Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Venison Shish Kebob and homemade pita bread

For supper last night Jacob and I were adventurous and made something neither one of us had ever cooked before--shish kebobs. It was due largely in part to our pastor's message Sunday night--he talked about shish kebobs and had the entire congregation's mouths watering. We decided immediately that was what we were having for supper the next night. Aaahhhh, the power of suggestion!

 I had some venison backstrap in the freezer from a whitetail deer Jacob shot last year. I let it thaw then marinated it for several hours in and oil and vinegar dressing, pepper, garlic powder and a bit of steak seasoning. I know, the spice combination may not be very authentically Middle Eastern, but this was an experiment. I cut up yellow and zucchini squash, onions and bell peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes.
Lessons learned: Next time I'll slice the squash thinner and use cherry tomatoes. Everything else was perfect.

I made some almost whole wheat pita breads. They would have been 100% whole wheat, but I didn't realize that I was almost out of whole wheat flour. So they are 75% whole wheat :) Jacob LOVED them and called them "Bible breads". He especially loves them with peanut butter.  I was glad because he hasn't cared for some of the whole wheat things I've made in the past. I'll share the recipe in a minute.

Here are some photos of our evening for you to drool over:

My manly man manning the grill :) Notice our brand on the truck?

 Hungry yet?

Almost whole wheat pita bread

1 T yeast                                               1 T honey
1 1/3 c. warm water                               1 T oil
2 t. salt                                                 3 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

In a large mixing bowl sprinkle yeast over warm water. Stir in salt, honey, oil and 1 1/2 cups flour. Beat til smooth.
 Stir in 1 cup flour. Knead in as much of the remaining flour to make a smooth and elastic dough. Cover and let rest  for 10 minutes.
  Punch dough down. Knead until smooth and elastic. Wash out bowl and grease with a little oil. Place dough in greased bowl and turn to coat.. Cover and let rise til doubled.
  Punch dough down and divide into 8 equal parts. Shape each piece into a ball and let rest for 30 minutes.
  On a lightly oiled or floured surface, roll or pat each piece into a 7 inch circle. 
 Preheat oven to 500* F and place an upside down pizza pan on bottom rack of the oven. Let breads rise for approx. 30 minutes. When bread is ready to bake, gently place one or two breads on the hot pizza pan. Bake for four to seven minutes or until lightly golden and puffed up into a ball.
  Cool on wire racks, but cover them so they do not dry out. If not using right away, store in plastic bags.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

He Always Provides!

The way the Lord always provides for His children never ceases to amaze me. I wanted to share something that happened in our lives recently.
Last week, the heating element in my dryer went out. Never a good thing to happen, but especially worse since I can't just run my clothes out to the clothesline. I realized this only after placing a load of clothes in the dryer and starting a new one in the washer--two loads of wet clothes that I couldn't do anything with.
 I called my mom just to make sure I wasn't missing something and she confirmed what I suspected--the heating element died. She had a spare one so when I went to see her the next day she sent it home with me. I spent part of the weekend at my in-laws doing laundry--which was pretty stacked up by then.
  The following Monday at work one of Jacob's customers came in and out of the blue asked him if he knew anyone that needed a dryer. His wife's washer had gone out and they bought a matching set and had a dryer to spare. Jacob told him that we might, but to let him see if the spare part we had would fix ours first.
  To make a long story short, the spare wasn't the right one, so Jacob and I headed to Lowes and Home Depot to no avail.  There was an appliance parts store that he was going to try the next day if the customer didn't show up with the dryer.
 He did, and it was much newer than our other one. Jacob brought it home and it works like a charm and is much faster than our other dryer was. It has been so nice to do laundry at my house again!
 The Lord provides for His children! He can use anything or anyone to accomplish His will. He delights in caring for and rewarding His children for their trust in Him.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More Ideas than Time

or: Confessions of a Side-tracked Homemaker
This is to dispel any notion that some people have that I am almost SuperWoman. Most of the time I feel like a little kid who is playing house. Honesty Alert!!!!

