{Summer Recipe} Parmesan Grilled Oysters

Back in the day when we lived in New Orleans, my husband got to enjoy a lot of Grilled or Broiled Oysters. My favorite way to eat oysters in New Orleans were fried and on a poboy! How do you like your oysters?

Parmesan Grilled Oysters on the half shell


2 sticks of butter, room temp
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons chives or parsley or thyme
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
couple shakes of salt and pepper
1-2 dozen oysters, shucked and left in the half shell


1-Mix all the ingredients together, except oysters, until well combined.
2-Put in fridge until grill is ready.
3-Prepare gas or charcoal grill. When hot, equally dab butter mixture on each half shell. Then add each oyster to the grill - either on the grate or the coals.
4-Grill until the oysters start to bubble and curl up around the edges. The butter should be melted, too! Serve these babies as they come off the grill.

We live in Southern Illinois so this isn't a recipe I get to make. We sure miss our time in New Orleans and how easy it was to go into local restaurants and get just about any food we wanted full of butter and seafood! Yum. This butter mixture is good on anything seafood. Serve the oysters with french bread to get all of the juices.


5 Tips to Help your Child Develop Their Natural Gifts

How do you nurture your child to be the best possible person? This book, Lighting Their Fires by Rafe Esquith will give you tips on how to help your child develop their natural gifts.

Five Tips to Help Your Child Develop Their Natural Gifts
By Rafe Esquith
It'd be nice if there was a secret I could tell you about how to instantly make your kids more successful in school and life. But there is no magic pill, only that old stand-by, hard work. And the funny thing about that is, you can't force kids to work hard. I suppose you could try, but I've rarely seen anything useful come from kids whose parents had to hold their noses to the grindstone. If there's something close to a secret, perhaps it's this: Kids work hard when they want to work hard, and this happens only when are motivated to do so by some positive internal goal, and not by fear or because they are worried about disappointing others. They work hard because they value hard work. Instilling kids with values like this is the first step the long road to real success.

But that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do to make this happen. 

Here are five ways to put your kids on the path to extraordinary:

Toot Your Own Horn. Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you I sound like a broken record when it comes to spreading the gospel of music education. Put simply, every child should play an instrument, and parents should make whatever sacrifices are necessary to put a flute, trumpet, guitar, or tuba in their kid's hands. I don't have room here to list all the valuable skills that playing music can help develop, but one of the most important is the ability to listen to others: to make great music, a child must learn to pay attention to what others are playing. Doing so improves focus and teaches a valuable lesson about collaboration.

Be the Example. We've probably all seen a parent yelling at her kids to be quiet and perhaps chuckled to ourselves about the mixed signals sent by this gesture. It seems like an easy lesson: for kids to understand why things are important, you have to be consistent. But this isn't just situational advice. Kids mirror parents and adults in far more depth than we often realize. They internalize our values by watching what we do, which is why it's essential that we live the way we want them to live. We can stress the importance of being on time until we're blue in the face, but if we're constantly late to pick them up from school, that's what they're going to remember.

Great Books are Great for a Reason. Kids have two backpacks: the physical one they carry their books in, and the mental backpack where they store all the lessons and experiences they'll use to help make decisions. A paperback copy of To Kill a Mockingbird won't take up much room in the first one, but the wisdom contained within this book can be carried in the mental backpack for a lifetime. There are lessons here about choosing generosity over selfishness, making the right choice even when it's the difficult one, and standing up for your beliefs. I also recommend Thornton Wilder's fantastic play Our Town, and anything by Shakespeare (important note: kids are never too young for Shakespeare). A kid with a library card has the world at her fingertips, and when parents read with her, they can serve as map to help make sense of that world.

Do Unto Others. Volunteering is a great way to build character and teach values while making an important contribution to the community. Working at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving, visiting an elderly person at a retirement home on a regular basis, or planting trees and helping to beautify your town are all great ways to help kids learn about the importance of selflessness and humility. I know several families who volunteer together on a holiday schedule: on each day off, they pick a different activity and spend a few hours volunteering together. This way, parents get to be the example, reinforcing the positive message.

