Tuesday, February 24, 2015

French Lavender Lemonade


Good morning from my sunny, cozy, little living room.  Baby Ady is taking her morning nap and I have a few minutes to blog.

Isn't life interesting?  Just like with nature, God gave us seasons in our lives...and I am so thankful for that in so many ways.

One of my favorite verses is found hidden in the book of Nahum..."The lord is GOOD, a STRONG HOLD in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in HIM."  Nahum 1:7

You don't have to look very far to see that our world is in serious trouble.  Lives are in shambles.  People are hurting deeply and life can seem dark and dreary, but as sure as the sun is bound to shine again, our lives, too can shine even more brightly despite circumstances in resting in the fact that we have a GOD who is guaranteed to be our STRONG HOLD.

I hope that today you will retreat to HIM who holds this fragile world in His hands.  He is trustworthy and the safest place to hide while the storms of life blow over.



French Lavender Lemonade
Lisa Pearson

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

8 sprigs fresh lavender

1 fresh lemon, sliced thinly.


Bring all ingredients to a gentle simmer.  Turn off.  Let syrup sit for a few hours.  Strain into a glass bottle.  Store in fridge.  Add to lemonade or to champagne.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Gyro Roasted Chicken


Since I have had enough requests for MEAT lately, I thought I would post the easiest recipe for roasted chicken with a twist.

This will probably be the only time I will have a picture of raw meat on this blog, too! :}




My son has convinced me that roasted chicken is the way to go. It is easy and one little baak baak chicken can go a LONG way...maybe toooooo long if you ask me.

If you have a hectic day on the agenda, this will take a bit of planning {soaking the chicken in kosher salt overnight}, but other than that, the smells of your home come dinner time is sure to please everybody!!


Gyro Roasted Chicken
Lisa Pearson

1 whole free-range, organic chicken 4-6 lbs.{also available at TRADER JOE'S...more expensive but worth it!}OR 4 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts.

4 cloves of garlic

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 cup plain yogurt

2 Tbsp. oregano

a few sprigs of thyme...I use ALOT

salt and pepper

1 lemon, sliced


*Soak chicken in kosher salt overnight.

*Rinse thoroughly with cold water.

*Pat dry with paper towels.

*Place garlic, oil, yogurt, and oregano into blender and blend away!

*Place chicken in roasting pan with the breast side up.

*Stuff thyme between skin and breast.

*Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and place lemon slices on top and in the cavity.

Place in preheated 425* oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350* and bake for about 1 1/2 hrs. Chicken is done when thermometer reads 170-180* {test near hip joint near thigh}. Cover and let sit at least 10 minutes. {thank you to my hubby and Caleb for teaching me this!}

It sounds a bit complicated, but once you do it once, it will take minutes to do! PROMISE! If I can roast a chicken without burning the house down...anybody can do it.

ANYHOO, this is how our dinner will be prepped for tonight:

Chicken is marinating in the yogurt sauce in the roaster pan for the day...did that this am.

Before company arrives, the table will be set, the GREEK SALAD with balsamic vinaigrette will be made...and the TZATZIKI sauce will be made also. If you don't wanna make the sauces or dressings, TRADER JOE'S has really good ones, but I have a cucumber that needs to be used and I have the rest of the ingredients, too...so I will just make them.




Flatbread is also available from TRADER JOE's...so that is it. Just serve the chicken on a platter and let everybody make their own Greek sandwiches!!

For a Greek salad: simply add thin slices of red onion, cucumber chunks, pepperoncini peppers, Kalamata olives. grape tomatoes, feta cheese and falafel crumbles and slices of chicken. EASY PEASY for a company's comin' for dinner kinda day! Served with toasted pita bread on the side.

A Greek "taco bar" is another great option for a party.  You can provide the meat and delegate the toppings and pita bread/flatbread out.

...and it is a fantastic dinner to take to someone in need.





