My helper


Caleb wanted to help me shell lima beans the other day. He really was a help – I opened the pods for him and he picked the limas out and put them in a bowl for me. It was really sweet to watch him.

Pizza night fun


We made personal pizzas last night for pizza night. The boys made their own pizzas and it was a lot of fun.

Caleb at most of his pepperoni off the pizza before it was baked


Samuel wanted to take a picture of me too


After we ate, Samuel grabbed a bowl of cherry tomatoes off the counter and ate most of them too.

Samuel asked if we could make personal pizzas every week. I’m not sure if we’ll do it all the time, but it was a lot of fun and we will be doing it again some time.

What to do with a broken pound cake


Today we had a fellowship at church after the morning service. One of the things I made was pound cake. It was a half batch of my mother-in-law’s pound cake recipe, made with all butter and 15 quail eggs (it’s really fun to make a full recipe, and then announce that I made a 30-egg pound cake!).

It didn’t cool long enough before I took it out of the pan, so it came out in three pieces. It didn’t look nice enough to serve as is, so I cubed it and served it with a mixed berry sauce (made with frozen mixed berries, a little sugar, and cornstarch to thicken). Hardly anybody took any at church today.

That’s fine. There was more for us to enjoy at home. It was absolutely delicious. :tongue1_tb: And since it was only half-sized, there’s less left over for us to eat too much of.

Strawberry jam

Strawberrry jam

Yesterday I was able to make a batch of strawberry jam. There were just enough strawberries from our garden. It’s more than we got last year, but it was really hard to keep animals from eating them! Between squirrels, wild rabbits, and the neighbor’s chickens, I’m thankful we got what we did. Now we just need to find a way to keep the animals out for next time.

Strawberry jam

I used the lower sugar pectin, and tasted a little when I made it. It tastes better than the regular kind since it’s not quite as sweet.

Hopefully later this summer I’ll be able to make more jam for the freezer. It’s so much better than storebought!

My Kitchen

Most of the time I don’t do memes, but I saw this over at Susan’s blog and thought I’d do it here.


1. Do you have magnets on your fridge? Almost all of them are plain craft magnets, but they’re mostly to hold my monthly menu plan and missionary prayer cards in place.

2. Do you have a calendar in your kitchen, if so, what’s the theme of it? It’s just a basic calendar from a nearby nuclear plant. The theme is usually nature.

3. What is your favorite kitchen gadget? Probably our Magic Bullet knock-off. It gets used almost daily.

4. Are you lucky enough to have a pantry of some kind? Maybe some day, but not right now. Instead, we use a large bookshelf. It’s not the most glamorous but it works well.

5.What is your favorite appliance? Definitely my coffeemaker. Nothing else really comes close.

6. Do you have an eat in kitchen (table in it)? No.

7. Do you have a bread box? No.

8. Do you have a picture of your kids on the fridge? Just one of Samuel. He made it one year in Sunday School for Mother’s Day for me, and it’s been on my fridge ever since. I love it. He’s three in this picture.

(Behind the magnet is a freezer inventory that I need to redo)

9. Do you ever cook breakfast in your PJs? Usually. We try to eat fairly early, and between trying to read my Bible before the kids are awake and nursing the baby first thing, I usually end up making breakfast in my PJ’s.

10. Do you have a favorite cookbook that you use? Not really. I have a Betty Crocker one but the one I use the most is just a 3-ring binder of printed recipes.

11. Are you lucky enough to have recipes that were passed down from your mom or grandma? Yes – many. A lot of them I wrote down when I was in Junior High for an Awana project. Then I copied down a lot more the summer I got married. I also have one of my grandma’s cookbooks. She and Mom both made quite a few foods from it. I love seeing all the stained pages – it makes it easier to find which recipes she made often. 😉

12. What’s your favorite food? Chocolate, and then bread. I’m finding with my PCOS that I really have to limit my carbs in general to keep my weight down and generally stay healthy, and it’s so HARD for me. I LOVE bread and love to experiment with coming up with the perfect recipe for something.

13. What’s your favorite thing to cook? I don’t know. I prefer baking over cooking, though I do like both.

14. Is your coffee pot electric or stove top? Electric programmable coffeemaker. LOVE it. I love hearing it start up in the morning.

15. Do you ever make your own bread? Several times a week. My current project is finding the perfect recipe for soft 100% wheat bread. It’s proving a harder challenge than I anticipated.

16. Name one thing that you have hanging on your wall in your kitchen: Not much. I have very little wall space. There are some verses taped to the wall above my sink that I’m working on memorizing.

