Blueberries and Boys

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Blueberry picking has been a little slower for us this year.  Something about teaching these little guys.  Zoe did great filling up her bucket.  Ezekiel did pretty good once he got into the rhythm.  Into the bucket not into the mouth. 

 

Oliver on the other hand needed constant reminding.  “Yum Yum” was always coming out of his mouth as the berries were shoved in. Finally, he found a stick (his favorite thing) and that at least kept one of his hands busy.

Ezekiel has become quite the joker.  As I am trying to quickly pick I hear “mom, mom, mom, mom…” you get the idea.  I kept answering him but not looking at him so he just kept going until I turn to see this…

 

I bust out laughing and grab the camera then try to convince him not to do it anymore. Yeah right.  Oh, Boys.  You just don’t teach them this stuff.

Recipe Of the Week: Zucchini Brownies

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Tired of  Zucchini Yet!!!

If you have your own garden or your neighbor has a garden.  Chances are you may be tired of zucchini.  There are many things you could do with that left over zucchini from your garden.  You could use it as decorations for those of you that have that creative touch. You could feed it to your farm animals, our little piggies just love them. Target practice is also an option for those of you that love to shoot. Or you could just leave it on your neighbors porch.  No surprise there is even a National Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbors Porch Day.  But what we at the Thames house love, I mean L. O. V. E. to do with them is making it into a dessert. 

Zucchini Brownies ARE THE BEST!!!

I know a lot of you have tried Zucchini bread and yes there are many simply delicious recipes out there.  But this is no ordinary zucchini bread and if you are up for something simply heavenly check out these brownies.  I love giving them to someone that “Hates” veggies, or zucchinis. They simply love them.  And get this, if you peel the green off the zucchini you can’t even see them in the dough.

Word of Warning: The dough is more cake-like than brownie but it is light and fluffy like floating on a cloud.  I really hope you enjoy our family favorite.

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies spring back when gently touched. To make the frosting, melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa and margarine; set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, blend together the confectioners’ sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies before cutting into squares.

Grandpa T

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We were so excited that Greg’s dad was able to come visit us in July too!  It was his first time up this way.  Coming from Mississippi poor guy was a bit cold despite our great weather.  He said it was like walking around in an air conditioner all the time.  We had a great time showing him around and just hanging out.

One of the adventures into town found them at the music store.  To my surprise they returned home with recorders (three of them) and a harmonica!  We had a bit of a “jam session” on the back porch once the guitar, banjo and trumpet were pulled from the closet. 

The kids also learned that Grandpa T loves to get into the clay.  When he found out we had a chunk he and all the kids started busting out some projects. 

Recipe Of the Week:Old Settlers' Baked Beans…

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Old Settlers’ Baked Beans…

This is the by far and away my favorite bean recipe.  We have made many different versions of it.  Sometimes with meat then sometimes with veggies only.  It is very easy to make and even easlier to expand.  We often make a large verison for  church functions, game nights with friends, etc.  But a word of warning, as we just found out, if you don’t let it bake for at least any hour it will be a little spicy but good just the same.  I believe that the spices need time and heat to mellow out.  Well I hope that you and your family enjoy them as much as my family does.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 (16 ounce) can pork and beans, undrained
  • 1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (16 ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, cook beef, bacon and onion until meat is done and onion is tender. Drain any fat. Combine all remaining ingredients except beans. Add to meat mixture; mix well. Stir in beans. Place in a greased 2-1/2-qt. casserole. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until heated through.

Visitors!

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July was the month of visitors.  I was so excited when I heard my sister and niece were coming up our way.  She and Greg were going to keep it a secret from me and just have her show up but for many of the same reasons I usually get my birthday gifts early, Greg told me 🙂  Many of the days they were here were filled with rain.  They loved it (coming out of the insane heat of Texas) but it did put a little bit of a damper on outings.  One of our nice days found us at Birch Bay.  I always seem to forget how much we all enjoy a day at the beach. 

 

Zoe and my niece Marlys

 

 

 

 

Zoe, Ezekiel, Oliver and Sis (aka Marsella)

Zeke absolutely loved looking for crabs.  He was always so gentle picking them up.  Into his shovel they would go usually with a rock or shell to hide under.  This one went all the way to the picnic table to show dad.

 

 

Animal update

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How about a little farm update.  Our three little piggies.  These pictures were taken in June.

Such characters.  Left to right we have Chard, Smoked, and Mr. Pork Chop.

Love the camera.

 

These next pictures were taken just this month.

Still characters.

Getting fat.

 

And lets not forget our sheep.  Shaun and Shannon.  Shannon’s mom Lilly went back to auction.  So we just have to two now.  Hopefully in the spring we will have a new baby lamb on the farm.

Shaun is just now loosing his baby/winter hair.  He better hurry up before winter sets in again.