Friday, September 30, 2011

Country Blueberry Coffee Cake Recipe

This is a Paula Deen recipe. Need I say more?
Be prepared for oodles of butter...

You can find the recipe here.  And then you can check out my 'adjustments' below.....


Yummy, gooey biscuit dough cut into quarters. I used the reduced fat Grand's biscuits to offset the butter! (Kind of like getting a Diet Coke with a Mickey D's value meal....just sayin'.)





Dip the biscuits in butter and then into the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. 


Layer the biscuits in your casserole dish, then top with blueberries and rolled oats. 
Drizzle melted butter all over the top. 
Bake.
Eat. 
Swoon.


I used freshly picked, Michigan blueberries and it was divine! I also substituted all of the butter for margarine. It still tasted amazing, and bonus....my pants still zipped!!

This was so yummy for breakfast with scrambled eggs and orange juice....
So what have you been making lately?

Link up below! 
Remember to grab my Good Lookin, Good Cookin button from the right sidebar 
and include it in your post!!

Happy Friday Friends....have a fabulous weekend **

Where I Come From

In my little family it's just me, Josh and Blake. For now... 
 Our happy little family will probably never rival the size of the family I come from though! 
Eight kids just isn't in the plan (at least not mine or Josh's)!!

But coming from a big family is hands down one of the best things I have known.
Would ya like to meet the crazy bunch??
All righty then...


We've grown since this picture was taken...two more husbands and three more grand-babies!


My sibs.  L to R : Colleen, Me, Bryce, Meagen, Owen, Brianna, Katie, and Brenden
Some things that I love about my big family...

1. Having built in best friends. There is always a listening ear, 
a hand to hold, a laugh to share, 
a closet to raid...

2. Holidays. Waking my parents up Christmas morning singing Christmas carols all the way up the stairs. Birthday dinners where we got to pick out dinner and our cake and ice cream. Green milk and Corned Beef Dinner for St. Patty's Day...yes, I'm Irish. Wink*

3. The French Fry Game. This could be where my addiction to french fries began! Holding our fries up to see who had the longest one, and making sure no one was cheating by sticking two short ones together...

4. Road trips. Family vacations spent camping, visits to Ohio to see our grandparents, Sunday drives...

5. Having a fellow partner in crime. April Fool's Day rocked around our house...there was never a shortage of "Gotcha" moments. 

These people are more than family....they are my friends, my confidants, my encouragement. We band together when there's hard times, and we celebrate like none other when the good times roll. 

My mom and dad will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary in November, and I am so proud to be a part of  the family they grew! Over the next few weeks, I'll introduce you to all of them more individually....
so stay tuned!!

What's your family look like??

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chocolate Pudding Guy


Today we had dessert after lunch...


Chocolate Pudding


I think Blake liked it. Not really sure, but yeah...just guessing. 


Mainly because half way through, the spoon stopped being good enough...


and he decided it'd be better 
to
drink it!


I would give him chocolate pudding every day
just so that
I could see this face. 

WIWW: What I Wore Wednesday


Dress: Maurice's
Cardi: Maurice's (pass along from a sweet friend!)
Shoes: Target


I *heart* these shoes...
But they kill my feet!


Earrings: Premiere Jewelry, birthday gift from my sister Katie

Linking up with Lindsay at The Pleated Poppy

pleated poppy

Have you entered my newest giveaway HERE?? 

Giveaway and Coupon Code

To celebrate the arrival of fall, the opening of my Etsy shop, the joy of having fabulously friendly new followers, and anything else you can think of that's worth celebrating....

I'm giving away one Ivory Rolled Flower Necklace 
from the Today Is Sweeter shop!


To enter you must be a public follower of my blog! 
Leave a comment letting me know what you're celebrating this week!!
Extra entries:
Follow Today Is Sweeter on Twitter here
Follow Today Is Sweeter on Facebook here

Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry you complete!

And if you just feel like shopping...enter code SHOPNOW15 
to get 15% off everything in the shop!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Finding Balance

Thinking can be so exhausting at times...
and so can writing.
I always thought writing out my thoughts was a sort of release. Just getting those words tumbling around in my mind, out on to paper somehow seemed to make everything clearer. 
Like a weight had been lifted. 

