November 17, 2009

Shakshuka is a traditional Israeli dish comprised of a spicy tomato veggie sauce with poached or sunny side up eggs. I experienced amazing shakshuka in Miami a couple of months ago, but have yet to attempt to conquer the dish on my own. I did, however come up with a dish inspired by Shakshuka.
Saute 1 clove garlic, minced and 1/2 red onion, diced in oil. Add 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved, and fresh diced basil. Saute for approx. 1 min, and add 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar. Poach eggs and serve hot on top of tomato mixture. Salt and pepper to taste Serve with hot pita or crusty bread.
Om nom nom…
In joy, troye


November 11, 2009

These buttery rich scones combine pumpkin and spices that will knock your socks off. I made them for the boys’ teachers for a fall treat, and had to immediately make a second batch for myself.And, while we are here, check out the results of the AWESOME gift that Kimberly gave me for my birthday. How fun is that? Thank you, Kimberly!

Pumpkin Spice Scones:
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cardamom
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup heavy cream
6 tbsp. sucanat (brown sugar, if you prefer)
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut butter into small pieces, and put in freezer. In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and all spices. Whisk together well, and place bowl in freezer. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, heavy cream, sucanat, and vanilla. Whisk together well, and place bowl in freezer.
Cut butter pieces into flour mixture using a pastry blender or a food processor until it resembles course crumbs.
Pour liquic mixture into flour mixture and stir until just moistened. The dough will be very crumbly. Turn the mixture out onto the counter and push together with your hands. Knead just a couple of times and pat into a circle about 3/4 to 1 in thick. Cut like a pie into 8 pieces. Place on baking sheet so that the sides are not touching. Brush tops with heavy whipping cream, and sprinkle with honey granules or course raw sugar. Bake for about 15 min.
In joy, Troye

Fall Family Camping

October 19, 2009

At the beginning of the school year, J-Man came home from school begging to go to the Cub Scout information meeting. I don’t know what the council is paying that recruiter, but they need to raise his salary. J-Man was insistent!
So, against my better judgement, I sent The Man with him just to see what it was all about- with strict instructions not to volunteer for anything! And, definitely DO NOT mention that you are an Eagle Scout because they will have you running the pack. They came home that evening the newest Cub Scout and Den Leader.
I must admit that they are BOTH having a blast in Scouts, and it really does teach the kids a lot of value added lessons.
This weekend was Cub Scout Family Camping Weekend (on the coldest weekend of the year- freezing temps threatened). On Friday afternoon when we were offered a perfectly wonderful, warm, cozy cabin to stay in, I tried to sway them, but I lost. Since there was NO chance of rain in the forecast, I went along. I actually enjoy camping, and prefer cold weather camping, but I cannot handle rain.
At the den meeting before we left, the boys made fire starters, and practiced setting up and taking down a tent.

We were assigned a campsite on the side of a mountain, and this area had to accommodate nineteen families. They were like sardines for the second night, which was fortunate since there was snow in the forecast. We’re not sure if the boys earned thier polar bear patch (for camping when the temp drops below 32 degrees), but they sure did come close if not.

We had to fight not to slide down the hill all night as we slept. Good times!

Since it rained the first night, and off and on all day Saturday, I had to sacrifice and take D-Man home. It was difficult to sleep in my nice warm bed with the heat on.
But, we stayed through the day Saturday and had a blast.

We started up a whole new generation of pyromaniacs.

Both boys got to shoot bb guns…

Looking so studly in the safety goggles…

…and, bow and arrows…

It is difficult to see below, but J-Man got a bullseye, and hit the target four other times. He also won the award for the day for launching one of his arrows the farthest beyond the target. We had to send out a search party.

The only thing that we didn’t get to do was fish. It was quite devastating! Look at that face.

Someone totally cheated!!!!!!!!

All in all it was a fantastic weekend! All three boys had a blast, and they can’t wait to do it again.

