i am baker http://iambaker.net Confections & Creations Mon, 28 Jul 2014 20:19:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 “marry me” cookies http://iambaker.net/marry-me-cookies/ http://iambaker.net/marry-me-cookies/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:13:32 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=44808 "marry me" cookies!
I saw these delightful creations on the Cooking Channel website and knew I had to try them.  The official name is, “I want to Marry You Cookies” and they are from the genius mind of Melissa Stadler.   Her recipe includes pretty much every favorite ingredient of mine.  Sugar, (da) brown sugar, oats, chocolate, white... 

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"marry me" cookies!

I saw these delightful creations on the Cooking Channel website and knew I had to try them.  The official name is, “I want to Marry You Cookies” and they are from the genius mind of Melissa Stadler.

 

Her recipe includes pretty much every favorite ingredient of mine.  Sugar, (da) brown sugar, oats, chocolate, white chocolate… I get happy just thinking about it.

And she is right, they are downright delicious!  What makes them amazing is her method; she uses one saucepan!  It’s quite inventive.

 

I think I was impatient and didn’t wait long enough during cooling times, so my cookies are a bit flatter than hers.  In all the pictures I have seen these cookies are puffed up and thick, so I will stress that you should follow the directions better than I did!

I also opted for a good quality semi-sweet chocolate chunk.  It really makes a difference in my opinion, as I love the deep rich cocoa flavor among the sweet (oh so sweet) sugary cookie dough.  You could even go more pure with your chocolate selection, and find something over 60% cacoa.

 

Then there is that white chocolate.  I love white chocolate with a passion in my soul, and what it brings to this cookie is nothing short of confection perfection.

“marry me” cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter until melted, over medium-low heat. Remove from the heat.
  2. Add the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar and stir until sugars are incorporated and smooth. Chill the mixture for 10 minutes. (Do not skip this step. You can also transfer the mixture to a different bowl so that it is no longer being heated from the pan.)
  3. Remove he cookie dough from the refrigerator and stir in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cinnamon and mix together with a spoon.
  5. Gently fold in the white chocolate chips and chocolate chips.
  6. Chill dough until it is firm enough to be hand rolled, about 30 minutes in the fridge.
  7. Roll by hand into 24 medium-size balls or use a scoop, and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes.
  9. While the dough is chilling, heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  10. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the edges just start to turn golden. (Do not overbake)
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Recipe just barely adapted from Cooking Channel.

 

Now, since I am already married, I will need to harness to power of these cooking into other notable pursuits.  Maybe convince a husband that my new home office is a little bit higher up on his honey-do list than he previously thought.

Or rewarding some thoughtful and well deserving kids.

 

Or even just for me, as a treat for making it through another week.

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not gonna lie… http://iambaker.net/not-gonna-lie/ http://iambaker.net/not-gonna-lie/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 23:29:32 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=44779 potato bugs
… it’s been a tough week. My husband and two oldest children left early in the week for a fishing trip in Canada. Roughly a day later our chickens and guineas were attacked by neighborhood dogs and a couple of them were killed.  I tried to save some and in the process didn’t realize my... 

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potato bugs

… it’s been a tough week.

My husband and two oldest children left early in the week for a fishing trip in Canada.

Roughly a day later our chickens and guineas were attacked by neighborhood dogs and a couple of them were killed.  I tried to save some and in the process didn’t realize my little boy had come outside behind me.  One of the large energy-filled dogs ran at him and jumped on him, throwing him to the ground and terrifying him.

#momfail

A day later the baby, Eddie (3) and Audrey (5) and I were playing in the yard.  We have a huge frog population here due to the numerous ponds on our property.  As we were catching  little tiny frogs (about dime sized) and then feeding them to the chickens (#momfail?) Audrey held one up to my face.  I was startled and asked, “Audrey, what is that?”

“I like to pull off their arms and legs!”

#momfail #amphibianfail

And gross.  Just, gross.  What the heck do I say to that?  I feel like, “We do not pull arms and legs off of frogs.” is just so obvious.

On Thursday morning, (the morning after the Chicken Incident) my mom drove over.  I also had a sitter and planned on stealing my mom away from the grandkids to take her shopping and to lunch.  I needed a break and having a girls afternoon with my mom was going to be just what I needed.

At the last minute  we decided to bring Audrey with us ( it was better for the frogs) as she doesn’t get mommy and grandma time very often, if ever actually.  Then, 10 miles away from home I realized I had left my money at home.  All of it.  I had nothing.  Not even my license.

