Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Congratulations to our giveaway winner!

Congratulations to! She is the winner of our recent journal giveaway contest. Thanks to all who entered. We appreciate all of our followers. Be watching for our next journal giveaway.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday, Mama whatcha cookin?

Faith, Family, Friends and Chicken Pot Pie, that's what's cookin today!
I say this because I could not have one of these without the other today. Years ago, I received this recipe from my dear friend who happens to be the other half of Java Girls! It came from a member of her family. It is a very good and simple recipe for chicken pot pie and it always seems to be the perfect comfort food. I make it for my family quite often. I am always rewarded with lots of raves and kudos for a great dinner when I make this. That makes me happy. I also like to make this to take to someone in need, which is what I'm doing today! I will make two, one for my family, and the other one is going to a sweet young "mommy to be" that has been on bed rest most of her pregnancy. What is supposed to be the most joyful time has been the hardest time for this young mother to be. Pregnancy has it's ups and downs anyway, but most of us make it through with some really fun memories of going on with our life during the nine months. Not for this mommy! So, as her friend I have the privilege of helping her.
As I prepare this pot pie, I can think of this new mom and pray, knowing how hard it is to endure discomfort herself for the sake of letting her baby grow. I can encourage her that it will come to an end. Though I do remember thinking myself during my first pregnancy "This baby will never come out!" Mine did, and so will hers. Soon she will be holding her own sweet baby, and all this will be in the past. Also, I can make this dish with extra love and appreciation because it was my friend who shared this family recipe. It has blessed our family and many other's as well. I can increase my own faith and this new mom's in knowing that no matter what goes on in the world today, or what we face, we have faith in God, family, friends and yummy chicken pot pie for dinner!
Till next time,

A great place to keep your prayer list or just journal about your faith, family and friends is in this beautiful journal we just listed this month in our shop.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 recipe of double layer pie crust/or 1 box Pillsbury pie crust.
1 16 oz. pkg. frozen vegetables(peas/carrot or mixed)
1 can Campbell's cream of chicken soup
milk (approx 5 oz)
1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked cubed chicken breast
Pre-heat oven to 375.

Cook vegetables according to package directions, drain and set aside. Place bottom layer of crust in 8-9 inch pie plate. Mix together drained vegetables, cream of chicken soup, using soup can, half can of milk, and cooked/cubed chicken. Pour into crust. Cover with top crust. Using knife, make 4-5 small slits in center of pie crust to allow steam to escape.
Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Crust Recipe:
2 c. sifted flour
1tsp. salt
2/3 c. Crisco shortening
5-7 Tbsp. cold water

Sift together flour and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry blender. Sprinkle 1 tbsp water over mixture. Toss with fork. Repeat until all water is used. divide dough into two balls and roll out on floured covered surface. Makes two crust, for top and bottom.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Sweet Love Story

This week marks the anniversary of mama and daddy's
wedding. It will be 62 years ago that they said "I Do"
to each other. They had such a sweet and humble start.
Daddy was living in Arkansas with his sister and her
family at the time. He and a friend began going to a little
country church in town, and that is where they met my mama and her sister. They double dated, went to church together, and eventually both couples married. Mama and Daddy had a simple little wedding. They didn't even get any photos.They were married in the preacher's house. Her dad and my dad's brother-in-law were their witnesses. Her mom and the rest of the family stayed home to prepare a big meal to celebrate. After the meal, they boarded a bus with all their belongings, which were not a lot. A few gifts from family, some seeds to start a garden, a little money from her dad, and a whole lot of love. They moved to Mississippi. That was where my dad was from. It was there they started their life together, a farmer and his bride. They worked hard, very hard. They worked side by side through it all. She was his help meet. Mama helped with the farming in any way she could. In the early years she chopped weeds, picked cotton, planted her own garden, canned, and did anything she could to provide for her family. Daddy worked from sun up till sun down. Making a living for his family while making a life was what he did. In the later years, daddy gained more farm equipment, and I can remember going to the fields to take daddy lunch, which was peas, or beans, in a quart jar and cornbread or biscuits, and a lot of iced tea, and of course, coffee. We would sit under a big shade tree and eat lunch with him while he took a break from plowing, picking or whatever he was doing. Home was a place of comfort and joy for all that came to visit. It was full of fun, laughter, good food, and a place to rest. We loved having relatives come. They were loved in their community as well. They shared whatever they had, be it tomatoes, corn, peas, or whatever. That's what you did back then. You worked hard, you helped your neighbor, and you loved your family. Through the years they gained family, friends, land, a home, and a happy life. They loved God, they loved their neighbors, and God blessed them. Simple and beautiful, just like God intended. So, when life gets you down, remember the simple things in life are the best. Less complicated with room for others and room for more love. It's a sweet way to let your love story grow.

