Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Redneck Hummingbird Feeder




Our redneck humming bird feeder
Manufactured on 7-31-2013 by Team Bonham

Mornings are not a good time for me until I drink two cups of coffee. This morning, immediately after waking up,  I let the dogs out and noticed the humming bird feeder was empty. Walking over to the empty feeder, I reached up to remove it from the nail it hangs from. Somehow, the ten year old feeder ended up on the porch floor. The old, brittle, plastic feeder bottle broke.

 My oldest daughter (age 28) was eighteen when she gave me the hummingbird feeder. Seeing it lying in pieces quickly cleared up my sleep-fogged, precoffee brain. As I picked up the broken bottle, I noticed the diameter of the bottle top was the same as a soda bottle.

Bill, who wakes up completely alert and cheerful, quickly saw the possibilities and hurried out to the garage for duct tape and wire. Team Bonham, Bill and I, salvaged the unbroken feeder base, filled an empty soda bottle with sugar water, screwed it into the base, and applied the duct tape to hold the curved piece of hanger wire in place.

We are now the proud owners of a DIY, redneck hummingbird feeder.

 
Hummingbirds like it!
 



 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Celebrating My Momma's Birthday

Yesterday, July 28th,  was my momma's birthday. The celebration planning started last week when my daddy messaged me on Facebook. Dad wanted to know if I would bring food for the family occasion and he would buy the cake and ice cream. After discussing choices with Bill, I messaged back that I would be happy to bring BBQ pulled pork and coleslaw.


Twas the Week Before Momma's Birthday

 
After deciding on the BBQ pulled pork, I thought about making my own hamburger buns. Several years ago, I acquired a 1973 Better Homes and Gardens Bread Making cookbook that quickly became my bread making bible. I thumbed through the cook book index. Yes, it had a hamburger bun recipe that would yield two dozen buns. Visions of golden, hand formed buns, succulent pulled pork, and creamy, fruity craisin coleslaw danced in my head. My taste buds woke up and my stomach rumbled as I pictured the smoky sweetness of pulled pork, topped with a spoonful of sweet and tangy coleslaw perfectly framed by yeasty, just baked buns. Excitement coursed through my veins as I lept up and ran to the kitchen to make a trial batch of buns. Twas the week before my momma's birthday celebration!

The trial batch of buns turned out beautifully. Bill volunteered to taste test the buns. After taking a bite of warm, buttered bun, he told me they weren't good enough for anyone else. He was going to be forced to eat them all. No way I believed that. (Scroll down for the bun recipe)


Twas the Day Before Momma's Birthday

 
The smells of simmering pork butt, yeasty bread dough, and sweet, tangy coleslaw wreathed around our heads all afternoon. Finally, the fork shredded pork was blended with the smoky sweet BBQ sauce and placed in the refrigerator. Twenty-four golden rounds of cool bread were packed into containers and the craisin coleslaw had been stirred once or twice before being packed into a quart size plastic bowl. All the dishes were washed as I sat down to rest by Bill on the love seat. A good days cooking was at an end.
 
 
Momma's Birthday


The aroma of fresh brewed coffee drew me out of bed on Mom's birthday morning. (I love the auto brew setting on my coffee pot.) Today was the big day. Carefully, I packed the crock pot of BBQ into a box, packed the bowl of coleslaw in a soft side cooler, and packed mom's gift into a gift bag.  Then everything was tucked behind the seats in our Ford truck. Time to leave.

Mom enjoyed her birthday feast, presents, and the gift of no dirty dishes. The family loved my hamburger buns, craisin coleslaw, and BBQ pulled pork. Mom had a surprise for my two brothers and I. She gifted each of us with a black berry pie. The day before her birthday, she was baking pies for presents. Life just doesn't get much better than family cooking for family.


Hamburger Bun Recipe
(The italics are my tips and comments)

  • In large mixer bowl combine 4 cups all-purpose flour and 2 packages active dry yeast.
  •  Combine 2 cups warm water - 110 degrees, 3/4 cup cooking oil, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 Tablespoon salt. ( I don't have a thermometer. I tested the temperature on the inside of my elbow. The water was above luke warm, but not so hot it was uncomfortable)
  • Add to flour and yeast mixture; add 3 eggs (not ice cold - I take the eggs out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before I need them. Cold eggs will keep you dough from raising properly.)
  • Beat eggs into mixture at low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. ( The first time I did not use dough hooks, just regular beaters. The second time I didn't use my mixer at all, I hand beat the mixture and the dough was fine.)
  • By hand, stir in 4 cups all-purpose flour to make a soft dough. (fluff the flour with a fork, wire whisk or sifter before measuring it out.)
  •  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface; knead til smooth and elastic.
  •  Place in a large, greased bowl, turning once.
  •  Cover (I use a clean kitchen towel); let rise in warm place til double - about an hour.
  • Punch dough down; divide in 3 portions. (I used a kitchen scale and each portion weighed a pound and a half, or 24 ounces.)
  • Cover; let rest for 5 minutes
  • Divide each portion into 8 balls.
  • Turn ball in hands, folding edges under to make an even circle.
  • Press ball flat between hands.
  • Place on greased baking sheets, pressing to 3 1/2 inch circles. (Set a round 3 1/2 inch cookie cutter on the baking sheet, place the flattened ball inside the cookie cutter, press it into a circle, lift the cookie cutter up - Voila, a perfect 3 1/2 inch circle of dough.) 
  • Let rise till double - about 30 minutes.
  • Bake at 375 degrees about 10 minutes.
Yield: 24 buns





 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sallee's Six: Homestyle Cooking with Ease and Speed

I am a reformed cookbook collector. No longer do I pile up cookbook after cookbook on a shelf. Now, I am a techno-savvy collector of online recipes. My online recipes are pinned to my Pinterest boards, Sweet Baking and Home Cookin and my online recipes are saved in my recipe box at allrecipes.com. Another techno-method that I use to stockpile recipes is to collect links to blogs and websites that feature home style, make your own, melt in your mouth, m-m-m- good, terrifically quick and easy recipes. Today, I am sharing six of my favorite links with you. Enjoy yourself! SalleeB



     

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Vase Full of Summer Beauty

The white butterfly bush in front of my house is in full bloom this week. I've been sitting on the front porch glider in the mornings, watching butterflies and sipping coffee. Butterflies, moths, and humming birds hover over the horn shaped bloom clusters all day.
Purple and white wildflowers (blooming weeds) and white butterfly bush
Today, I decided to gather blooms from the butterfly bush, purple wildflowers, and white wildflowers. The wildflowers could be called weeds, but I prefer to think of the tall, woody stemmed plants as flowers. Scissors in hand, I strolled out to the field and cut about half a dozen blooms from each type of weedy plant. The summer heat was oppressive as I returned to the front porch with my floral bounty. The lower limbs of the butterfly bush quickly yielded eight large bloom clusters. Sitting on the glider, my next step was to relieve each stem of excess leaves before placing the stemmed flowers in my favorite pressed glass vase. The vase of summer beauties was so pretty that I had to share two pictures with you.

 

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Mom-Daughter Date at Longhorn Steakhouse

LongHorn Steakhouse on Urbanspoon


Last week I had a mom-daughter date with Ashley, my youngest daughter, in Columbia, MO. Our agenda included an appointment, shopping at the Broadway Market Place shopping center, and lunch. After our shopping was completed, we discussed our various lunch choices. Ashley suggested the nearby Longhorn Steakhouse because she had dined there recently and had been satisfied with the experience, especially the large portions. I wanted to eat at the Longhorn Steakhouse because I was a dining virgin at this particular chain of steakhouses.

 The Decor and Cleanliness

Walking into the steakhouse is a pleasant experience. The dining area was neat and clean. The Western theme decor was expected, but I particulary liked the antler chandeliers. However, the black metal, horseback cowboy roping a steer silhoutte that tops and divides the booths is a bit kitschy. Even though it was high noon, the restaurant was not crowded. (There are numerous eating spots in this area of Columbia)

The Service and Choices 

Our waitress was attentive, polite, and quick. Ashley and I decided on  the economically priced lunch combinations menu, $8 - $10.  Ashley chose the sirloin chimichurri half sandwich with a mixed green salad and I picked the shaved prime rib half sandwich with loaded baked potatoe soup. We did ask about the chimichurri sauce . Ashley was worried that it might be spicy, but it was mild with barely any heat. Our basket of crusty, warm bread slices (3)with butter arrived first. I liked it, but didn't love it.

 The Food

Our platters arrived fairly quickly, but I can't tell you how long it took because we were talking. Remember, it was a mom-daughter date. Our platters arrived at the same time. Ashley and I were impressed with the sheer size of the sandwich halves and the generous soup and salad portions.  I'm sure there was a quarter pound of medium rare roast beef on my sandwich half. It was thick enough, that I ate it with a knife and fork. The accompanying Longhorn version of horseradish sauce was lucious and mild. The sandwiches weren't served cold, but they weren't much above warm. However, I don't like soggy, hot bread on my sandwiches and we were both happy with the taste, texture, and tenderness of the beef on both the sandwiches.

