Saturday, March 11, 2017

Snow On The Forsythias

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."

Isaiah 55:8-11

I woke up this morning to snow on the forsythias.

A beautiful falling of it as I write!

This, my friends, is our first real snow to see of the season!  March 11th-the day before Daylight Savings-- and we finally are getting a beautiful snow.

I love snow, and I've been hoping for months to wake up to a blanket.  Christmas came and went without so much as cold weather, January...nothing. February (usually our coldest month) was warm!  Week after week would go by without any of the wintry precipitation, so I thought maybe next winter.

Of course, I usually think of snow before the flowers begin to bloom. 

But there is something about this snow this morning that reminds me of the character of God....

God's timing is always perfect. 

He is never late.

Are you praying for something? 

Trusting in the Lord completely or even desperately? 

Crying out to Him in your time of need? 

Just when the bloom is about to burst open and you might think, "That season must be past. It's too late now."  the Lord may surprise you with His sovereign hand and turn things around.  He sees and knows all, and most of the time His answer will come when He will get the most glory and when it's the very best for us.  

That's such a good place to rest in!

Hope against all hope!!!  (Hope in the Lord, only. Not in your own strength.)

I've seen God move in my own life before after some may have given up or think it's too late, it wasn't.... He waited for the perfect time. 

So press in!  Press into seeking Him more than seeking your answer!

So with my dark roast coffee in hand, instrumental music on in the house, fireplace roaring, and this whole Saturday looking more like a beautiful snow globe than I had imagined I'm enjoying every moment.  Yes, I miss the 75 degree days, but this may have been the forced day of "rest" we needed amongst a winter bleak of snow days and before the busyness spring can bring! 

I think I'm about to make some pancakes and hot chocolate for the kids since it's a special day.

It's a snow day and although it's on the golden forsythias, in my heart it's right on time!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Classic Banana Muffins

Last weekend was one of those gloriously relaxed weekends! 

My husband was home and off work the entire Saturday and Sunday ( woowhooo!!!) which happens about one weekend a month.  It's just so nice to spend mornings together.  We could sleep a little later and linger a little longer around our coffee and around the table.  I thought I would take advantage of the small bunch of very ripe bananas I had and made a delicious breakfast treat for my family!  I knew our kids would love some fresh, warm muffins to go along with the eggs I made--(eggs are our kiddo's favorite!). 

This time I loaded the scrambled eggs with some leftover roasted and seasoned potatoes from the night before, sauteed bell peppers, and onion along with salt, pepper, and paprika. If I wanted to splurge I would also add a handful of cheese at the last minute, but instead we doused the eggs with our favorite hot sauce, Cholula. We love this Mexican style hot sauce with eggs for breakfast.  Smoky, a slight heat, and tangy... perfect for flavor without extra calories and fat. 

The deliciously tender and flavorful muffins were the perfect nod to sweetness to balance out the savory eggs. A fresh mug of steamy dark roast coffee made this a breakfast that stuck with us throughout the entire morning! 

I'm sure you've made banana muffins or bread before, and I have made them from a dozen different recipes-- several which are on my blog here-- but these were a classic recipe and simple and easy.  They came out perfectly!  I will certainly make this recipe again, and that's pretty much the qualification of sharing a recipe with you. If we love the food and will want it again, I want to let you all in on it, too!

Now the question for this crazy Kentucky weather-weekend is what am I going to make on the potential snow day we are supposed to randomly get tomorrow!?  Yesterday the high was 75 degrees and tomorrow is going to be in the 30's!  Potato soup, perhaps?? 

What do you all enjoy cooking up on snow days? I would LOVE to get some good ideas!

Classic Banana Muffins

Adapted from: My Mommy Style

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 large ripe bananas (I used 4 medium)
3/4 c. white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. butter melted (I used melted coconut oil. Delicious.)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat muffin pans with non stick baking spray or use paper liners.
  • Sift together the flour, and next 4 ingredients; set aside.
  • Combine bananas, sugar and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl.  Fold in flour mixture, and mix until dry ingredients are combined.  Do not over mix. Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter in each muffin tin.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Muffins will spring back when lightly tapped.

Note:  I made the addition of cinnamon to this recipe. I really love it in banana muffins. Also I decided for health reasons to substitute butter with coconut oil.  The consistency is very similar and doesn't change the flavor, but it's better for our heart. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Birthday Celebration with *Best Loved* Strawberry Cake Recipe

Happy 6th birthday to our beautiful, fun, creative "gift from God" daughter!!!  Last week we celebrated our baby girl's birthday and what a blessing she is, and I just had to hop back on here to let you all in on her sweet and simple celebration....

Last week was also a very busy week!  I worked a full schedule as secretary at our church along with a couple extra special school activities through the week nights while my husband worked extra long hours the prior weekend and week due to all the sickness the winter tends to bring.  His busyness at work is a blessing, no doubt, but also can leave us feeling like ships passing in the night sometimes.  I know we aren't the only couple to experience this.

I really didn't have much time to prepare for the party at all (and almost completely forgot to about the little party for her at school altogether!) but God helped me make it all happen by His grace. I think there is something about being a mom that really forces you to sort of will yourself to do and accomplish things that sometimes you really have no idea looking back how you pulled it off. How you had the time, energy, or creativity.  How you created all the smiles to warm your kid's heart while on the inside you are just tired.  Nothing is wrong, just weariness.

But that's when I think of my family.  The long-term vision of memories.  The love I want our children to remember and  it's from that place of unselfishness and consideration...  God strengthens me! 

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Phil. 4:13

That's been my struggle lately but thanking the Lord it didn't ruin being able to celebrate one of my favorite people turning 6!  I decided to major on the majors and not worry about what doesn't really matter.  It paid off.

Sweet girl requested a pink cake and got a homemade strawberry cake with strawberry frosting and crowned with fresh strawberries...sweet and girly! It was a treat to make. I don't usually bake cakes, especially layered cakes, unless it's a birthday.  Even though I've been busy, I really wanted to make her cake this year instead buying from our favorite bakery like I did last year.  I'm sure that will happen again, but I was in a baking kind of mood...Maybe it was the warmer weather?  Either way, this cake was a fun one to make for our fun girl! 

Without fail, every year I find our sweet girl at her birthday cake before the party licking the icing. I used to be worried she would mess up the look of it, but it's happened for years, and I think at this point I would be almost disappointed if she didn't do it!  There is something innocent and joyful about taking your finger and running it through frosting that looks too delicious to just look at!  

No inhibitions. That's my girl!

The celebration was intimate with only close family, but those are some of my personal favorite parties that I had growing up! 

I made a big spaghetti supper with our favorite homemade meat sauce full of Italian sausage and good ground beef that slow cooks most of the day!  We ate it with semi-homemade cheesy garlic bread and Italian salad.  We ate dinner on our farm table and the cake and ice cream was consumed at the kitchen table after opening gifts. 

The kitchen was decorated in girly polka dots, butterflies, unicorns, and whimsy! Nothing expensive or elaborate this year, not because she doesn't deserve the best, but sometimes the best looks more simple and homemade.  It certainly allowed mommy to be able to give her best when it was all said and done.

And if these sweet little decorations wouldn't brighten one's day, I don't know what would!  Chocolates sitting around in abundance after Valentines Day made for a great treat to nibble on with coffee as the celebration started. 

And this cake. I'm thinking, why have I never shared this recipe???  It is tried and true and many years old. This has been a family favorite Nana (my husband's grandmother) has made for years, and it dates back to the true cake baking era.  The simpler time when inviting "company" over meant including a cake baked in your own oven, and when time seemed to move a little slower. Well, after eating this several times that Nana made for gathering, Mom and I decided to start making it probably about 10 years ago. 

While it is essentially a foolproof cake, the icing for me always ends up being drippy and wants to make the cake layers slide a bit.  I'm no expert, but I have used wooden skewers to hold it in place while it gets popped into the fridge. There the icing begins to harden back up from all the butter in it, and the cake seems to get even more moist somehow after sitting in the fridge, so I make this cake the day before.

