Monday, June 11, 2012

A Coffee-Time Treat, Last-Minute Teacher Gift Idea and Weekend Wrap Up

Good morning!  What a busy weekend!  I'm starting the morning with this coffee and a treat.

It is a tasty strawberry cream cheese breakfast square.  Very easy to make.  You need two package of refrigerated crescent roll dough, two packages of cream cheese (softened), about a cup of fresh sliced strawberries, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg, an additional 1/4 sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, cream the cream cheese.  Add the vanilla, 1/2 cup of sugar, and egg and beat well.  Fold in the strawberries.  Press one package of the crescent dough into the bottom of a greased 13x9 baking dish.  Spread the cream cheese mixture on to evenly.  Top with the second package of crescent dough - stretch and press the edges together to cover the entire top surface.  Bake at 350 about 25 minutes or until the top is golden.  Mix the 1/4 cup of sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle on top.  Let cool completely and then refrigerate overnight.  Cut into squares and serve cold.  Yum!

On Thursday night I was scrambling for a last-minute teacher/principal gifts so here is what I made:

 Trail Mix:  2 cups pretzel sticks, 2 cups Rice Chex, 2 cups small whole grain crackers, 1 cup peanuts, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds and 1/2 cup chocolate candies.

Time to Relax Package:  apple cider mix, a flavored one-pot coffee, and assorted flavors tea bags.

Friday morning we dropped the little guy off at daycare and then the Princess and I headed to our traditional first/last day of school breakfast spot where we enjoyed the one-on-one time and our pecans pancakes.  We even had time to stop at the local greenhouse for a couple of flats of veggies (yes, after being prepped early for the garden the weather has messed with my plans and my seeds didn't sprout so I am now behind...).

After I dropped her off I headed home and cleared the whole veggie garden area.  When the playhouse was there it had made sense to plant the veggie garden in a whimsical way that was a bit harder to maintain but was very fun for the kids.  Now that the storm destroyed it there is absolutely NO shade back there and the kids won't be content to spend any measurable amount of time out there with me anyways so I decided to start from scratch and just get it in.  I tossed all the plastic path liner and hauled away all the rocks to the fairy garden stream.  All the little decorations also got taken down for now.  We'll decide after its all planted whether to put any back there or work them into other areas of the yard.  So now I just have a bare square at the edge of the field.

I had just enough time to enjoy these mock oranges on the deck before heading back to pick everyone up from school and daycare.  If you aren't familiar with them, they smell heavenly.  They really do have a strong fresh orange smell and the dainty little flowers are beautiful.  The branches are slim and tend to cascade - truly lovely.

We decided it was too hot to pick strawberries and spent the rest of the day relaxing in the house (well OK, I was doing laundry and dishes...).  Saturday morning we did head out and got our strawberries picked before the full heat of the day set in.

While we were strawberry picking and hitting a graduation open house, my hubby was getting his first tattoo - a big one!  This beautiful buck was done from photos of a buck that he shot in Illinois that was very special to him.  See the eagles? You can't tell from this photo but there is another small one on the right.  The big one is me and the two small ones are the kids.  Cool, huh!?

Sunday we met up with some friends at a festival for some gizzards.  I kept trying to get a picture but hands kept creeping in...  That's my little man who was sitting on my lap - he loved the gizzards.  This place was even featured for its gizzards and burgers on a Food Network show - that's how tasty they are!

I also worked on several recipes so be sure to watch as I'll have lots to share this week.  Tomorrow - Strawberry Freezer Jam!  Although I did have a couple of fails that I'll be trying to remake tonight - I think the temps thwarted my efforts at this just did not want to stiffen and the minute I stopped beating it started to separate...  Any advice?

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