Now there would be no shopping and my mom had to pay for lunch!

#momfail #goodcitizenfail

On Thursday afternoon, I had to run pick up the milk we buy from a local farm.  I buy 3 gallons and it is $8 a gallon.  I ran and got it, got home and let the sitter (Deanna, she is wonderful) head home.  The kids and I played and tried to pick up and watched movies until bedtime.

Saturday morning (yes, a full day and a half later) I went to get the milk out of the fridge in the garage.  It wasn’t there.

Of course, it wasn’t!  Because I had left it in my car that whole time, tucked in so securely.

#momfail #greenfail

Last night was a long night and I yelled more than I should have and was terribly short with my sweet kids.  I finally gave up and sent them to bed an hour early, simply because I was completely incapable of dealing with them anymore.  I tear up just saying that, as it is not something I ever imagined I would say publicly.  It is NOT a reflection of them at all,  they are just wonderfully curious and energetic and sometimes forgetful kids.  I, however, am impatient and short tempered and ornery.  After I put them to bed I went outside to get the chickens in their coop.  I stopped in the garden and moved the sprinkler and pulled some weeds.  After a few minutes, I made my way to the house.

And realized I was locked out.

I knocked.  I rang the doorbell.  I hollered.

Nothing.

I screamed and pounded on the door and rang the doorbell repeatedly.  Finally groggy little Audrey made her way upstairs and let me in.  Kids now awake.

#momfail

That ended up being a blessing in disguise because it gave me an opportunity to talk to the kids.  I went to their room and asked them to forgive me.  They agreed, I got more hugs and kisses and we all went to bed with a lighter heart.

On top of being home with the kids and trying to keep everyone alive and healthy, I am trying to do a full time job;  running my blog.

I know most people do not understand how this could possibly be a full-time job, and I get that.  In the simplest of terms, an average recipe posted on my blog takes about 8 hours to complete.  I need to shop for supplies, bake recipe, style it for the pictures, take the pictures, edit the pictures, then write a post and publish.  Once it is published I try to promote on social media; facebook, twitter, Instgram, google+ and pinterest.  In addition to trying to promote my little blog daily I try to stop by other blogs and comment, pin, tweet, or share their content as well.  Blogging is a community after all.

My whole point in telling you that is that I didn’t get my job done this week.  I baked and photographed two measly recipes. (should be doing five a week)

#momfail #bloggerfail

I will be posting these cookies soon as this was one of the two recipes I was able to tackle.  Feel free to stop by and see the recipe tomorrow.  The title is almost as fun as the cookie itself!  And thank you.

While my husband was out of town I had big plans of converting our laundry room into my office.  It’s a fairly big room with high ceiling, storage and a big window.  I was going to paint and organize it and proudly have a big reveal moment when he walked in the door.

I bought the paint.  And that’s it.

#momfail #DIYfail

On top of everything, I agreed to volunteer at Vacation Bible School (VBS) this week.  That means I need to get up early, get Eddie and Audrey ready and head to church.  That also means that I am behind on posting on my blog already, as the mornings are normally when I bake and photograph things.  I should have gotten five recipes done for this week, but I didn’t.  So now I am behind.

#momfail #bloggerfail #satanfail

Other things not as important but still of consequence:

I found potato bugs in the garden.

Having no clue how to deal with this, I uprooted the entire plant and threw it in the garbage.  I am sure my husband will not be pleased, but OH MY WORD THEY ARE MINIATURE SLIMEY DEADLY ALIENS.

Olivia was playing quietly in the pantry and I was soaking up the moment’s peace.

“Um, no mom.  I didn’t do that.  Nope.  Not me.”

#momfail #cleaningitupfail #itsstillthere

As I was working yesterday Eddie came running up to me and said, “Mom, look what I found!”

It was an almost-dead bird, still convulsing slightly.  It had flown into the front window and Eddie thought I would want to see it, so brought it  inside to show me.  It was delicately nestled into his hands.  We brought it outside (after I FREAKED OUT) and I asked him to set it down while I figured out what to do.  He then proceeded to stomp on it. (it was dead at that point)

I won’t share a picture of that.

#momfail #momfail #momfail

And now, to top off the whole fabulous experience, I just went outside and found another dead chicken.  No idea what happened.  None at all.

 

I don’t know which one this was because it was so badly mutilated.  So yeah.  That was an interesting thing to clean up.

