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Mystery of History CookBook, Volume 2

Mystery of History Cookbook

One afternoon I was walking around the office and found a draft copy of the Mystery of History Cookbook. I quickly asked permission to take some of the recipes for a test drive. My daughter wants to attend our local college to become a pastry chef. This would be a perfect mother and daughter fun activity. My boss gave me permission; yes, there are perks to the job!

*Food Allergies. I have had good luck replacing white flour with gluten free flour. I have been able to tweak the recipes to keep them dairy free. Not ever recipe works but if your children have food allergies some of these recipes are easily adaptable.

The first thing we did was “oh” and “ah” over the photos. Then we began picking recipes that sounded good. [Read more...]

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Moon Phase Cookie Project, Gluten and Dairy Free

Moon Phase Cookie Project

Boys + food + school = happy learning. I am always looking for ways to work this formula.

Most people are familiar with the moon phase cookie project where Oreo cookies are used to demonstrate the phases of the moon. In order to serve this snack, I needed to come up with a gluten and dairy free option.

Thankfully one of the fondant recipes my daughter uses in her cupcake business is gluten and dairy free.

I really love the simplicity of the marshmallow fondant recipe. It takes about 15 minutes to make. [Read more...]

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Serving Crockpot Meals to Your Friends and Family

Serving Crockpot Meals in Times of Need

Have you ever delivered crockpot meals to others? My family eats crockpot meals all the time, but I never thought about bringing crockpot meals to someone. I always think of meat and vegetable meals or casseroles.

Ok a little confession…I usually want to run when someone comes looking for me to sign up for a meal. Not that I don’t want to serve but because I know the dinner evening hour is my busiest time of day. Not only am I getting dinner ready for my own family, but our nights our fairly busy with activities and teens working; add to that we live about 20 to 30 minutes away from our friends and church family. So trying to orchestrate getting the meal delivered usually puts me over the edge. [Read more...]

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Cupcakes for Missions Continues

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In case you missed my first blog post on Cupcakes, Missions and Social Media.

My daughter continues to receive orders for cupcakes, even after funding her first 3-week mission trip back in April. These cupcakes have allowed her to fund and attend another mission trip.

This week she is serving a special needs camp in Pennsylvania. A group of teens are scrubbing dishes, setting tables, and cleaning bathrooms to help serve the staff and campers.

Since her cupcakes are homemade people like to comment on them. Some of her customers take her cupcakes to public parties and have been able to share how they purchased them to support missions. It has been a great way to start a conversation about Jesus!

She has baked well over 500 cupcakes since January and she continues to love baking them. I love to see her heart grow in the serving of others. She starts high school in September and I am already working on getting her high school credit for all her work.

I am blessed to be able to encourage her and thankful that her family rallies around her by washing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. May the Lord continue to show me the potential of each of my children.

I am getting ready to do my first on-line book club. The book is 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential and I can not wait to get started.

Thank you to all of “YOU” who have ordered cupcakes!!

stacey

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Political Map Done With Cupcakes

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My daughter can get 20 cupcakes per box of cake mix. This time we placed them together and treated them like a cake.

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She decided to make a political map of South America for extra credit for her geography class.

Once we outlined the countries we choose different colors to fill in each country. Next some blue for the oceans. We did decide to layer the icing so the gaps between cupcakes would be hidden. Most people don’t turn down a little extra butter cream icing.

Now once the design is done, using toothpicks and address labels, we labeled the countries of South America.  For a little bonus we told her co-op that they had to name the capitals in order to enjoy a cupcake!

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stacey

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Easy Gluten Free and Dairy Free Muffins

Gluten Free Muffins

Here is the original post on these tasty muffins, www.5dollardinners.com

I have found that it is easier to tell people what I can eat, then go through the list of what I can’t.  This post is for all my dear friends who want to share a morning muffin and coffee with me!

Gluten Free Muffins:Two Ingredients

Open the cake mix and dump into a mixing bowl, then open the can of pumpkin and dump into the bowl. Now mix together. I use two spoons to drop the mix into a greased muffin pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. This will make 12 muffins.

