Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cranberry Orange Sippers



Since Christmas decorations are up in the stores {not our house!}, I think it is safe to talk turkey now!

What is it about Thanksgiving that is so wonderful? I think it is a chance to really hear others talk about the blessings in their lives. A chance to be grateful no matter what the circumstances...because I am sure that if you took out a piece of paper and pen...you could fill it up pretty quickly.


We have this punch every.single.year. It doesn't matter if we are HOME or somewhere else. It comes right along with us.

I have gotten quite a few e-mails with readers who are frustrated with my ingredient list. I am VERY sorry. I will really try to be a bit more sensitive to this.

THANKSGIVING PUNCH:

Cranberry Juice

Orange Juice {Do your family and friends a favor...NO PULP! THEY don't like it!}

Ginger Ale/Champagne

Directions:

Freeze cranberry juice in ice cube trays...or whatever shape you would like {IKEA has had some fun molds!} Make sure whatever shape you use, that they fit in the glasses you will be using! {BEEN there, DONE THAT!}

Before dinner or during appetizer time {if that is what you do} drop frozen cranberry cubes into glasses. Fill glasses with half OJ and half Ginger ALE/Champagne! It is simply BE.U.TEE.FUL as the cranberry juice swirls as it melts! :)

If you are planning a holiday brunch, you may want to try the "fancy Mimosas"!

ENJOY!




Shared with: women living well, the picket fence, comfy in the kitchen, stonegable

Friday, October 28, 2011

SILPAT WINNER




Thank you all so much for leaving the sweetest comments in the DEMARLE giveaways this week. I hope you all had as much fun as we did! :} Maybe you have had a chance to take a peek at the DEMARLE website and read up on one of my very favorite lines of kitchen ware! Thank you to those of you planning on placing orders with my friend Leslie. If you don't want to go back to the archives, here is her information for you again...Leslie Lockwood...LeslieLDAH@comcast.net. All you need to do is to add her name when placing the order so that she will earn the points!

The winner of the SILPAT is Paula. Paula, please email me with your mailing address so that you can start baking with your brand spanking new SILPAT as soon as possible!


Thank YOU, Leslie!


Happy Friday and LOVE to YOU!


Next week we will be back to our regular THIS.THAT.AND THE OTHER! I have decided I am way too scatter-brained for "theme weeks"... :) maybe, just maybe once in awhile, but for those of you with ADHD...you know what I am talking about!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Oma's Granola and Breakfast to-go






Alrighty. Let's chat about taking meals to people. I would love to think that I always have time to take a full on meal to those who need it, but the truth of the matter is sometimes we all just run out of steam or time or BOTH!

Here is something that has helped me out when I want to help someone out, but am feeling a bit less enegetic.

Granola is very easy to make and quite inexpensive considering how much it makes and that it is made with wholesome good-for-you ingredients.

SOOOO, instead of a dinner, you may consider taking a small breakfast/brunch. Not only is it fun to prepare, but I am sure it is a welcomed meal. One can only take so many pasta and chicken dishes paired with a garden salad, right?

For my breakfast to-go, I put yogurt into cups and added a few berries, added a spoon, a lid, and a tag {which I keep on hand}...and spooned fresh granola into a glass container {TARGET after-Christmas clearance!}VOILA. I then placed the four parfaits into a cardboard drink holder {my friends and family collect them for me.:)}so they would be easy to transport.

You may want to add a few bagels, cream cheese and orange juice...place it in a bag...THAT IS IT!

If you don't want to sign-up for a meal, you can take this as a "snack". Anyhoo, anyway you look at it, it is the kind thought that counts!

Happy Wednesday!


Oma’s Granola
{with a few adaptations}


Ingredients:

8-12 cups old fashioned rolled oats...depending how plain you like it.

2 cups coconut

1/2 cup brown sugar

4 tsp. cinnamon

¼ cup bran {optional…but oh.so.good for you!}

1 cup butter, melted

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. almond extract

½ cup cane syrup or Agave syrup

VARIATION: Add 1 cup chopped almonds

Directions:

Stir all dry ingredients together.

Mix melted butter, extracts and syrup together.

Pour over oat mix.

Stir.

Place on rimmed cookie sheet.

Bake at 350* for about an hour stirring every 15 minutes.

Make sure it is golden brown...and do NOT burn it!

Let cool.

Place in a glass storage container.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

DEMARLE Week: Pesto Pizza and GIVEAWAY winner



First things first...there is still time to enter the SILPAT giveaway! So if you are wanting a baking mat that requires no oil and nothing sticks to...and where clean-up...is as simple as washing with a tad bit o' soap and water and shaking it to dry...this is for YOU!!! {I'm feeling like a salesperson about right now, but it really is the GREATEST!}


We are still in picnic mode.

Last night, my hubby made me dinner {since it was just the two of us for dinner!} and took it out to the deck along with candles. It was really fun eating out under the stars! Chilly but FUN!

Here is a quick alternative to Take and Bake or Pizza Delivery:

Menu:

Martinelli's Mini Sparkling Cider
Orange Slices {leftover from Pumkin Pie Scone Glaze}
Pesto Pizza
Coconut Macaroons

Shopping List:

Trader Joe's Pizza Dough
Trader Joe's Pesto
Trader Joe's Shredded Parmesan Cheese

A DEMARLE SILPAT {Leslie Lockwood...LeslieLDAH@comcast.com} If you place an order, please plug in her name so that she will benefit from the points. Thank YOU!

