Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Showers of Mercy

I am humbled by God's mercies


The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;

His mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

great is Your faithfulness.

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,

“therefore I will hope in Him.”
Lamentations 3: 22-23

*
Rain or Shine
I feel His Presence

As I drive to work each morning
I see open sky
sweeping fields


a city of people in the distance
~
and I know
He is here

Not only during this week,
but every day
I pray to be still and know
that
He is here
 *

Thank you to our Sky Watch Friday hosts: 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Wanda!

Since today is her birthday, I thought you should all meet
Wanda, from Moments of Mine.
She has shared so many of her beautiful moments!

Family
A beautiful family

Nature
Such beautiful property that surrounds her home
Beautiful walks
Such wonderful photos of God's creatures, big and small

Cooking
Meals that speak comfort and love

Her wonderfully written commentary,
lovely videos
and when you read to the bottom,
a special treat of soothing music
{the kind that you do not pause, but let play through while your heart opens to enjoy} 
Moments of Your Own

Thank You, Wanda!
and a
*Very, Very Happy Birthday*

Monday, March 29, 2010

Betty Crocker's Swedish Tea Ring {A Family Favorite}

Palm Sunday I was busy baking
Three Swedish Tea Rings!

Chris will be bringing them to work as a
Thank You

I've baked this sweet bread recipe for years;
it's a favorite for gatherings and holidays.

I always thank my mother for being the angel that whispered in my ear:

"Maria, you need a good electric mixer."

It's not a super fancy one, just a Sunbeam
...and I love it!

It's lasted for years and years and I'm so grateful to have it.
*
I'll be making two more tea rings for Easter Sunday.
And, these sweet little flower decos will go on top.
I can hear my lil' nieces telling me which flowers they want on their piece!

*
Dear Family and Friends,
Have a blessed week 
filled with
The Peace that He came to Bring.

~ Blessings for Each Day ~
and always, 



Recipe for Betty Crocker's
SWEDISH TEA RING

(Sweet Roll Dough)

1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105-115)
1/2 cup lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
I never do this... too much work ;o)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup margarine - or butter - softened
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3-1/2 to 4 cups all purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl.  Stir in milk, sugar, butter, salt, egg, and 2 cups of the flour.  Beat until smooth.  Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.  Turn dough  onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up.  Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1-1/2 hours.  (Dough is ready if an indentation remains when touched.)  Punch down dough.

Roll 1/2 of the Sweet Roll Dough into a rectangle, 15x9 inches, on lightly floured surface. 
{I use all the dough}
Spread with one of the fillings (below).
Roll up tightly, beginning at 15-inch side.
Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal well.
Stretch roll to make even.
With sealed edge down, shape into ring on lightly greased cookie sheet.
Pinch ends together.
With scissors, make cuts 2/3 of the way through ring at 1-inch intervals.
Turn each section on its side.
Let rise until double, about 40 minutes.

(APRICOT CHERRY FILLING)

Mix 1/2 cup finely cut-up dried apricots and 1/2 cup finely chopped marachino cherries, drained on paper towels.

(CINNAMON-RAISIN FILLING)

2 tablespoons margarine or butter softened, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup raisins

Spread margarine over rectangle; sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins.

(DATE FILLING)

1 cup cut-up dates, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup coarsely chopped nuts

Cook dates, sugar and water over medium heat; stirring constantly, until thickened.  Stir in nuts; cool.

~for ring after filling and putting together:

Heat oven to 375.  Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.  (If tea ring browns too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.)  Spread ring with Glaze (below) and, if desired, decorate with nuts or cherries while warm.

GLAZE

Mix 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until glaze is smooth and of desired consistency. {I add a little softened butter too- sooo creamy}



Thank you Michael Lee for hosting
* * *
Visit Foodie Friday for Fabulous Recipes!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

{the great-great-great-great... grandbunny} of Ralph the Bunny


When
Ralph's descendants 
come to visit
and spruce up their homes,
I know that
Spring is Here

{12 years ago, a baby rabbit needed rescuing from a neighborhood cat. 
He was the only baby left in the nest.
My daughter, Amanda, wouldn't rest until "Ralph" was safe.
She cleaned out our old guinea pig cage and kept him in there
until it was "safe" for him to be free.}

Photo taken early this morning
{March 27, 2010}
while enjoying my first cup of
Saturday Morning Coffee.
~the best cup of coffee of the week~
*
Dear Family and Friends,
I hope you enjoy a wonderful Saturday
of rest and weekend joys.
*

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Springtime in Paris {in my Mind}

I can be in Paris
in 45 seconds
...in my kitchen with a Café au Lait...
This is my new milk frother from Bodum
No batteries any more... just a little plunger that makes the best froth in town!
Just 5 oz of milk froths to almost the top of the glass. 
In the microwave {for only 30 seconds} it poofs up even higher.
Better watch it ... it will froth right over the top!
Sometimes, I use my old plunger right inside a cup that is a perfect fit.
Then I pour the coffee right through the froth.
What excitement!
{You know, it's the little things in life}
Then off to "Paris" I go.
I close my eyes and imagine the sweet cafés found on every corner.

