Saturday, March 27, 2010

Our Saturday

We had a wonderful Saturday! Madison volunteered at the Life Span Therapeutic Horse Farm. She helped with the Easter egg hunt and took care of the donkey, pigs and goats. She is showing off her fancy new boots in the picture above. She had a great time and loved spending time with all of the animals, she had quite a few funny stories to tell about the donkey. Jordan went to a horse show that his friend Kaitlyn was riding in. I know Jordan at a horse show?? It surprised us too but he actually had fun. He did not ride any of the horses because there were not any big enough there for him (inside joke!!!) I guess I should explain; when Jordan was in preschool he had the chance to ride a horse with the rest of the class. When it came time for his turn he stood there with his hands on his hips and his cute little voice and said "that horse isn't big enough for me" It was a good way of getting out of having to touch the horse and risk getting dirty yet still look like the cool little man that he was. We still get a good laugh about that.
Chris and I got to go to Olive Garden while we were waiting for the kids to be done. We actually ate out two times in one week and it was Italian both times, imagine that!!! We finally got our tiramisu that they were out of on my birthday. It was not as good as the tiramisu that Chris makes but it was pretty stinking good. When we saw the picture of the dessert I think we both wanted to skip the meal and go straight to the good stuff. Oh, I almost forgot.... we had our first dinner party Friday since we moved here! We had Chris's friend Brandon and his wife over guessed it an "Italian Feast". Jordan had three friends come over and spend the night. It was really nice to have friends over. Madison made all of the appetizers ( I will post pics later) Chris made the pizza's and I made our famous chocolate cake for dessert. It was a lot of fun. I am looking forward to church tomorrow, it always seems like by Saturday I am in desperate need of hearing a good sermon from Pastor Steven.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Birthday Blessings

I had such a wonderful birthday yesterday. I have been so blessed with such a wonderful and thoughtful family. Madison made me waffles stuffed with cream cheese and topped with fresh strawberries yum!!!! Chris told me to go my favorite store (Maurices) and pick out a dress to wear to dinner and he gave my a gift certificate to a little Italian restaurant in Davidson that we had been dying to try. It is located in the old ice house and is always very busy. While Chris was at work the kids and I went to Maurices and the Goodwill (my second favorite place!) Jordan and Madison got me the new Toby Mac cd and several food network dvds with my favorite stars. Chris and I had a wonderful dinner, it was actually the first time that Chris had eaten in 3 days because of his juice fast. I would imagine the dinner tasted even better to him than me :).

We were a little disappointed to find out that they did not have our favorite dessert, Tiramisu. The meal was really good and it is always fun to get dressed up!!! We got to enjoy Madison's delicious cake after we got home. Spencer not only remembered my birthday but sent me two text messages saying "Happy Birthday". My mom and dad sent me a subscription to Cuisine magazine. I am looking forward to my first issue!!! Thanks mom and dad, I wish you were here to taste test all of the recipes.

Thank you guys for making my day so special. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful family. I love you all so much!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Sweet Daughter

I think maybe he got into the sugar!!!!
While I took Jordan to track practice Madison made me a birthday cake. She watched Madden and Miller for a little bit because I had to leave before their parents got here. It looks like they had a really good time!!! Thank you Madison your are the best!!!!

Pizza on the Grill

We used our new grill to make pizza today. It was really good and fast! Everybody made their own. Miller ate 5 pieces and Madden ate 3. I don't know where the put it. Miller had a shirt on the other day that had a picture of a pizza slice on it and it said "My food pyramid" PIZZA, PIZZA, PIZZZA. That is so true, I think that boy could live on pizza.


Jordan wanted to know if I could make flan. He learned about it in Spanish class. I told him I would get the stuff and he could make it. He did a great job! It tasted great and looked really good too!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Creamy Asparagus Pasta | Eating Well

This is one of my favorite quick dinners. This time I added fresh basil and proscuitto. I cut the proscuitto up and cooked it in a skillet until it was crisp.

Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes Recipe -

I had been dying to make this recipe and finally did. The picture is from before they were frosted. I was so apprehensive to try angel food cake from scratch until I read the ingredients in the mix. Did you know that it actaully contains sodium lauryl sulfate? You are not even supposed to use shampoo that contains this ingredients so why are they allowed to put it in cake mixes?? Anyway the cake tasted great and it was suprisingly easy. I will most definately make it again, as soon as Chris is off his juice fast that is..............

