Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A sweet reminder (and a recipe)

After dinner today I was sitting down at the computer while Micah was having some floor time and Isaac was outside working on the car and Aaron was "helping him". While skimming through facebook I ran into a post that a dear friend of mine put on her page. I took a moment to read it and half way through I decided to put down the computer and head outside with my boys! I left the door open, Micah continued to enjoy some floor time and Isaac continued to work on his car and Aaron & I enjoyed some time together. Aaron pulled some flowers off of our tree and was playing marching band leader so I followed him around the yard marching... we looked like two goofy people to all our neighbors I am sure... but to Aaron I was pretty cool! And honestly, I had a lot of fun! It was 20 minutes that meant a lot more to him than would it have meant if I just stayed inside... 20 minutes that I can never get back and I am happy with how I chose to spend them! After that I came in fed Micah and got him ready for bed and then got Aaron his bath and to bed.... then Isaac and I talked about our days before he went to bed... then I sat down to relax , after 20 minutes or so Aaron called for me, he wanted to cuddle. Time for some honesty, at the end of this you may think I am a horrible mom.... but a lot of nights when he asks me to cuddle... I don't. I sometimes just feel like my day is over, I want some me time, I need my DVR to catch up on my shows or I need to sit and read a good book.. or just be on facebook or pinterst.... something that just focuses on me! However tonight I went and cuddled, he held onto me tight covered me up with his blanket and told me how much he loves me. I layed there as he sang songs (he always listens to the same cd every night at bedtime) that I didn't even know he knew and I just giggled over him which caused him to laugh, I love that laugh! I was so glad I went to cuddle with him, how much longer will he even want me to cuddle with him? All I know is that one day he won't and then I will wish that he did... so while he does, I will! I highly encourage you to read this post http://stonesoupforfive.blogspot.com/2011/06/skimming-and-skipping-and-my-addiction.html#comment-form and then... do something about it!

Ok and now to share a yummy recipe! As I have mentioned before I LOOOOOVE going to the farmers market this time of year! One thing I love to get is fresh asparagus, however somehow this year that season came and went too quickly, but I really wanted to try this recipe so I just went to the grocery store and bought some.
Asparagus & Parmesan Cream Pastry
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
5 fresh basil leaves, chopped (I forgot to buy this, so I just used the spice and just guesstimated how much I would need)
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp shaved parm.

1. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and basil
2. Unfold puff pastry on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cut into four rectangles, placing them slightly apart on baking sheet. ( I cut in 8 because I didn't read ahead and it worked out great) Spread cream cheese mixture to within 1/2 inch of edges. Trim asparagus spears to 1 1/2 inches shorter than pastry. Press four spears onto each pastry, alternating direction. Drizzle with oil.
3. Bake at 400 for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. (from here on I did not do) Sprinkle with shaved parmesan, slice each pastry in half.

These were so simple, Aaron even loved helping me arrange the asparagus :) and they were simply delicious! We all loved them and Isaac has already requested that I make them again soon!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Baking mess up :(

Yesterday I went out to our local farmers market and bought some fresh berries. I got some black raspberries, blueberries and cherries.... Aaron loves to munch on fruit, but I knew I wanted to bake with atleast one of these.
I loooove, I mean absolutely love cooking shows! One I have recently discovered is called Dessert First, its on the Food Network on Saturdays (I don't know the exact time because I dvr it). I will tell you, the girl who hosts the show... well she kind of grates at me. I don't really know why, but something about her gets on my nerves... but she has some good recipes ( I have tried a few already). Last week on the show she made mini desserts, one was mini cherry pies. So I thought I would make these.
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-thornton/mini-cherry-pies-recipe/index.html

Above is the link for the recipe. The first thing I learned a few years ago when working with cherries.... it is very necessary to have a cherry pitter :)

I love how this dough came together.... I have a go to pie crust recipe (I have shared it before in a previous post) but I honestly think I might change to this one! It was so simple and came out great!!

Well and here is where my mistake came in.... I was mixing up the cherry filling , had cooked them down for the 10 minutes and added the sugar and cornstarch....well it became very thick and doughy... I then realized I had not put in sugar.. but flour! I guess thats what I get for trying to do these, homemade bread, and dinner all at once. Well the cherries could not be saved. Since I had the dough I knew I needed to do something. So I went to my black raspberries. I just added a little sugar , cinnamon and tapioca to thicken them up and the mini pies turned out great! :) I still want to try these with the cherries... but my mistake turned out pretty wonderful!
When they finally finished Isaac was in bed, but I let Aaron stay up a little later and we shared a couple and a glass of milk! :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rainy summer days

So this post is a little late...it's titled Rainy summer days, but today was not rainy, however the rest of the week has been. Rainy mornings and then warmer evenings, atleast it hasn't been rainy all day but rainy mornings lead to wet grass until the afternoon and it just kept us inside more than normal. Aaron and I both were getting "cabin fever" so I started searching the internet for something fun to do, because let's be honest here... I am not creative on my own, as I have mentioned before! :) My mother surely got that gene, but I did not inherit it from her. :(
After searching around I found an easy recipe for sidewalk paint! Now we have sidewalk chalk, but Aaron has really been into painting lately. He asks to use his watercolors atleast twice a day, so I thought this would be fun for him. So all you need is 1/4 cup of cold water and 1/4 cup of cornstarch! SO simple! Mix them together and then if you want you can add a little food coloring to it. It literally took less than a minute to throw together.
Like I said, it had been raining so our driveway and sidewalk were wet so we took it to the front porch. Aaron had a blast! :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

If you haven't.....