#chickenmomfail #stomachfail

How am I going to explain this to my kids???

It’s been a tough week.  Nothing compared to what some people deal with on a daily basis, but for me it’s been hard.  I kinda sorta want to give up, to throw in the towel and let the world know that it was all too much for me.  I failed.

But, I won’t.  Not because I am strong, but because it’s almost bedtime and I might get to actually watch Reckless on CBS tonight and drink Moosehead beer because that is all I have in the fridge.  Wish me luck.

 

*****

I hope it is obvious that I did in fact talk about how wrong it is to harm frogs, and that we all mourned the loss of the pets.  I hope it is obvious that I am horrified that Audrey and Eddie did something unkind to an animal.  We talked about it for hours, for days, and they had consequences.   It is my hope that they will learn to respect and care for all creatures, as they will be able to see how we treat them and know what is right.

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struggles http://iambaker.net/struggles/ http://iambaker.net/struggles/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 13:33:52 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=44755 Romans 5:3
Today’s guest post by Gianna Kordatzky from Traveling Thought and Family Fun Twin Cities.  So honored to have Gianna back and thankful for her willingness to share her faith with us!     For once, we didn’t have anything planned. No festivals, no time-consuming projects, no errands. Nothing. The weekend was a blank page. It was splendid. Then, the... 

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Romans 5:3

Today’s guest post by Gianna Kordatzky from Traveling Thought and Family Fun Twin Cities.  So honored to have Gianna back and thankful for her willingness to share her faith with us!

 

 

For once, we didn’t have anything planned. No festivals, no time-consuming projects, no errands. Nothing. The weekend was a blank page.

It was splendid.

Then, the weekend started. With no structure, the kids were really crabby with each other. They cried. They whined. They fought. They stopped listening to directions thinking they were suggestions, not commands.

Consequences ensued and everyone was unhappy, including Mama and Dad.

We suffered for hours together clenching our teeth and pulling our hair out. Chris and I had had it. One more minute like this and so help me…

Suddenly, there was quiet. Peace.

They were playing together.

After supper there was happiness, kids running in and out of the play house, digging in the sandbox. Conversations. Giggles. The kids were transformed.

I looked at Chris and said, “I know this sounds crazy, but they need more unstructured play time. They don’t know what to do with themselves when nothing is scheduled. And the only way to learn is go through it and figure it out.”

Sometimes that’s how it seems that God works in our lives. It seems He lets us struggle through trials and even our emotions like He’s had enough of us and just wants us to figure it out on our own.

But God isn’t like that. Of course, there are times we have to go through a seemingly never ending struggle, but our struggles are not afterthoughts. God doesn’t see us in the middle of something and think, “Oh, they need more of that.” God has ordained each moment. He may not seem close, but He always is. He is always by our side even though He doesn’t always step into our circumstances. He gives us wisdom when we ask, and He is our strength. So we can walk through whatever test we are put through victoriously.

image from biblepic.com

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today is a new day http://iambaker.net/today-is-a-new-day/ http://iambaker.net/today-is-a-new-day/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 02:28:43 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=44733 Sunrise on the Pond
(an update from ‘the best laid plans…‘) Last night was definitely a long night, with countless tosses and turns.  Crying babies (Olivia developed a small fever) and racing thoughts.  I did not sleep well and felt groggy and a bit dejected as I thought about what was in store for today. But then my eyes... 

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Sunrise on the Pond

(an update from ‘the best laid plans…‘)

Last night was definitely a long night, with countless tosses and turns.  Crying babies (Olivia developed a small fever) and racing thoughts.  I did not sleep well and felt groggy and a bit dejected as I thought about what was in store for today.

But then my eyes opened.  And I saw the rising sun and I knew that this morning was new.  Golden and clean and new.

Once I saw the beauty the sun was sharing, I grabbed my camera and headed outside.

 

Everything was still.  I could hear the trickle of droplets as they fell off of leaves into the pond.  I felt like I could almost hear the sun itself, straining over the trees, reaching out her arms to the farthest corners of the sky.

 

It was mesmerizing really.  The calm.  The grass and leaves so wet with dew their tops were touching the ground.  The field grasses were so thick with the glassy drops of water they almost looked like crystal spider webs for as far as I could see.

 

So delicate, I dared not get to close.  To disturb such balance and beauty seemed a crime.

And honestly, I was savoring the quiet.

 

The last time I was on this path it was chaos.  The chickens were scattering and squawking, the dogs leaping and biting, and me with my shrill panicked shrieks racing around trying to catch a trailing leash.

