Saturday, October 27, 2012

Winter is for reading....

I don't know about you, but I always seem to have 4 or 5 books on the go.....I like that. I'm not one of those people that need to finish 1 book before they start another (unless it is reeeallllly good and I can't put it down in which case, I'll read it while cooking, eating, driving, and doing laundry until I finish it).
I love getting lost in a fictional story, I love reading and meditating and applying Godly wisdom found in books pertaining to marriage, parenting, motherhood, and missions. And now that the weather has turned chilly, I often look forward to getting into my comfy pants (I know you have pair too), heating up my rice bag, making my favorite cup of tea (Typhoo!) and curling up with a good book.  I am always looking for recommendations and I love recommending books to others--with a disclaimer that just because I liked it, doesn't mean they will! :)
Here is a list of the books that I currently have in my bedside table:

The Daily Bible - In chronological Order 365 Daily Readings (NIV)
 ~with devotional insights to guide you through God's word
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World - Joanna Weaver
~Finding Intimacy with God in the busyness of life
The Excellent Wife - Martha Peace
~What it really means to be a Godly wife
How to work in someone else's country - Ruth Stark
~Practical Advice rooted in real experience for those working abroad
Treasuring God in our Traditions - Noël Piper
~Traditions and everyday patterns to pass onto our children which cultivate a love for God
Don't make me count to three - Ginger Plowman
~A Mom's look at heart-oriented discipline
Rebel with a cause - Franklin Graham
~An autobiography
Shepherding a Child's Heart - Tedd Trip (I am re-reading this one....sooo good!)
~Provides perspectives and procedures for speaking to the heart of your child in discipline
The 5 love languages of Children - Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell
~Learn the best 'language' through which your child receives and expresses love
Love amid the Ashes - Mesa Andrews
~The story of Job told through the eyes of the women who loved him
(I just finished this book yesterday....this was one of those books that I had to finish before reading anything else...I couldn't put it down!)

What are some books are on your 'list'? Any favorites you could recommend?
ps. Great prices and free shipping at

Friday, October 19, 2012

Adventures in the Kitchen # 9: Crock Pot Applesauce

The annual Henderson apple pick took place about 2 weeks ago......we went to this cute little apple farm and picked two bags of juicy macintosh apples....for $6. Amazing. We made an apple pie for some dinner guests and ate a bunch for snacks but we are huge applesauce fans, so I decided to try my hand at making applesauce in the crock pot this year.....I LOVE the crockpot....nothing like coming home or waking up to a house that smells delicious! The girls and I made this just before their bedtime and it was ready at 7am the next day. We have been enjoying home made applesauce ever since....

Adventures in the Kitchen # 10: Crock Pot Applesauce

Prep: 25 min (less if you own an apple corer/peeler)
Cook: 8 - 10 hours
Yields: 4 cups of applesauce

Apple + Cinnamon = Autumn

- 20 medium sized apples, peeled, cored, cut into chunks
- 3/4 Cup of water
- 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon
- 1 Cup of Sucanat (I would use 3/4 Cup next time as it was sweet!)


1. Place all ingredients into slow cooker.
2. Cook on low for 8-10 hours
3. Place sauce into a blender, blend until smooth.

This recipe was easy but time consuming as I do not own an apple corer/peeler and had to peel each individual apple by hand. It might be wise to invest in one if you cook with apples often (I did some research and they seem to range from $21 - $25) as it will cut down your prep time considerably. Other than that....this applesauce was smooth, sweet and made my house smell like fall. I would most definitely make this recipe again (use a bit less sucanat) and my family would agree. The way we are going through our batch.....I will have to make some more soon! 

Any other fall recipes that are an annual event in your house?

* Adapted from the recipe "Crock Pot Applesauce" from

Monday, October 15, 2012

Catching up....a Photo montage.

I haven't posted pics since here are a whole bunch of pics showing some of the fun things we have done that past couple of months....not in any order....oops!

Waiting for our breakfast at Cora's....princess-style.

Lily "playing" Candy Land.
Thank you Pinterest for this rainy day activity!

Sidewalk chalk + sunny day + smooth pavement = FUN!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Adventures in the Kitchen # 8: Two Bite Mini-Muffins....a healthy make-over

I have been on the hunt for healthy alternatives to store-bought items that we like to eat....especially in the snack department.....and I stumbled upon a recipe for Chocolate zucchini muffins (similar to the "Two-bite brownies" that you can buy in the grocery store) and decided to give them a healthy 'make-over' for some guilt-free eating pleasure! Don't let the word zucchini scare would never know that these succulent morsels of chocolate gooeyness (my mouth is watering as I write this) have a vegetable in them .....enjoy these as much as we do (and I bet you that your family won't guess that there is zucchini in them...up their veggie consumption without any complaints!)

Adventures in the Kitchen # 8: Two-bite Chocolate Zucchini Mini-Muffins

Prep time: 15 min
Cook Time: mini muffins - 10 min or Standard size muffins - 20 min
Yields: 20 standard muffins


- 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour (remove 2 Tablespoons)
The mini muffins went so fast, I didn't get to take a picture,
but these look a lot like mine. Moist, rich, chocolatey. 
- 1 Cup Cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon allspice (I used nutmeg)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 Cups organic sucanat*
- 3/4 Cups Coconut Oil melted
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 Cup buttermilk (or add 2 teaspoons of vinegar to 1/2 cup of regular milk)
- 2 Cups zucchini (peeled, de-seeded, grated)
- 1 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or carob chips)

*You can also use organic coconut sugar, same quantity or you can use 1 Cup of honey


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners or grease with butter.
2. Whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, all spice and cinnamon and set aside.
3. Whisk together sucanat and coconut oil. Beat in eggs one at a time until combined.
4. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until just moistened.
5. Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake for approximately 20 minutes. 
    (Muffins are done when inserted toothpick into the center comes clean)
6. Cool muffins in tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to cool wrack for 5 minutes before serving.

** I used a mini muffin tin pan to get the "two-bite" muffins.....just decrease the baking time to around 10 minutes.....a perfect snack for little hands and a guilt-free indulgence for us moms! :) This recipe made 16 standard size muffins plus 12 mini muffins.

The mini muffins were gone the same day I made them..... a new favorite for a snack on the go and for Kaitlyn's school lunches. Healthy and natural, home-made and cheaper than the store-bought version....these "Two-bite muffins" are among our favorite sweet treats!Adapted from "Chocolate Zucchini Muffins" found on