Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pass the Syrup

In celebration of National Pancake Week, here is the pancake recipe I promised. [this week is almost as exciting as National Ice Cream Month!]

We are a family of five so I usually double the recipe and will have a few left over.

About ready to flip.
1 ¼ c flour                                             1 heaping tsp baking powder
1 egg                                                     1 tsp baking soda
1 c buttermilk**                                     ¼ c oil
¼ c sugar                                              

With a mixer or fork, combine all ingredients until smooth. Preheat skillet over medium heat. Add a bit of oil to the pan and pour a small circle of batter into hot pan (batter will be runny). When edges appear to harden and bubbles stop appearing, flip the pancakes. Finish cooking. Yield 8-10 pancakes (depending on how big or small you make them).

**I usually do not have buttermilk on hand. I either just use milk or I had a tsp of vinegar to the measuring cup and then fill it up with milk.

Top with your favorite syrup, butter, and/or peanut butter. Yum!

Monday, February 20, 2012


I'm so excited to make this announcement. Perhaps you've already heard. Have you? It's....wait for it....
National Pancake Week. I know. Such excitement. Pancakes allll week. Yup, once I heard it was National Pancake Week, I knew I had my meal menus for the week all planned out. I'll let you know how that goes. :)

I have a great recipe for pancakes. One I will share in a day or two...when I come out of my sugar coma! It is a copy-cat recipe of a famous pancake joint. But, I think this recipe is a little better my humble opinion.

So, crack out your favorite pancake recipe and start flippin'.

What are some of your favorite toppings on pancakes?

Friday, February 10, 2012

That's right...Cinnamon Rolls, y'all

Who among us remembers the daytime show, Mike and Maty? It was similar to, but not the same as, Regis & Kelly.

Our second child was a newborn during the first year of Mike and Maty. She always seemed to grow hungry at the proper hour....when Mike and Maty were on. Gotta love a newborn who allows you to sit and enjoy a show while she feeds.

One of the Mike and Maty segments included cooking/baking from guest chefs/bakers. I loved that part! One recipe I scribbled hurriedly was cinnamon rolls. I can't remember the baker's name but I do know he was famous in California. And, after making and tasting these, he is a genius.
I used to make this recipe for the kids and hubs for each birthday. Then, sadly, I stopped. Apparently I even made it for my hubs to take to work. This past Christmas a fellow worker said to hubs, "Do you remember those rolls your wife used to make?" I had to ask hubs what his fellow worker was talking about. It has been that long, y'all!! (hangs her head in shame)

So, without further babbling.....
Click on picture to see it bigger and clearer.

Cinnamon Rolls
makes about 24 rolls

1/2 c warm water
2 pkg dry yeast
2 T sugar
1 (3 oz) pkg vanilla instant pudding (I think this is the secret ingredient)
2 c milk
1/2 c oil
2 lg eggs
8 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 T cinnamon
1 c packed light brown sugar

Combine water, yeast & sugar in a bowl; mix and set aside.

Combine pudding, milk, oil & eggs in another bowl; mix just until moist (don't make pudding out of it) and set aside.
In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer, combine flour and salt. (makes a thick, stiffer dough). Add yeast and pudding mixtures to flour bowl. Stir until most of the flour is wet. Using mixer w/dough hook, mix approximately 4 min or until dough forms. Let rise 1 hr or until doubled.

Roll out dough into a rectangle on lightly floured surface.

Mix cinnamon and brown sugar and spread on dough. Pat in mixture lightly. Roll up dough in a jelly roll fashion. Cut into desired thickness. [hint: unflavored dental floss is da' bomb when it comes to cutting a long pc of floss under the rolled up dough where you want to cut the dough, bring up the ends, criss-cross the floss and cut!]

Place cut dough pieces in pans. Let rise until doubled.

Bake 350 for 15 min or until golden. Frost w/favorite frosting.

[the raw rolls may be frozen before the last rising....just get them out of the freezer the night before you want them and let them thaw over night. in the morning, pop turn on the oven and bake]

I frosted ours, this time, with maple frosting. Very simple recipe...just eyeball the following ingredients.

Powdered sugar
Maple syrup [I used pancake syrup since I didn't have the real stuff]

[secret: as soon as the rolls come out of the oven, I spread/drizzle a thin layer of frosting on the rolls. Do it gently so you don't smush them. This thin layer then melts into...that's right, into the layers of the rolls....drool! Then, after they cool just a little bit more, I spread on another layer of frosting. Yup, if you are going to have cinnamon it big, people!]

