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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Recipe for Steel Cut Oatmeal coming soon






I have been working on a post about Steel Cut Oats, and will try to post soon.

I just need to add some pictures to the post, then will upload it.

My Favorite child, introduced them to me a couple of years ago, and we have loved eating them since then.

They take more time to cook than quick oats, and taste so much better than quick or old-fashioned oats.

Stay tuned for the post and lots of ideas and ways to enjoy them.

~Brat~


Friday, January 24, 2014

Boston Cream Poke Cake and Other Ideas






My Daughter has an event to go to tonight and is making this cake to take with her..... 

We have been thinking about this cake since I found the recipe on my Facebook page.

It looks divine, and I can't wait to see how it turns out.  

I am hoping there is a piece or two left over so that she brings some
 home for me to try.  







My favorite Doughnut is one of these so I can imaging how wonderful 
it should taste...

It is really simple, and is another version of a Poke Cake.  

We usually make this cake with white cake mix and pour Lemon pudding into the holes and add whipped cream to the top, or white cake with 
Danish Delight poured over the top with whipped cream topping.

In the summer, it is fun to make this kind of cake with pouring Jello over the cake, and seeing how pretty the Jello seeps into the cake when you cut into it... So many possibilities with this kind of recipe.


The basics of a poke cake is that you bake your cake, then poke holes all over the top of the cake with a chopstick, or a wooden spoon handle when it comes out of the oven.  You then pour something over the cake and it oozes down into the holes and brings the pudding, or jello, or what ever down into the cake, making the flavors and texture different from an regular cake.  When you cut into it, the layers are pretty to look at, and taste wonderful.  They are traditionally a cake that you keep refrigerated.


Poke Cake Variations:

White Cake:
  • Lemon pudding with whipped cream topping
  • Chocolate pudding with whipped cream topping
  • Banana pudding with whipped cream topping  
  • Coconut cream pudding, graham cracker crumb layer, and whipped cream
  • Jello, and whipped cream topping
  • Danish delight (kind of like a mixture of jello and pudding) with whipped cream 

Chocolate Cake:
  • chocolate pudding and whipped cream topping
  • Caramel ice-cream topping, heath chips or chocolate chips and whipped cream
  • Vanilla pudding, chocolate sauce, whipped cream


This is just what comes to mind when I think about it.  
I am sure there are hundreds of possibilities...





This is my absolutely favorite ingredient for Poke Cakes and 
it comes in Raspberry and Strawberry.


Is there a poke cake recipe that you make?  Share with me what kind you make... I am always looking for new ideas!


here is the link to the original recipe in the first picture












Carry The Light into the World





“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.~ Matthew 5:14-16


This was the focus verse in my daily devotional I receive in my email today..... 



It made me think about how we live our lives, and what kind of an example we are to those around us.  This topic keeps coming up in different ways in my life lately, and I have to keep revisiting it.  God must be wanting to work on this in my life, since it keeps being brought up in so many ways.



The author of the devotion said something that made me stop and think.....

There is a time for spending hours on your knees but can I challenge you to also arise and shine – go into the world and be a light;  a glory carrier.  Your light cannot shine when it stays in your prayer closet.  Even if you leave the house only for groceries one day a week you are a glory carrier.  Pray for the cashier, compliment the stock boy on his hard work.  Bake bread for your neighbor instead of complaining about the unkempt condition of their yard

The part about "even if you only leave for groceries one day a week, you are a glory carrier" really hit home to me.  So many times we leave the house, just running an errand, or running to the store, but how often to we take the time to  realize that while we are out in the public we are examples of Christ to everyone we come into contact with.  So many people around here where I live don't even take the time to get dressed before leaving the house they tend to not take pride in what they look like or what they wear (people go to Walmart in their pajamas).  We are forever being on display each time we leave our homes, as examples of Christ.  Each time we display acts not focused on grace and mercy to others, we are falling short of Gods desire for us in our actions towards others.