 

There were times last evening that I was everywhere but the nicely mowed paths my husband has created.  The chickens had tried to find safety in the thick undergrowth and thorny shrubs, and we went in after them.

 

The aftermath was obvious.  Tall grasses flattened along murky ponds and feathers gently quivering in each gentle breeze.  An empty chicken coop, it’s door left open with the hopes that they just might return and seek shelter in the only home they had ever known.

I had always seen those pesky chickens as a source of eggs.  With all the baking I do, going through 2 dozen a week was the norm, and I was so excited at the thought of have my own organic eggs from my own chickens.  For free!

But it turns out that they were more than that.  They were a beloved pet to my children.  They were a source of joy and fun for us, as we often just huddled around them watching them eat and experience new things like mowed grass or ticks we would save and feed them.  They were teaching my small kids responsibility and work ethic.

They really were a part of our family.

And that is when I heard them.

Our chickens came home!

The seven remaining chickens all found their way back to us!

I jumped up and down and tried to get a picture that wasn’t shaky.

Talk about a sight for sore eyes… that is the prettiest group of chickens I have ever seen!  Turbo, August, Pecky Peck, Fred, Bright Bright, Chewy McFlussner, and one more name I seriously can’t remember!

They ran around and explored and revisited every happy spot they had once lingered in.  I watched with a permanent smile on my face and couldn’t wait for the kids to get up so I could share the news.

While we will still mourn the loss of Wingman and guinea, having the birds return is such a blessing!  Thank you, thank you all so much for the prayers and well wishes.  I had felt so alone last evening, and you really comforted me with your comments and support.  You are a blessing.

Thank you and YAY for the Chickens and Guineas!!

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the best laid plans… http://iambaker.net/the-best-laid-plans-2/ http://iambaker.net/the-best-laid-plans-2/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 02:16:29 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=44716 chickens
UPDATE: ‘today is a new day’ Here is how my evening should have gone. Get kids dressed.  Head out to Audrey’s very last soccer game and picnic for all the players and parents.  (Husband is on a fishing trip in Canada with Colton and Parker, so it is just me Audrey, Eddie and Olivia.) Come... 

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chickens

UPDATE: ‘today is a new day’

Here is how my evening should have gone.

Get kids dressed.  Head out to Audrey’s very last soccer game and picnic for all the players and parents.  (Husband is on a fishing trip in Canada with Colton and Parker, so it is just me Audrey, Eddie and Olivia.)

Come home, put the chickens and guinea’s away, bathe kids, tuck them in and head to bed.

 

Here is what happened instead.

Audrey comes running up to me while I was changing, “MOM!  There are two dogs chasing the guinea’s!”

“What?”

Look out the window and see a dog trying to kill a chicken right before my eyes.

SCREAM OUT IN HORROR.  Terrify the children.

Tell Audrey (who is five mind you) to watch Olivia (who is one) while I try to save the chickens.  Throw some clothes on and run outside just in time to see a dog finishing off a chicken and running to find some more.

Chase dogs.  All over property. ( we have 15 acres) Literally running faster than I have ever run and screaming like a mad woman.  (I am not kidding, I have never been more thankful that our neighbors are not within screaming distance.)

our sweet chickens as babies

There are two dogs.  Chickens scatter.  Eddie runs out behind me and one dog runs over to him and jumps on him at full speed, laying him flat out.  Eddie starts screaming.  Run to him, he is ok, just scared and screaming.

Catch one dog.  Then the other.

Stand there holding dogs not knowing what to do as I don’t have my phone or shoes or my wits about me.  Yell to Eddie, he is ok.  Just got the wind knocked out of him.  (but upset still)

Dogs freaking out jumping trying to get away.  I realize that one is a German Shorthair pointer, a breed we love and used to have two of.  The other is a German Wirehair and he is a gentle giant.

I get the dogs to our front step and see that the dog has a heavy duty long leash on him that has been chewed through.  Seeing this, I know I can’t let the dogs go or they will bolt and I don’t know where my chickens and guinea’s are and I need to see how Eddie is.

Check him and he is ok… realize that I left my five year old in charge of my one year old and that I am insane and clearly cannot think rationally in a crisis.  They are sitting in the middle of the living room playing patty-cake.  Thank God!

I am sobbing.

One dead chicken that I know of.  A scared little boy.

A hysterical, crying mom who has no idea what to do or who to call.

