Sunday, September 8, 2013

Women Living Well- Who will you listen to?

In the first section of the book Courtney opens with asking this question. Recently I have felt bombarded by all the information I receive; blog posts, twitters, photos, facebook etc... I enjoy checking all these things out, but do I enjoy receiving this worldly information as much as I enjoy receiving wisdom from God?

I makes me stop and think about the amount of time I spend in the word. I need to take the time to devote more time in the word than in the world.
Psalm 4:21 "As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God."
I love how in chapter 2 Courtney addresses making the time for a quiet time with God each day. She gives some great practical tips you can put to use to help you get in the habit of having this time each day.

One thing I really admired that Courtney does is keeping a bible on the kitchen table. She models this after her own mother. What a great thing for my own children to see one day. God's word always being available to read and showing my children how important it is to take the time to be in God's word.

I hope this has encouraged you to think of how you are spending your time.

Pre-order Courtney's book here.

Check out her website for more information.

* I received a free copy of Courtney's book to share my personal thoughts and reviews of this book.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Women Living Well

I am so excited to have been asked to be a part of a new book launch. Courtney from will be releasing her first book on Oct. 1. The book shares the title of her blog. It is a great book about "Finding your joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids and Your Home."

I will be sharing what I loved about this book  over the next few weeks.
I finished this book over the weekend and was so encouraged by it. I was also given many ideas on how to continue to serve God and my family. I hope through my writing you will be encouraged to check this book out.

Check back as I share what I have learned!
Courtney's book

* I was given a free copy of Courtney's book to share my personal thoughts and reviews of this book.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Caramel Stuffed Krispie Bars

I am so glad to say that it is Spring Break! I am going to spend the next two weeks taking it easy. This school year for the most part has gone by pretty fast. We only have 38 days of school left and I can only imagine how fast they will go.

On our last day of school before spring break we always have a big cookout/pitch-in. Our gym teacher spends all day grilling out brats and hot dogs for us and the rest of us bring in our favorite side dishes or dessert. You should see the lounge during lunch time. People come out of the woodwork to enjoy this day of food!

This year I decided to contribute a dessert because last year it seemed there were not many desserts.
I chose this recipe because it seemed easy and I had most of the things I needed.

These bars were delish! One of the other kindergarten teachers I work with made a comment that they were incredible!

If your looking for a way to change up plain rice krispie treats this is a delicious way to do it.
Caramel Stuffed Rice Krispie Bars
  • Caramel Filling
  • 14 oz caramel pieces, unwrapped
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Krispie Layer
  • 12 Tbsp butter, divided in half
  • 10 cups Rice Krispie cereal, divided in half
  • 10 cups mini marshmallows, divided: 4 cups, 4 cups & 2 cups
How to Make
  1. Grease a 9x13 pan, set aside
  2. Caramel Filling
  3. In a large microwave safe bowl combine caramel pieces, sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 cup butter. Microwave on high in 1 minutes increments (stirring after each) until caramels are melted, approx 3-4 minutes.
  4. Stir until smooth, set aside.
  5. Krispie Treats
  6. Take 6 Tbsp butter and 4 cups marshmallows. Heat in microwave for 1 minute, stir, repeat if necessary in 20 second increments until marshmallows are melted. Stir until butter and marshmallow are combined.
  7. Pour 5 cups Krispie Rice Cereal into marshmallow mixture, stir until coated. Press into the bottom of prepared pan.
  8. Pour caramel over top Krispie layer and then sprinkle 2 cups mini marshmallows on top of that.
  9. Refrigerate for 20 minutes until caramel has set.
  10. When caramel has set repeat the krispie layer (step 4) with remaining ingredients. Press final krispie layer on top of caramel.
  11. * TIP ~ Spray a piece of parchment or wax paper lightly with cooking spray and press the krispies lightly and evenly into pan.
  12. Let krispies set up for at least 2 hours before cutting into squares. The caramel layer takes a bit of time to set up.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Meal Ministry

I absolutely love to cook and bake, more importantly though I love to do it for others. I enjoy getting to make dinner for my husband each night. He is not a foodie but always shows much appreciation for whatever I make. I also enjoy getting the opportunity to make meals for others. I was able to do this recently for a co-worker of mine.