Look at our darling grand baby!!  She was literally climbing up me to get her legs back to kicking in the water.  She is just the best little bundle of love and wiggles...
 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Scott's Firehouse Herb Roasted Potatoes


We are at that time of year where most of us are feeling the "crunch" time of Christmas.  It is that time where our family looks forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus as we get together with loved ones and share memories of past Christmases and look forward to many more years of being together...but honestly, I am craving a much.simpler.Christmas this year than ever before.  I think the way our world has been shaken this year has put things in a much clearer perspective for me.

I don't want the glamour and the glitz and the fancy.schmanzy.dinners to dictate this season.  I want the "come on over in your jammies and enjoy leftover soup" nights.  The ones where our children pop in un-announced and jump in our bed on their way home from a late night date night...and chat with us...the kind where I burn dinner and my hubby runs to get a pizza from Dominoes.  Using stacks of soft cloth napkins that haven't seen an iron in forever. {Notice the wrinkled napkin in the picture!!} You know.Simple.Real.Home-y and Cozy.

Not that I am not looking forward to a few festive parties, a dress-up concert and a few evenings out at restaurants with white-dressed waiters and fresh-pressed tablecloths and candlelight...but you know what I mean...

Now that I am off my soapbox, it is nice to have a few go-to recipes for Christmas that take very little time to prepare.
Potatoes are a comfort food, they are economical and they smell oh.so.good.  It is as if they are inviting your guests to take off their shoes, put on their slippers, and stay for awhile and be still.
I hope in the hustle and bustle of the season you will find His comfort and His JOY as you reflect on the birth of this tiny baby that gives us HOPE and the gift of everlasting life...the greatest gift EVER!!

Scott's Firehouse Herbed Roasted Potatoes with Garlic Cream


12 baby red potatoes, squeaky clean, and cut into bite-sized pieces  

1/2 cup butter, melted

freshly ground pepper to taste

fresh rosemary... a small sprig or about 1/2 teaspoon

fresh thyme...a sprinkling or about 1/2 teaspoon

sea salt to taste




Directions:

Melt butter in a large baking dish

Place potatoes on top of the melted butter.

Sprinkle with seasonings and stir a bit

Bake @ 350* for about 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and stir a bit to cover potaoes with yummy butter

Bake for at least another 20 minutes or until taters are tender


ENJOY!


Grammy and baby Ady



Sunday, November 23, 2014

Learning to Love...Better Late than Never






                                                                  {five generations}

There is no doubt about it, everybody has a different definition of what love is, how it acts, how it should work and maybe more than anything...it seems to be summed up better in one's mind as to what LOVE isn't!!

With life full of disappointments, trials, seasons of pain and of bitterness and frustration, real love can take a backseat and become all about what is in it for us. Love, as God intended it to be, is to be willing to give everything while expecting nothing in return.

It wasn't too long ago that I read this quote, "LOVE your parents.  We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old."  {author unknown}  For some strange reason, it went right through my heart like a sharp knife stinging at the thought of how selfish I can get in very little time.
We have a tendency to get overly busy with our lives, our families, our children, our vacations, our jobs, our responsibilities, our friends, our...our...OUR.  YES, it is easy  to assume our parents would rather be alone, watch their evening shows, go to bed at 7pm, not be bothered with our craziness, our drama and everything else that has been methodically filed away in our pre-conceived ideas of the elderly.

It took me a few minutes to gather my thoughts and to have a "COME to JESUS MEETING" with myself.
Why is it so easy to love feeling loved and yet so difficult to take the extra steps to make others feel exactly how we thrive on being treated?
If you are wondering how on earth to love, just think about the ways others love you and if you are feeling unloved, insignificant and have no idea where to start...think about how you would like to be cared for and find somebody who needs it.

It just so happens that over the last little bit, my momma tank has been filled to the tippy top, to the point of overflowing. Our children have been stopping in to just check on me when my sweetie has been on long work shifts, calling to chat, inviting me to dinner, bringing the new grand puppy over for some grammy cuddles and the list goes on.  I have felt so loved.so needed,so valuable. I asked God to really slow my heart down and have asked Him to nudge me to be more sensitive to my parents and to my in.laws. because, as young as they are, they are getting older and they need their children to contribute to them feeling LOVED.NEEDED.VALUED.

