Sunday, July 25, 2010

Exciting News

My hubby, son, and I have exciting news to share. We are in the process of adopting a baby girl from Russia. You can read all about it at our new blog:
Please pray for us as we begin this exciting chapter in our lives. You can help support our adoption costs by purchasing coffee at
I don't think I could fully express how deeply I love this little girl whom I have never met. God has written His love in my heart for her already. How I long for the day when I can hold Emma in my arms, watch my hubby dance with our daughter, and laugh together as Jaythan plays with her.

Today, our new Pastor spoke on I Thessalonians 5. I particularly felt God speaking to me through verses 24-25:

"God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful. Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us."
This verse will be my encouragment when I worry about how we are going to afford the adoption fees, my hope when I long to hold her and grow tired of waiting, and my comfort-reminding me that our dear friends and family are praying for us.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chunky Peanut Butter Chippers

I have previously mentioned my love for Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks. They are wonderful and full of recipes created by people just like you and me. One of my favorite cookbooks of theirs is the "Old Fashioned Country Cookies", and in it I have found an amazing Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe-Chunky Peanut Butter Chippers. YUMMY! These are soft and delish and travel well so they would be great to take on a picnic.

Enjoy! You are prayed for my friends!

Philippians 1:6
"Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart."
Chunky Peanut Butter Chippers
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon water
1 cup chocolate chips
Beat sugars, margarine, and peanut butter. Add eggs, water, and vanilla, mixing well. Add dry ingredients, blend well. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes. Makes 6 dozen small cookies.

Homemade Parmesan Pizza Dough & Goat Cheese, Mushroom, & Chicken Deep Dish Pizza

A long, long time ago, when I was a preteen learning to cook, my Aunt Teri gave me the best Pizza Dough recipe ever. I still use it anytime I want to make homemade pizza. This week, I made the yummiest Goat Cheese, Mushroom, & Chicken pizza with the aforementioned pizza crust. My hubby declared it "gourmet" and "delicious".

I recently got a coupon for a free block of Chavrie Goat Cheese with Basil & Roasted Garlic, and it turned out to be the perfect ingredient to our pizza pie.
Have a wonderful weekend. You are prayed for my friends! God listens when we call to Him, always showing us His Unfailing Love.
Psalm 17: 6-7
"I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
Bend down and listen as I pray.
Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways."

Pamesan Deep Dish Pizza Dough
3 cups flour
1 1/3 cup warm water
1 pkg quick-rising yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugr
1 1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Mix yeast with warm water. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, parmesan cheese, and oil. Add water/yeast mixture and stir until blended. Turn your oven on at 300 degrees for 3-4 minutes. Then, turn your oven off. Open the oven door for a minute. Cover the bowl of pizza dough with a wet dish towel and place the bowl in the closed (and off) oven. Let the dough rise in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Take the dough out, sprinkle with flour, and "punch" dough down. Let rise 20-35 minutes more. Grease the pizza pan with cooking spray or olive oil. Spread the dough on the pan. Add toppings and bake for 10-12 minutes at 450 degrees.

Goat Cheese, Mushroom, & Chicken Pizza

1 recipe Pizza Crust
1 8 oz can Hunts Tomato Sauce with Roasted Garlic
2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
1 can Mushroom Pieces or about 1/2 cup fresh Mushrooms
1 5.3 oz Chavrie Basil & Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese (about 1/2 cup)
2 cups cooked and diced grilled chicken
Mozzarella Cheese (2 cups)

Place Pizza dough on a greased circular pizza pan, covering the bottom. Spoon the Tomato sauce over the dough. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning. Sprinkle Mushrooms over the sauce. Spoon the goat cheese over the pizza. Sprinkle the grilled chicken over the pizza. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Blueberry Pie and a Reminder...

Today's Blueberry Pie recipe is easy, fresh, and a perfect Summer BBQ dessert. You can use fresh or frozen blueberries. Be as creative as you like with the top crust. Use your cookie cutters to cut out shapes or weave a lattice top. You can even use store-bought crusts if you don't want to take the extra time to make the homemade crusts. If using the store-bought, I would recommend using the boxed Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts that you unroll. I have also included a recipe below for a yummy homemade crust.

If you have multiple berries on hand, then I suggest making my Triple Berry Pie instead:

Whichever Pie you choose to make, it is sure to be Delish! Enjoy!

Even better than a slice of pie, is the knowledge that you are dearly, unfathomably loved by your Heavenly Father. Here is a reminder of just how much He loves you...


Sometimes hearts get forgetful,

distracted by the busy and the hard.

So here's a little reminder...

You're loved--

high as the sky, deep as the ocean, wide as the world (Ps 103:11)

You're created--

made by God's hands, one-of-kind, soul-deep-beautiful (Gen 1:31)

You're thought of--

all day, every day, awake-asleep-and-in-between (Ps 139:18)

And there's lots more where that came from

because there's no end to the ways He loves you.

