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for His pleasure: May 2011

This Page

has been moved to new address

for His pleasure

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
for His pleasure: May 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Potato Soup

We all have scratchy throats around here this week. (sigh) Went to the doctor today for my poor congested little baby. The girls were excited because they always get suckers and stickers when we go.

So, I made soup for dinner to make swallowing a little easier. This is my go-to recipe when I need something easy peasy and something I'm sure everyone will love. This soup is a winner let me tell you!

Baked Potato Soup

This flavorful baked potato soup is loaded with cheese and baked potatoes. Top this thick soup with the cooked bacon and green onions just before serving.


· 8 to 10 slices bacon, diced, about 8 ounces

· 4 tablespoons butter

· 1/2 cup diced celery

· 1 cup diced onion

· 1 bunch green onions, about 8 green onions, thinly sliced

· 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

· 3 cups chicken broth

· 2 cups half-and-half

· 4 large baking potatoes, baked, peeled, and diced

· 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

· 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

· 8 ounces sour cream

· 8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

· Sliced green onion for garnish, optional

In a Dutch oven or large kettle over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towels to drain and pour the bacon drippings into a cup. Put 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings back into the pan along with the butter, chopped onion, and celery. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender. Stir in the sliced green onion and flour until blended. Stir in chicken broth; cover and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thickened and vegetables are very tender. Stir in half-and-half, diced potatoes, salt, pepper, and cheese. Continue cooking until cheese is melted. Add sour cream. Cook, stirring constantly, until sour cream is mixed in well. Serve the soup garnished with bacon and extra sliced green onion, if desired.

And just so you get a truer representation of my life...

This is one of the things going on while I was in the kitchen. (Along with a diaper blow-out by the same child. Hence, the lack of clothing and the burned onions.) Life is never dull here that's for sure!

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Memorial Day Recipe

I've been making this since I was in high school and I got the itch to make it again for Memorial Day with a patriotic twist. I used frozen blueberries I had on hand and cherry pie filling for the decorating. Emma Claire studied my every move and we discussed our country and the reason we celebrate Memorial Day while decorating it. I want my children to realize the importance of this day, living their lives with humility and gratefulness for the freedoms they enjoy.

Cherry Topped Cheesecake
1 graham cracker crust (6 oz.)
1 package cream cheese (8 oz.), softened
1/3 cup of lemon juice
1 can condensed milk (14 oz.)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream softened cream cheese. Beat in the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and the lemon juice until the batter is smooth; pour the batter into the graham cracker crust. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Yield: 1 cheesecake.

May be topped with cherries, strawberries, or drizzled with chocolate, but delicious plain!

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

the party: party side

My baby girl turned 3 on Mother's Day. She's not looking so much like my baby anymore and it hurts. It really does. She gets her own breakfast many mornings. And she's taken it upon herself to potty train Shiloh. This keeps Steven and I laughing {and cleaning}. She loves to burp Keller for me and attempts to do most everything herself. How thankful I am for her and the joy she brings to our lives.

Her party was fun and crazy with about 20 kids running around and just as many adults.
We grilled out: hamburgers, hot dogs, and steaks.{Shiloh keeps an eye on things.}
We ate...
We trampolined....{Emma Claire was so happy to play with her aunts.}
We talked...
We badmintoned...
...played volleyball...
...water ballooned...{My sisters: Anne, Chloe, and Rachel}
We opened sweet gifts from family and friends.{Thank you everyone for not only your generosity, but giving her airport-friendly activities. You're the best!}
We sang to the birthday girl...
Who was just a little embarrassed...
...and then she blew out the candles all by herself!
{Does not follow in her mamma's footsteps - thankfully.}
{And the cake was baked by me, assembled and decorated by the hubs. Isn't he so awesome?!}Apparently, it was some good eatin' according to Caleb. :-)
Oreo Cupcakes: recipe from This Hungry Mama Bakes.
And the smile on her face made it all worth it!

