Monday, August 31, 2015

Shelf Road

So a few weeks ago we braved Shelf Road. What an intense place! In the heart of the mountain. Rugged, beautiful, and just a tad terrifying but not something you want to miss if you have even one adventurous bone in your body!
 
And yes, whoever gave it its name wasn't kidding! Shelf. Road. Definitely fits!







 


 
An above ground Gold Mine just outside the town of Cripple Creek that looks like a small "hill" on the side of the mountain when viewed from our front windows but up close and personal it is much, MUCH larger than it appears from said windows!
 
 
Happy Monday!

Be Blessed!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Thy Word...

 
So thankful for The Word!
 
It brings PEACE and worries fade,
It breathes TRUTH and lies dispel
It is LIGHT and makes darkness cease
To BELIEVE and TRUST it means
TO CHANGE!
 
♥Blessings!♥
 

Friday, July 24, 2015

White Chocolate Strawberry Delight

 
Need a quickie dessert for the weekend that will disappear before the Monday diet begins again? lol
 
I was in my kitchen yesterday thinking I really should bake something but not in the mood for the usual chocolate chip whatever when I had a flash of brilliance. Why not use the strawberries in the fridge for something besides pie (as easy as it is, I'm not a huge fan of crust making) but for something quick and yummy that I don't normally make?
 
Delights are quick and easy but that center part in all of it's sugary glory is always somewhat of a downer. So I had the idea to try it with an extra block cream cheese and dry instant white chocolate pudding. Still a far cry from healthy but not super sweet like usual. It was delicious and yes they, notice I said THEY, ate most of it for supper! Okaay! I had some too, because the cook always needs to taste new things, right? but in this case I could have avoided it because it tasted just like I thought it would. Not real sweet. Delicious. And like strawberries. Ha!
 
First of all it's handy when you keep this concoction in your cupboard in a glass jar:
 
1 cup clear jel, (cook type)
2 cups sugar
2 pkg. strawberry Kool-Aid
 
Mix together and store in an airtight container.
 
When ready to use mix ¾ cup dry mix and 2 cups water. Cook over medium heat until it thickens, stirring constantly.
 
Mix one recipe of this and set aside to cool.
 
In a 9 X 13 Pyrex pan mix
 
1-1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
 
until evenly crumbly. Just spread it evenly in the pan, but don't press it in. Bake @350 degrees for 20 min or till edges begin to brown. Remove and fluff with a fork, again spreading evenly without pressing it into the pan. Set aside and allow to cool.
 
In a Kitchen Aid mixer bowl mix
 
16 oz. cream cheese
1 box dry instant white chocolate pudding
 
with paddle attachment beat until nice and fluffy scraping sides as needed. Add
 
12 oz. Cool Whip
 
Spread over cooled crust.
 
Wash/clean/cut 2 lbs. strawberries and add to the cooled strawberry Danish. Spread on top of cream cheese mixture.
 
Enjoy and have a great weekend!
 
 
♥Blessings to you today!♥

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mercies...


Because of His great mercies
we are not consumed
 

 
they are new every morning,
great is His Faithfulness!
 
                                                                                          
 
We are coming up on two months since our move from PA to CO. We are enjoying it very much! Lack of humidity, "rat race," (that's usually a choice btw) less traffic, (Serena and I laugh when we go to town and meet 5 vehicles on the road that leads to civilization we comment that 'it's really busy today!) peace and quiet, God's AMAZING unaltered Creation! We feel blessed to be here at this time in our lives.
 
Some of you have expressed an interest in 'seeing your house'. We live in a lovely house high in the mountains and we'd love to play host to you and introduce you to some real, raw beauty if you should care to visit. I guess a house parade isn't really my thing and seems unimportant and materialistic to me when you can enjoy things that truly matter like time spent with family or just Nature itself.
 
 
@ "Garden of the Gods" just FWI, those rocks are stupendously huge! Another thing that took me by surprise for some reason. And the park itself is way bigger than I imagined. They all want to go back and do the horseback tour, but after I saw where those horses have to go and the rocks they will climb I think I might hike while they ride... even if it means risking a rattler or two! Shiver!!
 
 
The edge that you see there? That's a cliff! If you ever want or need to get life, problems, or anything else in perspective come visit 'the back forty!" You will be profoundly reminded that "Nothing is impossible for God!"
 
I feel that most of the time if we give up on someone or some thing it's because we ourselves lack the care we should have and/or the dedication to prayer that is needed. Or sometimes it's a struggle with unbelief.  Or perhaps we know that if who/what we are praying for would change then we would need to change too. And because too often we value comfort and familiar things/lifestyles over more eternal things like souls we lull ourselves to sleep and say that doesn't look like my problem. Admit it, we've all been there or said words to that effect. I have. But friend, the Truth is, if we are not actively praying, encouraging each other, and seeking out The Solution than we are indeed a large part of the problem. God already has the solution, and most of the time all it takes is a sacrifice of pride and agreement with Him. Okay I didn't sit down here thinking to write a sermon, but I guess for what it's worth...
 
