Friday, October 29, 2010

Food Friday~Autumn Spice Bread

This recipe is from Gooseberry Patch
Family Favorites cookbook.

Autumn Spice Bread

3 1/2 C flour
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1 t salt
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t cloves
  1 C butter
2 C sugar
2 C canned pumpkin
4 eggs, lightly whipped
1 1/2 C choc. chips (I don't add these)
1 1/2 C walnuts, chopped (I dont' add these)

Grease 2 loaf pans; set aside.  Combine flour, soda and spices.  Cream butter with sugar and pumpkin, blend in eggs.  At low speed add dry ingredients to egg mixture.  Mix in chocolate chips and one cup walnuts, stir to blend.  Pour into loaf pans and sprinkle with 1/2 C nuts.
Bake at 350 for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, top with spice glaze.  Makes 2 loaves.

Spice Glaze (optional)

1 C powdered sugar
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t cinnamon
2 to 3 t cream or milk
1/2 C walnuts, chopped

Combine dry ingredients, blending in cream or milk until mixture becomes the consistency of glaze.
Spread on loaves when removed from oven.  Sprinkle with remaining nuts.
After 5 min. remove from pans and cool on a rack.

Here's my loaves

I don't ever add the nuts, obviously cuz Sophie can't have nuts, or the chocolate chips or the glaze.
I don't want that much sweetness in it, it is already a super yummy sweet bread without the added sugar.
But I thought I would give you the whole recipe in case you wanted to add those things.

I make this all the time. 
The kids eat it for breakfast or snack when they get home from school.
And usually for dessert after dinner.
And it smells so good baking!
Let me know if you try it!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ok Lord....

Our farm is for sale.
My hubby and I planned on giving this land to our children someday.
We imagined grandkids on this farm.

But God, I do believe, sits back and chuckles at our plans.
In a loving fatherly way that is....

And so this new story is just beginning, in the fall, no less.  A time when you hunker down,
fire up the wood stove,  make huge batches of soup in your crockpot.  You get out your Christmas decor...

I think to myself....fall, Lord?  Really?  How about summer?
I am always up for an adventure, but not at the start of winter.
But there is no use arguing, I have already surrendered to the whole notion of change.
But only because it is God's idea, not mine or my hubby's, it is God's alone.

Yes, we have come up with our own reasonings as to why this is taking place.
But again, I think I hear God chuckling as He says.... ok, think what you must...
just follow me.

Stay tuned.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I am so thankful.

I heard Sophie's play iron going and I peeked into the play room and saw her ironing away, taking care of her baby (portia).  I'm so thankful for her.

I am thankful for curler nights.

I am thankful for chocolate milk shakes, and the daughter that drinks them.

I am thankful for my oldest children.  My sons are hard working young men, who have values and respect for their parents.  My loving daughter cares for her little sisters.

I am thankful for black sheep.

And for the farm help who feeds the sheep.

I am thankful for a good nights sleep. 

I am thankful for another birthday.  That we are all alive to celebrate another birthday!

I am thankful for the moments that my girls are playing together and I see them caring for each other.

I am thankful to be married to a hard working man, who would work any job to support his family.

I am thankful my fridge is full and so is my pantry.

I am thankful to drive a car that runs and to have money to fill that car with gas.

And there is oh so much more.

 I wanted to remember all the blessings in my life today!

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Resort 2011..... huh?

I tell ya
I can hardly keep up!  I am still trying to figure out
what's in for fall.  I guess fall is flying by faster than I thought.
It is almost November already!!
I just got my November Elle magazine (I guess it hasn't run out yet), and they had the cutest
Resort Wear! 

Resort wear is for people who VACAY every year in the winter...
You know, those Jones's who take the yearly Mediteranean cruise.
Or the Smith's who island hop through the South Pacific all January.

I love looking at resort wear because it holds all kinds of promise for fun.
You look at the swimsuits and causal wear and think,
aaaahhh yes I will wear this on the beach or that on the cruise ship and those sandals shopping....etc.
Now when I vacay in the winter, I get my resort wear from Target. 
If I'm lucky I'll get a new swimsuit from J. Crew.

Here are some of my favorite looks.
All images from Elle.


I love that this looks vintage.  You could wear this pink dress to your afternoon beauty shop appointment.

This could be your date night dress.

Is this the cutest retro look?  This is for a day of shopping in Rome.

This purple beauty, well who knows where you would wear it.  I know I'll never be anywhere even within 100 miles of needing to wear it.  But it would be fun.


This cute gingham bikini is obviously for Tahiti.

