Friday, July 30, 2010

Favorite Word Friday

It finally happened! I have literally waited my whole entire life for this day - and now it is upon me!! "What??" you ask...well...I have FINALLY been asked what is my favorite word!! For those of you who know and love me you know how important this will hopefully even know my favorite word!
What is my favorite word? I actually have 2!! But, I will share that in just a moment.

I have a wonderful new friend in blog land - Cindy @ I Owe It All To Him - what an incredibly inspirational site - I just love it and I know you will as well! Cindy hosts a virtual party every Friday with a different theme - this week Cindy made my dream come true and asked us all to share our favorite word. Thank you Cindy!!!
It all started when I was a little girl - I used to watch the television program "The Electric Company". Do any of you remember this show? They always had a special segment where a news reporter would randomly stop people on the street and ask them to share their favorite word. I knew at a young tender age that I had to be ready with my own favorite word in anticipation of my very own interview. never happened...never mind that...I have been poised with my favorite word all of these years and I have finally been asked the question of questions!!!

So, without further adieu....drum roll favorite word is and always will be: QUICKLY!
QUICKLY ~ isn't it just a lovely word? I have no explanation of why this is my favorite word - and why would a 5 year old pick this word as a favorite? These are the mysteries of life!

Remember I said I have 2 favorite words - I have a favorite word in the Bible!
I know that "quickly" is in the Bible as well - but I have to have a separate favorite word that is God inspired. That word is ~ LOVINGKINDNESS. This is the most magnificent word to me - oh I just adore it. Most people do not realize that this is actually a word - believing it to be 2 separate words or even a word with a hyphen. This is an one word and I love it!!!
Psalm 26:3
For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,
and I have walked in Your truth.
Psalm 36:10
Oh continue Your lovingkindess to those who know
You, and Your righteousness to the upright in heart.
Psalm 63:3

Your lovingkindness is better than life,
my lips shall praise you.
Jeremiah 31:3

The Lord appeared to me saying "Yes, I have
loved you with everlasting love; therefore with
lovingkindness I have drawn you."
Psalm 103:1-5
Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me,
bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and
forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your
iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems
your life from destruction, Who crowns you with
lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your
mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed
like the eagle's.
I am linking to:
Linky Party
hosted by Cindy @ I Owe It All To Him

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chicken & Dumplings

One of my most requested family recipes!!
This dish is an easy go-to meal that you will enjoy.
It simmers in the slow-cooker and uses ready-made
biscuits for a fast version of an old fashioned delight.
Slow-Cooker Chicken & Dumplings
6 boneless chicken breasts or thighs
(cut in large chunks)
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, peeled & diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large cream of chicken soup
2 chicken bouillon cubes
3 c chicken broth
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
2 t basil
2 t parsley
kosher salt
cracked black pepper
1/2 c milk
2 pkg. refrigerated biscuits
(cut each piece in half - then each half is 4)
Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper
and place in the bottom of a slow-cooker.
Saute the onion, celery and carrots in
2-3 T olive oil and 1 T butter ~ season with
salt and pepper and cook until soft ~ then
add garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
Place on top of chicken pieces.
Layer cream of chicken soup on the top.
Add chicken broth, bouillon cubes and
remaining spices to the slow-cooker.
Set temperature on high until the broth
begins to bubble - then set at low and
continue simmering for 3-4 hours.
Add biscuits pieces and allow to cook an additional hour.
Stir in milk and blend before serving.
I am linking to the following food sites~
hosted by Lisa @ Blessed With Grace
Foodie Friday
hosted by Michael Lee @ Designs by Gollum
hosted by Jerri @ Simply Sweet Home

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chocolate Chip Streusel Cake

Chocolate Chip Streusel Cake
a delightful treat ...
Rich. Buttery. Decadent. Yummy.

