Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring Crop Photos and a Recipe

As usual, I had a FANTASTIC time at the crop. I hope you guys did too. I love putting this on. I'm thinking of doing another one in the fall, so let me know what you think about that. 

Here's the cupcake recipe from Angela:

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

*Disclaimer:  The original recipe has a cake recipe, however I choose to use a cake mix because the recipe has four sticks of butter in it!!  As you read the ingredients for the remainder of cupcakes you will understand why I forgo the butter laden cake.  (although I'm sure it's delish!).  Also, the recipe calls to put 1 cup of chocolate chips in the batter before baking and I elect not to do this.  I have made it both ways and I feel it's closer to the cookie dough taste without the chocolate chips in the cupcake batter.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting

Bake cupcakes.  After cupcakes have cooled cut a portion out of center of each cupcake. (I use an apple corer).

Filling:  (we call it faux dough....also great in homemade ice cream!)
4 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
6 Tbsp light brown sugar, packed
1 Cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
7 oz sweetened condensed milk

Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and beat until smooth.Stir in chocolate chips.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerateuntil the mixture has firmed up a bit (approx. 1 hr).  After cupcakes are cooled, fill center with chilled cookie dough mixture.


3 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 c light brown sugar
3 1/2 c powdered sugar
1 c all-purposed flour
3/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp Milk
2 1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat butter and brown sugar on medium high until creamy and fluffy.  Mix in the powdered sugar.  Beat in flour and salt.  Mix in the milk and vanilla until smooth and combined.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Unleashed, by Erwin Raphael McManus

In his book, Unleashed, Erwin McManus urges Christians to see Christianity for what it has become and for what it was meant to be. Christianity has become a religion, a church club that only exists for itself. A place where we go because that’s what a good Christian does. It’s what our parents did and our grandparents did.  He points out that we’re breeding civilization in our churches and we’re buying it!

Mr. McManus  impresses upon the reader how Christians today think that once they become Christians,  life will be happy go lucky. I mean, our God wouldn’t make us feel uncomfortable for anything, would he? Isn’t he a God of love? Aren’t we supposed to leave church feeling good about ourselves?

He uses the word barbarian over and over again to prove his point. Just like John the Baptist (who probably was considered a little eccentric), we are called to be different and set apart. Not because we go to church on Sunday without fail, but because of this burning passion to win others to Christ. We should exist to serve and love the lost! When was the last time you showed your neighbor that you love and care for them? We’re really good about doing this with our church friends, but not “outsiders.” I live in a town of 400 and I barely know my neighbors!

For me, this book came at a great time.  I’ve been wondering about why we keep doing this “church club” and why we think it’s a well-oiled machine. I recognize this problem and chose this book specifically to find out how to fix myself! Only, Mr. McManus gave no real advice for how to carry out this change. Truthfully, I imagine it will look differently for each person and ultimately I should find my answers in God’s word.

I will be asking the Lord for wisdom on what this looks like for me and how to raise barbarian children instead of civilized ones.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Baby Love Card

 I created this card a few months ago and it's by far one of my favorites lately!

It uses the paper pack Sophia. I first thought this paper was way to girly and floral-y for me, but I am lovin' it. I love that the backsides is a pale yellow and that there's a bright green polka dot paper in the pack. I think pink sometimes scares off those with boys, but I have used this paper for a boy layout and also Easter pages.

CTMH supplies used on this card: Sophia Level 2, Colonial White Waxy Flax, Designer Pink Ribbon, Pearl Opaques, and the Baby Love stamp set. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cooking Classes 1 & 2

I approached my niece from The Literary Wife a few months ago about coming together once a month to cook. I thought it would be a good time for me to try cooking things my family would never eat. They don't like new things and I enjoy trying new things.

Amber is a fairly new wife and is enjoying her venture into cooking for herself and her husband. She is learning to cook a lot of vegetarian meals, which I'm not against. It's just that my husband is definitely a meat-eater. So with this cooking class, I figured I could try my hand at vegetarian meals along with foods I've never tried before.

I chose to make Margherita Pizza at the first class. I've always wondered at the name...which by the way does not contain Margarita. It's supposedly named after Queen Margherata (or Queen Margherita) who liked the colors of the Italian flag on her pizza. Tomatoes for the red, mozzarella for the white, and basil for the green.

Amber was all set to come over, but the night before it had snowed and she didn't want to brave the roads. I wouldn't have wanted to either. So I made it by myself and Lincoln and I loved it!

Last month, she and I got together again for our next class....Egg Rolls. I don't know what recipe she used, but we prepared the ingredients of carrots, cabbage and green onions.

We tossed all the ingredients into a bowl and salt and peppered it. Then heated some oil and garlic and sauted the veggies. She didn't have fresh garlic, but it worked. Next time I would use fresh garlic and maybe even some ginger.

After the veggies were done, we wrapped them in the egg roll wrappers. Here's Amber giving it a go.

Pay no attention to her hair...uh, yes, it kind of grosses me out that she was wearing that 'do while we were cooking. I didn't tell her that, but now she may know because she's reading this post. However, I did not find a hair in my egg roll...thank goodness. Love ya, Amber, in spite of all your weirdness!

Okay, on to the last photo...Our finished product! They were really good. Amber ate hers with soy sauce. I ate mine plain. Next time, I will add pork to the recipe. Steven would like that better, and I have no idea if my kids would touch them with pork or without it.
So it's my turn to choose something to cook. Any ideas?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Love Those Boys

I created this layout using items I purchased at Paper Dreams last month. The title stickers and some of the brads came in the Basic Grey page of the month kit. I love kits. Who wouldn't want to buy a kit? They have everything you need, already color-coordinated, with instructions. It makes scrapbooking so easy.

The papers came from a different company (sorry I don't know, but I bet Angela does!), but I really was drawn to the paper with all the "boy" things on it. It could be used for so much, especially since I've got 3 boys running around here. You probably can't tell in the photo, but I cut out some of the images from the boy paper and pop dotted them on top of the same image on the paper. It adds a little dimension to it I think.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Website Sale-- New Items

Cherry-O Bundle $15.00

New items have been added to my CTMH website, in the "While Supplies Last" section. You can order these items online and also take part in the April special, "Lovin' Level 1." These items will go quickly, so hurry and get those must-have items!