Posts Tagged ‘mommy’

Judge Judy

This is the kind of post that I almost dread writing because the subject matter isn’t totally clear in my head which means it probably resembles word vomit on the screen, but it keeps coming up, so write I must. Let’s go way back, like junior high school back. My dad and myself were having a conversation about judging people based on what they were wearing. Specifically, I think I was defending someone with many facial piercings, tattoos, and all black clothing. I was explaining to my dad that I was sure that person could’ve been perfectly sweet and maybe even a strong Christian. My dad argued differently, and honestly, it made sense. It makes sense. You can judge a book by its cover, no? (as i duck for cover from the angry mob). I wouldn’t see a book titled “Learning to Ride a Bike” and expect it to be about throwing knives, now would I? I wouldn’t wear a t-shirt that says “I’m pro-life” if I’m really pro-choice, would I? I would judge both of those things at face value. Makes sense to me. But people are different though, right?

The house across the street from ours is now vacant. Yesterday some people drove up and started peeking in the windows and checking out the property. I judged them based on the car they were driving. I’m a big, fat judger. Apparently, I’m Judge Judy. It happened again today at Wal-Mart. I judged. I sat on my high-horse. I judged. At the park, again! “Look at the man smoking at the playground. What kind of person does that?! If he burns my child I might burn him back!” “What kind of parent doesn’t put a jacket on their kid right now? It’s cold!” “Is that a man or woman? Oh my, I can’t tell. Why would someone dress like that?” Judge. Judge. Judge.

No one.

I’ve been struggling with this ever since I read Romans 2:1-4:

1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?

My theology isn’t great. I’m still learning. A lot. But I’m pretty sure that judging another person based on such asinine things as the car they drive and the clothes they wear (or are not wearing for that matter) is wrong. God knew it would happen and that’s why He made it clear that I am a MERE woman. Who am I to judge? The definition of ‘mere’ is being nothing more nor better than. God’s kind of perfect like that. Sometimes I forget that God loves that person just as much as He loves me. Even the guy smoking on the playground. That’s so crucial. God doesn’t play favorites.

But here’s the rub. How do I teach my daughter to judge someone as dangerous? The Bible also says we will know a person by his or her fruit. Isn’t that judging them on some level? This is where my weak theology comes into play. But it’s one of those things that God hasn’t allowed me to be free from. Judge Judy. It plays over and over. I can’t put into words the difference between judging someone and knowing them by their fruit, but I think I know the difference. Here we go with the word vomit and rabbit trails. I’ve just felt really convicted regarding this. It happens all the time. It’s so accepted. I judge people on what they wear, how they speak, what they drive, where they live. It’s awful. It’s sin. I’m no one’s judge.

Knowing is half the battle.

Paula Deen’s Caramel Apple Cheesecake

    I’m on a roll here branching out from Giada recipes! I’m not sure why I picked this to make. For some reason I just thought that I should make a cheesecake and I let C choose between a couple and this was the winner. It was much easier than I thought making a cheesecake would be, but maybe that’s because there’s not a whole lot to it :) Recipe.

  • 1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling
  • 1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup caramel topping
  • 12 pecan halves, plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans Note: Omitted.

    I made it mostly exactly like the recipe stated except that I added some cinnamon and allspice to the apple/caramel mixture. As far as cheesecakes go, this one didn’t wow my socks off, but that certainly didn’t stop me from eating it :) C actually really liked it, so that made it worth it!

   Husband rating: 8. C said he would’ve given it a 9 had the apple pieces been smaller, so give them a little chop! The one’s I used were like whole slices of apple…

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

    Today I saw Giada make a mango cheesecake with mint (?) simple syrup drizzled overtop. Yum!!! ;)

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Giada’s Zeppole

    What can I say? I don’t know what it is about Giada. Habit I guess? I like her show and it’s format, the lighting, etc? Anyhow, I made another recipe of hers :) It left a teensy bit to be desired, but that’s mostly because I left out a key ingredient and don’t own an ice cream scoop (Um mom, you catch that? The kind with the button that scrapes the contents out, k thanks, love you! :)). I also really wished that this recipe included the video, but it didn’t :( Good news though! I found one to add to this post :)
    Don’t mind the train wreck that is the video, thank goodness Giada was staying on task because I needed to see this made again and Hoda and Kathy Lee were really trying to ruin it for me!

    Orange Zeppole:

  • 1 stick butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest Note: I DIDN’T HAVE AN ORANGE!! :(((
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Orange Sugar:

  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Chocolate Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup cream Note: I used light cream; it doesn’t really specify..? I also quartered this and it made plenty of sauce! ¼ cup cream, ¼ cup chips
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips Note: I only had semisweet. No problemo.

    It was little overwhelming with all the separate components, but start the oil heating first. Get the butter, sugar and water mixture going. Make the sugar. Get out the eggs. Get the flour measured out. Make the sauce last (I put my cream in the same pot my butter mixture melted in to cut down on dishes :)). It was really easy to make once you got everything prepped. After I added the flour to the butter mixture it formed a ball almost immediately, but I still let it cook for a few minutes, stirring every once in a while, to make sure the flour taste cooked out.