When is the last time you treated a complete stranger with kindness, just because you felt like being kind, or slowed down to just smile at someone to make their day a little brighter.



I want to be a Glory Carrier.... I want to make people feel better about their selves, if even in very small way.



My challenge to you is to be a Glory Carrier the next time you leave your home.  Do something kind to another, make their day better by coming into contact with you. Let God guide you in how you make someones day brighter, but do something, don't let opportunities to shine for Christ get passed you.  Make someones day better by being a Glory and Light Carrier.

  



Monday, January 20, 2014

Tried a new Chowder Recipe tonight

 Posted this recipe on my Facebook page a while ago, and finally bought the ingredients to make it this week.... I am hoping that it turns out wonderful.  
This is the Recipe from the site Nest Of Posies


I really like they way she put fabric on the mason Jars.... so cute....





Hearty Bacon & Corn Chowder
here’s what you’ll need:
1 lb of lean ground turkey – cooked & drained
1 small onion, diced
2 cups of carrots chopped
1 1/2 -2 cups of celery chopped
2 cups of potatoes chopped (red or regular)
2 cups of frozen corn
S&P – to taste
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 Tablespoon of parsley (fresh or dried)
2 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 1/2 cups of milk
2 Tablespoons of flour
5-7 slices of bacon – fried & chopped
4 – 6 oz of Velveeta cheese – cubed
1/2 cup of sour cream
This can be done in stages throughout the day & can simmer all day.
***I recommend  using a thick soup pot, so that your milk wont burn in the bottom of the pan. (ask me how I know.)***  ~ If you’re doing this in stages, like I usually do, be sure you cover the pot, unless it’s boiling.
Chop all your veggies & potatoes.
Saute your onions & celery.  Add your turkey to the onions & celery to brown.
Add your carrots, potatoes, chicken broth & spices to the pot & bring to a low boil.
Add 1 cup of milk to your pot & stir in.  With the remaining 1/2 cup of milk, whisk in your flour in the measuring cup & while stirring add your milk & flour to the pot to simmer.  Turn it down to low or simmer at this point.
At this time, I typically fry my bacon & drain.  I also add in the cubed Velveeta cheese & stir in so it will melt into the mixture.  (If you’re a cheese lover like me, I give you permission to add more.
Stir in your sour cream to the pot all while on simmer or low.  Drop in your chopped bacon & cover to allow all the flavors to blend together.

The link and website That this Original recipe is from


I will post and let you know how it turns out for us!



Update: It was really yummy, and the family liked it here are the changes I made to the original recipe, because I have a very hard time following a recipe as printed unless it is baking.  I like to add and change things to make me happy and to adapt to what I have on hand


Made this tonight, and these are the modifications that I made to the recipe: 
The lack of bacon in this recipe was noted by my family, and not appreciated that it was missing, so I will have to add that next time...

I used 1 lb of sausage in place of ground turkey.
I added Garlic, and 1 tsp. Steak seasoning.
I used Heavy cream (1 pt.) in stead of the milk 
I didn't use any bacon, because I am wary of it since having 
Gallbladder issues.
I had chopped green onions for a topping and shredded cheddar cheese.
Instead of mixing the flour with the milk, I added about 1/2  cup of mashed potato flakes to thicken it.


I made my moms Cornbread recipe from here on the blog to go with it.... 

Yummy sweet cornbread. post in July 2013 
and it was a great combination.




Cinnamon Rolls From The Bread Machine


Before they are cooked

Christmas morning is the best time for cinnamon rolls...

This year, I went to the pantry and found my bread machine so that I could  make some hot, sweet, delicious cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

Ready to go into the oven...

It was so easy to do with the bread machine... I just measured all the ingredients into the machine, programmed it to be done at 7 am, and went to bed.  I awoke to the wonderful smell of yeasty goodness known as cinnamon roll dough.

All that was left to do, was roll it out, spread it with butter, cinnamon, and sugar, cut it into rolls and bake it!  Oh, ya.... I also had to wait about an hour for them to double in size. 

