December 20, 2013

Five things Friday

Five Things I Love In My Life....
 
I am sure most people are expecting: God, my children, husband, car and job. Nope. Not this girl. Those are UNDERSTOOD loves of my life [errrrrrr, at least they should be]! I'm going with the five things that I can't image getting through a day without. The things that keep me going and are always close at hand.



My iPad. I am an "i" junkie and I don't know what I would do without my iPad. I use it (and my iPhone) for nearly everything I do.


 

Diet Coke. Highly addictive and (most likely) preserving my insides as formaldehyde is known to do, it is a rare sigthing to see me WITHOUT one in my hand - just ask anyone who knows me. I know, I know.... pathetic and dumb. Thanks Mom, for getting me hooked on this stuff!
 
 
 
Wool Peacoat. Yes, I know its a crazy thing for a girl in the deep south Louisiana bayous to have on her "can't live without" list, but I am cold natured. I am always freezing and have always been this way. Rarely do I not have a jacket or hoodie of some sort on, but once the temps drop below a average of 70 out comes the peacoat - so pretty much October to March I live in the thing.
 

 
 
Crocs. Lord help me, but I am addicted to these things. I have all of these styles and a variety of colors. I will admit, the bubblegum pink Nadia boot was an "off" decision but man are they warm! I purchased them for a trip that I would be making to Washington, D.C. in January - 4 years ago. While not exactly the prettiest things I have ever seen, they certainly served their purpose [keeping my feet warm & dry in the snow]. SNOW! ME! *shudder*
 
 
 
Facebook. Yea, I am one of the guilty millions who is addicted. There are many things I like [and dislike] about Facebook, but the one thing I love the most is being able to get "news" out to a multitude of people at one time without draining my iPhone [see... the use of another idevice] battery a million times a day. I love connecting with my friends & family who I don't get to see on a regular basis and I will admit, I like to stalk peoples lives! I am a people-watcher by nature I guess, so Facebook allows me to do that without getting caught staring at people! 
 

So there you have it! A look into the world of Julie! 
 
Hugs from the Deep South!
 



 

  

 


December 11, 2013

Homemade Chili (Stove or Crockpot)

 
Always on the search for a good recipe, a long time ago, I set out to find a match for Wendy's chili because it is one of my favorites. Since I am the self-declared "Google Queen" I started there. I then went to my other favorite option Pinterest.

Source

I tried several different recipes claiming to be "Wendy's copycat recipes". Let me just say that if Wendy's chili taste like some of these recipes posted and claiming to be a match in your neck of the woods.... I am SO SO sorry for you! Yuck-o!
 
Source
 
However, after many failed attempts I finally came across one that I liked. Unfortunately, I can not link to its original author because it was just an uploaded cell phone screen shot as a pin, with no link back. *I hate that* (If someone can show me the original website that published this particular recipe, I would be more than happy to link it to them.)
 
Anywho, I tried it and I loved it. Now that one of my dear friends and assistant Samantha has posted on her Facebook recently asking for a good chili recipe, I figured now would be a great time to share this delicious recipe.
 
So.... this one is for YOU Sam!!


Wendy's Copycat Chili

Ingredients:
2 lbs fresh ground beef
1 qt tomato juice
1 (29oz) can tomato puree
1 (15oz) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (15oz) can pinto beans, drained
1 1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup chili powder (use more or less to taste)
1 tsp ground cumin (use more for added flavor)
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Stovetop Instructions:
In a large skillet, brown ground meat with onions, celery, and bell peppers. Drain fat & liquid. Place the meat mixture in a 6-qt pot along with all remaining ingredients. Cover the pot and allow chili to simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes.

Crockpot Instructions:
In a large skillet, brown ground meat with onions, celery, and bell peppers. Drain fat & liquid. Place the meat mixture in crockpot along with all remaining ingredients. Cover the pot and allow to cook on low for 3-4 hours.


Blessings from the South!

 
 
 
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December 9, 2013

Make A Joyful Noise

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. ~ Psalms 98:4



Tonight, our family had the honor and joy of watching my youngest daughter participate in our church Christmas program with her GAP (Girls Artistic Performance) group. This group of young ladies, in grades 4th-8th grade, praise The Lord with singing, hand bells, puppets, sign language, and more. 

This years' program was entitled:

Here is Jada-Grace with her group (Photo from my cell phone, but I have also fuzzed out the other girls in the photo to protect their identity)


Here is a quick video I shot with my cell phone during final rehearsal this afternoon: 


Blessings from the South!


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December 2, 2013

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Another Cool Weather Favorite.....
 
