Thursday, August 22, 2013

Italian Market Salad

As our backyard is slowly showing signs of Autumn, I have been filling our weekly menu with the last of Summer fare...lots of garden veggies, berries, and pasta salads!
Italian Market Salad
{Thank you, Kirby!!}
4 oz. uncooked bowtie pasta
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
6 cups spinach, 1 large bunch
1 cup Gorgonzola
1/2 of a small red onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Drain and rinse with cold water.
Add a bit of olive oil.
Mix with greens, tomatoes and cheese and onion.
Toss with olive oil, vinegar and garlic.
Salt and pepper if desired.
Top with pine nuts.
If you are taking this on a picnic, pack the dressing in a canning jar and drizzle over the salad before serving, and then top with pine nuts!!!
lots of cookie baking, more than usual.  :}
look who loves to go on field trips!!  Our little birthday girl...13 years old...she always
sits in the driver's seat even if we are "gone' for 2 minutes.

fun in the peach orchard with my family
one of my sweet nieces.  I am BLESSED with three!!!
what little girls do before going home to can peaches
God's beautiful handiwork
anniversary hydrangeas {23 years}
it's always a good idea to have a messy project going on outside, too.  As if the peach mess inside wasn't bad enough!!
"She watches over the ways of her household."
Proverbs 31:27

Sunday, August 18, 2013



Oh goodness…I have less than three hours to get this posted before it is officially Mundane Monday {laundry day}!!

For those of you who are young mommas, this may seem a bit silly, maybe even a bit ridiculous considering we are at the end of Summer and you are running on coffee, sugar and energy drinks… but reading bedtime stories to our babes was always a favorite for Scott and I.  We were exhausted from full days, but clean smelling babes, clean sheets and active little ones who would  s l o w l y start to wind down {or NOT!!!} was such a tender time.

It was the last sliver of teaching and nurturing until early the next morning, or in our case…until barefoot chubby feet touched the floor and quietly tiptoed down the hall into our bedroom.

Oh how I miss those years…even the teenagers rolling in right at curfew or a few minutes thereafter, only to have them come sit on our bed and chat…or pray before bed…cramming in a few teachable/nurturing moments.

Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to help my care for the sweetest little four year old!!  And yes, it has been the bedtime routine.  MY FAVORITE!!!!

Once this little one had been bathed, jammied-up, teeth brushed and hair brushed, it was time for bedtime stories.

I let her choose a few books, but on one of our last night’s together, I picked out the book.

It is an old 1964 edition of Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories.  It smells old, but the pictures are bright and cheery and boast stories of an old era when life was simple and less complicated…but what I am drawn to is the truths that are timeless. 

I opened up to a page and she was excited about the picture of a daddy hugging his little boy so I decided that would be a good story to read since she already was drawn to the endearing illustration.

It was titled:  “How Much Love”

A daddy had been trying to find out how much his little boy really loved him.  The little boy would answer him by saying things like “heaps and heaps”, “lots and lots” and “bushels and bushels”.

The daddy would always tease him saying that wasn’t enough until the little boy, Francis would throw his arms around his daddy’s neck, hugging him and saying that THAT ought to answer his question properly.

As time went by, the daddy seemed to have forgotten the fun they were having as he began reading.  Francis called for him as he wanted to show him something, but the daddy was too busy by now.  Francis insisted that it was something VERY special.  Francis had an important question.  Finally, hesitant, the daddy put down his book and asked the little boy what he wanted to show him.

Francis had a map of the United States spread out and was trying to figure out how far they had driven the last year when they had “driven all  over”.  The daddy replied “That BIG red one.”

Francis inquired as to how long it was.  They discussed the mileage.  Then Francis wanted to know about all of the other lines…the other red lines and the black lines.  Francis was still curious where all the lines led to and how far they reached.  In desperation to answer his little boy’s questions he guessed that it may be over thousands and thousands of miles…maybe even millions and millions and millions of miles long!!

Francis answered, “Well then, Daddy, that’s how much I love you.  All that and even more!”


It dawned on the daddy that all that time, little Francis had been trying to find a way of telling his Daddy exactly how much he loved him!!


“As the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him.  As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.  Like a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.  Psalm 103:11-13


As I closed the book before we prayed, she sat up with a sparkle in her eye and stretched her little arms out as far as she could and said, “I know how much Jesus loves me…HUMONGOUS!!!”

This little four-year old understood.


We prayed and I sang her to sleep and as she dozed off to dreamland…I couldn’t help but thank God for giving me time to teach and nurture this little one even if it was a few moments in the light of eternity.

So, even if you are at the end of your rope, exhausted and weary from long summer days…I hope that you will enjoy the moments of teaching and nurturing.  And once you have fallen into bed…and those little feet come wandering down the hallway into your bedroom, thank God for the privilege of teaching your children the "humongousness" of God’s love for them!!  Knowing full well that a pot of coffee, donuts and energy drinks are mere hours away!
What Bedtime looked like 21 years ago!!!...

