Friday, July 27, 2012

Quick matching grant for the Rogers!

The Rogers family is on their way to finally go meet Bernadette and Mason! Some news superquick! There is a matching $450 grant opening up tonight for the Rogers! It will run through midnight, August 1st, so anything you can donate will be doubled. They still need about $3000 to be considered fully funded, and it would be so awesome to be able to tell them to relax, enjoy their new son and daughter, and not to worry about how they pay for the remainder of their expenses! If you can donate $10, it will be doubled and pay for two meals for the kids on the way home. If you can donate $50, it will be doubled and you'll be paying for a night's rent. Let's get them fully funded and I'll quit bugging you about them. (But then I will start nagging you about the Rhodes family. Check out Mandy's blog for some exciting news there!

 I am so blessed, and very honored, to be caring for the Rogers kids while their parents are away. It's a huge responsibility, but such a special one. We had always wanted eight kids, so with my youngest plus their seven, I'm finding out just what that is like. A just loves their daughter Madison, and asked me yesterday, "where have they been all my life?". They have so much in common and I can see them being friends for a very long time!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

An Auction, an Experiment, and a Recipe (Chicken Dip)

Doing something really weird tonight (completely normal for me though, right?) I found a thing on Pinterest for getting the dead skin off your feet. As I despise wearing shoes, and my feet look really rough sometimes all the time, I thought I would try it. Here's a picture of my yucky feet (but some really cool Snoopy pjs. It's what all the cool kids are wearing this summer.)

The original post can be found here. This is my experiment on seeing how well it works.

First, gather your supplies: Listerine, shaving cream, a bucket or bowl, and a hand towel.
Put equal amounts of warm water and Listerine in your bucket or bowl.

Yeah, it kinda looks like pee. Maybe this isn't the best post to also include a recipe. Hmm. I might should have thought this one through a little better. 

 Get somewhere comfy, then smear the shaving cream on the bottoms of your feet.

Soak the hand towel in the Listerine mixture, then wrap it around your feet. I wasn't really sure how to best wrap it. I think it might be better to use two and wrap each one individually, but I made it work. (It's Christmas in July with my penguin hand towel!)

Now sit back and relax for 30 minutes. The warm water does cool off and your feet get kind of chilly! So, while you're waiting you could write a blog post about what you're doing for the 30 minutes, like me, or...

you could check out this Facebook auction Rescuing the Rogers. There are some really cool items up for auction! Erika and Mel will be leaving very shortly to go get Bernadette and Mason, and we need to get them funded!!! 

Ok, now that 30 minutes are up, you've bid on some cute items in the auction or made a donation to the Rogers FSP on Reece's Rainbow, you're ready to check out your feet.

Take the wet towel and vigorously rub all the rest of the shaving cream off your feet. It's supposed to actually take a layer of skin off. Once you've done that, dry your feet really good. *Diabetics, please be very careful, read the original post for specific comments on recommendations for you. 

Here's before and after pictures of my feet. I really hope none of my three followers have a foot phobia.

You may not can tell from the pictures, but they really are better! Much softer, smoother. Not sure how much is just from soaking them for thirty minutes or if it really took the dead skin off. I'll be able to tell better in the morning I guess.

Now that we're done talking about my yucky dead skin from the bottom of my feet, I'm sure you've worked up an appetite, right? Ok yeah I know. Bad idea. So go take a break, and come back later for the recipe!


Yay, you're back. Ok, for the food! I was trying to find a recipe to fix the other day for some friends, and as always, I was missing one or two ingredients for everything. Does that happen to everyone? Reminds me of the line from the Friday movie. "Ya'll ain't never got two things that match. Either ya'll got Kool-Aid, no sugar. Peanut butter, no jelly. Ham, no burger". Story of my life! So I combined two of the ones I really liked. I just called it Chicken Dip, very original, right? I'm creative that way. Now, for the chicken, I boiled it and threw it in my Kitchen Aid mixer while it was still really hot, and it shredded up in a minute. (To whoever first came up with that idea and pinned it, I love you!!) Then I added everything else and just mixed it all up. And another tip...I don't buy shredded cheese anymore. An 8 oz block of cheese will shred up into at least one and a half cups. Way more cheese for your money! So for this I used about half the block. It really doesn't take that long to shred it yourself, and it's so much better for you, both health wise (no cellulose added to keep the shredded cheese from sticking, yuck, and saves you money!) It doesn't take the prettiest picture, but I've made it twice now and there are NO leftover. I recommend doubling the batch!

