Monday, January 5, 2015

German Pancakes with Buttermilk Syrup

My Aunt Marilyn introduced me to this yummy breakfast this past summer while we were living at my parent's house. She gave me her recipe and then I researched a bit and found a second recipe. I meshed the two together and came up with this incredibly easy crazy yummy breakfast! I would say that it tastes a bit more like a custard than a pancake. The buttermilk syrup makes it even more sweet! Also, the syrup makes a lot. Just store it in your fridge and it will probably cover about 6 German pancakes!

German Pancakes with Buttermilk Syrup

6 eggs
1 cup of milk
1 cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Buttermilk syrup:
1 ½ cups sugar
¾ cup buttermilk (3/4 cup milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar)
½ cup butter
2 Tbsp corn syrup (I have left this out and it turned out fine)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
Powdered sugar

Combine the eggs, milk, flour, salt, sugar and vanilla in a blender and blend until combined. Pour melted butter into 9x13 glass baking pan. Pour pancake batter into prepared pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. While the pancake is baking make your syrup. Combine sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup and baking soda in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil for 7 minutes (should become a caramel color). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Dust pancake with powdered sugar. Serve immediately with the syrup.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Yummy Mistake

I decided to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies yesterday at the last minute. I usually keep all the ingredients I need for this recipe on hand at all times... not yesterday. After the kids "helped" me mix the sugars, butter, eggs and vanilla, I realized I didn't have enough all-purpose flour. Therefore, I improvised... 1 cup self-rising flour in place for 1 cup all-purpose. Ingenious! Best Soft Cake-Like Chocolate Chip Cookies ever! Click on the link to get the recipe!

Friday, January 18, 2013

New Year's Life Change

At the start of the New Year we all want to change something for the better. Do something that will improve your life or the lives around you for that year and the years to follow. For me that was making changes that would allow me to relax more and spend more time with my kids. But I can't just say, " I want to relax more and spend more time with my kids", I actually have to put some plans in place that would allow those things to happen. Peter has been complaining pretty much ever since he got back from his deployment that I never just sit and relax. I am always going, going, going! Which is true. But I feel like I can never get ahead. I always have stuff to do and I can't relax until my work is done. I began to realize that as a wife and stay at home mom this is just the way it will always be so I've got to learn to relax even when I still have things to do. I was also feeling guilty for having such along to-do list during the day that I was missing out on precious time with my kids that I would never get back! So I put a few rules in place to help me remember to relax and I made a few changes to my schedule that would allow me spend more time with my kid during the day.
Here are the rules:
1. No TV during the week for Peter & I - We can only watch our TV shows that we record on the weekend. We were just wasting time in the evenings watching TV and then staying up late. This made me not want to get up at 5:30 before my kids get up to do my Bible Study and exercise. She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms. Proverbs 31:17 I need that time to myself in the morning to be a better Mommy!

2. Stop working at 9:00pm - I would stay up late trying to finish my to-do list and then in turn not get up early the next morning.  She also rises while it is yet night...Proverbs 31:15   now I stop all work at 9 and can either go to bed or do something relaxing... craft projects, read, pin things on pinterest... but only until 10. 10 pm is bed time.

New Cleaning Schedule:
Monday- Dust every level of the house
Tuesday- Laundry: Collect and sort the laundry on Monday night. Tuesday morning I start a load of laundry and put a timer on my phone for when it will be done. As soon as it's done I move it to the dryer and start another load and start my timer again. This ensures that all the laundry gets done. No wasted time.... wasting time is my biggest pet peeve. I would rather waste money than waste time!
Wednesday- Vacuum & Mop every level of the house
Thursday- Clean Bathrooms
Friday- Clean Kitchen & Organize something... You know, like the freezer or a cabinet that is a mess or the mail or the office or a drawer or kids clothes or your closet... the list could go on forever. But that is why I choose to do one a week so that eventually my whole house will be organized... or that's what I tell myself at least.

