Wednesday, November 26, 2008
This weekend I'm taking the opportunity to get all my Christmas decorations out and put up. I'm sure my in-laws LOVE having me live with them because everything gets done at least 3 weeks earlier than it would if I wasn't here. At least, that's what I tell myself!
Did anybody else put up their decorations this weekend? If so, post some photos so I can see. I'll post mine on Monday.
Pomegranate Turkey Place Cards (from Martha Stewart)
Magnolia Leaf Garland (bought on sale at Michael's last week) for Table Runner
Low copper rectangle shaped container filled with pinecones, acorns, leaves and mini "pumpkins"
I might add in a few candles if I have room too
Here are some links to other great craft ideas:
Monica at The Homespun Heart (guest post on Money Saving Mom)
I was hoping to show some of my own crafts, but I've been busy getting everything mailed out from my very successful Holiday Craft Bazaar. A big thank you to those of you who helped make it a success. I've also been finishing off the rest of my Christmas gifts. Maybe I'll get to post some of those over the next couple weeks.
Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! Don't forget to take time to pause and reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for.
Monday, November 24, 2008
PUMPKIN TOFFEE CHEESECAKE
1 3/4 cups (about 14 to 16) gingersnap cookies, crushed
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
3 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened (I use a mix of 1/3 less fat and regular)
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) evaporated milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup Heath toffee bits
1 container (8 oz.) sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350° F.
For Crust: Combine cookie crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press onto bottom and 1-inch up side of 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes (do not allow to brown). Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.
For Cheesecake:Beat cream cheese and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, cornstarch and cinnamon; beat well. Pour into crust. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until edge is set but center still moves slightly. Remove from oven; top with toffee candy pieces.
For Topping: Combine sour cream, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in small bowl; mix well. Spread over warm cheesecake. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Remove side of springform pan.
This recipe is a modified version of one I found on the Libby pumpkin website. It has always gotten rave reviews no matter where I take it!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
For now, if you see any item below that you want, leave me a comment with your zip code and a way to contact you, and I'll figure out shipping and let you know. All items will ship as soon as possible and for the cheapest way possible. Also, I make custom requests so if you want say wine charms or a memo board, contact me with a theme/color and we'll see what we can work out. A few items are already pre-sold, but I'm posting them here to give you ideas of what I provide. Happy shopping!
Handmade Christmas Countdown with distressed frame.
Counts down Dec. 1-24 with a different fun activity for each day.
(NOTE: I fixed the ric-rac in the bottom left so it's not crooked)
**SOLD** Christmas Tree Tin Holder
**SOLD** Simplify Box
**SOLD** Turquoise Sunset Necklace, Bracelet & Earring Set
Handmade with antique turquoise beads, shells, and silver charms
(can make more if requested or in different colors/styles)
Wood & Glass beads in Browns & Blacks on Silver Hoops
Price: $3/each or 12/$24
(can make more if requested or in different colors/styles)
(Can make more if requested with different phrases, sizes, colors. Price may vary.)
**SOLD** Bird & Nest Table Decor or Placeholders
Price: $4/each or 12 for $30
(Can make custom napkin rings/table decor in your colors or style. Price may vary.)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
This is my Father's world,and to my listening ears
the music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world:
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.
This is my Father's world.
Praise to the Lord, who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!
As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,
We have friends and family we love;
So add up your blessings, I say;
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Here are some of my recipes that I'm going to be using as side dishes:
SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
4 lbs. (5 large) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in ¾ inch thick coin shape
1/3 c. dark brown sugar
½ t. salt
¼ t. pepper
4 T. butter or margarine cut into small pieces
½ c. coarsely chopped walnuts.
Preheat oven to 400. Arrange half the potato slices in 13 x 9 pan. Sprinkle with half the sugar, half the salt, and all the pepper. Dot with half the butter. Arrange remaining potatoes on top. Sprinkle with remaining sugar and salt, and dot with butter. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle with walnuts and bake uncovered an additional 30-40 minutes.
ORANGE JELLO SALAD
1 small box orange jello (1 large box)
1 c. boiling water (2 cups)
1 pt. Vanilla ice cream (1 qt.)
Small can mandarin oranges (large can)
Mix jello and water. Stir in ice cream until melted. Add mandarin oranges. Chill to set. Note: for larger salad use amounts in ( ).
LINDA’S GREEN BEANS
For each can of green beans add:
3 slices bacon, fried til crisp
¼ c. chopped green pepper
¼ c. chopped onion
3 T. sugar
2 T. vinegar
Cook green pepper and onion in bacon grease until tender. Add sugar and vinegar. Add drained green beans. Stir in bacon. Can be cooked early and reheated.
NOTE: Linda is my mom's dear friend and we've enjoyed her recipe ever since we were little. For Thanksgiving I suck it up and make the green bean casserole (according to the recipe on the French Onion can) for my husband, but I make these green beans for Christmas.
