4th of July Photo Journal – Dive Club

I saw a meme on Facebook the other day saying something to the effect, 4th of July is over, it’s now time to get your Halloween costumes, your Thanksgiving menu, Christmas Presents, and we’re basically at the New Year, Happy 2020. Truthfully I might have giggled a little too much because… the way this year has been flying by, that almost seems real! Here we are 5 days past the 4th of July. Hello, July 9. We’re quickly approaching the dawg days of summer. It is finally getting hot and humid in Missouri. Yes, we have humidity. Yes, it’s horrible. You walk out of your house and feel like you’ve just walked out of the shower. It’s nuts.

Spring has been crazy around here. Tornadoes on top of tornadoes. Rain and flooding. Cooler temperatures… you name it, we’ve probably seen it. Except for a Hurricane. If we see a hurricane in Missouri, we have real problems. Did you know I’m only just a few hours away from the dead middle point of the U.S.? It’s up on the Kansas border near Nebraska. I’ve never been there although that’s on my list of things to do someday. Why not… 

I actually live in a part of Missouri where within 30 minutes you can be further into Missouri, into Oklahoma or Kansas or Arkansas. And there is a point over near here where you can be standing on the border of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. 3 states in one swoop. Honestly, I’ve never been there either although I’ve always been within a mile or so of it. Why I never stop I have no idea.

This year because the 4th of July fell when it did, we got to celebrate twice. Once with our diver friends and again with my husband’s extended family. I overheard that some people think the 4th of July is only about bbq’s, fireworks, and spending time with family. That’s totally inaccurate. It’s about the birthday of our country. On July 4th, 1776 our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence freeing us from British control. It was only after a horrific battle called the Revolutionary War was fought and won. Just thought I’d throw that very broad, basic explanation out there for anyone who might be confused. Do they not teach that in schools anymore? Although the person who made the previous claim is closer to my age than not. I’m really confused.

4th of July

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Pigu {Italian Gougères}

Here while back, I came across a recipe for Pigu. What the heck is Pigu I wondered? Well, basically it is a little dough like thing filled with romano cheese. You start out by making the dough much like noodles, but I almost think it comes out tasting more like bread than a noodle dough. Basically, it is like an Italian Gougères.

Okay, I’ll bite (for you)… what is a Gougères? It is a choux pastry flavored with cheese (usually Gruyère), then usually filled with a savory filling.

So, we have dough, check.

We have cheese, check.

Well, it’s like an Italian Gougères, correct? We’re going to go with it and run! (more…)

Smoke on the Border

The big shindig… also known as… Smoke on the Border in Gravette, Arkansas. So, we made it. The boys signed up, we hauled everything down, and bam, we were entered. I say we loosely. I helped when they said they needed it or by washing their dishes, but this was all them!

Saturday was the People’s Choice event. Basically, people were allowed to come and walk through the 2 streets blocked off for the event. If people had samples, obviously they could sample it. Samples were cut off around like 2 maybe. Then, the People’s Choice meat was dropped off to the church around the corner at 5 pm. People could buy wrist bands for $10 and they basically got all you can eat meat plus possible sides. Sunday was the main event. So they had the option of entering in 4 categories… pulled pork, brisket, ribs, and/or chicken. The awards were held at the Methodist Church as were all things turned in. And bam, it was all over but the cleanup. (more…)

Smoke off Prep

I’m pretty sure these days I meet myself coming and going. I try not to but dang. Anyway, last week I mentioned something about a BBQ/Smoked meats thing. Well here are the details… FINALLY! 

So we started hanging out with our dive friends in 2013 when we met them. It wasn’t an immediate BAM, we’re friends, but pretty darn close. So throughout the last couple of years, hubby and Jared have been smoking different types of meats for different events. Events include just a night in with friends to dive club meetings to events for the Red Coaters at Chiefs Stadium. The big leagues… in our books anyway.

They have been honing in on our their meat preparations. Wow, that sounds weird. ha! Anyway, last fall they went to Kansas City to a Chiefs game and actually cooked for 60+ Red Coaters and family. Then the leftover meats, they tried passing out to passer byes. A lot of people around our hangouts really like their brisket and pulled pork and chicken, etc, so they told them they needed to start entering contests. (more…)

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

Over the weekend I found myself in Gravette, Arkansas. We were at a BBQ Smoking contest called Smoke on the Border. I’ll delve into that more in another post, but… as Hubby and Jared were moving stuff down on Friday afternoon, I found myself in the kitchen. I had it in my head I wanted to make something on the sweeter side, simply because of all that savory food I knew we were going to be eating over the weekend. That’s when I decided on Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites. Still a little savory from the dough, but that sweet side from the sugar and the heat from the cinnamon. Just seemed like the perfect combination.

