Friday, January 21, 2011

A Two-fer

It looks like last week's Fingerprint Friday has turned into a two-fer. Why? Because my daughter is totally tickled about my find in the eye shadow, so she's now looking for her own Happy Little Surprises. And wouldn't you know it? A child seeking a little love note from God has found it.


Yes. That is a Captain Crunch Crunchberry. 'Cuz I'm Mom of the Year.


Are you looking for God's fingerprints? They could be anywhere. Including your sugary breakfast cereal.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Think these are still good?


You know those dates they put on food items? They kind of make me crazy. With some things, it's the "sell by" date and with others, it's the "use by" date. Madness! Fortunately I have a way to figure out if my eggs are still good. I mean, who wants to crack open a bad egg? Yuck. All you have to do is put the egg in a bowl of water. If it floats, throw it away! Eggshells become more porous as they age and more air gets into the shell - the kiss of death for eggs. As long as that egg of yours sinks, it's still good.

On that same subject, did you know that eggs that are a bit older (but still not floaters) are actually better to use when making hard boiled eggs? Yup. A bit of air under the shell helps make peeling the boiled egg a lot easier. You like easier, right?


Monday, January 17, 2011

Baked Potato Soup


Okay, I'm just gonna say it: Potatoes are a gift from God. Yum! And if you love potatoes like I love potatoes, you're going to be one happy camper when you eat this soup. Just so you know, this is not soup you eat when you're on a diet. This is comfort food, and it's good.


What's not to love about things like bacon, half and half, garlic and onions? Okay, I'm going to admit something to you now: I never use fresh onions when I cook. That's right, I use those dehydrated minced onions. Why? Because I like the flavor that onions give to food, but I really hate biting into an onion. Ick. So if you're an onion lover, substitute a medium onion sauteed in some butter for the minced onion in the recipe below. Go ahead. It won't hurt my feelings. Those tears are from the onion vapors...


What you're going to want to do is put broth, bacon, onion, garlic and spices into the pot and bring it to a boil.


Cube up your baked potatoes (You're going to want to do this when the potatoes are cooled. Trust me on this one.) in good sized chunks. I like to leave the skins on, but feel free to peel them if you'd like.


Add the potatoes to the broth mixture and turn the heat down.


Pour in your half and half and heat through, but don't boil it.


Look at all that yummy basil!


Now if you're like me, you like your soups on the thick side. To thicken up your soup, add some instant mashed potato flakes, a small amount at a time, to your soup pot. The soup will continue to thicken after you're done adding the potato flakes, so you might want to stop adding the flakes before it gets to the consistency that you'd like it to be. Continue to heat through without boiling.


Serve with a garnish of shredded cheese if you'd like. And I like! Then prepare to get a thank you from your mouth. Happy eating!

Baked Potato Soup

5 medium baked potatoes, cubed
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups half and half
1/3 cup crumbled bacon
1/4 cup minced onion
2 cloves minced garlic (about 1 tsp.)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. dried basil
instant mashed potato flakes (optional)
grated cheddar cheese (optional)

In a stock pot, pour in the chicken broth, then add the bacon, onions, garlic, salt, pepper and basil. Heat to boiling, then add your cubed baked potatoes. Reduce heat and add the half and half. Do not let your soup boil now, but heat through. If you prefer a thicker soup, start adding the mashed potato flakes in small amounts, stirring continuously, until you have your desired consistency. Serve topped with shredded cheddar cheese if desired.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Little Surprises

My lovely bloggy friend, Beki, does something called "Fingerprint Friday" on her blog (almost) every week. She asks that we share how we see God's fingerprints in our lives. So, without further ado...


Joyful little surprises! Yes, that's a happy face in my eyeshadow. I noticed it there not too long ago. I'm not sure how long it was like that before I noticed it, but there ya go. I love God's sense of humor!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Helpful Hints - Saving yourself some time and money

Porterhouse steak - frozen Pictures, Images and Photos

photo courtesty of photobucket

Do you ever go shopping and see those mega-packs of meat? I love that you can get them for a better price than if you're just buying a small pack of the same type of meat. Unless you've got a really big family, you probably aren't going to use the whole package at once though. Freezing the meat is a great option, but it's also a way to save some time for yourself in the future.


