"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bad Cats!

Doesn't Tiger look so innocent?  Look what he found in the office:
I looked over and he was walking through the living room with this in his mouth and a trail of cats following him! Can we say partners in crime? (Please excuse my clean laundry waiting to be put up!)  He found some feather boa and tulle in the office.  He also growled at me when I took it away!  LOL
I guess Pippi does look mischievous.
Tiger and Muffin taught her a new game, I have to make sure my pin cushion is put up at all times, or she does this:
She pulls all of my pins out!  She starts with my double needle, then the safety pins, and finishes with the needles!  Praise the Lord she has not hurt herself!
They also like to pull my clean, just ironed material off my dryer rack!
When you have this many cats, you will have mischievousness!
Yes, that's right, you counted six!  I blame it all on my friend Ebbye for giving us the last three (the trouble makers!)  But I love them all!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Carob Cupcakes Recipe and class

My young ladies had another baking class on Tuesday.  We have added another girl. I think it is very important to teach young ladies how to bake.  Ashleigh and Aaliyah picked a chocolate cupcake recipe from the Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book.  I think it is a ding dong knock off with a marshmallow filling, but the girls do not like marshmallow so we used stabilized whipped cream instead.
When you have a recipe that calls for cocoa but you want to substitute carob powder instead it is 1 part cocoa to 2 1/2 parts carob powder according to the information I found online.  I thought that would make too much carob powder, so for 3/4 cup cocoa we substituted 1 1/2 cups carob powder.
 Cream-Filled Carob Cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups carob powder or 3/4 cup cocoa
2 cups all-purpose flour (I used organic unbleached)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups palm sugar
3 large eggs, room temp.
1 cup sour cream, room temp.
1/4 cup milk (after adding the carob powder the dough was too thick so I added this milk)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Whisk together flour, carob powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  (this aerates the flour, if you are using wheat flour be sure to sift instead.)
2.  With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
With mixer on low, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and mixing until just incorporated after each.  Be sure to not over-mix!
3.  Divide the batter evenly among prepared cups, filling each 3/4 way full.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes for regular cupcakes.  Jumbo cupcakes 25 minutes.  Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 5 minutes.  Turn out to cool.



4.  Transfer filling to large heavy-duty resealable plastic bag, and twist bag to remove excess air before sealing.  Snip off one corner of the bag to make a 1/4 inch opening or use tip #8.

We also made Italian Meringue Buttercream, you can get my recipe here:  http://missyscakesandaprons.blogspot.com/2011/08/italian-meringue-buttercream.html
Ashleigh got to separate the egg whites for the IMBC.





We made sunflowers from the book What's Up Cupcake?, but we used carob chips for the center instead of Oreo cookies.
We used a leaf tip for the petals.  For their first time decorating, they did a great job!
They had a lot of cupcakes to decorate and got bored with the sunflowers after a while so I just let them play for a while.
Here are Ashleigh's cupcakes
Aaliyah's
and Miracle's
Next week we will be learning how to make carrot cake, thot not buttercream and fondant.
Missy

Pumpkin Soup

I just noticed I have two new friends on GFC!  Welcome!  I don't know how to tell how many friends I have on my blogger, I am very "slow" in learning computer stuff.  I would like to thank Rebecca, a young girl I used to babysit, for helping fix my background.
My friend Marie came over for lunch yesterday and laughed at me for taking a picture of my soup!  She never gets on the internet, so I had to show her my blog so she would understand why I take my pictures of my food!
Here is the original recipe, I changed it a little.
http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/day-299.html

I made a lot so I could can it, only to find out, after I had it in the water bath canner, that it HAS to be done in a pressure canner!  I put them in the freezer after they cooled down.
-4 15 oz cans or 6 cups of pumpkin.  I used organic pumpkin puree.
-4 cups vegetable broth, I used one box you can also use chicken broth.  Go for the organic, stores like Whole Foods, Central Market and HEB have it for $2!  I stock up when I go to one of those stores.
-3 cups water
2 yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
since sweet potatoes are so hard to cut, I used my mandolin slicer and then chopped it.
-3-4 chopped garlic cloves, I used my garlic press
1 T sugar (I used palm)
1 tsp ginger
3 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 chopped onion (optional)
heavy whipping cream
Put it all in the crock pot.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hrs (if you don't have that much much time you can cook it on high for one hour to get it started, then turn it to low.
If you have in immersible blender use that (I really want one of these!) I scooped out the chunks and put them in my blender and blended until smooth.  Don't put the lid all of the way on the hot liquid, or it might explode, I tilted the middle insert of the lid to let steam escape.
I made a mess, but it sure is delicious.  I also have extra made and in my freezer for future lunches!  Not to mention how healthy this soup is.  With sweet potatoes, pumpkin and garlic - you can't go wrong!
My friend Marie told me that she does not like pumpkin, but after tasting my soup she changed her mind.
I hope you enjoy this much as I do!
Enjoy this cool weather with some soup!
Missy

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My husband wants a quilt!

