Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Double Orange Scones

These scones are soooooo Good.  They are so light with just the right amount of citrus flavor.  These are perfect for Spring/Summer.  Did I say they were good?  I love scones...they are becoming my favorite pastry. 

Here's what You'll need:

2 cups of flour
3 Tab. of sugar
2 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
2 teaspoons of grated orange peel
1/3 cup of butter
1/2 cup of mandarin oranges, drained and chopped
1/4 cup of milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 Tab. of sugar

~Heat oven to 400.  Lightly spray cookie sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper (my personal favorite).

~In large bowl, mix flour, 3 Tab. of sugar, baking powder and orange peel.  Cut in 1/3 cup of butter, until mixture looks like course crumbs (I used my food processor...makes is faster and works great).  Add orange segments, milk and egg; stir with fork just until mixture leaves side of bowls and soft dough forms.

~Place dough on floured surface.  Knead lightly 10 times.  On a cookie sheet, roll or pat dough into 7 inch round.  Sprinkle with 1 Tab. of sugar and cut into 8 wedges.  Seperate slightly.

~Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown....don't overbake!

Thats' easy but so delicious.  I won't even tell you how many I ate:)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Scones

I got this recipe from over at Heritage School House.  They are very light and very tasty.  Give them a try!

You will need:
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, chilled
2 apples - peeled, cored and shredded
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add shredded apple and milk. Stir to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 8 to 10 times. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Brush tops with milk, and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes, or until browned and risen.
Now eat one...make that two...even numbers are better!

Making a list...checking it twice.


Do you clean your house in an orderly fashion or do you just close your eyes and hope for the best?  A few years back (mostly after I started homeschooling) I decided I needed to be more organized with my cleaning.  Don't get me wrong...I always house is very clean, but I was finding myself always doing the same jobs and certain things were getting overlooked.  I decided at that point to come up with list of things I would do on a certain day of the week and then things I would do everyday to kind of "maintain."  I've found it to be really helpful and I no longer come across areas that "never" get cleaned.  No surprises like under the fridge or stove etc...  Here's what my list looks like.

Monday-Clean bath (wash walls, floor, shower, sides of toliet and sink etc..)

Tuesday-Dust bedrooms, living room, kitchen

Wednesday-Dust upstairs, vacuum as needed, vacuum stairs and dust railings

Thursday-Change beds,  thourougly sweep (under fridge, stove etc..)  and mop kitchen

Friday-Vacuum living room, living room furniture and under beds

Saturday-anything that might have been missed during the week, catch up  laundry

Daily (to maintain)-Laundry (wash, dry and fold 1 load),dishes, countertops, sweep, vacuum as needed, spot clean bath (sink, toliet etc...)  I recommend keeping antibacterial wipes or a roll of papertowels and cleaner handy at all times for quick cleaning.

This is the list that works for me.  Obviously, your own house may be bigger, smaller do what works for you.  I think you will find a list like this helpful and it will also give you the assurance that things are getting cleaned and nothing is getting overlooked.  Don't stress if you miss...just make it up.  That's what Saturday's are for!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gooseberry Patch-Brown Sugar Cake

I'm making this for coffee time at church today.  Thought I'd give the recipe and my review.  You can find all kinds of great cookbooks, gadgets and uniuqe gifts at the Gooseberry Patch Website.

Brown Sugar Cake

Here's what you'll need:
18 1/2 oz. pkg. of white cake mix
3.4 oz pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups of milk
3/4 cup of brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

In a large bowl, stir together dry cake and pudding mix, eggs and milk.  Pour into a greased 13X9 pan.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and chocolate chips.  Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes, until cake test done.  Makes 12 servings.

Ready to go in the oven....

Fresh out of the oven...Lookin' good!

Review:  I thought this recipe was excellent, considering the simplicity of the ingredients.  You can't really tell by just looking at it, but this cake is very moist and has a nice "vanilla" flavor, courtesy of the vanilla pudding mix.  The brown sugar and chocolate chips (chunks in my case) kind of make their way to the center of the cake as it bakes making it ooey and gooey.  This is really convenient and offers great flavor.  I really like this cake and think it makes the perfect "coffee snack." 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Say Goodbye to Dirty, Smelly Microwaves!

