Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wedding Ornament Keepsake

Bridal showers have got to be one of my very favorite celebrations!  The bride is glowing with joy in the anticipation of spending the rest of her life with her best friend and everybody looks forward to helping her build her new gift at a time.  There is plenty of advice and reminders to "enjoy" this season.

One of our most.cherished wedding gifts were a box of homemade Christmas ornaments.  Who thinks of ornaments when there are spatulas, toasters and bed sheets to think of?

We looked forward to decorating our first tree and then had the sweet memories of opening that little box of treasures.

As I was finishing Laurissa's HOPE CHEST, I added one last gift.  A Wedding Ornament Keepsake for their first Christmas.

This last Christmas, I had made each family unit a vintage heirloom ornament out of old Christmas sheet music we used for caroling when we were little and so I decided to make one for David and Laurissa out of their wedding invitation.  Sometimes the simplest things can be the most memorable.

Supply List:

*  Leftover wedding invitations

*  A glue stick

*  A clear glass Christmas bulb

*  A piece of twine or string to hang the ornament

How to make a wedding ornament keepsake:

1.  Using a small scalloped punch, punch out favorite words and highlights from the invite.

2.  With a glue stick, dab a bit across the top and place on a clear glass Christmas bulb.

3.  Start at the top and work down, creating an overlapping pattern.

4.  I tied a piece of twine that we used to wrap around the invites that were hand-delivered.


Happy Sunday!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cilantro Sauce Rice Bowl

Our family L.O.V.E.S Mexican food and Rice Bowls are right there at the top.  So, when my bff sent me the recipe...the groceries were purchased and a new favorite was served up and given major thumbs up.  Aside from being super duper healthy, it can be made in advance which makes it perfect for entertaining or for taking along for picnic fare!!!  WARNING:  The cilantro sauce is addicting.  :}

Kim's Cilantro Sauce Rice Bowls
adapted a was originally served as nachos

Cilantro Sauce Rice Bowls

  For the Cabbage:
• 1 heaping cup shredded red cabbage

• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  For the Beans:
• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 cup olive oil

• 1 yellow onion, finely diced

• 1 poblano pepper, finely diced

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 1 tablespoon tomato paste

• 1 teaspoon chili powder

• 1 teaspoon ground cumin

• 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed well

• 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed well

 For the Cilantro Sauce:

• 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped.  Be sure to soak and rinse the cilantro.  With so many little leaves...they can be quite the little dirt collectors.

• 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped

• 2 tablespoons lime juice/ juice from 1 fresh lime

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/3 cup olive oil

Prepared rice

For the cabbage: Combine cabbage and vinegar in a small bowl. Toss to coat cabbage with liquid. Let sit for at least one hour, stirring occasionally.

For the beans: Heat oil over medium-high heat in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot. Add onions and
poblano and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, chili
powder and cumin and cook, stirring, one minute more. Add beans and cook until heated through and
beginning to break down a bit, about 10 minutes. Mash beans against sides and bottom of pot with a
wooden spoon and stir to combine all ingredients. Taste for salt. Cover and keep warm.

For the cilantro sauce: In a mini food processor, combine cilantro, garlic, lime juice, salt, and olive
oil. Process until well combined. Set aside.

Fill bowls with prepared rice.

Top with beans, cabbage, and desired toppings such as olives, sour cream and cheese.  And drizzle with cilantro sauce.

This is the perfect meal for those who are on dairy free, gluten free, vegan diets as this is just perfect without the extra toppings!!!

Thank you, bunny!

Happy Thursday...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"I'll Carry You"

I think most families have at least one child that challenges its family one way or another. Ours is no exception.

When our son was in preschool, I remember having to sit down behind him and having to wrap my legs around him in order to get him to sit still long enough to listen to a story.

My friends would talk about their blissful Saturday mornings when their kids would "pop" in a video and sit for hours while they would lounge. Not in our home. Caleb would be up by 7:00 at the latest...ready to do or work on a project or have his boots on to go outside and explore. I really was TOTALLY jealous and tried to be happy for them, but it just did not seem "fair".

Fast forward 14 years and he still has energy to spare. In January, Caleb and I took a winter's walk along the path in the wetlands. It is something we enjoy because the air is always extra crisp and fresh along the creek.

