Friday, June 27, 2014

pineberry sorbet

I was going for a quick refresher after a long walk in some pretty good heat - think smoothie - but I ended up with this.  Closer to a sorbet (which is even closer to ice cream than a smoothie is, and you know what I've told you before about me and ice cream!), it scooped out in beautiful rounds as soon as it came out of my Ninja.  

This pic is actually the second batch I made and refroze within hours of the first, because as I shared with you here, John and I nearly came to blows on the front porch when I first arrived with the treat.

By the way, that would not have been a good move if wanting to win over new neighbors and influence people.

We both begrudgingly took turns scraping the bottom of the bowl, and then I went back inside to begin mixing again.  

This is not rocket science or even unique, I'm sure.  But the consistency and ease was so unexpected, I wanted to share.  Though, one word of advice.  If there are two of you and only one bowlful of the dessert, make sure you have a pair of gloves and bell in tow; a knock-down, drag-out is a given.

Pineberry Sorbet
  • 14 one-inch pineapple chunks, frozen
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries (I used strawberry, raspberry, blackberry blend)
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
~ Pour all ingredients in device (blender, Ninja, etc) and blend until smooth.  

~ Serve immediately, or pour into airtight container and store in freezer. 

Recipe from The Lazy Daisy Kitchen.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

easy-peasy chicken salad and an update

I have a secret.

Sometimes, I rush into the kitchen after getting home from work, and while the kids are busy playing, I throw together a super-quick meal for just John and me so we can eat in peace.


But hear me out.  

Now that we ride all together to and from school most days, if the journey home is long and drawn-out,  full of traffic, feisty with sibling dispute, loud with everyone talking over each other to tell their most pressing needs, I just… well… hide food from my kids.

I know.  It's bad isn't it.

But is it really that terrible?

Plus, I usually do a salad, because (in my mind) a big fancy, schmancy salad my 9 and 11-year-old do not want.

Well.  I don't ask them if they do.  But I'm pretty sure they don't.

So… as was this meal a couple of weeks ago.  A mix of lightly dressed baby lettuces topped with my Easy-Peasy Chicken Salad, a sprinkle of sliced almonds, a side of sharp cheddar and a piece of toasted Italian Easter Bread from the freezer.  All done within minutes.  All done without children.  And I'm fairly certain John and I didn't say a word following his prayer.

Quiet is way underestimated.

As for my veggie re-growing update, I can definitely say the experiment has been a great success thus far.  A little over a week into it, and the celery stalks are emerging (although I only left the leaves to show when I planted) and the green onions… well… take a look for yourself. Unbelievable.  I spend about $4 on the both of these combined when purchasing at the store. Considering our family has been known to drive out of our way five miles to save five cents on gas, I say this is a score!

Easy-Peasy Chicken Salad
makes 4-5 hearty servings
  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 green onion, sliced (green parts only)
  • 1/4 cup Craisins
  • 3 heaping tbsp of mayo (or more, if preferred)
  • a sprinkling of Kosher salt
  • course ground pepper to taste
~ Stir together all ingredients and serve.

*For this recipe, I boil my chicken breasts in chicken base.  This one has become my 
  favorite as of late.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

money-saving experiment - you gotta try this!

So I made a salad Friday night (will soon share with you), which left me with the whites of four green onions.  As I was cleaning up, I looked at them and thought, "Surely there is a way to regenerate these!"  To the computer I went… 

Love Google.  

And sure enough, I ended up reading forever about foods you can re-grow.  In fact, I also learned one can regenerate the end of a celery stalk, which I happened to have on the counter, as well.  

I just want you to look at how cool God is.  This is less than 24 hours between shots.

It is really as easy as it looks.  Place the end of a celery bunch in a bowl with just enough water to submerge, about an inch.  Place in a sunny location, and it will quickly begin to grow.  In a few days, I should be able to transplant to a pot and watch the stalks emerge.  

