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Random Recipe Round-Up

Random Recipe Round-Up

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Another random photo, another list of 10 recent Pinterest cooking adventures.  Enough said!

1. Cherry Kale Salad

Pretty much balsamic vinaigrette makes everything wonderful.  However, I did like this salad recipe for suggesting a pretty combination of summer fruits to go with the aforementioned yummy dressing.  I don’t like eating straight raw kale, so I chopped it finely and mixed it with some other greens.

2. Key Lime Meltaways

A refreshing no-bake lime dessert that isn’t cheesecake!  These were a little far over on the sweet side, but still a good summer entertaining option.  Especially when limes were on sale at 10 for $1

3. Rosemary Crock Pot Bread

Yep, it works to make bread in the crock pot.  The first time I broiled the top crust as suggested (too much, and then burned it) so the second time I didn’t bother with that step.  It works fine either way.  Crock Pot bread isn’t quite as good as oven-baked, but it is sure a decent way to have fresh bread in the summertime without heating everything up.

4. Buttermilk Peach Ice Cream

What’s not to love about homemade ice cream?  I always like it.  The pureed peaches in this recipe make the texture a little icier and a little less creamy, but summer and peaches just go together so I was OK with that.  The buttermilk seemed to bring out more peach flavor.

5. Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad

Another Asian summer salad variety, similar to the one in the last post.  Make this one this week, and the other one next week–lots of ingredients in common.  I skipped frying the won ton strips and just used chow mein noodles.

6. Broccoli Apple Salad

I made this for the church picnic and it was yummy.  I made it again for staff lunch and didn’t make the dressing quite as well, but I have enjoyed finely chopped broccoli as a salad ingredient in a variety of ways lately, so this is a decent recipe to have on hand.

7. Cardamom Sugar Cookies

I didn’t actually make these ones for Christmas, but next year I will!  Cardamom is an unusual and distinct flavor that I really like, and these beauties showed it off well.

8. Lasagna Soup

This is a cold-weather classic, and was well received at staff lunch (as usual).  I think it tastes even better than regular lasagna, it is much easier, and the leftovers are delish.  I’ve modified the recipe, adding another can of tomatoes and cooking the noodles in the soup broth rather than doing them separately.  Penzey’s pizza seasoning is perfect in place of all the spices listed, since it contains fennel which gives that Italian sausage flavor.

9. Summer Salad with Orange Basil Dressing

Although this recipe is now out of season because I’ve taken so long to write this post, I had to include it anyway.  The dressing is SUPER!  Plant basil plants in the spring just so you can make this stuff.  Really.  It is even better than pesto, and lots of staff lunch eaters have asked for the recipe, so here it is.

10. Winter Salad with Sage Vinaigrette

Wow, lots of salad recipes here–you are going to think I am much healthier than I really am!  Anyway, I had to include this one because it uses ingredients that are more typical of cold-weather grocery shopping.  The dressing here is also good, especially if you can come by fresh sage.  (My sage plant is protected, so it usually has a few soft leaves all year round.)

There you have it–ten random recipes that I’ve tried over the last several months.  Bon Apetit!

Celebrating the Resurrection

Celebrating the Resurrection

Holy Week often seems more hurried than holy, even though each year I wish that it would somehow magically be different.  However, God is faithful to remind us of His great love and sacrifice, the gifts that make possible all of the joyful and necessary activities that fill our days.  Here are some Easter highlights….

The unexpected treat of decorating Easter eggs with our neighbor, invited in my my children when they were delivering hot cross buns.

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Bits and pieces of four different generations from both sides of our families, gathered at our house to share the afternoon.

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Cousins who get along well and enjoy each other thoroughly.  (No, Katya doesn’t have glasses yet, that is just a dress up pair that she was enjoying for the day!)

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A front-and-backyard Easter egg hunt that kept both kids and adults entertained.  Nathan even had the kindness to run some eggs across the street for the little girl who lives there!

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The delight of fun treats, large and small, hidden in eggs and given from loving family members.

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Not photographed but still important moments to reflect, serve, and rejoice at our church’s prayer walk, Good Friday meal, and stirring Easter service.

And my favorite, 21 people gathered together because of the miracle of God’s saving love for us.  As we read in 1 Peter 1: 3-4 “According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading…”

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He is risen!

Cookie Recipes

Cookie Recipes

Wondering what was on that recital refreshment table?

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Here’s what I made…

 

Chocolate Sugar Cookies (I needed a reason to test out the vintage train-shaped cookie cutter I found at a little antique store)

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies (the dough was so good, it was hard to make myself bake these ones!)

