Monday, February 28, 2011

So my theory on stuffed mushrooms is that no matter what way you look at them, they always look ugly. That my friends is why I picked this blurry picture of them. They look a little better out of focus, at least I think so. Anyways, the reason I have made stuffed mushrooms is because one day I looked into the fridge and saw a whole bunch of mushrooms. Now I'd never had stuffed mushrooms before, but when I saw them sitting there I knew I needed to stuff them. So, I googled stuffed mushroom recipes, and I tried one. Well, they tasted disgusting. My older brother however liked them, so one week when mushrooms went on sale he bought a whole bunch. And I mean cartons and cartons of them. When I asked why he got so many he replied that he wanted me to make him some stuffed mushrooms, thus beginning my search for an edible recipe. This my friends is the one I found I liked  after trying many many recipes. Now my friends, making stuffed mushrooms for a sibling can be a very rewarding job. Not only will they love them, but you will too!

Best Ever Stuffed Mushrooms

8-10 Mushrroms
1 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Onion
1/4 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Cup Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Cheddar Cheese
2 Tbs Water
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Remove stems from mushrooms. Finely chop stems and onion. Saute in butter and Worcestershire sauce. Add bread crumbs, cheese, salt, and pepper. Stuff the mushrooms, and place them in a shallow baking dish with water in the bottom. Bake.

Now this recipe didn't have a cooking temperature or time. Other recipes say anywhere from 350 degrees to 400 degrees. Hopefully that helps you. Just make sure they are well done basically. Well, I wish you all the best now that you know the secret to making your brothers happy. Goodnight!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

So yesterday my sister and I did some baking. I'm going to share with you some of the things we made.Here is the first one:

Chocolate Chip Cookies
These are the healthiest, yummiest, bestest things EVER! We make these all the time, and have for years. They are tried and true.

2 Cups Butter
2 Cups Sugar (We use sucanat)
4 Eggs
2 Tsp Vanilla
4 Cups Flour (I usually use whole wheat, but the last few times I have used rye, and it seems to work better)
5 Cups Rolled Oats
1 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Baking Powder
2 Tsp Baking Soda
2 Cups Chocolate Chips (I use dark ones)

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla. Place 3/4 cup rolled oats in blender at a time and blend until it resembles a coarse flour (We have a Bosch and it can handle all the rolled oats at once). Add flour, the blended rolled oats, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Finally add the chocolate chips. Bake at 390 degrees for 9 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. Makes: not enough. We always eat our cookies frozen. That may seem strange, but that's just how we like it.

Next we made:

Yup! You guessed it, cinnamon rolls. For the dough we used this recipe:
Delicious Whole Grain Dough
2 Cups Water
4 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
4-6 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

Blend ingredients in a mixing bowl (dough may be quite firm); lay plastic wrap snugly on top of dough; cover bowl with a damp cloth and let sit 12-24 hours.

1/4 Cup Very Warm ( But not hot) Water
1 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Honey

Blend and let stand for 5-10 minutes or until it bubbles up.

1/3 Cup Melted Coconut Oil or Butter, or Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Honey
2 Tsp Salt

Blend the ingredients in measuring cup; work into dough followed by proofed yeast until all is well blended.

2-3 Cups Flour

Add Flour in the bowl until dough can be handled easily outside the bowl; turn out of bowl and knead 20 minutes or 600-800 strokes (I do mine in the Bosch for 20 minutes) until smooth and resistant to kneading action, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking.

1st Rise Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, grease top of dough, cover with a damp cloth; let rise in warm place until double in size, about 1-1 1/2 hour.

2nd Rise Punch dough down gently, turn it over; cover and let rise until double in size, about 45 minutes.

Punch dough down ; place on counter with a little flour under it; knead briefly, round it up and cover with a damp cloth; let it rest 10-15 minutes. Shape dough into cinnamon rolls. With sugar and cinnamon in the middle. I'd give you directions for this, however I'm not sure I could do it accurately enough that it would make sense. However after making the rolls, place in 2 pans with the sauce below.

Gooey Cinnamon Sauce
1/2 Cup Butter
2 Cups Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Whipping Cream
1/2 Cup Corn Syrup
1 Tbsp Cinnamon

Mix together and place in the bottoms of 2 pans. Place cinnamon rolls in the sauce, Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until done. Flip cinnamon rolls out onto tin foil as soon as they are our of the oven. Walla you too can enjoy these fabulous cinnamon rolls!

Alright, and the last thing we made was:

Peanut Butter Chips and Jelly Bars
1 1/2 Cups Flour ( I used Barley flour and it worked well)
1/2 Cup Sugar (Again I used Sucanat)
3/4 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Butter
1 Egg, beaten
3/4 Cup Grape Jelly ( I used PC's Twice the Fruit Strawberry Jam, it's all we had on hand and it worked fine)
1 2/3 Cups REESE's Peanut Butter Chips, divided

Stir together flour, sugar, and baking powder. With pastry blender cut in butter until mixture resembled coarse crumbs. Add egg; blend well. Reserve half of mixture; press remaining mixture onto bottom of a greased 9x13 inch pan. Spread Jelly over crust. Sprinkle 1 cup of peanut butter chips over jelly. Stir together reserved crumb mixture with remaining peanut butter chips; sprinkle over top. Bake at 375 degrees for 25- 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

I know after reading this post you are all probably thinking, "Boy she must be fat!" But I'm just about to go to the gym, honest! Have a great night everyone, God Bless!

