spicy creamy tomato pasta

We have discovered a new recipe which everyone in our family enjoys. It’s called Spicy Creamy Tomato Pasta. I found it on the Spicy Southern Kitchen web site. Her recipe has onion and garlic to cook, which I know would make it all the more wonderful, but we are going for an easy recipe for my girls to make and this fits the bill with a few adaptions I made.

Spicy Tomato Cream Pasta
Prep time: 5 minutes. Cook time 10 min.
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
16 oz. pasta of your choice
29 oz. can of tomato sauce
½ cup heavy cream
6 drops Tabasco Sauce
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp salt

1. Cook Pasta according to package directions. Drain.
2. Combine other ingredients in a pot, stir, and heat till bubbly. Put a lid on the pot, please. It’s hot and it will splatter!
3. Toss together and serve.

I think it would be delicious with shrimp.

No pictures at this time, but I’ll add them next time we make the recipe. If you like pasta, fast and easy, this is it!

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ june 27, 2016

We had a nice weekend, in spite of the heat. On Saturday, DH and I celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary. Where did the time go? Seems like last week our family looked like this…

baby sarah plus sibs ~ 1987

Older Son was eight years old in that picture. Now his girls are eight years old. Just. like. that. Savor the moments. They fly by.

This past spring…

picking bouquets

We toured the garden a couple of times, noting the daylily FFOs (first flower out). I enjoyed the hostas, too. This one is ‘Journey’s End.’ It is on its way to being a very large specimen.

Hosta 'Journey's End'

The large one in this picture is called ‘Komodo Dragon.’ It is just getting started. It will gain in size by quite a bit before it is done. This is its third or fourth summer in our garden. It can take five to ten years for a large hosta to reach its mature size.

Hosta 'Komodo Dragon'

Saturday evening we had a little rain (much needed) and the sunset through the window pane was beautiful. My dear husband drove 25 miles away to get sushi for our anniversary dinner. Thank you, DH!

sunset

Sunday morning, DH picked the flowers and I made this bouquet for church. White hydrangeas, purple hosta flowers, and ‘Chorus Line’ daylilies. I told DH we could call them “Choir Line” daylilies for the day.

Sunday bouquet

Sunday afternoon, DH picked raspberries.

picking raspberries

We got a lot! And he picked more that evening.

picking raspberries

The menu this week has three, count them, three “fridge food” days. There are a lot of leftovers so the menu is pretty easy this week.

Monday
Fridge Food

Tuesday
Tacos

Wednesday
Crock Pot Roast Beef with New Potatoes and Carrots
Corn on the Cob
Garden Salad

Thursday
Fridge Food

Friday
BBQ Chicken in the Crock Pot
Homemade Buns
Fresh Fruit

Saturday
Fridge Food

Sunday
Baked Spaghetti
Garden Salad
Sugar Snap Peas

And because it’s a long weekend, I’m including Monday the Fourth of July. Older Son and family are coming over. We’ll enjoy a Fourth of July celebration. First there will be pancakes with Pa. Then the parade. Then grilling. Then lots of relaxing.

Monday / Independence Day
Grilled Shrimp
Beef Steaks
Rosemary Ranch Chicken
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Fruit Salad
Garden Salad

Maybe some pie and ice cream for dessert. Watcha think?

You can find more menus and ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

~~Rhonda

tutorial: add pips to your bottle brush trees

All those cute little bottle brush trees I have are just begging for a topper. Sometimes I add a bead, sometimes a star, sometimes a pip. What’s a pip, you say? A pip is a floral embellishment, used in artificial flowers as the stamens. You can buy pip covered wreaths and garlands, or bundles of individual pips in many colors.

