Monday, December 29, 2008
Denim jumper with a reversible bucket hat.
Dress to match daughter's favorite dress.
And daughter's favorite - a flannel night shirt.
Jess shared numerous McCalls patterns with me and a great book Sew the Contemporary Wardrobe for 18-inch Dolls by Joan Hinds. There was lots more that I would have loved to make but I think this doll has enough clothing options for now!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
He who bore your load of sin?
As He knocks and asks admission,
Sinner, will you let Him in?
Room for pleasure, room for business;
But for Christ, the Crucified,
Not a place that He can enter
In the heart for which He died?
Room and time now give to Jesus;
Soon will pass God's day of grace-
Soon your heart left cold and silent
And your Savior's pleading cease.
Room for Jesus, King of Glory!
Hasten now; His Word obey,
Swing the heart's door widely open;
Bid Him enter while you may.
The song on my mind this Christmas - especially as I think of planning for the new year.
Monday, December 15, 2008
First, cook and mash potatoes to make one cup of potatoes. Save the water from cooking your potatoes. For some reason, yeast loves potato water! (That is a tip to remember any time you are cooking potatoes.) Allow the water to cool until warm. 1 1/2 cup warm potato water 1 T yeast Mix together. 2/3 cup butter 2/3 cup sugar 1 cup mashed potatoes 2 eggs 1 1/2 tsp salt Mix together. Add yeast water. Mix. 7 to 8 cups flour Mix in flour one cup at time until you have a soft dough. Knead for several minutes. Place in greased bowl. Raise. Punch down. Roll out half the dough. Spread with melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll up jelly roll style. Slice in about 2 inch slices. Place in greased pans. Pour goo over the top. Allow to raise until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. While still warm, dump rolls onto a cookie sheet. This makes two 9x13 pans or four 9x9 pans. Goo - 2 cup brown sugar 1 cup water 4 T molasses 4 T butter Boil for one minute. Pour over rolls before raising. Variations - If you like nuts, sprinkle chopped nuts into the greased pans before placing rolls. If you prefer cinnamon rolls (not sticky buns) omit the goo. After baking you may add your favorite caramel icing. These rolls our awesome and truly the best I've tasted. (Though if you think you have a better recipe, I'd be glad to accept any rolls to do a taste test!) But sometimes, I just don't have the time this recipe requires.
So, if you want to make sticky buns the next day, mix up the above recipe. Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover tightly and place in refrigerator. About 2 hours before serving sticky buns, take the dough out of the refrigerator, form into rolls as written above, and bake.
Did any of you see the recipe for homemade eggnog in the newspaper last week? According to the article, there is no comparison between commercial eggnog to fresh homemade eggnog. Ed loves eggnog and the idea intrigued him enough to bring the article home from work and try it out that very night!
I know some of you, maybe all, will look at this recipe and shudder at the thought of consuming raw eggs! I've done a bit of reading about raw eggs the past years and truly don't believe you are playing the Russian roulette by eating them! For centuries, raw eggs (and raw milk) were considered powerhouses of vitamins and the ideal nutrient dense food for good health. It is only the last number of years that we of the industrialized world have become fearful of anything that hasn't been sterilized, fumigated or processed beyond recognition of the God given food it originated as. Since eggs play such an important role in eggnog, I would seek out the best source possible. Ideal would be eggs you've raised yourself, or if you personally know the person who did. If that isn't an option then at least find free range, organic eggs. If you've only had factory farm eggs that have been in cold storage for weeks before arriving at the grocery store, you'll be amazed at the difference in the rich yellow yolks and superior flavor of a real farm fresh egg! Our thoughts on homemade eggnog? It certainly was different then bought eggnog. The flavor was more delicate and not as sickeningly sweet. The drink was foamy but not as thick. The over all flavor was similar and we greatly enjoyed it! And the children thought it was great!!! Eggnog 6 eggs 1/2 cup sugar 3 cup whole milk 1 cup heavy cream 1 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated if possible Place a large bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill. Separate your egg whites and yolks. Refrigerate the whites. In chilled bowl, beat egg yolks with electric hand mixer for several seconds. Add sugar and continue to mix for 1 to 2 minutes. Add milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and beat until well mixed. Place bowl in refrigerator until ready to serve. (These steps can be done up to a day ahead.) Immediately before serving, place egg white in a second bowl and beat with electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whites into the yolk/milk mixture. Gently whisk until eggnog is smooth. Serve immediately. Garnish with a little sprinkle of nutmeg. This makes about 10 servings but you can easily make a smaller batch.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
This unusually named recipe contains no pepper or nuts and came from Europe. This old fashioned treat is meant to be slightly hard and it is a good traveling snack. Children love helping as it is almost like play dough!
