Monthly Archives: April 2016

Zombie Cocktail (aka ‘Blood in the Water’)


Zombie Cocktail aka "Blood in the Water" for the "Fear the Walking Dead" Season 2 Premiere

Zombie Cocktail aka “Blood in the Water” for the “Fear the Walking Dead” Season 2 Premiere

The second season of “Fear the Walking Dead” is tomorrow night! I am getting this out late but better late than never. I imagine if you were on the ‘Abigail’ this is what you would be drinking! (Update: We stopped watching this season after the first couple of episodes; it was that bad. If you are toughing it out we ‘salud’ you!)

For this drink you will need your personal taste of:

1.5 oz of Blueberry Vodka
0.5 to 1 oz of Blue Curacao
Lemon-Lime Soda (or tonic for less sweet)
Grenadine or Raspberry Syrup (Raspberry Syrup works best)                                                                       (For non-alcoholic version Blue Gatorade and/or blue Hawaiian Punch OR blue food dye)
Chilled Glasses and Ice

First add the Vodka…

Vodka and Chilled Mug

Next, add the Blue Curacao and top off with your choice of lemon-lime soda or tonic water. For non-alcoholic version leave out alcohol and add your choice of blue gatorade/punch, or blue food dye to lemon-lime soda.

Blue Cauracao and Soda

Blue Curacao and Lemon-Lime Pop (sub Tonic for less sweet)

Finally, add Grenadine or Raspberry syrup for effect…



Raspberry syrup works best!

Raspberry syrup works best!

Keep adding syrup until you have your desired effect/flavor…

Keep pouring...

Keep pouring…

More is better.

More is better.

Ahh Perfect.

God that's good.


If you are hosting a “Fear the Walking Dead” party, serve with ‘Zombie Parts’ appetizers Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and/or Bacon Wrapped Smokies.

Zombie Parts

Zombie Parts

Serves 6 to 8

Zombie Parts (Bacon Wrapped Smokies & Shrimp)

1 hrPrep Time

1 hrTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1.5 lbs. of Bacon
  • 1 lb. of Smokies
  • 1 c. Brown Sugar for Smokies
  • 1 lb. of Large Shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • Toothpicks or Skewers


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep the smokies first.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Next, place 1 c. brown sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Dredge smokies and 10-12 slices of bacon cut into thirds in brown sugar.
  5. Wrap smokies in bacon and slide onto skewers.
  6. You can use toothpicks but skewers make it easier to turn them over.
  7. Once all are skewered, set aside.
  8. Now, prep your shrimp
  9. Peel and devein them.
  10. Next, take 10-12 slices of bacon and cut them in half.
  11. Wrap shrimp with bacon and secure with toothpicks or place on skewers as well. Set aside.
  12. Place bacon wrapped smokies on prepared baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes
  13. Turn at 15 minutes.
  14. Set aside on serving platter, remove skewers, cover and place in microwave to keep warm.
  15. Adjust oven temperature to 450 degrees.
  16. Reuse foil covered baking sheet from smokies or prep another sheet.
  17. Place shrimp on baking sheet and place in 450 degree oven for no more than 15 minutes.
  18. Turn at 7 or so minutes.
  19. If you prefer crispy bacon you will need to precook your bacon for a couple of minutes.
  20. Allow to cool, then wrap shrimp and bake.
  21. Allow to rest for about 5-10 minutes before serving.


These are very rich!

Enjoy your Zombie Cocktails and Parts!

Have fun and be safe!


Our Small Kitchen Potager

May 2014

May 2014 in the Kitchen Potager

I love gardening. I really love gardening with my kids. They helped me plant the beds in the above picture. We have lots of happy memories here!

Spring is one of my favorite seasons. Everything is coming back to life and new life is beginning. There is so much hope and promise!

Now is the time for the kids and I to sow sweet peas, carrots, radishes, spinach, lettuce and beets. I still need to turn the beds over and prep them for this season! Oh, and I have NO seed started indoors. I am so behind but the weather is still very cool and many veggies can be directly sowed. 

I started a kitchen potager back in 2010 and I have been changing it around each year. I meant to keep up my gardening posts but time got away from me and I am running to catch up! Basically, this is just a quick rundown of the last 2-3 years.

Potager Apr2014

April 2014 Veggies on the inside in raised beds and butterfly garden flower border on the outside for cutting bouquets and supporting Monarchs.

