August 20, 2014

Garlic Dill Pickles Canning #Recipe & Tips

Garlic Dill Pickles Canning #Recipe & Tips

The fresh snap and crunch of a pickle is my favorite sandwich companion.  My family and guests seem to agree as every year I find myself having to can more and more! There are oodles of great recipes and varieties for pickles, and while I certainly enjoy a sweet pickle, too, the savory and tang taste of a fresh garlic dill pickle is hard to beat. 

Pickles are one of the easier items to can.  I find the key to good crunch is in selecting firm, ripe and blemish-free pickling cucumbers and adding a bit of Pickle Crisp.  Cutting the end off the spears can also help ensure a very crisp pickle as the tips often contain microbes that may cause the pickle to soften. 

August 19, 2014

How Do You Honor Your Family Name? #Free Trial to Discover Your Ancestry #surnameproject

How Do You Honor Your Family Name? #Free Trial to Discover Your Ancestry #surnameproject
We see ourselves in pictures of the past, in facial features, stances, laughter and smiles. From moments we treasure to moments we have
yet to discover, honoring your family can simply begin with a look. Special thanks to for sponsoring today's discussion. 

Who are we?  Where do we come from?  It's a question many of us ask ourselves.  There is a great sense of self in piecing together the fragments of the past, exploring the lineage and locations our ancestors have been.

It's this intrigue, this urge to learn the nuances of the past that drew me to embrace when I was offered a free trial.  The chance to discover more about the origin of our last name and facts about our family tree.

August 18, 2014

Spice Up Your #MeatlessMonday Dinner with Suddenly Grain Salad #SuddenlyGrainSalad #PlatefullCoOp #paid

Spice Up Your #MeatlessMonday Dinner with Suddenly Grain Salad #SuddenlyGrainSalad #PlatefullCoOp #paid
We're always looking for new, tasty recipe ideas for Meatless Monday and Suddenly Grain Salad is a welcome addition!  Special thanks to General Mills for providing free sample product, information and a gift card to help enhance our dinnertime!

As a farm family, finding fresh vegetables and fruits is never a challenge for Meatless Mondays (or Fridays during religious observance times,) but it can be a bit of a challenge to find recipes that will satisfy my hungry crew.

We all love salads in the summertime, but in order to make a meal of it, the salad needs a little substance that we'd normally use grilled chicken to fulfill.  When I discovered Suddenly Grain Salad™ mixes, the "ah-hah" moment happened and I new I had a winning solution for a great Meatless Monday dinnertime salad.

From Ice to Smiles in Less than 1 Minute | Waring Professional Snow Cone Maker

From Ice to Smiles in Less than 1 Minute | Waring Professional Snow Cone Maker
Despite the heat, young or old, snow cones have a way of bringing out silliness and smiles!  Thanks to Waring, we're keeping our cool and creating many moments of merriment with the Waring Professional Snow Cone Maker.  

When the sun sizzled the sidewalks and the streets looked like shimmering black pools of obsidian, only one sound could pull us from our backyard pools or our comfy spot in front of the indoor fan. The tinkling melody was so enchanting because it could only mean one thing, the ice cream truck had arrived with snow cones.  No matter how hot, cool or even rainy the day was, we'd all race to find our mothers, beg for a few cents and then scramble as fast as we could to get our hands on some of that sweet icy treat.

A lot has changed since my childhood.  I no longer live in the city, there are no ice cream trucks or shaved iced stops to be found in my neck o' the woods, and I have children of my own who clamor for snow cones whenever we find them at the State Fair or amusement parks (I share in their joy, for sure!)

August 17, 2014

Enter the Labyrinth with The Maze Runner Official Trailer #MazeRunner

Enter the Labyrinth withThe Maze Runner Official Trailer #MazeRunner

Sometimes weaving our way through life seems like we are stuck in a maze, but can you imagine if you woke up one day to find that you were truly trapped in a labyrinth? That's exactly what happens to Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) in THE MAZE RUNNER, the upcoming film based on the best-selling novel by James Dashner.
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