Friday, September 4, 2015

Weekend Happenings, Garlic Butter Shrimp, Potatoes Baked in Chicken Broth, Pinterest Stuff (Fun Indoor Campout Ideas), Quotable Quotes, 54 Year-Old Woman Probs AND Blog Linkage

Good Friday morning!

Okay. Mike and I decided the reason my new pics from my camera weren't loading onto the computer had to do with a jiggly USP or UJS or BSP cord.

We couldn't find one at Walmart last night, but I found TWO at Best Buy this morning...

And I bought them both for good measure.

So excited was I because there were so many GOOD pics on my camera I wanted to share with you today, September 4, 2015.

But, alas, it was not to be.

The computer is still not recognizing the pictures from my camera, so Mikie has his work cut out for him this Labor Day Weekend.

If at any time between now and next Friday these pictures become available to me, YOU will receive notice of a new post.

This new post I speak of will not cancel out next Friday's post.

It will just be a little bonus.

Also, I will be using some old pics again today toward the bottom of the post.

Forgive me, if you can.

RANDOMNESS #1 - I went to the grocery store this week. It's not unusual. I am a frequent visitor to the local grocery story.

However, as I was leaving, the check-out clerk cleared her throat and asked me if I was 60.

That hasn't happened to me before in my local grocery store, and since I am not 60 YET, I do not care for it to happen to me again unless it is six years from now.

I have to admit, my first response was one of anger, and I came very close to guessing the girl's weight...

And rounding it up 100 or so pounds.

But then all my years and years of "growing-up-in-the-Bible-belt" Sunday School learnin' kicked in, and I quickly changed my attitude.

Anger was not the appropriate response, of course.


Guilt was definitely the way to go.

"Well, Honey. You have hurt my feelings something awful. I just turned 54 seven days ago. I'm afraid you've ruined my day... and I'm either going to have to speak to your Manager or get a 50 percent discount on my grocery purchase."


That didn't happen either.

In real life, I just quietly mumbled, "No, I am not."

I paid for my groceries...

And cried in The Big Gold Van for a few minutes feeling very sorry for myself.

Until I remembered I had purchased a diabetic candy bar.

So I dug around the bags for that, and promptly ate it.

And then I spent a few more "moments I'll never get back" feeling sorry for myself because it wasn't a Snickers.

I guess we'll file this story under 54 Year-Old Woman Probs...

Just for safekeeping.

In fact, I may or may not have looked exactly like the young, vibrant chick above when I purchased groceries earlier this week.

I am going to say I did.

I DID look exactly like the young, vibrant chick in the above photo.

Now I'm getting angry again.

DISCLAIMER - Please know when I turn 60, I will embrace it and move forward because that is what truly enchanting people tend to do.

AND if you are 60 years of age or older, I am going to assume you not only understand the importance of not skipping one year, two years or, as in this particular case, SIX YEARS, but you realize the importance of living each year...


Each day to the utmost!

And that is all I have to say about that!

RANDOMNESS #2 - I am happy to report Mike and I have picked our Official Grandparent Names...

I think.

Mike is 100 percent certain he wants to be called, "Pop."

I am 51 percent certain I want to be called "Nana" (pronounced nah-nah), and 49 percent certain I want to be called "Desiree" (pronounced dez-er-aaaaa).

This morning, I am encouraged because it would appear Miss Judith will be saying Nana very, very soon (since everything that comes out of her mouth is either gah-gah, bah-bah, etc.).

Maybe my great-grandchildren can call me Desiree...


That is definitely a possibility.

Quotable Quotes - The quotes I am sharing today come from the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

I have never read words put together quite the way Ann Voskamp does it. I can actually see her words "spill" onto the page, and while I cannot sit down and read her book unless I am 100 percent invested, I most assuredly get something from her writings each and every time I sit quietly and read.

"The world I live in is loud and blurring and toilets plug and I get speeding tickets and the dog gets sick all over the back step and I forget everything and these six kids lean hard into me all day to teach and raise and lead and I fail hard and there are real souls that are at stake and how long do I really have to figure out how to live full of grace, full of joy -- before these six beautiful children fly the coop and my mothering days fold up quiet?"

