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Showing posts from October, 2009

The Voice That Calls You Home- Book Review

I was contacted to complete a review of the book, The Voice That Calls You Home by Andrea Raynor. More than happy to read a new book, I completed it in about two days.


The Voice That Calls You Home
by Andrea Raynor

About The Book:
As a hospice chaplain, cancer survivor, and a chaplain at Ground Zero following September 11, Andrea Raynor has gained a keen perspective on the meaning of life and death, comfort and grief. Through her own experiences, Raynor reminds readers that even in the most dire of circumstances, we still have the opportunity to recognize beauty, to be inspired by the tenacity of the human spirit, and to feel connected to something greater.

Raynor acknowledges that we may not be able to prevent the difficulties that come in life, but we can always choose the way in which we face them. She urges us not to "live with our heads down, our eyes closed, and our hands in our pockets." Instead, she prompts us to remain open to the blessings that are all around us and t…

Apple Butterscotch Bread

We have a Great Harvest Bread Co. here and I love their caramel apple bread. However, it is very expensive. I think $5 or $6 for a loaf and I just can't hardly justify that expense right now. Their's is a yeast bread but I thought maybe I could make a quick bread that maybe had hints of that taste. I know they use butterscotch chips in theirs so I decided to make Apple Butterscotch Bread! It was really good!

I made it for our Thursday morning coffee time. My friend, Wendy, has several ladies over and we each bring a dish and just have a wonderful morning. Most of the time we all stay until sometime in the afternoon and we just have a great time of food, fun and fellowship. Sometimes we have several ladies, other times it's just a few. Today there were three of us and we pretty much ate this entire loaf of bread between the three of us. It is just really yummy! It comes together very quickly as well.

Apple Butterscotch Bread

1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 …

Cream Cheese Bars

I can't even begin to describe how good these are. They are so yummy. One of the ladies at MOPS always brings these to every meeting. They always disappear. These are really easy. Especially if you use the new uncut crescent rolls that is just a sheet of crescent dough. That makes it super simple! Please try these soon. You will be very glad that you did!


Cream Cheese Bars

2 cans of crescent rolls
2 8oz bars of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1 tsp. cinnamon

Spray 9x13 pan with Pam. Mix cream cheese, one cup of sugar and vanilla in a mixer until well blended.
Roll 1 tube of crescent rolls in pan and press seams together.
Spread cream cheese mixture onto dough. Unroll 2nd tube of crescent rolls onto mixture. Pour melted butter on top (I used a brush to brush it around and make sure it got everything coated). Mix 1/2 cup of sugar with cinnamon. Then sprinkle on top of the butter. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

These could work for bre…

Guys Night Out

How often do your husbands have a night out with their friends? If your husband is like mine, not very often if at all. Guys just don't always make time for that kind of stuff. Or they might want to but just never set it up and organize it.

Well, we got approved for for the Microsoft's Windows 7 House Party. So I knew it was a prime opportunity for a guys night out (or technically in since they all came to our apartment). We actually received a free copy of Windows 7 to try out and demo and so far we've really enjoyed it!

By the way, I highly recommend signing up for House Party. It's a word of mouth kind of advertising. There are various house parties that you can sign up for. You usually receive a free product as well as coupons and goodies to give away at your party. There's no selling involved it's just a way to try a new product.



So he invited a few guys over and I made some food. I made the Peanut Butter Cup Trifle and Buffalo Chicken Dip.



The guys had fun tr…

Cooking With Friends: Making Tamales

Have you ever had or made a homemade tamale? They are absolutely yummy. I had never made tamales before but last week I did. Two of my friends make tamales together and asked me to join them last week. It was so much fun! It's a lengthy process so it's great to do with friends!

I don't have any recipes to share. I didn't make anything here, just assembled. I know the tamale dough recipe comes from the bag of tamale dough mix. Then one of my friends made a red sauce and a green sauce to use with the pork butt that had been cooked in a crockpot. If I have a lot of interest for the recipe, I will see if I can get it.

Here's the dough after being mixed by Wendy....


shredded pork with green sauce...


shredded pork with red sauce....


Wendy patting her tamale dough out on the husk...


Filling the tamale...


Rossy patting out dough...



Working together....


Ready to be cooked in the pressure cooker....


Silly me forgot to take pictures of them after they were cooked. I guess I was just…

Breakfast Casserole

I had some sausage I needed to use up so I decided to make a breakfast casserole. This turned out very tasty!

Breakfast Casserole

1 bag of frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed (I used 30oz package)
1 lb of sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 onion, diced and sauteed
2 cups of shredded cheese
1 can of evaporated milk
10 eggs
1-2 tsp of Mrs. Dash
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. In a very large bowl, mix together sausage, onion, hashbrowns, and 1 cup of cheese. Mix well and pour into baking dish. Then in the same bowl, add eggs, milk and seasonings. Mix well. Then pour over potato mixture in the dish. Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour and then add 1 cup of cheese to the top and bake for about 5-10 minutes longer. Enjoy!