So is this pink number.  It reminds me of the 70's.  I love it!

Date night in Bora Bora.

White comfort for lunch in between spa visits....


This may be your trip to the french countryside, driving into town for some lunch.

I love this pink dress, a casual day of shopping in Paris.


I love this swimsuit.  I hope it's a swimsuit.  I would make it one.  Perfect for Waikiki beach.

Sundress for shopping at Ala Moana shopping center.

I love this sweater, I love the whole outfit.  Perfect for the long plane ride, in first class of course.

This is the cutest swimsuit, to go from your poolside cabana to your spa appointments.

Have you ever been to Italy, Paris, Tahiti?

I have not.  The only place I have ever begged my hubby to take me is to Bora Bora in Tahiti.
I actually have been begging for that trip for over 15 years.  ha ha!
I know I am super lucky that my husband's family is from Hawaii, so of course we have to go visit.
I just think as long as we are down there, we could hop on a plane for 5 more hours and visit Bora Bora too!
It's so convenient!

I was thinking maybe for our 10 year anniversary he would take me. No such luck.
Then I thought well for 15 years for sure! No again.
So now I'm going for 20!  Maybe I should give him a couple extra years and hope for 25?
Surely he's had enough time to save up, right?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vintage Estee Lauder

I love, love, love vintage beauty products!
Estee Lauder has a replica of the original 1953 bottle of Youth Dew out!
I'm not sure I'll be able to resist it.

Isn't it beautiful?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Spider Friend

This was our new spider friend.
Every year at this time in October, someone finds a HUGE spider either right outside a window.
Or up on the garage ceiling.  We always adopt them and name them.

I was so hoping for that with this spidy.  But she has disappeared!  She has abandoned
that beautiful web.
Honestly, it gives me the creeps just looking at it.
Can you imagine it crawling up your neck??

Or across your face while your sleeping? 
I went to check on her the other day and she was gone, and she has never come back. 
I hope she did not crawl into the house somehow.

The fun was just going to start.
Usually we find a fly and throw it in the web and watch her go to town.

I know there is not alot of thought going into this name...
But we usually name them all,


Where are you Charlotte?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Food Friday~Skillet Cornbread with Maple Butter

This recipe is from the cookbook:
Cooking The Cowboy Way
Grady Spears

I LOVE this cookbook.
For some reason I love "cowboy" food.
I love the IDEA of cooking over an open fire in a prarie dress.
A huge meal of meat and some beans and biscuits.
(Those of you  who really know me and rolling around in laughter right now, I know...)

Corn Bread

1C yellow cornmeal
1 C flour
1/4 C sugar
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 C buttermilk
1 large egg
5 T unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly

Maple Butter

3/4 C unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 1/2 T pure maple syrup

To make the corn bread, preheat the oven to 400.  Butter a cast iron skillet.  Sift the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.  Whisk the buttermilk and egg in another medium bowl, and then whisk in the melted butter.  Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ing.  stir just until incorporated (do not overmix).   Pour the batter into the prepared skillet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve with the maple butter.

To make the maple butter, beat the butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually beat in the maple syrup until well blended and smooth.  Cover and refrigerate until set, 30-45 minutes.  This can be made up to 1 week ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Sorry no photos yet gals, I need hubby to install my picture resizer on this computer... Trust me this recipe is yummy!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Life and Death

Am I to dreary lately?  Sometimes life seems that way, you can find no good.  Other days you are feeling blessed beyond measure and you feel ready to tackle anything that comes your way.

I get e-mail updates on a friends cancer progress.  The friends I told you about a while back, my hubby's customers... Today I just broke down crying after I read it.  The pain and nausea and just everything that is "cancer", that he is going through.  I am wondering why?  Why do these things happen?  And I am helpless to make anyones life better who has it.  Besides prayer of course.

Last week my husband got a call saying his cousin had died.  She was only 44, she had cancer.  A few days later he got another call saying his good friend had died.  Just bent over and died.  He was 45. 
I know countless people who have cancer, had cancer, their loved ones died of cancer, they had precancerous cells removed....

And then the obsessing begins, ok... how to NOT get cancer.  What do I NOT eat to prevent cancer, what do I eat TO prevent cancer.  Then the fear sets in, then I get to..... alright fear is not from God. 
Eventually I arrive at...Lord your will be done, in my life whatever it is, just don't make it be cancer.  And after all that, I end up saying ok Lord I trust you even if it is cancer.  And then I add, just let me raise my kids then you can do whatever you'd like.