Oh... my... goodness. The phrase, "...and my mothering days fold up quiet," slays me. Completely, totally slays me.

"Praying with eyes wide open is the only way to pray without ceasing."

And this quote is just so true.

It's a good book, but it is taking me a LONG time to finish...

And that's okay.

Blog Linkage - You need to check each day the month of September for really good October/Halloween ideas for you and yours. There are already two or three posts, so don't waste any time. Head on over to this website today!

Garlic Butter Shrimp

You will need the following:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and black pepper, to taste
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chicken stock
Juice of 1 lemon, or more, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.

2. Add shrimp, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

3. Add garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

4. Stir in chicken stock and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Stir in remaining 6 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until melted and smooth.

6. Stir in shrimp and gently toss to combine.

7. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley leaves, if desired.

I have learned late in life that cooking shrimp is the EASIEST and QUICKEST meal to prepare, and there are a lot of different ways to do it.

I wish I had known this in my 20s and 30s, but better late than never.

Potatoes Baked in Chicken Broth

You will need the following:

3 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves

1. Place the potatoes in a deep skillet and add salt and pepper, to taste.

2. Cover potatoes halfway with chicken stock, about 3 cups. Add the butter and cover skillet with a lid. Cook the potatoes in the stock until almost tender, about 5 to 8 minutes, depending upon the size of the potatoes.

3. Remove the lid and allow the stock to evaporate, about another 5 minutes. Once the stock has evaporated, pop each potato using a ladle or large spoon, creating a small crack in each, but do not smash.

4. Allow the potatoes to brown on each side, another 5 minutes, and again season with salt and pepper, if necessary or desired.

5. Remove the browned potatoes from the skillet and place onto a serving platter, garnished with the parsley.

I think this is the only recipe I will use to cook potatoes from now until eternity.

It is just that good.

Pinterest Stuff

Fun Indoor Campout Ideas

This looked like so much fun to me. You can find other ideas on their website,

1. Bring the outdoors indoors - Start off by decorating the room with rocks, branches, leaves, tree stumps, acorns and other items you would usually find outside. If you’d rather not bring those items into your house, you can also buy fake versions of all of them at a craft or hobby store.

2. Set up your tent - If you have a room big enough for an outdoor camping tent, set it up inside. If you don’t, create one by draping a sheet or blanket over chairs and couches as if you were setting up a fort. Fill the inside with sleeping bags, pillows, blankets and anything else you might need to be sleep comfortably.

3. Build a campfire - Before your campout, save your old paper towel rolls. On the day of the campout, place them around the house. During your campout, have your family find the “firewood” (paper towel rolls) to build the fire. Once they’ve gathered all of the “firewood,” place them in a pile in front of your tent and use colored tissue paper to create flames on top of the wood. Set up camp chairs or buckets around the campfire for seats.

4. Make tinfoil dinners - Cut up cubes of meat, veggies and potatoes before your campout. At the beginning of your campout, have everyone make their own tinfoil dinner by placing meat, potatoes, veggies and seasoning on a piece of tinfoil and then wrap it up tight. If you have a large group, have a Sharpie marker available for people to write their name on the piece of foil. Once all of the dinners are wrapped in foil, put them in the oven and let them bake at 375 degrees for an hour while you’re playing games. Once they’re done, eat them with paper plates and plastic silverware.

NOTE FROM ENCHANTING BELINDA - We have made these tinfoil meals for years. Two things:

1. Spray PAM on the tinfoil before adding any food.

2. I have never cut the meat into chunks. I always make a regular hamburger patty and season it with Dale's Sauce, salt, pepper and cover it with sliced onions and/or mushrooms. (If the kids do not like onions and/or mushrooms, they can scrape everything off the top of the burger before eating. It just makes it taste even better.) I surround the patty with baby carrots and thinly sliced red potatoes before closing the pouch and cooking on 375 degrees for an hour.

