Thursday, December 23, 2010

an interesting recipe

So, my little brother has less than a year left on his jail sentence.  He now gets to communicate via email which has been SO fun cuz we can share quick little blips here and there throughout the week.  He's doing really well and lately has been working hard with the other men in his unit to decorate their building....amazing!  2,500 feet of paper chain!!!!  Crazy!  I get tired after 10....10 links!!!  Anyway, he and a friend are becoming quite the chefs using food they buy at the commissary and only a microwave to cook it.  Some of it (fish burritos????) scares me, but then there's some that I may try (he did say that most of this stuff he wouldn't even consider eating "on the outside")  Anyway, here's a pie recipe (following his brief comment about it) he and  his friend are making for Christmas:

Yeah, the chocolate mint mocha pie? It's not bad -- not something I'd eat out in the world, but surprisingly, not bad. Here's the recipe, if you've ever a mind to try such a thing.

Matt's Chocolate Mint Mocha Pie
8-10 peppermints, finely crushed

1 chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast packet

1/2 chocolate bar, diced or crushed

1 teaspoon instant coffee (or more or less to taste)

1 container non-dairy creamer (in our case, about 7 oz)

chocolate chip cookies, Nilla Wafers, or any cookie you'd like (crust)

Put peppermint dust in a microwave-safe bowl, add hot water, nuke for 2 minutes, stir -- working towards making a peppermint syrup. Nuke and stir, nuke and stir. A thin syrup is ideal.

Pour half the creamer into a slightly larger bowl, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water, stir. Should be fairly thin, but stir for consistency. Warm water works best. Gradually add the rest of the creamer, adding water if needed, to make a mix the consistency of thick gravy. Add Instant Breakfast packet, coffee and mint syrup. Stir, then let stand for 10-15 minutes. Should stiffen to the consistency of toothpaste (or marshmallow fluff).

In another bowl, crush the cookies and add a few drops of cold water, mix to make a dough. More water as needed, but not so much the dough goes soup.

In ice cream dishes (y'know those glass dessert cups?), or if you go prison-style a bunch of empty Philly cream cheese 8-oz style tubs, coat the sides with a layer of crust evenly, and pour in some of the marshmallow mix. Should make seven or eight. Top with chocolate chunks, let stand in ice or a 'fridge to cool.

Try 'em -- they're pretty good!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just a reminder...

Amos 5:4 "For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: Seek me [inquire for and of Me and require Me as you require food] and you shall live!" (Amplified Bible)

See also II Chronicles 15:2 and Jeremiah 29:13

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pina Coladas?

Remember this song by Jimmy Buffet?
I was tired of my lady
We'd been together too long
Like a worn-out recording
Of a favorite song
So while she lay there sleepin
I read the paper in bed
And in the personal columns
There was this letter I read:

If you like pina coladas
And getting caught in the rain
If you're not into yoga
If you have half a brain
If you like making love at midnight
In the dunes on the cape
Then I'm the love that you've looked for
Write to me and escape

I didn't think about my lady
I know that sounds kinda mean
But me and my old lady
Had fallen into the same old dull routine
So I wrote to the paper
Took out a personal ad
And though I'm nobody's poet
I thought it wasn't half bad

Yes I like pina coladas
And getting caught in the rain
I'm not much into health food
I am into champagne
I've got to meet you by tomorrow noon
And cut through all this red tape
At a bar called O'Malleys
Where we'll plan our escape

So I waited with high hopes
And she walked in the place
I knew her smile in an instant
I knew the curve of her face
It was my own lovely lady
And she said, oh it's you
Then we laughed for a moment
And I said, I never knew

That you liked pina coladas
And getting caught in the rain
And the feel of the ocean
And the taste of the champagne
If you like making love at midnight
In the dunes on the cape
You're the lady I've looked for
Come with me and escape

If you like pina coladas
And getting caught in the rain
If you're not into yoga
If you have half a brain
If you like making love at midnight
In the dunes on the summer cape
Then I'm the love that you've looked for
Write to me and escape
Yes I like pina coladas
And getting caught in the rain
I'm not much into health food
I am into champagne
I've got to meet you by tomorrow noon
And cut through all this red tape
At a bar called O'Malleys
Where we'll plan our escape...