The loaded baked potato soup was super thick, rich, and tasty. Seriously, I wanted to lick the bowl. Ashley's mixed green salad was a typical salad, but it was larger than most side salads. A sample of the housemade potato chips came with the lunch combinations. The chips were crisp, salty, and yummy. However, with the large portions of our lunch choices, we just nibbled one or two.

Overall, we really enjoyed having lunch at the Longhorn Stealkhouse. Ashley and I will have another lunch at this location. Sorry about not having pictures of the sandwiches, but we were already eating them before I thought about taking pictures.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sallee's Angel Hair Spaghetti and Meatballs

My husband, Bill is a pasta lover. He has searched out and eaten at many Italian restaurants in the last thirty years. After eating my version of angel hair spaghetti, he told me mine is the best he has ever eaten. I know, he's my husband and husband's are supposed to say things like that, but I gave the leftovers to my hard working daughter, Ashley. Ashley sent me a text that said,"Mom, this spaghetti is awesome! How did you make it?" So, I am giving you my heavenly recipe so you can wow your friends and family.
A trio of recipes combine to make a grand slam Italian main dish! 

Oven Meatballs
Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground chuck or ground round
  • 1 Tbsp. steak sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cp. quick oats
  • 1/2 tsp. dried minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
Directions

  • Place all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and smush together until you have a well-blended ball of seasoned meat. 
  • Take a 1/3 cup measuring cup and pack level with the meat mixture. Remove the packed meat by tapping the cup upside down on the palm of your hand. A nice meat disk should pop out. Place the meat disk to the side. 
  • Repeat until all of the meat is measured out.
  • Take each disk of meat and divide it in half. 
  • Roll each half between the palms of your hands to form a  ball. 
  • Place the balls in an 8 inch baking dish. 
  • Repeat this step until all the disks have been divided and formed into meatballs.
  • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20-25 minutes, or until done.
Angel Hair Pasta
 My sweetheart, Bill, likes angel hair pasta and switching from regular spaghetti to angel hair spaghetti is an easy way to please my handsome man. My first experience with the thinner noodle was a happy affair because the thinner noodles cook in seven minutes.
4-6 oz. angel hair pasta

  • Bring water to a boil in a covered 4 qt. sauce pan or stock pot. 
  • Place pasta in the boiling water. 
  • Set your timer for 7 minutes. Then, gently stir the pasta with a spaghetti spoon until the water comes back to a boil. 
  • Let pasta cook in gently boiling water for 5 minutes. 
  • Turn off heat and let set in water for last 2 minutes. 
  • Drain in a colander, but do not rinse.
Sallee's Quick Spaghetti Sauce
Ingredients

  • 1 24 oz. can Hunts Traditional Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. packed brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 10 whole black olives, sliced or chopped
Directions

  • Place all of the ingredients into the pan the pasta was cooked in.  
  • Mix well. 
  • Heat until it just begins to simmer. 
  • Turn off heat. 
  • Place angel hair pasta and cooked meatballs into the sauce. 
  • Gently toss with the spaghetti spoon until the sauce is evenly mixed with the angel hair pasta and meatballs.
  • Place a lid on the pan and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Serves 2-4

 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cravin' Craisin Coleslaw




Bill is not a vegetable eater.

However, he loves this coleslaw! The brown sugar, vinegar, and mayonnaise blends into a tangy, sweet dressing that is enhanced by the tart craisins, or dried cranberries.

Personally, I like to eat a bowlful of craisin coleslaw for lunch. Just the coleslaw, with no sides. That's how good this coleslaw is.

You Will Crave More!

Eat one spoonful of this sweet, creamy, fruity coleslaw and you will crave more. Partner this amazing craisin coleslaw with all types of barbecued meat,  spaghetti, or eat it for a quick snack.

The creamy, fruity goodness of this dish is great at 30 minutes, but it zooms to fabulous when the coleslaw ingredients can spend several hours getting better acquainted with each other in the refrigerator.


Equipment
Measuring spoon set
1 cup liquid measuring cup
1 cup dry measuring cup
Knife, optional if not using an apple
Whisk
Large bowl
Large spoon


Ingredients
  1. 1 cup mayonnaise                                
  2. 1/4 cup 2% milk                                
  3.  2 Tbsps. vinegar, white or cider
  4. 2 1/2 Tbsps. packed brown sugar                   
  5.  1 16 oz. package cabbage and carrot coleslaw blend
  6. 1/2 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
Add one or both of these additional fruit options:
·         one medium apple, cored and diced
·         1/4 cup pineapple tidbits, well drained

 Directions

·         Place the first four ingredients in a large bowl, then whisk until the dressing is smooth and creamy.
·          Add the package of coleslaw blend, craisins, and desired fruit. Mix well with a large spoon     until the dressing evenly coats the coleslaw mix.
·         Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
·          Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.

