Babs Just A Babblin' Blog

A bit of Gardening, baking, blogging, knitting, sewing, family, friends and discovering hidden treasures along the way.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


I had a massage this morning! GLORIOUS!

Massage Envy is a franchise across the country and there are two locations in this area

I had a one hour massage. My shoulders are so sister thinks they feel like granite counter tops. No movement in those muscles.

My massage therapist, Laura was great. She had some"umph"behind her touch. She really released a lot of knots!

Wonderful location and staff. Clean, professional and friendly.

I know this will be a regular stop when we return. Laura Rocks! Off to get another glass of water to rid those toxins she knocked loose.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Here in Orlando, it's refreshing to see spring time beauty knowing back home it's a blizzard.

Azalea bush in our front yard

Along side the house

The crepe myrtles are budding!

Front of house azaleas.

Greenery and refreshing pool.

Taking a side trip to Cocoa Beach....our room with a view.

Rain and clouds today, however temps in the low 80’s.
More later..til then...stay warm!

Friday, February 22, 2013

We Love Florida

We went to see the manatees at Blue Springs State Park today. The manatees look like logs in the water.

And this guy was hanging out for a photo op also.

It was a gorgeous day....85 degrees.

Then we headed to lunch.

These cuties dined by us.....

Yes...they are real.

Gourmet sandwiches, sangria and a taste of sweet!

Strawberry cheesecake.

Life is grand!

Our perfect hosts!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


We are leaving this
21 degrees and blowing snow

For this:
79 degrees and sunny, blue skies~


I'll be posting from the warm, sunny south!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Intriguing Dessert

I stumbled upon this dessert and obsessed with wanting to make it.I love just saying it...aff-o-gato!

Have you every had it?

Curious?  Well, feast your eyes on this......
It sounds very easy. The recipe I was perusing stated to take Haagen Das Ice Cream..preferable vanilla.  Scoop into large balls and place on parchment paper and place in freezer.  You want the ball to be very harden.  When ready to serve, start with a nice vessel, place crumbled cookies in bottom of glass (shortbread or crumbled biscotti, then the scoop of ice cream, pour over a shot of espresso*, then top with real whipped cream and shaved chocolate.  Ta-da!!
* if you don't have an espresso machine, simply use instant espresso/hot water.

Now, doesn't that sound decadent and delicious and to die for.  I so want to try this.  I think Lynne and I will do one Tuesday afternoon, but it will have to wait for now.....busy the next few weeks.  

If anyone has tried this, please let me know.! Supposedly they make it at Starbucks.
May have to check that out in the interim.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's is for the Birds!

Bird Seed Valentine's for our little feathered friends.  They would enjoy a treat also.  I made these yesterday.  I thought they were cleaver!  Just hang from a branch in a tree!  And, you still have time to whip some up!  They are that easy!

What you will need:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water
one small pkg. of unflavored gelatin
3 Tablespoons corn syrup (i.e. Karo syrup)
4 cups of birdseed

Also will need cookie cutter (I used heart shapes), chopstick or straw, string, yarn or similar, cookie sheet.

Mix the flour, water, gelatin and corn syrup together in a large bowel.  Add the birdseed and mix well.
Spray inside of a cookie cutter with cooking spray (PAM).  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper.  Soon the mixture into a cookie cutter and press firmly with your fingers.  (Spray your fingers with the nonstick spray so the birdseed doesn't stick to your fingers.) Insert a chopstick or straw into the top of your shape to create a hole to use for hanging.  Carefully remove the cookie cutter and repeat.  ReSpray cutter after 3-4 uses. Leave on cookie sheet. Let them dry overnight.

String jute or yarn or ribbon or string through the hole and hang onto the trees for the birds to enjoy.

Note:  make sure you place your hole a bit down from the top of the shape so the string doesn't break through the birdseed from the weight of the ornament.

Package in a cellophane bag with a pretty ribbon and give to a friend~ !

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Winter Fun

This is the last of the series of No More Winter Whining over at Life is a Garden and these are my Colors.
This week's theme is What Do You Do for Fun in the Winter.

Everyone's definition of fun is different.  What might be fun to me is boring to someone else.  So, fun is very personal!

Winter is a time that I feel one has an opportunity to slow down, nest, rejuvenate and get to things that you are too busy to do in the summer.  So, fun things for me in the winter may be:

Making a Snow Angel

Upon request for my Staci in Florida
Antiquing is Fun

As well as Estate Sales

There is always crafting and trying something new....
And dreaming of summertime...getting ideas from blogs

I love snuggling up with my husband or a good book or my ipad

and baking

and reading
and knitting

and stitching

and escaping for a few weeks down to the sunshine!      

So there you have it.  Winter Fun.
What do you do for fun?

Friday, February 8, 2013

It's Friday Again!

About all that's been happening here the last few days is snow, snow, snow.  Between yesterday and this morning we got at least a foot.
Out the back slider.

