Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yummy Pumpkin Bread


Homemade bread + peanut butter + jam=LOVE!


Two of my my guy's favorite treats!

Pumpkin Bread

  • 1 1/3 cup oil
  • 5 eggs 1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 (3-ounce) packages vanilla pudding mix, regular or instant)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix oil, eggs, and pumpkin in mixing bowl and beat well. Sift together flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda. Add to pumpkin mixture and mix till blended. Stir in pudding mix and nuts. Pour into greased large loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour. Makes 3 loaves.


After the LOVE is shared at home, wrap some up for a birthday remembrance (as shown here) or for a neighbor gift!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Birds of a Feather....














Out mother's window in California, she watches a family of Hawks.


A charming Utah resident we viewed on our trip home from California.


Early in December a Downey Woodpecker visited our garden on the west-side of our home. He enjoyed pecking our tree...fast, fast,fast! He was busy and beautiful.


Another Woodpecker, a Red-Shafted Flicker "hung out" in our tree one morning. I loved his spotted feathers and beautiful red on his face in our snowy tree.


He was good-sized and enjoyed our peaceful garden. It's my favorite place too!


Daily we enjoy a variety of pretty birds, large flocks, or darling pairs, that visit our feeder. It's such fun to watch them along with the squirrels...look for them later!

Thanks for flying by! 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Soaring Sentiments: Service


Service is the virtue that has distinguished the great of all times and which they will be remembered by. It places a mark of nobility upon its disciples. It is the dividing line which separates the two great groups of the world–those who lift and those who lean, those who contribute and those who only consume. How much better it is to give than to receive. Service in any form is comely and beautiful. To give encouragement, to impart sympathy, to show interest, to banish fear, to build self-confidence and awaken hope in the heart of others, in short–to love them and to show it –is to render the most precious service.”
Bryant S. Hinckley

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Three Boys Salsa

Our friends frequently visited a local Mexican restaurant that had great chips and salsa. One night they dipped a chip and came up with a chunk of chewed gum. Horrified, they told the manager that if he would share his salsa recipe, they'd call it a draw. I'm sure it was all in good fun cause they are very kind people. Still, in our family the legend continues! I've tweaked it some and come up with something that my boys take down by the gallon!

My Three Boys Salsa @singingwithbirds.com

It's a snap to put together ... 

My Three Boys Salsa @singingwithbirds
 
This is all it takes and it doubles and triples better than you can imagine. 


Put it all in your food processor, I LOVE my Cusinart, or get out your blender. Pulse until it looks chunky or smooth it's all bueno!  Dip in a chip and taste for seasoning. Adjust if necessary and chill for an hour. 

My Three Boys Salsa
  • 1 (28 oz. can) whole tomatoes with juice
  • 2 (10 oz. cans) (Rotel brand) diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 whole jalapeno chili, sliced thin
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 bunch cilantro, cut off tough stems
  • juice of 1 whole lime
Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onions, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, lime juice and cilantro in your food processor or blender. Pulse or blend until you've reached the chunkiness you like. Taste and adjust seasonings. Let the flavors blend for an hour. This will keep for a week or two, but only if my boys aren't around!

Find somebody to Salsa with today...you'll be glad you did!

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Birdsong Quilt


Meet my inspiration! Mom serves to mentor me in so many good ways. She is a talented quilter and appliqued this beautiful 'Birdsong' quilt for herself. As she was working on it I admired it, bird lover to bird lover! I'm sure I swooned, actually.


Mom surprised me with one designed just for me, Christmas '06.


I so appreciate all the tiny little hand stitches and love sewn into it.

Birdsong pattern and order information:

I admire beautiful quilts so much and appreciate those who make them.  I still consider myself a novice, so please share links to your quilts with me!  Thanks for your visit...





Thursday, January 21, 2010

Toffee Cheesecake Squares


Toffee Cheesecake Squares

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 6 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 6 Tbs. butter, melted
  • 2 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 24 fun-size Health Toffee Bars, coarsely chopped
  • 10 fun size Heath Bars, finely chopped
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13" baking pan very well.

In a medium-bowl, whisk together the flour, pecans and brown sugar. Stir in the butter and mix until all the dry ingredients are moistened and a crumbly dough forms. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned.

In another medium-bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla until combined. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the coarsely-chopped candy. Pour into the baked crust. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the finely chopped candy over the top.

Cool completely. Cut into 48 to 64 squares depending on the size you would like to serve. Refrigerate until serving.

Note: You can use Butterfinger Bars for a Peanut Butter Crunch Bar


You're going to love these squares through out the year.  Come back soon!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Holiday Banana Bread


I just returned after spending the holidays and half of January in Southern California. Why do birds fly south for the winter you ask? Well, the weather was absolutely spectacular, 70's and 80's most days. Snowy days like today are definitely for the birds, but the wise ones are pretty and pink enjoying the sunshine and parading in a pond! On the bright side, thank goodness we are getting lots of moisture and can "hope for Spring." It's worth waiting for! Until then, here's a fabulous Banana Bread that will make you want to sing!

Holiday Banana-Nut Bread
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/4 raisins

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Combine flour, soda, and sugar; add to banana mixture, stirring until well blended. Stir in pecans, coconut, and raisins. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 8 1/2-x 4 1/2-x3-inch loaf pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cover with foil the last 15 minutes or baking if it's over-browning. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan, and let cool completely on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf.

Happy baking my new friends!

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