 
Easy Chicken Pot Pie
 
Ingredients
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 bag frozen vegetables (peas/corn/carrot/green bean mix)
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
4 chicken breasts,cooked and cubed
Salt & Pepper
1 frozen pie crust
1 egg, beaten
 
Preheat oven to 400°F
 
1. Sautée the onion and garlic in oil. 
2. Microwave the veggies until just under tender.
3. Add the chicken, cream of potato soup, vegetables and S&P to taste. 
4. Transfer to a casserole dish or four ramekin dishes. 
5. Unroll the pie crust on top of the casserole dish or cut to size of ramekins. 
6. Brush the egg on top. 
7. Cut a few slits in the crust and bake at 400°F for about 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
 
Note:
If you prefer a soupier consistency, add milk or cream. However, don't add too much, or it will spill over the top and cause the oven to have crusty burnt pieces things on the bottom of the oven. In this case, you will probably want to place the ramekins on a cookie sheet while baking.
 
Enjoy!!
 
 
 

November 30, 2013

3 Fruits You Might Be Eating The Hard Way

[Image credit: FoodBeastTv]

We all know how to eat an apple the correct way, right? Wrong! Last week, FoodBeast posted a video entitled "How to Eat an Apple Like a Boss" that quickly went viral. From what the video shows, one should eat the apple from the top down, thereby eliminating the almost 30% waste from eating the apple from the outside into the core. So that got me to searching [yes I Google everything] to find what other fruits we may be eating incorrectly.

[Image credit: Crazy Bananas]
Crazy Bananas shows us that most people start peeling the from the longer stem, but if you peel from the bottom, it will be easier and the banana wont have all those stringy pieces left on it. Since this is also the way a monkey would eat a banana, it makes perfect sense to me.

[Image credit: Homemadesimple]
 
What about the pomegranate? Well there is a truly easy way to get all of the scrumptious seeds out using water. All you have to do is cut the fruit in half then submerge the fruit in cold water. This will allow it to pull right apart with very little mess. Perfect right?
 
 
 
 


 

 
 
 
 

 

Mandarin Orange Chicken

This recipe can be made with chicken or tofu, but if you are making both chicken and tofu, but I think you have to keep a close eye on this cooking, since they don't cook at exactly the same rate. I personally don't care for tofu, so I have no idea what it would taste like in the recipe.
 

 
Mandarin Orange Chicken
 
Ingredients:
1 package skinless, boneless chicken breasts OR
1 pkg Extra Firm Tofu, cut into 1/4" slices
1/3 cup Soy Ginger Sauce
1 TB honey
1 small can mandarin oranges
1 TB olive oil
1 TB minced garlic
2 cups fresh broccoli flowerets
1 small can water chestnuts 
steamed white or brown rice
 
Preheat oven to 400° F.
 
Brush both sides of the chicken or tofu slices with sauce and arange in a 6 x 9 baking dish, overlapping as needed. Mix sauce with honey and spoon on top of the tofu or chicken. Top with orange slices. Bake 30 minutes, or until the tofu is lightly browned. In a large sauté pan or wok, heat olive oil and saute garlic until lightly browned. Add broccoli and water chestnuts and cook until crisp-tender. Serve over rice and baked tofu or chicken with additional sauce on the side.
 
 
Let me know what you think!
 
 
 
 

November 29, 2013

Recent Embroidery Designs

I bought an embroidery machine well over a year ago. Wow... its actually been nearly TWO years now that I think about it. My how the time has flown.

Because I am so busy all the time, I dont always get to spend time at my machine like I would hope to. However, I thought I would share a few of my favorite & most recent creations.

Bib & Matching Burp Cloth
 

Bib, Blanket & BabyWipe Holder
 

Another BabyWipe Holder
 

Bookmarks for the Kiddos
 

Candy Pouches for the Kiddos
 
 
 

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

I found  this great summer salad on Paula's Home Cooking, courtesy of my cooking idol, Paula Deen. Surprisingly, this particular P.D. recipe contains no Crisco, bacon fat or sour cream. [I looooove Paula Deen's fatty homestyle cooking, but unfortunately, my hips don't.] Now that Paula has been diagnosed with diabetes she is cleaning up her cooking, so many of her recipes are taking on a healthier nature.
 

 
Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad
 
Ingredients:
2 cups cooked corn, fresh or frozen
1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
 
Dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
 
Combine the corn, avocado, tomatoes and onion in a large glass bowl. Mix together the dressing ingredients in another bowl, pour over the salad, and gently toss to mix.
 
Enjoy!!
 
 
 
 

November 28, 2013

Celebrating Hanukkah As A Christian - Part 2

Re-posted from Above Rubies
Above Rubies Facebook post from Nancy Campbell

NEVER AFRAID (Day 2 of Hanukkah) (Forgive me! Sorry this is a little late. I forgot to send it this morning.)
Jesus Christ, the Son of God was never reticent to speak the truth, even in the face of death. When he came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Dedication, he was walking in Solomon's Porch (on the eastern side of the temple) and people gathered around him. 