    This is where things got a bit dicey. As I mentioned before, I don’t have an ice cream scoop, so my Zeppole balls look a hot mess. I also don’t have a thermometer for this type of thing. So, I used some of the methods found on this website to determine whether or not my oil was hot enough. I had some wooden dowels laying around from a previous project so I stuck that in there and used that method. It sizzled…a lot? Enough? Not really sure-fire so I’ll buy a thermometer next grocery day.
    Final verdict? They were alright. I really thought I bought an orange specifically for this recipe because I really like the idea of citrus and chocolate together, so I was a little disappointed (I’d already poured the oil, too late to turn back) about that. I will make them again and include the orange. I really think that would take these from ho-hum to yum yum! I just made that up, nice huh? hah :) The chocolate sauce was good, and made plenty even with my cut down mixture, so keep that in mind. They taste like donuts and if you watch the video, Giada says they’re Italian donuts; I wasn’t aware of that beforehand or I might’ve skipped these because I’ve made homemade donuts before. But like I said, I’ll make ’em again and let you know!

Would I make these for someone else? Yes, with modifications. I would include the orange and make sure I had a proper scooper, because I’m telling you, these look awful. Kind of like a pork rind. Yuck. But tasty enough :)

Not so visually appetizing. To be continued...

Chicken Pot Pie 2 Ways

    C (husband) loves my chicken pot pie. I decided to be a rebel and make it different way though to see if he noticed! :) The only/main difference is in how the filling is made. In one recipe, you simply use cream of chicken soup and in the other you make your own cream of chicken-like mixture. I kind of prefer the do-it-yourself way, but C prefers the easy way, which is nice sometimes too :)
The more involved, rebel recipe can be found here.

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cubed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots Note: I put in one can of drained peas and carrots for all veggies.
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • ½ cup sliced celery Note: Omitted.
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1¾ cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

    The recipe says to cube and then boil the chicken. I’ve boiled and pan fried the chicken in a little olive oil and I don’t really have a preference. If you do decided to boil the chicken though, throw some bouillon cubes in the water and use that as your chicken broth ingredient :) The advantage to starting out with cubed meat is that you don’t have to burn your hands trying to cut it into cubes once it’s cooked. The trickiest part with this one is making enough filling and getting it to the right consistency. The reviewers at Allrecipes suggest doubling the sauce ingredients, with which I agree. There’s nothing worse than a dry pot pie! They’re supposed to gooey and creamy, not pasty, so I definitely suggest making more filling. You make this kind of like you make the roux discussed in the Cheeseburger Soup post, except you’re adding chicken broth and milk as well.

Thankfully, it tastes better than it looks. The sauce.

    The sauce looks disgusting, kind of like um..well, I won’t go there for those of you with a weak stomach. Trying to increase readership you know, so I don’t need to turn the five of you who aren’t my momma away ;) ha! But really, it’s good. Very flavorful. However, C doesn’t like the onions in it! I guess you could just omit those if your family isn’t big on onions, but I think it gives it a lot of flavor. The recipe says to put the chicken in the bottom and pour the sauce on top. Why? We don’t know. I mix it all together and then put it in the crust.
    Popping the second pie crust from it’s tin is tricky and I destroyed many a crust before getting the hang of it. This could be totally in my head, but I find that the Walmart brand deep dish frozen crusts work best. Keep the second crust in the freezer until about five minutes before you’re ready to use it. Place it on top of the other crust with the pot pie in it and use your fingernails to pull the tin away from the crust, moving around the tin freeing little areas as you go. It usually pops out before you even make it all the way around. Make sure to gently poke some holes in the top with a knife! Place the pie on a cookie sheet to prevent drips from making you have to clean your oven!



   Beautiful! Aesthetically, it’s kind of hit or miss. Sometimes they come out pretty like this one did, but sometimes I’ve got explosions and glops of pie falling onto the cookie sheet below.

    Pot Pie numero dos is here.


  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
  • 1 carrot, chopped Note: I just use one can of drained peas and carrots.
  • 1 head fresh broccoli, chopped Note: Omitted.
  • 2 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and chopped Note: 1lb.
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup Note: I use 98% fat free.
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt

    The only changes I make to this except for the ingredients noted above is the cooking time and temperature. If I need to make this in a hurry, I stick with the 425° and 30 minutes. However, if I have time, I lower the temp to about 350° and cook it for 45 minutes to an hour. Either way is ok, I just prefer the second option if I have time :) Hope you enjoy! C LOVES the second version of pot pie.

Would I make this for someone else?: Yes! Either one of them depending on how much time I had. The first one takes a little longer to make.


    Here’s a little something the bugga and I do on rainy/snowy/slow days. You can buy the little stained glass pieces at Walmart for .88 and the stained glass paint isn’t too expensive either. You can also go to a craft store (and sometimes Walmart) and get the wooden crafts to paint with either the stained glass paint (kind of runny on wood) or acrylic paint. I buy a little pack of suction cups with hooks for like $2. Have fun!