In our home we have a love of anything maple, so on top of the hot cinnamon rolls, I put a generous amount of maple glaze... Yumm....




Heavenly and amazing Maple Glazed Cinnamon Rolls...


Recipe from my bread machine instruction manual.

The recipe says it makes 24 rolls, but we like ours big and soft, so I cut them into only 14 rolls, that are the prefect size for a lazy morning with a pot of coffee or tea.

Cinnamon Rolls From the Bread Machine (2 lb.size of dough) 

Put the ingredients into bread machine in the order given.  
Set time delay for dough cycle if you want it ready in the morning.  
Make sure that the yeast sits on the top of the ingredients, protected in a well of flour so that it doesn't get wet and activate early.

1 egg plus enough water to measure 1 1/2 cups
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/3  cup oil
3 1/2 cups of bread flour
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dry yeast


Filling Ingredients:
1/2 to 1 cup of butter slightly melted.
1/2 to 1 cup brown sugar packed tightly
3 Tb. Cinnamon

Mix together sugar and cinnamon, set aside.

Glaze ingredients:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
milk (as much as needed to get the right pouring consistency)
2-3 tsp. maple extract.


Roll out your dough when done in the machine to about 16x24 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface.

Spread melted butter all over the dough.

Sprinkle, and spread the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the dough.
( this is where the fluctuation of the amount of sugar comes in, I didn't think it had enough, so I added more to cover it nicely)

Roll the dough up into a long roll, working carefully to keep the filling tightly inside the roll.  Go slow and carefully.  At the final edge, pinch the seem together as much as possible to help the rolls not unravel when in the processes of growing to double their size.

I divided the roll in two equal lengths, since I was putting them into 2 -9x13 pans, and wanted them to cook evenly.

After dividing the two sections, I sliced the two sections into 6 or 7 separate rolls.  Place the cut rolls, cut side down into a well greased or buttered pan to double in size in a draft free warm place. 
I turned my oven on 200 degrees for about 15 min, then turned it off an placed the pans in the oven to keep warm.  It took a little over an hour for them to grow to perfection.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 min until nice and golden brown, and they smell done... you will smell the wonderful scent of cinnamon rolls wafting through the house...

put your powdered sugar in a bowl, add extract, and enough milk to get a nice drizzle consistency.   (You might add more powdered as needed if you add too much milk, this always happens to me, I have to keep adding until it is just right, and if it doesn't have enough of a maple taste, add more maple, taste, add, taste add....) 
As soon as the rolls come out of the oven, drizzle the glaze over both pans of rolls.... allow to cool about 10 to 15 min so that the glaze will have time to set a bit and soak into the rolls...


And just one more photo of these beauties, just because...


Hope you make these and enjoy them as much as we did!

And don't forget to brew up a nice big pot of Coffee or Tea... It will be a perfect combination.








Yes He is Still The One...



Once a month, we have a bible study with a wonderful group of married couples from our church. Each month we study a different couple from the Bible.  Our time together is a wonderful and precious time of sharing the Word of the Lord, fellowship, and of course food (you can't get a group of Christians together without food). I have come to really cherish the time I get to spend with these couples each month, and I am so thankful for all of the wonderful conversations we share around the living room, time of sharing from our hearts about our marriages, and digging into the Bible to find the treasure there about what God wants us to learn about honoring our spouses and 
living a life that is glorifying to him. 

So often in life, young people have a poor example of what a good marriage is.  They see a very bad example of marriage in the media, and in marriages all around them in the world.  Society doesn't take marriage seriously, and quite often the marriages end in divorce, or are bad examples of what a marriage should be, unfortunately even in the church, there are a lot of people in marriages only serving their selves and not their mate. The success rate in marriage just seems to keep going down.

For years, we have talked to our daughters about marriage, and what God says about it.  God needs to be the center of a marriage, and the core of the relationship.  God should always come first in a marriage, then spouse, then children.  Marriages that put all the focus on self, often fail, but marriages that keep God foremost in the equation, have a much better chance of success, notice I said better chance, not a guarantee.

