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Food, Grillin' One, Ranch Life

Homemade Angel Food Cake For A Special Angel’s Second Chance At Life Indeed Will Be One Tearful Birthday!

On November 1, 2020, we faced a day of excitement and fear all within just hours of one another. Mitch received a new liver which we all have been waiting for for over a year and because it was his second transplant the surgery had become difficult, complicating, and very unsure if he would pull through. Intense bleeding of over 40 liters was lots in the first 2 hours.

To say the least, this birthday will be a celebration of second chances! Mitch is now 26. WOW! What a life this young man has had and for sure a testimony to the faithfulness and worthy of Praise to an amazing Jesus! SO VERY THANKFUL!

He loves to cook and so does dad! (first liver came from) The boys get to work making a special meal, Beef Wellington, and his favorite cake…Angel Food homemade of course. One the best fro trials he faced!

Homemade Angel Food Cake

Ingredients:

1-1/4 cup egg whites, I used the liquid, or separate 9 eggs

1-1/2 cups sugar, divided

1 cup cake flour

1-1/4 tbsp cream of tarter

1 tsp pure vanilla

1/4 tsp lemon juice, juice 1/2 lemon (save rest for frosting)

1/4 tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. Place egg whites in a large stand-up mixer bowl; let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature. Sift 1/2 cup sugar and flour together, twice; set aside.
  2. Place oven rack in the lowest position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add cream of tartar, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. gradually fold in flour mixture with a spatula, about a 1/2 cup at a time.
  3. Gently spoon into an uncreased 10″ tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake until lightly browned and the entire top appears dry, 35-40 minutes. Immediately invert pan (upside down on its legs); cool completely, about an hour.
  4. Run a knife around the side and center tube of the pan. Remove cake to a serving plate.

Frosting:

4 cups powdered sugar

2 sticks softened salted butter

1/2 squeezed lemon juice and zest

4-5 tbsp. half and half (or heavy cream is yummier)

Beat in stand-up mixer powdered sugar and butter until creamy. Add lemon juice and zest keep beating. Add half and half or cream. Beat until nice and smooth.

The Main Course!

The boys went to work on the Beef Wellington. Neither one has ever made this before so it was quite the sight to watch as they worked together to make this special meal.

Preparing the mushrooms, garlic, and onions cut ever so finally and saute’ in butter until a nice brown and translucent color. The kitchen smelled divine!

Next step give this precious meat a little rub down with mustard and salt and pepper!

This was a 2lb cut…would recommend 1.5!

Now for the hard part, wrapping the meat with crepes and pastry crust. A little tricky…but it looks beautiful already!

The hardest part was the wait…BUT ohhhh so worth it!

Just melts in your mouth!

Served with garlic mashed potatoes, spinach salad, fluffy biscuit, and a little sauce Mitch whipped up to pour over the meat…this meal was indeed a treat! Dan loves his meat rear the rest of us Dan popped back in for a few more minutes to medium. Truly, melted in our mouths! The pastry around the meat was so crispy and flaky. Amazing meal for sure!

A second chance…

This day could have been a whole different day. Thinking back to how close Mitch’s life here on earth could have been cut short but instead, the Lord provided this day to happen! A second chance to celebrate another birthday, to live every day in joy, and to bring glory to our Lord Jesus Christ! May all of us live like we have a second chance because when we choose to submit to Christ and call Him Lord over our lives we are given the best second chance ever…eternal life forever with Jesus and enjoying a meal HE has prepared for us. Now that IS amazing! Enjoy your second chance day…A blessed Easter to you all!

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Food, Ranch Life, Treats

Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies without All the Ads and fuss! I love baking up fresh crispy cookies for my man without having to go through a bunch of blogging ads. I put together this recipe in a combination of trial and error and this… by far… is the best!

I think you will find this recipe a delightful and easy one to follow. KEY…all ingredients need to be at room temperature so planning ahead is needed. It really is what makes this cookie so yummy and flavorful for even days afterward. (if they last that long) PLUS…don’t you love when you are looking to start a recipe you don’t have to deal with a bunch of ads! Geeeez…one thing I love about our blog…the ads are your choice to click on! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla (homemade is best…mason jar full whiskey with 2 vanilla beans steeped 4 wks)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. milk (any kind)
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a stand-up mixer, mix butter, sugar, and molasses until creamy with whipped attachment.
  3. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat again keeping it creamy. Now switch to the paddle attachment.
  4. Mix in a small bowl, flour, soda, and salt.
  5. Slowly add flour mixture into the creamy mixture until all is combined.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips.
  7. Place 1 tsp. of dough onto a cookie sheet at 2″ apart and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate sheet halfway in the cooking process. I only do one sheet at a time for best crispiness.
  8. Let cookies cool for 15 minutes before using a spatula to move them to the cooling rack.
  9. Repeat for each batch and enjoy many nibbles along the way!

Trying not to eat the cookie dough while you wait….SOOO hard!

The crispy thin taste is out of this world!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Health, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Ranch Life

Mom’s Favorite Homemade Bread Recipe A For Sure Winner Every Time You Make it!

