Happy Homemaker Monday – June 20th, 2011

Hi everyone,

For more Happy Homemaker Mondays visit  Diary of a Stay at Home Mom


The weather in my neck of the woods: 86 and partly cloudy. We had a large thunderstorm last night and have more storms predicted for later this week.
Things that make me happy: Being able to be a stay at home mom

Book I’m reading: The Bible

31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae

Be the People by Carol M. Swain

What’s on my TV today: Nothing

On the menu for dinner: Tuna casserole, carrots, and steamed cauliflower

On my To Do List: Laundry

Yard Work

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon: Chipotle Beef & Rice

In the craft basket: Nothing

Looking forward to this week: Starting on some cleaning and organizing projects I’ve been putting off until after our school year was over.

Tips and Tricks: Make places to put things away as close to where you use them as possible. Not only does it save a lot of steps but around my house, everyone (including me), is more likely to clean up as soon as they are done if they don’t have to leave the room to do it.

My favorite blog post this week: Finish What You Start at Organizing Junkie

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):

Delighting in the Days

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):


Lesson learned the past few days:
Not learned but reminded – Don’t let others push you into doing something you don’t want to do.

On my mind: What am I going to do after my kids graduate? Teaching them has been a major part of my life for the past twelve years and in just two more I’ll be done.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Romans 1:20

 

Collard Green Soup Recipe

My son who doesn’t like greens much loves this soup.

1 teaspoon oil

14 to 16 ounces smoked sausage

¼ cup chopped green pepper

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 (14.5 0z) cans chicken broth or about 6 cups if using homemade

1 (15 oz) can black eyed peas

8 ounces frozen collard greens

½ teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder

 

Chop the smoked sausage into bite sized pieces. Heat oil in bottom of soup pot over medium heat. Add sausage, green peppers, and garlic. Cook until green pepper is soft and sausage starts to brown.

Add chicken broth, black eyed peas, collard greens, paprika, and onion powder. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes (or until collard greens are well cooked).

If using a sausage that has a higher fat content the oil may be unnecessary. You could use chopped onion added with the peppers instead of onion powder. If you like more heat add hot sauce or a stronger pepper (like cayenne or chipotle).

I made collard green soup the first time using a recipe off a card given away free at Wal-mart. When I lost the recipe card I made it using what I could remember from the card and a few changes from various recipes I found online. I’ve changed amounts and ingredients slightly each time I made it until I came up with a recipe that works for us.

Happy Homemaker Monday – June 13th, 2011

Hello Everyone,

For more Happy Homemaker Monday posts visit Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

The weather in my neck of the woods: 88 degrees and sunny, the wind is helping it be a little less miserable than the last couple of weeks.

Things that make me happy: Having teenagers that I get along with and that will talk to me about things.

Book I’m reading: The Bible

Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

21 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae

Be the People by Carol M. Swain

What’s on my TV today: Is the Bible Reliable? On DVD from Focus on the Family and Tyndale Entertainment

On the menu for dinner: Collard Green Soup and Homemade Olive Garden Breadsticks

On my To Do List: Homeschooling

Mopping

Cleaning out my Medicine Cabinet

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon: Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken

Carrot Blueberry Cupcakes

In the craft basket: I need to work on my cross stitch but I haven’t spent more than 30 minutes on it all week

Looking forward to this week: Finishing up our homeschool year, cooking with my daughter

Tips and Tricks: None this week

My favorite blog post this week: She Wears Skirts by Amy at Raising Arrows. This is actually the last post in a series she did that I only found this week.  

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):

A Holy Experience

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):

I post a lot of pictures of cats, don’t I? I guess partly because we live in the country and people dump cats off on us. I try to get the females fixed and find homes for as many as I can but we still have way too many.


Lesson learned the past few days:
If I write things down I’m less likely to forget them even if I lose the note.

On my mind: My family’s health, plans for the summer, wishing I had planted a garden this year.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses: 5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

 

 

Vegetable Beef Bow Tie Skillet Recipe

I made this last night and it turned out really well. It was a nice light supper and the whole family liked it. Here is the recipe as it appeared in the cookbook.

