I have been married to a wonderful Christian man since 1976. The Lord has blessed us with two daughters and two sons. I consider each day the Lord gives me on the earth yet another chance to serve Him.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Spiced Cranberry-Orange Jello

This delicious recipe was given to me by my friend Mary Beth.   I added it to my many Thanksgiving day Dinner side dishes.  This would also be a great recipe for Christmas dinner.

(serves 10)

*1 package (8 serving size) raspberry flavored gelatin
*1 1/2 cups boiling water
*1 cup cold water
*1 can (16 ounce) whole-berry cranberry sauce
*1 tablespoon lemon juice
*1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
*1 orange, peeled, sectioned and diced
*1/2 cup chopped walnuts

~Dissolve gelatin completely in boiling water in a large bowl.
~Stir in cranberry sauce, cold water, lemon juice, cinnamon & cloves.
~Refrigerate about 1 1/2 hours or until thickened.
~Stir in the orange & walnuts.
~Spoon into a bowl or a 5-cup ring mold.
~Refrigerate until firm.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Simple to make and pretty tasty.   Best part, a big serving is only  64 calories.   I do love grilled veggies.

(serves 4)

*1 large zucchini, sliced thin
*1 large yellow squash, sliced thin
*2 medium carrots, sliced thin
*1 yellow onion, sliced thin
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*2 tablespoons fat free italian dressing
*1/8 cup white balsamic vinegar
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon pepper

~Slice on the veggies, and place into a large bowl.
~Mix in italian dressing, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper.
~Let marinate for 1-2 hours.
~Heat stove top griddle or skillet over medium high heat.
~Place veggie mixture into hot pan.
~Cook until veggies are tender, about  minutes, stirring often.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Gingerbread Men

I like to play this gingerbread song/story, because it leaves something to the imagination and not nightmares for the babies.  If you think your kids will be fine with the real story try this one gingerbread man.  After we make & decorate the gingerbread men.  Then we reenact the story.  We even use our " Fisher Price little people" and toy cow, horse & fox.  Sometimes we add a giraffe, zebra, pig and whatever other little people animals we have.  It is a lot of fun and on top of that taste wonderful.

(makes 2 dozen)

*1/2 cup butter, softened
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 cup molasses
*1 egg
*2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1 teaspoon ground ginger
*1 teaspoon ground cloves
*dash of cayenne pepper

~In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter & sugar until smooth.
~Stir in molasses & egg.
~In a large bowl, sift flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves & cayenne pepper.
~Mix the flour mixture into the molasses mixture until well mixed & smooth.
~Cover or put in a ziploc bag and chill for at least 90 minutes.
~Preheat ove 350 degrees.
~Cut dough into several sections.
~Keep one section out and return the rest into the refrigerator.
~Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface.
~Cut out with gingerbread man shaped cookie cutter (or any other shape you prefer).  I like to place my dough between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper because then I don't have to use as much flour.  This makes for a softer cookie.)
~Place cookies 2-inches apart on a ungreased cookie sheet.
~Take a pastry brush and brush off any flour (optional).
~Bake for 8-10 minutes.
~Remove from cookie sheet and let cool on a wire rack.
~Let cookie sheet cool down before adding next batch or use a different cookie sheet (I think they come out better when put on a cool cookie sheet).
~Once cookie is cooled, decorate and enjoy.

Helpful Hint:  If you like this idea but don't think your children will eat gingerbread cookies, make them with a sugar cookie recipe.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Breakfast Bars

Make them up and then you have an easy & quick breakfast for those busy days.  Great for a snack too.

(servings 12)

*2 cups rolled oats
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*1/2 cup wheat germ
*1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
*1 cup whole wheat flour
*1/2 cup dried cranberries
*1/2 cup slivered almonds
*1/2 cup chocolate chips
*3/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup honey
*1 egg, beaten
*1/2 cup pumpkin puree
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
~In a large mixing bowl, mix oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, cranberries, almonds, chocolate chips & salt.
~In a small bowl, mix honey, egg, pumpkin & vanilla.
~Mix, mix honey mixture into dry ingredients.
~Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and spread out, leaving about a once inch space around the sides (it will spread out to the edges as it cooks).
~Bake for 20-25 minutes, or when the edges start to turn a light brown (do not overcook).
~Cool for 5-7 minutes and then cut.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Butterfly Pork Chops & Spicy Blackberry Sauce

I do love a good pork chop.   I also love to change them up a bit.  This is really different, a little spicy but oh so good.  If you don't like spice try leaving out the jalapeño pepper.

(serves 4)

*4 cups blackberries
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 jalapeño pepper, chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
*1/8 cup olive oil
*1/2 small yellow onion, minced
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*2 teaspoons cumin
*1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper
*2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
*1 teaspoon sea salt
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon black
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*4 butterfly pork chops
*1/2 -3/4 cup chicken stock

~In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, over medium heat cook blackberries, jalapeño pepper & sugar, stirring constantly.
~Once they are heated up, mash them with a potato masher.
~Simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
~Place a wire mesh strainer over a glass bowl.
~Pour blackberry mixture through the mesh strainer and into the bowl.
~Discard the pulp & seeds left in the strainer.
~Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan (I use my cast iron skillet).
~Add onions & garlic and sauté until onions are translucent.
~Add the blackberry mixture, cumin, vinegar & salt.
~Simmer for 4-6 minutes, stirring constantly.
~Remove from heat.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Season pork chops with remaining salt & pepper.
~Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a oven-proof skillet (I use my cast iron pan).
~Cook the pork chops over medium heat, for about 5 minutes on each side side.
~Pour chicken stock into the pan.
~Cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil.
~Bake for 30 minutes.
~Remove from oven.
~If the pan is dry add a 1/4 cup more chicken stock.
~Spoon blackberry sauce over each pork chop.
~Cover and bake another 15-20 minutes.

Monday, December 3, 2012


This is such a good bread.   I love the seasonings on it.   Goes great with just about any meal.   I will often use the leftover olive oil mixture to marinate chicken in it.

*2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
*1 1/2 cups warm water
*1 tablespoon granulated sugar
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*1 tablespoon salt
*4 cups bread flour
*2 tablespoons poppy seeds
*1/8 cup kosher salt
*3/4 cup olive oil
*3 garlic cloves
*2 tablespoons dried oregano
*2 tablespoon dried basil

~In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast & sugar into water.
~Let set for about 10 minutes to proof.
~Mix in 2 tablespoons olive oil & 1 tablespoon salt.
~Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing at low speed.
~Knead for 3-5 minutes with dough hook (if you don't have one knead until smooth and elastic).
~Place into a lightly oiled bowl, and cover.
~Let rise in a warm draft free area for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
~Gently punch down dough.
~Divide dough into four loafs.
~On a plate, mix poppy seeds & kosher salt together.
~Roll each loaf into the poppy seed-salt mixture.
~Place on a large cookie sheet.
~Place 3/4 cup olive oil, garlic, oregano & basil in a blender.
~Blend on high until well mixed and garlic is minced.
~Brush olive oil mixture over each loaf of bread.
~Cover gently with plastic wrap.
~Let it rise in a warm, draft free area for 45 minutes.
~Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
~Remove plastic wrap from dough.
~Bake for 10 minutes.
~Reduce oven to 400 degrees and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until bread is a golden brown.