Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tasty Tuesday - Spring Tarts

      Last Friday I attended a wonderful Spring luncheon at a friend's home.  I hope to have a few pictures of her amazing table to show you soon.
     My contribution to the luncheon was a dessert. So I searched through some recipes on this blog until I found these pretty little tarts.  They are so easy to make!

mini pastry shells (in the grocer's frozen foods section)
one 14 oz. can of fat-free Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup of lemon juice
one 8 oz. container of fat-free whipped topping
one small can of mandarin oranges (drained)
one kiwi
a few strawberries or raspberries

Bake the pastry shells as directed on package. 
Mix the Eagle Brand and lemon juice in a bowl.  Fold in the whipped topping and fill the cooled pastry shells with the mixture.
Put a little slice of each fruit on top and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wasn't that easy?  Your guests will love them!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tasty Tuesday - My Favorite Honey Wheat Bread

   Here's my all-time favorite bread recipe!  This can be made as loaves or rolls and I guarantee your family will love it!

3 cups of unbleached flour
2 pkgs. of dry yeast
1 & 1/2 tsp. of salt
1 cup of water
1 cup of small curd cottage cheese
4 tbsp. of butter
1/2 cup of honey
2 eggs
2 & 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
1/2  cup regular oats (uncooked oatmeal)

Step 1-
  In a large bowl, mix two cups of the unbleached flour, salt and dry yeast together.
Step 2-
In a saucepan, heat the water, butter, honey and cottage cheese, stirring constantly until the butter is melted and the mixture is warm.  The temperature should be about 120 degrees if you have a thermometer or just stick your finger in and it should be warm, but not hot.
Heat this only until the butter is melted.  Do not boil or let it get too hot!  If it gets too hot, it will kill your yeast and the dough won't rise.

Step 3 -                                                                                                                                                  
Add warm liquid and slightly beaten eggs to the flour mixture.  Mix well.

I also added 2 tablespoons of milled flax seed. That's the dark stuff you see.  Someone told me it was healthy, so I threw some in. You could also add sunflower seeds or nuts for a little more texture.

Step 4 -
Next, add the oatmeal.  Then add the whole wheat flour and the rest of the unbleached flour and mix.  Your dough will be pretty thick now and ready to turn out on a floured surface.

Step 5 -
Turn out on the floured surface and add more flour, as you knead the bread, until the dough is no longer sticky and forms a nice mound.

Step 6 -
Place the mound of dough in a large greased bowl.  I usually spray my bowl with Pam and then I spray the Pam on the top of the dough after I place it in the bowl.

Step 7 -
Now cover the dough with a towel and let it rise until it's double in size. This usually takes about 45 minutes.
Try to set it where it's warm and it will rise a little faster. I usually put it on the stove top ( don't turn on the stove) and turn the vent hood light on to make it a little warmer.

Step 8 -
When the bread has doubled in size, punch it down several times with your fist.

Step 9 -
Divide the sough into two pieces with your hands and place each one into a greased loaf pan, shaping as you go.

Step 10 -
Now cover these and, once more, let them rise until double in size.

Step 11 -
Next, place the loaves in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Hint: If the bread sounds hollow when you tap it with the handle end of a table knife, then you know it's done.  Remove from the oven and  enjoy!  I like to take a stick of butter and run it over the top of the loaf while it's still hot.  This gives it a nice, tasty crust that stays soft.

The white you see on top of the loaves is the melting butter.  Yum-m-m!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday


Today I'm thankful for my sweet son-in-law, Erick.  Not only is he a good provider, but he's also a great husband and father.  This weekend he is sending his wife on a trip to visit her old college roommate, for a much needed break, while he stays behind  to care for a busy five year old son and a two year old daughter with special needs. 

    While my daughter is shopping and getting a pedicure, he will be home changing diapers, inserting feeding tubes and playing "cowboy".  He will give baths, have devotionals and stay up nights with a crying two year old who's having a seizure.  He'll do all of this with a patient and kind spirit.

   Since entering our lives ten years ago, we have watched Erick grow into a mature, Godly man who provides a secure and happy home for his wife and children.  He has become the man he is through his love of the Lord and because of Godly parents who set a wonderful example for him.

  Erick's mother once told me that when he was a high school senior, he was asked what his goal was and he replied, "to be a good father".  He's achieved this goal along with being a great husband, son and son-in-law! 

   We love you and appreciate you, Erick.  What a great blessing you are!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sewing Saturday - New Window Valances

   This week I made new valances for the breakfast room and kitchen.  I decided to try sewing with grommets and really like the way they turned out!  The contemporary look that they give is just what I wanted and they were quick and easy to make. No special tools are needed to attach the grommets to the fabric.  They just snap in place!  Sewing Tip:  If you decide to make some, remember, always use an even number of grommets!  I learned this the hard way! :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Home, Sweet Trailer Home

