Breakfast Biscuits with a Twist!

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My son has been taking early morning Driver’s Ed for the past five weeks. In order to make his busy schedule, we have been eating hot oatmeal every week day. One day, I could take NO more MUSH!! We finally had a morning where someone didn’t need to be somewhere by 6:15 a.m. I decided it was time for something different! I’ve heard of people taking refrigerated biscuits and trying something with cinnamon and sweetened condensed milk. I didn’t have any of that stuff, but I have my biscuit recipe, which I love.

I simply doubled my recipe. I took a muffin tin and put a drop of butter in the bottom of each one. I divided the dough into twenty four dough balls, (a normal batch would only make twelve) then I divided each ball into three more small balls. I took each little ball and dipped it in cinnamon sugar (the other set, I dipped in hot cocoa drink powder mix).  Each muffin got three little dough balls.  I then put a little bit of butter on the top of each biscuit muffin. I baked them in the oven at 375 for about 17 minutes or so. When they came out, I drizzled sweetened condensed milk all over the top of them…. They did NOT last long at our place!

I had children thanking me right and left….. not only where they happy to not have to eat another bowl of mush, but they absolutely loved this new breakfast twist!

Cinnamon Chip Swirl Bread

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OK!  I have been wanting some cinnamon bread since a neighbor of mine brought some over to me a couple of weeks ago.  I have to admit, it is a HUGE addiction for me!  There’s just something about hot cinnamon bread!   Mmmmmm!

Today I wanted to try it out.  So I made my simple bread recipe today.  I divided my dough up into my five different loaves.  I gently flattened (just a little bit) each piece out (as though you were making cinnamon rolls or pizza).  I GENEROUSLY covered it with a cinnamon/sugar mixture.  I then added a handful of cinnamon chips on top of that–A while back, I found a bag at my local grocery store by the chocolate chips.  They were quite pricey, but I only used a handful, and since my children don’t care to eat them as candy, they have actually lasted a while.  I can probably get a few more batches out of it!!  I then folded, rolled, and shaped my bread loaves.  I baked it just as I did my regular bread and it came out HEAVENLY!  Spread a little butter on a hot slice of loaf and man o man!  Good stuff!  I gave a slice to the repair man who came to fix my dishwasher!  It was a thumbs up!

Let me know how you like it!

 

 

Do You Want a Doughnut?

This morning, during scripture study, our reading lead to a discussion on the Savior’s Atonement and what it means to each one of us.  In an effort to try to put it in terms my children would understand, I remember hearing a story many years ago that demonstrated this perfectly.  As I had heard it again just a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to try to find it.  Modern-day search engines are just too easy!!!  I had it found within a minute, as there were many internet pages with this story out there.

As the beautiful Easter holiday approaches, may we all take a moment and truly reflect on what our Savior has done for each one of us!  I love Him with all of my Heart….. I know that there are many dumb things that I do that He atoned for…. which makes my love for Him even greater.  He is my Savior and my Redeemer…. and he LIVES!  And, someday I hope to be able to live my life in such a way that I will be able to stand before him with open arms and return to his presence!

 

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Do You Want a Doughnut?

“There was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending Seminary in Utah.  In this Seminary, classes are held during school hours. Brother Christianson taught Seminary at this particular school. He had an open-door policy and would take in any student that had been thrown out of another class as long as they would abide by his rules. Steve had been kicked out of his sixth period and no other teacher wanted him, so he went into Brother Christianson’s Seminary class.

Steve was told that he could not be late, so he arrived just seconds before the bell rang and he would sit in the very back of the room. He would also be the first to leave after the class was over.

One day, Brother Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. After class, Bro. Christianson pulled Steve aside and said, “You think you’re pretty tough, don’t you?”

Steve’s answer was, “Yeah, I do.”

Then Brother Christianson asked, “How many push-ups can you do?”

Steve said, “I do about 200 every night.”

“200? That’s pretty good, Steve,” Brother Christianson said. “Do you think you could do 300?”

Steve replied, “I don’t know… I’ve never done 300 at a time.”

“Do you think you could?” Again asked Brother Christianson.

“Well, I can try,” said Steve.

“Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I need you to do 300 in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it,” Brother Christianson said. Steve said, “Well… I think I can… yeah, I can do it.”

Brother Christianson said, “Good! I need you to do this on Friday.”

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, Brother Christianson pulled out a big box of donuts. Now these weren’t the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited-it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend.

Bro. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, “Cynthia, do you want a doughnut?”

Cynthia said, “Yes.”

Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a doughnut?”

Steve said, “Sure,” and jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Bro. Christianson put a doughnut on Cynthia’s desk.

Bro. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, “Joe do you want a doughnut?”

Joe said, “Yes.” Bro. Christianson asked, “Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?” Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a doughnut.