My fall 2011 flowerbed :) Maybe I can keep these alive...
I'm finding out lately that I am easily distracted and sidetracked. I think it comes from feeling that I have all the time in the world to get things done, then reality sets in and I am scurrying to get the most important things finished at the last minute. I think it is because I do have more time than I used to before I was married. It doesn't take long to take care of things around here and I feel like I've got all the time in the world. Procrastination is a problem of mine.
 I get my best ideas and inspirations while I'm at church, or while I'm in the shower. I'm at church and in the shower a lot so I get lots of ideas ;) I am the type of person who gets an idea and wants to begin RIGHT NOW!!!!!! Hurry before the inspiration leaves me!
   I have menu plans for four weeks all typed up that I rarely follow. Unfortunately, right now we live our life at the speed of light and at the spur of the moment, so any concrete plans can be difficult to follow. This adds to my hesitation to try and make any sort of a concrete schedule--why do it if it won't work?
   I have a tendency to focus solely on the project at hand and let everything else go.
 I do my best work at the last minute. I have been known on many an occasion to be up into the wee hours of the morning trying to get something finished on time. My wedding dress is the exception :)
  And I'm always starting new projects. I think I have maybe four in the works right now....Sometimes I get bored in the middle of a project and just quit and never finish it. A nine-patch quilt, a baby blanket, a dress for myself, just to name a few.
 Is there any hope for me? Well, I have been trying to do better.
I've been forcing myself to finish a project before I begin a new one.
I have been stopping at a certain time each day and making sure other, more important things get done.
I make LOTS of lists. It helps me tremendously to see items checked off of a list.
I am forcing myself to prioritize things and order my day.
I'm trying balance my crafty side with my housekeeper side and not let the crafty side win as many times. I have to make the grown-up me control the little kid me and not let it run wild.
  I've also read and been told that an organized home is a peaceful home. I know this to be true. Things are much more peaceful and smooth when I am on top of my game and know exactly where everything is and have things done. It makes for a happier husband. When I know what is for supper, and he has plenty of socks in his sock drawer ( I DETEST matching socks, by the way), things go smoother.
  Hopefully one day I'll get this down. Until then, I have a lots of work cut out for me.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Mrs. and the Quilt

I've been a Mrs. for eight months today. It has been the most wonderful eight months of my entire life. I still catch myself wondering if I am dreaming and when I'll wake up.
 Our little home is finally getting where I want it. I've been told that it is cozy and homey, something I've been striving for. I have to admit though, my first few months here I wondered if it would ever feel like home. Its bare, waiting-to-be-decorated walls were depressing and I didn't know where to start. I felt like we would never get anything up on the walls except deer heads and clocks.
  I wanted (and still want) our home to be comfortable and peaceful and for Jacob to love it and be proud of it. I wanted him to be happy and relaxed here and not feel out of place. It's his castle--I'm just the one in charge of decor and atmosphere. (And he lets me have my way in everything concerning the castle :-) )
  I can't pinpoint the moment when it began happening, but I do know the moment when I realized that it felt like home. I'd been making doilies and pillows and having photos I'd taken around the farm developed and framed. I'd been pulling heirlooms out of my hopechest, setting them out and using them. These actions helped a lot--they added personality and really made it feel like it was "mine".
 What really completed it for me was a quilt. Jacob bought me a quilt for our bed--an eight-pointed star pattern on a light tan and white floral background. Even though it was cheater's piecing (for all you non-quilters, cheater's piecing is fabric that is printed to look like a patchwork quilt), I fell in love with the colors. It looks like it was made from feed sacks.
 Feedsacks?! What?! A lot of people don't know this, but at one time feed sacks were made from cotton fabric printed with lovely calico designs. I've been told stories by my great-grandmother about ladies sending their husbands to the feed store with a piece of material and instructions to match the pattern so they could finish a dress.
 I put the quilt on the bed and raised the window blind, turned and left the room. A few minutes later I came into the room and it dawned on me--this was home, really home.
  Who knew what a quilt could do?

The quilt that made it feel like home.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Busy, busy, busy--that's me!