It's been a really long time.
1976
I was 21 and there for a semester.
I missed home very much 
{no cell phones, texting, or emailing back then}
but I had the time of my life!
{Me on left with big '70's hair!}

I really shouldn't wait so long to have an adventure.

It's time to have this
Here

What transports you to another place, another time?

*
*Frother from Bed Bath and Beyond*


Thank you Michael Lee for hosting
* * *
Visit Foodie Friday for Fabulous Recipes!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Make a Mini Book

Twice a year my students make a mini-book.

In January, they make a mini-book based on a book they read in December.
*
April is Poetry month and they make a poetry mini-book that highlights six poetic elements:
simile, metaphor, imagery, alliteration, personification, repetition

We have so much fun making them and sharing them!
Here are two examples from January
...and the other one...
I was going to make my own video...
but thought I'd check YouTube first.
and Voilà 
Crayola had already created a video showing how to make the mini-book.
I actually learned something new ~ how to make little pockets for the mini-book. 


I think I'll make some mini-books for my nieces and tuck
little Auntie Maria notes in the pockets!

{Thinking of some of you with grandchildren or lil' ones of your own}
You'll have fun making them, no matter your age

Monday, March 22, 2010

Making a Difference

Leonardo created masterpieces.
 Mozart created symphonies.
 King Midas amassed a great fortune.
 Jesus made an impact on all humanity.

And you too are leaving a legacy in the lives of those around you.

By painting ... with the color of love
By writing... with the melody of love.
By touching... with the gift of love.
By reaching... with the open arms of love.
By changing the future... with the promise of love.

Know that you have made a difference in this world.
You have!

"To know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

You all inspire me.
This life breathes easier because of you.
Thank you for making a difference in me!

{Words and Inspirations from "Something Worth Leaving Behind"}
~Brett Beavers & Tom Douglas~

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lentils {India's Comfort Food}

Lentils are a staple at my house.

They receive an A+ for
B vitamins
protein
folate
fiber
iron

*I start with a famous trio*
carrots ~ celery ~ onions
I read on Health.com that "Lentils are to India
as meatloaf is to America: the quintessential comfort food" 

*I use my noisy friend to slice and dice*
then I wash the lentils
I sauté them and then add a secret ingredient:
butternut squash
It looks so pretty, doesn't it!
If you add a little spice from India
{cinnamon & garlic *you can add ginger & curry too}
...it will taste awesome...

Add a quart of chicken stock {I use organic low sodium or my own}.
Then...about a quart more water.
~ COOK UNTIL ALL IS TENDER ~

...Having a little fun with mini wagon wheels...
Don't forget the Parmesano Reggiano!

Parm on anything!

Bon Appetit!
 
*
Buon Appetito!

Join me cookin' up good food with the Foodie Friday gang.



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Two Birds in the Bush

Two Birds in the Bush
is worth
one
sweet sky watch
*
I didn't notice the sun-sparkled tree until I looked at this photo.
It reminds me of the quote at the beginning of the book Journey, by Patricia MacLachlan
{Photography is a tool for dealing with things everybody knows about but isn't attending to.}
~  Emmet Gowin ~
Our sweet Robins return.
and
The Blackbirds sing.
{The breeze in the trees made it tough for the zoom to keep focus} 
a sweet birdsong
I gather these
and they warm my soul
as I watch the last drops of winter flow away
{hopefully}

Dear Family and Friends,
I hope this weekend puts a spring in your step!


Thank you to our Sky Watch Friday hosts: 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rose Petal Inspirations


Love is like a rose. 
When pressed between two lifetimes,
it will last forever.


"If you stand in front of a mirror with 11 roses,

you'll see 12 of the most beautiful things in the world."
 

Have a beautiful week, dear 's

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Walking into Springtime

The week started with blue skies and
there's no resisting a walk among the new life of
Spring
Sweet pussy willows are opening to the sky with their feathery soft buds
 
I pass this sweet little creek on every walk through the village.
The melting snow forms an upside down heart shape.
{I like looking out for ♥'s}

*  *  *
This little squeaky fire hydrant is Misty's "baby."
She adores it.
She will not accept any imposters, but doesn't know what to make of this giant version that we pass by on our walks!
Sometimes Misty looks like a baby ewok {Star Wars}

Wishing you Many Wonderful Springtime Moments!
Enjoy more Postcards from Around the World
at
Sky Watch Friday.