Thursday, July 17, 2014

Yogurt Pancakes with Lemon Devonshire



With all of the berries we have here in the Northwest it seems a shame to only have breakfast in the morning! So, we had to have pancakes in the evening the other night. Was so easy and so good. Even a bowl of cereal with berries on top would have been just fine with me! That, or a banana/berry milkshake!

Yogurt Pancakes
Adapted from Ina Garten


Stir together:

3 cups flour

¼ cup sugar

4 tsp. baking powder

1 Tbsp. sea salt

Whisk in:

1 cup plain ol’ yogurt

1½ cups PLUS 2 Tbsp. milk

4 eggs

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Zest from 1 small lemon

Directions:

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients

Stir until well mixed. Do not over mix!

Using about 1/4 cup measure, ladle onto griddle that is heated on medium heat.

Make sure the griddle is oiled.

Allow pancake to cook until small bubbles start popping up.

Flip pancake and let cook for about 2-3 more minutes.

Keep pancakes warm in a 200* oven. {Be sure to keep them toasty and covered!}

Serve pancakes with fresh blueberries and HEAPS and HEAPS o' CREAM!



Lemon Devonshire Cream:

½ cup heavy cream

8 oz. softened cream cheese {room temp}

1 tbsp. powdered sugar

½ cup sour cream {I like Daisy Brand...full fat!}

Zest of 1 small lemon

1 tsp. lemon oil, pure lemon extract or lemon curd to taste

Directions:

*Beat heavy cream until it is well-whipped {not butter!!!} and add the rest of the ingredients.
*Beat until all ingredients are incorporated.
*Keep chilled until ready to serve.


Do you ever enjoy breakfast for dinner? If so, what is your favorite thing to fix or pour?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Scott's Grilled Fajita Taco Salad



I feel like we are in the middle of a heat wave and one can only live on salads and watermelon for so long.
This recipe is one of my hubby's most-requested recipes and if you make it...you will definitely know exactly why.

My hubby is still finding all kinds of ways to add flavor to old favorites without the pound of butter and cream while still maintaining great flavor to his meals.
Normally, the chicken was placed on tortilla shells, slathered with shredded cheese and serrano cream.
Now, the chicken is placed on a bed of dark, healthy, oh.so.good.for.you greens, topped with sliced chicken and lots of grilled veggies with serrano cream ~made with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

Again, the firehouse recipes are relatively fast.  This one takes a bit more time...but can easily be prepped earlier on in the day and grilled in very little time!

ENJOY this packed-full-of-goodness-meal!


Grilled Fajita Taco Salad

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. liquid smoke

2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 serrano pepper, seeds removed and sliced

Juice of:  1 orange, 2 limes and 2 lemons

3 garlic cloves or less {we just love garlic!}

*Desired amount of greens like spinach, romaine, fancy greens etc.

Grilled Veggies:

1 red onion, sliced

2 red peppers, sliced

2 yellow peppers, sliced

*Place veggies in  ZIPLOC gallon bag with a tad bit of olive oil.  Keep chilled until ready to grill.



Directions:

*Place chicken in ZIPLOC gallon bag along with the liquid smoke, oil, salt, pepper, serrano, juices and garlic.  Let sit for at least 1 hr. and up to 24 hrs. in the fridge.



*Grill chicken on the bbq until juices run clear and it is fully cooked.  Remove from grill and place on a plate covered with tin foil.



*Once the chicken is cooked and "resting" under the tin foil, place the veggies in a veggie grill basket and let it char a bit.  stir it a couple of times and that is it.


{If you don't have a grill basket, just make sure the veggies are cut large enough so that they don't fall through the grates on the grill.}

*Prepare your salad beds and place sliced chicken, grilled veggies, avocado and serrano cream on top...or you can eat them on a tortilla shell...



Serrano Cream

3 Serrano peppers

1 large clove of garlic

½ tsp. sea salt

½ cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

*Seed, devein and cut peppers into small pieces.

*Combine all ingredients in blender until well blended.

*Chill until ready to use.

Monday, July 14, 2014

And Now You Know Why...


