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Showing posts from February, 2008

The Last Two

This week I helped to host a baby shower for a sweet friend from church. This is the third baby *boy* shower that I've helped to host recently. I think there must be a *boy boom* going on at our church! For each of these showers I've baked these wonderful ( and easy ....shhh, don't tell!) chocolate cupcakes. They taste like yummy ones from a professional bakery to me. I was gazing wistfully at the last two left this morning--I really want to eat them, but then there would be no more. Anyway, I thought I would share this wonderful recipe and also one for the yummy frosting I've used: One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder (Hershey's Special Dark is delicious!) 2 1/2 cups sugar 2 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder 1 1/4 tsp. salt 2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk 1 1/4 cups milk 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbls. vegetable oil 1 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract 1

Easter Workshop

Well, it's less than a month now 'till Easter is here! And even though I've been enjoying some beautiful thick snow flurries all day today, I'm really getting Spring Fever! I'll be dragging out all of my Easter and Spring decor from the attic in just a few days (or maybe sooner!). Easter will be even more special this year because my daughter, the Princess, will celebrate her 5th birthday that day. She thinks having a birthday on Easter is just the best thing ever:) One of my fave go-to websites for creative ideas, recipes, etc., is Martha Stewart Living . This year they're *hosting* an Easter Workshop. I've just been checking out the first week's worth of ideas and they are really cute! I definitely want to try making the egg cards and the bunny garland! I thought you might want to check out some of the great ideas, too. Just head over to their site .

Menu Plan Monday

Last week's menus went really well! Doing the pantry/fridge/freezer inventory before planning was great. You know there's always something that you forgot was in there-ha! This week I'm trying a couple of *new recipes* from the cookbook Mother's Recipes . My friend Teresa gave me a copy a few years ago. I've made several things from it before and they are always delicious. Monday : (I'm preparing a simple meal for the nursery workers' meeting tonight) chicken salad croissant sandwiches chips & dip veggie tray dessert TBA Tuesday : pinto & navy beans with ham (prepared in crockpot), buttermilk cornbread (I never got around to this last week) Wednesday : (meal @ church) hamburger steaks, baked potatoes, rolls, dessert Thursday : chicken & tortilla dumplings* (recipe below) Friday: apricot chicken* (recipe below), salad, veggie TBA Saturday: most likely dinner out--we'll have company and there's a big youth event going on. Chi

Some Cajun Cookin'

Mom's Gumbo 1 pkg. Gumbo mix 1 bunch green onions, chopped 3 stalks celery, chopped 4-6 chicken breasts 1/2 bag frozen okra 1 pkg. smoked sausage 2 tbls. minced garlic 1 tbls. seasoned salt ************ In a large stock pot, combine gumbo mix with the amount of water suggested on the package (use cold water). Bring to a boil, stirring continually. Next add green onion and celery. Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Then add the chicken and cook 30 minutes. Remove chicken to cool. Next add the okra, sausage, garlic and seasoned salt. Simmer 1 more hour. Meanwhile shred the chicken, adding it back to the pot after the last hour of cooking. Continue cooking till chicken is heated through. Serve with rice.

New Haircut

the Princess' new do I was sad about giving the Princess a substantial trim (about 4"), but she really did need it for her hair to be healthier. I know it'll grow fast. She's loving it though (as if you couldn't tell by that irrepressible cheesy smile she couldn't wipe off her face-ha!). Now if only Nana won't kill me...

The Smell of Childhood

Can't you smell the playdough? It takes me back 30 years!! Does it take you back, too?

Menu Plan Monday

I didn't actually get my menus planned last week--and dinnertime definitely didn't go as smoothly. This week I took a little inventory before planning and here's what I've come up with: Monday: chicken spaghetti, salad, garlic cheese biscuits Tuesday: baked Mahi Mahi, roasted asparagas, baked potatoes, rolls Wednesday: dinner at church Thursday: dinner at church/college ministry night Friday: chicken gumbo Saturday: pinto beans with ham & buttermilk cornbread Hope all of your meals go well this week! For more great menus and recipes, check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an organizing junkie.

