Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lion King: Is it Real????

I finally found the picture I have been meaning to post, and I'm so excited to share it with you! Mainly because Lion King was my favorite movie when I was in about 5th grade. I literally had the entire movie memorized line by line, lyric by lyric. Which yes, drove my poor brother bonkers! However without further ado...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rosemary Dinner Rolls and Beef Stew

Unfortunately today found me at home with two sick family members - my hubby and my little 3 year old daughter. It's been a lot of laundry and crackers around this household this morning. Yet since I am at home playing nurse to both of them I thankfully had some leftovers to heat up for lunch; which then reminded me I was going to blog their recipes for you! So first let me celebrate again that I finally found my camera installation Cd's and can finally get my camera to download pics to my new computer!!!! So let me install that real quick and then we'll continue with the post...

Okay so 7 hours later (no I'm not kidding: By the time it was installed it was time to get my son from school, then I needed to take the moment to get some desperately needed groceries, then home to play nurse, cook dinner...well you get the point) I am finally ready to show you my wonderful stew and rolls I made! The stew was very easy and the most delicious I have had in a very long time! Although I must admit that favoritism is partly due to the meat alone. It was SO tender it wasn't even funny! YUMMY!

Okay, okay I will control myself. You start out by simply placing the flour, salt and pepper in a large Ziploc bag and shaking it with the meat until the meat is well coated. My kids held the bag while I dropped each item in it. Then you heat up the oil in a large pot and brown the meat
Ah now doesn't that look good already? If you answered no, just exit this web page RIGHT NOW!
Then you will add 5 cups of water and 5 beef bouillon cubes. (And I want to apologize for my pictures from here on out, they are a bit blurry because I still had my camera setting on "AV" from my photo challenge the other day and when you are cooking with one hand and taking a picture with the other you can't always MAKE SURE the photos are in focus. So my bad) After that you will add your other spices and then cover and let it simmer for an hour.
The last steps include adding the carrots, simmer a little longer, then the green beans. And don't forget to make up your dumpling mixture while the carrots are tenderizing so after your soup is complete you can add them by spoonfuls and cover it back up until they have become fluffy pieces of yummy goodness! Here is the final product:
OKAY now for the real treat of our dinner the other night: Rosemary Buttered Dinner Rolls!!! I won't go into detail on the makings of these because I will simply send you to the link where I found them so credit is where credit is due.
You can find this yummy recipe at Pioneer Woman - cooking.
OOOOHHHH my mouth is watering again! I baked 10 of these babies up and between my husband and I and my children (may I mention my YOUNG children) we devoured ALL 10 in that one sitting! Bad I know, but oh so good!
Now here is the full recipe for the Beef Stew with Cheddar Dumplings:
1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 TBLS. Vegetable oil
5 C. water
5 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 TBLS. browning sauce (I omitted this)
4 carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, cut into wedges (I also omitted this)
1 can green beans, drained
2 C. Biscuit/Baking mix
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 C. milk
In a large resealable bag, combine flour, salt and pepper. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a Dutch Oven (I used a regular large cooking pot w/ lid), heat oil over medium-high. Brown meat on all sides; drain. Add water, bouillon, onion salt, garlic salt and browning sauce if desired; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add carrots and onion. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender. Stir in green beans. For dumplings, combine biscuit mix and cheese. Stir in enough milk to form a soft dough. Drop by tablespoonful onto simmering stew. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes (do NOT lift cover during this to peak) or until dumplings test done. Serve immediately.
FROM: "The Complete Guide to Country Cooking" entry by Jackie Riley of Garrettsville, Ohio

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Shallow Depth of Field

So I admit it! I have become a Pioneer Woman junkie! But I am not ashamed. She is a mother, lover of photography and her camera, and cooking! I mean this is calling my name!! I absolutely love her blog and have entered my first photo in her most recent Photography Challenges. I have been needing to learn more about my camera and the different functions and she does a VERY good job of explaining them so her challenges did just that for me: challenged me! I'm going to be following her blog and learning all I can about my camera and photography so that hopefully by the end of 2010 I will have improved slightly!

So of course I wanted to share my first photo entry with you:

"Worn with time"
I have a FLICKR account (that is how she does her photography groups) where you can view my description of the photo if you'd like (least I think that link will work).
We are only allowed one entry per day so the piano was my first entry. But tomorrow I will be entering another fun photo:
If you'd like to read about the photography Challenge and what the goal was I encourage you to visit Pioneer Woman blog, I'm sure you will find SOMETHING there that peaks your interest!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Featured blog: Valentine's Crafts

I was trying to make myself wait one more day at least before doing another post because of course I have a ton of post ideas running through my head. But when I saw these cute craft ideas for kids I had to share it! If you have young kids and want to let them get creative and have a blast with your kids too visit Cassie & Co. blog for cute ideas like Number counting book and stained glass hearts!

