Family...Food...and FUN!

When we visit son Nick's family, we're always glad when a family get-together is on tap.  And I love to sit back and watch Nick as he prepares food for the events they host.  This time he chose ribs and chicken as the main event.  (And since other family members were bringing all the side dishes and the dessert I was banned from cooking that day!)

Early in the day, he invented his own dry rub and liberally coated both the chicken and the ribs. Both were left in the frig for hours to allow the rub to penetrate the meat.

The ribs were then wrapped in foil and placed on baking sheets in a 300 degree oven for several hours...

And the chicken was placed on the grill to partially cook it.  (It was later finished in the oven...placed on racks to allow all sides to remain crispy.)

Nearing party time, the ribs were finished on the grill with the foil removed.

The ribs were brushed with a liquid concoction Nick created on the fly.  He used the leftover dry rub, the drippings from the foil wrapped ribs, a generous amount of cumin, some red wine vinegar, some brown and some white sugar...and I have no clue what else!  (Nick uses the "dump and taste" method of cooking...just like his Mom...and I LOVE watching him be creative in the kitchen.)

And daughter Delaney was quick to offer to baste the ribs.  (Another generation of cooks in the making!)

Looking Finger Lickin' Good...And Fallin' Off The Bone Tender...
(and they were!)

Laney and her mop!

The chicken pieces were finished in a 350 degree oven until all juices ran clear...

Sarah's sister Maggie made up a pasta salad that was delish.  She mixed the pasta with Ranch dressing and hot sauce...and added veggies including artichokes, I think.  Really yummy!  Sort of a Buffalo Pasta Salad...without chicken!

And Grandma Beck brought homemade shortcakes...and strawberries from their own patch!  Delicious!

Maggie added fresh basil to her fruit bowl...a flavorful addition!

Like they used to say in small town newspapers...
"A good time was had by all!"

(And a DELICIOUS time as well...thanks to all those fine cooks!)

Summer Dinners in Iowa...

When the bounty of the garden is in full force, words aren't really necessary to describe an Iowa dinner...but I will provide recipes upon request!

From Farm to Table...
I hope YOU are enjoying the bounty of the season!

(And the Creamed Kale recipe will be posted soon...)

Breakfast of CHAMPIONS

Saturday morning in the Mishler household is more " laid back" than those "hurry up and leave the house" weekday mornings.  Nick fixes great breakfasts for his three girls almost every day, and he surprises them with special treats on many weekday mornings.  But when the weekend comes, Nick likes fixing a leisurely breakfast for his girls on those "stay in pajamas" kind of mornings.

So last Saturday it was blueberry waffles, crispy bacon and scrambled eggs for all! (What a Dad!)

Three little pajama-clad girls...pampered by their Dad on a Saturday morning.

(What a JOY for me to see!)

A Mormon Temple Tour...Indianapolis

For several years, we have watched a HUGE building under construction in Indianapolis.  It's a new temple of the Church of Latter Day Saints, also known as Mormon.

So when our son told me that the building would be open for public tours during our current visit, he asked if he should sign my up for a tour.  I have always wondered what the inside of a Mormon temple looks like, so I was glad for the opportunity.  You see, after the formal dedication of the building next month, NO ONE will ever again be allowed inside unless they are a practicing Mormon in good standing with their church leaders.  (In fact, we were shown a desk inside the entrance where every Mormon must be "carded" before they are allowed to pass through to the interior.)

And every Mormon who enters after that dedication will be required to remove their "street clothes" and put on all-white garments while in the temple.  (Locker rooms are provided for this purpose.)

No cameras were allowed on the tour itself, and you can imagine how hard it was for me to refrain from snapping away.

Our tour guide led us through a side entrance where a tent had been set up...

Inside the tent, we were assisted in putting on shoe covers to protect the carpets and marble floors inside the building...

