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/

 

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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.

Browned Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

Browned Butter Cookies ad

It’s almost Fall Y’all!   I love baking in the Fall. I love homemade apple pies, sweet potato pie, sourdough bread ~ fresh from the oven, slathered with fresh butter! This week, I decided to make these delicious Browned Butter Brown Sugar Cookies. I’m not a fan of sugar cookies. They’re just too sweet to me. But these made a sugar cookie lover out of me!  A Browned Butter Brown Sugar Cookie lover!  If you’re ready to kick off the baking season with me,  grab a stick of butter! Just make sure it’s real Butter!

browned butter browning

I’m surprised at how many recipes call for browned butter! I’m so thankful for who ever discovered how delightful it is to brown your butter first. If you haven’t done this before….just wait!

Begin by browning your butter, gently. Use a stainless steel frying pan because it allows you to see exactly how dark your butter is. You don’t want to burn it. Just cook until a medium dark brown, stirring it continuously. Do not leave to answer the phone or door.  Butter burns really fast, so stay with it until  it’s browned.  Remove it from the burner. My husband had to stand outside and watch me finish my browning…yes, he did. He was thankful later. It will have a delicious aroma when it’s browned.

browned butter

Mix the brown sugar in with the browned butter…yum.

browned butter batter

Continue with the recipe. …then….  roll in sugar mixture before baking….

browned butter cookies

Cool on wire rack…..

brwoned butter cookies baked

Get ready for the most delicious cookie ever….

browned butter brown sugar cookies

Enjoy!

Browned Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 14 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat 10 tablespoons of butter until melted and then continue to cook until browned, being careful not to burn! pour into heat proof bowl and add 4 tablespoons of butter, stir to melt. Allow to COOL for 15 minutes.
  2. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven 350*
  3. Add 2 cups of packed dark brown sugar to melted butter and mix with electric mixer until smooth.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and mix with wet. Combine until smooth.
  5. Mix 1/3 cup white and 1/3 cup dark brown sugar in a small bowl. Mix with fingers until there are no lumps left. Keep this to roll dough in before baking.
  6. Preheat oven to 350*. Line two cookie sheets with parchment. Roll dough into 24 balls. About 2 tablespoons each. Roll into sugar mixture. Space 12 evenly on baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes. Do Not Overcook!
  7. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack complete cooling.
  8. Adapted from Cooks Illustrated Recipe
http://joytomyheart.com/browned-butter-brown-sugar-cookies/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Summertime Dinner Party

easy summertime dinner party

My husband’s birthday in August is something I look forward to every year. I love planning the meal. Last year’s Italian Dinner Party  has been one of the most viewed posts on my blog!  I love inviting our friends, decorating my table, planning the menu and most importantly deciding on the perfect dessert. An Easy Summertime Dinner Party is my annual time to bless my husband and our friends. I get to spoil them all.

Summer tablescape

Simplicity is the secret to a successful dinner party menu. I want everyone to feel great and not miserable after the meal. Food shouldn’t be so heavy everyone wants to go home and go to bed as soon as dessert is served. And most importantly, it shouldn’t be so time consuming you can’t enjoy it yourself! I’ve certainly been guilty of that.

Over the many years of hosting dinner parties, I’ve learned that the best parties are the ones that have one delicious entree with a delightful salad, rustic bread and an amazing dessert. Then instead of slaving over a hot stove all evening, I get to enjoy my friends’ company.

summer tablescape zinniass

So, for this dinner party I decided on a Roasted Vegetable Frittata. It’s light and delicious. Combined with an arugula salad with strawberries and mozzarella and a French baguette made the perfect dinner. Roasted vegetable Frittata

My friend brought me two buckets of her beautiful zinnias. They matched my meal! I used my white tea caddies for vases. A new piece of fabric (I’m planning on making curtains) was folded and used for the table runner and lots of blue and silver candle holders made a happy looking table for a Happy Birthday celebration.

summer tablescape zinnia

The salad was made with baby arugula,  strawberries, red grapes, yellow sweet peppers, mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes. Tossed with a fruity dressing. A perfect Summer Salad. Strawberry Arugula Salad…yum.