God's Grace and Some Creative Therapy

For a little over a week now my husband and I have been experiencing some stress like we never have before. It's not something that I can even really talk about. I can only say that there is a situation that we are working through that has effected us very deeply because it involves people that we dearly love. God's grace and peace have been such a comfort to us, knowing that He is still in control and He is always faithful, even when people are not. We must always keep our eyes on the Lord and not on man. When we do this our faith will not be shaken during tough times. Because I've been sad and worried and unable to share much with others, I needed an outlet. For me shopping is always theraputic! It just IS , please don't think me shallow:) But not wanting to get carried away spending $$, I decided to get tharapy through creativity (a close second to shopping!). Beautifying something around the house always makes me feel better. So I chose a few little projects: Thi

A Valentine's Day Re-cap

It was a great day! We started it with heart-shaped waffles for breakfast. We had a fun, unexpected visit from my parents this week, so the kiddos were very excited to have their Nana & Papi here for the festivities. Of course they came bearing gifts from themselves and my sister. Here are a few pics: a handmade Valentine tote bag from my sister goodies from Nana & Papi more goodies from Nana & Papi Valentine shirts (Mr. B's was made by my sis) I also baked a heart-shaped red velvet cake (I'm pretty sure that's my favorite cake ever!). Even though my icing got a little runny, we've all been enjoying it! The day had a lovely ending, too. My wonderful husband had made all the arrangements for us to have a *hot date*. We took the kiddos to the sweet sitter's house and then went out for a delicious steak dinner. Since he'd been planning and budgeting this for a while and all , I splurged on the filet mingon...mmmmm. Then because there wer

Family Treasures

In recent months my mom and her siblings (all six of them!) have been dealing with the challenges brought by my grandmother's Alzheimers and dementia. She's been slowly getting worse for a while, but it seemed like last Fall everything hit top speed. In the past month they were able to move her into a wonderful assisted-living facility--one that my dad's mother also lived in before her death last year. She seems to be settling in well there, even though the first couple of weeks were a little bumpy. My mom and her brother and sisters have had the task of emptying out Grandma's house. So they have been slowly sorting things and choosing treasures to take home and share with the grandchildren. I have been blessed to be able to give a home to several of those treasures, which makes me very happy! I love antiques and especially when they have a special family connection. I thought I would share some pics of two of my favorite treasures. a lovely old Windsor chair a

Happy Valentine's Day!

Vintage Valentines Handmade Valentines Hope you have a wonderful *Heart* Day!!

A Good Sugar Buzz

This past weekend I had a temporary lapse in my usual good judgement and thought that it was time for my 2-year-old son to join my daughter and me in the art of cookie making. We decided to make our annual Valentine cut-out sugar cookies. We had so much fun, I think there were almost as many sprinkles on the cookies as there were on the floor!! the decorating fun begins the yummy finished products My daughter is quite the expert these days, now being very experienced in the art of cutting out sugar cookies and then decorating them. My son was so hilarious though! As you can see above there were lots cut out with mini cutters--well, he would decorate one of those and then promptly pop it in his mouth. I guess he thought that was the process: cut out, bake, decorate, eat immediately. We had so much fun though and I fell asleep happily that night feeling like such a *good mom*.

Frugal Fridays

Today I thought I'd share one of my favorite frugal things. Most of you probably already know how wonderful and FREE libraries are--and they are ! But have you ever checked out their bookstore? Even though we live in a relatively small town, we do have a wonderful new library. Inside they have this great little treasure trove of a bookstore (granted, I LOVE used bookstores anyway--I think it's that musty old smell or something). My favorite thing about the library's bookstore though is their magazine section. I'm something of a magazine junkie and I get to feeling guilty about spending too much $$ on them. So when I discovered that I can buy older issues of favorite magazines for .25 at the library store, I was hooked! And you can even donate all of your old ones to them when you're finished, so it's a great recycling program, too. For more awesome frugal ideas, check out Biblical Womanhood .

Fun New Shirts

Hamming it up for the camera in their new shirts. "daughter of the king" Romans 8:15 the airplane shirt The kiddos are loving their new shirts that my sister sent them! They are really cute. I'll try to post a pic soon of me & V wearing ours, too. Check out her other designs at Logorrhea . They are really FUN! If she hasn't already, she's getting ready to open her Etsy shop so that you, too, can have one of her cute shirts.

Menu Plan Monday

Well, this menu planning is really helping me! And even though none of you were really going to come by my house to check and see if I was really cooking what I said I was going to cook, I still felt accountable somehow to really follow thru. Maybe that's the trick in posting my menus:)....I did pretty well, although I really didn't like the slow cooker chicken & rice. The rice was too mushy (maybe I used the wrong kind) and the whole thing was waaaaaaay too salty. However, the pot roast from The Pioneer Woman was truly yummy!! We all loved it. I'll be making that again. Thursday night we had a change in plans and I ended up making some pretty good sloppy joes ( I don't think I've had those in a hundred years! I was inspired by The Sparrow's Nest .) Her "home fries" were really good, too. So, here's this week's line-up: Monday: French Dip Sandwiches and Sesame Almond Salad (recipe below) Tuesday: Beef Vegetable Soup wi