1 pound ground beef

1 cup chopped onion

1 can (14 ½ ounces) beef broth

1 ½ cups uncooked bow tie pasta

½ cup water

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 cup chopped sweet yellow pepper

1 cup chopped zucchini

2 cups chopped tomatoes

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the broth, pasta, water and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add yellow pepper and zucchini; cover and cook 2-4 minutes longer or until pasta and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes; sprinkle with cheese.

I modified the recipe slightly. My son likes peppers better cooked and my daughter prefers tomatoes cooked.

So I added the peppers with the beef and onion and added the tomatoes with the zucchini to give both a little extra time to cook. I also used a little extra zucchini and a little less tomato because that’s what I had on hand.

The recipe comes from the small Farmers Market Cookbook.

Recipes provided courtesy of Taste of Home magazine. Find more great recipes at www.tasteofhome.com.

Happy Homemaker Monday – June 6th, 2011

I hope everyone is having a great day and managing to stay cool.

For more Happy Homemaker Monday posts visit Diary of a Stay at Home Mom


The weather in my neck of the woods: Currently 91 and mostly sunny. It’s supposed to be in the mid 90′s all week.
Things that make me happy: Free Books. It doesn’t matter where they came from (library, loaned from a friend, free bin at the local used book store, free downloadable ebooks, review copy) as long as someone in my house will use or enjoy it.

Book I’m reading: The Bible

Looking for a Window by Denzil Holman

31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae

Fudge Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke


What’s on my TV today: Coverage of E3 (can you tell I have teenagers?)

On the menu for dinner: I don’t know yet. My husband’s not feeling well; if he’s feeling well enough we’ll go do some grocery shopping and go out to eat, if he’s not we’ll probably have homemade chicken tenders.


On my To Do List:
Homeschool (only a couple more weeks and we’re done for the year)

Mopping

Laundry

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon: Vegetable Beef Bow Tie Skillet

Homemade Olive Garden Breadsticks

 

In the craft basket: Didn’t do any crafting this week

Looking forward to this week: A peaceful week with hopefully no major events (good or bad)

Tips and Tricks: Spray hair spray on ink or grass stains on your clothing before washing them. It works better for me than most commercial stain removers (you might have to treat the stain a second time). I have even gotten some stains out when I didn’t see them until after the clothing had been washed and dried.

My favorite blog post this week: I have two this week.

A Humble Homemakers Prayer

Our Confidence (a great graduation speech by a homeschooler)

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):

Raising Homemakers this is a great resource for those trying to raise daughters

also It’s not a blog but I wanted to mention Taste of Home will donate 10 cents to the USO to be used to let service members make free calls home for each unique visitor to the following link before July 4th, 2011.

Flag Cake from Taste of Home
No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):


On my mind: My best friend from high school, Regina. She has kidney problems and is getting tired of the long dialysis treatments.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses: 4Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deuteronomy 6:4-5

 

Creme Filled Cupcake Recipe

I made this recipe for the second time last week.

1 (18 ¼ ounces) devil’s food cake mix

2 teaspoons hot water

¼ teaspoon salt

1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow crème

½ cup shortening

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

GANACHE FROSTING:

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

¾ cup heavy whipping cream

 

  1. Prepare and bake cupcakes according to package directions for cupcakes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  2. For filling, in a small bowl, combine water and salt until salt is dissolved. Cool. In a small bowl, beat the marshmallow crème, shortening, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy; add the salt mixture.
  3. Use a pastry bag or cut a small hole in the corner of a storage or freezer bag; insert round pastry tip. Fill the bag with cream filling. Push the tip through the top to fill each cupcake.
  4. Place chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool, stirring occasionally, to room temperature or until ganache reaches a spreading consistency.
  5. Dip cupcake tops into frosting; chill for 20 minutes or until set. Store cupcakes in the refrigerator.
The Ganache and creme filling ready to go

This is from the Taste of Home Cupcakes for Every Season small cookbook.

I wish I’d remembered to take pictures the first time I made these cupcakes. They were a little prettier that day.

This time around the Ganache was a little thin and didn’t cover the spot where the cream was put in very well. I think it was thin either because it was so hot that day or because the cream I used wasn’t heavy whipping cream. They still tasted great. My son likes the Ganache because it isn’t as sweet and it has more flavor than regular icing. My daughter likes it because she likes almost anything chocolate.