My mom would make 6 loaves of fresh bread EVERY DAY! Can you just imagine? I don’t have too many memories of my mom as she died when I was super young but I do remember the aroma of our home always smells like fresh bread! I also remember the counter being full of those beautiful golden loaves ready to sink our mouths into.

Generation picture, My mom, daughter Mackinzey, and Me

Sure Thing Recipe

This recipe is a sure fit every time I make it. If I allow for the 5-minute kneed time and check the consistency of the bread while doing so, it turns out beautiful. I feel the key to homemade bread making is giving it time, don’t be in a rush, and little to no distractions is always a plus.

I hope you find it just as simple and enjoy the art of living life simply and full of being OLD FASHIONED!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups warm water, 105-110 degrees
  • 1 Tbsp. Active Dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup Organic Sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4-5 cups of flour

Directions:

Prepare the Dough

  1. In a stand-up mixer or large bowl, add yeast and water and a pinch of sugar. Let stand for 4-5 minutes to see if yeast is bubbling. (this is called proofing the yeast to make sure it is active. If it doesn’t bubble then you need new yeast and start over)
  2. Add remaining sugar, oil, and start mixer on low with the paddle attachment. Slowly add 1 cup at a time of flour mixing well. After 4 cups have been added, switch to kneading attachment and add flour 1/4 cup at a time to get the consistency of elasticity and smoothness. You may not need the last cup and you may need more. When the dough cleans the bowl your dough is ready to be kneaded.
  3. On the knead attachment or if you don’t have a mixer, place your dough on a floured surface and knead for 5-8 minutes.
  4. Put a little oil in the bowl and allow the dough to be totally covered in the oil. Cover bowl with BPA-free plastic wrap, or a warm tea towel and let rise for 1 1/2 hour to at least double the size.
  5. Spray 2 9x 5 loaf glass pans you can also flour the pans too. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  6. The second rise, punch down the dough and split in half placing them into your prepared loaf pans. Cover again using BPA-free plastic wrap, spraying the tops so you don’t have stickiness. Let rise for an hour in a warm place. When they are done rising, they should be about an inch above the pans.
  7. Gently remove plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
  8. My mom used to tap the top and if it was hollow it was done.
  9. Allow the loaves to cool by inverting them on a cooling rack for 4-5 minutes.

I hope your bread turns out as wonderful! If not, try again!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Ranch Life

Classy Potato Gratin Dish That Is Quick, Easy, and A Family Favorite!

Don’t you just love a nice side for any good meal. Especially when you don’t have a ton of time to make something? I sure do! Here is a great side even make ahead if you like. Simple too!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tbsp. Finlandia butter softened
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz Finlandia Swiss cheese or aged Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp fresh nutmeg
  • 1/2 c panko breadcrumbs
  • Finely chopped fresh chives, dill, or basil for garnish
Every Bite Delicious!

Ready to POP into the oven!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the potatoes about 1/8inch or less, using a mandolin slicer or sharp knife.
  2. Rub bottom and sides of 8×8 baking dish with softened butter, then place a single layer of the potatoes on the bottom. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and then with a scant layer of grated cheese. Repeat until used all the potatoes.
  3. Pour heavy cream over the potatoes, then use your fingers to gently press out any air pockets. Freshly grate nutmeg over the top then cover with panic breadcrumbs.
  4. Bake for about an hour or longer until the top is golden brown and a knife can be easily inserted in the center, indicating that no raw pieces of pat remain.
  5. Allow cooling for 5 minutes then serve with chives garnish.
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Crafts, Food, Grillin' One, Healthy Eating, Treats

Learn How to Make a Charcuterie Board by displaying a fun dessert or appetizer tray using foods you like using cheeses, meats, nuts, fruit, chocolate in a simple step by step.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays and when I learned about these special Charcuterie trays I had to make one up. Of course the crafty person in me and my Valentine, Dan also made the tray.

What is a Charcuterie Board?

You may have experienced seeing one of these at a gathering especially a wedding or a shower creating a display of cheeses, meats, fruits, and wondered what they are all about. A charcuterie board is an easy way to display finger food on some kind of tray. I have mostly seen the wood looks because of where we live, but plates, marble, granite, or metal are some other ideas. You can give a distressed look by simply painting them even putting a cracked look or conversation piece using chalk paint would be awesome! For this special Valentine’s Day, I wanted to put my own twist into my charcuterie board adding little touches of Valentine’s.

What to Add to a Valentine charcuterie Board

Cheese: Really anything goes but when your thinking of color, try getting the cheese with white casings. Silton with Raspberries, Goat Cheese, or a block of simple cream cheese. (Cut it into a heart shape to add dimension)

Meat: For a sweet tray meat isn’t really a big deal to add but I chose salami and turkey slices. Again making them into hearts is fun. Adding prosciutto all curled up and ham would also be great.

Nuts: I love nuts so almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts…go crazy if you like. I do make sure they are all shelled for easy nibbling!

Dips: Try thinking about what your tray theme is. In this case on Valentine’s Day chocolate would be appropriate. So melting good chocolate like Gheradellie and having the good ol’ hazelnut as a spread. Adding jams, mustards, honey butter are some great options as well. If you want some amazing flavor to chocolate, check this out! So great for frostings too! One we did for this tray was the old marshmallow dip and cream cheese.