  I took them Pizza Baked Spaghetti, green beans, bread sticks and snicker doodle bars.

I love to take meals or any special treats to anyone who might need something. I hope one day to be able to have more time and resources to be able to provide for more people.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Garlic Parmesan Pull Apart Bread

We love bread in this house! Did you know my husband grew up on bread and butter sandwiches? He can be very picky. :) My husband enjoys any time I make bread and he gave great reviews on this bread.

My aunt recently gave me these mini loaf pans and I hadn't used them yet. I thought this would be a perfect recipe to use them for. I halved this recipe and it was perfect for the two of us to have enough for dinner and leftovers.
Can you tell how much thse rolls rose? Once I put them in the oven they puffed up even more! I had to cover them up with foil pretty early on but they came out great!
 You can see it much better in this picture how much they poofed up out of the pan! These were simple to make but just make you sure allow the time for them to rise.  We enjoyed these with stuffed shells.

Garlic Parmesan Pull Apart Bread
Source: Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen

16 frozen white dinner rolls [I used Rhodes]
1 stick of melted butter
2/3 plus 1/4 cup of grated parmesan-romano cheese [divided]
1 tsp. dry parsley flakes
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp, dried basil/Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. onion powder

Remove the frozen dinner rolls from the freezer and place onto a plate. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow the rolls to sit on the counter for 45 minutes or so, until the rolls have thawed enough to cut.
Place the rolls onto a cutting board, and using a sharp knife, cut each roll into quarters. 
Melt one stick of butter in the microwave,  stir the melted butter and seasonings together until blended.

Add the quartered rolls to the butter, and toss gently to coat. Bread dough is sticky, so, you may need to use your hands to gently pull them apart if necessary. You don't want the dough to form clumps, or it will effect how it bakes. This is really the only way to mess-up this recipe....very important! Next, add 2/3 cup of grated parmesan-romano cheese reserving the rest for the top. Toss until each piece is coated.
You can bake this bread in any shape you like. Layer the dough quarters evenly in a 9x3x2 inch loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray. The dough pieces naturally stick together due to the butter and cheese, but, gently pull apart any clumps of dough. We want to be certain the bread bakes evenly. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top and a sprinkle of parsley for color.
Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. This will keep the bread from sticking to the plastic wrap as it rises.  Allow to rise in a draft free, warm place for 2-2 1/2 hours. Then, remove the plastic wrap, and place into a 350 degree preheated oven.
Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes, then check the top. If baking in a loaf, you may need to lay a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the bread to prevent the cheese and butter on top from over browning. Continue to bake the bread for another 5-7 minutes, until the center is completely done. Approximately, 23-25 minutes total, depending on your oven. Test the center of the rolls using a cake tester, or toothpick to be certain the bread is cooked all the way through before removing it from the oven.  
 Yield: one loaf or 16 servings [4 pieces]

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Strawberry Sweet Rolls

These sweet little things are absolutely delicious!
For the the last few summers I have been making strawberry jam. I still have a few jars left to use before I make some again this summer. When I saw this recipe I knew it would be a perfect way to use some of the jam in a different way. This was super simple and oh so yummy.
I will be enjoying these during the week for breakast! Yumm!

Easy Strawberry Sweet Rolls
Source: Chocolate, Chocolate, and More

1 can Crescent dough (Pillsbury)
3-4 tablespoons strawberry jelly or jam

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 teaspoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extracte

Place a sheet of plastic wrap over your work surface. Lightly dust it with flour. Unroll crescent dough onto plastic wrap. Spread jelly over entire dough leaving 1/2 inch along one long side. Roll dough starting on the long edge with the jelly. Use the plastic wrap to help roll. Seal roll in your plastic wrap and refrigerate for a least an hour. Remove from refrigerator, unwrap dough log and slice into sections about 3/4 inch. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated 375 degree over for about 12 minutes, just until golden brown. Remove from oven and drizzle with glaze. Serve warm.

