Monday, February 28, 2011

5 One Thousand Gifts

My sweet friend, Rebecca, gave me this book after amazing women, whom we both look up to, recommended it to us! 
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
And it has been life changing. . .
In short, Ann Voskamp was challenged to write down one thousand blessings in her life and she documents how by writing those blessings, her life was changed.
For those of y'all who want to hear more. . . my whole book is underlined. . . I have not experienced losing a sister or two nephews, like Ann has, but I remember what it was like to lose a friend in college. . . .
"That that which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave." (p22) Are you like me?  Do you lean on God when life is hard far more than when everything is perfect? Father, let me glorify you in ALL aspects of my life and in ALL times. . .
She states that by thanking God for all the little things, when you live a life of thankfulness,  you grow closer to God by recognizing all the blessings he bestows on us daily! We are not guaranteed another second on this earth. . . so each one is a blessing! I love the example of the 10 lepers that Jesus healed. . ."Jesus asked, 'Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." (Luke 17:17-19) (p. 38) Christ had healed the ten but SAVED the one who came back to THANK him! Then she compares the parable to her own life. . . she "had said my yes to God, but was really living the no. . . [was she] taking everything in my life and returning to Jesus, falling at His feet and thanking Him." (p. 40) That is so convicting! Do I fall at his feet and thank him for the mundane chores that I do? Do I thank him for the opportunity to do dishes after a lovely meal?
There are so many more stories. . . God passing over Moses is another one of my favorites. . . (p.156) in which she compares how "God reveals himself in rear view mirrors." (p.157) I literally could go on for hours. . . but want you to read the book for yourself! ;-)
I encourage you to start a list of the blessings in your life. . . believe me. . . it will change it! :-)

1. The way my hand fits perfectly into Nate's. . .
Pin It!

1 And the winner is. . .

Number 13!!!! April. . .  with ironically one of my favorite Valentine's Day memories! "I'm a follower, and here's my V-day memory: when we were little girls, we had a "Valentines Man". He supposedly dressed in a red spandex unitard and rang our doorbell and ran away, so quickly that it was impossible to ever see him. He left boxes of chocolate for us. Of course, it was my Dad the whole time. :) True story." 
 You HAVE to check out April's blog! She makes amazing jewelry (I am lucky enough to have a piece from her beautiful collection), discusses fashion, her upcoming wedding, and her fun life!
Thank you so much to all who entered!!!!! 
Pin It!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

1 Blackberry Rhubarb Crisp

 This weekend, Gus and Wrigley were THOROUGHLY loved by seven kids and now can barely move they are so tired! They loved having a stick thrown for them in the pasture, cuddling with kids in the grass (or having the kids lay of top of them!), getting to go swimming and jumping off the dock, and getting a bath today before we said goodbye!
Yes, this is us taking a nap on the couch with Gus laying on top of us!
The other "popular" item of the weekend, besides Gus and Wrigley, was this Blackberry Rhubarb Crisp!
{Picture courtesy of Joy of Baking}
I was introduced to rhubarb a couple of years ago in the form of jam and Nate and I both love it. This weekend I wanted to make something "down home" but different. . . so I researched rhubarb recipes! It is going out of season but Central Market has rhubarb in the frozen section of the store.
1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (105 grams) light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (84 grams) cold unsalted butter,  cut into pieces
1/2 cup (45 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 pound (454 grams) fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) slices (I used frozen)
2 cups fresh blackberries or raspberries
1/2 cup (105 grams) light brown sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) orange or apple juice
1 tablespoon (10 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick cooking spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) deep dish pie plate or an 8 x 8 x 2 inch (20 x 20 x 5 cm) baking dish
Topping:  Place all the topping ingredients (flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, butter, and oats) in a food processor and process until the mixture is crumbly (looks like coarse meal) and there are no large pieces of butter visible. (This can also be done in a large bowl with a pastry blender, two knives or your fingertips.) 
Filling: Place the rhubarb and blackberries in a large bowl and toss with the brown sugar. 
In a separate bowl, whisk together the orange (or apple) juice, cornstarch (corn flour) and vanilla. Add this mixture to the rhubarb mixture and toss to coat. Transfer the fruit to your baking dish and sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the fruit. Bake for approximately 30-35 or until the topping is crisp, golden brown and bubbly. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes before serving.
Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  Refrigerate leftovers and reheat before serving.
Makes 4 - 5 servings.
The CSN giveaway ends at midnight tonight! 
Pin It!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