Jesus knew the Jews would be remembering more than the rededication of the temple and the lighting of the Menorah again. They were remembering the great victory over Antiochus Epiphanes, but also how he lifted himself to be god over them. It was Antiochus himself who added "Epiphanes" to his name, which means "God manifest" which was utter blasphemy to the Jews.

In the midst of this thinking Jesus boldly and publically declared, "I and my Father are one (John 10:30). In other words, He confessed that He was God, which of course, He was! This was too much for the Jews who, remembering Antiochus Epiphanes the evil blasphemer, took up stones to stone him (John 10:22-33).

It was no coincidence that Jesus chose this timing to speak these words. Everything about Hanukkah speaks of standing up for truth even in the face of danger.

May we never cringe to speak the truth, no matter what the consequences.

Love from Nancy Campbell


More To This:
Part 1 of Nancy's Post

Happy Hanukkah





Happy Thanksgiving

 



November 27, 2013

Product Review: Proctor Silex Electric Knife

 


 
 
Call me crazy, but this is probably one of my most used kitchen gadgets. No doubt, Thanksgiving would be a bust in my house without it, because I couldn't carve a turkey to save my life without it, but that isn't the only thing I use it for.
 
Over the years I have become a pro at making sandwich trays all because of this amazing little gadget. I simply spread the bread out across the counter, make the sandwiches and then stack the sandwhiches 3-4 high and WHAM, I go to cutting. Ahhhhh, lets tackle 3 large sandwich trays in a matter of an hour.
 
How about cutting fruit & veggies? Easy-peasy with an electric knife!
 
This thing really is a time & life saver and at a VERY affordable price.... why doesn't everyone own one of these? They retail for less than $30.00!!
 
 
Cheers from the Deep South!
 
 

Sonoma Chicken Salad

This is a variation to a recipe from one of those free little recipe books at Whole Foods. The grapes make it stand out from a garden variety chicken salad. I didn't have some of the ingredients on hand in the original recipe, so I had to improvise a little..... but it was delicious nonetheless.

 
Sonoma Chicken Salad
 
The Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise (I used my favorite lite mayo to save on calories & fat)
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
5 tsp honey
2 tsp poppy seeds
Sea salt and Black pepper
 
The Salad:
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup pecan halves, chopped and toasted (I didn't toast mine)
2 cups red seedless grapes
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
 
Directions:
Prepare the dressing by thoroughly mixing together all dressing ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to dress the salad (can be prepared up to 2 days ahead). Preheat oven to 375°F. Place chicken breasts in one layer in a baking dish with 1/2 cup of water. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes until completely cooked through. Remove cooked chicken breasts from baking pan, cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, then cover and refrigerate. When the breasts are completely chilled (at least 2 hours refrigerated), chop & tear into small bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in pecans, grapes, celery, and dressing.


This Post Is Linked To:
From My Front Porch To Yours
The Happy Housie
Faith Filled Food For Moms
Wonderful At Home
A Peek Into My Paradise
Time Warp Wife
Savvy Southern Style
Fluster Buster
DIY by Design
The Style Sisters
Foody Schmoody
Easy Life Meal & Party Planning




 
 
 
 

November 26, 2013

Celebrating Hanukkah as a Christian


Repost of Above Rubies Nancy Campbell on the Above Rubies Facebook Page 



The HANUKKAH celebration begins tomorrow evening. Hanukkah is usually celebrated around Christmas, but for the first time in 125 years it coincides with Thanksgiving. As a family we love to celebrate Hanukkah each year. This is why we like to do it.



1. Hanukkah in the Hebrew means "dedication." God's temple had been desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes in 167 BC but the Maccabees family led a revolt against the Seleucid armies and called the nation back to God. After they had driven them out of Judea and Jerusalem, the Maccabees consecrated and rededicated the temple. However, God no longer lives in a temple in Jerusalem, but lives in the temple of our hearts. We like to use Hanukkah as time to rededicate the temple of our lives to holiness and the service of the living God.

2. It is a celebration that Jesus celebrated (John 10:22-23).

3. It is also called the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22) and the Festival of Lights. It celebrates the re-lighting of the Menorah in the temple and how the light kept burning even when they didn't have enough oil. Because this celebration remembers the relighting of the menorah, we read Scriptures about God who is the light and how He also wants us to be His light in this world. We do this at our Family Devotions each morning and evening. We look forward to it every year.

