October 30, 2010

Morefield Gem Mine

We went to Morefield Gem Mine today in Amelia County, Virginia. :)

Sign at the entrance to the mine.


There are lots of buckets and shovels that you can use if you don't bring your own.

"Garnet Hill" In the red clay muck you will find garnets. I like 'surface hunting'. Which is just finding treasures on the surface of the ground. Nate likes to dig up the muck putting it all in buckets and take it to the sluice. But it's always crowded and messy so I don't like going over there.

The end of the sluice....

Look at all the garnets! :)

Nate invited some co-workers. Emily decided to join us with her daughter Faith. Faith is so sweet! :)

Here's Faith again sitting for pictures on petrified tree.

These are my findings for today. I found some garnets, purple amethyst, topaz and other gems.

Close up of my garnets I found. I didn't find as many as Nate. I always give him the ones I find.

Nate's garnets he found today.

All of Nate's garnets. :)

All of my purple amethyst. :) I think we both have a good collection. What do we do with all of our gems? We keep them in ball jars. :)

October 28, 2010

Comfort dinner....

For dinner I made a shoulder roast, asparagus with bacon, and mashed potatoes with the skin on. MMMMM!! Talk about a meal that will keep you stuffed! :)

Foil as a gift?

For our anniversary Nate's parents gave us a box full of foil in pieces. Each piece of foil had either a $5 or $1 inside. I think we got like to last 2 or so and one had a piece of paper that said "are you having fun yet". haha Traditional 10 year wedding anniversary gifts are tin or aluminum. That's why they went with the aluminum foil and came up with a creative way to give us their gift. :)

Here is the box of all the unwrapped foil. We had $100 in $1's and $100 in $5's. :)

I made a thank you card for Gene and Linda incorporating some of the foil. :)

October 27, 2010

Apple Turnovers

I decided to make apple turnovers today with some of my apples I got from Graves Mountain Apple Harvest Festival. I used a simple recipe from allrecipes.com.


  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 (17.25 ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Combine the lemon and 4 cups water in a large bowl. Place the sliced apples in the water to keep them from browning.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain water from apples, and place them into the hot skillet. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes. Add brown sugar, and cinnamon, and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes. Stir together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Pour into the skillet, and mix well. Cook for another minute, or until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat to cool slightly.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Unfold puff pastry sheets, and repair any cracks by pressing them back together. Trim each sheet into a square. Then cut each larger square into 4 smaller squares. Spoon apples onto the center of each squares. Fold over from corner to corner into a triangle shape, and press edges together to seal. Place turnovers on a baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between them.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until turnovers are puffed and lightly browned. Cool completely before glazing.
  6. To make the glaze, mix together the confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Adjust the thickness by adding more sugar or milk if necessary. Drizzle glaze over the cooled turnovers.

Mixing apples! :) I tasted them and they tasted really good. Reminded me of my Grandma's fried apples. (I didn't put any lemon juice in the apple water, and they didn't brown at all).

I used refrigerated pie crusts. I just used 1 box and used pie crusts to make 2 big turnovers.

Some of the apple mix drooled out, but that's ok.

I put glaze and some more of the apple mix (that was left over in the skillet) and drizzled on top. I didn't like it with the glaze. The glaze was very powder sugary. BLECH!! And with the pie crusts I wasn't a big fan. I'd rather just eat the apple mix as fried apples.

October 26, 2010

A random drive....

After my errands earlier I decided to drive down Lee Drive to take pictures of the foliage. I was kinda bummed that it was really cloudy out and not too sunny but I figured I'd go take pics anyway. I always like driving down Lee Drive in Fredericksburg every fall to look at the leaves.

And look what I came across?? 4 wild female turkey's! :)

How cool?? Not sure if these turkey's were protesting my WAWA Turkey Gobbler Shorti or not but it's so neat to see them. haha

She was walking on a log. :) They kept making gobble noises, and let me just get a few feet away from them. They were not shy at all. I didn't see a male Turkey anywhere. Guess he was off with his other wives. LOL :)

Pretty yellow leaves!

A very old tree.

A wild mushroom.


Who says Turkey is only for Thanksgiving?

For lunch today, I decided getting the Turkey Gobbler shorti from WAWA after hearing a commercial on the radio yesterday. Hot turkey, cranberry covering stuffing....what's not to love??? And just $2.99!! :) Soooo good!! I highly recommend it. Next time I'm trying the hot turkey bowl. :)

October 25, 2010

Cupcakes for my dad

My dads favorite cupcake is yellow cake with chocolate icing and a little piece of candy corn on top. My Grandma used to make these for him when he was little. To surprise, my dad I thought I would make him some cupcakes! :)

New Things Monday

Ever had a Prickly Pear?