7 Cake Cream Cones

First off, I have to share this email Nate sent to a friend of his about a missing Tupperware of mine! 
"I thought I'd let you know  I have made Elizabeth's "in trouble" list. She's busy baking for an army in here, and is looking for her missing  Tupperware container, as she's filled to capacity everything currently in her inventory. Therefore, I am wondering if you indeed have in your possession a Tupperware with a red top. If so, no worries, at least I know it is in safe hands and can offer to her a reasonable explanation as to its whereabouts. If you need me, I'll be canvassing the isles of Target for suitable Tupperware for the queen."
Ok, seriously, do I have the cutest husband or what???
Next subject. . . OH MY GOSH. . . if you have kids, like kids, teach kids, (you get my point) THESE ARE A MUST. . .

I got this idea from Betty Crocker almost a year ago but just hadn't gotten around to making these. . .until now. . .
There are two ways to make these adorable treats.  . .
1. Choose a box cake that you love (Nate's favorite is red velvet cake)
2. Make the cake according to the back of the box
3. Place cupcake liners into the cupcake tray and then fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full with cake dough
4. Place waffle cone (with a flat bottom) on top of the cupcake
5. Cook 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean
6. Place cupcakes on a cooling rake.
7. Gently pull cupcake liner away from the cupcake
So pretty. . .
8. and swirl icing on top of the cupcake! (you kind of need two hands to ice these. . . so have a "taste tester" nearby!)
For more of the "soft serve" look. . . 
1. Choose a box cake that you love (Nate's favorite is red velvet cake) 
2. Make the cake according to the back of the box
3. Place waffle cones in a mini cupcake pan
4.Fill each cone with cake dough but ONLY 1/2 to 3/4 full (at the most)
5. Cook 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean
6. Place cupcakes on a cooling rake. 
7. and swirl icing around the top of the cone. (you kind of need two hands to ice these. . . so have a "taste tester" nearby!)
8. This kind does not keep well. So make and serve on the same day! 
Nate needed a little extra icing half way through his "i have to try one TONIGHT" cupcake. . .
Have y'all heard of Cake Duchess??? I kind of want to make EVERYTHING that she posts. . . there just aren't enough hours in the day! :-) (and I just won a Martha Stewart cookbook on her blog so I am EXTRA in love!)
Don't forget about the CSN giveaway! Only 3 days left!
Pin It!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

7 Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

Last night I went out to dinner with girl friends for Abbi's birthday but left Nate and Clark chicken and dumplings in the crock pot. . .
{Picture courtesy of}
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 lb. boneless chicken breasts (skinless)
2 c chicken broth
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 tbsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 c milk
salt to taste
1 c. dry wine (optional) (I used chardonnay)
1 can refrigerated biscuits
Place all ingredients into crock pot except milk, flour, and biscuits. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours. Shred or cube chicken. Mix milk and flour into a paste; stir into pot. Open canned biscuits and cut biscuit into 4 pieces. Drop into crockpot. Cook on HIGH for 30 minutes. Serves 8.
Ela Ruth McCullough "Recipes to Remember: Westminster Presbyterian Church" 

On another note, please vote for my friend, Casey's blog! All you have to do is click on the button below, then click where it says "click here and your vote will be added!"
Help Our Rank & Visit Top Baby Blogs, Baby Blog Directory!
Don't forget to enter the CSN giveaway! It ends this weekend!
Pin It!