Crackers and slices of bread: One of my favorite snacks and make a wonderful compliment to meat and cheeses is adding a variety of crackers. The grocery stores also have those cute little slices of bread like pumpernickel or rye. I used a horse head cookie cutter for my bread.

Fruit: I love adding this to any try just because fruit can be so colorful and clean the palate for the next bite. Think color and theme again when choosing your fruits. For this charcuterie board, it fit to have raspberries, strawberries, and blood oranges.

Sweets: Well go nuts here! Another favorite! Chocolate is very fitting for this charcuterie board. Adding chocolate bars, kisses, round Lindor candy balls…so many choices when in the season of Valentine’s Day. I also loved adding Macaroons and heart-shaped cookies. We used the Raspberry flavoring again for the filling.

Put it All Together

Don’t be intimidated, the charcuterie boards are easy to assemble. Here are three easy steps for you to make a professional-looking board.

Step 1: Perfect Charcuterie Board

Think about your theme and how many you will be servin. Big group you will need a bigger platter or wooden tray. Living in the woods on a ranch we have lots of flat wood surfaces.

White marble, plates, round or rectangle also make beautiful charcuterie boards.

If your making a tray for two, think a bit smaller.

Step Two: Arrange Your Board

There is no wrong way to assemble a board, but for me I like to place all my “height” or large item first. Like bowls, cheeses, dips, pour pitchers.

Next are the meats and crackers. Roll meat, or cut into shapes. Stack crackers up giving height and even try making roses with meats and flat foods. Lay in a fan pattern or around taller dishes.

Lastly, I add the sweets like chocolate, fruits, candies, and nuts.

Step Three: Your Special Touch

This part is so fun as you can add herbs, eatable flowers, mint leaves again keeping with your theme it can be anything to make your special charcuterie board pop. Because we are a ranch, we had to add the horse head shape out of the bread. It added who we are too.

You just want everything on the tray to be eatable. My rose petals buds made the dessert tray smell divine!

The above trays my hubby and I made. We received a bunch of wood cabinets as a donation and decided to use them for this idea. The Cricut Maker helped with all the fonts using Expressions Vinyl in shiny black and gold. the western one seems to be a favorite around here!

Oh, how fun these trays are, and hope you try and make one at your next party for 2 or more!

LOVE DEEPER, TALK SWEETER, ENJOY THE SIMPLE LIFE,

Lee

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Food, Healthy Eating, Ranch Life

Amazing Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole is great for quick dinner and perfect make ahead and freeze. We all love dinners we can freeze for nights when we don’t feel like cooking!

My daughter and I like making up meals on cold winter days that we can easily freeze and have ready for those busy days when we don’t have time or energy to cook. This is one great dish for just that!

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 coked chicken breast, cubed (rotisserie chicken is great too)
  • 3 cups cubed ham
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

You will use the above for layering. In a 9 x 13 glass dish, put meat on the bottom, cheese, meat…so on.

Next mix 3 tbsp. melted butter with 2 cups bread crumbs, Panko is a good choice.

The sauce:

  • 2 tbsp. flour with 3 tbsp. butter, mix to a paste
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded swiss cheese

Cook over medium heat, after you have a nice smooth paste, add remaining ingredients and stir well. It doesn’t have to be thick but not too runny. Add Swiss cheese. Pour mixture over your layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until nice and golden on top.

Enjoy and a nice big piece of French bread really makes this meal!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food

Lemon Rosemary Scones Will Melt in Your Mouth Flavor to die for herbs that are blended with the lemon will spark up any morning!

Making scones is always a little work but SO worth it when the product is done! Just don’t plan on making them an hour before church…you need more time. (Not that it happened to me or anything)

There is nothing like a fresh hot scone in the morning with my coffee and later in the day, it goes great with a cup of tea too. This recipe is one of my favorites mainly because I love the combo of lemon and rosemary.

Ingredients:

  • 3 c flour ( I needed more as mine was really wet…like bread you may have to decrease or increase your amount)
  • 2 fresh lemons
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks cold butter
  • 1 c cream or half and half
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp rosemary
Not perfect as only the ranch folk like it!

GLAZE:

  • 5 c powdered sugar, sifted
  • juice of one lemon
  • half and half as needed for thickness

Directions:

Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt together. Add sticks of butter and using a pastry cutter, cut until there are no big chunks. Set aside. Mix cream, egg, juice, and zest from one lemon, and rosemary. Whisk well. Gently add cream to dry ingredients and mix until nice dough forms. Place on a floured counter and roll out into a rough rectangle. Using a pizza cutter to cut making diagonals forming triangles. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Mix your glaze in a small bowl and when scones are slightly cool, using a fork drizzle glaze over each one…and let your mouth water waiting for the first bite!

Yummy! the hit of rosemary is so good!

Our family likes to decrease sugar as much as we can so I made very little of the glaze cutting recipe in half. They turned out great without so much glaze.

ENJOY!!!!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Ranch Life, Treats

Take a trend and try new designs

Making the new hot chocolate bombs was so fun over the Christmas season that I just had to go into the next holiday….Valentine’s. So my daughter and I got busy trying our hand at this new idea.

We tried a couple of different molds and found this one is fun and this one is what we used for the post. Mostly why we liked these is because it wasn’t as deep as a typical muffin cup size and the saying YOU & ME was perfect for the holiday.