 
Awesome!
 

 
 

 

 This is what greets me most mornings at 5:15 when I get up to pack lunches. I think it's a beautiful and peaceful way to be greeted by a Loving God who not only knows what the day will hold He has it planned out for our good!






The antelope babies are simply adorable, not to mention tiny! and so much fun to watch!
 

The men are enjoying their jobs and Serena and I are slowly but surely finding our way around to important places like the library, thrift store, :) grocery store, etc. while making new friends and meeting new faces. She has been enjoying some riding time with a new friend and someone wondered if we would be interested in boarding and riding a horse that they currently have that is taking up space at their place. YES, of course we will! :) God is Good and has provided many needs along the way and even a few wants like this!  
 
So far we have seen lots of wild things around our house (or close to) like (I'll start small) turkeys and their babies, a beautiful grouse, lots and lots of hummingbirds (that will soon need a grocery budget of their own!) mule deer, elk, a bear and her cub (I named them Cinnamon and Licorice and for that the kids think I'm crazy, ha), and yes even a mountain lion! I can't say that I'm actually scared of these last two but it does take some getting used to to think we are sharing their mountain! Lin and I took a walk recently out our driveway and noticed ML tracks in the dried mud. The men have instructed me on how to load a gun and I think I could actually bring myself to pull the trigger if need be but so far so good. :) Oh yes 1 Large and long Bull snake and a rattlesnake that the boys were able to overpower, thankfully!! Those two things prolly freak me out more than all the rest put together!! Yuck! Methinks I need to invest in some cowgirl boots to avoid a bite from one of these critters when I go tromping through the meadows and mountains!
 
 
The amount of wildflowers were a complete surprise to me! They are literally everywhere! and lend  a peaceful, softer beauty to the rugged landscape.
 
 our budding nature photographer getting an up
 close of some pretty flowers :)
 
 
She loves it outside in the sun and wind and tags along with her Dad and Brothers when they hike or work outside as much as she can.

 
 




Last but not least, there seem to be a lot of these! Thunderstorms on the mountain top sound different than they do otherwise. Love them!

 
Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you have a lovely day filled with the people and things you love!
 
♥Be Blessed!♥


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Let them give thanks..."

 
Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.
Psalm 107:8&9

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Just Snickers

New to the line up of cheesecakes is this simple but tasty one. No peanut butter like the other Snickers one I have made. Just a lovely, lighter caramel-y cake with chopped Snickers Bars.
What's not to like about that?!
For a 10 inch size:
Turn oven to 300°. Place a small pan of water on the bottom oven rack.
Prepare Spring Form pan lining the bottom with Parchment Paper, trimming the excess around the outside and lightly spraying the pan sides and bottom with non stick spray. Set aside
Crust:
 2½ cups crushed chocolate cookie crumbs
6 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks
Place into food processor and process until completely incorporated. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
For the cheesecake:
48 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1½ cups brown sugar
6 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
4-5 fun size Snickers candy bars,
cut into smallish pieces
In a mixer bowl ( I use a Bosch) beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. In a separate bowl combine the next 4 ingredients and beat with a hand beater until smooth. Pour into mixer bowl and beat just until incorporated, scraping sides as necessary. Don't over beat! Fold in the candy bar pieces. Pour over the baked crust. Place the Spring form pan onto a baking sheet and pop it into the oven for an hour. Sides should look a little puffed and dry and the center jiggle slightly when shook. Turn heat to off and prop oven door open with a wooden spoon handle for another hour. Remove cheesecake from the oven, run a thin, sharp knife around the edge and allow to cool completely before refrigerating. Refrigerate overnight or until cheesecake is cold throughout before removing the sides of the pan and placing onto serving platter.
Ganache:
1 cup mini milk chocolate chips
Heavy Cream, scalded
and just enough to bring it (barely) to the top of the mini chips
1 Tablespoon Light Karo
Caramel extract, to taste
I wanted this ganache to stay on top and not run down over the sides. If you want it to run, adjust the cream amount. I must say, the caramel extract in this topping really made it special! As in I-could-eat-this-entire-thing-with-a-spoon kind of special! So Yum!! Spread over top and garnish as desired. 
Enjoy!


Friday, February 20, 2015

For Betsy ☺

 
 
I reached into the bag of potatoes and was greeted by this gal! Ha
I thought of Betsy immediately!
It's been a while since she 'met someone' in her kitchen. :)
 
                                                                                     

 
Yes, I adore them!!
After several weeks of absence they are back... and just as beautiful as ever! And the perky little sparrow is pretty cute too!

Newsboy - His Eye Is On Sparrow - YouTube

And a new favorite song to go with the photo.☺
 
 
And the moon!
That moon was really cool tonight! Just a 'fingernail' but with the whole moon visible as a shadow? With a planet? and a Star? for company?
Yes, very nifty!
 
