Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Tony was in the mood for chocolate chip cookies and found this recipe from America's Test Kitchen. ATK has never disappointed us yet with one of their recipes, and this is no exception. It is a bit putz-y, mind you, but it you have the time and are up for it, they'll be worth your effort!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
from America's Test Kitchen

10 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar ( white)

3/4 cup dark brown sugar ( soft & fresh)

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 eggs

1 egg yolks

1 3/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit. Line two cookie sheets with parchment.
  2. Take 10 tablespoons butter and melt and brown in in a metal pan, swirling mixture as milk solids in the butter begin to brown. Pour into a heat-proof bowl.
  3. Add in 4 tablespoons cold butter and whisk until melted.
  4. Whisk in the two types of sugar.
  5. Whisk in the salt, vanilla and then the eggs.
  6. IMPORTANT: Let mixture stand for three minutes and whisk again. REPEAT this process two more times.
  7. Combine flour and baking soda. Stir into wet mixture with a large spoon until incorporated.
  8. Stir in chocolate chips.
  9. Place 3 tablespoons of dough into mounds 2" apart onto cookie sheets.
  10. Place in center of the oven (only one sheet at a time) and bake for 11-14 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and let cookies cool ON THE SHEET for 30-60 minutes to ensure the ideal cookie.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Instructions for Moms - Part 8

Here is the final installment of this series on instructions to moms from truths found in God's Word. I know God has used these truths to help remind me of his purpose for me on those days when motherhood is challenging. I hope this has been helpful to you too.

-Part 8-

-And finally, do not grow weary in doing good-

It’s hard to always do the right thing, to explain the rules for the quadrillionth time in a gentle way, to discipline without anger, to go all the way downstairs to correct naughty mouths, to make a nutritious meal when you are tired, to get up out of bed when they cry…..remember that godly motherhood in this season is all about the hard work of nurturing and cultivating, and if you are diligent at spotting and pulling the weeds and watering and caring for your kids now you will someday reap the rewards of all your hard work if you do not give up!

James 1 is full of great advice to moms.

2 Count it all joy, my brothers [or mothers], when you meet trials of various kinds [mundane tasks, disobedient kids, long-hard days, sleepless nights], 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. [motherhood is for sanctifying us to be like Jesus]

5 If any of you lacks wisdom [who doesn't?], let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. [are you asking God for help in mothering?] 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. [do you believe He will help?]

12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, [doesn't blow up at the kids or the hubby] for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire [my own little kingdom has been upset by messy, ungrateful, little people] . 15 Then desire [why can't they just remember what I've taught them?] when it has conceived gives birth to sin [anger], and sin [they won't be able to sit down for a week!] when it is fully grown brings forth death [lack of fellowship and love with each other].

19 Know this, my beloved brothers [mothers] : let every person be quick to hear [your children's needs in their disobedience], slow to speak [before correcting them. 1st words that come to mind aren't usually the most helpful!], slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man [mom] does not produce the righteousness of God [dang it!]. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word [oh, I need it!], which is able to save your souls [Praise God!].

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word [has God showed you any area you need to work on?] and not a doer [are you going to make any changes?] , he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law [looks to the Bible for help], the law of liberty, and perseveres [don't give up even when its hard], being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Galatians 6:9 - Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

You will be blessed for your hard work.

Proverbs 31:31 – Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

Your kids are the fruit of your hands. You will be known by your fruit. What kind of fruit are you raising?

So be humble, you can’t do this on your own. But, you can through Christ, because He is sufficient. So seek Him with all of your heart, and let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Then be content, and thankful, and pray and do not grow weary in doing good!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Strawberry Pinwheel Shortcake

These are kind of a cross between a cinnamon roll and a biscuit. They're good for breakfast or brunch or even make for a good dessert. Sometimes I add a glaze on top or some whipped cream with the strawberries.

Strawberry Pinwheel Shortcake
America's Best Recipes

1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c shortening
1/2 c milk
1 T butter, melted
1/3 c brown sugar
2 T ground almonds
2 T cinnamon

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly.
Add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 4-5 times.
Roll into a rectangle 11x8 inches.
Brush with melted butter.
Sprinkle with brown sugar, ground almonds, and cinnamon.
Roll up like a jelly roll and pinch seam closed.
Slice into 1 inch sections and place on baking sheet.
Bake at 425 degrees for 12-14 minutes.

Top with glaze or whipped cream and strawberries.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Bread

I wanted to try this bread recipe from Pioneer Woman. It looked really good. So I made it with our chili earlier this week. It's crazy good. But why wouldn't it be? It's only 2 ingredients and one of them is butter!

All you need is one loaf of bread and two sticks of butter. Yep, that's right. One stick per half loaf!
Simply cut the loaf in half. Spread with a stick of butter. Place in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes to melt the butter. Then broil until nearly charred. She says some areas should actually burn to get the right taste.

Jesse's Chili

Fall came right on cue this year. School started, the temperatures dropped, the sun has been playing hide and seek. Perfect weather for chili. This is my brother Jesse's recipe. It is super simple, quick and easy.

