Friday, January 28, 2011

The Almost Annual Crappie Derby and # 3 on my Bucket List

I won't be around much this weekend! Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!!!! We are registered and ready to complete in the "2011 ALMOST ANNUAL NEW YORK STATE CRAPPIE DERBY"!!!!

It's a great event especially for the kids. Every kid leaves with a "prize". Here is a little History on the Derby - or you can go to for more information

The History of the Almost-Annual New York State Crappie Derby
The New York State Crappie Derby was founded in late 1973 when two members of the Whitney Point Sportsmens Association were enjoying a "beverage" while discussing the excellent ice fishing at, what was then known as the Whitney Point Reservoir. Crappies were responding well to bait being offered by the local anglers. The weather was also very nice and the discussion led to "why not .  . .". A few phone calls were made and the event was on. In a few weeks time, a $150 purse was assembled and some posters were distributed. In early 1974, 197 people gathered on the ice and had a lot of fun. A lot of fish were taken and all went away satisfied. That's when the invention started. The Whitney Point Sportsmens Association decided that it should be made an annual event.

Over the course of the next couple of years, it evolved into what is known today as the "party derby". Ice derbys at that time typically registered anglers at the beginning of the day and weighed and measured their fish at the end of the day. People had fun but we wanted to add a little excitement. We evolved an event whereby a judging area with a Public Address system was set up in the middle of the ice and prizes were awarded each 15 minute period from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM. This encouraged a lot of coming and going across the ice. The rules were kept at a minimum and we added additional prizes to the event.

The lake, now called Whitney Point Lake, lent itself well to this event structure. Whitney Point Lake is about 3 1/2 miles long and 3/4 miles wide. The lake was developed as a flood control reservoir and impounded the Otselic River. The impoundment is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A river channel about 20' deep follows along the West side of the lake. The crappies (Calico Bass) thrived and multiplied. A county park (Dorchester Park) was developed at the southeast area and provided a base of operations with excellent parking. Broome County Department of Parks and Recreation saw this event as a way to promote the park during the off-season. The parks department joined us in a joint venture. Now it really took off.
Prizes, from the beginning, were solicited from local merchants. They took the form of cash, merchandise and gift certificates. The prizes were distributed across the 28 derbys (15 minute segments, 8 AM to 3 PM) and more significant prizes were awarded for the biggest crappie of the day (1st, 2nd & 3rd). Additional prizes were awarded for the first caught (or biggest) of numerous fish species.

Until 1977, we had been blessed with good weather which helped the event catch on. Then it happened. In 1977 mother nature decided to throw us a curve. On derby day, the weather never climbed above zero and the winds were raging. 20-30 MPH winds were blowing people across the ice. There was 28 inches of ice to drill through but 301 very brave souls ventured forth. It was, by far, the most demanding day in the history of our event to date.

By 1978, the purse expanded to $1,000.00 and we saw over 1,000 participants register. by 1985, the purse had expanded to over $2,000.00. Unfortunately, little information exists for the 1987, 88 and 89 events. By 1995, the purse exceeded $5,000.00 and in 2000 the purse exceeded $10,000.00.

Friendly Friday - January 28th

Welcome to Friendly Friday!

Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog, too! Just click "Get the code here..." at the bottom of the list. The code is different every week, so be sure to get the new code when hosting Friendly Friday on your blog. Hosting the list is a great way to get even more traffic to your blog and make Friendly Friday more beneficial for everyone.

Thanks for joining the Friendly Friday celebration hosted by Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier, Christi at Frugal Novice and Charla at Healthy Home Blog! We invite you to join us every Friday to make more friends in blogville, get more blog followers and follow other great blogs out there.

To join in the Friendly Friday celebration, include your family-friendly link in our list, follow the hostesses in the first 3 spots and then start blog hopping! Visit other blogs on the list and comment to give them some blog love. Then take a minute to follow them through Google Friend Connect - this is a good way to keep up with other blogs, but also lets us show support to each other! Please DO NOT list your giveaways here, links must be to either your homepage or your Friday posting with your blog title. All others will be deleted.

When people comment on your blog and let you know they're a part of Friendly Friday, return the favor and follow them back. This way everyone gets traffic and followers out of participating, and it's a win-win situation. We would love for you to also grab our Friendly Friday button and post it on your blog and/or in a post - the more bloggers that find out about Friendly Friday and participate, the better!

Spotlight on Friendly Friday Followers!

We love your participation and want to show it! In addition to gaining followers, each week we'll select three blogs at random and will feature links and a write-up for those blogs in the content of next week's Friendly Friday post. There are so many seriously wonderful blogs out there, and this will be a great way to highlight some of those each week. Say hello to the lucky chosen 3 for this week (and feel free to stop by and give them a little extra love):

If you are a SoCal resident, you'll definitely want to check out Just Another Hat! Filled with thorough details of all kinds of family-friendly events throughout the area, you'll never be at a loss for where to go and what to do. Plus, for those who aren't local, you'll still enjoy deals, activities, blog hops and product reviews that everyone can take advantage of for themselves and their kids!

