Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tiny Space ~ Wondrous Place

Wonderful things can happen in tiny spaces ~

Gabriella's Room

Gabriella once shared a room with her older sister ~ Arianah. As sisters go, I would have to say you could not have a better one than Arianah ~ also known as Queenie. She lovingly shared a room with the baby and never complained. It has been our goal to find a way for Queenie to have her own room - a private place all to herself. On November 1, 2009 we moved into our new home @ Forever Young Farm - but all the rooms were taken up and it looked like the girls would have to continue to share a room. The new house only had 4 bedrooms again - although much bigger with lots of space! My mother-in-law lives with us and needed her own room - our 17 year old son, Ryan, has in own world and of course we have the master suite. That left one room and 2 girls left! What to do?


Tiny Space ~ Wondrous Place

Our little princess, Gabriella Grace Young, affectionately known as Squidgey ~ now has an adorable little room! It was once our walk-in closet and we have transformed it into a baby bedroom! Yes, she sleeps in a closet for all intensive purposes...but it is the prettiest closet in the house!

She can display all of her treasures and trinkets.
Down below on the floor are many of her favorite toys
and a basket filled with her tea set.
Baby Blanket ~ Handmade my Sue McKee
Octopus Plate ~ from my beloved friend ~ Jean Skinner.

Collection of Octopi

We love Octopi!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

LIFE SCRIPTS

Psalm 91:9~15 Amplified
Because you have made the Lord your refuge,
and the Most High your dwelling place,
there shall no evil befall you, nor any plague
or calamity come near your tent.
For He will give His angels charge over you
to accompany and defend and preserve you in
all your ways of obedience and service.
They shall bear you up on their hands,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and adder;
and the serpent shall you trample underfoot.
Because you have set your love upon Me,
therefore will I deliver you; I will set you on high,
because you know and understand My name
(have a personal knowledge of My mercy,
love and kindness - trusts and relies on Me,
knowing I will never forsake you, no, never.)
You shall call upon Me, and I will answer you;
I will be with you in trouble,
I will deliver you and honor you.
With long life will I satisfy you
and show you My salvation.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Leaving A Legacy

Concetta Lynch ~ Beloved Grandmother of Concetta Young

On December 1, 2009 at 2:15am my grandmother, Nanny, - the original Concetta - went home to be with the Lord. "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" she would always say - and this year she is with her precious Jesus for her favorite season.

Psalm 116:15 Amplified
Precious (important and no light matter) in the sight of the Lord is the death of one of His saints (His loved ones).
Nanny was the kind of grandmother you dream about...the Italian kind!!! She was the best cook, baker extraordinaire, master seamstress, quilter, crocheter, knitter...you name it she could do it and everything she put her hands to prospered. She had so much talent in those hands!

My Nanny had one little baby - her one claim to fame - my mother, Patricia Ann Lynch Harrison. Through that little girl came quite the legacy for my grandmother - 3 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and one tiny great-great-grand girl ready to be born any day. She was intimately involved in everyone of our lives and the moments we have spent with her are memories that we will treasure in our hearts forever.

Today is her birthday - December 26 - she would have been 92 years old. She was beautiful, bright, vibrant and full of life - even until she took her last breath she was radiant beyond comprehension. What a testimony she is for all of us!
Concetta Lynch
12-26-1917 ~ 12-1-09

Psalm 90:12
So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Her "Celebration of Life" service was just magnificent. We witnessed the love her church family had for her and the impact she made in all of their lives. Her pastor read the most moving poem in her honor - and it truly touched each one of us.

The Dash Poemby Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
The cares, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard,
Are these things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Life we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read
With your life's actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash.

She loved the Word of God and she had such an intimate relationship with Him. Her favorite verse was Proverbs 3:5-6 and during these days of tears and the intense moments of missing her - I cling to this verse and rejoice that God is so full of mercy, goodness and lovingkindness.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.