Jesse's Chili

1 lb hamburger
1 onion
1 can black beans
1 can baked beans
1 can crushed or diced tomatoes
lime juice

Brown the hamburger and onion.
Dump in everything else to your liking.
Bring to a simmer.
Top with favorite toppings.
Serve with corn bread or garlic bread or fritos.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Instructions for Moms - Part 7

We are nearly done with this series. So far we have talked about that we need to be humble, you can’t do this on your own. But, you can through Christ, because He is sufficient. So seek Him with all of your heart, and let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Then be content and be thankful and today we learn that we need to pray.

-Part 7-

-And pray-

James 5:16b - The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

As I was studying on prayer for this talk, I wanted to see what the first instances of prayer were in the Old Testament. Check how these people felt about prayer.

In Genesis 20 Abraham has told Sarah to say that she is his sister to Abimalech -

20:1 From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar. 2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man's wife.” 4 Now Abimelech had not approached her. So he said, “Lord, will you kill an innocent people? 5 Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” 6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. 7 Now then, return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.
These people were expecting that by the act of Abraham praying to God for them, they would live!

In verse 17 the story ends with:

17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. 18 For the Lord had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.
Here's another Old Testament example. In 1 Samuel we read about Samuel reminding the Israelites of past sins and punishments of their fathers by not following God, and now they once again are going against God’s instructions by asking for a king. 1Samuel 12:13-25
And when you saw that Nahash the king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, 'No, but a king shall reign over us,' when the LORD your God was your king. 13And now behold the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; behold, the LORD has set a king over you. 14If you will fear the LORD and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well. 15But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king. 16Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes. 17 Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call upon the LORD, that he may send thunder and rain. And you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking for yourselves a king." 18So Samuel called upon the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
Samuel prayed to God to destroy their wheat harvest, and it happened!

19And all the people said to Samuel, "Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king."
The Isrealites believe in the power of prayer and that it would save their lives.

20And Samuel said to the people, "Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. 21And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. 22 For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself. 23Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.

It was a sin for Samuel to not pray for them!

Do you see prayer as powerful? Do you use it the way you should? Are you praying for your kids? Have you ever thought of it as a sin not to pray?

Here's some more verses.

2 Chronicles 7:14- "if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

In here we have the humility, the praying, and the seeking Him.

Psalm 102:17 - he regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayer.

Proverbs 15:8 - The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.

Jeremiah 29:12 - Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

God works through prayers of righteous and humble people. Are you praying?

John 16: 23b-24 - Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Are you asking God for help?

And when you don’t even know what to ask for…

Romans 8:26 - Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

The point is not having the right words, it’s having the right heart. Understanding that you are dependent on God for everything.

Philippians 4:6 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

And finally, do not grow weary in doing good-

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chicken Tamale Casserole

My sister-in-law Ann found this recipe from Cooking Light and prepared it for us at a family gathering a while ago. Everyone really liked it and I finally got around/remembered to give it a try. Don't worry, we took all the 'Light' stuff out it so it's good to go!

Chicken Tamale Casserole
adapted from Cooking Light

1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 c milk
1 egg
1 t cumin
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1 can cream style corn
1 box jiffy corn muffin mix
1 can enchilada sauce
2 c cooked shredded chicken breast

toppings-sour cream, tomatoes, avocado, salsa, black olives, cheese, etc.

Combine 1/4c cheese and the next 6 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring just until moist.
Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 dish and bake at 400 degrees for 15 or until set.
Pierce surface liberally with a fork and pour desired amount of enchilada sauce over the top.
Top with shredded chicken and remaining cheese.
Bake for another 15 minutes.
Serve and top with favorite toppings.

Re-purposing: Shirt to dress

Addie has this cute little rainbow shirt that has been a favorite of hers, but is getting small and stained on the belly.

Instead of throwing it out, we decided to try and revive it.
I started by cutting the bottom 6 inches off of Addie's shirt.

I found an old tank top of Evan's that was a similar knit material and I cut it off just under the arm holes. This will be the bottom of the skirt.
I wanted to keep the cute little heart. So I cut it out and pinned it in the middle then sewed some crazy circles around it with pink thread.
And here's the finished product. I think we can get another season or two out of it now!
Addie wanted me to show you a picture of her boots :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cinnamon Roll Cake

If you are wondering if this tastes as good as it does!
If you are wondering if you should make should...right now!
Go preheat your oven to 350!

Cinnamon Roll Cake
adapted from Picky Palate


3 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ cups milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 stick real butter, melted


1 1/2 sticks real butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 T flour
1 T cinnamon
2/3 cups nuts, optional


2 cups powdered sugar
5 T milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the cake:

In an electric or stand mixer mix the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in melted butter.

Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

For the topping:

In a large bowl, mix the softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nuts.

Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out nearly clean from center.

For the glaze:

Place powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl.

Whisk until smooth.

Drizzle over warm cake.