Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Homemade Febreeze

I saw this on Pinterest and added it to my "things to try out" list.  Well, I made some and.......it worked!  So, I had to share it. 

Here is what you will need: Empty spray bottle, I had just emptied my boughten Febreeze bottle so I just reused it.  A nice little disguise. :) Also, 1/8 cup of your favorite liquid fabric softener, 2 tablespoons of baking soda (optional), hot water, enough to fill up your bottle. 
--->Add the 1/8 cup fabric softener and 2 tablespoons baking soda to the bottle.  Shake to mix it up. 
--->Add enough hot water to fill up your bottle.  Again shake to mix. 

Your done!! It's as simple as that! 
Now go spray away all those odors or just spray to make your home smell like fresh done laundry.  Neato!

Here is the link that I found this at: Fake-It Frugal - Homemade Febreeze

Monday, January 30, 2012

He is in control..... - Ephesians

This past week in the Ephesians study we read Ephesians 1:15-23.  A few things stood out to me:
1) Paul was thankful for the other believers and was continually thanking God for them and praying for them. Reminds me that God has given us Christian friends to help us through this crazy life and we should continually be thankful for those friendships.  I know I take them for granted way to often.
2) We are to really "know" God, not just a head knowledge but a personal knowledge. This comes through spending time with him. 
3) We have a hope of eternal life in Christ and his power lives within us through the Holy Spirit...WOW (I am always amazed by this).
4) Christ is above all - authority, dominion or any title that can be given not just then but now (forever).
5) The church is Christ body and should be the reflection/expression of who Christ is.  It saddens me that this is not always the image that the church portrays.
6) God is in control.  Not the current circumstances, other people, or my fears and motivations, GOD IS.  The battle has already been won by him.

Again, this leaves me thankful. :) 
The verses are Ephesians 1:15-23.  Click here to read them.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Whole Wheat Banana Bread (no nuts!)

I'm all about healthy eating, I just don't go all crazy about it or anything.  Here is my attempt at some "healthy" whole wheat banana bread.  And yes, I know I left out the "nut".  I do not like cooked/baked nuts so I left those out.  But if you like those go ahead and add them.  I'm not eating it so it doesn't matter to me. :) 

This bread turned out great!  I'm sure I will continue to tweak it every time I make it.  But it was yummy!

Ingredients: 1/3 cup of oil (or applesauce, I used applesauce), 1/2 cup of honey, 2 eggs, 1 cup mashed bananas (I used 3 bananas), 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup hot water, 1 teaspoon baking soda. 

--->Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mash the bananas.  I used a fork and it worked great.

Add the applesauce and honey to your bowl.  Mix it up.  Note: to make honey slide out of the measure'er better, spray it with cooking spray before adding the honey, slides right outta there.

Add 2 eggs and mix well.

Add mashed bananas and vanilla.  Mix. ***I agree it looks kinda gross.

Add whole wheat flour and salt. Again, mix.

Add the baking soda to the hot water, (NOT to the batter!) stir to dissolve.  -- Note:  This causes a pretty neat fizzy noise that makes you feel all science-y-ish.  :)

Pour the water into the batter.  Mix.  Pour the batter mixture in to your GREASED 9x5 inch loaf pan. Yes, I missed the pan.  I am a messy cooker.  But I wiped it off before baking so it wouldn't get burnt.

Bake for 55-60 minutes.   Fresh out of the oven! :)

Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, run a knife along the edges to loosen the loaf.  Carefully dump out onto a baking rack to cool. 

Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. 

ICING (optional):  When you pull the bread out of the oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes, pour this icing/glaze over the top and allow to harden.  It's sooooo good!

Ingredients: 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1-2 tablespoons milk.

Really, I just eyeball the ingredients for this, no measuring required.  Just start small or it will keep growing and growing and GROWING and then you will have so much icing you will have to bake another loaf of bread (what a shame).

I ended up with an icing that is pretty thin or runny, you don't want it to be too thick, just like a glaze.

Pour on top of your freshly baked loaf of bread, allow to cool with the bread. Important Note: Notice that I covered the baking rack with a piece of foil. If you do not do this before pouring on the icing, you will have a sticky mess to clean off of your counter = no fun!