Cherry hearts didn’t work
This one turned out awesome

Basic directions:

I recommend using the Ghirardelli brand wafers for your chocolate. The Wilson brand carries many dies and I like making color using herbal powders like Beet and Turmeric. Plus the chocolate tastes much better! Pour wafers in the saucepan using a double boiler method. This will control the chocolate melting process without burning. You don’t want that!

Using a paintbrush paint chocolate into your molds. If you have this mold, the cherry ones won’t work as the leaves all go one way and of course, you need one to be the opposite. Not that we made any mistakes and found out or anything…so yeah..moving on…

Make sure to do the sides well

The important part of doing these we have found is doing the sides and top well. Once you have done one layer, put it in the freezer for 5 minutes or so. My daughter had a fun idea of getting a tye-dye effect. Add sprinkles to the bottom of the first layer. These turned out so cute and colorful!

Next, do another layer, pop in the freezer for another 5 minutes, and you’re ready to slowly pop out your mold. Making sure to peel away the mold from the chocolate.

Now you’re ready to smooth seams and fill. We did one, filled it, then melted the other seam and secured it with the other. I just love how these turned out! We put a little plate on the stove, let it warm up, and put the chocolate heart on a plate to smooth the seam. Just for a few seconds.

Enjoy making these for all your loved ones ANYTIME of the year!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Ranch Life

Delicious Hot Chocolate Pancakes or As My Dad Called them Flapjacks

I am excited to share this recipe because going into the winter season I always enjoy a good ol’ cup of hot cocoa…so why not start early in the morning adding a little breakfast bliss!

Our kids love pancakes or as my dad called them, Flapjacks, and especially when you can add whipped cream and chocolate, well too die for breakfast to get them rollin’ for the day is for sure.

With the church being at home this year, our Sunday mornings via video eating breakfast together has been a delight and this recipe has become a favorite!

Side note, ingredients that are highlighted for links to purchase not only help our ranch ministry, but truly we find these product to be the healthiest alternative to buying in a grocery store where product sits for long periods of time and is not fresh. Ingredients I go through a lot! So when you see a link, it is because we care for your health in every possible way!

Enjoy every bite and then some…it’s amazing!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c Cacao Powder
  • 2/3 c Organic Sugar
  • 3 c Sifted Flour
  • 1 tbsp. +1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. Cream of Tarter
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 c Buttermilk
  • 4 tbsp. Salted Butter, Melted
  • 1 c Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 c Heavy Cream
  • 5 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate, Chopped
Sift together makes for a CAKE like pancake

Directions

  1. Whisk the cacao powder and sugar in a large bowl to break up clumps. Whisk in and sift together, flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter. Gradually fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Heat a large skillet over low to medium-low heat and smear on some butter covering the entire pan. Add 1/3 scoops ( I use an ice cream scooper) to the pan and cook until small bubbles form on the surface and the edges are dry. FLIP and cook the other side until golden brown on the bottom. Repeat until your batter is done.
  4. For the best part…the sauce…Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until melted and smooth. Top the pancakes with the chocolate sauce and marshmallows and sprinkles too!
Pour wet ingredients into dry
Chocolate pancakes and cream heating up for yumminess!
ooooo, so good!
COMMENT BELOW!!! DID YOU TRY IT?

COMMENT:

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Food, Ranch Life, Treats

An Amazing Creamy Orange Mousse Served in a Chocolate Cupcake Mold will Delight Any Dinner Guests

My daughter and I love making desserts so this Christmas season we were making Hot Chocolate bombs and saw how the mold idea made for another combination we adore…chocolate and orange flavor! So we tried one of the molds into a cupcake liner putting lots of chocolate in it and filling it with an orange creamsicle mousse. OH MY…it turned out fabulous! PLUS, we put the mixture into our Krumkake AND onto our Hot Chocolate pancakes. YEP…we love holiday baking and this mousse makes for more than just dessert! Hope you find it as yummy as we did!

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. I used my Kitchen aid with the whipped attachment.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar, orange essential oil, juice, and salt and beat until combined.
    Gently fold in the whipped topping. If you’re using real whipping cream, place the above mixture into another bowl, beat your whipped cream with a tsp of sugar, then fold into your orange mixture.
  3. Place mixture in the refrigerator until ready to serve. In the meantime…
  4. Heat your chocolate wafers in a microwavable bowl until nice and creamy.
  5. Fill a paper or silicone muffin cup 1/4 full and brush chocolate up the sides. Make sure every area is full of chocolate. Place in freezer for 5 minutes then do again making a nice thick chocolate muffin cup. Peel off paper and place on serving plate.
  6. When ready to serve fill up each chocolate muffin cup with orange filling. Add a sprig of orange zest on top.

Since New Year’s is around the corner…this would make quite the treat to any appetizer and game night! Ring in the new year with yummy goodness!

Happy New Year! 2021 here we come!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Ranch Life

Don’t you just love having something on hand you can pull from the freezer and make for guests or for a party? I sure do…plus this is something you can make ahead. Gotta love it!

I also like trying different cheeses with this appetizer. Not everyone loves Bri so try any of your favorite cheeses and make it your own.

