Tag Archives: homemade

Marinade Recipes & Blackberry Cobbler Too!

It’s grilling season and blackberry season too, here in Kentucky. I’ve come up with 2 marinade recipes that work great on the grill or in the kitchen. I’m going to share those as well as a recipe I developed using leftovers. For a great ending, I’ve included a link to a homemade blackberry cobbler recipe.

Marinade Recipes

All marinades should include an oil and a citrus. These are what helps break down the fats and tenderize the meat.

First up is a marinade for chicken. I made this one last week:


  • 2 1/2 lb boneless chickenmarinade recipes
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 1/2-2 tsp. dry ranch mix
  • 1 1/2 tsp. lime juice

Place the chicken in a large zippered baggie. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together and pour over top. Seal the bag, letting out the air. Turn the bag every once in a while, making sure the marinade covers all the chicken. Marinate for several hours or overnight. When you’re ready to cook, throw the chicken on the grill.

I served this with alfredo broccoli fettucine and peas.

The day after we had the chicken, I made a marinade for beef kabobs:


  • 1 lb. stew meatbeef kabobs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 Tb. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. lime juice

Just like above, whisk and pour the ingredients over the meat in a large baggie. When you’re ready, place the beef cubes on wooden or metal skewers and grill. If you use wooden skewers, be sure to soak in water for a few hours to keep them from catching fire on the grill.

These would have been great with veggies too, but I didn’t have anything appropriate for a kabob, so I served corn and pasta salad with ours.

Leftover Recipe

So the third day, I had leftover fettucine, corn, and peas. I incorporated these into a hamburger helper-type dish:


  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover pasta (I had cooked 2 pouches of pasta sides the first day and used what was leftover)
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1 sm. can mushrooms
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt, pepper, garlic, minced onion, red pepper flakes to taste

Brown the hamburger and drain. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes or so.

This was pretty darn good. I love to find ways to use leftovers. I don’t like to be wasteful.

Homemade Blackberry Cobbler

I found this recipe in Kentucky Living magazine. I haven’t tried it but I’m sure it’s delicious. Here’s blackberriesthe link to the recipe and article about Berrylicious Orchard in Woodburn, Kentucky.

Speaking of blackberries, my farm is full of them and I’m thinking about picking and selling them this year. They’re almost ripe enough to pick.

If you have any tips or ideas on how to make these marinades even better, please comment. Or share your own marinade recipes, leftover hacks, and dessert ideas.

10 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

We all have a special woman in our life, a mother, mother figure, or wife. We want to do gift ideassomething nice for them but coming up with fresh gift ideas can be difficult. Most of us go to lunch or dinner on Mother’s Day. This year, why not think outside the box and give her something she doesn’t expect? Here’s a list of 10 Mother’s Day gift ideas for that special lady:

  1. Relaxation basket. Fill up a basket with items that make her happy and relaxed, things that are good for the soul. My suggestions: a devotional book or journal, chamomile tea, fuzzy socks, good chocolate, lavender lotion. This can be her go-to when she’s in need of a boost.
  2. Massage or facial. Get one together for a relaxing hour of bonding. Or perhaps lay her back in a recliner and give her a facial yourself.
  3. Mani/Pedi. What woman doesn’t enjoy being pampered occasionally? Do this together to make it even more special.
  4. Outdoor concert or festival. Check out websites of your local towns or parks to see if there’s anything going on around Mother’s Day. Of course, this option depends on the weather in your area.
  5. Day trip. Explore an area, stopping at roadside stands, Amish country, or a quaint small town. You may find a hidden gem that will become your favorite restaurant.
  6. Visit a museum. Cincinnati has a great museum with an Imax theater inside as well as a children’s museum. There may something similar in your town.

Bonus: If you know how to crochet, here are some free patterns.

If your funds are low, don’t stress out. There are plenty of things you can do for her that don’t cost much. I’ve got a few low-budget ideas. You don’t need to spend a lot of money as long as you treat your mom to something heartfelt:

  1. Chocolate spoons or peppermint sticks. Dip a plastic spoon or peppermint stick into melted milk or white chocolate until it covers about halfway. When set, wrap loosely in plastic wrap and tie a pretty bow around it. These are great flavor enhancers for coffee or hot cocoa.
  2. Have a picnic. Find a great park with a lake, lay a blanket on the ground, and spread out a nice lunch for your mom. Then feed the ducks and go for a stroll.
  3. Plant flowers for her. Mother’s Day in many areas is a great time of year to plant spring flowers, and she will love the help.
  4. Pick some wildflowers and put them in a vase or old bottle. Attach a homemade card to the bouquet.

Take one or more of these Mother’s Day gift ideas and put your own spin on the occasion. Whatever you choose to do with your mom, you can be sure she will enjoy it. Just remember to make memories with her to look back upon fondly. Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive, as long as it’s a special day.