 Chocolate Chip Streusel Cake
1 1/3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 t salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3 T flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
pinch salt
3 T butter, chilled
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round spring form cake pan.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt together.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla extract.
Mix in half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk
and then the rest of the flour mixture.
Stir only until no streaks of flour remain, then stir in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared pan, then prepare the topping.
In a small or medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar,
ground cinnamon and salt.
Cut butter into several chunks and add to flour mixture.
Rub in with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse sand.
Sprinkle evenly onto cake batter already in pan.
Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Cool cake completely (in the pan is fine) on a wire rack before serving.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Favorite Things Friday

I have a magnificent story to share with you!
It involves a friend, a table and pure acts of kindness.
Let's talk about the friend in this story first - her name is Christy.
There are so many ways to describe this awesome friend of mine:
These describe Christy's outward qualities - the way she
captivates you with her lively personality, charm and wit.
Beyond all of these, it is her inner beauty that is truly amazing.
Christy is one of the most loving people I have met and she is
full of compassion, goodness and above all loyalty.
Can you tell I love her? I do. I am so thankful that
she is a part of my life and a part of my family.
I have known Christy for 16 years and I have had the privilege
of watching her mature into a glorious woman of God.
She has meant more to me than she can ever imagine
and it seems that trying to describe her with mere words
falls short somehow. It is difficult to express the impact
someone makes in your life - the impression they leave on your
heart that never fades.

Strong's #5544 chestotes
goodness in action
sweetness of disposition
gentleness with others
Hosea 11:4
I led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck
and bent down to feed them.
Jeremiah 31:3
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying:
"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
Colossians 3:12
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy
and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with
compassion, kindness, humility,
gentleness and patience.

The story begins with this exquisite table.
It belonged to Christy and she was advertising it to sell.
I fell in love with this table as soon as I laid eyes on it.
The picture only shows 8 chairs - but it actually has 10
and can comfortably sit 12 guests.
This table would go perfect for all the entertaining
we do, family gatherings, my ladies' group and my
darling Kitchenettes' Hospitality Club.
Christy was offering this table set at a phenomenal price,
but circumstances kept preventing me from being able to
purchase it. I had pretty much resigned myself of never
being the owner of this table.
One Saturday our church was having a yard sale
to raise money for the youth. Our pastors
(Christy's parents) donated their living room
furniture and when I discovered this treasure
was going in the sale I negotiated with the youth
pastor the night before so I could have it for my
very own! I was planning on using it in my
tea room and excited to have a part of my
beloved pastors in my home.
I arrived to the yard sale the next morning bright
and early - paid for my furniture and made arrangements
for my husband to retrieve it later in the day. At that point,
a woman and her husband drove up and made a beeline
for the sofa set and inquired about it. Our youth pastor
shared with her that it was already sold and she was
absolutely crestfallen. "I really need that furniture"
she said. She was utterly disappointed and went about
the yard sale to see if she could find something else.
Unfortunately, this was the only living room set for
sale. This lady came back over to the furniture again
and I asked her if she really wanted it. She exclaimed
emphatically that she was in desperate need. I explained
to her that I was actually the one who purchased
it and if she really wanted it I would
let her buy it instead.
You would have thought that I gave this woman a
limitless gift card to a posh furniture store. She was so
overwhelmed and so appreciative. She said to me:
"Thank you so much, you will never know how much
this means and how much we need
this - you are really going to be blessed."
In the next 2 days after the yard sale I received
an email from Christy sharing that her and her husband,
James, wanted to just bless me with this table!!! What???
I was totally stunned! Wow!
What an incredibly generous gift -
what an enormous act of loving kindness.

Keystone Marble Custom Made

The top is actually glass from the Gap store...

I am going to paint the hutch a cream color to match.
It think it will be perfect!

Every Tuesday night is cell group with all the ladies.
We always have a tea party and a feast.

The first time we ever used our new table was
on the July 4th holiday.
We have an annual family celebration at my home -
and this year I could accommodate so much better
with this fantastic table.
I thought this was so wonderful because
James & Christy's wedding anniversary is
the 4th of July!!!!