Chicken Dip

2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 can HOT Rotel

Mix everything up and put into a greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Some DS goodness, a verse and two recipes (BBQ Slackpots and Spoon Bread)

DS - some people call it Down Syndrome. I call it Deluxe Sweetness! I got to spend some time today with some pretty deluxe sweet kids. Their parents could have adopted any old typical kid, but instead they upgraded to this DS perfection! Today was the first day I got to meet Samuel and Joseph Rhodes, who just came here last month. They are too sweet! Samuel strutted around the playground like the rock star he is. He doesn't just "give you five", he gives you about twenty. And Joseph, what a snuggle buddy! He loves to sit in your lap and just cuddle, which I could do all day!! 

This is Samuel:
And here's Joseph (Vaylo)

If that weren't good enough, the Rogers clan were there too! I can't get enough of these kids. Their parents are going soon to get their two newest kids, and could use some encouragement to help them get fully funded.   Here's the perfect example of what our help can do. This is Clare, their Ukrainian princess they brought home last year. She has THRIVED being in this family, just like Joseph and Samuel have in their family. 

These precious innocent children need a voice, and it needs to be ours.  Remember what Jesus told us:

"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of God". Matt 18:3.

And what about these kids after they grow up? The fear of that is what prevents a lot of families from stepping forward to adopt kids with Down Syndrome. I can give you an example of that too. Darren is a man I know with DS, and he is right around 60 years old. He divides his time between his siblings. They have worked out a great system so that he can spend time with each of them. He spends most of his time out of state, but his sister lives near me, and he's here for several weeks. Tonight he was at church with his niece, great nephew, and great niece. I sat behind them after our bible class, and couldn't help but watch the way he was interacting with his great niece who is 8. You could just see the love he has for her and her brother. He put his arm around her and hugged her, gave her a kiss on the cheek. He's such a sweet friendly man, and has a great sense of humor. He grew up with siblings who loved him then, and love him now. He's not "the brother with DS", he's just their brother. As one friend put it a while back, someone asked her wasn't she putting a burden on her typical kids, knowing they would be the ones to have to take care of their siblings with DS. She said she hoped she wouldn't raise kids who would feel like it would be a burden to take care of their own family. 

And for the recipe:

We love BBQ Jackpots. If you don't know what they are, here's a link to one version. 

I normally make mine this way ^, but tonight I had leftover Spoon Bread batter in the fridge so instead of rolling out the canned biscuits and pressing them into the muffin pan, I mixed up the cooked ground beef and BBQ sauce and put it in my Deep Covered Baker. If you don't have one, they are awesome! (Click on the link to find the Pampered Chef adoption fundraiser for the Marble family.) Ok, so I put that stuff in, put some shredded cheese on top, and dotted the top with the spoon bread batter. It was so much easier. I guess my version would be called BBQ Slackpots, since I did it the slacker way. lol. And no, AGAIN, I didn't get a picture, because by the time I fixed supper, it was 9:30 and the hubby was about to perish with hunger (or so he acted) So, for the actual recipe:

BBQ Slackpots:
1.5 lbs of ground beef, cooked and drained.
1 cup of BBQ sauce (I actually didn't have enough BBQ sauce, so I subbed in some A-1, which was yummy)
1 cup of shredded cheese (adjust according to your preference)
1/2 cup chopped onion (optional)
2 cups of Spoon Rolls batter (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 400. Mix together ground beef, BBQ sauce, and onion in a 2 qt casserole dish. (I don't spray mine, because I like the crunchy bits that stick to the side, but I'm weird that way. Feel free to grease the pan!) Sprinkle the shredded cheese over beef mixture. Dot the spoon bread batter over that. Don't put it too thick or it will take FOREVER to bake. Small dots! Bake for 20 minutes or until topping is brown and done. 

And for the Spoon Rolls, I found the recipe in the Southern Living All-Time Favorites cookbook. I'm intimidated by any recipe calling for yeast. My homemade breads usually turn out like rocks, even when I used a breadmaker. Operator error, every time. But when I found this recipe, I thought maybe it would work, because you don't have to let them rise. I made them night before last, with some cubed steak. The great thing about these is that it makes 14 rolls, but you can put whatever batter you don't want to use in the fridge, and it will keep for up to a week. So the first night I made 7 rolls, and they were good. I did screw up and used pizza crust yeast, which is not recommended for bread baking, but it turned out fine. The remainder of the batter I refrigerated in an airtight plastic container that screwed on. When I went to get it out tonight, it had risen and expanded as much as it could, and the top was bulging up. Very glad it wasn't a pop off lid, because it would have! So make sure you leave room for it to expand. They were actually better tonight!