Sometimes it's kind of dangerous to let my husband look at my craft magazines!  I'm taking my first class on quilting and I bought a new magazine.  He saw this quilt:

and asked me to make him one.  How can I say no?  At least it is an easy one for a beginner (I think?????)
It is called Weaving the Rails and the designer is Kathie Holland.  We found the it int the magazine "American Patchwork and Quilting" 
He likes the antique look of the quilt.  I decided I want to do Browns, blues, greens, creams and tans.  This way I can use it in my bedroom. I do like the look of this quilt though and hope limiting my colors will still turn out nice?  I found some material in my stash, but I'm going to need a lot more!  I have found that quilting is very expensive when you consider the cost of the 100% cotton material and batting and thread.  My teacher says this is a must!  Would anyone else be interested in quilting along with me?  I'm no expert, but it should be fun!
Missy

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sugar Cookies Class

I'm teaching baking classes to a couple of young ladies at my church.  Our first lesson was sugar cookies.  I used the recipe for no fail sugar cookies from cakecentral.com .  I changed a couple of ingredients to make it healthier.  http://cakecentral.com/recipes/no-fail-sugar-cookies/print
No Fail Sugar Cookies – NFSC


Ingredients

6 cups flour  (I used whole grain pastry flour)

3 tsp. baking powder

2 cups unsalted butter

2 cups sugar (I used palm sugar)
2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract or desired flavoring (I like almond myself)

1 tsp. salt

Instructions

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.

Chill for 1 to 2 hours (or see Hint below)

Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350
degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. This recipe
can make up to 5-dozen  cookies.
This recipe was almost too much for a regular kitchen aide, so I would recomend checking the bottom of the dough often.
We used a from scratch recipe for the royal icing.  http://www.wilton.com/recipe/print/Egg-White-Royal-Icing-1
Egg White Royal Icing dries hard—so you can make flowers or other decorations in advance. Meringue Powder gives it an extra-stiff texture.

Ingredients:

3 egg whites (room temperature)

4 cups (approximately 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar (I used thot not powdered sugar which leaves it an off white)

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
I also added a tsp of vanilla for better taste

Makes:

2 1/2 cups.

Instructions:

Step 1
Beat all ingredients at high speed for 7 to 10 minutes. Use immediately. Rebeating will not restore texture.

Step 2
Wilton says:  *For use only as non-edible decorations which will not come in direct contact with the cake. Wash hands and utensils thoroughly after making recipe.
But I think it is fine to eat.

I just let the girls play around with thr icing since it had been such a long day laerning how to bake and cut out the cookies.
I also taught them how to thin the icing to cover cookie pops.

Tomorrow we are learning cupcakes and IMBC!
Have a great day ya'll!
Missy

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book of Dreams by Davis Bunn

Book of Dreams


I just finished reading Book of Dreams by Davis Bunn. What a great book! I read it in two days while I was sick and enjoyed it very much! The whole book is on the premise that God speaks to us through His Word and how we need to pay attention to our dreams because God may be speaking to us in our dreams. We need to open our hearts and listen when God speaks to us.

I always knew the banking system was corrupt, but I never understood how until Davis explained it in his book. We need to be aware of what is happening in our banks and how they operate with the politicians. Dr. Elena Burroughs is a psychologist who is just existing in her life after her husband passed away. She was content with how things were, but when she gets a new client - everything changes. She is swept up in the politics of the banks and gets a very old book that helps her understand God, life and dreams better then she could understand on her own.

I would recommend this book to everyone. Even though I usually only read historical fiction, this book is great and will keep you focused to the end!

To read the first chapter, go here:

http://books.simonandschuster.com/Book-of-Dreams/Davis-Bunn/9781416556701/excerpt_with_id/17972

To win a copy of the book read the first chapter and tell me what you think of the book!

