Beautiful Work

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands…. Psalm 90:17a

Peanut Butter Dip October 23, 2009

Filed under: Meal Planning,Recipes — Leah @ 8:00 pm

I totally should have posted this when we were talking about healthy snacks for our kiddos….but alas, I didn’t think if it until now.  :-)

This recipe came from a good friend of mine, she graciously sent it on after our kids devoured it at a swim party this summer.  It’s super easy, and I’m sure would taste just as good with cashew or almond butter substituted in for the peanut butter (if your child has allergies…).

Peanut Butter Dip

1/3 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter
2 TBS milk
2 TBS honey
1 TBS apple juice or water
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Serve with apples, bananas, peaches, grapes, or melons

Place peanut butter in small bowl;  gradually stir in milk and honey until blended.  Stir in apple juice and cinnamon until mixture is smooth.  Makes about 1/2 cup dip. (I spun mine in the mini-food processor.  It worked great!)


Tasty and easy to make in a flash September 24, 2009

Filed under: Meal Planning,Recipes — Kate @ 6:00 am

Bean Soup
This is a tasty recipe that is super easy to make and most of the ingredients you can just pull out of the pantry!
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can northern beans
2 cans kidney beans
1 16 oz jar salsa
1 lb sausage
Brown the sausage in a large stock pot and drain off the fat, then pour in the rest of your ingredients and heat.  DO NOT drain the beans, just pour the beans in with the juices … trust me, it’s tasty!  Serve with your favorite grated cheese and/or sour cream!


Fast EASY dinners September 21, 2009

Filed under: Meal Planning,Recipes — Andie @ 1:33 pm

I always laugh at Real Simple Magazine’s version of fast dinners. I think, “I haven’t heard of these ingredients, much less do I have them on hand!!” And so we brainstormed this topic to share some fast dinners on those nights where you just didn’t have a plan. Like most of our posts they aren’t meant to be ground breaking, just something to help if you are stuck in a rut.

Italian Quesadillas


mozzarella cheese

italian spices

spaghetti sauce for dipping

This is a twist on an old standard that I really like. Basically, you just make them like regular quesadillas, by putting the cheese and the spices inside two tortillas and cooking them on medium in a fry pan. I just use a tad of butter for the first one. The others usually don’t require any.

Breakfast for dinner Pancakes

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups milk

1/4 cup oil

1 3/4 cup flour

2 T sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Combine and cook! :) We top our pancakes with applesauce for a nice change that’s not as sweet as syrup.


Crispy Potato Quiche – Mmmmmm, quiche….. August 21, 2009

Filed under: Meal Planning,Recipes — Leah @ 6:00 am

This is a super recipe…especially if you aren’t a big quiche fan!  There is no soggy pie crust you are asked to palate for breakfast, but instead has a wonderfully yummy HASHBROWN crust…how simple, how brilliant.  :-)

Crispy Potato Quiche

1 – 24oz.  package shredded hashbrowns, thawed

1/4 cup melted butter

2 cups shredded cheese (originally it calls for half pepper jack/half swiss.  We like a half swiss/half colby (or cheddar) type combo)

1 cup diced ham OR 4 slices cooked & crumbled bacon

1/2 cup milk

3 eggs

1/4 t. seasoning salt

Press thawed hashbrowns between paper towels (or actual towels!) to remove the water from them.  (The drier they are the better).  Fit them into a well greased 10″ pie plate forming a solid crust.  Brush top edge with melted butter, covering top edge as well.  Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with meat and cheese.  Beat together milk, egg, and salt.  Pour over meat/cheese.  Bake 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when middle of pie is pierced.

Our favorite version is using bacon, adding green onion, and sometimes a few sliced tomatoes on top.



One Pot Pasta- perfect for the great outdoors! July 7, 2009

Filed under: Meal Planning,Recipes,Travel — Leah @ 6:00 am

Here’s a recipe that is perfect for camping:  it takes ONE POT, uses easily packed ingredients, and takes less than 20 minutes to make.

One Pot Pasta

(2)  16 oz cans diced tomatoes

(1) 10 3/4 oz can chicken broth

2 T. oil

1 1/4 t. italian seasoning (measure out at home and avoid packing measuring spoons!)

(1) 12 oz package spiral pasta

Optional:  (1) can  shredded chicken (you know…like tuna…but it’s chicken!)

Bring to a boil tomatoes, chicken broth, oil, and seasoning.  Add pasta and simmer 16-18 minutes (or according to package directions).  Stir in chicken, if desired.  Serve with some crusty bread and enjoy!


Writer’s cramp…the gift that keeps on giving! July 1, 2009

To back-up the effectiveness of the idea Gretchen shared in the last post: my favorite wedding gift (except the beautiful quilt my mom made us…duh.) was my Red Kitchen Aide Stand Mixer.  It was a gift given to me by a group of close to 20 friends who joined efforts to buy us (me!) something that I wanted most off our list.  It was such a wonderful surprise to open and I think of that group of friends every time I use it (no joke…!).  :-)

One of my other favorite gifts was a little metal recipe box that looked awfully unassuming on the outside…then I opened it and saw, literally, a hundred handwritten recipes, each with a Bible verse and a cute sticker on it.  Each recipe was a dish that was a tried and tested recipe from this seasoned mom’s kitchen.  As their family lived on an extremely tight budget, it was the only gift they gave us and we knew that this gift was truly a labor of love.  MANY of the recipes we received in this little garage find box are now part of our family’s menu.  Many are popular potluck dishes and many more are made with ingredients that are friendly to a tight food budget.

Any wedding/bridal shower I’ve attended since, my gift has always included several recipies I believe that the bride will love and appriciate.  I feel so lame when my hand starts cramping up at 10 recipies or so…and then I think of the amazing gift we were given and I write a few more.

IMG_3465 IMG_3466I’ve even been quoted as saying it was one of the “5 Things I’d Grab if the House was on Fire.”  :-)


Updating our Menu May 11, 2009

Filed under: Homemaking,Meal Planning,Recipes,Uncategorized — Gretchen @ 11:01 am

I really love seasonal cooking.  That is tailoring my menu to what is available and goes with the season.  For example in the fall I love to make soups.  In the spring and summer I like to simplify and use the abundance of veggies found in the farmer’s markets.  I like to make a lot of different salads, grill, stir fry, and sandwiches – anything that doesn’t involve turning the stove on and heating up the whole house :)  So this week is going to feature spring dishes and ideas!  Here is a yummy stir fry that uses fresh herbs and staples…
Spicy Sauteed Chickpeas, Beef & Cilantro
adapted from Dara’s Spicy Sauteed Chickpeas, Beef & Cilantro

1 pound lean ground beef
19 ounces canned chickpeas, drained with liquid reserved
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or chipolte pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 c. stock (beef, chicken or vegetable)
1 c. cilantro, finely chopped

In a large skillet brown the beef over high heat. Drain any excess fat then add the drained chickpeas and continue cooking over medium high heat until chickpeas are browned, about another 5 minutes.

Add cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, then add the reserved liquid from the chickpeas and the vegetable stock.

Cook uncovered over medium heat for about 15 minutes, until the pan is almost dry. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro. Adjust seasonings and serve over rice.

To make this recipe go a little further I added another can of chickpeas and a little more broth.