Monday, January 28, 2008

Orange zest kitchen tip

I thought I might add something to Tammy's Kitchen Tip Tuesday. If you haven't checked out her site Tammy's Recipes, do so soon. She has an extensive collection of recipes as well as other different tips and kitchen helps. Every Tuesday she puts out the call for kitchen tips and here is one from me-

I have been using a lot of orange zest lately. So, since oranges are in season and Devorah (my 9y0) happens to love oranges, every time I serve an orange I first wash it and then grate it skin off. I just use my grater with the smaller holes. It gets the zest off in nice skinny slivers and no zest. I then leave it sit out for a day or two to dry then put it away. I have a baby food jar full of zest right now waiting to be used!

If you have a kitchen tip to add or want to see what others have to share, visit Tammy's blog.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wednesday's Website #10

If you have a few minutes and want to look over a really neat site, then check out A Storybook Life. There are all sorts of frugal ideas there for decorating your home, making crafts, all kinds of stuff. It will keep you busy for awhile just looking around.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (22)

I only have ten minutes till I told Danny I would be off of here and upstairs to see him. I have been gone all day (well, I got home with enough time to put groceries away and heat up dinner) and haven't had any time with him. It is however Thursday and I wanted to get my list made.

1) I just spent a few hours with a good friend who I don't see often enough. I had a really good visit and am thinking of asking her to do a Bible study with me so we have an excuse to get together more often and so something really edifying comes out of our visits (not that we don't enjoy our time together, its just we could get even more out of it).

2) I am thankful for my oldest, Charlotte, who came with me today and watched Benjamin and my friend's 2yo daughter so we could visit without chasing children around.

3) For Danny who watched the other four here at home while I was gone.

4) For the progress Danny has had in his therapy and weight loss. He has been so consistent with going to therapy and that is the hard part for so many people.

5) That God has provided the gas money for us to get Danny to therapy and to get to church on Sundays, etc.

6) For the 401K money Danny put away the first seven years of his career. It wont be there for retirement, but it is supplying for our needs right now when we need it.

7) For our daughters' generosity- Charlotte (10) gave me her bank so we could pay bills with her money. Anytime we go to Aldis, the girls look for change on the ground and have recently been offering it to me to help with the bills.

8) Our new furnace- we applied for some assistance from the county to help weatherize our home. They gave us a furnace, more insulation in the attic, cleaned our gutters and a few other items.

9) The growth I see in my older two. We have had good talks with both of them this week about accountability and not letting Satan pull them into trouble. They are growing in their walks!

10) For the staff at our church and all the lay people who are involved in the ministry. We go to a great church and the people there are wonderful.

11) Warmth; its gonna be really cold out the next few days and I am so grateful for the fact that we are warm and snug in our home (see no. 8)

12) We have started making it a habit to have some real family time each week-playing board games or whatever, its been fun.

13) God's tremendous blessings. Even though we have a lot less then most people, we still have *so* much and God has blessed us incredibly.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A break in the weather

The weather last week hit some unusual temps for our area. Instead of there being several inches of snow on the ground, we actually hit into the 60's. The kids were able to go out and bike ride in the middle of January! These pictures are from one of the days they were out there playing. It was probably around 50 that day for a high.

Devorah's Cake

I wanted to share the recipe we used for Devorah's birthday cake. The rule is that the birthday person gets to choose the dinner meal, the cake and the ice cream. Devorah had an orange theme for her dessert. She wanted orange cream ice cream and an orange cream cheesecake instead of a regular birthday cake.

Here is a photo of the finished product:

Orange Dream Cheesecake
The original recipe is found here. This is my version-

The crust was a basic graham cracker crust;

1 1/4c graham cracker crumbs
1/4c sugar
1/3c melted butter

Combine the crumbs and the sugar then mix the butter in. Press the mixture onto the bottom and slightly up the sides of a spring form pan. Bake at 375 for 4-5 minutes. Let cool before adding the cheesecake mixture.


3 8oz packages neufatchel cream cheese
1/2c softened unsalted butter
1c sugar
4 eggs
1/2c sour cream
1 1/2T orange zest
1/4c orange juice concentrate
1t vanilla

Beat together the cream cheese, butter and sugar. Add in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and pour over the crust. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until top is light brown and the center is slightly jiggly.

1 1/2c sour cream
2T orange juice
2T sugar

Combine ingredients. When cake has finished baking pour topping over it and bake it for another 5 minutes. Let cool in oven, cracked and then refrigerate to finish cooling. Decorate with thinly sliced oranges, peels removed.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (20)

Today my list is going to be all about my Devorah. She turned nine yesterday so its only appropriate to think of everything about her I am thankful for.

1) She is full of life.
2) She is a deep thinker.
3) She is a tom boy.
4) She helps out a lot.
5) She has a big heart.
6) She loves Mexican food (something we share).
7) She's a perfectionist.
8) She is full of drama.
9) She has a tender spirit.
10) She is sensitive to God's spirit.
11) She is adventurous.
12) She is playful.
13) She is analytical.

Charlotte Mason blog carnival #8

Hey, I am only two days late for this weeks edition of the Charlotte Mason blog carnival. Check it out here.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

One more quick post- cute things they say

Before I go to bed I wanted to post this as I have been meaning to for weeks and don't want to forget anything (I did forget one thing already). Here are a few things the little ones have said to me lately that have really made me smile-

Tim (almost 3) has out of the blue started to learn his colors on his own. We had our Christmas lights set to fade from one color to the next and he was saying each color as it lit up. Here is what he said, "Red, green, blue, orange juice."

Not too long after that he came running into the kitchen all excited about something. "Mom, he runned!" You mean he ran?" I asked. "No, he runned!" Tim insisted.

Today Daniel was operating a little toy car and figured out something on it I was messing with the other day. He came and showed me how he did it and then told me "That's why you need to have kids" (to show you how to do all these complicated things you naive parents can't figure out for yourself).

One of the girls said something to me the other day that was so funny, and I can't remember it for the life of me!

Another Tiany giveaway

Lest you think I was joking when I said Tiany always has a party going on, she has another giveaway going on over at her blog. There is a website I go to often (though not often enough) called Raising Godly Tomatoes. The lady in charge (Elizabeth) writes articles on child raising based on her years of experience raising 10 children. She has some really good advice. After years of writing articles for her website she has ventured into book publishing. Tiany is giving away a copy of Raising Godly Tomatoes the book. Check it out!

Some of my favorite things

Tiany always seems to be having some sort of party over at Less of Me More of Him. Now she is celebrating her 2 year blogoversary.

She is having a nice giveaway to go along with it as well. She wants us all to share our favorite things and so here is a list of some of mine-

1) Rooibos Chai tea flavored with stevia and a little vanilla rice milk added. I am not a coffee drinker, cannot drink black tea (tannic acid) and cannot have milk (lactose). This is an awesome very low calorie sweet creamy wonderful drink hat really hits the spot.

2) Burt's Bees products- my sister bought me a bottle of shower gel, lotion and a bar of soap and I love it. The soap is honey orange and smells wonderful.

3) I love the smell of jasmine and Bath and Bodyworks makes a great night blooming jasmine fragrance line.

4) A warm rice/flax bag to keep your toes/fingers warm.

5) The smell of lavender as I fall asleep.

6) Little kiddo cuddles

7) Dark chocolate- even though I haven't had chocolate in a long time, drak chocolate is one of my favorite things.

8) a good cheesecake- lactose and all I still eat it.

9) Just about anything edible and Mexican- my second oldest gets this from me.

10) Anne of Green Gables- or any other book written by L. M. Montgomery- when I was a teen I borrowed every book of hers the library had.

I thought this would be harder then it actually was. Go visit Tiany and see what else is being recommended!