Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Food Again!

   Cooking and baking are two of my passions in life and I love sharing that with my kids.  We are always making something in our house. I have two of the best helpers ever! They always like to be right in on the action. It makes for a messy kitchen but a lot of fun. Although I can't say to much as I am pretty messy when working in the kitchen myself. Here is some of our creations from this last year.                                                

Noah with the raspberry cheesecake I made for our 4th wedding anniversary

Pasta with kale, mushrooms and  b├ęchamel sauce 
Spring rolls with soy ginger dipping sauce

Crab Rangoon ready to be fried
Austin's rainbow of chopped peppers for salsa
Our finished salsa
Blackberries that the kids and I picked this last summer
Thick spiced Italian Hot Chocolate

Monday, January 11, 2016


   It was so fun getting ready for Christmas this year. The kids were so excited and we had lot of fun things we wanted to do. We started listening to Christmas music well before December but I waited for the first of December to start the decorating and baking. The kids and I spent a day with a friend and did our Christmas shopping. Noah took us around town a couple times in the evenings to look for lights. I set a goal to make a homemade gift for each of the kids this Christmas and I did it! I finished them early and was not up till the middle of the night the night before trying to finish them in typical Mary fashion. We went and spent Christmas day at my brothers house with my parents and family. We had an authentic Italian fest with all the trimmings. My Mom planned some fun games and activities and we did our annual White Elephant gift exchange. We were able to see my grandparents and introduce Carson to them. We had a busy and wonderful month. 
   While all these things are fun I pray that my children will remember the birth of Jesus and why He came to earth. To save man from his sins. He died on a cross to bring salvation  to man kind.
 Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
 1 John 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 
   The Lord has been so good to us and brought my family safely through another year. We are all healthy and had the wonderful addition of a new little one, Carson James on November 13th. The Lord has provided us with everything we could possible need and then some. We made lots of wonderful memories and got to spend time with lots of different friends and family over the course of the year. We look forward to what this New Year holds and pray we keep trusting the Lord and looking to him to led us.
Austin making chocolate dipped pretzels
His finished product

Rolo pretzels with M&Ms
Austin with the Italian honey clusters (Struffoli) we made for our authentic Christmas meal for Christmas day
Holiday Bacon Appetizers
Austin's favorite appetizer to make. We made them three times during the Christmas season. 
The center piece I made with Christina 
Austin having fun while we were at the mall Christmas shopping

Sunday, March 8, 2015

French Onion Soup

   I have been wanting to try and make this soup for a long time and I finally found a recipe that just grabbed me and I knew I wanted to tackle it. It had the trick of cooking the onions in the oven instead of on the stove all day so of course I liked that. Noah and I loved it. We mixed it with rice for the kids and they loves it! So here is my recipe.

Onions ready to go in the oven.
After I took them out of the oven.

Onion soup ready to go in the bowls with crusty bread and cheese.

The finished bread bowl full of soup! 

French Onion Soup

3 tbsp. butter
3-6 large onions (depending on how much you like chucks of onion)
1 tsp. salt
2 cups water
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup cooking wine
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp. fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
black pepper
bread bowls or crusty bread
Provolone cheese


   Adjust oven rack to a lower middle position and heat oven to 400*. Cut onions in half and slice pole to pole. Once onions are sliced put butter, onions and salt in a large dutch oven. Cook covered for 1 hour. Onions will be moist and slightly reduced. Remove pot from oven and stir, scraping down bottom and sides. Return pot to oven with lid slightly ajar and continue to cook until onions are very soft and golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer, stirring pot every once in a while.
   Remove pan from oven and place over medium high heat. Cook onions stirring frequently and scrapping bottom and sides of pot, until liquid evaporates and onions brown, 15-20 minutes. (Remember to use oven mist your pot it HOT!!!) Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until pot bottom is coated with a dark fond about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup water, scraping bottom of pot to losses fond and cook until water evaporates and the bottom of the pot has formed another dark fond 6-8 minutes.  Repeat process of deglazing pot 2 to 3 more times, until onions are very dark brown.
   Stir in wine and balsamic vinegar, stirring frequently until wine evaporates about 5 minutes. Stir in broths, water, fresh herbs and bay leaf (tie with string for easy removal) and 1/2 tsp. salt, scraping up and final bits of fond on the bottom of pot.
   Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove herbs and season with salt and black pepper to taste. For the croutons, arrange crusty bread slices on a baking sheet and bake in a 400* oven for about 10 minutes or until the bread is dry and edges are golden brown.
  To serve place heat safe bowls on a baking sheet and fill with soup. Top each bowl with crusty bread and provolone cheese. Place in the oven under a broiler and cook until brown and bubbly on top. Cool slightly and serve.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Long Winter Cooking and Baking

