Monday, January 20, 2014

Black Bean Brownies Recipe ~ gf, df, ef

Lizzie just baked a batch of delicious Black Bean Brownies...yes...made with black beans.  She's still tweaking her Black Bean Cupcake recipe but I'll let you know when she's perfected it.

Black Bean Brownies
1-1/2 cups black beans (15 oz can drained and rinsed)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave
2 tbsp sugar (needed for texture)
2 tsp pure vanilla
1/2-2/3 cups chocolate chips (not optional)
Optional: more chips for presentation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a food processor, combine all ingredients except chips.  Blend until completely smooth. 

Stir in chips, then pour into a greased 8x8" pan.  Optional:  Sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. 

Cook 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut.  Makes 9 brownies. 

Enjoy!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Lizzie has been busy sewing this week.  First she made this "hunting" vest to match her camouflage skirt (not shown) that she will wear to this year's Sportsmen's Banquet at church.
Then she quilted her large quilt made from old jeans.  She added batting and a fleece backing.  It is heavy!  The above picture shows her placing all three layers on top of each other.
Then she rolled up the edge so she could start quilting in the middle.  It's hard working with big and bulky quilts.

She used the fleece from the backing to form the binding (edging).
All done!
Here's a look at the soft, furry, warm fleece backing.
 
This year we have gotten far behind in keeping our woodpile split and stacked.  We have plenty of wood...just not the time to split it.  The above picture shows James and Nathan (from church) who come over to split wood for their woodstoves. 

Tonight Mike and Lizzie split enough for two racks.  Then Mike and Allen used the tractor to bring it around to the basement.  It was tricky because we've gotten several inches of rain this month and things are slick and muddy!  It sure feels good to have the woodpile filled up again since we are expecting a little snow this weekend...and it's already cold.
 
I took this picture of Sarah this morning because I like the way her sweater and scarf match.  I think orange is Sarah's best color.
 
Tonight we had fun sitting around the kitchen playing cards and laughing.  Allen has had an intense week of training at the Japanese restaurant where he works.  He showed us his "notes"...written on the menu.  We're so proud of Allen and all the work he's been doing since getting this job.  It's just sad that ham radio requires late nights but his job requires a good night's sleep!  Next week is his last week of training.  We'll all be glad when that's over.

We've had a busy week with lots going on.  We've been doing flat tires which is painful when everyone is constantly needing cars.  Sometimes it makes me dizzy with everyone's schedules! 

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Monday, January 13, 2014

 We were given this 1-piece slate pool table by a friend who is moving to Georgia.  Allen and Mike play a game or two at night.  I think Mike is trying hard to stay ahead.  Mike turned 61 yesterday and he had to spend the day staying home from church with a fever and a head cold.  Unusual for him.
Maggie had her friends over for lesson two on the ukulele.  I always enjoy playing along.
 For my facebook friends, I'm afraid my blog will be boring for them since I post a lot of these pictures there.  This is a picture of my Dad and Ruthie.  Dad goes to most of his grandchildren's soccer games...even the ones that are at 10:30 pm.  We asked him to stay home this past Saturday though...we had gotten almost 2" of rain and the mud was just too slick.  But Ruthie won!

This is a picture of a foolish son. He thought he could play a prank on his sisters...the queens of prank...and get away with it. On Thursday evening, Allen fixed Ruthie's tablet alarm to go off at 4 am. When the alarm went off, a picture of a laughing Allen came up. So, this morning at 4:10, 4:15, and 4:20, cellphone alarms went off in different areas of Allen's room. It woke everyone. And Allen had to get up at 7:30 am to teach a ham radio class. Never mess with the best! 
This past year I went on a search for something to let me make julienne veggies.  I was even willing to pay a lot of money for a mandolin.  But I came across this peeler/julienne tool at Bed Bath and Beyond and I love it!  This is the same peeler here at Amazon but mine didn't come with the cutting board.  Works well on cucumber, carrots, zucchini and squash.

When I went to the dump today, I saw this sign hanging next to the dumpster.  I always enjoy people with a good sense of humor.  I wonder if this came from a wedding. 

Today was a big day for me.  Maggie drove herself to and from her appointments.  I cried off and on the whole time she was gone.  It's such a miracle that she is living without pain now.  PTL

I've decided to post some videos of my children singing.  I've only posted one video before and Sarah had to do it for me.  So we'll see how this works.  I hope to post one a week.  Right now my children are working on Valentine's Day songs for a banquet at our church.  It is hard to find the time to practice with all the work schedules!