I think baby Madden was just a bit tired this morning. He did not even make it all the way through his snack.

We just go a new juicer and no it is not because of the new Jamie Oliver show, but I will have to say that was pretty inspiring. Chris actually decided he wanted to go on a three day juice fast. We have read about the many benefits there are to doing a fast. I decided that instead of a three day fast I would just replace my lunch with some healthy juice. Well I did that today and I discovered something very profound. I like food!!! I am also not a very nice person when I am hungry!!! I made it until about 3:00, my head was pounding so I decided I would have just a small bite of peanut butter. That lead to a few small bites of chicken salad and then to finish it off an entire granola bar! I am at this point, looking very forward to our pasta dinner. My strong husband on the other hand has still not had anything but juice since last night at about 6:00. I don't know how he is doing but I am very proud of him for having such amazing willpower(I am praying for you baby and I am with you in spirit) Seriously the juicer is pretty awesome though. The vegetables that you see in the picture I turned in to juice for Jordan which he then drank. All of it!!! I have such great kids, they are not afraid to try new things.

Our Weekend

We had a great weekend! The weather was really beautiful on Saturday, not quite as nice as Sunday but not too bad. Chris and I went to see Bounty Hunter Friday night. The kids had an event at church that lasted until 11:30 so we had our date night a day early :) The movie was really funny but not as funny as we had expected. Sometimes it seems like they show all of the funny parts in the previews so you kind of already know what to expect. We did go to Starbucks too which we do not do very often anymore. That was quite a treat! They have a dark cherry mocha drink that is really good but probably not very good for you.

Jordan volunteered at church for the early service on Sunday. He has graduated from moving the drums back and forth to going out on stage and putting the microphone where it goes. He gets to hang out with the band members back stage which is pretty cool. Madison and I volunteered to watch the little babies. We had alot of fun, it is really nice when you get to hold the babies for an hour and then give them back to their parents. We also went and got some plants for our garden. We got several tomato plants, zucchini, cucumber and then a bunch of different herbs. We figured we better start small since this is our first attempt at a garden. I can not wait for the fresh herbs!! I am looking forward to the basil, I think everything is better with basil. That is my theory anyway :)

Last night we watched the new show from Jamie Oliver "Food Revolution". That was a really good show. We are hooked now, I can't wait until Friday when they air it again. Jamie Oliver is one of our favorite chefs. The show is about him coming to America to clean up the food in our schools. It was absolutely disgusting the things that are being fed to the kids in public schools. It is amazing what the government considers a healthy, balanced meal. They were feeding the kids pizza, cinnamon grahams, fruit cup and strawberry milk for breakfast! What part of that is healthy? The fruit cup? Well that is probably loaded with high fructose corn syrup and very little fruit. They said that this is the first generation that the kids will die at a younger age then their parents, 10- 15 years younger. That should be a wake up call to any parents that don't feel nutrition is important. I am so glad that ABC is actually airing a quality program for a change. It was also really cool because they showed Jamie Oliver talking to a pastor and he was explaining that God calls us to take care of our bodies and that America is destroying everyone with the crap that they put in their food. The next time it comes on is Friday at 8/7 central on ABC.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Healthy Grilled Chocolate Pizza with Apricot Preserves and Bananas Recipe - Surprises - Essential Cooking Light Grilling Recipes - Photos -

We just made this after lunch with our leftover pizza dough from yesterday. I used orange marmalade instead of the apricot preserves. It was my first attempt at at grilling pizza dough and I could not believe how fast and easy it was. I also added toasted sliced almonds. I think some toasted coconut would be really good too.

Healthy Grilled Chocolate Pizza with Apricot Preserves and Bananas Recipe - Surprises - Essential Cooking Light Grilling Recipes - Photos -

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pizza Day!!!

The little boy that I babysit "Miller" is always asking "is it Pizza day?" I try to make pizza one day a week for lunch. It is Millers favorite day,he will usually eat 4 or 5 pieces at one time. This was the best that we have had in awhile. I used the Jamie Oliver recipe for the dough instead of using the quick Eating Well recipe that I normally do. It was worth the extra time and the fresh basil and mozzarella were so flavorful and good! Maybe we should do pizza day more often!!!

Herb Garden

I saw this herb garden at Fresh Market yesterday. I told Chris about it last night and guess what he came home with at lunch time? I have such a wonderful husband!!! I love you more than you will ever know.