It’s a little hard to tell when you have enough cream in the cupcakes. Usually the cupcake swells just a tiny bit and then I stop. Every once in a while it doesn’t swell and if you keep pushing creme in, the cupcake will end up looking like this

Other than that they were really easy to make and even the uncle who doesn’t like cupcakes wanted me to give his wife the recipe.

 

Recipe provided courtesy of Taste of Home magazine. Find more great recipes at www.tasteofhome.com.

Anniversary and Giveaways at Raising Homemakers

Raising Homemakers is celebrating their 1 year anniversary this week and giving away prizes.

Monday’s post is about The Eternal Perspective of the Home and includes a giveaway of a set of 6 books by Clay and Sally Clarkson.

Tuesday’s post allows you to Meet the 5 New Contributors and includes a giveaway for 3 books, a doll kit, and a coloring book from Doorposts.

Wednesday’s post is their (almost) weekly Homemaking Link-Up and includes a giveaway for some dishes from Dayspring.

Thursday’s post is a Review of Character Concepts for Preschoolers and a chance to win the product they’re reviewing (most of it is useful with at a little bit older kids too).      [added 6/2/2011]

Friday’s post highlights Tomorrow’s Forefathers a family owned company that tries to equip parents to keep their children rooted firmly in the Lord. The giveaway is for several of Tomorrow’s Forefathers products. [added 6/3/2011]

 

All of the prizes would be great for homemakers or homeschoolers.

I think you have until Friday, June Third at 9:00 p.m. EST to enter all the giveaways.

 

The Winners have been announced. Go to Raising Homemakers to find out who won. [added 6/4/2011]

 

 

I just recently discovered this blog and I really like it. To quote their site “RaisingHomemakers.com is dedicated to inspiring, teaching and blessing mothers who have an interest in raising their daughters in godliness and preparing them in the arts of homemaking to the glory of God.” It has over 20 contributors ranging from young women still living in their parents’ homes to women married 20+ years with several children and in a few cases grandchildren.

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope everyone has had a nice weekend

and has at some time this weekend made time to spend with family and friends. We’re mostly sitting around the house today enjoying my husband’s day off. We went to a nearby river this weekend with some of the extended family to have a picnic and let the kids wade in the water.

While like everyone else I enjoy the picnics and barbecues, the long weekend, and the extra family time I want to always remember what this holiday is really about. It’s a day to remember those who gave their lives in the service of our country. We have freedom because of them.

I don’t agree with some of the website but I liked this post by Oliver North about Memorial Day.

This Monday I’m not only remembering those who died to give us freedom. I’m saying a special prayer for the families of the American soldiers who have been killed in the last year who are facing their first Memorial Day without a loved one. I’m also saying an extra prayer for those who serve in our military and their families who are risking so much to protect our country and her friends.

Italian Turkey Burgers

I tried a new recipe a couple of weeks ago and am finally getting around to posting it. I chose this recipe because while I know lean turkey burgers are supposed to be better for you than hamburger, my family finds them too bland if you don’t add some flavorful extra ingredients.

Here is the recipe as it appeared in the April/May 2011 issue of Healthy Cooking Magazine.

½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)

¾ cup boiling water

1 egg white, beaten

½ cup dry bread crumbs

1 small onion, finely chopped

¼ cup ketchup

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 pound lean ground turkey

½ pound extra-lean ground turkey

3 slices reduced-fat provolone cheese, halved

6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split

 

 

  1. Place tomatoes in a small bowl; add boiling water. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the egg white, bread crumbs, onion, ketchup, basil, parsley, mustard, garlic, oregano and Italian seasoning. Drain and chop tomatoes; add to egg white mixture. Crumble turkey over mixture and mix well. Shape into six burgers.
  3. Place in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 16-20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165 and juices run clear. Top with cheese; bake 1-2 minutes longer or until melted. Serve on buns with ketchup and mustard if desired.

The only alteration I made was to use all lean ground turkey instead of part lean and part extra-lean. The family rated it as Good and it’s easy to make. I especially like the sun-dried tomatoes in them. I will make these burgers again.

Recipe provided courtesy of Taste of Home magazine. Find more great recipes at www.tasteofhome.com.

What’s on Your Nightstand – May 2011

This is my first time joining What’s on Your Nightstand hosted by 5 Minutes for Books.

