The Chinoiserie Painted Door

The Painted Door ad

A friend of mine’s home burned down a couple of years ago. You may remember last Summer we made a mosaic birdbath from the broken and burned chards of her china and gave to her. Beauty from Ashes.

They’ve been in the midst of rebuilding their home for months now.

One of the things that burned in the fire was a sideboard/buffet I had painted with a gold Chinoiserie design.

                  beths sidebaord side

It was the first of its kind that I had ever attempted.  I enjoyed researching and actually painting the design.  So I was very happy when she asked me to paint a cabinet door ‘any-way-I-wanted’ for her new home.

The painted door was already beautifully painted with a sailboat and seascape. It was very pretty but, it wasn’t her style, so I decided since she had lost the sideboard in the fire,

I’d paint another Chinoiserie design.

beths sailboat

As it turned out, her powder room design uses gold and black, so a Chinoiserie design would be perfect.

                                              And I am so pleased with the way it turned out…..

beths cabinet room

 

 I love the gold and black.

 

beths cabinet frt

 

I’m not certain, but to me it seems that oriental painting motifs tell a story in their design. I like to think my love birds are telling a story as they overlook the scenery.

 

bethe cabinet door

Perfect little powder room…the Perfect Painted door…

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Palm Sunday

Re-posted from 2014…..

The Triumphal Entry…. Jesus knows what’s coming. He knows how fickle and easily led people are. He knows it’s easier to follow the crowd, than to do what is right. He knows we mean well, but our flesh is weak. He knows not to trust the praises of men. He knows, by the end of the week, these same people will be calling for his death. He knows all of this and loves us anyway.

Jesus on Palm Sunday

What kind of God is this?

It’s a God who had this week planned from before the beginning of time.  Did you know there was a time before Genesis 1:1? My husband recently shared this with me… Of course, I knew these scriptures by heart but I hadn’t thought of the ‘time’ they were referring to.

Jesus knew from before the beginning of time that God would send him to die for the sin of mankind. Did you hear that? Before the beginning of time….in other words…before time as we know time began, God had a plan to save us.

The Word became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

This is saying before time as we know it began “the word” was there.  Jesus is the word. He was there with God before the world was created. And even then,

before we were created, 

before Adam sinned,  

God’s plan for our salvation was in place. 

Just like Jesus knew not to put too much stock in all the praises he would receive on Palm Sunday…. God knew, before time began we would need a way to be redeemed back to Him.

For three years,  the religious leaders had tried to kill him, but on this day,  Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, riding of his own free will, to His death.

This is the most awesome event in the history of the whole world.  Nothing is more important. This week trumps everything else in life. 

So please take time with me to remember.

Triumphal Entry

28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Luke 19:28-38 NIV

See you tomorrow….

“Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.”

 

French Toast a la Doughnuts

Most Saturday mornings find us on treasure hunts. We like to frequent yard sales and estate sales and the like, looking for that perfect find or something to re-purpose. Lately my husband will run out to get us a biscuit to go with our coffee, for our Saturday morning journey,  but this weekend we decided to forgo the adventure and stay home.

french toast donuts

Still he offered to pick us up a biscuit. As I thought about it, I remembered we had leftover doughnuts from the day before. But they tend to give me a sugar rush.  I was about to say yes to the biscuit, when it hit me……  I could make French toast using the doughnuts!!!  I’d never done that before, but I knew the protein of the egg would take care of the sugar rush for me and it sounded kinda Paula Deen’ish, good. hmmmm

Did I ever tell you Paula Deen and I are from the same hometown? Yes, and Bubba and I went through school together?  I wish I could say I remember when his mother died and his father, too, but we were children and the great sadness of what he was going through, never registered with me.  I was too busy being a child to notice. The only thing I remember is his big sister coming to pick him up one day. I remember she was pretty, with dark hair. We were probably in the 5th grade at Magnolia Elementary School.  Anyway, I wish I had understood what was happening. Bubba never talked about his great loss. And I never realized.  (I’m sorry Bubba)

Here we are, after one short autobiographical paragraph…fast forward to Saturday morning.

