Sunday, December 4, 2011

Missed Church Today?

You can watch Newspring Live! At 9 a.m., 11:15a.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Helen, Georgia

We took a fall trip to Helen, Georgia a few weeks ago.  The weather was crisp and the leaves were beautiful.  Here are a few pictures from our cabin adventure.  We hiked Anna Ruby Falls, played Putt-Putt in downtown Helen, and chilled at the cabin with a warm fire and good food!











Saturday, November 19, 2011

Run Turkey Run


Turkeys invaded my parents yard.  Little did they know that Thanksgiving was around the corner!  I decorated the picture and asked first graders what they thought it meant.  Very few of them actually got it.  We may need to read the book again!
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cabbage Rolls


With all the cabbage left from making sauerkraut, I decided to try cabbage rolls.  I have eaten them before but this is the first time that I have made them.  I browned ground beef and hot sausage (one pound each), added three pepper blend, onion, salt, pepper, garlic powder, package of prepared brown rice, and homemade spicy ketchup.  I let this simmer while I boiled the cabbage until tender.  I put the mixture in each leaf and rolled it up!  You can see the toothpicks holding them together!  In a clean pan, I put the rolls and poured a can of tomato soup over them.  I tented the lid and simmered for 30 minutes.
These were a big hit!  I will make these again.  Serve with hot sauce.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sauerkraut

My family headed to the mountains this past weekend for apples.  The leaves were beautiful, and the weather was crisp.  I have loads of apples to can in the next few days.  At Grandad's Apple Orchard these beautiful cabbages caught my eye!  They were huge!


I had been reading about the health benefits of sauerkraut, and decided to give it a try.

First, I talked to my Mom and got her recipe!  I started by chopping those big cabbages into strips.

I stuffed the cabbage into quart jars that had been sterilized.  I pressed the cabbage down with a spoon to get a lot in the jar.  I also added caraway seeds and fennel seeds to some of the jars.  I topped off the jars with 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1 teaspoon sugar.  Boiling water was poured into the jars. I put the lids on and turned the jars upside down to release the air bubbles.  (I had read that part on several blogs, and it appeared to work.)  

I am storing the jars in a dark place for several (3) weeks to ferment.  I will check to make sure the cabbage stays covered in the brine. At the end of fermentation, I will seal the jars  in a water bath so they will last.  I sure hope this works out!  I am making plans for a nice Reuben sandwich next month.




Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pumpkin Bar Goodness

Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.  
Jim Davis, cartoonist

My daughter Laura and I (see below) love pumpkin bars this time of year!  Yesterday we decided to try a different version from our old standby.  We decided it was time to branch out and try something new.  The new recipe entitled, Pumpkin Pie Streusel Bars, was found on the blog,  Bakers Royale.  Naomi says that she added oats to justify having them for breakfast!  I love that rationale.
These bars are more like a cookie with the shortbread bottom and struesel topping.  The butterscotch chips add a new dimension to the pumpkin flavor.  They cooked up nicely, and were easy to cut when cooled.  We liked them!  Here is a snapshot of how ours turned out:
                                               

Our favorite pumpkin bar recipe is from the famous Paula Deen.  

Creamy Pumpkin and Pecan Squares
Ingredients
  1. 1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix
  2. 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  3. 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  4. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  5. 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  6. 3 large eggs
  7. 1 cup canned pumpkin
  8. 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  9. 1 (16-ounce) box confectioners’ sugar
  10. Whipped cream (optional)
  11. Ground cinnamon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine cake mix, butter, chopped pecans, and 1 egg. Press mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and 3 eggs with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until mixture is smooth. Pour over prepared crust. Bake 35 minutes. Cut into squares to serve. Serve with whipped cream and lightly sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

Here is a great picture of us on her wedding day! 







Sunday, October 2, 2011

Happy Fall

Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.
William Bryant
                                                            





I love this time of year!  The weather has finally changed and those cool breezes are pure pleasure.  The cool weather is a reminder that it is time to visit the apple orchards.  Those apple doughnuts from Sky Top in N.C. were wonderful last year!  I was thinking about them today and thought I would try a baked version.  I was pleasantly surprised with the results. You won't be sorry if you decide to bake them.  Just don't leave out the nutmeg; it creates the doughnut taste.  I made mine in a mini-muffin pan.  

Baked Apple Doughnuts/Muffins
Combine the following:
1/4 cup of lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup of white sugar
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup of cold butter, cut into small pieces
Cut in the butter until crumbly.

Mix together:
1 egg
1/4 cup of milk (add a little more if dry)
1-1/2 cups diced apples (2 peeled)

Combine dry and wet ingredients.  Do not overmix.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Cool 5 minutes and top with the following:
Mix together:
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder

Brush each muffin top with melted butter and dip in cinnamon sugar.




Friday, July 29, 2011

Firsts and Lasts

Summer afternoon-summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.-Henry James

This is my last free summer day before I go back to work Monday.  Drinking coffee in my PJ's until 9 a.m. will be reserved for Saturdays from now on. The first day of summer vacation was a celebration!  All those days ahead with no real schedule was a fabulous feeling!  Somehow, I am always ready to go back to school when August rolls around.  I guess it is because I love what I do!  
In honor of my last free Friday, I decided on a banana bread with bittersweet chocolate chips.  I needed just a little chocolate to sooth my nerves!  You just have to try this one!


Chocolate-Pecan Banana Bread
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
A pinch of nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup mashed banana
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate
Sift first 6 dry ingredients into mixing bowl.  Add the rest and stir until combined. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes.  Mini-loaf pans for 20-25 minutes.