Friday, July 29, 2011

Finally Got Some Kitchen Time: Peaches, Berries & Cream Tarts

THE PEACH!


My mom gave me a half a bushel of peaches.....

What am suppose to do with that many peaches?

Peach Cobbler

Peach Muffins

Peach Cookies

Peach Jam

Frozen Peaches

Peach Smoothies

For some reason I feel like that guy on Forest Gump.....What was his name?

The guy that named off all the shrimp dishes?

I decided to create mini tarts.

But I don't have a tart pan, or a mini tart pan....

Do you know why?

Because I gave my tart pans to my future daughter-in-law. I never used them, and I thought I could give them up.

No hesitation either. I just handed them to her. Not blinking. No second thoughts. Just handed them over freely.....

Now I can't find a tart pan anywhere!

This is what I decided to use in the tart pan's place.

Yup, that's a cake doughnut pan.

I pressed the cookie crust into the doughnut pan.

Baked it....

And they turned out like this.

I'd say they are quite PERFECT.

Aren't they the cutest things you have ever seen?

I used Iced Almonette, Voortman Cookies for the crust.

And since I didn't have a tart pan to use. I had left-over fruit and cream cheese filling.

I have plans for those though.

Oatmeal in the morning.

Cream cheese on bagels.

Smoothies.

But these bad boys will definitely be made again. And I don't really care if I have a tart pan or not.

Peaches, Berries & Cream Tarts

2 c. crumbled iced almonette, Voortman cookies
1 c. chopped pecans
3 TBS butter, melted
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
2 TBS orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 medium peaches, peeled and sliced
2 TBS lemon juice
1/2 c. fresh blueberries
1/4 c. apricot preserves
2 tsp. honey

In a food processor, combine the crumbled cookies, pecans, and butter; cover and process until blended. Press into cake doughnut pan until they are packed completely full, pressing hard.
Place pan in preheated oven at 350 degrees F. for 10 - 12 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let cool completely.
In a small bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form; set aside, or scrape into another bowl. Place cream cheese in mixing bowl (can be the same one you had the whipping cream in). Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in orange juice and vanilla, then fold in the whipping cream. Using a tablespoon, place the cream cheese mixture in the center of the cooled doughnut crusts.
In a small bowl, combine peaches, lemon juice, and blueberries. Arrange fruit on top of filling.
In a small saucepan, combine preserves and honey. Cook, stirring, over low heat until melted. Brush over fruit. Keep tarts in refrigerator.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Galatians 5:22-23

But what happens when we live God's way, through God's love? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard - things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness filters things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to summon and direct our energies wisely and truthfully.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

TNT Love: Oatmeal Blueberry Banana Bread

Don't you just love TNT (Tried and True) recipes?

I do!

They are never fail, perfect, and the best.

This recipe is linked to:

And also here:


That is my mom and her husband.

They are the most helpful people you will ever meet. They will do just about anything for anyone.

My mom called me at the beginning of the week asking for an oatmeal banana bread recipe. She doesn't like the smooth texture of regular banana bread. She wanted to kick it up a notch.....

I did my research and emailed her a recipe that I thought would benefit her needs.

She dropped off a half a loaf at my house, and since I am not a banana bread fan, I wasn't too excited about the half a loaf.

But to make my mother happy, I tried it.

Boy am I glad I did. What an amazing banana bread. She even added blueberries to the mix.

What a genius!

Since I have been tempting you with cream cheese through the whole post, here is a slice saturated in cream cheese.

Don't tell anyone, but this was my late night snack.

Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Bread

1/2 c. applesauce
1/2 c. butter, soft
1 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 c. quick cooking oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 c. mashed banana
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped (optional)
1/2 c. blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease one loaf pan and set aside.

Cream together the applesauce, butter, and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until fluffy.

Mix together the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients alternately with bananas and milk. Mix until blended. Fold in blueberries and walnuts, pour into prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes; remove from oven and cover for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and finish cooling on wire rack.

"Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: "Like mother, like daughter.""
Ezekiel 16:44

A mother is the Bible's most honored woman, and great stress is laid upon the influence of mothers. The word "mother" or "mothers" appears in the Bible almost 300 times, and the word "mother-in-law appears 11 times and always in reference to Naomi, mother-in-law of Ruth. The phrase "And his mother was...." appears 20 times in II Kings and II Chronicles. The phrase underlines the importance attached to the mothers of kings.
The love of children was deep in the hearts of Hebrew women, and the mother was regarded with the deepest reverence.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Another Perfect Muffin: Cranberry Orange Muffins

I have another perfect muffin to offer you.

