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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Apple Pie

Here's a great apple pie recipe. But be careful: one slice has 13 points in it (serves 8)!
You can either make this in a 9" deep dish pie pan or a 10" regular dish.

Here's what you need for the crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
13 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
7 Tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
4-5 Tablespoons ice water

1. Mix flour, salt and sugar in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture, tossing to coat butter with some flour. Cut butter into flour with five 1-second pulses. Add shortening and continue cutting in until flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal with butter bits no larger than small peas, about four more 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into a medium bowl.
2. Sprinkle 4 Tablespoons of ice water over mixture. With blade of rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 1 Tablespoon more ice water if dough will not come together. Shape dough into two balls with your hands, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten into 4-inch-wide disks. Dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic or place in a resealable plastic bag, and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.
3. Flour the work surface very lightly; too much flour will be absorbed by the dough and cause it to toughen. If the dough seems to soft to roll, refrigerate it rather than adding more flour. Roll our the dough by placing the rolling pin in the center of the dough and roll out in one direction. Put the pin back in the center and roll out in a different direction. Don't roll out the dough like you used to roll out playdoh! Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness; about the thickness of two quarters.

Here's what you need for the filling:
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus one teaspoon
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel (peel the lemon before you juice it!)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 pounds tart apples (firm), about 5 medium, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 1/2 pounds sweet apples (firm), about 5 medium, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices

1 egg white, beaten lightly

*Good tart apple choices: Granny Smiths, Empires or Cortlands. Good sweet apples choices: Golden Delicious, Jonagolds, or Braeburns.

1. Mix 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, zest and cinnamon in large bowl; add apples and toss to combine. Transfer apples to Dutch oven and cook, covered, over medium heat, stirring frequently, until apples are tender when poked with fork but still hold their shape, 15-20 minutes. (Apples and juices should gently simmer during cooking.) Transfer apples and juices to rimmed baking sheet and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. While apples cool, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place empty rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 425.
2. Remove the larger disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out to about a 12-inch circle (about 1/8" thickness). Place in pie pan. Working around circumference, ease dough into pan by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing nto plate bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs pan in place. Now roll out other dough disk to 1/8" thickness.
3. Transfer cooled apples to a colander and shake to drain off as much juice as possible; discard juice. Transfer apples to dough-lined pie pan; sprinkle with lemon juice.
4. Place other dough onto apples. Pinch edges of top and bottom dough rounds firmly together. Seal edges of dough, then cut four 2-inch slits in top of dough. Brush surface with beaten egg white and sprinkle evenly with remaining teaspoon sugar.
5. Use foil and tent the edges of crust so they do not over-brown or burn during cooking. Be sure to remove foil tent during the last 10-15 minutes of baking so they brown.
6. Set pie on preheated baking sheet; bake until crust is dark golden brown 45-55 minutes. transfer pie to wire rack and cool at least 90 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges and serve.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I'm really looking forward to losing 7 more pounds. That's when I'll move out of the obese category and into the overweight category.

Here's the breakdown for you (it's all based on your body mass index):

BMI Categories:

* Underweight = <18.5
* Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
* Overweight = 25-29.9
* Obese = 30.0-39.9
* Morbidly Obese = BMI of 40 or greater

Friday, September 5, 2008

Half way there...

Fifty down, 50 to go...
Pounds that is.


I'm thinking I just took off the 'easy' 50 lbs. The first 25 I lost within 2 weeks of Beka's birth. The second 25 took me 14 weeks with the help of Weight Watchers. I wonder how long the third 25 will take? I'm thinking longer than 14 weeks. Fourth 25? Probably even longer... Good thing I'm in this for the long haul.

Today I'm inspired by lyrics from my past:

"Whooah, were half way there
Livin on a prayer
Take my hand and well make it - I swear
Livin on a prayer" - Bon Jovi

Sunday, August 17, 2008

2008 Family Beach Trip

This was our 2nd time going to the family beach trip. This year there were about 20 of us. We arrived at the beach Monday evening. Both kids did great in the car ride over there.

We did the typical beach stuff...went down on the sand and played, went out for fish and chips, shopped, hung out at the hotel pool/jacoozi, etc. I actually don't remember what we did on which day. So here's the totally abridged version:

Here's our fish and chips experience:

Here's our "walking on the pier" experience. Jeremiah didn't want me to take his picture (kinda moody) but I had to sneek in a couple. He's so cute in his big boy hat.

He wanted me to take a picture of the surfer walking below us. Being a good mommy, I took it. That's why I have a picture of a surfer's butt.
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See, I told you Jeremiah was kinda moody...

And here's Beka.

She did pretty good at the beach. But for a few moments this was what we dealt with...

