Saturday, May 26, 2012

Half and Half Baked S'Mores and Baked Reese's S'mores

The Apron Gal - Baked S'mores
I was inspired by the Pinterest Pin at the link above to make this delicious dessert pictured below.

Top is Baked S'more and two bottom are Baked Reese's S'mores

I made the Baked S'mores from the Apron Gal at The Apron Gal - Baked S'mores, but with a twist.  I am going to add Reese's Peanut Butter cups in one half of the pan for me and I will add the Hershey Bars on the other half for my husband.  I featured a link the The Brady Girls Blog this week Cookin' Up Good Times - Reese's S'mores.  I had wanted to make the Brady Girls recipe, but it is too windy today in Denver and will be the whole weekend to roast marshmallow outside.  When when I saw this recipe for Baked S'mores, I realized that this was the answer to my craving for Reese's Peanut Butter Cup S'mores.

I must say these Half and Half Baked S'mores and Baked Reese's S'mores were outrageously good. I of course had to test both last night.  The recipe from The Apron Gal is so simple to follow and easy to make.  So here goes. 

Half and Half Baked S'mores and Baked Reese's S'mores
recipe courtesy The Apron Gal, Baked Perfection, and Cookin' Up Good Times.
Adapted by yours truly Debi Bolocofsky

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 large Hershey Symphony Bars
12 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
1 7oz jar Marshmallow Creme

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 inch pan with non stick spray.

In a large bowl mix butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until light.  Then add egg and vanilla.  Mix well.


In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt, graham cracker crumbs, and baking powder.


Next add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well.


Next separate the dough in half and spread one half in the bottom of the prepared pan.  Place the 2nd half in a large ziploc bag, and roll it out to the same size as the ziploc bag.  It can be about 2 inches narrower then the bag.  Set this aside until you have finished with the fillings.


Now sometimes I get distracted, and this was one of those times.  I forgot to take pictures of the next steps, so I will just have to tell you what to do, or you can go to The Apron Gal - Baked S'mores Recipe, she did not forget to take pictures.  My recipe is a little different, because we will be also using Reese's Peanut Butter cups.

So now, place your first Hershey Milk Chocolate bar and break your second bar lengthwise, so that you have 2 long rows of bars.  The chocolate bars should fit on 1/2 of the pan.  Next unwrap the peanut butter cups and start placing them next to the chocolate bars.  I had 3 rows of 4 peanut butter cups next to the chocolate bars.

Next, spread the marshmallow creme on top of the chocolate bars and peanut butter cups.  I used a knife, and just did it very slowly.

Next, you will cut open your ziplock bag.  Pull the sides all the way back.  The bag is wider and shorter then your pan.  Once I had the bag pulled back all of the way, I then spread the dough to make it longer, so that it would be the length of the pan.  Then I flipped the bag on top of the marshmallow creme, so that there was a top crust.  As you can see at the end I still had to piece it together a little bit.


Next, put it in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Once done, pull it out of the oven, and let it cool off, before cutting.


I let it cool for about 45 minutes and then cut the pieces.  The second picture on the page is how it looked cut.

I would love to hear what you think of this recipe, or what desserts you are making this weekend.

Enjoy!!!
Debi

Suing The Devil - Movie Review

Malcolm McDowell in Suing The Devil
 To Order the Movie Suing The Devil at the Christian Cinema website click on the link

I was able to get this DVD at my local Christian bookstore a couple of weeks ago.  I had been waiting for it to come out for a while, and it was definitely worth the wait.

The plot, for Suing The Devil, is about a janitor who is in law school at night, Luke O'Brien, who decides that he is going to sue the Satan for $8 trillion dollars.  The night before Luke would file for a default judgement, Satan actually show up.  Satan and his legal team of 10 of the country's best attornies are prepared to defend the Devil ( Malcolm McDowell ) from Luke's charges.   The spiritual battle in the courtroom keeps you on the edge of your seat. 

Malcolm McDowell delivers a stunning performance as The Devil.  He is the perfect person to play this role.  He is certainly believable as The Devil.  Actor, Bart Bronson, gives a great performance as  Luke O'Brien.  He is able to help you identify with this law student / janitor and his struggles with life, family issues, social issues, and the forgiveness that we have received from God.