I had four leftover doughnuts.

french toast doughnuts slicing

So I split them in half and that gave me 8….see…. that Magnolia Street Elementary School taught me well.

french toast doughnuts sliced

I used 3 eggs with about 1/4 cup of milk, a dash of salt. Scrambled. Dip the doughnuts in one at a time and cook on a medium hot, lightly buttered griddle until lightly browned.

One important tip….PLEASE don’t smash down your french toast or pancakes…..they will cook just fine without all of that.  If you flip them and they are still undercooked on one side…flip them back over and cook little more. There’s no need to flatten them down. They are so much prettier and tastier and fluffier if you just allow them to cook. js

french toast doughnuts cooking

Flip them over and brown the other side.

French toast doughnuts flipped

I actually dipped them twice and cooked twice on the uncut side.

french toast doughnuts plated

They were delicious! I drizzled a tiny bit of pure maple syrup over the top and served with butter and bacon.  And coffee…..

french toast doghnut clup

It was a perfect breakfast on the back porch.

french toast doughnuts trio

You’ll want to buy extra doughnuts to save so you can make French Toast a la Doughnut! Or the next time you want to have a special breakfast….this is what to serve….and your husband will say…you hit a home run with this one….least that’s what mine said.

Happy Week,  y’all!

Julia’s Beef Bourguignon Sorta

beef bourguignon ad

In no way would I ever attempt to compete with Queen Julia in French cooking…..well, okay, maybe kinda sorta. But, like you and me,  even the Queen had to start someplace.

Did you know that Julia Child’s TV show, The French Chef, debuted on February 11, 1963, with a simple dish, beef bourguignon?  Fancy sounding isn’t it? It only sounds difficult,  but the truth is that this recipe originated in the poor peasant cottages of Northern France in a region called Burgundy.

Allow me to introduce you to Julia’s Beef Bourguignon, sorta.

Because the poor peasants in France could not afford the more expensive cuts of meat, Beef  Bourguignon was traditionally made with tougher and cheaper cuts.  (Although, today, nothing is cheap…)  Don’t be dismayed.   There is magic to be found in cheaper, tougher cuts.  You see, because the meat was so tough, it was necessary to simmer and stew the meat longer…. which in turn allowed the meat to be infused with flavors of the garlic, onion, herbs and wine….Ahhhhhhh, that’s the secret….the peasants discovered that wine makes, even the toughest cuts of meat, tender. This delightful process transformed their poor shabby (chic) cottages into dining rooms fit for a king.

This is where we come in…..it’s Saturday, the kids are playing.  I have all day to do as I please, but I know by evening everyone will be exhausted and starving…what to do…..easy. Put this dish on to cook and get busy doing what needs to be done….all the while, a delightful aroma wafts through the house leaving everyone anticipating supper.

Or it’s Sunday morning and time for Sunday School, then church, and the dreaded ride home with everyone hungry for food. Real food because they’ve had fast food too much this week,  but what to do? Begin preparations on Saturday and have this ready to pop into the oven before you leave for church. 2-3 hours later….dinner’s ready. The house will smell heavenly when you walk through the door.

It’s worth the wait.

Start with a heavy pot. Heavier the better. I use my enamel pot. It’s the heaviest, I have.

Begin by frying 5-6 slices of chopped bacon….

(You don’t have to use bacon and can skip this step altogether and just use bacon drippings you’ve saved or beef tallow.  A few tablespoons of olive oil will  also work)

beef bourguignon bacon

Cut the bacon into pieces and fry until  crispy and the grease is rendered out of the meat. Careful not to burn. Save the cooked bacon to garnish prior to serving.

beef bourguignon crispy

While bacon is cooking, rough chop a large onion and 4-5 cloves of garlic.

beef bourguignon onion gralic

Once the bacon is removed from the pot, brown the roast in the bacon drippings, on both sides.  I use a chuck roast. You may use a rump roast, shoulder roast, round roast. Julia, and most recipes, cut the meat into large chunks…maybe a chuck roast into 8 pieces. Brown on all sides.  I prefer to leave mine whole and cut it afterwards. Once both sides of the roast is browned, remove the roast to a platter or board to sit while you cook onions in the drippings, until translucent. Be careful not to cook too high heat, so as not to burn anything.

beef bourguignon onions cooking

Now lay that pretty browned roast on top of these onions and cover with 4-5 cups of beef (bone) broth or you may use chicken stock (or a combo of both).