Directions:
Follow directions on dough pkg.
Place rolled out dough on to a SILPAT
Spoon Pesto onto dough before baking
Top with cheese...Bake according to directions on dough pkg.

It is going to be the best taste pizza EVER!!

Packaging: Garnish box and coffee bag
luggage tag from the Paper Zone
Kabnet Wax and newspaper

So here is an idea: Have a family evening picnic this Friday Night or a candlelight late night dinner outside on the deck or front porch after the babes are in bed to celebrate...ANYTHING! Pack your Pizza and look for stars. Maybe you will even see a shooting star!


"This is what the LORD says,
he who appoints the sun
to shine by day,
who decrees the moon and stars
to shine by night,
who stirs up the sea
so that its waves roar—
the LORD Almighty is his name." Jeremiah 31:35


*adapted from the archives!

CONGRATUALTIONS KATIE S.: You are the winner of the DEMARLE flexi tray! Please e-mail me with your mailing info! Thank YOU!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DEMARLE Week: SILPAT Giveaway & Candy Molds




Giving away things is just too much fun especially when it something really useful!

My dear friend Leslie Lockwood and I first met when her daughter was in my preschool class. She was one of those moms who was so helpful and kind. I still remember her bringing me a soda pop during parent conferences! Isn't that the best idea ever? It was so meaningful.

Later we ended up teaching together and then selling DEMARLE together and let me tell you, there was never a dull moment!

I am so thankful that she introduced me to the DEMARLE line of products because it has made time in the kitchen OH.SO.MUCH easier!

Her little girl is now off to college and she is picking up her DEMARLE business a bit. I thought it would be easy to help her out in this endeavor!

If you are wanting to order something, simply go HERE and enter in Leslie's name and number so that she will benefit from the points! THANK YOU! {Leslie Lockwood US00002516}

SOOOO, she is giving away a SILPAT to a Simply This.That.and the Other follower. {Facebook counts!}

The giveaway ends Thursday.

***All you need to do is leave a comment and be a follower to be in the drawing!

You are going to love the SILPAT because you can do so much with it: Six grilled cheese sandwiches at one time, nachos...just think: crunchy cheese that doesn't stick to the ol' pan, French toast, French fries, great for caramel apples to sit on {NO buttering of parchment needed} , pesto pizza, cookies that are AMAZING…and the list goes on and on and on. It never needs to be greased and clean- up is a snap!

Here is a kiddie-friendly idea for your little ones to help with. There is no way they will not LOVE this project! Although it may take a bit more time to have them help you, it will be a memory for them and it will be really special for them to give something they helped in making. It is never ever too early to teach them the importance of giving! They can help pick out the cookie cutters, the candy melts and the candies or sprinkles to go on top!


CANDY MOLDS on the SILPAT


1. Place cookie cutters on the SILPAT {make sure that you have a cookie sheet under the SILPAT for support.



2. Melt candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments. Stir and repeat until it is smooth and creamy.




3. Pour melted candy into mold and then sprinkle with candy or sprinkles.






4. Place in freezer for about 15 minutes until candy hardens.




5. Package and see the delight in your children’s eyes!




HAPPY TUESDAY!!

Shared with: My world made by hand, measured by the heart, teach-me-tuesday-homemaking-link-up-14.html">teach me tuesday, raising homemakers, at the picket fence

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Hot Water Bottle



I don't think I have ever posted two posts in one day...but my momma called me this morning and read this story to me. I just had to share it. It is a reminder to listen to God when He speaks. It may not make any sense at the time, but an obedient, willing heart is what God is seeking out!




THE HOT WATER BOTTLE - A True Story By Helen Roseveare, Missionary to Africa

One night, in Central Africa, I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all that we could do, she died leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying, two-year-old daughter.

We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive. We had no incubator. We had no electricity to run an incubator, and no special feeding facilities. Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts.

A student-midwife went for the box we had for such babies and for the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in. Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly, in distress, to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst. Rubber perishes easily in tropical climates. "...and it is our last hot water bottle!" she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk; so, in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over a burst water bottle. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways. All right," I said, "Put the baby as near the fire as you safely can; sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts. Your job is to keep the baby warm."

The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with many of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle. The baby could so easily die if it got chilled. I also told them about the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died. During the prayer time, one ten-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt consciousness of our African children. "Please, God," she prayed, "send us a water bottle. It'll be no good tomorrow, God, the baby'll be dead; so, please send it this afternoon." While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added by way of corollary, " ...And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she'll know You really love her?" As often with children's prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say, "Amen?" I just did not believe that God could do this. Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything: The Bible says so, but there are limits, aren't there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever received a parcel from home. Anyway, if anyone did send a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!

Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses' training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time that I reached home, the car had gone, but there, on the veranda, was a large twenty-two pound parcel! I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone; so, I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out brightly colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then, there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children began to look a little bored. Next, came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas - - that would make a nice batch of buns for the weekend. As I put my hand in again, I felt the...could it really be? I grasped it, and pulled it out. Yes, "A brand-new rubber, hot water bottle!" I cried. I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could. Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, "If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!" Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully dressed dolly. Her eyes shone: She had never doubted! Looking up at me, she asked, "Can I go over with you, Mummy, and give this dolly to that little girl, so she'll know that Jesus really loves her?"