It has taken me a long time to really get it and I am far from mastering this, but somehow, through the extra tlc, I have been shown, it makes me long to really love.  More importantly, I want to clear some of the "busy" and make a concerted effort to bless them by saying "yes" to tea on Saturday, "yes" to Sunday night family dinners, taking them dinner and taking a nap on their recliner {because my momma loves when I relax in their home!!} baking them cookies, taking them to doctor appointments, helping with extra housework, helping organize their garage, taking things they no longer need to goodwill, taking the mommas flowers just because, taking them on field trips to see the Christmas lights, helping them with celebrations in their homes...It is a simple act of "washing their feet".  Jesus set the example:


"Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet." John 13:14



{four generations}


With this week being Thanksgiving, thank God for your parents...and if they are no longer with you, maybe you can find a special somebody who is GROWING OLDER who needs to feel loved, valued and needed.  How can you encourage them?

I am already excited about the next time my momma offers to spend the night when my sweetie is working...and we will cuddle in our big.ole.bed and fall asleep talking til our speech slows down as we drift to sleep...because this busy girl wants their growing older years to be THE BEST years of their lives. 



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Auntie Laura's Yam Rolls


The holidays are right around the corner, and I feel the need for things to s.l.o.w. way down as opposed to accepting the rush and all the bustle that undoubtedly comes along with this time of year.

One of my favorite things to do is to bake bread.  There is just something about the smell that greets those who stop by for a cup of tea or for those who join us for dinner.  When I take bread out of the oven, it is almost like our home beckons for guests to come in, sit, get cozy and stay for awhile!!

Thank you, twinsie for making these for me...they are my favorite!!



Auntie Laura’s Yam Rolls

HEAT:
½ cup milk                 
¼ cup butter

ADD:
¼ cup sugar               
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg...freshly grated
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup cool water
1 tbsp. yeast

ADD:
¾ cup mashed yams         
1 egg
3 ½ cups flour

Heat butter in milk until butter is “melty”
Add the rest of the ingredients into the milk in a stand mixer bowl.  Mix.
Form into rolls with oiled hands.  Let rise until rolls are fluffy.
Bake at 375* for about 23 minutes or until rolls are golden.

This makes one pan of about 9 rolls.



Variation:  Use this dough for cinnamon rolls.  Simply roll out into a rectangle.  Spread dough with softened butter and add lots of cinnamon sugar.  Roll up like a snake and cut into pinwheels.  Bake in greased pan and bake for about 25 minutes.  Frost with cream cheese buttercream and ENJOY!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Scones









Thanksgiving is sneaking up on us!!  Are you all ready for the holidays to start?  We are!!
There is something comforting about everyone bringing their favorite dish to Thanksgiving...but if you are like me, it is always fun to bring something new or something old with a twist of "new" and unexpected to keep things a bit exciting.  Whatever you do, DO NOT skip the GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE...just ask our children!!


Vegan Pumpkin Pie Scones
Lisa Pearson

2 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice or 1 tsp. ginger and 1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1 Tbsp. soy flour...available in  the Winco bulk section or at Whole Foods

1/2 cup cold Earth Balance, cut into little pieces

1/4 to 1/3 cup soured vanilla soymilk {sour with a tad bit of lemon juice or vinegar}

1/2 cup pure pumpkin {no spices added}


*Whisk together dry ingredients.

*Add Earth Balance and blend with pastry cutter or with flat beater in stand mixer.

*Add all wet ingredients together to flour mixture.

*Blend until ingredients come together.

*Transfer to lightly floured surface or ROULPAT.

*Pat into a disc about the size of your hand spread out.

*Cut into 8 triangles.

*Place scones on SILPAT or onto a lined baking sheet.

*Brush with soymilk.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

*Bake at 425* for 13 to 14 minutes…or until golden.  Don't over bake.  You want moist scones,   not hockey pucks!

Remove to wire rack and drizzle or SPOON on glaze while scones are hot.

Orange Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

4 Tbsp. soymilk

Zest from 1 orange or 1 tsp. pure Orange extract {optional info...my friends like it better with the zest IN the scone...not in the glaze...}  I add my zest to the glaze...because I think it looks nice!