As we were walking, Caleb spotted the tree that had fallen due to the beavers. He knew, because he had already checked it out on an earlier excursion. He wanted me to see the beaver's teeth marks at the base of the large tree. I was completely happy with him telling me ALLLL about it, but it it was so important for him to not only tell me about it but to SHOW me.

I was so focused with staying on task to get our walk "in" and to get back home to make dinner that I had to be convinced.

All I could see was the muddy, soggy ground, lots of shrubbs and branches that had to be moved to get down to the creek. After a couple of minutes, Caleb walked back toward me and said,"Mom, I'll help you up on my back and I'll carry you!".

Not only did he carry me, but he cleared the branches as we forged through the wetlands. He set me up on the slippery trunk and took my hand as we balanced ourselves down to where the trunk had been gnawed away by the beavers. How thrilling! It was yet another reminder of why God blessed us with our son.

Time and time again I have learned so much about my Savior through the children he has entrusted us with. Sometimes I wonder if they have been put in our care to give us just that much more of an understanding of how He cares and takes care of us.

How many times am I happy with the comfortable? Are there times He wants me to EXPERIENCE life beyond the dry familiar path? Is He asking me to go through the mud? If He is, I can be assured that it is worth the extra time, worth the sight and best of all He promises to carry me, clear the branches, set me up on a safe spot, take my hand and show me THE THRILLING and AMAZING!

Do you view challenges as an opportunity to grow or just as another frustration in your life?

Psalm 27:5
" For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock."

*From the archives.  :}

Shared with:  Titus 2sday

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Berry and Cream Stuffed Cupcakes

Picking berries in the orchard has got to be one of the very best things that Summer has to offer!  
Berry shortcake, pies, jam, cobblers, smoothies etc. are favorites...but after having made the wedding cake and 400 cupcakes, I was completely and utterly tired of getting the same ol' thing out of the oven.  On the last batch of cupcakes, I decided to make some cupcakes in a fun pan...just to end on a very good note!!!

Berry and Cream Stuffed Cupcakes

*Make your favorite white cupcakes.

*Wash and air dry freshly picked raspberries and blueberries.

*Make whipped cream with fresh cream and add a bit of vanilla and sugar.  It is totally worth it!!!

*Cut cupcakes into half.  Spread with a dollop of whipped cream.

*Add berries...and the cupcake "lid".


Happy Saturday...

Shared with:  comfy in the kitchen

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Grammy's Glazed Nuts

Happy Tuesday!!
I thought I would give you a quick recipe for glazed nuts that are pretty quick to whip up if you need a little after dinner treat, but are short on time to make a berry pie, a peach cobbler or homemade ice cream!

Grammy's Glazed Nuts

1 1/2 cups raw whole almonds

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon water {Sometimes I use vanilla}



*In a heavy 8 inch skillet {I like my Grammy's iron skillet!}, stir together the almonds, sugar,  butter and cinnamon.

*Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 6 - 8 minutes or until sugar is melted and golden.

*Add water and remove from heat once nuts are golden.

*Spread nuts onto a nonstick surface like a SILPAT, tin foil or parchment paper.

*Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt.


This and That...

So, a few meltdowns later our "empty nest" is feeling a bit more like HOME!  I had no idea how much of our home was filled with their things that made our house feel like home.  Things like bulletin boards, pictures, Bible verses, nick nacks, games, their blankets, etc. so...I have dubbed myself the "RE-nester".  :}  And between batches and batches and BATCHES of cupcakes, I must say our little nest is feeling a bit more settled and cozy once again.

I went through all the games and narrowed them down a bit and put them in the dresser and added a fun little banner.

Since some of the "cuddle blankets" have new homes...the family favorite is  now taking up residency in a LARGE basket with a label to remind us of all the years we had to cuddle our children as we read stories, told stories, stayed warm during power outages and watched Little Rascals and Veggie Tales.  Life is a wonderful thing!

Shared with:  comfy in the kitchen

Thursday, July 12, 2012

BBQ Shrimp Baguettes

These sandwiches are what I made for our anniversary picnic dinner last year and I never did blog about the here you go!

They are simple, yet special.  At least I think they are because seafood is still considered a luxury in my book!!!