Make sure your middle gets done. I had trouble with that. I ended up baking mine a bit longer. I think next time I might use less hashbrowns as well. That might help it bake faster in the middle. Mine was pretty thick.

This was definitely a…

Pepperjack Roast Beef Sandwiches

On Saturday, I cooked a roast in the slow cooker. No real recipe. Just cut up a bunch of red potatoes and carrots and placed them in the bottom of the crockpot. Placed the roast on top of those and poured in about 2 cups of beef broth. Then salt and peppered the roast. Cooked all day in the slow cooker.

Then I removed the roast and veggies and used the liquid to make a gravy. Just heated it in a sauce pan on the stove and added some corn starch that I had combined with a few tablespoons of cold water. Add corn starch mixture when the cooking liquid has come to a boil.

It was a large roast and I had leftovers. Only I was in the mood for something with a bit of spice. So I created Open Faced Roast Beef Sandwiches covered with Pepperjack Cheese! It was delicious! Sorry that the picture didn't come out well. It was night out when I made this and I couldn't get good lighting.

Open Faced Pepperjack Roast Beef Sandwiches
leftover roast
leftover gravy
sliced sourdough bread
sliced pepperjac…

Another award!

I want to thank Geri from Heart N Soul Cooking for this new award! I am always so excited to receive one!

Neno's Award—-Rules and Regulations

1. As a dedication for those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging.

2. To seek the reasons why we all love blogging.

3. Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it.

4. Don’t forget to mention the person who gives you the award.

5. Answer the award’s question by writing the reason why you love blogging.

6. Tag and distribute the award to as many people as you like.

7. Don’t forget to notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.

I absolutely love blogging. I am proud to call myself a blogger and hope that I am always able to blog. When you're a mom, it can help to have an outlet to express yourself. Blogging is great for that. It can be a way to help others by learning a new recipe, learning how to live more frugally, or just sharing a life experience. It draws us in to one another and creates …

Peanut Butter Cup Trifle

This is so good! I got this recipe from a lady from the Chef Success forum. It is addictive and very yummy. It's also pretty economical and feeds a lot. It's great to take to a get together. It also helps that it's super easy to put together!

Peanut Butter Cup Trifle

1 box brownie mix (plus ingredients to make these)
2 small boxes instant pudding mix (chocolate fudge or chocolate)
3 cups of milk
1 cup peanut butter
16 oz. Cool Whip
8 peanut butter cups

Make brownies according to box instructions, cool
Melt peanut butter microwave safe bowl, stir in pudding mix and milk (3 cups rather than 4 for a thicker result).

In Trifle Bowl, layer 1/2 brownies, 1/2 of the pudding mixture, then 1/2 of the Cool Whip - repeat. Chop up peanut butter cups and place on top. Enjoy!

I have used low fat brownie mix, light cool whip and 2% milk with wonderful results!

Happy Eating!

This is being shared at:
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday

Innkeeper Pie

My friend, Wendy, asked me to come over yesterday and bake a couple of pies with her. She wanted to try a new recipe and asked me to join her. It was a lot of fun. I love baking and cooking with friends.

First we made homemade pie crusts. I had never made one before so it was a nice learning experience. We used a different recipe than the one with the pie recipe and I will share it at a later date. I am going to try to do a step by step tutorial at some point.

She found the pie recipe in the Hershey's Chocolate Lover's Cookbook. It looked very yummy and interesting in the picture and it was hard to tell for sure what the texture of this cake was going to be. We were very surprised when it forms a cake like top and then a fudgy filling on the bottom. It reverses during baking. I always think recipes that do that are so neat!




This is delicious and I highly recommend that you try this recipe! It was so good and definitely different!


Innkeeper Pie

Ingredients:

* PASTRY CRUST(recip…

We have a winner!

Good morning everyone! Hope you all are having a great day! We have a winner for the cookbook giveaway!

The winner is fivewinks. I have emailed you.

Thanks so much for the interest in my giveaway and for it being my 100th post! I appreciate each and everyone one of my readers and the comments I receive! Thank you all!

God bless,
Amanda

Fried Chicken Breasts with Roasted Red Potatoes and Peppers

This was a very yummy dinner! I didn't use a recipe for the chicken but will tell you round about what I did. Sorry for no exact recipe.

I got a package of boneless skinless chicken breasts at Kroger and asked them to butterfly them (only separated completely). I hate touching raw chicken so I was thrilled that they would cut the chicken for me!

I rinsed the breasts and then put the between pieces of wax paper and pounded them a little thinner. Then patted them dry with paper towels.

In a bowl I put about 2 1/2 cups of flour and sprinkled in some italian seasoning, season salt, salt, and pepper. I didn't measure any of these just eyeballed it. Mix well.

In another bowl, I pour in about 1- 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk. Then added about 1/4-1/2 cup of buffalo sauce.

I first dipped the chicken in the buttermilk/buffalo sauce and then in the flour mixture.

In a medium nonstick skillet I had about 1/4-1/2 inch of oil heating. When it was heated I fried the chicken a few pieces at a time un…

Beef Pot Roast with Maple Sweet Potatoes & Cider Gravy

This looked so tasty on Cooking During Stolen Moments that I just had to make it. I decided to do it in the crockpot instead. This seemed like a perfect meal to do in the crockpot.

You can view the recipe here.

Here's what I did to change it to a crockpot meal.

I used the chuck roast that I got from Food Lion. I seared both sides and then placed it in the crockpot. I added the cut sweet potatoes on top of the roast and around the sides.



In the pan, I added the salt, pepper and some italian seasoning (because I was out of thyme) and the chopped onions to the pan. I sauteed those until tender.




I added the broth and apple cider and let that cook for a couple of minutes, making sure to get up all of the bits on the bottom of the pan.

Then I poured this on top of the potatoes and roast in the crockpot.




I cooked it on high for about 5 hours and then turned it down to low for about 2 more hours. It turned out perfect.

I made the sweet potatoes (I started to use a potato masher but then switc…

Grocery Saving Tip: Watch for meat markdowns

Yesterday I went to our local Food Lion. I hadn't been in awhile and decided to check out their meat department. They had several packages of beef marked down and I bought almost every package.

I got:
Top round steak (I think 2.20lbs had sliced into stir fry strips) $3.93
London Broil (1.8lbs) $3.58
Chuck Roast (2.9lbs) $4.96
2 NY Strip steaks (1.6lbs) $3.48
2 packages of cubed steak (about 1 pound each) total for both $4.25
Beef kabob or stew meat (.90lbs) $1.63
For a grand total of $21.83

That should provide at least 7 meals (and should be leftovers for several of those). So if I said 10 meals (including leftovers) that would be around $2.20 meat cost per meal! That is an awesome deal!

Here's a picture of my receipt. Sorry it's not better quality. It's kind of hard to photograph a receipt! :)




It's best to go early and check your stores. Now, I was at Food Lion at about 11:00am but usually most stores have the most markdowns early. So make sure and check your stores and se…

Chocolate Crescent Rolls and 100th post giveaway!

Wow! This is my 100th post! In honor of this momentous occasion I am going to share a yummy, chocolaty recipe. You must make these soon. They are so easy and so yummy! I got this recipe from a friend of mine. She also has a blog and here is her post about these yummy Chocolate Crescents! She thought of these herself one day when wanting to have something chocolaty. She's one smart cookie because these are delicious!

I used Pillsbury Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls. They ran these on sale really cheap with coupon awhile back and I had been debating on what to make with them. Last night I needed some chocolate and made these!

Chocolate Crescents
1 can of crescent rolls
mini chocolate chips
powdered sugar

First I unrolled the crescents into their triangles. I think the container had 8 in there.



Then I sprinkled the mini chips over the triangles, leaving the tip uncovered. I also pressed these in a bit per Jena's advice. It helps them stay in place a bit more.



Just roll up as usual and bake …

Being content.....

I've mainly posted about recipes, food and great deals lately. This post is going to be a bit different today. It's something that has been on my heart for awhile and I'd love to share it with you. I decided to write this post after reading one of my favorite blogs A Simple Walk. See her post about Community in her home.

She mentioned being a bit jealous at the bloggers who have gotten free trips lately. I too have felt those twinges of jealousy. Granted I am not near the established blogger that many are. But I still felt very similar feelings. After I read her post Paul and Philippians came to mind.

Philippians 4:11-13 (NAS) "Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
I can do all things through Him who…

Mocha Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

I went looking for a muffin recipe to make on AllRecipes. I know I can always go there and see what people's feedback on recipes are. I really enjoy that. So I went with this one and made some changes. You can find the original recipe here.

Mocha Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup of applesauce (unsweetened)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 ripe bananas
4 tablespoons instant coffee granules, dissolved in 3 tablespoons hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Milk chocolate chips
milk, if needed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Blend butter or margarine, sugar, egg, banana, dissolved coffee, and vanilla with a hand mixer for 2 minutes. Add flour, salt, baking powder, and soda, and blend just until flour disappears. At this point I had to add about 1/4 cup or so of milk. Toss chocolate chips with a little flour to help prevent sinkin…