What’s for dinner?

I love hearing what’s on the menu for different families ~ so what’s for dinner in your home tonight? πŸ™‚

Tonight, my family will be having Reuben Sandwiches and a big green salad on the side (with lots of vinegar dressing). Yum.
I’ve never made Reubens before, but I love sauerkraut, I love corned beef, and I love fresh bread. And I’m pretty good at making all of the components, so surely the combination will be mouth-watering. πŸ™‚

So this is the bread that’s baking in the oven right now, I have leftover sauerkraut from a cookout on Sunday (two jars of kraut [one drained, one not] with some brown sugar, a chopped onion, and 2 peeled & chopped apples ~ all simmered in the crockpot for hours!), and my corned beef is tenderizing in the crockpot with some spices today. When I get home from my ladies’ group, I will mix up some quick Russian Dressing, and we’ll be good to go.

Enjoy serving your family tonight: no matter what you serve up on the plates, enjoy serving your family.

Fall Day

Instead of giving in to the hard morning I’m having, I am flipping over my calendar page a day early, and trying to embrace October instead of sticking my tongue out at it. So I’m lighting a seasonal candle, baking pumpkin cookies, and reading a Keates poem on fall. Later Gabriel and I will go play in the pine needles outside and work in the garden.

To Autumn
by John Keats (1820)
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,β€”
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Fresh Pumpkin Cookies

2 cups butter
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. allspice (I added a little cloves and nutmeg too)
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups sugar
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
4 cups flour (sifted)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups raisins (I did 1 cup golden raisins, 1 cup mini chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Blend all ingredients thoroughly.
Drop one inch dough balls onto greased cookie sheet.
Baking time 10 minutes.

Tuesday April 13, 2010

I think I’ve previously established with everyone that when I am stressed, I bake. Well, I bake more than usual, I should say. And I try to pawn off goodies onto people. For instance, yesterday I was particularly on the verge of being overwhelmed — so (in addition to homemade pizza) I baked two types of sweet quick breads to send to work with Steven today, in order to spoil his coworkers a bit. Thankfully we have a lot going on this week, so I have more excuses people to bake for. One fellowship group tonight, another on Thursday, pastoral visitation on Wednesday, and company coming over for dessert on Saturday.
I need to buy more sugar.

This is the lemon bread (I also made apple bread – I’ll post it another time) I made yesterday, and will likely make another loaf to take to the fellowship group on Thursday. I used a Meyer lemon from my grandparents’ tree. I don’t know if any other lemon would make this as perfectly. πŸ™‚ Recipe originally from Hot Providence, page 51.

LEMON BREAD

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
Lemon zest of 1 lemon (remove zest first for the bread, then juice the lemon for topping)

1/4 cup sugar & juice of one lemon = the topping.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Add the milk, melted butter, beaten eggs, and lemon zest. Pour into a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together 1/4 cup sugar and the lemon juice; let sit. Remove from oven, but leave the bread in the pan. Carefully (and liberally) poke top surface of loaf with a fork (or toothpick); then pour the topping/glaze over entire surface of the bread. Leave in the pan to cool completely.
This slices easily and evenly.
Just delicious!

This is the cookie recipe I made today for tonight’s fellowship group. They are so delicate, I think they need to be served on china saucers. Recipe from a friend.

LIME SUGAR COOKIES

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons lime zest (I zested an entire large lime)
1/4 cup lime juice (my lime only produced about 2 Tblsp juice, so I used about 2 Tblsp lemon juice to make the rest)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter, sugar and egg. Mix in lime juice and lime zest. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined.

Roll dough into small balls (I didn’t roll them because the dough was pretty sticky; I just tried to dollop the dough as neatly as possible), & place on greased cookie sheet.

Bake 10 minutes or until they are slightly browned (mine baked for about 13 minutes).

Place cookies on a cooling rack and (once completely cooled) sift powdered sugar over cookies.