For another entry "like" Davis Bunn on facebook and leave me another comment letting me know you "liked" him.

https://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=hp#!/pages/Davis-Bunn-author/134762129885578

Be sure to leave two separate comments for two entries and leave me your email address so that I can contact you if you win! The contest will end on Saturday, October 22.  I will draw the name on Sunday morning!

I have some interview questions to share with you from Davis Bunn about his book!

In Book of Dreams, you revisit a theme from one of your earlier books, The Warning. Why did you write about the crisis in the banking industry?

The Warning, published in 2003, focused on the then-current financial crisis. It was about a man who felt called by God to warn people that financial upheaval was coming, and the difficulties he had in getting his message across. That book was in the top five on the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association) best-seller list for 14 months.

The week I started writing Book of Dreams, the news broke that not one single banker responsible for the mortgage crisis and bank crisis had been convicted of a crime. The banking industry came out of this crisis relatively unscathed while 3 million American families lost their homes — that’s almost 15 percent of all homeowners in America. That, to me, is just not right.

The banking industry is all about self-interest and making money. The American banking industry spends $1 million a day lobbying Congress, while the international banking industry spends another million per day lobbying the American political system. With that much money on the table, there’s a potential for huge profits – the banking industry wouldn’t invest that much money for any other reason.

The question became: “What could happen that would stymie this self-absorbed lobbying?”

The answer: An independent commission that would oversee these transactions so there’d be nowhere for these people to hide. I built Book of Dreams around that premise.

Your story explores how God uses dreams and visions to communicate with people. What inspired that idea?

My wife and I did a wonderful Bible study on the book of Daniel, in which we explored how dreams were one component of Daniel’s gift of prophecy.

When I wrote the book, I tried to build in two key components about communicating with God through dreams or visions. The first is humility. Rather than using a vision or dream for one’s own aggrandizement, I believe that the less the person is involved, the more God can shine through.

The second component is, “How does this vision tie in to the scriptures?” When I was in the Middle East, I saw beautiful cryptograms of the Lord’s Prayer. It was so telling to see the Lord’s Prayer in terms of artwork. This inspired the idea of a book written in Aramaic – the language Jesus spoke – with each verse of Lord’s Prayer on one page of the book.

As I drafted the story, I looked at the Lord’s Prayer one verse at a time and that became my prayer time. It took three months to write the book and I did not finish the Lord’s Prayer in three months. It was a beautiful experience for me.

When the character of Elena follows God’s lead, her life takes a different path than the one she planned or expected. Davis, in what ways does your own dependence on God’s leading take you in surprising directions?

It’s remarkable how this question comes up now, because it seems like this entire year has been one of being open to God’s OTHER direction. This has been true both in my creative work and in my walk of service.

Obviously I had no idea what was in store for us when I wrote the Book of Dreams (remember, the story is completed between nine and twelve months before its publication). But this really has been a reflection of what the story has tried to reveal – that sometimes the most important gift is what at first is what we fear.

Change often feels threatening, but so long as we struggle, we can’t see the true divine intention. To arrive at this point, where our prayer becomes one of genuinely seeking God’s call and His illumination, we must first embrace the change that is there in front of us.

Is a sequel for Book of Dreams planned? If so, when can we expect it?

I am this very moment completing the sequel, which is entitled Hidden in Dreams. Howard/Simon and Schuster have this slated for release in July 2012.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website, blog, and interactive discussion group are at www.davisbunn.com

I update my blog at least three times per week. To subscribe to my latest posts via your feed reader or via email, click http://feeds.feedburner.com/DavisBunn

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Davis-Bunn-author/134762129885578

Twitter: @davisbunn - http://twitter.com/davisbunn

E-Newsletter: My free e-newsletter always includes a giveaway contest for my latest book. To subscribe, fill out the form at www.davisbunn.com or send a blank e-mail to davisbunn@aweber.com. You’ll receive a confirmation e-mail. Click the link in that e-mail, and you’re all set.

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did!

Missy

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quilting Class

I am taking a quilting class!  This is something that I have wanted to do for years.  Our local activities center is offering affordable classes.  My teacher, Lori, brought some of the quilts she made.  Aren't they gorgeous?
She even quilts beautiful bags.

