Monday, March 12, 2012

Oatmeal Cookies, Tea and Good Company!

Proverbs 27:9 
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.

What a "fresh of breath air" I mean a "breath of fresh air"!My mind has begun to slowly deteriorate as my children begin to grow smarter. I sometimes wonder if they just outright suck the senses right out of's a theory!

What a breath of fresh air to sit down, with a cup of warm tea, a warm cookie and a good friend! God made us relationship minded, and the craving for acceptance and craving for company stems from that very concept. We are made to help each other and support one another.
My husband and I LOVE practicing hospitality, it's what makes us tick, it gives us a fulfillment. We want people to leave with a breath of fresh air, to be encouraged and their spirits lifted. And in return I feel uplifted and blessed beyond words! I really miss the opportunities to just hang out, relax, talk and sip some good ol'hot tea and munch on some sinfully delicious cookies ;-)

We here in America have lost the beautiful art of "hospitality", a lot of us including me have turned to "entertaining"."Entertaining" is a whole different concept than "hospitality",
entertaining people is to show off or have your guests leave with the feeling of awe and slight inadequacy. Hospitality is to truly cater toward others true needs, is to entertain without the need to impress or to receive flattery, your guests leave uplifted and blessed.
I read a poster on pinterest one day. that wrote those definitions, it suck with me and really made me think hard about what my motives are when inviting people over. Am I just seeking acceptance through impressing others? if so I'm going about it in an entirely wrong way. Nothing is ever about me. It's first and foremost about God then others so when I practice hospitality it should be for the edification of my God then with His help I can go on and minister toward others. regardless of the meal I serve or the state of my home.

So thank you dear Aunt for joining me today and uplifting my soul with our nice talk! it did my heart good! and I have a lot to learn from you! ;-)

These cookies were made by my little blessing and enjoyed thoroughly by us ;-), they are the first cooking project he actually asked to do (instead of me probing him to help). So I was definitely not going to say no to his eager little brain. But h the impatiance of little hands! before we knew it there was flour everywhere and in every single container in his reach. a lot of guess work later we arrived at these final products! I must say they rival my favorite oatmeal raisin cookie by far!
so hope you enjoy! Make some of these and invite a friend over to share them! will do the heart good ;-)

Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, butter flavored shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. 
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. 
  4. Stir in the oats and raisins. 
  5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  6. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until light and golden. Do not overbake. Let them cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheets to cool completely. Store in airtight container. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Healthy Homemade Chips With Sea Salt

Crunchy goodness!

Boredom has struck again...either that or pure laziness lol
I found myself craving some good ol plain salted chips. I don''t usually have chips in the house and it doesn't show its face on my shopping list very often. which means I need to get off my lazy behind and drag three sleepy whinny kids to the store...yeah NOT happening!

*** random complaint break***

for you moms with two or more kids...doesn't it just bother you that the stores only offer carts with one seat (maybe two seats, but you will have to fight the other  moms greedily eyeing the death if you must...good luck with that!) they should come up with a better way for moms with three kids under three to drag there them around.
***end of random complaint break***

For those of you who've never experienced an overtired  hungry two year old in a over-crowded-no-lanes-open Walmart, let me illuminate it for you. It's as if that sweet contained cherub of yours becomes a possessed and  uncontrolled mess of "I want...I want...I want..." followed by ear shattering screams and nerve wracking whines. Its definitely not a scene for the faint of heart!
And so I'm sure you fully understand the reason of my apprehension of taking three of such cherubs with me, just for a measly bag of unwanted calories. So like every other time, I decided to make my own chips.
this technique was very interesting and fun but extremely time consuming. I definitely won't be making homemade chips by the bag! 
All that was needed really was a golden potato, sea salt or other spices based on your own preference, paper towels, olive oil and a microwave. 
These were VERY addicting! I only wish I could make more in one go. the moment they came out of the microwave I was holding back on popping them in my mouth!
Try them just for fun! ;-)

Pointers I found useful:

