Sunday, July 7, 2013

4th of July

I just love holidays -any holiday. Holidays make me remember my childhood and all the memories that we created on those special days. Since my boys are still little, I've learned that it's the little things that make the holidays special right now. It's the time we spend together doing crafts, fixing food, or going on short outings, always making sure we're home in time for naps to keep everyone happy. As they get older, they'll grow into new traditions, but for now, I'll savor these little things that make our holidays so special.

Here's how we spent our 4th of July holiday.

Our Annual 4th of July Parade. Our town is little but the parade is really nice. We don't have to compete for space on the sidewalk. Everyone gets a front row seat and everyone gets tons of candy. Here are the boys and Jeremy waiting for it to begin. As you can see, Lex is studying his bag to see how much candy he can fit.

Let the parade begin! Here come the fire trucks.

Hello Mr. Fireman. Thank you for your service.

Let the candy collecting begin. Tootsie Rolls and suckers seemed to be popular with our little guys.

Here's proof that I was there too.

On our walk home, we stopped by  a new little flee market in our town. Here is what we found. A meat slicer in great shape, a navy blue casserole dish, a nice strainer that stretches across the kitchen sink, and a handheld cheese grater....All for about $20!! Whoo hoo!

Back at home, with the kids down for a nap, Jeremy started smoking our pork butt for pulled pork sandwiches.

Later, the boys came out to play. Here's Eli learning how to go head first down the slide.

And here's our feast. On the menu: Pulled pork sandwiches, cowboy beans, grilled corn on the cob (seasoned with olive oil, sea salt, cracked pepper, and parsley), and watermelon. Later we had strawberry shortcake with homemade whipped cream (more on that later).

We did not go out for fireworks this year due to the fact that Jeremy had to be to work at 4:30 the next morning, and our boys get cranky after 9:00. Maybe next year. We got some fun little fireworks that the boys could do in the driveway.

Hope you had a great holiday!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Good Ol' Cowboy Beans

I love it when I see these on the table at a carry-in or barbecue. They are so good and super easy to make. I remember the first time I made these with my mom for our family reunion in Kentucky. The good thing about this recipe is that you can adjust it to taste really easily. Every time I make it, I make it a little bit differently.

Start by browning 3/4 pounds of diced bacon.

Once browned, remove bacon to paper towel, saving a couple of tablespoons of bacon fat in the skillet.

Add about 1/2 a large diced onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat until onions become translucent.

Remove onions from the skillet to drain on paper towel.

Cook 3/4 pound ground beef until brown. Drain in strainer and set aside.

In a crock pot, add the following:
1 16 oz. can pork 'n beans, undrained
1 16 oz. can butter beans, drained
1 16 oz. can kidney beans, drained
1 16 oz. can pinto beans, drained

On top of the beans, add
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
2 t. chili powder
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper

 Stir in the cooked bacon, onion, and ground beef and cook on low for 2 hours stirring occassionally.

Goes well as a side dish with just about anything grilled. Bon Appetit!