After all, she is a baby.

Thursday we went to the SLO street fair. She slept the whole time: 6pm-3:30am. Then, of course, she was in awake and ready to start her day. So I put her in the front pack and off we walked around the hotel for a while.
She eventually went back to sleep after a couple of hours. And I got a nap later that day.

We came home Saturday afternoon. It was a great break away from the heat and the normal things of life. Can't wait to do it again next year. Although there are rumors that next year the family is going to camp. Pray for me...I hate to camp.


Here's a terrific recipe for ratatouille. There was a chef at my abundant harvest pick-up ( making this to show the people a good way to use the eggplant in their box. I served it over rice. Mmmm good. Of course I modified the recipe slightly. It wouldn't be me if I didn't.

Serves 6 with 1 Weight Watcher point per serving.

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, sliced
3 medium zucchini, sliced
1 small peeled eggplant, cubed
1 large bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 - 15.5 oz can diced tomatoes with juice

1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
I forgot to add the basil and parsley and it was still good. You could add fresh basil and parsley but be sure to add a tablespoon of each.

1 Tbsp capers (Optional) I didn't have extra capers to spare so I left them out.

1 tsp salt
pepper to taste

Heat oil in large skillet and add garlic and onion. Saute until onions are transparent. add zucchini, eggplant, and bell pepper to skillet. Cover and cook on low for 20 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, parsley and capers and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes until mixture gets thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Strawberry Pudding

I was wondering why Jell-O sells vanilla pudding, chocolate pudding, banana pudding, lemon, and pistachio but not strawberry pudding? So I decided to try to make it and find out if it's good or not.

It's chilling in my fridge as we speak but I tasted it while it was hot. That's my favorite time to eat homemade pudding, when it's still hot.

It's good. A light hint of strawberry.

Here's what I did:

In a medium saucepan, I combined 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 t salt and 3 T cornstarch. Then I added 3 cups of non-fat milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until it thickens and you get tiny bubbles on top. Then cook it two more minutes. Take the pan off the heat. Now put 4 egg yolks in a bowl and beat them lightly. Ladle one cup of your hot milk into the egg yolk bowl and stir to combine. Now pour the egg yolk/milk back into the pot. Bring the milk mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1 T butter and 1 1/2 t strawberry extract (and a few drops of red food coloring if you want it to look like strawberry pudding). Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Put it in the fridge. Serve warm or cold (or skip the whole bowl thing and eat it out of the pot).

I'm thinking cherry extract would be tasty too. I'll try it next time I have $7 to blow on a bottle of that stuff.

Oh ya...and it's a "sometimes" food. This serves 4 and weighs in with 7 points per serving. But when you get 10 extra points for nursing, it's a nice way to get in a milk serving. (Don't tell my meeting leader I said that.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Turkey and Hominy Chili

This is a weight watcher recipe. It serves 4 and has 5 points per serving. It's also a Core food.

2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
1 pound ground turkey
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
4 oz can chopped Ortega chiles, do not drain
6 oz can tomato paste
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
15 oz can hominy, drained (I use one big 28 oz can...hey we like hominy)

1/2 cup diced red onion
6 radishes, shredded
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup Monterey jack cheese, fat-free, shredded


1. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned.

2. Stir in tomatoes, green chiles, tomato paste, chili powder, oregano and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until thickened slightly. Stir in hominy and cook until heated through.

3. Combine red onion, radishes and cilantro in a small bowl. Divide chili into 4 bowls. Sprinkle each evenly with cheese, then radish mixture.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The results of my personality test...

You Are An ISTJ

The Duty Fulfiller

You are responsible, reliable, and hardworking - you get the job done.

You prefer productive hobbies, like woodworking or knittings.

Quiet and serious, you are well prepared for whatever life hands you.

Conservative and down-to-earth, you hardly ever do anything crazy.

In love, you are loyal and honest. If you commit yourself to someone, then you're fully committed.

For you, love is something that happens naturally. And you don't need romantic gestures to feel loved.

At work, you remember details well and are happy to take on any responsibility.

You would make a great business executive, accountant, or lawyer.

How you see yourself: Decisive, stable, and dependable

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Boring, conservative, and egotistical

Well, what do ya think?

Don't put God in a box

"Sometimes we limit God. Sometimes we think God must work on our schedules. But God will not be bound by time. God will not be bound by our schedules. God will work when He chooses and with whom He chooses.

Therefore, there will be times when our circumstances don’t make sense. Even then, we need to trust Him."

- Greg Laurie Daily Devotion found at:

Monday, July 7, 2008

In need of a little R&R

No, not Rachael and relaxation, aka "me time".