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday School class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God's prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. One of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child -- five months earlier in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it "That afternoon!" "And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." Isaiah 65:24

Helen Roseveare a doctor missionary from England to Zaire, Africa, told this as it had happened to her in Africa. She shared it in her testimony on a Wednesday night at Thomas Road Baptist Church.

{The story my momma read to me was from Eternal Perspective Ministries}

How comforting to know God hears our prayers!

Love to YOU!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kitchen Cabinet Door Sign




Okay. This is going to be short and sweet, which doesn't happen very often!

In hosting my sister-in-law's 40th birthday tomorrow night, I decided to incorporate her gift into the theme of the party.

Not only is she an amazing wife, but she also homeschools all four of her children! She does such an incredible job balancing her role as a wife, a momma and taking care of so many other things that go along with being the wife of a pastor!

Needless to say it rare for her close friends and family {all us girls!!!} to get together. So, for her 40th, I decided to go with a "friends" theme and not camp out on the BIG 40 too much...

Several years ago, we {CALEB} tore out our old kitchen. The recycler {hoarder!} that I am insisted on keeping the kitchen doors for projects. I think my hubby is going to be ecstatic to know I only have one door front left!!

Anyhoo, I am so excited to have hung her sign up by the dining table to help carry our theme for her special night!!

Do you incorporate gifts into the party decor? I would love to hear your ideas!




Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Gift of Prayer




Awhile back, my hubby and I were talking about praying for our children. We have done blessing cards for years, but most times they are in the hallway closet. My hubby keeps them there as he gets them out to pray blessings over the children before going to work since the closet is right between their bedroom doors. We only have one set and as we were talking we were thinking about how we needed to be even more dilligent about praying for our children.

My dear friend, Marina, came over for a visit and she had just been given a 31 day list of prayers to pray throughout the month. God is in the details, isn't He? I was so grateful for just that little bit of encouragement we were needing! Now, we both have our own copies and are both praying the same thing for our children throughout the day.


I am constantly reminded of what a humbling job it is to be a parent. I am always making mistakes, not always modeling Christ to my children, and having to say I am sorry way more than I would have ever hoped to do as a Momma. But I am thankful for the gift of prayer and for our children to have full confidence that no matter how we fail as parents, it is God's grace that is extended to them. When there are life decisions to make, it is God who will give direction. When friends are in need of comfort, it is through prayer that the right words may be spoken. When bodies ache and hurt, it is through prayer that they can feel the gentle touch of the Healer. When it is forgiveness they need, it is God who is already seeking to forgive and to restore.


31 Biblical Virtues to Pray For Your Children {Bob Hostetler}


1. Salvation. “Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory” (Is. 45:8, 2 Tim. 2:10).


2. Growth in grace. “I pray that my children may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18).


3. Love. “Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to live a life of love, through the Spirit who dwells in them” (Gal. 5:25, Eph. 5:2).


4. Honesty and integrity. “May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection” (Ps. 25:21).


5. Self-control. “Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be alert and self-controlled in all they do” (1 Thess. 5:6).


6. Love for God’s Word. “May my children grow to find Your Word more precious than much pure gold and sweeter than honey from the comb” (Ps. 19:10).


7. Justice. “God, help my children to love justice as You do and act justly in all they do”
(Ps. 11:7, Mic. 6:8).


8. Mercy. “May my children always be merciful, just as their Father is merciful” (Lk. 6:36).


9. Respect (for self, others, authority). “Father, grant that my children may show proper respect to everyone, as your Word commands” (1 Pet. 2:17).


10. Biblical self-esteem. “Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:10).


11. Faithfulness. “Let love and actions” (Dt. 31:6).

12. Courage. "May my children always be strong and courageous in their character and in their actions" (Dt. 31:6).


13. Purity. “Create in them a pure heart, O God, and let that purity of heart be shown in their actions” (Ps. 51:10).


14. Kindness. “Lord, may my children always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else”
(1 Thess. 5:15).


15. Generosity. “Grant that my children may be generous and willing to share, and so lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age” (1 Tim. 6:18-19).


16. Peace-loving. “Father, let my children make every effort to do what leads to peace” (Rom. 14:19).


17. Joy. “May my children be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 1:6).


18. Perseverance. “Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to run with perseverance the race marked out for them” (Heb. 12:1).


19. Humility. “God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all”
(Titus 3:2).


20. Compassion. “Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion” (Col. 3:12).


21. Responsibility. “Grant that my children may learn responsibility, for each one should carry his own load” (Gal. 6:5).


22. Contentment. “Father, teach my children the secret of being content in any and every situation, through Him who gives them strength” (Phil. 4:12-13).


23. Faith. “I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children’s hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them” (Lk. 17:5-6, Heb. 11:1-40).


24. A servant’s heart. “God, please help my children develop servants’ hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, as if they were serving the Lord, not men” (Eph. 6:7).


25. Hope. “May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Ro. 15:13).


26. Willingness and ability to work. “Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work at it with all their heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Col. 3:23).


27. Passion for God. “Lord, please instill in my children a soul that ‘followeth hard after thee’
(Ps. 63:8, KJV), one that clings passionately to you.”


28. Self-discipline. “Father, I pray that my children may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair” (Prov. 1:3).


29. Prayerfulness. “Grant, Lord, that my children’s lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Eph. 6:18).


30. Gratitude. “Help my children to live lives that are always overflowing with thankfulness and always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”
(Eph. 5:20, Col. 2:7).


31. A heart for missions. “Lord, please help my children to develop a desire to see your glory declared among the nations, your marvelous deeds among all peoples” (Ps. 96:3).