1 can (16 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (16 oz.) cream style corn
2 eggs, slightly beaten
½ c. melted butter
1 c. sour cream
1 box (8.5 oz.) corn muffin mix
1 c. cheddar cheese grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together except for ½ c of cheese. Place in greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese and bake for 20 more minutes or until golden brown.
My other side dishes are: mashed potatoes (jazz them up with chicken stock, butter, fresh herbs), rolls (I cheated this year and bought frozen bread dough), stuffing with craisins, nuts & dried apricots, cranberry sauce (both versions from the can of course!), and hubby's grandma's fruit salad.
Do you have any side dish recipes to share? If so, leave them in the comments, or leave a link to where we can find them on your blog. My mouth is really starting to water!
One thing I'm thankful for today: our first snow of the year!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. mayo
1 c. chopped water chestnuts
½ c. chopped onion
1 pkg. Knorr Swiss soup
1 pkg. chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 round loaf Hawaiian bread
Mix all ingredients together except bread. Dig out center of bread and put dip in center. Serve with dug out bread cubes.
SWEET AND NUTTY BRIE
2 t. brown sugar
2 T. coarsely chopped pecans or almonds
1-1/2 t. brandy
1 whole Brie cheese (8 oz.)
Stir together brown sugar, nuts and brandy. Place cheese in a baking dish just slightly larger than the width of the cheese. Bake in a 425 oven just until cheese begins to soften in the center, about 6 minutes. Evenly sprinkle sugar mixture over cheese. Bake until sugar melts and cheese is melted in center (cut to test); about 3 to 5 minutes longer. Serve with fruit and crackers.
ALMOND-STUFFED, BACON-WRAPPED FIGS
Heat toaster oven to Broil. Stuff each fig with a toasted almond. Wrap each fig in a strip of bacon, trimming the bacon as necessary, and secure with a toothpick. Bake for about 8-10 minutes until the bacon is crisp and the figs are tender. Serve immediately.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Here's my menu for this holiday:
- Turkey - We order a fresh one from our butcher friend and hubby is in charge of placing fresh herbs and butter between the skin and meat and then roasting it to perfection.
- Stove Top Stuffing w/ Cranberries, Nuts, Apples
- Sweet Potatoes - Sometimes I make a casserole, other times I do oven roasted
- Rustic Mashed Potatoes
- Green Bean Casserole - My hubby's favorite way to eat green beans. I never had this growing up and prefer the green beans my mom made, so we compromise and have hubby's version at Thanksgiving and my version at Christmas.
- Corn Casserole - I got this recipe when I went home with one of my college roommates to her grandma's house in Ohio one year. I've made it every holiday since to rave reviews.
- Cranberry Relish - Nothing fancy for me here. I prefer the stuff from the can and you have to have both the jellied and the whole berry versions!
- Orange Jello Salad - My hubby isn't a big jello fan, but even he likes this.
- Cranberry Cocktails
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pecan Pie
How about you? What is your menu for Thanksgiving? Any favorite dishes? Is your menu one you came up with, or one your family has been using for generations?
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
11/13 - Thanksgiving menu
11/14 - Appetizer recipes
11/17 - Favorite Thanksgiving tradition
11/18 - Side dish recipes
11/19 - Favorite verse/poem/song about giving thanks
11/20 - Favorite story of a way that one of your needs was met
11/24 - Dessert recipes
11/25 - Thanksgiving crafts & decorations
I'll be perfectly honest, though, I don't follow the diet exactly as you're supposed to. I'm doing pretty good at getting all the water I need. And, I normally get all 5 Medifast meals in, but I live a crazy life and my taste buds get bored very easy, so there were a couple nights where I eat what the rest of the family was having because it was already prepared and tasted much better. So yeah, I had 2 slices of pizza, a small scoop of mashed potatoes and 2 cookies over the course of this past week.
The good thing is that it helped me get back into the habits I used to have (when I dropped originally from my college weight of 165 to 145 about 3 years ago) of eating small meals throughout the day. I'm a firm believer of all things in moderation, it's just that lately I haven't been too good about eating my sweets and junk food in moderation.
So, 5 more pounds to go, but I also have over 2 months to do it. My clothes are already fitting how they should so I'll keep to a few Medifast meals a day, but I might add back in my skim milk and cereal for breakfast and a piece of fruit and dessert on occasion.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Types of things I'll sell:
Custom Invitations & Favors
Fabric Covered Memo Boards
Miscellaneous Craft Supplies
Words that describe me:
Loves the outdoors
Loves the warm colors of Tuscany
Friday, November 7, 2008
Hope you all had fun playing along. I enjoyed it because I got to learn a lot of facts about my soon to be new hometown that I never knew before.
Your prize will be on it's way soon, Megan!