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until smooth and “drizzly”. {Not a word, but you know what I mean, right?}


BLAH.BLAH.BLAH...

Variations: Add ½ cup mini chocolate chips OR GHIRARADELLI ALL NATURAL
CLASSIC WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIPS...BE CAREFUL IF YOU HAVE
PEANUT allergies.
May make mini scones
May be rolled out and cut with biscuit cutter for dinner biscuits. No pumpkin pie spice or glaze…just ½ tsp of cinnamon for a bit of flavor

If you aren't a huge cinnamon fan...you may want to skip the cinnamon sugar...if you are adding the glaze.

For the holidays: Mix up several batches of the dry ingredients at the same time and freeze until you are ready to make them!

Okay. I think I am done going on and on with this recipe.

{If this is not your thing...be sure to check out my regular Pumpkin Pie Scone recipe}

Monday, August 25, 2014

Oma's Roadside Apple Pie




It seems as though summer should just be starting and here we are, once again, anticipating the beginning of a brand new school year.  OH.MY!!

                        With the start of a new school year come apples…lots and lots of apples and I can hardly wait to make apple pies, apple crisps, apple cake and some fresh applesauce.

                        Do you love stories?  I do.  Maybe it hearkens back to a childhood without television and video games, but I love stories, especially sweet little stories that challenge me to think about others.  So, here is a story to go along with Oma’s Roadside Apple Pie that I hope you will enjoy.


My momma, also known as “OMA” to her grandchildren, and poppa known as “OPA” were on their way home when they noticed a home with a large apple tree with fallen apples surrounding the tree at its base.  They decided to go knock on the door and ask if they could pick the apples off of the ground and, in return, would make the owners an apple pie!!  The gentleman who opened the door was so kind and told them he never did anything with them anyway and that they were welcome to gather as much as they wanted.  

They picked the apples and finished their drive home, happy as little larks.
I called my parents that evening and I was so taken in by her story as she was more excited to make the apple pie for this family than she was about the apples!

I was so challenged by her story and it got me to thinking about things.  How easy is it to think about doing things for others?  It is super easy.  BUT what are my actions?  Do I actually take the time to do some of those things I think about?  Not always. 
I realize there are seasons in life where doing for others is near impossible when everyday is a struggle to care for your own family...but sometimes it can be the smallest of things that can make the biggest difference!!  

Soooo, it may not be the bartering system you use or making an apple pie...but you could easily share extra produce from your garden, clippings of flowers from your yard, a handwritten note, leftovers for friends, or picking up a favorite candy bar from the grocery store...JUST BECAUSE!!


Oma's Roadside Apple Pie
makes a 9 inch apple pie

Prepared pastry dough for a double-crust pie

5 cups apples
splash of lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
butter
milk or cream
cinnamon sugar

Peel, core and slice apples.  {Thin slices are BEST!}
Fill a large bowl with cool salt water.
Place apples in water as you prepare the apples.  Drain thoroughly.
Splash with lemon juice.
Mix sugar and flour together and add drained apples.
Mix together well... making sure the apples are coated with the mixture.
Line the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate with the pastry dough.
Fill with filling.
Top with top crust and crimp the top and bottom together.
Brush with milk or cream and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 375* for 45 minutes or until pie is golden brown and bubbly.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

A little tip:  I like to bake my pies on parchment lined baking sheets to avoid burnt sugar pie filling on the bottom of my oven!!




This.That.and The Other:



THE WEDDING!!  Here are a few pics for those who have asked.  Many more to come...LUCKY YOU!!  :}  This white chapel was just perfect...all the way down to the chapel bells they got to ring.






Thank You, Brenda for the pics.






Our happy little newlyweds.  Thank you, Nana!





"Back to school" organization is going on.  I feel like I am needing to re-nest now that both children are married and nesting on their own.  At this rate, we will have nothing left in our home!!  







Little Miss Adalynn fell asleep before our baking day started...isn't she the cutest little bug that ever was?  Her bubbly personality is starting to really starting to show.






The happy little momma and her girl.  






The last of the hydrangeas.  Have I mentioned white is my very favorite "color"??
There you have it...lots of blah.blah.blah!!


Happy Monday!!