The story continues...
One night during our cell group one of my friends was sharing
that a family she knows is in dire need of a dining room table.
This family lost everything and literally have no table to eat on.
I was able to share my testimony about the glorious table I
would soon be receiving and that I would like to donate my
present dining table to this family.
God is so awesome!
He cares about every detail of our lives and He places
people together to weave together the most
intricate and wondrous tapestry!
On a side little baby daughter, Gabriella,
who turns 2 next month was delivered by the super Christy!


I am linking to:
Linky Party
hosted by Cindy @ I Owe It All To Him

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gourmet Club

Breaking Bread With Friends
Gourmet Club
Breakfast for Dinner
Recipe For Success

Fabulous Feast of Food
It really all began 16 years ago...
We have all been friends for many, many years ~
and during all of those years we have been:
raising our kids together, enjoying activities,
ministering at the same church, celebrating victories,
supporting each other during difficult times, laughing,
crying, creating and has been an awesome
adventure with much more to come!!
This gourmet club was inspired and birthed
out of a passion for fine food and the pure
pleasure of friendship.
Our gourmet club will dine together monthly on
a 4-course feast complete with a grand theme!
Each month one couple will host the event in
their home and be responsible for the main entree.
The other couples will bring all the other courses.
It is also our heart to extend an invitation to
an additional couple for each gala affair.
The name of our gourmet club is:
Breaking Bread With Friends
although we are endeavoring to be more upscale or
at least somewhat sophisticated ~ we do have a slogan
dreamed up by one of our very own that we cannot seem
to stop chanting...
"Food so good it will make you wanna slap your mama"
Meet the couples...
Thomas & Concetta Young
Peter & Jennifer Napoli
Fred & Tanya Wilbon
Randy & Lisa Routte

Coffee Delights...

I set up a small little coffee bar on the counter top...

homemade whipped cream...
hand-dipped chocolate spoons...
This month we were at the home of
Randy & Lisa Routte.
Lisa set a beautiful table with exquisite china...

breakfast for dinner is a wonderful treat...

Mock Mimosa Party Punch

Fresh Fruit w/ Honey Sour Cream Sauce

Concetta's Crab Quiche

Frittata w/ Potato & Bacon
Each couple brought a signature quiche as
well as a delicious accompaniment.
Mound of Crepes Apple Flambe

affectionately named:
Pete's Flaming Pancakes

Mock Mimosa Party Punch
(prepared and presented by the Young's)
1 qt. orange juice
2 c pineapple juice
2 c apricot or peach nectar
sparkling white grape juice
fresh fruit
Mix together orange juice, pineapple juice and nectar
in a punch bowl or pitcher.
Place fresh fruit slices in each glass.
Top off with sparkling juice.

Fruit Salad
w/ Honey Sour Cream Sauce
(prepared & presented by the Wilbon's)
1 c sour cream
2 T honey
2 T orange juice
Combine ingredients and blend well.
Cover and chill for one hour
Serve with fresh fruit.

Buttermilk Berry Muffins
(prepared & presented by the Routte's)
2 1/2 c flour
3/4 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
zest of one orange or lemon
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 c buttermilk
2/3 c canola oil
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 -2 c fresh or frozen berries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease 12-cup muffin pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg, milk, oil and vanilla.
In another large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda,
baking powder, salt and orange zest.
Gently stir in berries. Fold batter into dry ingredients.
Mix until just combined - do not over mix!
Fill each muffin cup to almost full.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Cool on wire rack and dust with powdered sugar.

