Easter with the Family

Hello friends– Hope you have a blessed Easter.  Time to remember the depth of our faith.  And to gather together with people we hold dear.  It’s a beautiful holiday.

So after church on Sunday, family started to pour in the door– great grandparents here to see the grand-girls, my sis Luanne with her incredible hot dish of potatoes.  We all sat down to ham and all the mixings.

     

Of course, we had girls hunting for eggs in the back yard–with Gr. Honey and Gr. Lo watching on.
     

So thankful for these dear faces.  One of the greatest gifts God gives is the people he puts in our lives.  Glad for days we can spend together.

Simple Spring Salad

Hi all– This was the salad on our Easter table–bright and fruity and just right with ham and Aunt Lu’s marvelous potatoes!  It was a good day with grand-girls and their great grandparents around the table.  Hope you have a lovely Easter with people you hold dear.

SIMPLE SRPING SALAD

Salad:
6 cups greens
3 cups strawberries, sliced
2 cups blackberries
2 cups mandarine oranges, peeled and sliced
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. tarragon vinegar (or your favorite mild vinegar)
1 tab. honey
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Layer the greens on a platter.  Then pile on the strawberries, blackberries and oranges.  Sprinkle on the feta.

Pour the olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt & pepper into a container with a tight fitting lid and shake until it’s thoroughly combined.  Drizzle over the salad.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake (for Easter)

Hey all– It’s the day after Easter here.  Spending the morning stashing bunnies and plastic eggs away for next year.  And toasting up some leftover biscuits and jam for breakfast.

And sending off this Easter Cake recipe to you.  It’s cherries and chocolate nestled into a white cake, with cherry cream cheese frosting.  Add a few Cadbury eggs on top (or birthday candles for a different occasion) and it’s ready to go!

CHERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP CAKE

Cake:
1 white cake mix
canola oil
3 eggs
water
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped to tiny bits

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
8 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. amaretto (or vanilla)
1 pound box powdered sugar (3  3/4 cups)
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped fine
2 tsp. juice from the cherry jar
garnish: Cadbury Easter eggs

With an electric mixer, make the cake mix according to the directions on the box (mine added 1/3 cup oil, 1 cup water and 3 eggs).  Beat for 2 minutes.  Then stir in the chocolate chips and chopped cherries.

Spoon the batter into 2   9″ cake pans (or a 9″x 13″ pan) that has been spray with cooking spray.  Pop it into a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cake layers are golden and firm to the touch.  Let the cakes cool completely before you frost them.

To make the frosting, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, cream cheese, amaretto, powdered sugar, chopped cherries and cherry juice.  (Start on the lowest setting or the powdered sugar will fly out of the bowl!)  Beat until it is all smooth and creamy, with little cherry bits here and there.

Spread frosting on the first layer.  Top it with the second layer and then frost the top and sides.  So pink and pretty!

Easter Again

Hello friends– I wonder if you are celebrating Easter this year.  We are.  I have the ham in the fridge, the table pulled large and to set for family. And Easter eggs waiting to be hidden for the grand-girls.

But my true celebration is in the quiet of my heart and mind.  I pretty much wept through the Good Friday evening service tonight– full to overflowing with the depth of God’s love for us.  Jesus giving himself to make us children of God. So grateful.

“Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and to go the Father.  Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of this love.”         John 13:1

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Painting– The Resurrection by Rembrandt

Pork Ragu over Egg Noodles

Hello all — Last week we had a hug-filled, noisy reunion of women we had met with as young moms for 10 years a while back.  We  didn’t stop talking all night, catching up with each other from start to finish.  So many stories!

And for dinner we had big bowls of noodles and this pork ragu, simmered slow and long until it is fork tender.  With a beautiful big salad and Glenda’s amazing cheesecake, we talked and ate until late.

PORK RAGU OVER EGG NOODLES
16 oz. egg noodles
3 to 4  pound pork shoulder roast
salt & freshly ground pepper
2 tab. olive oil (and maybe a little more)
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tab. tomato paste
1 cup red wine
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. dried basil
1 large sprig of rosemary
2 bay leaves
garnish:  parmesan romano, grated

Cut the pork roast into smallish bite size chunks.  Then heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in your soup pot.  Drop in the pork (I did it in two batches so the pot wasn’t too crowded) and liberally salt and pepper the pork.  Cook it on medium high for 8 to 10 minutes until the meat is browned on all sides.  Take if from the pot and set it aside on a plate.

In the same pot add the onion and saute for 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Then sire in the tomato paste and red wine and let it cook down at a simmer for about 5 minutes.

Then add in the pork (and the juices that collect on the plate), tomatoes, basil, rosemary and bay leaves.  Keep it all at a low simmer for 2 to 3 hours until the pork is fork tender.

Cook the egg noodles according to the directions on the package in salted water.  Drain well and spread on a big platter, topped with the rage.  Serve with grated parmesan romano — delish!

Here we are around the table.  We’ve been through a lot together– raising babies, losing parents, problems at school, work stress, crazy family stuff, an arduous adoption…  Love these girls bunches.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi Cookie Eating Friends– I know, I really do, that there are SO many chocolate chip recipes out there.  But I happened on this one that combines 3 favorite cookies– peanut butter, oatmeal and chocolate chip!!  And they are just the right amount of crispy edges and softy centers.

I made them for my Monday ladies yesterday evening.  And Kendall, our student friend staying with us, just about polished them off during his late long studies last night.  They’re pretty great.

OATMEAL, PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1/2 cup butter softened*
1  1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1  1/4 cup flour
1 cup whole oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups chocolate chips

With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, peanut butter, eggs and vanilla until it’s thoroughly blended.  Then beat in the flour, oats, baking powder and salt.  Finally mix in the chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Makes about 3 dozen smallish cookies.  And pop them in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.  Delicious hot from the oven!!

*10 to 12 seconds in the microwave makes refrigerated butter just right.

A Quiet Anniversary

Hi friends–  This week Larry and I marked anniversary #43!  It is one of those “how can that be?” kind of numbers.  But then again, I can barely remember when we haven’t been married.

So yesterday we headed down toward the beach to mark a quiet celebration– pizza lunch at Mozza (a fancy day out for us!), a walk around the perimeter of Balboa Island and a stop for a frozen banana (Larry) and an ice cream (me).

     

   

We have a couple big trips in April, and Easter and lots of hub bub in between.  So I liked our quiet day– walking, talking, planning some things ahead.  So thankful to be married to this guy.