-Holley Gerth


Blueberry Pie
1 Double Crust Recipe (see below for ingredients and directions)
8 cups (about 4 pints) blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Place blueberries in a large bowl. With your hands, crush about 1/2 cup of berries, letting them fall into the bowl as you work. Add sugar, butter, cornstarch, flour, and lemon juice; stir to combine. Spoon mixture into chilled pie shell, mounding berries slightly in the center. Remove dough from refrigerator, and either cut out shapes or place entire crust over blueberry filling. Tuck edge of top dough between edge of bottom dough and rim of pan. Using your fingers, gently press both layers of dough along the edge to seal, and crimp as desired. You can also make a lattice topping if you prefer.

Using a paring knife, cut several vents in top of dough to allow steam to escape or cut shapes out of the crust before lying it on top. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and cream. Brush surface with egg wash, being careful not to let it pool. Freeze or refrigerate pie until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in lower third.

Place pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until crust begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking, rotating sheet halfway through, until crust is deep golden brown and juices are bubbling and have thickened, 40 to 50 minutes more. Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool completely. The pie is best eaten the day it is baked, but it can be kept at room temperature, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.


Pie Crust for Blueberry Pie:
Makes 1 double crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

1.In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar; pulse briefly. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add up to 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Do not overmix.

2.Divide dough in half, and turn out onto two large pieces of plastic wrap. Fold plastic over each portion of dough; press to shape into two 3/4-inch-thick disks. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days); dough can also be frozen up to 3 months (thaw before using).

3.On a floured piece of parchment paper, roll one disk of dough to a 14-inch round. Wrap dough around rolling pin; unroll over a 9-inch pie plate. Gently fit into bottom and sides of plate (do not stretch dough). Using kitchen shears, trim dough to a 1-inch overhang all around; refrigerate until ready to use. Reserve and refrigerate remaining disk of dough for top crust.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake (Kiddo Favorite for Summer Time)

During the Summer nothing satisfies quite like an Ice Cream Sandwich. It is the perfect treat on a hot day after your kiddos have played outside or spent the day at the pool. It is even a yummy gift for us Moms who just need a little "happy" in our day :).

This super-easy dessert has only four ingredients, and it is Kid-Friendly. Let your children help you put it together, and turn it into a learning experience. My three year old son helped me, and we both enjoyed licking the cool whip off our fingers and stealing a chocolate sprinkle or two :). We also had fun counting the ice cream sandwiches as we layed them in the pan. He especially loved drizzling the chocolate syrup and sprinkling the sprinkles.
You can make this a healthy treat by using the lowfat ice cream sandwiches, fat free cool whip, and low sugar chocolate syrup. But, if you choose to use the regular stuff, then that's okay too-all that swimming and running around outside will burn the extra calories off :).

Enjoy! You are prayed for daily my friends!

Psalm 16: 5-11 (The Message)

"My choice is you, God, first and only.
And now I find I'm your choice!
You set me up with a house and yard.
And then you made me your heir!

The wise counsel God gives when I'm awake
is confirmed by my sleeping heart.
Day and night I'll stick with God;
I've got a good thing going and I'm not letting go.

I'm happy from the inside out,
and from the outside in, I'm firmly formed.
You canceled my ticket to hell—
that's not my destination!

Now you've got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,
I'm on the right way."

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

12 ice cream sandwiches (I used the mini (100 calorie) ones)
1 1/2 cups Cool Whip (use any flavor -chocolate, french vanilla, or regular)
Wilton Cookies and Cream Sprinkles (you could use the colored sprinkles as well)
Hershey's Chocolate Syrup
Use a Glass or Metal 9x13 inch pan. Arrange 6 ice cream sandwiches on the bottom of the pan. Spread the sandwiches with 3/4 cup Cool Whip. Drizzle with Chocolate Syrup. Repeat Layers (6 sandwiches, 3/4 cup Cool Whip, Chocolate Drizzle). Scatter Sprinkles on top.
Freeze 6 hours or until firm. Cut into squares and enjoy!
Note: If you do not plan to use this right away, then you can cover it with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 1 week. Thaw 15 minutes before serving to make the slices easier to cut.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Red, White, and Blue Muffins-Happy Fourth Of July!

Happy Fourth of JULY! I am so thankful for the freedom we experience in our country and the freedom that I have found in Christ!

Galatians 5:1
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

2 Corinthians 3:17
"For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."

In honor of Independence Day, I made some Festive Red, White, and Blue Buttermilk Muffins with some Raspberries, Blackberries, and Blueberries that I had in my freezer. I used Patriotic Cupcake Liners and Flags to add to their festivity, and the end result was a super cute and super yummy muffin. If you don't have Raspberries on hand, feel free to use chopped strawberries.

If you are looking for other Fourth of July-Friendly Recipes be sure to check out my previous posts:

Triple Berry Bliss Pie:

Blueberry Cream Streusel Muffins (the BEST-MUFFIN-EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!):

Red, White, and Blue Buttermilk Muffins


1 cup frozen mixed berries, such as blueberries,
raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
Heaping ½ cup superfine sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
6 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
confectioners sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with 12muffin pan liners. Cut any large berries, such as strawberries, into small pieces. Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the superfine sugar. Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl, then beat in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the beaten liquid ingredients, and add the berries. Stir gently until just combined; do not overmix. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until well risen and firm to the touch. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.