Thursday, February 23, 2012

Good Morning!

Just wanted to give you a glimpse of my morning.  

It's devotional time.  A time to pray and spend some time with the Lord.  I really like this little devotional Mr. Cozy gave me for Christmas a few years ago.  I can't help but read through it every year since.  I have to say that my relationship with Jesus Christ is what sustains me everyday!  I love Him and I want to know Him better.  I'll be the very first to say that I'm not even close to perfect!  At all.  Not close.  I don't strive for just "perfection", but I strive for Christ and want to be more like Him.  I love Him not just for what He does for me, but who He is!  I only hope that at the end of my life one day (after living a very long, healthy, happy life, in Jesus' name!) I hope to look back on my years and truly be able to say that I lived for Jesus and carried out His purpose in my life!  

That's the ultimate legacy to leave behind.

So thankful to my loving husband to go on this journey of life with me.  In the ups and downs--and trust me when I say we have them both!-- God has blessed me with a husband that is a perfect fit whom I'm crazy in love with!!!

So, here with my coffee in my morning chair or "reading chair" by the fireplace, I wake up.  There's nothing like coffee, some Jesus time, and an embrace from my hubby that's just the fuel I need to start off my day!

I hope your day is a blessed one. :)

(This is a favorite mug of mine that Mom gave me one Valentine's Day. I love what it says, ha!!)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Creamy Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

I hope everyone is having a good start to the week.  I just got off work today and decided to start a new post of something, savory!!!  It's kinda crazy, right?  Ha, it seems like I've had a big sweet tooth in the cozy little kitchen the past couple of months.  Today I'm sharing a recipe of one of my all-time favorite soups, broccoli-cheese!  This was the very first time for me to make this soup at home!  I knew I was going to make it the moment I saw it on The Pioneer Woman t.v. show a couple of weeks ago.  I made it that very night--and like all the rest of her recipes-- it looked so good !

This is her recipe that I've tweaked to make it a little more healthy.  Instead of half and half and whole milk, I used whole and skim milk -with maybe a small dash of half n half. (Mom likes using evaporated milk in soups to make it creamy--I need to try that out sometime.)  I added some Canadian bacon that I already had in the fridge.  It still lends that smoky pork flavor that the soup needs, and it's much leaner than bacon because it's actually pork loin.  I love Canadian bacon!  I also cut the amount of butter she used in half and added a bit of olive oil.

For all you broccoli & cheese fans, this soup is sooo yummy.  Unfortunately, Mr. Cozy really doesn't like broccoli & cheese anything!  

Sorry Honey, but that's just weird!

He even compares the taste to old shoes.  Gross.  Forgive me for sharing this mental image. :/  I have no idea how he could ever think that about this recipe, but that just means more for moi!!!!

Fresh beautiful broccoli in a creamy soup oozing with cheddar cheese and flavors of smoky pork, this is a comfort food no doubt!  If you're like me and make a pot of soup every week in the winter, then this one should make the rotation soon.  Cozy up with a bowl of creamy broccoli-cheddar soup! 

Creamy Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

1 onion, diced
3 slices Canadian bacon, diced small
1/2 stick (1/4 c.) butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 c. flour
4 c. whole milk
2 c. skim milk
4 heads broccoli, washed and cut into florets
1 pinch nutmeg
3 c. freshly grated cheddar cheese (I used sharp, but use whatever you want)
dash of salt
black pepper
chicken broth, if needed for thinning

Melt butter and olive oil in a pot over medium heat, then add the Canadian bacon to brown for about 2 minutes.  Take out and set aside for later.  Add onions and bit more butter, if needed.  Cook the onions for 3-4 minutes, then sprinkle the flour over the top.  

Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute or so, then pour in milk.  Add nutmeg, then add broccoli, a small dash of salt, and plenty of black pepper.

Cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until broccoli is tender. 
Add the Canadian bacon pieces. 

(Next, I used an immersion blender to blend the soup altogether making the broccoli into smaller bits.  You can definitely choose not to do this part if you want!)

Stir in cheese and allow to melt.
Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  Add a bit of chicken broth or more milk to thin out if needed.

Serve in a delicious bread bowl if you dare! (SO yummy, but I had to restrain for the waistline, this time!)  

I'm linking up with:


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day!!!

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, for whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16, ESV

Today I'm featuring a food article, at the lovely Inspired by Family Magazine, that is so scrumptious!  It would be perfect for a special occasion like today.  I hope you can go check it out and look around the magazine! 

Thank you for all the love you've shown me with your sweet words that you leave in my comment box.  I've been floored over the past year by the attention some of my recipes have received!  I am blessed you have ya'll as not only followers, but friends. :)
I hope today you are shown extra love, and have the chance to bless someone else, too!
Your Friend,

Thank you to Annie Oakley's Kitchen for giving me this wonderful award!!!

