Our Family

Our Family
Fall 2015 - These are my people

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July Park Pics

Bug is now four years old as of May 19 and Buzz turned two on June 22nd! I can't believe how much they have grown and changed in such a short time. About a week ago, I decided on a whim after church one day that we needed to go to the local park arboretum to take pictures, as it was a perfectly overcast day for doing so! We stopped at home for a change of clothes for the Bug, and unfortunately all her frilly dresses were NOT ironed...SO, we opted for this cute casual one that she has and it worked out just fine. She and Buzz loved the little park we were at, as there are lots of gorgeous flowers and plants and also a water fountain there! Of course, you can imagine that after awhile, they just had to put their hands in the streams of water in the fountain...and little Buzz was soaking wet from that adventure, but he was laughing and having the best time. It was hard to keep them sitting still, so my dear man and I took turns taking pics of them playing. It was a lot of fun! I need to do this more often.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Everyday Cassoulet

I'm SO excited to be subbing for a cooking group through my church this coming week! We each prepare 12 meals, and bring 11 to swap with the other 11 members of the group. I can't wait to see what we'll be eating in the coming months! It will be fun to have my freezer fully of yummy meals.

The meal that I prepared is one of my favorites and has been a great company meal here in our home.

Here it is!

Everyday Cassoulet by Melody (& Bet_ty Cro_cker Cook_book)
651-695-1252 if you have questions!

1 lb. Po_lish or smoked sausage (1 giant link…or add 1.5-2 for more meat – I did 1.5 for the group), cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
(*I always use smoked turkey sausage – Tar_get has a generic one that I used for the group, and there’s a natural version at health stores.…)
1 can (15-16 oz.) great northern beans (or cannelini), rinsed & drained
1 can (15-16 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 can (15-16 oz.) black beans, rinsed & drained
(*For the group, I cooked up 3 bags of each type of bean and that almost covered it, cost MUCH less, and then there is no added salt from the beans…I did end up using just q couple of cans)
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce (or the 29 oz. can if you double it)
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced (1.5 cups)
(*I ALWAYS add more – I think I did 5-6 carrots per meal for the group)
2 small yellow onions or 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced & separated into rings (or diced)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (or put through the garlic press…and can add another clove if you like garlic)
½ cup dry red wine or beef broth (I put about 1 cup of beef broth per meal)
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar (you can also use pure maple syrup if you would rather not use sugar)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 1.5 teaspoons dried thyme leaves (I did generous tablespoons of the fresh thyme…and have tried dry and it does work fine, but doesn’t have quite the same yummy flavor as the fresh)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Then pour into an ungreased casserole/lasagna pan (I prefer my lasagna pan because the sides are taller and this casserole is really bubbly) & cover with lid or foil. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes OR until mixture is hot & bubbly & carrots are tender. (I usually end up baking it for about 1.5 hours, and I usually place the pan on top of a baking sheet since it sometimes bubbles over the sides.
I like to serve this dinner with a crusty loaf of bread and a dark, leafy green salad topped with fruit. It’s VERY hearty and people usually love it even if they don’t like beans! ENJOY!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Yummy Power Bars!!!

Hello gang!

Sorry I haven't been on here now for TWO whole months. I cannot believe how much has happened since I last wrote! We celebrated our sixth anniversary and our birthdays with a great long weekend getaway to Ro_cky Mou_ntain Nat_ional Pa_rk and did lots of hiking and enjoying God's creation. It was amazing! Then we had a big birthday party for both kids and that was a lot of fun. And now, June is all over! Wowsers. I will try to post some pics sometime, but in the meantime, I'm getting ready to go sai_ling with my sweet man and some friends. It should be a good time!

SO, I'll leave you with this...the neatest recipe that I've used in a long time! My friend KN from MO_PS put this recipe in our coo_kbo_ok that we put out a few years ago, and it is AMAZING!!!

Ultimate Power Bar


3.5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup raisins
2/3 cup raw sunflower seeds (I had salted ones because my store didn't have raw)
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds (I didn't have sesame, so I added more sunflower)
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup oat bran
3 tablespoons flax seeds (you need to grind them up in order to get the benefit of the oils inside...and you can use flax seed meal/purchased ground flax seeds if you don't have the whole seeds - that's what I used and it worked really well)
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt (or you could omit this if you have salted sunflower seeds)
1 cup shredded coconut (optional...but SO delish)
1.5 cups peanut butter (I used Ski_ppy natural smooth)
1 cup honey (I used a local honey)
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In large bowl, combine first ten ingredients (through coconut). Stir in peanut butter, honey & melted butter. Press firmly into foil-lined or sprayed 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
3. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven & sprinkle chocolate chips over bars. Return to oven until chocolate is softened (about 2-4 minutes). Spread chocolate evenly over bars. (mine didn't spread very well for some reason, fyi...but still tasted delish). Cool on rack then cut into bars. Refrigerate until firm (about 2 hours) then remove from pan and wrap bars individually and store in refrigerator or freezer for a healthy energy-packed snack. (I used plastic wrap for the individual bars and then placed them into quart-sized freezer zipper bags.