Well we are home from a week at Pedernales Falls State Park and as always it was a blast! The weather was perfect and since the Hill Country has been getting so much rain lately, the park was brimming full of beautiful flowers and the Falls were rushing with water.
If you have never been to this state park, and you like camping, you need to go, seriously. It is the most beautiful state park ever! Google it and you’ll see what I mean.
The first two pictures were taken at another one of my most favorite places, Krause Springs. It is a natural cold spring that is privately owned by the Krause family, as it is on their property, but they generously allow visitors and campers for a good portion of the year. You can swim all day for only $4 and the beauty is just breathtaking. They have picnic tables and grills for those who want to spend the day (and believe me it’s worth it) and you can even camp there over night for a small fee. I didn’t get any pictures of it, but they also have a beautiful butterfly garden full of flowers and plants on the property as well. This is a place that you must visit before you die, especially if you are the outdoor type.
All the camp food was delicious! Below are the recipes I promised everyone. The Drunken Chicken and Sour Cream noodles come highly recommended, both from myself and my husband.
Dave was blown away at the beauty of the park (he had never been) and is now dead set on moving close to there when he gets a promotion, which let me tell you, there will be no argument from me…I’ve been dying to move to Austin since I first went there with my mom in 6th grade.
In other news, I got back to the daily grind early this morning, with cleaning the house and running errands. I went and bought groceries at wal-mart and when I went down the cleaning aisle what else would have stared me in the face but a Turquoise Dyson for only $378. I want it sooo badly, I think I even like this color better than the purple, only because it’s so bright and cheery and just begs to be used. The temptation to buy it was huge, because Dave got a credit card today (but it is ONLY for emergencies). We have had troubles with credit in the past, and so I’m always hesitant to buy things with it, but I’m torn about this item. We have no vacuum right now, and I have been borrowing the neighbors Dyson now for 4 months. I know how well it works and how easy it is to use, and I believe that the price is well worth the result. I’m also leaning towards getting it because we are about to move into a much larger place and I want to keep the carpet there really nice.
Should I put this item on the card and vow to put all my PPP money towards the payments, or should I just wait? Help me here ladies…I need some advice!
Ok, well here are the recipes. I hope everyone enjoys them as much as we did!
serves 420 minutes (or so) to makeYou will need:2 1/2 cups “instant” (Minute) Rice
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (fresh or frozen)
1 can (9 oz) Crushed Pineapple in Pineapple Juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup light rum
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1 teaspoon bottled chopped ginger
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
2 to 3 bunches scallions (green onions for 1 1/2 cups sliced)
1 can (5 oz) sliced water chestnuts
1. Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Meanwhile begin step 2. When the water boils add the rice, cover the pan, and remove from heat until ready to serve.
2. If the chicken is frozen, run it under hot water so you can remove any packaging. Place the chicken on a microwave-safe plate and microwave 2 minutes, uncovered, on high, to begin defrosting. Meanwhile, make a marinade in a medium-size bowl by combining half the crushed pineapple and all its juice, soy sauce, rum, garlic, and ginger. Stir with a whisk to blend.
3. Cut the chicken (fresh or partially defrosted) into bite-size pieces and add them to the marinade. Stir to coat an set aside. Start heating the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over low heat, while you slice the scallions (if you so choose), using all the white and enough of the tender green tops to make about 1 1/2 cups. Set aside.
4. Raise the heat under the skillet to high. Using a slotted spoon to reserve the marinade, life the chicken into the skillet and cook, stirring from time to time, for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch and the water in a small container that has a lid and shake well until the lumps disappear. Add the mixture to the reserved marinade.
5. Add the scallions to the skillet, stir, and continue to cook until the chicken is no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes. (Reduce the heat to medium-high if necessary.) While the chicken cooks, drain the water chestnuts.
6. Add the water chestnuts and marinade to the skillet and stir to mix well. Cook until your sauce is thick, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.(If your sauce becomes too thick at this point, stir in small amounts of water or pineapple juice gradually to reach your desired consistency.) Serve at once over a bed of rice.
Beefy Noodles with Sour Cream Sauce
serves 4 generously
20 minutes to make
You will need:
2 cups (8oz) ziti
1 lb ground beef (fresh)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large onion
2 cups V-8
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1. Place the ziti in 2 1/2 quarts of already boiling unsalted water and cook until tender. 12 to 14 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Peel and coarsely chop the onion, adding it to the pan as you chop. Add the beef to the skillet and raise the heat to high. Cook, turning and breaking up the meat, and when it begins to crumble and brown, add the mushrooms (if you would like). Cook until their juice is released and the beef is completely browned, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the V-8, ketchup, garlic powder, celery salt, and Italian seasoning. Stir well to mix, then reduce heat to medium-low.
3. Simmer the mixture while the ziti finishes cooking, stirring from time to time. Immediately drain the ziti, add it to the skillet, and stir well to mix. Stir in the sour cream (to make the sauce extra creamy add a couple extra spoonfuls) and any salt or pepper, cook for 1 minute more to heat through. Remove from heat and serve.