My DH gave me a gift certificate for a mani/pedi so I call the lady to set up my appointment. She wasn't at the shop so the shop gave me her cell phone. So I call her cell to make the appointment. She answers the phone sounding almost drunk. Come to find out she's got a migrane.

2 questions:
Why would anyone answer the phone if they have a migrane???
Do I really want this ding-dong working on my nails???

I told her I'd just call her back a different day.
So there went my me time this week.

But I know I'm in desperate need of a little get away. I'm praying. We'll see what God does. Who knows, He may give me some time away or He may give me the strength to make it through without biting off the heads of my loved ones. I'll let you know. be continued

Saturday, June 28, 2008

This blog's for you, Jen M

Here's an updated blog just because you requested it...

I'm tired and wanna go to bed. Too bad my baby doesn't feel the same.

Here's a newer picture of us...

cute huh?

Oh, by the way Jen, don't forget to mail off those birthday cards for me.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Welcome baby Beka

Baby Rebekah was born on cinco de Mayo! I can't tell you how excited my esposo (hubby, for all you Spanish speaking-challenged individuals out there) was when he found out that this was her scheduled arrival date. All I know is that we're gonna be hard-pressed to ever have her birthday party at a park!

She weighed in at 9 pounds, one-quarter ounce and was 20 inches long. Big girl. Jeremiah is adjusting nicely!

And it's official...a stranger told me today that I look tired. I must have a newborn! When this "lovely lady" found out that I also have a 2 1/2 year old at home too, she said well no wonder I look SOOO tired. Ugh! I guess it would probably help if I would have done my hair and worn some make-up.

I also started weight watchers this week. I was truly amazed at how many points per day I get. I got 10 extra for nursing Beka. I love it!!!

So I've updated the "weight at see" at the right. I can't wait to weigh in next week and update it! My hubby is doing ww with me. He's so wonderful and a great support for me! I wouldn't trade him for the world!!! Thank you, Pascual!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Parenting Tip

A wise man once told me,
"Give your children what they need and let God give them what they want." -Charlie Garcia

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Become a mother who delights in her children

With the new baby only 6 days away, I couldn't sleep. So I found this devotional online and it really spoke truck-loads to me. I hope God speaks to you through it too:

"Congratulations, Mrs. Layman," the nurse said to my mom when she brought her first newborn and laid him in her arms. "Your sleeping days are over."

Every mother knows the reality of that congratulatory statement! In the career of motherhood there are no weekends off, no paid vacations, no bonuses or yearly raises, and no quitting time. It is just day-in and day-out giving. There are times when we feel we do not have another ounce of energy left to offer. What we wouldn't do to curl up on the sofa with a good book, enjoy a long, leisurely bubble bath, or simply take a nap. Yet multiple needs still require our attention.

I am convinced that no profession requires harder work or greater sacrifice than motherhood. Stephen and Janet Bly provide us with this job description:

No job on earth takes more physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual strength than being a good wife and mother. If a woman is looking for the easy life she might try teaching tennis, cutting diamonds, or joining a roller derby team. There is nothing easy about good mothering. It can be back breaking, heart wrenching and anxiety producing. And that's just the morning.2

Because mothering requires constant sacrifice, the temptations to resentment, complaining, and self-pity are always close at hand. But such selfishness will quickly sap the strength of our love for our children.

I will never forget a time when my selfishness robbed me of the joy of caring for my family. My second daughter, Kristin, was ten years old, and we were out on a "date." While our children were growing up, C.J. and I spent special one-on-one times with them each month. It was Kristin's turn that day. We were eating lunch at a restaurant, and I was asking her questions as usual.

"Kristin," I began, "if there was one thing about Mommy that you could change, what would it be?"

"You haven't been smiling very much lately, Mommy," she replied. "You just haven't seemed very happy."

Oh, how those words pierced me! I realized in a moment that motherhood had become a duty instead of a joy. I was so focused on the sacrifices that I had failed to appreciate the daily pleasures of raising my children. This had wiped away my smile.

As mothers, we have a choice. We can either resent the challenges and demands that accompany motherhood and persist in our selfishness, or we can draw from God's grace and receive His help to cheerfully lay down our lives for our children.

Let's choose the latter.

If we do, we are choosing biblical greatness. As Jesus said in Mathew 20:26: "Whoever would be great among you must be your servant" (emphasis mine).

The world may not applaud us for wiping runny noses, driving in carpools, or talking with our teenager into the wee hours of the morning. And until they are trained, our children might not thank us either. But as we set aside our own selfish desires and glorify God by joyfully serving our children, we are pursuing true greatness according to the Bible. Let us do so with tenderness, affection, and with a smile!

Tender Behavior

On his long-running television show House Party, the host Art Linkletter interviewed thousands of children. He included many of these conversations in a book entitled Kids Say the Darndest Things. Kids do say funny things, and at times they also say insightful things.

