Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dump Cake at Las Islas Ranch

Las Islas Ranch is our retreat

These are just a few pictures that we've taken over the past
few years.
You'll see deer, turkey, javelina, wildflowers,
bluebonnets (our state flower), blooming cactus, my husband with friends chatting by the firepit,
and my husband and me.
We go here to refresh and "replenish".

Today while we are here I have made
Dump Cake... a ranch favorite.
Photography-challenged I am even tested further
due to just being at the ranch (poor lighting and only
serviceable dishes)
Oh well...

This recipe is from my friend, Beverly Moody, who is
a wonderful cook!

Beverly with her husband, Pat
and friend, "Dobie".

Beverly's Dump Cake

1 can cherry pie filling
1 can crushed pineapple, drained (save juice!)
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted and pineapple juice mixed with it
1 c. coconut
1 c. chopped pecans

In a large pyrex dish layer:
Pie filling and crushed pineapple, mixed
Sprinkle cake mix over mixture
Drizzle melted butter and pineapple juice over cake mix
Top with coconut and pecans

Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees


I am linking to two of my favs!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pecan-crusted Tilapia, Royal Star Papaya, Okra - A Winner!

Supper was a hit!

We spent part of the day shopping in
Wimberly, Texas yesterday.
I came home with a little cookbook...
Cordon Bubba
by Barry Shlachter

Pecan-crusted Catfish sounded so good,
but, alas, no catfish in the freezer.
So... I thawed out a package of tilapia fillets.
There was..
No dry wine in the house.
Barely enough Dijon mustard

and so I followed the recipe... somewhat.

The following is my recipe inspired by this cute cookbook
that shares part of their earnings with
Habitat for Humanity.

Pecan-crusted Tilapia

1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
1/4 cup cooking sherry
1 cup coarsley ground, lightly toasted pecans
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 pound of tilapia fillets

Lightly toast pecans. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Thoroughly mix mustard, sherry and garlic in a
small bowl. Set aside

Mix bread crumbs and pecans together in a deep
dish pie plate.

Pat fillets dry on paper towels. Sprinkle the tiniest bit of
sea salt on the fish... not much!

Dip each fillet in the mustard mixture and press into the pecan/bread crumb
mixture, creating a heavy crust.

Spray Pam on jelly roll pan and lay fish fillets in the pan. Sprinkle any leftover
crumb mixture of the fish.

Bake 30 minutes... maybe a little longer depending on thickness of fillets.

As with most of our meals, I served fresh
Royal Star Papaya..
this time with fresh blueberries.
(A moment to brag a bit: My husband and our oldest son grow these magnificant
papayas in Mexico. We ship all over the U.S. and soon in Canada.)

The okra is salted and broiled on a "Pam'd" cookie
sheet... no oil! We love it!!

I'm joining the fun at All the Small Stuff for
Tuesdays at the Table
Come join the party!

Cestohowa, Texas

Nativity of the Blessed Blessed Mary Virgin Church

My husband and I were returning to our home from a wedding in Wimberly, Texas when we decided to make a visit to this church in Cestohowa (the "w" is pronounced as a "v"). Close friends of ours have their famil roots well-established in this church and had spoken of it many times.
It is truly a beautiful church and so rich in history!