Ingredients:

1- 8 oz sheet croissant dough

4 oz brie cheese, cut into cubes

3 tbsp cranberry rasins, finely chopped

3 tbsp. pistachios, finely chopped

1 tbsp. rosemary, finely chopped, some for garnish

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

honey for garnish

rosemary

Directions: Preheat oven 375

  1. Roll out croissant dough onto a lightly floured area. Should be 8×12 size or so.
  2. Cut dough into squares making 24 squares. Using a pizza cutter cut 4 lines down 8″ side, and 6 lines down 12″side making 24 squares.
  3. Place brie cubes in each square. Mix pistachios and cranberries into a bowl and sprinkle on top of brie. Sprinkle a tinge of rosemary on top.
  4. Fold corners together on each cube lightly pinching corners together. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Whisk beaten egg with 1 tbsp of water for an egg wash. Brush egg wash on each cube. Sprinkle rosemary and sea salt on top.
  6. Bake until golden brown, 12-14 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes.
  7. Drizzle honey on top place on platter decorating with rosemary sprigs and pomegranate seeds.
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Crafts, Food, Treats

Ranchstyle Hot Chocolate Bombs that Are Always a Hit with Little one and YES Even Big Kids

Well, these are for sure all the rage right now! WOW! An idea comes out and boom…it’s a hit! Especially in this day and age with so many at home and looking for new crafty ideas for gift-giving. I LOVE IT! And so excited to start my own ideas into this great delicious treat!

I came up finding this when I was in the cities with our son who just got a liver transplant. He had to stay “in town” to make sure he was ok so we had an apartment we were renting. It was awesome as it had a big kitchen so of course opened the door for me to try some new recipes. Stuck inside…make the best of it.

I went onto Youtube and searched for the best options on how to make these cuties. I saw many that simply were not good or well made and some I tried and it for sure was a flop! One was using the plastic ornament balls that split apart. NOT! Don’t use those! They simply make a mess and don’t work well.

The one problem I found was there were no molds to be sold ANYWHERE! Being in the city allowed me to search in many craft stores but none of them had the molds. They told me everyone is into it so they sold out quickly. Hence, why I tried the ornament round as I was desperate! Make sure you use a silicone brush too.

Add whipping cream for extra pop!

I also love the idea of making these for the winter months thinking of some different molds. Heart, Horses, of course, Christmas Tree, Snowflakes, and because we have a cop in the family yes, donuts are a must! Awesome for your neighborhood precinct as gifts too!

TIPS:

Use a silicone brush, go to TOP of the silicone cup. Once filled flip upside down onto a metal rack with parchment paper under it to help them be nice and round.
Peel away slowly, handle gently. We also did the chocolate twice to make it extra strong.

Decorating is the funniest part! Use squeeze bottles to get the effect of strips. Immediately add the sprinkles to secure them.

Here is my favorite video on how to…I think you will find it easy to understand and is not so drawn out.

https://youtu.be/xGHGVrnuRqA

You can use dark chocolate bars like in this video but I found the chocolate wafers. You can purchase in all kinds of colors and even flavors with other products, BUT they contain dyes that are not good for you like a red dye. If you want to color your white wafer using Beet powder, or Tumeric is much healthier. It doesn’t take much to make the color. Also, these fun marshmallows are pretty awesome and fit perfectly in the bombs.

Well, we got started on our own version for the Christmas season and they indeed were a hit with the receivers! Hope you enjoy making them, being creative inside and out of each one and of course the final wrap for whomever and whatever the occasion. These are a BOMB for sure!

ENJOY and happy dunking!

Love deeper, talk sweeter, give often,

Lee

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Food, Healing, Ranch Life, Treats

This Indeed Is the Best Sugar Cookie Recipe I Have Ever Made and SO Easy You Will Love It

A Long Haul

Spending 3 weeks in a hotel room and life upside down due to our son’s liver transplant, I was excited to arrive home for a week break and do some baking. I dreamed all the way home, (3 hours) of the recipes I wanted to make and seemly enough cookies were on the top of the list.

Being the season for cookie baking and what inspired me was seeing these new sugar cookie kisses. The kisses have cute little sprinkles in them and well….here ya go…my absolute favorite recipe! What makes it so special? The powdered sugar…and the joy of the time…our son’s long haul was heading in an upward climb vs. downward. Such a joy to make these and bring some back to him in a few days hopefully discharged! God is good…even with sugar cookies! You can read his miracle story here! Start from Nov. 1, 2020…amazing!

Dip jar in melted butter, sugar, then onto cookie

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 c. organic sugar
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fresh vanilla
  • 4 c. flour, plus 2 tbsp.
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
All spices I get from Starwest….truly fresh and organic. (link)

Extras: chocolate kisses, cookie cutters, old fashion sugar cookie with sugar sprinkled on top smashing using the bottom of glass dipped in sugar. Any way you choose these is amazing!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large mixing bowl, with a paddle attachment, add eggs and butter until nice and creamy.
  3. Add sugars and vanilla, mix well.
  4. Mix in a separate bowl flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
  5. Slowly pour flour mixture into mixing bowl and mix until nice dough forms. Cover and place in the refrigerator for one hour.
  6. The next part is how you want to make your cookie. If you want the kisses, form balls using a cookie scoop. Bake for 9-11 minutes then as soon as they come out of the oven, place your kiss in the middle.
  7. If you want to make cookie-cutter ones, roll out your dough, make your shapes, sprinkle sugar if you like, and bake for 9-11 minutes. Decorate more if you like.
  8. Lastly is the old-fashioned way, form your balls with a scoop placing an ungreased tray. Using the bottom of a mason jar, dipped in butter, then dip into organic sugar ( I put on a plate) smash ball forming a nice sugar cookie. To DIE FOR!!!