 
Stay warm -
and be Blessed!



 
 


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chocolate Almond Mocha Mousse Tart



Last week Nuts.com asked, "Would I like to create a recipe using almonds or almond flour to promote the health benefits of one of my favorite on-the-go snacks?"

Yes! How could I say no? I love almonds in a lot of things like desserts, salads, snacks, granolas, or just by themselves roasted or raw. They're just yummy. Turns out they are good for you too!

I wanted to keep the recipe simple so I decided to use a shortbread crust highlighting almond flour as the main ingredient and using a mousse to cut down on time in the kitchen. The combination of slightly salty, crumbly crust paired with the sweet mousse is perfect. I kept the mocha flavor very mild to accommodate my husbands taste buds. (he likes the smell of coffee but not the taste) so if you like a chocolate mousse without a mocha flavor this is a good one for you as well.

Crust:
1-1/3 cups Almond Meal(flour)
1 cup all purpose flour
6 Tablespoons cane sugar
½ teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons cold butter
Place all the dry ingredients into food processor. Pulse to mix. Cut butter into chunks and throw them in there with the dry. Mix well. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a large (10-12 inch) non-stick sprayed tart pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until it begins to brown. Remove and allow to cool completely.

Mousse:
1 cup mini milk chocolate chips
5 Tablespoons butter
4 egg yolks
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons coffee (Instant is fine)
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and butter. Stir until smooth and set aside.
In a saucepan whisk egg yolks, sugar, and coffee. Cook and stir over low heat until it reaches approximately 160°. Stir in vanilla. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Set saucepan into cool water or ice and stir until mixture is cooled.
Beat heavy cream and fold into chocolate mixture and spread evenly onto cooled crust. Refrigerate before serving.
This is actually better if prepared a few days in advance so the flavors can merge.
                                                      

I have a few other recipes to choose from that I particularly enjoy along with the tart recipe above, so I'm sharing them with you here.

 

Simple Salads with fruit and Almonds
and Red Wine Vinaigrette
 
 
 
 
 
So be sure to visit Nuts.com and check out all the health benefits of Almonds. I think you will find lots of great snack ideas and why it's a good thing when you have them in your cupboard.
 
Enjoy!
♥♥♥
 
 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Strawberry Lemonade


Who likes a great strawberry lemonade? (raises hand)

Who thinks boiling water and sugar for a simple syrup is a waste of time? (raises both hands)

I've been trying to use up the frozen berries in my freezers and found some crushed strawberries from a while ago and decided to make a kind of Copycat Speckled Lemonade like the kids always get at Red Robin.

It's super easy. Super yummy. And takes almost no time to make.

For 2 gallons of lemonade place 3 pints of thawed, crushed berries into a high speed blender (I used a Ninja) and blend until smooth.

Using the Country Time Lemonade mix, measure according to directions adding 2 extra scoops per gallon. Fill half full with water. Stir.


Divide the blended berries among the two gallon containers then fill completely with water. Stir and enjoy.

♥♥♥
Be Blessed!



Friday, January 23, 2015

A Birthday, Two Birds, and Natures Beauty

Happy 16th Birthday to Anthony!  
 
Where, exactly, has the time been going?!
I must say that I am enjoying our teen boys immensely and love the stage of life we are in!
 
A few weeks ago I asked Anthony what kind of party he wanted and gave him a few days to think about it and offered 3 different scenarios. After thinking about it he said he doesn't want a party. I will admit I was rather deflated. I mean, what 16 year old doesn't want a party...all about them... but alas he was adamant. No party!
 
So this morning I tried a different tactic. I still couldn't quite let it go.
I'm a Mom, after all! I love to celebrate my kids! :)
 
Me: what are you doing at 2:30 at school today?
Him: Study Hall.
Me: How many kids are in there with you?
Him: There's actually quite a few at that time.
 
Sudden realization hits him.
 
Him: You're not thinking of bringing something are you?
Me: Oh it crossed my mind.
Him: No Mom, don't!
 
So because I generally do what I think I should, (okay, what I want to do) I showed up anyway with Donuts and chocolate milk.
 
He had his back turned when I walked in and when he saw me he turned a very deep shade of red and  put his head down on his desk. I could tell he was glad I had come and yet... the spotlight. Not really what he likes.
 
He did give me his sweet smile and help me serve the treat and thanked me for coming. Being in the spotlight is just not his thing! And that's okay, too.
 
 
 
4 maybe 5 years old.
I think he's debating whether he can sneak a cookie :)

 
~ 2015 ~
 
                                                                  

 
My  'glowing' Cardinal friend
 
 

 
Mockingbird pose
♥ this!

 
Nature in the Neighborhood
 

 
Sycamore beauty against a blue, winter sky

 
I was out walking and noticed this in the sky. Reminded me of a bird or maybe the American Eagle symbol?
 
♥Blessings!♥
And thanks for stopping in!