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Archive for February, 2009


Some Good Reasons to Use Mini Loaf Pans for Desserts:

  • I get 6-10 Mini Loaf Desserts from a Recipe
  • I don’t know about your house but at mine, we can eat a pan of brownies or whatever just because I baked it and it is there. By doing small loaves, we eat one or two and the rest go into the freezer.
  • or I can send a loaf to my parents or grandparents who live in the neighborhood.
  • It seems to make my baking go further
  • They are the perfect size to thaw fast (for unexpected company or the church fellowship you forgot about) rather than racing to the store to buy prepackaged which would cost more.
  • You can thaw out a couple different loaves so you have a good selection to compile a lovely dessert platter (see photo)
  • They slice up frozen because they’re just the right size
  • They loaves are just cute!

I always used foil mini loaf pans from the dollar store and they worked well. However, at the suggestion of my good friend and Epicure Consultant, Carmen Locke, I bought the Epicure Silicone Mini Loaf Pans. She said they were great but she was wrong…they are awesome. They are easy to use, just the right size, no sticking issues while trying to get your baking out and of course they wash SO easily. If you want to purchase a set of these, they are affordable. Let me know and I will provide her contact information.

I have a couple recipes that are my favorites for using the mini loaf pan for. Over the next couple weeks I will share them with you. They are recipes that freeze well without changing texture too much and taste fresh when thawed. And of course they are absolutely delicious. They include Banana Bread, Frugal Carrot Cake, Orange Pound Cake and Brownies, just to name a few…so be sure to check back!

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And as promised….here is a picture of my fabulous Reitmans umbrella I mentioned here.
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I really do love to shop at Reitmans.
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Their clothing is affordable and they usually have sales and a mark-down rack for an extra deal. They also have a great selection of styles. I am generally a pretty conservative dresser and definitely a modest dresser. Though Reitmans has some things that I feel are too revealing, they still have a lot of clothing that meets my standards for dressing modestly. That is hard to come by nowadays.
The thing I love most about Reitmans is that the clothing fits me. “Designed for Real Life” not only applies to their styles but also their sizing. They have fashions that fit petites, regular, tall and plus.
I do find their dress selection limited and in the summer their sundresses seem to be geared more towards taller or slimmer people (not me!) and there are too many strapless or spaghetti straps for my tastes but overall…I couldn’t be happier!
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I would say that 90% of my clothing is from Reitmans because it is one of the few places that the quality, price, style and sizing all line up with my needs. Check them out today!
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Sadly this is the most slimming picture I could get. Thank you to Reitmans for the umbrella and a big *thank you* to my DH who patiently took many photos so I could have a selection to choose from. For anyone following Tune-Up Tuesday – it’s going really well so far!

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Monday night my friend Becca and I were talking about what a big job mothering is. God has called us to do a whole lot! (See Proverbs 31). Home-making and mothering is a beautiful calling but it is also a big one!
Some days it seems overwhelming – especially when they are sick, or the baby has been up or little ones are just being downright naughty and you don’t know why. A friend asked me today how I do what I do and the answer is simple: God enables me. (and just so you know – I don’t really do that much.)

A few practical thoughts:

Tonight at church, Dr. Glowacki was speaking. In the message he said, “Whom the Lord calls, He equips.” Many times I’ve heard preachers say that. He was talking about King David but I thought about how it applies to our every day lives as mothers. If the Lord gave us our spouses, children (however many we have!) and homes, then he has also given each of us the measure of endurance and energy (and anything else we’ll need) to meet those challenges. The job isn’t too big for us (even on the crazy days!) – we just need to ask for help the right way: On our knees

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Well, this morning I have to admit I didn’t shower or dress until 10am! My sweet and wonderful John was up every hour last night! I don’t know what is going on with him. He’s getting over a cold so maybe he’s still having trouble breathing? He’s also putting everything in his mouth so maybe he’s teething? Or perhaps he’s just broken!

In any case this momma is Tired with a capital T. John just went to bed so hopefully he will sleep well tonight. He had a late night out with Aunty Sandy, Lucas and I – we went shopping at Reitmans and what fun we had trying on all sorts of clothing that weren’t really what we would usually wear. I ended up with traditional ‘jenn-wear’ of jean skirt and button-down blouse (I know I am predictable and maybe in a rut?!) but Sandy sure found some ‘hot mama’ tops so we need some warmer weather so she can debut in her new outfits. Did I mention I won a Reitman’s umbrella in a “You can Quote Me” contest? Reitmans has quite a few contests a year – sign up here for their newsletters! I’ll try to post a picture of me and my fabulous umbrella tomorrow.