You can't beat the flavor of this tender cake, chock full of strawberries and the strawberry icing that is creamy and divine!  The icing's original recipe only has butter but over the past few years Nana has began to add some cream cheese to it and so have we. It's between a buttercream and cream cheese icing. The only revision I made to her recipe is adding a splash of vanilla extract to both the cake batter and the icing.  It just gives it an extra, something.

I'm genuinely so excited to share this recipe with you!  Hopefully it can become a new tradition for your own family and friends to enjoy.  It's hard to make this cake with out a little spoon licking and a lot of love! Enjoy the process and the fruit of your labor.  I know watching our sweet girl eat it was worth every minute!

Best Loved Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Butter Icing

The Cake:

1 box white cake mix
1 pkg. strawberry jello
4 extra large eggs
3/4 c. canola oil
1/2 c. water
splash (about 1 tsp.) vanilla
1/2 c. frozen (sweetened) strawberries, thawed--comes in a little tub

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour (I use Pam baking spray) 3 - 8 inch round cake pans.
  • Mix ingredients all together very well (using a mixer) and beat on high until well blended and airy.  Divide the batter between the pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when tested.
  • Allow the cakes to sit for about 10 minutes before gently going around the sides with a knife and then turning the cakes out onto a cooking rack or parchment/wax paper to cool completely.
  • For a layered cake, the cakes must be completely cooled before frosting.  Once cooled put the first cake on the stand and ice  the top completely.  I feel as though it always needs a little more icing between the layers.  Put the next cake layer on and repeat.  Once the third cake is on, I would work quickly as the layers may want to slide. Pour the icing over the top and smooth it all over.  Put the cake in the fridge until it's time to eat.
  • I don't worry about precision here too much with the icing.  This isn't an icing that would be suitable for a pastry bag design, but it's beautiful in it's own way and delicious! I added a bunch of fresh strawberries to around the base of the cake just before presenting to everyone. 

The Icing:

1 stick of real butter, softened
1/2-3/4 block cream cheese
3/4c.frozen (sweetened) strawberries, thawed crushed and lightly strained
1/2 tsp. vanilla
4-5 c. powdered sugar

Beat the butter, cream cheese and vanilla together until smooth.  Lower the speed of your mixer and alternately add the crushed strawberries and sugar, ending with the sugar. You may add more of with strawberries or powdered sugar depending on your taste of sweetness and the consistency you desire.

Note: Fresh strawberries do not work well in this cake.  They tend to make the cake fall apart, but these sweetened frozen ones are just perfect! Be sure to thaw the container before beginning to bake this though. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Pumpkins, Ponderings, and Apple Crisp

I just had to share a few recent pictures since the last time I shared with you guys I wasn't able to.  A couple weeks ago, we went down to the quaint, little pumpkin patch "down the road", The Penny Pumpkin Patch.  We look forward to picking out pumpkins every year, and since moving back to my hometown this spot has been our place to go!  It's a fun family tradition.

This sweet place is in a tiny community named Penny which is basically in the middle of nowhere, but isn't that the best place for a pumpkin patch to be?!  If you head out of town, it's somewhere between the horse farms, soybean fields, and all the smoking tobacco barns. 

Speaking of, I have to share with you a snippet of my country life.  I have never used tobacco a minute in my life, but we live in in the middle tobacco farm country.  Every fall when the harvested tobacco smokes in the barns, it is simply the quintessential smell of early autumn in the country!  If you open your windows on a brisk late September morning and smell the woodsy campfire type scent wafting in, it's a sign that the new season is at hand. I'm sure it must be funny to think about if you're not familiar with the scent or the country way of life, but for most of the people around here it's a familiar, endearing scent that welcomes fall to Kentucky! 

The love of my life!

Whenever we're at the patch I love seeing our kids run free around the pumpkins, their heart so excited their legs can hardly keep up!  We let them pick out one of their favorite pumpkins to take home.  Our daughter takes her task very seriously, where as our son just likes to mostly run and climb on whatever is around.  (With a very energetic 5 and 6 years old every single errand is an adventure, to say the least!!) I decided on a beautiful deep orange trio of pumpkins that came stacked up and ready to adorn our front porch!

