Monday, June 30, 2014

Christmas in July starting tomorrow!


This fun card is from my personal collection.  Love it!
Yes, over at my Christmas blog, Mrs. T's Christmas Kitchen, I am gearing up for Christmas in July!  I'm hoping to post often throughout the month, possibly even every day if I can find the time.  The past couple of years, I've tried to post daily, or nearly so, in the month of July.  (Click on Christmas in July in the label cloud on my Christmas blog,  or do a search in the search box at top left on that blog, to see previous Christmas in July posts.) 

This year's Christmas in July is going to be simple -- poems, a few recipes, a few crafts, a few links ... you get the idea.  Come on over to my Christmas Kitchen tomorrow and join the fun!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Coconut Cream Dessert


This photo is from AllRecipes.com and looks much like my dessert.
Last week I made this for the potluck lunch at church.  It went over very well.  I've made similar desserts before and they are always well received, but this one got a lot of compliments and one request for the recipe.  I adapted this so that the crust is wheat free.  Here's the recipe as I made it:

COCONUT CREAM DESSERT

FOR CRUST:
1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour*
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts (or less; nuts are optional)

Sift together first 3 ingredients.  Combine with butter and nuts (if using nuts); mix well.  Press evenly into a 13 x 9-inch pan.  Bake 15 minutes at 350ΒΊ.  Cool before proceeding with recipe.

* If you don’t have gluten-free all-purpose flour, you may substitute the following combination of flours: 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons potato starch (may substitute cornstarch), and 2 Tablespoons tapioca starch.

FOR LAYER 1:
8 ounces cream cheese or neufchatel cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup whipped topping (like Cool Whip®, from a 12-ounce container)

Beat together the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar.  Fold in the whipped topping.  Spread this mixture over the cooled crust.

FOR LAYER 2:
2 packages coconut cream instant pudding
3 cups cold milk

Beat together with electric beater for 2 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes or until pudding is soft-set.  Spread over cream cheese layer.

Spread remaining whipped topping over the pudding layer.  Sprinkle with toasted coconut if desired.

Refrigerate until serving time.  Makes 12 to 15 servings.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

December sampler progress


Some years ago my friend Ruth and I took a fun trip to alleviate cabin fever one wintry Saturday.  We visited a lovely needlework shop, ABC Stitch Therapy , which was then located in New Hampshire.  (Now, alas, they have moved their shop to Texas.  However, one can easily shop their huge inventory online.)

While there at the shop, I spotted a beautiful December sampler on one of the display walls.  I had to have that chart!  It was so pretty.  Last winter, I finally started it and have been picking away at it here and there.  It's far from finished -- many other projects, as well as responsibilities, take up my time -- but I thought I would post the progress.  I may post my progress each month -- and one of these days, maybe even by December, it will be finished!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Artichoke Rice Salad


Graphic made by me using a photo from

SchoolPhotoProject.com


A Totally FREE Stock Photos Site!
as the background.
A few weeks ago, I tried a new salad recipe for our potluck lunch at church.  It turned out to be delicious and a nice change from more ordinary salads.  Here's the link: Artichoke Rice Salad.  (Taste of Home does not have a photo for this recipe, which is why I made my own graphic.)

The only thing I changed was to use one of the Uncle Ben's Ready Rice packages in the chicken flavor, as I did not want to use the rice-vermicelli mix (I avoid wheat products), and then I used 4 cups of cooked regular rice rather than the 3 cups called for in the recipe.  I thought that the Ready Rice might not make as much rice as the rice-vermicelli mix, so that's why I used extra rice.  It turned out just fine.  I was also unsure as to how the curry powder and the marinade from the artichokes would work together flavor-wise, but again it turned out great.

Perhaps you would like to add a new salad to your summer repertoire!

(Edited to add: I discovered that the link to the recipe didn't work.  Amazing what a difference a little quotation mark makes!  It should work now.  Sorry about that!)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Busy, busy, busy!


This lovely graphic is by Little Birdie Blessings.
I can't believe it has been 2 weeks since I posted.  Life has become far too busy.  Since I don't have time for a long post, I'll just share a sort of list of what I've been up to.