This is a great way to add more bone broth into your family’s diet…and you do know the benefits of bone broth? Oh, you don’t? Read this! And this for how to make you own…;)

Now, add the garlic and  1-2 cups of carrots…a little bunch of thyme would be nice, too. I usually add my herbs later…some now, some later, works, too. One tablespoon of tomato paste. Add one cup of red wine.

Julia suggests “a full-bodied young red wine: Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône, Bordeaux Saint-Émilion, Burgundy, or a Chianti.”   Normally, more of an ordinary kitchen wine is used,  rather than an expensive one…these were peasants, remember?   “Bourgogne” Burgundy is a region in France and the red wine made there is from Pinot Noir grapes. I use whatever I have. Red wine doesn’t last long once it is opened.

beef bourguignon pot filled

Place this on the burner on medium heat until it begins to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to cook for 3 hours. It should barely be simmering….just barely.

beef bourguignon pot cracked

I make sure my pot is barely cracked so it can let off steam. You will want to check from time to time to be sure it’s not losing too much liquid. If it’s boiling too much, you’ll want to lower heat. If it still is cooking fast on low, then crack the lid some more, to slow it down.

If I were leaving the house, for church or for most of the cooking time,  I would probably cook this in the oven, to be safe.  Bake at 325* covered for 3 hours. In fact, I suggest cooking this recipe a time or two before leaving it alone to cook. Stoves are all different and you will need to cook this to see what works for your stove.

beef bourguignon veggies added

After the roast is done, remove it again to a cutting board.  Add mushrooms, which have been quartered and pearl onions to broth. Add a bunch of thyme and cook over medium heat until tender, about 20 minutes.

Cut meat into chunks and add back to pot with onion and mushrooms. Combine 3 tablespoons cornstarch with 1 cup water. Stir until dissolved. Add to pot and simmer a few minutes until gravy thickens. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the crispy bacon prior to serving.

beef bourguignon

You can see how much the liquid cooked down in this pot. There is plenty of gravy left.  Perfect served over garlic mashed potatoes or rice.  Julia served with boiled potatoes and a salad.

beef bourguignon plate

I served with mashed potatoes and butterbeans. Don’t forget a nice roll to sop up all that goodness…you won’t want to waste one drop.

Enjoy!

Or as Julia would say “Bon Appetit !”

Julia’s Beef Bourguignon Sorta

Ingredients

  • 4-5 sliced or bacon cubed and cooked...reserve drippings and bacon
  • 1 3-4lb Beef Roast: Chuck, Round, Rump, or Shoulder
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 cups baby carrots or coarsely chopped carrots
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 lb pearl onions, peeled...(or frozen)
  • 1 TBLS Tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 5-6 cups beef bone broth...preferably homemade :) Or chicken Stock....or a combination
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 Tbls Cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Fry bacon until crispy in heavy pot, drain bacon and set aside..reserve drippings in pot
  2. In pot of drippings brown meat on all sides...careful not to burn
  3. Remove roast from pot (place on a plate or board while you sauté large onion)
  4. Cook large chopped onion in drippings until transparent
  5. Place Roast back on top of the onions
  6. Add beef broth, wine, tomato paste, garlic and carrots to pot with roast
  7. Simmer over low heat until tender...about 3 hours
  8. Remove roast to a cutting board and cut into large pieces ..about 6-8
  9. Add pearl onion, mushrooms, thyme to broth and simmer until tender about 20 minutes
  10. Add beef back to pot with cornstarch that has been dissolved in 1 cup cold water.
  11. Simmer until gravy is thickened
  12. Add crispy bacon and additional thyme or parsley for garnish, prior to serving
  13. Serve with/over mashed potatoes or noodles or rice
  14. If you'd prefer to cook in oven, Bake covered in 325* preheated oven for 3 hours
  15. OR in crockpot/ slow cooker on LOW heat for 6-8 hours or 4-5 hours on HIGH
http://joytomyheart.com/julias-beef-bourguignon-sorta/

Easy to Make Bone Broth

Easy to Make Bone Broth

Easy to Make Bone Broth has become a favorite project of mine. I try to keep it on hand at all times….for so many reasons. Bone broth helps to ward off sicknesses and heals your leaky gut, which if you haven’t heard is the reason for many autoimmune disorders, including the Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis that I struggle with.   Even if you don’t have an autoimmune disorder, it’s still a good idea to help keep your body healthy and strong and possibly even keep autoimmune disorders from happening. Did you know autoimmune disorders have become epidemic in our nation? Me, neither. It’s serious!

