Thursday, March 5, 2015

Word Art Wednesday 173

It's hard to believe how robust the little sparrows are. Even with really low temperatures outside, they never fail to peek out from around the garage. I think a few were taking temporary shelter under the car yesterday, and decided to move when I went to pick our son and grandson up from school.

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:29-31

It's a good reminder of our Heavenly Father's care for us too. One very cold night last week, the furnace went out at our daughter's house. It wasn't a situation you want to have with little ones.  Thankfully it wasn't anything too serious and they had heat back on again the following day. In the meantime we rounded up some safe heaters and were able to keep them warm for the night.

I'm really thankful for all God does provide for us from day to day. We always have what we need. Our kids are learning from day to day in Christian schools, there is food on the table, warm covers on our beds, a roof over our heads, the love of family and so much more.

During this Lenten season we are also reminded of Christ's sufferings for our sakes. We can look forward to each new day without fear. God loves us and we can be certain of his promises that we will be cared for now and in eternity.

It's finally March and I'm certainly looking forward to shedding this cold weather. In the meantime I unleashed a little creativity and made a little card for our daughter and son-in-law's anniversary this weekend. Isn't it a cheerful scene? 

Enjoy your weekend and God Bless! 

Monday, February 9, 2015

One Week of Thirty Minute Meals

There's a standing joke between my husband an I that when we got married I could cook three things. One was tuna casserole, another was beef stew, and another was macaroni and cheese out of a box. Maybe soup from a can could be counted as a fourth meal, but there you have it. At least half our meals were processed food. We usually splurged on fresh fruit and veggies, so maybe that redeemed us from being as bad as we could have been.

Fast forward 30 years and I'd have to say, "We've come a long way." ... Now days it drives me crazy when we go to the store and someone has more than half a cart full of processed stuff. In my mind, I look in carts and I'm thinking, "Seriously! You can't make pancakes or waffles?" I have to remind myself not to judge too harshly. I was there once. Like many people, I used to think it was fast and easy.

When the kids were little and my husband thought it was time to be stay-at-home Mom, I finally learned how to battle the tyranny of the processed food aisle. In order to save money, I didn't have a lot of  choice. I learned to cook from scratch.

I thought as the kids grew up, life would slow down and get a bit easier. I can dream, right?... This week I decided to look for 30 Minute strategies to make this week's dinner plan a cinch.  They aren't in any particular order. Sometimes it works out better to assign a day to each and sometimes I just need to do what works for that particular day.

After church yesterday, and with no advance prep work, I made a start to finish Shepherds Pie meal and took a little extra time to make cranberry muffins. It was a little dreary yesterday, so I lit two oil lamps, poured a glass of Merlot and thoroughly enjoyed time with my family.

It looks like a gorgeous day here. I think I'm going to go outside and enjoy a few rays of sunshine. Have a great day and let me know if you tried any 30 Minute Meals this week!  

Chicken Enchiladas

Mushroom Burger 
 and Cucumber Salad

Navy Bean Soup

Sweet and Sour Pork

Shepherds Pie 

Turkey Chili 

Honey and Apple Cider Glazed Salmon 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

DIY Flat Cap

I love having grand kids. Life is so fun when they are around. Now they are moving closer so I can see them a little more often. Yeah!! 

Not so great a picture, but this guy visited over the weekend and he wanted to wear Grampy's cap. Love these caps. I tried to get a picture of his older brother too, but he was a little camera shy. 

I found a flat cap tutorial online and I think I'm going to have to make these so that the grand guys can wear them when they visit. Just too cute! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Snowman Felt Stocking Pattern

Happy Monday! Hope you had a blessed weekend.

Life has been busy and I can't believe we're through the first week of December already. Basketball season has started for two of our boys and evenings get kinda hectic around here. I really try to appreciate the time I can relax a little.

But I've still been crafting. I've made several items in preparation for Christmas festivities, and I'm not done by any means, but I'm getting there. Of course we celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, our Savior coming into the world, but we also enjoy sharing gifts with each other and celebrating family times.

It wasn't too long ago I was asked to make a couple poodle skirts for an event our youngest daughter  was involved in at school. In the end I really only needed to make one, but I had fabric for two. Instead of returning the excess, which I found out I could have done, I decided to save it. 

I was almost sorry I hadn't returned it, when I came up with this little project for my grandchildren and so I thought I'd share it here.

Grandma's "Once Upon a Time" efforts to teach me embroidery were probably in vain, but hopefully the grand babes will overlook Grammy's not-so-valiant efforts. This is one of the first ones, so hopefully I'll get better as I go along.

All I had to do was pick up a little orange for the nose. I figured I could spare the 23 cents. I had embroidery floss for stitching and some ribbon for the hanger.

I'm sure you can machine stitch and maybe even glue the features on with craft glue. Have fun and let me know how you did!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sugar and Spice Cookies

Still chilly here in Wisconsin. Did you grab that cup of hot chocolate yesterday? I was glad to have some made when our youngest son got home from school. He had a little time before he had to go to back to school for basketball practice and an after school snack was definitely on the list. Also, to warm up our kitchen yesterday, I decided to bake some cookies. They were also great for the after school snack attack.

I love to bake and I'm always on the lookout for recipes that are easy, inexpensive and that I know my family will like. A good molasses cookie is always on the list for the mister. He walked in after work, grabbed one, and the first words out of his mouth were "Spice Cookies?" This is a favorite cookie recipe from The Basics and More Cookbook, my all time favorite cooking resource.

Below is the basic recipe. After a little trial and error I came up with a nice looking, crispy on the edge, soft in the middle cookie. Don't worry, no waste. The other cookies were good, just not as pretty as I wanted them to be. Today the plate is empty!

Just when I thought I'd have to lower my expectations for having a great looking cookie, I finally was satisfied with the results of my experiment. 

This is how I did the gluten free version:

I used King Arthur Gluten Free multi-purpose flour. By the way, this is not a sales pitch. I included the link so that you could clearly see which flour was used. Some sources say that this flour is about 155 grams per cup. I've found that with baking any cookie, I have much better results when I weigh the flour as opposed to measuring it by the cup. I now highly recommend the use of a scale for measuring flour. I think when adjusting for gluten free, each flour mix is a little different so measuring becomes even more of a necessity. Usually you can do a web search to find out the measurement per cup for various kinds of flours.

I also added 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum.

I used a stoneware pan rather than my usual metal pan. It seemed like that's what this cookie needed for the crisp edge and soft middle.

I baked at 350 degrees instead of 375. In my opinion the gluten free flours tend to brown a bit more and the hotter oven seemed to make them over done, even in the same amount of time.

With all certainty, make sure you chill the dough a minimum of 2 hours. Overnight would be better.

I dipped the dough balls into the powdered sugar before baking.

Sugar and Spice Cookies

(original recipe)

¾ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
¼ cup molasses or sorghum

2 cups flour 
2 tsp. soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. cloves
¾ tsp. ginger
Blend together first 4 ingredients. Mix remaining ingredients and add to first mixture. Mix well.

Form into balls. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Dip into powdered sugar while warm.

My notes: Chill dough for at least 2 hours or overnight. Roll in sugar before baking. Parchment paper is a plus.