Marriage is so much more than the wedding. It's the commitment to work together. It's commitment to building a life with someone that you choose to love. Through thick and thin, for better for worse, in sickness and in health. No matter how you start, what counts is how you finish. Daddy went home to Heaven almost 20 years ago. Mama has been amazing. She is still going strong, and if it wasn't for the arthritis, she would be running circles around all of us! Daddy would be proud of her. He would say "you're doing real good, Sugar".
Till next time,

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday's "Mama Whatcha Cookin?"

Yummy Cookies!

Don't you just want to reach in and take one?
Today, it's my daughter that is making my house smell sooooooo good! She is a third generation "Mama Cooker". The love for cooking comfort food and finding good recipes is going strong in this family. This makes my mama happy to see her granddaughters carry on the love of cooking, nurturing, and homemaking. You see, it's way more than just feeding food to our family and friends. It's showing love, expressing compassion, and just doing something nice for others. I remember mama cooking food for people all the time. Actually she still does! She is 82 and it never surprises me to hear her say she is making a pound cake for somebody. When it comes to mama, she will find a way to get food to someone. She mailed a Frozen Coconut cake (another family favorite) across the country for my daughter's birthday. My daughter had ask her to come visit and make her cake for her birthday that year. Mama couldn't come, so she mailed the cake instead! She brought frozen corn with her( in her luggage) when she came to be with my sister after her first baby was born. She wanted to make our family favorite Fried Corn, and it's best made with garden grown corn! You can't buy it. :) We had an egg farm at the time, and she said she would have brought eggs if she had thought they would make it. She didn't trust the guys throwing the luggage around! (Good thing!) Mama never ceases to amaze us. Maybe it's a "Southern" thing, but I don't think so. I think a lot of people all over this world feel and do the same as we do. Ministering to others in a time of need can be a real gift. We see in the Bible that Jesus saw it was good to feed the crowds that he ministered to and preached to. He fed 5000 with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish! Maybe that's why our churches are always having food fellowships! It really is a way to minister to someone's inner soul and heart.

So, that is what my daughter is doing today and tomorrow. Her husband's family is moving across town to a new house. She offered to help by making tomorrow's meal for the family and friends that are helping. She is making a big pot of Sausage Potato Soup, Ham and Cheese BBQ Sandwiches, Muffins and her husband's favorite, Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies. As she planned her menu and grocery list, she asked my advice about how to make the soup and how much to make. I have to admit my heart was tweaked as I witnessed another generation of ministering through food growing. When she was little she and her sister would use their play kitchen set and play food and make meals and "take them to people". I would smile and be the sick or needy person for them and enjoy seeing them mimic their mommy. Today, I reap a reward of motherhood, seeing it happen for real. She and her older sister both love to minister in this way, and that makes me a happy mama too.
So, may I share with you this delicious recipe that we have made in our family for years. It came off the back of a bag of Gold Medal flour. The paper is yellowed and old, but it still makes a yummy cookie to sweeten the heart and soul.

Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 c granulated sugar
1/3 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c (1 stick) margarine or butter softened
1/2 c peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 c Gold Medal Flour :) any kind will do but I must give them credit for such a great recipe.
1/2 c oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350. Beat sugars, margarine or butter, peanut butter, vanilla and egg in medium bowl until creamy and well blended. Mix in flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Blend until all four is stirred in. Add chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls or with a scoop about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute before removing from tray.

Tip for good cookies. Don't over bake.
Yields about 2 dozen cookies. Enjoy!

Till next time,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Second Journal Giveaway! The Winner - Ms. T. Fishstabber

It's time for my second journal giveaway. This time I thought a bit of humor would be fun! Mom's Busy Taking a Break. We all feel like saying that every so often. To enter, simply COMMENT and FOLLOW. I look forward to hearing from you!

Winner to be announced March 31st.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Take the Time

This is a photo of my mama and me. I am so happy that I still have her, yet I write this blog with a heavy heart.
My dear sister-in-law lost her mother this week to a heartwrenching battle with Alzheimer's. It was so hard for their family to watch their mom slowly fade away, but I know that it must have been even harder to say that final goodbye. I cannot pretend to know what she is going through, but I know in my heart it cannot be easy. A mom is one that meets our every need when we are born, she teaches us, she care for us, and she sacrifices for us. She puts her own needs and wants aside for her child.
No matter how old we get, we are never truly ready to lose our mother. Who will we call when we have those questions only she can answer? We can't share the cute story of what our child or grandchild just said with her. We can't call her for that old favorite recipe. We will always think, she would have loved that. Life will have to go on without her, even though there will always be an empty place in the heart of her child.
So, make a call or visit, and spend some time with your mom today if you still have her. Cherish the moments you have. Listen to her speak, hear the wisdom in her voice, the experience of her life. Hold on to all that you can, while you can.
I'm going to call my mama again tomorrow. Just because she is there.