Here is a simple trick for cleaning your microwave and making it smell fresh at the same time.  Take a bowl of water and put a few drops of lemon juice(bottled or fresh) into the bowl.  Put it in the microwave and set the timer for five minutes (a few more if necessary).  Now while the microwave is doing it's thing, grab yourself a cookie and a cup of coffee/tea and put your feet up.  Enjoy a few minutes to yourself relishing in the thought of your microwave being clean and fresh.  When the timer goes off, take out the bowl (careful, it's HOT).  Grab a rag or paper towels and wipe down your microwave until all unidentifiable substances have been removed.  Bingo!  SMELLY MICROWAVE!  Repeat if necessary until it's sparkling clean. 

NOTE:  Don't use cleaning your microwave as a cover-up for eating cookies.  Your family will begin to catch on.  I recommend keeping a private stash hidden somewhere and then locking yourself in the bedroom to eat them :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Whole Wheat Banana Snack Cake

You REALLY need to try this...that is if you like banana.

This is a simple little recipe that I've adapted to be more healthy.  It's very moist, despite the whole wheat flour.  I've found that pumpkin and banana work really fantastic with whole wheat flour as it adds a nice "moistness" to the recipe.  This is super easy...give it a try.

You will need:
1 2/3 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup of brown sugar or succanat
1 tsp. of baking soda

1 large or 2 small ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup of veg. oil
1/2 cup of water
1/2 tsp. of vanilla

Combine dry ingredients.  Combine wet ingredients.  Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, just until moistened.  Pour into a greased 9 inch pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until test done.  Serve warm if you like, with a nice dusting of powdered sugar.  Great for breakfast with a good cup of coffee.
*Please note this recipe does not contain eggs.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Something From Nothing


In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1

Something from nothing.  That is what we have here in this verse. The Bible clearly states that God created (from no previously existing matter, I might add) the heavens and the earth.  He spoke and the world and all things contained in it came to be.   Awesome!  Let me say it again...Awesome!  The God we serve specializes in bringing about "something" from "nothing." What does this mean to you and I, you might ask?  Allow me to elaborate.  As a Mom and Wife do you sometimes feel like you are running on empty?  Do you feel like the apostle Paul when he said (and I'm not quoting exactly),"The things that I hate, those are the things I find myself doing?"  The Bible says we have put on the new man who is the very image of Christ.  Along with this the fruit of the spirit should be manifest in our lives (love, joy, peace, long suffering, temperance etc...).  Let me tell you, there are days when I feel like my "fruit of the Spirit" are like fruit salad gone wrong...very wrong.  Upon closer examination it may even look like something you forgot to dispose of in the back of your fridge...moldy and smelly.  The only thing to do is to throw it out.  Where there should be peace, there is trouble and worry.  Where there should be patience, I find shortness and the bitter fruit of impatience.  Have you been there?  I pray about these things daily and even still they are a struggle.  It is always easier to please the flesh then to walk in the spirit.  Do you find this to be true?  Don't be discouraged Wife and Mom...there is victory to be had!

Let's go back to our verse (Gen. 1:1).  If God can create the worlds from complete and utter nothingness don't you think that God can do the very same for us and in us?  We may feel like we have nothing to offer or that all our efforts just aren't yielding the results we think they should.  This is where God comes in.  We sometimes as humans try in our own strength to bring about things that only the Holy Spirit can bring about in our lives.  Unless there is some magic cure for impatience, lack of joy etc.. that I don't know about, we seriously need a spiritual "fill up."  God can take all your nothingness, failures and defeat and fill you up with so many spiritual blessings you will overflow.  Spiritually speaking, coming to the Lord completely empty  of ourselves, our desires and self a very good thing.  It's what He desires.  The Lord wants you to throw your hands up and cry out..."Lord, I can't do this without You."  This is when the Holy Spirit has free reign and can give you all the things you lack.  Let's remember one thing;  the fruits of the spirit are exactly that...only the Holy Spirit can give them to us.  We can't find them within ourselves or within the pages of some self help book.  Stop trying on your own to be what God wants you to's just not going to work. 