May You be encouraged to pray for YOUR children!


Shared with: simple country life, titus2sday

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Snickerdoodle Doodlebugs {mini snickerdoodles}



Do you know of anyone who doesn't like SNICKERDOODLES? I can't think of anyone. In fact, for most, they are a favorite! Maybe it is all the cinnamon and sugar...but I think I would like them even if I wasn't crazy about the taste of them...just because I love the NAME. Anyway, you are in for a real treat.

Last night my son walked in the door after work. He said, "Mom, the house smells sooo good and it isn't dinner." WHAT?????!! He quickly realized what he had said and quickly told his bff..."MY MOM MAKES THE BEST SNICKERDOODLES!" I didn't say a word and gave them snickerdoodles before dinner and AFTER dinner....because that is what Mommas are for, right?!



Snickerdoodles

Mix together:

1 cup butter, room temp

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

Stir together:

2 3/4 cups flour

1 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. sea salt

Directions:

Roll into balls the size of walnuts.

Roll in mixture of 2 Tbsp. sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon. {3 of each if you like a lot!}

Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake until lightly browned…but still soft...DO NOT OVER BAKE...your dog wont even think of them as a treat!

These cookies puff up at first…then flatten out
Bake @ 400 for 8 to 10 min.


FOR DOODLEBUGS:

While cookies are still warm, use a small cookie cutter and place in middle of cookie. Press gently and you have a little doodlebug.




*SIMPLY FRUGAL: SAVE the Snickerdoodle crusts for ice cream. Let ice cream soften a bit. Add the cookie crumbs and stir. ENJOY. These crumbs can be added to homemade ice cream, too...right before you put the finished ice cream into the freezer to harden.




*SIMPLY ADORABLE: Using scrap paper, use your scallop punch and make a top and a bottom. Place doodlebug in the middle. Wrap with ribbon. Perfect for Santa to take home to Mrs. Claus.

*These darlings are great sweet treats for holidays and for party favors as well!
I love adding baby bells for baby showers!!!














Shared with: stone gable, newlyweds, pink saturday

Friday, October 14, 2011

French Theme Week: Le Pain Florentine


Happy Happy Friday! It has been hard to decide what the last post should be for our French Theme Week. Sandwiches can be enjoyed all through the year, but as it starts to get a bit chilly outside, I think a warm sandwich is just the ticket!

This favorite is a great one to add to your recipe box! Just be sure that it isn't just scribbled on a piece of paper and tossed into the recycle bin along with Cheerio boxes and outdated backpack papers!

If you are starting to think about menus for the holidays...this one is a fancy one that will be enjoyed by company. It can be made up in advance...like the day before...and can be served cold or warm.


Le Pain Florentine
Adapted from Portland's Palate

1 {10-inch} round loaf French or sourdough bread...I use Trader Joe's Paesano Italian Boule at times.

1 {3-ounce} package cream cheese, softened

1/2 pound turkey, thinly sliced...I use the 7 oz. pkg of oven roasted turkey from Trader Joe's

1 pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and well-drained

Cheese Mixture:

1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup Provolone cheese, grated

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. pimiento, chopped

1 LARGE clove of garlic, pressed or minced


{Directions}

*Cut a 1-inch lid off the top of bread and set aside

*Hollow out inside of loaf. Leave about 1/2 to 3/4-inch thickness of bread on sides and bottom.

*Spread cavity with cream cheese.

*Layer turkey inside bread so it overlaps over the outside of bread round.

*Spread 1/2 of cheese mixture over turkey, in bottom of loaf.

*Spread chopped spinach on top of cheese layer and top with remaining cheese mixture.

*Fold overhanging edges of turkey over top of cheese layer to seal and replace top lid of bread.

*Brush outside of loaf with olive oil, wrap like a little bug in a rug with tin foil and bake at 325* for 30 minutes.

*To serve, cut into wedges.

ENJOY with a glass of sparkling juice, applesauce and baby pickles!!!




Shared with: comfy in the kitchen, at the picket fence, stone gable

Monday, October 10, 2011

French Theme Week: Pretty Parisian Posies






As women, most of us LOVE our homes and have the desire to create a warm and relaxed atmosphere...but as we all know, that is way easier said than done. We are easily distracted by LAUNDRY, dishes, messy garages, pantries that are so stuffed to the brim with coupon finds and bulk bags of food with twist ties lining the pantry floor, couch crumbs from movie night cheesy popcorn and gnarled up hand braces that have been salvaged from a hungry dog...however,it IS possible to take a few minutes to freshen up our homes with pretties!

Vintagy Posies:

A small bit of burlap...I had leftovers in the garage.

Leftover fabric...I used leftovers from when my curtains were hemned

*If you don't have fabric sitting around, you could purchase a pillowcase at the thrift store and not feel bad about cutting it up...pretty napkins work, too.

A glue gun

Twine...Still leftovers from Grammy's stash


{DIRECTIONS}

Cut circles of fabric. Not perfect. Just eyeball it. You want them to be a bit shabby looking.



You will nedd three fabric circles for each posie and one burlap circle pinched in the middle and tied for the "leaves".



Take each circle of fabric and fold into half. Pinch it together to form a bud, and then glue gun it. Once you have all three buds done, nestle them together and glue gun. Then glue gun the bud to the burlap leaf. OOOH LA LA. Perfect for everyday or simple enough for le bebe shower in Autumn!