BONE BROTH keeps you BEAUTIFUL

There are 50 million other reasons why bone broth is so good for you. To begin with it keeps you beautiful…What? Oh yes…by helping you to sleep better, by giving you healthy, strong bones, hair and nails. Plus the added benefit of keeping your skin healthy and strong, so it doesn’t break down into a wrinkly mess. Some say it’s better than botox. I’ve noticed a major improvement in my fingernails, so I know it’s working. If your skin or hair is dry,  I suggest you get a pot brewing right away!   I’ll keep you posted on the wrinkles… :)

BONE BROTH Cures what AILS YOU

I know, keeping you beautiful is a huge claim…but, it’s true! Not only that, it also has many other major benefits that make it worth the effort.  Our grandmothers were right! Bone broth is good for what ails you, including colds and flu. It’s good to keep pot on the stove…or at least keep some on hand in the freezer…

START BY COLLECTING BONES           

To begin with, you’ll need lots of bones.  The boney bones are the best. I started out buying chicken/turkey wings, backs and necks. I also save the carcass of any chicken I bake in my clay pot. I freeze them until I have enough to fill my stock pot.  You can use any bones. I have tossed in a ham bone, roast beef bones, lamb chop bones, pigs feet bones (My Husband’s mother makes them for him…not me) soup bones, marrow bones, ox tail bones.

Whatever bones you have will work. Yes, you may mix the bones. Or not. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. I keep a large freezer bag in the freezer and add bones, as I have them, until I have enough.  Keep in mind you may also keep a bowl in the fridge of leftover vegetable scraps to add to the pot. The more, the better.

BONE BROTH IS GOOD FOR COOKING

Bone broth is perfect to use in any recipe that calls for stock, broth (or wine). You can use it to cook vegetables, such as rice or peas and also to make your own soups. I use it to make white sauce and gravies, too. The only difference is you’ll be adding loads of nutritional value to the dish.  It’s so much better than store bought.

Now it’s your turn to make your Bone Broth.  Just throw it in the pot, turn it on low and forget about it…your house will smell divine. And you’ll be cooking up something that keeps you and your family healthy …..and looking good, too!

Enjoy a warm cup of bone broth for breakfast, lunch and supper….and any time in between! Just season to taste.

Easy to Make Bone Broth

Ingredients

  • Lots of bones...chicken. hen, turkey, ham, beef
  • I use thighs, wings, necks, ox tails and beef marrow bones from the butcher. Leftover carcasses from whatever you have cooked. Freeze until you have enough for a pot.
  • 2 TBLS Apple Cider Vinegar
  • A large onion, quartered
  • 3-4 stalks celery
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • poultry seasonings or herbs of your choice (Optional) (I use 'Litehouse' freeze dried Poultry seasoning, Herb Blend)
  • Sea Salt or Himalayan or Mediterranean salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  1. Fill a stock pot with assorted bones.
  2. Cover bones with water.
  3. Add vinegar. Allow to stand for one hour.
  4. Add vegetables
  5. S&P, Preferably sea salt
  6. Bring almost to a boil and then reduce heat to barely a simmer
  7. After 6-8 hours of cooking I spoon the vegetables out of broth and continue cooking without them. You may leave them in if you wish.
  8. Simmer 24-48 hours
  9. Strain
  10. Add herbs of choice. Any personal favorites or a combination of thyme, sage, rosemary will work.
  11. (I use 'Litehouse' freeze dried Poultry Seasoning, Herb Blend)
  12. Cool, stirring occasionally to infuse herbs
  13. Store overnight in refrigerator.
  14. Scrape fat from top of cold broth.
  15. It should be congealed or thick. Even if it's not, it is still good and nutritious!
  16. At this point I spoon into jars or freezer containers.
  17. I keep some in refriderator to use during the week and freeze any extra.
  18. Season each cup to your taste with salt, pepper and/or herbs
  19. You may use in any recipe that calls for stock or broth for added nutrition to your dish.
  20. *** This recipe is perfectly suited to cook in a crock pot/slow cooker***
  21. Enjoy
http://joytomyheart.com/easy-to-make-bone-broth/