Cestohowa, Texas

The second Polish colony in Karnes County, the village in this area grew out of a small settlement known as St. Joe and was formally established in 1873. At times the priest at Panna Maria would conduct services at St. Joseph School in what would become Czestochowa. The Mother Colony church at Panna Maria was destroyed by lightning in 1877; Czestochowa settlers decided to build their own church. This was the subject of much controversy among the Polish pioneers of Karnes County. Anton Jarzombek (1836-1922) and Frank Mutz (1814-1891) each donated land for the church. Area residents contributed their labor to build the eighty-five by forty foot church with Gervase Gabrysch (1830-1904) as contractor. Bishop Anthony D. Pellicer blessed the church on February 10, 1878. Father W. Pelczar was assigned as the first pastor that September. As a sign of their reconciliation, the parishioners from the newly rebuilt Panna Maria church presented the new parish a large painting of the Virgin Mary of Czestochowa, the Patroness of Poland. The two congregations often shared leadership in the ensuing years. The Cestohowa church (adopting the Americanized spelling of the community) thrived into the 20th century. In the 1930s the church underwent intensive additions and remodeling. Though the original walls remained, the roof was completely removed and the ceiling raised. The north and south wings were added and the steeple was increased in height. In 1998, the church celebrated its 125th anniversary. At that time, the parish consisted of 380 members. The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church continues in the traditions of its founders. (2000)

Today I am linking to Little Red House
for Mosaic Monday

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Little Red Riding Hood for Rednesday

Little Red Riding Hood for

My daughter-in-law and granddaughter
Mexico - 2006

Family and friends come to their first
Halloween party

The "fortune teller" was a huge hit with the
older children.

This time of year I enjoy looking back  when we lived in
Mexico. We hosted three Halloween parties for
our granddaughter, Carmen, on the right.
She is sitting with her little friend,
Yoda-lay... (isn't that cute?)

This was so much fun and we enjoyed seeing the
children get dressed up.
We had crafts, food, fishing booth, the fortune teller,
and best of all.. the "scary story". I wrote it but my daughter-in-law told the story... with amazing gestures and drama. We loved seeing how much fun she had using sound effects. You probably remember these little tricks too ... the cold, wet spaghetti, furry toy mouse and other things that are "icky" and make you scream.

Great memories in Mexico!

Visit It's a Very Cherry World
for Rednesday Wednesday

Monday, October 17, 2011

Papaya Proud!

I'm "Papaya Proud"!!

I can't resist mentioning our new variety of papaya...
Royal Star

Actually it's my husband, our son and our two
business partners who I am really proud of.

We farm near Manzanillo, Mexico.
Our son heads up the organization down there
with two men who have been with us almost since the
My husband oversees the arrival of the papaya from
Mexico, the sales and quality control.
Our sales staff must be commended as well.

We have an exclusive on this variety of papaya.
That means we are the only growers who can
have this seed.

Not a papaya lover?
... I wasn't either...
until this papaya came on the scene.

This past weekend roughly 18,000 attendees roamed the
exhibit hall in Atlanta at PMA...
Produce Marketing Association.

My husband and son were both thrilled with the
response to our new papaya.

Good job, men!

And here it is Mosaic Monday again and once more
I am joining in over at
Little Red House for all  the fun!!
(Frankly, I'm working on perfect attendance!! lol)

Oops! Almost forgot to mention... notice the picture of the papaya cut in half? Do you see the star where the seeds are.
Yes... that's how we named this very sweet papaya.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

5 Amazing Women!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Have you had your mammies grammed???

These are some of the most beautiful women in my life.

Linda in the blue blouse is a high school friend, former roommate and best of all... a breast cancer survivor... twice! Linda donned her boxing gloves and fought... hard. She is one fine lady and I'm so proud to know her. 

The lady in white I met through a favorite book series... The Mitford series by Jan Karon. Lynne knew her chances were high that she would be dealing with breast cancer. ALL of the women in her family had developed it. When her tests came back with the diagnosis of breast cancer, she was prepared to do battle. It has not been an easy road, but Lynne has come out on top. Her faith in God, her wonderful husband and family support and tremendous medical care were there for her. She is one amazing and dear friend.

Norma Jean is a the top left of my collage. She is my cousin. You may have seen Norma and me in previous photos as she and I do the famous "kick" in our family. Our mothers were best friends as well as aunt and niece. They invented the family kick where they would always be photographed together kicking. Well, Norma has KICKED breast cancer and I am so very grateful for that.

