Monday, June 30, 2014

Cucumber Salad over Lemon Pepper Chicken

There's an Indian restaurant in town who has a House Salad that is SO GOOD.  I've always referred to it as "Cucumber Salad" but it also has corn and green bell peppers tossed in a thin ranch dressing.

I made a variation of that last night at dinner at Mom's house to go with the Lemon Pepper Chicken she made. It was DELICIOUS.  We didn't have a bell pepper on hand, but we had a can of Medium Rotel.  It added a little extra kick to the otherwise cool salad.

You can eat this as a side, or pour it over chicken like we did!

2 medium cucumbers, diced
1 can yellow corn, drained, with 1/3 cup drained water set aside
1 can Rotel, drained (or diced tomatoes for a milder taste)
1/3 cup ranch dressing

Toss the cucumbers, yellow corn, and Rotel in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the ranch dressing and drained water from the can of corn.  Pour over the diced veggies and toss.

That's IT! So simple, and SO tasty! :) Enjoy!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

52 Card Pick Me Up!

Each Saturday morning at our workout class at church. I try to write an exercise plan that is adaptable for various levels as fitness, and that is fun. This week's was one of my favorites! I picked four exercises (specifically, one primarily cardio-focused, one upper body, one lower body, and one whole body) and assigned each one to a suit in the deck of cards. We set the timer for 30 minutes, but finished the deck in 28 1/2 minutes! :) In the end, we did at least 91 jumping jacks, 91 burpees, 91 push-ups, and 91 flutter kicks! (I don't remember which two cards we had to repeat due to drawing the joker card). 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Honeysuckle Jelly & Soothing Throat Syrup






It's summer y'all...
Time for another batch of Honeysuckle Jelly!

You know the tiny drop of liquid goodness (ok, nectar…but it's delicious) that you get from one honeysuckle blossom?  Multiply that by a spoonful, and that's what it's like to have honeysuckle jelly on toast. mmmmm….. :)

I first made this Honeysuckle Jelly a few years ago when the house we moved into had honeysuckle all along the wood line in the back yard.  It started because we were looking for a Honeysuckle Ice Cream recipe (still haven't made that).…it's become a family favorite.

When we moved into the house we're in now, I was incredibly excited because there were two bushes in the back yard with honeysuckle vines in addition to two more sections in the back of the yard with honeysuckle.  I made a batch and gave jars to family members, then waited for the next year to come around to make more.  Big mistake….apparently, honeysuckle (and pecans?) show up every other year….and all of our honeysuckle are on the same rotation it seems.  This year I've learned from my mistake and am not letting this year's "harvest" go to waste! :)

I'm about to make another batch in the next day or I thought I'd post the recipe I found and am using for future reference.

I use this recipe at New Life On A Homestead, but I double everything so that I can use a full pack of liquid pectin in each batch.  I get 7 half pints of jelly each time (not filled completely to the rim)…and they go fast! :D

I also like to make cute labels for my jars. :)  I just cut a circle of scrapbook paper,
wrote the name and date on there, and put the lid back on the jar.

Oh yes, and I reuse clean jars….like those miniature baby food jars. :D

I always have extra honeysuckle water/infusion/tea/wonderful-smelling-liquid-from-steeping.  I keep this in my fridge in a jar and add it to hot tea as a sweetener (mmmmmm…..) and I make a batch of honeysuckle syrup for my sister.  At the beginning of every summer, she gets a scratchy throat from the excessive amount of pollen we have around our houses.  She swears by this syrup to help soothe her throat.  The first time I made her a batch, she drank it like water haha! (Not recommended because then it will be all gone too fast!)

Honeysuckle Soothing Throat Syrup

1 cup Honeysuckle infusion
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon honey (preferably local honey, if available)
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Heat the honeysuckle infusion and water on medium heat, so that it's somewhere between simmering and boiling.  Add the honey and lemon juice and stir until the honey is well combined with the infusion.  Let cool and pour into a bottle to keep in the refrigerator.  Drink about 2 tablespoons (warm or cold, but warm is more soothing) or add to hot tea and enjoy!