This is my latest attempt at culinary brilliance...the Dressy Chocolate Loaf. Two of my co-workers have birthdays and I am taking it to work tomorrow to celebrate! I saw this on another blog, which shall remain nameless (since I can't remember it). I am always half-way into a project before I remember to take pictures...
It is a homemade chocolate cake...simple ingredients you would have on hand for the most part...flour, cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs, etc...and sour cream. Easy to put together but with specific mixing instructions and baked in a loaf pan - a little unusual. It baked up exactly like the recipe.
After it cools, you slice it into 3 layers and fill with your choice of jam filling...
I had some blackberry filling I made for some berry turnovers...yummy!
Then...semi-sweet chocolate melted over simmering water...
and more sour cream!
It is amazing! It turns quickly into a glossy ganache icing.
Last week started with worship service in our home church and then a flying trip to Little Rock to celebrate Father's Day with some of our children. We got Jay a new suit...one of his favorite things since he wears them all the time...
Then we came home on Monday and started VBS! This year was High Seas Adventure,
(decorations courtesy of Melinda Gipson.)
I got to lead the music, something I haven't done in a few years. I love it! By Wednesday, the kids knew all the motions and would literally sing their hearts out! So sweet! We had two young men who asked Jesus into their hearts!
We also had our almost 12 year old grandson, Pryce, with us the entire week. He helped his Papa set things up at VBS...helped him adjust thermostats and lock up each night. He helped different men lead the recreation time each night, even getting hit on the brow with a baseball bat and taking home the souvenier of a black eye! He followed his Papa all week - even got to meet the Mayor of Osceola. (12 year old boys are not fond of pictures...I didn't even try.)
Unless you have grandsons, you cannot begin to understand this...
A rabbit, uh...squirrel, uh...bird trap...rigged out of an empty plastic tub, a stick...
and when you have a Granny with no string...florist wire!
Florist wire travels from the stick, though the dining room screen...
where you can watch and spring the trap without sitting out in the heat! LOL!!
Then on Saturday, we were visited by these characters...(Chris, Cary and Sara came with them)
Jackson is 2 1/2 and he could believe this was Kandace and Millie ...but not himself! He insisted that is not him!
Here is Millie sitting in the floor, entertaining herself!
and Kandace...eating (or wearing) mashed potatoes...yum - yum!
After a totally useless post on my kitchen, and while a little "entertainment" is good, today I feel led to write something I know will be profitable.
I have found that I benefit from guided study. I seem to drift around in God's Word rather aimlessly, without one.
I am about to finish this study...
God has spoken to my heart continually through this study.
As with many studies...and conferences...I start out thinking, "I don't think I have a problem with a jealous heart", or "I'm not insecure", or whatever the topic happens to be.
Funny how God Word open our eyes...reveals secret things in our hearts...exposes the real me! Why is that funny when Hebrews specifically states that God's Word is alive and powerful and sharp enough to divide the bone from the marrow. He tells us it is a mirror in the book of James. It is the truth, as opposed to everything we see and hear around us in this world.
As painful as exposure is...we cannot change...we cannot grow without it. As long as I can deceive myself...as long as I listen to Satan's lies...I go farther from my Lord and farther from becoming all He has designed me to be - the best me!
So, before you read the title and this post and say, "That's not my problem," you might want to get a copy and dive in. Based on 1 Samuel...you will study Samuel, Saul, Jonathan and David...and I guarantee you...somewhere in those pages, you will see yourself. Praise the Lord! God cares enough about me to show me myself and then if I will just cooperate...change me, baby step by baby step. He will do the same for you.
Oh, and here is a link where Word has graciously given a little peek at the study:
Yes, this blog is about my kitchen. My daughter, Jill, was here recently and she took photos of my kitchen. (you can click on each photo to enlarge for detail)
She thought I should use them in a post. The kitchen is the only room in our house that we have redone. It is "me". Now, the fact that I have a sign in my kitchen that says "kitchen" - what does that say? That I need help remembering where I am????
I like signage - scripture...sayings...
Phillipians 4:8...over my pantry door
Psalms 5:3...painted by my daughter-in-love, Sara...