Till next time,

Dedicated to Patricia Morrison
A loving wife, mother, grandmother, homemaker and crafter.
She will be greatly missed.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday's "Mama, Whatcha cookin?"

Bird Nest Treats

Hello Spring!
The birds are chirping early in the morning now. Spring is right around the corner, and I can't wait! Today's recipe inspiration came from a project that I helped with this afternoon.
Twice a month two other mothers and I teach a ministry class at the christian school that our children attend. The goal of this class is to inspire young upcoming adults to minister to others for no gain to themselves other than the blessing of knowing that they have brightened someone's day. This class is involved in a variety of things such as cleaning, setting up for events at the school, putting on luncheons, making treats or cards for the senior citizens, and also doing nice things for the younger classmates in the elementary. We want these young people to experience the joy and gratification that comes from doing for others, and they do! Seeing people smile and being surprised by something that you have made or done equally blesses both the receiver and the giver. It also bridges the gap between our teenagers and others, instilling a connection with both the elderly and the young. It has been a tremendous joy to work with these kids.

This week our project was just so cute and easy. It caused such spring fever that I just had to share it as Monday's recipe. They were yummy too. Maybe you will be inspired to make these with your children, and make a few extra to minister to someone in your life. Let your children feel the joy as they see the smile on the receipients face, and know that they have been a blessing to someone that day!

Bird Nest Treats

1 cup butterscotch chips, melted
1 can oriental noodles
jelly beans

Melt your butterscotch chips in the microwave or double boiler. Either is fine. If using microwave, be sure to melt at 1 minute intervals to assure the candy does not burn. Add entire can of noodles, stir until evenly coated. Scoop out by the spoonfuls onto wax paper, shaping into a nest shape. Gently press indentation in center to place jelly beans. Let them set until they are hardened and lose the shiny wet look. Store in airtight container or package for giving away!
We put them in cup cake paper cups, then placed them into small plastic bags and tied with a spring colored ribbon. They were all packaged and ready to give out. They were a hit!
(You may substitute any other chips, such as chocolate or peanut butter, and also, there are a variety of egg shaped candies to use this time of year. Enjoy making your own creations!)

We made and gave out 90 of these today. That's a lot of happy smiles!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday's Mama What 'Ya Cookin?

My first successful cornbread!

Old photo and a little blurry but,

proof I did it!

Cornbread is one of my favorites! So, today I am going to share with you a recipe for Mexican cornbread that mama has made for years. She didn't make this up, but she knew a good recipe when she saw it! This one was a hit. Her plain cornbread was to die for as well! I will have to share that one later. She makes cornbread the best way I know, in a cast iron skillet! Skillet cornbread will have a crispy outer crust and be very tasty. If you don't have one, it's worth it's weight in gold! They are also good for your health, by adding traces of iron into your diet. They even come pre-seasoned now which is a huge advantage. If you have one that is not seasoned, be patient. It will take a few times of use to get it there. Make sure to put plenty of vegetable oil (Safflower or corn is great) in the skillet the first time, put it in the oven on 350 degrees and let it heat for about 15 minutes. Take it out and drain most of the oil out, (you can reuse this oil) leaving a thin covering. Sprinkle lightly with a little dry cornmeal, then add your cornbread batter. This should help the bread not to stick, however, some new skillets take a few times of using to become seasoned. You will always add the oil, heat and dry cornmeal every time, yet using less oil than the first time. The idea is to build up a smooth coating on the inside of the skillet. One more bit of advice on your skillet is to never wash with soap. Remember they are like little boys. They love the water, but hate the soap! This will ensure proper seasoning and your food never tasting soapy!

This recipe became such a favorite to have with beans, chili, a mexican dish, or really just anything. You can adjust the "heat" by how much cayenne pepper you add. You can even add none, if you want no "heat". We like it both ways! I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

Mexican Cornbread

1 c. cornmeal
2 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Cayenne pepper to taste
1 can cream style corn
1 c. milk
1/2 c oil
2 eggs
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350. Put skillet with oil in now, and it will be ready when your batter is mixed.
Mix together above ingredients in order as listed. Pour batter into heated, oiled, and dry cornmeal sprinkled skillet. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 min. Run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen, and CAREFULLY invert onto a plate. The skillet is VERY HOT and will burn your skin if touched. Do not touch any part of the hot skillet. Hopefully, you will have a beautiful, round, crusty, and yummy cornbread for your dinner! If it sticks, don't be discouraged. It will still taste the same. Just keep making it and someday it will come our perfectly and you will cheer! I remember the first time mine did. I called my mama just to tell her! Enjoy, and let me know how you did!

You can make this in a regular pan or dish. I never have myself, but I'm guessing about a 9x9 size. My friend bought a skillet after trying it this way. She said it just wasn't the same.
Till next time,