Clean My House or Make Alice’s Delicious Broccoli Salad?

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I used to really, really like to clean my house.  I loved starting with some dusty shelves, really shine them up, standing back and feeling totally satisfied with a job well done.  👏

Mopping floors? No problem! Love it!  The nice clean smell when it was all done and the beautiful hardwood and shiny tile and that revealed my hard work.  I cannot tell you exactly when the change occurred but I no longer enjoy cleaning my house!  😳

I just don’t want to spend the time cleaning.  There are other things I prefer to do.  Watch the Olympics.  Cook (thank heavens, I still love cooking and being in the kitchen). Bible Study. Bible devotions. Pray. Read.  Write. Take a walk. Think.  Did I mention the Olympics?

For many years I really thought it was odd how much I enjoyed digging in and cleaning my house.  Now I think it is really odd that my desire has changed and I would rather do anything besides clean.  As a matter of fact, today is my cleaning day.  Well, that is not exactly true.

Monday was my cleaning day.  Then I got busy doing laundry and didn’t clean.  Cleaning got bumped to Tuesday. Then to Wednesday.  Thursday I was in Community Bible Study, can’t clean that day!  Friday – well, I don’t want to clean on Friday because after all, its FRIDAY!

Today is my cleaning day but I decided to treat my sous-chef dish-washing mom and my super sweet Valentine husband to a Quiche breakfast.  Every time I made Quiche it is slightly different because I use whatever I have leftover from the week’s cooking.  Today I made  Quiche with ham, Pecorino cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and onions.  Oh my goodness, it was good!

Here are a few earlier recipes I have shared that are equally delicious.

Are they cute or what?

Butternut, Potato and Onion Quiché

Summer’s Bounty Quiché

Quiché with French Fried Onions

Okay, now I really am dragging my feet.  For more wonderful Quiche recipes just check out this link to all things Breakfast and Brunch!

Recently I wanted to make my sous-chef dish-washing mom’s delicious broccoli salad.  I click on praycookblog.com and typed in broccoli.  Whaaat?  I’ve never shared this recipe?  How can that be?

For year’s I would forget how to make this salad and I have asked my mother for the ingredient list at least 20 different times, usually calling from the grocery store!  Finally, I wrote it down and taped it to the inside of my cupboard.  It is a popular recipe and easily found with many variations on the Internet.  But for us, this is the one we love!

It is so easy to make and the combination of the red onion, bacon, raisins, and sunflowers really jazz up the fresh broccoli.  The sweet and sour dressing is what makes this a wonderful salad go well with almost any lunch or dinner menu.

I could probably wax poetically about broccoli (I LOVE broccoli) but alas I really do have to clean my house.  Today.

Happy cooking, cleaning, or whatever makes you happy!
Blessings, Catherine

Alice's Delicious Broccoli Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
My mom has been making this for years. Now, I have been making it for years. We love it from the first bite to the last.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches of broccoli, washed, cleaned and diced up
  • ¼ to ½ diced red onion (amount depending on your taste)
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
Dressing
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar (white, apple, balsamic, your choice)
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
Instructions
  1. Mix together the first five ingredients.
  2. Stir the vinegar, sugar, and mayo together making sure the sugar dissolves.
  3. Pour dressing over the broccoli mixture and stir well. Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or as much as overnight.
  4. Stire and Enjoy!

 

Valentine DIY

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I co-teach the kindergarten Sunday School class with my boyfriend, Tim.  We usually have a plethora of personalities to keep us busy, but this week a lot of people were sick.   We only had one little girl named Amelia.  She’s as sweet as can be and usually really shy. However, this week we got her to open up more because she was the only one.  Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, we decided to ask her if she liked any boys at school.  After much prying, we discovered the name of her crush.  I’m not allowed to tell you who it is because it’s top secret.  We had fun teasing her about it though.  She always insisted that “He’s not my boyfriend!”  But he totally was.

After that lively discussion, we taught her the parable of the pearl of great price.  Since we had some time left (and only one kid in class), I decided we could make some Valentine cards.  She decided to give it to her brother. Oh well…

I found this idea on Etsy and thought it was the cutest thing ever.  It looked simple enough to make, so I thought I’d give it a try!  If you are making this with older kids, they could probably do fine cutting everything out themselves, but you can make it easier by pre-cutting the pieces.

Here’s what you’ll need.

  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Colored construction paper
  • Pen
  • Small ribbon

First, cut out all the pieces.  For each card you will need:

  • 6 small hearts (use the first one as a template to cut the others so they’re all the same size)
  • 3-8 clouds
  • 2 baskets

Use the blue construction paper for the card so it looks like the hot air balloons are in the sky.  To make the balloons, put glue on half of two hearts. I didn’t have a glue stick when I was taking these pictures so I used tape.  But the ones we made in class with the glue stick were a lot easier.

Then attach another heart to each of the glued halves.

now you can put glue on the back and stick it to the card.  Do the same thing for the other balloon.

Now you’re ready to glue on the baskets below the hearts and draw the strings! Then sprinkle the clouds around.

Making the little bows was kind of tedious, but it’s too cute to leave out.

Now for the most important part… Open it up, and add your special message!