Fall Foods

September 15, 2009

There is no time of year that I love better than the fall. I love the smells. I love the weather. I love the activities. I love the colors. I am more reminded of God’s appreciation for beauty at this time of year than any other. What an amazing artist He is, and He chooses to share His masterpiece with us.
Another one of my favorite parts of fall is the flavors of the season. I made this Chicken Butternut Squash soup last year, and I cannot wait until it is cool enough to make is again.
One of my standby favorites is Pumpkin Soup that I first learned how to make in an Apples of Gold class years ago. Oh, and the apples!!! I love any recipe that includes mounds of brown sugar with apples. What is not to love?
I also love when Starbucks introduces their fall lineup- which occurred a couple of weeks ago in our area. Pumpkin Spice Latte, and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. Mmmmmmmm……
I posted a variation of this recipe a couple of years ago, but I have since made some modifications, and it is one of my most requested recipes, so here it is again. Bake up some muffins and ENJOY! The secret to this recipe is the heavy spices, so don’t skimp. These will be darker than the Starbucks version, but just as delicious.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
3 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp fresh nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
Pinch of cardamom
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
4 eggs
2 cups honey granules (can sub white sugar here or 1 cup liquid honey)
2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin (it is so easy to make your own)
1 ΒΌ cups extra virgin coconut oil
8 oz package cream cheese
1 egg
1 cup powdered evaporated cane juice or powdered honey granules
*Chopped nuts** (walnuts, pecans, pepinos) (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients together except cream cheese and nuts. Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) half full. Beat the cream cheese with the egg and powdered sugar. Put 1-2 tsp cream cheese in the middle, pressing down. Sprinkle with 1 tsp chopped nuts. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the muffin part (do not touch the cream cheese!). Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. Do not touch the cream cheese until it cools, as it is very very hot. Makes 24 muffins. I like to make the jumbo muffins.

September 13, 2009

Let me apologize to anyone who stumbles upon this blog today. I am going to be bragging unashamedly on my son, the triathlete, and there will be an ungodly amount of photos!
J-Man did a triathalon today. 50 meter swim, 2 mile bike, and 500 meter run! He did so awesome!!!!!

He waited patiently to jump into the pool, and then he passed four kids in the water. He did not hold back…
Until he got out of the water and decided to use his first transition time to pose for the camera and wave to the crowd.
Here he is posing with his brother, and ready for the race in his transition area. Check out that stud! As we walked into the park to prepare, he asked, “I wonder how I am going to win this thing?”

Thumbs up! Look at all of those yellow caps.

Jumping in the water!

That is J-Man’s yellow head climbing out of the pool (ahead of everyone, I might add).

Taking his time in T1.

Out on the bike.

Go speed racer!


Out for the run…
Look at that determination!!!


This is what D-Man thought of the situation at times.

Our friend Sarah Grace competed as well. Here they are trying to act “too cool” at the finish line!

We had so much fun. I think that The Man got just as much of a work out as J did, running after him to take pics. We were so proud. I have to admit that I even got a little choked up watching him cross the finish line so strong as they called his name and he ran through the finishing ribbon!!!!! He worked so hard and is ready to do another tri as soon as possible.

First Day of School 2009

August 13, 2009

The first day of school went off without a hitch! D’s bus comes at 7:15 in the morning, but the FANTASTIC news is that we know his driver. Ms. Kim was in our small group last semester. How fun is that?“The sun was in my eyes!”I actually did get a photo of him holding the sign right side up, but this one is so much better. πŸ™‚

Crazy faces!

D learned how to cross his eyes, and he knows that it is a surefire way to crack me up!

J Man thinks he knows how to cross his…

Oh well!

D-Man requested a “Green” Birthday Party. My quest was to find foods that are naturally green. In my efforts, poor D may never have another child come to his birthday again.
Very aesthetically pleasing… not very “kid-friendly.” πŸ™‚

We made green playdough (colored with spinach water).


A happy boy on his happy birthday. yummy cupcake!

Cousin Hayden with LOTS of green ice cream…

Uncle Kes sporting his green!

Christopher and Jaxon wearing green.

Making crazy faces with cousin “Little C.”

Crazy excited about opening presents (on his actual birthday)!!!

Cookie cake on birthDAY!

Happy Birthday big five year old!!!!!

Five years ago today, D-Man came into our lives!!!!!!

(sidenote: I have been battling with blogger all day to get these photos in the correct order, and since I have obviously lost the battle, try to keep up with me).

D at one month…

Four years…

Five years…

Three years…

One year…

And, for his fifth birthday, we celebrate him as he told everyone else Happy Birthday today!!!!!
Love you, D!!!!!
In joy, Troye

Duelling Mohawks

July 27, 2009

J-Dawg has only 2 weeks left of his mohawk, so we decided to cut one for The Man as well.
Don’t they look tough? Don’t mess with them!

The Tortilla Man

July 25, 2009

A little mishap with bread dough (uh, I forgot to add yeast) led to my first attempt at tortillas. I borrowed a tortilla press from a friend (shout out to Kasey) months ago, but I have been afraid to try to make homemade tortillas.
When I checked my dough and realized that it hadn’t risen, I decided on plan B, and got the tortilla press out…
It was so easy!!!!!
I know that they look like pancakes in this photo, but they are tasty homemade tortillas made with fresh ground wheat. They are delicious with nothing on them fresh off the griddle.
And, here is J-Dawg’s “moon face” with his hot-off-the-press tortilla!