Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cauliflower Soup

I have this on to simmering right now...
It looks wonderful and smells even better. I can't wait to try it. :)

It's Pioneer Woman's Recipe... her site is here

Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients
  • 1 stick Butter
  • ½ whole Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1 whole Carrot Finely Diced
  • 1 stalk Celery, Finely Diced
  • 1 whole (to 2 Whole) Cauliflower Heads (roughly Chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Or Dried Parsley (chopped)
  • 2 quarts Low-sodium Chicken Broth Or Stock
  • 6 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Half-and-half
  • 2 teaspoons To 4 Teaspoons Salt, To Taste
  • 1 cup (heaping) Sour Cream, Room Temperature
Preparation Instructions
In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, or until it starts to turn brown. Add the carrots and celery and cook an additional couple of minutes. Add cauliflower and parsley and stir to combine. Cover and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pour in chicken stock or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer.
In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Mix the flour with the milk and whisk to combine. Add flour-milk mixture slowly to the butter, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup half-and-half. Add mixture to the simmering soup. Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Check seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary.
Just before serving, place the sour cream in a serving bowl or soup tureen. Add two to three ladles of hot soup into the tureen and stir to combine with the sour cream. Pour in remaining soup and stir.
Serve immediately.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lime Cordial

Cordial |ˈkôrjÉ™l|
adjective
warm and friendly : the atmosphere was cordial and relaxed.
a cordial welcome friendly, warm, genial, affable, amiable, pleasant, fond, affectionate, warmhearted, good-natured, gracious, hospitable, welcoming, hearty

I pulled out some of our lime cordial this week and it reminded me to post about it...


I have taken my cue from my Aussie Friend Rhonda Jean and decided to call my concoction Lime Cordial instead of the lame Limeaid... I mean really... which one would you like a glass of???
Yeah,  Me too...
Sometimes cordials have liqueur, this one does not.
I just like the friendly, old fashioned ring that it has to it.  I like how it says, come and sit a spell with me while we sip on Lime Cordial...
It makes me think of Anne (Green Gables) throwing a ladies luncheon for Diana and being thrilled to no end about sharing Raspberry Cordial with her bosom friend.  So that is what I am doing... I am sharing my Lime Cordial with you, my bosom friends.  Just pretend when you are drinking it that we are sitting on the porch together... chatting and laughing like we have known each other for a lifetime.  And stick a pretty sprig of mint in there... just to be fancy.
This is my recipe for my Lime Cordial
3/4 cup agave nectar in a 2 cup measuring cup
Fill the cup up the rest of the way with warm water and stir to dissolve
Now you want 1 cup of lime juice
You can add 2 cups if you like, but these limes are VERY strong... so I only used 1 cup.  Also before you juice your limes, grate them finely (not too much you don't want the pith) and mix in the grated rind with the juice.
This is your cordial. What you will do now is freeze it in plastic bottles if you like or put it in a pitcher to drink right now. 
You will serve your cordial with ice water.  Drinking it as is, is much too strong a drink.  Depending on your taste you might want to fill a glass with ice and water half full or even less and then fill the rest of the way with cordial. 
This is quite tasty and is a lovely summer drink.  I am tickled to have some in the freezer so sometime this fall or winter I can pull some out and have a taste of summer in December or January... sometime. :)
Don't forget the mint...
Enjoy!

My Cup Runneth Over...Chas

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Focaccia Bread

Welcome and Good Morning!  I hope you are having a swell Thursday... 
I figured with it being my favorite day, I would share with you some Thursday love... and you will LOVE this recipe!
My dear friend Lindsey adapted it from a recipe for a savory focaccia bread from a magazine we both get through email, it is such a lovely magazine.  Beautiful pictures, great recipes and crafty ideas.  It is called Seasonal Delights... go check it out!
Anyhow back to the reason you came... the Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Focaccia Bread...  the name is a mouthful in itself. Ha
Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Focaccia Bread
Ingredients:
1 cup warm water (110°F)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (I used a tablespoon)
2 1/2 cups flour (I used soft white wheat)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3-4 T sugar (I used sucanat)
4 T butter, melted, divided

