Monday, November 21, 2011


I recently made snacks for our youth group.  Today the pastor dropped off my casserole dish that held the snacks. 

I went to put away the dish and took the lid off because I don't store it with the lid on.

What's this?

Candy canes may not seem out of the ordinary just over a month before Christmas.  These candy canes however, have a life of their own.  You see, my best friend moved to Pittsburgh a little over 3 years ago.  The Christmas prior to her moving she came over and left these at my house one night, and knowing that she was going to be moving, I decided to play a little game.

When she started packing her belongings I had her husband hide these in a box with a card from me saying the game was on.  She had to find a way to get them back to me, making her visit me or during one of my visits to her.  For the last 3 years we've been passing these back and forth in creative ways.

This August I slipped them into her car just before she left my house to go back home.  I haven't seen her since. However, since our church went on a missions trip to her church in October, she enlisted some help.

While I'm not sure the rules of the game require us to personally hide them, I think it's cheating for these to come back to me without a visit from her.  Anyone agree that she needs to visit me to make up for this?

Either way, it was fun to find these and I can't wait to actually talk to her about them.  She got me good and it was a fun treat that I certainly needed today.  I miss you, Becky!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Do you use Pinterest?  I absolutely love it!  I haven't been on there long but I have gotten so many great ideas from that site.  Pinterest is a place where you can make virtual pin boards and collect pictures that link back to blog posts.  For me it's a cook book, a kids hair idea place, decorating tips, and a place to keep things that make me laugh and smile.

All the wonderful ideas for food is what keeps me going back.  Today I made these cute pilgrim hats.  I found the idea on Pinterest and it took me a whopping 15 minutes to make 40.  I did have my little lady helping me unwrap all the PB cups so my time was shortened.  1 package of chocolate wafer cookies, 1 package of PB cup miniatures and some orange frosting, that's all these are.

I've also tried the Bacon & Egg Toast Cups which were a breeze to make!  Now when my hubby has to get up really early (before 5:30), I make these the night before and all he has to do is pop them in the microwave and he's got a full breakfast.  

But the best recipe I have found so far is the Man Cookies.  I blogged about them a few weeks ago.  They were so good.  I would never have thought of adding bacon to cookies, but I've already heard from a few soldiers in my husband's troop that I need to make them some more.  But the next time I make them, I need to have enough to go around.  I can deal with that!

If you're not on Pinterest I recommend you try it out.  To get an account you need to sign up and wait for them to add you, or you can find someone to send you an invite.  You can message me if you need one, and once you're there, don't forget to look me up.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Healthy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This is one might tasty cake.  Yes, it's a healthy pineapple upside-down cake.  And by healthy, I mean it's Vegan and diabetic friendly.  That's right, I made a cake that is vegan and diabetic friendly and it tasted good!  My family loved it.  It was a bit of a challenge to find a recipe that I liked, and I did have to tweak it a little for the diabetic part, but overall I was very pleased.

I got the original recipe from Vegan Dream and I only modified the sugar.  I found out in my research that Splenda is not Vegan friendly, so I ended up using Truvia (TM) in place of the sugar and I used Hain organic brown sugar, and just lowered the amount I used.  

Healthy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

1 20-oz can pineapple slices in unsweetened pineapple juice (reserve the juice)
6-8 Maraschino cherries or pitted fresh cherries
2 TBSP Hain Organic Brown Sugar (more or less as desired)
1 cup white flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 TBSP Truvia (TM) sweetener
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup pineapple juice reserved from can of slices
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 TBSP white vinegar
Spring-form pan or angel food cake pan
Non-stick spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray your pan with non-stick spray all the way up the sides.  Arrange the pineapple decoratively around the pan, filing in the gaps with pieces of pineapple.  Place cherries in holes of the pineapple rings to look pretty.  Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the pineapples and cherries.

Mix together both flours, Truvia (TM), baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.  In a smaller bowl mix together the reserved juice, applesauce and vinegar.  Quickly mix the wet ingredients into the dry.  The batter will foam up a bit.

Pour the mix into the pan immediately and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the center is firm.  

This is a quick and simple cake.  Mind you, I'm not going Vegan, and no one in my immediate family is diabetic, I was commissioned by a friend to make this cake for an office birthday party.  But I'm so glad I did!  Actually, I must clarify, I made one on Saturday to try it out and a second on Sunday for my friend.  I just couldn't see making this cake and sending it out the door without finding out if it tasted great or horrible.  Glad it was a winner!

If you'd like to make this and not worry about the diabetic part, 3 TBSP Truvia (TM) is equivalent to 1/2 cup of sugar.  That's quite the difference!  And Truvia (TM) has no calories, so that's a bonus.  I didn't feel so bad when I had seconds.  Or the last leftover piece yesterday.  As for the brown sugar, the original recipe called for 3 TBSP to be used, I cut it down to just under 2 when I made it.

This cake was very tasty and I would definitely make this again.  

Friday, November 4, 2011


I'm blogging today over at Today's Housewife.  Come read what the Lord 
has been working on in my life right now.

Photo by Elephant.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

(Not) Wordless Wednesday

Today is normally my Wordless Wednesday.  Unfortunately, October has been such a crazy month that the majority of the posts I've written have only been Wordless Wednesdays.  So here's a post with a bit more substance.

In October I turned 33, my hubby spent a little over 2 weeks gone with the National Guard, my son got a horrible chest cold, my oldest daughter has really started driving, and my youngest daughter is excelling in her ballet and jazz classes.  Yup, that about sums up the month.  I've been running here and there and everywhere with the kids.

On a sad note, I did stop working with the Awana program at my church.  After September's 3 1/2 week migraine, the docs said I need to cut back on my stress.  Unfortunately, how busy I was on Sundays were a big stress inducer and I ended up with a migraine every Sunday night after Awana.  So I decided for my own health to step-back and let someone else step-up to teach those wonderful kids.

This week's game plan includes a shopping and cooking day.  When exactly I'm going to find the time to shop is beyond me, but I'll make it happen.  Here's what I'm cooking this month if you're interested:

  1. Broccoli, Ham and Cheese Casserole
  2. Cheesy Ham and potatoes
  3. Chicken and Broccoli Rotini
  4. Chicken and Dumplings
  5. Chicken Bowls
  6. Chicken Pie
  7. Crock Pot Peppercorn Steak
  8. Dijon Pork Chops
  9. Farmers Casserole
  10. Fragrant Sticky Chicken
  11. Goulash
  12. Ham and Cheese Stuffed Chicken
  13. Hearty Beef Chili
  14. Lasagna
  15. Meatloaf
  16. Orange Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
  17. Oven BBQ Chicken and Cheesy Biscuits
  18. Sausage Pizza Twist
  19. Sausage Stuffed Pork Loin
  20. Stromboli
  21. Tuna Casserole
  22. Vegetable Beef Soup
There are lots of yummy meals in there.  If you're interested in any of these recipes please send me a note and I'll send you the recipe.  I'm looking forward to having my freezer stocked again.