We (I mean hubby) made a wattle fence out of the tree we cut down a couple of years before. I used the thicker limbs to frame our 4X4 raised beds but I really needed something better.

May 2014 Progress

May 2014 progress; strawberry and spinach bed, strawberries and carrots, herbs and greens, tomatoes and peppers

We went to the big orange box store hunting for some landscaping stone that had straight enough edges and sizing to contain our square beds. We needed a material that would not rot. We settled on their limestone composite stones that allowed us to get as close to 4 feet as possible. We used straw from the local farm and garden store  to cover walkways and deter weeds from growing.

pot. pro.3

North view of potager with strawberries and carrots on the left and swiss chard, lettuce, and cabbage on the right.

We used wire fencing to keep the bunnies out. HA! We were not successful, even digging it in 6 inches there are still too many areas for them to squeeze through. Every spring I have found a Mama bunny and her babies in my herb bed. So cute… so destructive. They love all the sugar snap peas and strawberries. Back to the drawing board! I am going to try and make some garden cloches to protect my seedlings. They may just be a new post!

'Comtesse de Bouchaud' Clematis

Clematis ‘Comtesse de Bouchaud’

clematis pink closeup

Close up

A honey bee enjoying a dinner plate dahlia.

A honey bee enjoying a dinner plate dahlia in our cutting flower garden.

Giant Zinnias and Morning Glory Heavenly Blue with Grandpa Ott peeking through.

Giant Zinnias and Morning Glory Heavenly Blue

Concord Grape on arbor with Lakemont on right.

Summer 2015 Concord Grape on arbor with Lakemont on right. The concord was growing up into the neighboring tree and has since been pruned.


Big Families: Abundant in Love… and Illness


Get your own “Literary Classics” handwashing awareness posters free for print here.

We have had so much illness come through our house these last couple of years. The kiddos missed lots of school. We started to feel like freaks by the amount of events we could not attend. For a time, life was bleak.

House projects went unfinished. We spent thousands of dollars on cleaning supplies, doctor visits and medicine. We forgot what it was like to be and feel healthy on a holiday or weekend… or ever.

We scrutinized our nutrition, cleaning routines and doubled down on our children’s hygiene habits.

We still got sick a lot.



Ever notice how NO ONE seems to come down with illness at the same time? It takes an average of 1.5 to 2 weeks for it to travel through our whole family. Unless you all have food poisoning. Then it seems to be instantaneous!

One of my theories as to why we were sick so often was having 3 children in a school environment; one being a Kindergartner. Germs just seem to love them!

Recently, I came across The BIG LoVE Study led by the University of Utah School of Medicine. It is a very interesting read for anyone growing a family.

Using modern diagnostics, they studied 26 families (106 members; 3 births occurred during study) in a Utah community over a period of one year. Family sizes ranged from those with 0 to 6 children. Families of our size (5 children) had viral illnesses 65% of the year, families with 4 children were ill 58% of the year, and families with 6 children were ill 87% of the year!

In contrast, families with 0 children were only ill 7% of the year, whereas, those with only 1 child were sick 35% of the year. 

This study suggests that by adding a second child you stand to be ill 56% of the year.

Children under 5 were found to be infected with respiratory illness 50% of the year. “When infected, they were 1.5 times more likely to have symptoms, including severe symptoms like wheezing and fever.”

Therefore, if you have little ones in the house you are going to be sick a lot more often, especially when you have 4 or more children. I know, not very earth-shattering news!

For those parents with a larger family that have had a lot of illness lately it is heartening to know you are not alone

It appears that they plan on studying larger and more diverse populations. I look forward to more research involving a larger demographic. You can read more about The BIG LoVE study at the links below:

Viruses Thrive In Big Families, In Sickness and In HealthUniversity of Utah Health Care. Web. 4 Aug. 2015.

Byington CL, Ampofo K, Stockmann C, Adler FR, Herbener A, Miller T, Sheng X, Blaschke AJ, Crisp R, Pavia AT. “Community Surveillance of Respiratory Viruses Among Families in the Utah Better Identification of Germs-Longitudinal Viral Epidemiology (BIG-LoVE) Study.” Clinical Infectious Diseases 15 Oct. 2015 61(8): 1217-24. Web. 4 Aug. 2015.


Literary Classics Handwashing Awareness Campaign posters free for print in JPG or PDF