Friday, February 27, 2009

Recipe Swap Friday...

Today is Friday, and that means Gayle is hosting the Grocery Cart Recipe Swap. Be sure to head over there after you finish here. There are always lots of great recipes to be shared. She even has a very easy Rocky Road recipe there, and it looks fantastic. ;-) Join in the fun, if you are so inclined. :-)

I first learned today's recipe WAAAAYYYY back in Jr. High. It was one of the things we made in Home Ec. I always remembered it, because it was so easy, and very good. ;-) I don't remember the exact measurements, though, so I kind of wing that. Feel free to "tweak" it as you wish. ;-)

Biscuit Bubble Rings

1 can of 10 ct biscuits
1/4 - 1/2 C butter or margarine
3/4 C brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
1/2 C pecans

Melt butter. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon and pour into the bottom of a pie tin. Sprinkle the pecans in the tin. Once the butter is melted dip the entire biscuit into the melted butter and layer all of them into the pie tin. They will touch, but that is okay. Bake according to the directions on the biscuit can. Most are 400 for 10 min. or so. You want the biscuits to be golden brown, and done. As soon as they come out of the oven put a plate on the tin, upside down, and turn the whole thing over onto a plate. It'll be gooey, just like sticky buns. ;-)

This is great for a fun, quick breakfast on a Saturday or for a Sunday brunch. ;-) Heck, I think it's great anytime. ;-)

Wendy Darling

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yeah, it's a "hodge podge" of a post...

I really have had a lot of things I've meant to post. I could make a list, seriously. Then, there are the things I would make comments about, but it's not worthy of an entire post. So, we'll just call this one a "hodge podge"; sit back and enjoy the ride. ;-)

1. It is amazing how much a person can get done when they are extremely busy and overwhelmed, but when one has the time to "get caught up" very little gets done. "Little Mark" has been visiting in Dallas for almost 2 weeks. On any normal day I can teach, make lesson plans, work on 4-H stuff, church stuff, personal stuff.... the list goes on. However, since he has been gone I haven't been motivated to do too much. I have a list of things I have wanted to accomplish, and I have done some, but not everything I wanted. Why is that?

2. This last Sunday I taught a Sunday School lesson for the first time in YEARS . It was the first time I have ever taught my peers, much less a co-ed class. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I worked on it for a couple of days, and then felt the need to change everything late Saturday night. I stayed up until 2:00 am and rewrote the entire thing. God did a great work, and even convicted me AS I WAS TEACHING. Don't you hate it when that happens? ;-)

3. I have a lot I could say about the state of our country, economy, etc., but I'm not going to turn this into a political blog, so let's just say I am praying A LOT!

4. Speaking of praying, our church started a prayer room at church. It is open for the entire community to call in prayer requests. I am in the room 1 hour every week. I have been so blessed by this ministry that I cannot even describe it to you. ;-) God is good.

5. I am LOVING the Bible Study on Esther by Beth Moore. It's definitely NOT the story you learn in Sunday school as a child. I have had a real blessing being the facilitator on this one. I hope I can do it again, sometime.

6. I have really enjoyed catching up with old friends and family on facebook. I am still addicted, and someone might need to start a 12 step program for this. I heard on Fox and Friends this morning that people are even giving up facebook and myspace for Lent.

7. I made this cake today, and it is PHENOMENAL!!

8. VBS is only a little over 4 months away. I am helping to get it organized this year, rather than teaching. We are doing this one. Should be fun. :-)

9. "Little Mark" has been doing a wonderful job in 4-H and has even made it to the district level in the fashion show. :-)

10. I have decided that I would REALLY love to take a photography class, and perhaps turn it into more than a hobby. After all, once "Little Mark" graduates High School I'll need to get a "real" job. ;-)

I think I have bored you enough. Tomorrow is GCC recipe swap, so I need to find a recipe for that. Stop back by tomorrow. ;-)

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

GCC Recipe Swap....

It's hard to believe it is Friday already. ;-) Be sure to visit Gayle over Grocery Cart Recipe Swap for more great ideas. She has a great recipe for making your own Ranch Dressing Mix, rather than buying the envelope of dry mix. ;-)

I guess this one could actually be considered a "third installment" post. ;-) I'm giving your the recipe for the puppy face cookies I have been posting about. ;-) It is really pretty easy, but they make amazing cookies.

I have to give credit where credit is due. I got this from the Disney Family Cookbook. I bought this back in '96 or so, and it has served me VERY well with the kids. If you find a copy I encourage you to pick it up. It is a great investment. ;-)

Anyway, here is the recipe.

Sugar Cookies
1 C butter, softened (use REAL butter)
3/4 C sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 oz unsweetened Bakers chocolate

Cream together the sugar and butter. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Mix the 3 dry ingredients together in a bowl and then add to the creamed mixture in 3 installments, mixing well between each installment.

