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Crock Pot Mac ‘n Cheese

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There are very few southern homes that don’t have a similar recipe to this one.  This is a holiday basic around here and a side dish that my kids (as well as my husband) beg me to make.

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Super Simple Ingredients:

  • 16 oz box elbow macaroni
  • 1 stick butter
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 Cups Half & Half
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3-4 Cups grated cheddar cheese

Boil the macaroni according to package directions.  Spray your crock pot insert with cooking spray.  Once macaroni is cooked, drain and add all ingredients to the crock pot.

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Stir ingredients together.  Place insert into crock pot and turn on low for 4 hours.  Stir once each hour.

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Yes, it is as creamy as it looks!

Enjoy!

T

 

Cheerwine Ice Cream

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This is a Carolina classic homemade ice cream recipe that I love!

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Ingredients:

4 eggs

2 Cups half & half

2 Cups sugar

10 ounce jar Maraschino Cherries (with juice)

2 3/4 Cups Cheerwine Soda

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 (13 oz) can evaporated milk

Milk (as needed)

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Whisk together eggs and half & half in the top of a double boiler.

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Place double boiler on stove and continue stirring or whisking until eggs mixture is heated through then add sugar.  Stir until dissolved and take off heat.

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Stir in sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk.

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Pour in jar of cherries as well as liquid.  Place this in the refrigerator until chilled.

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Add Cheerwine Soda to the chilled mixture and pour into Ice Cream Freezer container.

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Add enough milk to raise mixture to “fill” line.

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Now comes the hardest part.  The wait!  Especially when you have 4 children asking every few minutes, how much longer!

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Enjoy!  T

Grape Salad

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My 4th of July contribution to the potluck dinner and fireworks show!  I never have leftovers.

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Super Simple Ingredients:

2 lbs. red and/or green grapes

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

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Rinse grapes and pat dry with paper towels.

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Combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

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Combine grapes and cream cheese mixture together.

Now for the topping!

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1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup chopped pecans

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Mix these well and sprinkle over top of grape salad and serve.

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So very good!

Enjoy!  T

Dabbling in Family Photography

Taking pictures of people is not my most favorite subject.  Clouds, rust and close-ups are the thing for me but how can I resist a prego mama wanting to capture her last week of pregnancy and then first weeks of her baby.  I couldn’t say no.

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Landon 5-30-13

I did get a chance with the close-ups knowing they wanted a collage of little baby fingers and toes and mouth and nose.  My favorites!

My Granddaddy

I took a photography class back in January and learned a ton of things to help my picture-taking improve.  But the one thing that stands out in my mind today is something my teacher told us over and over again.  She said that you never know when a picture of a loved one will be the last one you take.

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A few weeks ago I posted a tribute to my grandmama and the impact she has had on my life in so many ways but mostly that of a wife.  Each time I took a trip to Tennessee to visit with my “Grands” I always told myself it might be the last time I will see them.

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Last Friday after eating their lunch together,  Grandmama told Granddaddy to go lay down while she cleaned the kitchen.  He laid down and went to sleep and didn’t wake back up.

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Now, while I loved my Granddaddy very much and will miss him in my life, that is not where my sorrow is focused.  He was 91 years old and lived a GREAT life.  He used his talents and abilities for those he loved and never asked anything in return.  He was truly a good and Godly man.

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No, the grief that I feel is for my Grandmama alone.  You see, my Grands were married for 71 years.  A friend who spoke at the funeral said it best when he said that when you are married to someone for that  long, you don’t know anymore where one ends and the other begins.  You are one.

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There are many times in my life when I have felt helpless and this was one time.  I stood by my Grandmama during the funeral and burial praying with all my heart that I could take away a piece of her grief.  Just some of it so that she wouldn’t seem so alone and lost.

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She wrapped her life around his until his wishes and desires were hers and hers were his.  Everyday was spent together as one. She told me later that she doesn’t really know what to do without him.  My heart breaks for her and my prayer each moment is that joy and peace and hope will fill her up again.

White out

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So I was pretty much off my feet for over a week… well as off my feet as a mama of 4 can be…. in order to give my ankle a chance to heal.  My fall happened 2 weeks ago today and I am pretty much back to my old self besides a dull ache in my foot when I have been off it for too long.

Anyway, the first morning after my fall, I stayed in bed and iced down my ankle and kept it elevated and compressed.. doing all I could to get it back as fast as I could.  So my youngest son, having such compassion for my miserable state decided to keep me company in bed.

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What we woke to that Saturday morning was another snowfall for our area.  Big, fat snowflakes slowly drifted to the ground.  We were despairing because nothing was sticking and the temperature wasn’t low enough to keep them around.

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Within the hour, the temperature dropped and the snow started piling up.  Living in the south, this is a sight that will keep anyone between the ages of 2 and 99 glued to the scene.  Knowing that the afternoon would force this scene to disappear, I got out my camera and made my way very slowly downstairs to get as many pictures as I could.

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So those of you who live with this scene throughout your winters, please disregard this post because this is not something we get but once or twice a year if we are lucky and it will literally only last hours.

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I hobbled and crawled my way back upstairs and snuggled back under my blankets to get warm again.  By that afternoon, the sun was out, the snow was melted and there was not a trace of the beautiful white storm that had passed through.