Brooke at Girl Boy Girl Inspired is a stay at home mom who somehow finds the time to run an adorable hair bow and accessories business on Etsy, Bella Boo's Bowtique, while taking care of her three children and four-legged family members. Her blog is bright, colorful, upbeat and filled with all sorts of great crafts, personal posts and photographs that will definitely make you smile.

If you've ever wondered what a busy Canadian life with beautiful twin boys would be like, look no further than Double Tha Love. Kaylah writes about how hectic and challenging things can get but how she wouldn't change it for the world - and one look at those gorgeous little faces and it's not hard to see why! Visit her new blog to find out about this busy mommy's daily musings and then visit her Etsy shop to see her crafty side as well!

Now that you know about these 3 wonderful blogs, it's time for you to join in! Add your family-friendly link below and we'll see you back here every Friday! And don't forget, you can grab the code to share the link list on your blog, too.

All three hostesses appreciate followers through Google Friend Connect AND Twitter and we'll follow you back - just leave a comment with your URL and/or Twitter username. Have a great weekend, everyone!

I've been neglecting **REVIEW**

I feel like I've been neglecting my blog in the last week or so. And I have :( I haven't entered into any new contest or giveaways which would explain why I also haven't won any! The truth is....I've been busy this week! I have never mentioned it on this blog - but I have a small business that I run out of my house. It isn't really a business, but more of a hobby or a craft. I make bath and body products!

Buzzin' Balms & Body Essentials - this is the website if you would like to check it out.

So....since I've been so busy lately and haven't had a chance to update my blog - I thought I would update with a review of one of my products. This was done by a friend of mine! And more product reviews can be found on the Buzzin' Blog

Review: Buzzin' Balm


I have to admit, I am picky about what I put on my lips.

Ever since I was a kid, they have always been dry and would often crack in the dry winter air. I was psyched when I opened up my first sample package from Erica and saw a whole tube of Buzzin' Balm staring me in the face. I unwrapped the plastic, took the cap off and smelled (because, well, I like to smell things!) and the first thing I noticed was the tingly peppermint scent (and, as you read in my Peppermint Bath Bomb review, I have grown to love the smell!). I applied some and it reminded me of Burt's Bees lip balm, only less expensive ;) I keep it within an arms reach at all times when I'm at work because the air is so dry and it really helps my lips from cracking. I love the convenience of the tube, love the scent, love how kissably smooth my lips are!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hamburger Soup

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 6 cubes beef bouillon
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup


  1. In a medium skillet, brown hamburger over medium heat. Drain off fat.
  2. Combine beef, carrots, celery, onions, bouillon, water, tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, salt, corn, basil, and ketchup in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours. 
I give this recipe a: 
 I judge a dish by a few easy factors. 
  1. Did I like it - because after all, I'm the cook!
  2. Did they get seconds
  3. How quickly are the leftovers being eaten! 
I would say #3 is the one that truly proves a good meal! My family was fighting over the leftover soup last night! If they want it two nights in a must be good!!  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

You know it's going to be a bad day when.....

you can't get your coffee opened. I bought a new container of coffee yesterday. I went cheap - I bought the six dollar 34.5 ounce can from Family Dollar. It doesn't have a pull off freshness seal like the other brands do - this one has a tin lid that you need to cut open like you cut open a soup can! Lets just say it didn't go so well and it took me way too long to get into my much needed container of coffee!!!! All is well now, the can is opened and as I type this I can hear the coffee making winding down! Hope my day gets better!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Spicy Beef & Broccoli Stir-Fry

taken from ** Pampered Chef Main Dishes** Recipes at the Heart of Every Meal ** page 16

1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 boneless beef top sirloin steak (1-1/4 pounds), trimmed
3 cups broccoli flouwerets
1 medium onion
1 medium red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon peeled fresh ginger root, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup beef broth

  1. In bowl, whisk together soy sauce, cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Cut steak lengthwise in half and then crosswise into 1/4 inch thick strips. Add beef to soy sauce mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes to marinate.
  2. Meanwhile, cut broccoli into flowerets and onion into thin wedges; Cut bell pepper into thin strips, 2 incehs long. Set vegetables aside. Press garlic and finely chop ginger root.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon of remaining oil in skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add half each of beef, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes to skillet. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink. (Do not overcook). Remove from skillet; keep warm. Repeat with 1 teaspoon of the remaining oil and remaining beef, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Remove from skillet.
  4. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in same skillet until hot. Add broccoli, onion and bell pepper; stir-fry 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Return beef to skillet; add broth. Bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring gently, until sauce is slightly thickened.
yield 4 servings

I give this recipe a:
I didn't have any fresh ginger so I used powdered ginger. I also used a green pepper instead of a red pepper and omitted the red pepper flakes because my kids were eating it. All in all...this was terrific. The meat was tender and the flavoring was great! I served over rice! 