I realized that on days I didn't have to prepare dinner in the evenings I was able to spend more time with my kids. So I needed to come up with a way to allow me to only prepare meals a couple of times a week. Hence, FREEZER MEALS! ... And provides food for her household. Proverbs 31:15

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New Christmas Traditions

I just love this time of the year... I love the smells, the tastes and the sights! I have been burning candles like crazy around here! I want my house to smell like Christmas. I have also been baking like crazy! (surprise, surprise) I want the tastes of Christmas in my home! And I have been decorating like crazy! I want my house to look like Christmas! I also wanted to start a few new traditions this year. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted those traditions to be. I wanted traditions that suited me and that put Christ at the center of Christmas. With those two things in mind, I came up with two new traditions.

The first tradition has to do with how we go about giving gifts to our children. Let's all be honest, our kids don't really NEED anything. And that is what I kept telling myself. But it's so hard not to buy them anything and even harder not to buy them everything! So where do we draw the line? I started thinking about why we give gifts at Christmas. We are celebrating Jesus's birth and the 3 wise-men brought Jesus 3 gifts (Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh). I researched the meaning of those gifts and this is what I found...
1. Gold - is the very symbol of riches and wealth. A gift for a King. 
So this gift is not a need. It is a want and something we might splurge on a bit.

2. Frankincense - used in the temple for prayer and was given as a representation of Christ's priesthood. So this gift is something that would encourage growth, preferably spiritual growth.

3. Myrrh - used to prepare Jesus's body for burial. It represents life and mortality. 
So this gift is something that meets the needs or wants of our physical body. 

This is what I plan on basing our kids gifts on every year. I think as they get older it will get harder. But I want to make it easier for my kids to see the connection between the 3 gifts the wise-men gave and their own Christmas gifts. I want them to be reminded constantly of the real meaning of Christmas. The real reason we celebrate! To celebrate the birth of our Savior!
The second tradition is more for fun and really enjoyable for me! We baked a different Christmas cookie every week leading up to Christmas! Of course the first week we had to do my Grandma's (now famous and well known) Sugar Cookies and let the kids decorate them! It got messy and sticky but it was so much fun! I'm pretty sure my kids almost entered a diabetic a coma by the time we were done. I had them drink lots of water after we finished. Week two we made Christmas M&M cookies. But to make it more fun and a bit of a teaching tool for Matias I had him separate the green and red M&M's. I split the batter in half and colored one with red food coloring and the other with green food coloring. We then put red M&M's in the green dough and green M&M's in the red dough! They turned out so cute and were so yummy! Week three we made Candy Cane Hershey's Kiss Cookies. Matias also got to help with this. He unwrapped the Candy Cane Hershey's Kisses and he helped me press them into the cookies when they came out of the oven. He did a great job! Now don't worry, we did not keep all of these cookies for ourselves. We kept about a dozen out for us from each batch, gave some to neighbors and then froze the rest. We will then take the frozen ones home to Illinois with us at Christmas to share with family!

Decorating Great Grandma's Sugar cookies!

What? I didn't eat any. I promise!
He is so happy in the kitchen!

Notice Matias shoveling in a mouth full in the back ground. 

Red dough with green M&M's and white chocolate chips.

Sorting the M&M's (otherwise known as "Yummy yums") This took
a really long time! He gets distracted easily. But he finished sorting them for me!
I was so proud of him!
Green dough with red M&M's and white chocolate chips.

Helping Mommy place the kisses. The pan was hot but he did a great job
of not burning himself!

I had to let go of my perfectionist tendencies and be ok with having off
centered kisses! He actually did a pretty good job!

He was having so much fun! And yes, he is still in his pajamas.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies... and oh, Thanksgiving too!

