Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Fruits of Summer

Oh, the fruits of Summer.  I just love it when all the things are in season.  There is nothing like the taste of a sweet red strawberry or a peach that is so juicy, when you take a bite it runs down your chin and arm.  Going to pick beautiful cherries, blueberries, and blackberries (yes, you can get them at the grocer, but what's the fun in that). More reasons to love Summer.
A couple of weeks ago I ventured to the local farmers market to purchase some peaches.  I had found a recipe to make 'Gingered Pickled Peaches'.  The farmers market did not disappoint.  There were bags of pink skinned peaches, bags of dark red cherries with the stems (I don't know why, but I love it when they still have the stems.) There were blackberries, sweet potatoes, watermelons. With all this bounty I couldn't leave with just peaches.  I bought a little of everything.

Returning home with my bags of precious cargo I had a change of heart about the 'Gingered Pickled Peaches'.  I decided on something a little different 'pie', but not just any pie.  I thought these little mini fruit pies would be easy, fun, and great to take on a picnic.  Just put the lid on a carry along.

Mini Fruit Pies in a Mason Jar
(strawberry/blueberry)


*first you will need about 8 (8 oz.) wide-mouth canning jars
   (and yes, you bake the pies right in the jars)
*6 cups of strawberries, cut into quarters
*1 cup of fresh blueberries or (6 oz.) pkge of frozen blueberries
*2/3 cup sugar
*1/2 strawberry preserves
*3 Tablespoons of cornstarch
*1 tsp.  lemon zest
*1 pk. of refrigerator pie dough or make your favorite pie dough
   recipe (I used the refrigerator pie dough for this)
*1 egg
*decorating sugar crystals

makes approximately 8 jars

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Prepare the fruit filling is very easy:  In a medium mixing bowl, gently stir
    together the strawberries, blueberries, sugar, strawberry preserves, 
    cornstarch, and lemon zest.  Gently stir until blended.
3.  Evenly divide the fruit filling into each jar.
4.  If using refrigerator pie dough, unroll 1 package and roll out.  Using
     a 3" round cookie cutter, cut out the amount of circles needed to 
     place a cut-out in each jar.  
5.  Beat the egg in a small bowl and lightly brush over each pie dough
     circle and sprinkle with decorative sugar.
6.  Place the jars on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes or until the
     crusts are a golden brown and the filling is bubbling.  
7.  Remove tray from oven and place the jars on a rack to cool.  *These
     are very hot; please remember to use an oven mitt to pick up jars.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  It is easy, fun, and travels well.



  






Monday, June 8, 2020

What I Discovered This Week

Peace in the Garden


Is it 2021 yet?  It feels like we have lived a whole year of life and it has only been about 5 months going on 6.  And with this living my emotions have been up, down, and just plan sideways.  There is a lot happening in the world and especially here in the U.S.  There is a lot of conflict and confrontation, which causes much anxiety.  For me I just want to make everyone happy; and, yes, I know that is not possible, but I am forever trying.

So this past week rather than be filled with anxiety -  I have read, listened, and learned about all that is happening.  In today’s post I thought I would share my favorite discoveries with you guys.  There are just a few, but for me, they were a great help in the understanding of these past few weeks and extremely meaningful to me.  I hope that you like these wonderful people as much as I do.  Hoping you like what you will see and hear, and that it brings hope in this coming week.

This podcast is just the perfect way to start a day.  A new podcast that was started by 2 friends at the beginning of the virus quarantine, to help people and each other make through yet another day at home.  It is filled with many laughs, truths, and just plain fun.

Tuesday of this past week Annie and Eddie had a guest for the first time.  The founder of ‘Be The Bridge”, LaTasha Morrison  (Be The Bridge @beabridgebuilder We are a racial literacy organization empowering people and culture toward racial healing, equity and reconciliation.)  LaTasha also has a book, ” Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation”.  After listening to their talk I fell in love with LaTasha and I was filled with hope.  Give it a listen and if you love it go back to the beginning where it all started on That Sounds Fun podcast – TSF Quarantine Episode 1 (March 14).