 

The Health Benefits of Bone Broth

bone broth ad

If you are one of the few who has not heard about the health benefits of bone broth you need to stop what you’re doing and read this. I had no idea. I’ve always made my own stocks and soups from scratch, so saving my chicken carcasses was nothing new to me. I have a freezer full of bones at any given time, ready to make soup or stock for a sick child or a cold day. But lately there has been quite a buzz about the health benefits of simmering those bones for hours on end to allow all the goody to be released from the bones into the broth.

Bone Broth Recipe HERE

Every time one of the my kids come in the door, I offer them a cup of Bone Broth. They laugh. They’re expecting coffee.  Once you read how good it is for your body, you’ll agree. There’s nothing like it. My granddaughters are all on board. Even my 2 year old, Kate, loves a cup of bone broth. They don’t know what it does for their little bodies, they only know it tastes delicious!

So what are the health benefits?

1. Bone Broth promotes healthy skin look by providing two amino acids, glycine and proline which are responsible for the fibrous structure of collagen (also known as gelatin).  Without these amino acids in our diet, our cellular structure eventually breaks down, leading to physical signs of aging. This gelatin (aka collagen) is one of the main benefits of bone broth, as you will see. Not only does the collagen provide these two important amino acids, it also also promotes deep sleep, which happens to be another benefit that will aid in a youthful appearance. Win-Win.

2. Bone Broth improves joint health and reduces inflammation.  Glucosamine in bone broth stimulates the growth of new collagen, repairs damaged joints and reduces pain and inflammation. Also, gelatin provides glycine, an amino acid that promotes healthy cartilage and promotes healing, reducing joint pain and symptoms of arthritis.

3. This gycine rich gelatin provides a huge boost of minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium!  Bone broth helps to prevent bone loss while building healthy hair, nails and skin. BTW,  I’m happy at how strong my fingernails have gotten….;)

4. Bone broth balances blood sugar and reduces levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and promoted deep sleep, which by the way, is when your body heals itself.  It helps our immune system fight off infections including colds and flu. Plus it’s one of the first steps in healing a leaky gut which relieves chronic diseases, including autoimmune disorders.

5. One of the most important benefits is that it boosts glutathione, which is critical in our ability to ward off diseases caused by free radicals from toxins and stress.  Glutathione is also the most critical and integral part of your detoxification system.  It is glutathione that carries toxins into the bile and the stool — and out of your body.  Add to this, Glycine which helps your liver  function more effectively– detoxifying and cleansing your body.

6. Bone broth greatly enhances cellular health. By facilitating healing of the digestive tract, bone broth heals damaged cellular walls and heals a leaky gut. In fact, I’ve read  a 3 day bone broth fast does wonders to promote gut health. The autoimmune problems many people suffer with is a direct result of a leaky gut.

This is not an exhaustive list. There are so many benefits I’ve only scratched the surface. But this is enough to convince me that one of the best things I can do for my health and the health of my loved ones is encourage the use of bone broth.  Drinking it is wonderful, but don’t forget about using it in sauces, soups and stews. There are many ways to incorporate bone broth into your daily menu.

bone broth ad2

Cooking bone broth is very simple. You’ll need bones. Lots of bones. They can be leftover bones from a hen or chicken or ham or roast, ox tail or turkey.  Or a mixture thereof. Save up enough until you can fill a soup pot with them. Most times I buy boney pieces like turkey necks, backs, wings,  ox tails, thighs…whatever has bones and is on sale….or not~ to add to the pot. The more bones, the more connective tissues, the better.