And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten pushups for every person before they got their donut. And down the second aisle, till Bro. Christianson came to Scott.

Scott was captain of the football team and center of the basketball team. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship. Then Bro. Christianson asked, “Scott do you want a doughnut?”

Scott’s reply was, “Well, can I do my own pushups?”

Bro. Christianson said, “No, Steve has to do them.”

Then Scott said, “Well, I don’t want one then.”

Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you do ten pushups so Scott can have a doughnut he doesn’t want?”

Steve started to do ten pushups. Scott said, “HEY! I said I didn’t want one!”

Bro. Christianson said, “Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don’t want it.” And he put a doughnut on Scott’s desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow. Bro. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry.

Bro. Christianson asked Jenny, “Jenny, do you want a donut?”

Jenny said, “No.”

Then Bro. Christianson asked Steve, “Steve, would you do ten pushups so Jenny can have a doughnut that she doesn’t want?” Steve did ten, Jenny got a doughnut.

By now, the students were beginning to say “No” and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was also having to really put forth a lot of effort to get these pushups done for each doughnut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Bro. Christianson asked Robert to watch Steve to make sure he did ten pushups in a set because he couldn’t bear to watch all of Steve’s work for all of those uneaten donuts. So Robert began to watch Steve closely. Bro. Christianson started down the fourth row.

During his class, however, some students had wandered in and sat along the heaters along the sides of the room. When Bro. Christianson realized this; he did a quick count and saw 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Bro. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Bro. Christianson,
“Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?”

Bro. Christianson thought for a moment, “Well, they’re your pushups. You can do them any way that you want.” And Bro. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled, “NO! Don’t come in! Stay out!”

Jason didn’t know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, “No, let him come.”

Bro. Christianson said, “You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten pushups for him.”

Steve said, “Yes, let him come in.”

Bro. Christianson said, “Okay, I’ll let you get Jason’s out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a doughnut?”

“Yes.”

“Steve, will you do ten pushups so that Jason can have a donut?” Steve did ten pushups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a doughnut and sat down.

Bro. Christianson finished the fourth row, then started on those seated on the heaters. Steve’s arms were now shaking with each pushup in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. Sweat was dropping off of his face and, by this time, there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two girls in the room were cheerleaders and very popular. Bro. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, “Linda, do you want a doughnut?

Linda said, very sadly, “No, thank you.”

Bro. Christianson asked Steve, “Steve, would you do ten pushups so that Linda can have a doughnut she doesn’t want?”

Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow pushups for Linda. Then Bro. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan.  “Susan, do you want a doughnut?”

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, asked, “Bro. Christianson, can I help him?”

Bro. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, “No, he has to do it alone, Steve, would you do ten pushups so Susan can have a donut?”

As Steve very slowly finished his last pushup, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Brother Christianson turned to the room and said. “And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, plead to the Father, “Into thy hands I commend my spirit.” With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, he collapsed on the cross and died. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten.”.

When everyone in the classroom heard what the teacher meant by it and realized everything. Steve smiled on the ground where he laid in his own sweat and began to cry.”

Faux Brick Wallpaper!

If you’ve read much of my blog, you would know that a few months ago, I decided to try to paint brick on my kitchen back-splash.  While it turned out, OK, there was something that was just bugging me about it.  I guess it looked too “fake” to me.  I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t want to sound ungrateful, nor did I want to throw all the hours of my work away–believe me it took a long time to do that little paint job!  I debated about whether or not to make it look like board and batten or to put bead-board paneling up there, since I had some left over from some previous projects; but, I knew that it was going to require a super busy husband to get that up.  Not knowing what to do, I started looking around for some ideas.  Well, the other day I happened upon an Ebay store that was selling their faux wallpaper and this particular pattern happened to be nearly 50 percent off!  Wallpaper!!!  I can do that and by my self, too, might I add!  No husband required!!!  And 50% off is a pretty sweet deal!  It got here within three days!

So I put the the little ones to bed that night and went to work!  My kids all thought it was either real or that their mother was an incredible artist!  Wish that it could be the latter, but oh well!!  So without further delay, here is my before and after kitchen back-splash.  Perhaps someday when we have gotten our children into the mission fields, and there is a little extra to spare, we’ll go with real stone, but until then, I am going to enjoy my brick back-splash!

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This is what I painted on. It was just OK… I think I made the mortar too thick. Perhaps this is what was bugging me. Too much white!

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And the after:

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It gives it a much more “softer” look. I guess more of a Tuscan feel. Check out my black stove we found on the classifieds. We spent two weeks cleaning and scrubbing the living tar out of it. We held our breath when we went to go hook it up. We didn’t know if it would work but it did and I love it! We are slowing changing things over to black!  I even wrapped the inside of the windows where the brick was.  It gives it a three-dimension look!  This stuff is so cool!