1/3 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon for topping

1/4 powdered sugar, milk, vanilla for icing

Stir together warm water and sugar in a small bowl.  Add the yeast slowly, stirring constantly to dissolve.  Let stand until bubbly, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl combine the flour, additional sugar, salt and cinnamon.  Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons of the butter.  Stir to combine thoroughly but try not to knead at this point.  I had to mix it together with my hands just a bit to make sure it was all mixed up.
Cover and rest for 30 minutes.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees after 15 minutes of the resting time.
Remove dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 30-60 seconds.  The dough should still be fairly soft but also smooth.  Roll out about 1/2 inch thick and place on a baking sheet or stone.  Push your fingertips down into the dough, making dimples, not holes, all over the dough.  Spread the remaining 2 T butter over the top.
Combine topping ingredients and spread all over the buttered dough.  Bake for about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.
Place powdered sugar in a bowl and add *maybe* 3 t milk, a little bit at a time, until the consistency of icing.  Add the tiniest splash of vanilla extract and stir.  Drizzle over warm bread (I like to cut into strips and then drizzle) and serve.
 

I hope you all have a fantastic Thursday!  Love to each of you!
xoxo
My Cup Runneth Over...Chas

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Have some favorite fabric??

I am sure some of you out there have pieces of fabric that you love and may be a little too small for a project.  I saw this and I knew that I wanted to re-create this in my home using  some of my favorite fabrics.  A few of them were from the yard sale finds, one was from my beloved Nannie Red, who is now in the presence of Jesus (I miss you Nannie!, and one was from my dear friend Linz
I took the fabric and fitted it into various sizes of embroidery hoops and then tightened the hoop as tight as I could.  I cut very closely around the fabric with some sharp scissors and then placed them here and there on an empty place on my wall!  I think it turned out rather nice! Don't you??





I am so pleased with how it turned out and I am thinking I might want to add maybe 2 more smallish hoops.  I certainly have plenty of fabric, I just didn't have any more hoops!  Have a wonderful day!My Cup Runneth Over... Chas

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Preparing for our Garden


I was THRILLED to receive our seeds in the mail over the weekend... my dreams of gardens and raised beds and spring is nearing the corner.
This will be a first time that I will be starting all our veggies from seed.  I have bought transplants at the local nursery for the longest... but this year I want to try to go as organic as possible and I know the nursery uses treated seeds and pesticides.
I am aware there will be some success as well as some failures. But all in all, I know that I am coming out better in the long run this way.
I have my little growing trays ready, I have cleaned out my windowsills and I am planning on finding an UV light to help the warmer-blooded seeds along, when the time comes.
Such an exciting time.



Happy Gardening!
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Monday, January 25, 2010

Super Sweet Sale!

Vision Forum Sale!!!


 Excellent Sale going on at one of my favorite online stores.
Wonderful books, homeschooling supplies, dvds, audios and MORE!



Thursday, January 21, 2010

Vanilla Coffee Creamer

This recipe is not the most healthy, but I am sure it is better than what they have in the stores... plus it is a bit less expensive also.
Made some last night and it is just fabulous...
I hope to figure out something a bit more healthy for future use.
Hope you enjoy!

 
Vanilla Coffee Creamer

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup cream, heavy, half and half (whatever you have on hand)
1 1/2 cups milk
4 tsp. vanilla

What I did is add everything into a quart jar, and just SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE!!!

Serving size is around 2 Tbsp.
But you know your taste, so however you like it. 

This will keep in the fridge about 2 weeks if it lasts that long!

ENJOY!!!



My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

School time= Fun time

When thinking about my children and what gifts we would like for them to have this past Christmas, Shannon and I agreed that we wanted at least one of their gifts to be something we could use for school.
The children were equally excited to see some of the goodies they received.
A kit to make a mud clock and a soda can robug.
We have thoroughly enjoyed both of these
Here is a video for the robug
And here are some pics of our mud clock.

 
Here is a cool fact...

