Friday, June 29, 2012

Heavy Cream Biscuits

When I first married into the Baker family, I was determined to make biscuits like my mother-in-law. Her biscuits were the best biscuits I had ever tried. However, every time I made the biscuits, they tasted like baking powder. I almost gave up until I finally realized that the reason they were tasting so metallic-like is because I was using a cheap brand of baking powder that contained aluminum. Don't make the same mistake I did over and over again, and buy aluminum-free baking powder!

Follow this recipe for easy-to-make and fabulous biscuits!


HEAVY CREAM BISCUITS
Yields 6 biscuits

Ingredients:
♦ 2 cups flour
♦ 3 1/2 teaspoons of ALUMINUM-FREE baking powder
♦ 1/2 teaspoon salt
♦ 1 tablespoon of Sugar (optional for a sweeter biscuit)
♦ Heavy Cream

Directions:
Preheat oven 450 degrees.

Mix together all ingredients except for heavy cream in a large bowl. Add heavy cream and gently stir with a fork until the mixture can form a dough ball. Roll out dough on a floured surface, 3/4 inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out biscuits.



Bake biscuits on top rack in oven for 10-15 minutes until tops are golden brown.


When biscuits come out of oven, immediately spread butter over the tops. Enjoy.

Broken Bottles and Banana Muffins

Today, I accomplished much. I did my insanity workout, took a shower, plucked my eyebrows, went for walk with Chloe, mowed the lawn, cleaned the house, made lunch and supper, and even had time to make Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins and oh so moist Heavy Cream Biscuits....Yum.

The only mishap of the day was Chloe broke one of her glass bottles. Glass bottles are great, and a healthy bottle choice for babies. The downside of glass bottles is when you have a tile floor, and a baby like Chloe who likes to smash her BaBa around, cuz lo and behold the bottles will break... I'm just glad Chloe didn't cut herself when it broke. No more bottles while Chloe is on the tile floor. 


Anyway...onto the Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins...The sweet aroma of these amazing muffins filled my house all afternoon. They came out so most, and the melted chocolate chips drizzled so perfectly when I cut into them. I could have eaten the whole dozen, but I persevered and just had one.


CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA MUFFINS
Yields 12 muffins. 100 Calories per muffin. 

 
Ingredients: 
♦ 1/2 cup of sugar
♦ 1/4 cup of butter, softened
♦ 1 egg
♦ 2-3 bananas, mashed
♦ 1/4 cup of Heavy Cream
♦ 1/2 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract
♦ 1 1/4 cups flour
♦ 1/2 tsp baking soda
♦ 1/2 tsp salt
♦ 1/4 cup of Chocolate Chips


Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or place liners in a muffin pan.

Blend butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, heavy cream, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients except for chocolate chips. Then add chocolate chips. Pour into muffin pan.


Bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.

Enjoy the savory deliciousness of your muffin.




Thursday, June 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, Kevin!

Today is my little brother's 19th birthday. NINETEEN! I can't believe it! Time goes by so incredibly fast it is scary. That is why I am trying so hard to soak in every moment I have with my little baby girl. She isn't going to be a baby for too much longer...

Anyway, Happy Birthday Kevin!  Age 19 can be tough because its an age of trying to figure out what to do in life, but be encouraged because I know God has great plans for you. Looking forward to partying with you and the family this Sunday.

Kevin and Chloe:






Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Shmorgishborg Shepherd's Pie

Tonight for supper, I thought I would grab leftover food I had in my fridge and put it all together as a casserole. It turned out pretty good! I decided to call it....

SHMORGISHBORG SHEPHERD'S PIE
2 servings, 350 Calories per serving


Ingredients:
1/2 lb. of cooked ground turkey (seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder)
♦ 1/2 cup of red kidney beans
♦ 1/4 cup of feta cheese
♦ 1 cup of chopped steamed broccoli
♦ 1 baked Sweet potato, Mashed.

Directions:
Layer the ingredients in that order. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.



Flicker Amongst Darkness

Last night, I was peacefully watching a show on Hulu, cuddled on the floor with lots of blankets and pillows. All of sudden, the electricity shut off in my house and blackness surrounded me. I could see nothing. I tried to feel around everywhere for my phone. I knew it had been right beside me. Where in the world could it have gone?? Horrible scenarios for the electricity going out flooded my mind. An EMP had gone off. Someone had broken in and was going to murder Chloe and I. Scenario after scenario...Then I just sat there and actually started to cry. What kind of mom cries when the electricity goes out? I just wished Max was with me instead of being away working. Pitch black darkness would have been no big deal if Max had been by my side.