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Another close-up of the brick.

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I even put some up in my laundry room. I have an area where I have a counter space and some hanging cupboards above it. It looks really cool! Sorry, no picture of that one yet!

UPDATE:

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I found a different style and did my fireplace wall as well!  Unfortunately, AFTER I had hung it all up, my daughter sat there looking at it and then asked me if I had hung it upside down…… Uuummmm…. Yep!  Sure did!  Good grief!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake with Streusel Topping!

103_0947I am in serious trouble when it comes to breads…. that will undo my last years 40 lb weight loss if I am not careful!!  Good thing there are lots of mouths at our home, that way I am not inclined to eat it all!  I have found a lot of recipes for Chocolate Chip pumpkin bread.  Well, my bread pans were being used, so I thought I would just make a cake!  It worked out Wonderfully!!!  We cut up a hot slice for lunch yesterday, put it in a bowl, and poured some milk over the top of it, and it was out of this world!!

My recipe is slightly adapted from one I found on All Recipes… I don’t even know where I found it, so if it is yours, please take the credit!

3 C sugar

15 oz of canned pumpkin puree

1 c vegetable oil

2/3 C butter milk — I put about a tsp of lemon juice in with regular milk and give it about 5 to 10 minutes when I need buttermilk

4 eggs

3 C flour

1 Tb ground cinnamon

1 Tb nutmeg — I only had Allspice so I used about a 1/s Tb of Allspice

2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp salt

An entire bag of milk chocolate chips–fold these in with spoon.

Streusel Topping:

1/4 C of soft butter

1/2 C of brown sugar  — you want more sugar and flour than butter or else it will all sink to the bottom of the loaf

1/4 – 1/2 C of flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 – 1/2 C of oatmeal

Chopped nuts — as many or as little as you want

Mix it all together with a fork — You want it sort of on the dry side so that it will not sink…

Mix the cake ingredients together.  Grease and flour your pan really well…. or your bread loaves whichever you want to use.  I really like the cake method.  Spread it into the pans and sprinkle the Streusel topping over the top of it.  This topping is what makes this cake!!  Mine probably cooked about 45 minutes to an hour…. I started with 35 minutes, found out it wasn’t cooking thoroughly yet, so I turned my temperature down to 325 and it cooked for about maybe 15 or 20 minutes more.  So about an hour… I’m sorry I didn’t watch it more carefully.  My 14-yr old son begged and pleaded with me this morning that I would save him a piece for when he got home from school today… you have to understand that at our house, something like this usually doesn’t last too long!  I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Best Homemade Bread–EVER!

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Fresh out of the oven with a layer of butter just smothered over the top!

As my children grow and become busy, and with the demands of keeping up a home–(cooking & laundry for nine people), helping with homework, Young Men and Young Women, Cub Scouts, merit badges, Jazz Band gigs, orchestra and play auditions, and most importantly, trying to keep our spirits fed by studying the gospel and serving in church callings, I am finding it increasingly more difficult to keep up a blog!  As it should be, my priorities are with my church and my family, and not my blogging!  You may not get too many posts this next little while… There are a lot of things happening this Spring and Summer–I’m super excited to face each new challenge and experience coming my way, but I will be quite busy for sure…. We’ll see how things go!

Having said all of that, Wednesdays at my home, are kitchen days!  It is a day that that I am trying to focus on my kitchen…. cleaning the fridge and oven, organizing the pantry, baking, etc!  I had to make some bread yesterday because we were all out, AND, while cleaning out the fridge, I uncovered a can of pumpkin that needed to be used up before it went bad on me.  SOOO, with that in mind, you are going to get TWO posts today (Homemade Bread & Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake)….because I simply can not guarantee with the next one will be…. I wish you could have smelled the aroma from my home yesterday while these breads were baking….it was HEAVENLY!  But alas, it was not to last long!

Anyways, a few years back, my dear friend Emily gave me this bread recipe, and I have seriously never used another recipe since then!  I simply LOVE this one.  It is so easy and it really doesn’t take up all that much time.  I’m just going to give you the recipe and a few quick pointers, because I have so much work that needs to be done today.  I hope you will enjoy it!  Let me know if you try it and it if works out for you!  This recipe makes two loaves….When I double it, I can get out 5 loaves!

2 C Water

1/4 C Butter

Put these in a microwave for a couple of minutes so that the butter is melted and the water is hot–let it set for a while to cool slightly while you prepare the yeast and flour mixture.

1 C warm water

1 T yeast

1 T Sugar

Make sure your water is very warm, but not scalding hot–sprinkle the yeast over the water and sugar over the yeast.  Give it a good mix and let it sit for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, mix 6 C flour, 1 tsp salt, 1/3 c sugar or honey, 1/4 C powdered milk, 1/3 C gluten–(found on your baking isle in the stores–don’t skip this ingredient–it does wonders for your bread).