Friday, I simmered a couple of whole chickens. Once the chickens were done, I removed the meat from the bones and then put all the bones back into the pot. I also saved bones from a hen that had been roasted earlier this week.  So, I had one hen and 2 chicken carcasses in pot of water. I added a package of chicken necks for good measure.

You may also choose to roast  your bones prior to simmering them on top of the stove for a richer broth. The hen I used had been roasted and it made for a richer more flavorful broth. Beef bones are especially good if roasted first. Simply place bones in a shallow roasting pan and roast at 400* for about 45 minutes. Once roasted, add bones to a large pot, cover with water and continue with recipe…

Add a splash (2 TBLS) of apple cider vinegar. This helps to leach the minerals out of the bones. Don’t worry.  You will not taste the vinegar.  Allow it to stand for an hour before cooking.

Add a large onion, several stalks of celery, 4-6 cloves of garlic, sea salt and some pepper. Leave vegetables in large chunks so you can easily remove them after it cooks awhile. Turn your stove on low and simmer all day, all night. I remove the vegetables after 8 hours but leave the bones. You don’t have to,  but I prefer to remove them.

Simmer the bones (over the lowest heat) in the broth for from 24-48 hours.

Bring your pot of bones to a boil then reduce heat. I want to barely-barely simmer.  I cover my pot, leaving a slight crack for steam to escape. Some people keep a pot going all the time and continue to remove old bones and add fresh bones all week. I prefer to stop cooking after 24 hours. At this point I remove the bones.  Reserve the bones, though, because you can uses them over and over until they become too soft.  Just freeze them until next time.

Now,  I like to add poultry seasonings. (I use ‘Litehouse’ freeze dried Poultry seasoning, Herb Blend)  You may use the herbs of your choice or none at all. I add a couple tablespoons and stir them into the broth giving them time to steep, as it cools. It takes hours for it to cool. I stir the pot several times.

Once it is mostly cool,  I drain it through a colander.  With the broth drained and all bones removed, I strain it through a strainer. Then I allow the cool broth to get cold overnight in the refrigerator.

In the morning you should have a beautiful congealed broth/ gelatin. It may be a softly congeal or it may be thick. It depends on how many bones you used. Either way it’s very healthy for you.

In the morning I scrape the fat off the top, place congealed gelatin (broth) in jars to store in fridge ( use within a couple weeks) or freeze them.  Make sure to leave at least an inch at the top of a glass canning jar for expansion, if  you are freezing.

Or keep a pot on your stove top to enjoy throughout the day. Salt and pepper each cup to your taste.

Bone broth is great to drink or you can use it in any recipe that calls for stock or broth.

You may also cook bone broth in a crock pot over low heat.

bone broth cup

For me, there’s nothing better on a cold afternoon than to ladle a cup of warm broth from the stove and grab my favorite book. It’s great in the morning before breakfast and at night before bed…..and any time in between.

Just sayin’

 

The Health Benefits of Bone Broth

Ingredients

  • Lots of bones...chicken. hen, turkey, ham, beef
  • I use thighs, wings, necks, ox tails and beef marrow bones from the butcher. Leftover carcasses from whatever you have cooked. Freeze until you have enough for a pot.
  • 2 TBLS Apple Cider Vinegar
  • A large onion
  • 3-4 stalks celery
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • poultry seasonings or herbs of your choice (Optional) (I use 'Litehouse' freeze dried Poultry seasoning, Herb Blend)
  • Sea Salt or Himalayan or Mediterranean salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  1. Cover bones with water.
  2. Add vinegar. Allow to stand for one hour.
  3. Add vegetables S&P
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to barely a simmer
  5. simmer 24-48 hours
  6. Strain
  7. Add herbs of choice
  8. Cool.
  9. Scrape fat from top of cooled broth.
  10. Season each cup to your taste with salt, pepper and/or herbs
  11. (I use 'Litehouse' freeze dried Poultry seasoning, Herb Blend)
  12. Enjoy
http://joytomyheart.com/the-health-benefits-of-bone-broth/

 

 

God is Blessing You

 

Watzmann at sunset with church, Bavaria, Berchtesgaden, Germany Alps

Watzmann at sunset with church, Bavaria, Berchtesgaden, Germany Alps

I hope everyone is enjoying a beautiful Sunday…. May you wrap yourself in the warmth and knowledge that God is blessing you this day!