1. This city used to be a stop along the Underground Railroad. Today it still is a major transportation hub.
2. This city is home to 4 professional sports teams and has hosted the Superbowl & the MLB All-Star game as well as other major sporting events. Sailing and car racing are also favorite pasttimes.
3. This city boasts one of the nation's largest theater districts.
4. This city has been voted one of the top 25 most liberal cities in America, much to the chagrin of this conservative family.
5. This city shares a border with a river.
6. This city is east of the Mississippi River.Think you know what it is? You're allowed to keep guessing until I get a correct answer. E-mail your guesses to brie14 (at) juno (dot) com. Contest will continue until I get a correct guess.
Did you miss the first few clues? Find them here and here.
If I receive no correct guesses over the weekend, I'll post one final clue on Monday.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
1. This city used to be the capital city of its state
2. It takes longer to go north-south across the state than it does east-west
3. Our neighborhood is on the national, state, and local registers of historic places
Think you know the city? E-mail me at brie14 (at) juno (dot) com with your guess. The first person to guess it correctly will get a nice surprise that has to do with the city.
If you missed the first clue, check it out here.
If there's no correct guesses by the end of today, I'll post more clues tomorrow.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I'm also going to change it so that you e-mail me at brie14 (at) juno (dot) com with your guesses instead of leaving them in the comments section.
I'm still not allowed to fully disclose the location on my blog until some more things are settled with hubby's politics, so this will allow me to disclose who the winner is without giving away the correct guess.
And, I promise the giveaway will be something good and something related to the city. I also promise that I will fully disclose where the house is located once I'm able to.
One side of the hedge trimmed, one more to go.
Me in my lovely work clothes!
We took some time to go visit my relatives across the state.
Casey, me & our grandma who just got back from a trip to Africa to visit Casey's mom & dad. She got sick with pneumonia while over there and now she's in the hospital due to complications and may need surgery.
The skyline of our soon to be new hometown. Hubby and I were enjoying a nice pizza in the park when we looked up and saw the pretty sunset. I'll send a little surprise to whoever the first person is who guesses which city it is.
Leave a comment and the first to guess it correctly wins.
Those of you who I've already told are not eligible unfortunately!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
And, for those of you wondering, I did NOT vote for Obama!
No, the Democrat I voted for is the same one who called my husband Vladimir Putin when he beat her originally 4-5 years ago. She won the following year and since then has actually become a decent person towards us. And, I wasn't convinced about our two Republican candidates. I figured the one I know is better than the one I don't. Besides, I think either both Rep. candidates will win or both Dem. candidates will win depending on who wins the presidential vote in our town.
But, back to the national election...
Last night hubby and I finished reading the first 11 chapters of the book of Ezekiel. My dad suggested that we read it and it talks about how God was going to send things on the nation of Israel that would cause their hearts of stone to become hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 11:16-20).
While I would love for John McCain & Sarah Palin to be the next leaders of our country, I want even more so for our country to come back to the Lord and to humble themselves before Him and turn from their wicked ways. After all, the Lord promises us in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that, "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
As recently as a few weeks ago, I was scared of what would happen if Obama wins. Now that it looks like it's a real possibility, I've reminded myself that God is in control no matter what. Jennifer Knapp reminds us of this & Psalm 20:7 in her song "In The Name":
Monday, November 3, 2008
Another area I'm really struggling with is in terms of money, or lack thereof. I've always been very fiscally responsible and never spent more than I earned. It's been a big shock for me since I got married because with hubby running his own business, plus the few mom & pop deals we have on the side, we have to float alot of things on our own credit cards which makes our personal debt look outrageous. (This is another reason why I get so frustrated with having to pay the two mortgages mentioned above.) My goal of living with the in-laws was to pay off all our student loans and any personal credit card debt we may have so that we can move out in a year with a clean slate. If we didn't have to float so much personal money to cover up for employees who stole from our mom & pop shop, we wouldn't be in the financial situation we are. It's just hard. I know it's not hubby's fault because he's working hard and he's not to blame for theiving employees; I know it's not the in-laws fault because they're scrapping by too since they had to float alot of their own money.
It's just frustrating when I work a full-time job plus freelance bookkeeping, hubby works his full-time job plus the farm plus this mom & pop job plus his politics, and the in-laws work the mom & pop job and we still don't know where the next penny is coming from to pay bills. It's frustrating when you've been responsible with your funds but for reasons outside of your control, your finances look like they're in shambles. This has caused strife between me and hubby because when I voice my frustrations he thinks it's frustrations at him. I know he's working like a dog and I'm proud of him for that. I know God is wanting to use this time to teach me utter dependence on Him for every single penny. Hopefully I learn the lesson soon because right now all I'm succeeding in doing is making myself and those around me miserable. Kindness, trust & thankfulness...something I'm struggling with right now in regards to finances.
Kindness, a fruit of the Spirit that God is really working to refine in me right now. Hopefully I learn the lesson soon.