And also since I'm on here I might as well share with you a dessert I also found blog hopping that as soon as my hubby walked in the door tonight I held my Droid phone up to him with a delectable picture of a Oreo Brownie with White Chocolate and declared "This is what I'm making for Valentine's Day!!" In case the name alone didn't get your taste buds salivating here is a picture of it:

It is from a new blog I just found tonight called "Two Peas and their Pod", a cooking blog. Check it out for numerous yummy recipes including this one!
Click HERE for the Oreo Cookie Brownie with White Chocolate recipe.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I met Beth Moore...

Really what else could you put for a title besides that? She has such a ministry to women that saying that alone peeks any one's interest. I mean am I right? Yesterday was her book signing in Shenandoah which just happens to be only about 20 minutes from my house. And since my friend blessed me this Tuesday by buying me her new book, "So Long Insecurity, you've been a bad friend to us" I just had to take this opportunity to go get it signed!

Knowing what it's like on bible study night I wanted to get there plenty early since she would only be there for one hour (she had another signing that same afternoon down in Houston). So I arrived about 45 minutes before the signing would begin and was actually surprised to find a small line thus far. It did grow as time went on but I have to be honest I was surprised, I was thinking like an all out mob was going to be there! But anyways, I went ahead and started reading the second chapter while standing in line. I had knocked out the intro and chapter 1 slowly through the week.

About 10 minutes till 1 they moved 30 of us inside to begin the line at the table. And shortly after we see Beth Moore walking down the aisle of Sam's Super center to come sign her little heart away. It was funny listening to the women's reactions a lot of them saying things such as "Oh my goodness there she is!!" While some remained calm I will say some were a little star struck. I have been blessed with being able to remain eye-to-eye with people no matter how big their status is. I truly see everyone as "you're just another person" granted that they may be smarter or wiser or more talented in an area than some yet they are just a person none the less.

Now don't get me wrong I get excited and even butterflies to meet certain people I esteem highly but I do not react like the poor lady in front of me that her hands were trembling out of their bones as she went up to talk to Beth. she could barely work her phone to get it to the camera setting. I had to giggle silently and thank the Lord that I had the capability to remain calm and cool around "big shots", lol. Although our pastor always says a big shot is just a little squirt under pressure!

Okay total side trail, back to the story: It was finally my turn and my friend and I who go to her Tuesday night bible study are always on the front row so we were curious if she would recognize us or not. I could tell when I went up that she did not recognize me so to give her an idea of who I was I just said my friend back there in line and I are your front row girls on Tuesday nights and I'm the one you stared at this week! Emphasis on the STARED! lol, I was slightly giggling trying to tease her but as soon as I said that her eyes got real big and she said Oh my word yes I know exactly who you are now and I MEANT to stare at you! (My mind is going what? What do you mean you MEANT to stare at me?) She said sometimes people will tell me I stared at them while speaking and I will have no earthly idea and sometimes God stirs in my heart to specifically single someone out because they really need to hear something. That's how it was Tuesday - God stirred in my heart to stare right at you during that part because you needed to hear it!

Ok wow right?! But here is the sad part my next thought in my head went exactly like this: "oh my goodness what did she say to me???? If God was trying to speak to me why can't I even remember, oh no! I've screwed up! I can't remember!!" Isn't that horrible? I can't remember. Not exactly at least I DO remember what she was talking about and the general idea of what she said but not the specifics of when she stared at me. So anyways I waited on the side until my friend made it up to the line and then we took turns getting our picture with Beth. One thing I must add in here is she is so genuine about loving women. She doesn't just do a pretty pose with her arm nicely around your back - no she wraps you up with her arms and presses her face close to yours like you are taking a picture with your BFF. It was sweet to watch. Not to mention when she first arrived you saw her talking to the Sam's workers explaining something she wanted and what does she do? After they had this adorable table with flowers, nice cushy business chairs and even a padded arm rest thing for her to sign on she had to stand beside the table and sign the books off a turned grocery cart because Beth wanted to hug everyone! LOL, isn't that great?! It was so funny and not like I know Beth or anything but isn't that just SO like her?!