I mouth through the window for Audrey to bring me my phone and she does.  I call the number on the tags and let the owners know I have their dogs.  They are on their way.

I sob some more.  I don’t know who to call.  Literally every adult in my life that I would call is fishing in Canada and has no cell service.

I call my mom.  She doesnt answer.

Finally, I call the police.  “Hello, Anoka County Dispatch.”

“Um, I don’t know what to do.  Not sure if I am supposed to call?  There are two dogs on my property and one jumped on my child and also killed one chicken that I know of and the rest of my birds are gone.”

“Yes, you should definitely call us.  I will send out a deputy right now.”

our sweet chickens as babies

Twenty minutes later they all arrive.  (It’s hard to find our place)  I have been standing there barefoot holding these dogs, thinking about my dead chicken and trying to calm Eddie down.  We have a dog (Dodger, a yorki-poo), but all of a sudden he is afraid of dogs.

Everyone gets out of their cars and I tell the story, thankfully not crying anymore.  The owners are very apologetic.  The police man kind.  (From this point on this the story, I am carrying Olivia.)

We talk about the breed.  Seeing as we used to own shorthairs, I know they are bird dogs.  They are bred to kill pheasant and game and in watching them attack our chickens, I know they were just doing what they were born to do.  Other than that, the dogs were mostly well behaved, although quite full of energy.  I have no issue with the dogs nor do I think they should be punished in any way, but I do think they need to be trained to not chew through leash’s and not to run away.  They had run over  a half mile to get to our property.

At this point we need to try and see how many birds were killed and find the rest.  As we are walking along Eddie tells Officer Nick, “Wingman is dead.”  Understandably confused, I inform him that that all of our chickens are named and are like pets to us.  The dead chicken we found was named Wingman.  My two boys, Colton and Parker, are going to be devastated that their pet chickens are gone.

After walking to property, we find another guinea, alive but badly injured.  Officer Nick offers to put him out of his misery and I begrudgingly agree.  I gather the kids and we run away. (Again, I start crying.  I literally have zero control over my emotions.)  So thankful that Officer Nick was willing to do that as there is no way I would have been able to do what he did.

The officer and dog owners end up finding all the guinea’s but they will not go back into their coop.  I decide to move on, as I feel like I am wasting Officer Nick’s time and that he should leave if there are actual crimes taking place. The owners and I continue to look for the chickens as Officer Nick goes and writes up his report and citation for the owners.

We look.  And look.  And walk through thick brush and heavily wooded areas thick with thorns.  (I have the raw scraped skin to show for it, as I was trying to shield Olivia and took the brunt of it)

We do not find the chickens.

Officer Nick has finished.  He leaves.  The owners leave.

Before he left the kids wanted a picture with him.  He was so kind and gentle with them, so concerned with their feelings and loss.  Such a wonderful and thoughtful man.  Thank you Officer Nick!

It is now 7:30 at night and has been 2 hours since I first saw the dog attack my chicken.

I got the kids in the tub.  I got them to bed.  And now I am tired.

Honestly, just still really upset about it all.  Sad that Audrey had to miss her last game and seeing her soccer friends and get her award.  Sad that my arms are scraped and throbbing.   Sad that Wingman and the guinea are gone.  Sad that our sweet chickens are out scattered (or dead) in the forest.  Sad that Eddie got bumped and maybe bruised in the process.

Sad that I am going through this alone.  So sad and so tired.

Hopefully the chickens will find a safe place to sleep tonight.

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to all my email subscribers… PLEASE READ! http://iambaker.net/to-all-my-email-subscribers-please-read/ http://iambaker.net/to-all-my-email-subscribers-please-read/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:04:16 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=44691 The PERFECT White Cake recipe!!
Hello sweet readers! I just wanted to reach out to you and inform you of a few changes here at i am baker. I have switched to a new email subscription company, and I hope you are loving the emails as much as I am!  Reliable and pretty, I could not be more thrilled with... 

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The PERFECT White Cake recipe!!

Hello sweet readers!

I just wanted to reach out to you and inform you of a few changes here at i am baker.

I have switched to a new email subscription company, and I hope you are loving the emails as much as I am!  Reliable and pretty, I could not be more thrilled with how well things are going.  Please do let me know if you see or experience anything that is not to your liking.

As far as the content in my emails, that is changing dramatically.

