Monthly Archives: November 2012

Rainbow cookies



Was making some chocolate chip cookies for a group of college students on Thursday night except a little healthier substituting the butter with applesauce and my daughter wanted to make them colorful so this is what came out of the oven! Oh, and she had to add sprinkles!


Apple Picking

The season is pretty much over but we thought we’d go apple picking anyways. We went with one of her buddies from our Sunday neighborhood children’s meeting and they had a blast! We went to Riley’s Farm in Oak Glen. They have a little colonial village where they have tours for schools and maybe on weekends. We got to see the action since there was a tour going on when we were there. The school children heard about the different smiths, made candles, learned all about the cider press and played some games back in the day. It was good for our kids to not be cooped up in the house, be able to roam around and be kids (without us having to say no you can’t do that constantly): kicking up dirt, throwing rocks and just plain getting dirty! Oh, and we had to try the apple cider and 5 lb apple pie!

As I was considering our day and how the kids mostly loved just running around and not the apple picking itself I was reminded about God. Our children being young just wanted to pick any apple: small, big, old, fresh, with holes, without holes. To them it was the picking that was fun. Just grab one! Then I thought how us moms were encouraging them to choose the biggest, fullest, greenest, freshest, not filled with hole apples. This took time for us to find the RIGHT one so eventually they lost interest and ran off. Picking a few apples was good enough for them. Being careful to choose just the right one was not in their interest. But what about God? He chooses people. He chooses sinners. He chose you. He chose me. It is not a mistake. He considered much and chose us. Ephesians 1:4 says, “Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love.” He knows the ones whom He has chosen. We do not. He was very careful in His choosing. We may think He chose the good ones, the smart ones, or the upright ones. These ones are definitely some of His chosen but so are the naughty ones, the unlearned and the sinful. Actually, I may consider myself in the previous category but the more I spend time in His word and in His presence I realize I am all of the above. Yes, I may be good but I am also naughty. Maybe not outwardly but you know what is within. You and God know what is within. So for those of us who have received the Lord Jesus as our Savior into us we know we are chosen. If you have not you may wonder “Am I chosen?” It’s interesting that God chooses but it also requires our cooperation. We may be chosen but if we do not exercise or use our will to actively make the decision to receive the Lord Jesus as our Savior simply by praying, “Lord Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross for me and saving me from my sins. Thank You for coming into me as my life and everything. I believe into You and receive You!” then we will never know that we were chosen. However, one day it will happen. So, why not sooner rather than later?

5 lb apple pie!

And this is all 2 adults and 2 3 1/2 year olds could eat.

Date Bars

Yes, I’ve been on a baking frenzy lately! Well, here are the date bars I mentioned I’d make. I liked them but my husband wasn’t too keen on them. I guess he didn’t like the soft date center. Next time I may just mix the dates in with everything else and see how that turns out.

I got the recipe from Yummly who got it from Epicurious.

My less sugar, less fat, supposedly healthier version:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Banana Crumb Cake

I wanted to make a dessert with bananas but didn’t just want to make another boring banana bread so searched around and found this recipe. It turned out pretty good! And I really liked how it tasted too! Those whom I served it to gave it a thumbs up so it’s a keeper! Of course I modified the recipe some to reduce the sugar and fat. I found the recipe at Good Housekeeping.

Here’s my version:

Coconut-Pecan Topping:

  • cup(s) pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup(s) unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup(s) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon

Banana Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons applesauce
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten (I actually used flax seed with water since I was out of eggs)
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (from 3 very ripe medium bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Kettle Corn


I love kettle corn! How can I not? They are sweet! I always had to grab a bag of kettle corn when I had the opportunity to in the past since they were not available as they are today. You would run into those people making it right there on the spot. Yum! But one day I thought, “can I make it at home?” Where would we be without the internet? Sure enough you can! And it’s so easy! So I rarely buy it now since I can make it for a fraction of the cost and control the amount of oil that goes into making it. Enjoy!

Kettle Corn Recipe

One suggestion that I found useful from searching around is to throw in 3 kernels of corn with the oil so when they all pop you know the oil is hot enough to pour in the kernels and sugar. After you throw in everything, put a lid on and shake it begin to raise it above and away from the heat. Raise it higher as the kernels pop faster so you don’t burn them. Remember to keep shaking so no kernels stay in the same place. If kernels are not popping lower pan to heat. Everything should pop in a few minutes if not kernels may be old.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

I never thought I would be one of those people who could just throw a recipe together without actually referring to the recipe. Well, this is one I can make without looking at the recipe! I don’t even remember where I got the recipe from. Plenty of recipes out there for chicken enchiladas but this one has always been a crowd pleaser so I’ve stuck with it the last several years. It’s the quick go to since I don’t have to make the enchilada sauce from scratch but I should try that some time soon…



3 cups shredded chicken

2 cups shredded cheese

16 oz light sour cream

16 oz lowfat cottage cheese

19 oz enchilada sauce

14 flour tortillas

Taco seasoning



Cook chicken and season to taste with taco seasoning. In bowl mix 1/2 of cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon chicken and mixture in tortillas and fold over. Place seam down in a casserole dish lightly coated with oil. Pour enchilada sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.