Strawberry arugula salad

The baguettes are Sister Schueber rolls found in the frozen food section.

summer tablescape zinnias

And for dessert, (of course we had birthday cake,too)….but the ‘dessert’ is a blackberry mousse.

blackberry mousse2

Perfection in a parfait, I say.

Before Summer wanes into Fall, plan yourself an Easy Summer Dinner Party to bless your loved ones and friends.  It’s such a delightful way to say ‘I love you’ ……..and to say goodbye to Summer.

Roasted Vegetable Frittata

Roasted Vegetable Frittata

Ingredients

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 large red bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 3-4 cups raw spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup half N half
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups swiss cheese, divided
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425* Toss onion, bell pepper, mushrooms with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and add minced garlic. Bake 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350*.
  2. Add butter to a 10" skillet and melt. (I use my cast iron skillet) Add roasted vegetables.
  3. Stir spinach and 1 cup swiss cheese into egg mixture.
  4. Pour egg mixture over roasted vegetables in skillet. Do not stir.
  5. Cook for 2 minutes on stove top over low heat without stirring.
  6. Place skillet in oven and bake 20 minutes until frittata is risen in the middle and a knife comes out clean.
  7. ***Sprinkle with 1/2 cup additional cheese on top during last 5 minutes of baking.
  8. Slice into 8 wedges and serve immediately.
http://joytomyheart.com/perfect-summertime-dinner-party/

 

Blackberry Mousse

Easy Blackberry Mousse

Summertime and the blackberries are ripe…..well, I actually bought mine at the store. These days, you can find them year round in the freezer section, so you can make this anytime you feel like it. And I do.

I have this thing about blackberries. Maybe because I remember picking them in the Summer growing up. Or maybe it’s the blackberry cobbler my grandmother always made for our family reunions. Or all the jams I made with them when my babies were little. Whatever, I love anything blackberry. If you haven’t tried my ‘signature’ Blackberry Tea…please do! It’s the perfect Summertime drink.

This weekend we celebrated a couple of birthdays at my house and yes, we had birthday cakes…but, I decided to make Blackberry Mousse, too.

blackberry mousse 2

Not only is it a pretty little dish to set before your guests…it’s a delightful little dessert. And perfect for a Summertime Dinner Party.

The fun thing about this recipe is that any berry will work. You may use blueberries, strawberries raspberries or any combination there of. I used Blackberries…..because I’m partial to Blackberries….but I already said that.

This recipe can be made ahead, even the day before.  Just wait to add whipped cream on top and berries right before serving.

This is such a pretty dessert to serve to company.  I found the parfait glasses at GoodWill…. I’ll bet you can, too. You may need to make a couple of trips, like I did,  but you will eventually find enough for a party. 😉

blackberry mousse

Here’s the recipe ….happy cooking!

Blackberry Mousse

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cups of granulated sugar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 8oz blocks of cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 packet of unflavored gelatin powder
  • 3 TBLS warm water
  • GARNISH:
  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 TBLS blackberry jam/jelly
  • whipped cream
  • mint leaves

Instructions

  1. Place blackberries in a saucepan with 1/4 cup of water. Heat over medium heat until berries hot. Press hot berries through a mesh strainer, mashing the berries with the back of a spoon to extract juice,
  2. Mix gelatin with 3 TBLS warm water until dissolved.
  3. Beat whipping cream until stiff peaks are formed; Set aside.
  4. Cream sugar, vanilla, salt, gelatin and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  5. Fold whipped cream, cream cheese mixture and berries together until well blended.
  6. Divide into 8 parfait glasses, cover and refrigerate until time to serve.
  7. Toss with 1/2 cup fresh blackberries with warmed jelly to glaze.
  8. Just before serving add additional whipped cream, glazed berries and a mint leaf to each serving.
http://joytomyheart.com/blackberry-mousse/

 

 

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