I actually have four separate sections of i am baker.  One is of course, i am baker, where I share everything baking.  I share my world famous Rose Cake or Chocolate Chip Cookies or Cupcake Decorating Tutorials or the Perfect White Cake or even how to make a Surprise-Inside Cake!

perfect white cake recipe

 

Then is i am mommy.  I am a mom to five kids ages 9, 7, 5, 3 and 1.  Being a mom is a large part of who I am and how I identify myself.  I laugh (mostly at myself!) and share pictures and parenting trials and frog sex and travel adventures and sometimes even glorious savory recipes!  My Homemade Chocolate Milk is one of the most popular posts on iammommy and a family favorite.  And here are some Homeschooling spaces that I dream of!

Homeschooling Room Ideas

 

I also have i am author, where I share about authoring a blog (with tips, tricks, hints and rants) and authoring a new book, surprise-inside cakes.  I also have a press page where you can read about everyone who has reviewed or talked about surprise-inside cakes!

Last but not least, there is i am servant.  One thing I have never really focused on in my blog is my faith.  I am a believer, as in I believe in the Bible and that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins. Joyfully, I am starting to grow this section of my blog with more posts and guest posters!  (If you are interested in being a contributor, please shoot me an email! manda2177@gmail.com )

I know that we all come from different walks of life and different faiths, and I have always been respectful of how others believe. I believe that every person has value and that we all have something to offer and share, no matter what you believe.

 

Anytime any of these sections of my blog are updated, you will get an email.

It is my goal for you to get one email a day, five days a week, covering everything from the perfect chocolate chip cookie to the trials of motherhood, to the basics of blogging, to the awesome privilege that serving God is.

Let me say that again, ONE EMAIL A DAY, FIVE DAYS A WEEK.  I want you to know that fully so there are no surprises in your inbox!

I want these emails to be a welcome addition to your day and for you to feel comfortable and blessed by them.  If for any reason you do not want to receive these emails, please feel free to unsubscribe!  I will not be upset nor hurt nor hold any grudges.  I want you to be here because YOU want to be here, and for no other reason.

This blog is a community.  We have laughed, cried, celebrated and grieved together.  I hope you will consider continuing to grow with me!

If you want to subscribe to get emails to iambaker, just CLICK HERE and we are all set!

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classic chocolate chip and peanut butter chip cookies http://iambaker.net/classic-chocolate-chip-and-peanut-butter-chip-cookies/ http://iambaker.net/classic-chocolate-chip-and-peanut-butter-chip-cookies/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:34:11 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=44683 Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chip Cookie!
Yesterday, three of my boys left.  My husband took our oldest and second oldest (Colton and Parker, respectively) to Canada fishing.  This is an annual trip for him, but the first ever for Parker.  Colton is already a veteran with one year under his belt!   As I mom I am torn when these events... 

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Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chip Cookie!

Yesterday, three of my boys left.  My husband took our oldest and second oldest (Colton and Parker, respectively) to Canada fishing.  This is an annual trip for him, but the first ever for Parker.  Colton is already a veteran with one year under his belt!

 

As I mom I am torn when these events come up.  As a wife I get it, a hunter and fisherman is who I married.  I know Chad’s passion lies in the great outdoors and that for him, fishing and hunting is soul refreshing.  He is a true hunter/gatherer!  Him leaving for days and weeks at a time to pursue angling dreams is ok with me. (mostly, with five kids it come sometimes get tough alone)  Heck, I love that his passions are so rudimentary in their core.

But as a mom there is something entirely different going on.

Those are my babies, not being babies.

Those are my sweet angels, learning how to forage and survive in remote back country.

My babies, becoming men.

And I just don’t know if my heart can take it.

 

My tradition for the annual trip is that I make my Monster Cookies.  This is one of Chad’s favorite cookies, and the rest of the guys on the trip always seem to enjoy them too.  But this year I left the baking down to the very last minute (bad mom), as in I literally had 3 hours to get the cookies prepared, baking, cooled, and packaged for the trip.

So I asked them what flavors they wanted.  Chocolate Chip!  Peanut butter!

Ok.  I can do that.

Granted, I will be baking through a blurry haze with all my mommy-hood blubbering, but whatever.

classic chocolate chip and peanut butter chip cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated (white) sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (I set my convection oven to 325) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer cream butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  4. Gradually add in flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Remove bowl from mixture and fold in chocolate and peanut butter chips.
  6. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden.
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Recipe slightly adapted from bag of Guittard Chocolate Chips.