I like to eat this with a generous heap of butter (so much for healthy).  YUMMY!!!
  ** Nooooo, it's not meatloaf!  Haha....it's dark because of the whole wheat flour. :)

Note: This bread is great to make on a rainy or snowy, cold day.  Eat with a cup of tea or coffee or while reading a book or watching a movie....the possibilities are endless! :) 

See a written (no pictures) copy of this recipe here: Whole Wheat Banana Bread (no nuts!!) - Recipes

Saturday, January 28, 2012

No-Slip Hangers - Crochet

Ok, I hope some of you share my frustrations in your clothes "slipping" off of the hangers.  Some clothes just refuse to be hung up!  Especially boat/scoop necks or cardigans that don't button, ect.  Even with the hook things that are on the plastic hangers, my clothes still seem to slip off the hanger or get wrinkled where I have forced them to stay crammed inside the little hook thing. 

My mom, sister and I all share the same love of crocheting and of course think that any problem can be solved by crocheting something to "fix" it.  Which leads me to.....my mom shared with me an awesome little trick to keep the clothes from "slipping".  My mom didn't invent this concept, but I have to give her all the credit for coming up with the pattern and figuring out how to do it!  Thanks Mom!!!! :)

This is what you need to start: Any crochet yarn, a plastic hanger (I used one that didn't have the little hangy things on it, a wire hanger can be used as well), crochet hook size H/8, large sewing needle. 

Pattern --->
Chain 110 (for plastic hanger, it would be a few less for a wire hanger).
Row 1: sc in third chain from hook, sc in each chain across.
Row 2: chain two, turn, sc in each chain across.
Row 3-4: repeat row 2. 

Your finished product should look like the pic above.

When finishing off, leave a tail long enough to sew it around the hanger.  About as long as your row of sc.   Note: Make sure it is long enough.  If you think it's too long then its just about right.  Better too much than not enough!

Wrap one end around the top of the hanger (close to the "hook" of the top). Using the large sewing needle and the "tail" of yarn, sew the beginning row to the last row.  This secures it around the hanger and "wraps" the hanger. 
Continue sewing the two rows together until the hanger is covered. When you reach the other side of the hanger by the "hook" sew the two ends together to cover the top of the hanger.

Weave in the ends.  Your done!  No more clothes slipping off the hanger!  :)

Measurement Converter

I found a recipe that I want to try out.  But the measurements are in grams instead of cups, tablespoons, ect.  Google to the rescue!!!

I found this neat converter and was able to convert the measurements into cups (it has other conversions too).  I have to admit I kind of guessed at the amounts because I am unable to convert decimal to fraction in my head.  I was super excited to find this!

Here is the site: Cooking Conversions - Gourmetsleuth.com

Trying this new recipe out today! 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chosen, Redeemed, Forgiven, Adopted, Sealed - Ephesians

I was CHOSEN by God, through Christ's death was REDEEMED and FORGIVEN, when I accepted His offer of salvation I was ADOPTED into His family as one of His children and am SEALED with the Holy Spirit living inside of me as a sign of His love and guarantee that I am His forever.  

Ephesians 1:1-14

I don't know about you but when I think about this....WOW!  I am sooo thankful.  And that is a pitiful description of how this encouraged me.  I just joined a group of ladies who are starting to study through the book of Ephesians and what a blessing it has been already. 

Need a pep-talk?  Feeling useless, worn down, unforgivable, frustrated, purposeless, forgotten?  Boy, does Paul have some great words for you!  What a great pep-talk Paul gave the Ephesians through these first verses of Ephesians. 

Chosen, Redeemed, Forgiven, Adopted, Sealed = AMAZING! 

Check them out, think about them, dig in.  I promise that you will feel an amazing sense of purpose and feel loved.  And who doesn't like to feel loved?? :) 

The verses are Ephesians 1:1-14  Click here to read the verses.
The bible study on Ephesians can be found by clicking here: Good Morning Girls - Ephesians

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Self Cooking Challenge/Chicken Enchiladas with Green Sauce

Self Cooking Challenge: The beginning of January, being it was a new year, I decided to start cooking at least one new meal per week.  By "new" I mean something I haven't cooked before, an element/ingredient/technique in the recipe that I haven't done before. Not necessarily something with weirdo ingredients just something new to me.  The purpose of this being that I have been super lazy in cooking lately.  My excuse is that I am cooking for one, so its so much easier to eat a PB&J or bowl of cereal or some made up concoction instead of cooking a meal.   Well, no more (at least once per week)!  An added bonus is that I will have an already stocked up wealth of recipes to use for whatever the future might hold (family, serving, etc.)! The bright side of cooking is I can cook something at the beginning of the week and have it for at leeeast the next few days...ha. 

