It’s Summer, It’s Hot
I don’t think I have seen a summer with this much rain and below 100-degree temperatures. I’m not going to complain. We still have July, August, and September.
The garden is slowly dwindling down, thank God. It has been a whirl-wind of picking, preparing, canning, and freezing vegetables. After giving away loads of veggies, we still had to buy another freezer. If I fill this one up, that will make three full freezers. We’re ready for the Zombies when they come.
The beans, peppers, and strawberries are still producing. I didn’t know strawberries produced this long. Which brings me to the recipe of this month, Strawberry Bliss. Every bite that hits the tongue is like a smooth, sweet, cream of goodness.
Do you realize this year is half over? I can’t believe we only have six months until Christmas. July is going to be a great month. Our oldest son is getting married July 1st. It’s about time. He has dated this young lady for over 15 years. They have had their ups and downs and finally decided to get married. This will be a new beginning for both of them, and we wish them all the best in their years together. Love you both, Staci and Craig.
After a hair-pulling, nerve-wracking battle with KDP, I finally had to re-enter Mist on Trinity River with a new ISBN in order to get the paperback on Amazon. What a nightmare. It is finally correct and ready to order. I want to thank all my many fans who waited patiently for the book. You made my ‘nightmare’ bearable. For those who contacted me for free books, if you haven’t gotten yours, it has been mailed. We got all of them in the mail last week.
My Great-grandson has done it again. He will be seven on July 4th, and he wants everyone to know. Last Sunday, our preacher announced we will have our fireworks celebration on July 2nd, along with food. On our way out of the church, Nicky stopped to talk to Brother Rohn. That conversation went a little like this:
Nicky- “You forgot to tell everyone about my birthday.”
Rohn- “I didn’t know it was your birthday. When was it?”
Nicky- “It’s July 4th, and I’ll be seven.”
Rohn- “Well, we’ll sure mention it next Sunday.”
Up until this year, Nicky thought the fireworks were for his birthday. Imagine his surprise when we informed him it wasn’t. He is still fighting the fact that it’s not for him.
It is never a dull moment with this kid.
Now for the recipe of the month straight from Taste of Home. Hope you try it.
An easy-to-make puff pastry crust is topped with a soft-set pudding layer with a hint of strawberry flavor. Because this dessert needs to chill for at least an hour, it's your new go-to for a make-ahead brunch. —Candace Richter, Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Featured In: 55 of Our Favorite Berry Dessert Recipes
Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + chilling
VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + chilling
• 1 cup water
• 1/2 cup butter, cubed
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 4 large eggs
• 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 5 tablespoons seedless strawberry jam
• 3 cups cold milk
• 1 package (5.1 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
• 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
• 3 cups quartered fresh strawberries
Preheat oven to 400°. In a large saucepan, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Add flour all at once and beat until blended. Cook over medium heat, stirring vigorously until mixture pulls away from sides of pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.
Spread into a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown (surface will be uneven). Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and jam until smooth. Beat in milk and pudding mix until smooth. In a small bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form; fold into pudding mixture. Pour over crust. Chill for 1 hour.
Just before serving top with strawberries.
After the total fail of my last web page, I have finally gotten my brand-new website back up and, hopefully, it will be here for a very long time. There will be news of my current and upcoming books, family funnies, garden changes, trips we’re on, and recipes.
Yes, at the end of each blog, I will post my favorite recipe of the month. I love to try new recipes. Some are a success, and some are fails. The good ones will be posted here.
Every year, my sweet hubby and I plant a ½ an acre garden consisting of onions, peppers, tomatoes, sweet peas, corn, watermelon, squash, potatoes, and four different kinds of beans. This year, God has blessed us with an abundance of produce. So much that, we are swiftly filling up two freezers. Hubby is trying to talk me into buying another freezer. We planted over 300 onions, over 100 tomato plants, 100 corn plants, and rows of beans. It keeps me, and anyone I can recruit, busy cleaning, vacuum sealing, and canning the fresh produce. But it is so worth it when we cook the fresh food. I have shared a picture of how we are storing our onions.
Next year, I plan to plant Brussel Sprouts and Broccoli. Which brings me to the recipe of the month, Cheesy Brussel Sprouts. If you don’t like Brussel Sprouts, you will still love this recipe.
Another topic I’ll let you in on is my hilarious family. Most of the time, it’s either my sweet hubby or my great-grandson, Nicholas. They are two peas in a pod. Nicholas is six, going on thirty, and he wants to be just like his Papaw. His latest, he runs his finger across his face right below his nose and says, “I’m growing a mustache.” Yesterday, he took his shirt off and made me feel his back. “Can you see all the hair on my back?”
Of course, there isn’t anything there but fuzz, but I always agree with him. That boy can come up with some of the most off the wall things, and I want to share them, preserve them to threaten him with when he is a teenager.
Hubby and I have an RV that we love to travel in. Every year, we spend a week on Wright Patman Lake fishing, (my next favorite hobby). We have been from Glacier National Park to Niagara Falls to Big Bend National Park, and several places in between. I will be telling of some of the most memorable places.
And most important of all, my books. I am extremely excited about my current release, Mist on Trinity River. It is the second book in my Weber, Texas Series. After a difficult problem with the release, I have friends who helped me get the paperback released. I am still trying to get part of it straightened out, but at least you can purchase the new release at goo.gl/g3fbrR. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
What’s next? I am rewriting When the Past Came Back. It will have a new title, new cover, and I hope new story. After that will be the sequel that continues the story of Dani and Cody. There will be tears, laughs, and anger at the villain.
Cheesy Brussel Sprouts
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion (chopped)
¾ cup heavy cream
2 lbs Brussel Sprouts (cut into halves)
salt to taste ½ teaspoon cayenne
1 cup grated, sharp white cheddar
1 cup Gruyere, grated
½ cup cooked bacon
Preheat oven to 375. Melt butter in deep pan or skillet and add chopped onion, Brussel Sprouts you have cut in ½, salt (about 1 teaspoon), and cayenne. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender. Remove from skillet. Add cream, ½ of cheese, and bacon. Whisk to blend until cheese melts. Add the sprouts and onion. Pour into a baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake until bubbly and cheese starts to brown.