Monday, December 16, 2013

Foolproof Chocolate Fudge


This fudge is  a real crowd-pleaser. I make it every year at Christmas time. The title says it all. It always turns out perfectly, and it's gobbled up in no time!

I guarantee your family will beg for more. ;)

Ingredients:

3 cups (18 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
Dash of salt
½ to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional) - (I use walnuts)
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Line 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with foil extending foil over edges of pan.

Melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt in heavy saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in nuts and vanilla. (You don't want to over stir the mixture. Just stir until the chocolate, salt and vanilla are well blended). Spread evenly into prepared pan.

Chill 2 hours or until firm. Remove from pan by lifting edges of foil. Cut into squares.

MICROWAVE METHOD: Combine chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt in 1-quart glass measure. Cook on high (100% power) 3 minutes or until chips are melted, stirring after 1 ½ minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Proceed as above.

VARIATIONS:

CREAMY DARK CHOCOLATE FUDGE MELT: Melt 2 cups miniature marshmallows with chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Proceed as above.

MILK CHOCOLATE FUDGE: OMIT 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. Add 1 cup milk chocolate chips. Proceed as above.

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CHIP GLAZED FUDGE: Follow above recipe using ¾ cup peanut butter chips instead of nuts. For glaze, melt ½ cup peanut butter chips with ½ cup heavy cream. Stir until thick and smooth. Spread over chilled fudge.

Yield: About 2 pounds


Recipe: Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

Monday, December 9, 2013

Enchilada Casserole


I decided to try this recipe recently mostly because I had all but two of the ingredients on hand. And boy am I glad I did! I have to say it was amazing!

I chose to serve the lettuce and tomato on the side as a salad. I also didn't mince the cilantro. However, the cilantro really enhances the flavor of this already fabulous casserole. This recipe is definitely a keeper
I will be making it again very soon.

Ingredients:
One lb. ground beef (90% lean)
1 large onion (chopped)
2 cups salsa
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup Italian Salad Dressing
2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning
¼ teaspoon ground Cumin
6 flour tortillas (8-inches)
¾ cup sour cream
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Mexican Cheese blend
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro

Directions:
In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the salsa, beans, dressing, taco seasoning and cumin. Place 3 tortillas in an 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with half of the meat mixture. Then layer sour cream and cheese. Repeat layers.
Cover and bake @ 400* for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes; top with lettuce, tomato and cilantro.

Yields: 8 servings
Recipe: Taste of Home

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Crock Pot Chocolate Candy


This is the candy I love to gift at the holidays!

Ingredients:
2 pounds salted dry-roasted peanuts
4 ounces German sweet chocolate (about 4 squares)
One 12-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
2 1/2 pounds white almond bark

Directions:
Put the peanuts in the bottom of a 4-quart crock pot. Layer the chocolate over the peanuts, beginning with the sweet chocolate, followed by the chocolate chips and then the almond bark. Set the temperature on low, cover and cook for three hours. Do not stir the mixture. (No peeking)!

(This is what it looks like when it is all layered in the crock pot)


After three hours, stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth. Drop the candy into cupcake liners, using about two Tablespoons per liner.
Allow the candy to cool completely before removing the cupcake liners.

Yields: 30 to 40 pieces
Recipe: Food Network

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Eggnog Pound Cake


I make this pound cake every Christmas, and have for the last several years. It's always a favorite over the holidays, and I always get requests for it.

 Ingredients:
1 (16-ounce) package pound cake mix
1 1/4 cups eggnog
2 lg. eggs
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preparation:
1) Preheat oven to 350* Beat all ingredients together on low speed with an electric mixer until blended. Increase speed to medium, and beat 2 more minutes. Pour into a lightly greased 9x5-inch loaf pan.

2) Bake @ 350* for 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely, about 1 hour.


*As all ovens are different, this pound cake  may require a little more, or a little less cooking time. (I think mine bakes for roughly 55 minutes).

Yields - 12 servings
Recipe - Southern Living (Dec. 2009)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Easy-Peasy Homemade Chicken Pot Pie



This is so quick and easy to make. The quint-essential throw together dish.