I finally pushed aside those ridiculous thoughts, and instead thought about where I could find light. The lighter. In the kitchen. I stumbled through the darkness and made my way to the drawer where the lighter was. There was barely enough lighter fluid left, but thankfully there was enough to get a little flame going. I found a vanilla cookie candle, lit it, burnt my hand in the process, and was thrilled that the candle lit up the whole downstairs, enough to see everything.

I went to bed with my vanilla cookie candle and decided to read a book by candlelight. I picked up, "The Ministry of Motherhood" by Sally Clarkson, which I had been dying to start reading anyway. The first sentence I read was the following:

"The small flame of the vanilla candle flickered wildly as air from the opening door fanned the flame..."

With my candle flickering by my side, I immediately knew that God had a plan for me to read this book tonight. The electricity going out ended up being a blessing in disguise.

I read about 20 pages of the book and went to bed so peacefully, and was also encouraged to start being a mom who seeks to discover the ministry of motherhood. I look forward to reading more of this book!

Oh... and the electricity came back on a few hours later. =)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sore Body & Ground Turkey Burger

After doing Insanity last night, my whole body felt like a noodle today. Regardless, as soon as I put Chloe down for her morning nap, I went right at it again while I had some energy (I'm a big fan of getting exercising over with in the morning).

The exercises you do in this program are super intense, and I had to take way more rest breaks than I thought I was going to. I've gotten way out of shape since being pregnant and having a baby! It will be good to have some strength back in my muscles.

Anyway, lunch time came around and after exercising I was pretty hungry. I made a ground turkey burger for the first time and it really hit the spot.


Do you know there are ZERO calories in those sliced dill pickles? I found that slightly bizarre, but thrilled nonetheless. Mustard has ZERO calories too =).


GROUND TURKEY BURGER
300 Calories in the whole Burger.

Ingredients:
♦ 1 Whole wheat English Muffin
♦ 1 Ground Turkey Meat Patty
♦ Tomatoes
♦ Pickles
♦ Lettuce
♦ Mustard
♦ Garlic Powder
♦ Salt 
♦ Pepper

Directions:
Melt a little bit of butter in a frying pan to avoid your burger from sticking. Slap those ground turkey patties in the pan and season patty with your favorite spices (I used salt, pepper, and garlic powder). Fry up the patty on both sides until inner juices run clear (I used a knife to test this). Toast english muffin and load up the burger with all your favorite veggies! For a condiment I used mustard for caloric reasons.



Monday, June 25, 2012

Insanity

My heart raced as I walked over to the mailbox today. I slowly pulled open the mailbox door. Amongst the junk mail and bills, there lay the package. "Oh No," I thought to myself, "it's arrived." I ran inside and ripped open the package. "Oh No, " I repeated (this time out loud to Chloe), "its arrived." Chloe looked at me and laughed. I held in my hands....INSANITY.

























If you don't know what insanity is, it is an intense 60-day workout program that supposedly transforms your body if you stick with it and give it your all. I'm already fearful of failure, but I'm determined to stick it out for the 60 days! Hopefully I won't kill myself in the process...

It comes with a nutrition guide, which I'm going to take a look at and use as a guideline. For the past two weeks, I've already been following a 1500-calorie-a-day diet of wholesome foods (which is the calculated amount I need). I'll figure out if I need to adjust that number as I read a little bit more. But just for the record, I've lost 8 pounds in just the past two weeks of changing my diet... so that's good! We'll see where insanity takes me from here. This mama is determined to get her body back in shape for dada ;).

Here's a video that gives more information about the program:

 

 It is almost 9pm but I'm going to start the first Insanity workout. Pray for me...haha!

Midnight Madness

Just one of the many reasons why mothers are so tired during the day is because sometimes they secretly get up in the middle of the night to get stuff done. Why not? Sleep is like a nighttime nanny, taking care of your child (and husband...haha) all night long. Sometimes moms just need to take advantage of that!

Its 2am, and I just cleaned the whole house (even risked vacuuming, but Chloe slept through it). Having a clean, organized house gives me a deep sense of relief and contentment. I may be slightly OCD. If the house is a mess, or if anything is even slightly out of place, my insides begin to churn and my brain becomes steamed up with how I need to do something about it. I'm working on trying to be a little more laid back in this area! I'm going to have to be if I want more than one child... which I most definitely do ♥

Anyway, the house is clean and I should go back to bed now, but blogging was calling my name!

This weekend went by so fast. Currently, Max has been working like crazy during the week, so I've mostly only been able to see him on weekends. I miss him so so much. I take advantage of every minute I can spend with him though and so weekends have been my "Max" time. However, this weekend I also went to my wonderful friend Anna's college graduation party!

 Here I am with Anna at the party! We are childhood friends and grew up on the same road together. Now I can't believe that I am married with a baby and she has graduated with her bachelors degree! Time FLIES by, and I'm trying to soak in every moment of every day.







