The Shady Porch: 08.14

8.31.2014

Faith Comes By Hearing #52

Choose friends carefully way of wicked leads astray Proverbs12:26


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Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs
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8.30.2014

Queso Blanco Cheese Dip: Slow Cooker

We've always enjoyed making our gatherings into events, whether it's a game day, birthday, or holiday, we like to go big. Early in the day, the slow cookers are already heating the sides, the grill or smoker is hot with the main course, the fridge is chilling the dessert, and the hubby has already set up the inflatable mascot in the front yard. Mealtime is either halftime or just after the final whistle, depending on kickoff.
But I find that the forgotten ingredient in many gatherings are the snacks that fill the gaps between seated meals. This is where I rely on my smallest slow cooker and this recipe for Queso Blanco Dip. 

Queso Blanco Dip and Chips
Queso Blanco Dip and Chips...ready for a party!

8.27.2014

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

The hubby is a big fan of barbecue sauce and dry rubs. He likes to use both on his wings, ribs, and chicken. We usually rub the meat the night before (regardless of method - smoker, grill, or, as we did here, slow cooker), then cook it dry. About an hour from the end of cooking, add the barbecue sauce to add another layer of flavor. This rub-sauce combination is savory without being hot...just right in my book. The house fills with a mouthwatering aroma from these Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs. The slow cooking method just makes the process so convenient and fail proof. The ribs are fall off the bone tender and delicious. 

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs
Fall off the bone...finger lickin' good!

8.25.2014

What's For Supper: Menu August 25, 2014

This week I have to purchase chicken breasts for the Cobb Salad and the Chicken Strata Divan. I already have the smoked sausage  as well as the ground beef (sirloin). I had a big package of pork chops last week, so I had 3 chops left over that I cut into strips for the stir fry this week. With 4 proteins already on hand, my shopping is simplified. As a practice, I try to buy 2 proteins (chicken, pork, beef, etc) when on sale and freeze one for later use. When I check the sales, if I cannot find a second...well, this week we are covered.
Shepherd's Pie is a great recipe using mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots, and corn; during garden season, this is a great way to use leftovers that are not full servings, thus cleaning out the fridge while making a family favorite.

What's For Supper: Menu August 25, 2014
What's For Supper: Menu August 25, 2014

8.24.2014

Faith Comes By Hearing #51

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work unto the Lord, then it will succeed.
 
 
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Easy Game Day Snack Mix
 
 
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8.22.2014

Homemade Creamed Corn: easy and delicious

This recipe evokes memories of my Nana's dinner table. She often had a skillet of corn cooking on the the stove top at suppertime.  This Homemade Creamed Corn recipe is easy to make and truly delicious..."good, ol' fashioned, down-home eatin'" is what we call it. I am not a fan of canned creamed corn, but this recipe is among my favorite side dishes! 


Homemade Creamed Corn: easy and delicious
Down Home Good Eatin'...Pork chops, Party Beans and Homemade Creamed Corn

8.20.2014

Easy Game Day Snack Mix

The new football season is fast approaching at our house. The hubby's school starts its season Friday, and college football is coming right behind. Although the QB for our favorite college team is already out for the season, we love watching NCAA football (I'm not a fan of the NFL but the fellas are). Game day Saturdays are always fun due to the hype, the food, and, most importantly, the camaraderie. There are some that would argue that the food is more important, and I DO enjoy making these occasions festive by trying out new recipes and getting all the feedback. Although today's recipe is a great Game Day Snack Mix that goes really fast....at least at my house...it's great to have around to satisfy that salty-sweet snack craving that hits from time-to-time as well. 

Ready for Game Day!

8.18.2014

What's For Supper: Menu August 18, 2014

Now that school has started again, I am adjusting to our new routine, which means bringing back organization and structure. Everything goes a little haywire when we enjoy the freedom from schedule and routine during the summer break and the most visible victim of our laxness is the budget and that is due to the lack of meal planning. We tend to eat out much more in the summer ("Hey," the hubby says, "how about picking up takeout and heading for the park for an impromptu picnic?") and the budget goes out the window. So I thought I would hold my (our) feet to the fire (so to speak) by making my weekly menu part of the blog. I hope it will help inspire others that need to get budget-serious and maybe pass a new family-favorite recipe on as well.