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fear & Faith

I recently heard a quote from Stevie Wonder. Yes, that Stevie Wonder. When asked if he ever feared he had to be perfect, he said when he was young he prayed and read the Bible all the time. When he was ready to leave home, at an early age to start his singing career, he got scared and didn't want to leave his mom...the safety of home. He said, "I had to tell myself that my faith is bigger than my fear." faith is bigger than my fear
 My faith is bigger than my fear. I know it is a simple concept yet it is huge. How many times have I let my fear rule? Fear is not of God yet I let it become a god as I don't do or try something because I don't want to....wait for There. I said it. Fail.

Society demands perfection. In our jobs, in our body image, and even in church. Yet, are we God? God is the only one who is perfect. We are not God no matter how hard we try to be Him. Who are we kidding?

Am I saying to give up trying to do a good job? No way. But how much is my fear of failure not letting me live out the life God has intended?

My faith is bigger than my fear. Words to live by.

How about you? What is holding you back?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Shoutin'

No, this isn't a post about getting kids ready for church. Although the title would be appropriate for that sort of post. Hmmm, might be a blog post for later..........

Below is one of my favorite songs of late. Perfect for getting to worship our Lord and Savior on a Sunday morning (or if you have Saturday would apply as well).

Lately, many 'worship' songs are "I, I, I" songs, as I call them. Yes, we need to acknowledge what He has done for us in song. But, sometimes all we sing are "I, I, I" songs. The song in the video below is a pure praise and worship song. Praise-full, worshipful, dance worthy worship, in my humble opinion. Basically, this song makes me happy to be singing to our God.

Enjoy At Your Name (Yahweh Yahweh) by Phil Wickham.

Friday, February 3, 2012

That Awkward Moment In Which I Clean

Cleaning. I think we've talked about this before.

I'm not the best at cleaning. I wait, people. I wait until I begin to realize how filthy a particular item looks. And, sadly, in some instances, it takes a long time for me to see filth. [hangs her head in shame]

You see, finding/seeing filth is just not my gift. You see, I am gifted in looking over such things. In my home, in other's homes, at name it. Nope, all I see is what is in front of me. I mean, really, why would I look for dirt/filth?

True confession time....I am about to show you something that would completely embarrass a sane person. Seriously, if you are a "neat-freak", I urge you to run! Run to my house and help know you want to.

It wasn't until I saw a friend's facebook picture of a loaf of bread on top of her stove. Yes, I saw the bread but what I saw underneath the bread I'm not sure what the proper term for this is called but I'm calling it a rack. The rack is the thing on gas stoves that holds the pan above the flame. Now, that we have that settled...her rack was spotless. Spot.less. Mine, not so much. So, I asked her how she keeps them clean. Her reply? Dishwasher. Dishwasher? Honey, mine would not come clean in a dishwasher. In fact, I am certain throwing them in the dishwasher would make the gunk stick even more! sigh.

Norwex. I will use my Norwex Envirocloth, which is a antibacterial microfiber cloth and Norwex Cleaning Paste. Yes, that is what I shall do. So, I did.

Let me explain Norwex. Norwex is a company which sells cleaning products through consultants, which I am not. One would think, I, who has a love-hate relationship with cleaning, would not be so excited about Norwex products. Well, I am. No chemicals involved when cleaning with Norwex products. Just water and a Norwex cloth will do in a situation. Excellent for people or loved ones with allergies.

I first found Norwex when we needed to purchase a new washing machine. Mine died. A slow, pitiful death...but death nonetheless. We opted for a front loader. I wanted to start my machine out right and not clog it up with a bunch of gunk I know regular laundry detergent can do. Long story short, I found Norwex laundry detergent. It is highly concentrated and it dissolves so amazingly quick. I only use any where from one teaspoon to a heaping teaspoon per load. Yup, that is it. The price can be a little intimidating at first but when I figured it out, I am saving so much money in the long run! A ton of money!

If you are interested in finding out more about Norwex, go here. You won't be sorry!! [I love my dusting mitt, my envirocloth, my handtowels, my laundry detergent, my tea towels, my window cloth, my..... I had a party. They have an awesome hostess program! But, I digress...]