 

The kids loved the cookies and I hope every time they eat one they are reminded how much mom loves them.  I have plenty to keep me busy while they are gone, with a 1 year old, a 3 year old and a very precocious 5 year old princess-in-training.

But I sure will miss my babies.

So if someone can send me a large shipment of cheap wine and romantic comedies that would be great.  This is going to be a long week!

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calming my anxious spirit http://iambaker.net/calming-my-anxious-spirit/ http://iambaker.net/calming-my-anxious-spirit/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:27:06 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=44678 "Prayer is the Language" by Leland Francisco
Today’s guest post is brought to you by Gina Horkey.   Gina is a freelance writer, with a background in finance. She’s passionate about Jesus and designing a flexible lifestyle suited to meet the needs of her young family…while honoring God of course! She hopes to inspire others to do the same and shares her... 

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"Prayer is the Language" by Leland Francisco

Today’s guest post is brought to you by Gina Horkey.   Gina is a freelance writer, with a background in finance. She’s passionate about Jesus and designing a flexible lifestyle suited to meet the needs of her young family…while honoring God of course! She hopes to inspire others to do the same and shares her story via her blog. Next year at this time she hopes to be writing and traveling around the U.S. in an R.V. Please stop by her Facebook page and say hello!

 

“For I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.” ~Philippians 4:11

 

Do you struggle with an anxious spirit? If you’re nodding your head yes, you’re not alone. It’s easy to feel like you’re the only one in the whole wide world that can’t get out of your own head or that can’t shut off your brain, but it’s not true. Tons of people struggle with anxiety, me included.

 

This weekend’s church sermon was one that I felt was spoken directly to me. I’ve felt this way before, but never quite so directly. Our church is ending a message series on being “More Than Happy.” The context is that like Paul in the book of Philippians, we as Christ-followers should find joy in all circumstances, rather than being focused on finding temporary happiness.

 

The final message was for those of us specifically battling anxiety. Personally, I been having my most intense battle this past year with this very thing. My ears perked up and I found a pen to take some notes. I wanted to share in case there were others like me that could benefit from hearing this message.

“Prayer is the Language” by Leland Francisco

 

“I want you to know that what’s happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.” ~Philippians 1:12

 

The teaching pastor offered us three ways to overcome anxiety:

1.Don’t bury it! The worst thing you can do is to keep your feelings of anxiety and worry all to yourself. That’s what the devil would prefer of course, but that’s not what God wants for you. God wants for you to share your burden with others and especially with Him. The pastor went on to say that we as a church sometimes project perfection, but the truth is that we are all broken. “It’s okay to not be okay.” Ask someone to fight alongside you. Tell others. Be vulnerable with God and with your Christian friends who will lift you up.

 

“Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all that He has done.” Philippians 4:6

2. Work on it! It’s best to do this BEFORE anxiety inducing events arise, as the last thing you want to do when in these situations is oftentimes what will help you the most. Pray without ceasing. Get in the habit of praying more often. Pray when things go right, as well as when things don’t. Pray when things are status quo. It’s easy to see what we’re lacking; instead let’s work on seeing what we’ve been blessed with and thank God for it instead.

 

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” Matthew 6:25

3. Defeat it! With God’s power you can defeat anxiety, instead of letting anxiety defeat you. You can’t change anything by worrying about it, but if you give it over to Him, God can! You are not helpless; you are powerful and in control not due to your own actions, but because of Jesus. He has employed the ultimate strategy of defeat on our behalf already. Accept it and own it!

 

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” ~Philippians 1:21

 

I’m sure that for me anxiety could easily be a lifelong battle if I let it. As a young woman dealing with the stresses of raising kids and figuring out what I want to be when I grow up, there’s no shortage of things to worry about. Showing up and letting others see me warts and all, is the real challenge. Maybe by me sharing a little of my story I might be able to help someone else.

 

Have you dealt with anxiety? How has it affected your faith?

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cherry limeade cake http://iambaker.net/cherry-limeade-cake/ http://iambaker.net/cherry-limeade-cake/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:52:24 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=44661 Cherry Limeade Cake!
After having recently made these Cherry Limeade Cupcakes, I haven’t stopped thinking about them.  Maybe ‘thinking’ isnt the best world.  More like obsessing.  It is by far one of the best cupcakes I have ever tasted, and now… it’s a cake.   A simple cake adorned with cherries.  It really is simple too; easy to... 

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Cherry Limeade Cake!

