Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It's Christmas!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!
Yesterday morning it started to snow. When I looked
out the window and saw the snow I screamed real loud.
My husband was worried until he looked outside-
then he knew, because I act like this every year about snow.
Even though it was a skiff- it was still fun to watch it come
down and drink hot chocolate. Around here we call that
a Swiss Alps experience.

But we have things more exciting than snow!
We have a Savior who came to save us from our sins-
and he can make our sins as white as snow.
I am just so thankful for Him and His sacrifice
of coming in a manger and then dieing for us
on that wooden cross. Praise be to Him!

Duke in dog heaven. He loves when Josh gets out the four wheeler.

Duke enjoying a drink after chasing Josh on the four wheeler.

 These two are quite a pair.

I just can't help but think of the parents who lost their children
in the school shooting. It makes my heart hurt for them.
Hold the ones you love a little closer this year-
and live life like you mean it. With a purpose.
Because in the end that's all that really matters.

Thanks to all of you who follow me here-
it has been a wonderful journey.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cajun Chicken with Avocado

I noticed that avocados were on sale at two 
grocery stores this week so I stocked up. I wanted 
to make chicken with fresh avocado topping
and came up with this. The first time I made this Josh
was concerned that I didn't put it on the blog.
So, this evening I wrote down the recipe
while I made it. When he took his first bite
he said, "this will be a hit on the blog."
Funny he is and sweet, too.

  Sprinkle chicken with seasonings and let set a few minutes.
Heat oil in skillet and fry until done.

 Serve on a bed of cheesy potatoes.

Cajun Chicken with Avocado

10 small chicken breast

2 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Mix together Cajun, salt and pepper. Sprinkle on both sides
of the chicken and let set a few minutes. Heat a 1/8" canola
oil in a skillet and fry chicken on medium heat until done.
About 4 minutes per side.

3 large avocados, cubed
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 juice of a lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together and put in fridge so flavors can set.

Cook some cubed potatoes in butter, salt and pepper.
When soft add a few slices of white cheese, (provolone or farmers).
Pour in a little half and half. Heat until cheese is melted.
Spoon potatoes on a platter and top with chicken
and avocado mixture.

 A sneak peek of a few Christmas decorations around here.
Fresh greens are my favorite this year.


Friday, December 14, 2012

There's Another Boy!

Charity and Wes welcomed a little boy
into this world last evening.
 Caleb Paul Weaver is this handsome
boys name. A gift from God indeed.

We were sure it was a girl-
but we sure were wrong.

Here are some photos for Grandma
and Auntie who live in Indiana.

 Precious little Caleb, I got the chubby cheeks I wished for.

He had a hard day sleeping- hence the yawns.

Proud parents. Charlie is not sure about the new little one.
So much for him being the center of attention. Sorry Charlie.

So this is where all the heart burn came from? 
Your poor mother ate lots of tums for your gorgeous locks.

We love you so much. And we thank God for this answered prayer.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Wreath Making

Tonight was the annual Christmas wreath making.
Yes, I am the queen of making things annual.

Go here and here for photos of previous years.

Christmas music filled the air while we sipped
coffee and hot coca. There were stories 
to be told, about things of old.
Okay, my corny poem is not making sense.
My husband would say that I'm on a Christmas glitch.

Hannah brought an old wooden cheese box to fill.
What a wonderful idea it was. 

Thank you ladies for the festive evening.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Cookie Bake 2012

Today was the 6th annual cookie bake/exchange
with Noel farm ladies and my friend Karana.
It was another wonderful time with
family and friends. It's so nice to have such
a variety of cookies to take home. 
Go here for last years photos.

Here are photos of the cookies and candies from today.
No, I am not telling you where I put them.
It's hard enough to keep my husband out of them.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Three Colored Coconut Candy

Three colored coconut candy is my husband's
favorite candy. Therefore I have learned how
to make three colored coconut candy.

It is a wonderful candy with an interesting texture.
The gelatin makes it slightly spongy.

 The cutting process.

Box and hide them from your husband. Then give away.
He is always complaining about me giving away all the goodies I make.

Three Colored Coconut Candy

2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 Tbsp. butter
dash of salt

1 1/2 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
3 Tbsp. cold water

1 1/4 cups of coconut
1 tsp. vanilla

Dissolve gelatin in water and set aside.

Combine first four ingredients in a saucepan and heat to boiling.
Stirring constantly, boil to 232 degrees. Remove from heat.

Spoon gelatin into a mixing bowl and pour hot sugar mixture
over top. Mix on medium-high for about 4 minutes. The
mixture will turn white and creamy. Add coconut and vanilla.
Beat a until coconut is mixed in. Pour into greased 9 x 13 dish.
The mixture will be similar to melted marshmallows-
you will have to get a spoon and spread it out.

Repeat layer 2 more times. For the second layer add a few 
drops of red food coloring with the coconut. For the third layer 
add 3 Tbsp. of coco powder with the coconut. 
When cool- cut into pieces, as shown above.

This recipe is in the Esther Shank cookbook. I use milk
instead of cream. I also added a few directions.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Homemade Marshmallows

I am trying to go back to the basics this
Christmas and make most of our gifts.
 Homemade goodies in cute packaging
are just as good as a pair of socks- if not better.

I started last night with homemade marshmallows.
They are like little squares of Christmas cheer.
Next is homemade hot chocolate mix to pair with these.