So WHY am I posting THAT song here? Well, please go check out my friend, Sue Cramer's blog post at Praise and Coffee. Then check out that studly man you call your husband! :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wow, I needed that

I have the comments on this blog set so that I have to approve them, and that's a good thing because I get a lot of spam comments (have nothing to do with what I wrote, but are simply ads). Well tonight I had another one of those that I had to go and delete. Thinking 'yaddy-yada, here we go AGAIN' Ah,but God had other things in mind...

Lately we've been kind of struggling because of Glenn's health issues. He's depressed about it too, and I just kind of feel like I've lost my best friend, we don't really have a lot of fun together as he's always tired or not feeling well or what have you. I was really thinking about it today, missing the fun, missing the team. And as I sat here to check emails, there was a notice about a new comment added to "Top 10 Reasons Why I Love YOU". I don't even remember writing that, and even double checked the address to be sure it wasn't some kind of spam thing taking me somewhere I didn't want to be. So I go here, to my blog, and yes, indeed it is a post I wrote. It was written in Sept. 2007, while my SuperHero was away at war, in Iraq. So then I think, "Oh, I guess I wrote out 10 reasons why I love Glenn." No,that is not what the list was at all!!! It was a list of the top 10 reasons GLENN gave for why he loves ME!! And reading through that list took my breath away! Those are the things he loves about me!! And I also realized that maybe, in this difficult time, I have let those things slip to the wayside. I don't laugh at his jokes because I'm tired and stressed, I'm not patient and gentle cuz I'm tired of waiting! God has surely blessed me this evening, with a reminder of who I am, what I need to be as a helpmeet to my Beloved. How I can help us both through this tough time. Wow!! I was just going to leave a comment at that post, but it's too important to be kept hidden way back in the archives of this blog, so here is this list again:
Many of the things I thought bothered him about me, he has turned a different light on and are thankful for them. I couldn't help thinking it was more of a thanksgiving list to God than a love note to me. Many of you have known us for a long time, so I am sharing this so you can get a further glimpse of the great miracle God has wrought in our marriage....

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love YOU......

1. You laugh at my silly jokes, you have a great sense of humor.
2. You are very sensitive, you have the biggest heart of anyone I have every known.
3. You are unselfish, you give of yourself and don't like saying "no" to anyone.
4. You are kind and gentile, you have a spirit greater than any queen, princess, or royalty.
5. I love your elegant manners, you are never rude or crass.
6. You are not impulsive, you think about every aspect of a decision.
7. I love the mischievous side of you, it can be very fun.
8. You are slow to change, but have accepted coffee in, so I know you love me.
9. You love to be surprised in life, you enjoy the simple beauty in things.
10. You are artistic and very imaginative, you see the good that is in everything.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mashed Potato Bread recipe

I found this recipe online, but now can't find it to give it it's proper credit. Sorry!!!

1 medium potato
2 1/2 c boiling water
1/4 c. warm milk
2 pkg yeast
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs sugar
5-6 c flour
2 tsp salt

Wash, scrub, and boil potato (leave skins on, you can get the vitamins from the skin too!) Once potato is cooked, reserve potato water, and remove skins from potato (now you can discard the skin). Mash up the potato and let it cool slightly. In large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm milk, stir to dissolve. Mix cooled potato and butter and then add it to the bowl, along with 2 cups of the reserved potato water. Add remaining ingredients and mix well (will be a tad sticky). Knead 10 min (thank you, Lord, for my KitchenAid mixer!!)Transfer to an oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil. Cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled. Punch down, cut dough in half, shape into 2 balls and let it rest for 10 min. Press each ball down and shape into loaf pans. LLet rise until dough is above sides of pan. Slash tops. Bake at 375 for about 50 min (tap bottom to listen for hollow sound). If it's not quite done, you can finish cooking it on a flat stone.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yummy! It's summer

Trying to think up something simple and light for dinner. I know, I know, I had my menu all made up, but there's always room for tweaking it, and I'm so glad I did. A couple summers ago, my friend Kim M introduced me to Greek Salad. Yeah, I know, there's ALL kinds of Greek Salad. So we'll call this Kim's Greek Salad. So simple, and yet SO yummy!! Now, I'm going to give you the recipe just like she gave it to me......I'll tell you some ingredients that taste good in it, but not how much....that all depends on you and your fridge or garden. Okay? So don't panic, just do it!

