Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What the Beck???

Happy Belated Birthday to my sister, Diane!  
(Her birthday was the 28th)
Baby Shower for my niece, Lindsay

 My Mom and my godchild and niece, Maddie

In front my sisters Kim and Susan
In back, Karen and Abbie

Brandy, my niece and past  food critic

Lindsay's Mom, Patti and my niece, Alaina

On the right is Lindsay, the Mom-to-be
and her surrogate Mom, Kyle

My nieces, Heather and Brandy

Josie, and my niece, Maddie

I loved this picture with Alaina.

My sister, Babette
Oodles and oodles of baby clothes and toys

Babette, Marty, and Kyle


It was a great shower. Thanks so much for your hard work, Brandy.
Okay Lindsay, the next step is to deliver my newest nephew, Carden

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

What the Beck???

Livingston County Courthouse

            Last week, I continued working on my family genealogy. I am now going a little further south to Pontiac, Illinois. I found no information at the LaSalle County Courthouse, so I am now going to the second courthouse that has to do with Streator, Illinois.  This clerk’s office is in the original building which is beautiful. 

I thought the building was breathtaking!

The hallways were dark, but I think you
can see the beautiful ornate ceiling.

The floor was amazing, too.  

Whoa Baby!

        I did find some family information.  I located my Grandparent's marriage certificate and paid $3.00 to get my own copy.  I also verified that my great-grandparent's first names were Mathew and Emma.  Now, I just need to look for those two names as parents in the Birth Records.  This means that I will have to look at every baby born between 1884 and 1903 and find an Amiel, Frieda, and David Whose parent's names are Mathew and Emma, and then discover their last name.  Wish me luck!  This will take at least two more days.
      Of course, they never had to register the birth of their children with the county.  The birth of a baby was not law until 1916 - so here's prayin' they went to the clerk's office!

Bucket List Update
Academy Award Nominated Movies

1997             Titanic
                  starring:: Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet
                  plot – The amazing story of the “unsinkable Titanic.”
                  I have seen many movies about the Titanic, but it is obvious                   how this one won the Academy Award for best picture. There                   were so many stars that I only listed the two main characters.                   Everything about this movie was just spectacular.  I can’t                   believe that I waited this long to see it.

1940             The Long Voyage Home
                  starring: John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Barry Fitzgerald, and                          Ward Bond
                  plot – The story about the men who worked aboard a                        freighter in the prewar years.
                  This one was too slow for me, and the topic is not really my                   cup of tea.

1975              Barry Lyndon
                  starring: Ryan O’Neal and Marisa Berenson
                  plot – The story of an adventurer on his journey in the army                        as a counterspy. It also showed his life as a                                 father/husband.
                  Good acting by Ryan O’Neal, but I didn’t really enjoy this one.                   This movie lost the Academy Award to One Flew Over the                   Cuckoo’s Nest.

1968             The Lion in Winter
                  starring: Katharine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole
                  plot – The life and times of King Henry the Second and his                        wife Eleanor of Aquitane.
                  It seemed like I was watching the longest play of all time.

1963             America America
                  starring: Stathis Giallelis and Frank Wolff
                  plot – A story written from the viewpoint of a Greek                                 immigrant who comes to the USA for a better life.
                  I liked this movie because it puts you in the role of                            understanding the difficulty the early immigrants experienced                   when arriving in the good ole’ USA.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

What the Beck???


Recipe Review
Today’s Recipe and Location: Sweet Potato Fries
Found in: The Pioneer Woman blog

I figured out that there are 178 calories, if 8 servings are made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

         I loved these fries! Before I began cooking Ree’s recipes, I had never even tried sweet potatoes. Now, I absolutely love them. I think that these have so much more flavor than regular old fries.  Try’em.

The ingredients that I used in the recipe

Chopping up the yummy sweet potatoes
I love the color

This is the marinade mix that coats the potatoes

After being coated in the marinade,
I spread them on a lined cookie sheet,
 and baked them until crispy but not burned

The final step is to make the dip

Grab a fry, dip and enjoy!
         Another recipe that will definitely always be included in my holiday cooking is her Sole Sweet Taters which is basically sweet potatoes covered with brown sugar, pecans and other goodness.  That recipe is in her holiday book.  Have you purchased all three of Ree’s books yet???  Why not???

Mini cheesecakes 

Talk about easy and quick to make in a hurry.
I used the Philadelphia Cheesecake Filling
(found in the cream cheese section of the grocery)
and put it in the premade mini graham cracker crusts
for a really quick dessert
Nicole helped me come up with possible toppings
(chocolate shavings, fresh or canned fruit, whipped cream....)
The possibilities are endless

I loved the taste of these mini pies and the calories were low!
A must for this girl!

Bucket List Update
Academy Award Nominated Movies

1932-33          Little Women
                  starring: Katharine Hepburn and Joan Bennett
                  plot – this is the fabulous classic about the lives of four                         sisters and their Mom.
                  Katharine Hepburn is the perfect Jo!  She was outstanding in                   this role. I loved every minute of this original movie.

