Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Reserruction Garden

When I think of "Easter Decorations" for my home I think of bunnies and eggs and fresh flowers. The true meaning of this Holiday isn't Easter dresses and hats, Easter egg hunts or the Easter Bunny. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died on a cross for our sins. To save us. Me and you. I don't know about you, but that's the greatest love that I will ever know.

"Our Lord has Written
The Promise of Resurrection
Not in Books Alone
But in every leaf in Spring-time"

-Martin Luther  

I found this resurrection garden on Pinterest and my mom and nieces did one last year. I knew I wanted it to sit on my kitchen table -what a great conversation piece. When my farmer and I sit down to dinner we talk about our day. New things that are going on, that ever looming grain market and the upcoming planting season. But last night - last night we talked about Jesus.

I posted a picture on my Facebook and Instagram and have received so many e mails and messages about it, so I thought I would share with you how to make it. Pinterest has so many great ideas, this is the one I went with. It was easy and I didn't have to buy a lot of supplies.

Resurrection Garden

1 large saucer
1 small planter
Small sticks from around the yard
Jute twine
River Rock (or any kind of gravel will work)

You don't have to go and spend a lot of money, be creative look around your house and see what you might have to make your own Resurrection Garden.

In Spring your yard needs to be picked up anyways, just save a few of the smaller sticks.

Crisscross the jute until its snug and tie the ends then cut them as short as you can.

Make Jesus' cross the biggest. :)

I hot glued my small pot to my large saucer. Probably not necessary but made it easier when adding the dirt.

It felt good to get my hands into some dirt.... with gloves on.

Pack it in tight.
And pile it over top of the "tomb"
Add river rock (or gravel) to the front of the tomb. Fill in all the dirt with moss. I use reindeer moss a lot to decorate with so I just piled that all around. Then stick your crosses in the dirt.

It's SO simple and just absolutely adorable...

For a finishing touch I added a huge chunk or rock to the tomb.

John 11:25-26
Jesus Said to her, I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
and whoever lives and believes in me, will never die."

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Farmhouse Homemade Pizza....Farmer Approved

My farmer and I both love pizza. We declare Friday nights - Pizza nights... Most of the time I do homemade, occasionally we order out and sometimes it's just a good ol frozen pizza which my farmer just absolutely loves....and my pride takes a beating every time.

I made this pizza twice this past weekend. My sweet nieces spent the night Thursday (no school Friday calls for a night at Aunt Kirby's) and my farmer worked late so he barely got any. Fast forward to Sunday afternoon we went shopping for a Magnolia Tree. We purchased one, got half way home and I looked at my farmer and said "I don't think I want this tree, can we take it back" I started to have buyers remorse about a Magnolia tree, not sure the reasoning but he simply obliged. SO needless to say I made him homemade Pizza that evening when we got home. AND we are now on the hunt for a dogwood tree. Does anyone have any great ornamental trees that they have and love.

I use the Barefoot Contessa's recipe - you can find it here. I'll be honest. Anything with yeast always just scares the heck out of me. But this was easy - Soo easy. I'm already planning a family girls night that I'll make these pizzas once my farmer is in the field.

It only has to rise for 30 minutes at room temperature....
For the sauce that goes on the pizza I used rosemary instead of sage.... use what you have, use what sounds good. To me there is nothing better than baked Rosemary.

The Arugula topping of the white cheese pizza is my favorite. My farmer of coarse prefers his salad in a bowl and not on top of his pizza. He is missing out. Just a little tip - mix this up just right before you eat it. Otherwise it will get wilted and not be a fresh salad.

This recipe makes WAY more than we can eat in one evening unless we have company over. I am experimenting to see if it will freeze. Sounds a little too good to be true. 

For my pizza I just get the olive oil topping but for my farmer he likes regular ol red sauce. I prefer to use a chunky pesto marinara sauce. It just adds extra flavor.
Ready to go into the oven. Do yourself a favor and make sure you have your baking sheets lined with parchment paper. My farmer just likes mozzarella and pepperoni. I get fresh mozzarella and fontina.

A little too much cheese on mine. Slices of fresh mozzarella fool me every time into thinking it's not much cheese.

Topped with arugula and life is perfect.  I had two big slices.

I think this would be great topped with grilled chicken. I am going to plan on that for next weekend.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Bird Nest Cake and Cupcakes

I am great at making something for an occasion or Holiday and taking photos and sharing them with you AFTER it is already over. I thought maybe I would try to do things a little ahead of time that way maybe I can inspire you or give you some ideas about upcoming occasions - in this case... Easter.

Birds Nest Cake:

I always bake my cakes in round pans. They are just a little bit more "fancy." It is very important to let your cake cool completely. A lot of times I will bake mine the night before and cover it with saran wrap. Nothing is worse that going to decorate a cake and having it fall apart because its still too warm. I have most definitely done that before.

I like to put a good amount of icing in between my layers as well. .

For the "nest" I chopped up just a regular Hershey's chocolate bar into big rough strips. You don't want it too fine.

I like to use "decorator eggs" I have in my house to decorate my cake with. I got these at Hobby Lobby and they work perfect. They are light (the real dyed eggs tend to slide down because they are too heavy) and I love the speckled look.

Birds Nest Cupcakes:

Once cupcakes are baked then cooled I like to assemble a little working station. I chopped my chocolate just like I did for the cake but a little bit more fine and shaved. Put vanilla icing into a bag for the icing and I got a little bowl full of candy eggs. I love all of the really pastel colors.

Put icing on them all. I think it looks a little better doing something like this with your icing as opposed to smeared on with a knife. I promise it's super easy, just pretend you are making an ice cream cone... :)

Apply a small amount of chocolate shavings in the very center of the cupcake.

Then top with little eggs (these are Cadbury)

Look at how sweet - and yummy!


Give these a try for Easter Sunday or any kind of special dinner you have this Spring - they're so easy and fun to make. I'll be back tomorrow with a fabulous homemade Pizza recipe... that I made two times this weekend!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Shower Chicken Salad....

This is my grandmother's recipe.... I call it Shower Chicken Salad because it is my "go to" when hosting any kind of bridal or baby shower. It's fruity, it's light, it's easy and it's delicious. For showers or any kind of special occasion I serve this on a croissant roll, but for your average Saturday afternoon, it's a piece of bread - either way it's great!!

As I said it's my grandmother's recipe.... aren't grandma's recipes just always good. I think a prerequisite of being a grandma is to be a good cook. I know mine surely is.

When hosting - I am a big fan of doing things the day before. For me the day before a big party or celebration is busier than the actual day. But with this recipe - you can not mix it up very far in advance. It gets very water and it will just be a disaster. I haven't even had the best luck chopping things up in advance. The grapes get a brownish color, it's just not a good idea. Do it an hour or so before people arrive, or before you would like to eat is what I usually try to do.



1 Can Drained Chicken (get good white chunk chicken breast, its SO good)
2 Celery Sticks
1 Can Drained Pineapple Tidbits
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup of Real Hellman's Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Honey
Chopped White Grapes
Slivered Almonds

It's not great leftover... so be sure and make just what you need. 

 I am always looking for new lighter Springy recipes and this is a great one. I didn't get my farmer on board with this sandwich but it's great for a girls gathering.

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