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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Praying for Jennifer...



GO TO MELISSA'S BLOG TO UPDATES ON JENNIFER.

Melissa over at Desiring To Be A Godly Woman has asked for prayer for her sister-in-law today.

Jennifer, who has been diagnosed with Cushings Disease, is having surgery TODAY, y'all, so please be sure and pray for her and her family. Please go visit Melissa's blog to find out how you can pray specifically.

Most of all, pray the God is glorified through all this.

What a nice surprise!!!



Surprise! Surprise!!!

Not too long ago, I shared my blogging woes about all my favorite blogs disappearing!!! Well, have I got some GREAT news!! Guess who's back? Susan P from A Place Called Home and Mrs. Wilt from The Sparrow's Nest!!!

Oooooh, ladies!!! Be sure and go visit them and welcome them back to blogland!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake...

This recipe quite surprised me when I first tried it about 6 years ago. Hot fudge + pudding + cake = tasty fun in my book!! So, I tried it out.

It looked a little funny after I followed the directions and assembled it all in the pan. This is what it looks like right before you put it in the oven.



Looks like a watery mess, doesn't it?

But, TRUST ME. Follow the directions exactly because this is the end result...


Aaaahhhhhh... chocolate bliss!!!! Fudgy brownie like cake on top and rich chocolate pudding below!!! The recipe says to serve it with ice cream, but we've never done that. We just eat it as is. Hot and yummy!!!

Here's the recipe in case you want to try it. It comes together FAST and can bake while you and your family sit down to dinner. Serve it hot (I don't like the taste nearly as much when it cools) and prepare for happy, smiling faces around your table!!


Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 T cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 T shortening
4 T brown sugar
2 T cocoa
2 cups hot water

Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Stir in milk and shortening. Spread in an 8x8 inch prepared baking dish. Mix brown sugar and additional cocoa and sprinkle over mixture. Pour 2 cups hot water on top and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve hot alone or with ice cream.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies...



Have you ever visited with Joy the Baker? If not, you're in for a treat! She has many delicious recipes!! This one, Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies, is to die for. Easy. Quick. LOTS of peanut butter flavor. Everyone in the family LOVES them. You NEED to make some tonight!!!


Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

(makes about two dozen cookies)


1 cup all-natural chunky or smooth peanut butter
1 cup sugar (1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar)
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with butter and set aside. In a mixer combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and baking soda and mix for another 2 minutes. Roll into walnut sized balls and create a cris-cross pattern with a fork. If you'd like, add a few chocolate pieces to the top of the cookies. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a baking sheet for two minutes, then transfer to... your mouth.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Homemade Chicken Stock....



There's something extra homey about making your own chicken stock. Not only is it less expensive than buying the boxed stuff at the supermarket, it is WAY healthier for you, too. And OH how my home smells soooo yummy while the stock is simmering on my stove!! I just love knowing that I am giving my family something that tastes so good.


Chicken Stock 101
(at least, the Mrs. U version of it!)

1) Rub 5 chicken breasts (with skin and bones) with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast chicken breasts in a 400 degree oven for 45-55 minutes until it is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, separate the meat from bones and store the meat for later use.

2) Place chicken bones and fat in an 8 qt stock pot. Roughly chop 2 onions, 4 ribs celery and 3 carrots and place in stock pot along with 2 bulbs of garlic (cut in half) and 4 bay leaves, 2 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp rosemary and a big handful of peppercorns (yes, put them in whole). And, this may sound like a strange ingredient, but also add 2-3 T of apple cider vinegar. Cover everything with water to the very rim of the pot. Cover with lid.

3) Bring stock pot to boil and then uncover and turn down to a simmer. Let this simmer away on the stove for about 6 hours (Yes, you need to be home all day to do this, but BOY is it worth it!!!). The water level will go down 2-3 inches and you will be left with a dark, flavorful broth!!!

4) Once it's done simmering, turn the stove off and let it sit for about 30 minutes to cool slightly. Using a colander, drain the stock into a very large bowl (I use another 8 qt stock pot). The colander will catch all the vegetables, spices and bones and the stock will drain into the large bowl. Discard the lefover vegetables and such and let the stock cool for about an hour more.

5) Once it's cooled a little more, cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator. I usually let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, the fat has risen to the top of the stock and solidified and I can easily skim it off and discard it.

6) Ladel the chicken stock into your containers to freeze the stock (and be sure and leave some headroom to freeze) for later use or use right away in a yummy recipe for your family!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Meaty Pasta Casserole...



