Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Grandma's Okra Recipe

We are finally having some cool weather here in Texas, and I am loving it! I am so welcoming the breezy evenings with my windows open, sweater weather, and my kid's long sleeve jammies. I just love those.
But, the one thing I know I will miss about the summer weather, is my garden.
 I come from a family of gardeners. My grandpa has always had a garden. I have many childhood memories of going and helping him pick carrots, tomatoes, and trying to pick the blackberries off the bush without getting stickers in my fingers. The gardening continued with my dad and mom, who built us a garden at their house, and we have kept one every year since middle school. Now that I am on my own, with my own family, I decided it was time to plant one for us, and to start teaching Taylor & Wyatt some gardening tips.

This spring we planted tomatoes, green beans, okra, squash, zuchinni, jalapenos, and cucumbers. Even in the extreme drought of summer, we managed to harvest quite a few vegetables that were so very tasty!

 My okra plants have done the best. They love the hot weather.

Today I am going to share with you a favorite recipe from my grandma. Okra & Tomatoes. What I love about this recipe is that it is a perfect fall meal! Almost like a soup, you can enjoy it to warm you up on a cool evening.  A perfect way to use up the last of those okra crops before they freeze!

What You'll Need:
Bacon (2-3 slices)
Small Onion
1 Can Petite Diced Tomatoes
Season Salt
Tony's Creole Seasoning

First step, pick and wash your okra!
Then, cut up okra in small pieces.

While cutting up your okra, start browning some bacon in a pan. For this size recipe I used two slices.
Once  the bacon is partially browned, add some onion and simmer.
Once the onions are softened, then you add your okra! (Your kitchen should be smelling delicious by now.) Season with salt, pepper, and Tony's to taste. I love to cook with Tony's. It adds the perfect kick to any recipe. You can add as little or as much as you like depending on how spicy you want your okra...

Lastly, add your tomatoes and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until your okra is thoroughly cooked and tender.

Serve this hot recipe up with some cornbread and you have got yourself a yummy treat for a cold day.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dear 16 Month Old Wyatt...

My sweet Wyatt, 
As of Friday, you are officially 16 months old.  
You are the sweetest, most loving boy, and continually bless us each and every day. 

You are running around all the time, and would prefer to stay outside all day if I would let you. 
The weather just turned a bit cooler, and we have some beautiful evenings to play outside. It's momma's favorite time of day.

You love to run and play in the backyard, in the sandbox, and on the swing set.
I cannot keep shoes on you. 

Your sister is your best friend. 

Whatever she is doing you like to be right there with her. 

You just recently have taken an interest in books. Taylor is beginning to learn most of her letters, so she loves to show you books and teach you what she knows. 

You are starting to talk more. 
You say momma, dada, ball, milk, night night, sister, more, ow-side, deer, and my favorite: what's that :) you also say "mi" for mimi, you can say oma, ba ba for ba paw, and am-ma for the great grandmas. When it is time to brush your teeth, ((which you love by the way)) you say teeth-teeth and start grinning.
You like to jabber a lot of other words as well, and I just nod my head and pretend to understand what you are saying. :) 
You love to blow kisses, and you have the most adorable wave to say bye bye.

You just spent a weekend at your Oma's house, and you love to be there with all your cousins. You and your cousin Cassidy are only 7 months apart and she loves you to pieces. 

Sometimes you can be a bit of a momma's boy, but I am not complaining. :) Cuddles are hard to come by with you, so I will take all the extra I can get.
 Even though you want me quite a bit, you and your sister are so in love with your daddy. At the end of the day you can recognize his truck coming down the road, and you, Tay, and Fifi all run to the window, eager to greet him. He barely has time to get his boots off before you both are tackling him, ready to play.

Your daddy loves you so much and is so proud of you. He can't wait to teach you how to hunt, fish, and throw a football. 
You love to go out to the garage with him and "help" work on whatever he is doing.

 You look just like him and I can tell you, you will continue to grow up to be a handsome man. I am a blessed momma. 
I love you sweet boy. Happy 16 month birthday.

Love, Momma  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rainy Market Days

This weekend was so much fun. 
We certainly had the rainiest weekend to date this year, here in the dry state of Texas.
But, oh my goodness. It was simply amazing!