I’ve done a decent amount of reading this month but most of it has been light or fun reading. With my grandfather’s death earlier this month, the books I got free for review being of a serious nature, and a few issues with my extended family I wasn’t in the mood for too much heavy reading.

 

Books I’ve finished in the last month

I’ve read several young adult books.

Mysterious Benedict Society Collection by Trenton Lee Stewert. This was an electronic version that included all three books.  These books are about exceptional children (not all intellectually) being recruited as spies. These books are very adventurous and fun.  While they’re aimed at a fifth to eigth grade audience I think my teenagers, any adults who like well written kid’s books, and my 8 year old nephew (as a read aloud) will enjoy them also.

Hawksmaid: The Untold Story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian by Kathryn Lasky. I’ve loved the Robin Hood legend since I was a kid and have read several books about it. This one start with them as tweens and puts a few of it’s own touches to the legend, most notably the idea of Marian and her father being expert falconers. I book is very well written and I enjoyed all of it except the out-of-body experience Marian has near the end.

The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff. My teenagers and I read this as part of their school this year. It does a good job of portraying life in the Second Century A.D. and contrasting the Roman and the Briton way of life while telling an engaging story. I would recommend it especially, to homeschoolers Fourth Grade and up studying that period of history.

Pitch Black by Melody Carlson. The story of a girl dealing with her friend’s suicide. See my full review here.

 

I read two books that were free on my ereader

Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh. This is a fiction book is about the world as we know it coming to a slow end. I have to admit I didn’t finish it. It had too much foul language, was too depressing, and wasn’t well enough written to attempt putting up with either one.

The Value of Life by Andy Crowson. This is a mystery about children who are abducted but the kidnappings aren’t the normal kind, the parents aren’t wealthy and receive ransom demands with no specific dollar amount. I liked this book, It was well written and a little different from most mysteries I’ve read lately. It also got me thinking about how much a person’s life should be worth to others.

 

I love mysteries, especially cozies and have read several this month. I find fun mysteries a great thing to read after supper and before bed to help me relax.

Pizza Lover’s Mystery Series by Chris Cavender; A Slice of Murder, Pepperoni Pizza Can be Murder, and A Pizza to Die For.  I actually read the third book in this series first. I found it for a super pre-release price and thought I’d give it a try. I’m glad I did, I liked it so well I bought the other two and then reread the last one so I could read them in order. They are well written and fun. The Pizza theme fits well in the stories without being overdone. I don’t know if there are going to be more in this series but if there isn’t I might have to try one of the author’s other series (all written under other pseudonyms).

Hannah Swenson Mystery Series by Joanne Fluke; The Chocolate Chip Murder, The Strawberry Shortcake Murder, and The Blueberry Muffin Murder. I’ve read the first two books in this series before but it’s been quite a while.  I decided to start over at the beginning. I love Moishe, Hannah’s cat, and enjoy the interaction between the characters in these books.

 

Bible related books

Moments with the Master By Denzil Holman. I love all of Holman’s books on prayer and try to reread them every so often.

It’s All Good; Seeing All of Life As Worship. This is volume 4 of the Into the Word Bible study series for teens. This is actually a guide for a 4 week study at a Sunday school or youth group that we are using for part of my kid’s Bible class for homeschool. I preread it to be familiar with the material. It would probably work better with a group of more than two teens but the first lesson has started a good discussion with my kids.

 

Currently Reading

Shattered by Melody Carlson. I got this as part of the blogger program from Navpress. It’s one of the books from Carlson’s new Secrets series. I’m almost done with it and hope to have the review up before the end of the week.

Look for a Window by Denzil Holman. I just started this. It is the fourth book on prayer by Holman I’ve bought and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s supposed to talk with dealing with stress and overcoming adversity through prayer.

 

Planning to read this coming month.

I will be working on more of the Hannah Swensen mystery series and I’m planning on reading God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Teen by Walt Larimore. I know I’ll probably read I lot more than that but I haven’t decided what yet. I’m planning on going around to all the other participating blogs and hopefully I’ll find some good suggestions. I want to make sure I include more nonfiction this month and I’m planning to try to slowly increase the number of longer book reviews and other book related content I post in the coming months.

Until Next month, Happy Reading

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