Thus, I've been snuggled in getting a few Valentine things together.
Made some hearts for Joslyn to wear for Valentine's Day

Tucked in a little something for her Mommy too....don't look at this Jackie!
A little knitting......
Cooper's little ears and neck get soooo cold in the snow!  He's got a coat but this will do the trick.
You can see the knitting is still on the needles...we were just trying it on for size so it is a bit longer.

Off tonight for a Lake Perch Dinner.  My sister-in-law Linda and I are going to the "Bling Thing" first.  Wine and chocolate and vintage costume jewelry extravaganza.  Should be interesting....over 1000 pieces.  Hope to find something great.

Have a good weekend !!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pepper Jack Cheese Sauce

As promised!

Pepper Jack Cheese Sauce

2T. butter
2T. flour
2 Cups milk
1/2 lb. pepper jack cheese
1/4 c. warmed salsa
1/2 package taco seasoning
Cumin to taste.

Melt butter.  Add flour and let bubble, stirring constantly.  After a minute, slowly add milk and stir til thickens.  Add pepper jack cheese, cut in cubes, melt in milk mixture.  Add salsa, seasoning and cumin.
Serve over enchiladas, chips and cheese, just about anything.  Very good.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Another "Keeper"

I made this for supper tonight - it is very good!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bottle Lawry's Baja Chipotle marinade or Lawry's Mesquite Marinade

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup uncooked long grain rice (not instant)
1 Tbsp dried minced onion flakes
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp Pampered Chef Southwestern Seasoning or Taco Seasoning
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce

1 container Mexican Queso (author used Gordos Cheese Dip)
chopped tomato

Pour Baja Chipotle Marinade over chicken and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or overnight. When ready, grill chicken until done (165 degrees).

While the chicken is grilling prepare the rice.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden. While rice is cooking, sprinkle with salt and Southwestern or Taco Seasoning.

Stir in onion flakes, tomato sauce and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Heat cheese dip according to package directions set aside.

To assemble the Pollo Loco - place 1/4 of the rice on a plate, top with grilled chicken. Pour 2-3 Tbsp cheese dip over chicken and rice and top with chopped tomatoes.

I have a recipe for a Pepper Jack sauce that would really be nice with this in lieu of the Queso.  I will try and remember to post it tomorrow.  Let me know if you try this recipe.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Are We Getting Old?

I really hate to say that, however, the Super Bowl last night just didn't do it for me.  The half-time show featuring Beyonce'...excuse me but that was not my idea (or anyone else at my house) of entertainment.
I didn't understand one word and the choreography, shall we say, was not anything more but exaggerated sex moves. That's not entertainment to me. my soapbox I go.

The best parts of the weekend for me were two things:  a learned how to play cribbage and I tried two new recipes. My pictures turned out blurry so bear with me.

The first one was a Chocolate Pecan Pie from Country Living Magazine November 2012.
It has the right amount of bittersweet chocolate, lots of pecans, and is very rich and very good.  We warmed it just a few seconds in the micro and then topped with a dallop of whipped cream! Delicious!

Next up, is Cheddar Bacon Pull Apart Bread
My sister proclaimed I must make this for every family gathering from now on.  That kind of sums it up.
Here's the recipe:
1 unsliced loaf of (round is preferable) sourdough bread,( I used regular bread)
8-12 oz cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
3 oz bag Oscar Mayer Real Bacon bits (I fried up real bacon, drained and crumbled)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp Ranch dressing mix

Using a sharp bread knife cut the bread going both directions. Do not cut through the bottom crust. Place slices of cheese in between cuts. Sprinkle bacon bits on bread, making sure to get in between cuts. Mix together butter and Ranch dressing mix. Pour over bread. Wrap in foil the entire loaf in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Recipe from Plain  Check her out, she has some awesome recipes.

In addition to that, we had bbq riblets, bacon wrapped sausages in chili sauce, a great nacho jalepeno cheese dip and potato soup.  We were bursting at the seams.
As for the game, who won?  I was busy knitting, on my iPad playing words with friends and playing with the dog.  Oh, I guess it was the Ravens who won, so my husband tells me!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Finding Nature in Winter

Again this week, I am participating in No More Winter Whining.  This week's subject is finding nature in winter.  I headed out with my camera and hopefully you will enjoy these pictures I snapped.

Our State Park covered in snow

Snow covered pines against the sand dune.

Beach grass in foreground and down the ravine

Small sand dune in background

Trees down across creek

Creek in State Park
We had snow, rain and snow. Thus, it created an ice jam on the Grand River.

These are ice chunks broke loose from the jam and floating by.
Ice floating out to Lake Michigan
Nature is all around us.  The wind, the snow, the rain.  We had thunder, rain, and lightening this past week.
Why not get out and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer.
The kids love it.
The doggies too!~
Linking up to Heather