If you haven't entered the world of Pinterest, I totally encourage you to do so! (only if you have some spare time though.... it is pretty addicting) I was introduced to Pinterest about 3 weeks ago and I am in love! I could try to explain it to you , but I would fail, so please just go check it out! My favorite section that I have found on the site are all the DIY posts. I have repinned many of them and set out to try several. I am not very creative... I can't come up with ideas on my own, but I can recreate. SO since I have stole the next two ideas I am going to share with you I am going to send you the links along with a picture of my project :)

The first idea http://www.kevinandamanda.com/whatsnew/our-home/tutorial-shabby-chic-dangly-earring-display.html I found last week and decided I NEEDED to make one! If you love earrings like I do, then you understand the jumbled mess they can become. This happens to me , which makes me stick to wearing the same earrings over and over , because I don't want to spend 15 minutes detangling a pair before heading out. SO I made this... and I love it! I have rediscovered some of my favorite earrings :)




This idea,http://tearosehome.blogspot.com/2009/10/t-shirt-makeover-and-more.html I thought was super cute and kind of just wanted to see if I could make it, so I could say "oh, I made it" when someone asks where I got it! ;-) I ended up (as you will see from the picture) not making it exactly like the one in the link, but I love that I know how to make these little flowers, and being that I have so much material left from the "scrap shirt" I want to do more, maybe add a little flower to some flip flops or something fun like that :)



So again, I encourage you to check out Pinterest and find your creative side!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Love.... it isn't always easy

God's greatest commandment to us? Love Him and others. I find that most days this is pretty easy... but when I run into someone who really wants to try me, its hard! It can be the hardest thing to do. Today... was one of those days.
It started out as a great day, me and my boys. We went to town, got free smoothies at Tropical Smoothie Cafe for wearing our flip flops, Aaron played some games, we went to a few stores to run some errands and we were just enjoying each other. Well our last stop was the grocery store to get a few things... we were in the checkout line and Isaac said he would take the boys out to the car while I paid, well Aaron wanted to stay in with me. So I picked him up to sit him in the cart and he starts sticking his tongue out going "bleh, blah, bleh" (or something like that, lol) just being a kid making noises. Well the lady behind me says to him "why are you sticking your tongue out?" and I just kind of chuckled because I thought she was joking with him (because he obviously wasn't "sticking his tongue out" like to be mean, or whatever. Well then Aaron's foot got stuck in the cart, and I said "oh, sorry buddy you ok?" and get this... the lady behind me says "thats why you got your foot stuck, because you were sticking your tongue out"..... um , seriously?!?! I mean she was in her 50's and she is being mean to my 3 yr old.... for what?!? Then she says to me, "you're supposed to be teaching him right from wrong, and you just laugh at him!" my defenses kick in and I said "we do! he is not your child so you don't get to decide how he is raised and you don't get to talk to him like that" she continues to go off on me while the poor cashier rings up my order. All I could do was kiss on Aaron and tell him it was ok. In the back of my mind I am thinking "what do i say to show this woman Christ's love"?? But I couldn't do it! I had nothing good to say to her, so I said nothing! After I paid I walked out and cried to Isaac. Then both of us were angry. The lady walked out of the store shortly after me and I just wanted to be rude back... but I knew that wasn't the solution... but I didn't know what the solution was either. SO we got in the car and Isaac told Aaron that he did nothing wrong and that some people just aren't nice. Aaron then said "yeah , but mommy is nice" that made me feel a little better :) Then Isaac said "let's pray" so he prayed for her... and it did make me feel better... but her words still run through my head. SO I keep telling myself... she doesn't know us, she doesn't see our day to day life.... and she probably just had a bad day?!?!
So... instead of dwelling on what happened and being mad, I am trying to learn through it and love those that aren't always so lovable! :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Unleashed by Erwin Raphael McManus

I was a little unsure of what to expect from this book when I first started reading it. The title seemed a little.... funny I guess and the cover didn't seem to match up with the title, so it didn't do much to catch my eye. However it wasn't far into reading the book that I quickly changed my opinion.

I feel this book gives the GREAT reminder we all need of what true faith looks like and how to live it out!! I am the type of girl that normally skips the introduction or prefaces of books... but for some reason I decided to read this one, and I am very glad I did, because it holds one of my favorite lines from the book. It says "you don't need to go find faith, you need to unleash it. You don't need to find life, you need to unleash it. In fact, everything that is good or beautiful and true that you will spend your entire life searching for is simply waiting to be set free through a life that follows Christ with reckless abandon." What better reminder do we need than that , that everything we could ever possibly hope for can be found in Christ alone!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

So by request I am sharing this wonderful recipe for Chocolate chip zucchini bread. This is so easy and delicious! I look forward to making several batches every spring/summer with fresh zucchini from the local farmers market. This recipe will give you two loaves, I normally throw one in the freezer while we munch on the other one. When we want more... I go get more zucchini and make 2 more loaves. I never touch the ones in the freezer until I can no longer get local zucchini, this normally provides for us to have the bread for most of the year. :) However, this time... one loaf stayed here for us to munch on and one went to work with Isaac (he said that he enjoys showing off my baking... it makes him the popular guy at work, lol).

The recipe is:

2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate (I never have this on hand so I use 2tbls cocoa powder)
3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated zucchini
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly great two 9x5 inch loaf pans. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate until melted. (again if you use the cocoa powder it eliminates this step)

2. In a large bowl combine eggs, sugar, oil, grated zucchini, vanilla and chocolate; beat well. Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Enjoy!!! This is so good...... sorry for the horrible picture, I already had both loaves cut up when the "request" for this came ;-)




Also... this morning when my boys decided to get up at 5:30.. a slice of the bread and a hot cup of coffee made the morning much more bearable :)