 

Tuesday February 9, 2010

Okay… so I know it’s a little early… but I got my first birthday present of the year! It arrived on Saturday while I was out & about, so when I pulled into the garage and saw the big white object with the colorful bow (more than two weeks before my birthday), I was surprised and excited. πŸ™‚


It’s freeeeeezing! Okay, not really the funniest pun ever. But it’s a freezer. A big, awesome, deep-freeze freezer. Aaaaah. I can buy in bulk even more easily now. And we can eat a better variety of foods this way. And when I get into a baking mood (like today — uhh, yeah, so I made 25 cinnamon rolls and 16 pesto rolls!), I have a place to store things. Hurray! I spent a while during Gabriel’s naptime organizing the new freezer today. I think I like the way I’ve got it set up. And I’m itching to head to Costco, bake a bunch of bread, and make myself some more freezer meals. πŸ™‚ And by the way ~ thanks, Mama & Daddy!

Proverbs 31: 14-15, 27
She is like the ships of the merchant;
   she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
   and provides food for her household…
She looks well to the ways of her household
   and does not eat the bread of idleness.


And in case you were one of the folks who wanted to know how I made 3-Cheese Pesto Rolls not too long ago… I made them again today and wrote down what I did as I went. πŸ™‚

MJ’s 3-Cheese Pesto Rolls

Briefly mix together:
1 1/4 cups hot water
1 1/2 Tblsp yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar/honey
1/3 cup Crisco/butter/oil
1/2 cup bread flour

Let it proof for about five minutes.
Then add 1 egg and an additional 3 or so cups of flour (I used 2 more cups bread flour, and a little over 1 cup of all-purpose flour).
Knead for about 5 minutes.
Let rise in an oiled bowl until doubled.
Punch down; roll into a long rectangle.

In a bowl, mix together:
1/2 cup softened butter
3 oz. softened cream cheese
3 oz. pesto (I make my pesto in approx. one ounce cubes and I freeze them; so I used 3 cubes)

Spread the filling over the dough.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Cover it all with a nice layer of shredded mozzarella.
Roll, slice, and bake on a lightly greased jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides) at 350F for about 25 minutes.

Enjoy!! πŸ™‚

Wednesday December 30, 2009

So I got a bundt pan for Christmas – something I’ve wanted ever since I got married. Very exciting stuff, people! πŸ™‚
And right now I’ve got this orange chocolate chunk bundt baking in the oven to take to our church Christmas party tonight. Mmm. πŸ™‚
Of course I just realized that I have no more orange juice to make the glaze… so I get to improvise. πŸ™‚ Woot woot!

Monday December 21, 2009

So we had Mommy & Tots today for the first time since September, I believe. It was so nice to have the ladies and tots in my home again! There were five moms and seven kids (plus two “baking”!) – Gabriel is the oldest. πŸ™‚ We visited mostly, and let all the kids play with toys (and each other!), had a Christmas ornament exchange (gotta love those), and ate a brunch of orange slices, gingerbread with whipped cream, and my favorite egg casserole (Jac & Sam, I think you girls shared this with me years ago!).
I thought I would share my recipes with you, as well as our words of encouragement for the mommies this week. πŸ™‚


Holiday Gingerbread

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup molasses
1 egg
2 1/3 cup sifted flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
pinch nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
pinch salt
Heat butter and molasses until melted and bubbly. Cool slightly. Beat in sour cream, sugar, and egg until smooth. In separate bowl, sift dry ingredients. Add molasses mixture to dry ingredients, blend until lump-free and smooth. Pour into a greased 9-inch pan (round or square or loaf). Bake at 325F until done – firm, yet bouncy to your finger. Test after 45 minutes. Do NOT overbake. Watch it closely, since you want it moist not dry. Serve with whipped cream!!


Campbell Ranch Egg Puff

1/2 cup butter
1 pound fresh mushrooms
1 pound shredded cheese – I use colby-jack
10 large eggs
1 pint cottage cheese
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup or so of cooked sausage, ham or bacon (I usually use about 5 strips of bacon)
In a large frying pan, melt the butter. Wash and dice the mushrooms, and add to the butter. Saute for a couple minutes until completely coated with butter and getting a little soft. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until well blended. Add remaining ingredients and the mushrooms/butter. Pour into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes, or until knife comes out clean.