Monday, February 14, 2011

 Happy Valentines Everyone!
     As valentines day is here, I become more and more aware of the couples everywhere. It's hard to be content holding out for you special someone when you walk into stores and see all the hearts and chocolates. It's even worse when you know you won't get any, but trust me. The wait is going to be worth it. Here is a paper I wrote for L.A. a while back. I encourage you young single ladies to read it for encouragement, on this love filled day.

       When you walk down the street and see young unmarried couples all around you , how does it make you feel? Happy? Excited? Sad? Jealous? Well, it makes me feel disappointed. Even more so if they are Christians, all caught up in this dating thing. As Christians we are supposed to be an example to others. Please, take a moment a reconsider your beliefs and reasoning on this thing called dating, it may save you a broken heart.
     When a young lady starts dating at the age of fourteen, what are her motives? What could her reasoning possibly be? Isn't dating when you enter into a relationship with a man looking for a spouse? You can't tell me that a fourteen-year-old girl could possibly be looking for a husband. I encourage you to challenge your motives for dating. Are you doing it just to feel loved and accepted? Is God not enough to fill that void? 
     Now I must ask, have you ever dreamed of marrying a man whom has never loved another woman? I sure have. I'd love to be his one and only. It's so exciting to think about, being the only one! Now, lets think then. It would only be fair to him that he is your one and only. Let's hold out for that one man. Think about it, no regrets and no broken heart! Love is a choice. Choose to wait!
     So now your probably thinking, "Okay so I shouldn't date till I'm ready to get married, and I should only love one man, but how do I do that?" Well, I am a full out believer in parents helping you to protect and guide your heart. Your parents know you better than anyone else, have a had practice picking out a spouse, and want the best for you. And why wouldn't they want the best for you? They have spent years raising you and training you to be the wonderful lady you are today. I am sure that they would only want there precious daughter to have the best and be treated the best. Okay, I know it sounds like I want you to have an arranged marriage, but I do think you should be able to pick out your spouse, I just think that your parents should have a large say in whom you pick.
     Now many young men will walk into your life, but until you know for sure (and yes, your parents agree) that you are ready to marry, I encourage you to refrain from dating. It could only cause heartbreak. So when you are ready to marry, only date men whom you would really, truly, and seriously consider marrying. When I said to "date" What I really meant was to befriend and evaluate. This way, when you find really special someone, you can fall into a perfect 1 Corinthians 13 love. A love that has no regrets, a love for one man, a pure love.
     I am praying, that you have learned something by reading this. I want you to know that I think you should never settle for anything but the best. Find someone who respects you and your beliefs. Find a man who wants the best for you and treats you right. Do the same for him. No man should ever, ever force you to do something that is wrong. My Challenge for you is to look to the bible on topics such as dating, marriage, love, and purity. Trust me, God wants only the best for you. 

     If you have read this and are still feeling those valentines day blues, I want you to do something. I have been doing it as well these past few days, and it's really fun. Imagine, that your perfect heavenly Father gives you a valentine. Remember, he loves you more than you can comprehend and thinks the world of you. Last year I was babysitting a young girl just after valentines, on her dresser was a valentines card from her father. Inside he had written her a poem telling her how special she was and how much he adored her. If an earthly father gives his daughter something so special, what do you think your heavenly Father would give you? Here is what I came up with for me:
Note: conversation heart are my favorite. Also just for the fun of it, and to confirm what dating is, here is what wikpedia has to say on dating.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentines Day Cards

I've been making valentine cards these last few days and I wanted to share them with you.
Here they are:

  This one as you can see is not strictly a valentines card. I'm sure you could give it someone for almost any occasion. As you can see by the little ties on the sides, I made a sort of 'homemade eyelet'. They are really quite fun, and add a little more color than just a regular eyelet. What they are is simply two sizes of paper circles glued to each other with a little hole in the middle. Very easy, very fast, very fun.

It is hard to tell in the picture, but the "So Very" at the top, the strawberry, and the "Sweet" tag  are all sparkly. I like the way this card is so cheery, making it great to give to your friends.I will note, that I had to pay extra postage on this one, so keep that in mind if you decide to try making this one.

I think this one is my favorite. I just like the silver cord with the silver eyelets, they give this card a very clean look. The "Hugs and Kisses" is stamped in black on vellum (tracing paper works good too!) and placed over the red heart on white.

And of course, a very traditional red and pink valentine! Each horizontal row is one stamp. I used markers to color the stamp, rotating each row.

This valentine almost has a western twist to it. I think I had the most fun making this one being able to just grab a paper and crumpling it up as much as possible just brings so much satisfaction!