This is definitely a must see fast paced, faith based, legal thriller.  It certainly presents a God against Satan scenario that is fairly intense at times.  I think it will leave everyone rooting for Luke to win, even when it seems like he doesn't have a chance.

I hope that you are able to see this DVD.  I would not recommend it for children under 15 or 16, the content can be a little intense at times.

Let me know what you think of this movie, or if you have seen something else recently that you would like to share with me.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Enjoy!!!
Debi

Friday, May 25, 2012

List of Links To the Blogs of the Week 2

So here is the list of this weeks favorite blog reads.  I hope that you enjoy them as much as I have.  All of these women are great writers, wonderful chefs, and artists, each beautiful in her own way.

Here is the first blog of the week.  It is done by a family The Brady Girls

The Brady Girls at Cookin' Up the Good Times
I read the recipe for their Reese's Peanut Butter Cup S'mores, and that was it.  I was a goner.  They had me as a lifelong follower.  Their writing is fun, light, and cheerful.  They say they are spread around the country, and this was their way of keeping in touch.  I am certainly happy that they decided to let us be part of their family.  They also have a cookbook out, I have not bought it yet, but I may just have to give it a try.  I hope that you enjoy their blog and recipes, as much as I am enjoying them.  Click on the link below and it will take you to their blog
 Cookin' Up the Good Times - Reeses Peanut Butter S'mores

The next blog is from a beautiful single mom who calls herself Aunt Apple.

Aunt Apple from An Apple A Day Wisdom
Yesterday was my birthday and the first blog I opened to read with my coffee was from Aunt Apple at An Apple A Day Wisdom.  It was so beautiful that I read it out loud to my husband, who whole heartedly agreed.  Aunt Apple is a single mom, a beautiful writer, and like the rest of us struggling to make the best life possible for her son and herself, all while following her Christian values.  I was very impressed.  The quote below was the first thing I read, and what a birthday gift it was.
Aunt Apple inspired me yesterday.  Her writing is honest, soul bearing, and beautiful.  I hope that you find her blog as enjoyable and faith inspiring as I do.

The next blog that I wanted to tell you about was from Dana at Made.  I found her blog last week, and really enjoyed reading about her family, and looking at her very talented sewing skills and fun take on fashion.

Dana and her kids at Made
I no longer have small children, but it was so fun looking at the outfits that she made for her children, that I was trying to figure out how to adapt them for me.  Her tutorials are great and easy to follow, and I love her tutorial on  the Simple Skirt.  Take a look and I am sure you are going to be trying to decide which one you would like to make.

This week and am going to give a 4th blog, because I felt like these simple DIY Febreeze recipes were so easy.  This is just a link to Instructable, but the recipes were so simple I truly thought they were worth including.  I did make the first recipe, with the vinegar, water, and fabric softener, but it has too much of a vinegar smell.  Next, time I think I will try to do something a little more natural, but all of these recipes are great ideas.  So take a look and see what you think.

I would love to hear what you think about the links above, and what blogs you like to read, so send me your comments.

Enjoy!!!
Debi



Thursday, May 24, 2012

Natural Swiffer Floor Cleaner and Wood Floor Cleaner

Wood Floor Cleaner Ingredients


I came home from my daughter's house last Friday with several new tasks for myself.  She was out of Swiffer refillable spray for cleaning her floors.  This presented me with a challenge.  You see I have told my family that as they start running out of cleaning supplies do not replace the cleaning product.  The challenge is to see if I can make it myself, and to make it all natural and safe for the environment.  This is especially important for my daughter, because she has an auto immune disorder which chemicals and certain foods cause flareups.  We normally buy green cleaning products, which are very expensive.  In these difficult financial times, I am trying to make as much as possible to help save money for all of us.  That is why I will try my best to only give recipes for natural beauty products and cleaning supplies on this blog.

Now,  we have all wood floors in our home, and we are only supposed to use vinegar and water on the floors, but that is not as great at cleaning the linoleum at my daughter's.  I also wanted to try to kick up the anti-bacterial and disinfecting qualities, because our family is very big on pets, so I wanted to make sure the the floors were getting as clean as possible.  So, at this point I decided that I was going to use some Dr. Bonner's Baby-Mild Castille Soap, Tea Tree oil, and Lemon Essential oil.   I figured that would be great for her linoleum floors, but I did not want to use the soap for our wood floors.  I decided to make the wood floor cleaner without the Dr. Bonner's, but still wanted to kick up the disinfecting qualities with the tea tree oil and the lemon essential oil.

