A little bit of this and a little bit of that. Daily Ramblings, recipes, photos and whatever else I like to share along the way.

PaperBack Swap

I finally gave in a few months ago after reading about this site and decided to try Paperback Swap.com.

There are plenty of books around the house that I have read or have been given and thought why not give it a try.

So, what is the deal you might ask?

Simple.

You post books that you have and are willing to part with, someone else requests the book, you ship the book (pay for shipping - average I pay is $3 because I use the delivery confirmation option) and then you get a credit to use to request and item you would like. You will not pay to have a book shipped to you only to ship it to the person requesting the item.

I like to read Chick Lit *shhh* and I am sad to say our library does not have a wide selection *sniffle* and it would be pretty $$ to keep buying new books.

You can make requests that the books are from a smoke free or pet free home. The books need to be in good condition and you have to mail the items out in a desired amount of time.

I have found a few new authors to read and really enjoying using this website.

Check it out: Paperback Swap and enjoy a good read!

Oh! They also have Audio books, CD's and DVD's.


M & M Pretzel Candy


So, this is the cute box my sample of M&M pretzels arrived in from the giveaway that was being offered on Facebook.
(I know just a little late in getting this posted. Sorry.)

This is the fun bag that was inside the way too cute box that is posted above. :->

Inside the round M&M shaped candy is a bit of pretzel that is coated with the normal hard candy shell and a touch of chocolate.

The first few I had I was not too sure about so I of course had to try a few more and before I knew it the bag was empty.

:-(

Yes, in case you have not tired them yet they are good.
The pretzel is not a salty as one would imagine (or at least I would) but it does have a nice crunch when you bite into it.

I shared two with Nate who also said they were quite tasty unfortunately they were gone by time Spencer asked for one. Oops.

I bought a bag in PA when we took the boys back to spend a part of their summer with their grandparents because they were not sold yet here. *sniffle* I am happy to report that they are now being sold here and I am quite a happy camper.

There are mixed reviews out there about them but I say go grab a bag and give them a try.

I think you'll be in for a pleasant surprise.


Snowcapped Salmon - Recipe

I am constantly searching for new fish recipes so that we do not tire of how it is made.

Last week the boys asked for some salmon but not grilled so it was time to get cracking and find something different.

This recipe makes a very moist and tasty salmon sure to please those in your family.

I used a light mayo to cut down on calories but you might want to use regular. I will admit that I would cut back the mayo to 1/2 a cup the amount required seemed to be a bit too much.

original recipe here

* Exported from MasterCook *

Snowcapped Salmon

Recipe By: Ella Hosmer
Serving Size: 4
Categories: Main Meal

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
24 ounces salmon fillets (4 fillets)
2 large egg white
1 cup mayonnaise, light
1 teaspoon mustard
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese -- grated

  • Sprinkle flour over salmon fillets. Place in a greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, combine the mayonnaise and mustard; fold in egg whites. Spoon over salmon. Sprinkle with cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Source:
"www.tasteofhome.com"
Yield:
"4 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 237 Calories; 8g Fat (29.8% calories from fat); 38g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 93mg Cholesterol; 252mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 5 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Serving Ideas:
  • side salad
  • green beans/broccoli or peas
  • rice

Swiss Chicken Supreme - Recipe


Easy to make and tastes wonderful.

This meal was a hit with the whole household and is placed in the make again folder. :)



* Exported from MasterCook *


Swiss Chicken Supreme

Recipe By : Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Serving Size: 4
Categories: Main Meal

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
4 large skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 slices Swiss cheese, lowfat
1 can cream of chicken 98% Fat Free Condensed Soup
1/3 cup sour cream, light
1/2 cup milk, 1% lowfat
1 teaspoon butter
1/3 cup butter crackers -- *see Note

  • Place the chicken in a 13x 9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with minced onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Top each with a slice of cheese.
  • In a small bowl, combine the soup, sour cream and milk; pour over the chicken. Toss the cracker crumbs and butter; sprinkle over chicken. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until chicken juices run clean and crumbs are golden.

Source:
"Taste of Home - The Comfort Diet Cookbook"
Copyright:
"2009"
Yield:
"4 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Nutritional Information: 310 caloires, 11 g fat, 89 mg cholesterol, 567 mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate, 34g protein.

Serving Ideas :
  • Side Salad
  • Peas/Green Beans or Broccoli
NOTES :
  • I used Ritz crackers for the crumbs and it takes about 8 crackers to make the 1/3 cup.

Fork in the Road

Yup, we really did see a fork in the road when we were picking up the boys from their summer vacation with my parents.
How could I not take a picture and share?!



The intersection.



Procrastination....