Here are a few things I did to add a bit up Parisian charm to our HOME for our French Theme Week.

{They will also serve as simple decorations for a family birthday party!}

If all else fails and you've had a hectic day, find your local classical station or tune it in on PANDORA, light a few tea lights and serve store bought French onion soup with a bag o' salad and a fresh loaf of warmed Artisan bread. The dust wont show and you may just feel like you are in Paris for the dinner hour!



Happy Monday!





Shared with: freckled laundry

Sunday, October 9, 2011

French Theme Week: Pots de Creme



Happy French Theme Week!

Since we haven't had a theme for awhile and I had promised a few of you another theme week...I thought it may be fun to do something a little bit different!

I always start missing Europe around this time of year! So, since a trip to Europe is not in the near future...we can all pretend in our own kitchens for the week!
Get out the pearls, the high heels, the candles and the nicest dishes you have...and don't forget the music, the wine goblets and the bright red lipstick! {Thank YOU, Julia!...not sure about the lipstick...anyway} BON APPETIT!


I feel like I have been in France for the day...surrounded by sweet confections, Creme Brulee and Pots de Creme.

Getting ready for parties is the best...the day before...as all the plans come together.

If you would like a decadent dessert...look no further than a box of pudding and 1 pint of whipping cream. That is it. I used one box of Trader Joe's dry chocolate pudding mix and added 1 pint of heavy whipping cream. I mixed it until it looked like mousse...then, I put it in a pastry bag and piped a bit into my "little pots". It made 8 servings. {Everybody else calls this chocolate mousse...except for me!}



For you foodies...I know the French make it like a custard in a water bath...but when you are short on time and need a little bang for your buck...this will do just fine!

Before serving, you will want to top them off with a tiny little swirl of white chocolate whipped cream {whipping cream made with a bit of white chocolate Torani syrup!} TAAA DAAA. Easy Peasy! If you want to make them a bit more Autumny, a tiny sprinkle of cinnamon sugar or nutmeg will make this beautifully decadent!!



Now, next time you are out shopping...don't forget to pick up your ingredients for this European dessert with a fancy name! A bit of cream is good for your complexion!

BTW...I timed this. It took three minutes to make and maybe three minutes to pipe it into the glasses! I'm sure it could take even less time, but I like to get the swirls just right!

Nothing sweeter than mini Pots de Creme...what do you think?
Mini canning jars make adorable little pots. Tie on a bit of burlap or twine to make it extra festive!



OH YOU HOO...If you are using a different box of pudding, just follow the directions for making pudding. Instead of using MILK, substitute whipping cream. I suggest heavy whipping cream. MERCI!

Post Edit: This seems to be a favorite! I have received more e-mails and requests for this recipe and I think it's because it is easy, gourmet-looking and CHOCOLATE! Perfect for showers, parties or just because!

Shared with:

Yvonne at Stone Gable

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sweet Treat Saturday {Linky Party #6}

Welcome to Sweet Treat Saturday where you can link up and share anything that makes your Saturday extra sweet!





Cinnamon rolls are easy to make and they are inexpensive when you need something to feed a crowd or hungry teens! There are plenty of books to read and help online if you need a bit of help in understanding the basics of yeast breads.


I thought this was my Momma's basic recipe from years ago...turns out it was my twinsie's. OOPS! I changed it a bit so I could remember the measurements. It is simple and easy to memorize so you can make them on a whim...like late at night or at six in the morning when your child tip-toe's into your room and reminds you they signed up for class snacks and "everyone" wants cinnamon rolls! Hmmmm? Caleb and Laurissa! :)How can I say no? I can't!

Our friends loved to gather in our home...looking back, I am pretty sure they were drawn to my sweet Momma... and I am pretty sure her yummy cinnamon rolls might have had a little bit of something to do with it, too.

Who can resist the smell of cinnamon rolls baking on a chilly Autumn afternoon? It just says "WELCOME, come in, get warm and stay for awhile."


Oma’s Cinnamon Rolls {Sorry, Laur...they have been called that for so long...I can't change the name!} :)

{Oma's Cinnamon Rolls AKA Auntie Laura's Cinnamon Rolls adapted by Lisa...forget it!}

2 cups very warm water

1 Tbsp. yeast

1 Tbsp. organic sugar

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

1 Tbsp. oil

1 egg

6 cups flour

Directions:

*Add yeast, sugar, salt, and oil to water and let sit until yeast starts to bubble…about 5 minutes.

*Pour into bowl of stand mixer with dough hook.

*Add egg and flour.

*Mix until dough comes together into a ball.

*Let sit for about 5 minutes.

*Divide dough into two balls.

*Roll out on ROULPAT.

*Roll into rectangle. {About 19” long by about 11”}

*Spread dough with ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temp.

*Sprinkle with ½ cup organic sugar

*Sprinkle with cinnamon

*Sprinkle with ½ cup brown sugar

*Roll it up and pinch seam together

*Slice into even rounds

*Place in prepared pan. {You may use two 9 inch greased pie plates}

*Let sit covered for about 25 minutes or until dough is “puffy”.

*Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.


Take out of oven. Let sit for a few minutes.
Frost and ENJOY!

I love cupcakes and especially the little papers, so I made my cinnamon rolls a bit smaller and then put them into the cupcake liners after they had cooled a bit!