* Working on my Sunday School study, Elizabeth George's The Heart of a Woman Who Prays.  We're starting chapter 12 in Sunday School tomorrow.

*  Trying to finish a couple of craft projects for belated birthday gifts.  Maybe this week!

*  Trying to spend time with my elderly dad every day.   My brother passed away last month and my dad is missing him terribly.

*  Working at decluttering my dad's home while spending time there.

*  Trying to find good homes for the things I'm decluttering.

*  Struggling to keep my head above water with my own responsibilities at  home.

* Doing the study You are Loved, from GoodMorningGirls.org.  This is an online study, but my daughter gave me the book for Mother's Day and we are both doing the study using the book.  It's refreshing and encouraging!

*  Keeping an eye on our little and rather sickly garden.  We planted a few things -- lettuce, basil, tomato plants and squash plants from friends.  And marigolds, which are the only things that are really doing well.

And there are other things ... many other things.  It's a busy season of life.  But God is able!  And His strength is made perfect in my weakness.  I can do all things through Him!

Sunday, June 01, 2014

June Goals


Time to set goals for a new month!  Here are my

JUNE GOALS:
* Read through the June portion of the One-Year Devotional Bible.
*  Read 4 chapters in The Power of a Godly Grandparent
* Continue to implement some of the ideas from the above book
* Work on summer Bible study from Good Morning Girls
* Finish re-reading Say Goodbye to Survival Mode
* Begin to implement some of the ideas and strategies from the above book
* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones.
* Add 4 pages to my "What Do I Know About My God?" Scripture notebook
* Keep up with my Sunday School study -- The Heart of a Woman Who Prays
* Exercise or walk at least 20 times.
* Get to bed by 9:45 pm each night.
* Limit sugar.
* Drink enough water each day.
* Keep up with Kelly's missions in homemaking zones of the week.
* Take an overnight getaway with my husband
* Post in both of my blogs as often as possible
* Reduce grocery bill by $5 per week consistently
* Spend several hours updating my A-store.
* Do research for setting up an Etsy shop (I've already joined Etsy)
* Make at least a dozen items for sale at craft fairs.
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family.
* Clean church and set up for potluck meal
* Make gift tags from last year's Christmas cards.
* Plan and complete several handcrafted gifts for August-September birthdays.
* Sort out and declutter my dad's attic

JUNE'S HEALTHY HABIT:  Limit sugar

WORD FOR 2014: BALANCE


And here is how May went:
MAY GOALS:
* Catch up with reading through the April-May portion of the One-Year Devotional Bible. -- DONE!
*  Read 4 chapters in The Power of a Godly Grandparent -- not done
* Continue to implement some of the ideas from the above book -- not done
* Finish re-reading Say Goodbye to Survival Mode -- not done
* Begin to implement some of the ideas and strategies from the above book -- not done
* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones.  -- DONE!
* Add 4 pages to my "What Do I Know About My God?" Scripture notebook -- -- DONE!
* Keep up with my Sunday School study -- The Heart of a Woman Who Prays -- -- DONE!
* Exercise or walk at least 20 times. -- managed 10 or 12 times
* Get to bed by 9:45 pm each night. -- not done consistently
* Limit sugar.  -- not done
* Drink enough water each day. -- not done consistently
* Keep up with Kelly's missions in homemaking zones of the week. -- not done consistently
* Take an overnight getaway with my husband -- not done
* Post in both of my blogs as often as possible -- not done
* Reduce grocery bill by $5 per week consistently -- not done
* Spend several hours updating my A-store. -- not done
* Do research for setting up an Etsy shop (I've already joined Etsy) -- not done
* Make at least a dozen items for sale at craft fairs. -- not done
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family.  -- DONE!
* Clean church and set up for potluck meal -- DONE!
* Make gift tags from last year's Christmas cards. -- not done
* Plan and complete several handcrafted gifts for August-September birthdays. -- not done

MAY'S HEALTHY HABIT:  Walking -- have done quite a bit, but could do more.

Obviously, I'm hoping for a much more productive month in June!