So there was this cutest little three-year-old girl at the party named Ashley... I pretty much stalked her at the party and took more pictures of her than anyone else! Look how photogenic she is. I just can't get over her cuteness...





Ok... And just so Chloe doesn't get jealous, I'll post a picture of her cuteness, too. She pretty much just hung out with my mom the whole time and ate a ton of fruit. She is always a content baby with food in her mouth (definitely my genes...poor girl).


 A final note about the party, because I'm a food fanatic. I just want to comment on the chocolate fountain.

If you are having issues with getting your melted chocolate to be thin enough, and you want smooth, flowing chocolate, then never add dairy products to the melted chocolate. It seems like a logical solution because of "milk" chocolate. However, despite how logical it seems, dairy products will clump up the chocolate. That means no butter, milk, cream, half & half, etc. Simply add some shortening or vegetable oil and it will thin the chocolate right up! I learned this the hard way once and wasted a ton of chocolate chips, and if you bake, you'll know that chocolate chips seem to be rising in price by the minute!

That's my tip for the night =)... or morning should I say... yikes... its 3:30 now. I should get some shut-eye before Chloe wakes up. But Hey! Look what I have accomplished during the night. A clean house AND a post on my blog.

Good Night, World.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

For those of you who would greatly enjoy the strawberry rhubarb pie recipe (and oh, how you would love it), I am posting it here for all of you.


I don't have any pictures of the pie constructing process...sorry...still obviously new to blogging, but I will get better at this =)

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE
(Adapted from the Betty Crocker Cookbook)
8 Servings. 505 Calories per serving (oh goody.)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Crust (for a 9-inch pie):
♦ 2 2/3 cups Flour
♦ 1 cup Shortening
♦ 1 teaspoon Salt
♦ 10 (or so) tablespoons Cold Water

Mix together salt and flour. Cut in shortening with two butter knives, until shortening particles are almost unidentifiable. Sprinkle in the cold water, little by little, tossing mixture with a fork until all flour is moistened and can form into a ball. Cut ball in half. Roll out one half on a floured surface and place in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Roll out the other half and save it for the top.

Filling:
♦ 2 cups of Sugar
♦ 2/3 cups of Flour
♦ 1 teaspoon of grated Orange Peel (if desired)
♦ 3 cups of chopped Rhubarb (1/2 inch pieces)
♦ 3 cups of sliced Strawberries
♦ 1 Tablespoon Butter

Mix the Sugar, Flour, and Orange Peel together in large bowl. Add Rhubarb and Strawberries and stir until all sugar and flour has dissolved. Place mixture in the pie plate. Dab Butter on top of mixture.

Place top crust on the mixture and trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of plate. Seal by folding and rolling the top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim. Flute pie crust edge as desired. Make pretty designs on top of crust with excess pastry.

Don't drool on pie as you gaze at its beauty.

Cover edge of pie crust with strips of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking. Place pie on a cookie sheet that is covered in tin foil in case the pie bubbles over. Because it probably will. I learned the hard way and had a ton of burning juice on the bottom of my oven causing a vicious cloud of smoke to consume my downstairs.

Bake about 1 hour or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust.

Cool completely. Eat. and Eat. and Enjoy ♥







The Blog Begins

As a stay-at-home mommy and wife, my day is filled with running errands, cleaning, baking, cooking and chasing after my 9-month-old baby girl, Chloe. Like I say in my "About" page, I LOVE ♥ Love ♥ LOVE being a homemaker. It is my childhood dream come true. There are plenty of day-to-day challenges (sometimes I mentally go insane...haha) but I know there is no job that could possibly be more rewarding.

Now this mama is finally starting a blog! I think its going to be fun sharing the journey of our family on here. And as a plus, in case you didn't know, Blurb.com (and probably other sites) can turn your blogs into books. Amazing. Definitely what I want to do if I keep up with blogging.

For my first blog post, I don't have anything too exciting to say about the day. I'm thanking God so much for our central air though. For the past couple days, it has been in the high 90's. And despite the firey temperature outside, I was even able to bake a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and not suffer from heat stroke. 

I can't help but be slightly proud of the pie... it looks and smells so good. If I wasn't on a 1500-calorie-a-day diet then I would probably eat most of it! Seeing as how there is 500 calories in just one piece, I'm gonna have to pass. All the more for my hubby to enjoy, I suppose. The picture to the left is of Chloe watching me take pictures of the pie on our deck. She almost escaped, but I got her in time ;).

Here is a picture of the pie...yummmmm... if only my photography skills had enhanced its savory deliciousness. I'm hoping to advance in my food photography throughout this blog!