Jul 26, 2011

Have you ever made scones?

A friend of mine, Christy, is in town (from England where she is living) for 5 weeks and I had some precious girlfriend time with her and my other friend Jennifer for a couple of hours the other day.  First we ate Mexican food, then we went next door and hung out at the coffee shop.  Christy held an event at our church and Jennifer and I contributed home made scones. I thought I'd share my recipe here.  They are very easy and fun to make!  

Blueberry Scones 

4 cups all purpose flour
6 tablespoons sugar
4-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold butter
2 eggs
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk, divided
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries  

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  In a bowl, whisk eggs and 3/4 cup milk; add to dry ingredients just until moistened.  Turn onto lightly floured surface and gently knead in the blueberries.  

Divide the dough in half and pat each portion into an 8 inch circle.  Cut each into 8 wedges.  Place on greased baking sheets.  Brush with remaining milk and sprinkle a little sugar on top. 

 Bake at 375 ℉ for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden on top.  Serve warm.  (I decided to drizzle a powdered sugar frosting on top.  I've also made these using chocolate chips instead of the blueberries.)

"A friend loves at all times"  Proverbs 17:17

Jul 24, 2011

Moving on...

I've been on the vacation channel since May and had I known I would write so many posts about the subject, I would have been a little more organized!  It WAS a major "life between the buns" event and I kept thinking of things I wanted to document...Thank you gentle readers for bearing with me!  Sadly, our time at the beach  already seems like a distant, though very pleasant, memory!

The reality of my life since vacation has consisted of hubby being   under foot   home working very hard on his job search.  We would appreciate your continued prayers for us in that department!  Since I am babysitting 3 of our grands several days a week, I've tried to give him as much quiet space as I possibly can to do what he needs to do.  That means I've frequently piled the kids into their car seats and taken them out and about.  The other day we went to a couple of parks so I could   wear them out   give them a chance to romp and play.  I had to laugh when hubby called me about 1:30 pm and said he was just wondering what I was planning to do about lunch...silly man.

This past week, with the temperatures in the '90's and my son's and daughter-in-love's air conditioning being on the fritz, they all slept at our house for several nights.  I insisted, as I couldn't bear the thought of them roasting in this heat when we have plenty of space for them.  It seems like their A/C is fixed now and that's a good thing, because it sure is hot and humid in our parts.

What's going on with the rest of you??

Jul 12, 2011

Vacation Highlights: Hatteras, Kitty Hawk, and the wild horses

We had all agreed ahead of time that everyone was free to spend their time however they wanted, with no pressure to do "group" sight-seeing.  So we pretty much all did our own thing,  though we had enough "togetherness" to enjoy each other's company as well.  One afternoon, hubby and I decided to take off and visit the famous Hatteras Lighthouse. Cape Hatteras is about 1 1/2 hours from our beach house. 

As soon as we got there and started to walk around, I experienced one of those unexpected moments of emotion and tears as I thought about how much my dad would have loved being here with us.  He loved lighthouses, and had painted many of them, including this one.    

It was so breezy that I couldn't keep my hat on.  This photo gives perspective as to how tall the lighthouse is, and we definitely were not up for climbing the narrow steps!  We toured the keeper's quarters, which is now a museum, and watched a video that explained how this lighthouse was moved inland almost 3000 feet in 1999 to save it from coastal erosion.  It is just an amazing story that I will never be able to comprehend.

This photo was taken standing at the original location of the lighthouse.  Before we left the area, we also enjoyed a park ranger's lecture on pirates!

Another day, the whole group of us took a short ride to Kitty Hawk to see the Wright Brothers Museum.  Being Ohio natives, we have a great sense of pride in Wilbur and Orville Wright, who strategically took their invention to the shores of North Carolina to test it out!

I just can't get my mind wrapped around the fact that only 66 years after this historic event, a man landed on the moon.

 The National Monument...

Here I am with mom and sister Marcella...

One morning, the ladies decided to go on a tour to see the wild horses.  So we all piled into a tour van and had the time of our lives!

The guide, of course, knew right where to take us.  

The horses are Spanish Mustangs, and are protected by the U. S Government.  People are not allowed to approach them or try to feed them.  It was so weird to be driving on this beach so close to the water.  I felt like we were in the middle of "nowhere".  What a breathtaking sight it was though!

from left:  Connie, Lynn, Marcella, Mom, Barb, Marcie, Jacque, and Cindy.

Jul 8, 2011

Vacation highlights: side stops on the way there...

On the way to the Outer Banks, we caravanned with one of my brothers and his wife, and mom took turns riding in each of our cars. Our route took us through Somerset, PA and so we stopped there to have a picnic lunch. We also went to nearby Shanksville, the location of the crash of Flight 93 on 9/11/01.

A permanent memorial is in the process of being built.  The wall that can be seen in this photo (click to enlarge) follows the trajectory of the flight.  The grassy area beyond the wall is the hallowed ground and resting place of those who lost their lives there that day.  Read more about the memorial here.

Since it was a two day trip to the beach, we stopped the first night in Fredericksburg, Va. After checking into our hotel, we found a nearby Italian place to eat and the food was excellent!

It was nice not to have to rush the next morning to finish our second travel day and so we took the morning to look around the town...

Definitely my kind of place, and I can't wait to come back and spend a few days seeing the historical sites.  We stumbled into a classic car show on the main street...

and I did cross the street to get one of these:

We came upon this museum, which was an apothecary...

We enjoyed the interesting presentations...

but they can keep these leeches!

I love this picture of my brother and his wife, who recently celebrated 40 years of marriage.

We found a great coffee shop...

and finally we got back on the road.  I was so excited when I saw this on our GPS:

Jul 2, 2011

Vacation highlights: two creative activities

We only had 1/2 day of rain the entire week, and it came on Sunday morning, our first full day of vacation.  It didn't bother anyone really, and one of my sisters came prepared with a couple of creative things for us to do!

Would you believe that she taught us all how to etch a stenciled design onto glasses?

My sister Cindy demonstrating how to do it

The hardest part was choosing the stencil I wanted to use

Next step is to trace it onto clear, transparent contact paper

Hubby and I working on ours together.  You peel the contact paper apart
 and carefully smooth it onto the glass.

From left, Sis-in-law Marcie, sister Cindy, mom, and sister Barb

Next, with an Exact-o knife, you cut out the stencil

Using a paint brush, you then apply the glass etching cream
only to the areas to be etched.

After waiting 5 minutes, you rinse the cream off

I thought they came out pretty nice for our first try!

Toward the end of the week, we did one more creative activity. Using photos that everyone had taken through the week, we made these cute albums!