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup butter or oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp anise extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cup flour
In large sauce pan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, milk and oil. Bring to boil, remove from heat.
Stir in remaining ingredients except flour. Stir in flour to make a very stiff dough, using your hands to mix in last addition.
Shape dough into 1/2 inch rolls.
Cut each strip into pieces about 1/2 inch long. Arrange on ungreased cookie sheeet.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool 1 to 2 minutes before removing from sheet.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
These aren't fancy cookies but are always favorites, especially with men-folk! It makes a huge batch and I love having a large number to freeze for later! These are favorites to take hunting!
1 cup butter, softened
3 cup peanut butter
2 cup sugar
2 cup brown sugar
Cream butters and sugars together.
9 cup oatmeal
4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup M&Ms
If you don't have a large mixer, the last ingredients will need to be stirred in by hand in a large dish pan. Or you can divide the recipe in half.
Our children ask for these cookies more then any other cookie, so we see these far more often then just Christmas time!
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Add and beat until fluffy.
1 tsp vanilla
Add and beat well.
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
Stir until all combined.
Shape dough and arrange on cookie sheet. You can make anything you desire but here's how I do it.
Make a small ball of dough. Flatten the ball onto the cookie sheet for a bear head.
Make a tiny ball for a nose and two more for ears. Lightly press chocolate chips for eyes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool for one minute before removing from cookie sheet.
If you wish you can decorate with icing after cooling.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
These cookies look more difficult then are. Sugar cookies are not my favorite but these are really good! You can use any kind of fruit jam.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 T milk
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cup flour
Beat butter and sugar. Beat in egg. Mix in other ingredients. Cover and chill dough for 2 hours.
1/3 cup jam
On floured surface, roll dough to a 12x10 rectangle.
Stir jam and spread on dough. Roll up dough starting from the long side. Pinch edges to seal. Cover and chill for 1 hour, turning dough occasionally. Slice dough into 1/2 inch slices.
Bake on cookie sheet for 12 minutes at 375 degrees.
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 T lemon juice
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Stir together sugar and lemon juice to make a thin icing. Add a tiny bit of water, if too thick to drizzle. Drizzle over cooled cookies and sprinkle with almonds. In the pictures above, my icing was too thin, but I had no more sugar! I'm sure yours will turn out better! This is best done before serving. If you plan to freeze the cookies, ice them after thawing.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup table molasses (King Syrup)
1/2 cup cold water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 3 T cold water
3 cup flour
Add and mix well. Add 3 more cup of flour. You may need to mix by hand. Chill dough for 8 hours.
Roll 1/2 inch thick. Cut. If you prefer a crispy cookie, roll out 1/4 inch thick.
I like to add chocolate chips or M&Ms for buttons before baking. I'm into simple decorations! And it is easy for children to help! If you prefer, you can decorate with icing after the cookies cool.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Unless you roll them out thinly then only bake for 8 minutes.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I've been enjoying this warm cozy book by Karey Swan. The book combines recipes, homemaking tips, mothering wisdom and family memories all in one encouraging volume.
I was struck by her observation that she needed to protect her time at home in order to get beyond the maintenance part of homemaking (cleaning, ironing, laundry) and get to the creative part of homemaking (which for her was crafting, sewing, and hospitality). In her opinion, the creative side of homemaking was what kept her from getting burned out - but only happened if she was home for long stretches of time and avoided time on the road.