After having recently made these Cherry Limeade Cupcakes, I haven’t stopped thinking about them.  Maybe ‘thinking’ isnt the best world.  More like obsessing.  It is by far one of the best cupcakes I have ever tasted, and now… it’s a cake.

 

A simple cake adorned with cherries.  It really is simple too; easy to assemble, easy to bake, easy to decorate and so easy to eat.  As a matter of fact, this is the second Cherry-Limeade Cake I have made in 3 days.

It’s that good.

 

As if the cake itself being awesome wasn’t enough, that frosting.

At a very weak moment in my life I may or may not have piped it directly into my mouth.  Like, 13 times.  Give or take.

 

The combination of the tart lime cake and the sweet cherry buttercream is enough to make you weak in the knees.

So just sit down while you eat it ok?

limeade cake with cherry buttercream

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp lime juice, divided
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • Frosting
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together room temperature butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add in eggs, one at a time and mix until just blended.
  4. Add in vanilla, 2 tablespoons of lime juice and milk and mix for about 30 seconds on low. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Remove from mixer then fold in lime zest with spatula.
  6. Divide batter evenly between two cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-22 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick is removed clean.
  7. Transfer cakes tin to a wire rack.
  8. Use pastry brush to brush remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice over the top of the each cake.
  9. Let cakes cool completely and dry before topping with cherry frosting.
  10. Frosting
  11. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
  12. Add almond flavoring and cherry juice continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more juice if needed for spreading consistency.
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The main difference between the cake and the cupcakes was texture;  I found the cake to be a bit more dense.  I also added an additional tablespoon of lime juice to the cake.

A couple tips for success:

It is important that your ingredients are at room temperature before assembling and baking.

Don’t over mix cake batter!  (Not speaking from experience or anything, ahem.)

Make sure the lime juice is fresh squeezed.

Brush the lime juice onto the cakes while they are still warm.

 

I absolutely insist that you make this cake immediately.  Well, not immediately immediately, but sometime in the near-soon future.  Of just call your bestie and tell them to make it for you.  Besties are good like that.

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Blueberry Lemon Skillet Rolls http://iambaker.net/blueberry-lemon-skillet-rolls/ http://iambaker.net/blueberry-lemon-skillet-rolls/#comments Sun, 20 Jul 2014 13:02:08 +0000 http://iambaker.net/?p=44636 Blueberry & Lemon Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Skillet
I have a brilliant idea.  Drop everything and go make these.  Seriously.  They are simple to do but produce a surprisingly delicious result!   I am hard pressed to get the kids a delightful hot breakfast in the summer, but I think that should change. The nice thing about this uncomplicated recipe is that I... 

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Blueberry & Lemon Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Skillet

I have a brilliant idea.  Drop everything and go make these.  Seriously.  They are simple to do but produce a surprisingly delicious result!

 

I am hard pressed to get the kids a delightful hot breakfast in the summer, but I think that should change.

The nice thing about this uncomplicated recipe is that I can change it up!  Use plain biscuits, use a differnet fruit, make my own glazes… and none of those changes add any more prep time!

 

But for me, this was the winning combination.   Cinnamon roll (hello perfect breakfast food) covered in lemon infused blueberries that playfully burst in a flavor explosion with each bite.  Not to mention the sweet glaze dripping off of every fork full.

The end.

Kidding.

But really.

Blueberry Lemon Skillet Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 can cinnamon rolls with icing (should have 8 rolls)
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Prepare a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with butter.
  2. Open cinnamon rolls and separate dough into 8 rolls; set icing aside. Flatten each roll slightly with your hand and arrange rolls in single layer to fill skillet. (My rolls did not fill the entire space of the skillet so the had them mostly in the center.)
  3. In small bowl, mix blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch and then pour on top of rolls.
  4. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Remove lid from the icing container and microwave for about 10 seconds, until it is pourable.
  6. Right out of the oven, drizzle icing over rolls.
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Recipe just barely adapted from Just a Pinch.

If you want to make additional glaze here is an easy recipe:

1 tablespoon butter melted

1 cup powdered sugar

3-4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Stir together butter, 3 teaspoons lemon juice and powdered sugar in small bowl. Stir in more lemon juice if needed, you want the glaze to be smooth and can be drizzled easily.

 

 

Next on my list of things to do?  Buy another skillet so I can make more of these at once!  With a family of seven, these were gone in 3 minutes flat!

Nest next on my list?  Try these with cinnamon rolls made from scratch!

Next, next next on my list?  Finding that darn list.

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