...and NO, it didn't work!  :}

Monday, August 12, 2013

Key Lime Whippers

From the archives...

Dishes have always been something I love. I could find an excuse to buy new dishes...but really no need to add to the basics I already have. If you purchase a few fun colored dishes and keep your main dishes, serving pieces, platters and trays to plain old white or clear are set. I know it is tempting to buy the new shade of green, the polka dotted pink and white bowls, the lobster platter with all the detail etc...but if you are short on storage and trying to stay on budget...the dishes that are multi-functional will make a huge difference!

After gutting our home a couple of years ago...I promised I was going to keep things streamlined and SIMPLE. With the exception of the cake plate closet...we have done great and it feels so light and clean in our home. It is shocking at how quickly an un-cluttered home can be tidied up!

One thing that has helped in keeping my dishes {and clutter} to a minimum is having them serve more than one purpose. I think my favorites are the TEA LIGHT holders from IKEA. I use them for everything, and the best part is that they take up very little room...but can be used for! I think I paid less than $3 for eight. All I know is they definitely qualify as a frugal find.

Here are a few ideas:

mini milk glasses

juice glasses

butter dishes for nice dinners

condiment bowls

sour cream and salsa containers for individual plates

brown sugar and raisin condiment bowls on a plate with a big bowl of hot oatmeal

olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic oil for dipping crusty bread

chocolate fondue appetizers

mini trifle

mini strawberry shortcakes

ice cream bowl


and the list goes on and on and on!

These little, itty bitty cuties are the perfect size cheesecakes...especially when you are still stuffed from Buffalo Chicken Nachos and black bean soup.

Key lime whippers are fast to whip up. I timed it. It took three minutes...yep and three ingredients. Yep.YEP!

Key Lime Whippers


1 14-oz. can of sweetened condensed milk

1  6-oz. can frozen limeade concentrate {NOT thawed}  Look for the kind without high frustose corn syrup!!!

1 cup heavy cream

graham cracker crumbs

1 lime for garnish if you would like


*Whisk the condensed milk, limeade and heavy cream in a large mixing bowl with a whisk attachment.

*Beat until fluffy and a bit stiff.

*Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight

*Before serving, place a few graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of each tea light holder.

*Top with creamy filling, garnish with a slice of lime and if you want it really it with a squirt or two or three of whipped cream.

I made several without the graham cracker bottoms and I think I liked them even floats your boat!

Stunning and simple for a summer evening dessert.

It is just as yummy as a no bake cheesecake! {to clear up some confusion...these are cheesecakes, not drinks...}

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Monday, August 5, 2013

Sweet Peach Pie Crisp

Happy Monday to all of you lovelies!

I hope your Summer isn't flying by as fast as ours seems to be!

We already have the beginning of Autumn leaves starting to let go of the tree branches...and that alone is a gentle reminder that a new season is right around the corner.

As you can tell, blog posts are further and further apart, but I have been spending hours and hours with family and friends...and also spending MUCH less time on the computer and on facebook.  ;]
It reminds me of the simple JOYS and the rewards that come from leading a much less BUSY life.  Not that it hasn't been full of LIFE, but there is a difference in being BUSY and being productive. 
 I have been camping out in Philippians...and I have spent much time asking myself if I know God or if I really KNOW Him.
Living our lives for Him intentionally is a decision that has to be made moment by moment, and it takes TIME. It always seems to take me longer to figure these things out than for most others!
Not that technology is a bad thing...but sometimes a bit of housekeeping is needed in this area of my life.

Sometimes trials in life are dreaded, but I know that God allows so many of these things to draw us closer to Him.

Here is a quick update:

God has given my hubby the very best doctors...the very best friends and a VERY looong time {like 6 months!!} off work to heal up from his back injury!  He will be back to work very soon!

...and finally, the whole reason for the SWEET PEACH PIE CRISP...

Our is safely HOME from Afghanistan!!  Thank you to all of you for all of your prayers and sweet notes over these past months. 

If you are new here, we celebrate everything with food!!  David chose an  ALL-AMERICAN meal and Sweet Peach Pie Crisp with homemade ice cream for dessert.  He was one happy HERO!

{traveling Home for a week makes for a tired hubby!}

Sweet Peach Pie Crisp
Lisa Pearson
*Preheat the oven to 375*
1 prepared single pie crust
Pie Filling:
8 peaches, peeled and sliced
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup peach Schnapps
3 Tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
Crisp Topping:
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup flour
¼ cup coconut oil
*Line a 10 inch pie plate with the pie crust.
*Press the pie crust into the pan and crimp the edges…no need for perfection!
*Mix all ingredients together for the pie filling and pour into the pastry.
*Mix topping ingredients together in a bowl and sprinkle over the peach filling.
Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden.