Tuesday, August 24, 2010

TWD: Crunchy Custardy Peach Tart

For this week's TWD assignment Rachel of Sweet Tarte chose the Crunchy & Custardy Peach Tart on pages 346-347 of Baking from My Home to Yours.

I made this for a get together with my family on Sunday and it was great!  I honestly am not normally a huge peach fan.  I HATE artificial peach flavoring but do love fresh peaches and knew that my family does as well.  My relatives who were over do not like or eat nuts so I left the almonds out...so this didn't really have the "crunchy" factor, but it was still great!  I also made it in a rectangular pan so I didn't have the same "design" that you would get in a round tart. 

Thanks for the pick Rachel, and be sure to check her blog for the recipe, and the TWD leave your link post to see who baked along this week.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

don't be like me....

Or you will drive yourself (and/or your spouse) crazy!

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by expectations and then realize that they are only your own?  Or when you're assigned a simple task you try to make it so much bigger?  That is what I do.  Always.

One of the things that I am doing now that I have quit my day job is some part time ministry work with Campus Crusade for Christ--a non-denominational Christian organization that works with college students and specifically focuses on the areas of evangelism and discipleship.  My dad has worked with Crusade for about 30 years and I was super involved in college and have lead Bible studies through it every year but the 2009-2010 school year since I was a sophomore in college.  I have been eagerly anticipating working with Crusade all summer and now everything is kicking off!  I had my first meeting with the staff team and other part time workers yesterday to go over the whirlwind schedule that is the next few weeks--freshman orientation, aka "Master Plan" at WKU.

One of our kick-off events is a leadership retreat this Thursday and Friday and I will (of course) be helping out with the food.  This is where I always go overboard.  I apparently do not know how to edit.  They are grilling for dinner and mentioned a side dish.  I offered to make hash brown casseroleEasy, yummy, wonderful!  Other than that dinner will be grilled meat, veggies, fruit.  Good stuff.  Then I offered to do dessert (brownies/cookies).  Then we talked about breakfast.  They said pick up donuts & cereal.  I said--breakfast casserole!!  (one of the guys heartily agreed with my suggestion).  We talk about a few more things, then go home and I start thinking...I don't know if my hash brown casserole will feed 18 people?  Better make 2.  Mom called and wants to make brownies...so I should do two kinds of cookies just to give variety...alton browns "the chewy" and my double chocolate chip...that should be good.  Will one breakfast casserole be enough??  And what if someone doesn't like sausage?  Ok...sausage casserole, bacon crescent roll casserole, and a cinnamon baked french toast just to be sure....

What is wrong with me?? And it's not like I have "committed" to doing this much or am being pressured.  I just want to make sure that everyone has plenty of options!  And I really am excited about making so much, plus it's all make-ahead stuff that I can prepare now and then just throw in the oven to bake--I hope that the college students enjoy it!  Feeding people is definitely my "love language" or spiritual gift :)

Stay tuned to see how it all turned out!

(and btw...I am making some blondies and a "taco pie" for my former co-workers tomorrow too...I'm crazy!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

TWD: Oatmeal Breakfast Bread

I have been M.I.A with the TWD posts lately--sorry!  You would think that since I'm no longer at the office I would have so much free time to bake, but between time with the newborn twins and trying to get my house clean I have not been good at keeping everything going!  Definitely gonna have to work on the time management...(oh yeah, the blogs don't help....)

Well, I couldn't skip this one.  Any time that I see a baking group recipe that seems like it may be a hit w/hubs I have to make it--b/c it's so rare!  Also, I have been itching for fall to start and this recipe made me feel like it's at least a little closer.  Come on cool weather--I'm ready!!!

Also, this recipe is super quick to put together--no softening butter, no mixers.  Just pour, whisk, combine and done!  Gotta love that! I thought I was out of applesauce and was about to sub some apple butter left from the apple bread pudding but then I found a new jar in the back of the fridge!  Score!  I didn't even know I had it! (though I may have to try the recipe w/apple butter still...it intrigues me...)  I did leave out the dried fruit b/c hubs isn't a fan, and this is something I want him to try.  I also baked a full recipe in mini-loaf pans for 25 minutes and got 5 mini loaves--perfect for portioning out and freezing! 

 So how is it?  YUM!!  I love the crumble topping and the spice.  Thanks so much to Natalie of Oven Love for this easy yummy intro to fall, and check out her blog for the recipe.  Also be sure to check the Leave you Link post on the TWD blog to see who baked along this week.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fab Five Friday--Granny's things edition

If you have been following my blog for a while you may remember that just over a year ago my dear granny passed away after a very difficult battle with cancer.  For the past year my parents and my dad's sister have been goign through things, and last week I went to look through some of her things for keepsakes and to put in my home.  These are some of my favorites, which I will be putting up and using to remember my dear Granny!