It was such a sweet moment for me and a memory I will hold with me for awhile that God stirred in her heart to speak specifically to me. And dwelling on it on the way home that's when it dawned on me. If God had meant to speak a direct Word to me through her I WOULD HAVE REMEMBERED the stinkin' words! Because I am a diligent student of that I know, and I was listening intently and taking notes! I didn't miss anything so no I didn't do anything wrong. Do you know what God was wanting to speak to me? It was the simple fact that out of 2,000 women he loves me intimately and individually enough to single me out of that crowd and move Beth's heart to look at me and convey that message to me for Him. Isn't God sweet, he is the biggest romantic I know. If you're short on romance give God a shot - he is GOOD at wooing someone straight off their feet!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Princess Cupcakes

I have a super quick moment to post one of my promised posts and actually have the pictures with me too!! Yippee!! Here are my latest "Hello Cupcake" creations! (I don't have time to inclued a link, so if looking for the Hello cupcake book just see a previous cupcake post!)

Here the kids are helping eat the MANY leftover candies that come from making cupcakes like this, as I work on the prep work of the heads and gumdrop dresses.
Here is a gumdrop dress with decorating sugar galore all rolled out and ready to cut a scalloped edge on the bottom of the dress.

Here is one of the girls in our youth group, Kaitlynn (I needed help with these!!) piping chocolate frosting curly hair on her purple princess

And the reason for all this daughter Gracie pointing out HER princess - the pink one of course!

and here are all of our colorful princesses!
I had planned on more pictures but since I'm on my husbands work computer I didn't have time to figure out how to flip the vertical pictures quickly without opening some program so sorry but at least you got to see them right?!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What a day

Do you ever get up and within an hour or two of JUST your morning routine you already are thinking "wow what a day..." and are so stressed that you seriously can't think straight and for that much keep things in perspective!

I had a morning like that. I woke up and my husband had a late meeting in another town so he actually had the blessing of being able to sleep in late. So I was determined to keep the kids and I quiet. Yes if you are a mother you are sitting in your chair and at that last sentence went "Oh no" in your head and half laughed because you have been there yet didn't laugh FULLY because you also have shared my pain and know it's really not funny to a mother that is IN that moment!

SO, like I said I was going to TRY to keep us quiet so he could actually sleep in and my husband completely deserved it! He has been so good to me and has spoiled me lately with taking the kids for me to attend the Beth Moore SMT Celebration, not to mention he has them every Tuesday during her bible studies from 4-10 p.m. (which includes dinner, baths and bedtime!!) He EVEN cleaned the entire house AND made a towel animal for my mom (yes like the ones you find on a cruise) and had it laying on her bed when we were coming back from the conference! Now tell me my man didn't deserve this! But yes it did NOT go as planned and I ended up gritting my teeth SO hard by the end of my morning routine I thought I could throw a baseball through a window and not care! Lol, have you ever been there?!? I KNOW I'm not alone in this. Anyways I don't need to go into details but they were the farthest thing from quiet, I was having to go in and out of my bedroom/bathroom like every 5 minutes and so thus didn't get ready on time making us a couple minutes late to my son's school that morning. We could have made it on time if I would have skipped breakfast but after my last two hours I stood in the kitchen selfishly and angry and did I mention totally in my flesh and NOT the Spirit, telling myself I deserved not to starve this morning!

We did make it to school and I remembered that Tuesdays is "Mommy and Me" time at our local Starbucks which is where they put on a Disney movie, have coloring books and books etc for the kids while you can visit with other mothers. I had asked a lady about it and she informed me no one had really been coming maybe one mom once in awhile. So I thought perfect! I will take my bills and let her play while I at least get something done and can relax with some hot green tea and not get my house messed up at the same time!

It DID help and thus I have calmed down enough to write this post yet I have had the aftermath of being so "in the flesh" this morning such as guilt and anger at myself for being so dumb this morning. My kids are 3 and 5 for pete's sake!! What do I expect out of them??? And what do we miss from God and his blessing or favor when we CHOOSE not to be in His will in that moment? Do we miss a financial breakthrough? Or perhaps blessing our husband by staying calm? Maybe even just that your face won't break out with acne because you didn't get stressed,lol!? Do I believe that God's blessing or favor leaves you because you mess up? NO! For we are redeemed and live by grace and if we repent of our sins he is able and just to forgive us. Yet do I believe that obedience is important and vital to our faith and relationship with God? Absolutely.

P.S. I want to also inform you that we have currently misplaced our Internet USB port so even though I promised you a LIST of blog posts they just so happen to not be getting done because by the time I make it to a computer to DO any posts I either 1. Don't have my pictures I need with me or 2. don't have time because I have more pressing work needing done. So know that I am TRYING to get back to regular posting but you will have to be patient with me! :) thanks!