Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chai Waffles with Spiced Vanilla Whipped Cream

   Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas! It's another wintry day at our house. Woke up to a fresh blanket of snow and it is still coming down. A good day to spend indoors baking rolls for a family gathering tomorrow night, maybe sew a dress, enjoy some mommy/son time and being very thankful to God for the blessing of a warm house. (something I too often take for granted)
   We had a Christmas service at church yesterday morning, and I wanted to fix a special Christmas breakfast to enjoy before we went. I was planning to make my gingerbread waffles, but then I found this recipe from  Ezra Pound Cake and decided to try  something new. I made a few minor adjustments to the recipe and they didn't disappoint...the only thing disappointing was the fact that Husband had taken my cooking spray while he was barbecuing the other day and didn't bring it back so I had trouble with the waffles sticking to the iron and tearing. I tried greasing the iron with olive oil etc, but it just wasn't working very well. I managed to get a few that weren't totally riddled to photograph. So although they looked like an almost total flop, they sure did taste like winners! Perfect for Christmas morning. (or any morning for that matter)

Chai Waffles with Spiced Vanilla Whipped Cream
yield: 12-16 waffles (depending on the size)
1 3/4 cups milk 
7 chai tea bags
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp orange peel
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
In a small saucepan over medium heat bring milk to a simmer, add tea bags and remove from heat. Let the tea steep for about 5 minutes. Squeeze the tea bags into the milk and then discard. Allow the tea to cool.
In another bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
In another bowl whisk together egg yolks, oil, vanilla and the cooled chai tea.
Add to the dry ingredients stirring just until combined, batter will be lumpy. 
In a small bowl beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into the batter being careful not to over mix. 
Preheat and grease your waffle iron. Add batter and cook until golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar and top with Spiced Vanilla Whipped Cream and maple syrup.
Spiced Vanilla Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
Pour the cream into a bowl and whip on low speed until just beginning to stiffen. Add sugar, vanilla, and spices. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Serve on top of waffles.

And suddenly there was with the angel
a multitude of heavenly host
praising God, and saying,
"Glory to God in the Highest,
and on earth, peace, good will
toward men." 
~St. Luke 2:13&14
♥ Sheila 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas To All!

   So hard to believe it is already this time of year again!! Today has been what I think would be an almost text-book perfect Christmas Eve Day....a lazy day at home with Hubby and G-bug as the first snow of the year falls!
   Of course I had to take some pictures of the little Mr and his first snow. He was mesmerized this morning watching the big flakes float past the windows so I dressed him up and outside we went for a short photo shoot. It was so cute to watch him experience it all for the first time, he even stuck out his little tongue a time or so to catch the flakes. Here are a few of the photos....


  So from our family to yours....A very blessed and joy-filled Christmas as we celebrate our dear Savior's birth!

Card photos courtesy of the talented Emily Sacra Photography

Fear not: for behold,
I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people. 
For unto you is born this day in the city of David
a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
 ~St. Luke 2:10-12

♥ Sheila

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments

   I have been a little slow getting the house decorated for Christmas this year. I wanted and had every intention of doing it Thanksgiving day or the day after, but it just didn't happen. I had several things I wanted to make and I'm finally getting them done. This was one of the projects and I know it isn't edible, but it contains edible ingredients and they get baked so I think they qualify for the blog.
   I spent today making these ornaments and some sticky buns and needless to say my house smelled amazing! They really are the greatest little things; so pretty, smell wonderful and easy to make. I am disappointed though, I wanted to make one with G-bug's hand print on it, but the dough wasn't soft enough for that to work well. I found another recipe that I may try and see if it does better.

Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments 
yield: about 20 ornaments (depending on the size)
 1 cup applesauce
1-1 1/4  cups cinnamon 
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg 
Combine all ingredients in mixer and mix until well blended and forms a ball. If too sticky add more cinnamon, too dry add more applesauce. Sprinkle cinnamon on counter and roll the dough out to about 1/4" thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Place on cookie sheet and use a straw to poke the hole. Bake @ 200* for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until completely dry and hard. Cool on wire racks. Add decorative string and hang.  
These are not edible!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas......finally!

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:
the virgin will be with child and 
will give birth to a son, and will call him
~Isaiah 7:14

♥ Sheila  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

   What Thanksgiving meal would be complete without sweet potatoes? I love them in any form, but when I saw this idea I knew it would be a favorite.
   I made these as a side dish to serve with the Cornish Game Hens we made for our 'Thanksgiving meal for two.' We also had corn/stuffing balls and gravy. Was planning to make dessert and a salad, but didn't and it was just as well. We were stuffed after this.
   You really should make these soon. Not only are they scrumptious, they are super easy to make too!

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
3 large sweet potatoes
4 tbsp packed brown sugar
3 tbsp butter
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
Streusel topping: 
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 cup chopped English walnuts
1/8 cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp cold butter
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
Prick sweet potatoes with a fork place in a baking dish and bake at 350* for 30 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork. Remove from oven and as soon as you can handle them slice the sweet potatoes in half and scoop out the middle and put in a mixing bowl leaving 1/4" of sweet potato on the skin. Mix in butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until smooth. Spoon back into the shells.
In a small bowl mix together streusel ingredients until the butter starts to soften and it becomes course crumbles. Top each sweet potato with streusel and bake at 350* for 20-30 minutes.


Give thanks to the Lord,  for He is good;
His love endures forever.
~Psalm 107:1

♥ Sheila 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Roasted Cornish Game Hens

   The past couple of years on Thanksgiving we haven't had any family gatherings so we have kinda made it a tradition to go out to eat at a restaurant that serves a Thanksgiving buffet. It was nice not have to worry about fixing food for just two people plus their food is delicious. This year though, since we now have a baby and we usually had to wait in line awhile, we decided it would probably be easier and cheaper to fix our own meal.
   Making a whole turkey for just two people seemed a bit crazy, so husband suggested we do Cornish game hens instead....great idea Mr! Although we had never made them before we have eaten them and knew they could be mouth-watering. After both of us searched through different recipes on our own we discovered we had both found this one recipe that we'd like to try. Great minds think alike huh? ;)
   So while baby slept we spent most of the morning in the kitchen; hubby in charge of the birds, me in charge of sides. {A side dish recipe coming next} I think we have now started a new tradition. Not only was it fun and oh-so-good, but I could stay in my pj's if I wanted {and I did}. Please don't judge me for that. =) Anyway, back to more important matters....the hens were amazing and the perfect size. Your own personal turkey chicken. I'm definitely not going to wait until Thanksgiving next year to make these little birdies again!

Roasted Cornish Game Hens
yield: 2 servings
2 Cornish game hens, thawed if frozen
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon, quartered
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
24 cloves garlic
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450*. 
Pat the hens dry and rub with 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place 1 lemon wedge and 1 sprig of rosemary in the cavity of each hen. Place hens roasting pan breast side up and arrange garlic around hens. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
Whisk together wine, chicken broth and remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Pour over the hens. Continue roasting another 15 minutes.
Brush the melted butter over the hens. Reduce oven temperature to 350* and continue roasting for another 25-30 minutes or until nice and golden brown and the juices run clear. Remove from oven and let hens rest for 5-10 minutes. Place on serving platter. Garnish with rosemary, lemons etc.
Transfer pan juices and garlic to a saucepan and add another 1/4 cup of wine; boil about 5 minutes. Serve over the hens or use as a dipping sauce.



Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness; 
come before Him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is He who made us, and we are His,
we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name. 
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
~Psalm 100


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

   Wishing you each and everyone a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving! May every day of the year be one of Thanksgiving and Thanks-living as we show gratitude to the Lord for His many gifts to us. We are blessed beyond measure!

   Stay tuned for a couple of Thanksgiving recipe posts......coming soon!


Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is Yours.
Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom;
You are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honor come from you; 
You are the ruler of all things.
In Your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise Your glorious name.   
~1 Chronicles 29:11-13

♥ Sheila  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mini Gingerbread Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

    As the weather turns cooler I start to think of Christmas music, fresh baked gingerbread and cozy-ing up in front of a warm crackling fire with a steaming mug of mulled cider. Although I'm not quite ready for this yet, I must admit that I did have Pandora's Christmas radio playing at a rather loud volume while baking these cupcakes...
    The Mr and I recently joined a local relay for life team. They were having a fundraiser this past Friday night so I baked some cupcakes and sugar cookie bars to help out with the refreshments.