I had to steal a picture of me with my beautiful little girl as she is bursting with excitement to be picking out her 2016 pumpkin! 

Just look at those dark brown eyes you could get lost in... and those eyelashes!  She's a cutie!! 

God knows and see her little heart.  I pray that I'm meeting her needs as a mommy should. Parenting has been one of the biggest leaps of faith from the very start.  It is a day by day, hour by hour reminder that I need daily help from the Lord.  I love our children with all my being, but I imperfectly guide them while trusting God's grace to cover us in the process. 

More than anything, I want to raise adults who love God with their whole being
and love people... out loud! 
Simple goal as it is, ultimately it will be their decision to make.  

My nickel parenting advice? 

Faith. (in God) 

Trust. (In God)

Prayer. (With each breath.)

Love (The best you can.)

Back home we set out the pumpkin bounty on the front and back porch and the mums I bought at the grocery. I admire the little acorns we have by the millions around our porch.  The giant oak trees loom overhead and shower our place with acorns. 

I happen to like things like that. :)

Inside I've began to set a cozy scene with the fire in the fireplace!  Most mornings are chilly enough to turn it on as I sip a quick cup of coffee during the week or my 2-3 cups I linger over on the weekends! I have bits of fall décor peeking out here and there!  I've since added more from the time this picture was taken, but it's real life here. This mama doesn't have time to stage photos these days, yet I don't want that to keep me from sharing my home with you! 

So, I've had requests for some of the recipes of things I've been making in the kitchen. and I don't want to let my cozy followers down!...

 I'm letting you all in on a delicious and easy recipe I've been making for years and years every fall!  It's a classic apple crisp recipe with dried cranberries and cinnamon. I like to bake crumbles and crisps in the fall months filled with warm and chewy fruit and topped with a crumbly oat topping! This one is a snap to put together. It's a perfect dessert with some cold milk or a decadent breakfast with a steamy cup of coffee!  Fresh out of the oven with some vanilla ice cream for us!

Cinnamon-Apple Berry Crumble

6 cups of sliced and peeled apples (about 6 medium)
1 c. dried cranberries
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 c. oats, quick cook or old fashioned if you want more texture
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2c. chopped walnuts or pecans

Ice cream if you want it extra delicious!

Heat oven to preheat at 375 F.  In a large bowl mix apples, cranberries, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Spoon into an ungreased 11x7 baking dish.

In a large bowl, mix remaining ingredients with a fork until crumbly.  Spoon over the fruit mixture.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until apples are tender, juice bubbles and topping is golden brown!  Serve warm with ice cream!

Note: I'm sure you could make this with fresh cranberries if you add some extra sugar and cook it a little longer.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Back, at Last! A Life Update.

(I apologize that I have no pictures to show, but I'm some trouble getting them to load the past couple of weeks.  I guess my words will just have to paint the pictures vividly enough you can imagine all I'm saying!)

Good morning dear Friends!  I have missed you all!!! 

I've received some very kind and thoughtful emails and comments for some of you concerned for me since it has been since early summer since I've published a blog.  We are all good here!  I just have let time slip away. I've even began several different blogs but either never finished for times sake or had trouble with pictures, but today I decided I must write you and let you all know, we are well!! 

I'm just in a very, very busy season in my life and have more responsibilities than ever.  Because of that, I've had to simplify a few things: realizing I cannot do it all (that's a big one), not looking on my phone and social media nearly as much (I bet a few of you can understand the struggle), and not feeling obligated to write a blog post when I simply don't have the time.  My creative writing has been abuzz in my head with ideas of devotionals, delicious recipes I've made or fun family trips I've wanted to share, but at the end of the day I have been simply out of wind and unfortunately find myself at bedtime with yet not another blog written.  But as much as I never intend to have months between my blog posts, I also write simply from the pleasure of doing so and the connection with you all (I have no income from blogging). I have to give myself more grace than usual in busy seasons and if my blog suffers it's because I'm probably trying to be more present with my family. I am OK with that! God is helping "balance" my life, but I have truly missed talking to you and happy to share a little with you today!