1.  "Breath of Spring"
 the title for this beautiful painting that she painted in 1975!  I love it--the fact that she made it, the cheerful colors, the title; it's just a wonderful reminder of the amazing woman that she was.

2.  Her spice rack:
I've given it a bit of a makeover since I got it--it was a dark 70s looking wood and had little metal stars and an eagle at the top--not really my thing.  But I LOVE the glass jars and the brown-bordered labels.  And also the fact that she re-labeled some in her own writing.  They actually still had the spices in them when i got them--not quite sure how old those spices were! But I cleaned them out and scrubbed them really well and am now using them to hold all of my baking spices.

I've put both the painting and the spice rack on the side of my kitchen cabinet so I can enjoy them all the time!

3.  Her Coca-Cola wall hanging:
 You know how for every kid there is one thing that signifies your grandparent's house to you?  This was one of the main ones about Granny's farm house.  She had it hanging in her kitchen (where of course we spent a lot of our time) and I remember walking up and standing right beside it and looking at it so intently.  It also makes me think of potato skins chips & green tomato pickles...

4.  Favorite Recipes of America cookbook set:
 Granny was an amazing cook!  My very favorite thing that she would make was biscuits with milk gravy.  I could eat it over and over and she made it better than anyone in the world!  We spent so much time in that hot country kitchen with the yellow Formica topped table and her deep freezer in the back room.  I never saw her use a cookbook, but of course I had to have these!  It cracks me up that there is an entire volume dedicated to salads (of course most of those are the mayonnaise-based salads...)

 And you know I'll be trying some of these dessert recipes!

5.  This gorgeous apron:

 I honestly don't think she ever wore it--it is in really good shape, but the yellow reminds me of her kitchen table, and the whole thing looks kinda like her painting!  It is a very special addition to my apron collection :)

And I've got to throw in one more thing, even though it's only supposed to be a list of five:

6.  a Lady Lovely Locks tray!
I honestly don't remember using this, but I'm sure it was there for me to use as a kid--Lady Lovely Locks was one of my favorite dolls!  I had the Lady Lovely Locks & Maiden GoldenWaves Enchanted Island dolls as well as the Enchanted Island Fairytale bedroom & Sea Magic Salon  (and no, i didn't remember the names off the top of my head but found them on the AWESOME website Ghost of the Doll which identifies 80s & 90s girls toys).  I also had a nightgown :)  It's just such a sweet reminder of how Granny would always do special things for us and get us little treats and toys for when we came to visit. 

I'm so thankful that we kept so many of these things and that I can have them in my own house to remember her by!

Monday, August 2, 2010

the cutest little boys you ever did see

 On Saturday morning our family was blessed with two new arrivals.  Hubs's sister delivered the most precious little twin boys, Connor & Logan.  We got to see the precious little ones just a few short hours after their birth, and they are so tiny!


At 5 lb 5 1/2 oz. and born one minute earlier, Logan is the biggest and oldest.  And such a sleeper!  The little guy sleeps all the time and waves his arms and hides his face.  So cute!  He also makes little squeaky kitten noises.  eep! 
Being held by big sister Hannah.


Connor (at 2 days old here) is tiny!  He weighed 4 lb 10 oz. at birth (has gone down some now, as has Logan) and is just unbelievably itty-bitty!  He is very expressive and alert and is always looking around with his big blue eyes!  He looks like a wise old man in a teeny body : )

Getting a daiper change by mommy--not happy about it!
Look at that itty bitty belly! And his head is so small that they have two caps on his head so that the bigger one won't fall off.
Gotta love the tiny toes!

Last night and all day today I have gotten some very special alone time with Christi & the babies.  Since her other three kids are starting school tomorrow, I stayed with her while her husband went to help them get ready for school and get the house ready for the homecoming.  It has just been a precious time!  She & I have had more time to bond, and I have loved getting to hold and feed the little boys!  I must admit, it is scary at some points b/c they are so very small, but they are starting to eat and nurse well and are little champs! 

beautiful mommy & babies

Really, we are very blessed that they are in such good shape b/c her due date was not supposed to be until early September.  We knew that they would come early, and have honestly been preparing for them over the past 4 weeks--an "any day now" kind of situation--but we're glad that they stayed in as long as they did to grow and mature.  It is really amazing--they have not had to spend any time in the NICU and other than a tiny bit of jaundice and some potential reflux problems, their health seems perfect!  Praise the Lord!

 proud aunt & uncle (me & hubs) with the boys a few hours after their birth--I'm in love!