I really had fun making these.  After we helped our little student with hers, Tim and I both made one.  Then, our friend, Mary came in and made one!  I don’t always take the time to make handmade things, but doing crafts is a great way to bond with people.  Plus, who doesn’t love getting a handmade card?  I give this one 5 stars because it would be a great thing to do with kids of all ages, and it always turns out looking great!

I made them with the two-year-olds I babysit. They were so proud of their cards!

On a side note, I finally got to try out my candy molds!  Back when I posted about my dark chocolate recipe, I mentioned that I didn’t have any good molds, so my sweet Aunt Denise mailed me some! Thank you, Aunt Denise!!!

Here’s how they turned out! I tried some new flavors — some good — some not so good… but they looked amazing! I’m definitely going to make them again!

The peanut butter cups were everybody’s favorite.

I hope you all have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sending love,  Abby

Hummingbird Cake for Alice’s 87th Birthday

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Today is my Sous-chef Dish-washing mom’s 87th birthday! I am thrilled  to dedicate this blog post to her. She was born in 1931 during the Great Depression and her mother and father lived in Omaha, Nebraska. Her father died when she was young and she and her sister, Mary, were taken to an orphanage shortly afterwards. She spent many years in the Nebraska Children’s Home orphanage being adopted when she was 9. Even though her 87 years have dealt her many ups and downs you would never know it by her daily attitude of smiles, love, and gratitude.

She raised three sons and one wonderful daughter! (Hey, I am writing this so it is my perspective!😜 ) However, there are many, many others who call her “mom.” It doesn’t matter where we go she becomes the resident mom! All of my friends know her name is Alice but everyone chooses mom.  The name fits perfectly and looks awesome on her!

Even though she has been a Christian throughout her life, in 2011 she began studying the Bible in-depth through Community Bible Study.   At 80-years-old she let the Word of God totally transform her.  In 2014 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and she persevered through 2 surgeries and radiation treatment with a strength and attitude that she credits coming from her faith in God.  Not once did she question her situation with a “why me?”  As a matter of fact, she was usually comforting and giving encouragement to others going through the same thing.

My brother Michael and his wife Kay drove from Lee’s Summit Missouri on Sunday to surprise her.   We had made an elaborate plan that included taking her to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for her birthday week.  You know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men!  Last week an almost 87-year-old tooth abscessed and the process of getting that fixed has derailed travel this week.

But that didn’t stop us from celebrating her birthday Sunday evening before Michael and Kay left for East Tennessee without us!  My brother John and his wife Jeanne participated from afar as we gifted mom with some green stuff to go shopping!  It looks like Michael got the giggles watching mom blow out the candles!

As I am writing this blog post she received this lovely floral arrangement from dear friends, Catherine and Russ.  I couldn’t resist a quick photo!

Now … on to the cake! When the latest Southern Living magazine arrived I immediately knew I wanted a Hummingbird Cake for mom’s birthday.

First of all, she is enthralled with hummingbirds and much of our spring is spent waiting for them to arrive.  In the summer we watch them daily and in the fall we sadly say goodbye.

Mom has even had her great-grandkids on hummingbird watch!  All winter my hummingbird-watching mom wonders if they will be back in the spring!

Last fall my Chief Dessert Tester and I decided to cut out most sugar in our diets by cutting out desserts.  (I know!  Me? No sugar?)  So, I knew if I started baking a cake she would know something was up.  That is when I asked my neighbor and blogging partner, Abby Hughes to make the Southern Living Hummingbird Cake.  Abby is an accomplished chef, baker, and extremely good friend.  Quickly she said “sure!”

Abby made the cake and secretly brought it over the night before Michael and Kay arrived.  Whew!  Mom didn’t suspect a thing!

Since the Hummingbird Cake recipe originally ran in 1978, it has become the most requested recipe in Southern Living history.  Besides the usual suspects of flour, sugar, and eggs, this cake includes oil instead of butter, giving it an almost quick-bread like texture.  Undrained, crushed pineapple adds flavor and keeps the batter moist.  Chopped bananas are a surprise ingredient.  But the real southern flavor comes from the toasted, chopped pecans! Yum!  A cream cheese frosting is the perfect covering.  Abby added her own flair with edible glitter!  Beautiful and tasty!

The updated recipe is found here and includes a quick video that shows how easy it is to make this from-scratch cake!

1976 Paulsen Family Photo! Left to Right, Steve, Cathy, Dale, Mike, Alice, and John

With each passing year, we thank God for the life of our mother and father.  This year is no different when we remember our father and our brother Steve who have gone to Heaven before us.

This was our 2014 family reunion photo from Fort Robinson Nebraska.  We look forward to another reunion this summer.  We love you, mom!

Happy Birthday mom and many more!

Love and blessings,
~Catherine

 

2018 Farm Dinners!

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When I posted about the Edible Nashville Farm Dinner, several of you were asking about how to get tickets for the next one.  They have just released the dates for the 2018 Farm Dinners and you’re invited!  I hope you can attend one of these fabulous feasts hosted by Edible Nashville.  But hurry! Tickets go fast!

Here are the links to purchase tickets:

April 21, 2018

July 21, 2018

Oct. 27, 2018

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