You can also make a batch to keep and one to give away. Simply place a batch on a plate or leave them in the pie plate. Wrap the rolls with strong cellophane and tie it with ribbon or string. Thrift stores and garage sales have great prices on pie plates and single dinner plates. It is nice for the recipient to be able to keep it! We all know how long we can have dishes sitting around that need to be returned. :0




Dont Forget to grab a button

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Pumpkin Waffles {with THE WORKS!}




Pumpkin Waffles

Lisa Pearson



2 eggs

2 cups buttermilk

1/3 cup plain pumpkin {no spices added}

½ tsp. nutmeg

½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. sea salt


Beat eggs, buttermilk and pumpkin together. Add the rest of the ingredients. Whisk until batter is smooth. Place 2/3 of a cup on waffle iron and let cook until golden brown.



Cinnamon Sugar

½ cup organic sugar

1 Tbsp. cinnamon



Homemade Syrup
Lisa Pearson


1 cup organic sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 tsp. clearjel {available at King Arthur or the Decorette Shop}

½ cup corn syrup

1 cup water

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract



*Whisk all dry ingredients together in a little saucepan. Add wet ingredients. Stir until it boils. Boil for three minutes. Strain. Pour into an old-fashioned glass syrup dispenser and frolick the day away!

*Be sure to keep leftover syrup in the fridge. Now, go frolick!



Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream
Lisa Pearson


Whip up 1 pint of whipping cream with 4 Tbsp. Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup.


Here is what you do:

*Place waffle{s} on plate

*Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar

*Pour on warm syrup {in your cute little glass dispenser} :)

*Top with whipped cream and garnish with freshly ground nutmeg

Post Note: It is the little things in life that add zest to life. With all the money you will be saving by making your own syrup, you may want to purchase a dispenser. They can be found at thrift stores...make sure it has a tight seal..., Cash and Carry, K-Mart, Target, EBAY etc. and if you don't have the time, CHRISTMAS IS COMING AND THE GOOSE IS GETTING FAT! {my hubby's favorite saying from October on!}





An Autumn Brunch Menu:

Orange Juice and Milk

Pumpkin Waffles

Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream

Cinnamon Sugar

Homemade Syrup

Oma's applesauce

shoulda made bacon on the bbq, but opted for the sugar high!

...if you want to enjoy some yummy syrup and don't have time to make it, just top your waffle with TORANI PUMPKIN SPICE SYRUP...a little goes a long way!

...tired girls home from college, 1 teenage boy, an energetic hubby, and grandparents who dropped by...a little dappled doggie who feels she is entitled to pumpkin waffles, too...and there you have our crazy, late, late brunch!

Happy Happy Happy Weekend!

Shared with: comfy in the kitchen, at the picket fence

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Jami's Ginger Juice Concentrate



Last week I was invited to my friend, Jami's Pampered Chef Party. Any excuse to get together, really. She served this punch that was so good! She substituted cranberry juice for whatever other juice was called for {BRILLIANT!} and she skipped the wine and added 7UP to the punch so that there was an option for those who do not consume alcohol. {AGAIN, BRILLIANT!}

If you have been reading this blog long enough, you know how much I love ginger and cranberries. Not just because they are so delicious, but because of all the medicinal benefits as well. YES! They are THAT good for you!

As I was preparing my gourmet dinner for my twinsie last Friday, I began experimenting with the recipe, knowing full well Laur would give me her honest opinion without me even having to ask. That is also another reason everybody needs a twinsie!

After making a couple of different batches, I decided to just make a Ginger Juice Concentrate and offer different combos. SO, here is the basic recipe and the combos are endless!

Jami's Ginger Juice Concentrate:
Tweaked a bit from Jami

1 {11.5 Fluid OZ.} Langers Frozen Cranberry Juice Concentrate
1 piece of fresh ginger about 4 inches long
2 cans San Pellegrino Limonata...I put a bit less so it would fit in my glass bottle. OR 2 cans of 7UP...{I TRY TO AVOID HFCS, SO I PREFER THE LIMONATA}
4 limes, juiced

Directions:
*Thaw juice;

*Peel outside of ginger and chop into small pieces; {If you have a food chopper...dig it out and use it!}

*Combine juice and ginger in a small saucepan;

*Bring to a boil. Let cool a bit;

*Let sit in fridge overnight...if you have time. If you are not a ginger fan...DO NOT LET IT SIT OVERNIGHT. You wont be happy. You will not like me. You will most likely e-mail me and let me know how horrible it is. :) OR worse... you will not love JAMI...who is the sweetest! :)

*Strain ginger and place juice concentrate in a glass bottle.

*Squeeze juice of 4 limes and add to strained juice.

ADD LIMONATA OR 7UP




THAT IS IT! EASY AS PIE!


VARIATIONS:

Fill cup with ice.

Pour 1/2 glass with plain seltzer water. Top off with Ginger Juice Concentrate.

Pour 1/2 glass with orange juice. Top off with Ginger Juice Concentrate.

Pour 1/2 glass with San Pellegrino Limonata {available at Costco}. Top off with Ginger juice Concentrate.

Pour 1/2 glass with Hansen's Natural Soda Mandarin Lime. Top off with Ginger Juice Concentrate.

Pour 1/2 glass with Schloss Biebrich Sekt {sparkling wine}. Top off with Ginger Juice Concentrate.