Dived the dough in half. Place the "plain" dough between two pieces of wax paper and roll into a disc, about 1/4 inch thick. Melt the chocolate in the microwave and then add to the remaining dough. Mix well. Place that between two pieces of wax paper, roll out. Refrigerate both discs for 2/3 hours.

Using a heart shaped cookie cutter cut out one "plain" heart and one chocolate heart. Place the "plain" heart upside down on your cookie sheet, creating the "face". Cut the chocolate heart in half and place one piece on each side of the "face", pointed tip at the top of the "head." Decorate the "face" however you would like. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

You could even wait until after they have baked and cooled and decorate with icing and candy. ;-) Be creative!

** Tip - be sure to keep the dough chilled. If it gets to warm to work with just put it back in the fridge for a bit. You could also just make pinwheel cookies by rolling the two pieces into a log and slice and bake. ;-)

Wendy Darling

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Puppy Cookie :-)

I found ONE, lone cookie in the bag, so I snapped a picture of it for you. "Angel" decorated this one. The main thing with this cookie is the recipe, and using the two heart cutters to make the face. The decorating could be done many ways. We used what we had.

If I were in the "perfectionist" mood I would have used 3 SMALL chocolate chips on each cheek, a black jelly bean for the nose, and a glob of white frosting for the eyes before placing the M&M. ;-)

But, we were going for fun, not perfection. And they taste amazing. ;-)

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I am still here... ;-)

Sorry that I haven't posted much lately. We have been busy, and then the last couple of days I have been lazy. No excuse. "Little Mark" is in Dallas, so I am trying to take some time to just relax. So far it isn't working well, but I'm hoping tomorrow I can be a little lazy.

Then, there's that whole "addicted to facebook thing." ;-)

However, I did have a sweet visitor today that I thought I would tell you about. :-) I woke up about 7:30 this morning. I slept in a couple of hours. ;-) Before my eyes could even adjust the doorbell rang, and I heard my mother answer it with these words, "Well, hello darling..." and her voice went up a couple of octaves. That tone of voice is reserved for 3 people, and two of them are in Big D, so I knew that "Angel" was paying us a visit on her way to school. ;-)

I went to the front door and there she was holding out two pictures she had colored for us, and written at the top of mine was "I love Aunt Wendy because we make the best cookies together." ;-) And she signed her name.

Yes, I was touched. ;-)

She then asked if she could PLEASE come and visit us after school today. We said, "Yes" and I prepared some cookie dough later this morning. I thought she might like to make some puppy face cookies. I saw it in a magazine a couple of weeks ago. I have tried to find a picture of it, but I can't, and they have been eaten. Sorry.

Anyway, she had a great time cutting out the dough with heart shaped cookie cutters, and cutting the chocolate heart in half with the pizza cutter to make the ears. In her own words "I'm a good cook, because I can use this and not cut myself." ;-) She did a great job.

Then, we watched some TV, played on the computer, and listened as she enthusiastically told us about the dream she had in which she went to Heaven and a little girl made a fire and took care of her. And then the very big cross was there (and here she interjects very dramatic, broad movements with her face and arms to show just how big this cross was) and she just looked at it forever and ever. And then she woke up. ;-)

So, I didn't get my day of relaxation, but I got a day of affirmation. I think that's better. ;-)

Wendy Darling

Friday, February 13, 2009

GCC Recipe Swap...

Happy day before Valentine's Day; or for those of you who are single (like me) and will not be celebrating (like me) "Have a great Saturday." ;-)

Today is Recipe Swap Friday over a Grocery Cart Challenge. Please, check them out for more great recipes. ;-)

Anyway, with tomorrow being Valentine's Day I thought perhaps you might like to make this little gem of a dessert for your romantic dinner. I believe when I made this the word used to describe it was "sensual." You might remember when I posted about it HERE.

So, if it can be "sensual" for a bunch of women sitting around scrapbooking, just imagine what it could do for you and your spouse on a romantic day like Valentine's Day. I bet you might even score some jewelery with this one. :-) Enjoy :-)

Chocolate Truffle Pie

1 1/4 pkg. (10 squares) Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
1/2 C whipping Cream

4 eggs

1/2 C sugar
1/4 C flour

1 C Cool Whip , thawed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place chocolate in large microwaveable bowl. Add whipping cream. Microwave on HIGH 2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted; cool slightly. Add egg, sugar and flour; beat with wire whisk until well blended.Pour into lightly greased 9-inch pie plate. Bake 35 min. or until outer half of pie is puffed but center is still slightly soft; cool. Serve topped with the whipped topping. Makes 10servings. May also dust with powdered sugar for decoration.

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pendragon - Sword of His Father

The following is a direct quote from the HSLDA newsletter. I hope they don't mind. ;-)

Families Make Historical Epic Movie

By Natalie Harris

Unaware that it’s impossible to film an epic movie on a micro-budget, the Burns family did it anyway. Although everyone contributed, the vision and work was driven by the cousins of both families.