Add the hot water mixture and the yeast (make sure your hot water has cooled enough that it will not burn the yeast when you add the yeast to it). You may need to add a little more flour if necessary.  If you are mixing it in a mixer, add enough flour that when it is mixing, there is no flour on the side of the bowl…Then, cover it up and let it rise for about a half and hour or so.  Keep your house as warm as you can when you are baking with yeast.  It helps, trust me!

When it is done, spread a small amount of shortening on your counter top — do not use flour– you should have all the flour you need in your bowl… you don’t want to add more flour.  Fold and kneed it and shape it into your loaves.  Grease your loaf pans really good and put your bread into each one.  Cover the pans and let the dough rise for about another half an hour.  Preheat your oven up to 350 and let it bake for 30 minutes.

When it is all done, spread a layer of butter over the top of the bread.  Let it sit in the loaf pan for 10 minutes and then invert it to get the bread out of the pan.  It should slip out pretty slick!  Bread always slices better when it has had a chance to cool off… however, we seem to not be able to wait that long at our house for warm, fresh bread.  We enjoy every single tasty bite!  Let me know if you try it!

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The lines you are seeing on the top of each loaf is the freshly melted butter I just swiped over the top of them!

Kitchen New Look!

Leave it up to me to be wanting to do something different to my kitchen RIGHT BEFORE the holidays…. I should be baking… not painting!!!  However, I have been wanting something new for way too long.  I absolutely LOVED my caramel colored kitchen; but recently, I just wanted a change.  Last week, I walked into the paint store to discover they have a mistinted paint that would work just great for my kitchen!!  Woo Hoo!!  Couldn’t pass that one up. So, I painted my kitchen; however, being addicted to color like I am, it was still far too light.  It still needed something… a splash of color somewhere.  I thought about all my different options for a backsplash… seriously, I spent DAYS researching what I could do on my zero-budget limit.  I was becoming depressed… whatever I did was going to cost me… a lot!

I happened to be putting some things up yesterday, when I opened up my craft paint drawer.  All of a sudden, a light-bulb went off.  I could at least try a spot, and if it didn’t work, I could always just paint back over it, right?  So, I had painted my backsplash area my trim color that is in my home.  Luckily I still had TONS of it left over!  I then taped off a brick pattern.  This took FOREVER!!  I had my boys help me with a chalk-line this morning before they went to school just to try to speed things up a bit.  I roughly cut around the edges of the tape so that it would be a jagged edge of both sides.

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My three paint colors… burgundy, brown, and white!

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First wall down!

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This is how I do my paint. Next to each other, then pick up both colors with your brush or sponge. That way you are getting both colors on at the same time… do NOT mix them.

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It gives it a splash of color, which I love!

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I know it’s not perfect, but I like it!  I just took those white boards in the corner of my window out and painted the brick pattern in that space.  It looks 100 times better!

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My pantry door that I painted black with two cans of spray paint!

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There’s our crazy office area…. messy fridge… you know, the kind you don’t see in the home magazines! Oh well… They must not have people actually LIVE in those homes!  Oh man!  I just realized I didn’t paint under my desk!!!  That was my caramel color I had all over!

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Enjoying seeing it clean… it won’t be for much longer… kids will be coming home from school in an hour or so!

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A little too much white paint in some areas, but they are easy to cover up. Just use some of your colored paint and sponge back over it lightly!

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I was about to give up, when I remember the sign I have on my counter… Finishers Wanted… Yep! I needed to finish what I started!!

I took my burgandy paint and my brown paint and put them both together on a plate.  I did not mix them, but left them side-by-side.  I took an old sponge and dabbed into both colors and just started sponging it onto the walls, making sure to get both burgandy and brown colors showing through.  When it was dry, I did the same with white paint and a sponge!  I then put a top coat of polycrylic (which I had on-hand) over it, AFTER I had removed all the tape.  Some of these walls will get a fair amount of scrubbing and cleaning and it needs to be able to hold up to regular cleaning.  This project took a lot of time, but quite honestly, could not have been more simple.  Yes, I know, it is not the fancy real stone, but we do what we can afford to do, and I’m just fine with that!!

I still have just a few more trim pieces to paint and put up–don’t tell Ed I used hot glue.  I didn’t have liquid nails and I couldn’t make any more trips into the store.  It’s sticking really well, and will easily pop off should I ever change my mind again without damaging the wall too much!  I also am going to have Ed help me make some curtain rods for the kitchen and the dining room; however, THAT project will have to wait until after Christmas!!

Ta-Da!!  My new kitchen!!!  What do ya think!!