Friday, April 20, 2012

Enter Morgan: Stage Left

Guess what?! I have a blog!

Yes, this is a fact that I am aware of, though some people might think that I have forgotten. But I haven't! Life has just been a little crazy for the past few weeks.

And the headlines for this craziness is... *drumroll* My sister, Morgan, moved home!!!

Yup that's right! Now I have a full-time babysitter (ha! not really). 
Actually it means a lot of things, and all of them are good. It means I have a best friend living right across the hall; it means that I don't have to be lonely when my parents go on date nights; it means I have a full-time model in my own house; it means that I have someone else to contribute to my Disney fund; it means there is aaaallllways music going; it means emotions are naturally high; it means I have two little toto-like dogs to play with; and lastly (but not leastly) it means that her business, Bashert Jewelry has moved with her here to Denver!

My sister started Bashert Jewelry a couple years ago out of her love for taking broken pieces and making something beautiful out of them (even if it's not the original piece). Currently she has four different styles at her Shop on Etsy. The links to each item can be found below the picture...

(She let me model for this)
(The black thread is elastic, so it slides on and off very easily)
(One of my favourites)

(I wear this one all of the time. It's a long necklace and works with most any outfit!)

I have personally tested each of these items and love them all! So go, shop, buy, and enjoy! 

So here she is, my beautiful, wonderful, epic, dramatic, genius, devoted sister... Morgan <3 (and her dog, Basil)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Iced Lemon Poppy-Seed Biscuits

In honor of spring, I made these delicious little tea biscuits for our neighbors today...

Iced Lemon Poppy-Seed Tea Biscuits


  • 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (I used half wheat and half white)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup yogurt (I used plain Greek, but lemon, orange, or vanilla works well too!)
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • I lemon squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Colored sprinkles, colored sugar, or lemon zest (optional)

  • In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with yogurt. Stir in poppy seeds. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or until easy to handle.
  • On a heavily floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2-1/2-in. cookie cutters. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a small bowl, beat the butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and enough milk for a thick consistency. Lightly frost centers of cookies; sprinkle with colored sprinkles, colored sugar, or lemon zest if desired.
  • Yield: about 4 dozen.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The B.R.A.T. Diet

This morning my dear mother had a horrible stomach ache, and immediately my inner nurse-maid spirit kicked in. When she first came downstairs, she was nauseated, so heavy food wasn't an option. I got her some salt crackers and a glass of water, and kept a can of ginger beer on hand just in case it got extreme. 
By mid-morning, the nausea was a bit settled, so I brewed a cup of ginger peach tea for her, and provided more crackers. 
~Ginger is wonderful for an upset stomach! If feeling queasy just take some ginger ale, ginger tea, gingersnaps, or the like.

At lunch, she was feeling much better, so I could move to a bit more substantial food. I decided the B.R.A.T. diet would be the safest thing

B. bananas
R. rice
A. applesauce 
T. toast

Keeping to this diet as much as possible, I made toast with homemade peanut butter and a banana/apple smoothy. 
Here is what I did:

Banana and Apple Smoothy
1 Banana
1 Apple
1/2 c. Frozen Strawberries
1 c. Fruit Juice
1 TBS Honey
Mix all in a blender (stirring as needed) till smooth and creamy.

The toast was just my dad's homemade honey whole wheat bread that I stuck in the toaster till it was golden brown. 

We didn't have any peanut butter, so i grabbed the food processor and mixed 1/2 c. salted peanuts (I used Planter's) and about 1 Tbs+ of coconut oil. Any oil can be used, but I really like the flavor of the coconut. Pulse, scraping sides often, till creamy and 
'buttery'. Spread that on the toast and voilá!  

Monday, March 19, 2012

On the Trading of Tim Tebow

When I'm sad, I write poetry about the situation... So here is the fruit of a day of sadness... 
For Mr. Tebow

On the Trading of Tim Tebow

By A.F. Lowry           
March 19, 2012

I looked upon the frozen dawn,
I drank the city air.
Now the crowded masses thronged
Along the thoroughfare

A fresh metropolitan state
With fresh plans, great and small;
Fresh life, ground, society, and change
And fresh talent above all

But something was different now
A stale, warm, harsh wind blew,
And I knew that there upon the ground
My dreams would soon be strewn.

‘A fantastic opportunity’…
That is what they said.
But what is a championship to me?
Something more I dread.

How could we keep both of the stars
(The old and new talent)
With this new, small budget of ours?
For he is young, even if gallant.

But, I won’t fear his leaving us
For I know within my heart
That wherever he goes, he’ll trust
The will our Lord imparts

Now, I'm not saying that he will be traded, and I hope that he isn't, but I'm praying God's will for him right now... I want him wherever he can thrive and grow and be the greatest witness... I'm only partial to him staying here in Denver. 

For more of my poetry, check out my new book on Amazon... HERE

Drink Water... It's Vital!!!

It’s a common fact that our bodies are made of nearly 70% water, but why is it so important to take in 8 to 12 glasses a day? Perhaps, it is because over 75% of American’s are chronically dehydrated.  Every organ in the human body needs water to function properly, especially the brain, which is composed of 85% water. Consider that dehydration is the number one cause of daytime tiredness and that a loss of just 2% water in our bodies can cause fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and trouble focusing on a computer screen or a printed page. 
A loss of 4 to 5% water can diminish work performance by 20 to 30%. Dehydration can occur in any season and athletes and children are particularly susceptible to it because of how quickly they tend to lose water. So even though the average person consumes nearly three cups of water through food, it is very important to take in the extra 8 to 12 glasses in order to perform at the highest level. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

You have nothing better to do with your life than to spend every moment trying to improve. -Joyce Meyer 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Café au Lait

I've always wanted to be a barista, but after applying to Starbucks and other coffee shops multiple times (and never even being asked to an interview) I'd almost given up hope. 
But, who says I can't be a barista right here in my own kitchen? I found this yummy book called 'Coffee; scrumptious drinks and treats' by Betty Rosbottom and now I'm experimenting with my own lattes and such on my own. It inspired me to say the least, and I've been running rampant with the coffee maker (and tea) latelyWho needs Starbucks with all their sugar and syrups? 

So this is my version of Café au Lait (French for 'coffee with milk'). It's ingredients - as you may have guessed - is simply coffee and milk! Strong hot coffee and scalded milk to be exact. This is a simple latte that is very popular in France and has become part of American coffee shops as well. 

Since I've started making this, I have fallen in love with scalded milk. It is so smooth and creamy and has an all around better texture than anything else I've ever had! I'm never heating my milk in the microwave again!

The ratio of coffee to milk varies by taste. I've tried two parts milk, one part coffee as well as vice versa, but personally, I prefer just half and half.

So here it is... My version of 

Café au Lait

1 cup milk
1 cup strongly brewed coffee*
Sweetener to taste

To scald the milk, pour into a saucepan and heat till steaming. Stir slowly and consistently on low heat till the milk reduces and small bubbles form around the edges (about 5-8 minutes). The trick to scalding is to get it almost to the point of scorching (burning on the bottom) and keep it there. Because of this, you'll want to keep the bottom scraped well. Add coffee and keep on heat for a few minutes more. Add sweetener. Pour into a mug and sprinkle top with your choice of spices or the like (I used raw cocoa powder). 

*For a Tea Latte, just brew 1 tea bag in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes (black teas work best!)