It is autumn!  (I basically skipped summer...yikes) I love all the seasons of the years, but fall is sort of like my happy place --if you will-- out of all the other seasons!  Wonderful holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmastime are just around the corner, the cozy blankets have made there way back in our living room and the sweaters in my drawers.  It's jean and boot wearing weather and my favorite plaid blanket scarf has already been worn once!  It's a blustery fall day outside as I write.  Perfectly chilly and cloudy enough the vivid colors that are beginning to show have a lovely blue-gray sky to set them off.  It's dark enough for the candles to be lit inside!

I have a few of my windows open, and I can hear the slightly crunchy trees blowing in the wind with the occasional thud of hickory nuts and acorns falling to the ground.  We're pretty much surrounded by large, majestic trees on our property so naturally we have a fall landscape all around with colorful leaves, acorns and squirreling scurrying!  We've been seeing deer in our meadow almost every day and it delights our family! There are several sweet young ones that come out with their mama, and our children are delighted to see them!  Our kids are so cute....  When they spot a deer, they'll go outside quietly and hide behind trees and peer around to spy on the deer eating acorns or munching our grass.  That lasts long enough until one of the kids giggles themselves out of their hiding spots and the little deer family runs back into the woods.  It's really adorable to watch!  Their excitement for the small things in life is contagious!

Right now I have beautiful worship music playing that is the set list for our worship team practice tonight.  If you didn't know, my husband and I are very involved with the worship at church, and we love it!  We're are one of the worship leaders there, and he also plays bass guitar. Music has been one of the foundational things in our relationship since day one. Being a part of the worship team is one of the greatest blessings in my life.  I am grateful to serve the Lord in this way, but it's what I've known I've been called to do since I was a teenager!  In January of this year, that calling came to pass as our pastor asked us to be one of the worship leaders! (I could tell you so much surrounding that one thing, alone..)  Tonight I'm singing backup and look forward to what is always a nice interlude mid-week as we come together to practice and focus on the music the Lord has set on our hearts for the upcoming Sunday.

It's commitment to be in ministry, but it is so very worth the time and prayer put into it!  God is stretching me and teaching me as I  learn more and hopefully continue to improve my skill.  I seek God and those who "go before me" for wisdom so that I can lead the team and church in not only beautiful music, but an authentic experience with God!! 

I am humbled by the process. 

I've been singing for God in church since I was 8 years old.  I recognize that He gave me my singing voice (I inherited from Mom) and I told him as a girl that I would always use it to glorify and honor Him alone.  He gives us talents and gifts so we can use them in some capacity for Him! One of my favorite things to do is go with the body of Christ into the presence of the Lord.  Even when I don't "feel" like it, once I start singing those words of adoration to Him, I feel his presence so close to me.  Almighty God the Creator and Healer and Savior of the world is Father and Friend and Counselor. Wow!  We are all called to worship Him....God created us to worship Him and to know Him intimately!  I could go on and on and on about this, but ultimately spending time with God in worship leaves me more joyful and at peace than anything else on earth, and so I love sharing that with my church.  Also, that's why I had to let you in on that part of my life! :) 

This coming weekend my husband and I celebrate our 12 wedding anniversary!  He is my favorite person on the planet and I can't believe it's been 12 years since we walked out of the candlelit church to a ringing bell that would be the beginning of an entire life hand in hand.  I love him so much and being married is the best earthly thing besides my children that has happened to me!!!  We have known each other now for 24 years, sweethearts in grade school and friends thereafter.  When he became my boyfriend our Junior year of high school, we both knew that we knew we were meant for each other as husband and wife. We had what most would call a bold or fierce love so early on to be just 17 years old and to declare marriage in our future, but we meant it with all of our hearts. During all the trials or changes that happened over the following 3 years before our wedding, we never once even thought about breaking up or even taking a break of any kind, if anything we became all the more committed.  We knew that in marriage a break-up wouldn't be an option, so why do it when dating because we would get married anyways, period!!  I remember getting a few chuckles after just after he became my boyfriend and when I told some people that we were getting married one day.  I guess most people who talk like sound immature, but I knew we had a strong love for one another and believed God orchestrated our relationship from the start!