Kim's Greek Salad
chop up the following:
green pepper
red onion
English cucumber

Toss all of that together with the following:
Feta cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper
And really, you can substitute veggies or add veggies, what have you. Tonight I added a chopped up raw summer squash and some black olives (which are NOT from my garden, btw)

That's all there is to it! So yummy, so easy.....go making some.......go.....

Monday, July 19, 2010

menu for 18 July - 29 July

  • pizza (had that last night)
  • Cafe Rio Pork Salad (got the pork going in the crockpot already!)
  • Sesame Chicken and Noodles; veggies
  • Italian sub sandwiches (to use up leftover meatballs and sauce, I'll also throw in some sliced Italian sausage to stretch it); oven fries
  • Beef Stew with mushrooms, over pasta; salad
  • Apricot chicken in the crockpot; rice; veggies
  • Chicken on the grill (BBQ and Italian); potato salad; coleslaw
  • Mu-Shu-Style fajitas
  • Bavarian Kielbasa with noodles; veggies
  • chicken cordon bleu; mashed potatoes; veggies
  • Taco salad
  • Lasagna; rolls; salad

Whew! That's done!! I don't think guys realize how hard it is to plan meals for someone else! I know what I want to eat, but it's not always something that My Guy wants to eat. *sigh* Oh well, got it done finally! Now will need to go get groceries today!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

homemade tortillas....just because

Every year my Mother-in-Law buys me a subscription to Taste of Home magazine for my birthday. Well the latest one had a recipe that has already become a favorite in our house! Now, as I'm posting this, I'm very aware that this probably isn't the most traditional tortilla recipe. God blessed me with a sister-in-law who is from New Mexico and she (Gina) has got tortilla making down as an art form (see, she got me addicted to fresh tortillas!) Anyway, here's the recipe....should these be called "Gringo Tortillas"? Who knows, I don't care! They're easy and tasty!
Tortillas in No Time
from Taste of Home magazine, June/July 2010
Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
Yield: 8 Tortillas (I always double this)

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
3 Tbsp olive oil

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Stir in water and oil. Turn onto a floured surface; knead 5 to 6 times (lately mines been VERY sticky so I've added flour until it's a soft dough) Begin heating a large non-stick skillet (I use my 10-in. cast iron skillet) Spray lightly with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Divide flour into 8 portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 7-in. circle. Cook tortilla for 1 minute on each side or until lightly browned. Keep warm.

That's it! Pretty easy! What makes it even more fun is that I have a helper (tonight it was my 7 yo) to do the cooking while I roll out the tortillas....kind of an assembly line. They watch for a few bubbles and then flip it. By the time I have the next one rolled out, the cooking tortilla is done. Great teamwork!

Enjoy!! We're having beef fajitas on fresh tortillas tonight!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Yay! More Catering!