        

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Are They Doughnuts or Yeast Rings?



The Beginning of My Quest

 Bill came home from the post office with a box of glazed yeast rings. I really think he bought them because the box said yeast rings and he wanted to taste test them.* We both taste tested them and after a brief discussion, Team Bonham decided we had just eaten a glazed yeast ring doughnut. Seriously, we did have this conversation. That's just how we function, honest. Intrigued with these two terms, doughnut and yeast ring, I decided that some internet research was in order. Now you know my secret, I am a food geek. Yep, this post is all the proof you need. Hope you can handle the truth about me.


Top 5 on a Yahoo! search for "yeast ring doughnut"

  1.  Dunkin Doughnut's InsiDDe Scoop used the term, "split glazed yeast ring donut."
  2.  Wikipedia says,"There are two types of ring doughnuts, those made from a yeast-based dough for raised doughnuts or made from a special type of cake batter."
  3. Alton Brown has a recipe for yeast doughnuts at FoodNetwork.com.
  4. www.my-calorie-counter.com uses the term glazed yeast doughnut ring and
  5. Joe Pastry says,"If you’re making regular ring-shaped doughnuts, use a smaller cutter to punch out the holes. ... I do love a good yeast-raised doughnut, ..."

Top 5 on a Google search  for "yeast ring doughnut"     

  1. Wikipedia still says,"There are two types of ring doughnuts, those made from a yeast-based dough for raised doughnuts or made from a special type of cake batter."  
  2. Alton Brown still has a recipe for yeast doughnuts at FoodNetwork.com.
  3.  richsfoodservice.com sells a "Deluxe Classic Yeast-Raised Ring Donut Dough"
  4. Alton's yeast doughnut recipe is also at food.com    
  5. and another blogger named James Purser shares my sense of humor because he wrote an article called, "Never take a photo of a Yeast Ring," in 2010. I knew that no one would believe this, so just left click on the link and you will see that there are two of us out here in the blogosphere.

Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.   

* Bill confimed that he did indeed buy the box just because it said yeast rings. Additionally, the yeast rings cost a dollar more than the glazed doughnuts. He wanted to see if they really were a doughnut by eating them.
           



Saturday, July 6, 2013

Career Clothes at Bargain Prices


Required to Dress Professionally


My job has a dress code. Employees are required to dress professionally. In the last two or three years, state and federal budget cuts have reduced my income. This income reduction means fewer clothing purchases at the store. I have always liked to bargain shop for clothes, but it has been more of a hobby than a necessity. Now, I find myself bargain shopping out of necessity.

Where to Look For a Bargain


·         Thrift stores - Thrift stores are usually run by volunteers and the clothing sizes are roughly organized into sections. Great bargains can be found, but you generally have to spend some time searching for them. Good Will and Salvation Army are nationally known, not for profit, thrift stores. Most of these stores are fairly well organized. I shop at both.

·         Resale shops - Resale shops usually, but not always, sell on consignment for individuals. Generally, a consignment store will not accept clothing from low-end retailers, or stores with names that end in "mart."

·         Yard sales - Look for subdivisions where professionals and career people live. Professional and career people are great about selling off their excess clothing for $5 or less. Citywide yard sales are a good place to look for quality, second hand clothing, too.

Determine Your Color Range


If you sort your clothing by color before washing it, you already know what your color range is. Don't sort your clothes? Then look through your clothing and see what colors dominate your drawers and closet. My color preferences change by number of items in a certain color, but I always have clothes in the range listed below.

·         Slacks and skirts in - black, brown, sage and olive green, navy, or gray.

·         Blazers, jackets, or cardigans - black, dark red, brown, gray, or navy

·         Blouses in solids or prints  - yellow, green, pink, blue, dark red, or brown

·         Purses in bright colors - lime green, turquoise, red, ivory, or purple

Layering bright colors and prints with neutrals, such as black, navy, brown, and gray, is such a fun way to add color to clothing. My favorite way to use bright colors is with blouses and purses. An occasional print skirt and dress also hang in the closet, but each one is in my color range.

Let the Scanning Begin!


