"So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy"
~Colossians 1:10-11

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Cleaning: Cupboards, Drawers & Utensils

Another week of Spring Cleaning from Nourishing Gourmet's Spring Cleaning. I am combining 2 weeks worth of cleaning into 1 post, even though I spread it out over a couple days. Life has been busy and I didn't get a chance to blog about the cupboards.

I did do it though! The cupboards needed basic straightening and re-organization. Nothing too exciting or changing. Several of my cupboards need this every couple weeks anyway!
...... speaking of which, does anyone else need to go back and clean their refrigerator again already! I do!

Now onto drawers and utensils.................

I got the canister that sits by my stove cleaned out and EVEN cleaned the canister itself. Doesn't it look nice!
I weeded out a couple utensils I haven't been using and stuck them in my box of stuff I "plan to get rid of if I realize I really don't need it out"- I reorganized and cleaned out the silverware drawer- how do so many crumbs get in that silly silverware thing-y when all you put in there is clean silverware and the drawer is closed most of the time?!

I actually spent quite a bit of time straightening and cleaning up the kitchen this morning. After a busy couple days and couple weeks of company- it needed a little attention and since I am doing grocery shopping tomorrow, I thought organizing and going through the kitchen would make sure my grocery list was complete.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thoughts for Today

My Life is but a Weaving

My life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors,
He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow,
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not 'til the loom is silent
and the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
in the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
in the pattern He has planned.
He knows, He loves, He cares,
nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
who leave the choice with Him.

~Author Unknown

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Cleaning: Pots/Pans and 1 Cupboard

Here's goes another week of

I straightened out my pots and pans cupboard. They are in a corner cabinet and though they all fit nicely, they often get rearranged and need stacked properly again. I also keep my muffin tins and some rarely used items in the bottom with my foils and ziplock bags so that could use a little attention as well! Everything is stacked nicely and organized. Makes things so much nicer. Sorry, no picture, hard spot to get a decent look at it!

I also straightened out my cups cupboard - it needed it badly. I am wanting to phase out alot of the kids plastic cups and had hidden some away that somehow snuck out again and needed re-hidden. I figure if I don't use them for a number of months I can get rid of them without wondering if I could live without them. So they are in the "waiting" spot to get rid of hopefully!

This is "before" on the cups...... will try and get an "after" taken soon!

I also cleaned out my spice/baking stuff cupboard between this week and last. It is much easier now that I re-arranged some stuff and have extra spices out of the way in the basket. It is working nicely and things are easy to find.

What are you cleaning this week?

Thursday, March 18, 2010


With the days getting warmer I have been enjoying making lemonade lately. Here's the recipe I have been using, you can adjust your sweetener to your taste, and yes, any type of sugar would work as well, but I wanted to try and find one with honey that I liked to avoid more refined sugar! And to mix it up somedays I make it with lime juice instead of lemon :-)

1/2 cup honey

Mix with about 1 cup boiling water and stir to dissolve.

Add 1/2 cup lemon juice and stir.

Pour into a 1 quart jar and add water till full.

Refrigerate till cold and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thoughts for Today

On Faith~

"Faith enables us to be content even when life doesn't make sense."

" Faith is rooted in God's character."

"Faith is based on God's Word, not on our feelings."

"God is in control of all the uncontrollables in our lives: What we can't see, what doesn't make sense to us and what we don't understand."

"Faith looks to God, but feelings look to what is going on around us. Faith hopes in who God is and in what He has promised."

(from "Calm My Anxious Heart", by Linda Dillow, Chapter 9)

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Garlic Spinach

Garlic Spinach

This is a simple, yet very yummy way to serve spinach. My boys love it this way!

10 ounces fresh or frozen spinach
(or more if you are serving more then 2 adults and 2 small children, we can easily finish this off)
Whole bulb of garlic, minced

If using fresh spinach, melt a little butter or oil in pan and saute with garlic till spinach is wilted and cooked. If using frozen spinach, the water in the spinach is usually enough to saute with and you shouldn't need to add any oils.
Serve immediately!

Spring Cleaning: Pantry

Spring Cleaning.......... next up on the list is the PANTRY! Here are my after pictures, forgot to take any before, but I always love straightening the pantry and getting things in order. Especially since several shelves are low enough that my kids often rearrange them for me. I also keep a row of beans, nuts, crackers and teas in pretty jars or mason jars on my kitchen ledge space. Makes the counter look nice and gives some added storage space.

Oh yes, don't laugh......... it's my grandma's china hutch. But right now all my nice bowls, platters, etc that usually go in here are in storage, but we had to move the hutch over to the house so it would be safe. After staring at it sit there empty for awhile and getting frustrated with a jammed pantry that I couldn't find things in, I put the hutch to work as additional pantry space for now. It actually holds quite a bit. I would totally use this one, or another hutch in another kitchen as true pantry space that looks nice too! And all the jars on top are my jar collection for making broths, storing leftovers, making tea, etc. I don't know if I will ever use them all, but I hate throwing away good glass containers!

This post is part of Spring Cleaning over at Nourishing Gourmet

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Thoughts for Today

"I am always content with that which happens,
for I think that which God chooses is better
than what I choose."

(from "Calm my Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow page 173)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pampered Chef

UPDATED: Order soon, party will close on Wed, March 10!

