Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thanksgiving!

I know it has been forever since my last post. I simply have not thought of anything worthy of posting. I will say, I am pumped about Thanksgiving. I loved this picture though Lord knows here in the south, we won't be dining outdoors. Oh how fun if we could though. I love the idea of living in the Italian countryside eating all the homemade pasta, fresh bread, and olive oil my little heart desired. Food always tastes better outdoors. Okay, enough of that tangent. I will share that I am excited about cooking. I have grown to love it when I have the time and don't have a baby pulling at my pant leg the whole time. I fried chicken last night and we had a heart stopping, unhealthy meal and quite frankly, loved every minute of it. But I have found a few new recipes to try and thought I would share...
this one has been in every home magazine there is (I have read Real Simple, Southern Living, Cottage Living...not to mention People and US Weekly and it was in all of them...I promise I do more than read magazines. It is a weakness though)
Double Decker Pumpkin Pie
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon milk or half and half
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups whipped cream topping
1 graham cracker crust
1 cup cold milk or half and half
2 small vanilla flavored instant pudding packages
1 can pumpkin pie filling (16 oz)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Soft Pumpkin Cookies
1 (16 ounces) can pumpkin, 2 cups
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup (8 ounces) butter, softened
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon maple extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs
1 cup pecan halves

Southern Living Chocolate Meringue Pie
(My Husband's all-time favorite)
1 cup sugar
3 T. cornstarch
Dash of salt
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
1 square (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate
1 T. butter
1 t. vanilla extract
1 baked 9-inch pastry shell
Meringue
-Combine first 3 ingredients in a heavy saucepan; mix well.
-Combine milk and egg yolks; beat with a wire whisk 1 or 2 minus or until mixture is frothy. Gradually stir into sugar mixture, mixing well.
-Cook over medium heat; stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; add chocolate, butter and vanilla, stirring until chocolate and butter melt. Spoon into pastry shell; set aside.Prepare meringue; spread meringue over hot filling, sealing to edge of pastry. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes or until golden.
Meringue
4 egg whites
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cream of tarter
1/2 cup sugar
Beat egg whites and cream of tarter in a grease-free bowl at medium speed with an electric mixture until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 T. at a time, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 minutes). Add vanilla, beating until blended. *Tip...be sure egg whites are at room temp (out about 30 minutes...this makes great meringue!)
And finally, something besides dessert. (As you can see, my passion is baking. I kind of hit and miss with cooking).
Corn Casserole
(My sweet friend Susan Johnston's recipe)Ummmm
1 box Jiffy cornbread
1 can cream corn
1 can whole kernel corn- drained
1 container French onion dip (small one)
½ cup water
2 eggs slightly beaten
½ t. sage
½ t. salt
¾ stick of butter
Mix all ingredients and pour into glass baking dish. Bake for 50 minutes at 350…last 5 minutes, top with shredded cheese. This has become a FAV at Thanksgiving at our house! We also often eat it during the week. YUMMY!
I truly pray each of you has SUCH a blessed Thanksgiving.  Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 03, 2006

You can now comment...

Thanks Nancy for letting me know you couldn't post! I changed the settings so now anyone can post, even if you are a registered blogger. So post away!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Luminous Mysteries of Motherhood...

This post, I am afraid, will be rather long due to the ponderings of this young mother's heart. The content of this post was birthed throughout this past week. As you read in my previous post, I was sick last week. Sicker than I have ever been I think. My mother rode in on her white horse to save me and my family. She dropped everything, as she has always done, to come to my aid. Not only did she seamlessly take over the running of my household, but also parented Abby Kate, was there to hold my hair back every time I threw up, provided fresh 7-up every time I awoke and had a nutritious, delicious meal ready for my family each night. Once I was back among the living and able to visit the living room in small increments, I watched my child, who normally gets whiny at certain times of the day, play and laugh like a child straight out of the movies. Then the dreaded happened and I went for her and she winched away, only wanting her Sweetie. I have to admit, I have always known my mother was born to be a mother, but in that moment, I had my questions as to my own ability.I know I am blessed to have the mother I do. I know many of you could not say the things I am about to say and for that, I am SO thankful. I just wonder, does it just takes years and years of practice or are there people simply better at parenting than others? I still have such pockets of selfishness that clamor for me to ignore my child and watch E! News or read my newly arrived US Weekly or to go search the internet for cute clothes while my child plays in her exersaucer (I mean its Baby Einstein right? So it has to be educational...much better than anything I could give her, right? Right?). Gosh I can't believe I am admitting this to my friends and family, on the internet no less...oh well, cheers to authenticity! I still feel a right to my alone time. I mean, who cares that the laundry has been sitting in the washer wet for 2 days and there are 4 weeks of ironing and dinner needs to get started. If I don't check my email or read a little, I might go crazy right? Then I watch my mother, who is 25 years older than me come in with the energy of a 15 year old, do it ALL joyfully and well. Not only that but also won the affection of my own daughter, who I am with 24/7 in the middle of the stage where she is supposed to be experiencing separation anxiety! WHY? That question that haunts the heart of every woman, "Am I a lousy mother?" Why the heck did God entrust a child to me? This year alone, I have watched some of my dearest friends struggle through infertility, one lose his child at 9 months, and one that has dedicated her life to children not be able to conceive. I have to admit I question, bargain and sometimes rail at God when things seem unfair. I know we live in a fallen world...I know bad things happen. I, personally, do not feel God judges or punishes, I do believe He lets us live with the consequences of our choices and I often remind myself that is why there are so many unwanted pregnancies, that is why there are drug babies, ect...but it is hard to understand. It is hard to know here I am, struggling so with the inadequacies I feel as a mother, when so many I know would kill for the chance to just try. My child-magnet friend that is struggling with infertility right now and I talked yesterday, and the hardest thing to understand for me is when it seems you have done everything right (as I believe her life is testimony of what is right) and there still is no reward. I know God is not like that, up there keeping a Naughty and Nice list waiting to dole out presents of fulfilled desires but it is hard not to think that way. I mean why when she is a clear choice for a great mother, can't she get pregnant? Though my empathy is crazy strong, I will not pretend to know what those that walk the road of infertility feel, but I am thankful I have had several great friends allow me to walk beside them as they were transparent and real with me. I have learned much through them. All in all, here is to uncertainty. Whether our children are living and breathing sleeping in the next room or whether those children are living and waiting in the hearts of their parents, I am thankful that we don't have it all figured out. I am thankful I serve a God who knows...and as my husband so gently often reminds me, 'if we knew what He knew, we would be doing the exact same thing.' I am thankful that I am inadequate but that my God does not call the equipped but equips the called. I never want to be sure of my own abilities. I know they are nothing in light of what God can do through me if I will just step aside. And I am also deeply thankful that He has given me friends to walk beside on this journey who are REAL and who allow me to share this burden of fear and uncertainty while they share theirs....now I need to quit being selfish and go check on my child who is at this moment trying to avoid sleep by, what it sounds like, pulling her blinds off the window.
Oh and by the way, I would LOVE for you to post your thoughts to my post. I love knowing who is reading and what YOU all think and feel too! Okay, now I am going...