With that in mind, I decided to conduct some interviews of my own. I asked a number of young people how they knew that their moms loved them. The following is a sampling of their responses:

"She consistently makes wonderful meals without complaint." Jimmy

"My mom is always asking, 'Do you know I love you? Do you I'm for you? Do you know I'm your biggest fan?'" Kelley

"She writes me notes and letters. She is always encouraging me." Andrew

"I don't think I've gone a day in my life without my mom telling me she is praying for me." Israel

"Whenever I wake up in the morning, go to bed at night, or come home from somewhere, she hugs me and says that she loves me. This is very securing. I love it a lot." Brittany

"My mom plays chess and checkers with me." Matt

"When I come home from somewhere and she knows I am going to be very tired, she asks what food she can make for me." Evan

"My mom loves to have my friends over. She likes taking us out and doing things with us. She loves my friends. They are her friends too." Kristin

"When I was little and couldn't sleep, my mom would rock me and sing songs to me. Now at bedtime she always comes into my room for five or ten minutes and asks me about my day." Bryce

"My mom is never too busy to talk to me. She tells me that she would rather be at home with me than doing anything else." Erin

"Every day before I go to school, my mom asks how she can pray for me. Then when I come home, she tells me what she prayed during the day." Jimmy

"She comes to all of my games. I can always hear her cheering for me. She's my #1 fan." Stephen

"My mom takes me out one time a month. We go to lunch and jus talk." Kristin

"When it is cold outside and I have to drive to school, my mom turns my car facing out of the driveway and starts the heater so it is warm by the time I'm ready to leave." Melanie

"When my brothers and I were little, she would always fix hot chocolate with marshmallows for us when it was cold." Chris

"My mom packs a lunch for me every day and puts in a note that says 'I love you' or has Scripture on it." Brian

"She reads me books at night." Brielle

What is remarkable to me about these children's comments is how simple these acts of love are. Tender love is not complicated. It doesn't require a large bank account or creative genius. Rather, this love consists of seemingly insignificant activities like cooking, singing, reading, or talking. It includes faithful prayer and encouragement or small gestures of kindness.

Chances are, you may already be doing many of these things. So be encouraged -- they are meaningful to your children. And if you realize there are ways you need to grow in expressing tender love, may these children's observations provide you with fresh inspiration and ideas.

[Excerpted from: Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother by Carolyn Mahaney. Copyright © 2005. Published by Crossway Books.
Found on the following website:

Monday, February 25, 2008

I love you, hubby of mine!

My hubby called our friend, Darren. Darren came out last Sunday and replaced a leaky hose on my dishwasher. It's fixed! Well, kind of...

It's old and it still leaks from the bottom but only a couple of teaspoons each cycle. We'll have to replace it soon but I can use it for now until we save up the money to buy a new one.

And no, I didn't nag. (But my hubby did read my blog and felt bad about my back aching when I had to wash dishes by hand. Who knew this blog would come in soooo handy!)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Less than 100 days to go

Ah pregnancy.

I'm getting to the point where I need 4 pillows to sleep on so I'm propped up and can breathe. Otherwise I feel as though I'm not getting enough oxygen. During my nap today I woke up having that feeling. Heck, I even had that feeling during my dream. That's probably why I woke up.

I'm trying to have a good outlook on this pregnancy. Who knows, it may be my last. And really, the only thing I have to complain about is that I need sooo many pillows...

That and it'd really be nice to have my dishwasher fixed. My back is starting to ache after standing over the sink for long periods of time. But I'm not going to nag. I've told him it's broke and that I'd like it fixed. Now I'm leaving it up to the Lord to convict my hubby about it. No nagging! I'm going to see how long it takes to get it fixed this way. (Just between you and me, I'm leaning towards the thought that although nagging puts undue stress and turmoil on our relationship, it does get things done in a more timely manner. I may have to retract that later. I HOPE I have to retract that later. Time will tell, we'll see.)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

God is still good!

Yesterday, on our way home from delivering a meal to a mom with a new baby, our car started smoking and overheating. We made it home after putting water in the radiator - 2 different times. We think it's a broken hose. Hopefully that's all it is since we just got our car out of the shop less than a week ago, spending many dollars on it for unrelated problems.

Will you serve and praise God even when trials hit you?

Remember that God is still faithful. Don't confuse your circumstances with God's faithfulness or His ability to come through for you!

Hebrews 4:12-16 (NLT) says this: "For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are. Nothing in all creation can hide from Him. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done. That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to Him and never stop trusting Him. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same temptations we do, yet He did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it."

YES, I will still PRAISE THE LORD!!!