...you will never be the same.  
Not a single day will go by that you will look at your life a you did before.

Once your eyes caught a glimpse of your tiny baby making her way into the joy-filled hospital room...you would not, could not be the same.

Yes, your body is different...but now you know why it is simply okay.  

And now you know why God chose her first nine months to be home nestled right beneath your heart.
And why He chose the perfect spot to be cradled by your arms long before you even met.
And why her tiny ears formed early to hear your soft voice comfort her.

And now you know why and how your heart IS indeed capable of more love, more joy, more compassion and more wonder than you ever thought possible.
And now you know why your somewhat quiet world has been replaced with baby cries, late night feedings, more laundry, and the fact that you are on call now and needed 24/7 without exception and you wouldn't have it any other way!

And now you know why sometimes tears flow for no reason at all while you look down at her delicate, long fingers as they grasp your finger while rocking  her to sleep.

And now you know why mommas hear everything.  Your ears are tuned to her every whimper and move...every sneeze and hiccup and every coo and yawn.

And now you know why baby kisses were never meant to be portioned out.  They were meant to be given out in large doses...just because.

And now you know why I always said that sometimes God uses children to teach us what His heart is really like...and how He loves us unconditionally and shepherds our heart.

And now you know why...
we have prayed for this child.

Welcome Baby Adalynn

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hummus and Veggie Focaccia Sandwich





We are definitely "re-nesting" here as we plan on welcoming our very first grandbaby and our new daughter-in-love into the Pearson family.. and simple dinners are a MUST!

I know the hummus and veggie focaccia sandwich is a far cry from burgers, steaks and hot dogs or whatever your typical Summer fare might be, but maybe it would be a nice dinner this week as you are sifting through which Summer project to start on first!!  And if you are enjoying fresh tomatoes from your garden or from a generous neighbor...this sandwich will be just dandy!

Don't feel intimidated by the homemade focaccia bread.  It is super duper easy to make or purchased is also GREAT!


Hummus and Veggie Focaccia Sandwich
Lisa Pearson

Hummus

Green pepper slices

Red pepper slices

Orange pepper slices

Red leaf lettuce leaves

Fresh garden tomatoes...YUMMY!

Rings of thinly sliced red onions

Thinly sliced Swiss cheese

Focaccia bread





                                                           Focaccia Bread    


Ingredients:

2 cups warm water

1 Tbsp. active dry yeast

3 cups bread flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 Tbsp. sea salt

olive oil

rosemary to taste

Herbes de Provence to taste

salt to taste


Directions:

*In a measuring cup, add yeast to warm water.

*In a large mixing bowl, mix flour and salt. Add yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon
until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth.


*Cover dough and let rise for 1 hour.


*Pour dough onto Silpat or greased baking sheet.


*Spread out with oiled hands and dimple using your knuckles.


*Brush with olive oil and add chopped rosemary, Herbes de Provence and salt if you like.  Maybe you have a favorite spice you would like to try.  Garlic is also a winner!


*Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

*This may also be made on a well-oiled baking pan for crispier bread.

Sandwich assembly:

Cut focaccia into squares and then slice into half.  This will give you a top and a bottom.

*Spread hummus onto each half.

*Layer on green, red and orange peppers, red leaf lettuce, fresh garden tomato slices, red onion slices and whatever else strikes your fancy.



Enjoy with grapes, berries, pear slices and sparkling apple juice...and don't forget the KETTLE CHIPS!!


Friday, June 27, 2014

Iona's Tribute


Not much pulls at my heart-strings than seeing the relationships between the younger generations and the older generations. 
It is almost as though for a bit of time...two very different worlds meet and the ones who are blessed enough to have each other for any amount of time...be it years or minutes...seem to glean treasures untold!!

Over the years, I have been touched by my Twinsie who has such a tender heart toward the elderly.  She has taught me more than she will ever know...especially when it came to her dear friend, Iona.

I must admit there were times I caught myself rolling my eyes as she would describe the plans she had for Iona for the day.  There were certainly times I felt like she should just stay home and take a nap while her baby napped as opposed to having tea with her friend. There were moments when I thought that maybe she was giving too much and needed to slow down in the "taking care of department".  BUT, was I ever wrong. 