So far, I have done something new every week.  I will post the recipes I have done up until now at a later date.  But for this week I decided to make Chicken Enchilada's with Green Sauce.  Chicken Enchilada's I've made before.....but the green sauce, not so much.  I love it in restaurants but never attempted it myself.  So here's what I did...

Oh my yummmmy were they gooooood!!!!! :)

This serves probably about 3. The original recipe was for 6 but the website has a handy little calculator that will adjust the measurements for more or less servings. 

**Before starting any of this I boiled 1 (it was huge) chicken breast in about 2 cups of salted water for about 30 minutes.  I then shredded it using two forks = cooked chicken breast, shredded.

Ingredients: 11/2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, shredded  -- 6 corn tortillas -- oil for pan-frying the tortillas -- 5 oz (or as much as you would like) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded -- 2-3 green onions, chopped -- 1/4 cup onion, chopped -- 2 tablespoons butter -- 2 tablespoons flour -- 1 cup chicken broth -- 1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chile's -- 1/2 cup sour cream -- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (I used cilantro cubes and added it to the sauce - see below).

Here's the shredded chicken breast.

----> Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
----> Chop up the 1/4 cup of onion and 2-3 green onions.  Shred the cheese, set aside.

----> Heat 2 tablespoons of oil (I used canola) in a skillet.
----> Once the oil is hot (a good way to test this is to put the handle of a wooden spoon in the oil, if it bubbles around the spoon handle, it is good to go) fry the tortillas one at a time for about 5 seconds on each side.  It only takes a few seconds, they just need to be soft and pliable, not crunchy! Drain each tortilla and place between layers of paper towels to absorb the extra oil. 
----> Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Note: Do NOT burn! Yuck!

----> While whisking (this is important), slowly add the 2 tablespoons of flour.  Whisk continually until the mixture comes to a boil.  Fun note:  This is called a rue (Another fun note: not sure on the spelling).

----> Continue whisking (I know its a lot of whisking), slowly add the 1 cup chicken broth.  Keep on'a whiskin' until the rue :) thickens.  It might seem like its not going to, but it will thicken, I promise!

----> Mix in the 1/2 cup sour cream, and 1 can of chopped chile's (used the whole can).  Here is where I added the "cubed" cilantro as mentioned above.  Stir this until blended.  Turn your burner to low (do not let it come to a rolling boil). 

----> While the sauce is heating ----> Go back to the waiting tortillas, time to fill them up! Add some chicken.  Add some of the chopped onions and cheese, lots of cheese. 

NOTE: Don't forget about your sauce heating on the stove. Stir it occasionally.
----> Roll up the tortillas and place in a GREASED baking pan with the seam down. 
----> Repeat the fill and roll process until you have filled up your baking dish, like so:

----> Pour the sauce over the rolled up tortillas in your baking pan.  Make sure it is all covered with sauce.

----> Bake for 20 minutes or until it is all nice and bubbly. 
----> After 20 minutes, if you had any shredded cheese left over from the filling, sprinkle it on the top.  Continue baking another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and it becomes all bubbly again.

--->  Plate it.  Garnish with chopped green onions, any left over onions, cheese or whatever toppings you like.........and EAT!

              Yep, it's this good!! ------->

These are the little cilantro cubes I was talking about.  They are awesome!  I found them in with the mexican food stuff at Walmart.  Our store doesn't always have the freshest "fresh" cilantro.  These are a great substitute.  They come in a cube and you just smash/crumble them up into whatever!  Love'em. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Love Come to Life -- Big Daddy Weave

This is one of those songs you never get tired of hearing.


Something Beautiful

Be joyful always - pray continually - give thanks. -1 Thessalonians 5:16

This blog will just be alot of random things, things I love, things I create, things I think are just pretty amazing, things I think, things I strive for, things I steal (borrow) from other people (you get the picture).  Hopefully useful random things.  Some(thing) Beautiful!!!!   Our great God creates so much on a daily basis for us to enjoy and be thankful for.  Soooo many things I tell you!  Some big, some small, some that you have to seek out. 

There is Something Beautiful in everyday.  I (try to) choose to seek it out and be joyful, prayerful, and thankful for it.  Let the fun begin.