If you would like to read these wonderful Scriptures with your family, I will post them below for you to print out. Feel free to use the Scriptures in the way that best fits your family. For each day, you may like to take half the Scriptures at Family Devotions in the morning and the other half in the evening. If you have older children, it's a lovely idea for each one to have their own Bible and give a Scripture for each one to read aloud--and to share what they feel God is saying through the Scripture. If you have little ones, you may only want to take one Scripture from the list and talk about it.

And don't forget to ask your children questions as you read the Scriptures. This is how you learn and receive enlightenment from the Scriptures together.

I will also send out a post each day telling you a little story or a revelation from the Scriptures about the meaning of Hanukkah. By the way, you may like to take time to read the history of the Maccabees in the Apocrypha. The books in the Apocrypha were not chosen to be part of the cannon of Scripture but the books of Maccabees, 1, 2, 3, and 4 are great historical reading and tell of how the Jewish nation was saved from extinction. I am sure God used these brave men to protect His people and also the coming Messiah. No wonder Jesus celebrated Hanukkah. I have some Bibles that contain the Apocrypha: King James Version with Apocrypha, The New English Bible, World English Bible, Knox Version, and The Jerusalem Bible. You can also get it from the Internet.

Usually Hanukkah is celebrated around Christmas time. This year Hanukkah starts tomorrow. Officially it begins at sundown, Wednesday 27th November, the day before Thanksgiving. The last time this happened was in 1888, before the date for Thanksgiving was changed to the day we celebrate now. And it won’t happen again for 77,000 years! Amazing!

SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO READ EACH DAY TO YOUR FAMILY FOR THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

Day 1
God is the Source of Light and gives Light
Genesis 1:3-5
Exodus 27:20-21; 40:24-25; cf. Leviticus 24:1-4; Numbers 8:1-3
Exodus 13:21; Nehemiah 9:12,19
Psalm 36:9
Psalm 104:1-2
1 Timothy 6:16
James 1:17

Day 2
Jesus is the Light of the World
Isaiah 9:2, cf. Matthew 4:12-17
Luke 1:76-79; 2:27-32
John 1:4-9,cf. Job 18:5-6; Proverbs 27:20
John 3:19-21
John 8:12
John 12:44-46
Acts 26:22-23

Day 3
Shine the Light of Jesus to the world
Proverbs 4:18
Isaiah 58:6-8, 10
Isaiah 60:1-2
Matthew 5:14-16
Luke 12:35
Philippians 2:14-15

Day 4
God's Word is our Light
Ezra 9:8
Psalm 19:7-11
Psalm 119:18, 105, 130
Proverbs 6:20-24
Ephesians 1:17-18

Day 5
Walk in the Light
Psalm 89:15
Isaiah 2:5
Romans 13:12-14
2 Corinthians 4:4-7
1 John 1:6-9
1 John 2:8-11
Ephesians 5:8-20

Day 6
Out of Darkness into Light
2 Samuel 22:29 (Psalm 18:28)
Isaiah 42:16
Isaiah 50:10
Acts 26:17-18
1 Corinthians 4:5
1 Thessalonians 5:5
1 Peter 2:9

Day 7
Living in God is to live in Light
Psalm 4:6
Psalm 27:1
Psalm 37:3-6
Psalm 43:3-4
Psalm 112:4
Micah 7:8

Day 8
God is the Light of Heaven
Isaiah 24:23; 30:26
Isaiah 60:19-20
Revelation 21:22-25
Revelation 22:3-5

Love from Nancy Campbell

More To This:
Part 2 of Nancy's Post


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Time Warp Wife






5 Things My Teenage Daughter Can't Live Without

5 Things My Teenage Daughter
Can't Live Without..... or so she thinks!



 
1. Cell Phone - Her currently model cell phone is an iPhone 4S. Like most other teens her age, it is "her life" in the palm of her hand. HA! Who am I kidding.... its "my life" in the palm of my hand.

 

2. iHomealarm clock for iPad, iPhone and iPod that lets you charge your iPad, Phone or iPod and lets you wake and sleep to any of these or to a custom playlist. A Time Sync button syncs the clock to your iPhone to set the time quickly all while charging the device. FM radio with 6 station memory presets.

 
 
3. Dell Inspiron R Laptop with Switchable Cover - used for school work & play.
 
 

4. EOS Lipbalm - because no girl should have chapped lips and I have to say I agree. I have an EOS nearly everywhere (bedroom, car, bathroom, work, purse) Her current favorite flavor: Sweet Mint  My current favorite: Lemon Drop
 

 
 
 
5. Elite 3 Rifle - Not many girls would say they couldn't live without a rifle.... but MINE would. Not just any rifle though. It's colorguard. No bullets, all spinning & tossing! She is the Rifle Captain, so she definitely couldn't live withough her rifle. (At least in her mind!)