My grandma's sister (my great Aunt Joyce) was visiting for the week and my mom and I had plans to take them out on a fun day somewhere.
We decided on Boerne Market Days
My mom and I like to frequent Boerne often. There are so many quaint little shops, and you are always bound to find something unique. Especially when they host market days. Seeing as how my Aunt had never been, we were excited to take her. 

Friday night, the hubby, kids, and I, packed it up and went to have a sleepover at my mom's house. I have found that waking up at my mom's house to leave somewhere early, is alot easier than trying to drag my 2 non-morning people kiddos, out of the house before 10 AM. 

Here is Taylor. . . not sleeping. (clearly) :)
Saturday morning. 6 AM I woke up to the unfamiliar sound of rain on the roof! Thinking our plans might be washed out, I fell back asleep. My mom came in at 9 and woke me up saying that the rain had stopped and let's get a move on it! We were burning daylight! (her favorite phrase, the one I have been hearing since I was a little girl. . .) And up we went! 

We arrived to Boerne, encountering only a little rain on the way. We made it through two booths, before the rain started up. Immediately we all tried to huddle under the safety of the little pop up tent. 4 women, and 2 strollers, I'd say we overcrowded the poor woman's display space.
The rain stopped, and we continued on our stroll. Then the rain came again. Commence huddling. This process continued for about 30 minutes, but we were having a lot of fun!
The kids have barely experienced any rainfall in their lives, so they were eating it up. Who doesn't love splashing in the rain? :)

The rain stopped for quite a while, and we were able to walk up and down main street, going in and out of the different shops.

Wyatt (like most men) had his fill of shopping, and fell asleep on us.

 We were planning on stopping for ice cream, when a bigger, black cloud seemed to be making it's way over to us.

That is when we decided to head to the safety of our vehicle and go for Dairy Queen. :) 
On our way home we saw a full rainbow. God's promise in action. I love it. 

I am thankful for the rain, and for the awesome weekend I got to spend with my family. 

Every day I am thankful for my mom and the fun times we share. 

I love that my kids get to grow up with their Great Grandparents. 

I loved watching Aunt Joyce play with the kids, and them get to spend time with their Great-Great Aunt. 

It was a beautiful weekend.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Happy October!

October is here! I can honestly say where did the time go. A few months ago when Hobby Lobby started putting their Christmas decorations out, I thought it was absurd.. Christmas in July?! But now it is October, and Christmas is 80 days away! (But who is counting... ;))
Yesterday was one of my favorite weather days. A cool 62 degrees when I woke up in the morning, I opened all the windows, and enjoyed the nice breeze, and a chance for some fresh air to circulate through the house. When John got home he told me it smelled like fall. I asked him what does fall smell like? And he said like the outside is on the inside of the house. Good description if you ask me! 
I love ALL things fall. 
One of my favorites is the SCENTS of fall. Cinnamon, pumpkin, spices. So yummy. 
Scentsy has satisfied my addiction for a yummy smelling house. Some of my favorites are
Cinnamon Vanilla (My absolute favorite!)

Baked Apple Pie

Central Park Pralines (mmmm)

Pumpkin Roll

All of these make my house smell DELICIOUS... 

Some other things I love about fall.

I love open windows and cool breezes.

Fall colors.

Opening my back door to let the kids run in and out from the backyard.

The fact that it is cool enough to enjoy, but still warm enough to wear shorts, garden, and enjoy your roses for a little bit longer. (gotta love Texas)

Driving with the windows down (partially due to the fact that when Wyatt gets to crying in his carseat sometimes the only thing that consoles him is the window down. The boy loves the outdoors.)

Craft and decorating time with my momma.

Weekends with my mom when the boys go hunting :)

Evenings outside with the kids and John, riding bikes, 4 wheelers, and taking walks. 

Baking cookies and brownies.

Eating my sister's banana bread :)

Our yearly trip to the pumpkin patch with my babies.

Our yearly trip to Canton! Woo hoo! 

Speaking of Canton, check out this awesome little cart I found for my front porch! I cannot wait to decorate it for FALL! :)

And so much more... Fall is my favorite season.

What are your favorite things about fall?