I loved my grandmother beyond what words I could ever express or write. I was her namesake - the Little Concetta. What an honor. She was very affectionately known as the "Old Bat" and I was her "Little Bat". I could only hope to be half the woman she was - touch people like she did and love in her immeasurable capacity. I was blessed with the greatest gift for 43 years - the Nanny of my life.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Kitchenettes' Hospitality Club ~ October

October Kitchenettes


October was a fabulous month for the Kitchenettes! We were treated to the most magnificent day at Mr. Henry's restaurant ~ Maria Bonita's. I absolutely love this place - the food is delectable specializing in Mexican and Cuban cuisine. Mr. Henry could write a book on hospitality...he could go on tour speaking about the art of serving...he exemplifies a true spirit of excellence in everything he puts his hands to. We were so blessed by his kindness and generosity!
We were given a tour of the restaurant and then the girls got to roll up their sleeves and go to work! Mr. Henry taught us how to make homemade guacamole ~ cheese, chicken and steak
quesadilla ~ and to top it all off....drum roll please...da ta ta da.... ~ fried ice cream!!! Can you say food bliss...heaven in your mouth...the tasty treat of all treats???
After learning to chop vegetables, saute meat morsels, use professional chef tools, mix fresh ingredients, use spices and seasonings, make cheesy wonders, roll frozen ice cream in cereal and fry to golden goodness ~ we all sat down to a feast!!!! Oh what a day ~ what a glorious day!
The Kitchenettes also celebrated 4 birthdays!
Thank you Mr. Henry - we love you!
Kitchenettes at Maria Bonita's Restaurant

D'Lisa~Andrea~Bryn~Arianah making fried ice cream!
Homemade Quesadilla

Fried Ice Cream!

Birthday Time

Making guacamole: Bryn~Arianah~D'Lisa~Andrea
Bryn~Arianah~D'Lisa
Mr. Henry & The Kitchenettes

Guacamole

Cooking at the stove!

Chicken Quesadilla

Mr. Henry
Andrea~Arianah~D'Lisa~Bryn~Ashley~Kimmy~Jordan

The Famous ~ Mr. Henry

Mrs. Nancy (Mr. Henry's beautiful wife-standing)
Andrea-Bryn-Arianah-D'Lisa-Jordan-Ms. Michelle
Victoria-Ashley-Kimmy-Ms. Jen

Gift Bags ~ Prizes for The Kitchenettes

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cranberry Christmas Cake

Cranberry Christmas Cake
This is the most delicious cake! It is the perfect holiday dessert to serve anytime, anywhere and for any occasion! I like to make them into cupcake size as well - little individual gems of goodness for everyone to enjoy!

Cranberry Christmas Cake

2 c fresh cranberries
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c walnuts

Chop together in a food processor.
Place in the bottom of a glass pie plate or cake pan.

Batter:
3/4 c butter, melted
1 c flour
1 c sugar
1 t almond extract
2 eggs

Mix together until well blended.
Pour over cranberries.
Bake @ 350 for 30 minutes.
Invert cake on your prettiest platter.

Christmas Cranberry Delight

Christmas Cranberry Delight

This delicious side dish is a specialty of my beloved grandmother ~ Nanny. This was at every holiday table growing up and I have carried on the family tradition. It is so beautiful presented in a glass bowl and will make your celebration truly memorable!



Christmas Cranberry Delight

2 large packages raspberry jello
1 1/4 c hot water
1 c pecans, chopped
1 can crushed pineapple
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 c ice water

Dissolve jello in hot water, mix well.
Add ice water.
Stir in pineapples, cranberry sauce and pecans.
Mix well and pour into glass bowl.
Let chill until set.

Topping:
1 8 oz. cream cheese, soft
1 c sour cream

Beat together until smooth.
Spread on top of cranberries.
Garnish with pecans.

Peanut Butter Cookies

It has been quite the day of baking in my home! I have made dozens of Peanut Butter Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies and a lovely Brown Sugar Pound Cake w/ Vanilla Glaze.

These Peanut Butter Cookies are the simplest to make with only 4 ingredients! They are the best cookies with an intense peanut butter taste! My children love them!


Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 c sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
Mix all ingredients together until well blended.
Scoop into 1" balls and place on a cookie sheet.
Dip fork in sugar and press cookies in 2 directions.
Bake @ 350 for 12-15 minutes.
I always double and triple the batch!
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Sugar Pound Cake w/ Vanilla Glaze

Buffalo Chicken Dip

A creamy ~ dreamy delectable dip for your entertaining!

Buffalo Chicken Dip


2 packages cream cheese, soft
2 cans chicken, large (shredded rotisserie chicken is delicious)
1 c ranch dressing
1/2 c hot sauce (I use Frank's)
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Mix cream cheese, ranch dressing and hot sauce with beaters until well blended and fluffy.
Fold in chicken.
Bake in a glass pan sprayed with oil @ 350 for 15 minutes.
Top with cheese and bake 15 minutes more.
Serve with tortilla chips.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Easy Holiday Appetizers

Here are a few ultra easy appetizer ideas to make your holidays more festive and stress free.
You can turn the simplest ingredients into something magnificent! It is all about the presentation. A beautiful platter, a glass pedestal, a touch of greenery and attention to detail is all it takes!
Crudites Platter
Crudites Platter

Arrange sliced vegetables, tomatoes and olives on a colorful tray. I love to use my wavy cutter for intricate designs on cucumbers or cheeses. Serve with a delicious quick dip made with: 2 cups sour cream and 1 package dry Italian dressing mix.
You can also take this over the top by adding artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and cheese cubes - then drizzle on a balsamic vinaigrette for an instant antipasto!

Holiday Cranberry Spread Holiday Cranberry Spread

Place a brick of cream cheese on a beautiful serving plate.
Top with homemade cranberry sauce and surround with
crackers, shortbread or ginger snaps for dipping.
You may also top the cream cheese with chutney or green pepper jelly.
So easy and so delicious!

Bleu Cheese Stuffed Celery
Bleu Cheese Stuffed Celery
This is our family's favorite quick appetizer and it is served at every holiday table!
We have had this yummy dish ever since I was a little girl and I love it! I like to have a relish tray of olives, sweet midgey pickles and savory dills to go along with this tasty treat!
2 bricks cream cheese, soft
1 package bleu chees
celery
paprika
Mix cheeses until well blended. Prepare celery by peeling skin and cutting into strips.
Stuff each celery with cream cheese mixture and sprinkle on paprika.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sweet Potato Recipes

I have 2 delicious recipes featuring
glorious sweet potatoes!
Perfect for your holiday table or any occasion!
Happy Thanksgiving!


Roasted Sweet Potatoes

5 lbs. sweet potatoes, peel and cut
2 sweet yellow onions, slice into 1/2 moons
olive oil
kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper

Place cut sweet potatoes and onions on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil until coated well - sprinkle on salt and pepper generously. Bake @ 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the sweet potatoes and onions are golden brown and caramelized.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Mix the following until fluffy and place in a buttered oval baking dish or a 9x13" pan.

3 c mashed sweet potatoes
1/3 c butter, soft
1/2 c evaporated milk
1 c sugar
1 t vanilla
2 eggs

Topping:
1 c pecans, chopped
1 c brown sugar
1/4 c flour
1/4 c butter, melted

(I double the topping)

Crumble topping over sweet potatoes. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until browned and bubbly.

YUM!