The interior of the building is incredible, and everything inside was designed and created by craftsmen specifically for that building.  They also showcased the state of Indiana, including the state bird and flower.  We were told that every Mormon temple does this to honor the states where they are located.  Even the carpets and the furniture were custom made to include the bird and flower motif.  And Indiana's motto "The Crossroads Of America" was depicted in the amazing stained glass windows throughout the massive building.  Another guide later told me the stained glass was made by craftsmen in Indiana, and that the glass was blown into flat sheets and then hand cut.  Every pane of glass was cut perfectly the first time, and no pieces were ground down to fit. Each piece of glass was cut to fit-perfectly.  Unbelievable.

After the tour we exited toward the front of the building and had an opportunity to take pictures outside...

The grounds are beautifully landscaped, and cover many acres.  We were told the temple will be open to their members Tuesdays through Saturdays.  Their Sunday worship is in a smaller building on the grounds...and Mondays are reserved for cleaning and upkeep of the temple by volunteers within their membership. Every surface within the HUGE building will be cleaned...every Monday.

After snapping exterior photos we were directed into another tent...

 A pianist and a violinist were playing while we toured the exhibits ...

Samples of the statuary were on display...

And here are the descriptions and photos of the various building materials used, and photos and descriptions of the interior rooms we had just seen.

Here are the descriptions of the various rooms inside the temple...

There are twelve cattle depicted in the baptistry, representing the twelve tribes of Israel...

I would honestly say I came away with more questions than answers, but I'm really glad I had the opportunity to see the craftsmanship and attention to detail used in the creation of this building.  And I appreciated the chance to observe this different form of worship and beliefs.

Meemaw's Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

Now...It's FAMILY TIME in Indiana!
When we visit our family in Indy, each grandgirl gets to choose the menu for one meal.  And tonight was Claire's night.  She wanted SOUP! Never mind that it's 88 degrees outside..Claire's first choice is ALWAYS soup!  So I made a HUGE pot of my Hamburger Vegetable (Rainbow in a Bowl) Soup
The recipe here:

Hamburger Vegetable Soup

I wanted something tasty to go with that bowl of soup, so I checked out several online versions of cheddar biscuits, and then I created my own.  Then my three little chefs helped me stir 'em up!

 And how did they turn out??


And all that was left behind?

(And Peepaw was the broom guy.  A good deal in my book.)

MEEMAW'S CHEDDAR GARLIC BISCUITS  (Makes about 12 biscuits)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (preferred) or spray sheet with cooking spray.

MIX TOGETHER (But DON'T OVER MIX or biscuits will be tough!)
2 1/4 C. biscuit baking mix
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese (or any blend will work)
2/3 C. milk
1 tsp garlic powder
4 T. butter (divided)
2 tsp dried parsley

To TOP the biscuits:
garlic SALT (to taste) mixed with the remaining 2 T. melted butter  (NOTE:You can substitute garlic powder to mix with the butter.  If so, just add a sprinkle of kosher salt to the butter and garlic powder mixture.)

Place baking mix, cheese and garlic powder and parsley in a bowl and stir together to coat the cheese with the baking mix.  Then stir in the milk, and 2 T. of the butter (save the other 2 T. for basting the biscuits later).

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Then remove from the oven and brush biscuit tops with the remaining 2 T. melted butter, garlic and salt mixture.  Return to the oven for about 5 minutes longer, or until biscuits are lightly browned.

Serve warm...and Enjoy!

Small Town Sycamore...Our Kind Of Place!

What a beautiful 'Back to the Future" town...

Sunset...Midwest Style...

Apparently the bar across the street is a Biker's paradise...

It got too chilly on our rooftop perch so we moved downstairs and split a delicious burger and homemade fries...

And as we walked back to our hotel, we noticed many small "Mom and Pop" stores that still seem to be thriving in Sycamore...

And finally...back to our "haunted" hotel for a good night's sleep before heading on our way to Indy...and some FAMILY "together time"!

(I hope those hotel ghosts are friendly...)