Monday, February 21, 2011

1 Cucumbers, Peppers and Balsamic Vinaigrette

As I mentioned a couple days ago, this simple and healthy salad is one of our favorite sides. 
1 Yellow pepper
1 Red pepper
1 Green pepper
1 Cucumber
Balsamic Vinaigrette
(I also LOVE tomatoes in this salad!) 
Peel cucumber and then chop all vegetables. Top with balsamic vinaigrette!
The CSN giveaway ends this weekend! Don't forget to enter!
Pin It!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

1 Yummy Slushy Punch

 Lindsay Donaldson shared the perfect "party" punch recipe with me last year. . . and now, I make it every chance I can!
I always double the recipe since my punch bowl is huge! and because no one can have just one cup! :-) 
(The following measurements equal 1 gallon freezer bag)
1 ½ Cup Sugar
3 Oz Cherry Jello (one small box)
1 Qt. Water (2 cups boiling for jello & sugar) (24 oz not heated)
½ Tbsp Almond Extract
½ Cup Lemon Juice
½ can (23 oz) Pineapple Juice (regular can is 46 oz)
½ bottle of Ginger Ale
(1 bag = approx. 16 small cups)
Instructions: Boil 2 cups of water. Put jello and sugar in mixing bowl and dissolve completely by stirring in boiling water. Add almond extract. Add lemon juice, allowing it to flow over measuring cup just a little. Add pineapple juice and remaining 24 oz of water. Stir well. Pour into freezer bag and freeze for minimum 24 hours.
Take frozen punch out of freezer 2 hours before serving allowing to thaw. Once the 2 hours has passed pour frozen punch into a large bowl and crush up the punch. To help make the crushing easier start pouring the (room temperature) ginger ale over the punch. Stir well.
Don't forget to enter the CSN giveaway!
Pin It!

Friday, February 18, 2011

3 Egg Sandwich and how to trick your steak and potatoes man!

My family, Nate and I all eat in moderation. . . If we are at Garden of the God's in Colorado, of course, everyone will have the Grand Marnier French Toast . .  but then we will go climb (the bottom part) of Pike's Peak. We don't eat King Ranch Chicken and chocolate chip cookies everyday but mix up incredibly "heavy" meals with salads, raw vegetables with balsamic vinagerette, and an occasional My Fit Foods meal (have you done their 21 day challenge?? We loved it!) And a good cardio workout doesn't hurt!
Now my mom is a different story. She is the healthiest person I know. . . and (I hope you are seated) . . . I have never seen her eat a dessert in my entire life (seriously, not one). . .
Isn't she beautiful??
With moderation in mind, a healthy breakfast is perfect for those days that you know you are going to "overdo" it a little at dinner! It is pretty easy to eat a balanced breakfast (except for when we go out to breakfast and Nate orders the left side of the menu with extra gravy on top) If your husband is like mine, calorie counting is NOT in his vocabulary. . . so sometimes I have to "trick" him! 
A regular egg has 74 calories and 5 grams of fat but an egg white has 17 calories and .1 grams of fat. My hubby would NEVER eat WHITE rubbery looking eggs. . . so here is where the "trick" comes in play!
 1. Pam a skillet and set 3 eggs aside.
(Do you use Olive Oil Cooking Spray??? When I visited Spain, the one "foodie" thing I noticed was that olive oil was used in EVERYTHING! Even scrambled eggs had a touch of olive oil (since they use it to grease the pan) Olive oil is healthy but pretty caloric so "Olive Oil Cooking Spray" is the next best thing!)
I had chickens when I was growing up . . . and they were my PETS. . . so I can't imagine my sweet chickens sitting in a cage laying eggs their whole life. . . and because of that I buy cage free eggs. . (cute Nate went to the store for me the other day and was SO proud of himself for buying cage free eggs. . .. it's the little things that make our marriage special! :-)
Have you tried these sandwich rounds. . . they are like an English muffin but sandwich bread! :-) Delish! Warning- Nate thinks whole wheat bread tastes like he is eating cardboard. . . so just use a sandwich round for your eggs and a 96% Fat Free tortilla for your man!