I love perfect muffins, and I really think I should consider opening a muffin shop.

"The Muffin(Wo)man"

I am so impressed with this muffin, and I had to indulge in showing you every single picture.

Inspire you....

Make you drool.....

Long for its company......

Bring tears of joy.....

I think you get the picture, right?

This recipe is linked to:


AND:



Let me share with you how this muffin came about, and I know I am a little out of season, but make sure you save this for the Thanksgiving, Christmas holidays. What a perfect brunch item....

I created this muffin myself (gloating.....).

I lost my dear sweet Grandmother last month, and I have been one of the family members chosen to help sort out her belongings (what a hard task).

As we were working on the kitchen, my Aunt ran across some frozen cranberry orange relish. She was about to throw it away when I stopped her in her tracks.

"No, no, no, I can make muffins with that."

Come to find out the cranberry orange relish came from my Mother. My Mom told me that the relish was one of my Grandma's favorite things to eat. Mix it in jell-o and you have the most perfect, refreshing side dish.

My Mom told me how she made the relish.

She took a bag of fresh cranberries, and 1 whole orange (peel included), and ran it through a meat grinder.

I will be making some of this relish as soon as cranberry season is here......

I want to have it on hand for these magnificent muffins.

This is what I did:

Oops!! It's gone.....

That's how good they were.

I took 12 to a church luncheon, and came home with an empty container.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

1 c. uncooked old fashioned oatmeal
1 c. orange juice
3 c. all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c cranberry orange relish
course cane sugar for sprinkling

Glaze

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
3 TBS orange juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the oatmeal and orange juice. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine four, baking powder, salt, soda, and sugar. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add oatmeal mixture, oil, and eggs. Stir only until ingredients are moistened. Carefully fold in cranberry orange relish. Spoon batter into paper lined muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full. Sprinkle with course cane sugar and bake at 400 degrees F. for 15 minutes, or until muffins test done with wooden pick. Remove from muffin pan and let cool. Drizzle with orange glaze.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

We're all encouraged by a leader who stirs us to move forward, someone who believes we can do the task he has given and who will be with us all the way. Someone who inspires us to feel good about what we are doing daily. God is that kind of leader. He knows the future, and His plans for us are good and full of hope. As long as God, Who knows the future, provides our agenda and goes with us as we fulfill His mission, we can have boundless hope. This does not mean that we will be spared pain, suffering, or hardship, but that God will see us through to a glorious conclusion.
Sometimes our lives can feel like the pain and suffering will never end, but God will never give us more than we can handle. Keep Him close in your suffering and hardships, and you will notice that the ease of facing them will become bearable.
I love my leader (God).

Friday, July 22, 2011

Does It Always Have To Be Plain? Grilled Cheese

Do you like grilled cheese sandwiches as much as I do?

Grilled cheese, in my book, is a comfort food.

I am still stuck on the Bolthouse Farms vinaigrette dressings.

This one is chunky blue cheese.

Blue cheese in a vinaigrette?

I was shocked too when I found this beautiful product.

Not only is it going on my salads, but it is being drizzled on my chicken/Swiss grilled cheese.

I used deli shaved chicken, Swiss cheese, and drizzled Bolthouse Farms chunky blue cheese vinaigrette over my chicken before placing it in a skillet. And if I would have had some fresh spinach, that would have gone on there too.

Do you have a favorite comfort food that just totally sends you over the top?

Mine is Lays potato chips with French onion chip dip. Place a large glass of chocolate milk beside my plate, and it is the perfect snack. Guaranteed good mood for the rest of the day.

I know what you're thinking....fattening, fattening, fattening!

That's why I only treat myself once in a while.....I KNOW foods like that will go right to my hips.


"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13

Can we really do everything? The power we receive in union with Christ is sufficient to do His will and to face the challenges that arise from our commitment to doing it. Christ does not grant us superhuman ability to accomplish anything we can imagine without regard to his interests. As we deal with our faith, we will face troubles, pressures, and trials. As they come, ask Christ to strengthen you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Deep Purple: Double Berry Chicken

See what happens when you have to wait on a family member to come home for dinner?

