Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday!!! :)

York Peppermint Patty Fudge Cookies

HH wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty to help with these cookies for one of my students whose birthday is today!

Candy Cane Cheesecake

I made this for my friends at the bank, and a second one for the workers at the telephone authority.

Peanut Butter Nutella Pretzel Tart

How best to cope with a meeting from 4-6 after teaching all day?  This tart will do the trick!

Candy Cane Oreo Cheesecake Brownies

Wednesday Night Church Supper Dessert

Broccoli, Cheddar, and Bacon Chowder

This is some of THE most amazing soup I've had in a long time.  It beats anything I've bought in a restaurant hands down.  You MUST give it a try.

Snapshots of the End of November

I made this recipe for my friend Darla from church.
This is our friend's kid, Cameron.  We bought him a Gingerbread House Kit, and he was so excited.  When I gave it to him, his eyes got so big and he said, "Are you serious?"  He wanted to share the finished product with us. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Our "Thanksgiving" Meal

Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup
Mexican Corn Brunch Bread
Creamy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
Pumpkin Chocolate Trifle

Our Pictures:

How We Got to Have a Mexican Fiesta for Thanksgiving...

Make no mistake that HH and I walk to a beat of a different drum.  Last week I decided that I'd really like to do a "Mexican Fiesta" for Thanksgiving.  This marks our first Thanksgiving that WE are in charge of.  The holiday is too short for us to go visit our families, so we are blooming where we are planted.

I decided that I would have my class vote on whether we should have a "Mexican Fiesta" or a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  The kids got all into it.  I won by a narrow margin.  HH said that of course I won because I made his idea sound lame.

Here is a picture of HH writing the appeal email to my students:

Dear Friends,
I am delighted to learn that a second vote is going to be cast today, for the determination of what Mrs. F and I will be eating this Thursday.  I hope you will allow me to present a sales pitch for our having a traditional thanksgiving meal-or as I like to call it, a good old-fashioned thanksgiving turkeystravaganza.
First of all, let me explain what a meal like this involves.  We're talking turkey.  Light and dark meat.  We're talking about mashed potatoes.  With gravy.  We're talking pie.  Pumpkin.  Cherry. It doesn't really matter, so long as it's hot and sweet, and closed up in a thin flaky crust.  And most importantly, we're talking Stovetop stuffing.  Stovetop, people!  That jewel of North American side dishes, whose flavor is so utterly fantastic as to make my mouth water as I write these words.  The thanksgiving turkeystravaganza is more than a meal.  It is an experience.  It is a tradition.  It is the feast of kings!
I realize that a mexican fiesta sounds good.  I love mexican food.  I eat it whenever I get the chance.  But it is for this very reason that I don't want to eat it now.  Because this is a special occasion, it is only right that we eat foods that we are not normally used to eating.  And I never get the chance to eat turkey at any time of the year, except on Thanksgiving.  So please-I beg of you, don't take this away from me.  When the time has come, cast your vote for the thanksgiving turkeystravaganza.  And once you have done so, know that you have my undying gratitude.  
Ben F

I was able to convince my students to not be charmed by his words, and THE MEXICAN FIESTA WON!!!

Here is how we decorated for our three guests:

This one says, "Gather Together & Give Thanks"

Bake Sale

We had a two and a half day week for Thanksgiving.  We had a bake sale on Tuesday night for part I of Parent-Teacher Conferences.  

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

After a long day of conferences, I needed to make some good old comfort food....

Swiss Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Sausage

Found Faithful

Last Sunday I had a Women's Fellowship called, "Found Faithful."  Here are the things I made for it.

Creamy Pesto Dip

Mexican Corn Brunch Bread

Crockpot Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Blueberry Slab Pie

HH says the slab pie that combines all the best elements of pie...where you get a perfect balance of pie crust and filling.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Weekend to Remember

Our "Weekend to Remember"
I was so happy that HH and I were able to go to Family Life's Weekend to Remember Retreat in Sioux Falls this past weekend.  The retreat was Friday-Sunday, but we went down late Wednesday night and stayed until Monday morning. 
I love how they balanced humor with hard hitting truth.  One of the first things that the speaker said was, "How many of you had a fight on the way to the marriage conference?"  In an audience of 250 people there were many chuckles and ribbing of spouses.  I said to HH, "We are GOOD, we didn't have a fight until we got here!" 
The conference gave us a lot of things to think about, and we had homework assignments to tailor the messages to our needs.  I am so happy that we went.  Here are a few pictures I took (HH has more on his phone):

I walked away from the conference greatful at how "easy" my marriage has been.  I seriously do have one of the best guys out there.  I also walked away with a deeper burden for those who are really struggling in their marriages. 
I think I've convinced my brother and sister-in-law to attend the conference in Cincinnati in March.

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Happy 64th Birthday to my daddy!!!  I wish I could be there to share this day with him so much.  I did get to call him at lunch, and I mailed him cookies I made.
This has been a crazy busy week, but we are pushing through full force....determined to make it out the other side with smiles!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Potluck

Mexican Rollups

Snickers Salad

What I've Been Baking

Red Velvet Buttermilk Brownies
Potato Chip Cookies

Apple Cider Buttons

1 cup butter, softened
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon instant hot apple cider mix
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup turbinado (raw) sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add granulated sugar, apple cider mix, vanilla, and salt.  Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.  Beat in flour until combined.  Add milk and beat until dough just comes together.

2.  Shape dough into 3/4 inch balls.  Roll balls in turbinado sugar.  Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Using the bottom of a glass press balls to 1/4 inch thickness.  Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are light brown.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
Chunky Twix Cookies
HH thought these cookies were very professional, and something you would get at a top end bakery.  I am mailing a fresh batch of these to my dad on Monday for his birthday.
(I added an extra tablespoon of buffalo wing sauce.)
I am not a hot sauce person, but I loved these pretzels.