell. He caught my attention when he wrote, "Because most of us don't have strong relationships." Ouch.

I met Melanie (Wonderful Husband's cousin's wife) for coffee on Wednesday and we had a fascinating conversation about our lives and our faith. We were together for two hours and it seemed like only minutes.

Wonderful Husband, our daughter and I went to a family picnic on Saturday and had more relationship building conversations.

#282 - #291 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:

282. realizing the importance of investing my time and energy in relationships

283. Diane re-newing a library book, then lending it to me to read (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows). Now that is a good friend!

284. going to the public library to check-out some fun, summer books on Saturday. It's been too long since I've been to our local library and everything has been rearranged. Who knew I'd have an adventure at the library?

285. baking chocolate chip cookies for the family picnic. Yum!



286. visiting with family and catching up on the latest news about job searches, upcoming surgeries, baby shower plans, and life

287. following our nephew and his friends blogging about their bicycling trip from Buffalo to Albany. (Better them than me:)

288. a healthy report from my annual mammogram

289. the first week of worship in our church's gym. (The sanctuary is undergoing construction).

290. attending church with our daughter and her boyfriend. (Would it be considered "attending gym" instead of church I wonder? And if so...how come I didn't lose any weight? lol)

291. Wonderful Husband enjoying an overnight golf outing. He deserves the rest, relaxation, and fun!

Turn on your speakers.
Read, enjoy, and thank God for His blessings.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 18, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (275-281)

Continuing my journey of counting toward One Thousand Gifts...


#275 - #281 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:

275. seeing two fawns eating grass beside the road
 
276. meeting our new next door neighbors and welcoming them to the neighborhood
 
277. still reading The Fitting Room: Putting on the Character of Christ.  I appreciate Kelly Minter differentiating that peace isn't only experienced when everything is calm and going my way. I can experience God's peace during anxious/troubling times too.

Five weeks ago I was talking to Kaye and we both had been praying for peace in our lives. I think that I was praying for God to "wave a magic wand and make all my troubles disappear" instead of praying for His peace in calming my anxious thoughts during stressful times.
 
278. talking on the telephone with Paula and meeting her for breakfast soon
 
279. Swiffer Dusters and a vacuum cleaner that remove the dirt from living

280. dusk

view from our back yard

view from our front yard

281. Scripture, always
 
Lord, you will grant us peace; all we have accomplished is really from you. Isaiah 26:12 NLT
 
Turn on your speakers.
Read, enjoy, and thank God for His blessings.

Peace be with you.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Are Wild Animals Crazy?

I live in a suburban neighborhood about 25 miles outside of Philadelphia. We are fortunate because our neighborhood has open grassy fields and green, leafy, mature trees surrounding it and you would think that the wild animals would have plenty of "real estate" to build their homes and just have to battle each other for survival instead of our suburban lawnmowers, sprinklers, and cars pulling in and out of driveways.

Our backyard neighbors have a vegetable garden on both sides of their deck. They built a framed fence structure that has chicken wire to keep out pesky animals. They are growing corn, tomatoes, zucchini, and tons of other stuff that I have no clue about since I'm not Mrs. Kravitz. (Remember her from "Bewitched"?)

Our neighbors also have two large white dogs that roam their fenced in backyard and no one walks by their house or in front of ours without the dogs sounding barking the alarm. I love the dogs since they are free entertainment for me. (All fun and no responsiblity.)

The other night Wonderful Husband and I visited with our neighbors through their wrought iron fence and heard that a rabbit had been building a nest in their fenced-in garden. The rabbit was spotted with a large amount of grass sticking out from her mouth since she wanted to line the hole she'd dug near one of their zucchini plants.

And the first thing that popped out of my mouth was, "How crazy is that? With all the open fields around here, the mother decides to have her bunnies in your garden where you have two enormous dogs patrolling your property?"

My neighbor pointed out that the dogs would have "busted through the fencing" to get at the mother rabbit once they discovered her too.

I started thinking about Peter Rabbit and Mr. McGregor's garden. Remember his adventures?

Yet maybe the mother rabbit was crazy smart trying to build her nest in a fenced-in area with free "groceries" readily available.

Hmmmmm....what do you think? 


Crazy or crazy smart?