Monday, November 23, 2009

Season of Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is almost upon us and I am so excited to spend the holiday with my bigger family this year! We will be traveling up to my parents on Wednesday evening to begin the festivities! I am looking forward to waking up Thursday morning to the delicious smells that always seem to fill my Mom's home. My Mom has requested that I make homemade mashed potatoes - BUT, she will be making the gravy!! It is a given truth no matter who makes what on whatever occasion happens to be at hand. Pure heaven. She can make any kind of gravy for any accompaniment and it comes out perfect every time! Can you tell I love her gravy. The little boat of goodness sits in front of my place setting during dinner. I would put a straw in it if I could get away with it. I begrudgingly pass it when forced and then quickly snatch it back as soon as possible. One year my Mom had just gotten out of the hospital before our family celebration - my sisters and I happily planned and cooked the whole feast - we waited on my Mom and let her rest. When everything was completed and it was almost time for our meal, I promptly walked over to my Mom and said "I don't care how sick you are - you will make the gravy!" This has been a family joke now for years!! Do you know she went into the kitchen and made her award-winning delight? She could bottle this stuff - it is addicting!
There are many scrumptious dishes served at on our Thanksgiving table: turkey, of course, and this year it will be smoked - my parents are also smoking 2 pork roasts - sweet potato souffle, green beans with almonds, stuffing (oh, my Mom's other specialty!), corn, creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, cranberry delight, fruit compote (a blend of apples, cranberries, apricots and other fruits cooked down and transformed in to bliss) - plus a myriad of appetizers (stuffed celery being the most traditional and our favorite) - a relish tray and assorted pies and cheesecake. My mouth is watering!!!
We will all talk about God's blessings in our lives and how thankful we are for His goodness. This year, I am especially thankful to enjoy this holiday season with my beloved family.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

SUNDAY POST

Dear Beloved Bloggers,
It has been 2 weeks since I have been able to take a moment to write on my blog of life. The days go by so quickly and we have been so busy! So many things have happened and are still in the process that I am concerned about getting everything journaled. I am on a mission to settle down and continue my daily postings as soon as possible!

I have so many things to share....where to even begin? The best way I know is to start by saying....This is the day the Lord has made - I will rejoice and be glad in it! He has made every day - and He has made everything beautiful! So, when you are frazzled (which I have been as of late) and overwhelmed with all the things you must accomplish...take a moment to remember that nothing is impossible with God - you and I are in the palm of His hand and He will guard our hearts and minds with peace that passes all understanding!

Now....for a little preview of the happenings in the Young home. Well, first of all the Young home is moving to a new home at the end of the week! For more than a month our family has been diligently packing and planning for the awaited day that we move to "Forever Young Farm" - 18 glorious acres! There will be goats, chickens and peacocks in our future...not to mention a little pink pig for my darling daughter. Although the pig is not officially with us yet...it feels like he is because he is already named....Luke Pigwalker...can you guess what inspired that name???

Besides dreaming of animals for our farm and what their names will be....we have been painting, cleaning the barn, and getting the property ready for the big day!!! I am so excited...and there will be lots of pictures and posts - soon!

I am at my sister's home right now so there will be no visuals attached with this post. We had a wonderful weekend honoring our other sister's daughter...she is having her first baby and we gave her the most magnificent baby shower! I spent the day hand-dipping chocolate spoons, setting the gourmet coffee bar and creating platters of delicious food for the big event! My niece, Ashley, was blessed beyond measure from her family and friends who love her very much! In 2 months, my little great-niece, Savannah Marie, will be here with us all. I can't wait!

In the midst of all of these festivities - my daughter, Arianah, turned 13 years old! We had a big bowling bash for her last weekend. She requested "dirt cups" as her cake so each guest enjoyed their own individual cakes in clay pots! Adorable! More on that later as well....


As you can see my life has been very full - with the addition of cooking, taking care of my one year old, working, cell group and all the other things that make up my daily world!!

I am traveling back home in a few hours...so stay tuned for more to come soon!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

LIFE SCRIPTS

Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock.