  • I didn't use the bag I just dunked the potato chips in the oil on the plate and made sure both sides were covered.
  •  I used extra virgin olive oil .
  • Overlapping chips is not recommened, as they tend to be slightly "chewy" in the end compared to keeping them seperated. 
  • For toppings I used seasalt, you can use onion powder,  cayenne or squeeze fresh lime juice with the olive oil in the plate before dunking the potatoes, and then seasoned with seasalt and just a little kool-aid lemonade powder mix. (the kind without sugar added) The powder mix has citric acid in it which really gave the salty lime chips a nice zing! 
  • Always watch the plate in the microwave, it only takes sec. for the chips to burn.
  • I used my kitchenaid mandoline to slice the potatoes, the thinner the crispier and the quicker they cook. but try to keep the slices similar in size.
  • use any spices you would like, spice blends work well...experiment!
  • Why not trying this with beets and sweet potato? I haven't tried it but it seems doable ;-) Here's a recipe from Giada de Laurentiis, but it involves frying the chips. but sounds good nonetheless. 
The perfect chip, crunchy and slightly browned in the middle

The NOT perfect chip, this was only 1-2 seconds after the last picture, that's how fast they burn!

Homemade Potato Chips


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 potato, sliced paper thin (peel optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste


  1. Pour the vegetable oil into a plastic bag (a produce bag works well). Add the potato slices, and shake to coat. (or do it the messy way as mentioned above )
  2. Coat a large dinner plate lightly with olive oil or cooking spray. Arrange potato slices in a single layer on the dish.
  3. Cook in the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned (if not browned, they will not become crisp). Times will vary depending on the power of your microwave. Make sure you continue to watch the chips as they brown fast. 
  4. Remove chips from plate, and toss with salt (or other seasonings as mentioned above). Let cool. Repeat process with the remaining potato slices. You will not need to keep oiling the plate.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Homemade Hamburger Buns

Don't you just LOVE the smell of freshly homemade bread??? mmmm I do! I remember my mom baking bread nearly every week, we would smell the bread and beg mom for a piece the moment it came out of the oven...we would be sooo impatient when she told us no. It had to cool down...
but oh nothing smells better (well maybe the combo of bread and coffee and maybe cookies mmmm I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!)than fresh bread.

Winndixie had a buy one get one sale going on on their pork boneless country style ribs. My hubby LOVES pulled pork and he had asked me if I could make it this past week. I agreed and started to get the crock pot ready the next morning. By the time I had finished and the pork ribs were bubbling away in the crock pot and smelling good...I noticed I had no hamburger buns ore bread for that matter...with three kids at home I really didn't want to pack them all in the car just to get some buns. So decided to make them myself...I've used two recipes so far and both were good but I preferred the last one with the pulled pork and the first one with regular hamburgers.
both are fairly easy and quick to make and even quicker if you own a breadmachine, just follow the recipe and add everything together in the breadmachine then select the dough cycle and voila just pick up at the next step.

hope you enjoy!

Homemade Hamburger Buns (recipe 1)


  • buns
  • 3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • *For best results (a smooth, slightly soft dough), use the smaller amount of water in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate); and something in between the rest of the time.


  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  1.  Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a soft, smooth dough.
  2. Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until it's nearly doubled in bulk.
  3. Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball; flatten to about 3" across. Place the buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until noticeably puffy.
  4. Brush the buns with about half of the melted butter.
  5. Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden. Remove them from the oven, and brush with the remaining melted butter. This will give the buns a satiny, buttery crust.
  6. Cool the buns on a rack.

Yield: 8 large buns.

Recipe courtesy of king Arthur flour

Homemade Hamburger Buns (recipe 2)


  • 2 cups warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/4 cup margarine, melted
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the milk, margarine, warm water, sugar and yeast. Let stand for about 5 minutes.
  2. Mix in the salt, and gradually stir in the flour until you have a soft dough. Divide into 25 pieces, and form into balls. Place on baking sheets so they are 2 to 3 inches apart. Let rise for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake the rolls for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool slightly, then split them in half horizontally to fill with your favorite burgers.