Ingredients:

2 Ready-Made Pie Crusts

One 14.5 ounce can chicken broth

1 cup each of the following -

Chicken, cooked and diced
Peas
Carrots, diced
Celery, diced
Large potato, peeled and diced

Directions:

Place one of the ready-made pie crusts in pie plate. Pour chicken broth into a pan. (I use a skillet) Add a little cornstarch to thicken the broth. Next, add chicken and veggies. Stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste. When this is hot and bubbly, pour into pie dish.

Cover with remaining pie crust. Fold edge under and flute as desired. Using a knife, add four slits into the top crust.

Bake @ 425* for 25 minutes or longer until crust is golden brown.

What's so versatile about this dish is it can be made with leftover turkey too. A perfect dish after Thanksgiving.

Definitely a keeper! :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hand-Made Christmas Tags...


Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Self-Carved Pumpkin - A DIY Project


Hello friends! I hope your fall is going well. It feels like winter here in the Texas Panhandle! It's 31* right now. I have a fire going in the fireplace, and the heater is still kicking on rather frequently.

Recently my husband came across this fun project in his Popular Mechanics magazine, and we thought it would be fun to try!

Here's what you'll need:

A pumpkin
Fine Tip Marker
1/8-inch drill bit
 Peanut Butter
Painters Tape (optional)

To create your self-carving pumpkin, begin by drawing the face. We chose to outline the eyes, nose and mouth with painters tape. This made it easier to visualize the features and we thought it might help protect the areas we did not want the squirrels to eat away. Next, drill 1/8-inch holes around the areas of the eyes, nose and mouth (drill all the way into the flesh). You don't need to bother with scooping out the inside because the squirrels will take care of that for you.

 Spread peanut butter into the holes you drilled.


Now set it outside and let the squirrels eat it up. :)


Here's some other things I've done to celebrate fall. Photography, decorating & crafting.

 

 
A pumpkin I decorated with duct tape.

 A pumpkin I painted and decorated with stickers and a bow.


Fall Decorating in our formal living room.


Decorating our fireplace in the den for fall.


 Fall photography.


Remember these from the 80's?

 


It is one of my grown children's jack-o-lantern's from way back when, 
but I still enjoy displaying it every year.


Have a wonderful week-end!

(((hugs)))

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Baby Back Barbeque Ribs


Oh, I so wish you could experience the smell wafting thru my kitchen.

I made these and they were the best ribs by far. Bar none.

I took an existing recipe and tweaked it. Here it is -

Ingredients:

2 lbs. Pork Baby Back Ribs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Kraft Chipotle Barbeque Sauce (Combine water and sauce together)

Directions:

Line a 9x13 pan with heavy duty foil.

Mix dry ingredients together to form a rib rub. Coat both sides of ribs thoroughly. Place in 9x13 inch baking pan (fatty side up). Pour water and barbeque sauce mixture over ribs.
Add a splash of Bourbon in with the rib/sauce mixture.

Wrap loosely and bake at 450 degrees for one hour.

Remove from oven and separate ribs. Place ribs on baking sheet. Drizzle with juices.

Broil on LOW for five minutes.

Devour! :)

Recipe adapted from Kraft recipes

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Celebrating 91 Years!


Oh how I've missed you all. It's been almost a month since I've talked with you. So many things going on.

Today is my father's 91st birthday! Man of God, WWII Veteran, husband and father. He's pretty special in my book. I was up early this morning making his favorite chocolate candy...Chocolate Peanut Clusters.




Then we have a barbeque meal planned for later today. I will post pictures shortly! :)

Have a wonderful week-end friends!

Love & Hugs!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Reflections of a Proverbs 31 Woman


I read and re-read Proverbs 31 quite often. I prefer the way it is stated in the Amplified bible. However I do occasionally read it from The Message which has a more contemporary translation. There are 31 verses in Proverbs 31, and the last 22 verses speak to a woman’s character. I wanted to touch on the first three of these verses today.


What is she?
Proverbs 31:10 says “A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman – who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls.”

Who is she?
Proverbs 31:11 states “The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil.”

What does she do?
Finally, Proverbs 31:12 says “She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her.”