2. Place only the egg WHITES of two eggs in the skillet. Then add one regular egg (yolk and all). This gives the eggs a yellow color without adding all the calories. Once you start scrambling the eggs, toast your sandwich rounds in the toaster. When the eggs are done, place them on one side of the sandwich round.
3. Then add fresh ground pepper. (this is one of my favorite weddings gifts)

I LOVE "Chateau Dains!"

4. Add a tablespoon of salsa . . . a side of fruit and . . .

Have a happy, healthy day! :-)
Not counting your side of fruit . . . Your breakfast is 213 calories and 6.2 grams of fat! If you use 3 egg whites, it is only 139 calories and 1.2 of fat!
Have y'all read everyone's favorite Valentine's memories on our CSN giveaway? I can't decide which one is my favorite. . . finding out Ashley was having triplets or April's red spandex man! Don't forget to enter!
Pin It!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

1 Chicken Spaghetti

As I said yesterday, I literally fed friends all weekend with this recipe! This Chicken Spaghetti is another The Houston Junior League Cookbook classic. Enjoy!
The Houston Junior League Cookbook 

2 fryers (or 4-5 lbs. meaty chicken pieces) (I used 4-5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast)
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can (4 oz) mushroom stems and pieces (drained)
1 package (10 oz) spaghetti, broken
1 can (1 1b) tomatoes, chopped (drained)
2 tablespoons chopped ripe olives
1 can condensed cram of mushroom soup
salt and pepper
few dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 pound Velveeta cheese, grated
Simmer chicken until tender in well-seasoned water. Remove chicken and broth; measure 1 quart broth back in pan. (Save the rest because I had to use more towards the end of cooking the spaghetti) Bone and dice chicken; set aside. Into broth put celery, green pepper, onions, garlic and mushrooms. Let cook a few minutes then add spaghetti and cook until spaghetti is done. Add tomatoes, olives, soup, salt, pepper and paprika. Add Worcestershire sauce and cheese to boned chicken; then add to spaghetti mixture. This is a favorite with children and, since it uses only 1 pan, a favorite with the cook also. Serves 10-12.
The Houston Junior League Cookbook
I am LOVING reading all of your Valentine's memories on the CSN giveaway! Don't forget to enter!
Pin It!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

4 Garlic Cheese Bread

The Pioneer Woman has done it again! :-) I served this Garlic Cheese Bread with Chicken Spaghetti this past week for friends (I actually had enough chicken spaghetti and garlic cheese bread to serve 4 adults on Thursday night, 4 adults on Saturday night, and 4 adults on Sunday night AND STILL had left overs!) The Chicken Spaghetti recipe is coming tomorrow but this is the PERFECT meal for a crowd! :-) This bread was a huge hit at {all of the}dinner{s}!

3-½ cups Grated Cheddar Cheese
¾ cups Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
½ cups (Real) Mayonnaise
4 whole Green Onions, White And Light Green Parts Minced
1 dash Salt
1 loaf Crusty French Bread
1 stick Butter
4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
Mix cheeses with the mayonnaise and the green onions. Add dash of salt to taste and set aside or keep in fridge until you need it.
Cut loaf of bread in half, then each half into half again.
Working 1/4 loaf at a time, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet and add 1/4 of the minced garlic. Place 1 of the 1/4 loaves face down in the skillet, swirling it to soak up the butter and garlic. Allow bread to toast in the skillet, removing garlic if it starts to get too brown.
Repeat with remaining butter, garlic, and bread.
Spread cheese mixture on warm loaves and bake in a 425 degree oven until cheese is hot and bubbly, about 10 minutes.
Slice and serve.
Pioneer Woman 
 Make sure to enter the CSN giveaway
Pin It!