Photo credit to our daughter (Young Sweetie) who took this picture with her cell phone.
Thank you Young Sweetie!

Monday, July 11, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (262-274)

Continuing my journey of counting toward One Thousand Gifts...


I took Wonderful Husband to his colonoscopy appointment. It's been 10 years since his last one and this one went like clock-work. We arrived at 7:00 a.m. and we were walking out at 8:55 a.m.

He had two polyps removed and they were sent off for pathology results to determine if they were pre-cancerous or benign. His doctor called on Sunday to tell him that the polyps were pre-cancerous and he will need another colonoscopy in 6 months to make sure that the cauterization killed off the remaining cells from the polyps.

If you think this is too much information TMI let me explain that the reason I encourage people to have a colonoscopy is that my father died of colon cancer in 1992. He had issues for years and after finally going to a doctor, having a colonoscopy, being diagnosed with colon cancer, and having surgery...he died 6 months after his surgery. He was 54 years old.

Because colon cancer is now a part of my family history, a doctor recommended that I have a colonoscopy at age 40. I must admit that I put it off for a few years but now at the "ripe old age of 50," I have had two. After the first one where I had polyps removed, I was told to come back in two years. After my second colonoscopy, I was "promoted" to coming back in four years.

Yes, the prep is awful....for Wonderful Husband more like a walk in the park, for me a constant run for the bathroom....yet a small price to pay for a procedure that can detect cancer early and if detected early has a great survival rate.

So ends my Public Service Announcement. You're welcome. :)

#262 - #274 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:

262. the colonoscopy procedure

263. a doctor who uses anesthesia sparingly

264. a Sunday telephone call from the doctor to Wonderful Husband

265. discussing Chapters 1 and 2 of The Fitting Room with Terri. We laughed because we highlighted most of the same words.

266. a nice visit with our son and sending him home to Virginia for more interviews this week

267. a niece who volunteered to help me with my daughter's baby shower in October

268. our nephew-in-law's birthday and Facebooking his happy birthday wishes to him

269. a four day work week (last week)

270. a nice visit with Diane to catch up on life

271. braces. Yes, I am 50 years old and have braces! lol
Five weeks and counting!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
272. much needed rain showering our thirsty grass, trees, and plants

273. hard eucharisteo: hearing harsh words and responding with the explanation of my focus on grace this year. God's grace to me and my showing His grace toward others. (Will she tuck my response away and understand it later? I don't know, yet I pray she will.)

274. tears that bring relief, healing, and forgiveness to my soul

Do you cry often? Do you feel better or worse afterward?

Turn on your speakers.
Read, enjoy, and thank God for His blessings.

Monday, July 4, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (249-261)

I have been reading A Holy Experience (Ann Voskamp's blog) for over a year. Every Monday Ann adds to her list of One Thousand Gifts and today I'm adding to my list too.

This past week I began reading Kelly Minter's book, The Fitting Room: Putting on the Character of Christ. Terri and I are going to begin talking about it this upcoming Thursday and it is the current feature for the Bloom / (in)courage book study too.

I am loving this book!

Kelly's precious words (on page 19) spoke to my heart about what I have been trying to understand and implement in my faith for years, that "...biblical virtues are not punitive but life-giving."

Life-giving.

Thank you Lord for being a life-giving God!
 
#249 - #261 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:
 
249. an older couple holding hands while on their daily walk through town
 
250. a tree expert sharing his wisdom on the proper way to mulch around a tree
 
251. The Fitting Room: Putting on the Character of Christ by Kelly Minter. I am looking forward to discussing it with Terri.
 
252. a three day weekend (since July 4th fell on a Monday this year)
 
253. freedom in my faith
 
254. living in the United States of America
 
255. fireworks and the beauty in their design, color, and sparkle
 
256. our son coming for a visit from VA and treating him to a late birthday dinner
 
257. our daughter's continuing healthy pregnancy
 
258. Wonderful Husband playing golf and for his enjoyment and relaxation during the game
 
259. a new season of "Leverage" on TNT. Love the quirky characters!
 
260. sunny days with low humidity and a hint of a cool breeze

261. a life-giving God, freedom through Jesus Christ, and guidance through the Holy Spirit!

Turn on your speakers.
Read, enjoy, and thank God for His blessings.