Patience, My Dears. In today's on-demand world, kids are taught that anything worth having can be had instantly. This is an incredibly bad lesson, and parents must work to counteract this by instilling kids with patience and focus -- the skills that will let them buckle down to achieve the truly great things that invariably take much time and effort. I've found that gardening is an excellent choice when it comes to teaching patience. Kids see that reaching their goal is a slow process, one that requires dedicated care and attention at every phase. And since they get to watch their garden grow as they tend to it, they learn that the real pleasure is in the process (though ripe tomatoes are certainly also a pleasure, and tasty!).

You may have noticed that most of these "success" tips don't have anything to do with school. That's because making kids extraordinary people is the first step toward making them extraordinary students. All follows from values and character, and in working to instill these, you'll create kids that you -- and the rest of the community and country -- can be proud of.

©2009 Rafe Esquith, author of Lighting Their Fires: Raising Extraordinary Children in a Mixed-up, Muddled-up, Shook-up World

Author Bio
Rafe Esquith, author of Lighting Their Fires: Raising Extraordinary Children in a Mixed-up, Muddled-up, Shook-up World, has taught at Hobart Elementary School in Los Angeles for twenty-four years. He is the only teacher to have been awarded the president's National Medal of the Arts. His many other honors and awards include the American Teacher Award, Parents magazine's As You Grow Award, Oprah Winfrey's Use Your Life Award, and People magazine's Heroes Among Us Award. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Barbara Tong. For more information, please visit www.hobartshakespeareans.or


Luscious Strawberry Pie

Here is another tasty recipe from the Gooseberry Patch Cookbook Garfield Recipes  with Cattitude giveaway (get new tasty recipes)! This luscious strawberry pie recipe is very easy to make. May is Strawberry month so this is the perfect time to make this pie.

Luscious Strawberry Pie

1 1/2 c. water
3/4 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1/8 t. salt
3 oz. pkg strawberry gelatin mix
4 c. strawberries, hulled and sliced
garnish: whipped cream

Make and bake Pat & Go Pie Crust below (or use premade crust); set aside. Meanwhile, in a 2 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together water, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until clear; stir in dry gelatin mix until dissolved. Remove from heat; pour 1/4 of gelatin mixture into crust. Arrange strawberries in crust; pour remaining gelatin mixture over the top. Cover and refrigerate until set, 2-3 hours. Serve with whipped cream. Serves 8.

Pat & Go Pie Crust

1 c. all purpose flour
2 T. powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened

Combine flour and powdered sugar; cut butter into flour mixture with a fork until crumbly. Pat into a 9" pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 mins; cool.

Kitchen Notes:
I doubled the crust to make it in a 9" X 13" pan which also included doubling the fruit part of the recipe. Everyone loved it.

More Strawberry Recipes for National Strawberry Month

May is National Strawberry Month Recipes

We love strawberries! May is National Strawberry Month and here in Southern Illinois they are really popping out all over the place. Here are some of our favorite strawberry recipes on my blog.

Strawberry Margarita Jam
Southern Spinach & Strawberry Salad
Strawberry Peach Smoothie
Happy Margarita
Luscious Strawberry Pie
Spinach Salad with Strawberries


Enter the iPad Mini Giveaway Event!

Ready to enter to win an iPad Mini? I'm so excited to be part of this giveaway opportunity! Good luck to you! If you win who is going to get this adorable iPad Mini? Is it for you? If I win it will be for me but....I might give it to my hubby because he really is the one who wants it.  Good luck!

Welcome to the iPad Mini Giveaway!

Hosted by Work Money Fun & Susie QT Pies Cafe (that is me!!!.)

The iPad Mini is the newest addition to Apple’s iPad family with all of the features of the iPad but at a smaller and more convenient size. With a 7.9-inch display, fast and fluid performance, FaceTime and iSight cameras, thousands of available apps, and a 10-hour battery life, the iPad Mini has quickly become one of the most popular tablets on the market.

Monday Menu Plan Recipe link party

Happy Monday! Happy Menu Plan Monday and Happy Memorial Day! Thanks to all the men and women who have served and still serve our Country. We salute you! Here is a picture of two of my girls back in the days of Girl Scouts.
American Flag
No menu plan for me this week. We have a crazy week and will be eating with other families this week at local retreat. We can't wait! I want to thank you for stopping in and visiting my menu plan. Here are some menu ideas-

6 Summer Salad Recipes

Summer food ideas (yummy salads!)