I love the colors that she uses.  Quilting is such an awesome way to be creative.
There are a lot of supplies that I could buy, but I only had to buy a couple of special rulers, the big one and small one.  Rulers are very important to ensure accuracy in cutting and sewing.  The small ruler is to ensure that my needle on my sewing machine is set exactly on 1/4 inch to make 1/4 inch seams.  I also bought special curved safety pins for pinning the layers together and special quilting needles for my machine.  The most expensive thing was the batting, which is very expensive!

The above quilt is the first quilt my teacher ever made and it is the same pattern I chose also.  I have some blocks sewn but I forgot to take a picture.  I'll be finishing my wall hanging tomorrow and can't wait to share pictures with you!
Don't forget to check out my other blog to win Davis Bunn's newest book!  The contest ends tomorrow night.  bodaciousbookworms.blogspot.com
Missy
Here is one more quilt she has made.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book giveaway

I'm having a book giveaway over on my book blog, so be sure to hop on over and enter to win Book of Dreams by Davis Bunn!
bodaciousbookworms.blogspot.com

I've had a pretty busy week and I have a lot to blog about!

Last week an acquaintance passed away.  He was the brother and son of very dear friends of mine at church.  Our church came out to support them in this tragic time of death.  The funeral was on Monday, I helped with the reception following the funeral.  I was grateful for the distraction it provided.  Praise the Lord he had asked the Lord to come into his heart and to save him from his sins.  ""For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."  Romans 10:10, 11, 13

Tuesday I had quilting class.

Wednesday I taught a baking class to two young ladies from church.

Thursday I was home and cleaned and rearranged my living room with church that night.  (I know weird night to have church  LOL)

Friday I helped and fellowshipped with a friend from church. 

I have had a busy week, but I promise to download all of my pictures, sort through them and blog about them next week!

Don't forget to enter my book giveaway and have a great weekend ya'll!  I'll share a picture of my cats, ya'll don't mind do ya'll?
Missy
I'm kitten sitting Pippi's two brothers.  Here is Pippi (the black calico) and Splash and Frosty.  She's the only odd ball of the bunch!  This also means that I have eight cats running around my house this week!  Talk about total chaos on top of the rest of my week, but that's ok, it's been fun.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings

I love chicken and dumplings!  It is the only type of "soup" I can get my husband to eat.  My good friend Cara first taught me how to make it about 14 or 15 years ago.  Over the years I have adapted it.  I have always used Bisquick for my dumplings, but the past couple of years I have been trying to find a healthy, from scratch alternative.  I finally found one!  My husband bought me a great new book.  I'm Just Here For More Food-baking by Alton Brown.


He takes the science behind the ingredients and explains why they work.  I would recommend this book to everyone because it is much more then just a cookbook.  I used his dumplings recipe with a tad alterations.  I hope you enjoy!

Fill your pot (stock pot or dutch oven) with liquid, enough to cover your chicken.  I used a box of organic chicken broth ($2 at HEB or Central Market) and the rest water.  You can also use canned chicken stock, but it is probably full of msg and a bunch of  other unhealthy stuff.  You can use either a whole chicken or chicken breasts.  I don't measure my spices, just add according to your taste.  A couple of bay leaves, 3 cloves of pressed garlic, couple teaspoons of salt, ground sage, thyme and rosemary.  Add diced carrots and celery.  I make the dumplings while the chicken and vegetables are cooking.  Be sure to use a slotted spoon ( I have a flat one I use) or some type of skimmer thingy to get the yuckies from the chicken floating on the top.  You can also use a paper towel.
Dumplings
1 cup organic unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sage
Whisk the dry ingredients together to aerate as you combine.  If you use wheat flour be sure to sift it together.
Grate 1 1/2 tablespoons of frozen butter into the flour.  Add 2 teaspoons lard.  You'll want to mix it together the way you would a pie crust.  You can use either a pastry cutter or your fingers to make it into a coarse-like texture.  Add 1/2 cup chilled buttermilk ( I used soured milk) and mix thoroughly.

Remove chicken from broth and cut in small pieces.
I used my small scooper to drop the dumplings into the boiling broth.  Make sure it is boiling or the dumplings will disintegrate.  If you don't have a scooper you can roll the dough into about 12 small balls before dropping it into the broth.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium-low heat.  You may need to lower the heat if it starts to over boil. 

Add the chicken back to the broth to reheat it.  Stir it gently in to prevent  disintegrating the dumplings.  Cook an additional five minutes uncovered. 
Enjoy your comfort food!
Missy
"Oh taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him." Psalm 34:8







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