Julia Child's Spinach Quiche
(prepared & presented by the Napoli's)
2 T shallots or scallions, finely minced
1 1/4 c frozen spinach, thaw & drain
2 T butter
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
Saute shallots/onions in butter until soft.
Add spinach and continue to cook until water evaporates.
Stir in seasonings and adjust to taste.
Egg Custard
3 eggs
1/4 t pepper
1 T butter
1 1/2 c whipping cream
1 c Swiss cheese, grated
Beat the eggs, cream and seasonings in a bowl.
Pastry Crust
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bake pastry crust for 9-10 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool.
Set oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Add the spinach to the custard mixture.
Pour into partially baked pastry shell.
Sprinkle with cheese and dot with butter.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or test with a pick.

Concetta's Crab Quiche
(prepared & presented by the Young's)
1 9" pastry crust baked @ 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes
Saute 2 T butter and 2 T chopped shallots until soft.
1 1/2 c fresh lump crab meat
(mix w/ 1 T flour)
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c Swiss cheese, shredded
1 c half-n-half cream
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/2 t dry mustard
1/2 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg
white pepper, to taste
1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped
Place 3/4 c cheese in bottom of pastry shell.
Top with crab meat then sauteed shallots.
Add the remaining cheese on top.
Mix together: eggs, cream, mayo, parsley and seasonings.
Blend well and pour over crab and cheese layers.
Bake @ 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Clark's Quiche
(prepared & presented by the Routte's)
2 9" unbaked pie shells
1/2 lb. thick sliced bacon.
(brown, drain, crumble, set aside)
1 pkg. frozen spinach
(cook, cool, squeeze dry)
1 8 oz. sour cream
2 T onion, finely diced
2 T olive oil
1/2 lb. fresh mushroom, finely diced
2 c smoked ham, finely diced
8 oz. Montery Jack cheese, shredded
8 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
8 eggs
1 1/2 c half-and-half cream
1 T dried parsley
salt & pepper
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Saute onions until soft, stir in mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in ham and cooked bacon. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine spinach, sour cream salt and pepper.
Divide and spread inbetween 2 pie shells. Layer with meat mixture.
Mix cheeses together and sprinkle over pies.
Whisk together: eggs, cream, seasoning and parsley.
Pour egg custard on pies. Place pies on a baking sheet.
Bake @ 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Frittata with Potato & Bacon
(prepared & presented by the Wilbon's)
adapted from Giada de Laurentis
2 T olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 large potatoe, peel and dice into 1/2" cubes
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 t salt
1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
6 large eggs
1/4 c whipping cream
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, grated
2 oz. thinly sliced bacon, cooked
2 T fresh basil, chopped.

In a 9 1/2" ovenproof nonstick skillet, saute onion in olive oil.
Add the potato, garlic, salt and pepper - saute for 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whish the eggs, cream, Parmesan, bacon and basil.
Stir the egg mixture into the skillet of potatoes.
Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes or
until the egg mix is almost set.
Place the skillet under the broiler for about 4 minutes.
The top will be set and golden brown.
Run a rubber spatula around the frittata to loosen from the skillet.
Slide onto a plate and cut into wedges.

Potato Casserole
(prepared & presented by the Napoli's)
1 (30oz.) pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes
c Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (16 oz.) sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 onion, chopped
1 c butter (2 sticks)
3 c corn flakes, crushed
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine cheese, sour cream and soup.
Saute onion in 1 stick butter for 5 minutes - add to cheese mixture.
Grease a 9 x 13" baking dish, pour in hashbrowns.
Spread cheese mixture over potatoes.
Melt remaining butter and pour over crushed corn flakes.
Top casserole with cornflakes and bake for 1 hour.

A sweet ending to our decadent meal!

I am linking to:
Foodie Friday
hosted by Michael Lee @ Designs by Gollum
* **
Tuesday Tea Party
hosted by Wanda Lee @ The Plumed Pen
Tea Cup Tuesday
hosted by Martha @ Martha's Favorites
Teapot & Tea Things Tuesdays
a shared meme hosted by
Wanda @ The Plumed Pen and
Pamela @ A Breath of Fresh Air


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.



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