S’more Love, S’more Fun, S’more Forever

July 8,2014 by Nama

We had the pleasure of celebrating these two cutes on Sunday.

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J.J. and Margit will say “I do” to their Happily Ever After on the Thirtieth of August.

We Celebrated in camp style at J’s childhood home.  It stormed, it rained, it was humid and there were bugs.  It was absolutely perfect as family and a few friends came together to reflect on love, commitment, family and forever.

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i offered to put together a S’more Bar as the sweet treats of the day. Continue reading

Wisdom from My Man + Recipe + North Woods Pictures

First the good stuff…
My Man jotted a little thought on Facebook last evening and i had to move it over here for posterity.   He is wise, he is a man of so few words i wish to capture most of  what he says and put it in a safe box, knowing someday someone will read and learn from Tim’s years of seeking his Lord.  Here Tim talks about Goals, Gold and God.
Ahh- but the trick is to know that our goal and God’s goal for us are the same goal.  There is inherent danger in believing the financial success or achieving our own “personal” goals is in some way evidence that we are aligned with God’s vision for us.  Poverty and prison may be God’s perfect path for some.  We need to be ever so mindful that pursuit of our own goals is not inhibiting God’s refinement in our hearts. That is where the true gold lies.  by Tim Fischer/Pappa/My Man
This is also good stuff, not quite as profound, but good.  You can google a million recipes and variations on anything you might want to learn to cook for your family.  The problem i see with a blind google is this, you don’t know what you will end up with until you have tried the recipe.  i won’t say my recipes are The Best, i will say they are my family’s favorites, they are tried, you will succeed with them and usually they are easy and affordable.  i live a life of extreme dichotomy.  i want old fashioned fat filled comfort food for breakfast, by dinner time i want light, healthy, fitness promoting fare.  This recipe comes from my love affair with midwest church potluck casseroles, one of the many that  contains Campbell’s magic in a can.

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Nama’s Tater Tot Hotdish

tator-tot-hotdish-family-dinner.jpg //namafish.com

Ingredients needed:

1 pound ground beef (you could substitute turkey or chicken)

salt, pepper

onion powder,  you could use minced fresh onion (My Man is not having that)

garlic powder   (i use fresh crushed garlic)

seasoning salt

4 cups frozen mixed vegetables (any that your family enjoys), mine like corn, green beans, carrots and green peas. This is heavy on the veggies for nutrition.

2 (19 ounce) cans cream soup , you may use family favorites, i use reduced fat celery or chicken.

1 (32 ounce) package frozen potato rounds/Tater Tots/Tater Puffs….you know what i’m talking about.

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Brown 1 pound ground meat in skillet, season with 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp.  black pepper, 1/2 tsp. onion powder, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder ( or 1 tsp. crushed garlic) .  Drain excess fat.


Mix together in large bowl:  Browned meat, frozen vegetables and cream soup.

Notice the creased back edge of this bowl, our Tylor (now 26) sat in the bowl one evening after the popcorn was all gone, making himself comfortable while finishing the movie Balto,  he was such a happy little guy in his little nest.  i treasure all the little gingerbread crumbs that remain along this family path we walk.

tator-tot-hotdish-family-dinner.jpg //namafish.com

Spray a 9×13 pan with aerosol olive oil, spread meat/veggie mixture evenly in pan.  i often double or triple the recipe and freeze a couple.  This was a meal for tonight, a meal for the freezer and a meal to share with a new mamma and daddy.

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Top the meat mixture with the potato things.

My clan likes the Tots alot so i waste a whole bunch of time and line them up standing on end, i really really am ridiculous enough to do this everytime i make the casserole.  You may say “just dump a bunch on, pile them up, you get lots-a- tots that way!”  The problem…they don’t all get a crisp top surface, and that crispy top really makes or breaks the tot deliciousness.  The image shows the other more reasonable options, long aligning or random dump.  Once you have your top covered in tots sprinkle ever so lightly with seasoning salt.

Bake at 350 degrees until heated through, bubbly and the Tater Tots are slightly crispy brown on top, 45min-1 hour.

Now a few more fun vacation pictures.  i am pretty sure from tater tots to tadpoles is not an ideal transition, but here goes.

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There were thousands of these guys our first evening at the beach.


Finley loved them.

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She wanted to get closer and learned to say  “Tadpole”.

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Blessing caught them.