Memorial Day & Picnic Ideas

Please link up your recipes, menu plans and anything food related below. I will be featuring two from this week and two from last week's menu plan next week with my new menu.

Have a super week and while you are here, enter the most AWESOME Gooseberry Patch Garfield Cookbook giveaway (get new tasty recipes) and the $100 Amazon Giveaway and the brand new iPad Mini Giveaway!!!! Get all your entries in! Someone has to win these and why not get all your chances to win!

Make sure you leave a comment because I will be visiting EVERY BLOG this week who leaves me a comment.

I link up at and always check out 3 Boys and a Dog menu!


Tangy Meatball Sub Recipe

We love meatballs! I love creating new recipes using them. This recipe is from Gooseberry Patch's newest Cookbook -Garfield Recipes with Cattitude Cookbook Review.

Chef's Surprise Tangy Meatballs (sub)

2 lb ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1 1/3 c. chili sauce, divided
1/2 c. grape jelly

In a large bowl, combine beef, eggs, salt, oats and 1/3 c. chili sauce. Mix well with your hands; form into one-inch balls. Place in an ungreased shallow 13"x9" baking pan. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes, until meatballs are browned; drain. 
Meanwhile, combine jelly and remaining sauce in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until mixture is well blended. Add meatballs; simmer until heated through. Meatballs may be kept warm in a slow cooker while serving. Makes about 5 dozen. 

Kitchen Tips: These are great to make sub sandwiches. Make them ahead of time and wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm.

For more recipes from this cookbook check here at Gooseberry Patch Cookbook Garfield Recipes with Cattitude Cookbook Review and Giveaway.


Gooseberry Patch Cookbook Garfield Recipes with Cattitude Cookbook Review

Meow! I always think of lasagna when I think of Garfield the cat. His favorite foods are clearly pasta, lotsa lasagna and pizza! Gooseberry Patch created a cookbook with over 230 recipes just to featured Garfield's favorite recipes!
I'm an Early Bird Reviewer for Gooseberry Patch. I love getting early sneak peeks at their cookbooks before they are for sale! This allows me to post a review of some of their recipes and offer one as a giveaway to one of you!

This cookbook is unlike any of their other cookbooks that I have reviewed. Instead of a particular food or event theme this book is based on a fat cats love of food! The dedication page states, "To fans of Gooseberry Patch and Garfield everywhere...brought together by a common love of yummy homestyle food!" You will find quite a few pizza and lasagna recipes in this book!

Below you will find a chapter by chapter review of some of my favorite recipes that I will try or have already tried.

Breakfast is Served...Time to Get Up!-Creamy Scrambled Eggs & Chives, Cheesy Scramblin' Pizza, Brown Sugar-Glazed Bacon, Cinnamon Sugar Mini Doughnuts (recipe coming soon), Kitchen Cafe Mocha (recipe soon), Upside-Down Apple Muffins, Lazy Cat Pancake, Breakfast Banana Split

First Lunch, Then a Catnap-Happy Burgers, 5 Alarm Chili, Lazy-Does-It Beefy Lasagna Soup, Grilled Peanut Butter & Jelly, Baked Chili Fries, Horseradish Dill Pickles, Jim Davis (Garfield's creator) Spicy Deviled Eggs, Hawaiian Pizza Sub

Snack Attack!-Garfield's Pizza Bites, Chef's Surprise Tangy Meatballs, Yummy Tuna Spread, Pizza Pretzel Nibblers, Peanut Butter People Chow, Pull-Apart Pizza Bread, Mexi-Corny Popcorn Shake, Pizzeria Popcorn Sprinkle, Chocolately Moo Cow Shake, Sweet Rainbow Popcorn

Lotsa Lasagna, Pasta & Pizza-Classic Lasagna, Bachelor Style Skillet Lasagna, Bow-Tie Lasagna, Emergency Lasagna, Creamy Chicken Lasagna, Ravioli & Meatballs Pronto, Upside-Down Pizzeria Pot Pie (making soon!), Hot Buffalo Chicken Pizza, Fresh Bruschetta Pizza, Cheesy White Pizza

