Saturday, March 2, 2013

Favorite Pancake Recipe


I've never been happy with my pancakes until today. Usually, I am dissatisfied with the flavor and texture. However, today I found a new recipe that makes really fluffy, tasty pancakes. Max and I LOVED them! Hope you can try this pancake recipe and enjoy them, too!

FAVORITE PANCAKE RECIPE
Recipe from Coleen's Recipes
(Recipe Makes 4 Pancakes)

Ingredients:
3/4 Cups Milk
2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
1 Cup Flour
2 Tablespoons White Sugar
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Egg
2 Tablespoons Butter (Melted)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Directions:
Combine milk and vinegar together to create soured milk. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Don't worry! I promise your pancakes won't taste like vinegar or "sour" =)

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, mix the soured milk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla.

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together with whisk. IMPORTANT: Don't over stir it, just until most of the lumps are gone. The batter will be thick, and that is good!

Let the mixture sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. This will allow air bubbles to form and will help make your pancakes fluffy and thick.

Melt butter in a frying pan or griddle. If you want a more crispy, greasy outside to your pancake, use a lot of butter in the pan. Once butter is melted and sizzling, gently scoop out the batter with a 1/2 measuring cup, DON'T POUR batter or stir the batter at all once it has been sitting for 10 minutes. The less disturbed it is, fluffier and thicker your pancakes will be.



You can add whatever fruit you love the best. Max loves banana pancakes so I put bananas in ours, I also made a big blueberry one at the end. For sweeter blueberry pancakes you can mix the blueberries in a little bit of sugar first before adding them to the pancakes:


When pancakes start to bubble, it's time to flip them. When they are all cooked, butter them right after taking them off the pan/griddle. Enjoy!!!!


Thursday, January 31, 2013

I'm Pregnant!! And back from Savannah

First things First...I know its been a while since I've posted but my perfect excuse is because...

I'M PREGNANT!

...And the past couple months I've been mostly lying on the couch feeling dead tired with lots of nausea. I'm just finally starting to come out of it I think!

Right now I'm about 12 weeks prego with our little baby Baker #2. Here is the little darling at 9 1/2 weeks:


Doesn't he/she look like a little teddy bear? It was so amazing seeing our little baby moving around inside of me. I'm already so in love...

A couple days ago, we got back from a week's stay in Savannah, Georgia! Max, his Dad, and Josiah had to wash and restore 9 monuments for the City of Savannah, so Chloe and I had the pleasure of going with them, along with my mom and Josiah's family!

I've never been to a city quite like Savannah. The city is so beautiful and everyone is very friendly....even the thieves and beggars were polite (yes... Someone almost stole the company camera, but once caught by Max, he apologized about 10 times). Also the weather was perfect! Certainly a nice retreat from the harsh winter weather we are used to in January. The nice fresh air really helped with the pregnancy nausea.

Here's Chloe enjoying a park in Savannah:


Huge, gorgeous trees with draping Spanish Moss fill the City and hover over the streets creating mysterious and mythical tunnels.


In the second photo, I'm trying to help Chloe touch the moss:


 I have so many pictures from the trip! We got to explore the whole historic district in Savannah, we went to Tybee Island, and to Fort Pulaski. Jill and her 3 month old, Bailey, my mom, Chloe and I did lots of walking and exploring while the guys were at work. Here is just a bunch of photos from the trip:



Friday, December 7, 2012

Peaches N' Cream Coffee Cake


I made this delicious Peaches N' Cream Coffee Cake for mom's group this morning. Its sweet aroma filled my house, and I was almost drooling as I wrapped it up for the car ride. When I got to mom's group I made up my mind that I was going to be good today. No sweets. However, although I didn't eat one sweet at mom's group, on the car ride home, I kept glancing over at the leftover coffee cake on the passenger seat. I then began to debate with myself in my head:

"Should I try a little bit when I get home? Maybe if I just have a little bite...No! I can't give in! Actually... I've done great this whole week, I should treat myself and just enjoy a nice big piece! Arggg... I shouldn't have any...but what if it isn't really good and I put it on my blog? I sort of NEED to try it...."

Back and forth, I debated. I just couldn't make up my mind.

Until I got home.