Volta discovered that if you put two different metals in a liquid that was slightly acidic (like vinegar) a small electric current would flow between the metals.  He used silver and copper as well as other metals.  Volta also discovered that he could increase the battery voltage by connecting the metal pairs together in a series as in our clock

Groovy, huh? :)

Learning is great... especially when it is alongside your children.
Have a beautiful day!

My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Elderberry Cough Syrup


Elderberry Cough Syrup
Recipe taken from Crystal Miller's Family Homestead

Make Your Own Elderberry Syrup for the Cold Season
1 cup dried elderberries (you can purchase dried elderberries from 
Mountain Rose Herbs ). If you have a source of fresh elderberries you can also use about 3 cups fresh to equal the 1 cup dried
3 cups water
1 ½ cups honey
Optional, but not necessary is a tablespoon of brandy(I used vodka, because I have some on hand for my vanilla). This helps preserve the syrup.

In a large pot combine the elderberries and water. Bring this to a boil and reduce heat. Let simmer for about 1 hour, uncovered. Strain out the elderberries. You can use an old clean dishcloth to strain your berries (but it will get stained so make sure it is an old one). Add the honey and optional brandy and stir till dissolved. Store this syrup in the refrigerator in a glass canning jar or if you did not add the brandy then store in smaller bottles in the freezer. This way you can take a small bottle out as needed. When you or someone in your family shows the first symptoms of a cold or the flu begin taking spoonful two to three times daily. An adult spoonful would equal about a tablespoon and a child’s spoonful would be a teaspoon or so. 


I have a batch in my refrigerator right now anytime a cough or runny nose comes along. It is a great preventative too. :)


My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Monday, January 18, 2010

Making an oil lamp, like Ma Ingalls

"What's a button lamp?" Pa asked.
"Wait and see," said Ma.
When he had gone to do the chores for the night Ma told Carrie to bring her the rag bag. She took some of the axle grease from the box and spread it in an old saucer. Then she cut a small square of calico.  "Now find me a button in the button bag, Carrie."
"What kind of button, Ma?" Carrie asked, bringing the button bag from the cold front room.
"Oh, one of Pa's old overcoat buttons," said Ma.
She put the button in the center of the square of calico.  She drew the cloth together over the button and wound a thread tightly around it and twisted the corners of calico straight upward in the tapering bunch.  Then she rubbed a little axle grease up the calico and set the button into the axle grease in the saucer.
...
"Give me a match, Charles, please," Ma said. She lighted the taper tip of the button lamp.  A tiny flame flickered and grew stronger.  It burned steadily, melting the axle grease and drawing it up through the cloth into itself, keeping itself alight by burning.  The little flame was like the flame of a candle in the dark. 
"You're a wonder, Caroline," said Pa. "It's only a little light, but it makes all the difference."
                                     The Long Winter

After the children and I read through that part, the wheels in my head began to turn and I wanted to mimic "Ma's button lamp"
I didn't have any axle grease lying around so I took my button, wound my fabric and used olive oil instead. I took a small mason jar, filled it with water about 3/4 the way full and then olive oil on top. Sat the button and the 'wick' inside and poked a smallish hole in the lid of the jar, just enough for my wick to stick out about 1/2 inch.
It worked. :)



















It was so great to see the kids eyes when it worked and they thought I was just as clever as Ma. Now that is a compliment. :)
She was a wonder...
Have a beautiful day.
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Friday, January 15, 2010

Trying my hand...

I decided to finally take the plunge and try my hand at the 'no knead' artisan type bread. I have had it on my to do list for a long while but seemed a bit apprehensive about trying.
This week I overcame my fear and went for it.
I am very pleased with the outcome and my family raved.

I found the recipe I tried at Mother Earth News.

 
A very firm outside and a nice chewy inside.