To make glaze, combine sugar, milk and vanilla till smooth. If too thick add a few more drops of milk.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Menu Plan

I loved having another three day weekend! I was able to accomplish so much around the house and spend some time in the kitchen. Now I'm sure when we have to make up the ice day on spring break  I won't be as excited but for now the extra time was much appreciated.

I have a few more meals planned this week than last. We actually had dinner on Sunday night which can sometimes be a hit or miss depending on what we had for Sunday lunch. There have been many Sundays where we just have popcorn for dinner!

I hope you can get some ideas to add to you meal plan for the week.

Sunday: Stuffed Shells, Garlic Parmesan pull apart bread (I will post the recipe this week), Green beans
Monday: Grilled Deli Sandwiches using my bread I made on my extra day off!
Tuesday: Unstuffed Peppers
Wednesday: Dinner at Church
Thursday: Chicken Tortilla Soup
Friday: Out

Breakfast for the week: Strawberry Sweet Rolls (I will also be adding the recipe later this week)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sandwich Bread

Today we had a snow day! This is how much snow we got!
Actually we were out for ice. I think we could have just had a 2 hr. delay but I definitely did not let the extra day go to waste! The house is really clean, the menu plan is made and I also baked up some bread!
I found this recipe on Annie Eats. I love her site and have made many different things from her. 
I have made this bread before, actually it was the first recipe I have made with yeast. I was nervous to work with yeast but this recipe is so easy and proved to me I could do it. Since then I have made many other breads.
For dinner this week we will use the bread to make grilled deli sandwiches. Annie suggests to slice the bread, freeze it and take it out as needed. I will definitely do that as we won't go through the whole loaf this week.
If you have a fear of yeast I encourage you to try out this recipe. It is so easy and the results are quite delicious!
American Sandwich Bread
Source: Annie's Eats
3¾ cups (18¾ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup warm whole milk (about 110 degrees)
1/3 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons honey
1 envelope (about 2¼ teaspoons) instant yeast

*I did not have an instant yeast. So I had to "proof" the yeast. I mixed it in the measuring cup with the liquid ingredients at the 110 degree temperature. I let it sit and get bubbly for about 5 minutes then added it to the flour.

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Once the oven temperature reaches 200 degrees, maintain the heat for 10 minutes, then turn off the oven.

2. Mix 3½ cups of the flour and the salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix the milk, water, butter, honey, and yeast in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Turn the machine to low and slowly add the liquid. When the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and satiny, stopping the machine two or three times to scrape dough from hook, if necessary, about 10 minutes. (After 5 minutes of kneading, if the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time and up to ¼ cup total, until the dough is no longer sticky.) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead to form a smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.

3. Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl, rubbing the dough around the bowl to coat lightly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the warmed oven until the dough doubles in size, 40 to 50 minutes.

4. Gently press the dough into a rectangle 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches. WIth a long side facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself. Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed. Place the dough seam-side down in a greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all four sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap; set aside in a warm spot until the dough almost doubles in size, 20 to 30 minutes.

5. Keep one oven rack at the lowest position and place the other at the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place an empty baking pan on the bottom rack. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour the boiling water into the empty pan on the bottom rack at set the loaf onto the middle rack. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim into the center of the loaf read 195 degrees, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack, and cool to room temperature. Slice and serve.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Menu Plan

Thank goodness for three day weekends! I usually do my meal planning on Saturdays along with my grocery shopping but yesterday we took it easy around here. My husband was recovering earlier this week from being sick when all of a sudden he got a horrible ear infection. So, together we just chilled out and did a whole lot of nothing. For dinner we ordered pizza from one of our favorite places and watched a few movies.

I usually only plan for about 3-4 meals a week. I eat dinner at church on Wednesdays so I don't plan for that day and most Fridays we eat out or have something super simple like a frozen pizza. I will plan what I am having for Saturday nights on that day, before I head to the store. On Saturdays I enjoy cooking something that might take a little more time and  many times I do a lot of baking on Saturdays.