*Just Add Honey Tea Company
I am a tea person and I discovered this great shop while scrolling through Instagram.  It is located in Atlanta.  Follow them on IG,@justaddhoney.  Just the photos alone make you happy and can’t wait to visit.

Today’s Sunday Message delivered by Pastor Andy Stanley
A few weeks before quarantine my husband and I were visiting Browns Bridge Church, an affiliate of North Point Ministries.  Today’s message was good for the soul and leads you towards being a better human.

*Artist: Danielle Coke
I found Danielle Coke by accident.   Danielle combines art and words to create extraordinary illustrations.   You can follow her on IG, @ohhappydani.  And while you are there listen to her  3 part conversation on IG TV about the things: God, Justice, educating yourself, making a difference, and heart change.  She is another person you will love.

            My final recommendation is the message from today spoken by Pastor Andy
            Stanley.  His message today was good for the soul and makes you want to
            become a better human.  Helping us through a time when we are not sure what
            to do or where to start.



Friends, I hope that you will check out these sites-
give them a listen,
a view,
or if you live in Atlanta, a visit

Hope your week is filled with discoveries,


  


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Chocolate Dessert Bowls (How To)


I love making these little chocolate dessert bowls.  You could make them as a surprise or make them with the kids.  They are very easy and are a fun addition to the dinner table.

Chocolate Dessert Bowls

Ingredients:
*10 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  (You can use any brand of chips you like; I use the
   'Enjoy Life' because I am dairy-free)
*4 balloons (12 in. latex)

First you will need to blow up for balloons about 4 to 5 inches in diameter.  (Don't measure, just use your own judgement as to how large or small you would like your bowls.

Next pour the chips into a microwavable bowl.  Microwave the chips in 30 second intervals (stirring in between) til chips are melted.

Next dip the base of each balloon in the melted chocolate and place on a tray lined with foil.  (The chocolate will accumulate at the bottom and form a base for the bowl.)  Place the tray with the balloons in the refrigerator for about an hour for the chocolate to harden.  


After the hour remove them from the refrigerator and deflate the balloons. Very carefully (and I do mean carefully) remove the balloon by slowly peeling it away from the chocolate.

Next fill each bowl with whipped cream and berries, ice cream, or whatever you like.  


Enjoy!

Happy Cooking,



Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine’s Day


That’s all
Happy Valentine’s Day
Give someone a hug today.

Have a great day,
Libby Stephens

Sunday, February 9, 2020

One Day of Magic




It snowed in Georgia yesterday.  I know, I know, big deal right.  Well, here it is a big deal.  Our weather, most times, consists of warm, hot, very hot & humid; to rain, cold, and icy snow (heavy on the ice).


Yesterday’s snow was a perfect snow, powdery and wet.  It was just right for playing outside.  You could sled, build a snow man; or just take a quiet walk all bundled up and listen to the crunch of the snow under your feet.  And the quiet, there was a peaceful quiet when you just stood and listened.  It’s so quiet you could hear God.

Other places get snow like this all the time.  To the point where they pray for the sun to take the powdery stuff away.  But here in Georgia, for just one or two days we get to feel the magic.  For tomorrow it will be gone and all will be normal: warm, or rainy, or hot, or . . . .  Pick your weather report.  Your guess is as good as ours.


(The day after is even more magical than the day before.)

Happy Snow Day 2020
Libby Stephens



Monday, May 27, 2019

Remember Why

Remember Why
Reflecting Pool at Normandy American Cemetery in France
Today is a day to remember why.  Why we are able to fly the American Flag.  Why we can worship where we want; read what we want; have a voice and vote; work and travel freely. 
Normandy Beach Memorial
 American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer in Normandy

USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum

These days we seem to live in divided and angry (we even have that freedom.) But, this day- this Memorial Day let's not argue, fight, and hate.  Let's come together and be Thankful - Thankful for the heroes that have paid the ultimate price and to the heroes that are still giving: active military, firefighters, teachers, doctors, nurses, and the list is endless. 