I mixed up several batches of the wood floor cleaner, and it worked great.  I put it in a small quart  sized bottle with a small mouth, that way I could pour small amounts.  I did not want to soak my wood floors.  This worked great.  Since it is concentrated I could just pour a small amount on the floor, mop, and then go and rinse the mop.  My floors looked beautiful.  I also made a batch for my son, and put it in an old squirt bottle.

For my daughter, I mixed up a batch of this recipe for Homemade Swiffer Cleaner Spray, and I put it in a spray bottle.  That way she could just spray it on her floor, and then use her Swiffer to mop it up.  This apparently worked great on her floor.  So TAH-DAH, here are the two recipes.


Homemade Swiffer Floor Cleaner Spray

1 cup vinegar
2 oz Dr Bonner’s Baby Mild Castille Soap
3 cups water
10 drops tea tree oil
10 drops lemon essential oil

Mix all ingredients together in a spray bottle and spray on floor and use your mop or swiffer to clean, rinse the mop and move on to the next area.

Homemade Wood Floor Cleaner

1 cup vinegar
3 cups water
10 drops tea tree oil
10 drops lemon essential oil

Mix all ingredients together in a container and pour on floor and mop as usual.

This was so easy to make and use.  I did not need to use a lot, since it is pretty concentrated.  I maybe used about 1/2 cup on my first floor, and mopped about 900 square feet, so it goes a long way.  It also left a great citrusy ( probably not a word according to my spell checker ) smell, which I like much better then the smell of the plain vinegar and water mixture.

I hope that these DIY solutions work for you.  I would love to hear from you.  I am always open to suggestions or a better idea.  So let me know what you think and how it works for you.

As always, Enjoy.
Debi

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

All Natural Hair Smoothing Serum



I decided I wanted to make my own Hair Smoothing Serum.  I have been using John Frieda products for a while, but I have been making my own natural beauty products for the last several months.  I am not only enjoying it tremendously.  I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I feel like I am not putting all of those chemicals on my skin or in my hair.

I have been doing a lot of research, and decided that these are the oils I wanted to use, because they are so nourishing for your hair.  Each oil does something different, which I felt would make this serum more effective.

The avocado oil is full of vitamins which will help dull, damaged hair, so I thought this was going to be a great ingredient.  The Castor oil is great for making hair shiny, and the jojoba oil is not only a great conditioner, but it is also the best oil for penetration.  It can help the avocado oil do it's job even better.  I used jasmine fragrance and geranium and jasmine essential oil for scent because I love the way they smell.


Smoothing Hair Serum

1 1/2 oz avocado oil
2 TB jojoba oil
1 TB Castor oil
20 drops jasmine essential oil

Mix all ingredients together in a small measuring cup, and pour into a bottle with a dropper.


Rub a few drops in your fingers and smooth over hair.  Use less at the crown of your head and concentrate more at your ends.

I must say it makes my hair feel amazingly soft and I have no fly aways.

I would love to hear what you think of this all Natural Hair Smoothing Serum.  Also, let me know if there is anything you think could make this better.

Enjoy!!!
Debi

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spinach and Feta Crustless Pie



I love this alternative to spanikopita.  Since I do not eat a lot of flour this is a low carb alternative.  I take it my church woman's group ( The Jesus Chicks ) on Saturday mornings.  It's a great alternative to all of the sweets that are there, and it always goes fast.  I am making this one to freeze for my next women's group at church, and wanted to share the recipe with all of you.

Spinach and Feta Crustless Pie

3 10 oz. bags frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
3 8 oz containers feta ( I use the lemon, garlic, and oregano flavor)
16 oz container ricotta cheese
6 eggs
3 TB dill
4 TB butter or olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
4 cloves garlic or I used the 4 squares of the frozen garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup shaved parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 by 13 casserole dish.


Melt butter in a skillet and saute onions in pan until soft, add garlic, dill, salt and pepper, and cook for a few more minutes.  Then add spinach. Mix well.



In one bowl beat the eggs,  and in another bowl mix the feta and ricotta.