Here is what I have for this week:

Sunday: Taco Bake
Monday: I have the day off and Chad decided to take it off also. We are going to go to an early movie and have dinner out!
Tuesday: English Muffin Pizzas
Wedneday: Dinner at Church
Thursday: Zesty Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

Hopefully these give you some ideas to add to your weekly menu!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day Bundt Cake

 Valentine's Day is almost here. Do you have anything special planned? We usually keep it pretty simple around here. 
I was on the search for a special dessert to make this week so I jumped on Pinterest. The picture of this dessert definitely caught my eye. 
 For the last few weeks I have been taking a simple dessert to church on Wednesday nights for our dinner program. I took a half day today and thought since I had some extra time I would make something a little more special. This cake was pretty easy and even if I hadn't had the extra time today I still would have had time to make it after work. 

I can not wait to cut into this cake tomorrow. If you read the comments to the original link of this recipe you will see that many people left suggestions of other jello combinations you could use and other holidays you could use it for. 

Strawberries and Cream Bundt cake 
Source: Chocolate Chocolate and More
Makes 1 large bundt cake and 4-6 cupcakes

 2 boxes white cake mix (15.25 oz)
Ingredients called for on box
1 box strawberry JELL-O mix (3oz.)
1 can white frosting

Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray. Bake cake mix according to box directions. 
Pour 1/3 to 1/2 of the batter into prepared pan. 
Reserve 1 tbls. of JELL-O mix for frosting and add remaining to the rest of the cake batter. Stir well until just blended. Spoon batter into bundt pan to cover the white batter. Do not fill pan past 2/3 full. Place any remaining batter in cupcake tin.  Bake in a preheated oven for 45-55 minutes (19-22 for cupcakes). Using a toothpick test for doneness. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes before inverting onto place to cool completely.

Frost the cupcakes first since you probably won't use the whole can of frosting. 
I melted my icing in the microwave for about 10 seconds. The original recipe says to melt it on the stove. 
Using the reserved JELL-O mix stir it into some of the frosting.
Place the frosting in a plastic bag and cut a very small hole in a corner.
Drizzle over the cake, alternating colors. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Cheese and Corn Chowder + potatoes

Wow, it has been a while since I have posted huh? It has been on mind a lot lately to get this blog back up. I definitely haven't stopped cooking I just haven't taken the time to get on here and upload anything.

So, this weekend I was dying to get back in the kitchen after a busy week and easy dinners.
I have been craving soups lately! I jumped on my pinterest boards and noticed I had pinned The Pioneer Woman's corn and cheese chowder. I decided to make the soup and to also add some red potatoes to it as I knew it would get my husband more on board with eating it!
This recipe was super easy to put together. Besides chopping some veggies and potatoes, pretty much the rest was to just dump it in the pot! I love that! I would definitely make this on a weeknight especially if I had chopped all my veggies before. Enjoy this delicious soup!
I love the smell of onions cooking!
Corn and Cheese Chowder
Source: The Pioneer Woman
4 Tablespoons 1/2 Stick Butter
1 whole Onion, Chopped
3 slices Bacon, Cut Into Pieces
3 whole Bell Peppers, Finely Diced (red, Yellow, Orange) (I only used a green pepper)
5 ears Corn, Kernels Sliced Off (I used frozen corn)
1/4 cup All-purpose Flour 3 cups Chicken Stock Or Broth
2 cups Half-and-half 1 cup (heaping)
Grated Monterey Jack 1 cup (heaping)
 Pepper Jack 1/3 cup
Sliced Green Onions
Bread Bowls
Preparation Instructions In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat.
Cook onions for a couple of minutes. Add bacon and cook for another minute or so, then add diced bell peppers and cook for a couple of minutes.  Finally, add corn and cook for a minute.
  Sprinkle flour evenly over the top and stir to combine. Pour in broth and stir well. Allow this to thicken for 3 or 4 minutes, then reduce heat to low.
Stir in half-and-half, then cover and allow to simmer/thicken for 15 minutes or so.
Stir in cheeses and green onions. When cheese is melted and the soup is hot, check seasonings. Add salt and pepper as needed.
Ladle into hollowed out boules and serve immediately.(I did not serve mine in bread bowls).