Enjoy all the ways you can bite into this cookie! I truly love it and so does the family after such a long haul! On our way to healing…Praise the Lord!

LOVE LOVE the sugar cookie kisses! They are perfect with this recipe!
Old fashioned sugar cookie

Love deeper, talk sweeter, and thank the Lord for the good and bad times,

Lee

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Food, Ranch Life, Treats

An Oatmeal Bundt Cake Where You Feel Like You Are Not Eating Unhealthy and Very Easy To Make For Any Occasion

Need a quick cake for a potluck or to make for guests? This cake is the ticket and you will be the hit of the party! I also love this cake to give to loved ones who are ill or need a bit of encouragement. It’s a beautiful touch of love!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2 c organic sugar
  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Oatmeal soak and covered while you prep other ingredients

FOR TOPPING:

  • 1/4 c melted butter
  • 1/2 c organic sugar with 1 tbsp molasses
  • 3 tbsp. hard and half or milk
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 c flaked sweetened coconut

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. You can use a tube pan that the bottom comes out too. In a small bowl, combine rolled oats and boiling water. Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, molasses, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat again. Fold in oatmeal. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. add to the creamy mixture and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan you are using and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cake feels firm to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean. DO NOT REMOVE CAKE FROM OVEN PAN. Mix the topping by combining the topping ingredients in a bowl. Spread the topping on top of the cake and put the cake back in the oven to broil for 2-3 minutes or until the topping becomes bubbly and the coconut is browned. Let the cake cool slightly before carefully removing it from the pan.

Put topping on top and broil for a couple of minutes
Beautiful!

Serve with a cup of your favorite tea and enjoy this wonderful, moist cake!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Food, Healthy Eating, Herb Basket, Living Naturally, Treats

A Creative Herbal Tea Gift In A Tube Makes for A Great Gift Giving Idea With A Healthy Boost Too!

It’s been a crazy fall and I wanted to make some fun thank you gifts just knowing our life could get upside down soon with our son waiting for a liver transplant. One thing I love to do is give a gift to staff or really anyone who has given us extra love.

Getting Creative

Cleaning my whimsy room, I noticed these tubes. I was emptying a to-go-craft bag and wanting to fill it with things to do while at the hospital. HUM…what could I make? I thought to fill them with candy and bow them with a tag. The old hot chocolate idea with cocoa and marshmallows and peppermint candies is always a great go-to. But I wanted to do something different and even more on the healthier side since we are talking about health care workers during such a difficult time. So…I came up with an herbal tea blend. I thought they turned out kinda cool! Plus, giving them out would be easy! The only thing is that when it actually came time for me to give them out the hospitals shut down visitors. I did go to security and asked them to deliver them, just not ideal, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

I just love how they turned out!

How I put them together

I made up three different blends. Fall, Christmas, and simple citrus. The one I loved the most was the lavender one.

Just put the herbs of your choosing in front of you and arrange how you want them to look. The lavender looked great on the bottom with the rose petals on top, then spearmint, lemon peel, and a tinge of orange peel. Just layer as you would like. Christmas tea has my favorite blends of cinnamon chips, ginger, orange, Euchenicia, and very little Hibiscus Flower (great for color too or you could use elderberry or both).

Fall is the easiest, Red rooibos tea, ginger roots, elderberry, clove bits, and cinnamon bits. (Cinnamon sticks work great too but I cut them up into bits for the blends)

All the herbs are organic and wonderful quality! Sometimes they are out of stock but just have them notify you when they arrive.

A new friend moved into our area, so packaged him up some pumpkin bread and tea for a housewarming gift.

Enjoy gifting this year using your favorite things. Blended teas always make a wonderful gift for folks who enjoy the herbal teas. One must have a taste for it though, so choose carefully! You may just have to go back to the hot cocoa idea.

These hot chocolate bombs are a big hit too! I love how creative you can get with these just by switching out the color of chocolate.

Love deeper, talk sweeter, and give generously!

Lee

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Food, Treats

The Best Homemade Chocolate Cake Recipe That Is Quick, Easy, and So Delicious It Will Knock the Socks Off Of Any Party!

I don’t often make cakes but of course, there are those occasions that call for a special cake. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or welcome new little one this recipe is my go-to! Yep, it’s all homemade and will take an extra step but over 12 years ago we stopped buying cans and boxed items for our cooking and as a result, our overall health is better. I also enjoy the cooking process so there’s that too!

Here it is…ENJOY baking homemade and eating with incredible goodness!