The friendship grew and became a blessing neither would be willing to give up on...not for a second.  What an incredible gift they shared as Iona so willingly shared her life with that of a young momma and her baby.

Iona is now celebrating LIFE in heaven as my sweet sissy misses her daily.

I say, if you are needing a new friend...pray about it.  Maybe a lonely, gramma lady is praying for a new friend who will include her in the life of her younger family.  What a lovely thought for them to be sought after and needed.  After all...friendships that are unexpected are the ones I believe are gifts sent from GOD.  Do you know how I know?  They are tenderly gift wrapped by the hands of the maker of the universe.  A very unique gift indeed! 

This is her reflection:

"As Landen and I sit down to write this letter to you, we are awed at the deep imprint of friendship you have left on our lives.

I'll never forget the day we first met. We had just moved out to Scappoose and were your new neighbors at the duplex. I was eight months pregnant with Landen, and feeling overwhelmed with life. You immediately took me under your wing, and endeared yourself to me.
We started out with daily early morning walks around the block that by the end of summer had turned into two hour “walk-a-thons”. 
We laughed, shared stories, talked about childhoods, exchanged recipes, and you never failed in helping me prepare for the arrival of Landen.

We always enjoyed you retelling the story of your first glimpse of Landen. He was on his blanket, and as soon as he heard your voice, he moved his head to look at you, and your eyes met. That was all it took. From that moment on, you two shared a bond! We still took our daily walks, no matter the weather. You reassured me that it really was okay to take Landen out into the cold and rain. Oh, what a a sight we must have been as we walked the streets in our  mix-matched sweatshirts, coats, sweatpants, and a baby in the stroller with garbage bags over the bottom part of his blankets to keep him from getting soaked!!

As Landen grew, you would come get him and take him next door to your house so I could nap, and then you would feed him most evenings while I was getting dinner ready. You spoiled us!

At the age of 18 months, I started in the care giving of my grandma, and that was another adventure which you shared in. You became a friend to grandma, and were always available to help in any way you could. She too loved you!!

One day when Landen was talking about how many grandmas he had, I was trying to explain that you weren't his “ real” grandma.  After hearing my explanation, Landen looked up at me and emphatically proclaimed  “ But Mommy, Nona is my real grandma! ”. That was the end... in his mind and heart, you were his grandma. End of discussion. Never again was it a matter of question... you were his!!

At the very essence of this letter, it is our desire to express the gratitude our family has towards you, and the legacy with which you graced us in the sixteen years we knew you.  In everything you did and said, it was in the true gift of time and unconditional friendship that you gifted us.

Never were you too busy to encourage, listen, and invest in our lives. We each felt that when we were with you, time stopped, and we were given your undivided attention.


We love you Nona, and are thankful for you and the time God granted to us to be a part of your life."

Laura Stroh

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Count Your Many Blessings


Hymns.  They reach down to the deepest part of your soul.  No matter how many years it has been since you have listened to them, it seems a mere impossibility to forget the strong words of Truth and Faith.
I think every hymn is my favorite...but there are those that are my favorite.favorite!

How very easy it is to feel lost in this world...keeping track of wrongs, having lack of purpose and direction, busyness and a sense that the good days are forever gone and have regretfully been replaced with the bad days.  This is so far from the what God has for us!



When upon life's billows
You are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged,
Thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings,
Name them one by one
And it will surprise you
What the Lord has done.

Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your blessings,
See what God has done
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings,
See what God has done.

Are you ever burdened
With a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy
You are called to bear?
Count your many blessings,
Ev'ry doubt will fly
And you will be singing
As the days go by.

When you look at others
With their lands and gold
Think that Christ has promised
You His wealth untold
Count your many blessings,
Money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven,
Nor your home on high.


So, amid the conflict,
Whether great or small
Do not be discouraged,
God is over all
Count your many blessings,
Angels will attend
Help and comfort give you
To your journey's end.

Words by:  Johnson Oatman, Jr.

