Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Countdown To Christmas!

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas around here! Today the girls, hubby and I decorated our tree. Maybe because this is the first Christmas my husband been home from over seas in a few years, or maybe because we have much to be thankful for this year but the tree looked so much more cheerful and festive to me than it has in past years!
I have alot planned for the next couple of weeks (who doesn't huh?!) mainly in the kitchen so I am hoping to share at least one goodie per day with you! If I miss a day here and there I apologize but that is my goal at least! ;)

My FIRST yummy treat is one I love to add to my gift baskets or desert trays during the Holiday Season. Home Made Almond Roca!

Almond Roca
2 cups butter
2 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
1/3 cup water
1 11 1/2 oz package of milk chocolate pieces (I used a little more)
1 cup finely chopped nuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts,and or cashews (you may toast nuts for a fuller flavor if you want.)

Line a 15x10x1 inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over the edges of the pan: Set aside.

In a 3-quart saucepan melt butter.
Stir in sugar, corn syrup and water.
Cook over medium high heat until boiling.
stirring until sugar has desolved.
Avoid splashing the sides of the pan.
Carefully clip candy thermometer to the pan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thermometer registers 290 degrees (soft-crack stage. (about 15 minutes)
Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over entire surface.
Remove from heat.

Pour mixture in to prepared pan and spread evenly.
Cool about 5 minutes or until top is set.
sprinkle on the chocolate chips and lets stand for two minutes. Spread chocolate over candy.
Sprinkle with nuts and press them gently into chocolate. Cool several hours or until set.

Use foil to lift candy out of pan. Break in to small pieces. Store in tightly covered container



Monday, November 21, 2011

It's getting cold outside...Warm up your belly!

Beef Stew And Dumplings

1 lb beef stew
2 TB olive oil
1 TB butter
1 small onion chopped
1-2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 TB Kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 cans beef broth (or make own with approx 4 cups water and 4 tsp beef boullion)
 1 sprig fresh thyme (can use dried)
1 stalk celery chopped
1-2 carrots chopped into large chunks
2 medium potatoes peeled and quartered
2 large handfuls of fresh or frozen whole green beans
1/2 cup peas frozen (optional)
additional water if needed

Brown beef chunks in some oil and butter. Add some chopped onions and a minced garlic clove. Deglaze pan with white wine and allow to cook for a few minutes. Cover meat completely with beef broth,  and a sprig of fresh thyme, salt pepper, worcestershire sauce and simmer until meat is almost tender, approx 1 1/2- 2 hrs. Add in celery cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces, potatoes cut into large chunks, carrots cut into pieces, and green beans,  Simmer until vegetables are tender. Approx 30 more minutes adding water now if additional is needed (depends on how brothy you like it). Add some peas if desired and then cook your dumplings on top by dropping tablespoons full into broth and cover (see dumpling recipe for further instructions). Serve in bowls.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening(butter/margarine or crisco
3/4 to 1 cup of milk

Mix dry ingredients and cut in shortening. Add enough milk to make a soft wet dough. Drop by tablespoon on to the top of stew and cover and simmer on low for about 15 minutes.

Enjoy and do not plan on leftovers (I learned that the hard way....)

For desert some Gooey Pumpkin Cake would hit the spot! You can find the recipe HERE
"When we invite Him to walk with us through the desert,
He is our shade in the heat of the noonday sun
and He provides food and water for our hungry and parched souls.
He leads us to green pastures, restores our souls and turns the dry desert
to a well watered garden." Psalm 23:4


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My heart is Overflowing in HIS name!

My cup truly runneth over while seaking His presence today! My heart aches for Him and I am truly Blessed with his Grace and Glory! Thank you Jesus for loving me as no one else can!

Well Done, My Faithful Flower

I asked the Lord to plant me as a flower full of grace
So that others who would see me would behold His lovely face.
And so He gently set my seed into the earth below
And caused my roots to settle deep and then the winds to blow.
But heavy rains and scorching sun each played a special part
In making me a flower that was charming to His heart.
But I asked the Lord to give me more that I could do for Him
To be far more than just a glimpse of beauty in the wind.
And so he chose to grace me with aroma from His heart
And caused me to smell sweet for Him and set me far apart
From ordinary flowers that just simply come and go
Never having any purpose, never having any glow.
Lord, let me do much more to help complete your perfect plan
And then I felt the awesome touch of God's almighty hand.
He gently took my life and picked each petal of my heart
And crushed them into sweet perfume and poured them in a jar.
A woman of the world came and bought me with pure gold
The fortune from her sinful life were wicked deeds untold.
Her wretched life was paved upon a road of lonely rocks.
And then she took me to her home and placed me in a box.
I asked the Lord, "What am I doing in this awful place?"
He whispered, "Just be still and see the glory on My face."
So many nights, so many days, I waited to fulfill
The moment I had longed for-to be in His perfect will.
And then one day I felt her lift her alabast box.
She carried it back down the road-this time not lined with rocks.
I heard her cry, I felt her pain, her eyes were filled with tears
And then she walked into a place that settled all her fears.
I felt a presence so divine, so special in the room
And from her alabaster box, she lifted my perfume.
I asked You Lord to do much more-Your purpose to complete
And so she broke my bottle and then poured me at His feet.
The others in the room that day spoke words that caused a roar.
My fragrance would have been best spent on substance for the poor.
But He hushed their shouts and softly said, "The plan is now complete."
The preparation for His death was kneeling at His feet.
I felt her hands caress His feet as she washed them with her tears
Her humble heart, her heavy load was lifted from her cares.
And then through strands of silky hair I looked up to behold
The glory of His countenance just as He had foretold.
He smiled as if He gazed on me with glory on His face
I felt His splendid presence through His mercy and His grace.
With eyes aglow and set on me I sensed His awesome power.
He gently whispered words of love, "Well done, my faithful flower."

In HIS Name Alone~