I am hosting a Pampered Chef party online only for the next week or so.
Their kitchen products tend to be a good quality - and I love a good kitchen tool that I use often and it doesn't break!
If you would like to order something - I would love to have you do it through my show!

(if you are prompted for a host name it's Jennifer McLaimtaig)

Here's some of my favorite things
I use this square stoneware baker ALL THE TIME - love it, cleans easy!

these scrapers are the BEST ever - I have -and use - all the sizes, but the mini one is great. In fact, mine really needs replaced after so much use!

and yes, the classic stoneware - I have the rectangle, a large round and a large bar pan. Great for pizza, rolls, crackers, pretzels......... just about anything!

Chopper - works great for veggies, nuts - can use on a cutting board or with little lid
Garlic Press........ used often, don't have to take the peel off the garlic first before mincing... love it

Classic Batter Bowl - I often mix up pancake or waffles the night before and let it soak in my bowl - or it's great for yogurt musilei too!

these are on my wish list.........

I am thinking I might try this spritzer and use it instead of the aerosol Pam spray - anyone used one of these and like it?

Browse the catalog and let me know what is your favorite Pampered Chef piece!
And if you have any questions about ordering you can email me at


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Banana Bread

This recipe is one I made up. I usually make my grandma's recipe, which honestly, though wonderful is more dessert then snack because of the ingredients! I didn't have her recipe handy and did have a bunch of bananas that needed used. So, I made my own recipe! I must say it turned out really good. I ate probably 1/2 a loaf the first day. Then I shared some with my husband for his lunch the next day :-)

Banana Bread

4 bananas, mashed
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Mix well together
3 cups flour (I used 2 white and 1 wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1- 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Mix together and pour into greased loaf pan or muffin tins
(I also have mini loaf pans that work well!)

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes (will depend on what pans you are using... loaf will take longer, muffins shorter!)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Homemade crackers

My kids and I have been loving Katie's recipe for homemade crackers.
The first time I made them, we ate them all that day :-)
The next time I made a double batch and they are lasting longer!
Click this link for the detailed directions - below is the recipe and simplified direction!

Homemade “Wheat Thins” Style Crackers
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook
From Kitchenstewardship.com

1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ Tbs sugar (or honey)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp paprika
4 Tbs butter
¼ cup water
¼ tsp vanilla
salt for topping

Mix ‘em: Combine the flour, sugar, salt and paprika in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and mix it in thoroughly, using your fingers, a pastry blender, a mixer or a food processor. Combine the water and vanilla, and add to the flour mixture, mixing until smooth.
(Note: If you use honey, just mix it in with the water.)

Prep ‘em: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper. For crackers, I would HIGHLY recommend using a baking stone , or at least parchment paper. I roll the dough right out on the stone or mat and bake them. Yep, right on the stone. That way I don’t have to worry about rumpled crackers as I move the fragile dough. People say, “Those are homeMADE?” because most of my crackers have perfect shape and are sooooo delectably thin.

Roll ‘em: Divide the dough into 4 pieces; keep the other pieces covered while you work with one at a time. Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin and roll the piece of dough into a large rectangle, which should be at least 12 inches square when trimmed. Keep your pin and the surface of your dough evenly floured. Flip the dough frequently to keep it from sticking, but too much flour will make it difficult to roll. Keep rolling until the dough is as thin as you can get it without tearing, at least 1/16 inch thick. Trim the dough to even the edges and use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut the piece into squares approximately 1 1/2 inches wide. I skip the trimming and just deal with weird shaped crackers. Those go to the toddler right away!

Bake ‘em: Transfer the squares to a prepared baking sheet; you can crowd them together, as they don’t expand while baking. See, I get to skip this step, which seriously cuts down the time and failure stress of making homemade crackers! Sprinkle the squares lightly with salt, if desired. Oh, yes – do it! Just use real sea salt with all its minerals intact! Sometimes I also poke the crackers with a fork to make them look even more like the “real” thing. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Save the scraps under plastic wrap and reroll them all at once just one time.

Bake the crackers, one sheet at a time, until crisp and browned, 5 to 10 minutes. If some of the thinner crackers on the edges brown too quickly, remove them and return the remaining crackers to the oven to finish baking. These crackers bake quickly, so watch them closely – even 30 seconds can turn them from golden brown to toast!
Are they done? You want them to be almost crispy, but not totally breakable to deem them “done”, because they will crisp up a bit as they cool. You’ll learn after a tray or two the difference between “too soft” “done” and “oops”. They’re still tasty when they’re soft, just not so cracker-y. Remove the crackers from the oven and cool on the pan or on a plate; they cool quickly. These crackers will stay crisp for many days, but are best stored in airtight containers.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spring Cleaning: Refrigerator and Freezer

Do you need some motivation to get some Spring Cleaning started at your home?

This week is the refrigerator and freezer.

I do have to organize my refrigerator almost weekly and I timed it right this week since I am grocery shopping tomorrow. Found some cabbage that needed used, and it's ready to put in the oven for dinner! Everything else got sorted and cleaned. And unlike most weeks :-) I even wiped down the shelves and drawers this time. It looks wonderful!

(this is before.....)

(the freezer, which just got organized over the weekend and was pretty clean, so I didn't do much there!)

While wiping down the fridge I turned to put something in the sink and when I turned back around my 15 month old daughter decided to help me. It was too cute. And what a wonderful thing to learn young......... clean out mama's fridge!

The finished fridge and door!