2014             American Sniper
                  starring: Bradley Cooper
                  plot – this movie shows the horrors of war, and how hard it is                        for our soldiers to readjust to life at home. 
                  Bradley Cooper was amazing!  I had a hard time watching the                   violence, but it is a good reminder of what our troops are                   doing to protect out lives.

1934             Flirtation Walk
                  starring: Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler
                  plot – A West Point Cadet falls in love with his officer’s                            daughter in Hawaii.
                  This was a good movie, but it was a predictable plot. The                   acting was well done, however.

2014              Selma
                  starring: David Oyelowo, Carmin Ejogo, Oprah Winfrey
                  plot – A well written and acted story of the Civil Rights                         movement, and the violence in Selma.
                  This movie made me irate!  How could we (the white                   population) have been so hateful?  I understand that it was a                   different time, but the ignorance made me ashamed for our                   ancestors, and the choices they made in Selma.

1936             The Great Ziegfeld
                  starring: William Powell, Luise Rainer, Frank Morgan, and Ray                          Bolger
                  plot – The life and times of Florenz Ziegfeld.
                  I loved seeing the follies scenes. The costumes were beautiful                   and the music fabulous.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

                              What the Beck???

Recipe Review
Today’s Recipe and Location: Tortilla Rollups
Found in: The Pioneer Woman blog

I figured out that there are 221 calories,  if 6 servings are made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

I mixed up the cream cheese and herbs

I divided the cream cheese mixture into 6 servings

I love cream cheese!

Spread it out

Next, I added the meat and carrots

On went the cucumber - light and refreshing

This is a new discovery for me and I highly recommend it!
Avocados are not always great and I found these minis servings
at Costco. They are the perfect size for a sammy.
I froze the entire box (as you can see from the date)
Now, when I need some I just take out what I need!

It only takes about 15 minutes to thaw one out to use it

Spread on the guacamole!

Just roll'em up and refrigerate for about 30 minutes
         As I was rolling these up, I realized that this recipe seemed truly familiar.  When I finished making them, I went back in time and looked for the recipe, and sure enough I made these last summer.  This one is so wonderful that I am posting it again.  This is a great food to have made ahead and have just sitting in the fridge for a quick healthy snack on the go. I could see that kids would love this because it is yummy, has a great crunch, and is a healthy snack! 

Spider web

         The spiders are on the move, and searching for a way into your home!  ChemWise is coming this week to spray for spiders and check for mice.  I love this company!  They come three times a year to insure that I do not have any critters in or around the outside of my house.  They are also extremely reasonable in price.  Jenny, I owe you a huge thanks for hooking me up with this company!

This beautiful web is on the back corner of my house

I hate spiders, but this web fascinated me!

If you are interested in investigating ChemWise their info is:
630 - 236 - 1600
2600 Beverly Drive, Unit 106
Aurora, IL 60502

Tell them Becky Scent referred you!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

What the Beck???

Recipe Review
Today’s Recipe and Location:  Hot Cross Buns
Found in: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays
Pages:  89 - 92  Copyright:  2013 Harper Collins

I figured out that there are 408 calories,  if 24 servings are made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

         I really liked these buns. They do take some time to make, because I needed to allow time for the dough to rise initially. The dough took a little over an hour to rise up, so while I waited I made the spice-fruit mixture. I did not add the raisins, as I really don’t like them. Once it was done rising, I sprinkled on the spice mix atop the rolled out dough. Then, I refolded the dough and rolled it out again, and then repeated this process again.  The last step was to pinch off the dough and roll it into balls. One again, I had to let the rolls rise for about 45 minutes. Then, I coated each with an egg wash and baked them. The final step occured after the buns had completely cooled. Then I made the icing and drew an “X” across each bun.  They are so good and have a slight flavor of the cinnamon. These time consuming buns were worth the wait. They would be great with a hot cup of coffee or tea. 

The ingredients

Mix and heat the liquids

Add the flour and dry ingredients

Here's the dough

Mix the spices and set aside

Add more flour into the dough

Form the dough into balls

After they rise, apply the blurry egg wash

Bake until golden brown

Make your X

Ready to enjoy!

                They were a hit with Michael Serpico!

Ballard Creek at Potawatomie Park

         Last weekend, the Ballard Creek Band played at Potawatomie Park for a 5K run called Dash in the Dark. One of the major sponsors was Dick Pond Athletics. There were a lot of runners, and it was a fun event. Many members of my family were present which made it a ball. My great nephew, Wyatt was there to cheer on his Grandfather Rick and great uncle, Greg who are both in the band.

My brother-in-law, Rick
I waited too long, and the sun hurt my picture

My niece, Maddie, sisters Susan and Kim
and a dear friend Regina

The boat went by as they played

A beautiful night to be next to the river

The band's banner

The Sixth Avenue house revisited

         This is an update on the Sixth Avenue house that was for sale last year. It was finally sold, and is now being divided into condos. I spoke to one of the workman who said that they are trying to keep the integrity of the outside while dividing the inside.  There is something about this old house that I love.

They're workin' hard on the reno