It's Dinner Time...Now!- Delicious Drummies, Crispy Chicken Nuggets, Newfangled Tuna Penne Casserole, Chicken Chimies, Smoky Grilled Corn, Salad on a Stick (making soon), Mustard Glazed Carrots

Dinner is Over...What's For Dessert?-Garfield's Birthday is June 19th so pop back in to get his Golden Birthday Cake & Best Ever Bakery Frosting Recipes, Picnic Basket Cake, Luscious Strawberry Pie (post recipes in a few days), Frosty Butter Pecan Crunch Pie, Jumpin' Java Soda, Fizzy Milk Punch, Odie's Peppermint Bark

Animal Snacks- Garfield's Tuna Treats for real cats (we are making these) and Odie's Sit Up & Beg Biscuits for real dogs

gooseberry patch

Chef's Surprise Tangy Meatballs (sub)

2 lb ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1 1/3 c. chili sauce, divided
1/2 c. grape jelly

In a large bowl, combine beef, eggs, salt, oats and 1/3 c. chili sauce. Mix well with your hands; form into one-inch balls. Place in an ungreased shallow 13"x9" baking pan. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes, until meatballs are browned; drain. 
Meanwhile, combine jelly and remaining sauce in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until mixture is well blended. Add meatballs; simmer until heated through. Meatballs may be kept warm in a slow cooker while serving. Makes about 5 dozen. 

Kitchen Tips: These are great to make sub sandwiches. Make them ahead of time and wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm.
gooseberry patch

Chocolatey Moo Cow Shake

2 c. milk
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
1 scoop chocolate ice cream
3 T. chocolate syrup
optional: crushed ice

Combine all ingredients except ice in a blender; process until smooth. Pour into 2 glass over ice, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Kitchen note- We crushed our ice with the shake.

(Photo by Anna)
The cookbook is full of Garfield cartoons, pictures, freezer meal and kitchen tips! Even Garfield has tips on how to cut calories and fat without giving up flavor! What a fun cookbook for teens, newlyweds, new moms and any Garfield fan! Never forget that that the four basic food groups are meat, vegetable, dairy and catsup.

(OVER) Want to win your own copy of this mouth-watering cookbook? I'm keeping this super easy for you to enter. Giveaway ends 6/7/13

47 Summer Food Ideas!

Ready or not summer is just about here. Kids are getting out of school and family vacations are planned. Are you ready? Have you planned out summer recipes which tend to be lighter, on the go type recipes?
This week for our Pinterest Party, I'm featuring my Summer Meals Pinterest Board. It has over 40 ideas to make and take this summer. A few of my other favorites are the Serving up Salads and Living Happy and Healthy.

My other featured board is my Top 25 Weekly Blog Parties Board on Pinterest. Find out where to find link parties! If you have a weekly party you can be added to the board. Leave your blog party link in the comments. 

HOW TO JOIN THE LINKY Party (all optional)

1) Pin this Party Post to Pinterest- Please! 
2) Link up your most clicked on post, most followed Pinterest board, favorite pinterest pin, etc...anything goes.
3) Add your Pinterest name to the linky.
4) In turn pin a few things on the linky.
5) Please follow my boards on Pinterest- SusieQTpies Cafe and cohost Crystal and Company and 3 Boys and a Dog. We do follow back.


12 Memorial Day Recipes and Picnic Recipes

Memorial Day seems like it is the official kick off day for outdoor Summer family fun & picnics. No only do we remember those who have served but also remember and give thanks to those currently serving our Nation.

Here are some of our favorite Memorial Day Recipes.
 If you are looking for an easy dessert recipe I have two for you. I made these Patriotic Cupcakes & Toppers for the Bowdabra Blog last year. You can find the Best Ever Cupcake recipe here or use your own favorite cupcake recipe. The decorations are so easy to make and everyone will think that you spent HOURS preparing them. Let them think that!

I also made these Patriotic Rice Krispy Kabobs which are INSANELY easy and no baking required. Again, super easy and people will be impressed with your mad kitchen skills. Great picnic recipe!

More Memorial Day Recipes or good Picnic Recipes
Linking this up to OrgJunkies Menu Plan Monday.