 Then add the cheese mixture to the beaten eggs.









Then add spinach mixture to egg and cheese mixture and mix well.



Pour into greased casserole dish, and top with parmesan cheese.



Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until the center of casserole is firm.


Serves 12

I would love to hear what different recipes you take for women's gatherings, no matter what they are.  We are women, we love to eat.

Enjoy!!!
Debi

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Lord's Prayer

God's Light Shining On Us
This week I am departing from the Bible study from our book Sharper Then a Two-Edged Sword by Andrew Wommack.  I ran across a sheet of paper that explains how to pray the Lord's Prayer.   My friend Tracie from work wrote this out for me one day after I explained that I was uncomfortable being the only person to pray out loud with a group of people.  So she wrote this out for me so that I would understand that prayer can have a direction.  Kind of  a step by step guide to praying.

I thought this was really important when I saw it, and wanted to share it with all of you today.

Luke 11:1-5

Our Father which art in heaven        (acknowledge God)
hallowed by your name
  1. How great his is
  2. Thank him
  3. How Holy He is
Your Kingdom come                        (pray for others)
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven
  1. Proclaim the will of the Father over the situation                                                                           ( example: healing is in his will ; to prosper in all that we do is his will)
Give us this day our daily bread        (pray for sins so your prayers not delayed )
and forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who trespass
against us.
  1. forgiveness
  2. sins known and unknown
And lead us not into temptation         (pray to not be deceived by the enemy)
but deliver us from evil
examples:
  1.  doubt
  2. fear
  3. unbelief that prayer is answered
For Thine is the Kingdom                     (Proclaim God's Power)
and the Power
and the Glory
Forever and ever
              Amen

Then she writes to acknowledge how great God is again.

                                                           Written by Tracie Wiggins

I am so grateful that Tracie came to work with us.  I did not know she was a Christian when we started sharing an office.  One day I was preparing to lead a Bible Study at church and she asked to hear about it, and if she could go with me.  I was happy that she was interested, but did not know how much she had to teach me, not the other way around.

After sharing an office with Tracie for a while I found out that she had gone to Bible School back east, where she is from.  I feel that sometimes God puts people in our path, for reasons that we may not know, and he brought Tracie to us, to teach all of us.  She is one of the kindest, most compassionate, and caring people I have ever met and it is a privilege to work with her, and to call her my friend.

She is also a talented writer, and hopefully I will be able to get her to do some writing on this blog.  I would be so happy for you to meet my friend Tracie.

Please let me know what you think about Tracie's step by step prayer instructions.  I feel they have helped me tremendously.

God Bless All of You today and every day.
Debi

Sugar Free Rhubarb Berry Compote and Sugar Free Crockpot Yogurt

I have been making the Crock Pot Greek Yogurt Link from One Good Thing by Jillee for the last several weeks.  I have changed the recipe since I don't eat sugar, honey, or agave nectar, or Splenda, so I used Stevia in the Raw instead.  I also really like fruit in my yogurt, but I for a change I decided to make a type of sugar free Rhubarb Berry Compote to mix into my yogurt.  Both of these recipes have turned out great and I would like to share them with you in today's blog.  I also love that both of these recipes are natural, organic, and fresh.  Love that.

Now for the recipes and pictures.

Sugar Free Crock Pot Greek Yogurt
adapted from One Good Thing by Jillee

1/2 gallon organic milk
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
3/4 cup granulated Stevia in the Raw
cheesecloth

Pour the milk into the your crock pot and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours or until it reaches 185 degrees.





I just cooked it for 2 1/2 hours and then you take the lid off and let it cool down to about 110 degrees.  Once it reaches 110 degrees, first skim the layer that forms on top of the milk.


 Next take 1 cup of the hot milk out of the crock pot, put it in a bowl, and mix in the 1/2 cup yogurt with a whisk until smooth.  Next pour the milk yogurt, milk mixture back into the rest of the milk in the crock pot.  Then whisk the Stevia in The Raw into the yogurt / milk mixture.



Then you will need to wrap the crock pot in a towel and put in the oven with the light on.  Leave it for at least 8 hours, or overnight. I normally just leave it in the oven overnight.  That seems to be the right length of time.  Once you take it out of the oven, you will need to put the yogurt in the refrigerator for 3 hours.