I think it is important to mentor young people to seek God first, in entering into a relationship, and to do it with much prayer, and consideration.  The heart is a fragile thing to hand over to just any person, and should be saved from needless harm and cherished deeply.  I think it is important to start early  in talking to your children, and helping them to seek a partner that fill Gods purpose for their life with much prayer, and Godly counsel.

We have counselled our daughters that Marriage is a lot of hard work, or should be.  When you say "I Do" you should be saying it for a life time.  It is something that should be considered carefully, and with much caution, because you will be with that person for the rest of your natural life.  Once the marriage brings children, there is a whole new period of learning and balancing that needs to be done. It is so important to keep working on the relationship with God and your spouse every day of your life.  I personally am really guilty of forgetting this on a day to day basis, but I know that in order to keep your marriage healthy and lasting it is important to keep working on Loving that spouse each and every day.  

Remember that you are a shining example to those around you of how God is or is not working in your life and in your marriage.  People are observant of what is happening around them, and are perceptive.  Be a good example of God working in your life, and in your marriage.  Those who will come to marriage after you are looking for good examples to follow.  Take the time to encourage young couples to love God and each other daily within their marriages.  Be a shining light of Christ to those around you by filling your heart and mind so much with Christ, that it just oozes out of you to those all around you.  

My wish for you, my friends, is that when you have been married to the love of your life for many, many years to come that you can look at that person and honestly and truly say..... 

"You are Still the One for me".









Sunday, January 19, 2014

Our Nutcracker Experience With The Russian Ballet


Our Trip to Cleveland to see the Russian Ballet preforming
the Nutcracker

It was amazing.... 




We have been going to see the Nutcracker Ballet since the girls were tiny... 
it is a wonderful experience to get to see it, especially at Christmas time.







 The children that performed were so darling, they really were so adorable, and did such a wonderful job,











The Scene sets were very simple, but the actual performance of the ballet was the best we have ever seen.  There were so many people there that were Russian, that the conversations around us were all in Russian, it really added to the amazing experience of seeing the Russian Ballet. 

Wish my Mommy was able to go with us.. She is the one that started the tradition when I was a small child in Alaska.   I have seen it so many times, I really have no idea how many times I have seen it, and each time it seems different because of the interpretation of the director of the performance.

It is a tradition that I hope my girls continue with their children some day...



Lessons Learned in Church Today....






What does faith look like....

Faith looks like waiting

Faith and Pride both want the same thing, but faith waits, and pride takes matters in its own hands.

Faith doesn't pretend the problem doesn't exist

Faith is being honest with God, and waiting for God to move..



The best tool to use to support your faith is the Bible, and being in the Bible on a daily basis...









Saturday, January 18, 2014

Fun, Fellowship, Friends and Food



Had a wonderful day today.... 

Got to spend the day celebrating a young man that achieved his Eagle Scout award and recognition.... And while there I got to spend time with some friends that I have missed very much.

The day just continued to get better....

And the best part was dinner at one of my favorite places, eating something Yummy....  

Yes, you guessed it.....






We went and celebrated my son-in-laws birthday by eating one of these wonderful sandwiches.... I think there were about 25 people that showed up to share dinner with us... what a great time with great food and great friends...

I  was going to take a new picture of my sandwich from tonight, but when they put it in front of me and I smelled that deliciousness... I just started eating, and talking, and just forgot to take a picture.... it looked the exact same though..... that just happens with friends sharing great food with you...

Sorry mom.... but it was  delicious...

What a wonderful day spent with friends.... I really feel blessed...

Tomorrow is church, and then time spent with more friends.... What a wonderful weekend filled with special people.... 

And then some Football..... we have a Broncos and a 49er fan in our midst, so it will be a lively day rooting for their teams...

Thank you God for putting so many wonderful people in my life to share my journey...

I am truly blessed...




