Snapshot Saturday – boom, boom, boom

I love fireworks!!! I can’t get enough of them!!! Photographing them is so much fun! I can’t wait to print some out and hang them in our new home!!!


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The winds of change are blowing my way (yet again!)

Some of you may have noticed that over the course of the last few months the frequency of post and the content of this blog has been changing.  There’s a reason for those changes.  My whole world has been undergoing something of a metamorphosis.  Not a Kafka-esque one, cause eww who’d want to turn into a nasty cockroach, but a series of huge changes none the less.  As some of you may remember I recently lost my dad, moved to middle America, bought a house (that needed a lot of TLC and some serious renovations), found a few job, and made some fantastic friends!  That’s a lot of stuff, right?  but that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s been going on in the last few months…  I’ve also ended a marriage, lost a bunch of weight, mostly finished renovating the house, found a job in my field, found even more great people, met a great guy, expanded my previously shrinking family, and decided to move (again)!  With all of that going on behind the scenes, I have to apologize for slipping with the frequency of my posts.  I am trying to keep up with as many of the topics as I can, but as my move to the southwest gets closer (and more of my stuff got packed – the craft supplies went 1st, then the books, and finally the kitchen equipment) it became increasingly hard to keep up.  I hope to be back up and running very soon, but just in case, please don’t forget about my out there in the blogosphere, I’ll be back with even more projects, adventures, reads, and recipes!

Now I wonder if you can make it from Ohio to Arizona by way of New York, Walt Disney World or Mount Rushmore…  We shall see!!!

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Snapshot Saturday – Boom!

July is the month that we, in the United States, celebrate our country’s independence.  Generally speaking, we honor the bravery and determination of our forefathers by having a BBQ, drinking some beer (or beerlike substance) and blowing stuff up!  I love FIREWORKS!!!  The boom, the colors, the majestic pictures in the night sky!  So, this month I’m going share some of my favorite pictures of this year’s fireworks!

5th of July Party

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Snapshot Saturday – Reliving Childhood Memories

I can’t believe my father has been gone for an entire year.  There are days when I feel like I spoke to him less than 24 hours before, and others when I feel like he’s been missing from my life for an eternity.  I decided to use this month’s Snapshot Saturday Posts to pay tribute to him and some of the places he loved most.  We spent a lot of the last few years revisiting some of the adventures we had while I was growing up. We went to ball games, amusement parks, the zoo, the movies, car races, casinos, and museums.  One of my favorite memories of childhood was going to the Bronx Zoo with my Dad, my brother and our Grandma.  The last trip I took with my dad was a return visit to the Zoo.  This is a picture of him outside of the Rhinoceros habitat in April of 2013.

daddy at the bronx zoo

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Tasty Tuesday – Crock Pot Pulled Pork

I love Pulled Pork and I’ve been craving it for weeks, but I can’t find my recipe.  Yes, ridiculously organized me can’t find something.  It’s not that I don’t know where it is, it’s that I don’t feel like digging through the boxes to find my recipe folders.  I found my recipe in a cooking magazine (either Rachael Ray’s magazine or the Food Network magazine) a few years ago, and we really do like it.  I’ve looked all over Pinterest, trying to find a close approximation to my recipe, but I haven’t been able to locate the right one.  However, the craving got to be too much, and I resorted to using what promised to be a simple yet delicious crock pot version…

The recipe was as easy as the pin promised.  I gathered the ingredients and put it together in less than 10 minutes before I left for work.  It calls for 1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, 4 pounds of boneless pork riblets (I used boneless country style ribs), 3/4 brown sugar (this is optional, but my other recipe calls for it, so I used it), 1 teaspoon dry mustard, and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork Ingredient

You dump half the bottle of BBQ sauce in the crock pot, then add the meat.

start with BBQ sauce   add boneless pork

Next, you add the rest of the BBQ sauce, the mustard, the garlic powder, and the brown sugar.

mustard   garlic powder   brown sugar

I stirred everything around to get the meat completely coated, and set it on low to cook for 8 hours.  (The recipe said to cook it on high for 4 hours, but I was going to be gone longer than that, so I adjusted my cooking time.)  When I got home from work, I used tongs to shred the pork and served the sandwiches on soft buns.

pull the pork   pulled pork sandwich

My dinner guests really enjoyed them, but I still like my original recipe better.  Guess I better get cracking with the renovations, so I can finally unpack the remaining boxes and find the stuff I’m still missing.

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Snapshot Saturday – The Yankees

June is an incredibly hard month for me this year.  I can’t believe my father’s been gone for such a whole year.  These last 12 months have brought so many changes and things I wish I could’ve shared with him, but I know he’s always with me in spirit.  I decided to use this month’s Snapshot Saturday Posts to pay tribute to him and some of the places he loved most.  This week I’m going to pay tribute to his favorite sport, the team of his heart and a couple of places he and I always loved exploring!  I hope you are sitting in the stands with “The Boss” drinking a beer and yelling at Girardi for some of his choices.

Daddy at yankee stadiumsteinbrenner stadium  yankee stadium

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Tasty Tuesday – Chicken Broccoli Foil Packets

We’ve had a bit of a change in my house and I’ve been making dinner at midnight or so most nights.  I can’t really spend hours cooking, well actually I guess I could, but I don’t really want to at that time of night, so I’ve been hunting for hearty, quick and easy to prepare meals.  I found a recipe for a Chicken & Broccoli Foil Packet Meal that I loved so much I had to pin it to Pinterest.

This recipe reminded me of a fantastic recipe that my grandmother “created” called Chicken Thing.  It is not the same as Chicken Thing, but it does have the same homey meal feeling that I remember from my childhood.  The foils packets are also much easier to prepare, which is a big plus at 11:30pm.  I gathered all of the ingredients: 1 package Chicken Flavor Stuffing mix, 1 1/4 cup of water, 24 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, 4 cups of broccoli, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 4 slices cooked bacon, and 4 tablespoons of Ranch Dressing (I accidentally left this out).

Chicken Broccoli Foil Packets Ingredients

First I cut the foil to size and sprayed each piece with cooking spray.

Prep the Foil

Then I mixed the stuffing and water together.  Once it was combined well, I scooped some stuffing onto each piece of foil.

combine stuffing mix and water start building your food pyramid with stuffing

Next I trimmed the chicken and laid half a boneless skinless breast on each pile of stuffing.

Layer 2 Chicken Breast

After the chicken I added some broccoli.  The original recipe gave actual amounts to use.  I didn’t pay any attention to the measurements.  I went by sight and what my family will eat.

layer 3 broccoli

Then 1 crumbled strip of bacon gets added to each packet along with some shredded cheddar cheese.

Layer 4 Cheese  Layer 5 Crumbled Bacon

This is where I was supposed to add the ranch dressing and forgot all about it.  I blame the omission on the time of day I was making the meal.  Once the stuff was all stacked, I closed the packets (leaving enough room for air to circulate inside each one).  I placed the sealed packets on a jelly roll pan and stuck them in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees.

Foil Packets Ready to Bake

They were ridiculously good, and I will totally be making these again, and I may even have to break out the Chicken Thing recipe and give it a whirl.

Chicken & Broccoli Foil Packets

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