Monday, December 29

happy [belated] birthday myers

We knew we would spend a really long time working with our amazing breeder to pick out a dog that would be just like Wilson. At first I was disappointed when they said, there is only one Wilson. Well we know that all dogs aren't Wilson & we certainly wouldn't trade Myers personality and spunk for anything! Wilson may say otherwise as her favorite spot in the house is right next to [or on top of] Wilson! 

Happy [belated] birthday Myers! One year old and this dogs has been loved more than most can imagine! May the next year bring you as many backyard romps, kisses, snuggles and car rides with wind in your face as you'd like! 

Saturday, December 27

best baked beans!

These are the best baked beans that I have had in a while (coming from a baked bean fan)! I have always wanted to do homemade baked beans so while Joe was smoking a boston butt on the smoker, it gave me plenty of time to have the kitchen to myself for bean making. The family enjoyed these over Thanksgiving & my father in law gave two big thumbs up!

Make this "Magic Dust" first as the Where the Cooks Are website advises. This gives the beans that "smokey" taste and the seasoning was spot on. It makes a ton so you could cut this in 1/2 if you were just thinking of trying this once and wanted to conserve spices. I made a double batch of the beans and have enough dust to do maybe 4 more double batches.

Magic Dust:
what you need...
1/4 cup paprika
2 tablespoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon mustard powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

what to do...
mix it all in a container with a lid and store :)
best baked beans ever...
what you need...
1 pound dried great northern beans, rinsed and drained
8-12 slices of bacon
1 medium to large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons Magic Dust (see above)
1 1/2 cups water

what you do...
Start the night before. Rinse the beans & pull out any ugly ones that don't meet your standards. Place them in a large saucepan or dish and add salted water (cover them 2-3 inches). Soak overnight. Note: the beans will EXPAND so make sure they aren't going to expand outside of the dish. They need to stay covered with water so give them room to grow.
When you're ready to get going, rinse the beans one last time.  Return them to the saucepan and cover with fresh water by about 4 inches. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1-2 hours or until the beans are tender, but not bursting open. 
While the beans are cooking, whisk the ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, chili powder, Magic Dust, and water together in a large bowl.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cook all but two pieces of the bacon in the oven ensuring that its cooked fully. Let the bacon cool after being laid out on a paper towel to degrease a little.  Cook the other two pieces of bacon in a medium saucepan. Remove the bacon & keep the grease in the pan. Add the onion to the bacon grease and cook. Once the onion is almost finished softening, add the garlic. Take a minute & crumble all the cooled bacon.

Pour drained beans into the bowl with the sauce. Add the bacon, onion, and garlic and stir to combine well.  Pour into a 9"x13" baking dish and bake, uncovered, for one hour or until bubbly. 

Bean recipe & Magic Dust Recipe from:

Thursday, December 25

Merry Christmas 2014

Wishing you the merriest of Christmases this year! Enjoy the day and always remember the reason for the season! 

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” -Luke 2:10-14

Tuesday, December 23

merry {needlepoint} christmas

merry {needlepoint} Christmas! some of the many projects completed this year! 

Monday, December 22

angel food cake

one of my absolute most favorite desserts is angel food cake. it is so simple to make from scratch and super rewarding when you take the first bite! don't forget homemade whipped cream and fresh berries! i have no photo of the final product...because it gets gobbled up way too fast!

angel food cake
what you need...1-1/4 cups egg whites (about 9)
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup cake flour
1-1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

what to do...
Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Sift 1/2 cup sugar and flour together twice; set aside.
Place oven rack in the lowest position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar (1 cup), about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold in flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.

Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. 
Bake 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned and entire top appears dry. Immediately invert pan over a wine bottle or on a rack (I find it hard to find a wine bottle my pan will fit on); cool completely, about 1-2 hours.

Run a knife around side and center tube of pan to get it out of the pan!