Thursday, October 15, 2009

Show & Tell Friday ~ Mother Child Plate

Before I was even expecting our first child, I fell in love with this beautiful porcelain plate depicting a mother reading to her child. It is the prettiest shade of green with a Wedgewood style cameo, a border of flowers, birds and a dainty butterfly.

Imagine my delight when my thoughtful BIL ordered this as a gift for me!
A Mother's Love 1977 Mother's Day Plate by Adelaid Sundin for Franklin Porcelain

For you created my inmost being
you knit me together in my mother's womb

Psalms 139:1Visit Cindy at My Romantic Home to enjoy more Show & Tell Friday posts.


did I do this....

instead of completing these (and 5 additional orders needing to be sent)...Because cold, damp, dreary days like this... compels me to create warm, inviting aromas from the kitchen.
(Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread recipe found here)

Guess who's gonna be up late into the night with hook and yarn!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday ~ Angel's Trumpet

Finally... a bloom. A magnificent one for sure. With a lovely fragrance too.
I waited since I bought this plant in the spring. It is supposed to be a rapid grower, reaching 5 feet in one season. This one is just about 3 feet tall.
I began to think it would not bloom before the cold weather came.
I was so excited to notice a long, slender pod hanging down from the leaves.
It took a while to unfold. It is just as lovely as I had imagined.
I would love to bring the potted plant indoors to winter over. But I think it best not too as all parts of the (Brugmansia) plant are poisonous.
Has anyone else grown this plant?Visit Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for more Outdoor Wednesday.

Tuesdays with Dorie ~ Allspice Crumb Muffins

This is my first week joining those baking along with Dorie Greenspan. This weeks recipe is Allspice Crumb Muffins found on pages 16 & 17 of her James Beard Foundation Book Awards Winning cookbook
Baking From My Home to Yours.Muffins are one of my favorite treats and this one does not disappoint. Different from cinnamon, the allspice is not overpowering and lends a nice, subtle flavor. I added the optional lemon zest and enjoyed its bright addition.
Dorie writes, "these muffins have the look and texture of old-fashioned crumb cake." And who can resist crumb cake!
Kayte (Grandmas's Kitchen Table) was the baker that selected the muffins...

Allspice Crumb Muffins

For the Streusel:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
5 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

For the Muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 lemon (optional)

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

To Make the Streusel: Put the flour, brown sugar and allspice in a small bowl and sift them through your fingers to blend. Add the bits of cold butter and toss to get irregularly shaped crumbs. Set aside in the refrigerator for the moment. (You can make the crumbs up to 3 days ahead and keep them covered in the refrigerator.)

To Make the Muffins: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, allspice and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the melted butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don't worry about being thorough--the batter will be lumpy, and that is just the way it should be. Stir in the lemon zest, if you're using it.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Sprinkle some streusel over each muffin, then use your fingertips to gently press the crumbs into the batter.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pumpkin Shape Spritz Cookies

Recipe that came with the Pampered Chef cookie press:

Classic Spritz Cookies

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter or margarine, softened (do not substitute vegetable oil spread)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (14 ounces)
Colored sugar or sprinkles (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In Classic Batter Bowl, beat butter on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add sugar, egg and vanilla; beat well. Add flour, 1 cup at a time; mix well. Dough will be soft; do not refrigerate.
2. Fill Cookie Press, fitted with disk of your choice, with dough using Medium Scoop. Press dough onto flat Baking Stone 1 inch apart. Decorate cookies with colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired.
3. Bake 10-12 minutes or until firm but not brown. Cool 2 minutes on flat Baking Stone; remove to Stackable Cooling Rack. Repeat with remaining dough.
Yield: 6-7 dozen cookies. Nutrients per serving: (2 cookies): Calories 120, Total Fat 7 g, Sodium 70 mg, Fiber 0 g
Variation: Chocolate Spritz Cookies: Decrease flour to 3 cups. Increase sugar to 1 1/4 cups. Add 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to flour mixture. Proceed as recipe directs.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Blessings of Adult Children

I loved and immensely enjoyed every day with our children when they were little . When I see old photographs of them I passionately want to scoop them out of the picture and squeeze them to pieces. I miss their giggles. I miss braiding their hair. I miss the chatter around the dinner table and so many more things about their childhood.

I have traded those times for new ones. Different. Wonderful.

It's not all about teaching, training and guiding any more. Oh, I still get lots of questions about cooking, housekeeping, child rearing or other how-to stuff. But now when we talk I am the one listening, learning, in awe of the bright, caring adults they have become.

Frequently our conversations turn to spiritual or theological thoughts. And this is where I am overcome with delight. No, they haven't faced many of the hard places that each of us have to journey through. And they have not yet learned the lessons that each of those valleys teach. But because their hearts are stayed on Jesus and they seek to grow in the knowledge of their Savior, they have a measure of wisdom and faith that both encourages and up-lifts.

Now it is our kids showing a tender, caring heart toward us.
I was reminded that our children hurt when their parents hurt and they have deep concerns about our well being. Many times I have been encouraged by a book or song they recommended. (Ever listen to Don Moen's I Will Sing? I must have played it for weeks when my daughter first sent me the link.) On occasion we will get a note in the mail or in this case a six page letter. Not a letter filled with answers. Better. Reminders to look to the One who has given his promises to those who are his children.

Sometimes as we walk through a desert experience, it helps to have someone remind you of Truth. And when your kids remind you it is a tremendous blessing!

Lord You seem so far away
A million miles or more it feels today
And though I haven't lost my faith
I must confess right now
That it's hard for me to pray
But I don't know what to say
And I don't know where to start
But as You give the grace
With all that's in my heart

I will sing I will praise
Even in my darkest hour
Through the sorrow and the pain
I will sing I will praise
Lift my hands to honor You
Because Your Word is true
I will sing

Lord it's hard for me to see
All the thoughts and plans You have for me
But I will put my trust in You
Knowing that You died to set me free
But I don't know what to say
And I don't know where to start
But as You give grace
With all that's in my heart


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