You have to be careful cutting off the outer skin. Otherwise you will get little prickles. And that happened to me. Luckily, I got my tweezers and got them all out. LOL Not very fun. :( I still tried the fruit. Taste sort of like watermelon. But too many seeds. I tried it and probably won't ever have one again. I wasn't really a fan. :)

October 24, 2010

10th Wedding Anniversary Surprise Party

Ashley and Kristen threw us a 10th Wedding Anniversary Party yesterday. Nate and I knew that the party yesterday and that we were to be picked up at 3:45pm but that was all the details we knew. :) It was a wonderful good surprise!! Everything was beautiful and just perfect. We can't say THANK YOU enough to Ashley and Kristen! :)

The party was held at a private room at the Inn at the Olde Silk Mill. At our seats were some calla lillies (which I had in my bouquet). They were sooo pretty. :)

The tables were set up with tea light candles a picture of us from the wedding and blue hydrangeas in glass ball jars. (blue hydrangeas were the flowers that my bridesmaids carried)

Ashley made a really cute shadow box for us. Ashley and Daniel also made us a slide show. Pictures from the wedding that we watched while eating. It was great!! There was also framed pictures of us on a table with a scrapbook that I made for guests to look at.

Kristen and Dave got us this wooden sign. We are thinking about putting it in the foyer when you walk right in.

The room all set up. Sooooo pretty!! :)

Cupcakes that Kristen made. They are little hydrangeas! AWESOME!! Next to the cupcakes is a jar full of Chocolate Lindt that Ashley did. I gave them as favors at my wedding 10 years ago.

Sweet Livi. (My cousin Lora's daughter)

Some friends! :)

Girly picture! :) Melissa, Natalie (older sister), Ashley (little sister), Lora (cousin), Crystal, Sharon and Kristen. :)

October 22, 2010

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie



Refrigerated pie crusts, softened (I used Wegmans brand)


1/3 cup butter or margarine (I used unsalted Wegmans brand)

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 ¾ cups Chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)

½ cup milk

2 ½ cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

Some chopped potatoes

Some chopped celery

1 egg


· Pre-Heat oven to 425°F.

· In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until well blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened.

· Stir in chicken, mixed vegetables, potatoes and celery. Remove from heat. Spoon chicken mixture into crust-lined pan. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust.

· Crack egg into a small bowl and with a brush paint onto the top of your pie crust.

· Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. During last 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover with pie crust protector to prevent excessive browning. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Nate had never had chicken pot pie before. He always says "ew chicken doesn't belong in a pie", so I made him try it tonight. He loves it!! :) I'm never buying Marie Calendars again. I love my homemade chicken pot pie. It's the best!!

I asked my friend Crystal the other day about her process on her chicken pot pie and she gave me her process. I decided not to use my baker and got my recipe/process from the Pillsbury website.

From my friend Crystal: In my baker I put a little olive oil, then start layering my veggies in. Usually whatever I have in the freezer (peas, corn, green beans, lima beans, broccoli, etc). I cut one medium potato into small bite size pieces and if I have carrots i do the same. It is usually about a 1/2 C of each vegetable, I just kind of eyeball it. I mix all the veggies together, and season them. I usually season with salt, pepper, garlic, sage, parsley, all-purpose seasoning, and 2 - 3 bay leaves. Then I put 2 chicken breasts on top and I season those with the same seasonings as the veggies. Cover and put in the microwave for about 10 - 15 minutes. Check and flip the chicken and stir the veggies, then put back in the microwave for another 10-15 mins.

Once the chicken is cooked I put it in my large batter bowl and using the salad choppers I chop the chicken. You determine how fine you chop it. Combine the chicken, veggies, and 1 can of either cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken soup (or whatever cream of soup you like) and mix together. I also go ahead and remove the bay leaves at this point.

In my deep dish pie baker, I put one Pillsbury Pie Crust in the bottom and prick the bottom. Add the filling and then cover with the other Pillsbury Pie Crust on top. Trim the excess crust. Cut an "x" in the top and brush with melter butter or margarine then bake at 350 degrees until golden.

10th Wedding Anniversary

It was 10 years ago today I married my Nathan! :)

October 21, 2010

Beef Braciola with Mashed Potatoes & Asparagus

I love all the meats at Wegmans. While I was there a few days ago I picked up a package of Beef Braciola. Nope, I never had it before but it looked good so I thought let's go for it! :) Typically, you put a tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes on top of it but I left them plain b/c Nate isn't a big fan of tomatoes. I stuck them in my glass dish with pepper and beef broth and covered in foil and put them in the oven at 350 degrees. I left them in the oven for about 3 hours.

I also made some mashed potatoes (baby yellow potatoes with skin on) and I made Asparagus with bacon. (Nate actually mentioned that he wanted asparagus the other day and I found it at Wegmans today).