I didn't think twice and just cut a good-sized piece with a glass of milk. And before I could debate with myself any longer I took a bite. SoooooOoOoO good. The soft peaches with the sweet vanilla icing melted in my mouth as I bit into the moist coffee cake. Yumm Yummm... I'm so glad I get to share this recipe with you now!


PEACHES N' CREAM COFFEE CAKE
Recipe Adapted from Tidy Mom

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
3/4 cups Butter (Softened)
2 Eggs, separated
1 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 tsp Salt
2 1/4 tsp Baking Powder

Peach Topping:
2 (14oz) cans of Sliced Peaches
1/3 cup of Peach Juice (drained from can)
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Corn starch
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Vanilla Icing:
1 Tablespoon Butter (Melted)
1 tsp Vanilla
3/4 cups Powdered Sugar
3-5 Tablespoons Heavy Cream

Directions:
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees and Grease a 9" springform pan. Place parchment paper on the bottom of the pan.

Prepare the Peach Topping. Drain the 2 cans of sliced peaches, reserving 1/3 cup of the juice. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the peach juice until smooth. In a small saucepan, combine the peaches, peach juice with cornstarch, sugar and cinnamon. Bring the peach mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Once at a boil, stir for one minute. Set aside to let cool.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut in the butter (mixture will be crumbly). Reserve and set aside 1 cup of this mixture for the crumb topping.

In a small bowl, Mix together the egg yolks with cream and add this to the flour mixture. Add salt and baking powder and mix until very smooth. Gently fold in the egg whites. Pour into the springform pan.

Place the peach topping evenly over the top of batter. Sprinkle with the reserved 1 cup of crumb mixture.

Bake for 55-65 minutes until lightly brown on top.

Once done, allow to cool for 5-10 minutes then remove from pan. While it is cooling, make your vanilla icing. Combine the melted butter with the powdered sugar until smooth (will be thick). Add Vanilla. Gradually add a tablespoon at a time of heavy cream until you have the desired consistency
(Able to drip and drizzle over cake).

Drizzle the coffee cake with vanilla icing. Slice and serve and enjoy!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you all have a relaxing day with family today, and that you remember the many blessings God has given you. It is so comforting to know that no matter what situation we are in or how much we have, there is always something to be thankful for.  Just knowing we have a God who loves us so unconditionally and who sent his only Son to die for us is the greatest blessing we could ever ask for!

I have such a long "Thankful" list, but this year I'm just so overwhelmingly thankful for my beautiful daughter. Sometimes being a mom makes me want to rip my hair out and go hide in the closet all day, but truly, Chloe Marie is God's most precious gift to me! I'm looking forward to spending the day with her and Max and the rest of our family today.

Later, I will be headed out to finish as much Christmas shopping as I can by grabbing some Black Friday deals. I don't know why, but I absolutely love the chaos and the crowds of Black Friday! My adrenaline spikes, my pulse races, and I almost feel as though I am shopping in an out-of-body experience as I run around grabbing fantastic deals. Shopping is so fun...and bargain shopping is even better!

I know it has been such a long time since I've posted... I've been a terrible blogger. However, I'm going to keep posting whenever I can and hopefully I'll become more diligent with daily posting.

Enjoy your Turkey =)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Apple Crisp Pie


I am always debating between whether or not to make apple crisp or apple pie. After dealing with this internal debate every Autumn, I finally came up with the idea to just combine the two! Apple Crisp Pie... It is my favorite apple pie by far, and I get to enjoy the best of both desserts combined into one tasty dish.

This pie is time consuming, but for me and my family every bite is worth the time! As you can see, I wasn't even able to take a picture of a complete pie because everyone wanted to devour it beforehand...so sorry for an incomplete pie photo!


APPLE CRISP PIE

Ingredients:
Crust:
♦ 2 1/2 cups Flour
♦ 1 Teaspoon Salt
♦ 1 Stick of Cold Butter, only slightly softened
♦ 1/2 cup Shortening
♦ 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of Cold Water

Filling:
♦ 8 Large Apples, peeled cored and sliced thinly (I use Cortland)
♦ 1/4 cup of Packed Brown Sugar
♦ 1/2 cup of White Sugar
♦ 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon
♦ 2 tablespoons of Cornstarch
♦ 1 tablespoon of Flour
 
Crisp Topping:
♦ 3/4 cups of instant Oats
♦ 3/4 cups Flour
♦ 3/4 cups Brown Sugar
♦ 6 tablespoons of Cold Butter, only slightly softened

Cream Cheese Frosting Drizzle (Optional):
♦ 4 oz Cream Cheese, Softened
♦ 1/2 stick of Butter, Softened
♦ 1 1/2 cups of Powdered Sugar
♦ 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Start by making the crust. In a medium bowl, mix together salt and flour. Cut in cold butter and shortening with two knives, until shortening and butter particles are almost unidentifiable. Sprinkle in the cold water, little by little, tossing mixture with a fork until all flour is moistened. Form mixture into a ball, cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator.