 

Counting Our Blessings 2015

This morning my husband and I went out to watch the first sunrise of the New Year. It’s a little tradition we have.  We’ve watched the New Year’s sunrise, every New Year’s morning for over a decade.  But this year, the sky was shrouded in clouds.

Faith 2016

We couldn’t see the sun coming up.  I was disappointed, but I knew, in this orderly universe God created, that even though I couldn’t see it rising in the East, I knew that behind those clouds was the sun, shining as brightly as ever.

As I watched the horizon for any trace of sunshine, I was reminded of things I’d prayed and hoped for this past year.  As I thought back over the events of 2015,  I could see that God was moving in our lives …(you know hindsight is 20/20)….even tho at the time I couldn’t see.   Somewhere, behind the clouds of my life,  the God I serve was moving.

I wrote most of this post sitting in the car “watching the sunrise.” (that I couldn’t see)   And on the way home, I handed what I had written to my husband to read….then we started counting our blessings of 2015. The list went on and on….for us, for our children, for our extended family, our jobs, our home,  for our friends.  We were amazed at our list. Wow.

Of course the year had its share of difficulties. Growth doesn’t take place on the mountain top….it’s in the valleys that growth takes place. Although trials are no fun… looking back we could see that by placing our faith in Him, we made it through. That increases our faith.

I’m glad the sun wasn’t shining for us to see this morning…it made me start the new year off by looking back and seeing what God did for us last year. I was encouraged to realize that God was faithful in the big things,  as well as the little things. In the good times and the difficult times.

Were all my prayers answered? No, not at all… But seeing what God has done in the past, increases my faith for the future…that He will continue to work,  as He has promised.  It’s good to know we can be confident in the new year, that whether we see it or not, God is actively involved in things that pertain to us. He has promised that  

“He will accomplish everything He is set forth to do in our lives”. Isaiah 55:11

So for us, looking back and seeing God’s hand in our lives strengthens our faith. And that’s a very good….because…. the more our faith grows,  the more we please Him. 

“Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6

So dear reader, I pray you know God is blessing you this year, even when you can’t see it…

I pray you know it’s Him.

Every Good and Perfect gift is from above. James 1:17

And I wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year!

 

How to Create Your Own Favorite Pound Cake Recipe

Have you ever wanted to break away from a recipe and make it your own?  Me, too.  And while I don’t claim to be a great baker, I have baked enough to know that recipes are often very similar and changes can be made without messing up the recipe. Something as simple as changing the flavoring in a cake can make a huge difference.

Do you remember a couple months ago I posted a recipe for a Cream Cheese Pound Cake? It is absolutely the BEST pound cake recipe ever.   If you haven’t tried it,  please take my word and do. In fact, it was so good I decided to experiment and you won’t believe the variations I have used to make this same cake.

And the great thing is: You can do it,  too!

Cream cheese pound cake3

To begin with I decided I wanted  to add coconut to my Cream Cheese Pound Cake. I added 1 cup sweetened coconut plus some coconut flavoring. It was wonderful. (Sorry. no pic)

Next,  I made the Cream Cheese Pound Cake  and iced with chocolate icing.  It was divine. I used HALF the recipe for my chocolate icing from my Chocolate Layer Cake. I don’t normally ice my pound cakes but this was nice.

Coconut marbled cake

 

I couldn’t resist making a cake chocolate ~ Cream Cheese Chocolate Pound Cake:  The cream cheese lends a cheesecake like flavor to the chocolate….Served with vanilla bean ice-cream…Perfect.

cream cheese chocolate pound cake4

cream cheese chocolate pound cake3

I always loved making a Marbled Cake with my Mama when I was a little girl….so, why not?  Marbled Pound Cake. You know, cause sometimes you want chocolate and sometimes you don’t….. ….Perfection.

marbled cake

 

Simply divide the batter  into 2/3 and 1/3 and add cocoa to the 1/3 portion. Spoon into greased and floured pan and swirl. Bake as usual.

marbled cream cheese pound cake

This was all working out so well that I decided to combine the two…. chocolate, coconut and the cream cheese pound cake…. “Almond Joy Pound Cake”….was born.   I added coconut flavoring to the batter and to the chocolate icing, topped with almonds and sprinkled with coconut. wow….