Broccoli, Cannellini Bean & Cheddar Soup

I made this soup last night and it was really good. It was much lower in fat than the usual broccoli cheddar soup. I will definitely make it again.

Broccoli, Cannellini Bean & Cheddar Soup

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Elevation Church - Elevation Easter Experience

This Easter Elevation Church is going to "egg the city" this is not only going to be a chance to see an amazing Easter Service at the Time Warner Cable Arena but also a wonderful way to give back to the community. Check it out at:

Elevation Church - Elevation Easter Experience

Monday, March 15, 2010

Psalm 57

Church was awesome yesterday ! I always find myself leaving Elevation feeling like God told me exactly what I needed to hear at that time. We are so blessed to go to a church that not only teaches from the bible but makes everything relative to modern day life. The message yesterday focused on Psalm 57. There are times in our life when we may be surrounded by people who gossip about us or criticize us. Rather than answering in hateful words we can do like David did in Psalm 57 and talk to God about it. Chris and I experienced this in a big way last Summer. There have been so many times over the last few months that I have felt like "helping God out" and telling the people that hurt our family exactly how I feel about them. But when I really think about it I now that the best thing to do is just be quiet and praise God realizing that our confidence is in his love and faithfulness. It is kind of like Pastor Steven said yesterday "God takes us on some strange routes that we may not understand but it is because he can see our destination and we can not". Who knows maybe those "strange routes" are to protect us from things that could have been even worse. In times of suffering we have to remember instead of turning inward to self pity or outward to revenge, turn upward to God.

I will be posting the message from yesterday later today.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC: APRIL 2010 : Celebrate Your Marriage Conferences®

ASHEVILLE, NC: APRIL 2010 : Celebrate Your Marriage Conferences®

Chris and I are going to this conference in April. We are really looking forward to it. Kevin Leman will be speaking and he is amazing. He came to our church in Branson to speak once and we had such a great time. We had another date night last night, two weeks in a row! Things have been so crazy since we moved from Hilton Head that we seemed to forget to make our time together a priority. It is amazing how just a couple hours a week can be so good for your relationship. We had planned on going to see a movie but then decided we would go to dinner and then "window shop". We went to Panda Express and then went to HH Gregg and looked at ideas for our dream kitchen. We had never been there before but they had some pretty cool things. I am already looking forward to next Saturday, we are going to see "Bounty Hunter". We have been waiting for that to open for months! I guess I have to cut this short we are getting ready to go to church :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

TwoLaugh on Vimeo

Ted Cunningham video on laughter in marriage. This was so funny and had such a great message.

TwoLaugh on Vimeo

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes with Amaretto Frosting

I made these for Valentines day but I did not have a blog at that time so I thought I would share it now. I am thinking that this will be one of the flavors that I offer at the Farmers Market.

Low Fat Chocolate Pudding

This was so good and you would never know it was low fat! I got the recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. I am pretty sure the whipped cream we put on the top is not low fat but we did add a few banana slices to balance it out! So it was almost like a serving of fruit :)
Rich and Creamy Chocolate Pudding
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
3 TBS cornstarch
1 tsp instant espresso powder
2 Cups fat-free milk
1 egg lightly beaten
1 TBS butter
1 tsp vanilla
1. In a medium saucepan combine sugars, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and espresso powder. Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly; reduce heat. Cook and stir for two minutes more. Remove from heat.
2. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into egg in a medium bowl. Add egg mixture to milk mixture in saucepan, stirring constantly. Return to heat. Reduce to medium low; cook and stir for two minutes more. Remove from heat, Stir in butter and vanilla.
3. Place saucepan in a very large bowl half filled with ice water. Stir constantly for 2 more minutes to cool. Transfer to serving glasses ( I used martini). Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours. Top with sliced banana and whipped cream if desired.

Chicken Sate with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce Recipe : Ellie Krieger : Food Network

We had this chicken for dinner and it was really good! The peanut sauce was delicious. I did have trouble with the kabobs cooking so I took them off the skewers. I think it may have had something to do with my griddle but they were still pretty tasty.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I just wanted to post this picture that I found from a few years ago. I was wondering where time went?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Turkey Meatballs with Quick And Spicy Tomato Sauce and Whole-Wheat Spaghetti Recipe : Ellie Krieger : Food Network

We just tried this new recipe tonight. I was a little hesitant to make it because of the turkey but it was actually really good. The meatballs were full of flavor. Madison said she was not going to eat them because they were made of turkey but she managed to eat five. I think the angel food cake with lemon curd and berries was a bit of an incentive for her though!