I am not afraid to die.  My big fear is if I died now, who would make sure my kids follow Jesus?  Who would pray for them and guide them and remind them how great our God is?

I actually envision myself being excited when I am at deaths door.  I will get to see my mom again, best of all I'll get to see Jesus.

I am so thankful to have that blessed hope.  Do you have it?  Believe God sent his son Jesus to die for your sins and rose from the dead three days later, and it's yours!

Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

1John 5:11-12  And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Monday, October 11, 2010

My day so far...

Got the kids off to school.

Played blocks with Sophie.

Washer is on the fritz.
( yes, the one we just bought)

Trying to figure out my new computer.

Roast is in the crockpot.

Cookies made.

A visitor is coming to the farm in 30 minutes.
(not telling)

Studied the huge nasty looking spider out my front window. 
 I did take a picture, but cannot figure out my new computer, so will have to post it later.

Laundry done.

Sophie is sleeping, so I'm going to go eat about 18 cookies and have a glass of Good Earth ice tea.

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Food Friday~Cabbage Patch Veggie Medley

This salad is from the cookbook
Eating For Excellence
Sheri Rose Shepherd.

I made this once about 10 years ago and it has stuck in my brain since.
I keep thinking I gotta make that again!  I think black beans would be good in this too, and then eat it with tortilla chips!

3 C coarsely grated green cabbage
1 C coarsely grated red cabbage
5 ears fresh uncooked corn, cut from the cob
1/2 C chopped red bell pepper
1/2 C sugar snap peas
1/3 C chopped red onion
1/2 C grated carrots
1/4 C roasted pepitas
1/2 C low fat mayo
1/4 C rice wine vinegar
1 t dill weed
1 1/2 t Liquid Smoke
1/4 C raw honey
1 t cumin powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t poppy seeds
2 T chopped cilantro
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 t sea salt
2 T spicy mustard (optional)
1 C plain nonfat yogurt

Combine cabbage, corn, pepper, sugar snap peas, onions, carrots, and pepitas in a very large mixing bowl and set aside.
In another bowl, combine mayo, vinegar, dill, liquid smoke, honey, cumin, garlic, poppy seeds, cilantro, cayenne pepper, sea salt, mustard, and yogurt.  Mix well, then pour over cabbage mixture.
Blend thoroughly and serve. 
This salad keeps quite well- if there is any left!

So I just made this and my corn didn't look good, so I didn't add it in.  I didn't have cilantro, and dill weed.
I could not get sugar snap peas or pepitas, because I don't know if Sophie can have those.  She is allergic to split peas.  And I know pepitas are a seed, but you know you just lump nuts and seeds together.   Peanuts are really a legume, hence the reason she is also allergic to the split peas, but are sugar snap peas the same??  Don't know.
You see my dilema.

Even without all that, it is good and the dressing is what makes it!  I love this dressing!
The only problem I have with this salad is .....almost immediately it started to get watery.
And that is a huge stomache churner for me, looking at a watery, creamy dressed salad.  yuck!
So I threw the whole salad into my wire mesh strainer and let it drain.  gross I know, but it still tasted good!

So does anyone know how to prevent that watery mess?

I'm not going to post my picture of it cuz I didn't have all the ingredients.. I want you guys to try this and come back and tell me what you think!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Conversations with Portia

Do you have a little girl who talks incessantly?
Do you love those conversations?

I do.

Portia and Sophie and I had just gone to Costco.
And boy, did we stock up!  I also love those trips to Costco.
Ya just feel like your prepared to hunker down for winter...

On the way home, with Sophie strapped in the back,
I began to listen..
(sometimes during these long convo's I begin to look like this)

But the words I was hearing were so interesting I hung on every



Portia:   Mom, when I grow up I am going to have 100 kids, no, no wait 10 kids maybe well ya.  I am going to have 5 boys and 5 girls.  And their names are going to be umm, wait ya ,no not that, well ya,  Daisy, Bailey Shaley cuz they are gonna rhyme, Crystal,

 (ok, so I forgot the other name she said...she lost me after Crystal).....

Tim, Timmy, Lukas, Dylan... OH and Tim and Timmy are going to be born at the same time, (then she listed another name which slips my mind)...

Then I am going to have 9 cows, 4 dogs, 2 bunnies and their names are gonna be, Carmen, Brownie, Albie, Lucky....