This was suppose to simmer for no more than 25 minutes (and believe me, I had it timed exactly for when Sean was suppose to walk in the door), (when he said he was going to walk in the door)..... It kept simmering, and simmering, and simmering for almost an hour.

UGH!! My chicken turned purple.

This recipe was sent to me by a cyber friend, Judith Harrison. She said that she indulged in this dish while she was in London.

How exciting!! I get to make something that has been served in London.

Do I feel special? I sure do.

I have some cyber friends that make me want to crawl through my computer and spend some good quality time with them.

Judith is one of those cyber friends.

I'm just glad that we can use the World Wide Web to communicate.

I went in search of frozen cranberries.

Do you think I could find any?

Of course not, they are out of season.

I put tart cherries in place of the cranberries.

If this dish wouldn't have had to simmer for an hour, it would have been perfect.

I will for sure make this again.

I served my purple chicken on top of plain white rice. The blueberries and tart cherries were perfect on top of the rice.

Double Berry Chicken

1 TBS olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
4 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries (I used frozen tart cherries)
4 oz. fresh or frozen blueberries
1 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
2 fl. oz. water
(I doubled the ingredients starting with lemon juice - water)

Heat the oil in a skillet, add the chicken and brown on all sides. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Add the cranberries, blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Bring to a boil stirring, then reduce heat.
Mix the cornstarch with the water in a small bowl. Add to the skillet and cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes.
Return the chicken to skillet, mix well. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Remove the lid, adjust the seasoning, stir again and continue to simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
Serve hot over rice.

"He who find a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord."
Proverbs 18:22

"What are the standards set forth in the Bible for a woman?"
1. A woman who is virtuous, or a wife of noble character. One worth far more than rubies.
2. A stabilizing influence in the home.
3. Energetic. A woman's work is never done.
4. Economical. She doesn't run up bills.
5. Unselfish. The ideal woman has time to tend to the children, take care of unexpected planning, and helps a friend or neighbor when they are sick.
6. Emotionally healthy. She will practice conservative habits of rest, religion, proper food, and exercise.
7. Cheerful. She is never ready to abandon ship. A sense of humor is absolutely necessary.
8. She is wise. She is not someone who buries herself in some lurid paper magazine story or television soap-serial about troubled romance, but she is one who tells a moral story to her children as she tucks them into bed.
9. She has got to be kind. A good woman will not nag, they are diplomats, not war-secretaries. A man and woman should be as kind and polite to each other as they are to strangers for whom they care very little.
10. A good woman must be spiritual. A woman without respect for God can never be the helpmate God intended her to be.


Monday, July 18, 2011

My Son's Creation: Foil Pack Zucchini

Zucchini foil packs.....who would have thought?

My son, that's who.

My son (Logan) loves to experiment in the kitchen just like I do (imagine that).

He is my best taste tester, and I know his favorite meal (chicken gizzards and noodles).

This is Logan and his beautiful fiancee Sydney. I am so lucky to have Sydney in my life. She is the sweetest, most level headed, good for my son person I have ever met.

They are just good together!

This is what my son did to prepare the zucchini foil packs:

He sliced the zucchini (estimating 2-3 cups), placed it on a sheet of foil, topped with 3 TBS butter, and sprinkled it with garlic salt (sealed the foil around the zucchini). As he was grilling the boneless skinless chicken breast, he placed the zucchini foil packs around the outside edge of the grill (charcoal), (where the heat is not intense).
This was the perfect side to a perfect grilled dinner.

And was he proud of his creation? He sure was!

Was there any left-over? There sure wasn't!

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

Many people think that prosperity and success come from having power, influential personal contacts, and a relentless desire to get ahead. But the strategy that God taught Joshua goes against such criteria. He said, "To succeed Joshua must be strong and courageous, obey God's law, and constantly read and study God's word." For one to be successful, the following of God's words to Joshua should be studied. A person may not succeed by the world's standards, but the success is seen by God - and His opinion is most important.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Trial & Error: Sometimes It Has To Be That Way

Oh my goodness....It has been a stressful, stressful week for me.

In my Team Building class we are divided into teams to create a candy bouquet. We will have to present our finished product (which I will share with you too) to big-wig executives that own an actual candy bouquet company.

YIKES!!

We will be judged and a winner will be chosen. There are three teams working on this project.

