Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Still Trudging Along

Remember WAY back when I was talking about where I was reading in my Bible? Well, I JUST finished Deuteronomy this morning. It's been so good for me. Seeing God's power and love for His people is just amazing! He promises SO many blessings to them for their obedience and then they even have promises just for who they are. I am so thankful for this wonderful God we serve! Of course there are 'curses' for not obeying too.

My husband and our little princess, last summer.

 Another thing I've been reading through is a book called, "Your Husband, Your Friend- What a Man Needs and Wants from His Wife" By Bob Barnes. It's been an easy, encouraging read. Much of the book is about simple understanding of the way your husband thinks and what would please him. It's not about control over you, but the Bible does call us to "be subject to our own husbands as to the Lord". It's not about being a doormat but willingly and lovingly serving him.

The "olden days".

The Chapters include topics like: Stand by Your Man's Needs, Stand by Your Man's Differences, Stand by Your Man's Temperament, Stand by Your Man's Decisions...etc.

Camping trip... probably a whiskery hug!

I am nowhere near getting an A+ on this subject but having a wonderful husband makes it so much easier to WANT to please him. Everyday, he tries to do special things for me, whether it's just a small thing that I've been asking for him to get done or taking out the garbage as he walks in the door from work. Sometimes he sleeps on the couch if he knows his tired snoring will keep me up at night. He encourages me to go to girl's nights with my friends... I could really go on and on. And all of this isn't to brag. I just really appreciate who God has given me to spend the rest of my life with. Who couldn't love someone so sweet??  

Derek, on his birthday- the 4th of July! LUCKY!! (with our niece and my FIL)

I know it's not so easy for some marriages though. Maybe you are a Christian and your husband is not. Maybe he never wants to spend time with you. Maybe he's always moody. Because I know God, I know that He would sustain me through those trials. Also, because we've had our own trials, I know that He IS so faithful to His people. He wants us to know He is God and that His is our helper and guide.

This was something that really made me think when I read it last night. I pray for my husband daily but still not enough and not for all the detailed things that I could. Here's a part from the book that encouraged me to pray for him more:

Daddy and his mini-me. They are SO much alike!
page 212
"Pray for your husband and his work each day. The business climate is brutal, and I can tell you that your husband is continually bombarded with all kinds of temptations. Your prayers can help him stand strong and true to you and to his God. As I've said before, I know that Emilie [his wife] has prayed for me for 37 years. I clearly realize how fortunate and blessed I am to have her stand with me in that way.  Emilie has also stood strong in her faith in God's word. Together, for instance, we claimed this verse of Scripture, and it strengthened her prayers for me:
   "But remember this- the wrong desires that come into your life aren't anything new and different. Many others have faced exactly the same problems before you. And no temptation is irresistible. You can trust God to keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it, for he has promised this and will do what he says.  He will show you how to escape temptation's power so that you can bear up patiently against it." 1 Corinthians 10:13 

There were many times when I knew that Emilie's prayers enabled me to "escape temptation's power". I am so thankful for a wife who prays diligently for me. Perhaps you can follow her example. I suggest too, that in addition to praying for your husband to stand strong against temptations that arise in the business world, that you may pray for the following:
-His daily walk with the Lord
-The right kind of friends and associates
-His ability to work in harmony with others
-Safety in his travels
-The ability to make good decisions
-The ability to set right priorities
- Contentment in his work
- Continuous work
- Integrity in the workplace
- Your marriage and your children

Wow! What a list! Because my husband is the one who goes out and 'faces the world', I agree that this is important for me to do. And I'll bet that if my heart is thoughtful, loving and prayerful, that when he comes home, it will be to a more peaceful home. A place of rest for him.  

When I grow up, I want to be the best wife and mother I can be!

This was on our trip to the Great Wolf Lodge last spring.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I heart Pie Crust

What's your favorite comfort food? Or are you like me and cannot fathom choosing just one?

The best looking pie crust I've made so far! I think I'm finaly getting this down!

One of my favorites is turkey dinner with all of the sides, veggies, sauces, potatoes, gravies, stuffing...etc.  The best part is that after you've eaten your meal, there's usually at least enough meat left for one more meal. This week, I made that turkey STRETCH! I turned a 22 lb turkey into 4 very filling meals!
Turkey Pot Pie- the ultimate comfort food!

First, the turkey dinner and then tonight I made 3 turkey pot pies! (Why are they called pot pies???)  I thought my crust was gonna be a flop because I doubled it and then ran out of room. (Have you ever done that before? This isn't the first time I have!!) But after tasting just one bite, I said with shock, "I think this is the best crust I've ever made!!" My family agreed. All except for my spoiled 3 year old that doesn't realize how nice it is to have yummy food made for her! She'll probably appreciate it someday, right?

So, do you want to see what I made? I'll add the recipe later but I thought I'd share the photos that I snapped of how it all turned out! You'll want this crust recipe for sure! I got it from someone else and then of course, made it my own by changing some ingredients. That seems to be a bad habit of mine- or maybe it's a good one! I'll let you know all about that later. For now, enjoy!

Like my pie crust piles? lol They aren't very beautiful this way. First I separated them, but evenly cutting them and then I divided up more because I made them into too big of rounds! See? I'm still learning!

The Turkey Pie -ready to devour! One went to a friend and one is in our freezer for later - Yay!

These are little blueberry pies. I used homemade filling, about 1 1/2 T for each one, and then wet around the edges and joined together at the edges. (See below)

Ready for the oven!