This is normally not a word in my vocabulary that is until now.

I am one who gets the project done way before it is due - silly type A personality.

Anywho -I told Spencer I would see about getting his room painted while he was away visiting his grandparents.

5 weeks, plenty of time to get the room painted and loads of other stuff done.

Right?!

Wrong.

There were doctor appointments, lunch dates with DH, hair appointments and well Farmtown was calling my name.

Now, three day before I am to leave to get them I am frantically trying to get his room painted.

Late last week I went on the search for the perfect Navy blue (he has requested a Penn State theme) easy I thought but not so. The first few blues were nothing near what I was looking for (too dark or a bit too light - kinda like a Goldilocks moment), should have known to do a simple search for Penn State colors. Glidden has been my saving grace it really is the proper color. (Thank you, Glidden!!)

Now, I have to prime the walls gray because the color is so dark and I need to cover up his Army green walls. The primer is taking a bit longer to dry due to the humidity here.

So...tomorrow I shall tackle finishing the prime paint then *crosses fingers* painting the blue which would leave the white for the time. That is the game plan and with some luck it should pan out.

Gah! Then to put the room back together so he has some place to sleep when he gets home.

I am really kicking myself about waiting so long to get this project done.

Fingers are crossed that I will get it done!

Word of advice - Don't procrastinate!

Summer Garden Couscous Salmon Salad ... recipe


One thing about summer is that we tend to eat so much lighter and this salad fits the bill.

With the temps in the 100's over the past two weeks here DH and I really have not wanted much of anything to eat. I stumbled across this recipe in my saved/try pile and figured it would be perfect for now.

The original recipe did not call for the salmon I added that in for a bit of protein and I have to say it really was a tasty addition. I also added in radishes because they had been sitting in the refrigerator for a bit of time and thought they would add some more color.

This recipe was a nice change of pace and very satisfying. We had it for dinner but I can easily see eating it for a lunch.

Such a fresh and light meal for those hot summer days, give it a try and enjoy.


* Exported from MasterCook *

Summer Garden Couscous Salmon Salad


Recipe By: Priscilla Yee
Serving Size : 5
Categories: Main Meal

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 cup chicken broth, reduced fat
1 cup couscous
1/2 medium English cucumber -- cubed
2 large radishes -- sliced thin
1/3 cup Feta Cheese
2/3 cup tomatoes -- chopped
3 tablespoons red onion -- chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Parsley
6 ounces Chicken of the Sea Pink Salmon

  • In a small saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil.
  • Remove from heat, stir in couscous and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • In a medium size bowl add in the remaining ingredients once couscous is done add that into the bowl.
  • Add in the salmon, mix and serve warm or chilled.

Source:
"Taste of Home Simple & Delicious Magazine"
Copyright:
"June/July 2010"
Yield:
"5 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving: 268 Calories; 10g Fat (35.2% calories from fat); 13g Protein; 31g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 9mg Cholesterol; 286mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat.

Suggested Wine: Reisling



Charleston, SC...


With the boys away we decided to take off for the day for Charleston, SC a few weeks back.

It really is not a day trip but we wanted to go to the beach and I have always wanted to see Rainbow Row on The Battery. It is a 3 hr trip one way, you might ask why didn't we stay the night (would have loved too) we have two dogs one of which is 17 yrs old and she needs a little more TLC. I simply could not put her in a kennel for the weekend and our pet sitter no longer is in the business. It's ok; we had a wonderful time and are going to be taking the kiddos back for a weekend with the doggies. :)

The Battery is at the very southern point of Charleston. This area was used as as a defensive point in case Fort Sumter was ever attacked. There are all of these wonderful old trees that cover the area and give you some wonderful shade in the summer.

It was quite toasty in the early morning that even the squirrels were staying in the shade provided by the trees in the park.

The park is contains wonderful statues such as the one below that is dedicated to the Confederate Defenders of Fort Sumter.
Fort Sumter can be seen off in the distance while you stand at the point looking out into Charleston Bay. I saw a baby stingray swimming around and this thrilled me to no end (never seen one in the sea before) but I was not able to get a picture. :(

This placque is attached to a sea wall that wraps around The Battery and is in tribute to those who died in Hurricane Hugo.

Right next to the Hugo Plaque is this one for the USS Pringle that was sunk on 4/16/1944 off of Okinawa, Japan.


Rainbow Row is all that I ever thought it would be, beautiful homes in such wonderful colors.

Rainbow Row





We opted to walk off the main road and were surprised at what we found. Large colonial style homes with cobblestone roads and just the feel of really stepping back in time.
Simply Beautiful.



We went down an alley and found this door, not sure where it went but it was interesting.