The National moment to pause, reflect, and remember is 3:00 p.m.
Let's come together
Remember all those
that have sacrificed
their Lives
for our Freedom.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  John 15:13

Happy Memorial Day
Libby Stephens





Friday, May 24, 2019

Start the Weekend with Ceviche

It's Friday and the start of the weekend.  Why not start the evening off with an easy recipe of ceviche, tortilla chips for dipping, and margaritas.

I love ceviche and it's such an easy recipe to prepare.  It does take a little before hand preparation as the recipe reveals.


Ceviche
serves 6

Ingredience:
2 salmon fillets (about 3/4 lb.)
1/2 lb. bay scallops (can use sea scallops, cut into pieces; when I can not find scallops I have used tilapia), 
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 cup of fresh lime juice
1/2 cup of fresh orange juice
4 roma tomatoes, diced
3 jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 Tablespoons olive oil
sea salt to taste
1 ripe, slightly firm avocado, diced
Tortilla chips for dipping

Prepare fish:
1.To prepare the salmon fillet, first remove the skin and, using tweezers remove any time bones you might feel.  Cut the fish in to about 1/2 inch cubes.  Place in a glass bowl.  

2. take the scallops (if using the bay scallops) place them in the bowl with the salmon.  If using sea scallops or tilapia cut into cubes and place in bowl with salmon)

3. Add the diced onion, lime juice, and orange juice to the same bowl.

4. Mix the fish, onion and juices together.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate until the fish is opaque through. This should take about 4 hours.

Before serving:
1. Drain the juices from the bowl of fish and discard.
2. Return fish to the bowl and add the diced tomatoes, chiles, chopped cilantro, and olive oil.
3. Mix well and add salt to taste.
4. Last, add the diced avocado and toss gently.
5. Divide the ceviche in martini glasses.  
6. Serve with tortilla chips.
I hope you try this recipe.  Send me a message and let me know how you like it.
Have a wonderful Weekend,

Libby Stephens






  

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Snacking Plate for Two




I have fallen in love with making these snack plates for my husband and I.  I make larger ones for when we have company. They are so great to have on hand in the frig.  You can just pull the plate out with some dressing or hummus.  It's great when you're hungry and don't know what you want.  The bonus is that you are snacking healthy; leaving behind the junk foods.

This idea is not original to me - I discovered these Ultimate Snack Platters made by Weelicious (this is a link to her blog).  Her platters are amazing.  They are the, in her words, the Ultimate.  You will love her blog and her recipes.  Ever since I found her site I have been hooked.  

I took her wonderful platters and made a much smaller version for two people.  It really works to have these in the frig. ready to go.  It's convenient and keeps you from grabbing chips or candy.   And the fun part is deciding what to put on the plate (or platter) - the ideas are endless - grapes, strawberries, cheeses, meats, carrots, celery, zucchini . .

Try this fun idea and also head on over to Weelicious and check out her fun food ideas. 

Happy Saturday
Libby Stephens

Saturday, March 9, 2019

March is National Craft Month



It is National Craft Month.  And I love to create - to celebrate I thought this rag heart wreath would be a great project to share.  This is an easy project that even the kids will love.

Supplies List:
3 different contrasting colors of cotton fabric (1 yard each)
1 wire frame (mine was a heart shape)
scissors
ruler

1. Spread your material out on the table. Measure and tear strips of fabric 1" x 8".


2. Take a strip of fabric, make a loop over the wire frame pulling the ends tight through the loop making a hitch knot.  Alternating the different fabrics filling the wire frame.

3. When the wire wreath has been filled with the strips of fabric and there are no gaps, it is finished.
  
I am making my next wreath for Spring and it's all about the honey bee.

I hope that you will give this easy project a try.  If you do send me a photo in the comments. 

Happy Crafting,
Libby Stephens

                   




The Fruits of Summer

Oh, the fruits of Summer.  I just love it when all the things are in season.  There is nothing like the taste of a sweet red strawberry or...