This first video is a song called We Shall Inherit.  This past year we discovered Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver.  They are a Christian bluegrass group.  For Christmas we gave Lizzie all their cds and I got their dvd.  This is one of their songs.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152128577058418&l=1596891518172902513

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Sunday, January 5, 2014

 My niece Lindsay posted this picture on facebook.  L to R is my niece's boyfriend, Lindsay, Donna (Mike's sister) and Grandma L.  They went on an indoor sky-diving trip.  Grandma, who is 84, says she wouldn't do it again.  *smile*  At least it's marked off her bucket list.

 We're back into soccer season.  (Lizzie is above and Allen is below in the blue shorts.)  Their games are all Friday nights.  Ruthie's games are on Saturday afternoons, and the adult league (Mike, Maggie, Anna and Lizzie) are on Tuesday nights...late...around 10 pm.  Even though the twins are 17 years old, Allen isn't allowed to play on the adult league until he's 18.  Girls can be 17.  I'm not so sure that's a good idea...I really get the shivers when little Lizzie goes up against big guys. 
 Sarah babysat a little boy and they made ornaments.  They gave me the cowboy boot ornament since I love all things western.
 Ruthie has been busy this year making crafts of all kinds.  She made these ornaments for me.  I really like the ornaments with the music hodgepodged onto thrift shop ornaments.  She got the music from an old hymnal that was ruined and being thrown away.
 My doctor told me I had to lower my cholesterol this year.  I was pretty surprised since my cholesterol is 144.  I had always been told to keep it lower than "my age + 100."  Well, they've changed that formula.  So I've been adding pumpkin seeds to my diet.  Maggie added tamari to a bag of seeds and they are very tasty! 
 On Friday morning we woke up to our first significant snow of the season.  I know my friend Joan up in Wyoming is going to call this a dusting...but around here, this is significant! 

Ruthie and I stayed home from church since she has a head cold...her first in a long time.  I took the tree down...which everyone says is only right since I couldn't help put the tree up (with my broken arms). 

I went to the orthopedic doctor for my final xray and appointment...and I'm done!  No more brace, no more break.  PTL

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

This year we asked our children how they wanted to spend New Year's Eve:  either going to a hotel with a pool and hot tub...or having a big party.  Well, my children aren't fools!  They chose the hot tub. 

The reason we gave them a choice is because we needed to bleach our plumbing system...which meant we couldn't use the system for 24 hours. 
We chose a hotel in town that is only a few years old.  It is very clean and beautiful.  We rented two rooms for the eight of us.
The important part was that the pool was warm and wonderful! 
We especially loved the hot tub.  This is Allen floating in the hot tub.  When the jets were turned on, the tub became white and frothy.  We had the hotel to ourselves, including the pool.  Because it was a holiday, the pool hours were extended until midnight, and the continental breakfast was extended until 10 am.  Good thing or else we wouldn't have made it to breakfast!
Abigail swam with us on Tuesday, then Natalie met us at the pool to take her home.  That night we sang beautiful 4-part harmony while sitting in the hot tub.  The acoustics were wonderful.  It's a memory I'll cherish for a long time.
For lunch, we took food from home and ate it in the room.  Lizzie made sushi, veggies and dip, and tortilla roll-ups, and Maggie made pepperoni puffs.  It was delicious. 

I have no idea why some of my pictures are showing up smaller than the others.
I want to show you the hotel lobby...it was decorated nicely for Christmas.  I especially enjoyed the grand staircase. Our room was right at the top of the stairs, so we didn't use the elevator.
I took this picture from the top of the stairs.

 Isn't it lovely?!  You can tell I'm playing around with the settings on my camera trying to figure out what works best with what.
 
And this is the breakfast room. We were able to eat bagels with bacon, cereal (with our own almond milk), oatmeal with many toppings, lots of fruit, and even the granola bars that the sign said were "to go."
For dinner, we went across the street to use our Christmas gift cards at Cracker Barrel.  
Everyone knows what the best thing is about Cracker Barrel!

Mike enjoyed pinto beans and corn muffins.
Sarah enjoyed a southern meal of country fried steak with the trimmings.
 And the rest of us enjoyed chef's salad and one baked potato (we took our own butter).  It was delicious...as usual.  I always say salad tastes best when someone else does the chopping!
Anna showed me this quilt that is for sale in the Cracker Barrel store.  She loves that the Bible verse is embroidered on the quilt. 

So we had a very enjoyable evening away from home.  Checkout time was noon, so we came home and started up the woodstove while Mike emptied the bleached pipes.  We would love to make this a family tradition. 

I hope your family had an enjoyable New Year's Eve as well.  Today we are lying around trying to recover, and enjoying being off from work (except Allen). 

Many blessings ~ Kathie