So for those of you who know me, you know I love to bake. The perfect day for me is to spend 75% of my day in the kitchen. (Preferably without kids, but occasionally with kids) I just love cooking and baking! But this time of year I am always in the mood to bake. There is just something about it being cold and dreary outside that makes me what to whip up a batch of cookies! So I always keep the basic cookie ingredients on hand at my house... no, that does not mean I keep packages of pre-made pillsbury dough boy cookies in my fridge! I keep butter, crisco, sugar, brown sugar, chocolate chips and anything else I might need to whip up a batch of cookies at the last minute. And always butter, not margarine! I am always looking to try new cookie recipes so when we decided to go to the mountains of North Carolina for Thanksgiving to meet up with Peter's family, I decided I was going to make a few new cookies recipes! I wanted to make sure we would have plenty of sugary goodness to snack on the whole time we were there so I made... Pumpkin Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Sandwich cookie, Berry Shortbread cookies and my personal favorite, Sugar Cookies with Powdered Sugar Glaze!

I took 2 dozen of each kind! So a total of 10 dozen!
Peter's Dad, Brother and his family and us!

Peter's Brother and Sister-in-law with their cute girls, Annie Rice (2) and Maggie Ruth (6 weeks).

Attempting for Christmas card pics! So hard to get good pics with our boys!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Easy Breakfast Sandwich

Pretty much every morning Peter asks me, "what's for breakfast?" To which I respond, "waffles, cereal, oatmeal, pop tarts, etc." He then looks at me with disappointment. See Peter is not a  big fan of breakfast food. And if he is going to eat breakfast food then he wants eggs, bacon, sausage or something hearty like that. The problem is that Peter is not a morning person. So he is not going to get up early just to make himself a breakfast like that and God knows, now that we have kids, I am not getting up early to make him a breakfast like that! (I made the mistake of doing this before we had kids) So today I created a solution to this problem! I made bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches  (12 of them) and froze them! Just click on the link above to see how to make this easy breakfast!


So I have been completely absent from my blog since February! I considered dropping it and not even doing it anymore but then I realized throughout my daily life I think in terms of blogging... for example, while cooking I will be thinking about how I would explain this recipe step by step and explain the story behind it, like why I'm making it. So I figured if I think like that I should probably continue blogging. Maybe not every week, but a few times a month. Let me give a quick explanation as to why I have been completely absent for so long. My last post was posted a few weeks before Peter left on a 6 month deployment to Afghanistan. During the first 3 months the kids and I were sick on and off (more on than off. One week healthy, two weeks sick type of stuff.) During the entire 6 months we were also traveling back and forth to Illinois to be with my parents. We were in Illinois for 2 months and then back in Virginia for 6 weeks and then back to Illinois for 6 weeks... so lots of traveling. Lots of adjustments for the kids. Lots of sleeplessness! Busy, to say the least! Blogging never crossed my mind! Plus, for the safety of me and my kids, I didn't want to be telling everyone that my house was empty (while we were in Illinois) and I didn't want to be telling everyone that I was home by myself with the kids (when we were back in Virginia). You know, OPSEC (for civilians: Operational Security). Thankfully, Peter returned back home from his deployment at the beginning of September! Praise the Lord for answered prayers! After his return we spent a few weeks adjusting back to life. At the end of September we drove to Illinois to drop off the kids at my parent's house so that Peter and I could go on a Caribbean cruise for a week! It was so great to be able to spend some time reconnecting, just the two of us! But now we are working on getting back into the swing of things around here and as you all know with the holiday season approaching our life still will not be "normal" for a while. That pretty much sums it up! That's what I have been doing for the past 8 months. Deployments stink and are never enjoyable. But God took care of us through it all and we are all enjoying being back together again! Hopefully I will be sharing some of our experiences as a family with you in the future... and some recipes as well!

Easter... When the first sickness came on.
We had to celebrate Easter a day late because Matias and I were throwing up for the 2 days  previous.

Matias turned 2 years old on April 25th! We had his party at my parent's house. It was a bubble themed party!
Making homemade ice cream!

Visiting the St. Louis Zoo!

Vacation Bible Schoo



Back together again!

Formal night on our Caribbean cruise!

Gorgeous St. Kitts!

Beautiful waters!

Back with the kiddos!

Fishing with Daddy at Grandpa & Grandma's house!