So, on with the embarrassing show.....

Here is where those who are 'neat-freaks' should look away. Really. Look.away. For those brave enough, carry on.....

This is my embarrassing mess of a stove.
Look at all that baked on crud...shutter.

Ewww!!!! Obviously, it has been a while.
Don't judge me, people. :)

First, I grabbed my Norwex Kitchen Cloth.
See the mess in the back is already cleaned up with just water and my cloth.

What little I couldn't get clean with just water and my cloth,
I used Norwex Cleaning Paste.

Cleaning Paste on my Envirocloth.

After...well, during.

Can you tell which half I cleaned?
And, I didn't have to scrub until I thought my fingers would bleed!
A huge plus in my book. This was two swipes. Two.

Granted, some spots refused to be removed.
I'm thinking it is because I waited so long to clean the racks
and it was so 'baked' on it will take my husband's muscles to get it totally clean.
So, even though it is not totally spotless, it is so much better than it was. I'm not blaming the Norwex products at all. I'm blaming my gift of overlooking filth. Note to self: keep on top of these sorts of things! I may need to get some Norwex Oven & Grill Cleaner to finish this project.

If you have any questions on the Norwex products, just contact Jen.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


That's a fun word....let's all say it together. Fra-tta-ta.
Good. ☺

What is the meaning of this fun word, you ask? It is an Italian egg dish. Basically a glorified flat omelet that starts out on the stove and ends up in the oven.
I purchased a book called Deliciously G-Free (gluten free) by Elisabeth Hasselbeck. The author has celiac disease. I do not. But, I believe I might have a slight intolerance for gluten. At one time I eliminated gluten from my diet for almost three months. Man, did I feel great! Then, Thanksgiving and Christmas were upon us. [insert dun-dun-dunnnn] Now, I just want to feel better and as a bonus, try to loose some weight. [which was a huge plus the last time]

I really like the recipes in Deliciously G-Free. The author did all the work for me. However, as far as all the different flours go, I have no idea where to start looking for all those flours! Seriously. I don't live in a large city. I live between some cornfields. I was a little disappointed there wasn't a shopping guide. But, I will do some checking around to find some of these flours. Author Elisabeth Hasselbeck does have a previous book about her journey with celiac disease. Perhaps her earlier book would have given me the info I desired. This is the only thing lacking for me in this cookbook.

Enough babbling from me...let's get on with the recipe!

(there is that fun word again!)
Serves 4

10 eggs
1/4 c half-n-half (I didn't have any so I just used 2% milk)
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 T olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded & diced (didn't have so didn't use)
1 c canned black beans, drained & well rinsed (I didn't use this...personally I think beans are...ewww!)
1 c grated mozzarella or cheddar cheese (I used cheddar)
(I cut up some turkey bacon and used that with the onion. I was going to also use some cooked & cubed potatoes in it but totally forgot...oops!)

Preheat oven to 350
Place eggs, half-and-half, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk well; set aside.

Heat an 8" ovenproof skillet* over medium-high heat. Add 1 T olive oil, onion and green pepper (this is where I added the bacon and probably the cooked potatoes if I would have remembered!). Cook, stirring occasionally until tender...roughly 5 min. Transfer to a small bowl.

In the same skillet over medium-low heat, warm the remaining 1 T olive oil. Add the egg misture and cook for 1 min until the edges begin to bubble. Using a spoon, pull the cooked egg edges toward the center of the pan, allowing the raw egg to run to the edges of the skillet. (You might want to tip the pan a little to get the maximum 'run-age') It doesn't say this in the recipe, but I didn't this probably 5 times before I went to the next step. I wanted to make sure my eggs were going to be done in the middle. Nothing says 'gross' to me more than an undercooked egg. shiver.

Scatter the cooked veggies (and meat if you are like me), beans (ewww) and cheese over the eggs.

Transfer skillet to the oven and back for 10-12 min or until the frittata is firm in the middle and does not jiggle when you shake the pan. Remove from oven and let set for 5 min.

Dig in!

*If you don't have one, just wrap your non-ovenproof handle with foil. At least that is what the PBS cooking shows tell me...

There you have it. A glorified flat omelet! There really isn't anything that special about it expect it is just something different. Oh, and it is deliciously good. So, the next time you are trying to figure out what to make for supper, try this fun-word recipe for Frittata.