Here I used the same heart stamp that I used in the 4th one I posted. Just in case you were wondering, I use stampin' up supplies.  I don't think it's the only good brand out there, but it hasn't failed me so I have no reason to look elsewhere.  I'm hoping you all have a wonderful valentines tomorrow. God Bless!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Accidental Hot Chocolate

Hmm... I'm not really sure what to call this drink. It was suppose to be called "Hot Chili Chocolate," but while my sister was distracting me I accidentally switched  the cayenne pepper to chili powder leaving it not a bit hot. I know your probably thinking it sounds gross, but the truth is we both both drank it without noticing (it was the first time we tried to make it) and were very disappointed when we made it the next day (with the cayenne) and it was too spicy. So here it is... I guess we can call it Accidental Hot Chocolate.

Accidental Hot Chocolate
2 Cups Milk
1/2 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 Tsp Chili Powder
2 Tbsp Dark Chocolate Chips (I add a few extra for good measure)

Heat milk over medium heat. Add vanilla, cinnamon and chili powder. Stir in dark chocolate chips until melted. Makes about 1 1/2 -2 mugs full, depending on size. I encourage you to try this recipe although it sounds weird, I can assure you, you will be delightfully surprised. As I noted above my sister and I love this, it has become part of our evening devotions together, a special thing we share.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Breakfast Bars And A Pretty (and easy) Smoothie

Mmmm. These healthy breakfast bars not only taste great, but are filling and energizing too! They also make a great snack, and are perfect for after a long workout at the gym!

Breakfast Bars

1 Cup Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup All-Bran Cereal
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Egg, Beaten
1/4 Cup Applesauce
1/4 Cup Honey
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds
1/4 Cup Nuts
1 Cup Dried Fruit

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

I tend to alter the recipe a bit now and then. I find they are sometimes kind of dry so I add extra apple sauce. I also like to switch it up a bit by putting half sunflower seeds and half pumpkin seeds instead of just sunflower. I also like to use pumpkin instead of applesauce.

This morning along with one of those delicious bars I also made this smoothie. The bottom layer was just heavenly however the top one was good too. The best part about this smoothie is that it looks as good as it tastes.

Pretty (And Easy!) Smoothie.
I found this recipe in one of the latest issues of a Best Health magazine.

First Layer:
1 ripe Avocado, peeled and pit removed
1 Cup Yogurt
Juice from 1/2 a Lime (I just used a squirt of  lime juice from the store)
3 Tbsp Honey

Blend. Divide equally into four glasses and set aside while making top layer.

Second Layer:
1 1/3 Cup Frozen Blueberries
1/4 Cup Almond Butter (or smooth peanut butter)
1 Cup Yogurt
1/3 Cup Milk

Blend and pour over first layer.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

This evening while I was chopping apples for this soup, my four-year old brother asked if they were for him. When I answered they were for a new soup recipe I was trying he scowled and said, "Not again!" Too Cute! And just for the record other than the funny color, he did seem to enjoy it, along with the rest of us.

Mulligatawny Soup

1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
2 Stalks Celery, chopped
1 Carrot, diced
1/4 Cup  Butter
1 1/2 Tbsp Flour ( I used rice flour) 
1 1/2 Tsp Curry Powder
4 Cups Chicken Broth
1/2 Apple cored and chopped
1/4 Cup Brown Rice
1 Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast, cooked and cubed
Salt to Taste
Ground Pepper to Taste
Pinch of Dried Thyme
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream, heated

Saute onions, celery, carrot, and butter in a large soup pot. Add flour and curry, and cook 5 more minutes. Add chicken stock, mix well, and bring to a boil. Simmer about half an hour. Add apple, rice, chicken, salt, pepper, and thyme. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until rice is done. When serving, add hot cream.
The purple icing is what makes this poppy seed cake so perfect! My 2 younger brothers were begging me to make cake, while my older brother had been asking for poppy seed muffins for a while, so I  compromised!

Poppy Seed Cake
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Poppy Seeds
3/4 Cup Butter softened
1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
3 Eggs, separated
3 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour (home ground if you have it)
1/2 Tsp Almond Extract

Combine milk and poppy seeds. Cream butter, gradually add sugar, and beat until fluffy. Add egg yolks, and beat until light. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture alternately with the milk and poppy seed mixture into the butter mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture.Add flavoring. In separate bowl beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry; fold in.Pour into a 9x13 inch pan and  bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.


5 Tbsp Flour (I used whole wheat, but it made it a funny color, however after adding the berries you can't tell)
1 Cup Milk
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Sugar (I used brown sugar, but like the flour, it made the icing more brown, so use what you like)
1 Cup Butter

Whisk flour and milk together in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until the mixture is thick, then add the vanilla and remove from heat and cool COMPLETELY. Put the sugar and butter into a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the cooled flour/milk mixture and whip on medium/high until it resembles whipped cream (about 45 seconds of whipping). To make it purple I pureed about 1/2 a cup of  mixed berries and mixed it with the icing.