This house on one of the back streets has lovely white marble stairs that just impressed me.

The doors to these charming homes captured my interest I could have snapped pictures all day long of them.

Many of the doors had gas lanterns burning which added that much more charm to the doorways.

Time to head to the Isle of Palms for some beach time!


We needed to cross over the Cooper River Bridge (which is so much better than the old one that which you would end up holding your breath over) which is inspiring to say the least!! This bridge is North Americas longest cable stay bridge and yes, you do see people walking on it! There is a bike/walking lane on the side I honestly don't think I could walk over it not me with my fear of bridges. *shudder*

Beautiful sand and colorful houses were a welcomed sight.


I am so looking forward to going back for a weekend and just relaxing in the next few weeks!


Next year I think we are going to rent a place and stay a week, there is so much to do and see and I think we deserve it. :)

The Philly Cheesesteak Battle...

Pat's Cheesesteak

Four weeks ago we took the long way to head to my in-laws house.

By long I mean we took 95 up to the Poconos a few days before Memorial Day weekend and the NASCAR race in Charlotte.

Not the simple Interstate 85, 77, 78 to Route 33 and Bam! your there.

All I can say was that was one bad migraine and idea.

We will never be doing that ever again.

The only bright spot after spending 12 hrs in the car, missing our exit on the beltway (Interstate 495), toll booths that I never recall being there but were there, two dogs wanting out, a burnt out driver (DH) was our quick jaunt into Philly for cheesesteaks!

We were planning to spend a day in Philly with the boys but since it was late and we were hungry it was a family decision to take the detour forget the day trip and headed straight for the cheesesteaks.

The kiddos love to watch Food Network and have seen Pat's & Geno's on more than once and have requested so many times I forget the count.to. Plus, it probably never helped that we have told them how wonderful they are. ;-)

*waves wand* Poof! request fulfilled in one night. lol...


Spencer was thrilled to see where the Flyers play (and we zipped by while it was the Stanley Cup Playoff time) in the Wells Fargo Center (just renamed from the Wachovia Center).

The rest of the city they were a bit unsure about it was a good learning experience for them. :)

I have always enjoyed Philly and it was neat to be back in the heart of it.

We opted to buy one cheesesteak from each and then split each half in half. We were hungry but not that hungry to each get our steak.

First stop was Pat's; we were able to pull right up out front so Nate and I hopped out, went up to the window and ordered. I thought I was so smooth but it would appear I was at the wrong window. The lovely lady behind the counter said, "Hun, this is the drink window. You need to order over there."

Duh! Humbly I walked to the other window smiled and ordered one Wit (which means with onions) properly.

Then it was off to Geno's, again we were able to pull right up, hop out, order properly (at the correct window) and get on our way.



Nate helping with the order at Geno's.



Autumn doggie watching while we order.

DH did the cutting and we began the chow down in the car - 9PM yeah, we were hungry.

In the end, Spencer, DH and I preferred Pat's and Nate was for camp Geno's.

I used to love Geno's but somewhere along the way my taste buds switched.

What is up with that?!

We were pleased as punch with our dinner and could return back to the road for the final 3 hrs.

This happens to be one of the best detours ever!


--> DH was in charge of some photos for this round. I slipped up and forgot to get a picture of the steak from Geno's. Sorry!!



Music...

Music, it is such a part of our lives and I have noticed that it is missing from mine. Which I must admit is not something I would ever thought would happen. I can remember as a kid listening to eight track tapes during the summer visiting my grandparents when I was 5. Never learned how to play an instrument (except in college two piano tunes & a lap harp tune to pass my Elementary Ed music class). I have always wanted to learn to play the piano properly, my grandfather had one that he would let me just bang on while I was younger (made a song for him called peanut butter & jelly) but I never played a tune on it once he died when I was 8, just was never the same. KWIM?!

This past year with the boys' home doing their online school I stopped listening to music during the day as it was a big distraction for Spencer. Which is really not a problem; I only want what is best for him and his studies.

Yet today I sit here with the boys away, DH at work and I am actually listening to my music stations from Pandora. (I adore Pandora a great way to listen to your favorite artists and find new ones along the way.)

Anywho, I now realize that I have really missed listening to Coldplay, The Fray, Snowpatrol, Green Day, Muse, Adam Ant, Weezer, Butterfly Boucher, The Cure, and Depeche Mode and on it goes.

I will be finding a way to get more into my life again; it puts an extra spring in my step and gets me moving around. Music really is an expression of who/what we are and with no music I really think that something is missing in our lives.

So, go out and enjoy some of your favorite music and even perhaps find a new artist to enjoy.


Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.
-
Victor Hugo


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