John had his 6 month doctor visit the other day. He’s a whopping 20 lbs already. Big Boy! Chloe was 19.5 at a year! Speaking of Chloe, she had her two year visit and she is 27.5 lbs. There is only 7.5 lbs between the two of them! Crazy how different children can be. I am so amazed that I have such adorable children!!

Picture Explanations: The top is Toby pushing Lucas in Chloe’s Doll Stroller! (under our careful supervision and it really was only for the the photo!) The second picture is my adorable John – he’s always so happy. The third is little Chloe-Homemaker. She loves to help and thinks that scrubbing toilets is a real treat (don’t anyone tell her different!) The picture is blurry because it is from our old camera as it was the closest one when I was looking for a camera fast. The last picture is John who worked diligently to roll himself over to the table where Chloe and Jaiden were eating lunch. Determined little fellow!

Well I am glad that my tiring Tuesday is over with. I am looking forward to a Wonderful Wednesday tomorrow.

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A google search of the word “Tune-Up” revealed the following definition:
An Adjustment for Better Functioning
A search for the definition of ‘Adjustment’ revealed the following:
A Small Change, A Minor Correction, A Modification
More on Tune-Up Tuesday
here.

This week my focus will be on Food!
That area of my life needs a tune-up badly and let me share with you why:
I had a bouncing baby boy 6 months ago and lost 75% of my baby weight within the first 6-8 weeks…since then I have (eek!) stayed the same. I still have that 25% to lose. On top of that, many times I get busy doing this or that (anyone with little people can understand that!) and while the children always get their properly balanced meals, I don’t always sit to eat myself. Next thing you know, it’s evening and we’re eating dinner – the first proper meal I’ve eaten all day. I do eat during the day but many times it is snack foods as opposed to real meals. I don’t know if it is just me or if there are others out there who can relate but I know that this needs to change. Part of the tune-up challenge is that it is a small modification – a baby step.
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There are many elements I need to deal with in this area but for this week I am setting an attainable goal: simply to ensure I sit down and eat something healthy for breakfast and lunch.
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I think food – too much, too little, not the right type – is a struggle for many people and a lot of it comes down to self-control and self-discipline in this area. I, personally, need to exercise self-control when it comes to snacks and self-discipline & time managment to ensure that I sit and eat a meal to avoid reaching for snacks. By making a determination to do (or not to do) something and making that determination public; you are making yourself accountable to follow through. I am looking forward to seeing what the scale says after my week of “tuning up”!

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What ‘Tune-Up’ are you working on this week? Do you have a successful “Tune-Up” accomplishment to share? Leave a comment or add a direct link to your blog post below to encourage and inspire others. Don’t underestimate the power of accountability!

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What is Tune-Up Tuesday?

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COMING THIS TUESDAY
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A google search of the word ‘Tune Up’ revealed the following definition:
An Adjustment for Better Functioning

A search for the definition of ‘Adjustment’ revealed the following:
A Small Change, A Minor Correction, A Modification

Based on those definitions, there are many things in our lives, our hearts, minds, bodies, schedules, attitudes and finances that could use a little tune-up. In order to become the Christ-like wives, mothers and women God has called us to be, we must continue to evalate all areas of our lives and be willing to answer the call to come up higher.

Each week, or as often as you are able, I am challenging you to join me for Tune-Up Tuesday! Let’s make it a day to focus on one small change that we can make to better ourselves, our homes and our testimonies for His Honor and Glory!!
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You’ll have the opportunity to comment or add a direct link to your blog post. As you join in – feel free to use the logo but please link it back here 🙂 I can hardly wait!

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We were at the store the other day and I saw a deal I couldn’t pass up. For some, maybe it wasn’t a great deal but to me it was! I purchased 10 pounds of carrots for $2.99. Now what to do with them?!?

We had some with our dinners all week but my dh isn’t that crazy about cooked carrots. I peeled a bunch and made carrot sticks ready for snacking but my two year old doesn’t seem that interested 😦

Now what?

Ina Garten (a.k.a. Barefoot Contessa”) has a fabulous recipe in her cookbook for carrot cake cupcakes. Here is my adapted version. It is SO good! DH loves it!!!

Yummy! Carrot Cake Mini Loaves
Makes 6-8 mini loaves

1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 1/3 cups of oil (olive, vegetable or whatever you have)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
18 oz grated carrots
1 1/4 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line the bottom of your loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.
Beat the sugar, oil and eggs together in a bowl until light yellow. Add vanilla.
In another bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and then add the raisins, nuts and carrots.
Fill your mini loaf pan about 3/4 way full.
Bake for 10 minutes at 400 then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for another 35 +/- minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.

You can frost these with a basic cream cheese frosting but my husband prefers it plain. If you do not frost it, it’s a delicious and frugal loaf to make if you get a greal deal on carrots!

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