Last nights loaf turned out even better. :)
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Turkey Talk



Around Christmastime a friend of ours blessed us with a turkey. His work gave him one and he, being a bachelor and having a Mom who made ham for Christmas, he decided that we would probably get more out of it then him...
Indeed! :)
I put it in the deep freeze and brought it out last Thursday. On Friday morning I cut up some of the breast and fried the pieces up in coconut oil and had the fried turkey with biscuits and gravy for our family for breakfast.  (Don't knock it till you try it... it is a family tradition around Thanksgiving time)
After breakfast I put the remainder of the turkey in a LARGE stockpot and cooked up the rest.
After picking the turkey clean of meat I then returned all the bones back to the stockpot and added some veggies and made stock.
Out of that one turkey let me tell you how many meals I rendered...
  1. Fried Turkey Breast, with biscuits and gravy for breakfast/
  2. Fried rice, rice was cooked in turkey stock and then pieces of meat and vegetables was added into the final product.
  3. Turkey stew. Stock, meat and veggies were added together with leftover rice (made with turkey stock) for a very satisfying and warm lunch.
  4. Turkey and veggies.
  5.  Turkey Pot Pie
  6. I really used lots of veggies in the mix to make the meat stretch farther, so we had leftovers for these meals, giving Shannon lunches for the next day! SCORE!!
  7. And I have about 8 more quarts of stock in the freezer.
What a blessing!!!
Out of one bird we were fed and nourished so many times.
Thank you to our sweet friend, your gift was truly enjoyed. :)
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A dress for Holly

Carlie Jean received a new baby doll for Christmas. She is so chubby and cute but only had on a diaper.
Heaven's sake, she can't run around in this wintry weather in just a dipe! So I promised her that I would make her something to wear.
I came up with this...
It may be short sleeved, but Carlie Jean keeps her swaddled quite often and so she stays pretty cozy.

 
Holly (born on Christmas morning, thus her name) is a very loved little girl. 
You can find the pattern for her dress here...
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Little House Cooking

I am going to admit something here...
It may be such a shock you might have to sit down.
I, a homeschooling mother of four...

I have never read all the Little House on the Prairie Books!

Gasp!

Tis' true, tis' true.
I began reading the set to the children sometime last year and have been in total love with them ever since. I am so sad that I didn't read them as a young girl because, they are incredible.
I LOVE every minute of our time reading together.
One consolation of not having read them myself is that, I am equally excited to see what is going to happen next and when I get the,
"Please Moma, one more chapter..." it is soooo easy to say "YES!"
We are coming to the close of The Long Winter and it is all to appropriate being that this has been the coldest winter we have had in a very long while. So during our days of schooling I spend time curled up with my four beloveds and we embark on Laura's journey where days are full of blizzards, brown bread and potatoes with salt.
Today I had an idea to engage my children.
As soon as we finished reading today's chapters, the children and I set out to making our own
Brown Bread.


I own a copy of The Little House Cookbook and it is filled with recipes just like Ma Ingalls made.
For example...
   "I wish you'd help me, anyway, Charles," Ma said. She took the coffee mill from Mary and emptied the ground wheat from its little drawer. She filled the small hopper with kernels and handed the mill to Pa. "I'll need another grinding to make the bread for dinner, " she told him.
Ma took the covered dish of souring from its warm place under the stove. She stirred it briskl, then measured two cupfuls into a pan, added salt and saleratus, and the flour that Mary and Carrie had ground.  Then she took the mill from Pa and added the flour he had made.

The recipe calls for
2 1/2 cups white all purpose flour
1 cup Sour-dough starter
several slices dried bread
1 lb. wheat berries
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. drippings

Abram feeling awfully proud of our "Brown Bread"

And then we made some cinnamon rolls as well. I feel certain that in the midst of the huge list of food that Almanzo ate during the course of Farmer Boy, that this food was mentioned. But when I went back to scan, I didn't find it. Nevertheless, I feel SURE that if it was there, that boy would have eaten it. :)
The recipe we used for our rolls is as follows.

Cinnamon Rolls
4-5 cups Whole Wheat flour (I used 3 wheat and 2 white)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
3 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. yeast
1 Tsp. salt
Mix yeast with 2 cups of flour
Heat milk, oil, honey and salt until very warm. (110* approx)
Mix liquid with flour mixture and then add flour a little at a time until a nice soft dough.
Knead and let rest for 10 minutes
Once rested roll out in to large oblong shape
Mix melted butter and brown sugar and smear on  the dough.
Sprinkle cinnamon.
Roll up
Cut into rolls
Bake in a 9x13 baker at 350* until golden brown.
 