Published by Nancy Ann December 6th, 2008 in Everything Christmas

The Christmas build-up is famous for being prime stress-out time, particularly and especially for busy moms. So here is your annual gentle reminder to forsake all stressing out. Put all your worries, concerns, panics, and pressures (and lists of things you cannot possibly get done) in a big box, tie it with a ribbon, and put it away. Remember that all good things come with temptations, and Christmas is no exception. Being tempted is not the same thing as sin. Having temptations to get stressed out is normal, every day life. Giving way to the temptation is the problem.

Now a little stress is a good thing; without it we might not get very much done. Deadlines make us work harder, and there is no stopping December 25. But when stress turns into worry which then leads to self-pity, which causes grumbling, which makes for a sour attitude, it is no fun for anyone, neither you nor the people who are witnesses to your stressful life. In fact, they get tired of hearing about it: Ha! You think you have it bad. I have eighty-five people on my list. And I haven’t even started shopping yet!  And of course this is not glorifying to God, which is what our lives are to be all about. Especially at the celebration of Christmas.

The worst case scenario is that you won’t get it done. The cards won’t get mailed on time. The cookies won’t get baked. The kids won’t have the hand-made gifts you had planned.  But if the kids have a joyful mom over Christmas, that will have a far greater impact on them than the missing cookies or gifts.

Maybe the stress is because of finances this year. You just can’t do all those things you had hoped. One of my kids’ favorite memories of Christmas involves stockings full of bungie cords and rubber bands! They had so much fun with those things for months.

Sometimes the big disasters (the turkey burned, the gravy spilled, the gifts were all late, broken, and stolen) make the best stories later. We need to recognize them at the time and enjoy them as we live them out, believing God as we go.

So have a wonderful time of preparation. Don’t stint on the gifts and the candy and the celebration. But do it all as an overflow of JOY, not as a panic-stricken obligation! And treasure up the good stories as you go.

Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls — Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation (Habakkuk 3:17-18).

Reckless Giving
Published by Nancy Ann
December 2nd, 2009 in Everything Christmas

As you do your Christmas shopping, you are bound to run into the person who is feeling very guilty about buying presents. It’s so materialistic, they say. Well, yes, it is in one sense. After all, it is stuff. But if we are buying this stuff to bestow on our friends and family because God has bestowed so much of it on us that we just have to let it slosh over, then that is not materialism.

Thankfulness is a great antidote to false-guilt giving. Look at how much God throws away on us all the time. How much rain just runs down the gutter? How many sunsets are enjoyed by the whales because no one else is around to see them? What about the mountainsides covered in wildflowers that no human eye will behold? God just gives and gives and gives recklessly. He doesn’t want us to feel guilty about the sunset or the flowers. He wants us to overflow in thanksgiving. And though we cannot come near His capacity to give,  we can imitate His extravagance by giving gifts and filling stockings and making fudge, all to the glory and praise of The Great Gift Giver Extraordinaire.


A Kind of Christmas Tale

December 23, 2007  |  By: John Piper  |  Category: Recommendations

I wrote this story about four years ago to tell the children at Bethlehem‘s Christmas Eve service.

The Poor Man and His Cow
And the Rich Man and His Wall

Based (very loosely) on a story in T. H. White’s The Once and Future King.

Once upon a time there was a very wise old man named Job. In his old age God gave to him a daughter whom he named Jemima, which means little dove. He loved his little girl and she loved her daddy.

One day Job decided to go on journey and asked Jemima if she would like to go along. “Oh, yes,” Jemima said. “I would love to go along.”

But Job said, “It will be a journey that takes us several days. So we will be staying each night wherever people will have us. So I can’t promise it will be nice. But God will take care of us. He always does what is right. He always meets the needs of those who trust him.”