The fierce love we established even before our wedding carried into our marriage, and it's that kind of commitment to one another that has gotten us through the hardest and most difficult times we've ever faced in our lives.  That kind of fierce love isn't comes from the having Jesus Christ in the middle of our relationship.  He IS our fierce LOVE, and He has given us that kind of love in our marriage to brave the storms and uncertainties of life together.  Decade after decade. 

We've experienced trials over the past 10 years or so that I have felt completely at a loss... that have been so terrible or unexpected ... I felt as though Heath and I were in a the real life fiery furnace.  A furnace just like In Daniel 3 when the king threw the three Israelite boys in, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  It was said in the Bible it was heated up "seven times hotter than usual" . They were thrown in for obeying God instead of him.  The miracle of it all is they came out ALIVE and not even a hair singed on their head. This was from a furnace big enough to hold people!  It was because God sent an angel in there for their protection.  It was God that protected them!! That extra hot furnace that the Israelites came out unharmed burned up very guards that threw them in, just from them getting too close to it.

In God's goodness and mercy, since we are His children and have asked God to be the center of our marriage from the beginning, my husband and I too have survived a fiery furnace.  We've come out of what I've considered a furnace of trials that many couples would not have been able to survive on the other side.   Our "secret" is no secret, because I want everyone to know and I will cry it out from the rooftops! 

It's simply, Jesus.  Jesus is the answer!

I love talking about our anniversary because I love Heath! I honestly can say I love him more now than ever, because with God, what the fire leaves after wards is refined and more beautiful than before!  We aren't perfect, our story isn't perfect, but it is our great adventure that we are just 12 chapters in.  It's exciting to think about what will unfold this next year in our family!

I hope that I have left you with some beauty and inspiration here, and more insight into my life.  I really do appreciate every one of my readers and I pray that all is well with you, too! I love receiving emails from you, so if you ever want to talk especially if I'm not writing as much, I would be delighted to get an email from you! (My email address is in the side bar.)

Have a joy filled Autumn day and remember if you have a need go to God with it! He is near and loves you so much!

Friday, June 24, 2016

*Favorite* Family Fudge Pie

As a self-proclaimed chocolateholic family, this fudge pie is the pie to end all fudge pies!  This is seriously delicious.

The baker? .... my husband!  He turned out this perfect chocolate delight one lazy Sunday afternoon between church services when I mentioned to him how "I would just LOVE some chocolate and coffee right now" as we were relaxing.  I heard some littleclanging and rustling in the kitchen and in a matter of 20 minutes he had a gorgeous pie in the oven!! 

I am so blessed to call this man mine!!!

He dug up this fudge pie recipe card we've had for probably a decade or more in my recipe box, but I can't tell you where it came from because I have no idea.  This is a classic fudge pie, not to be confused with chocolate meringue or a brownie pie.  It has a deeply rich center and baked in a pie crust. 

I'll let you in on one of our favorite desserts here... It's this very fudge pie served with a scoop of coffee ice cream, dollup of homemade whipped cream, and chocolate or caramel syrup drizzled all over each piece for an over the top delicious family recipe we endearingly call the "Heath-sinker" after a Pattis 1800 Settlement pie recipe we love. Now that is something to share with your best of people!

This wonderful Sunday he served it up hot from the oven with whipped cream and some favorite dark roast coffee.  Perfection!

The unexpected afternoon nosh definitely hit the spot for my craving and was made for one happy wife!  We watched a good Amazon Prime original show called Doctor Thorne while the kids napped.  It made for a pretty perfect Sunday!

Randomly baking a pie for me..... well to us, that says LOVE.  Almost 12 years married, and I have a man who is just as fun now as ever! 

And just as cute!!!

Just look at the deliciousness going on. Just beautiful!  The pie, too. ;))

That fudge!  Don't you want the recipe???

Here you go.