If anyone hears My voice and opens the door,

I will come in to him and dine with him,

and he with Me.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Glorious Fall





Fall is my favorite season...for many reasons! This morning we woke up to a chilly nip in the air - the telltale feel that says fall is here! I love this season for all the traditional reasons: changing leaves, hot pots of soups and stews simmering away, baking delectable apple treats, the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg, bonfires, ushering in the holidays and all of the other little wonders that make this time of year absolutely glorious!! But, the number one reason above all others is because of my darling husband!
My husband proposed to me on September 20, 1989 ~ a beautiful fall day! His words made me melt as he said, "If you marry me, you will be forever young". I honestly fell head over heels and madly in love with this man from the start and of course said YES! So, we just celebrated our 20th anniversary of becoming engaged and will be married 20 years on April 6. I can say without hesitation that I love Thomas Young even more now than in those early days. He has been the kind of husband you dream about ~ gentle, compassionate, loving, kind-hearted, giving and above all else a godly example of a true man. We have endured many tests and have walked through trials that would make most give up and quit - but, after 20 years our relationship is stronger, deeper and everlasting! The Young family is a testimony of God's love and the miracle of a marriage dedicated to the Lord.
Now - for a little autumn tradition of love ~ every year my husband gives me the most adorable present ~ the littlest pumpkin gourd he can find! It is not truly the fall until my tiny gourd arrives. I absolutely adore these gifts of the heart. He stole my heart a long time ago! You will see my magnificent gourds displayed on the kitchen windowsill - this year I got a double-portion blessing ~ 2 pumpkin gourds!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

LIFE SCRIPTS


Psalm 37:23
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
and He delights in his way.

Romans 10:15b
As it is written:
How beautiful are the feet of those
who preach the gospel of peace,
who bring glad tidings of good things!

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psalm 121:3
He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Rosemary Pork & Herb Roasted Potatoes

Fresh Rosemary on my windowsill...
Fresh thyme in my herb garden... Preparing the pork roast...

Supper last night at our home ~ a delicious platter of succulent pork roast on a bed of caramelized potatoes and sweet onions. Oh so yum! There was not a scrib or scrab left for anyone else in the family - and it was there was only 3 of us eating at that time (plus the baby who promptly flung every potato and pork piece unto the floor-she thought she was entertaining us-not so much!!) My son gobbled up most of the potatoes before I could even get them on the table. This is so easy with such outstanding results!
Melt-In-Your-Mouth Rosemary Pork
3-lb. boneless pork loin
(prepare meat on both sides with a generous portion of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper-followed by sprinkling on onion powder and garlic powder - then rub entire port with herb and oil mixture)

Herb Oil Rub
1 T olive oil
1 T Italian Seasoning
1 T dried rosemary
2 T fresh rosemary (chopped)
2 T fresh thyme (chopped)

Dredge meat in seasoned flour. Add 1 T olive oil to a large skillet, brown pork on all sides.
Slice 1 large onion and place in the bottom of a dutch oven or slow-cooker.
Remove pork from skillet and place on top of onions.
Deglaze the skillet with 1/2 c beef stock and 3 T Worcestershire sauce.
Pour sauce over meat and onions.

If using a dutch oven - bake covered in a 250 degree oven for 3 hours. If using a slow-cooker then use the high setting for 1 hour and then reduce to low for 2-3 additional hours.
Once the pork is finished you can make a delectable gravy with the drippings by adding 1/4 c water and 3 T flour whisked smooth. Combine with pan sauce and stir over high heat until thickened and bubbly.

Seasoned Flour
1 c flour
1 t kosher salt
1/4 t fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 t paprika
1/8 t nutmeg

Herb Roasted Potatoes
Potatoes~12 Red Bliss or combine with white - diced. (whatever you have on hand)
Lay potatoes on a sheet pan and coat with olive oil. Sprinkle on a generous amount of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Top with 2 T each of fresh chopped rosemary and thyme.

Bake in oven @ 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until potatoes are soft and caramelized.


Psalm 73:28
It is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord God,
that I may declare all Your Works.
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CONCETTA'S RECIPES

The Kitchenettes ~ A Hospitality Club

Romans 12:13
Pursue the practice of hospitality.

The Kitchenettes is all about teaching and mentoring young girls in the art of hospitality. It is so much more than cooking or doing domestic tasks ~ hospitality is the very heart of God ~ a demonstration of pouring His love onto others. This group of young girls are learning the very nature and character of God as they serve people and sharpen their skills in homemaking.

NAME LEGACIES

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