This is a DELICIOUS casserole that is sure to please even the pickiest eaters!!! The first time I made this, I made one for us and one casserole for a family with an ill mother. She told me later that, aside from the mushrooms, every child in her family ate a second helping!!

I LOVE Taste of Home magazine. This is yet another great tasting recipe from them!!


Meaty Pasta Casserole
(Taste of Home, Aug/Sept 2008)

Ingredients:
1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
1 pound ground beef
1 pound bulk Italian pork sausage
1-3/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) Italian diced tomatoes
1 jar (25.6 ounces) Italian sausage and garlic spaghetti sauce
1 jar (16 ounces) chunky mild salsa
1 package (8 ounces) sliced pepperoni, chopped
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese, divided
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1-1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 jar (26 ounces) three-cheese spaghetti sauce

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook the beef, sausage, mushrooms, onion and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.

Drain pasta; add to the meat mixture. Stir in the tomatoes, sausage and garlic spaghetti sauce, salsa and pepperoni.

Divide half of pasta mixture between two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup Swiss cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Spread 3/4 cup of three-cheese spaghetti sauce over each. Top with remaining pasta mixture and three-cheese spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses.

Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake remaining casserole at 350° for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Peppers....



A sweet couple in our church went to Tennessee last week and came home with a huge box full of these peppers!! I've never seen pale yellow or purple bell peppers before!! Have you?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A baby bracelet giveaway....



My friend, Melissa, is having her first giveaway and it's a CUTIE!! Y'all be sure and head over to Desiring To Be a Godly Woman and register for her baby bracelet that she's giving away! Whether it's for your daughter, granddaughter, niece, sister, cousin or next-door-neighbor, just sign up!! Hurry, though, the cut-off is Sunday, July 19!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Simple and Delicious Apple Dumplings...



Hurry! RUN to your kitchen and make this for your family tonight!!! Seriously, they will thank you for it!!

It's simple and delicious and the recipe is from Pioneer Woman.


Apple Dumplings

2 Granny Smith apples
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
cinnamon
1 small can Mountain Dew

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Yes, I believe in recycling...



Now THIS is the kind of recycling I can really get into!!! A sweet lady at church was getting rid of some older Martha Stewart Living magazines. She knows that I like the topics of homemaking and cooking and offered the magazines!! I think she kind of felt bad since they were out of date. I reassured her that I LOVED getting these magazines!! And OH how I've enjoyed s-l-o-w-l-y going through them!!!

Maybe you have some out of date magazines that you could "recycle" and give to someone!!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

How neighborly are you?




I've been reading over at Project Home Economics (LOVE that blog, by the way!!!) and learning so much! I recently read this from Elizabeth....
"Some brand new neighborhoods can be a bit bleak, as the landscaping is still bare in many years, and neighbors may move in and out so frequently and stay so busy that you may feel somewhat isolated. If you live in such an area, try this: make a chart of the streets in your neighborhood. Take note when someone new moves in. If you hear that someone has a baby, also take note. Bake goods and take them to these people. Invite people for dinner. Don't give up if people are busy and it takes a while to get them over; plan a month ahead if you have to.Wrap them well in case no one is home and you have to drop them off. Be the woman (or family) who prays about every street and every house. Do what you can to love your neighbors and make your neighborhood feel like a community. This will, in turn, bless you by making your home feel more like a home."
I would LOVE to hear how each of you reach out to your neighbors!!

Also, if there is anything special that your neighbors have done for you, please share!!!

My parents are good about keeping up with their neighbors. I love that. One dear man across the street from them makes a point of blowing off my parents' driveway every time he blows off his driveway!! What a kind thing to do!!

Monday, July 06, 2009

So sad... blogs are disappearing!!!




I'm SO sad! So far this year, four of my favorites bloggers have stopped blogging- Mrs. Cat (Making It Home), Mrs. Wilt (The Sparrows Nest), Crystal (Biblical Womanhood) and Susan (A Place Called Home). I do understand that real life is WAY more important than the blogging world, but I do miss learning from them.

Now I am looking for more blog favorites. I would LOVE to know what your favorite blogs are, especially homemaking blogs. Please PLEASE share!!

Friday, July 03, 2009

She's home now...


I just found out earlier that Rachel Barkey died peacefully in her sleep July 2nd. Please pray for her husband and their two children. And, please, if you have not already, take some time to watch her video, Death is Not Dying.


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