I hope this encourages you today!!
If it is hard for you to list your blessings...maybe you can take a short walk around the block and talk to Jesus and ask Him to bring blessings to your mind as you hum a hymn of old.

This picture is a hint as to what is going on in our little family.  There is much more to come.

Photo Credit:  Jessica Lyons Photography

Monday, September 9, 2013

The BEST Grilled Cheese Sandwiches...EVER!!!


Do you love it when you have company drop in for dinner? We love it. There is no time to have things just so. No pressure to impress...especially if it is one of your besties!

A few weeks ago, I invited my friend Carolyn to join us for dinner. I had made French onion soup...it took 3 hours to carmelize the onions {YEP, RIDICULOUS!} and when I invited her to drop in...I was so excited she didn't have dinner plans.

She brought over a plate of THE BEST GRILLED CHEESE sandwiches EVER. They were devoured. Let's just put it this way, I don't think anyone cared about the soup, and I am never {I MEAN NEVER!} making a soup that takes that long to make again. You would be better off spending a few minutes whipping up these yummy sandwiches, and the kiddies LOVED them. Gone forever are the days of a slice of cheese and butter on bread in our HOME!



Yummy Pimento, Grilled Cheese (Surprisingly Kids love these too!)

Carolyn



5 cups cheese (mix of sharp and medium cheddar) Any cheddar will do, but I love Tillamook medium white cheddar and sharp.*

1 small jar pimentos

1/2 cup mayonnaise (Best Foods Light) add more if you want in to be more gooey

1/2 teaspoon sea salt to taste

{I added 1 pressed clove of garlic}

Garlic Sourdough Bread (I like Franz/Seattle International Garlic Sourdough** sliced rounds/they sell a regular sourdough also, but the garlic really makes the sandwich complete!) The pieces of bread are big so you can cut in half and they look very rustic and yummy and the cheese oozes out a bit. A nice way to get oohs and ahhs!

5) Trader Joes Olive Oil Spray (Way easy, and you don't need butter because the sandwiches are rich) I use this for all my grilled sandwiches. It’s a mild tasting olive oil.



This should made six sandwiches depending on your bread size and how thick you spread on your mixture. I was able to make six large sandwiches.



This is so simple...I saw the recipe in Bon Appetite and modified it a tiny bit.

●I just tossed all the ingredients other then the bread & Oil in a bowl and mix a few times till the cheese and mayonnaise are blended decently. There's no perfection necessary in this. You can add more mayonnaise if you need it to hold everything together. You can also add a little mustard if you want it a bit tangy..but don't add too much without tasting first (I add about a tablespoon which I like, but my kids prefer it without)

(A hint if you leave the mixture at room temperature for just a bit it grills much better)

●Sample the mixed product several times (you really don't have to do this...but it's so good and my excuse is I have to make sure I put enough salt in)

●Get ready to grill ....when I grill my sandwiches, I grill the insides of the bread for just about 45 seconds before spreading on the cheese concoction. (You don't even need to use butter or oil.) That way, the inside isn't mushy. This works especially well if you are transporting sandwiches for a soup and sandwich night at a dear friend's house like I was.

●After you have assembled all the sandwiches, you are ready to grill.

●Spray the tops of two sandwiches lightly with olive oil, put them oil side down in the pan.

(One of the tricks to a good grilled cheese is patience and a pan that's nice and hot, say med high, but not too hot.)

●While they are cooking oil side down, spray the top. Flip over when they are nicely grilled and brown and cook the other side.

●Move sandwiches to a serving platter and cover to keep warm.***

●Repeat till you are done.

● I do mine two at a time because they are quite large and they fit nicely in my pan.

(You can also do this on an outdoor grill just make sure your flame isn't too hot or they will burn quickly!)



*Note...If you can spring for some black label Tillamook sharp...so good!!!

**They sell this at the Franz Bread store for under $2.00…a great deal and it freezes great. I love to have on hand for those nights when I can’t make it to the store

***These transport really well...I had a ten min drive and the sandwiches stayed warm under the foil. (They are good cold too!)