Mini Gingerbread Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
yield: 40 mini cupcakes

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
3/4 cup water
In a large bowl cream sugar and butter. Mix in molasses; beat in eggs one at a time. 
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and allspice. Beat into sugar mixture adding alternately with water. Mix well.
Pour into cupcake tins that have been lined with cupcake papers. Fill about 2/3 full. Bake @ 350* for 10 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool completely on wire racks.
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tsp milk
Beat together cream cheese and butter. Add lemon peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon flavoring and sugar. Mix and then add milk a little at a time beating until smooth and spreadable. Frost cooled cupcakes. Refrigerate leftover cupcakes.

"You will seek me and find me
when you seek me with all your heart.
I will be found by you," declares the Lord.  
~Jeremiah 29:13&14

♥ Sheila   

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes

   Another pumpkin recipe? Yes, because I had pumpkin that needed to be used up before it went bad. Plus, I've been wanting to try this recipe for awhile now.
   Husband is leaving to go to a Haz-Mat conference for a few days, so I wanted to make something for breakfast that was a little more special than usual. I decided these pancakes should do the trick. 
   We slept in as long as Little Mr allowed us too, then while I made breakfast 'D'+ 'G-bug' spent some father/son time together. {Hubs isn't too excited to be away from his little boy for that long, so he was getting in as much together time as possible.} I can't say I'm too excited about him being gone either, but it will definitely make a difference having another little person in the house with me this time!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes
yield: 8 pancakes

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp espresso powder
4 tbsp buttermilk powder
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup brewed coffee, at room temperature
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
whipped cream
In a bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt pumpkin pie spice, espresso powder and buttermilk powder. In another bowl whisk together egg, vanilla, coffee, water and pumpkin. Add to dry ingredients stirring just until moistened. Set aside to rest.
Heat a griddle on medium heat. When it is hot pour about 1/2 cup of batter onto surface and fry until golden brown. Flip and fry until golden brown on the other side.
Serve with whipping cream or syrup. {I suggest whipped cream}

     These were as delicious as I thought they would be. A perfect fall, Sunday morning breakfast!

   On another note, {although not really because it involves pumpkins too} we took 'G-bug' to the pumpkin patch yesterday and found him a pumpkin that was just his size. He was happy with it I believe! =)

How is our little 'punkin' already almost 6 months old?!?


O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is Your name in all the earth! 
You have set Your glory above
the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants
You have ordained praise....
~Psalm 8:1+2

♥ Sheila 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting

   'Tis the season for all things pumpkin. It is, I think, one of my most favorite ingredients during the Fall and I  have been baking/cooking with pumpkin a lot these past few weeks. And the weather we've been having lately has definitely put me in the mood to bake. {if for no other reason than to warm the house}
   I've never made browned butter frosting before, but I knew it had to be amazing! How could it not? So I decided to whip up a batch of these  little guys today, some I'll take to our discipleship group meeting tonight and the rest will stay here to tempt me. =)

Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting
yield: about 3 1/2 dozen cookies
2/3 cup sugar 
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
In a bowl beat sugar, brown sugar, butter and vanilla until well blended. Beat in pumpkin and eggs until well mixed. Add flour, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Beat on low speed until well mixed. Drop onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 350* for 8-10 minutes. Remove from pan onto wire racks to cool completely before frosting.
Browned Butter Frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 tbsp milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter
In a bowl add sugar, vanilla and 3 tbsp milk. In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned. Pour over sugar and mix well on low speed until smooth. Gradually add 1 tbsp milk until it is creamy and spreadable. Frost cooled cookies.

 Of course I had to try one {or maybe two ;)}  just to make sure they were edible. Oh my, are they ever! Pretty sure I'll be using browned butter frosting often now. So good!!

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout
the earth to strengthen those
whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
~2 Chronicles 16:9

♥ Sheila