Easy prep AND easy clean-up.

5. Play camp themed games - If it’s nice outside, go outside and play outdoor games like Capture the Flag and Tag. If not, set up a camp obstacle course where players have to roll up a sleeping bag, untie a knot, eat five marshmallows, fill a canteen with water, etc.

6. Sing camp songs - Sit around your campfire and sing camp songs like Row, Row, Row Your Boat (in rounds), Rise and Shine and I’m a Nut. If someone in your group plays the guitar, have a sing-a-long.

7. Have s’more fun - A campout wouldn’t be complete without s’mores, and luckily s’mores are easy to make in the microwave. If your kids are older, you can have them roast marshmallows over tea lights or small candles with grown-up supervision. You can also just make a s’mores themed dessert such as cupcakes or s’mores bars.

8. Tell ghost stories under the stars - Before your campout, stick removable glow in the dark stars to the ceiling and string white holiday lights around the room. Once it starts to get dark outside, turn off all of the lights in your house and use just battery operated lanterns and flashlights for light. Have someone tell ghost stories, making sure they are appropriate for the age group or you’ll end up with all of the kids sleeping in your tent. After ghost stories, go to sleep all snuggled up warm inside your sleeping bags.

9. Make Dutch oven cinnamon rolls - The morning after your campout, get up early and cook refrigerated cinnamon rolls in a Dutch oven on your stovetop so they are ready when the rest of your group wakes. Enjoy cinnamon rolls around the campfire before cleaning up your campsite and heading “home.”

This is good stuff, Guys! Enjoy!

Weekend Happenings

1. Happy Day! Happy Day! The Chick is coming home again this weekend.

Well, not home exactly...

But definitely in the immediate vicinity!

I will get to spend a little time with her before she leaves for a couple of days...

And did I mention Mike and I will get to spend some time with her before she leaves late Monday afternoon?


Good stuff!

2. I asked Mike tonight if he minded trying something with me Saturday morning at 11:30...

And he has agreed.

We are going to take Swing Dance Lessons for Beginner Adults at our local Civic Center on Saturdays the month of September.

I imagine we are going to be very, very good at this type dance very, very quickly because of the extensive Professional Ballroom Dancing training we had 27 years ago during a six-week period when we took a class at UAB right after we got back from our honeymoon.

That, and we watch Dancing With the Stars on occasion.

I'll let you know how that turns out NEXT Friday.

3. We were asked to do another Breakout Birmingham game with some friends this Saturday, so we are going to be "playing" the Museum Heist game.

I will let you know if we break out of not.

4. Sunday we will be attending Sunday School and church. If it isn't 100 degrees in the shade, I may make a huge pot of beef stew with cornbread for Sunday dinner...

Not because it is officially Fall...

But because I am ready for it to be officially Fall.

I hope you have a fantastic Labor Day Weekend. I'll be back next Friday with Fall stuff, new recipes, Weekend Happenings and MORE!

Take care.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Old September photos...

Three years ago, Roxie wanted a Caramel Cake for her birthday.

Three years ago, I made an awesome caramel cake for her birthday, but it promptly fell apart and I had to decorate (cover up) all the cracks with huge plastic fall foliage.

She was dreaming of Auburn even then.

And then she got her Driver's License, and things changed dramatically.

Two Septembers ago, Roxie's cake of choice was the Towering Cake of Doughnut Holes. It wasn't hard to make, but the candle placement was tricky.

Last September, Mike and the gang took me to Melting Pot and we dipped all kinds of stuff into a pot filled with liquid chocolate.

Sweet memories.

We went to Slice Pizza to celebrate Roxie's birthday last year. We filled up on pizzas and s'mores calzones.

Roxie and Hunter.

Melia and Austin had a wedding tea.

Roxie played flag football with the other Senior girls and Seth coached them to a win.

Roxie and a bunch of her friends got all dressed up and we took Homecoming pics before the game.

Brad and Stephanie got married. Zac and Josh were in the wedding, and they looked marvelous.

The Lovely Melia and Handsome Austin.

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