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!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dad's Handkerchief



{written by Laura...my twinsie}

Don’t you just love it when out of the blue you are absolutely reminded of God’s undeniable blessings in your life? We all face difficult seasons in our lives when all we can do is trust God to be faithful, and yet our hearts are spilling over with pain and unanswered questions. There have been many such times in my, but I am truly grateful when God allows me a glimpse back into those times to show me the painful paths that He has lovingly paved with His protection and never-ending faithfulness.


Not long ago, I was going through my suitcases and bags. I had just pulled out some old brochures, a couple of shampoo bottles, and a stray sock. I was ready to put the bag back way when I realized I needed to clean out another inside pocket I had forgotten about. I reached down and found some old gum wrappers when I felt something stuffed way down in the corner. I pulled it out and was instantly taken back to a different time in my life. I had found one of my father’s handkerchief’s that he had given to me years ago. As I held that handkerchief, I was so moved with emotion, I had to sit down as the tears started flooding down my face. What I held in my hand was OH.SO.MUCH.MORE than a handkerchief!! It was what it represented that made it PRICELESS to me!!


I had been raised in Germany as a missionary kid, along with my twin sister and brother. We had been in German schools until fifth grade. After a year-long furlough in the States, our family had decided that my Lisa and I would attend boarding school instead of returning to the German schools. The day arrived for school to begin, and we had to say good bye to our parents and brother. Up until that time, it was me who would be the first to cry. This time it was Lisa. I am sure that my dad pulled out his hanky to wipe away Lisa’s tears as he reassured us of his love for us, and that we would talk soon.


GOD WAS GOOD and carried us through those difficult years of separation, and dad always had comforting words and strong hugs when we were going through difficult times. To be sure, if there were tears to be wiped, he would pull out his handkerchief to wipe way our tears.
The more I thought about that handkerchief, I tried to remember how I ended up with it!! Then, it dawned on me that it was when I was still in college. I had traveled back to Germany to visit my parents. My time there had come to an end, and we were once again saying the all too familiar good-byes. He once again reached up to wipe away the tears, and then most likely gave me the handkerchief to take along on that flight.


How thankful I am for my father that God has given to me. I am even more thankful for my Heavenly Father who loves me and cares for me as only a loving Father can.
At the point my father GAVE me that handkerchief, he was offering me a tangible object of his love for me. So, too, does our Heavenly Father gift us with tangible portions of His love. It can come in varying forms. It may come through the timely words of a loving friend, a sense of peace in the middle of a seemingly hopeless situation, or in a passage of His written Word. 


God is creative in His unlimited touches of GRACE! Just as God knew that the perfect extension of my father’s love for me, was through a humble piece of woven cloth, God knows the measure and degree of tangible love that you need to touch your life. It may not be immediate, and it may not be in the shape of a handkerchief, but it definitely will present itself - often when you are least expecting it.
Thank you dad for your lifelong legacy of love, serving others, sacrifice, HUMOR, and TIME!! You are a continual reminder of God’s love for me and to SO MANY OTHERS.


Always love...

Laura

{written by me}

My dear poppa,

What a memorable day August 16th, 2014 will always be as we watched our youngest take his vows and start his life as a husband to his love, Allison.  There were so many emotions and memories throughout the day that I still can't quite take it all in.  There were programs to file, flower petals to dry, little bottles of bubbles to stash away along with AMERICAN flags.  There were photo booth photos to hang from the fridge and first dance songs to download. Burlap and lace to fold and to press, secret wedding cupcake recipes to print and Hershey's kisses to add to "Pearson wedding mementos"...but what I will cherish the most is the handkerchief you pulled from your pocket as you caught me crying at the table with my besties around me.  You don't miss a beat!  After 45 years, you are still kind and gentle and always there to cheer me up.

I had no idea you were even watching me until I saw you in line, reaching down into your pocket and pulling out your freshly-ironed white handkerchief as you stepped out of line and made your way over to me...to once again offer comfort, encouragement and understanding like only a father can!

I thank God that you set the bar high as a husband and as a father...and that you communicated the importance to seek out those qualities in the man I would one day marry. 
As I sit here, and look at my wrinkled, eye make-up stained hanky {from the layers of mascara that seeped through the waterproof stuff!!} I can't help but think back to the hanky Scott, too, gifted to his daughter on her wedding day...that he had bought years before she was even dating, knowing full well she would need it {for him!!} on her wedding day!!

It is quite possible that Caleb {years from now}might be in a line, sitting in a crowd, or dropping his own daughter off at school as he catches a glimpse of her with tear-filled eyes, be they happy or sad...and without even thinking, reach down into his pocket and pull out a hanky...but for now, I will always have my very.own hanky of yours to remind me of our children's wedding day and the love you have always demonstrated to me as your daughter...no matter how old I am!!  I love you. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Landen's Peach Cobbler


Several years ago, I dropped in on my twinsie. As we sipped on tea and chatted, my nephew offered to make a peach cobbler for our family. I was so very excited. I don't know of many pre-teen boys that would offer to do something so sweet for their Auntie! Anyway, needless to say, it was THE BEST peach cobbler I had EVER had. No kidding. It was devoured by my family that night. So, I asked him if he would send me the recipe so that I could share it with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as our family enjoyed it!

PEACH COBBLER {IN A BAG}
Adapted from Betty Crocker


PEACH MIXTURE:

1/2 cup sugar
1 tbs. cornstarch {I used Clear Jel and skipped the cooking part}
one 29 oz. can of peaches {I used four cups of fresh peaches…about 6 large}
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract or pure almond extract

BREAD MIXTURE:

3 tbs. shortening
1 cup self-rising flour
1 tbs. sugar
1/2 cup 2% milk


Heat oven to 400'. mix 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and the cornstarch in a 2-quart saucepan. stir in peaches and vanilla. cook stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. boil and stir 1 minute. pour into ungreased 8x8 square pan; keep peach mixture hot in the oven.

Cut shortening into flour and 1 tablespoon sugar until mixture resembles fine crumbs. stir in milk. drop dough by six spoonfuls onto hot peach mixture.
bake 25-30 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
I hope you all enjoy this!


MY VARIATIONS:

When I pick peaches, I like to pick enough to enjoy a few cobblers throughout the year, so I put all of the peach mixture ingredients into a Ziploc bag and label it with what I need to add for the topping and baking instructions. All you have to do is to REMEMBER to get it out of the freezer and whip up the topping. Sprinkle with cinnamon and coarse sugar.

FAVORITE VARIATION: I HAD TO ADD THE 1/4 cup PEACH SCHNAPPS TO THE MIXTURE. NO WAY AROUND IT. It just puts it over the top!

SECOND FAVORITE VARIATION: Add 1/4 cup pure Orange Juice to Peach mixture. Seriously, just try it. You would not believe how it brings out the flavor of the peaches.

Now, every time I make a peach cobbler I remember the hospitality extended to our family through my nephew. It inspires me to want to share a freshly baked peach cobbler with someone I love!!  Another reason to teach your boys how to bake!!

Thank you, LANDEN! I LOVE YOU!

Who has nurtured you? Who can you think of who might need to be nurtured?

Ezekiel 34:26 "I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing."