Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter is coming - a few ramblings

Easter is just a few days away. It is a season that is precious to us believers. Sadly, it can be hugely commercialized (all those Easter bunnies laying eggs .....), and it needs to be celebrated in a God-glorifying way. I love what Nancy Wilson said over on her blog about celebrating it with traditions, traditions that are both solemn as we recognize the enormity of what Christ did, and joyfully childlike as we celebrate His victory and our freedom.

I have a wonderful husband. I really do.
We were driving home from church the other day and I mentioned how "the baby" must really be wanting some Peeps and a chocolate bunny .....
He bought me some.
They're only $1 at Walmart, but it made me feel so very loved and cherished. Isn't he just wonderful?
I love him.

I've posted something on the market blog again (yes, it gets updated really randomly - sorry about that). If you are interested in buying a few of the new spring pretties, you can find them here.

And we having wonderful spring weather!!! It's finally gotten into the 70s here, and I'm loving it. :) Emma wore a pair of shorts today for the first time this year.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

recipe: Ambrosia, a.k.a. "5 cup salad"

This fruit salad has lots of memories for me: it was a standard Easter dish at Gramma's house, and often served at other Moose/Jacobsen gatherings as well. Gramma taught me the recipe when I was staying with her for a few weeks one summer and it is so simple that even a 10-12 year old can remember it. And it's really yummy, too (come to think of it, I say that about every recipe that I post here).

So here you go (ready? you might want to write it down ..... ;) ):

1 cup chunked pineapple
1 cup mandarin oranges
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup sour cream


Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, until the flavors have melded.

So simple. And so good.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

random pretties

Have any of you seen these tea cups at Starbucks? Super cute. I think I might end up using the biggest one for eating out of if I got them though - I love using small bowls for my cereal, soup, etc. :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

recipe: Island Spice Pork

I found a recipe a few days ago for a pork tenderloin that looked really good.

Normally I steer away from pork recipes because I'm not that fond of pork, but recently we have been buying it because it's cheap (and cheap is good). We buy tenderloins (quite a sizable portion of meat!) at Sam's Club and John cuts them down into chops (much more our size) and freezes them in packs of three or four. It ends up being an economical way to get good protein in our diets, and allows us to experiment with recipes we might not otherwise try, not wanting to ruin a large piece of meat.

I found this recipe on the blog "Annie's Eats" (which has some very good recipes and nice pictures of those recipes ... makes your mouth water :)) and the only modification that John made when he cooked it was that he used pork chops instead of a tenderloin. It was so delicious!!! As Annie mention in her post, it is an odd combination of spices, but it works well. Really well!!!

For the spice rub:
2 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 pork tenderloins (about 2-2½ lbs. total) - we used 4 pork chops instead and had some of the rub left over
2 tbsp. olive oil

For the glaze:
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. (2-3 cloves) finely minced garlic
1½ tsp. Tabasco sauce

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Combine the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir together with a fork to blend. Pat the mixture over the pork tenderloins.

Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Place the tenderloins in the skillet and brown on all sides, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes total. Remove from the heat, leaving the pork in the skillet.

Stir together the brown sugar, garlic and Tabasco in a small bowl until blended. Spread the mixture evenly over the tops of the tenderloins.

Place the skillet in the preheated oven and roast about 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of each tenderloin registers 140˚ F. Loosely tent the skillet with foil and let stand 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

recipe: orange chocolate cupcakes

Okay, so John and I do eat other things besides dessert. Really, we do! I just seem to blog about the dessert recipes a lot more often.

I found the link to the recipe for these on OnePrettyThing, a blog that compiles bunches of crafting/decorating ideas from all sorts of other blogs each day. It's a fun place to go every now and then, and I've found some great ideas there!

These cupcakes are delicious. Simple to make, too. The recipe is really just a glorified cake mix, but it tastes soooooooooo good! You could also easily take your favorite chocolate cake recipe and customize it using orange juice and zest if you'd rather not use a mix.

John and I agree, though, that the best part of these is the icing. It's a basic buttercream recipe, but the liquid is orange juice instead of milk and there is about an orange worth of zest in it. Just delicious, and not cloyingly sweet the way buttercream can sometimes be.

1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix
Replace Water with Orange Juice
1/2 Orange Zested
Follow box directions with the added and replaced ingredients. For parchment cupcake papers (for the mini cupcakes that she showed on her blog - I made regular sized cupcakes with regular papers) cut 3 1/4” squares and squish down into cupcake pan.

4 Cups Powdered Sugar
8 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
3 Tablespoons Orange Juice (add more juice if needed)
1 Orange Zested
Mix all the ingredients until smooth. Use a round piping tip to pipe the icing (I used a plastic sandwich baggy with a corner cut off). Zest an additional orange for garnish and sprinkle a little sugar on top.

If you have a chance to take a look at her blog, I recommend it! She's a graphic designer at Hume Lake and her work is sweet and refreshing

Saturday, March 20, 2010

such a fun giveaway

Lisa of Lisa Leonard Designs is having a fabulous giveaway over on her blog ........................ oh, I'd love to win!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

on a whim

, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

We were in the library on Monday afternoon, browsing through the gardening and home design books (gathering ideas for "someday"), when I turned around and was confronted by the dessert cookbooks, particularly one devoted to cheesecakes.
We hurried out of the library and I made one.

It was very good. Gone in 18 hours (should I admit that?) kind of good.

I used the recipe off the gigantic box of Philadelphia cream cheese from Sam's Club, making enough changes along the way that I think I can call it my own. I made up a blueberry sauce to go with it, but any berry or fruit sauce would do.

So here you go, my "On A Whim Cheesecake", or "Cheesecake To Satisfy Pregnancy Cravings"

1 lb cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
3 eggs

1 cup shortbread cookie crumbs
3 Tbs melted butter

1/3 - 1/2 cup lemon curd

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix cookie crumbs and butter, press into the bottom of a springform pan.
Bake 10 minutes (this will smell really good when it comes out).

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until well blended and light. Add eggs, mixing until just blended. Pour into the crust and bake for 35 minutes.
Spoon the lemon curd over the top of the cheesecake and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheesecake center is almost set. Cool and refrigerate until chilled.

teething again: tooth #5

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

some pretty spring things

So, the new Anthropologie catalog came the other day. And some of the new spring things were so .......... pretty.

Yes, so pretty. And so out of my price range. :) A girl can dream, right?

Friday, March 05, 2010

spring is coming!

and there is a new post up over at the market blog.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

coffee sugar cookies

coffee sugar cookies, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

These cookies are so yummy! I made them a few weeks ago for Valentine's Day, and they lasted on the counter very well.
Usually having cookies last several days means that the recipe wasn't that great, but these were!!! They have ground coffee in them, though, so I wasn't able to eat more than one at once as this little baby gets a bit excited by caffeine. :)
I found the recipe over on this blog and followed it without changing anything. Sometimes I tweak a little as I go, but not this time. I'm so glad I let them be - they are just so good!

Coffee Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
2 tbsp. fresh ground coffee (you can also use instant crystals or powder) I used fresh
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
In a small bowl, combine eggs, vanilla, and coffee.
In yet another bowl, add together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Slowly add your egg mixture to the butter mixture until well combined. Slowly add flour mixture until fully combined, do not over beat.
I would chill this dough for AT LEAST one hour, preferably overnight. The dough is pretty wet even then, so be prepared to flour your rolling pin well.
When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden. Allow cookies to cool completely before covering in any icing.

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