This was a book that had me copying down recipes and considering ways I could improve my homemaking skills. Her "from scratch" cooking style is just down my line! It gave me new thoughts as I train my children and strive to become a better wife and mother. It is one of those books that I could turn to every year and probably learn something new. And if not, then I'd at least be encouraged afresh in my role as a homemaker!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
If you'd like to try it...here is what you need... graham crackers - you need 7 crackers per house but plan for extras for breakage! royal icing (recipe below) cereal, pretzels, sprinkles, and candy for decorations Royal Icing 1/4 cup butter 2 egg whites 1 tsp vanilla 1/4 cream tartar 1-2 tsp milk 4 cup 10x sugar Beat well. Add more sugar if needed. We placed the icing in a small bag and snipped off a corner to pipe onto the house. First we cut points on two crackers for the ends of the house, to hold the roof. Then, using icing as glue, we attached the floor, sides and ends of the house, making a box. We allowed this to harden slightly before attaching the roof. Setting the house outside in the cold seemed to speed the process. While we waited, we spread icing on two crackers for the roof and the children attached Cinnamonn Toast Crunch for shingles. Then we attached the roof pieces to the house and again let it harden. Then the real fun begins! Decorate the house however creativity and imagination dictates!
As promised, here is our favorite ways to use up all those turkey leftovers!All these recipes are favorites at our house. I usually put turkey leftovers in pint boxes for use in these recipes. When I my leftovers are gone, it is time to roast another turkey!
You'll notice most of these recipes are originally for chicken, but I find that roasting a large turkey is much cheaper and simpler way to prepare these recipes! Having cooked chopped turkey in the freezer is my life line to fast home cooked meals! I usually only buy chicken for grilling or for recipe that I want whole chicken breasts.
Chicken and Biscuits
2 cup cooked, chopped chicken (or turkey)
1 cup frozen or cooked vegetables (corn, peas, carrots)
Place chicken and vegetables in 2 qt casserole
3 T butter
3 T flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 c water
Melt butter in pan, add flour, salt and pepper. Stir to blend, lightly brown. Add water. Stir and simmer a few minutes. Pour gravy over chicken and veggies.
1 1/2 cup flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup milk
Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles course meal. Combine egg and milk. Stir into flour mixture. Drop by spoon-full over chicken and vegetables.
Bake 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
This recipe brings back memories of a former life as a traveling single when I'd beg Rachel to make this! And she usually complied!
2 T butter
2 chopped onions
2 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chilies (drained)
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, cut up
3-4 cup cooked cubed chicken (or turkey)
16 (8 inch) tortillas
2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup milk or cream
Melt butter in skillet, saute onion for 5 minutes. Add chilies, saute 5 minutes. Stir in cream cheese, add chicken. Cook, stirring constantly until the cream cheese melts. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of mixture in center of tortilla, roll and place, seam side down, in a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Drizzle with milk. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cup sour cream
2-3 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
Combine all of above. ( I use a large batch of homemade cream soup.)
12 lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded cheese
In greased 9x13 pan, layer noodles, soup mixture and cheeses. Repeat for three layers. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, covered.
Favorite Chicken Casserole
8 oz seasoned bread cubes
1 stick butter
1 cup broth
Mix together lightly. Place half of mix in a 9x13 greased pan.
2-3 cup cooked chopped chicken
1/2 cup chopped celery
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup cooked chopped vegetables (brocolli, beans, carrots, etc)
Mix. and place over bread. Top with remaining bread.
1 1/2 cup milk
Beat eggs and milk. Pour over casserole. Cover with foil and refrigerate over night. (May also freeze.)
1 can cream of chicken soup
Spread soup over top of casserole. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes, uncovered. Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded cheese and return to oven for 10 minutes.
1 lb spaghetti, cooked
3-4 cup diced cooked chicken
2 can mushroom soup (or large batch of homemade soup)
2 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 diced onion
3/4 cup cheese
Mix all together. Place in 9x13 baking dish. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.
Chicken Rice Soup
Comfort food at it's best! And a recipe from one of my favorite Titus 2 ladies - Priscilla. Besides my mom and mother-in-law, Priscilla is the lady I most want to be like "when I grow up"!
3 quarts chicken broth
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced onion
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 pint corn
1 cup brown rice
seasoning as desired (I use salt, parsley and thyme)
Place in large kettle. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
(May also be made in crock pot.)