I found this at a goodwill-type store for 25 cents, and I only had to frame it...
I love the retro kichen range, tea towels, cooling pies, and the Home Cooking title.
The quote is..."Things taste better in small houses"
(who ought to know)
It is so apt, since my house is small - and the quote makes me smile.
My walls are gold. My colors are red, black and white. This is my new chandelier
found at a return/outlet store in Batesville - the shades I found in Sikeston, MO at
another outlet type store. It's perfect!
Now there is a story behind this table - which is red, distressed to black (you can only see the legs if photo is enlarged). It was marked down to 1/2 price at the end of Holiday House 2007 in Little Rock. Jill decided that I needed it! Needless to say...I have it and I love it. The black chairs were a gift from my children. I found the retro tablecloth at the Old Time Mall in Batesville...the rooster pitcher was a gift...(I forgot to mention I am into roosters right now - aren't you glad I'm not posting pics of all of them?)
This cabinet was my Mother's Day gift from my 6 children in 2007.
I recently added the black gingham fabric to the inside to make my glass
dishes show up more. Don't look at my cookbooks - they are a mess!
Chalkboard pantry door...if you have chalkboards...find the new chalkboard markers - wonderful!
Curtains I made...chalkboard sign...bird from Mt. Magazine Lodge...and African violet from my Daddy's funeral (yes! It's still alive - a miracle)
And my last bargain...I had a utensil crock that did not match my kitchen at all. Jill said, Mom, you need a different crock. While in Sikeston, I came across this crock...I mean how perfect can it be? Red! Rooster!
That's about all the kitchen I can take for one post.
I've tried several new recipes in the past few weeks. Jill graciously took some pictures (which I forget to do!) so I could share these:
Banana Bread Cobbler
Yes, it's cobbler and tastes alot like banana bread and like banana pudding. Jay loved it.
I get most of my new recipes from food blogs and this one orginated with Southern Living.
It's super easy, my favorite kind!
Banana Bread Cobbler
• 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup self-rising flour
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1 cup uncooked regular oats
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans Stir together brown sugar, flour, and butter until crumbly. Stir in oats and pecans. Set aside.
• 1 cup self-rising flour
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 cup milk
• 1/2 cup butter, melted
• 4 medium bananas, sliced Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease an 11″x 7″dish.
Whisk flour, sugar, and milk just until blended. Whisk in melted butter. Pour into prepared pan. Top with banana slices and streusel topping. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until brown and bubbly.
Yesterday was a busy day! You know how you set aside a day and you are going to get things done...maybe those things you've wanted to do for awhile...or things you want to try...you know how we women just have this desire to improve our nest. Yesterday was one of those days.
It began like every day with my Diet Dr. Pepper and some Greek yogurt with blueberries - yum! I had bought paint, but the color wasn't quite what I had in mind, so I had to scrap that idea. I rearranged furniture in the front bedrooms, and the living room. I cleaned, and spackled holes and de-cluttered. Ahhhh, heavenly. What is it about a freshly arranged room that gives a feeling of contentment? It's like having a new room!
Then! I got the brilliant idea to raise my headboard and hang it on the wall. It's a rather plain, simple headboard and very short. With shams, you couldn't even see it. So, off to Wally World I go to find brackets and home again to accomplish a "new" headboard. After 3 tries to get 3 brackets level (I confess I love to "eyeball" things.) Finally, success!
I brought the "W" from the living room and made a "new" arrangment on the wall over the bed. I like it! Once again, the old has become new...total cost for this re-do was the cost of the brackets, maybe $4? I am so proud of myself! That headboard is wedged on those brackets tightly! It cannot move!
I have some other projects in the works...but not finished...not ready to reveal. As I complete them, I will share another next segment of Old to New Switcheroo.
Some weeks, there is just nothing to blog about! I've gone to work...come home...gone to bed...gotten up...gone to work...
Tonight we had our first fried squash for supper - Yummy!!! Didn't think to take picture though. Hamburger patties in caramelized onions and a little Worcestershire sauce - Excellent! Add sliced tomatoes and cottage cheese and Jay and I are two very happy and very FULL folks.