I said, Wow Portia your going to need a really good husband!
Portia said:  Ya he is gonna be good and he's gonna be a vet and were gonna live on a farm..ya were gonna have to have a farm..
And then we will take boys and girls trips, I will take the girls on a girls trip and then when we get back he will take the boys on a boys trip and then we'll vacation together every year.  And he's gonna take care of all the animals  and my kids are gonna help out and do chores. (I do believe she said she was "gonna" homeschool, but was I imagining it at this point?)

oh and mom will you be really old?  Will you still be living then?  How old will you be?  Well your gonna have to give me advice and babysit the animals while were traveling....

This is one thing I love about my sweet Portia, she has an imagination, yet I see our family life woven into her dreams.  And that does me all kinds of good! 
She has an incredibly special daddy who takes her on dates and loves her incessantly, just like she talks.
He spoils her rotten, all the girls really, including me.

Lately I have been praying...God show me your love.  That may seem like a ridiculous prayer.
 I know God loves me yet, I was bound in this thought pattern of, well I must perform, somehow God's love is contingent on my performance, He will be extra proud if I do things right and very disappointed when I fail.

But NO!
God has been answering that prayer, amazingly, these silly prayers He deems important too.
Through books I've been reading, through verses I come across.
Through everyday conversations and everyday events...
God is showing me his UNCONDITIONAL love!

You guys know the guilt I've been feeling for not having my kids in church or myself going to church...

It was like a sledghammer to the head the way God hit me with this thought:

Nothing you do or don't do will make me love you any more or less!
Just like the love you have for your own children, when they rebel, do you love them any less?  NO!
How much more perfect is God's love than our own?

This may seem like a simple thought, and you may think ...duh!

I have always known everyday of my life that I am a huge disapointment to God.

But not anymore!

And I'll tell you what...

It is like the innocence of a child really, the way Portia will just go on and on and she knows I love her and she can tell me her dreams and she is FREE to be all that God has made her to be!
And she knows she will be all those things...

Matthew 11:25
At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

Matthew 18:3-6
And he said:  "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.  But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believes in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Today Koralee over at Bluebird Notes  is giving away
one of my Lollibag's!!
So head on over to enter!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Food Friday ~ Chicken Parmesan

This recipe was time consuming, but I wanted a "gourmet", from scratch, recipe, for hubbie's birthday.  It was good.  But we are not used to eating this "heavy".  Very filling!  See all the stuff on my counter below?  ALOT going on!

Yesterday was my husband's 40th birthday!  I always ask the birthday person what they want for dinner and I make it.  Hubby asked for Chicken Parmesan.  I have never made that before, so I went searching online. 
I found several recipes, but this one just sounded the best.

1/2 large yellow onion
1/4 C olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
1 t dried oregano
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Pink of sugar

4 chicken breast cutlets (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds total)
2 eggs
1 C bread crumbs
1 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C olive oil
2 T fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
8 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced

1.  Prepare the sauce.  Coarsely grate half of an onion.  Grating the onion will create smaller onion pieces and release more of the onion's juices, and is faster than chopping. (I will never grate another onion as long as I live)  Heat olive oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat.  Add the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add the minced garlic.  Cook until fragrant, about a minute more.  Then add the tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, and sugar.  Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to maintain the simmer.  Cook, uncovered while you prepare the chicken (about 10-12 minutes, unless your name is Prudence then it will take 25 minutes).

2.  Preheat oven to 400.  Working one at a time, place a chicken cutlet between two layers of wax paper or plastic wrap.  With a meat pounder, pound the chicken pieces to flatten them to an even thickness-between 1/4-1/2 inch.  Salt the chicken pieces well.

3.  In a shallow bowl (large enough to dredge the cutlets), mix together the breadcrumbs, 1/2 C of the parmesan, and a pinch of salt.  In separate shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs.

4.  Heat 1/4 C of olive oil in a large saute pan on medium-high heat.  The oil should be shimmering, not smoking.  Dredge the chicken pieces 1 at a time first in the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumbs.  Then lay the pieces in the hot saute pan.  Turn the heat to medium, then gently fry the cutlets until they are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side.

5.  Spread enough tomato sauce to thickly coat the bottom of 9x13 casserole pan or baking dish.  Once the cutlets are browned on both sides, arrange them on top of the tomato sauce in the baking dish.  Place sauce over each of the cutlets.  Sprinkle the tops with sliced basil.  Then top the cutlets with slices of mozzarella and the remaining 1/2 C of parmesan cheese.

6.  Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the mozzarella begines to brown.

Serve with spaghetti and the remaining sauce, or in a large roll.

Serves 4

So there it is!  It was good.  But next time I will probably use an easier recipe.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...