Almond Joy Pound Cake

I would say the Almond Joy is my favorite…but I really like a plain cream cheese pound cake with coffee, too….

The cream cheese becomes richer and more flavorful each day. This cake rises beautifully and stays moist until the very last slice.

 

Here is the scoop: Want to create your favorite Pound Cake Recipe?

Start with my Cream Cheese Pound Cake recipe:

Chocolate Pound Cake: Remove 1/3 cup flour and add 1/3 cup cocoa powder use vanilla flavoring

Coconut Cream Cheese Pound Cake: Add 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut and 2 tsp coconut flavoring in place of vanilla extract. For variation top with a Vanilla or Lemon Glaze

Almond Joy Pound Cake: Make Coconut Pound Cake above and ice with 1/2 recipe of chocolate icing that is flavored with 1 tsp coconut flavoring.  (Keep in mind that this icing will not take as long to cook since it’s only halftone recipe…. maybe 4 minutes.) Top with sliced toasted almonds and sweetened coconut.

Marbled Pound Cake: Remove 2/3 of batter to a separate bowl. To the remaining 1/3 batter add 2-3 TBLS cocoa powder and mix until combine. Spoon half the plain batter into well greased and floured pan. Spoon chocolate batter on top and remaining plain batter onto of that. Swirl with a kitchen knife in an “S” pattern. Bake as usual.

Or what about a Lemon Glazed Pound Cake?  Add Lemon Zest to batter and Lemon flavoring. Top with a Lemon Glaze found on my whipping cream pound cake recipe.

The sky is the limit. Don’t be afraid…experiment.  Just stick to the original recipe and switch it up a bit. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Happy Cooking!

 

 

In the Midst of a Blessed Life

Olive Trees

 The past 2 months have flown by and I know it seems as if I have forgotten I even have a blog….but, I haven’t. I’ve just been crazy-busy birthing babies, celebrating birthdays,  hosting a wedding in my backyard and getting things in order for these events. Unfortunately, my time was spent and my blogging suffered.

It began with my 8 year old granddaughter wanting the watermelon cake. Then the birth of my 10th grandchild. A girl, Olivia….precious moments.

Then last weekend our niece was married in our backyard…..another precious moment.

And there have been several birthdays… including the watermelon cake birthday and my son turning 40. Big sister Kate’s birthday was a week before her baby sister was born and her mother’s was the week after.  I paint the new mom a chalkboard with a Julia Child quote… Oh, and in the middle somewhere…we celebrated my birthday, too.

So, here are pictures to prove I’m still here,  relishing in the midst of a blessed life.  I’ll post in details soon.

watermelon cake slicing

This little cake was a hit with the kids at the party.

Then Olivia Marie arrived….

 olivias inspection

Big brother Joe and big Sister Kate inspect their new baby sister. Kate was really anxious to make sure Olivia had all her parts: eyes, ears, nose…only issue she discovered was ~ she has no teeth.

olivias inspection2

 

Six more birthdays were celebrated before I found myself  in the middle of wedding preparations. Several major problems had to be overcome,  but we made it though and the family backyard wedding was sweet.

What I loved about this is my granddaughters now say they want to have their weddings in my backyard, too….Thank goodness they are only 7 and 8 yrs old! I have plenty of time to get ready.

backyard my

jacquelyns give away jacquelyn prays

jacquelyn couple

 

 

Saturday, my sister and parents came for lunch and to meet little Olivia for the first time.

olivia marie baby

5 weeks old

And before the children left to Trick or Treat,  I had fed 20 people:                                                                           My children, grandchildren, parents and sister.

Life is busier than ever.  (Why is it, the older I get the busier I get?) But, I do remember I have a blog…. please bear with me….I’m still here….Taking notes and making pictures and enjoying every minute of this Blessed life.   Almost.  Almost every minute.

But that’s another post.