Do you recall the "I Love Lucy" episode where she did the vitameatavegemin commercial?  It went something like this..."Are you tired, worn out, listless?  Do you poop out at parties?  Are you unpopular?  Then the answer to all your problems is in this little bottle..."  Well Mom and wife, are YOU tired, worn out,listless?  The answer to ALL your problems is in the Word of God.  If you're feeling empty, "pull up" close to the throne in prayer.  Pour out your heart (don't forget confession of sin) and ask God to fill you up.  The Word of God is living, breathing and powerful...let the Bible work It's power in your life.  Fill up every day on the Word.  When we see ourselves as nothing...that's when we see that Jesus Christ is everything, and HE is all we need.

"Fill my cup, Lord.  I lift it up, Lord.  Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.  Bread of Heaven feed me till I want no's my cup, fill it up and make me whole."

Philippians 1:6...Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Homemade Bread Recipe

There is nothing better then homemade bread...except maybe homemade bread still warm from the oven with an ample amount of REAL butter slathered all over it...but you get the idea.

Here's what you'll need:

1 cup of warm water (100-110 degrees)
2 pkgs. or rapid rise yeast
1 1/2 cups warm milk (100-110 degrees)
2 Tab. honey
1 Tab. sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 1/2 tsp. of salt
5-7 cups of bread flour (I've used all purpose and it worked fine).

Prepare your baking pans by spraying them with cooking spray and placing them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Wisk yeast and water together and let stand for 2-3 minutes.  Briskly wisk in milk, honey, sugar, butter and salt and blend well.  Add 3-4 cups of flour and mix to form a soft mass.  If using a kitchen aid (which I do), attach dough hook and knead on lowest speed  adding more flour to form a soft, bouncy dough.  When your dough looks good, spray with non stick cooking spray and turn over once (thats so it doesn't stick).  I leave mine right in my Kitchen-Aid bowl.  Cover and let rise until almost doubled.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and punch down.  Divide dough in half and shape into loaves.  Place in prepared pans.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Let rise until almost doubled and very puffy. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. brush bread with butter, or for a more rustic look, brush lightly with butter and give a sprinkling of flour.  Place bread pans (on your cookie sheet) in the oven and immediately reduce temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake until nicely browned, 40-45 minutes.  Let loaves cool in pan about 10 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool.

Now...enjoy a slice with REAL butter:)

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is the picture of perfection...a ooey, gooey cookie that is actually whole wheat.

I experimented with my favorite chocolate chip recipe because I wanted to make a healthier version that I would have to feel less guilty about eating.  I was really happy with how these turned out and they passed my cookie test...taste, how they hold up baking, how brown they get and are they gooey...because we all know that a chocolate chip cookie has to be gooey...duh!

So grab you baking gear and go make these right now.

Here's what you'll need:
1 Stick of butter (use the real stuff)
1/8 cup of gran. sugar
1/4 +1/8 cup of brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. of vanilla
1/8 cup of wheat germ
1 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. of baking soda
1 cup of chocolate chips (I used mini morsels)

Combine butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla.  Add the baking soda, flour and wheat germ and beat until combined. (I use a kitchen aid, so that's why I do everything in the same bowl).  Stir in the chocolate chips.  The dough should be kind of firm so I actually took teaspoons of dough and rolled them into nice shaped balls.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about 8-9 minutes.  Don't over bake...should be soft to touch,they will firm up as they cool.  I know at this point you would normally cool on a wire rack, but I don't think they will make it that far...but if you do have some on a wire rack.

If you still need a reason to justify eating these cookies just think that by doing so you are providing your body with a healthy dose of whole grain and folic acid (courtesy of the wheat germ)!  Enjoy!!!!