I decided to add pips to the tops of two small bottle brush trees to decorate this red and white Putz house.

adding pips to bottle brush trees

I use Crafter’s Pick glue for a project like this. It holds very well and dries clear.

adding pips to bottle brush trees

Pips come on wires or on a heavy cord. I like the kind on wire because I find them easier to handle. The first thing to do is cut the wire to about an inch long.

adding pips to bottle brush trees

Apply glue to the wire. Crafter’s Pick is very thick, so it adheres well to the wire. I don’t use hot glue for this application because it leaves a clumpy residue on the bottle brush.

adding pips to bottle brush trees

Insert the wire into the tree from the top, pushing it close to the wire inside the tree.

adding pips to bottle brush trees

I use my thumb nail to push the pip wire into the tree as far as it will go. Adjust the pip berry up or down as needed. Don’t worry about crushing the tree branches. They will fluff out just fine.

adding pips to bottle brush trees

From the front:

adding pips to bottle brush trees

When the glue has dried and and you’ve checked that the pip is where you want it, add a drop of glue through the bottle brush branches all the way down to the wire. Crafter’s Pick will dry clear.

adding pips to bottle brush trees

adding pips to bottle brush trees

I used hot glue to glue the trees into position.

adding pips to bottle brush trees

adding pips to bottle brush trees

A dash of Aleene’s True Snow, thoroughly glittered, dressed up the little bottle brush trees and hid anything I didn’t like about how the embellished trees looked.

adding pips to bottle brush trees

The trees from the back.

adding pips to bottle brush trees

adding pips to bottle brush trees

The finished Putz house…

adding pips to bottle brush trees

And all lit up for Christmas…

adding pips to bottle brush trees

The house is now listed in my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook

If you have any questions about the process of making Putz / little glitter houses, please ask. I am happy to share what I’ve learned along the way.

~~Rhonda

daylilies…they’re not just orange or yellow

I have lost track of the number of people who have walked through our garden and then said, “I thought daylilies only came in orange or yellow!” Here’s proof they come in many colors…

Let’s start with a beautiful white one with a lovely green throat.
‘Gentle Shepherd’

'Gentle Shepherd'

‘Jungle Beauty’ is one of my favorite “near black” daylilies.

'Jungle Beauty'

‘Lilting Lavender’

'Lilting Lavender'

‘Apple Tart’ This flower seems to glow with red.

'Apple Tart'

A darker lavender is ‘Hundredth Anniversary.’

'Hundredth Anniversary'

‘Rose Emily’

'Rose Emily'

‘Last Picture Show’

Untitled

Another favorite of mine…’Wayne Johnson.’ He never fails to impress.

'Wayne Johnson'

‘Forever Loving You’ A beautiful blend of pink and yellow.

'Forever Loving You'

‘Siamese Royalty’

'Siamese Royalty'

‘Spider Man’

'Spider Man'

Do you like ruffles? ‘Accent on Style’

'Accent on Style'

More Ruffles…’Ivory Edges.’

'Ivory Edges'

Does a two-tone effect float your boat? ‘Thumbprint’

'Thumbprint'

Or a double flower? ‘Amy Michelle’

'Amy Michelle'

Or a gorgeous eye? ‘Wineberry Candy’

'Wineberry Candy'

‘Nefertiti’

Daylily 'Nefertiti'

That barely scrapes the surface. But daylilies are beautiful in any shade. Even orange and yellow!

If you’re local, come by Wednesday, June 29, 10:00-2:00 for our daylily sale. You can stroll through and pick out what you like or look at my flickr pictures and make a shopping list. Send it any time between now and the sale, and Russell can dig your order and call you for pick up or have it waiting here. A few pictured daylilies may not be available. It just depends on how big the clump is.

Flickr 2010 Daylilies

Flickr 2011 Daylilies

~~Rhonda

in the garden…new daylilies every day

This is a beautiful time of the year in our garden, notwithstanding the summer heat. The daylilies are blooming profusely. The breeze sends their sweet scent across the garden. This evening was a beautiful time to be outside. The heat had let up a bit, the evening was long, and the bugs were not bothersome. We also had an impromptu visit from friends who were driving by and saw us in the yard. Great to see John and Betty!

Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment.

daylilies

daylilies

daylilies

‘Red Volunteer’

'Red Volunteer'

daylilies

daylilies

daylilies

daylilies

If you’re local and would like to purchase daylilies, we are planning a sale for Wednesday, June 29. DH will be in the garden from 10:00-2:00. All proceeds benefit the mission fund of our church. Stop by and enjoy the daylilies!

