Monthly Archive: October 2012

Oct 17

The Rents (parents) Come to Town!

All, I would like you to meet my pops!  He built the knowledge foundation to just about everything that I’ve accomplish in life.  That foundation is something I draw on all the time when doing the things that I write about on Fireside Dreamers(DIY, Recipes, etc…)  I was very fortunate to have grown up in a place that not everything was handed to me.  I had to work for many of the things that I had back then, which now translates into working for thing things that Kelli and I have now.  I could go on and on about the many things that I love about my dad as well as my other amazing parents but we have plenty of posts for that.

Let’s jump back over to the topic of this post: My Dad and Step-Mom, who I also am very lucky to have in my life, have driven the 550 miles to come pay Kelli and I a visit for a long weekend.  For more a detailed map of their general directions see below or if you would like to schedule your own personalized visit please contact us at 1-800-We love visitors so come see us(not sure what the exact numbers would be on the phone for that one.)

If you do come visit us, you will also be greeted by this crazy feller.   He looks like he is very much on alert right now.  It’s probably from a leaf blowing or some other killer threat to our property.  Oh Barkley, you wear a tough look on the outside but you are such a cuddly baby on the inside.

We had quite the manly meal this particular evening.  I don’t know the exact amount of ingredients used in any part of the dish, mostly because I cook on the fly.  So, if I ever make food that you eat its guaranteed to be one of a kind!

The summary version of this meal: meat and potatoes!!  now that’s what I’m talking about!!!  Don’t get me wrong I like some Eggplant Stacks or some Zucchini, Tomato, Cucumber, Feta Pasta Salad , but it doesn’t get any better than a T-Bone, Filet Mignon, and some roasted potatoes(see below 🙂 )

My dad and I swapping photo tips.  We look so intense!

Just a little FYI.  I used to stand over steaks while they were cooking on the grill and watch them like a hawk.  And I would get anxious and nervous that they would burn so I would flip it too soon and then have to flip it and flip it and flip it and flip it and flip it because it wouldn’t be done.  Note to self(and others): let the steaks rest and only flip twice!!!

I’ve learned that if I get them on the grill and go do something, by the the time I get back, they are ready to turn (roughly 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the steak.)  Then I flip them, go do something again and then come back and they are just about finished.  It’s like the old saying ‘A watched pot never boils.’

While the steaks were on the grill Barkley and I had enough time to take a photo op.

And that my friends, is a well grilled steak!  I’m personally a medium-rare guy, but Kelli likes hers medium on the inside.  You throw a little asparagus, my favorite grilled veggie, and you got yourself a meal fit for king!

My dad had a pretty good idea for the asparagus.  Use two skewers through either side of each one to make it very simple to flip.  It worked like a beaut!

The steaks were amazing, but having my parents here to feast on them made them that much better.  Anyone can make food, but it’s the company that you are with that makes a meal unforgettable!  Kelli and I loved having the rents in town over that weekend and hopefully they can come again sooner rather than later!  Love you guys!

ER

Oct 07

Buttercup Squash Soup

When we received a buttercup squash in our latest vegetable box from the local greenhouse (Ricky and Lucys), I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. I’ve never even seen that type of squash!

I looked up some recipes on the internet, and landed on one that looked promising- buttercup squash soup. Today is the perfect day for soup. There’s snow on the ground and it’s a lazy Sunday so I have time for a longer recipe. I will say, this one took a while to prepare, so don’t plan to make this recipe unless you have the time. But like most dishes that take time to prepare, it was well worth the wait! This buttercup squash soup is amazing!

Eric was kind enough to peel the squash for me. It was a bit tough because I don’t think the squash was fully ripened.

Once it was peeled, I cut it into chunks.

Then, I added a diced onion, garlic, diced green pepper, diced yellow italian sweet pepper (all from our veggie box!) to a pot on medium with 3 tbs butter melting

Once the veggies had become tender, I added the squash and one diced potato with 4 cups water and about a tsp of chicken bouillon. I let that boil for about 30 minutes until it was all tender.Then I used my immersion blender to combine all of the softened ingredients.

Once it was well combined, I added the cream and stirred in all together.

 

 

And this is the final product!

So, if you ever come across a buttercup squash, now you’ll know what to do with it!

Buttercup Squash Soup RECIPE (inspired by foodnetwork.com):

3 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup coarsely chopped onion

1 potato, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 yellow italian pepper, seeded coarsely chopped

1 buttercup squash, peeled, seeded and chopped

4 cups chicken stock or water

1/2 cup cream

Salt and pepper

Directions:
In a large pot, melt butter and cook onions until tender. Stir in potatoes and peppers and toss to coat. Stir in chopped squash. Pour in chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes until vegetables are tender. Puree soup in blender in batches. Return to pot and stir in cream. Season to taste and garnish with sliced scallion.