   Several months ago, while fishing at the lake, my husband saw a used travel trailer for sale. He has always dreamed of having a cabin, trailer or actually his home, on that lake.  When he said this trailer was only $1800 I couldn't believe my ears.  I thought he must mean $18,000.  So the next day we rushed to the lake because surely a deal this good couldn't last for long!  All the way over there, we talked about how we could go down for a weekend, he could fish, while I sat on the deck and read.  How relaxing it would be!
When we arrived, I realized that we were experiencing two different dreams!  The trailer was ancient, had a distinct musty smell and had visible cracks in the walls.  And oh yeah, he failed to mention it sat on the parking lot of the marina restaurant. Wouldn't I look great sitting on the deck in a parking lot reading my book?   Even at $1800 it was definitely overpriced!  But even with all these obvious flaws, I could still see the hope and sparkle in my husband's eyes.  His own fish camp, a place to bring our grandson on weekends, a place for him and his buddies to stay!  What more could a man want?
   I could really see the disappointment in his face when I pointed out that our daughter would never let her five year old son stay in that fire-trap of a trailer and that I would really be embarassed if he brought any of our friends down to stay there.  But  as we drove away, I realized that this man deserved to be happy and we were now destined to become the owners of an RV, so I might as well get used to the idea and find us one that was livable.
  After several weeks of scouring craigslist, I found a couple in our price range and once more we headed to the lake to find "our" dream retreat.
  Trailer #1 looked like something out of the movie Deliverance.  It was right on the water's edge, in a trailer park that wasn't paved and had many ancient trailers nearby. Beer bottle lights were strung everywhere.  Even my husband ran from that one pretty quick!
  Trailer #2 was a fifth-wheel trailer, also on the water's edge, but in a nicer park.  It was older, but still in good condition and ready to use without a lot of work.  So, to make a long story short, next week we will be purchasing his, I mean, our trailer on the lake. 
   As he dreams of a fish camp with his buddies, I'm thinking maybe this thing just might work if we install a flat screen TV, get some cute dishes and placemats and maybe some monogrammed towels.  What do you think?
   Here's a picture of the trailer before it was placed on the lot.  Aren't you envious?  Feel free to come down any weekend! :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

  Today I am thankful that we are standing on the threshold of Spring!  I know there will probably be a few more cold days, but I can't wait to enter into this glorious and hopeful season!  My body seems to thrive on sunshine and warmth. 
   Spring promises growth and new life.  Yesterday, while driving into town, I noticed that the grass along the highway is beginning to turn green and soon the beautiful Texas bluebonnets will start to appear everywhere! The trees in my yard are budding and it won't be long before the birds will start searching for little nooks to build their nests.
   Daylight savings time will begin next week, bringing longer evenings to enjoy all these wonders and restless students will begin to squirm in their seats, dreaming of baseball and soccer games, swimming lessons and trips to the beach.  Eager adults will make trips to the nursery to buy  little seedlings, bags of soil and new garden gloves to use as a pallette for painting a canvas of color, scent and texture in their yards.
   Yes, it's almost here and I rejoice and thank the Lord for allowing me another opportunity to marvel at the beauty of His creation!

"For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.  The flowers appear on the earth: the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land"  Song of Solomon 2:11,12

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tasty Tuesday

Today I want to share a recipe that I got at a church dinner.  It's so simple, but tastes great! 

Peanut Butter Sticks

5 thin slices of white bread*
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
vanilla wafers

Step 1:
Take the pieces of bread and remove the crust from each slice.  Then cut each square of bread into 4 long strips.(You can remove the crust and slice them quickly with a pizza cutter.)  Place the strips on an ungreased cookie sheet and place in a preheated 200 degree oven.  Leave these for 2 hours, remove from oven, but leave the oven on.

Step 2:
Using a spoon, blend the peanut butter, sugar and oil.

Step 3:
Crumble(real fine)vanilla wafers, put in a bowl and set aside.

Step 4:
Dip the toasted bread strips into the peanut butter mixture, then roll each strip in the vanilla wafer crumbs, coating well.
Step 5:
Place each strip back on the cookie sheet and put the sheet back into the oven.  Immediately turn the oven off, but leave the cookie strips in the oven until cold.
Remove from oven and enjoy!  Store any uneaten strips in an airtight container. 

*Note:  We don't eat white bread, so I made these with wheat bread and they turned out great!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Blogging with Purpose

   While I've enjoyed blogging the past few months, I'd like to feel that this area of my life has a little bit of organization and purpose.  So after  some thought, I've decided to post on specific days, with these thoughts in mind:

Monday Musings- just anything that comes to mind, reflections, quotations, etc.
Tasty Tuesdays- recipes, hopefully some that will be new to you
Wordless Wednesdays- those photographs that need little or no explanation
Thankful Thursdays- blessings in our lives
Friday = Family & Fun- grandparenting, celebrations, travel, friendships. etc.
Sewing Saturdays- posts about projects I'm working on

  Will I post about all of these things every week?  Heavens no,  I'm not that organized!  But, hopefully, you'll check in frequently to see what's going on at Googoo's! 

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Granny Quilt!

  Don't you just love coming home to find a package by your front door?  One day last week, I found this one waiting for me on the front porch.

   I was so excited because I knew my "granny quilt" had arrived!  If you don't know who Granny is, you can read all about her on her granddaughter Valerie's blog.  Granny is a precious 96 year old  lady who makes at least one quilt a week.  Can you believe that?   What a blessing to be so active at that age!
  I tore my package open and spread it out on the sofa to get a good look...

  Isn't it beautiful?  Granny's quilts are all machine stitched and machine quilted. She says they give her a reason for getting up in the morning.  I wonder if she knows how much people enjoy her quilts and if, while she's sewing, she thinks about where they might be going and how they might be used.

 I'm going to send her a copy of this picture because I think Granny would be very happy to see this little boy all snuggled up under her quilt!
  Thanks, Granny and Valerie! 


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