Combine all filling ingredients except for the apples until fully blended. Add mixture to the apple slices in a big bowl, mixing everything together until all the apple slices are covered. Set aside and let this apple mixture sit for a while.

Prepare the Crisp Topping. Stir together oats, flour, and brown sugar. Cut in the butter in the same way you did with the crust, leaving butter pieces no bigger than pea-size. Set aside.

Take out your crust dough from the fridge and divide the ball in two. Roll out one half of the dough on a floured surface and place gently in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate, letting the excess dough hang off the edge. Pour the apple filling on the bottom crust, arranging the apples evenly. Pour crisp topping on top of the apples.

Roll out the other half of the dough and cut it into long strips. Arrange and form the strips of crust to create a lattice over the crisp topping.  Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of plate. Seal by pressing the bottom crust with the lattices edges on rim of the pie plate. Flute pie crust edge as desired.

Place pie centered in the preheated oven. Also as a precaution I always put a few pieces of aluminum foil on the bottom of my oven to catch any juice that bubbles over from the pie. This will prevent the juice from burning and sticking to the bottom of your oven.

After 15 minutes, lower your oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 60 minutes, or until apples are soft. If your crust seems to be browning faster than the apples are cooking, place alluminum foil over the pie as it continues to bake.

While pie is baking, prepare your Cream Cheese Frosting by blending all the ingredients until frosting is creamy.

When Pie is done, let it cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Serve pie with cream cheese frosting drizzled over each slice by placing the frosting in a ziplock bag with one tiny corner off. Also serve pie with vanilla ice cream or whip cream! YUMMMMMMMMMMMMM!






Saturday, October 20, 2012

Baby Urges


A couple days ago, I had the pleasure of meeting little Bailey Kate (6 lbs 8 ounces, 20 inches long, born on 10/16/12). It seems like yesterday we were just having the baby shower for Jill! Now her beautiful baby girl has finally entered this world. I'm so excited to watch Bailey grow up with Chloe! Hopefully they will become good friends like Jill and I have become!

Bailey was so sweet and content the whole time I was there. I really enjoyed being able to hold a newborn again (as if the baby urges haven't been strong enough already for me!) Chloe is getting so big so fast... she is no longer a baby but a toddler. It won't be long now before we will be ready to give Chloe a little brother or sister!

Little Bailey:


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Outdoors after a Busy Week


Last week, I was really busy helping my amazing friend, Sarah, prepare for her wedding. Since I was one of her bridesmaids and Chloe was the flower girl, I had to run around and buy last minute items that we needed. Not to mention it took about 3 trips to the Mall and 2 trips to Target to finally find a classy outfit for Max to wear! I managed to get everything I needed in time for the wedding on Saturday though, and we all had such a wonderful time.

The wedding was beautiful and perfect! I was so nervous about how Chloe would behave as the flower girl, but she sat in that little wagon like a beaming princess as the ring bearer pulled her down the aisle. Then Chloe slept through the whole reception in a room out back which gave Max and I some time to just enjoy ourselves. Hopefully, I will have pictures of the wedding to post on here soon. Congratulations, Sarah and Tim!

In addition to preparing for the wedding, last Thursday, Max and I celebrated our 4th anniversary. I couldn't be happier that God put the two of us together, and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with that amazing man. I love you, Max!

This week, I'm trying to make up for lost time and catch up on the indoor and outdoor chores. Yesterday, I finally did some yard work while Chloe took a nap because winter is fast approaching! I weeded out all my gardens and raked the front lawn. When Chloe woke up, she was ecstatic to be involved in this process. She would love to spend every waking minute being outdoors!


Chloe especially enjoyed playing in the garden dirt:



Time to go work on the inside of the house today... Have a beautiful Wednesday!