So an eventful day of cooking, reading. Much fun and merriment.
I tell you... I am eagerly awaiting the next chapter. I can't wait to see when that snow is going to let up. :)
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Monday, January 11, 2010

Encouragement

Last week our pastor gave us a challenge... to encourage our fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ. To keep on fighting the good fight and keep on keeping on.
My family got right on it the next day during school.
Nothing like filling the table full of cards, envelopes, markers, pens, stickers and papers and then watching your children go right to work.

Shannon and I wrote out our cards of encouragement as well...  I have determined that my love languages are Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service. Both equal in my eyes and heart. And I also show love by the same. This task was a rewarding one in my opinion because it is so important that we lift one another up in prayer, in word and in deed.

Maybe this post is to remind you of a card or letter that you have been meaning to send but haven't got around to it yet... Hopefully this will spur you on, helping to see just how wonderful a card from the heart can be, to send and to receive.
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Cream

What better thing to do when it snows???
Make Snow Cream!


Around 8 cups of snow or a big bowl full
One can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Tbsp. Vanilla
Mix well and serve immediately.
Enjoy your snow day!
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hunkering Down


           Above picture is a wooden bowl that I wish I could have taken home with me from the Lodge. I told some of the ladies, "Some ladies swoon over diamonds and jewelry... not me, I swoon over wooden bowls." :)
It seems we are finally in for some wintry weather here in our neck of the woods. It is quite exciting even after surviving all the snow in West Virginia last week. :) Thing is, for a smallish town that is settled in between two mountains, things can get trixy when the weather becomes wintry.
We live atop of one of those mountains and believe you me, I do NOT like to drive in icy conditions. It may be lame to those of you who live and can drive in snowy weather, but oh well... that is just how it is around here, I don't like it! :)
Last night was an incredibly cold night and so we went through and covered vents and closed off rooms with big quilts and tried to confine the heat to our main living quarters. It has helped and now the kids are super thrilled with the big campout we made in the living room. They are still snoozing away all snug and cozy.
For now, I am going to go and look over my lesson plans, drink a cuppa coffee, watch my four sleeping babes and relish in how incredible my life really is.
Have a beautiful winter day wherever you are.
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chocolate Syrup



For a long while now I have been making our family Chocolate Syrup. It is such a nice treat to have on hand for Chocolate Milk, Ice Cream topping or a little spoonful in your coffee.
No High Fructose Corn Syrup and no preservatives.
Yesterday's batch was made with raw sugar and carob powder and it turned out fabulous.
Here is the recipe.

Chocolate Syrup
1/2 cup cocoa or carob powder
1 cup water
2 cups sugar, raw sugar, or sucanat
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix cocoa and water in saucepan, add sugar and heat until boiling.  Boil for 3 min!  Remove from heat and add salt and vanilla.  Pour into a canning jar, label and store in refrigerator once cool!

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A great series

Once and awhile I find things that I just L.O.V.E. 
Today I want to share one of those with you...
We had school yesterday morning, and then had to go run errands. While we were out we listened to some audio books that ALL my children enjoy as well as Shannon and I.
They are called...



Jonathan Park
Filled with adventure and creationism, they are FULL of faith affirming information that help us look to our God as Creator of it all!!!
Excellent! :)

They also represent great family values and they're a lot of fun too!
If you haven't tried one of the cd's I urge you to take a listen. You can visit the website here.
I hope you have a great day!
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas

Monday, January 4, 2010

Home again!

We just returned home again from a wonderful trip with our Youth from church. God blessed every moment and it was a beautiful time all the way around.
I have much to catch up on this morning around the homestead as well as getting our homeschool back in session... so for now I leave you with some lovely pictures and a blessing for a wonderful new year and new week of life.
xoxo
My Cup Runneth Over...
Chas