Next week I am going to try adding a few extras like nuts or butterscotch chips to the mix. Gluten free cake mixes usually require a lot of butter, I love that I can skip the butter in this recipe. Since we don’t follow the directions on the cake mix these muffins are also dairy free. Which at my house means everyone can eat these!!!

Now grab that dusty can of pumpkin puree hiding in the back of your pantry and enjoy some yummy muffins. (P.S. If you only buy pumpkin on the end caps at Thanksgiving, look in the baking aisle near the canned pie filling)

Thanks so much Tricia for sharing!

Gluten Free

 

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Cupcakes, Social Media and a Mission

Collages

Cupcakes hold a special place in my heart, not because of their yummy sweetness, but how God used them to minister to my family.

My 13year old daughter signed up for a 3-week missions trip. We then knew we had to raise support for her trip. Now my daughter took a cake decorating class a few months back and had been practicing her technique on cupcakes.

So this mama thought I can put one post on Face Book to help put the word out on our new plan.

“Local Friends, Natalie needs to raise funds for her mission trip in April. Among other service projects, she will be spending a week at The Voice of the Martyrs. She will be selling cupcakes for Valentines Day at a $1 each. If you would like some yummy cupcakes please email me how many and we can work out the details. Thank you!”

Not only did we have a list for Valentine cupcakes, but also people started asking for Superbowl, Birthday and Baby shower cupcakes! Our family rallied with her and it became a team effort for some of her really large orders.

The amazing thing was I didn’t have to research clever ways to raise money, I noticed the talents my daughter had been given and focused on using them. She may not collect hundreds of books for charity or build wells in 3rd world countries, but God has given her gifts and I pray she always uses them for His glory.

stacey

Since she continues to bake and travel on trips, I have updated the post here.

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More Menu Planning Info

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When you know your weaknesses and strengths, you can design a menu planning system that works for you.

  • I love organization but lack in the upkeep.
  • I am not a morning person.
  • I am limited on the amount of space I have. I only own one fridge with a small freezer on top.
  • I only have an attention span for a week worth of cooking.

On my refrigerator I keep a dry erase board that is designed to write in what is for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On Sunday night I summon the kids to get their binders and make the choices on what they are going to cook. Then they check their supplies and write what they need on the grocery list located next to the erase board. Some weeks we forget or get to busy, and we find ourselves foraging through the cabinets. Oops, great plans need upkeep.

Now my 11-year-old son is in charge of breakfast, which means he needs more supervision, then my older kids. I have him cook or assemble most of his breakfast dishes the night before. If he is making pancakes, we make them after dinner and reheat in the morning. If it is a casserole he assembles the night before and dad puts it in the oven on his way to work. That leaves me with about one morning I need to be present to help him cook breakfast. Remember I am not a morning person!

Every Monday morning at 8am you will find me at the grocery store with my list in hand. Would you be surprised that the grocery store is really quiet at this time of the day? I can focus on my list and get in and out quickly. Now I have 6 people living in a 950 square foot house, no extra space here. The best thing on shopping day, my son is at home serving breakfast to the family.

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My daughter making hamburgers for lunch.

stacey

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Meal Planning for Kids

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Homeschooling has a way of tripling the amount of meals needed to prepare in a home. Having 3 growing boys and 1 princess also increases the amount of food!

Each child is assigned breakfast, lunch or dinner. They are then responsible to plan, cook and clean that mealtime. About every year, I rotate the kids around to a new meal slot.

Now meal planning has been my nemesis, the kids really struggle with coming up with ideas. Here is how a 3-ring binder, stickers, Google images and recipes solved my problem.

After gathering my supplies, I first decided on a theme for each day of the week. For example: Monday breakfast would be something with syrup, and lunch would be something with hamburger. Once I had the themes I gathered about 4 or 5 recipes that would match each theme.

On the first page I typed up the scheduled theme.

Monday is something with hamburger

Tuesday is salad something

Wednesday is cold sandwiches

Thursday is hot sandwiches

Friday is fun meals

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Then using card stock as dividers; I labeled the dividers with each theme and decorated with stickers. The recipes were placed in page protectors and little notes were added on how to make things either dairy free or gluten free to handle the food allergies in our family. Using Google for some chef images, I decorated the front cover of the cookbooks.

Now when it is time to plan meals, my kids look at the theme for that day and pick one of the recipes.
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stacey