17. Is there a clock in your kitchen? Yes.

18. Do you have a bowl of fruit sitting on your table or counter? Yes. It’s on the counter. If it were on the table Caleb would take it as an open invitation to throw the fruit. In fact, “Don’t throw the citrus!” has become a family joke because he’s thrown so many oranges and grapefruit across the room thinking they were balls.

19. What type of canisters do you have? Basic Rubbermaid sets from Walmart. I bought the sets one at a time over the years.


20. Does your kitchen have a theme? Not entirely. My dishes have a country vine and heart pattern on them, and a lot of my glassware is cobalt blue. That’s about it.

21. What’s for supper tonight? Homemade pizza

22. Do you have enough cabinet space? Not really. I’m trying to make do with what we have. It’s a challenge to find a place for everything but keep it allg accessible at the same time.

23. Does your family use paper plates? We never used to. Now we use them a little bit. It helps me stay on top of things a little bit better while I try to juggle everything (I’ve been working on implementing a new schedule/daily routine but that’s a whole different blog post).

24. Do you have a good set of china? No. I found a set at a thrift store for $25 about 7 years ago. Right now it’s packed away so the boys don’t break it. It’s missing some pieces (like dinner plates, lol) so it’s better suited to a small breakfast or something. I’d love to start using it more but since it’s lacking dinner plates I just haven’t.

25. Do you wear an apron to work in your kitchen? Not as much as I should. I’m a pretty messy cook.

26. Name one thing, if anything, that you would like to change about your kitchen. I would love to have my cabinets redone, or at least the bottom ones. They’re not in good condition, so I have to be careful about what gets placed on certain shelves. It would be lovely to have sturdy shelves in there.

Friday night pizza night


Every Friday night we have pizza. Sometimes it’s homemade pizza at home, and sometimes it’s leftover pizza from my inlaw’s school. My favorite is the homemade. It’s funny how things change. For years I hated homemade pizza. Now I love it. I think it’s the crust.

Over the years we’ve tried several crust recipes, from whole wheat to low carb to just basic white. Even though we prefer whole wheat baked goods for almost everything else, this recipe using all purpose white flour is still my favorite. I got it from a college friend my freshman year in college. I think it’s from the Betty Crocker cookbook but I’m not entirely sure.

Homemade Pizza

Makes 2 9×13 crusts

2 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
4 Tbsp oil
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
5 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400. Dissolve yeast in warm water in mixer bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Beat well. Let rest 5 minutes.

Pat crust into well-greased pan and top with pizza sauce, desired toppings (our favorites are mushrooms, pepperoni, and sausage), and cheese.

Bake at 400 for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.

Buttermilk fail

I came across these pictures the other day. They’re several years old, from when I was trying to culture my own buttermilk. Usually it worked fine, but this day I tightened the lid down too far, and left the house. When I got home, it had exploded all over my oven. Let me tell you, the smell was awful! Thankfully, Stephen cleaned a lot of it up for me. My piano students got a good laugh out of it that night though!





Adventures aside, I might just try making it again. Buttermilk makes biscuits taste amazing!

Accidentally made regular coffee

I just realized that the cup of coffee I just made is regular and not decaf. It’s 9:15 p.m. so hopefully I’ll still be able to sleep tonight.

Stephen can drink all the caffeine he wants and it doesn’t affect his sleep. I drink any caffeine past suppertime and I’m up way too late. . .

Anyway, this new coffeemaker is great! A couple weeks ago I found a brand new Krups espresso machine at the thrift store for $8. It was still in the original box. It’s gotten a lot of use since then. It’s nice – I’ve been wanting a cappucino machine for a while, so this was perfect. It makes only a little at a time, making it easier to limit my coffee consumption.

It’s been a lot of fun experimenting with it and trying to see what fancy coffee drinks I can make with it. At the moment, it’s a sugar-free hazelnut latte macchiato. I think that’s the right name for it, anyway. Either way, it tastes good. It’s also been nice for when I’m craving something sweet.

But here’s hoping I’m not up too late tonight with church tomorrow. . .

Friday night pizza night

Feel free to tell me this looks revolting. Stephen did.

Samuel, on the other hand, informed me that the green sauce was delicious.

So here you go – pizza made with spinach in the sauce.

A good look at the sauce before most of the toppings. I dumped about a half cup of spaghetti sauce into the blender and added a huge handful of fresh spinach to it. It didn’t blend well enough, so I threw in half a tomato. The final consistency was perfect, even if it did look pretty gross.

It doesn’t look so bad before you cut into it, does it?

Afterward, it looked a little gross again.

You don’t have to believe me, but this pizza was great. Pepperoni, ground beef, red and green bell peppers, and mushrooms. Now, if I could just figure out a way to make that sauce a little less green. . .