Handheld little bites of yumminess. Although as you can see on my hand above, being in a zip lock bag, I brought some of that topping out on my hand for a nice dose of stickiness too. Hey… you win some… you lose some… and in this case, I’m pretty sure I won because hello YUM! (more…)

Just Retired Tiered Cake (Vanilla)

Just Retired Tiered Vanilla Cake

I sure hope you didn’t try to come to my blog last week. I woke up on Wednesday and would have sworn it was April Fool’s Day (by the way, I hate that day). When I came to the blog, it redirected me to some weird website.

It was trying to get me to click on a button to back up my Window’s machine. Well joke’s on them because I don’t have a window’s machine. But whatever. Anyway…

Over the weekend, I was able to knock 2 things off my Baking/Cooking Bucket List. I made a tiered cake which I haven’t done since I took cake decorating classes. And 2, I made a mirror glaze cake.

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Chicken Garlic Alfredo

Guys, when I made my baking/cooking bucket list, there were a few things included that I have done before. I just left them there though because I was modifying the list from Brown Eyed Baker for 1. For 2, I just hadn’t made them in a while and wanted to try my luck at them again.

This just so happened to be one of the items… Fettuccine Alfredo. Gosh, as a kid, I hated Spaghetti but loved Fettuccine Alfredo. My dad on the other hand wasn’t crazy about Alfredo, so really the only time I got it was when I went to a restaurant.

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Irish Soda Bread

Guys, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. Did you wear green? I did. I had on a t-shirt that said “Lucky Charms.” I also had on a sweatshirt that had green on it. Speaking of said sweatshirt, when I took it off I don’t know what I did with it… plus I don’t remember taking it off. Oy!

So Last week I showed you my list of 100+ things to bake. I’m kind of thinking of it as a 101 in 1001, but there really is no deadline… it’s also kind of like a bucket List. Either way, a lot of things I’d like to make. It’ll be fun! Especially when my new kitchen gets done! (Of course, we’ll have to move into the house also…)

But, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve always wanted to be that mom who celebrates all holidays. I fail miserably! But yesterday, Abug and I made Lucky Charms Cupcakes, I made Irish Soda Bread (on my list), and then we had Rubenish/Deli Style Nachos. I’d say between the shirt and the food I nailed this one!

Irish Soda Bread

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Baking/Cooking Bucket List

Everyone needs a good challenge in their life, am I right? I’ve gotten swept in watching all these baking and cooking shows. I swear, my favorite tends to be the Great American and Great British Baking shows. They have baked so many things I’ve never heard of, it’s kind of crazy. But that is what keeps us growing. So here is a modified version I snagged from Brown Eyed Baker.

I deleted a few things because, well… I don’t like baked beans and I’m not sure I want to make lamb… goes back to my years in FFA… But… I like the idea she had and there were even things on her list I’ve either a) never tried or b) never heard of, so I’m growing.

If I had the guts, I would take on Julia Child’s cookbook as Julie Powell did, but I just am not sure I could do that… some of those things we don’t get in rural America. If I lived in a bigger city, that might be a different story. So here goes nothing!

Yeast Goodies:
1. Focaccia bread 
2. Bagels 
3. English muffins 
4. Challah 
5. No-Knead bread
6. Ciabatta
7. Babka 
8. Kaiser rolls
9. Panettone 
10. Sourdough bread
11. Parker House Rolls
12. Olive oil bread
13. Baguettes
13. Croissants 
14. Doughnuts 
15. Yeasted Coffee Cake
16. Kouign Amann

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Triple Chocolate Cake

We’ve been working on our house, it feels like non-stop. Some days walking in there is so… almost depressing, but some days it feels like nothing is happening. It is… but it’s happening up in the attic where you just don’t see results other than more lights are popping up as well as electrical plugins. Oh… and an HVAC system. Heat… let there be heat!!

And I swear, our friends are the absolute BEST. We’ve had so much help from our dear, darling, beloved friends. There truly are NO WORDS to describe them! So, when I found out Shelby’s 21st birthday was yesterday, I knew I had to make her a cake!! (She’s newer to this bunch, this is why it was a new find of her birthday!)

Triple Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Homemade Strawberry Jam, and Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Chocolate Ganache

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