I have been teaching Austin the love of cooking and baking. He already has the love for food. He has since he was 4 months old. He is defiantly related to his Mom and Dad! Noah and I also enjoy spending sometime together in the kitchen once in a while and I have actually finally perfected my bread recipe and I have Noah to thank for that. He is quite good in the kitchen. For the record Noah made me the best tuna salad wrap I have ever had last Sunday.
   Austin is always so eager to help in the kitchen especially if it means he will get to lick spoons, spatulas or beaters! He loves to dump ingredients into the bowl and pick up the spoon and start mixing. It really makes for a mess some time but it is so totally worth it. Beside his Mommy is not the cleanest cook and his Daddy is definitely not. He also is starting to learn the art of dish washing or should I say kitchen soaking. Either way he always brings fun and laughter to my kitchen and made my long and beautiful winter bearable.
One of our favorites pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.
Always willing to sample for Mommy.
Helping Mom make pumpkin cinnamon pull apart bread.
My spatula and beater licker.
He always has a smile for me!
Grandpa Velie and Mama's boy,has to have milk with sweets!
Noah's birthday key lime pie.

Mixing up a batch of gluten free chocolate chip cookies.
Of course the little chef has to sample his dough.
Eggplant Parmesan 
Upside-down carmel apple pie.
(The pie I made out of the pampered chef cookbook you sent me mom.)
Sausage and olive pizza with olive oil.

Pumpkin Dream Cake

Noah and I's date night.
Austin loves getting to spend time with his Daddy.
Parmesan and oregano bagels on the left made by me. Kalamata and feta cheese bagels on the right made by Noah.
And one last one to end this post of my sweet boy after he has liked yet another beater clean. I'll let you in one one of his little secrets. Mommy usually double dips it for him.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Our First Garden 2013!!!

   Well I decided I was going to try my hand at a little gardening this year but we didn't know how the soil here was for gardening so we went very little to see how it would go. Austin and I planted it. We got it in late but I thought hey it will be fun anyway even if we don't get much. So little man and I along with the help of my sister set off to work a little plot in the back yard. It was already July! Opps, I know it should have already been in the ground for over a month by then.
   We planted a pumpkin plant, three tomato plants, nine corn seeds, two rows of lettuce, 8 hot pepper plants and parsley. We will see how it goes. At least it will give Austin and I a little something to do. He loves watering and has his own watering can. He did really good at staying out of the garden too. He did love digging in the dirt the few times that I allowed him. He liked trying to pick the weeds as well. I learned how to pollinate a pumpkin plant. Love the things that Noah taught me about gardening. Can't wait till Lord willing when we have a big garden and we are all working on it all the time side by side.
   Well last week we cleaned the garden out. We didn't get any ripe tomatoes as we got out plants in to late but a friend told me to put them in the basement under newspaper so I thought we would give it a try and see if they would ripen. Austin helped me pick all the produce that was left in the garden and the pull the plants and put all our cages and pots away. I always enjoy teaching him new things and watching him imitate what I do. We have fun being outside together. Praising the Lord for my little boy and how busy he keeps me.

Hope and Austin digging up the garden.
Blueberry lemonade!

My hard working helper!!
Austin tilling (playing)  in between plants!
Picking flowers! 
So excited about picking his pumpkin!

Corn from our garden.

Picking hot peppers!!
Picking our tomatoes.