Menu Plan for August 18th - 24th

8.17.2014

Faith Comes By Hearing #50

You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.” -Isaiah 25:4a


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A Garden Stroll: Flowers & Vegetables

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8.15.2014

Refreshing Fruity Beverage: Roy Rogers

A refreshing beverage is one of life's joy spots, like taking a nap, reading a good book, or a receiving a spontaneous hug from a child. It revives and stimulates you for another round. This summer we decided to experiment with some new beverages (we do not use alcohol, so these are called mocktails), and, since we love lemonades and other fruit-flavored drinks in the summer, I purchased a grenadine syrup (a staple at bars for traditional cocktails), Grenadine is a fruit juice concentrate and just a little adds a full, sweet flavor to the beverage. It can also be used to flavor water as well...which I believe may be healthier than the powder packets. The first drink I prepared was called a Roy Rogers after the wholesome, old-time singer/actor known as the King of the Cowboys who, coincidentally, grew up just a few miles down the Ohio River from our house. 
This new cooler will be a steady presence in our fridge for the remainder of the summer, and likely a movie night treat through the fall and winter.  



8.12.2014

A Garden Stroll: Flowers and Vegetables

It's been awhile since we've strolled around the Shady Porch and talked about the gardens. We continue to add to the flower gardens, and we've been experimenting with the vegetable garden, as well...both with seed selection and water and drainage issues. I'll show you how things turned out this year so you can see for yourself our hits and misses.

Garden Time: Flowers and Vegetables

8.10.2014

Faith Comes By Hearing #49


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Cinnamon Bun Pie...oh so good!
Cinnamon Bun Pie...oh so good!

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8.08.2014

Chicken Soft Taco Casserole

Here's a recipe that comes together so quickly and easily, you will truly have time for all the evening events on your busy schedule. It should come as no surprise that it starts with a slow cooker...the busy cook's best friend. 
This Chicken Soft Taco Casserole uses flour tortillas with a chicken-vegetable filling with Mexican flavor topped with layers of cheese. This casserole pairs well with flavored rice, a garden salad, or chips and cheese. It is budget- and time-friendly, as well as hearty and delicious.  

a serving of Chicken Soft Taco Casserole
Chicken Soft Taco Casserole...easy, hearty, and delicious

8.05.2014

Cinnamon Bun Pie...oh so good!

The delicious bouquet of warm sugar & cinnamon is really popular in potpourri, candles, and a seemingly endless variety of products. A single whiff of Cinnamon Bun Pie - just as it comes out of the oven - is all the evidence needed to prove it's worth making just for the wonderful aroma! But what takes the aroma experience to the next level? Flavor, of course. The taste of this delight is divine. When it's still warm, I cannot think of many things more delicious.  Cinnamon Bun Pie, paired with a cup (or two) of your favorite coffee, makes a fine breakfast treat, or can stand on its own as a dessert. It is SO easy-to-make with a minimal list of ingredients. It's definitely on my house guest menu because it's sure to impress.

8.03.2014

Faith Comes By Hearing #48

Luke 24 Didn't our hearts burn within us when He talked...

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17 Favorite Family Reunion Recipes
17 Favorite Family Reunion Recipes

Ten Movie Night Snack Recipes - Spicy, Sweet and Salty!
Flashback Post
Ten Movie Night Snack Recipes - Spicy, Sweet and Salty!

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8.01.2014

Baked Mozzarella-Parmesan Meatballs..supper in a snap!

Let's be real...we know fast food is expensive and, honestly, most of us choose the drive through for convenience and time. Fear not! I have good news; there are easy-to-make meals at home that will not tax your wallet or your time! You don't have to make everything from scratch to cook great meals at home. Today's recipe can be assembled using products already packaged at your grocer. One pass through the freezer section, the bread aisle, and the dairy coolers and you are on your way to a hearty meal that will be ready in less than an hour, and feed your family for a fraction of the bill at the burger joint. These Baked Mozzarella-Parmesan Meatballs make a great meatball sub supper or you can pair the meatballs with a bowl of your favorite hot pasta.

Baked Mozzarella-Parmesan Meatballs..supper in a snap!