Monday, October 22, 2012

Carving Pumpkins

One of the best ways to celebrate the season is by carving pumpkins. Tonight after dinner my sister and I carved pumpkins for Addie and Carter. Addie decided that she wanted an MU jack-o-lantern, and Carter's pumpkin has a spooky face.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I'm so Grateful

12 Things that I am Grateful for Today

  1.  My relationship with Jesus Christ because it is the most important relationship in my life. As Citizen Way should've been me.
  2.  My mom because she is always there for me when I need her.
  3.  My dad because he tells it like it is and is always encouraging me (in his own way) to be the best that I can be
  4. My sister Kimi because she has become one of my best friends. We can talk about anything and she bought me a ticket to Breaking Dawn Pt. 2.
  5.  My brother-in-law Brad because he cares. 
  6.  My niece Addie because she loves to cuddle and makes me laugh. Yesterday she was singing in the car which isn't unusual but she was singing "Addie and Kyle sitting in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g." Of course she is only 6 and way to young for a boyfriend which is why it was funny.
  7.  My nephew Carter because he is so silly. He is my little cowboy. 
  8.  My grandmothers because they have taught me so much. From one I have learned how to cook and about crafting. From the other I have learned about myself and how I want to treat others.
  9.  My friend Lisa because she is so encouraging and supportive. I consider her one of my mentors. She is a great example of a godly woman.
  10. Having a place to live because so many people in this world don't have a roof over their heads and I'm so close to not having a place to live that I'm grateful that I still do.
  11. Having a car to drive because I can take my niece to school everyday.
  12. For all of the people in my life because in one way or another you have helped me to become the person I am.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's Been One of Those Weeks

Have you ever had one of those weeks where it feels like nothing is going right, but at the same time nothing is really going wrong? The small things that happen are irritating, but nothing really terrible. It just all adds up and you end up feeling like everything is wrong.

Well, that has been what this week has been like for me. I started the week upbeat and positive. I am ending the week upbeat and positive, but this week has been a comedy of errors. I had everything planned out for the week, and I tried to stick to the plan. Of course, nothing went as planned.

 My plans for the blog this week included a pork chop recipe, homemade donuts, and a couple of other things. Well, I fixed the pork chop recipe, and it didn't turn out how I expected it to turn out. The recipe called for a can of sweet potatoes or yams. Well, since nobody in my family likes sweet potatoes that well (especially the canned ones). I substituted fresh sweet potatoes. Well, they ended up not cooking in time and I ended up having to add butter and a couple of ingredients that were not in the recipe to add flavor to the sweet potatoes. The recipe made a sauce for pork chops and the sweet potatoes, but following the measurements given I ended up with only about 3 tablespoons of the sauce. Then I realized that I didn't have the camera and couldn't take pictures of it. Not a big deal, right? I can just use my phone. Well....I used up all of the memory on my phone and couldn't take pictures on it either. :-)

Tuesday's plans were cancelled and Wednesday I woke up with a sore throat and sinus infection so the last thing I want to do is cook because I don't want to expose my family and friends to my illness. So there went all of my blog plans for the week.

See!!! Nothing to big or major, but enough to make me feel like I haven't accomplished anything.

But then I read a Facebook post today that made me look at things a little differently. It made wonder what type of troubles I would have had to face if things had gone the way I had planned. Everything happens for a reason and most of the times it seems like the Lord puts things in our way to prevent something from happening or to teach us something. It is really hard to it at times and to be thankful, but that is something that I am working on.

What is something that you are thankful for that didn't seem good at first?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Love Letters from Jesus

One of the things that I really struggle with is feelings of insecurity. I forget who I am, I forget whose I am, and I forget that I am loved. One of the ways that I have started battling this lately is by making a book that I am calling Love Letters from Jesus. In this book I am recording reminders of who I am in Christ. I am recording Bible verses and things that people say to me that encourage me, but I write them down in letter format and sign them from Jesus.

Some of my letters:

Things needed to make:
Smash book
Pen or fine tipped Sharpie marker
Scrapbook paper (I cut my paper into 3x3 squares.)
Paper cutter
Anything else you want to add to make it your own

Gather what you need to make your book and then it is as simple as occasionally writing simple love letters to yourself from Jesus. I usually do this when I am doing my Bible study or devotional. But occasionally I will add something as it comes to mind during the day.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Grandma Mills' Oatmeal Cookies

I love cookies, all types of cookies, but I have never really cared for oatmeal cookies. There is only one recipe for oatmeal cookies that I will use and that I will eat. It is the favorite recipe of all my aunts, uncles, and cousins on my mom’s side of the family. And according to my family, nobody but my sister and I can make them the way that Grandma did. So today I’m going to share with you, my great-grandmother’s recipe for oatmeal cookies and I hope that you will love them as much as my family does.


