Favorites of the Week

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Favorite picture: Flowers my sweet girl wanted me to put in her hair.

Favorite links:

Recipes I want to make:

Favorite moments:

  • Snuggly Joshua. Always. I am holding so tight to this season with my probably-the-last baby, especially now that he’s 2.
  • NO MORE PACIFIERS!!!
  • Talking about what it means to become a Christian with Libbie on my lap. She’s showing interest in this lately, and it’s so exciting! (And then we played Frozen magnet dolls – because she’s 6. I am not much of a play-er of toys with my kids, so this was a special event!)
  • My dad making it home from the hospital. Yay!
  • Deciding to host a little Facebook class about essential oils and depression.
  • Traveling to Nashville for the retirement lunch of my “Nashville dad.” It was so nice to see him and a lot of other old friends.

Favorite offline reading: I am loving The Nester’s book, and I finished up A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler, who is one of my favorite authors.

What’s going on with you this week?

Savory Cheesy Waffles

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Savory Cheesy Waffles

I first discovered cornmeal waffles one day last summer when we came home from vacation to bare bones in the kitchen. Determined to make something with what we had so we didn’t have to eat out again, my mind drifted to waffles. I found a recipe then for some bacon and cheese waffles with cornmeal. I didn’t have bacon, but I had enough cheese, milk, and eggs to concoct what ended up being a fantastic waffle. And waffles get even better with a runny egg on top!

Those waffles had cheddar, but last week I had some Monterey Jack on hand, and I am crazy about its flavor. You could use any cheese you really love here, but I love the bite of Monterey Jack (or even Pepperjack!). This is a super versatile recipe; you can add chopped chicken sausage or cooked bacon or sausage, maybe some minced herbs, using up odds and ends from the fridge. Savory waffles make a perfect easy dinner for nights you just don’t know what to make.

Savory waffles with monterey jack cheese

Savory Cheesy Waffles

Yield: 8 small waffles

Savory Cheesy Waffles

Adapted from Fabtastic Eats.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. yellow cornmeal
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 T melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. milk or buttermilk
  • 2/3 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried minced onion

Instructions

Plug in waffle iron to preheat.

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl or measuring cup, whisk together butter, eggs, and milk/buttermilk.

Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir to combine. Fold in cheese and onion.

Spray waffle iron with cooking spray and cook waffles according to your iron's directions. I have a smaller, Cuisinart waffle iron. It uses 1/3 cup batter and made about 8 waffles from this recipe.

Top with over-easy or medium eggs (or poached, I just don't know how to make a poached egg ...). Sprinkle with more cheese, salt, and pepper.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2015/03/savory-cheesy-waffles/

Do you have a waffle iron? We got one for our wedding, and I never used it. We went years without one. But when the kids starting loving frozen waffles, I was determined to make my own! I can make a batch of waffles whenever, freeze them in big ziploc bags, and then pop them in the toaster for breakfast. Delicious!

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cake

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Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cake

I refuse to let the fact that I didn’t get any great pictures of this cake keep me from posting it. I’ve never claimed to be a great photographer (the opposite, really!). It’s easy to get intimidated in this age of food blogging, where everyone wields his or her DSLR with prowess. I’m still using a point-and-shoot (a nice one, though, that I love – I have a Canon G12, similar to this one).

I’d been envisioning this cake for a week or more for some reason. I’m not even a fan of York patties, although I do like other chocolate-mint things. I was picturing more of an actual mint filling for the middle, but I came across this whipped cream and it sounded divine.

The combination is really wonderful, but make sure you have a crowd to feed! Even my whole dorm of high-school boys didn’t finish it off.

IMG_5405

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cake

Yield: 12 servings

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cake

This is my favorite one-bowl chocolate cake, adapted from Sips and Spoonfuls. The filling and frosting come from Taste of Home.

Ingredients

    One-Bowl Chocolate Cake
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. canola oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. hot brewed coffee
  • Mint Whipped Cream Filling
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 3 T powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. mint extract
  • Rich Chocolate Frosting
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 c. evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • Topping
  • one king-sized bag of miniature peppermint patties, chopped

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray two 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray, then line with parchment paper and grease again.

In a big mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add milk, oil, and eggs and mix together well. Pour in coffee and stir carefully until incorporated.

Pour batter into pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the whipped cream, with an electric mixer, whisk cream until it begins to thicken. Add powdered sugar and mint extract and beat until stiff peaks form. Place one layer of cake on a plate, then spread with the whipped cream (you may have some left over; you can serve it on top of the cake ... or on your hot chocolate or coffee).

For frosting, melt chocolate chips and butter together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. (You can do this in a glass bowl over boiling water ... I just like to live on the wild side.) Cool a little bit. Beat in evaporated milk and vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add powdered sugar and stir in until smooth. Pour over cake and spread. Sprinkle the chopped peppermint patties around the top edge of the cake.

Chill cake before serving for best results.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2015/03/dark-chocolate-peppermint-patty-cake/

Favorites of the Week

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I came across this picture from my sister-in-law’s wedding in August. Man, I love our little family! And my eShakti dress (courtesy of the company) totally delivered. It was perfect for this casual, summer wedding. I may order another dress or two for this summer.

