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September 2011

My famous smoked paprika rub!!

Smoked paprika rub00 

This is one of my recipes that everyone gushes over. Everybody loves this rub and it is because of the brand of paprika I use. It is what makes the rub so amazing, plus the salty/sugary combo crunch you get when barbecuing. On pork chops or baby back ribs, amazing!! You and also add water and use it as a wet marinade or in meatloaf and many more ideas!!

Mom fall 33 

Smoked Paprika Rub

 3/4 cup smoked paprika, I really recommend El Rey paprika.

1 cup sugar

1 cup salt

½ cup dried granulated garlic

¼ cup ground pepper

You can use dried herbs such as oregano, celery seed, basil or Pat uses thyme, but I have found over time this is how my family loves it. Also add more pepper if you like. We do not like things overly peppery. Basically, as I always say tweak it to suit your palette.

 Linking this post to Free Pretty Things for You

Lily, John and the Cookie

Boy jpg 

I am having a hard time with the next Wren book. I about 2/3 done and need some fresh inspiration. I keep folder with lots of photos and decided to write some small vignettes inspired by the photos. Here is one about Lily and her brother, John.


      John reaches across Lily and takes the last cookie before Lily can have one.

      “John Harrison, it is not polite to take a cookie away from a girl!” Lily says in her older sister voice, even though she is two years younger than him.

      “You’re not a girl, you’re my sister! Besides you made the cookies with Wren, didn’t you have some at her house?”

      “No.” Lily answers indignantly. “I made two cookies for each person in math. There is mama, papa, you, Stephan, Jayden and Ethan. Oh and Thayer but he is not here.” Slowly she counts with her fingers.  “So that is 1 … 2 … 3 … 4 … 5 … 6 and me. 7 plus 7 is.”

      Lily starts to count again and John impatiently interrupts, for he excels at math and does not understand those who do not. “2 times 7 is 14. I hope Wren teaches you your times table soon.”

      “I am only 6 and you know I am not good at math.” Lily wipes a few tears from the corner of her eyes.

      He hates to see her cry. His father is always telling the boys it is important for them to be kind to their little sister and her girly ways. “Remember you will have a wife one day and she will need you to be extra kind to her.”

      John is sure he will never have a wife. No, he is going to move to Alaska and camp in the snow! But it always makes his heart feel funny, like it is being squeezed when Lily cries. It is how he feels when one of the mama cows pushes away her new born baby.

      Lily announces with a slight pout. “I made 14 cookies but Jayden and Ethan came in and ate 3 cookies each. I will make a sign next time that says two cookies each.”

      “Good idea.” Agrees John but Lily watches him with big, shocked eyes as he gobbles down the cookie.

      After super that night his mother, Mary, serves chocolate cake. John slides his plate over to Lily.

      “Don’t you want your chocolate cake John? I thought it was your favorite.” Mary asks shocked.

      “No, mama. I am full.” He smiles at Lily and his heart does not feel like it is being squeezed.

Winners and Chicken Pox

Life is beautiful 

I am happy to announce the two winners, Where Women Cook goes to Erin and Molly Makes goes to Wendy. I will e-mail you for your address's. Thank you everyone who participates.

Life is a bit crazy right now. Both the girls have chicken pox, David is sick and we are still doing this crazy, restrictive allergy diet (while having chicken pox's). So I might not be around for a bit but I will be back. I need to remember life is beautiful, even when it does not feel beautiful xox

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Grilling Bock Choy Trick

Bock choy 

I am loving my new gas grill and am playing with how to grill just about everything!! Hubby loves baby bock choy, so I had to try grilling it. I wanted to add a bit of flavor, also some oil so the bock choy would not stick. I found zip-lock baggies work great for this!

Sherry Marinade

1/8 cup olive oil

1/8 cup of dry sherry

1 garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp. salt and pepper to taste


Whisk all together. Put a dozen baby bock choy in a zip lock baggie and pour marinade to the baggie, stack the choy, zip close and shake away. Covering the bock choy, getting into all the crannies. You can do this several hours ahead and keep the baggie in the fridge. Just carry the baggie to the grill. With tongs set bock choy on med/hot grill. Grill about 3 minutes on each side, until somewhat soft (I like it to have a bit of a bite, not be too soft) and has grill marks. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy whole or cut up to use in a dish.


Win a Mag!!!

Hello everyone. You readers are the best and so good to me. Especially all you facebook'ers, putting up with my postings everyday of what weird food I am cooking for Chloe on her allergy elimination diet. So ... I am having a give-away!! I will pick two winners and send you one of these mags above. Please tell me if you have a preference. I really wish I could cook for all of you but this will have to do. Thank you for your love and support xoox

Ohh I will pick a winner on the 17th!!

Fabric Label Cards

Lable cards upped 

Well I am embarrassed, as I should have done this post months ago. I was lucky enough to win The Story of a Seamstress giveaway for custom fabric labels from Inked Papers. Michelle was soo easy to work with and willing to try to create whatever I wanted. I never dreamed she could recreate my banner. I was just thinking of something with the same feel as my banner, maybe one of the silhouettes. Well I was over-the-moon when she sent me my labels.

I received two rolls of twin tape (the size of my choosing) with my banner, printed over and over. I am not a big sew'er and really wanted to use these gems in a creative way. I came up with these fun mini cards. I cut card stock 3" by 6" and folded the card. I snipped off a label, fringed the cut edges and stapled them to the cards. I am really happy how simple these turned out.

Thank you Atlanta and Michelle for the labels. As you can see I love them!!