I just wanted to post this picture of Madison. I thought she looked so pretty and grown up!
I just had a reminder of how amazing God is. I have been praying for awhile now for Jordan to be able to participate in a running program. He has had a hard time since we moved and he is now being home schooled. He really missed running with a team but so far we have not been able to find a track or cross country team that is not part of the public school system. Anyway today I decided to use our one week free trial with Snap Fitness. This in itself a miracle because I do not like gyms, I don't know what it is but I have just never felt comfortable exercising in a public place. I know that God sometimes calls us to step out of our "comfort zone" and so when Jordan asked me for the 1ooth time to take him to the gym I decided I would bite the bullet and do it. We got there at 10:00 and there was a sign on the door that they would not be open today until 11:00 for family reasons. I initially thought that it was probably a sign that I do not belong at the gym but we took Chris his lunch and went back afterwards anyway. The lady that was filling in for the regular manager happened to have two daughters that run cross country and track and compete with the Charlotte Panthers Track Club. She gave me the number to coach and even offered to carpool with me! We had never even heard of the Charlotte Panthers track team but apparently they have some pretty fast runners and even compete nationally. I have already emailed the coach and Madison decided she would like to try it out too. This is a good reminder to me that God does answer prayers he just does it in his time not ours.

Mathew 7:7-8 Keep on asking and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks the door will be opened.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Most encouraging thing I read today

I thought this was great advice from our pastor. I really liked the date with your spouse idea! Chris and I had our first date night in what seemed like forever on Saturday. It was so nice to get away for just a little while.
Pastor Steven Furtick: "Thursday March 4th, 2010 – Permalink

If you're in a spiritual funk today you might want to.....

-Pray out loud.
-Write your prayer out.
-Read your Bible out loud. Start here.
-Apologize to someone. Even if it’s not primarily your fault.
-Talk to someone you trust. If you don’t have someone, hire a professional.
-Start eating better.
-Drive around listening to a sermon.
-Turn up some worship music really loud. Shut the door. Sing along.
-Go back and do the thing you know you were supposed to do.
-Get organized.
-Encourage somebody who would never expect it.
-Get back in church. Serve somewhere.
-Quit complaining.
-Go on a date with your wife.
-Tell somebody thank you.
-Give some money away.
-Call on the name of Jesus.
-Remember how far He’s brought you.
-Realize that He’ll never ever leave you.
Just a few ideas to get you started.
You can take it from here…"

Crunchy Granola Recipe : : Food Network

Crunchy Granola Recipe : : Food Network

Here is this delicious granola recipe that I made this morning. I thought it would be good with dried berries or maybe some dark chocolate. Of course what is not good with chocolate??? Thank goodness it is kind of healthy!
UPDATE: we had this for breakfast this morning and my picky breakfast eater (aka Madison) actually loved it. That is of course until I told her it was made with oatmeal!
This is my first blog! I thought it might be a fun way to stay in touch with family and of course share my favorite recipes. The weather is absolutely gorgeous here today. The sun is shining and it is probably about 70 degrees. I can not wait until Spring!!!! I feel like we have been cooped up in the house for what seems like decades.

I have been cooking all morning. I make my menu and go grocery shopping on Monday nights and on Tuesday morning I prep the food for the recipes that I am going to make later in the week. I was thinking a few weeks ago how much I miss being a personal chef so I decided to do the same thing only for my own family! Novel idea huh? I don't know why I didn't think of that earlier. It is much less tempting when you are busy to eat out if you know that you have a quick healthy meal in the fridge at home. I thought it would be nice to share my recipes and menus with anyone else that might like to do the same thing. I like to try different recipes every week so there will always be something new. I am including my granola recipe that I made this morning. It was really good and so easy! I was wondering why I ever paid $4 for a small box of granola that Chris and Jordan would eat in one sitting. I try to tell them that the serving size is 1/2 cup not a 1/2 of a bag but that never seems to work. So as for our menu tonight we will be having:

Buffalo Chicken Salad
Gingersnap Banana Frozen Yogurt ( I am of course looking the most forward to this!!)

UPDATE: The buffalo chicken salad was pretty good. I don't think it was spicy enough though. It really just tasted like blue cheese salad with chicken.