Next you will need to line a colander with a wet cheesecloth and put it over a bowl.  You will take the yogurt out of the refrigerator and put it into the colander to let it start draining.


 
Put the yogurt back in the refrigerator, and let it drain for an hour, then dump the liquid, which is the whey, from the bowl.  Put it back in the refrigerator and let it drain again.  I do this for several hours, because I like my yogurt thicker, so I normally let it drain for about 4 hours total.  I empty the bowl several times during the process.

Once I have finished draining the yogurt, I then put the it in a Tupperware and use a whisk to make it smooth.

This is what it will look like with the fruit.  That recipe will follow.  I love eating this stuff.  It is so good.



 Sugar Free Rhubarb Berry Compote Recipe

2 16 oz bags frozen organic Rhubarb
1 16oz container strawberries cleaned and quartered
2 small containers blackberries
2 cups granulated Stevia in the Raw
1/2 cup black cherry juice ( any type of juice is okay )
2 TB arrowroot powder
1/4 cup water

Put rhubarb, strawberries, blackberries, Stevia in the Raw, and black cherry juice in a pan on the stove.  Stir all ingredients well and cook over medium heat.  Once it starts to boil, turn the heat down to low.  Cook the fruit for approximately 20 minutes.  Then put arrowroot powder in a mixing cup and add 1/4 cup of water.  Mix well.  Turn the heat back to medium.  Then pour into the fruit mixture and cook until it has thickened, about 5 minutes longer.  Take off stove and it is ready to serve.

It is great with the yogurt, or I even made whipped cream one night and put it on top of the fruit.  It would also be great over ice cream.

I would love to hear what you have to say about these recipes.  I hope that you enjoy them.  I would also love to hear what changes you make to them.

Enjoy!!!
Debi

Check out all of the great links at Frugally Sustainable:
Frugally Sustainable - Week 28

Take a look at the Your Green Resource at these two great blogs.
Your Green Resource - Week 25 - Lived Renewed
Your Green Resource - Week 35 - A Delightful Home
Look at how cute this blog is Sassy Site - Friday Free for All 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Playlist on My Ipod - Music



 .
I don't know about you, but I love listening to music.  My favorite radio station is KLove.  In Denver it is station 91.1.  I get in my car, and find peace when I hear the music.

My Ipod is also loaded with my favorite bands and songs. I am going to post a list of just a few of my favorite songs from my ipod.  You can find them on itunes, or even cd's at your local library.  Some of my favorite cd's are the WOW cd's, because they put some of the most popular songs for each year on a cd.

Here it is, the final drum roll, songs from my ipod. Just click on the links to watch the videos.

  1. Believe - Brooks and Dunn    Believe Video
  2. Big House - Audio Adrenaline  Big House Video
  3. Stained Glass Masquerade - Casting Crowns   Stained Glass Masquerade Video
  4. Jesus Take the Wheel - Carrie Underwood   Jesus Take the Wheel Video
  5. Deep In Love With You - Michael W. Smith   Deep In Love With You Video
  6. Perfect Day - Josh Bates   Perfect Day Video
  7. Postcards - Cindy Morgan   Postcards Video
  8. Secret Place - Lincoln Brewster -   I could not find a video of this song
  9. I Can Only Imagine - Mercy Me   I Can Only Imagine Video
  10. God's Will - Martina McBride   God's Will Video
  11. Can't Get Away - Rush of Fools  Can't Get Away Video
  12. Hope Now - Addison Road   Hope Now Video
  13. Hold Us Together Matt Maher   Hold Us Together Video
  14. Letters from War - Mark Schultz   Letters From War Video
  15. Your Love - Rush of Fools   Your Love Video
  16. Follow You - Leeland   Follow You Video
  17. This is God - Phil Vassar   This is God Video
  18. I've Always Loved You - Third Day    I've Always Loved You Video 
  19. I Was Created to Worship - Brian and Jenn Johnson   - I could not find a video for this song either.
  20. He's My Son - Mark Schultz   He's My Son Video
Today is Sunday, the day of worship.  I hope that you enjoy the videos and the music.  I wish I could have found videos for all of the songs, but I have found most of them.

I would love to hear what music you are listening to on your ipod or mp3 player.  Let me know.

Enjoy my worship music list.
Debi