The Northern Burns Family
Northern Burns family: Back row, left to right: Aaron, Nathan, and Andrew Burns. Front row: Marilyn, Tracey, and Shannon Burns.
The Southern Burns Family
Southern Burns family: Back row: Ray and Adriane Burns. Front row, left to right: Chad, Peter, Nick, Sara, and Lisa Burns.

Twenty-six-year-old Chad Burns and his siblings and cousins have succeeded in filming, producing, and now promoting Pendragon: Sword of His Father with only $80,000. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, the average cost of an MPAA film was $106.6 million in 2007.

Pendragon is about Artos, a young British warrior who must defend his native Britain against invading Saxons in 411 A.D. To do this, Artos must escape Saxon slavery, his own despair, and treachery.

The cousins had made movies before for fun, but with Pendragon, they wanted to get serious. They worked on the story for a year before presenting it to the family.

“They said, ‘We think this is what the Lord wants us to do, and here it is,’ ” Chad’s aunt Tracey said. “ ‘While the moms sat in stunned silence, the dads responded, ‘This is going to cost a lot of money. Where are you going to get the money?’ ”

Eventually, the families became a cast and crew. Chad directed. Nick, Marilyn, and Aaron acted and managed various tasks. Lisa, Sara, Peter, Shannon, and Nathan took on jobs such as photography and blog maintenance. Moms Adrianne and Tracey hosted. Dads Ray and Andy acted and advised. Everyone pitched in.

“The faithful support of many other Christian families, most of them homeschoolers, was what made it possible,” Chad said.

“The first big answer to prayer was the horses,” Tracey said. Unexpectedly, the Burnses received an email from the Atherton family who heard of the project and volunteered their horses. They even taught the Burnses to ride.

They were the first of many volunteers who sewed costumes, acted, and built sets such as the hill fort. One homeschool graduate turned cardboard and coat hangers into axe heads and spearheads, held together with glue and spray-foam insulation and finished with spray paint. About 450 people served as extras.

But what’s a movie without an audience? The Burnses were working on promoting the film long before they released it in November 2008. The movie premiered at Oakland University with standing room only for the 300 people attending. On January 24, Chad said the Burnses have sold 1,937 DVDs, though the Burns families have only spent $2,000 on promotion. They have received as many as 100 DVD orders in a day. The Burnses want to use the proceeds to promote the film and get the project out of the red. To do that, they will have to sell 20,000 DVDs. In the meantime, they have several distributors lined up to sell the film, and the Burnses hope to have Pendragon in 500 bookstores this February.

Without homeschooling, the Burns families don’t think the movie could have happened. Adrianne and Tracey agreed that homeschooling prepared their children for the world’s secular influences. At the same time, it gave the Burnses a desire to impact the world through film.

“To me, the measure of success is that they’re doing their best to walk in the truth and please God with their lives,” Tracey said.

Throughout the all-night film shoots, brutal retakes, and hours of editing, Chad and others kept going because of their mission statement: “Impacting history by inspiring young people to embrace the vision God has for their lives.”

“There are many dark days that happen along the way,” Chad said. “If we hadn’t felt that the Lord had led us along this path, it would have been difficult. I don’t know that we would have made it through to the end.” Chad’s advice for other homeschoolers interested in filming is to pray and to make sure the project is God’s will.

To find out more, visit the Burns’ website.

I ordered my copy tonight. ;-)


Wendy Darling

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

We are "bracing" ourselves... ;-)

Please, forgive my feeble attempt at a pun. ;-) I have not forgotten about the post for yesterday, it is just taking longer to write than I first planned. It is in the works...

Please, also forgive this "ramble" of a post. I can assure you that there is not much substance here, no earth shattering changes or epiphanies; just my "this is what's happening in my world" type thing. ;-)

"Little Mark" has his first orthodontist appointment today. We have our consultation and preliminary visit to decide if he needs braces. Based on what the dentist said when he recommended we get the Orthodontist, I'm betting he needs them.

I never had braces, so I have not been able to answer the MANY questions "Little Mark" has been asking. The #1 question being "Will it hurt?" is especially difficult to answer. SO, "Little Mark" took it upon himself to do some research. He now knows a lot about what the braces do, how they will help him, how they are put on, etc. I was glad to see him show that much initiative.

In other news, I have been busy preparing for our college homecoming. It is this weekend, and we are expecting a couple hundred people. I am in charge of refreshments, again; and I am making a cake, again, this year. ;-) I am very excited to see everyone, but also sad that I cannot accompany "Little Mark" to the district food show this year. It's Saturday, the SAME DAY as homecoming.

The last couple of years I have skipped homecoming to attend the food show, but this year I actually have to participate in the meeting, so Cleggy and Aunt J will be attending the food show. However, my phone will be on and I expect a phone call to let me know how things go. ;-)

So, what's going on your world?

Wendy Darling

Monday, February 02, 2009

Hello, my name is Wendy and I am addicted to Facebook...

Just in case you have wondered where I've been. Anyone with me?

I will be back tomorrow with an actual post. ;-)

Wendy Darling