Buying Beef In Bulk

I had a lot of people asking me about buying beef in bulk. So I thought I would write everything up in a nice little post for you :)

We buy our beef a "side" at a time. Basically, it's a half of a cow! It usually costs us around $2.35 a pound but that varies from year to year. You get a choice of cuts that you would like - Filet, London Broil, Top Round, Bottom Round, Ribs, Ground, NY Strip, Chuck, Stew Meat etc! And regardless of what you get it is still $2.35 a pound. We find this to be a great deal!!!!

Usually we end up paying for 600 pounds but the last time it was almost 900! And this meat will last us about one year. We know the farmer that we buy it from and we see the cows in the pasture, so we know they aren't crammed into a small stall all of their lives. It makes me feel better to know where the animal is coming from and how it has been raised. Ant at the same time we are supporting our Local Farmers and we are buying local (which is something we try to do).

Country Pound Cake Recipe

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 2/3 cups white sugar
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract


  1. Do not preheat the oven. Grease 10 inch tube pan and line bottom with wax paper or parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter, shortening, and sugar on low speed for 10 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk, mixing well. Add the vanilla and lemon extracts.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Set the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 1 hour. Remove to a cake rack and cool for at least 3 hours. 
 I give this recipe a: 
It was absolutely delicious!!! I didn't have any lemon extract but it was fine without it! The outside of the cake with nice,sweet and crispy!!!! I used a Silicone Bundt Pan and it came out perfect and easily. I didn't line it with anything, simply sprayed it good with vegetable oil and sprinkled some flour on it.  I put some homemade Jam on the top when I served it! All of the kids loved it and so did the hubby! I will definitely be making this again!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Low Entry Giveaways!

I'm entering into some low entry giveaways at "Chic-N-Savvy Reviews, Giveaways and Freebies"

    Ground Beef - share with me your favorite recipes using it!

    We buy our beef in bulk - and by bulk I mean, we buy a half of a cow directly from the farmer who raised it! It costs a lot up front but in the end we end up saving a TON!!!! I was just taking a roast out of the freezer to thaw for dinner tonight and I realized how much ground beef we have left. Compared to the other cuts of meat, we have A TON of ground beef!!!! So you can expect to start seeing a lot of recipes with ground beef on here. But I could use some help!!

    PLEASE share with me your favorite recipes using ground beef! Thanks!!!!

    Monster Truck Show

    I took Eian, JJ and a friend to see the Monster Truck Show at the Broome County Arena yesterday.

    The boys don't look it - but they were very excited to be there!!! There eyes were as big as half dollars as we were trying to find out seats and I could heard "oooooo's and aaahhhhh's" escaping from their mouths. Apparently when you get to be in 3rd grade it is no long "cool" to smile when your Mom takes your picture! We had excellent seats - we were on the end and only about 3 or 4 rows up from the plastic.
    This is one of the trucks that was parked in front of us. I thought it looked very was painted in beautiful shades of pink and purple and yellow. I mentioned this to Eian who was very quick to correct me by saying "it's COOL Mom!!!!! NOT PRETTY!!!!" So apparently I'm not allowed to call things pretty anymore now that he is in 3rd grade. Is there a manual to having a 3rd grade boy? I think I could benefit from one if there is!!!! 
    They had a Motor Cross stunt show as well. Make sure to notice the bike very high in the air. The boys loved this and I think I may have even caught them jumping from their seats a few times!!!! This is the first time that I have taken the kids to a show where someone could potentially get hurt in a very long time. I have to admit that I was nervous while waiting for the drivers to line up the ramp correctly and get their riding path "just right". I was nervous because if something bad happened and the driving crashed etc MY KIDS would witness this. I never really worried about things like that before. Maybe it's because these kids have never really paid as close attention to things like this before?!?! Anyway, I am happy to report that all of the riders made it over the ramp and landing safely. Some of the stunts were quite impressive - jumping with no hands, jumping with feet behind them, in front of them and to the side of them!! WOW!!!! I'm waiting for Spring when the bikes emerge from a long Winter's nap...I'm curious to see if my son tries any of those tricks!!
    The Monster Trucks were LOUD and SMELLY!!!! They put on a good show considering what they had to work with. The Broome County Arena is a smaller venue and doesn't have a lot of the room to work with that the larger venues have. But the kids enjoyed the show and that is all that matters to me. There were some adults in attendance who were expecting more and were disappointed that the trucks didn't do more and I feel bad that they felt that they wasted their money on it. Maybe this is a show that would benefit more from being outside where there is more room to work with and do the fancier tricks!