I haven't found that with blogging...maybe because it is so un-private. 
And as I said here, I'm a private person. 
At some point though, I guess we all have to own up to who we are. So I'm trying...


I am struggling to find balance in my life lately. In so many areas! 
Some of those areas are small, maybe even insignificant...like not spending too much time on my appearance, but not wearing my pajama pants all day, wink*

Some areas are more significant. 
Like eating. 
I struggle mentally and physically sometimes on a daily basis with keeping balance in this area. I have struggled since high school...sometimes choosing to go without eating for days, sometimes choosing to not keep what I've eaten in my body, sometimes eating more french fries in a week than a human being should. 
It is a battle I have fought and lost in the past. It is a battle I still fight today. 

The more stress I feel, the harder I find the balancing act to be. 
I try really hard to just eat healthy foods, appropriate portions, and do at least some kind of exercise. 
But then there are the times that I look in the mirror and see the stretch marks, the lumps and bumps...
and I start to see-saw. 


I start to think about how thin other women are. I start to think about every calorie, every carb. 
I choose to see my outward appearance as greater than my inward. 
And I search through my memory for some small nugget of truth that says,
God looks on the heart.
He wants me to be healthy. He wants me to see who I am in Him. 
And I want that too!
But I forget it sometimes...

I want to be healthy. I want to have a settled heart and balanced mind, so I can tell others that they aren't defined by the clothes they wear or the size they are. 
That they are cherished, and precious, and beautiful to their Creator. 
But I have to believe it myself...

So I'm fighting the thoughts. I'm fighting the feelings. I'm fighting for truth. 
Maybe it seems silly...struggling over whether or not to stop for a milkshake, 
whether to do 30 or 45 minutes on the elliptical, whether or not to skip a meal.

But I struggle. 
And I'm tired. 

And I'm trying to hold tightly to hope. 
Hope in the promise that someday I won't struggle anymore. Hope that tomorrow is a new day and I won't feel as tired of the battle. Hope that one day I'll be new and whole and perfect. 
Hope that God can use me to encourage someone else...



Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thoughts



"Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears."
                                          ~William Wordsworth

Friday, September 23, 2011

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Almost everything I know about cooking, I learned from my mama....she is uh-mazing.
And almost everything I cook for my own little family these days comes from recipes that have been passed along from my family. 

Including this recipe. It is pure fall yumminess!
Every October, my Mom would make Stuffed Acorn Squash for my sister Colleen's birthday.
She loved it. We all loved it!


Take the acorn squash and trim off a small part of the end so that they sit flat. 
If you microwave the sqaush(es) for a couple minutes, they will be much easier to cut!!
After trimming the ends, cut each squash in half horizontally (not stem to bottom).


Scoop out the seeds and gooey stringy-ness from inside the squash. 
Place cut-side down in a baking pan with a little water in the bottom. (The steam will help the squash bake!)
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around 30 minutes, or until the squash has significantly softened.


Flip the squash over, and stuff....
Stuffing: 1 lb pork sausage
1 1/2 cups cooked white or brown rice
1-2 small apples, chopped
(This is enough to make 4 halves...increase amounts according to the number of squash you're stuffing.)


Bake stuffed squash for another 35-40 minutes, or until stuffing is cooked through and browned on top.
Cover each squash with shredded cheddar cheese and bake for 5ish more minutes.


Prepare your tummy for the wow factor....you're about to be blown away**

My mom used to make cheese casserole bread to go with this....but since that takes rising yeast, I just made some quick biscuits instead. (Another yummy recipe from my mom!)


Eating this makes me miss my sister!! But it makes me SO thankful for the family memories we all have....usually around a fabulous home cooked meal at a table full of kids. 

Now it's your turn!!
No lengthy rules...just link up something food related. Please, please grab the 
Good Lookin, Good Cookin Button from my sidebar 
and include it in your blog post!

Courage

There are few of us in this world today that can truthfully say they have never experienced brokenness. It touches each life at one point or another. Whether through divorce, abuse, losing a child, betrayal....the grim list goes on and on, but we've all felt it. 



