As per most get-togethers, I was asked to bring my scones to this weekend’s bridal shower. However, there was some discussion as to which variety. My two sisters wanted chocolate chip as well as blueberry scones. But my nanny and mom are partial to the cranberry orange version. So – I made all three. Since I’ve already posted shots of the chocolate chip & blueberry in my post of the main recipe for these scones – here’s just a photo of the cranberry orange. Zest of one orange and 1 c dried cranberries. Glaze of fresh squeezed orange juice, zest and powdered sugar.
My sister’s bridal shower was this weekend – I whipped up this tangy fruit dip for the occasion.
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 C frozen limeade concentrate, partially thawed
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 C thawed whipped topping (Cool Whip)
Beat cream cheese, limeade and orange juice in medium bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour. Serve with fresh fruit and Nilla Wafers for dipping.
This is a great fudge-y frosting for topping cookies, frosting cakes or just eating with a spoon. What? Doesn’t everyone do that? Today, I piped it on top of my Melt-in-your-mouth Shortbread. I also used the extra to slap between two graham crackers – a super easy family favorite treat.
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 egg white
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Melt chocolate and butter in mixing bowl over small heavy saucepan with an inch of simmering water (double boiler); stir to blend.
- Remove from heat. Beat in powdered sugar. Beat in egg white and vanilla, adding a little water, if necessary, to make smooth, slightly soft frosting.
Melt In Your Mouth Shortbread
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Whip butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in cornstarch, and flour. Beat on low for one minute, then on medium for 2 minutes. I use a melon baller to make uniform cookie rounds and flatten them slightly with an offset spatula dipped in granulated sugar. Or you can drop cookies by spoonfuls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Watch that the edges don’t brown too much. Cool on wire racks.
I have served these plain, drizzled with chocolate and (like today) topped with Fudge Frosting.
I love couponing. It saves me so much money. I cannot believe I used to pay full price for things at the grocery store. I love this site and this site. They help me stay on budget for groceries. Tonight was possibly the most fun I’ve ever had at Albertsons. Why? Because I got free cheese. Yes, you heard (saw) right. I said FREE. Lots of it.
10 bags Kraft Cheese (2 Parmesan, 3 Mozzarella, 3 Cheddar and 2 Co-Jack)
4 Jars Kraft Mayo
4 Packs Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs
2 Tubs Cool Whip
Full Price Cost: $87.40
Price I paid: $8.96
BUT — I also have in my hot little hand $6 in catalinas that I can spend the next time I’m in the store. So really, I paid $2.96 for all that stuff.
Total Savings: $84.44
Now that’s a good night at the grocery store. Yup. Yup. Gonna freeze the cheese. Well, most of it. The hot dogs too. Probably give some of the mayo to my sister. Will use the Cool Whip in a Margarita Fruit Dip for my other sister’s bridal shower this weekend…I’ll post that recipe and photos when I make it. But seriously. All that cheese would have been almost$45. And I didn’t pay a dime for it. Did I mention I love coupons?
*I’ve been requested to share my couponing tips…so here they are:
1. Read the two links I posted.
2. Subscribe to the newspaper. (I get 5 Sunday papers)
3. Stock up on things you frequently use when they are on sale plus you have coupons. And I mean STOCK UP. Like, buy as many of the thing as you can.Especially non-perishables. Cereal is one of the easiest things to save on — and to stock up on because it lasts a long time in your pantry. Canned soups, fruit snacks, granola bars etc. are great too. Think about what you can use/freeze and buy up.
4. Cook from your stockpile as much as possible.
5. Allow your family shopper to coupon-grocery shop in the evening without the munchkins. Coupons and kids in the checkout stand do not really mix well.
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups white sugar
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 lemons, juiced (about 2/3 C)
Zest of 3 lemons
- Preheat oven to 350° F (175°C).
- In a medium bowl, blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar until it forms dough that holds its shape when pressed together. Press into the bottom of a greased 8×11 inch pan.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden. It’s better to overbake, than underbake the crust – so make sure it’s begun to turn a golden color before removing it from the oven.
- While crust is baking, whisk together 1 1/2 cups sugar and the eggs in a medium saucepan. Add the lemon juice, zest, butter and 5 T flour. Whisk together constantly over medium low heat until slightly thickened and warm. Carefully pour over the baked crust.
- Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove when the edges are set, but the center still moves slightly when jiggled. The bars will firm up as they cool.
- Allow to cool completely in pan. (about 2 hours) Dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
“Teaching you would be simple if I negated your free will or overwhelmed you with My Power” – Sarah Young from “Jesus Calling”
I never really thought about it like that before. That God’s classroom of life would be much more simple if He just BOOM – made us understand. Sometimes I feel frustrated with my three-year old. I wish I could just force her to get it. But I can’t. I can’t for the same reason God doesn’t ram His lessons down my throat. We have free will. I have the choice to try to do it on my own. To be self-sufficient and independent are valued traits in our world, but to the Lord, real strength comes when I depend on Him. For everything.