Call me crazy, but I LOVE to cook. I've come to realize that this is one way I can show people I care about them, appreciate them. Guess that means I'll make a great Grandma someday! :) But this is a passion for me. God has granted me the skills to be a good cook, and also granted me the desire to share the fruits of these skills. So, yes, I've got another catering job. Love it! I am by no means a professional caterer, but rather, I am doing something I love so I am doing my best. (Get it?) My first catering job, many years ago, now, was for the wedding of the daughter of some dear friends. My first chance to cook for a crowd. They had faith in my abilities and let me run with it! Wow (it was also a wonderful experience in that they had an amazing kitchen in their house!) Since then, I've helped with a brother-in-law's wedding, and have recently been asked to cater week-end-long events (at retreats put on by the Hill AFB chapel; I feed the staff, avg from 30-50 people). I love it!! What an experience. Tiring, yes, but so fullfilling for me! I don't get paid, I do it for the experience, and for the chance to bless these people as they reach out and serve and bless others. Many have called me crazy, maybe I am, but I LOVE doing this, truly this is a ministry opportunity for me. Who knows where this will take me, but for now I know that I am serving right where God has asked me to be.
So, you wanna see the menu? :) And yes, most of it is made from scratch by me.
This is for Saturday morning through Monday lunch time
Breakfast: muffins (made by the commissary, as we'll be packing and then unpacking until after lunch)
Lunch: sub sandwiches, chips and soda (again, sandwiches made by the commissary)
Dinner: Fruit Tray (early); Meat lasagna; Spinach lasagna; Rolls; Salad; Carrot cake (shhh, I'm hoping my husband will have made the next rank, so I'm making this especially for him....but they don't have to know that!)
Breakfast: Bagels; Fruit; Breakfast burritos
Lunch: Grilled Pastrami sandwiches; Fancy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches; Greek Pasta Salad; Chips
Dinner: Chips and salsa (early); BBQ Brisket; BBQ ribs; Baked Beans; Coleslaw; Strawberry Spinach Salad; and Cheesecake Squares for dessert
Breakfast: Pancakes and sausage; fruit; bagels
Lunch: Brisket in tortillas; BLT Salad sandwiches; Greek Salad; Chips

So, call me crazy, but I'm going to have a good time!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Yesterday was a cold, rainy day....with even a bit of snow falling (and apparently some places near here actually had snow pile up on the ground). In the midst of the cold, wet snow I had to run out and cover my tomatoes. Brrrrrrrr!! Was thankful for my sweatshirt hoodie and toasty warm, hand knit socks!!
So today, waking to sunshine, made me smile. There was nothing I could do about yesterday's weather, so why worry about it? Spring is here, summer's coming, just keep going, ya know? That's life in general....we know what's coming, so why freak out over the little things we can't change and that, perhaps aren't what we think we are wanting right now. A verse that I love and that has been coming to mind a lot lately is Romans 8:28..."God works ALL things to the GOOD of those who love Him and are called by His name." Thunderstorms, snowstorms....oh the nutrients flood into my garden. Trials and tribulations.....oh the refining that occurs in my soul. Truly, my soul thirsts for the Lord in the dry and dusty places, and I know, yes, I KNOW He's got me.

Thank You, Lord, for the sunshine today, and for laundry snapping on the line, and for always knowing what is the very best for me! :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

life changes AGAIN

Whew! Been a while since I posted. We've been going through lots of stuff here. Hubby has not been feeling well for a long time and finally found a doctor that asked the right questions so that we've discovered that hubby has (possibly, still waiting on official diagnosis) partial urea deficiency. Basically, he is unable to process protein, so he gets a build up of ammonia in his system. He's missing some enzyme that breaks the protein down. So we've so far learned that he needs a low protein diet (we're guessing it should be around 25g per day). When his ammonia levels are up he becomes very fuzzy headed, lethargic, tired, etc. And visually, I notice his skin gets red and blotchy and his eyes get red rimmed. He is tired all the time and the slightest thing wipes him out. He replaced the seal on the bathroom toilet and ripped up just a small part of the floor (toilet was leaking) and he had to take an hour long nap after that (and he was out cold). He's still working full weeks, but says it's so hard to think clearly, so he's really struggling, which cause stress, which triggers the ammonia thing, which.....yeah, you get the picture. He did have a biopsy done, however the specialist didn't bother reading over the paperwork that the doctor sent over, so she assumed she was simply testing him for cehrosis of the liver/alcoholism, and was pleased to report that his test was negative. When he asked for what and she said 'alcoholism', he was NOT a happy man! We've gone quite a long time waiting for a diagnosis and had hoped that this biopsy would get us there quickly, and she flubbed it all as she didn't read the doctor notes. Ah, such fun. And so, the unknown continues and we are doing our best to cope. Interesting learning a whole new way of cooking! Whew!