Cheeseburger Soup

    Let me be honest: this review/how-to/whatever you want to call this is completely biased because I LOVE Cheeseburger Soup. A Bible study friend of mine introduced me to it and now I’m pretty sure we eat at least every 10 days. It’s probably not all that healthy, but you can sneak a lot of vegetables in if you so choose!
Cheeseburger Soup

  • ½ pound ground beef Note: 1lb for me.
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup shredded carrots Note: I use two lg carrots, chopped.
  • ¾ cup chopped celery Note: 3 lg stalks for me.
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 4 tablespoons butter Note: I eyeball this…
  • 3 cups chicken broth Note: Eyeball for the roux.
  • 4 cups cubed potatoes Note: 2 Russet’s for me
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flourNote: 1/8 for me.
  • 2 cups cubed Cheddar cheese Note: 1 block (8oz) sharp cheddar.
  • 1½ cups milk Note: Eyeball for the roux, but no more than half this.
  • ¼ cup sour cream

    There is one thing I dislike about this recipe: the prep time! There are a lot of things to chop and peel and at the close of my day (the hour or so before daddy comes home! Thank the Lord!), it’s just a lot of stuff to do. A is tired and ready to see someone else, I’m tired and ready to not be the only adult in the house, etc. So, during the day, if the opportunity presents itself, I’ll chop and peel everything beforehand and stick it in the fridge. The day I made this, A was playing so nicely by herself that I seized the moment and got everything done (I forgot the potatoes though) in about 10 minutes! I highly recommend doing all the prep work before hand. To prevent the potatoes from turning brown, keep them in a water+ice bath in the fridge; works perfectly :)

Large carrot

Prepped :)

Yummy vegetables

    As for making the roux, I half the flour, butter, and milk because I don’t like my soup to be too thick. Roux’s are tricky, but they’re basically just butter and flour blended together. Start by first melting the butter on low heat and then add the flour, whisking all the while. It will thicken. Let it cook a few minutes to get rid of the flour flavor; when it’s thickened and you’re happy with the taste, whisk it into your soup! My first few times were pretty horrible and I was totally turned off from even trying it again, but you get the hang of it eventually :)

Not thickened


    I use less cheese than it calls for, but I’ve never missed it. I just cube up a block of cheese of my choosing. I also add a dollop of mascarpone cheese as a nod to my favorite cheftess, Giada! hah :) And because I buy it for a handful of recipes and it usually just sits in my fridge going bad unless I invent ways to use it, but it’s totally optional. With or without, this soup is beyond delicious!

Husband rating: 8.5

Would I make this for someone else?: Absolutely!


    I did the best I could with this little nutritional information chart. Can’t be too horribly off, but don’t be your diet on it!

Nutrition Facts

User Entered Recipe

6 Servings

Amount Per Serving

Calories 348.9
Total Fat 19.0 g
Saturated Fat 9.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.4 g
Cholesterol 74.3 mg
Sodium 668.3 mg
Potassium 505.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 22.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Sugars 2.9 g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Garlic & Citrus Chicken–Giada style

    Oh boy, another Giada recipe! I guess I use a lot of these because daughter-bug and I watch her show every day at 12:30p as her wind down show before nap. I mean, much rather this than most cartoons, no? The original recipe can be found here. There is also a video that goes along with it.


  • 1 (5 to 6-pound) whole roasting chicken, neck and giblets discarded Note: The one’s with the thermometer that pops out when finished are the easiest, but they’re hard to find this time of year.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise, plus 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth Note: I made my own of course :)
  • 1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice Note: Mine was not fresh!
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves Note: I never use/have fresh herbs, always dried.
  • Kitchen string or butcher twine Note: My WalMart didnt have any. I used white string/yarn/thread stuff. Also found you could use unwaxed dental floss.

    I chopped everything up pretty small because my chicken was only a little over 3lbs and I read reviews that people had a hard time fitting everything. I also peeled my garlic, but in Giada’s video I noticed that she didnt, bummer! Stuff that chicken! I fit all but about three pieces of orange in there, mostly by inadvertently juicing the things inside :p

Chop Chop

All stuffed up!

I also salt and peppered the top of the bird. Had some help :)

Many hands make light work

   Tying the legs together was tricky, but doable. Just make sure that you cut off a length of twine or string before you start. I must’ve washed my hands 768 times because I would touch the chicken and then need to touch something else. I could’ve saved some soap and water had I planned things out a little better! This was also my first experience with a meat thermometer. It made me kind of crazy! Mine reached 180° within the first 30 minutes! So I moved it around a few times to make sure it was 180° everywhere. Here’s where it’s supposed to go.The juice that you’re supposed to make is fairly straight forward and sounds delicious :) I basted mine about every fifteen minutes or so. My skin started to brown right away, so I covered it with foil and that stopped it from burning. Finished product:


Husband Rating: 6. He ate it, but that’s about it.

Would I make this for someone else? No. In fact, I probably won’t make it again. It wasn’t so much that it was bad as there was nothing special about it. It turned out very moist, but I thought it was very bland; husband however, said it tasted like he was eating an orange peel lol. Eh. So so. Healthy! And with all that stuff crammed in there, I thought for sure it would be delicious, but it wasn’t :( Let me know if it turns out better for you!