½ cup shortening or butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon water
½ teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup sifted flour
½ teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups oats, uncooked
1 ¼ cup chocolate chips  or 1 cup Spanish peanuts (optional)

Cream shortening and sugar. Stir in beaten egg, water & vanilla. Add sifted dry ingredients, oats, & chocolate chips (if desired). Bake in a moderate oven (375 degrees) for 8 to 10 minutes.

Because one of the things that I love to do is play around with recipes, I made the original recipe of Oatmeal Cookies for my family. Then I played around with the recipe and made Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies.


½ cup shortening or butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon water
½ teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup sifted flour
½ teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups oats, uncooked
1 cup apples, chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream shortening and sugar. Stir in beaten egg, water & vanilla. Add sifted dry ingredients, oats, apples & cinnamon. Place by teaspoonful onto cookie sheet. Bake in moderate oven (375 degrees) for 8 to 10 Add sifted dry ingredients, oats, & chocolate chips (if desired

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Roast Beef Teriyaki

I love the taste of teriyaki and I love roast beef so when I found this recipe and thought that it sounded so good I decided I would try it, but I’m going to admit that I changed most of the steps for making the roast. I simply seared the roasts and then placed them in a slow cooker and then added the marinade on top. It changed a 10+ hour process into 15 minutes of prep and then into the slow cooker to cook the rest of the day.


6-pound rolled rib roast of beef
2 cups beef broth
2/3 cup soy sauce
½ cup red wine
¼ cup green onions, chopped fine
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Place meat in a deep bowl. Mix together broth, soy sauce, wine, green onions, brown sugar, lemon juice, ginger and garlic. Stir marinade until sugar dissolves. Pour it over the meat and cover with foil. Place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 10 hours. Turn meat occasionally. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove meat from marinade and place on a rack set in bottom of a foil-lined roasting pan. The foil is important, as the marinade tends to burn on the bottom of the pan. Pour marinade into a saucepan and set aside. A meat thermometer should be used. Allow approximately 32 minutes a pound for rare, 38 minutes a pound for medium. While cooking, brush the meat three or four times with the marinade. Allow meat to set 20 minutes after removing from oven. Before serving, heat remaining sauce and pour into bowl to serve with meat. Serves 8.

The way I made the roast:
I seared the roast on all sides for color. Then I placed the roast in the slow cooker. I mixed the beef broth, soy sauce, red wine, green onions, brown sugar, lemon juice, ginger and garlic. Then I poured the mixture over the roasts. I turned the slow cooker on low and cooked the roast for about 8 hours. Take it out and let it rest about 20 minutes before slicing. 

I saved the marinade that the roast cooked in and used it to make a gravy. I also added potatoes to the roast after it had been cooking for a couple of hours. My family really enjoyed it and the next day I used the left overs to make a vegetable beef stew which was also a hit.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Happy October!

I love autumn! I love the changing colors of the trees, the cooler temperatures, the campfires or fire pits, the apples, the pumpkins, and the food! Hot chocolate, doughnuts, apple fritters, apple cake, apple butter, applesauce…did I mention apples?
Today’s recipe is fresh apple cake. I found this recipe in the Kansas City Star Magazine, October 24, 1971. It was submitted by a Mrs. Frank C. Farrell of Kansas City. I followed her recipe very closely because this is the first time that I have ever made a cake from scratch. I will admit that since I am not a fan of pecans that my finished cake will not have the pecan frosting.


1 ½ cups flour, sifted
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup butter or margarine
1 ½ cups sugar
4 cups apples, pared and cut to pea size
1 cup dry oatmeal or bread crumbs

Sift together flour, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Into mixture blend butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs. Stir in apple and oatmeal. Bake in a well-greased, 13 x 9 inch pan at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until golden brown.


2 ½ tablespoons flour
½ cup milk
½ cup butter or margarine
½ cup sugar
½ cup pecans

Measure flour into sauce pan. Add milk slowly stirring until smooth. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until thick. Set aside to cool. Blend butter and sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add flour mixture and beat until light and of spreading consistency. Spread on cake. Sprinkle with pecans.

I used caramel sauce to top the cake instead of the pecan frosting. It was a hit with my family.