Southwestern Chicken Soup
1 quart broth
3 cup cooked chopped chicken
2 cup corn
1 quart tomato juice
1 pint diced tomatoes
1 chopped onion
2 chopped garlic cloves (optional)
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 cup brown rice
Combine in slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours. (Or simmer on stove for 1 hour)
Chicken and Dumplings
I love quick one-pot meals!
4 cup broth
2 cup diced cooked chicken
1 can cream celery soup (or homemade soup)
vegetables as desired (peas, corn, carrots, etc)
Mix together in large pot or dutch oven. Bring to boil
3 1/2 cup baking mix (like Bisquik)
2/3 cup water
herbs (like parsley) if desired
Mix baking mix, water, and herbs. Drop dough by spoonfulls into slowly boiling pot. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Cover and cook 10 minutes longer.
You could also use your favorite biscuit recipe for the dumplings.
Fast, easy, and so good!
4 (10 inch) tortillas
1 cup refried beans (optional)
1 cup shredded cheese - cheddar or Monterrey Jack
1/3 cup salsa
1 cup diced cooked turkey
olives, peppers or any other desired ingredients
Place two tortillas on baking sheet. Spread with refried beans. Mix cheese, salsa, turkey and any other ingredients together. Spread on tortillas. Top with second tortilla. Press firmly. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. Cut in 6 to 8 wedges. Serve with salsa, sour cream or guacamole.
Chicken, Broccoli, Rice Casserole
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced onion
1/3 cup butter
Saute vegetables in butter.
1 1/2 heads broccoli, chopped
1 cup rice
1 cup cheese
1 can cream soup
2 cups water
2-3 cups cooked chopped chicken
Mix all together. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
Freeze Ahead Turkey Pot Pies
This is adapted from my mother-in-laws recipe, and probably the reason my husband loves turkey pie so much! She would make the small individual size pies. She didn't make a bottom crust for the pie, only spreading pastry over the top of the pies. Great memories were made by the boys of surviving on pie when mom and dad were away!
Pastry for 6 or more pies
12 cups cooked diced turkey
6 cup diced potatoes
4 cup corn
3 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup butter
1 medium onion
1 cup diced celery (optional)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp pepper
5 tsp salt
3 cup milk
5 cup broth
Cook potatoes and carrots until tender. Saute onion and celery in butter. Stir in flour, pepper, and salt. Gradually add milk and broth. Stir until thickened. Stir in potatoes, carrots, corn and turkey. Pour into prepared pie crusts. Top with crust. Cut steam vents. Crimp edges. Wrap securely and freeze. Makes 6-7 pies. Bake 375 degrees for 1 1/2 hour (or less)
For a smaller recipe for making turkey pie, go here!
More turkey ideas:
Curry in a Hurry - mentioned in my cream soup recipe
Turkey Salad - Mix chopped turkey with mayonnaise and pickle relish
Turkey and Filling - posted with the filling recipe
Turkey Melts - Spread bread (hopefully something crusty and homemade) with mayo or mustard, layer slices of turkey and some Provolone cheese, toast under broiler
And one more recipe from a reader!
Turkey Croquettes - Joanna 2 T. butter 2 1/2 T. flour 1 cup milk 2 cups minced cooked turkey 1 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. onion powder 1/8 tsp. pepper 2 T. minced parsley or celery 2 eggs, beaten 1 cup dried bread crumbs Make a white sauce of the butter, flour and milk. Add the finely chopped turkey and seasonings. Cool thoroughly and then shape into croquettes (approx. 1/4-1/3 cup each). Dip in crumbs, then beaten eggs and again into crumbs. (This part is messy, but you could freeze before doing this step to eliminate that, and then let thaw before baking.) Fry in oil for 3-5 minutes. I prefer baking them at 400* for 25-30 min. Serves 6.Well, hope you understand a little why I love leftover turkey!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Do you have any favorite family traditions? On our first Thanksgiving, Ed and I took a blank notebook and started a "Thanksgiving Journal". The goal was to jot down things we were thankful for, not only at Thanksgiving but any time of year. Well, I just pulled it out, and by the number of pages that are filled, we aren't a very thankful people! At this rate, this one book should last us through 50 years of marriage! But it has been written in at least once a year and hopefully as our children grow older, they can add to it as well.
Here is one excerpt from our journal, with a little editing, written about a year and a half ago, when our children were newborn, 1 1/2 and just turned 3.
