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Showing posts from April, 2012

Some Spring Things

1.  My son turned two earlier this week and we had a family party last weekend.  These pretties brightened up our entry way and they're still looking gorgeous.  I love carnations.  The vase is a $10 Marshalls find--a Le Creuset pitcher.  I found this tablecloth there the same day--it's made of a wipeable indoor-outdoor fabric that I'm hoping will be both durable and easy to clean.  Discounted table coverings 120" long are hard to come by, so I snatched this up when I saw it.  I couldn't find this particular color online, but the aqua is also gorgeous.  I'm a big paisley fan.

 2.  Little boy's birthday cake?  Last year's Sugar Free Banana Cake is this site's most searched for recipe. But since my son's palate is now more widely developed, we went ahead and let the kid have some sugar this time around in the form of 3 layers of cream cheese frosting.  :) I followed the recipe for Best Ever Banana Cake (nearly 1000 positive reviews can't be w…

Oreo Brownie Cupcakes with Cookies & Cream Frosting

An astute reader might have noticed some mathematical carelessness in yesterday's how to make kefir post. I got back up out of bed at 11:36 last night to fix it after the realization of what I had done hit me like a cold dead fish. 

One line originally read, "Fill it about 8/10 of the way with milk (I think it's about 2 1/2 cups)."


That's not a properly reduced fraction, and 2 1/2 cups is not even close to 8/10 of a quart jar anyway. I was just estimating based on my typical usage, but I've now corrected and simplified it to say, "Fill it about 4/5 of the way with milk (when you add the grains, the jar should be full with a little headroom)". 

Well, since the last two posts have been about helping picky kids eat well and all the health benefits of kefir, I thought I'd be ironic and go for a heinously delicious dessert today. There's even a boxed mix involved, if you want! Let's go!

I put these "cupcakes" together o…

How To Make Kefir

What is kefir and why should I make it?

Thanks for asking! :) I started making kefir a few months ago without really knowing much about it.  My mother-in-law had used kefir to make some amazingly light and fluffy waffles while we were visiting them in 2010, and so I put kefir grains on my "to-aquire" list. says, "Kefir is a milk-based beverage that is made by fermenting milk (goat, cow, sheep) with kefir grains and is rich in both enzymes and beneficial bacteria. This beverage is made with the kefir culture, and this culture is more commonly referred to as a “grain.” Kefir “grains” are comprised of lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, and polysaccharides. The live bacteria and yeast found in kefir grains are friendly microorganisms that not only aid the digestive system but also help strengthen the intestines and resist the growth or harmful bacteria or …

Restoring Mealtime Peace: Helping Picky Kids Eat Well

When my husband and I met in college, I liked three vegetables (carrots, corn, and lettuce) and five fruits (bananas, apples, grapes, pears, watermelon), and had a deep-rooted affection for cereals loaded with marshmallows, fruit juices, and Little Debbie snack cakes.  Changing the way I think about food so that I now crave broccoli instead of these things has been a 7-year journey, and there are still things I'm working on liking.

With this as my story (and I've given you only the tip of the iceberg), you can see why I want to encourage my children to have a healthy relationship with food starting now. But there are some other reasons too.  I want my kids to learn to be gracious guests, to be able to cheerfully eat whatever is set in front of them.  I don't want food to be an obstacle should the Lord call them to missionary work in another culture.  I don't want them to be embarrassed in front of colleagues at a business lunch, picking things out of their orders and l…

Don't Look for Him Among the Graves

Don't look for Him among the graves
See? The stone is rolled away!
Dry your faces stained with tears
Christ is gone, He is not here!
On the cross He died and bled
but He has risen from the dead
The veil was torn, salvation won
through the death of God's own Son
But now is not the time to cry
for Him who once was crucified
Let those who love Him praise
He rebuilt the Temple in three days
And all He said to you is true
For He is making all things new
Don't come looking for the Lamb
where they laid the Son of Man
He's the Church's living Head
for He has risen, as He said!

He is risen, He is risen indeed! Happy Easter!

But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”�…

Apple Trees

They don't look like much right now.  But in a few years, Lord willing, these will be bearing some beautiful apples.  The top picture is a GoldRush tree, the bottom is a Sundance.  Both are modern disease-resistant varieties that cite Golden Delicious in their parentage.  If you were following the blog last year you might remember the deer were giving us problems in the garden beds...hence the fencing you see.  Deer LOVE apple trees. 

We just ate some of the first fruits from this year's garden last night--green onions in Chicken & Broccoli Stir-Fry.  They were so good!  While our gardens are mostly my husband's labor of love (I'm not much for dirt and bugs myself...), I do enjoy cooking and eating from them.  We just recently finished the last of last year's carrots, parsnips, and onions--our harvest got us through most of the winter! 

Can you believe how green the grass is?  We need to mow!  In April!  Pretty much unheard of for these parts.

I'm not c…