Favorite links from … the past three weeks (sorry!):

Recipes I want to try:

Favorite moments:

  • Joshua just as happy the eighteenth time he goes down the slide as the first.
  • Everyone going to school ALL THE DAYS THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO this week.
  • David’s intensity and focus as he makes train tracks or plays with a Lite-Brite.
  • Scrubbing floors on my hands and knees. I know, weird. But the satisfaction of having them clean made it well worth it, and hard cleaning can be really therapeutic.
  • Speaking of therapeutic, writing.
  • Water aerobics.
  • Reading The Boxcar Children to Libbie.
  • David making his dove puppet go, “Coo! coo!” at church Wednesday.
  • Telling kids in children’s church about the family line from Rahab to Jesus. It makes me so excited!
  • How much the kids laugh every time they see “Donuts for Benny,” the VeggieTales Silly Song.
  • Joshua saying, “Bi-bible, Buck Denver!” To everyone he meets. Including a dog at my chiropractor’s office.
  • Beating back a nasty sinus headache with lavender oil. Oh, it is a wonder!

Favorite offline reading: I am trying to make it through Daring Greatly. The problem is I keep having a breakdown and having to process a lot of memories and information as I read it. It’s going very slowly.

How are you doing? I’ve really had a pretty crazy week – not activity-wise, mostly emotionally. My dad is having open-heart surgery next week, so I’ll be traveling and would love your prayers for him and my mom.

Part Two: Having Grace for Myself.

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See Part 1.

drewbarrymorepromqueen

No-more-loser-on-the-forehead; now prom queen. 

Dear Jessie,

Hi, it’s me. The part of you that sees you covered by God’s grace instead of your own nitpicking emotions.

Because, you see, somewhere deep inside you know what’s in the past has past. Dealing with it is not easy; it took many years past high school for those hurts to dissipate. Sometimes, yes, you still dwell on them, what you see as your mistakes, and feel. But why? Why, when you know that God’s offered forgiveness and banished your sins? Because human memory. Because sometimes you keep on doing what you don’t want to do.

Jessie, you are Right. Not because of anything you’ve done, even though surely there are many positive things in your life. But simply because Jesus covers you in Right. He wraps that big white blanket around your shoulders, those shoulders that feel heavy with the weight of all the Wrongs. He brushes off those heavy Wrongs and trades you for the lightness of Him. Remember how His burden is light? It’s because He shares all the load. He is a gentle Master.

Oh girl, how I long for you to know you are living in His presence every minute of every day. Embracing His truth instead of clinging to what a handful of people implied was wrong about you. How vividly you tell you daughter to delight in what God says about her instead of what one little girl tells her others might have said (which said child is probably making up, anyway).

Talk to yourself like you do to a child. Treat yourself like a child. Nourish with good foods. Sing Scriptures. Encourage the spirit. Get lots of rest. Always forgive. Wake up the next day with fresh views and a fresh start.

You are beloved of God, and loved much by family and friends.

You. Are. Enough. Live it.

 

 

Feeling Like Loser Is Stamped on My Forehead.

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drewbarrymoreloser

 

(Bonus points if you know what movie this is from.)

It might not even be the first time I felt really rejected by a crush, but it is the first time I remember vividly. I was a chubby fifth-grader infatuated with a blond boy. I’m not sure if I had yet fully realized how my permed bangs, buck teeth, and Children’s Place leggings covering short legs truly made me appear (thank God). But I knew I was not an It Girl.

And I heard the other boys in the hallway singing, “Sherry, Sherry Baby,” to him. Sherry was not just a song on the oldies station; Sherry was a different girl in the fifth grade. She was thin and blonde and unassuming. She had the mysterious aura of a girl who walked to school. And I felt my first swift blow of rejection.

No, he didn’t reject me directly. But I knew I could never compete with her. Even as an eleven-year-old, I knew I was Wrong and she was Right.

The times of rejection came swiftly once middle school arrived. Not being asked to dance while wading among the girls at the gender-segregated gym fetes. Pining for a friend’s boyfriend and making a fool out of myself when they broke up. (And then got back together … and probably had a good laugh about it.) The good friend who became too much and never enough.

Not answering emails about school dances once email came around in high school. (Yes, I am THAT OLD.) The humiliation of not being asked on a second date when I thought it wasn’t so bad for my first real date. Always overreacting. Always being Wrong. Clinging to the one who seemed to actually like me, even if maybe it wasn’t me he liked but some trying-to-be-Right version of me I created.

Pining for ones not worth pining for. Spending all these years letting arrow after arrow pierce my young heart.

I am pretty sure it’s not normal, remembering all these times of being cut. I can re and re and relive all the times I’ve said the Absolute Wrong Thing in my head, and what I probably should have said instead.

I found the right person in college. He thought, and still thinks, that I am Right Enough. I’ve spent the last thirteen years going back and forth between trying to believe him and trying to convince him he’s wrong. What would make me Right? Maybe if I lost weight. Kept a clean enough home. Parented our kids into tiny angels. But I can’t ever seem to do those things, so I feel Wrong. WRONG WRONG WRONG.

Most days I feel the only thing I do Right is bake a good cake and be Wrong.

To be continued …