"I am a wealthy woman.
No. Not the kind of wealth found in Hollywood or Fortune 500. In fact, to be honest, my life rarely feels like a millionaires! I'd more aptly describe my life as a circus juggler - who is dropping his balls! Keeping up with three children, three and under, can make me feel as if I'll lose my sanity before forty! Cleaning house seems like a completely hopeless task and errand running is highly complicated! When nap time arrives, I'm just relieved to stop answering question, breaking up fights, and balancing children's needs - to wash the dishes without slopping water and use the bathroom in peace!
But in all of the wildness - I'll still say "I'm a wealthy woman!" I wouldn't trade places with anyone in the world! I get to cuddle up with a precious newborn...Snuggle with the toddlers while reading a book...Stay up late talking with my husband and best friend (who I still haven't run out of conversation even after five years!)...Take care of the wonderful home God has given us. My life is rich in those things that really matter - like Love, Joy, and Peace - the things only God can give."
What I found interesting, as I flip through the pages of our journal, is that we seemed to have written more often on the difficult days then the sunny happy ones! Why is it that hard times drive us to remember what we have been given from God?
This past week, I was at the lady's detention center Bible study. Going in, I was thinking of those dear ladies, most of them mothers, who were going to be separated from their families over the holidays. Yes, I know that it is through mistakes they have made or sins they've committed, but I still couldn't help but be discouraged for them. If I was in their shoes, could I find something for which to be thankful?
Our discussion that night centered on forgiveness and as we read verses about God's love and provision of salvation, I was encouraged. These are women who, like us, are claiming God's gift of His Son. Though they have little else that we may call important in life, they truly have the only thing necessary to be thankful!
I have been given so much, a loving husband, good health, dear children, abundant food, and comfortable home. But I am challenged to focus less on the material blessings this Thanksgiving, which can be here today and gone tomorrow, and instead, dwell on the riches of God through Christ Jesus, which never changes.
Here is the turkey, all ready to go in the oven.
The turkey smelled glorious and was HUGE! Almost 25 pounds, which needed 26 hours in the oven! Which means I had to smell that turkey for 26 hours! No wonder when I finally pulled it out of the oven, I tore off strips of turkey, which went straight into my mouth like a ravening beast!
This picture shows the turkey mid way through the roasting time. I took it out to remove some broth. While I was at it, I poured some broth over the turkey, then placed the lid on the pan for the remaining of the oven time. Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the final outcome before we began devouring it!
I don't want to brag but it was the best turkey I've eaten in my life!!! Wonderfully moist and incredibly seasoned! And the gravy made with the broth was good enough to skip the mashed potatoes!
Wow! How I love good food!
Deviled Turkey - Thanks, Crystal
1/2 Teaspoon Salt per pound of turkey (I use much less!)
2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Sage
2 teaspoons Curry Powder
2 teaspoons Garlic Power
2 teaspoons Dried Parsley
2 teaspoons Celery seed
1 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Dry Mustard
1/4 teaspoon Allspice
3 or 4 Bay Leaves, crumbled
Mix all ingredients together. Rub bird well inside and out with vegetable (or Olive) oil. Make pockets with a sharp knife in the breast. Rub dry mixture all over bird. Any mixture left over, rub in cavity. Let set over night in fridge. Roast as usual.
Monday, November 24, 2008
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 cup warm milk
¼ cup butter, softened or melted
2 cup mashed cooked pumpkin
2 teaspoons salt
10-12 cup all-purpose flour
7 teaspoons dry yeast
In large mixing bowl, combine sugar, water, milk, butter, pumpkin, and salt. Mix well. Add 7-8 cups of the flour, and yeast. Mix, and then continue adding flour and kneading until dough is elastic and not sticky.
Place dough in greased bowl. Roll dough to grease top of dough, cover with a towel, and set in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour). Punch dough down and divide into thirds.
Shape dough into rolls. I usually roll out the dough and cut with a biscuit cutter. But you can form the rolls by whatever method you choose.
Place on greased baking sheets.
Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes, until tops are golden. Brush with melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven.
Yield: About 4 dozen rolls - depending on how large of rolls you make. You can easily make half a batch if you'd prefer a smaller amount of dough to work with.