Friday, April 29, 2016

photos + video ... lilacs in bloom


Oh, beautiful lilacs... my favorite flower ever!!!



I am so excited that I even took a video of the lilacs!!! 
The sun made magical light and birds were singing... yay!







Tuesday, April 19, 2016

recipe ... homemade bread


It is spring in Colorado, which means the weather is bipolar! Well, Saturday was cold, windy and
 rainy/snowy, so it was a perfect day to stay cozy inside. I watched an episode of The Pioneer Woman,
where Ree made homemade bread and I decided to try out the recipe, to go along with homemade
chicken noodle soup. So, even if the weather is not very spring-y, I can make the best of it with the
 yummiest comfort food! 


Making bread can be tiresome and time consuming but it is always worth the work! I just love the feel of kneading the smooth dough, seeing it rise, smelling it bake and the taste of it right out of the oven. 
YUMM!!


Homemade Bread / Dinner Rolls 

(Personal Note: This original recipe is "White Sandwich Bread", however I made it into dinner rolls this time. It makes 2 loafs of bread or 24 dinner rolls.)

Ingredients...
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring the board

Directions...
Combine the yeast and 2 cups warm water in a mixing bowl and stir to dissolve. Add the butter, sugar and salt. Use a wooden spoon to stir in one-third of the flour until smooth. Add another third of the flour and stir, then turn it out onto a floured board to knead. Knead it over 15 minutes, adding the rest of the flour as you knead. Don't let it get dry too fast; it should stay sticky. Put the dough in a buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for 1 hour.

Knead the dough another 5 minutes, place it back in the bowl and let it rise another hour.

Butter 2 loaf pans. Shape the dough into 2 loaves and transfer them to the prepared pans. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

(Personal Note: I made "clover rolls" in muffin tins, by putting 3 small balls of dough into each muffin and allowing them to raise for another 30-45 minutes.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake the loaves until golden brown on top and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. 
(The dinner rolls took 25-30 minutes to bake.)



This is my kind of lunch!! So yummy! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Resurrection Sunday!


Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great High Priest whose name is love
Whoever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold Him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless Righteousness
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of glory and of grace
One with Himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God
With Christ my Savior and my God



And here is something special I put together for Ren for Easter! 
I bought bunny ears from the Target dollar section, but they needed something more... 
So I added one of my own knit bows, for a touch of something pink and girly! 
I thought they turned out perfect!!!

And here is the cutest little bunny (with fairy wings and a very silly face!!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

photography ... orange ranunculus


I was so happy to see these bright orange ranunculus at the grocery store the other day.
I bought them in a heartbeat! This is the first time I've bought 
ranunculus... they are
such a pretty flower! Nothing says spring-time like fresh, bright flowers in the house!


Monday, March 14, 2016

lensbaby photography ... early spring


It is always fun to get outside and shoot photos, especially when it's almost spring and little bits
of life are starting to show up. The other day, my sister and I went for a walk downtown in search
of early blooms. I have been wanting to shoot with my lensbaby lately, so this was a perfect time. 
The weather was lovely and I saw lots of pretty things... 













Spring is coming!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

recipe ... cream cheese mints


My cousin is about to have a baby girl!! Yay!!! So, I made these mints for her baby shower.
These are everyone's favorite, no matter the event! You can make them without a mold or you 
can find molds online for any holiday/occasion. They are easy to make and sooo yummy! 


Cream Cheese Mints

Ingredients…
1 eight-ounce package cream cheese (room temperature)
1 two-pound bag of powdered sugar
Peppermint Extract, as desired
Food coloring, as desired
Granulated sugar, for coating mints

Directions…
Using a standing or electric mixer, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl, with a couple of drops of peppermint extract and desired food coloring. Start adding powdered sugar, a heaping cup at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky (a playdough-like consistency). You may not use the whole bag of powdered sugar. Add more peppermint extract, if needed. Add more food coloring for a richer color.
If the dough is too sticky, add more powdered sugar.

(Note: I made two colors, so I divided the dough in half and colored separately.)

To make the mints… pinch off a marble-sized amount of the dough, roll it in a ball, coat with granulated sugar, press into a special rubber candy mold. (Candy molds can be purchased on Amazon or you can simply press the mints flat with a fork, cup, etc.) Allow the mints to dry a bit in open air, then store them in the freezer until ready to serve.

These mints freeze well and thaw out quickly, so you can make them for any special event ahead of time and pull them out of the freezer about an hour before serving.

These mints are sure to be the hit of your next party!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

coloring creativity...


For Christmas, my mom got me an adult coloring book with beautiful Scripture art called, 
"Beauty in the Bible". I love all the designs with Bible verses and it's so fun to add color to them! 
So, here are a few of the pages that I have colored so far this year...




I also was getting creative doing a hand-lettering exercise on Instagram, with @lissletters. 
I didn't get very far, but here are some of my creations, with colored pencils...






I love spending time being creative with colored pencils!

Monday, February 15, 2016

recipe ... fudge mint truffles


I made these truffles for Valentine’s day this year... They are minty and very rich! 
I love them!!


Fudge Mint Truffles

Ingredients...
1 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup Andes mint chips
1 bag of Wilton’s chocolate melts (or other melting chocolate)

Directions...
In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract. In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda, then mix into the wet ingredients, until well combined. Stir in the Andes mint chips.

Chill the dough for about 1 hour. Then form 1″ balls and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. (A cookies scooper helps with this step.) Put the dough balls in the freezer until they are nearly frozen, at least a couple of hours. (You can store them in a freezer bag for later.)

Once the dough balls are nearly frozen, melt the Wilton’s chocolate melts in a microwave-safe bowl, in 30 second increments, stirring after each time, until the chocolate is smooth. (For other chocolate melts, follow the instructions on the package.)

(Note: It is best to work in small batches, so that the dough balls stay frozen.)
One at a time, put a dough ball in the melted chocolate, coating it. Lift it from the chocolate using a fork, so that it is on a flat surface, and tap the fork on the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. Then using another fork or toothpick, slide the truffle on to a lined baking sheet or plate. You will need to work fast as the chocolate will set quickly on the frozen dough.

Allow the chocolate to set and you are done. Enjoy these decadent, minty treats!

Store truffles in the refrigerator.