Cherry Chocolate Kisses (I thought these ones were the prettiest)

Cinnamon Swirl Cookies (A little tricky to shape, but these were Than’s favorite)

Cranberry Coconut Citrus Cookies (a refreshing combination of flavors)

Funfetti Sugar Cookies (I just mixed sprinkles into my regular sugar cookie dough, but this recipe that I’ve used before is even better)

Brownies with Missouri Black Walnuts (Nathan’s favorite)

Peppermint Meringues

 

Happy baking!

Spring Recital

Spring Recital

The Baylor Music Studio proudly hosted its annual spring recital recently.

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Spread out over two nights, we enjoyed listening to a wide variety of music played by 13 different students (including Nathan and Katya).

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Moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, and friends cozied together in our living room to listen and support the students.  And, of course, to head for the dining room afterwards for the annual cookie buffet.

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Here are my kids playing–sorry the photos are so fuzzy!  You’ll just have to come in person to hear Katya do Lightly Row and Be Thou My Vision, and Nathan playing The Happy Farmer and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.  Perhaps I will even play my recital piece for you too!

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He is Risen!

He is Risen!

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Has it only been just over a week since Easter?  Seems like a lot longer than that!  We enjoyed a joyous celebration, characterized by lots of the typical activities of the season–our Good Friday service and meal, special music at church (I even got to play in the orchestra!), bright dyed Easter eggs (3 dozen this year), a full table of family and new friends for dinner, egg hunt in the backyard, kids dressed up in nice clothes–so many ways to mark the importance of the resurrection day.  Here are the pictures:

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Staff Lunch Recipes

Staff Lunch Recipes

Another staff lunch this Monday, and I am actually getting around to posting recipes for you this time!

We had Sweet Chili Chicken (budgetbytes.com) served over rice, topped with cilantro, lime, mango, pineapple, and Thai Sweet Chili sauce (lifetasteslikefood.com).  The chicken rice bowl seemed quite popular, and they ate up all the Sweet Chili sauce as well.  I would also recommend this as a flexible main dish that is gluten and dairy free and easy to keep warm in a crock pot, nice for lots of different entertaining situations.

Side dishes were roasted asparagus (no recipe for this one, just toss the spears in olive oil and bake at 425 for about 20 minutes) and Crunchy Kale Salad (from Malloryskitchen.com).  The asparagus is just a classic, and the salad had great ingredients although I would have preferred a more strongly flavored dressing.

Dessert was Marshmallow Caramel Krispie Brownies (confessionsofacookbookqueen.com).  Yum!!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Katya and I hosted a Valentine-making party for some of our friends several weeks ago, and apparently she decorated herself as well as the cards!  It was fun to see a table full of little girls going to town with stickers and glue, and a good excuse to have a party while our boys were off at a church sleepover.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day at our house, we started with pink pancakes (thanks, Bonzo!).  Instead of wearing their normal uniforms, the kids were allowed to dress up in nice clothes for school.  (After lots of girly drama, we finally managed to make it out the door…)

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Both kids enjoyed their school parties, and I got to be in on the fun in kindergarten, supervising the “decorate your Valentine holder” project.  While they were at school, Than and I enjoyed time together for little house projects, lots of conversation, and lunch out.  The evening featured a Valentine sleepover for the kids and a trip to see Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” for mom and dad.  All in all, a very satisfactory way to celebrate all the different ways our family loves!

Lavender Time

Lavender Time

 

The lavender is in bloom, again, and my bushes are HUGE this year.  Of course, the best thing to do with huge lavender bushes is have a party!!  I have such fun planning and hosting my annual lavender garden party, and this year was no exception.

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I used both vintage quilts and quilts my mom made for the tablecloths…

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Than and the kids cleaned up the yard and patio, and even thought up this cute seating idea…

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Of course there were vases of lavender everywhere, but my favorite part is the buffet table 🙂

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The Menu:

Veggie Tray

Hummus

Olive Oil Crackers

Caprese Skewers

Fresh Blueberries

Lavender Scones

Samoa Bars

Lavender Lemonade

Sweet Mint Tea

Hope you can come join me next year 🙂

Easter Dinner

Easter Dinner

The kids couldn’t wait for our Easter dinner guests to arrive!!

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We shared the meal with a table full of grandparents.  Happy times!

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We borrowed special dishes from my grandpa, set the table in the dining room, and even ate in a few courses!

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Following dinner the kids each played on the piano for us.

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It was a joy to have generations together, and to be at a table filled with people who were celebrating together the importance of a resurrected Savior.  I am grateful that my children can be part of that heritage.

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