Friday, January 17, 2014

Best Fish Sandwich I Have Ever Had






I grew up In Alaska....  and in Alaska you tend to do a lot of fishing, and eating of fish.... Baked fish, fried fish, smoked fish, canned fish, fish over the bar-B-Q, the Eskimos even eat fish Ice-cream...... (you also eat a lot or moose, caribou, buffalo, deer and the like)


Now that I don't live in the Beautiful state of Alaska... I tend to not eat much fish... Why you ask??? Good question..... When you have had your fill of the most fresh, straight out of the water and into the proverbial frying pan fish you can eat,  you get really spoiled, And you just have a hard time settling for the not so fresh fish that you find in the store...... Sad but true.... I was definitely spoiled by growing up in the beautiful state of Alaska... 


(Why do you think they call me BRAT)....


The one way that I do love to eat fish, and will eat it any time I can, is by going to one of my favorite restaurants, and having the Pittsburgh Fish Sandwich...  It is simply the best  fish sandwich I have ever eaten.



It is a Cod filet, deep fried in a heavenly batter, on a specially made Hoagie roll, with provolone cheese, Oil and Vinegar coleslaw, and French Fries...  Yes, In western Pennsylvania, we put French Fries on our sandwiches, and our Salads too....  The half sandwich is almost enough food to feed two people, but it is so darn good, that you want to eat it all by your self.  I love the crunchy coleslaw that they put on the sandwich, it is spicy, and delicious.  I normally hate coleslaw, but this kind with the oil and vinegar is absolutely amazing.


Each of us has a half sandwich in the picture below, and if you order the Whole sandwich it is a little cheaper than ordering 2 halves, so that is what we usually do... Doesn't it look amazing...   See all those wonderful french fries sticking out of the sandwich!!! Divine...  This Picture was taken last year some time... Daniel's beard is much longer now, but he is still as handsome as ever!


I love to eat my sandwich with Malt Vinegar splashed on each bite, and Daniel likes his with tartar sauce....  This is making my mouth water..... Need to go have one of these sandwiches soon.... I can hear it calling me..... and taste that mouth watering yumminess of that flaky cod, and crunchy coleslaw.... 




When friends or family come to visit us in Pennsylvania... this is one of the places we take them while they are here with us.  It gives them a good idea of Western Pennsylvania food.  They also have amazing hamburgers that are pretty huge their selves, and of course the salads with french fries on top.... 
My mom loves this place, and will probably be mad at me for tempting her 
with the mention of this sandwich....  

Love Ya Mom... 
If you come to visit, I'll bring you here!!!
Come on, you know you want one of these..  and I'll even take you to Cracker Barrel too!






New Chowder Recipe Tonight



I Posted this recipe on my Facebook page a while ago, and finally bought the ingredients to make it this week.... I am hoping that it turns out wonderful.  
This is the Recipe from the site Nest Of Posies


I really like they way she put fabric on the mason Jars.... so cute....





Hearty Bacon & Corn Chowder
here’s what you’ll need:
1 lb of lean ground turkey – cooked & drained
1 small onion, diced
2 cups of carrots chopped
1 1/2 -2 cups of celery chopped
2 cups of potatoes chopped (red or regular)
2 cups of frozen corn
S&P – to taste
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 Tablespoon of parsley (fresh or dried)
2 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 1/2 cups of milk
2 Tablespoons of flour
5-7 slices of bacon – fried & chopped
4 – 6 oz of Velveeta cheese – cubed
1/2 cup of sour cream
This can be done in stages throughout the day & can simmer all day.
***I recommend  using a thick soup pot, so that your milk wont burn in the bottom of the pan. (ask me how I know.)***  ~ If you’re doing this in stages, like I usually do, be sure you cover the pot, unless it’s boiling.
Chop all your veggies & potatoes.
Saute your onions & celery.  Add your turkey to the onions & celery to brown.
Add your carrots, potatoes, chicken broth & spices to the pot & bring to a low boil.
Add 1 cup of milk to your pot & stir in.  With the remaining 1/2 cup of milk, whisk in your flour in the measuring cup & while stirring add your milk & flour to the pot to simmer.  Turn it down to low or simmer at this point.
At this time, I typically fry my bacon & drain.  I also add in the cubed Velveeta cheese & stir in so it will melt into the mixture.  (If you’re a cheese lover like me, I give you permission to add more.
Stir in your sour cream to the pot all while on simmer or low.  Drop in your chopped bacon & cover to allow all the flavors to blend together.