Tips on encouraging positive youth sports

As a parent, how do you encourage and reinforce positive aspects of youth sports? Which sports are your kids in? Do you coach their team? How do you support your kid and the coaches?
healthy kids I'm a mom of 3 girls. The twins started playing soccer when they were 3 years old. It was a non competitive team. The goal (so to speak) was to learn to play the game. That was what was important to us as a family as well as the other families involved. 

The kids learned that there was more to the game then just scoring goals. The coach taught them team playing which went along with what we were already teaching our girls at home. The twins played soccer on and off in elementary school. When they said "we don't want to play anymore" and the season was over then we let them be done. As their parent, I knew if their heart was not in it then they would not do their best. Every day we ask them to try and do their best.

healthy kids
(6/2009 archive)

Our youngest has finally settled into Tae Kwon Doe. TKD has allowed her to get exercise, work with others, develop a skill and take responsibility for her learning. She has to "do her best" and she wants to do her best. 

healthy kids

(6/2009 archive)

We started homeschooling in 2006. During these past few years of not being in the school system we have found that we have more flexibility in choosing sports and activities for them that offer more than the hard core competitive drive. They have been taught to learn the sport that they are playing. They have been exposed to numerous sports. When they want to try something new we encourage them to try it. This includes anything from hula hooping, bowling, tennis, golfing, soccer, swimming,etc. With everything they do we want them to "Do their best". 

How do you encourage your kids to fully enjoy the sport that they are involved in? How are your kids going to keep busy this summer? 

Summer Travel and Healthy Food options for kids and families 


Wanna Shower?? I'm a Delta Faucet Brand Ambassador #WomansIn2ition #sponsor

I'm so excited to be a Delta Faucet Brand Ambassador and the chance to review a Delta In2ition Showerhead. Delta is a well trusted brand name and I needed a new showerhead! I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Delta Faucets. I received a product sample and promotional item as a thank you for participating. 
I am slowly redoing my bathroom to have Venetian Bronze hardware. So my pick showerhead was Venetian Bronze which fit in perfectly with my shower bar and curtain that I already purchased. Besides the perfect color, design and size I love that it serves as a dual purpose shower system.

This dual purpose Delta Faucet showerhead works as a showerhead and a handheld shower unit. I love that it is also a handheld so that I can spray around my tub and shower walls for cleaning. It is also great for washing hair on little kids.

The center of my showerhead is the hand held removable part. It is easily removed. The top of the showerhead goes in first then is easily pushed into place until the two pieces snap together.  There is a lever position on the side which allows for easy changing of water flow for the showerhead, handheld or both at once. My other shower head did not have this feature. I'm so excited to have this 2-in-1 set up and can't wait to be totally spoiled every time that I take a shower. This is the perfect showerhead for the family bathroom.

This Delta Faucet also has H20 Kinetic Technology and from what I read, it has an internal system which allows for full control over speed, movement and water drop size to provide the right amount of water flow to give the best shower experience without using extra water.

Here is my video of the showerhead. I will be sharing more information with you over the next few months on this showerhead. I'm so excited to get this opportunity review and be a Brand Ambassador for Delta Faucet and hope that you learn something new.

6 Summer Salad Recipes

Happy Monday! Here is a tasty menu plan with some of the things I will be cooking this week. We are eating light with summer salad recipes and one girl is getting her wisdom teeth out so I have to cook differently for her, too. I will be trying a few new things from the newest Gooseberry Patch Cookbook, Garfield Recipes with Cattitude! and share those recipes with you next week. This is an All-American cookbook with that crazy cat Garfield.

Monday- Italian Sub Salad - a meal in one bowl

Tuesday-Ranch Bacon Pasta Salad

Wednesday- Aunt Salad isn't just for Ants

Thursday-Steak House Salad

Friday-Asian Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Weekend- Easy Chicken Tostada Salad - will make the chicken on Friday with that meal.

Featured Menu Plan of the Week- Chosen from last week's link party, menu plan! Check out her travels and how she ate on her trip. I'm a huge fan of fruit waters and love that she talked about that her in post.

I hope you enjoyed my summer salad recipes and salad meal plan! Share yours in the comments below.
monday menu plan

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