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A Grandma, a Nama, an Aunty, Finney and a “tadpole” that had turned into a frog. (in Grandma Linda’s hand) Grandma Linda is more fun with frogs than Nama, and is anyone else concerned about the “caution” shed in the background ?

We shared 4 of our vacation days with Tiffany’s parents and sister.  One of my favorite experiences as a grandma is sharing the grandbabies with the other set of grandparents.  Double the fun to see others treasuring our little jewels as much as we do.

Make New Friends but Keep the Old

Blessing and i shared a very sweet adventure today.  We joined a local homeschool group to tour our local International Friendship Garden.

I gave Blessing the camera and told her it was her job to get lots of cool pictures.

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Friend’s Feet.

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That was thoughtful of her to capture my chicken wings, they are her favorite source of hysterical entertainment when we are driving down the highway, it could drive a mother to wear long sleeves on a 90 degree day.

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How cool is this? Blessing didn’t want to get close enough to snap a picture, she thinks actually is terrified of spiders but one of the other moms encouraged her and she got this.

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Sweet friend’s pretty little face.

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Apartments nearby + artistic frame of tree branches.

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Chinese Pond.

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Friends on bridge. (i took this)

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Off to the bandshell for some improv, Stone Soup was “performed” for the mammas. (and this)

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Our tour guide was a dear friend of many years,  such fun to see her in her element.

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Pretty Poppies.

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Few things delight my mamma heart like watching Blessing be a Friend.  She has no inhibitions and loves EVERYONE she meets. (clearly Blessing did not take this, off my cell phone)

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Some friends we  had met before or known for sometime, some we met today…

You couldn’t tell the silver from the gold, such a rich opportunity to grow and learn together in our own little village.


We are up to this again, cuz it is so yummy.

i must go whip up a French Silk Pie for our Birthday Boys.  i might share my simple recipe if someone asks nicely.



7 Simple Steps to The Best Sweet Corn Ever

may 28, 2014 by nama


Fresh Corn (bought mine at Aldi, pre-husked)

Lemon Juice, fresh or bottled (i almost always use bottled)

Granulated Sugar or Alternative Sweetener ( i am learning about these, sugar is not kind to me)

Large Kettle, Water and Ice


1.  Remove husks and silk from Sweet Corn.

2.  Place corn in cooking kettle and cover with cold water.  If the corn will be sitting for more than 30 minutes before you cook, add some ice to keep the corn fresh.


3.  For each 4 quarts of water and ice you used:  add 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice.  This will tenderize the corn and add a very nice subtle  flavor.

Alternative Sweeteners ://Namafish.com

Learning to use Alternative Sweeteners

4.  For each 4 quarts of water and ice you used:  add 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar or alternative sweetener.  Mix in.  Sweet deliciousness!

***No Salt Please, salt will make the corn tough.***

5.  Allow the corn to soak for at least 30 minutes.  Longer is fine, if you plan to serve the corn later in the week you may refrigerator for several day.

When you are ready to cook the corn, drain off most of the water and ice, leave about 1/2 inch of water on the bottom of the kettle.  You will steam the corn rather than boil it.  Steaming locks all the sweet yummy flavor in each kernel. Roasting and grilling are also great options here.  Boiling = all the flavor washing down the drain.  This is sad.


6. Stand the corn on end in kettle, cover and turn the heat on high.  Remember to leave 1/2 inch of  water in the bottom of the kettle.


7.  Cook on high until the corn turns a dark golden color.  This will typically take 5-7 minutes.  My kettle is a 12 quart stock pot.


When your corn reaches this deep rich golden color turn off the heat, cover and allow to sit until you are ready to serve.


Most of my clan adds a bunch of butter, salt and pepper to their corn at this point.  I like a dash of Tabasco sauce and fresh cilantro.  If you haven’t tried it you are missing out. We are split right down the middle as far as “on the cob” or cut off the cob.  i like mine off, Tim likes his on.

You don’t have to add much to fresh sweet corn for a perfect meal.  We had Turkey Italian Sausages last night.  Some of us did the traditional bun with ketchup and mustard sandwich.  i like my protein without the carbs, just along side my pile of corn.


My Man brought me my favorite, fresh cut lilacs, from our backyard cuz he read my post yesterday and is holding up his end of this deal we made 33 years ago.  He is a keeper.


Love Lots, Give Lots, Forgive Lots, Smell the lilacs and find some sweet corn for  your menu.  Life is that simple if we let it be.

Tell me, what is on your menu this week?

