Thursday, April 14, 2011

Peanut Butter & Jelly Coffee Cake

This is one of my favorite recipes for a brunch or company. Just make sure to have some milk or coffee on hand, it is rich. I hope you enjoy it! Recipe from one of my Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Coffee Cake

2    cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2    teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1    cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
2    eggs
1/4 cup butter, softened
1    cup strawberry or grape jelly
   Crumb Topping

Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the milk, peanut butter, eggs, and butter. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed till combined. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, scraping the side of the bowl constantly.

Spread about two-thirds of the butter into prepared baking pan. Stir jelly and spoon over batter. Drop remaining batter in small mounds on top of the jelly. Sprinkle with Crumb Topping. Bake in a 350 oven for 30 to 35 minutes or till golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 1 coffee cake (12 servings).

Crumb Topping: In a small mixing bowl stir together 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour. Cut in 1/4 cup peanut butter and 3 tablespoons butter till mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chorizo & Potato Tacos with Black Bean Salsa

I saved this recipe out of Real Simple magazine's October 2010 issue. I tried it out a couple of weeks ago and I was instantly in love! It was easy to make and it is fairly healthy. I hope your family enjoys it as much as we did!

1 pound fresh chorizo or italian sausage, casings removed  *
            * I bought the chorizo in a one pound package without the casings.
1 russet potato (8 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
4 radishes, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
   Kosher salt and ground black pepper
8 hard taco shells, warmed  *
             * We like the flat bottom hard taco shells, they just make life easier.
1 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup sour cream

  In a large nonstick skillet, cook the chorizo and potato over medium-high heat, breaking up the chorizo with a spoon, until it is browned and the potatos are tender, 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the beans, radishes, cilantro, lime juice, oil, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Fill the taco shells with the chorizo mixture, black bean salsa, avocado, and sour cream. Enjoy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thoughts of a perfectionist.....

It's a constant battle to keep the voices down in my head. They're always telling me, "That's wrong." "Why can't you finish what you start?" "It's not good enough." "Almost but not quite!" I keep thinking "If I was just a better wife, mother, daughter, friend, woman then I could...." But I'm not, am I? Nope! That's what they tell me anyway.

What makes it worse is being around a group of people, any people. It could be family or close friends, people I love and respect, it doesn't matter. It seems like every little comment they make is directed to me on how I'm not measuring up. "Well this is how I do it!" or "This works for me, in my house, at my job, in my relationship." It's hard enough trying to fight off the voices, now I have to hear it from these people too! Ugh!

This is my life I guess. It's never going to measure up so why do I work so hard at it!? Does anyone understand or appreciate how hard I work trying to get it just right? So much of my life spent making 'it' just a little bit better and then, maybe, I will finally be comfortable and proud of what I accomplished.

I try to reassure myself that the comments aren't directed at me because I am not good enough but that it is just people making conversation. I try to reassure myself that people love and accept me and my performance at life so far. I try to tell myself that people do want to be around me just to be around me and not so they can pick apart every little thing in my life to point out that it's however wrong they think it is. I try.....but then the voices, the comments, the looks....

Only God could create something so perfectly beautiful. "Peace like a river..."

I know I am a perfectionist and those close to me, I hope, know this about me too. If you didn't before, now you do. I wanted to share this about myself because I thought it would be good to get it out of me. Maybe if it's 'out there for all to know', then I can start to relax. What do I need to do that? Not exactly sure but I think some grace, some unconditional love, a reminder every once in a while that, whatever 'it' might be, it's good enough just the way I did it and there need be nothing more to make it a little better. I am not perfect, I never will be. God is perfect, His way is perfect, His love is perfect and, bonus, it's unconditional! All I need to do is accept it......How perfect is that?!