Liebster is a German word that literally translates to "dearest", "favorite", and "beloved".  By giving this award, you are saying that "This is a favorite and beloved blog."
I feel blessed and humbled to receive such a sweet award!  Thank you, again!
Today, I want to share the love by honoring 5 other blogs with this award!  The winners of the award are posted below.  Please take the time for check out these wonderful blogs that I enjoy reading!
Below are the rules:

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who gave us the award.
3. Pick our favorite 5 blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog so they know they received an award.
4. Hope the 5 blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to 5 other beloved blogs. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Super Duper Simple! Chocolate Chip Pancakes

(I have to preface this post with, just about 10 minutes ago was a fiasco around here!  Mr. Cozy was off to the store to grab a few things, and I thought I'd start this new post.  Well, somehow after about 2 pictures --the way I always start assembling my posts-- I hit the publish button instead of preview!  Oh no!!  So in a frenzy   I somehow managed to knock my coffee mug over off the coffee table onto my new rug and favorite cable knit throw in the world!! 

The entire mug of coffee.  Everywhere. Big big mess!

So here I am after cleaning all of that up, thankfully able to wash the throw on a gentle cycle, and back to being in a frenzy to publish this as a real post!  Yes, I have my crazy moments, too! :)

Chocolate chip pancakes are a great way to start off the weekend!  This is almost an embarrassingly simple recipe, I just got excited while making them and wanted to take some pictures to share!

Mr. Cozy actually started making chocolate chips pancakes like this in high school, and now it's a favorite of ours when we want to splurge at breakfast!  It's just a fancied up box mix recipe that delicious and easy!
Have a yummy--Superbowl!-- weekend!

Super Duper Simple Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Box Pancake mix (I used Maple Grove Farms of Vermont)
Vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
Chocolate Chips
Maple syrup

(Yes, these are not gourmet!)

In a bowl, follow pancake mix directions and then add a drizzle of vanilla bean paste or vanilla and mix into the batter. This pairs so well with chocolate!

Set batter aside. 

In a large pan over medium-low heat, hold a stick of butter by the paper, and swirl it around the pan a couple of time to coat.

Drop batter and sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Flip over when pancakes gets bubbly and edges slightly brown.

Cook just another minute or so.....(not sure why I'm giving you a step by step of pancakes. Haha, I'm not a  perfect pancake maker by any means, but this is just how I do it.)  Remove the cooked pancakes, put on a plate and cover with a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.

Wipe off butter in between and add more in between batches, so the browned butter doesn't end up burning.  This happens to me most of the time, it seems!!

Stack up as high as you like, and serve with warm maple syrup....I have it on here, but the camera doesn't seem to capture the pale amber goodness descending down the fluffy pancakes! 
I said they were easy to make!

I have to show you how cute this little candle "sweater" is!!  Thank you, Sarah!

I'm linking up with!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Maple Fried Apples

Fried apples remind me of...home
It's a comfort food to me, because Mom has made them for special breakfasts all my life!  Places like Cracker Barrel have made fried apples more popular, but to me there's nothing like them made from scratch!  When they're so easy to make, why not?

I use two different kinds of apple--Granny Smith for tartness and Jonagold's for sweetness--and the contrasting colors of red and green are so appealing to the eyes!  Adding real maple syrup and walnuts along with some warm spices, trust me when I say these apples are melt in your mouth goodness!

Fried apples are good to eat with any country breakfast or dinner, for that matter!  But they are also a wonderful addition over pancakes (with extra maple syrup) or stirred into old fashioned oatmeal--that's how Mr. Cozy ate are them over the weekend.  Whatever way you decide to eat fried apples, they will lend a bit of sweetness that's sure to be delicious!!!

Seriously, wherever I eat fried apples, I'm taken back to Mom's kitchen in a waft of cinnamon and sugar....
You've heard it said before, and I find it's true, that there's no place like home!

( Like many things that I've always remembered "just making", I don't have an exact recipe for fried apples.  Don't worry, these are very easy to make and hard to mess up!  Honestly, you can be very creative and add whatever sugar or spice you prefer.  I tried to make them with at least a little bit of health in mind, so this time the only sugar I used was the maple syrup, but brown sugar is AMAZING or molasses.  I like the combination of cinnamon and apple pie spice, because it that you have all of the flavors that compliment apples. Also, I used walnuts for their Omega 3's, but pecans would also be delish.  I keep the peel on the apple for the fiber and color, but peel them if you like. I hope you love this recipe, too!)

Maple Fried Apples

Butter, the real thing!
2 Jonagold apples, unpeeled and sliced 
1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled and sliced
Lemon Juice
 Real Maple Syrup
Apple Pie Spice
Walnuts (or Pecans)

Be sure to wash your apples well before slicing since we're not peeling them.  Slice them not too thin or thick, so they won't completely lose shape.  Squeeze lemon juice over apples while they sit.

In a medium sized cast iron skillet,  add about 3 Tbsp. of butter and turn on medium heat.

When butter is mostly melted and sizzling, add apples and about 3 Tbsp. maple syrup.  Stir.

Add a couple dashes of cinnamon and a few dashes of apple pie spice.  Stir everything together well, and allow this to cook for a few minutes until apples begin to get tender.

Add walnuts and cook a few minutes more until apple get more tender, the buttery syrup thickens, and all the flavors combine. (I carefully do a taste test here to decide if I need to add any more syrup or spice.)

Serve warm from the pan!
Makes 2-3 servings

I'm linking up with: