Coffee, Chaos and Christ

The misadventures of a Mother and business owner.


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Family favorite dinner

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This is one of my families go to dinners. Super easy and really tasty. The kids love it and they get involved by making their own pizzas. All you need is Texas Toast garlic bread, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and your favorite topping. Once you make them you just pop them into the oven and they are ready in under 10 minutes. Just follow the cooking instructions on the Texas Toast.

I like to cut everything up and have everything laid out so they can put whatever they like on their pizzas. You can go as simple or as fancy as you like. Serve with salad or fresh veggies and you have dinner. Perfect for nights where they have practice or games. You can cut up the toppings ahead of time to make dinner quicker.

Fast, easy and the kids are involved and engaged in making their own dinner.

1 Corinthians 10:31

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

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Crazy times, crazy life

There are so many days that you feel stressed out or overwhelmed. We live in crazy stressful times and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. Finding a balance in life can be hard. So many things pulling you in a ton of different directions.

Kids have to be taken here and there, grocery store, work, bank, you name it. Run, run run. Our children have so much additional stress piled on them. When I was growing up it was so much simpler. I think my biggest problem was figuring out what to wear to school the next day. Today, kids are so stressed! Test after test. Homework for hours every night. Common core craziness. So much pressure on them to succeed and to test well. They have stomach and anxiety issues, they hate going to school everyday. They have 30 minutes of recess a day, that is all. How I wish my children had my childhood.

Then you have all the political mumbo jumbo, ugh!! Everyone seems to hate everyone else. No one gets a long. We have so much “political correctness” that you could choke on it. Everything you say or do seems to insult someone else. No idea when this all started and why but it has gotten completely out of control. Stay in your own lane, live your own life and be nice to each other. LUKE 3:31 (NIV)Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Or if you would rather, Matthew 7:12 In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” It is a very simple Golden Rule, one that we should all follow.

I find a lot of comfort in crocheting. It has become a great stress reliever to me as well as a type of meditation. A lot of anger and anxiety and depression comes out in every piece. There are so many different avenues for distressing, find what works for you and run with it.

You may not be able to change the world, but you can always change your little part of it. One small chance can have an enormous impact.

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Right in the middle of the holidays

Thanksgiving is behind us and Christmas is right around the corner. I can’t even begin to tell you how sick of turkey I am at this moment. But that is ok, spending time with family has been wonderful and much-needed. The mad rush has begun, we need to get all the Christmas shopping done, then comes the wrapping and the house cleaning. Mix in getting my cast off and a sweet 16 party and you get a very hectic December. But we will get through it like we always do. Quite frankly we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Over Thanksgiving we got to go to West Virginia and spend time with my family. We had a white Thanksgiving which was a wonderful change from North Carolina. We also got to see our first golden eagle and I was lucky enough to capture a few photos of it. What an amazing sight it was, so beautiful and majestic.

Golden Eagle

My goal is to blog a few times a week, really need to get better at this, I know I keep saying that. I will leave you with a few photos from our trip.

 

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Who Knew Figs Were So Good?!?!

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Who knew figs were so good? They are nothing like I imagined. Growing up as a child I ate Fig Newtons, that was my only previous experience. I loved them, they are so good. When we bought our new house and found out that there was a fig tree in the backyard it was pretty exciting.

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This summer we went a bit crazzzy with the jam and jelly making. Strawberry jam, honeysuckle jelly, pear jam, blackberry jam and of course we couldn’t leave the figs out. I must say it is my favorite make from this year. It has such range and can be used with some many different things. It would be amazing with pork and it is awesome on a pb&j. It was also the easiest jam that I made this year, with was a nice surprise. It is a truly beautiful fruit as well. Can you tell I am in love? I hope to branch out and do more with them next season, but I am thrilled to be able to still enjoy them over the fall and winter months.

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This is the recipe that I used. I have become a canning diva! LOL

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I must be honest, mine didn’t take as long. Once the figs were washed and the stems removed they were really soft so I just threw them all in the blender at the same time. You can experiment and see what works best for you.

I hope to share more of my canning experiences with you as well. It has been an amazing learning experience and so much fun!


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My adventures in honeysuckle jelly

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Who knew you could take ordinary honeysuckle flowers and make such an amazing jelly? Over the weekend I did just that. I found an amazing recipe online at Lehman’s Country Life, http://countrylife.lehmans.com/2011/06/14/honeysuckle-jelly/. The most time consuming part is picking all the flowers we needed. After you get them all picked and all the green tips removed it moves along fairly quick.

Honeysuckle Flowers

Honeysuckle flowers before the green tips were removed.

 

It smells heavenly when you are steeping the flowers. I must say that it did do a number on our allergies, the flowers were covered with pollen. But it was well worth it, the jelly turned out amazing. It brings back so many wonderful memories of childhood. Picking the flowers and sucking the “honey” out of the flowers. We always looked forward to them blooming every year.

Honeysuckle Infused Water

Honeysuckle Infused Water

 

Honeysuckle Jelly
Yields 7 half-pints
4 cups honeysuckle flowers
4 cups boiling water
1/4 c. lemon juice
4 cups sugar
1 package liquid pectin

First you need to make an infusion to draw the flavor out of the flowers. It’s very simple. Prepare the flowers by removing the tiny green tip at the base of the petals.

Next, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, turn the heat off, then add the honeysuckle flowers you’ve gathered and allow them to steep for about 45 min., stirring occasionally.

Strain the flowers from the liquid. You need two cups of the infusion for this recipe.

In the same saucepan, stir together 2 cups flower infusion, the lemon juice, and the sugar; bring to a hard boil that won’t stir down. Add the pectin and boil for 2 min; reduce heat if necessary to avoid boiling over.
Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, and screw on lids. Allow to cool for 24 hours, then test the lids to make sure the jars are properly sealed.

I ended up adding mint leaf’s to one batch that I made and it was a nice variation. You may want to try it if you like mint. I will note that the recipe says you will yield 7 half pints but in all my batches I only yielded 4. I will be making more of this for sure, it is a new family favorite!

Honeysuckle jars