What Season Is It?

Nov
07

According to this picture, you would think it is spring…

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Yes, our lilacs are BLOOMING.
In NOVEMBER!!

At our house right now, you could be collecting colorful leaves off the ground with the rich perfume of lilacs floating through the air. Crazy! =D I guess the drought caused the lilacs to go into dormancy, and now the big rains woke them up and they think it is spring. =D

According to this picture, you would think it is summer…

ice cream
We made homemade oreo ice cream last week for a guest who we were trying to bribe to stay longer…it worked! :) It was a little strange to enjoy the treat on a chilly day instead of in the triple-digits, but delicious nonetheless!

According to THIS picture, you should know it’s fall!!

chai tea
Last winter, we became huge fans of chai tea. The other day, Mom brewed up this new recipe from Taste of Home which we heartily rated as a 5-star winner! We use sucanat in place of the sugar (sucanat is unrefined sugar that tastes more like brown sugar and gives a slight caramel flavor to the tea). Unfortunately, we haven’t tried it with whipped cream on top yet, but it would be delicious!

Chai Tea

2 cups water
2 individual tea bags
1 cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods, crushed
1 whole clove
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
2-1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
Sweetened whipped cream, ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks, optional

In a small saucepan, combine the first six ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in milk. Return to a boil; boil for 1 minute, then strain. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Pour into mugs. Top each with whipped cream, cinnamon, and a cinnamon stick, if desired. Yield: 4 servings

“To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”
Ecclesiastes 3:1

May our Unchanging God be your stay in whatever
season of life you find yourself in today!

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Pineapple Salsa Chicken

Feb
23

Yesterday, being a busy day of teaching music lessons and my scheduled night to cook supper, I decided to try out a new crockpot recipe that would require minimum time in the kitchen. True to description, it turned out very easy, and the family gave it a hearty thumbs-up!  

Pineapple Salsa Chicken

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Serves 6-8

6 fresh or frozen chicken breasts
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can white beans, like Great Northern, rinsed and drained
2 cups mild or medium salsa

Tortillas or tortilla chips and garnishes, like sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.

Place the chicken in the crock pot and add the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours (if using frozen chicken breasts, I recommend cooking it on high). Using tongs, remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred into bite-size pieces. Mix the chicken back in with the rest of the ingredients. The mixture will be fairly soupy – you may want to drain off some of the excess liquid before serving, or serve it with tongs instead of a spoon, so it doesn’t make your chips or tortilla soggy. Serve with tortilla chips and garnishes, such as tomatoes, cheese, avocado, sour cream, hot sauce, cilantro, lime juice, etc.

*Freezable Option: You can freeze the leftovers in freezer-safe ziploc bags and either place the frozen portion in the crockpot for a few hours the day you want to serve it, or thaw the night before in the refrigerator and reheat on low in a saucepan.

Adapted from www.melskitchencafe.com.

I also sautéed a bell pepper and onion in olive oil (like you would for fajitas) and added that to the tortillas. Delicious!! This recipe has now been added to our collection of favorites. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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Gingerbread Recipe

Dec
17

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Gingerbread

4 1/2 – 5 cups of plain four

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

Sift together dry ingredients; set aside.

In microwave bowl or on the stove, melt 2 sticks of butter.

Add:

1 cup sugar

1 cup molasses

Mix sugar and molasses together with butter. Make a "well" in the dry ingredients; pour in butter mixture and mix well. Dough will be sticky… if it’s too sticky to roll out add more flour.

After cutting out your desired image on a heavily floured surface and placing on a baking pan, bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes.

 

Royal Decorating Icing:

Beat together until fluffy:

2 egg whites

4 cups of sifted powdered sugar

1/8 tsp. cream of tartar

Add 1 TBSP lemon juice… mix and if it’s too stiff to decorate, add more lemon juice.

Have fun! =)

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