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September 27, 2011

Blackberry Cupcakes with blackberry cheesecake frosting

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 0 Comments
Blackberry Cupcakes with Blackberry Cheesecake frosting

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup blackberry puree (reserve about 1 tablespoon if you want to tint your icing)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until it is light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Whisk together the milk, vanilla and blackberry puree. Add half of the dry ingredients to the electric mixer bowl and mix until just combined. Add the milk/blackberry mixer and continue to mix. Finally add the rest of the dry ingredients until just incorporated.

Divine the batter evenly into the cupcake pan and bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan for 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the blackberry puree:
Puree 6 oz blackberries together with 1 tbsp agave syrup and a splash of water. Strain and discard the seeds. This should make about 1/2 a cup but you may have to fiddle with it a bit.

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 c blackberry puree

Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken Stacks

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 0 Comments

Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken Stacks

2 cups frozen corn
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 large frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups salsa

Lightly grease the bottom and sides of the slow cooker. Pour frozen corn into the bottom of the slow cooker and place the frozen chicken breasts on top. Cover with beans and salsa. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with forks. Return to the slow cooker and stir until the chicken, corn, beans and salsa are combined.

Serve on a bed of tortilla chips and top with additional garnishes: lettuce, tomato, avocado, sour cream, cheese, etc. I served over rice.

September 25, 2011

Baked Donuts

Sunday, September 25, 2011 0 Comments

Baked Mini Cake Doughnuts ~

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk plus 1 teaspoon white vinegar, mixed and set aside)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425*F.  Spray mini doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together (or stir with a whisk), flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add buttermilk, egg, and butter and stir until just combined.
Scoop batter into a large ziplock style bag, or large piping bag and snip off the tip to fill doughnut pan. 
Fill each doughnut cup approximately 1/3- 1/2 full.  The batter will rise quite a bit during baking.
Bake 4-6 minutes or until the top of the doughnuts spring back when touched. 
 Cool in pan 1-2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. 

Makes 36 mini doughnuts.
I didn't have doughnut pans, so I used mini muffin tins and it worked really well. I didn't want a ton of sugar for the kids so I just rolled them in powdered sugar. But I want to try them with the glaze. 

The fall cometh

Sunday, September 25, 2011 0 Comments
Fall is my most favorite time of the year. 
I love the cool breeze, the rain showers, the changing of the leaves, and the air is just fresh and clean
As I was driving to church today I was thinking of how beautiful the town of McMinnville is. And how blessed I am to live here and to have the friends that I have made in this area. McMinnville is really a little piece of heaven. I know there are some that have lived here forever that would disagree but it is so peaceful and incredibly beautiful here. We need to thank God for giving us such an exquisite world to live on. 
I took a few photographs with my cell phone on the way to and from church. {warning do not try this at home, I am a professional}
It was sprinkling and my windows in the car are super dirty. Sorry!

on my way to Dayton

 Driving down third street


September 24, 2011

Forget Me Not

Saturday, September 24, 2011 0 Comments
I was having a horrible day. I literally paced around the house a dozen times, feeling anxious, sad, confused and restless. I couldn't explain why I felt like that…maybe it was a "women" thing (which most likely played a major role in my mood today). But I was weak and very emotional. When I love, I love with my whole being. I have been fighting with this feeling of love for some time. Trying to convince myself that it was just a little crush and I needed to let it go. 

Last night I was really thinking hard about my future, and I remembered a promise I made with myself and the Lord. I promised that I would be faithful and do all that the Lord asks of me and I will marry in the House of the Lord. I will marry my best friend for all eternity within the walls of the temple. 

President Dieter Uchtdorf reminded me of that promise this evening in his talk to the sisters of the Relief Society all over the world. I knew he was talking directly to me, when he spoke of the beautiful little flowers, Forget Me Nots. He gave a list of 5 things for us to never forget, like the 5 petals of the flower. 

{1} Forget Not: to be patient with yourself
             We need to patient and compassionate with ourselves, and not compare ourselves to others, because we all have strengths and weaknesses. Even the smallest acts of kindness, though they may go unnoticed by others do not go unnoticed by God. It's okay to not be perfect, the road to perfection is long…do not punish yourself!
{2} Forget Not: the difference between good sacrifices and foolish sacrifice
              We can give up something good for something of far greater eternal worth. Am I committing my time and energy to things that matter most? Dedicate time to scripture study and prayer and service.
{3} Forget Not: to be happy now
              We must stop waiting for the golden ticket that holds the key to the happiness we are looking for. We shouldn't put our happiness on hold. Never stop striving for the best that is in you. Don't close your eyes and heart to the beauty that is all around us. 
{4} Forget Not: the why? of the gospel
             We sometimes overlook aspects of the gospel. The gospel is not an obligation it is an opportunity and a light that leads us to eternal life.
{5} Forget Not: that the Lord loves you
            Let His divine love into your hearts, increase in faith and righteousness and treasure the gift of service. We are not forgotten! 

September 22, 2011

A day off

Thursday, September 22, 2011 0 Comments
I love my job.  
Children are my world. This week has been full of fun, noise & kids. So I was pleased to have a day off in the middle of the week.  But I was able to sleep in til 11. It was wonderful. I must have really needed it. I am excited to be back to work tomorrow.

Empty bikes, clean floors, organized toys…Notice anything about these photographs? Oh yes, no children.

September 19, 2011

I love being an aunt

Monday, September 19, 2011 0 Comments
Aunt Jade is the name I am most known for. I am an aunt to 8 fabulous and most amazing nieces and nephews; Willow, Ciara, Jevin, Maren, Hazel, Christian, Olivia, & Levi…with more to come soon. But I am also Aunt Jade to all the little kids I have the privilege of babysitting. It is an honor for me to be an Aunty. I love my job…spoil em and be the bestest of all Aunts. I am everyone's favorite.
So this is a tribute to all those I love so much. Thanks for being part of my life. I love you all so much. And also to all those who are favorite Aunt's everywhere.