{Thank you, Jenny, for taking lots of these photos!}

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Morning Glory

I love when mornings run smoothly. When it all goes according to plan, the way you envision it goes for every mother before you actually start having kids.

We spent ours baking, cleaning, and hanging out at the pool. It took every brave bone in my body to take all three up to our pool, but I psyched myself up, "You can do this!"So we did. And would you believe me that I was actually able to relax? Keller took his morning nap in full swim attire. We brought the big legos that the girls never play with, and they were entertained thoroughly by filling them with water over and over and over again. I drank my diet coke, ate my muffin, and caught up with my family and a friend on the phone.
{I'm thankful for a job that allows Steven to pop in now and again. It was good to see you (if only for a second) hun!}

The kids are now laying down for their nap and I'm going to reacquaint myself with my sewing machine while they sleep, but first I wanted to share this recipe with you. It comes from my friend, Tamara, over at This Hungry Mama Bakes. She keeps me checking the scale and sporadically popping into our gym, but her blog is ever so delightful and worth every single calorie. Consider yourself warned. ;-)

White Chocolate Berry Muffins
Taste of Home

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c raspberries (frozen or fresh)
1/2 c. white chocolate chips

In large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, beat in well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add cream cheese mixture just until blended. Fold in raspberries and chips.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two thirds full. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.
Yield: 1 dozen

*I used frozen blueberries in place of the raspberries and semi-sweet chocolate chunks instead of the white chocolate chips. Both ways are delicious and we make these just about twice a week... they're that good!

Flowers from my sweet husband...note they are planted in an outdoor flower pot for optimal enjoyment and length of life. ;-) He knows me oh so well.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

the party: crafty side

Life is racing by no matter how much I pull the covers over my head these days when the alarm goes off in the morning. Emma Claire has now turned 3, Shiloh is ready to be potty trained {i hear the toilet flushing over and over right now and I found her sitting - totally stuck in the toilet the other day} and I'm pretty sure it's a tooth I found in Keller's mouth yesterday.

I am not ready for all this! I feel my 23 years all too well these days and wonder if I could somehow have a few more birthdays and keep my kids the same age. ;-) Steven and I were just talking on our date last night, that although we are abnormal, and although we feel pretty young to have these kiddos, we are so so glad we are unaged while tackling all of this! Life is pretty crazy, but fun, right now in our lower twenties and we wouldn't trade it for the world.
So...I'm pretty sure by now you ladies want to see some crafty stuff after all my vacation photos. I thought this rainy Monday afternoon would be the perfect time to get around to giving you a glimpse of Emma's birthday party.
steven knows how crazy i can get, so he warned me before i got ahead of myself, and said, "keep the cost low!"
i love a good challenge, so i got busy.
i actually surprised him by how little i spent. =) you were surprised weren't you, honey?

party favors:
buckets filled with handmade personalized sand bags. total cost: approximately $1.50 each.

personalized towels for the guests who were emma's age.
total cost: $2.00 each

i'm a sucker for labeling food. anybody else like that? we all know they're hot dogs...but label them...and it just makes them taste so much better! i found these free printables from the Pottery Barn website.

we used them for the cupcakes too...

i bought a pack of wooden dowels from hobby lobby (about $2.50). steven cut them. jenny printed, cut, punched holes, and assembled them for me. aren't i lucky to have these extra hands?!

found these fish bowls on clearance at the back of hobby lobby for about $1.50 a piece. we still use them for the girls' cereal. i also sewed that tablecloth and this is the third birthday party i've gotten use out of it.

steven and jenny made these decorations...

we used jute twine and an old southern seafood cookbook i found at goodwill for 50 cents.

we reused the penant banners i made for our easter party in my mom's kitchen for decoration. sorry but the picture above was the best i had of them at the birthday party. you can see them better here.

the birthday girl wore a flower headband i made out of soft cotton i already had. total cost: about $2.

and a shirt i bought at target for $8. i added the "3" using the same concept i did here.
Linkand i have these 2 people to thank...

we had such a good afternoon getting everything together. we ate guacamole, dished out the sarcasm, and laughed a whole bunch.

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