Spoon Rolls:
1 (1/4 oz) envelope active dry yeast
2 c warm water (100-110 degrees)
4 c self-rising flour
1/4 c sugar
3/4 c butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Combine yeast and 2 cups warm water in a large bowl; let mixture stand for 5 minutes. Stir in flour and remaining ingredients until well-blended. Spoon into well greased muffin cups, filling half full. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

An orphan, a verse, and a recipe (Turkey Piccata)

Since it's obvious my blog has an identity crisis ( I don't always have one exact theme in mind for my blog, not that you would have noticed that, of course not), I may as well just embrace it. So, for today, here's three things that I love. Orphans, the Bible, and food! (Not necessarily in that order, but I have to make you wait for the food to make sure you read all of it. Yeah, I'm sneaky that way. But be warned. I am no professional in the kitchen. Unless hamburger helper counts.  This is not the work of one of those super foodie bloggers who create amazing dishes.)

First, the orphan (or in today's case, two!) As I've mentioned several times before, I can't wait to see Bernadette and Mason home! Their family is very special to me, and they will be traveling soon. Let's help get them funded. If you can spare $5, it will make a huge difference to them.I have 74 followers (not that everyone reads every day, but if each one could give $5, that would be $370. That would be enough for their meals for a couple of weeks while they are there! Or a week's worth of lodging. It makes a difference, it really does. How cute are they?

Verse for today: Galatians 6:10
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers.
As Christians, we have a responsibility to everyone around us, but most importantly to our Christian family. it's sad to hear of a Christian who feels ignored in their time of need by the very ones who should be holding them up and helping. Are you looking out for your fellow brethren?

And finally, the recipe. Are you still with me? Good, cause it's worth it!! I've never fixed turkey piccata before, never actually knew what it was before. But I was looking through a cookbook yesterday I borrowed from my mom. It was one of Southern Living's annual cookbooks (2011 maybe?) and the recipe jumped out at me. I had some boneless turkey breast in the freezer, so I thawed it out and decided to try it. Simply put, it's turkey cutlets in a sweet sauce that will make you want it for dessert too. I've never been a fan of meat and sweet sauces/fruit juices before. I'm a believer now! Here is the picture from Southern Living (because by the time I made it, I was too hungry to stop and take pics!) and the link to one version of their recipe. I'll explain how I did it a little different. Don't let those little green things throw you off (they are capers and I left them out!)

Turkey piccata (my version)

1 lb of turkey cutlets
1 lemon, divided
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp pepper (ok I'm guessing, I just shook some of both in there, I never measure that stuff. Add it until it looks like what you want.)
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup white wine or apple juice

Pound turkey cutlets out really flat and thin. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon over the cutlets while the butter is melting in your skillet. Mix together the flour, paprika and pepper. Dredge the cutlets in this and then brown in skillet, a few minutes on each side until done. Remove from the pan and keep warm. In the pan, add the wine or apple juice and the juice from the other half of the lemon. Bring to a boil (especially if you are using wine, let the alcohol burn off. Don't want the kids getting tipsy on supper! Although they may would sleep better. No no bad idea! Where was I?) Scrape up all the yummy bits of stuff in the pan and stir it all together. Pour sauce over the turkey cutlets. YUMMY!!!

Like I said, the original recipe called for adding capers. What is a caper?? Obviously I am no gourmet cook.If I don't know what an ingredient is or I don't have it on hand, I leave it out. Sometimes it works out, sometimes not. And please, all you who know what capers is and how they are essential to turkey piccata, duly noted. It was good, and we ate it.

My hubby is notorious for not liking turkey, or chicken, to the point that we have to fix ham also at Thanksgiving just so he will have some type of meat to eat. Yes, he's that spoiled. Blame his mom. And me. I handed him his plate (turkey cut up, some Stove Top and green beans, told you he was spoiled.) and he left to go eat in front of the tv. He was back, five minutes later, with an empty plate. I asked how he liked it. Standing behind me he said "that was nasty". My youngest, A, started laughing and said "he's lying!". He laughed and said "yeah, that was GOOD!!". If he likes it, it's a winner. Hope you enjoy!