The link and website That this Original recipe is from


I will post and let you know how it turns out for us!



Update: It was really yummy, and the family liked it here are the changes I made to the original recipe, because I have a very hard time following a recipe as printed unless it is baking.  I like to add and change things to make me happy and to adapt to what I have on hand


Made this tonight, and these are the modifications that I made to the recipe: 
The lack of bacon in this recipe was noted by my family, and not appreciated that it was missing, so I will have to add that next time...

I used 1 lb of sausage in place of ground turkey.
I added Garlic, and 1 tsp. Steak seasoning.
I used Heavy cream (1 pt.) in stead of the milk 
I didn't use any bacon, because I am wary of it since having 
Gallbladder issues.
I had chopped green onions for a topping and shredded cheddar cheese.
Instead of mixing the flour with the milk, I added about 1/2  cup of mashed potato flakes to thicken it.


I made my moms Cornbread recipe from here on the blog to go with it.... 

Yummy sweet cornbread. post in July 2013 
and it was a great combination.



Start Your Day Off Right



Every day it is important to start the day off right....  
I Find if I don't start the day off with prayer, then I end up having 
issues all day long, that would not have been there if I had 
stopped and asked God to walk with me for the day....






 This picture came from Facebook..... It just seems like something that is 
a great idea to do.... and the Rooster is darn right adorable... 
he can pour me some coffee any day of the week...

Something I am working on this year is reading through the bible, not in a year like most people do it, it is actually taking me 2 years to read through...

 I am reading the Chronological bible, and I really love it.  There is a lot of extra stuff about the history/culture, maps, and historical/archaeological information. The neat thing about it, is that you get to read all the parts of the bible in the order that they happened, or they believe they happened, so you get to read it all in context.

There is no better way to start the day, than with the Lord by your side...



I hope you have a Blessed day...

~Brat~

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Love my Grandpa and Grandma

I love my Grandpa.... He is such a great example to me and my family... He loves my Grandmother with his whole heart.  He will talk to you for hours about his life, and the people he has known in his lifetime, which have been a lot of pretty famous people.  He will tell you about his job at JPL working with the unmaned space shuttles, and other really neat things for NASA.  He has so many wonderful tales to tell, and I could and do sit and listen for hours and gather so much wisdom from his tales... I am so blessed to have him in my life...

He recently had a birthday and my cousin put these pictures up of him when he was younger... Such a handsome man... and my Grandma is pretty darn adorable too....







And here he is with my beautiful daughter this past summer at her wedding doing the Jitterbug... He taught the girls to dance when they were little, 
and they love to dance with him any chance they get... 



An Amazing Man....







Still dancing after all these years......




S'mores in a Jar



This is another gift in a jar we made this summer.... 
we used bunny grahams and they were oh so cute!!

Remember to make the jar cute by adding a jar topper, like Fabric, 
or tissue   paper, or a doily.... 
and a pretty ribbon with the instructions attached!

Be creative!!










These were fun to make, and the instructions and printable labels are on the website.  They were really rich, and very messy, but for those who love S'mores like my daughter does, it really hits the spot when you don't have a campfire handy.

There are several other recipes on this site, 8 in total, but we only tried the S'mores in a Jar.



Toffee Blondie Bars in a Jar

This was the other Gift in a Jar that we really loved, and made several times.

We found this website with 5 different recipes in a jar, we only made this one, but the other ones look really great also.

This site also has the printable recipe, jar label, ingredient list, and instructions.  

They are chewy, and delicious!  We cut a circle of bright colored material and tied it around the neck of the bottle with Raffia..... they looked really pretty!











 
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