What is she? - To me, she is a helpmate to her husband. She is a great asset to him and of great value and worth in his eyes. Proverbs 18:22 says “He who finds a [true] wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” I feel that a wife should strive to be a compliment to her husband at all times and seek to avoid ever being a liability to him.

Who is she? – I feel that she is a woman of integrity. She is a positive reflection on her husband. Proverbs 12:4 tells us “A virtuous and worthy wife [earnest and strong in character] is a crowning joy to her husband, but she who makes him ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” We all fall short in the sight of God, but we should still strive to be virtuous. In doing that, we are doing something that is pleasing to God as well as our husbands.

What does she do? – I think she is organized and runs her household smoothly. Her husband has complete confidence in her ability as a wife and mother. She nurtures her family and makes her home a haven for all who enter it. Proverbs 19:14 says “House and riches are the inheritance from fathers, but a wise, understanding, prudent wife is from the Lord.” A husband and wife should work together as partners and not against each other as enemies. A wife that not only makes her home a joy for herself and her husband but also works at being a wise, understanding, and prudent wife is serving the Lord as well as being a good wife to her husband. This helps to create a strong marriage full of joy.


I will be the first to admit I have some serious self-doubt at times. Am I really being the best wife and mother I can be? Of course not, we all stumble. But we keep trying. I am so amazed that my husband is always confident in me, much more so than I am in myself. My husband recently bought this bracelet for me as a daily reminder since he knows how much Proverbs 31 means to me.


*These are some questions I have asked myself lately:

Do I spend time daily with God?
Do I try and keep strife out of our daily lives as much as possible?
Do I encourage my family? (Not nag) This is a biggie!


Thank you for letting me share my reflections on the Proverbs 31 woman with you. I welcome any comments or thoughts you may have or would like to share.

Until next time, may God bless you in your daily walk with Him.

All my love,
Anna

Friday, August 9, 2013

Luscious Locks - Naturally Cleanse Your Hair From Styling Product Build-Up


You know when your hair gets dull and icky from using a certain shampoo over and over, or just styling products in general? Well, I have a tip that will remove the build-up, and it's all natural!

Chances are you already have it in your kitchen. Just add 1 tablespoon baking soda to your shampoo. Be sure and work the shampoo/baking soda mixture into your hair. Rinse well and style as usual.


With my long hair, it doesn't take much to feel weighed down, so I do this about once a month or so. It will leave your hair so shiny.

Blessings!

Anna

Friday, August 2, 2013

Snapshots of a Girl Child...


Recently, I took pictures of my senior daughter. *tear* I still can't believe my youngest has grown up. She loves the Lord, and I know she will go far in life. May all her dreams come true!






May He grant you according to your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans. Psalm 20:4

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Simple Banana Bread...


This banana bread is so moist & delicious, it's the only recipe I use!

3 1/2 cups flour

1 13 cup sugar

2/3 cup oil

4 eggs

4 tsp. baking powder

2 cups mashed banana

Walnuts or pecans (if desired)

Mix all ingredients together, adding the nuts last

Divide bather into two greased loaf pans

Bake @ 350* for 55 minutes, or until browned and center of toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Let rest for 15 minutes, then remove from pans.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Kitchen Tip - Cleaning Your Microwave


Cleaning your microwave is oh so simple. In fact, I usually wipe mine down every time I use it to boil water. But I do periodically clean it with lemon in the water. Lemon will deodorize it and make it smell wonderful.

Just fill a bowl with water, and add some lemon slices. Put in the microwave for a few minutes and let it come to a boil. Them remove the bowl, and wipe down. The steam from the water will loosen any gunk, and the lemon will leave a nice, fresh scent.

Hope this post finds you doing well. I'm really excited because I have hollyhock seedlings starting to sprout. I didn't have any luck last year. I did something different this year. I will share that little tip with you soon.

I am also starting a new series called 'Fit Fridays.' All about being healthy. I'll feature health tips, recipes, etc. 

See you next week!

Blessings!

Anna

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Re-purposing Laundry Wax Scent Beads


Okay, so maybe I'm an odd duck. I like laundry. Let me clarify, I like the smell of freshly washed laundry. And I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought I would try it out. I had just enough wax beads to pour in one last load of laundry, so I though I'd give this a whirl.