I had an idea pop into my head (ice cream cones), but sometimes when a visioned project is actually made it can be a disaster. Which that is exactly what happened to my vision.....

I went and purchased a bunch of items, threw them on the table, and started working.

My team is focusing on a beach theme. The picture above does not look anything like an ice cream cone. It looks more like a palm tree.....UGH!!

ERROR!! DO-OVER!! SCRATCH THAT!! TURN TO FACEBOOK FOR HELP, OPINIONS, AND HONESTY.

On my way to school I stopped by the local ice cream shack to see if they would sell me some plain waffle cones. I explained my project, and they had no problem selling me two. And I added in a waffle cone with chocolate ice cream for myself. A sweet treat for on the way to school.

Does't that look better?

Yeah, I think so too.

Before and After

"Dear friends, this now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles."
2 Peter 3:1-2

"In the last days" mockers will say that Jesus is never coming back, but Peter rebuts their argument by explaining God's mastery over time. We must do the work to which God has called us and believe that He will return as he promised.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"On Top Of Spaghetti, All Covered....." Tomato Sauce

I was doing my normal blog visits when I ran across this pasta sauce recipe at Annie's Eats.

She is correct when she said that the simplicity is what makes this sauce so good.

I have a tomato hater in the house, so I ran my canned diced tomatoes through my mini chopper.

This sauce is so simple with tons of flavor. I can't wait to put this on my fresh grown summer squash.

Annie said that the sauce takes only three ingredients, and do not try and dress it up with spices because the spices will only ruin it.

But she never said anything about not putting it over meatballs.

The sauce simmers for 45 minutes, and the meatballs bake for 45 minutes. PERFECT!!


I topped my spaghetti with four meatballs before adding the sauce.

Served it with Cole's garlic bread, and I created the perfect meal.

Annie didn't know it, but she created my dinner for me. Thanks Annie!

Three Ingredient Tomato Sauce

2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1 onion, peeled and halved
5 TBS unsalted butter
salt to taste

Run the diced tomatoes through a mini chopper or food processor. Combine tomatoes, onion, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to keep the sauce at a low, steady simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from the heat, discard the onion, and add salt to taste (I didn't add any salt). Serve with warm pasta.

Meatballs

1.29 lb. ground chuck
1 tsp. chili seasoning
3 - 4 shakes Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs
1/2 c. crushed Swiss cheese Cheez-Its

Mix all ingredients well. Roll into balls the size of large walnuts and bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes.

"Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt."
Exodus 22:21

It is not easy coming into a new environment where you feel alone and out of place. Are there strangers in your corner of the world? New friends? Blog strangers? Be sensitive to their creations, struggles, and newness. Express God's love by your kindness and generosity.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Something Fun: Double Chocolate Poke Cake

Do you ever have the urge to make something fun? Something that everyone has made before and knows how to make?

And it tastes so good.....

I was in the mood for something fun today. A poke cake!

I used a dark chocolate cake mix, milk chocolate pudding, and crushed Nutter Butters on top.

This recipe is linked to:

Lark's Country Heart

And:


Finger pointing; let me tell you a little about that.

My slide-show screen saver is made up of my food creations. My son, whom I hardly ever see, and only lives 7 miles away, stands in front of my computer screen pointing his finger, with his mouth open, making grunting sounds, saying "When did you make that?", "UGG, when did you make that?", "I never had any of that!"......

I have news for my son; "If you would come and see your mom more often you would get some of that, and that, and that."

There are only three of us left in the house, and when a cake is made I try and find a home for part of it or it will go to waste (which I do not like).

I poked the holes in the cake, got it all assembled with pudding, placed in the frig to chill, and a friend of mine showed up.

Perfect timing!

She took half of the poke cake home with her.

Instead of using milk for my (large box) pudding, I used Silk PureAlmond. It gave the pudding a nutty flavor.

This is just a fun, fun, fun kind of cake.

The crushed Nutter Butter cookies on the top sent this cake to a whole new level. Chocolate and peanut butter. Who doesn't love that?

"How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"
Psalm 119:103

God's Word makes us wise - wiser than our enemies and wiser than any teachers who choose to ignore it. True wisdom goes far beyond the collection of (books) knowledge; it is the application of knowledge, and applying it in a life-changing way. Intelligent or experienced people are not necessarily wise. Wisdom comes from allowing what God teaches us, and how He directs us. Using that knowledge we should guide and teach others.

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