Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pinned It. Made It. How Was It?

I pinned it.  (You might have to!).  I made it.  I know you're asking, "How was it?"

I made this for dinner for guests on Saturday night.

What changes I made in the recipe: It called for 6 tbsp. of hot sauce.  I read in the comments that some had swapped out for BBQ sauce.  So I went that route.  I found that I needed about 12 tbsp. of the BBQ sauce.  
What I liked:  I liked the the flavors: BBQ, potatoes, cheese, bacon.What's not to like?  We topped it with sour cream. 
What I didn't like:  The chicken was too "chunky" and a little dry. Next time I may shred the chicken or cut it in much smaller chunks.
Will I make it again (the true test!): Yes!  This is a good weeknight family meal-but not guest worthy. I will also try again with the hot sauce.

I was ambitious and made 2 desserts last night.  Mostly because I was skeptical of both so I needed a plan B!
What changes I made in the recipe:  I used egg roll wrappers instead of spring roll wrappers.  Not sure if this was the demise of the recipe!
What I liked:   I loved the nutella and bananas together.  The bananas got really sweet and yummy after being cooked.
What I didn't like:   This is one of those pins with no real recipe-only pics.  These kind are always a risk.  I opted to bake them instead of fry them-which was one of the options on the egg roll wrapper packaging.  But the wrapping was disgusting-a kind of chewy crunch.  Would frying work better? possibly but...
Will I make it again (the true test!):  No.  They were easy to make.  But I really don't think these will ever live up to the picture.  I have too many other pins to make to waste more time on this one!

What changes I made in the recipe: None.  I used the exact ingredients and methods.
What I liked:   A sugar cookie and good vanilla pudding.  The flavor was there.
What I didn't like:   The presentation was not what the pics promised.  The sugar never really carmelized.  I added more and more sugar.  I used a good quality food torch.  I would have had to torch each one for 5 min. each -possibly to get the desired look.  Way too time consuming.
Will I make it again (the true test!):  No.  This was a case of "too good to be true, then it probably is".

Though 2 out of 3 of my recipes were flops for me-I still had fun cooking them and my guests enjoyed trying them! That's the bottom line!
Happy Pinning!
{my reviews are in no way a reflection of the bloggers who posted these recipes.  These are just my opinions and experiences}

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sheltering vs. Guarding Their Hearts

This is kind of a silly question.  Because if you look them up in the dictionary, shelter and guard are synonyms.  The difference here is a matter of the heart.  
The world likes to say that Christians "shelter" their children.  There's the argument that, "You shouldn't shelter your children because when they leave your nest they will go wild". 
Is there truth to this?  
What constitutes "going wild"? 
-drinking? having children outside of marriage possibly even with different partners? divorce? no career or direction in life? financial irresponsibility? 
We all know people who were not "sheltered" and were given many freedoms, that still fit the characteristics above.  
So NOT sheltering children does not keep them from "going wild" anymore than sheltering them pushes them toward wildness.  

The real issue here is the heart.  The Bible says in Proverbs 4:23 
 "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."

My husband and I are firm believers that this is our job as parents.  
We (Christians) need to equip our children to go out into the world and since they're going "out into the world" we need to teach them how to guard their hearts.  Because the world is not kind to their hearts.

One of the hardest ways and one of the easiest ways to do this is by monitoring what our children watch in movies and on t.v.  
How important is what they watch?  
Here's a little informal study for you.  In almost 15 years of teaching, I can pick out the students in my class who are allowed to watch anything that is labeled  "kid friendly" (by the ratings, by ABC Family, by Disney channel).  Give me a month with my new students and I can tell you, with 100% accuracy, who has limits on their t.v./movie viewing and who doesn't. That's pretty bold, I know, but I stand by it.  
It's been true in every grade I've taught.  
How can I tell?  
-by their attitudes, by the way they talk to their parents, by the way they talk to each other, by the level of "girl drama", by the boy-girl relationships, by the way they handle conflict on the playground-just to name a few tell tale signs.  Their hearts are different than the children who's parents are monitoring their t.v. watching through a "guard their heart" lens.  

So, the world may say when I don't let my 14 year old watch Zero Dark Thirty, or my 8 year old watch Jessie, that I'm sheltering them.  But I KNOW that I'm teaching them how to guard their hearts.  
I've been charged by God to protect them and guide them temporarily and I take it very seriously.  
I encourage you to do the same.  We will NEVER regret guarding the hearts of our children.
Proverbs 4:23 
 "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."

Friday, April 5, 2013

Pancake Mini Muffins with Bacon

I saw this recipe pictured on Pinterest a while back but there was no source.  It seemed like a good idea so I decided to give it a try anyway. It was a win!

Cook the bacon.  I always cook mine in the oven on a slotted pan.  Much easier than standing over it on the stovetop.

Prepare the pancake mix according to package directions. To make 36 mini muffins I prepared enough mix for 12-14 pancakes.  I also added 1 tsp. of vanilla and 1 tsp. of cinnamon.

Spray the muffin tin well with non stick spray. Break each piece of bacon into fourths and put a piece into each of the mini muffins.

Using a small scooper or teaspoon add pancake mix to each muffin.

Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  They barely get golden brown.  Don't worry-they are done.
I love how the bacon peeks out.  Serve with syrup and enjoy.  

Pancake Mini Muffins with Bacon
(yield 36 mini muffins)
9 slices of bacon (not thin cut)
pancake mix 
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
non stick spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a mini muffin pan well with non stick spray.
Break the bacon into fourths and put one piece into each muffin.
Prepare pancake mix according to package directions.
Add 1 tsp. of vanilla and 1 tsp. of cinnamon and mix.
Put a small scoop of pancake mix over each piece of bacon. Fill almost to the top.
Bake for 15 min. 

Muffins will not brown much-don't be alarmed! :)
Dip in syrup and enjoy!

Monday, April 1, 2013

PInterest Party!!

Spring Break is here! Perfect opportunity to host a Pinterest Party!
Guests were sent an evite telling them to bring enough of a dish for 10, or supplies for a craft for 10 people.  I set up a group Pinterest board so we could all pin our creations.
The result was a fun girls' night!
We all left with some new dishes we now know are worth trying.  We also got to see and do several crafts that are worth repeating!
A Pinterest party is a great way to see which of our pins are going to be worth trying without having to buy all the supplies and spend the time creating something that we're not even sure if it's going to turn out!  Here's a sneak peek into our Pinterest Pajama Party!

Mustaches are all over Pinterest! 

The food was phenomenal.  So many recipes that I had pinned and they were all delish!!!

The food was great.  But the crafts were my favorite!
We learned to make pom-poms for decorations from tissue paper.

We made headbands with felt flowers.

We also learned how to fold napkins in a "fancy" way.

2 of my favorite things in one night-Girls Night & Pinterest! Can't wait to do it again!


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