Sweet and Tender Corn, My Favorite ://Namafish.com

Sweet and Tender Corn, The Best ://Namafish.com

An image for you to Pin, cuz i am kind like that.

Tim’s No Bake Chocolate Fix

may 20,2014 by nama
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Tim/My Man/Pappa brought this recipe with him when we became one 33 years ago. His mom , the best Mother~in~law ever, must have made them often, or perhaps talked Tim through making them because he walked down the aisle and said “I Do” with this recipe filed in his handsome blonde head. i asked him to write the recipe down years ago so the kids and i could make them independently, Tim will whip them up on a whim without the strawberry blossom card if he is craving chocolate = always !!IMG_0754

Tim’s No Bakes 

Fudgy, sweet, gooey oatmeal chocolate cookies.

Too simple to be delicious, too addicting to be a good thing.

Stir together in saucepan:

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup cocoa powder (i use about 1/3 cup = Fudgier)

1/2 cup butter ( real butter matters )

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until a slow boil begins, continue to stir and slowly boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in :

3 cups old fashioned or quick oats, slightly different results, both are yummy.

1 teaspoon vanilla extract ( real matters, but do as you will )

Drop mixture in mounds on wax or parchment paper.blog  010 (25)

or if you want to really wow your family,  just dump the entire mess on waxed paper, spread thinnish with your rubber spatula, allow to cool and let them break off a chunk as they pass by. They are all going to be gone before bedtime anyway.

Kaye’s Peanut Butter Variation

All things are better when shared and all things are better with peanut butter.

Add 1 cup of creamy or chunky peanut butter to the fudge mixture right before you add the oats. i prefer a no sugar added, natural peanut butter but you can use what you like.

Yum, Yum, Yum !!!

Tim will not get near this version. He is a man of habit and he has no interest in messing with what was already a good thing, which works in my favor considering he is in the habit of coming home to me and he considers us a good thing. ; )DSC00066

Post note : this is the one and only thing Tim cooks ever, unless you count warming soup or frying a pork chop. There will not be a lot of Tim recipes showing up here, adjust your dreams and hopes accordingly.

BLOG BUSINESS : If you click on that little conversation blob to the lower right you can tell me what other recipes you would like to see. i will teach you how to make anything a lot of things but you gotta ask.

Fischer Favorite Banana Bread

january 28, 2014 by nama 

This is a favorite i have made for years, i thank my sister-in-law Jenn for the recipe.

 Kaydra’s boy, Cody, just told me “all you ever need to give me for birthdays or any other holiday is your Banana Bread.” Some of us love it with nuts and some not so nutty. i typically peel and keep my over ripe bananas in a large plastic storage bag in the freezer until it is banana bread day. Often i have so many bananas i will make 5,6 or 7 batches, part with nuts, part plain.

This bread freezes perfectly.

The batter freezes beautifully also and will give you fresh, warm perfect banana bread with little effort if you can get a few bags of batter in the freezer.

This is a heavy, moist ,rich and flavorful bread. We eat it as breakfast, dessert, snack and if no one is watching it may be lunch or dinner also.

BANANA BREADginger-banana-bread

Cream together :

1/2 cup butter

1 cup white granulated sugar

2 eggs and

1 teaspoon vanillamason-cash-mixing-bowls

Add dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Lumpy is fine.

1 cup white all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon saltfully-mixed-banana-bread-batter-2-bakethiscake

Add to bowl and fold just until blended:

1 cup mashed bananas

1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt

Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts (we like walnuts and more like 3/4 cup)

Pour batter into 2 greased 8.5″ x 4.5″ loaf pans. (you may flour the pan if it makes you feel better )

Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.

Or bake in muffin tins for about 20 mins.

One of my best tips to delicious baked products is…

Under-bake, Under-bake, Under-bake !!!

Watch the bread closely starting at 45 min bake time. Insert a clean butter knife into the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, REMOVE the bread from the oven NOW !!!

If there is any batter on the knife , set the timer for 5 more minutes, recheck with a clean butter knife, repeat this process until your loaf is perfectly done.

The moment you remove your bread from the oven , lay a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the pan to capture moisture. When the pan is cool enough to handle, flip it upside down with plastic wrap and allow it to sit with the pan acting as a cover until completely cool.

This bread is so moist and flavorful you may choose to enjoy it with absolutely nothing added. banana1

Some days i want a smear of fat full butter, and other days i have a hankering for a heavy slathering of peanut butter.

I dare you to try it and tell me your family didn’t like it.