Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Favorite Place

There is a magical place that will whisk you away to anyplace you can imagine and it is one of my favorite places to visit. Where is this place you might ask? The local library! A place full of worlds to visit, countries to explore, interests to discover, talents to develop, and more discoveries than my mind can comprehend. I love to wander the aisle and browse the shelves discovering new treasures. After my brief visit there over the weekend I came home with a pile of magazines for the kids, The Children's Homer, DSLR Photography Books for me, On The Banks of Plum Creek audio cd's for the kids...just to name a few. In the last few weeks I've read The House at Sugar Beach, The Relaxed Homeschooler and many a picture book to the kids. Whatever your interest I urge you to visit the library and see what treasures you can discover. Happy Reading!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cookies for my Cookie Monsters

What child and mother doesn't love cookies? Baking cookies is a favorite around our house, measuring, stiring, eating the dough, shaping the cookies, baking, eating...MMMMM. Here is one of our favorite recipes.

Coconut Oatmeal Pecan Cookies

1 cup of coconut oil(butter can be used, but coconut oil is yummier and healthier)
1 cup of raw sugar
1/2 cup of honey or maple syrup
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour or fresh ground white wheat
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 1/2 cups of quick cooking oats
1-1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans
1/2-1 cup of shredded coconut(I use unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease the baking sheets. In a large bowl cream the coconut oil with the sweeteners until light and fluffy, then add eggs one at a time, beating well. Stir in the vanilla. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt with a whisk. Add slowly to the creamed mixture, then stir in by hand oats, nuts and coconut. Shape into small balls and bake for 10-12 minutes.

If you are using fresh ground flour you may need more of the nuts and coconuts and if you used all purpose flour you may need a bit more of the liquid sweetner. Just have fun experimenting. This recipe always turns out well no matter what adaption I make to it.


Coffee Cake Memoir

Sometime back my husband brought me home a wonderful coffee cake from The Honey Baked Ham Company. This coffee cake was of a pound cake consistency and texture with a cinnamon nut crumb topping and a marbling within. Very Yummy! Ever since that first cake he brought home I purposed to attempt to recreate it and the bleak, dreary day yesterday provided the opportunity I had been waiting for. The results were, in the words of my nine year old..."this is the best cake ever" I take that as success. I must say yesterday's cake was even better this morning after the crust had hardened slightly and the flavors had increased in intensity.

Here is what I did. I found a pound cake recipe(my favorite is the sour cream pound cake in an old Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook)since my favorite recipe was not at my disposal I used Grandmother Paul's Sourcream Pound Cake from Paula Deen's Lady and Son's Cookbook. I followed the recipe exactly, but next time I will cut it by 1/3 since it ended up being a bit more batter than needed for the bundt pan I used.

Here is the recipe as written by Paula Deen

2 stick of butter
3 c. sugar
1 c. Sour Cream
3 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda(I guess I did make a change here, I added to this 1 tsp of baking powder for more rise)
6 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together; add sour cream. Sift flour and baking soda together. Add to creamed mixture, alternately with eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Add vanilla.

Here is my coffee cake addition to the recipe. I didn't measure, but I'll try and give some estimated measurements here.
Place the following in a bowl:

1-2 cups of chopped nuts(I used pecans)
1/2-1 cup of brown or raw sugar
2-4T of cinnamon
4T of butter
Blend together with hands.

Place half of mixture in the bottom of a greased and floured bundt pan, pour in half of cake batter and sprinkle the other half of crumb mixture in, cut through with a butter knife and top with remaining batter. Bake at 325 for an hour and then sit back and enjoy or save for the next morning to have with a cup of coffee.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bail Me Out

Today I found myself in over my head with laundry, toys, laundry, dishes, laundry, sweeping, laundry and did I mention laundry? Days like this is when I miss being in my midwest home where a very dear friend would come bail me out. Bailing out is what I needed! When I get to this point I feel so overwhelmed that it is difficult to begin, but since there was no dear friend to bail me out I pressed on. Tonight things don't look so bleak, the laundry is well underway, most of the toys are put away, the floor is swept and tomorrow looks promising. Praise God for his grace and mercy that is sufficient for the tasks He has given me.

In Him,

Living Free

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


One sweeper
One bus boy/girl
One dishwasher
One laundry maid
One cook

Oh, wait! I forgot I have one of each of those, they are just MIA! I also have one chief mess maker who is in action and is the reason for needing all of the above :D