To the right of Norma is my aunt, Jo Anne. She is my father's younger sister. She had breast cancer over 30 years ago. Yes, indeed. Treatments were even harder on the body 30 years ago .. or so I am told. Friends, it's a trip through Hades they say. I love my Aunt Jo Anne dearly and I am so thankful she is still in my life.

 My sister-in-law and dear friend, Tissa, is currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Tissa is wearing green.. and, yes, I got into the picture with her. (Thank God I have not had to deal with this horrid disease!) Tissa has been a shining example of a brave woman who is tackling breast cancer. We have all been blessed to have her in our lives!

Early detection is key!! Get your mammogram.

Don't live in a "dream world"... this can happen to us!

I am so thrilled to link to How Sweet the Sound for
Pink Saturday!
This has given me the perfect opportunity to  share with you
5 Amazing Women !!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My New Favorite Salad!

Recently I had lunch at the Garden Room located about
a mile and half from me. It's new and a perfect place for my
friends and I to meet for lunch.
I ordered a wonderful salad that was full of grilled veggies.
This didn't turn out to be exactly like it (I'm terrible at grilling vegetable!), but it was my inspiration for this salad that my husband, son and I like so much, I've served it three times since last week. I've earned raves reviews too!

Saute in olive oil - coarsely chopped green onions,  red bell pepper, yellow and zucchini squash, eggplant peeled or unpeeled, and minced garlic. May have to cover with a lid for awhile for veggies to cook through. Cool slightly and then place on top of romaine or red tip lettuce. I cooked shrimp, seasoned with cajun spices to add on top of the salad. I would say add a very good  vinaigrette dressing
true confessions

I used just a bit of good ol' Ranch Dressing!
I like the creaminess it added to this salad.

My son added feta cheese.

I can't wait for Friday as I'll be linking to

Designs by Gollum

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Colors of Today

When life just becomes a little too much "life"...
we head to the deer lease... or "ranch" as we call it.
It's only an hour and fifteen minutes from our home to our
"ranch home".
It's been bone dry with searing heat these past few months,
but just last week the ranch received 2 1/2" inches of the
precious wet stuff.
What a difference!
The grass was actually green.
So beautiful and so peaceful.

Then... we came home to a breath-taking
glow in the sky.
I couldn't actually see the sun as it was setting because I
was working on this 'yer blog.
I grabbed my camera and ran outside to catch
that glow. I found two fireflies who were
flying around enjoying the evening too.

I could actually see the face in the moon as well.
Such gorgeous colors.

And then I turned and saw through the window the view into our breakfast nook where I sit
to doing my blogging.

I just stood there and stared at it.
The room isn't perfect ... nothing in particular on the walls,
but the room glowed that golden orangy-yellow
that I see in so many pictures on my favorite blogs.

It truly made me feel warm inside.
And, yes...

"God's in his heaven...."

Now for some exquisite photos of fabulous colors
visit Little Red House!
You'll find me there enjoying this blog and others.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Run Katherine Run!


Last fall, when Laura's (White Spray Paint) husband was diagnosed with
Parkinson's,  their youngest daughter took matters into
own hands.

She entered the Chicago Marathon as a member of
Team Fox,
sponsored by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research.

She is running for a cure.

Laura writes, "I have felt humbled here and there in my lifetime, certainly, but
our daughter's selfless act of love and devotion has far surpassed anything I have
ever experienced."

She currently wakes at 4:00 a.m.,
drives from Dallas to Lovejoy,
where she teaches high school English,
and does her morning
before beginning her teaching day.

Laura is making a simple request, stating that she knows the power of blogland...

"Please display the button above in your sidebar to show your support
and to send Katherine prayers and good wishes."

Laura, her husband and two other daughters will be there cheering
Katherine on.

They want us all there, through our prayers, too! 

For Laura's latest post regarding the Chicago Marathon and
Katherine's participation, visit her blog

Run Katherine Run!!