Feeling like I can handle things on my own is really a huge obstacle to overcome. The giftings I’ve been given by my creator often hamper my ability to let go of “control” and let God run my life. When I think I’m navigating life fine on my own is exactly the time I’ve gotten off course. Because if I’m not relying on God to steer me, I’m heading straight for rough waters. I’ve been there before. I know. I’m glad I’ve been given freedom to make my own decisions. But that freedom makes it easy to take off on a power trip of self-indulgence. I need to remember that it takes real strength to move over and let Jesus drive.
Lord, please help me to seek you in the decisions of my life. Show me continually that reliance on Your strength is the only place I find my own. Help me to keep my pride in check and focus on your powerful navigation of my world. Not my own meager back-seat-driving.
I made a delicious BBQ Wagon Wheel Stew tonight – to go with it, what could be more perfect that crusty golden buttermilk cornbread topped with honey butter?
2/3 cup white sugar
1 cup buttermilk*
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
- Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Stir buttermilk into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, baking soda and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. After removing from oven, spread a thin layer of honey butter over surface of cornbread while still in the pan. Serve warm with honey butter.
*If you don’t have any buttermilk, substitute “sour milk” – mix 1 C milk with 1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice. Allow to stand while you prepare other ingredients. Milk will thicken to the consistency of buttermilk or a runny yogurt.
1/4 cup honey
We came back from sunshine and 80 degrees yesterday and woke up this morning to blustery rain and a chilly temperature of 55. Seemed like a good night for stew. My daughter saw wagon wheel pasta at the store our last trip and has been begging for it ever since. This stew was the perfect solution to satisfy her wagon wheel craving and my desire for a hearty warm meal.
BBQ Wagon Wheel Stew
1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 C wagon wheel pasta, uncooked
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes
1 1/2 C water
2 cubes chicken bullion (or you could just use chicken stock instead of the water and bullion)
10 oz frozen peas
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 C barbecue sauce (I love Sweet Baby Ray’s)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat large skillet and cook onions over medium heat until slightly soft. Add beef and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes. Drain any fat.
2. Dissolve bullion in water then add to skillet along with pasta, tomatoes, peas, carrots and barbecue sauce. Bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
I served this up with warm Buttermilk Cornbread and Honey Butter. Mmmmmm.
My husband is not really a fan of sweets. Which is probably good since I’m baking all the time. However, he loves pie. So, on top of all my baking for going away this weekend – I made him an apple pie. I’m one of those people who views the crust as simply something that gets the pie into my mouth – but Zack loves crust. Dutch apple pie is a nice compromise. Delicious flaky crust for Zack plus a yummy sweet and crunchy topping for me. Last year my MOPS group made this pie and I used up the leftover ingredients to make 10 more to sell (profiting MOPS) to Zack’s co-workers. They were a HUGE hit at all their Thanksgiving dinners. I love that you mix up the ingredients in a Ziploc baggie – kids love helping with that part and it’s one less bowl to clean!
Dutch Apple Pie
1 Pie Crust (my recipe below)
4-5 tart apples peeled and sliced (I like to use granny smiths cause I’m a fan of the tart, but using 3 tart apples and 2 sweet ones works well too)
3/4 C granulated sugar
1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 C flour
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter (room temperature)
Roll out pie crust and place in pie plate. For lots of ideas on decorative pie crust edges, click here. Place all filling ingredients and apples into a large Ziploc bag and shake to mix. Pour apple mixture into pie crust. Cut crumble ingredients together and crumble over apples. I have found that it helps if my hands are fairly cold when doing this, so if you tend to have warm hands – try running them under cold water, drying them and then crumbling the topping. Bake at 375° for 40-50 minutes. Foil the edges for last 15 minutes if crust begins to brown too much.
Flaky Pie Crust — This recipe makes three pie crusts – enough for one dutch apple plus one two crust pie. Or, half the recipe and use it in a deep dish pie plate. You’ll have a little extra for your munchkins to play with and roll out for themselves. Or, make the whole recipe and freeze (wrapped in plastic wrap) any remaining dough. Then you’ll have instant pie crust the next time you want to make a pie!
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups shortening
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup ice water
I like to just put all the ingredients (except water and egg) into my food processor. Pulse until crumbs form. Then pour in the egg and water, pulse some more to combine. Then remove, press into a ball and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use. Roll out on slightly floured surface.
If you don’t have a food processor, then follow these directions. In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, shortening, sugar, and salt. Blend together with a pastry cutter until crumbly. In a small bowl, mix egg with water. Blend into flour mixture. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use. Roll out on slightly floured surface.