Monday, February 14, 2011

8 Happy Valentine's Day and Butterfinger Cupcakes

On Saturday, I had some sweet friends over for a Valentine's Dessert Exchange! It was fun to catch up over punch and delicious desserts! I am so thankful for the amazing friends the Lord has blessed me with!
Nate was so sweet! Not only did he get "kicked out" of the house on Saturday (don't worry, he went and built a work bench with a friend. . . sooo manly!) but he also gave me my Valentine's flowers early! :-) 
So elegant and pretty!
Can't be Valentine's Day without pink tulips!
Everyone emailed me their dessert recipe earlier this week so I could put them on the "Valentine's" recipe cards I ordered from The recipe cards provided a cute seasonal label in front of each dessert!
One of my friends, Kara, went ALL out and even tied pretty little bows around each of her cupcakes!
We also had to have some non-sugar snacks! 
When people were ready to leave they filled up their Valentine's "to go" plate with goodies for their love and received a Valentine's gift bag and a copy of each recipe! 
The bags included a Valentine's card from us that sweet Serena from Rylie Boo Events made for me. . .
herb seeds to plant (when it gets a little warmer) and a bag of Texas Trash! 
I made Butterfinger Cupcakes for the party and OH MY GOODNESS . . . The icing. . . oh the icing. . .
(Nate even had a cupcake for breakfast yesterday morning! Yes they are that good!)
Heather from Pirates and Princesses shared this dessert from Annie's Eats and I knew it would be PERFECT for the dessert exchange! :-) (Have you checked out Pirates and Princesses? SUCH amazing parties and beautiful cupcakes!)
Here's the recipe from Annie's Eats:
3 cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt.  Whisk together and set aside.  Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the bowl of the mixer with the butter and discard the pod (or reserve for another use.)  Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute.
Add the sugar to the butter mixture, ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition.  Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup.  With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.
Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each about 2/3 of the way full (you will likely have batter left over after filling 24 wells.)  Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Replace paper liners and bake remaining batter if desired.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.
Yield: approximately 30 cupcakes
Before you frost the cupcakes, cut a fun size Butterfinger in half and place on top of the cooled cupcake, then pipe your frosting on top.  Makes for a fun surprise! 
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth and well blended.  Mix in the whipped topping until smooth and fluffy.
For garnish:
4 fun size Butterfinger bars, coarsely chopped
Annies Eats
Don't forget to enter the CSN giveaway
Pin It!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

18 CSN FEBRUARY GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CSN had graciously approached me about hosting another giveaway! CSN Stores have over 200 online stores where you can find anything you need whether it be swingsets, fitness equipment, or even cute cookware!! Believe me, it is hard to browse their website without having my credit card nearby!
{Image courtesy of  Party Wedding}

To enter the giveaway and be eligible for the $20 dollar gift certificate . . .
You must be a follower of Elizabeth Ann's Recipe box {blog}. Leave a comment below sharing your favorite Valentine's memory! (it might be of a Valentine you got from a crush in elementary school, a romantic date you went on last year, or just a girls night in celebrating friendship!) My favorite Valentine's memory happened just yesterday! I hosted a dessert exchange with sweet friends and it was so much fun to spend time with such amazing people! (Pictures and recipes to come!)
Leave a 2nd comment if you follow Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box on Facebook and let me know!
Leave a 3rd comment if you share this giveaway on your blog
Leave a 4th comment if you share this giveaway on Facebook
(The CSN giveaway is only available in the United States and Canada. . .sorry Robin, Kambry and Carolyn. I still love y'all though!) 
Good luck and I can't wait to hear about your favorite Valentines memory!!
{Giveaway ends Sunday, February 27th at midnight!
Pin It!

Friday, February 11, 2011

4 Happy Birthday Gus Gus!

Today is Gus' 7th Birthday! Nate and I love our little buddy so much!
This is my little cutie as a puppy!
And this is Gus doing his FAVORITE thing in the world. . . retrieving!!!!!
What a good boy!
Pin It!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...