Monday, October 10, 2011

Stop. Listen. And really live life.

My middle baby. He's the center of the cookie; the sweet frosting.
  It's been awhile since I've written about life. I do other things besides cook. ha ha I also teach kids (my own and others). I try to be a loving, patient wife, mom and puppy owner...some days. I sew, garden and just, well, live life, you know? Tonight as I sat for a couple hours, reading to my kids (yes, I said a couple of hours! They were begging me to keep reading!).  I had one of those incredible moments where I realized:

"I'm living it. Right now."

Do you ever have those moments? It's when you know you will think back and miss this. It's when you think, this is really life. This is a good life. There are things we could complain about of course; hard days, looooooong school days and more. But God gives us moments when we can stop and listen.
He truly gives us the perfect amount of time we need to live fulfilling lives.

Can you really feel the excitement of your kids being kids? Can you feel their joy of hearing a good adventure story? Do you see the way your child's face lights up when he's being helpful of his own desire? What about the way a little one brings you a dandelion, just wanting to do something special for you? (And you don't have the heart to tell him it's a weed.) ;)  Do you take the time to praise your child for the things he's doing good?? Do you stop and think what it's like for your kids to live in your home?

My oldest baby, who really wants to be a 'man'.

I really do. At least, I do try to. I struggle though, like all moms, I'm sure, with patience. I seem to hear myself say too often, "Hurry and do.....(insert anything)."  And then I realize, 'what am I hurrying for? We have nothing else planned for the day'. Maybe it's because I try to fit too much into my days? (ha ha ME??? No way!) So then I say, "No, don't hurry, just do a good job."

As a mom, I really want to live life with my kids. It's the same for being a wife. I don't want to take for granted one day spent with any of them. They are all precious to me.

Lord, please give me the strength, wisdom, power, love, patience and kindness...... to live this out well.

I guess I'm writing to encourage anyone who's just speeding through life. Stop. Slow down.

My baby girl, growing up.

We only get today. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. I know we've all heard that but it's really true. Live life well.

Love God with ALL your heart.

Love your kids and husband like this is your last day with them!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Grandma's Shrimpies

Shrimpies are a favorite Christmas treat!
 Here is another favorite family recipe you are sure to love! That is, if you like shrimp, cream, butter and cheese! Serve these warm and watch them disappear! At Christmastime Grandma T. used to make multiple batches of these along with so many other wonderful treats! Every time I make them, I think of her and do miss her! She was a great cook and had a generous, hospitable heart but she could sure be ornery too! It makes me smile remembering some of the things she's said or done that I may have thought but never actually would say! LOL Enjoy her Shrimpies and share!

Grandma T.'s Shrimpies
1 cup butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoon heavy cream
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2-2 cups mini shrimp

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 lightly beaten eggs

1/2 cup grated cheeses (Cheddar and Parmesan) 
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium bowl, cream well:  butter and cream cheese. Beat in 2 T heavy cream. Work in the flour and 1/2 tsp. salt to make a pastry dough. Form into long rounds, about 1" thick, seal in waxed paper and refrigerate for several hours (or freeze to harden quicker).

2. After dough has hardened, heat oven to 425'.

3. Slice pastry dough in 1/8"-1/4'' slices and press into mini muffin pans, pressing around sides. Lay about 4- 6 mini shrimp on top of pastry dough.

4. Combine 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and 3 lightly beaten eggs; set aside.

5. Combine cheese and salt and pepper. 

6. Spoon about 1/2 Tablespoon- 1 Tablespoon egg mixture over shrimp. Sprinkle with cheese.

7. Bake 5 minutes at 425'. Reduce heat to 350' and bake 15 minutes longer or until Shrimpies are set and lightly browned on top. Best when served immediately but also works well to make ahead and heat in a crock pot.

NOTE: To heat in a crock pot, line pot with foil, layering Shrimpies and foil. Keep on Low setting so as not to burn the Shrimpies.

Can be kept in freezer for up to 3 months.