Add a great date, a warm summer evening, Pandora music playing Miss Ella Fitzgrald and a fun picnic spot...our is Pettygrove Lane {which is really not lane, but we renamed it because we liked it better than Pettygrove Street!!!!} and it will be just divine!

BBQ Shrimp Baguettes

1 cup Trader Joe's BBQ sauce

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 baguettes

lettuce leaves

tomato slices

Special Sauce:

6 tablespoons mayonnaise

6 tablespoons BBQ sauce

Mix the two together and chill for a bit.


*Mix BBQ sauce, garlic, spices and melted butter into a medium bowl.  Add shrimp and let marinade for at least 30 minutes.

*Heat grill to medium-high and be sure to brush your grill or spray it with vegetable oil.

*Place shrimp on skewers and grill for a couple minutes until shrimp is firm.

*Once shrimp is cooked, remove the shrimp from the skewers and place in bowl.

*Cut each baguette into half.

*Brush, spread or SPOON special sauce onto each half and add shrimp,tomatoes and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Wrap in parchment paper and twine and dine the night away in style!

{I used the parchment paper that the seafood was wrapped in since the seafood was double wrapped!}  Yes, we are from Oregon and we are all about recycling!!!

Happy Picnicking!

Shared with:  Stone Gable

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Bridal Shower Tissue Paper Bouquet

This last Saturday, Laurissa's sweet friends threw her the most.adorable.shower filled with everything she, friends, pictures, candles, mason jars, flowers etc.

It was planned by her best friends, but their momma's each helped with a dish for the shower which was so special.  One of them brought chicken skewers with a butter, sage and thyme sauce, another brought THE.BEST pasta salad!  Veggies, angel food cake with strawberries and a big bowl of fresh whipped cream was also served along with LEMONADE and water to drink!  It was just beautiful!

A short talk was given by one of her Bible study leaders from when she was in high school.  She had called the church to check on Laurissa and David's wedding vows and based it on her vows.  Oh.Yes...I had to stop the tears!  Vows are a sacred thing and the vows they will be taking are for LIFE!

The girls did an amazing job of planning the shower was an afternoon that will be remembered forever.

As our girlie opened our gifts...a few of her other dear friends collected the tissue paper to make flowers for the bridal bouquet she will be carrying down the aisle at the rehearsal.  It was so stunning.  I have seen them made for babies with washcloths and with paper bills for birthdays...but never with tissue paper.  Oue little nieces were so fascinated with it that they started making them, too!  I just love it when little girls learn things from the BIG GIRLS.  I am sure they will carry on the tradition of making them in the many showers they will be attending as they grow up...and I am sure they will enjoy teaching little girls who are just as curious as they were.  A day of many memories for sure!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Psalm 25:4-7

Happy Tuesday to YOU!

This weekend, I was reminded of God's great mercy and love in so many ways.

Caleb arrived home safely from his mission's trip to the Philippines and the stories are incredible.  God used the team in ways that only God could orchestrate and the magnitude of His work will not be known until we are sitting in His presence.

Since I have had plenty of overwhelming moments and tend to sit down with my to do lists in attempt to write things down before I forget, I have really been asking God to go before me and to guide my days and to teach me.  He has been faithful.  He has gifted us with willing family and friends to help, phone calls at the perfect time of day, answered prayers within minutes of our requests...and the list goes on.  I am so thankful for my Savior who cares about the biggest concerns in our lives all the way down to the teeny tiniest of details.

A verse that is taped to my fridge is more near and dear to my heart than ever before.

"Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.

Remember, O Lord, Your great mercy and love,
for they are from old.

Remember not the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to Your love remember me, for You are good, O Lord."

Psalm 25:4-7

I would challenge you to take baby steps in asking God to go before you and to teach you HIS ways.  I promise you will not be disappointed.  He is the most patient teacher and the most creative teacher you could ever ask for!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

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


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


*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?


                                             Our baby: "STELLAmooNA"


This is what a "good neighbor" fence looks like!!!  :}

An endless supply of great wood for some fun projects!!!  I reminded my hubby how lucky he was that we didn't have to go buy all the wood and distress it!  Yes, he did roll his eyes at me...followed by a great big HUG!

Do YOU think 300 Mason jars will be enough???

Raspberries = Summer

Snack time

Polka dot L.O.V.E

Happy Tuesday!!!