We wrestle with the questions that plague our minds....
the ones that won't seem to hush as our weary heads hit the pillow.
We seek answers. We seek control over our vulnerability. We seek anything that could somehow justify what we have experienced. We want to know that what has happened mattered.
That it matters to someone, anyone besides just us. 

It does. 


The right kind of love gives strength. It covers a multitude of sins. It gives hope where we had none. 
It allows us to live courageously.
Because we begin to learn that in our own strength, we are the broken. We live in fear. 
Fear of being hurt, fear of being vulnerable, fear of trusting, of trying....of failing. 
But when we live by a different strength....we can do all things.


We can choose forgiveness and find it flowing freely from our hearts.
We can choose grace and give it abundantly to those who have hurt us. 
We can choose courage to press on when the days are hard and our emotions are raw.

We can do this because God makes us new.
 Death touches all things...marriages, homes, relationships, trust, hope...those things all have the ability to die.
But when you know Him in a real, personal way God gives new life....
because Jesus conquered death. 

That means you can choose to forget too.

You will still find yourself at times remembering the brokenness. But it won't own you anymore. 
Not when you choose to be strong and courageous....
not when you choose to forget what is behind you, and reach-strive-strain for what is to come.

I know this is true.
It's the story of my life.


Linking up with Casey....
Photobucket

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

WIWW....um, well actually this was last week. Sometime. 
The days are running together!
But it's one of my favorite fall outfits...it makes me so happy 
to pull it out of my off-season bin.


Shirt: Vera Wang from Kohl's
Cardigan: Gap
Pants: Sonoma from Kohl's

Linking up with...
momma go round
Momma Go Round


and...
the pleated poppy
pleated poppy

Potpie Biscuit Bowls Recipe


Cooking dinner when Josh and I were first married was such an adventure! I love, love to cook and love to bake even more. Looking back it seems like I put alot more effort into preparing meals than I do nowadays. 
So I'm always trying to find quick and simple dinner ideas....if they cook in a crockpot - even better!

I still like to experiment in the kitchen, and this recipe is one that I've come up with in the last month. Josh loves it, Blake eats it, and I can make it super fast, so
it's a keeper!
If you try it out, I'd love to hear what you think!

~Potpie Biscuit Bowls~
Here's what you'll need...

1 pound ground beef or turkey
2 cans ready-to-bake biscuit dough (not the small size!)
1 bag frozen mixed veggies
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
2-3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. flour
*Makes approximately 12 biscuit bowls*

1. First spray your muffin tin(s) with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Start cooking the ground beef or turkey in a 10" skillet over medium heat. Add in chopped garlic and 1 Tbsp. butter. 

3. While meat is cooking, stretch out the individual biscuit dough rounds to approximately 4" and gently press them into the muffin tin cups. Mae sure the dough comes up the sides and over the top!



4. Once your meat is mostly done cooking, add in the frozen veggies and continue cooking until veggies are warmed through. 

5. Push meat and veggies off to one side of skillet, and melt remaining butter in the "open spot" left in the skillet. Once butter is melted, gently whisk in the flour...then stir all together to thicken the meat mixture. (You could also easily use beef gravy at this point, rather than the butter & flour.)


6. Let meat mixture cool slightly, then fill your biscuit bowls! Make sure the dough stays stretched up over the top...you may have to adjust it as you fill the cups with meat and veggies. 

7. Bake for 20 minutes or until biscuits or golden brown on top. You can also add shredded cheddar cheese to the tops during the last 5 minutes of baking...it makes em even yummier!! (Have I mentioned we *heart* cheese around here!)


If you have leftover meat, you can pop it in a ziploc bag and toss it in the freezer for the next time!
I usually serve these up with a tossed salad and fruit...so simple and super yummy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

I've been perusing Etsy alot lately....
Maybe because I just opened my own little shop, 
Maybe because I'm obsessed with handmade lovelies, 
Mostly because I love sharing with you all
the unbelievably adorable things I find!

 My Ten on Tuesday....check out these fabulous shops!





















Stop by and show them some love....then head back here and tell me what else you *heart* in their shops!