Use a plastic knife or flat utensil to scoop out of a non-stick pan. Sometimes they stick but usually they just pop out after a little help!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fruit Cobbler

Make this Fruit Cobbler in a muffin cup for a smaller treat!
 I seem to be doing a series on old family favorite recipes but sometimes the old ones are the best ones! Mom has made this delicious recipe since I was a kid and now it's one of our favorite recipes too. Try any fruit; peaches, plums, blackberries, marionberries, rhubarb, blueberry.... If you're using home-canned fruit, I'd use 2 quart jars, minus the liquid.

Fresh canned peaches make a great cobbler!

Mom's Fruit Cobbler

1. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a 9''x13'' pan.

2. In a bowl, mix:
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 cups flour
    4 tsp. baking powder
    1 1/2 cups milk
    pinch salt

Beat well; pour over melted butter.

3. Top with 8 cups of fruit. Sprinkle sugar over entire dessert.  

4. Bake for 60 minutes at 375'.

I sprinkled Pampered Chef Sweet Sprinkles on to add extra flavor and...because they are just good! :)

Mini Peach Cobblers!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Muffins

YUM! What's better than a big, delicious, full breakfast? Well, miniaturize it into muffins and it's not quite as high in calories! I think these would freeze well and then just pop them into the microwave and enjoy a tasty breakfast in a hurry! Homemade convenient food. A friend and I were talking through good 'ol FB about food- surprise, surprise!! I wondered what a regular blueberry muffin recipe would be like if you switched the blueberries for eggs, bacon and chunks of cheese and modified it a little. To my surprise, it was more delicious than I thought it would be. You could leave out some of the sugar but I love the salty/sweet combination so I left it in.

Thanks, Mary R., for your help in figuring these things out and for the idea of mixing the eggs on top rather then leave them whole. I think it would fun to try these in a LARGE muffin pan with a whole egg and see how they turn out!! These regular-sized muffins cannot hold a whole egg! LOL :)

Bacon, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Muffins

Muffin batter:
2 cups flour
2 T - 1/3 cup sugar (depending on if you like the salty sweet combination)
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted (or 1/4 cup oil)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, cubed
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped

Topping for muffins:
3 eggs
course salt
shredded or thinly sliced cheddar, about 2-4 oz 

-Makes about 18 muffins

If bacon needs cooked, start by cooking it in either a frying pan, or in a jelly roll (Large Stoneware Bar Pan) in the oven till crispy. Cube cheddar if needed.

Preheat oven to 425'

1.Mix the dry ingredients for muffin batter in a large mixing bowl, add the milk and butter and mix till just combined. (Batter will still be lumpy). Add cubed cheese and bacon. Mix evenly.  

2. Line muffin pan with paper liners. Fill 1/2 full with batter. Bake for 10 minutes.

3. Remove from oven, leaving oven on.  

4. In a small bowl, beat 3 eggs very well. Spoon about 1/2 - 1  1/2 tablespoonfuls of beaten egg over each baked muffin, trying not to spill over the paper liner. Lightly sprinkle with course salt and pepper.

5. Bake muffins till eggs are done, or about 8-10 minutes. Watch them!

6. Remove muffins from oven. Top with shredded or thinly sliced cheese. Allow to sit until cheese is melted. Serve while still warm!

For visual learners follow along with the photos or.... if you just want to be tempted to make them! :)

I LOVE cooking bacon in my stoneware Bar Pan. (Pampered Chef of course!) I usually cook it at 400' for about 15 minutes. Save the bacon grease in a covered jar in the fridge for frying up eggs! (I didn't say this was a healthy way to cook them, but it's delicious and adds great flavor! You don't need much to add flavor either!)
Crispy, perfect bacon. You don't want chewy pieces in your muffins. Nope. Just not good.
Chop it up till it's about 1/2''.

Thickly slice cheese, then cut it into 1/2'' strips.

Cut it again the other way and you have cubes! (duh, I know... I just thought you'd like looking at Tillamook Cheddar cheese.... ha ha)

Mix in cheese! Mmmm

Mix in bacon. Use a Medium Scoop to fill muffins 1/2 full.

Don't fill muffin liners any fuller than this... this was even a little too much in this picture. Remember they expand and you will be adding eggs, which expand too! Bake.

Add thinly sliced cheese, or shredded cheese and let sit till the cheese is all melty and gooey.