When I approach a clothing rack, I locate my size. I know this seems like elementary information, but experience with thrift store organization leads me to tell you this. Sometimes it can take a few minutes to find your size... Start scanning for prints and solids, within your color range, that will match clothing you already own. When you locate a suitable item, remove it from the rack, and examine it. Look for two things on the label or labels

·         First, what brand is it? - I have several brands that I look for because the clothing fits me well.

·         Second, is it wash and wear? - Dry cleaning is not in my budget, but skip this step if you can afford the cleaning bill. I will pass up a bargain if a garment requires ironing. Ironing is not my least favorite task, but it is in the bottom five.

Examine the complete item - front, back, and sides - for wear, small stains, manufacturing defects, snagged threads, missing buttons, or torn fabric. If a button is missing from a jacket, blouse, or cardigan, look for a replacement button or two on the inside of the garment. I do not know how many times I have found the replacement button(s) in place, ready for use. Yes, there are people who will get rid of clothing because the button fell off; even when the manufacturer stitched a replacement button onto the inside of the clothing. Frugality is genetic in my family so I truly do not understand this.

Sorry, I did not mean to be sidetracked. Where was I? Oh, now that you have thoroughly examined the garment and it is defect free; go try it on and look it over again. Now that you are happy with the fit of your bargain find, either pay for it or put it on the checkout counter before continuing your bargain hunting. I always need two hands to skim through clothing racks.

 $1.89 Outfit


Earlier this week, on my way home from the post office, I read a new sign; Crazy Lady's Resale Shop. Happily, I stopped to see what bargains I might find in this new shop. Quickly (the hubby was at home waiting for the mail), I scanned the clothing racks for career clothing. A tropical print blouse, in subdued blues and greens, caught my eye; I removed it from the rack. The tag revealed that it was from JC Penney's and was in almost new condition. Swiftly (remember the hubby was waiting for me to bring the mail home), I placed the blouse on the checkout counter. Returning to the clothing racks, I continued skimming through the clothes until a pair of gray slacks caught my eye. My heart beat happily; I just knew these slacks belonged with the blouse I had already found. A quick check of the label verified my guess; the slacks were from JC Penney's and matched the blouse. At the checkout counter, the cashier announced my total,"$1.89." Wow, a two-piece outfit, in excellent shape, for $1.89. I could not wait to get home and show Bill my new outfit and give him the mail.
 

Three for $5.00


Two days later, on my way home from a family visit, I stopped at another resale shop that supports a ministry, God's Hand Extended; in Owensville, MO. Guess what I found? My scanning revealed a  brand-new, black and white cardigan from Macy's, a like-new, red and black floral blouse in my favorite style, AND a crocheted tablecloth in my favorite color, celadon. Total cost of the three items? $5.00.

My plan: Pair these two with black slacks or skirt, and layer with a black or white shell. The red and black top is formal enough for a special occasion. 
 

Tell Me About Your Best Bargain Find

Are you ready to start your own bargain adventure among the clothing racks of your local resale shop, thrift store, or yard sale?  Remember, bargain shopping should be FUN! Leave a comment and tell me about your best bargain find.

 

 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Rock Quarry Wedding Site

Private quarry wedding site in Rolla, MO
Bill and I recently attended a small, intimate wedding at the private rock quarry site pictured on the left. Normally, divers use this quarry for training and for fun. The groom is a dive instructor so they had a wedding at the diver's quarry!

Setup for the ceremony was difficult due to rain the evening before and the morning of the wedding. Even with weights, the 20'x20' canopy was blown over twice that morning.
The reception was also held at the wedding site. Swimming, barbeque, and family fun was scheduled for all.


Thankfully, by late morning, the wind and rain stopped in the quarry area. Clouds provided shade but not rain.
                                                                           

1. An aisle was formed with a navy blue runner and tulle drapery.
  The two, large stones flanking the archway had two white roses
 placed on them.
2. A single, white rose was given to each mother
and grandmother by the bride and groom
before the reading of the wedding vows.
3. Three rows of twelve chairs were divided by the aisle.
Navy blue ribbons were tied on bubble bottles. The bottles
 were  randomly placed on the chairs.  
4. Reverend Bonham waiting for the ceremony
to begin.
A friend played the bride and groom's favorite song on a ukelele as the wedding party began to walk up the aisle toward Reverend Bonham. The bride's father positioned his SUV so the bride could not be seen by the guests until she and her father were ready to walk up the aisle. The brides maids wore navy blue, the groomsmen wore khaki trousers and white button down shirts. Flowers for everyone had navy blue ribbons tied on them.

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday

Enjoy yourselves on the 4th of July and may God bless you with safe travel, safe fireworks, and safe circumstances.

Sallee B.
Fourth of July Bouquet