Monday, March 30, 2009

Our Smoky Mountain Vacation

We returned Friday evening after spending a week in Tennessee. I wonder why vacation time is so much faster than regular time? It certainly flew by for us, and I'm still having a hard time getting out of vacation mode!

We left the previous Saturday after Cari's track meet. We then traveled to McMinnville and visited some friends and went to church with them on Sunday. After church, we traveled on to Sevierville where we rented a cabin for the week. During the week, we enjoyed lots of relaxation. We also went to the Dixie Stampede and ate at the Old Mill Restaurant on another evening. You HAVE to eat there if you ever visit Pigeon Forge. We did lots of sight-seeing and shopping, and of course my family had to have their arcade needs taken care of. It's amazing the amount of money you can spend in one of those places just to leave with a ring pop and a piece of taffy. We also played a round of putt-putt and went through a mirror maze. We still haven't gotten over the fact that we actually paid money to walk through mirrors. What were we thinking? Oh well...

I'll post some pictures soon.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Tasty Recipe (and a few other things)

Monday night, we enjoyed a new recipe. I have to give Madison most of the credit for cooking it, but I was the one to find the recipe and buy the ingredients. :>)

I'll share the recipe in case you don't have the newest Taste of Home magazine, but we did make a few changes.

Loaded Vegetable Beef Stew

4 turkey bacon strips, diced
1-2 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into 1" cubes
3 medium carrots, cut into 1" pieces
1 - 29 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups yellow squash, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 box of beef broth
4 cups chopped cabbage
1/2 tsp. pepper

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels to drain. In the drippings, brown beef in batches. Refrigerate the bacon until serving. (We cooked the beef the night before and then left it in the crock pot on low overnight so it would be tender. We also just combined the bacon when we combined the other ingredients.)

In a 6 qt. slow cooker, combine the carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, green peppers, thyme and garlic. Top with beef. Pour broth over the top. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Stir in cabbage (we added the cabbage with the other stuff) and pepper. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Sprinkle each serving with bacon (if you didn't add it in with the other stuff like we did.)

This made a lot of stew and I thought we would have leftovers, but there wasn't one drop left!

When I was loading the beef stew picture, I came across some other pictures I thought I'd share:

Here's a picture of me and my sister with our dad at his recent 70th birthday party.

This is Madison proving that she WILL wear flip flops even when it snows!

Here's Cari about to enjoy some of that delicious beef stew.

My little gypsy girl.

The crazy dress-up girls!

And last but not least, here's Matthew being forced to play with a baby doll - at least it's a boy baby!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Bunnies

One of our rabbits had her baby bunnies yesterday! We're not sure how many yet - we just see a lot of hair and hay moving around in her nesting box. We also had some snow yesterday, and we thought it was quite funny that the mama rabbit's name is Snowy!