For 40+ years, this woman has been a part of my life...and this man (my husband, Jay) is the one who brought her into my life...it's his Mama, Lois.
Lois always treated me with respect and grace...even when I was a gangly seventeen year old girl, who didn't know anything. Due to Lois's influence in her son's life...I came to know the Lord. For years, Sundays meant going to church and then to Jay's parent's house for lunch. Lois never knew who would show up. She always had something started, and as the kids and grandkids came in, we would work together adding to the meal to have enough. LOL! It might be the most unusual assortment of foods, but it was always delicious and no one ever went away hungry.
The things I remember are an odd assortment too: How carefully she peeled potatoes, wasting nothing. Making biscuits or rolls in a little dusting of flour on the table, the dough clinging to her fingers. Sometimes, she would tell me a certain way to do something in the kitchen, but rarely. Always, thanking me for helping prepare or clean up. And as little as she had, there were always extra things in her pantry, which amazed me as the mother of 6 young ones - I rarely had extras of anything in mine!
Lois never had a large or elaborate home. She lost her home to a fire and spent the last years of life in a small, modest home. Thanksgiving and Christmas there, meant finding a place to sit...with every inch of furniture and usually the floor as well being put to use. Fun times full of talk and laughter.
As the years passed and her back began to be a constant source of pain...she would still get up and attempt to feed us whenever we came by. That's what moms and grandmothers do...right? She would lean on the stove for support, stirring some pot - or trying to open the oven (that had no handle anymore) to get out those biscuits or that pan of cornbread - I can still see her in my mind's eye - until we could convince her to sit and let us do it.
She raised 8 children all of whom have come to the Lord. There are preachers, teachers, carpenters, policemen, engineers...all kinds of professions among her children, grandchildren and great-granchildren, which are too numerous to tell. She cared for and supported her husband as long as he lived. She was an obedient and loving daughter. She had an excellent name in her church and community.
She was a simple woman who trusted the Lord. My husband has reminisced so many times, telling me how she was the last one to bed at night when he was growing up...trying to get everything done for that day and ready for the next; the things she did when times were hard to make their lives special (making chocolate Easter eggs). She worked in the fields...grew a garden...put up 100 quarts of every fruit and vegetable she could get in order to feed her large family. My daughter, Jill, sat with her yesterday holding her hand and talking softly to her. Jill said, "Mama, they were not the hands of a woman who had a manicure and pedicure every week. They were the hands of someone who has worked very hard."
No more. Last night, Lois's labor ended and she was carried by the angels to be with Jesus. Hallelujah! And while we are teary...she is rejoicing...back straight...free of pain...hands smooth and soft and new. She joined her husband, her dad and mom and her brother who were waiting there. And one day, we will join her there too.
I think we would all agree that our supreme purpose as believers in Christ is to bring glory to Him. We might not all agree on how we actually accomplish this feat. I am continually coming to realize more and more that our Christian life is lived out not in the church building or in teaching Sunday School and singing in the choir...but in our relationships.
Relationships...our interaction with people. We have all sorts of relationships. Some are intimate and some are very superficial. My relationship with the clerks in the grocery store (they change constantly) where I live are superficial. My relationships with my co-workers are a little closer...with my church family - some are quite intimate and others are limited. My familial relationships are the closest and most intimate...they know the real me better than anyone.
It should be easy to demonstrate Christ to those we do not know well. It is more difficult the closer the relationship is...why is that? We sometimes take those closest to us for granted, or expect them to excuse bad behavior, after all - they're family!
In our times of trouble, we have the greatest opportunity to show Christ to those around us. When we suffer with grace and a smile...faith is demonstrated. Lord, help us remember. Help us stay prayed up and full of Your Word...so that is what will overflow on all those around us.
Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Daughter, Sis, Aunt, Co-Worker but most importantly Child of the King are the titles I wear. I have entered a season that many might call "winter". My hubby has retired from full-time pastoring - I am no longer the Pastor's Wife. I have gone back to work full time in a new position - and am in the process of relocating. We are seeking God's path for this "season". I write to share my thoughts, feelings, and all I am learning from my Savior as He leads me along.