Once set, flop your marshmallows out onto a area dusted with powdered sugar.
Cut in 1.75 squares, and then quarter. Dust sticky sides with powdered sugar.

Bag and enjoy. We are eating them like candy around here.
I'm going to have to start smacking some fingers.

Homemade Marshmallows

3 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water

1 cup water
3 cups sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Soak gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water for 20 minutes.

Combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook until syrup
reaches 236 degrees. Remove from heat. Place dissolved gelatin
in a mixing bowl and pour hot sugar mixture over top.
Beat on medium high for 10-15 minutes until mixture becomes thick
and fluffy. Add salt and vanilla. Pour into greased 9x13 dusted with
powdered sugar. Let set overnight. Flop out onto area dusted with
powdered sugar. Cut into 1.75 squares and quarter the squares.
Dust sticky sides with powdered sugar and bag.

This recipe is from the Mennonite Community Cookbook,
with a few directions added.


p.s. More homemade gift recipes coming...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

It's a Boy!

Another nephew to spoil. I'm so proud.
He sure is a peach.

The 'big' brothers, thing 1 and thing 2.
Never a dull moment with them.

A happy Auntie,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Come, ye thankful people, come,

This song has been running though my head all morning...

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

Words: Henry Alford, Psalms and Hymns, 1844.
Music: St. George’s Wind­sor, George J. El­vey, 1858

  That is my heart today.
May all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tomato Juice

Today I canned tomato juice...
yes, I canned tomato juice in November.
It was great. No flies, no heat and no summer rush.
I think I will can tomatoes in winter from now on.

My sister and I had happily shoved bag after bag
of tomatoes into our freezer this summer. 
While others were slaving away... we were drinking lemonade.
Yea right.
It really was great though.

Just quarter your tomatoes- skins and all and 
freeze in gallon, zip-lock bags. Sit back and drink lemonade.
 Then pull them out in the winter. Thaw and
cook them until soft, blend them with a handy dandy,
hand blender, strain them and ta daa you are done.
Season with salt and sugar.
Well, you have to put it into jars, of course.
Hot water bath for 25 minutes.

 Cook tomatoes until soft. It doesn't take long.

 Blend until smooth. It doesn't take long.

 Strain with a cone strainer. A food mill works also.

Season with salt and sugar. 
We added 1/4 cup salt and 1/2 cup of sugar to this big bowl.

 Fill jars. Hot water bath 25 minutes.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Charity's Baby Shower

Last night I hosted a baby shower for my dear sister, Charity.
It was an extra special shower because it's an extra special time for all of us.
She has been married for ten years and the Lord has answered
their prayers in wanting to have children. She had a miscarriage in 2010
 which was devastating to her. Here is the post I wrote before she miscarried.
Just to give you some background.
It has been a long journey with quite a few bumps- but the Lord has been faithful and we praise Him for blessing her with a child.

Here are a few photos from her shower.

Two pregnant sisters... tums are their best friend,
everything smells funny, and heavy breathing is often heard.
I am their gopher most of the times when we are together.
It will be worth it in the end.

I can't wait to be Auntie again!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Taco Corn Soup

Well... today surely was a soup day.
It was just hard deciding which
soup to make. I decided on a
classic, taco corn soup. 
 It's good, it's easy and it's comforting.

The recipe we used at home was in
our school cook book from ages ago.
I didn't have that cook book here,
so I went a dumping and a pouring
and came up with this.

Comforting to the core.

Taco Corn Soup

1 lb. hamburger
1 medium onion, chopped
1 quart of tomato juice
1- 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1- 28 oz. can of Bush's Original Baked Beans
1 pint of corn
3 Tbsp. taco seasoning
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. chili powder
 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. corn starch (to thicken)

cheddar cheese
sour cream

Brown hamburger and onion. Add remaining ingredients
and simmer for 20-30 minutes. If you like your soups
thick like me- dissolve 2 Tbsp. of cornstarch in a little
water and add to soup while simmering.

Top with fritos, cheese and sour cream.

Enjoy the rain,

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Joshua's 25th Birthday Party

Yesterday my husband turned 25.
My, we are getting old.
I threw an outdoor party
for him which turned out to
be quite chilly- we survived
by the camp fire.

It was a fun, fall evening.

 The birthday boy really was happy about his party.
Even though the photo does not portray this.

Happy birthday Hubby.
I love you,


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

I needed some cookies for
Joshua's lunches and started
paging through cookbooks.
I was trying to talk him into something
besides chocolate chip cookies.
He wanted chocolate crinkles and all
kinds of cookies that have to be
 refrigerated before baking.
I came upon Chewy Oatmeal Cookies,
and that was it. I have been looking
for a chewy oatmeal cookie 
recipe for a long time. 
It was like finding a long lost friend.

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Crisco
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups oatmeal
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup currants or 1 cup raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut

Mix together in order given. Bake at 350 for 10-11 minutes.
Under baked they fall flat and over baked they aren't as chewy.
I found that 11 minutes was perfect. Even if they seem a little wet,
they will dry up once they sit a little.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Festive Foods

Since life is so busy I haven't 
had time to create new recipes.
I have been using some from 
last years stash. Here are
a few I have posted before
that are wonderful for
this time of year.

Happy Fall,