Enjoy! Thank you, Jami for the fun night and for the most delicious food!

and thank you, Laur for being my {self-appointed} official taste tester!



shared with: comfy in the kitchen, Yvonne@stone gable

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

{Simple} Chicken Noodle Soup for the Sick





Ready or NOT the dreaded cold and flu season is HERE! And if your Momma, Grammy or Aunties were anything like mine...it meant one thing. Well, two. Chicken noodle soup and saltine crackers. {Nasty salt water to gargle, a fizzy drink, warm baths, clean sheets and lots of cuddling, too!}

My momma would always get a whole chicken and let it sit in salt water and then boil it for the broth. She still insists that all the marrow from the bone is what a sick body needs, but personally, it has to be pretttttty bad for me to want a chicken bones swimming around in a graveyard of soup broth. And then there is the time involved, too. SO...here is a quick, kinda homemade version that lets the experts at Better Than Bouillon deal with the mess!

However, it is not going to take you much time to make your own Mirepoix blend:

Quick bonus food history lesson:

"In French cuisine, a Mirepoix ( /mɪərˈpwɑː/ meer-pwah; French pronunciation: [miʁpwa]) is a combination of onions, carrots, and celery (either common pascal celery or celeriac). Mirepoix, either raw, roasted or sautéed with butter, is the flavor base for a wide number of dishes, such as stocks, soups, stews and sauces. The three ingredients are commonly referred to as aromatics.

Similar combinations of vegetables are known as (holy) trinity in Creole cooking, refogado in Portuguese, soffritto in Italian, sofrito in Spanish and Suppengrün (soup green(s)) in Germany." {Thank you WIKIPEDIA}

It doesn't always happen, but I like to keep veggie packages frozen in the freezer, so that they are easy to grab when someone is sick. {Trader Joe's carries them, too, but I figure a little bit of effort should be made!}

Take 1 large carrot, peel it and chop it. Add 1 large stalk of celery and chop it, too. Then take 1/2 of 1 medium yellow onion and chop it. That is it. No measuring and you have your very own homemade mirepoix blend. Easy Peasy!



Chicken Noodle Soup
Lisa Pearson

Take 1 package of prepared veggies out of the freezer {see above}

Saute the veggies until they are softened

Add 1 clove of minced garlic

You may add a few peppercorns or freshly ground pepper

Add 8 cups of water and 8 tsp. of Better Than Bouillon




Let the soup come to a boil and then add in 1/2 cup of Angel Hair pasta bits {these can be found near the Mexican food section at the grocery store.} They are a deal at 33 cents a package!}



Let the soup boil for about 2 minutes or until the noodles are soft.

**If you are taking the soup to somebody, ladle it into a canning jar and package the noodles separately. It will be easy for them to add the noodles as they are heating up the soup. Trust me, SOGGY noodles are NOT what the doctor ordered.

Do you know of someone in need of comfort?

Maybe there is someone needing you to be the one who reaches out to them...even if it something as simple as a jar of kinda homemade chicken noodle soup, saltines...and a fizzy drink!







Happy Wednesday, dear friends!


A sweet little box to go: I used a pastry box I had on hand for the soup in a jar, the saltines, cough drops and a few m&m for when my friend {a chocolate lover} starts to feel better. I lined the bottom of the box with burlap and glued a piece of craft paper to the lid. Using fabric scraps, I made a white rose posie and burlap for the leaves...the gift was tied with twine and a piece of fabric was stamped "THINKING OF YOU..." Using what I had on hand made this little gift inexpensive and special for my friend who has had a tough few weeks! Again...it is the little things that make a big difference!

...AND, if you are a vegetarian...no problem, we have you covered there, too.  This is DIVINE!!   It's my favorite!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Man for All Seasons




I saw it.
With my very own eyes.
I saw a face full of fear.
Lips that quivered.
A heart that was broken.

Never...never did I think this beautiful face would be marked with eyes that were so full of tears.
Tears of joy...usually...not tears welling up from a grief-flooded heart. They had no where left to go.

What do you say?
What do you do?
How do you offer comfort?

All I could possibly do was to listen. To listen some more and to be silent.

No longer did she feel loved
No longer was she cherished.
No longer was she the love of his life.

She was lonely...for the first time really, ever.
She was afraid...of what laid ahead of her...for her family, for her children.
With one small conversation and with very few words given, she no longer had her identity. It was as if it had been stolen and given to someone else in exchange.

Right there...as her tears no longer could be shed, she had two choices to make

1. To trust God, and to walk by faith...knowing that she would have to trust in One who could not be seen or touched.

2. To walk by sight...using her weak legs to walk the jagged trail, while grasping for every willing hand to help steady her now frail and mostly trembling soul.

People disappoint.
Friends and family dig deep for encouraging words, but in the end, they are empty words of hope.

...this dear, sweet LOVE has taught me oh.so.much.

Isn't it easy at times to share words of advice we think is best?

Dear friend of mine, God is working on your trust.
You are loved by a God who loves you.
You are chersished by HIM...
and you are the love of HIS life!

Let Him be your MAN for all seasons.
It is HE who is "overflowing with joy, intimate with sorrow, hospitable to sinners, nemesis of evil, tempted in all ways, innocent of all wrongdoing, at home in lonely places, the life of the party,one who turns water into wine, just because He can, who multiplies loaves and fishes, just because He cares, but who denies help to his cousin John as he languishes in prison, who indeed, refuses to help himself when he staggers in a desert or groans from a cross. He goes up on mountains and down in valleys. He preaches to thousands but takes time for any lone beggar, weeping whore, groveling invalid, writhing demoniac, pleading father. He leaves banquets to visit the sick ward. He is silent when talking would help His cause, and talkative when silence seems most prudent. HE is rude with bullies and phonies and prigs and, at the same time, tender with loosers and seekers and penitents.