So, what do you think of the new look? :) Comment and let me know! Thanks to ShabbyBlogs for the new look.
I've been so busy lately--life seems like it's been crazy the last few weeks. So other than laundry and giving the blog a facelift, what have I been up to?
 Our church choir has been busy practicing for a conference this week--that has taken up several evenings.
Jacob's cousin had her baby girl---she is sooo precious! I'm so excited because we get to be Aunt Bec and Uncle Jacob to her.
  My crafting side has really been showing the last few weeks, probably caused by my steady diet of DIY and crafting blogs.
They say pictures are worth a thousand words so here are a few of my life (in projects ;) ) lately.

This is one of the headbands we made at our Keepers of the Faith meeting. The girls did really well, and I think I am the only one that came away with any serious hot glue burns.

My most recent craze: fabric flowers. I love them! I like to put a pin on the back and wear them on my shirts. One of the ladies at church saw one I'd made and wanted one. They are so much fun to make. Maybe a tutorial in the future....
And I've almost finished another pineapple doily. I think they are beginning to become an addiction for me. My mom once remarked that they had the same effect on her, so maybe I'm not too badly off ;)

Last week I started a wedding project. I'll be making the bridesmaids' dresses from this pattern, using view B. The fabric they chose is lovely! Three of them will be latte' colored crepe back satin with chocolate brown belts and flowers, and the other (the matron of honor's dress) will be solid chocolate brown.
 I made a practice dress in my size out of some black and cream checkered suiting and it is adorable! I love the way it fits. I can't wait to see how the bridesmaids' dresses turn out :) Here are some pictures of what I've been doing:
Luscious, creamy, dreamy folds of crepe back satin....ahhhhhh

A bodice ready for the first fitting

Now I have to get back to the real world  and sew--not just talk about sewing. I need to make plans for supper and start another (!) load of laundry.  I think I hear a cup of coffee calling my name :) It must be the latte' colored fabric making me want some.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pardon the mess...

I am in the middle of  redecorating Country Mouse Musings :) So if things look a little strange or mismatched, don't worry, it will be lovely soon.
 I don't know if you have noticed, but there have been a few changes to the look of this blog lately and the reason is that I simply love to rearrange and redecorate. So until I find the "perfect" look and cozy feel, things may be a little scattered for a bit.
Thanks for your patience :)


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Doilies Day 3: My Current Favorite Pattern

This is currently my  favorite doily pattern. It is beautiful and works up fast and easy. Click on the picture to download the PDF file.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day

On Labor Day 2008, I met my Jacob for the first time. I didn't know then that he would be my husband :)
This year we spent it with my parents. My youngest brother spent most of the weekend with us then we all headed out to my parent's home Sunday night after church. Monday was spent playing--riding 4-wheelers and shooting skeet. My siblings start school today so we had to have one last fling :)
 I have to take a moment and brag about my awesome husband who can fix anything: The 4-wheeler in the picture was given a cosmetic overhaul by Jacob last week. Someone had taken it to the deer lease and somehow the straps holding it released and it bounced off the trailer and down the interstate. The truck was going 70mph so the damage was pretty bad. The handle bars and bumper were very bent and the pipe on the front and back racks were practically ground off. All of the plastic fenders were damaged. Upon closer inspection though, there was no damage to the motor or the frame and Jacob was able to buy replacement parts and fix it. Now it almost looks brand new. :) Thank You Lord for my Mr. Fix-It!
  The weather has been gorgeous! We finally got some rain and a little norther blew in. It has been around 85*--with no humidity and a nice breeze. That is a great change from the 106* weather we've been having. We had twenty consecutive days that the temperature was over 100.
  Now it's back to normal--I have a mountain of laundry from the weekend that needs attention, menu planning that needs doing and a pineapple doily that is almost finished. Keepers of the Faith classes start back up this week so I have crafts and lessons to plan.
 Take heart--fall is almost here!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Doilies, day 2

After yesterday, I've been on a doily kick. I love them for themselves, but I also love all the ways there are to use them--other than just on a table under a lamp. Below are some doily-inspired items for your house or for a party.

Doily warmer from Scentsy

 A garland made from doilies. How fun is that? I can't wait to have a tea and use this idea for some of the decorations.

 A doily bowl :) Starch the life out of a doily and drape it over an upside down  bowl and let dry.

 Wow....a doily hanging lamp. I'm not to sure if it's my style, but it's definitely different and would make a great conversation piece.