Thursday, June 18, 2020

Cards by Prairie Chick --- find my Card Shop!

I'm excited to share that I have opened an online shop featuring my handmade greeting cards.  I enjoy sharing my artwork with others thru this card line and its been especially satisfying to send fun mail during the pandemic. I hope you will find some things in the shop too! 

Here is the link to my Etsy shop  Cards by PrairieChick -- Link  here to Online Shop

If you don't see what you are looking for in the shop or want to make substitutions to the sets just let me know... I am happy to work out custom orders just for you!


Friday, May 15, 2020

Down the trail, through the woods and by the pond...


One of my goals for the trail thru our woods, is to create a special place for my grandchildren.  I really love this walk and I hope they will too.  I have added a few interesting things to see and I hope they will love exploring with us to look for new additions each time they visit.

Still on the "To Do List" are:

    1. a forest tea party

    2. a bench for bird watching

    3. Ladybug Tic Tac Toe

    4. painted rock caterpillar

    5. a 2nd fairy house

    6. a sign post to magical places

    7. a pirate's ship and treasure

Just over here dreaming up adventures!


Monday, April 20, 2020

Apple Pear and Romaine Salad

One of my favorite salad recipes is one shared with me by my grandmother.  She was a wonderful cook and I have lots of awesome recipes from her.  This salad is so colorful and tasty that it has become one of my all time favorites!  I hope you will give it a try soon.

Apple Pear and Romaine Salad

1 pear and 1 apple, chopped
1 cup salted cashews, chopped
1 head romaine lettuce
4 oz shredded swiss cheese
1/4 c. dried cranberries
Mix all together

Dressing - 
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. lemon juice
2 tsp finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp poppy seed
2/3 c. oil
Mix together and pour over lettuce mixture (use whatever amount you desire ...this seems like a lot of dressing to me!) Chill salad 1/2 hour before serving.

Hope you enjoy this taste of Spring!

~ Connie

Monday, April 6, 2020

A little trail thru the woods...

While we have been on the quarantine lock down, we have been trying to spend some of our outdoor time reestablishing a trail thru our woods to the pond.  At one time there was a trail but it has had numerous years of neglect it has been a challenge to cut back the trees and the under story plants.  That however is the 1st step to creating a neat trail thru our property that we hope the kids and the grands will enjoy in the future!

I hope this summer and in years future to add some cool artwork and signs along the trail.  Maybe a fairy village, a fishing bridge at the pond and a playhouse in the woods will pop up in the next few Springs!  John and I have some fun ideas in mind so slowing down, and staying home because of COVID-19 are prompting us to act and enjoy our outdoor spaces.  Stay safe and quarantine on!


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Grandma's chocolate chip cookies

This cookie jar is a twin to one my Grandma always had in her kitchen.  It was always stocked with homemade cookies ...usually chocolate chip which were my Grandpa's favorite!  I searched for quite a few years to find this Pig. So every time I see him in my kitchen I am instantly reminded of my wonderful Grandma Catherine.  I have tried many chocolate chip cookie recipes over the years but never found one that seemed like her cookies.  I even have her exact recipe but they never turn out like hers always did!!?? I don't know what her special secret was.

I have however found one that I love ... and it seems like they are a close taste and texture match!

So I am pleased to stock my Pig with these yummies!  If you like to bake give them a try soon.  Your family and friends will appreciate the results.

Chocolate Chip Delights

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick margarine (softened but not melted)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/2 tsp milk
2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips or mint chips

In a stand mixer cream sugars, margarine, oil, egg, milk and vanilla.
Add dry ingredients until mixed in.  Add chocolate chips.

Bake on parchment lined baking sheets at 350 for 11 minutes.
Let cool for 3 minutes before removing from trays.  Makes about 3 dozen.

Hope these are memory makers for your family too!

~ Connie

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Long Winter ...

This has been a rough season for me.  Two long months of physical therapy, the post wedding and post holidays let down, family relationship stresses, concerns over an ill parent, winter cold, snow and ice ... it has all just really piled up and sent me down a lonely dark path. The worry and the depression have ground me down too often.  There are too many days where I focus too much on the things I haven't done right or well.  There are still times where I struggle to adjust to our empty nest.  As much as I love to see my adult kids grow and flourish in their own independent lives ... I sometimes really miss those days of messy kisses and toddler storybooks!  Moving far from my best girlfriend in Illinois when we relocated back to Iowa 2 plus years ago and the moving away of a new dear friend here (when her aging parents required help) are also tough turns of life to navigate.

Such is Life.  Nothing is ever storybook perfect.  Nothing is ever as it appears on social media.  The sun will rise tomorrow and offer us all the possibility of a fresh new day.  Savor the small blessings and pray through the tough stuff.  And forgive yourself and others often.  No one is perfect.  I have to remind myself of these things often as I look into the next new day.

Here are some words I read that seem timely as we begin the season of LENT.

"The Lord does not ask for perfection, but for a heart that longs to grow closer to His.  There is no wrong way to offer our prayers or our days.  The Lord delights in our efforts.  What parent scoffs at their child's repeated falls while learning to ride a bike?  They encourage and assist, knowing this task takes time and practice." 

Peace and Prayers

~ Connie

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Some favorite Fall Recipes!

Now that we have had a week of chilly temperatures and the calendar says October, I finally feel like Fall has maybe arrived here in central Iowa!  I am still hopping around my country farmhouse on my crutches but I have been fixing a few favorite Fall recipes that I want to share.

When I was a little girl, we had an apple tree in our back yard and every Fall I remember my mom making her yummy homemade apple sauce and apple crisp.  The house always smelled so wonderful when these terrific apple treats were cooking!  I hope you have gathered up some apples this Fall and can try these 3 great ideas.

Easy Apple Crisp

6 apples peeled, cored and sliced
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Toss apples with sugar and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and set aside.

In a second mixing bowl combine 1 c. brown sugar, 3/4 c. old fashioned oats, 3/4 c. flour, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 c. cold butter (diced into small pieces).  Mix and mash with a fork or pastry blender until a nice crumbly dry mixture is formed.  Coat a 9 x 9 glass baking dish with cooking spray and fill with apple mixture.  Sprinkle the apples with the crumbly oat mix and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Yum!

Slow Cooker Applesauce

4 pounds of tart apples  peeled, cored and diced.
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp, cinnamon
1 c. water
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Mix apples (about 12 cups) with cinnamon and sugar and place into crockpot.  Pour water and lemon juice over the apples.  Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.  Makes about 6 cups of apple sauce.

Apple Stuffed Chicken Breast

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 c. chopped apple
2 Tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. dried bread crumb stuffing
1 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. sweet white wine
1/4 c. water
1 Tbsp. water
1 - 1/2 tsp. corn starch
Sprig of parsley & diced apple for garnish.

Combine apple, cheese and bread crumbs. Set aside. Flatten chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness between wax paper with a rolling pin.  Divide apple mixture between chicken breasts.  Roll up and secure with toothpicks.  Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Brown stuffed chicken breasts.  Add wine and 1/4 c. water to skillet.  Cover and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.  Transfer chicken to serving platter and cover to keep warm.  Add corn starch and 1 Tbsp. water to skillet juices.  Cook and stir until thickened and serve as a sauce over chicken. Garnish with parsley and diced apple.  2-3 servings.

Just looking thru my recipe box for these 3 has unearthed a whole treasure trove of ideas for new Fall menus ... so stay tuned and I will share some other family favorites soon.

Hope the scents of cinnamon and apples fill your kitchen soon!