HE is with us when we soar on wings as eagles, and probably even when we wingsuit jump, and with us, too, when we can't walk for fainting...and everywhere in between."
{"man for all seasons" and quote by Mark Buchanan}

"But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the LORD their hope and confidence."
Jeremiah 17:7

Your mourning will be turned to JOY!!

With all our love!

{THANK YOU DEAR PENNY for the book! I am loving it!}

Shared with: titus 2sday, women living well, our simple country life

Monday, October 3, 2011

Marsh Grass Salad



Confession is good for the soul!

1. Those of you who visit here KNOW that I am not a fan of technology or anything that has to do with electronics...specifically, my laptop {no offense, honey!} BLOGGER is another story, for another day and another time! SOOOO, after my computer being down for two weeks, and wanting nothing to do with having it fixed, whatsoever, my hubby finally talked me into it this am! AND now that I have been cooking up a storm, nesting, and crafting a bit for parties, birthdays, and fixing up things around our home...I am chomping at the bit to share it with YOU!! AND, thank you for being patient with all of the re-posting going on around here...anyhoo, that is the scoop.

2. Can I even tell you how many recipes I have tried that call for Wild Rice? Can I tell you how many times we have ended up taking more time at the dinner table because we are all still CHEWING on the UNCOOKED centers of that little grain? I stopped using it, because I couldn't get it right. Well, I finally found THE BEST WILD RICE at TRADER JOES and guess what? It is already cooked. And if I can manage to have it turn out, ANYBODY can. So, we will leave it to the experts to cook it correctly and let we, the consumers, embellish away.

They were having a taste test with it at Trader Joes and I was in a total hurry, so, I didn't pay any attention to what other ingredients they had on display.

A few weeks later, I called all the Trader Joes in our area {NO EXAGGERATION!} trying to track the "recipe" down. Finally, a lady sorta recalled that it had a vinaigrette and Wild Rice and nuts. I probably could have figured the rice thing out! {Sorry for the LONG explanation!!! BLAH.BLAH.BLAH.}

SO this is what I came up with! It just screams "easy peasy" and "WELCOME AUTUMN!" I just can hardly wait to share my Autumn favorites with you and to hear all about the things that help to make your homes all cozy and sweet!

MARSH GRASS SALAD
Lisa Pearson


1 pkg. TRADER JOE'S Wild Rice

1/2 cup Balsamic vinaigrette {homemade or Trader Joe's}

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup hazelnuts,coarsely chopped {toast them if you have time :)}

3 green onions, sliced

1 cup cranberries

1/2 Granny Smith apple, diced...or whatever

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Warm up the rice according to pkg. directions.
Add all ingredients together. Top with blue cheese

ENJOY. Serve warm or chilled.

This recipe is so versatile. Leave out what you don't like and add something else you LOVE.

OPTIONS:

red onion

orange zest

mandarin oranges

chicken slices

avocado...my favorite!!


Menu:

Chicken
Marsh Salad
Crusty Artisan Bread
Schloss Biebrich Sekt {Trader Joe's}


In other news: I made a conscious effort to S l o w l y open the new saran wrap package today...so I wouldn't have to hate it for the next six months! I opened it successfully, but still wasted three or four layers of the actual wrap...BUT, I have a nice box in the drawer and that makes me oh.so.very.very happy.


AND speaking of HAPPY...


HAPPY MONDAY!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pumpkin Biscuits



Happy October to YOU! I hope all of you are enjoying your weekend!

We literally got our trips to the dump made, the driveway swept...from sawdust and lots of old paint chips, the lawn mowed and the garage cleaned up before it started to rain! Now aside from needing to paint the house...we are ready for all the rain and to be comfy and cozy in our little home. Are you ready to take it "easy", too? I have no desire to have any more home projects going on for a VERY.LONG.TIME!!!

This last week, I was dying to make an old-fashioned pot roast dinner. So, that is exactly what the Dr. ordered! Do you ever just crave a nice, warm dinner with your family? To go along with dinner, I added baby red potatoes and sweet carrots to the crockpot for about an hour before dinner. I fried green beans and made pumpkin biscuits. The kiddies and their friends love them. Not only are they a pretty orange hue, but they are also extra nutritious and oh.so.moist!

Pumpkin Biscuits
Lisa Pearson

2 cups flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1 Tbsp.soy flour {I buy mine in bulk at WINCO}

1/2 cup butter...cut into small pieces

1/3 cup 2% milk, 1/2 and 1/2 or heavy cream

1/2 cup plain ol' pumpkin...no spices needed this time!

Directions:

Whisk together dry ingredients

Add butter and cut into dry ingredients...use a pastry cutter or a flat beater on a stand mixer

Add all wet ingredients to flour mixture

Blend until ingredients come together

Transfer to lightly floured surface...I use a ROULPAT with a bit of flour

Pat into about a 10 inch disc

Using a cookie cutter...cut out biscuits. I used a 3" cutter and got about 12 biscuits.

Place biscuits on SILPAT

Bake at 425* for about 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden.

Serve warm with WHIPPED BUTTER. That is it!

By the way, these freeze beautifully!

ENJOY!

Shared with Stone Gable, Im lovin it, newlyweds