Wow, the scent is intense. I like this better than any liquid potpourri I have tried! It is much stronger, so you won't need much. Also, I like the idea of wax instead of liquid. We recently had a close call (and scare) with the liquid potpourri since we have cats. The electric warmer was knocked over when it was unplugged. There was a little residue remaining. And since it was a liquid, one of our cats managed to step in it.

I can't wait to try the lavender scent. I love finding other (safe, of course) uses for products. Check back in the next few weeks for more re-purposing and frugal ideas.

Blessings,

Anna

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Meet Sunny! :)


Who could resist this face I ask you...


This is my new grand dog Sunny. My daughter adopted her from the animal shelter. She had been there for four months. We first saw her several months ago at an adoption event held at a local grocery store. She was so sweet, and just laying there sleeping amidst all the noise and people.

We weren't there to adopt an animal, just to ooh and awe over all the cute dogs and cats. We are already raising the stray cat and her kittens who adopted us. :)

But she was taken out of her cage, and we made a fuss over how cute and sweet she was.

We went on with life. And then last week I learned she was going to be put down. The animal rescue agency just couldn't keep her anymore. Too many animals, too little space and resources. I quickly learned from them that the reason they think she wasn't getting adopted was that she was too sweet. Just too passive. I told my daughter, and she adopted her within 24 hours.

So now Sunny has a forever home. And LOTS of love! If you are considering adopting a pet, please check your local animal shelter. There are so many unwanted animals, and you can help save a life!

Until next time sweet friends...

xoxo,
Anna

Monday, June 24, 2013

Baked Catfish


I recently tried a new recipe for baked catfish. And I thought today would be the day to share it since tomorrow, June 25th is National Catfish Day! ;)

I purchased some frozen catfish fillets and started looking for how best to season them. So suffice to say when I came across this recipe that calls for butter and white wine, well...don't mind if I do. I had to try it!

I had 7 fillets, so I tripled this recipe. (Actually there are two casserole dishes on my stove) I served each fillet over brown rice, with sides of corn and Italian Herb bread. Yummy!
I am definitely going to make this again!

Here is the recipe, I know you will love it too!

Total Time: 25 minutes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients:

2 (7-8 oz) catfish fillets
4 ounces butter
4 ounces dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Paprika (I omitted this)

Directions:

Season fish with salt and pepper. Place fish in a casserole dish. Melt 1 ounces butter in a small saucepan. Add wine and remaining ingredients, except the paprika. Simmer about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and spoon over fish. Now sprinkle paprika over fish. Bake fish in 375 oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the fish is done.

Source: foodnetwork.com

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Day At The Farm


Hello friends! I've missed you! Things have been busy this summer. I have wanted to show you my pictures from our farm. My husband and I went to feed cattle, and so I quickly grabbed my camera as we headed out the door. I'm so glad I did! We had two new baby calves!

I have taken up photography as a new hobby, and I am loving it! I hope you enjoy the pictures!
















Aren't they adorable?! :) Hope you have a great week!


 xoxo,
Anna

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!


Happy Mother's Day, friend! I am looking forward to today. My sweet husband is going to mow and edge the lawn. He has been so busy with end of semester things. Finals, grades to be posted ... poor guy hasn't had any free time. And today he said he would make my lawn beautiful.

I hope you have a fabulous day as well. I would love to hear how you spent your special day!

Much love,
Anna

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Blessings!

 O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?

But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory [making us conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:55, 57 (AMP)

He is risen as He said, Alleluia!


Happy Easter friends! I hope you have had a wonderful day!

The Easter bunny left me some amazing gifts. ;) 


 God bless you dear friends!

(hugs)
Anna

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Under The Weather (Literally)!

 Good morning friends!

Sorry I haven't been posting as of late, but my husband and I have both been recovering from the flu. :(

I had a flu shot back in Nov. My husband didn't, but suffice to say we have felt equally miserable.

I just wanted to briefly check in with you and see how your week went.We have experienced a blizzard here in the Texas Panhandle. We are slowly digging our way out. :)

Here are some pictures from this week!














I will be back soon. Hope you stay well & warm!


Much love,
Anna