Family Fudge Pie

3/4 c. butter
3- 1oz. chocolate squares
3 eggs
1 1/2c. sugar
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. rea; vanilla extract
3/4 c. chopped pecans, toasted
(Roast pecans in a single layer on 350 for 7-8 minutes, stirring once, til toasted and fragrant.)
1 Pie crust (I use the refrigerated roll out.)

Preheat oven to 350. 

Melt butter and chocolate together in saucepan on low heat.

Beat the eggs well at medium speed for 5 minutes with an electric or stand mixer. 
Gradually add sugar til blended.  Gradually add chocolate mixture, flour, and vanilla beating wil blended.  Stir in the pecans. 

Pour mixture into pie plate that is prepared with a crust.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the center is firm. I personally recommend eating while still warm, but that's how I role.

You are so welcome!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Honoring Mom

This past Saturday evening I decided to celebrate Mother's Day early with my family.  It was a beautiful night outside and a lovely time together as we honored Mom with some of my favorite homemade Mexican fare!

The table was set simply with feminine details that I thought Mom would appreciate like using my country rose china along with my everyday white dinner plates and glasses.  I found some pretty paper napkins to add color and simplify the clean up. 

For the centerpiece of the table I used a burlap runner that I folded in a bit, with a round wooden board as a base for a simple heirloom peony arrangement straight from our flower bed!  Peonies smell so good and the large flowers are stunning! I sent Mom and my sister home with one each to enjoy for the next few days. 

The views are so pretty out of our windows, so it's easy to look past the table and into the green yard beyond.  Last year when we moved into this house we changed out many of the light fixtures in this home including the one over the table.  I wanted to find a light that virtually disappeared so it wouldn't detract from the windows, and I think we achieved that when we ordered this one from Birch Lane after seeing a similar one on Fixer Upper (our favorite show!).  We love the simple elegance of the shape and the Edison light bulb that we have in it.  It's a favorite in my kitchen!

Stealing a kiss!

Here's a candid picture showing a mom's job is never done.  I appreciate my own mom soooo much more now that I'm one myself! 

The afternoon sun filled the kitchen as I was finishing up the meal.  I made some chicken fajitas with Cuban black beans, buttered lime rice, roasted corn and avocado salad, and homemade guacamole with chips!

Mom is the one who taught me that cooking for your family is more than just preparing food, but it's showing love to those around your table... making them feel nurtured and feeding their bodies with the rhythm of sitting around the table every night! I still absolutely love it when we're in each other's kitchen and we can cook together!!  We're constantly sharing recipes or new tips and tricks we've discovered in the kitchen!  She gave me this apron I have one about 5 years ago at Easter and has given me most of my favorite ones. She wears an apron almost everyday while cooking.

Mom is so very appreciative of my food and cooking as I am hers.  With us both being moms now, like I said before, we have a better appreciation and understanding of all that we do for our families and our homes. 

Many weeks I've found myself calling her or texting her to pray for me as I need wisdom in the newest struggle in parenthood or wondering if she ever felt like she would never again catch up on laundry when we were kids.  It's those real moments as an adult (especially as a wife and mother) where I realize I need mom now as much as I ever have!

We call ourselves 3 peas in a pod, because my sister, mom and I are so much alike!

This lovely lady has shaped so much of who I am from the time I was their tiny first born baby in her arms. 32 years of life and I've learned a thing or two along the way!

So much of the content I have on my blog from the recipes, the home décor, the love of beauty, talent of singing, and especially my love and passion for Jesus and my family has been encouraged and inspired by Mom!!! 

As I look back she and Papa have cheered me on in every stage of life from the second I thought I was a soccer player in middle school (ha) to the first time I ever lead worship at church and every time since I can honestly say they've prayed and encouraged me along the way. 

I want to honor Mom for who she is to me!

I only hope one day my children will be able to feel half the love and appreciation for me that I do for my wonderful mom! 

Just the way Granny (her mom) passed down to her and she passed down to me, I want to carry down the legacy of love for the next generations to look back and see that this family heritage was built on learning from each other and leaning on God one prayerful day at time!!!

"Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise."  Proverbs 31:31