Oct 06

DIY Fall Wreath

Are you sick of our vacation posts by now?! Well, they’re all done so you now we can focus more on the wonderful season of FALL! It’s my all time favorite season. However, fall is officially over in Sidney, as we are currently having a blizzard! We had our first snow yesterday…of course over Oktoberfest weekend. Oktoberfest in Sidney is a pretty big deal. We all look forward to it throughout the year, so it’s a huge bummer when the weather is crummy. I helped my friend,Tess, at her cotton candy stand yesterday, which was fun but quite chilly. We were supposed to have the annual Oktoberfest parade this morning (which I’m in with my dance team girls), but it was cancelled because of the snow. It’s been falling since early this morning and we’re currently sitting at about 5 inches. I must say it’s pretty beautiful, but I wasn’t ready to winter yet!

On to more fun things. I decorated for Fall last weekend! We made a trip to Hobby Lobby in Cheyenne, WY for some supplies. I decided I wanted to make a festive, original DIY Fall wreath.

I found awesome inspiration from my new favorite blog- Shanty2Chic. You should definitely check it out- they have such unique, cute DIY projects. I followed her tutorial for the DIY Fall Wreath to make one. I added a little embellishment to mine, which was also found on her website.

And I found more inspiration from Sweet Daisy Design’s blog for another fun DIY fall wreath.

Thank you fellow bloggers for all of your awesome tutorials and ideas! I just love perusing the blogosphere for fun weekend decorating projects.

So, here is my own diy fall wreath and step by step on how it all came together.

 

I had this grapevine wreath sitting in the basement. I had decorated it for Christmas one year, so I removed those decorations so it was blank.

Then I used a wire cutter to cut off individual strands of berries from a bouquet of fall berries from Hobby Lobby.

I used my hot glue gun to adhere the berries to the wreath. Easy enough, right!

Then I just tied a burlap bow, cut off the ends that were showing, and hung it up!I was getting the feeling that it looked a bit sparse. To take care of that, I made rosettes out of burlap and hot glued them on. I think it made it really come together nicely.

 

For the second wreath, I wanted to incorporate a monogram “R”.

First, I spray painted the R with beige spray paint and a light coat of this bronze metallic over the top.

I used a small grapevine wreath that I got at Target for $2.50Here are the supplies: Burlap ribbon, wreath, wire cutters, hot glue, and small pumpkins. I just hot glued the pumpkins on, and added some fall berry embellishment.Then I tied on the R with the burlap ribbon. I also used a brown ink pad around the edges of the letter to make it look antiqued.Lastly, I bought some paper mache letters that spelled FALL at 99 cents a piece. I knew that if I painted them with the metallic spray paint, they would look metal…and indeed they do!

What an inexpensive way to bring the season into your home!

Each wreath cost me under $5 to make, and the Fall letters were only $4. It’s so refreshing to know that it doesn’t take a lot of time or talent to make your home feel cozy and seasonal. Happy fall to you!

Oct 04

Grand Cayman was a Grand Time!

Do you like my catchy title? I’m just so clever. har har har

I finally received the photos back from our underwater camera! We took this to Grand Cayman on our stingray/dolphin excursion. Eric bought me this for my birthday…how sweet. Swimming with a dolphin has been on my bucket list, so I got to check it off!

They wouldn’t let us take pictures during the dolphin swimming part, so we don’t have any of that, but lots of the sting ray encounter! It was so cool because we got to interact with them in their own habitat, the middle of the ocean! Our boat stopped on a sand bar, we got off and the sting rays flocked to us. Apparently they are so used to humans, and they know that we’ll feed them, so they’re very friendly. They literally swam up to our legs and rubbed against us. It was definitely freaky in the beginning but I slowly got used to it. The first time a stingray rubbed on my leg, I swiftly jumped into Eric’s arms….just like that, it was an immediate reaction. In no other situation would I have been scared and literally jumped into Eric to hold me, but in the ocean…with a deadly animal, I guess it was instinct.

The guides said that it was 7 years good luck if you kissed the stingrays!  The verdict is still out on that one, but we will keep you updated. So far so good!

What a cool feeling this was!

That’s a wild dolphin!  We were told by our guide that locals call this one Stinky.  He is known to be aggressive and a loner. They told us to steer clear of ol’ Stinky. Noted.

 

The lagoon below was where we swam with the dolphins.  it was pretty incredible!!  We put life jackets on and actually swam with, petted, and rode the dolphin like a surf board…j/k!This was an experience that I wont soon forget.

So that was our Grand Cayman adventure!  It was so cool to have the chance to try such a unique thing like swimming with stringrays and dolphins.

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