The green onions  just need to be planted in potting soil, leaving about an inch above the dirt. Water thoroughly and they, too, will quickly reform.  

I am really looking forward to seeing how this all turns out.  It will be a treat to just cut what I need, when I need it, as the months go by.  I will most definitely keep you posted on this undertaking and will soon share a terrific, EASY chicken salad recipe that uses both of these veggies nicely. 


Friday, June 6, 2014

high five for friday

When it comes to this blog, Summer is my favorite time of year.  The load of life lightens just enough that I have a little more time to think and create and, really, just be inspired.

I am praying for great weather this weekend, so that Fair on the Square is a success.  I've heard about this neighborhood event in the village since before we moved here, and now I get to experience it myself as a resident.  Artisans, food trucks, free samples (or "try-outs" as the boys refer to them), and so much more is planned for Saturday morning.  I can't wait.  You can rest assured a few dollars will be in my pocket and a camera around my neck.

Speaking of camera, now that baseball is over, it has been able to focus on other things besides a bat and ball, and two cutie patooties in their uniforms.  These are just five snapshots of moments that really make life the gift it is.  It's the little things, most of the time, isn't it?

By the way, have you ever wondered why we refer to them as little?  Why not call 'em big and soak them up, one blessing at a time?  I'm certainly in.  How about you?

High Five for Friday, my friends!

We have been waiting for this moment right here… The youth group in our home, singing, laughing, eating, praising… A dream come true.  Twenty-one lovers of Jesus.  Super-awesome.

The perfect Memorial Day shopping outfit, right?  That's what Luke thought anyway.  He's re-discovered my grandfather's hat he was given a couple of years ago and has been wearing it non-stop. I love it.

Charley has seen the boys with a ball in hand so much over the last months, he doesn't want to be left out.  It's in his mouth more than it's on the ground.  

We're enjoying filling a few empty spaces in the new(er) house.  We finally have time to start really making it home, and I was THRILLED to snag this woven cane-seat rocker at Goodwill.  It's a perfect fit next to the fireplace.

I'm hoping I can do this one again.  By accident, I came up with what I'm calling "Pineberry Sorbet."  I'll share the recipe after I try it again and really measure and make sure it's as good I think it was.  This was a total non-plan, and came to nearly a "knock-down drag-out" between John and me on who was going to get the most.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

new every morning bread

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning…"  
Lamentations 3:22-23

I've always been a morning person, and, oh, how I love the words of the verse above.  They refresh, they renew, they restore hope.  Watch the 10:00 news for five minutes or read internet headlines and you understand why meditating on them is so absolutely necessary.

This has become my favorite place in our house, I do believe.  The chair gets comfier every time it's occupied, my great-grandmother's quilt envelops me, and it's the meeting place for God and me every morning at 5:00.  Even though its only two or three feet from the edge of my bed, there's something comforting about knowing I'm heading to that spot at sunrise to receive His new and endless mercies.  It's a gift.  And all He's asked me to do is just show up.    

The chaos and stress of mornings can make it one of the absolute hardest times of the day, but sustenance can make all the difference in the world.  The feeding of the soul and the body can make for a hopeful start, that's for sure.

This is a great recipe to get you going and so easy to grab and go.  You can make substitutes to your liking, but I like it just like this.  Mom made it the first time I had it, and I instantly loved it.  The next time I craved it, I made it, though slightly different, due to some ingredients I didn't have on hand.  No matter the version, it works, and it's very healthy.  But beware… it won't last long!

New Every Morning Bread
makes one loaf
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 T oil
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup granola cereal
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
~ Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

~ Grease and lightly flour 9x5 loaf pan.  

~ Mix all wet ingredients together, stirring in cranberries and nuts.  Add in dry ingredients 
    in the order listed just until moistened.  

~ Fill pan and bake until golden and edges begin to pull away from sides of pan, about 
   45-55 minutes.

~ Cool in pan 5 minutes then remove and cool on rack.  Serve immediately or wrap tightly 
    and store in refrigerator.