Well, this is so short after such a long while, but kids need help with school. Will try to post again MUCH sooner!
God bless!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Chocolate Bean Cupcakes

1 ¼ cup sugar

1/3 cup margarine, melted (they said soy margarine)

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbs grated orange zest, optional (I didn’t use it)

1 15-oz. can black beans, drained, rinsed and pureed

1 cup flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 cupcake tins with paper liners (I actually ended up with 15 cupcakes….but I have a broken stone muffin pan, so I can do that!)

To make cupcakes, beat sugar, margarine and eggs on high 3 minutes or until thick and creamy. Fold vanilla extract and orange zest into pureed beans. In small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Fold egg mixture into beans, then fold flour mixture into beans by thirds. Fill cupcake tins two-thirds full. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 4 minutes.

I found this recipe in a magazine, but sorry, don’t know which one. I tasted the batter and oh my, it’s yummy! Can’t wait for the cupcakes!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Scrubby Nubby Dishcloth

Scrubby Nubby Dishcloth

CO 41 (or any number divisible by 5 + 6 more stitches)

First 6 rows are worked in garter stitch

Throughout pattern, maintain k3 edging at beginning and end of all rows
scrubby block is worked p1,k1,p1,k1,p1

stst block is worked k5 on odd rows and p5 on even rows

rows 7-13: edging, stst block, scrubby block, stst block, scrubby block, stst block, scrubby block, stst block, edging

rows 14-20: edging, scrubby block, stst block, scrubby block, stst block, scrubby block, stst block, scrubby block, edging

rows 21-28: repeat rows 7-11

rows 29-36: repeat rows 12-16

rows 37-43: repeat rows 7-11

rows 44-50: repeat rows 12-16

end with 6 rows of garter stitch as worked at start.

If you try this pattern, please let me know how it works for you. This is the first pattern I've written, and I TRIED to keep it simple.

**Thank you to my friend Rebekah, who suggested making the blocks 7 rows tall instead of the original 5 rows. Changes have been made above.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Me and Wii

Well, today was day 12 with my WFP (Wii Fit Plus). I've missed 2 days, although on one of those days I was quite busy altering a sewing pattern, pinning, cutting, etc for over 3 hours....lots of standing, some sitting....if I counted that as light housework, I burned about 716 calories. And I did that twice, so that was good. There was one day that I just didn't do the it at all; I woke up with a gross headache and a mean, nasty attitude, and so mostly avoided everything. Anyway, you'll notice on the sidebar (and, bravely, on my facebook page) that I've posted a ticker on my weight loss. The only thing I'm doing differently than before was spending time on WFP....and usually it's only about 1/2 an hour (though trust me, I sweat). Sometimes I do a yoga and strength training routine and other times I just play games. I decided, for now, I'm just doing what I enjoy doing on there. The routine, I do in the morning, to stretch my back and get all the creaks out from sleeping. :)
I am so thankful that God hasn't given up on me, despite the fact that I sometimes give up on me. I am thankful that He gently called me to try again, and that He provided a way for me to do this. So, anxious to see what comes about from all of this. I am feeling better, my posture has improved, as has my attitude. I am doing this with a changed mindset, and I thank God for that!

So, here we go!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mini Quiches

I made these this morning for breakfast. I started out following a recipe, but then just took off with it, so here's what I did:

2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup half and half or evap milk
1/2 cup mayo (btw, we LOVE the Best Foods Canola Oil mayo! Give it a try!)
3 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup cooked ham, bacon or sausage
4 oz fresh mushrooms
1/3 cup onion

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 12 muffin cups + 1 small glass oven-safe dish with cooking spray.
In a food processor, chop up meat, mushrooms and onion (fairly small, but don't puree it!)
Combine eggs, mayo, salt, pepper, and flour in bowl and beat with egg beater. Add chopped meat-veggie mix and shredded cheese. Mix to combine.
Scoop batter(I use an ice-cream scoop with the built in scraper for making these and muffins) into prepared muffin cups and bake for about 22 minutes or until quiches are lightly browned and puffed. A knife inserted in the middle of one should come out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes (they will deflate, but that's okay) and enjoy!!