And because we're trying to be careful about how many sweets we're eating, these are going in the freezer to have one every once in awhile. I easily could gobble them right away!
These are the few I sent to my friend and her small family for dessert after their turkey pie. You can make them any design and size. I wanted these to be similar to the store-bought fruit pies.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cranberry-Blackberry Crepes

Last night we had a feast for dinner! We had turkey, stuffing, mashed red & yellow potatoes, turkey gravy, a few left-over deviled eggs, left-over peaches, green beans and homemade Cranberry- blackberry sauce. I think I've mentioned that I'm doing a "Biggest Loser" challenge with some friends and others from church so I did try to not over-do it. (I easily could have though!! That's my favorite meal!) So I had already decided, when I did my meal planning for this week, to make crepes. We thought the Cranberry-Blackberry sauce would be perfect to go along with crepes! It almost tastes like a tart Little Wild Blackberry jam. Another NW favorite! 

So, first make your sauce, then serve it warm with crepes, or cold- either way would be scrumptious!

Cranberry- Blackberry Crepes

Kristin's Cranberry -Blackberry Sauce

Combine 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar in large saucepan; stir to dissolve sugar. Heat to boiling; boil 5 minutes. Add 1 bag fresh cranberries (12 oz bag) and 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blackberries. Cook about 10-15 minutes, depending if you want it to "jell". (The longer amount of time will allow it to jell). Skins will pop so be careful about it splattering on you! Serve warm or chilled. makes about 4 cups! 

Derek's Crepes
Crepe batter

1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 cups milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/8 teaspoon salt

In bowl, combine all ingredients; beat until smooth. Lightly grease a 6-8" skillet (use a small amount of oil and swirl it around the pan); heat to medium. Remove from heat, pour in 1/3 cup batter. Swirl around quickly so that it covers the bottom of the pan.  Return to heat. Lightly brown each side. It only takes a few seconds to cook on the 2nd side.  Store in a tortilla warmer until ready to serve. Fill with fruit or fruit or jam and top with whipped cream! 

We double this recipe to serve our family of 5, and had a few leftovers.

Pour about 1/3 or less into 6-8" skillet. Non-stick works well for this!

These only take a short amount of time to cook. Some recipes say to cook one side but we like both sides cooked.

These go quickly but if you want everyone to eat at about the same time, store them in a place to keep warm!

We used a tortilla warmer! Works perfectly!

Butter is a nice addition before you fill them. If you're cutting back on fats/calories, then leave this step out. (boo hoo)

Spread a small amount of butter on the inside of the crepe.

Scoop about 1 tablespoon of fruit filling inside. Fresh strawberries are AWESOME but it's not that season right now....

Roll up like a burrito!

What a great looking crepe Derek! (He made the crepes while I got the kids started with school today. Then I came back and assembled them. It's so nice to have him home!)

Now, if I had homemade whipped cream, I'd use that but I've been trying to stay away from buying creams and fattening stuff. So, I grabbed this out of the freezer. It's still yummy! (and fattening... I know!)

And here they are!

 So.... what did the kids think? See for yourself!

The kids are using the plates they created at a local ceramic shop. FUN! Caleb gives it a thumbs up!

Talia's devouring hers!

haha Aidan licked his plate clean!

I felt like doing the same thing... but I refrained.

It hardly needs washing now!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

BAKE SALE AHEAD! Garden Cupcakes

Today my family and I made some sweet little cupcakes! The idea is from the cookbook, "Hello Cupcake!" I guess I'm getting impatient to start my garden. Spring fever? So, instead I'll make a totally unhealthy dessert? LOL I guess so.  On the first I started a "Biggest Loser" diet with my friends so I'm really not eating it. Boo hoo.

What a cute helper I have!

Here's the candy we get to play with!!

A little happy about this??

A friend of mine made her sweet little Christmas apron! We have matching ones but mine is a vintage poinsettia fabric- so cute!

Opening up the "peas". We started by making the veggies (toppings).  This was Daddy's idea, so he even helped! I wish I would have remembered to get his picture though!

This photo is too blurry of course but I love the excitement that I captured! It's amazing how sugar can make you feel! haha Their hands were moving pretty fast! I had to change the settings on my camera!

Mmmm..... imagining what it all tastes like! (Cuz, you know you can't taste and touch your mouth when you're cooking for others! They had to wait until they were done to test it out. )

Picking favorites and making wishes?

The making of the peas. This is a green Tootsie Roll, flattened with a Pampered Chef Baker's Roller and then Sixlets tucked inside. They were quite fun to make!

Vanilla cupcakes in white liners, then frosted with Milk Chocolate Frosting and the tops rolled in crushed chocolate sandwich cookies, (generic Oreos). Mmmm Sounds good to me! 

Pea vines and setting the peas on top! That's the fun part for me! My helpers were long gone by this time- except for Daddy.

Lettuce leaves. They didn't turn out quite like I had hoped but they are tricky! Corn flakes tossed in melted green frosting.

Peas. I actually wish these were real, fresh from the garden ones! (I can't wait for my garden!!)

I wish you could see the detail in the carrots here. You can see it better on another photo below though. These are orange Tootsie Rolls and then you make small marks like a real carrot. Lastly you rub a teeny amount of cinnamon on them to add detail and... dirt? haha

Cherry tomatoes on the vine! They are made from red Sixlets.  They made me hungry for garden tomatoes! This was my idea- not from the book. The book had radishes but I thought these would use up the Sixlets that we already opened.

The seed packet markers. Graham crackers spread with melted white chocolate and a toothpick "glued" on with the melted white chocolate on the back. Chocolate frosting is used for the writing.

The garden is growing! (See the lines on the carrots? My husband created them... so adorable!) He covered a piece of cardboard with foil and then I frosted it very lightly and dusted it with cookie crumbs.

Good enough to eat?

Hopefully good enough enough to sell too!

All of the proceeds from the bake sale go to the youth in our church for their Winter Camp. It's always a fun thing to be a part of! I'm also bringing homemade laundry soap for those who can't have/buy the sweets!