Tuesday, September 30, 2008


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”   Winston Churchill

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
~ Winston Churchill

Self Portrait Challenge.....week 5.....Contrast

Last Contrast SP, Mirrors is the next challenge! :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Morning Contrast

morning contrast to the day before

I love the sweet smell of dawn -
our unique daily opportunity to smell time,
to smell opportunity -
each morning being, a new beginning.
~Emme Woodhull-Bäche

Judging by yesterday's string of posts (thanks to planning ahead), you may have been fooled, but really, I've been under the weather with a "bug" for the last few days, as well as 2 of the 4 kiddos. So, for me, this is a huge contrast because we are never sick. Uggh!

I did feel a little better this morning and went out for an early walk as the sun was rising above the trees to get some much needed fresh air. Then I sat for a while, alone, in peace and quiet, on my swing and thought of how wonderful the mornings are and how they are definitely a new beginning. A new beginning each and every day to do something different or in contrast to the days before. They are full of opportunity for all of us. I love mornings :)

Then, after a very short while, I was joined by my oldest baby...such a contrast to our rocking chair days :) He's nearly as tall as me now, but very much still my baby, and most importantly my friend.

my boy and me

Mornings are good....really, really good.

See more interpretations of Contrast here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Corn Chowder & Garlic Cheese Biscuits

This recipe is one of my favorites and the first one I think of when I start craving soup. It is really easy to make and is so delicious with the garlic cheese biscuits! You must give it a try!

corn chowder and biscuits

First Gather these ingredients:

5 0r 6 slices of bacon, chopped
1 yellow onion
3-4 small potatoes
3/4 cup water
1 can (1 lb) cream style corn {I always use frozen corn and adjust the liquid just a bit}
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Chopped Parsley

corn chowder ingredients

Cut your bacon into dices as shown and add to the bottom of your pot over a medium heat. Dice your onion and potatoes and add them to your bacon in the pot. Let them saute over medium/high heat for several minutes, then add your water. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Then, reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer potato mixture for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender but not mushy.

Add cream style corn (or your frozen corn) undrained, to potato mixture, Stir in milk, butter, salt, and pepper. Cover pan and simmer 5 minutes (or longer if you used frozen corn) until chowder is very hot. Keep warm while you prepare the biscuits. When ready to serve, sprinkle with parsley.

Now, to make the biscuits..........don't be afraid to try this.......the recipe is easy and the finished product will be well worth the tiniest bit more effort over that box of Bisqu*ck! Get your little ones in the kitchen to help you cut these out - they love cooking like this!

Here's what you'll need:

2 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup shredded cheddar (or any cheese you prefer...last night I added a handful of parmesan...yummm!)
1/3 cup vegetable shortening (I use 1 stick of butter in place of the shortening...just FYI)
about 3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375F. Add flour, salt, garlic powder, and baking powder to mixing bowl and toss with the cheese. "Cut in" shortening or butter with a fork or pastry blender....or just get in there with your clean dry hand and crumble the mixture together until it resembles coarse cornmeal. (I think that is the easiest way to mix and get it combined really well) Make a "well" in the center of your mixture and pour in 2/3 of your milk all at once. Stir your dough quickly with a fork, combining from the middle out to the edges. If the mixture is a little dry, add more milk, but only enough to form a dough ball. Bring it together and turn it out onto your floured surface. It will look like this:

biscuit dough

Then you'll want to sprinkle a bit of flour over the dough ball and knead it about 5 times. Then take your rolling pin and roll out to about 3/4 inch thickness and cut with your biscuit cutter...or the top of a drinking glass ;)

making biscuits

Place your biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. Watch them for the color....once they begin to lightly brown, they're ready!

homemade garlic cheese biscuits

Now, this is an easy homemade meal that is perfect on cool evenings. Just try not to get too addicted to those biscuits.....it's hard, I know ;)


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A new bag for me!

my new purse

I finally got around to making myself a little something for fall. When I saw this gorgeous pumpkin henna fabric at Randi's store, Fresh Squeezed Fabrics, I had to have it for all my fall ideas...plus a little extra to make something for myself :) I love the colors and pattern and thought it would be the perfect bag to usher in the fall season.

orange and brown

I paired the pumpkin henna fabric (from the new Farmer's Market line) with some chocolate brown linen. I love linen....love it! I love the how the combination turned out.

peek of the inside

I added a pocket for my cell phone and even a tag on the inside. I like the idea of using the cotton twill tape with stamps and fabric ink. The tag really makes it "mine" and gives it a bit of a finished feel.

I feel like I'm on a bag kick right now - I just want them - lots of them. Maybe it has to do with the seasonal changes....I'm not sure :) I even have the Amy Butler Birdie Sling Pattern lying around awaiting my final fabric choice and some fusible fleece. It's a pretty large bag that I can haul everything in - my camera, books, notebooks and pens, and whatever else my little heart desires ;) I can't wait to make it!

So, a new bag to use for fall.....now all I need is a cool breeze ;)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Who you really are........

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~e.e. cummings


Self Portrait Challenge ~ Week 2 ~ Contrast

Contrast of light, color and texture.......

See other interpretations of Contrast here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Does Anyone Like Fruit and Cream ???

Here's a little recipe for a fruit cobbler/crisp that I've been wanting to share. This is a dessert that I have been able to have freely on my low carb/candida control diet for the past six months and it has been soooo wonderful to have. With options like this, I really don't feel like I'm dieting. I have this a couple of times a week for dessert and the leftovers are perfect for breakfast the next morning ;) You can use any fruit you have on hand....strawberries, apples, peaches, blueberries, blackberries.....whatever you like. The ingredients are fruit, whole oats, butter, cream, and a dash of cinnamon - very basic, simple, and wholesome. It's quick and easy to whip up, too! Here's how it goes together:

First gather these items:

  • 2 cups whole, old fashioned oatmeal
  • 3 Tbsp sugar or other sweetener (xylitol, splenda, honey, molasses, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (because of the low moisture content of apples, I use 2/3 c. or 1/2 c. cream when using them)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • fruit, your choice - enough to cover bottom of 9x9 baking dish (I used 2 cans of peaches, drained and a handful of blueberries)

For Whipped Cream topping:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp sugar or other sweetener
  • 1 tsp vanilla


First, add your oats to a food processor and chop on the high setting for at least a minute - until the oats are very finely chopped.

Then add your sweetener, cinnamon, and stick of butter and process again until it is well blended.

Next, add your fruit to your baking dish and pour the cream over the fruit.

Crumble the oat and butter topping over the fruit and cream. Bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes.

To make the whipped cream:

Pour 1 cup cream into mixer bowl.

Turn the mixer on high and while the cream is whipping, add the sweetener and vanilla. Whip on high until the cream forms stiff peaks. Do not over-whip.

It's ready! Take a serving of cobbler and top it with a dollop of cream. YUM!


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Open to the Sun........

The windows of my soul I throw Wide open to the sun. ~John Greenleaf Whittier

"The windows of my soul I throw wide open to the sun."
~John Greenleaf Whittier

Self Portrait Challenge :: September Theme - Contrast :: Week 1

See more interpretations of Contrast at www.selfportraitchallenge.net