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 4 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fresh vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup Nutella

For the whipped cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 round baking pans with parchment paper and spray the parchment with baking spray.
  2. In medium saucepan melt butter. Add the cacao powder and stir until smooth. Pour in the boiling water, let the mixture bubble up to 20 seconds or so, then turn it off and set aside.
  3. In a measuring picture or bowl, mix together the buttermilk, baking soda, eggs, and vanilla. Set aside.
    In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, and salt. Stir in the hot chocolate mixture, stirring gently until it’s halfway combined and less hot. Pour in the buttermilk mixture and continue stirring gently until the batter is combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 20 minutes os so, until they are just set. Remove them from the pans and set aside to cool completely. (I cut each cake in half to create 4 layers…not ever again!)
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the whipped cream by whipping cream and powdered sugar together until nice and thick!
  6. To assemble, turn one layer upside down onto a serving platter. Spead half of the Nutella onto cake and half of the whipped topping over the chocolate. Place the second cake on top and repeat. I added fresh strawberries and blueberries to this cake. You don’t want to assemble for an hour before serving as whipped cream will look soggy…hence mine. Cut with a hot serrated knife. I cut my cake into 2 to make it bigger…I won’t do that again…got too wobbly.
  7. Enjoy every dreamy bite!
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Food, Health, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Treats

Gingerbread Cookies with A Dollop of Carmel That Will Make You Burst With Joy!

Man…there is NOTHING like gingerbread cookies in the fall but add caramel to the mix…WOW…too die for!

I love baking in the fall because of all the wonderful fresh spices. I also love the fact I have more time due to ministry slowing down. This recipe is so simple and will definitely make your family some happy campers! Plus, they were wonderful to have on our trip to Branson, MO. One cookie was enough to meet the snacking need and made the car smell good too!

Hope y’all love it as much as we did!

ENJOY!

Ingredients:

All spices I get through the link, Starwest…organic, fresh!

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, fresh grated is best
  • 6 tbsp. salted butter softened
  • 3/4 sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses or best yet, Sorghum (video below)
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tbsp. caramel sauce (look below)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the flout, salt, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Drizzle in the molasses, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. Beat in egg.
  3. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating until just combined after each addition. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap (BPA FREE) and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop a rounded teaspoonful of dough and root into smooth round balls. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared sheets. Gently press your thumb into the center of each to make an indentation.
  5. Bake until cookies are set but still soft, about 14 minutes. Let cool, slightly then press the handle of a spoon into each cookie center. Remove each cookie and let cool, then fill with 1/2 tsp. of caramel.

Making Homemade Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of Sorghum or molasses
  • 1/2 cup of half and half
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla, more if you like

Put all ingredients except vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk for 5-10 minutes while cooking until thick. Add vanilla and cook for another minute. Turn off the heat, cool a bit then pour into mason jar. Refrigerate until cold.

What is Sorghum?

Sorghum is made from 100% pure, natural juice extracted from sorghum cane. The leaves from the cane are stripped by hand, and the heads are removed. The cane is then put through a roller press to squeeze out the sweet juice. The juice is strained again and cleansed of impurities and cooked down in open pans resulting in an amber-colored, mild syrup. Sorghum is one of the oldest natural sweeteners known, used by our ancestors as America was being settled. Besides being the energy food of the settlers, sorghum made their foods tastier and more nutritious. Sorghum contains such nutrients as calcium, iron, potassium, and phosphorus, and it contains no chemical additives.

The settlers found many ways to use sorghum sweetening drinks, making confection, flavoring meats, but its most popular usage was in baking. It was used in place of sugar in making pies, bread, puddings, and countless cakes and cookies. It is still a nutritious flavoring that gives any food that delicious taste and aroma the spells…HOMEMADE!

Written by the Schrock Family at Silver Dollar in Branson, MO

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Food, Ranch Life

Best Busicuts and Gravy Ever as This Recipe Is Amazing!

I am sure everyone has at least one person in their life who loves this dish! Holy cow do I! My whole family goes hog wild for this breakfast and really…I could take it or leave it, but…when I want to make them happy I make this dish.

This past Father’s Day was pretty special as our kids are all home now and it was a pretty special day. Our daughter hasn’t celebrated Father’s Day in over 8 years so she wanted to make him his favorite dish. Later for dinner, our son made him his favorite appetizer. The one an only 7 layer dip which he got a surprise after we devoured the beautiful dish.

Done on my Cricut…a little homemade something by everyone in the family.

The biscuits are really DROP DEAD awesome! Seriously! I have tried many recipes but this one beats them all. How do I know? Because my man adored them and said, “hang onto this one hon!” So I did!

My favorite beverage to serve, Ginger Beer spritzer with limeade all freshly squeezed with the appetizer.

Ok…a little sidetrack there with the whole plate which led to the dinner menu, which too was fabulous. But for now, on with the beginning of our special day…

Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup powdered milk
  • 6 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp coarse pepper
  • 2 sticks cold butter
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3 cups buttermilk
Don’t forget to add the butter to each one! This makes these divine!

Directions: Preheat oven 450 degrees

  1. Whisk the first 2 together.
  2. Add sugar, salt, sage, baking powder, cream of tartar, and pepper. Mix with fork well.
  3. Cut in butter. I cut them into cubes to help. Add shortening again blending and cutting in well.
  4. Add buttermilk mix until dough forms.
  5. Turn out onto a floured surface and spread out using your hands. Cut out circles to form biscuits. Make them about 1″ thick.
  6. Melt 2 tbsp butter and brush on each biscuit.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Done and beautiful!

Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sausage cooked
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. season salt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook sausage until fully done. Add your milk and heat for 2-3 minutes. Slowly sprinkle in flour stirring as you do. Add seasonings and you are ready to pour over those warm biscuits!

Eat up! YUM YUM!

This dish really is the best we have ever come up with and believe me…we have tried a ton of varieties over the years.

Enjoy…and let me know what you think!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee and the gang!

COMMENTS:

Please share!

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Food, Healthy Eating, Ranch Life

My Cowboy Favorite, Flank Steak, and Broiled Veggies Make For One Great Meal!

This recipe is one I go back to over and over again as it is just so easy and the taste of every bite is just downright amazing! Mouthwatering in every single bite! I guarantee it!

I think you will find it a go-to too! You can use any meat really but of course, steak is my man’s fav…so here ya go.

MOUTHWATERING FLANK STEAK

Ingredients:

  • flank steak (1 lb or so) cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup Liquid Aminos (so much better for you than soy sauce)
  • 3 tbsp. sherry
  • 2 tbsp. sugar with 1/2 tsp. molasses (my brown sugar)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. arrowroot (better for you than cornstarch)
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 1 pepper, sliced
  • jalapeƱo (optional) diced
  • noodles cooked to package directions
  • cilantro for garnish

Directions:

In a 4 cup glass mixer, mix amino, sherry, sugar, garlic, arrowroot, and lime juice. Whisk well. Place in a bowl the steak strips and half of the mixture. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour. The longer the better.

In a skillet with some olive oil, add onion and peppers. Heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add your steak marinate to the skillet. Let cook until brown on one side, then flip to brown the other. Add remaining marinate and veggies. Stir well then add you noodles and mix well until all is well with the soul! YUM! Serve on plate with a slice of lime, and cilantro. Oh man this is an amazing dish!

Broiled Veggies:

Simply place on a cookie sheet a variety of your favorite veggies. I used mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, (variety color), bell pepper, (colors too), and zucchini. Cubed Feta cheese sprinkled everywhere. I used big chunks from a block of Feta. I also added cool cucumbers chopped to place on top of the dish to serve that was not broiled. The cool mixed with the hot is refreshing.

Next, I shook up in a mason jar, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 tbsp Liquid Aminos, and Worchester sauce, salt, and pepper, and if you like a little kick, a sprinkle of cayenne. You will top half of this mixture to all your cut up veggies on the tray and then place in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes until cheese is brown. When done, arrange on a plate and mix in your flank steak mixture. (you can add the rest of your mason jar if you like)

Top with cilantro allllll over the top and even on the plate to add a little decorative flare!

ENJOY…my man sure did!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life, Smokin'

Key Lime Cakes In A Mason Jar Brings A Dessert To A Whole New CUTE, Tasty, And Simple!

OH! What a delightful dessert this little treat is! We had a dinner party/Board meeting at our home this last weekend and this dessert sure hit the spot! Enjoying the summer temps, laughter, and friendships and of course food always makes for a great time!

I found this recipe and of course had to tweak it a bit for natural ingredients instead of canned or boxed shortcuts. I love serving the best I can even if it takes an extra step or two.

Here ya go…ENJOY EVERY SPOONFUL!

Ingredients:

Cupcake part

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. butter at room temperature, salted
  • 1 cup of organic sugar
  • 2 large eggs (one more if you have chickens who have a tendency to be smaller)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of fresh vanilla
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. half and half

Syrup:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

tsp. grated lime zest, plus 1/4 cup lime juice

Lime Filling

1 1/2 cup heavy cream

6 tbsp. sugar

1 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature

2 tsp. grated lime zest, plus 1/2 cup lime juice, plus 12 thin lime slices, for garnish

1 10 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup slivered almonds or macadamia nuts

Directions:

  1. For the cakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray silicone cupcake pan. Sift the flour, baking soda, and cream of Tarar and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on high speed until nice and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for a few more seconds. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk; mix for a few seconds on medium speed after each addition. Scrap the sides of the bowl, then mix a final time.
  3. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan on a rack, then remove the cupcakes to the rack to cool completely.
  4. For the syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the lime zest and juice and let cool completely.
  5. For the lime filling: Beat the heavy cream with 2 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl with mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Set the whipped cream aside. Put the cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and the lime zest in a separate bowl and beat with the mixer on medium speed until smooth and light, about 2 minutes. Add the condensed milk and lime juice and beat on low speed just until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped cream.
  6. To assemble: Slice the cupcakes in half horizontally and place a bottom piece in each of the twelve 8 oz mason jars. Spoon half the lime syrup over the cakes. Spoon the lime filling into the jars and top with the remaining cupcake pieces. Spoon the remaining syrup over the cakes. Top with the remaining whipped cream. Put the mason jar lids on each and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Garnish with the nuts of your choice and lime slices before serving.

TIP:

If you decide to refrigerate overnight, place your nuts and lime slices ON TOP of your jars so you don’t forget to add them… I did this…bummer for the guests, but it is a nice touch!

Yummy in the tummy!!

Enjoy!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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