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ june 20, 2016

Happy birthday to my sister Genny! I just came back from a fun weekend with her and my other four sisters and sister-in-law. We have Sisters’ Weekend once a year and it’s always a lot of fun. We made necklaces, some using beads from necklaces our mom wore.

Sisters' Weekend

On Sunday, our families joined us and we had “Pies for Guys” after dinner. Two apple pies, a blackberry pie and a peach pie. With ice cream, of course. Yummy! A small thank you considering all the things the dads in our family do for us.

Pies for guys

My own dad enjoyed having all seven children there for dinner on Sunday, as well as some of their spouses and children and children’s children. He is a great blessing to our family and we are thankful to God for him. I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating with your own fathers or remembering them with love and thankfulness.

We came home with two coolers of farm fresh beef, as well as four dozen eggs, that my niece and her husband raised on their farm. It will be nice to have such good meat stocked in the freezer, and their eggs are always delicious. Chris and Julie will have beef halves and quarters available this fall, if anyone is interested.

The menu for the week is as follows.

Monday
Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Sourdough Bread
Boiled Eggs
Grapes

Tuesday
Tacos and Fixin’s
using some of Chris and Julie’s beef.

Wednesday
Ham or Turkey Sandwiches
Sourdough Bread
Celery Sticks
Cucumber Spears

Thursday
Chef Salad

Friday
Pan Seared Tilapia
Steamed Sugar Snap Peas
Garden Salad

Saturday
Fridge Food

Sunday
Roasted Chicken in the Crock Pot
Corn on the Cob
Green Beans
Mashed Potatoes

You can find more menus and ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

~~Rhonda

white putz church with a red roof

I have been working on three red and white Putz houses for a week or so. Today I finished the little country church. I love the way it came together.

Lights on…

Putz house

Lights off…

Putz house

I am learning how to make bead sprays and used three of them to back the church. I plan to make more and use them to embellish future Putz houses.

Are there any particular colors you would like to see a Putz house decorated with? Just say the word. I’ll give it a go. I need a good variety for my Etsy shop, ChristmasNotebook, so am happy to get suggestions.

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ june 13, 2016

Daylily season is on us. We love this time of year. Here are a few of the newly opened flowers from today.

‘In Springtime’

'In Springtime'

‘Siloam June Bug’

'Siloam June Bug'

‘Indian Giver’

'Indian Giver'

‘Imperial Lemon’

'Lunar Mist'

‘Wayne Johnson’

'Wayne Johnson'

Many more to come. While we wait, here’s the menu for the week.

Monday
Turkey Sandwiches
Dill Pickles
Fresh Veggies

Tuesday
Chef Salad

Wednesday
Pan Seared Tilapia
Stir Fried Veggies with Garlic

Thursday
Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki
Brown Rice
Steamed Broccoli

Friday
Turkey or Ham Sandwiches
Fruit Salad

Saturday
Fridge Food

Sunday
Pork Loin Sandwiches
Veggie Tray
Fresh Fruit
Father’s Day Dessert…pending

You can find more menus and ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

~~Rhonda

three peaks red putz house

This is the last house of the five I’ve worked on this week. This little three peaks house is done in red with a green roof.

Red Putz house

A simple fence surrounds the yard space.

Red Putz house

Two snowy bottle brush trees decorate the front of the house.

Red Putz house

You can see more pictures of this house and others in my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook

~~Rhonda

red and white “ski slope” house

A friend asked for a red and white Putz house, so I came up with this one. I will be making more red and white ones soon. I call this design “the ski slope” house. I drew the simple pattern myself. An easy house to draw a pattern for and an easy house to construct.

In process…

Putz house

Here’s the before picture…

Putz houses

And the after…

Putz house

A simple fence with a wavy edge seemed just right. I cut it down from 1/2″ to 3/8″ because the half inch fence was a bit too tall.

Putz house

It is embellished with mostly white, a little silver and a few red berries.

Putz house

This house is spoken for, but you can see many more of my Putz houses, as well as other Christmas goodies, in my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook

~~Rhonda