Put the meat in a plastic zipper bag with some marinade before you throw it in the freezer. Now when you go to thaw your meat later, you're marinating it at the same time. I don't know about you, but I like to marinate meats for a good long time to really get the flavor going, so this works really nicely for that.


Also, if you like to make your own marinade, you can just pour the ingredients into the plastic bag before putting your meat in, give it a good shake (after zipping the bag), and save yourself from having to wash a bowl afterward. And really? Who wants more dishes to wash?


Broken - My tale of infertility and miracles

I am broken.

I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. My ovaries are covered in cysts which keeps me from ovulating normally. I found this out before I got married. My doctor told me that I would probably never have kids.

My heart was broken.

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a mommy. I had visions of having lots of little ones to love. Even as a youngster, I enjoyed having smaller kids around. God just seemed to give me a heart for kids. It felt like He was preparing me...

My dreams felt broken.

I cried buckets of tears and felt pain that can't be described. I prayed. I ached. I longed.

God does His best work with the broken.

But deep in my heart, I still hoped. I felt like God had put this longing in my heart, so there must be a reason for it. I held on to my favorite Bible verse:

"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" Luke 1:45 (NIV)

These wonderful words are spoken to Mary, while she was pregnant with Jesus, by Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist. If you haven't read it lately, it's definitely worth a read. So amazing...

God fixes the broken places.

I felt so sick. So many pains that I just couldn't explain. I took home test after home test, each one telling me that I was not pregnant. Surely I must be dying then. But God knew the truth. He knew before He blessed me. And finally, science was able to see what God knew all along: I was pregnant.

God gave me a miracle.

When I was 5 weeks 5 days pregnant, I got to see my miracle on an ultrasound machine. I saw her tiny beating heart, and felt my brokenness healing. The months that followed brought so much joy! Every movement she'd make was a reminder of the miracle. And when the day of her arrival finally came, His blessings overflowed. When I held my daughter, the love I felt was like nothing I'd ever felt before! The miracle of her birth brought on another miracle - a small glimpse at the love that God has for us, because as much as I love my daughter, it's small in comparison to how much He loves us.

My miracle is 8 years old now. God's gift brings joy to me every day. Every day, His love overwhelms me.


And my heart is whole again.

I'm linking this up to Peter's One Word carnival on "broken" today. Why not see what others have had to say?

Monday, January 10, 2011

The chicken came first

If you read my other blog, you might remember me talking about our chickens. We got them when they were newly hatched...



...and they were the cutest things ever! Can I just tell you that baby chicks grow up way too fast? Yeah, it wasn't long before one of our "chickens" started crowing. That wasn't a fun discovery.

So now we have two chickens left. They've started a new chapter...


Do not try to adjust your computer screen - that is the color of the eggs! Aren't they gorgeous?! Our chickens are Easter Eggers, and that kind of chicken lays fun colored eggs. It looks like the color of choice for our chickens will be this lovely greenish-blue. The color is so pretty it makes me want to go get some matching paint and paint something! Hmmm... Could be a future project in the making...

Have you ever thought about getting chickens? It's been a lot of fun having them! My daughter just loves them...


If you get bantams (a smaller sized chicken), they don't take up a whole lot of room. They aren't really high maintenance, you'll get the best eggs you've ever tasted, and the poop is great for your garden! Plus, they're really entertaining. We've spent quite a bit of time watching chicken antics around here. Raising chickens has been a new thing for me - not a lot of chickens where I grew up in Southern California! But it really has been a great experience. Maybe I've got more farmer in me than I thought!


Now if I could just talk my husband into getting a fainting goat...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Shocking, but true.


Hi, my name is Wendy and I don't iron.

Shocking, but true. It's not that I can't iron, I just can't be bothered.

Don't judge me.

That's not to say that my family goes around in wrinkled clothes all the time. I've got a trick, you see.

Get ready for it...

A spray bottle of water.

I know, you're amazed. But really, a light misting of water on your cotton clothes and a bit of a tug on the fabric and the wrinkles will pull right out. A handful of years back, I saw a commercial for a product that some company was touting that did the same thing. I just had to laugh. Why would I go out and by some chemical something-or-other to do a job that I'd been using plain water for for years? Crazy, huh? Anyway, give it a try. It takes a lot less time than ironing and it's a lot easier. Easy is good.