Jemima smiled and said, “And even if things go bad, God makes them turn for good. Right, Daddy? Just like the little poem that you taught us:

When things don’t go the way they should
God always makes them turn for good.”

“That’s right, Jemima,” Daddy said, “and there’s another little poem you need to learn. It goes like this:

When things go better than they should
For people who are bad,
Remember, if they stay that way,
At last they will be sad.”

And so they started off on their journey and walked all day. At sundown they saw a little cottage and knocked on the door. A very poor man and his wife and baby lived there. Job asked if he and Jemima could spend the night there before they continued on their journey in the morning.

The poor man and his wife were very happy to let them stay. They gave Job and Jemima their own room and made them a simple supper. The special treat was fresh milk from their only cow. This was how the poor couple made a living. Their cow gave good milk and they sold it for enough to live on.

In the morning when Job and Jemima got up they heard crying. The cow had died during the night. The poor man’s wife was crying, “What will we do? What will we do?” she sobbed. The poor man was about to cut the cow into pieces and sell the meat before it spoiled. But Job said, “I think you should not cut the cow in pieces but bury him by your back wall under the olive tree. The meat may not be good to sell. Trust God, and he will take care of you.”

Then Job and Jemima went on their way. They walked all day again and were very tired when they came to the next town and noticed a fine home. They knocked on the door. A very wealthy man lived in this house and they hoped that they would not be an inconvenience to one so wealthy.

But the man was very gruff with them and said they could stay in the barn. He gave them water and bread for supper and let them eat it by themselves in the barn. Job was very thankful for the barn and the bread and water and said to the wealthy man, “Thank you very much for the bread and water and for letting us stay in your barn.”

In the morning Job noticed that one of the walls of the house was crumbling. So he went and bought bricks and mortar and repaired the hole in the wall for the wealthy man. Then Job and Jemima went on their way and came to their destination.

As they sat by the fire that night Jemima said, “Daddy, I don’t understand the ways of God. It doesn’t seem right that the poor man’s cow should die when he was so good to us, and that you should fix the rich man’s wall when he was so bad to us.”

“Well, Jemima,” Job said, “many things are not the way they seem. Perhaps this once I will tell you why. But after this you will have to trust God.”

“The poor man’s cow was very sick, but he didn’t know it. I could taste it in the milk. Soon he would have sold bad milk and the people would have gotten sick and died, and they would have stoned him. So I told him not to sell the meat, but to bury the cow under the olive tree by his back wall because the Lord showed me that, if he dug the grave there he would find a silver cup buried from long ago, and sell it for enough money to buy two good cows. And in the end things would be better for him and his wife and child.”

“When we spent the night at the rich man’s house, I saw the hole in the wall and I saw more than that. I saw that hidden in the wall from generations ago was a chest full of gold. If the rich man had repaired the wall himself, he would have found it and continued in his pride and cruelty. So I bought brick and closed the wall so that the man would never find this treasure.”

“Do you see, Jemima?”

“Yes, Daddy, I see.”

“So never forget, Jemima, many things are not what they seem. But if we trust in God,

When things don’t go the way they should
God always makes them turn for good.”

But if we turn away from God and are unkind and selfish, then the other saying will come true:

When things go better than they should
For people who are bad,
Remember, if they stay that way,
At last they will be sad.”

And that’s the way it was with Jesus. It seemed like he was unimportant because he was born in a small unimportant town, not a big city. He was born in a stable, not a palace. He was laid in a manger, not a fine bed. He was a carpenter not a famous statesman. He had a small group of friends, not a great army. And worst of all, he was killed like a common criminal on a cross.

But many things are not what they seem. He was the Son of God, the Savior of the world. He rose from the dead. He is alive today and rules over the world and King of kings and Lord of lords. And everyone who trusts in him will have all their sins forgiven, and will be able to say,

When things don’t go the way they should
God always makes them turn for good.”


It’s only FOUR days until Christmas!! Time to start counting down….. πŸ™‚