Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Baked Brown Rice

I made Baked Brown Rice as a side dish for dinner last night. Normally I'm not much of a brown rice fan. I don't like the way it turns out when I cook it on the stove. This recipe came from Alton Brown's show Good Eats on Food Network. The rice turned out so good! Nice and nutty and chewy, and a little creamy. The best part was how easy it was to make. I just stuck it in the oven and it baked while I made the rest of the dinner. I wasn't able to find short or medium grain rice at our local grocery store (it's what the recipe calls for), but I found the short grain in the bulk section of one of the stores in Yreka. So, here is the recipe.


1 1/2 C brown rice, short or medium grain
2 1/2 C water
1 T unsalted butter
1 tsp kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375*F.

Place the rice into an 8-inch square glass baking dish.

Bring the water, butter, and salt just to a boil in a kettle or covered saucepan. (Keep an eye on it, because it will start to foam up as soon as it starts to boil.) Once the water boils, pour it over the rice, stir to combine, and cover the dish tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove cover and fluff rice with a fork. Serve immediately.

There you go. Simple and delicious. Enjoy!

Fall happenings

My daughter loves to climb trees. We have several aspen trees right outside our house that she is especially fond of. She has even taken to jumping off Jason's Jeep to grab a branch that's too high for her to reach from the ground. But, shhhh! Don't tell him that!

This isn't actually a picture of her climbing. I just wanted to show you the pretty color of our aspen trees.
Zeke has discovered the joy of hats. He doesn't keep them on very long, but he will put them on and laugh. He will even wear Tupperware bowls as hats.
Zeke has discovered climbing on and into things. The other night we were playing dice and
G&P's house and turned around to see Zeke doing this.

Zeke got his first major injury last night. He was pretty tired and wobbly last night, and he fell down while he was walking. I guess his nose hit the floor just right, because he got a bloody nose. I didn't get any pictures until he was in the bath getting cleaned up, so you can just see the blood in his nose. But it was a pretty drippy affair. Eew. He was a trooper, and only actually cried when he first fell.
So, that is what's been going on around here. Well, there's been more, but I've got stuff on my To Do list, so I can't talk much now. I will try to get on later and post an update.

Monday, October 27, 2008

This is Sierra's school picture from this year. Does anybody want one? They included a reorder form this year. So if you want one, let me know. If I get three or more sheets, they are cheaper. So, if you want one, let me know what size.

Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup

***4/3/10 - This was shared in Smockity Frock's "What's in Your Crockpot" carnival. Go on over and find a new recipe or share one of your favorites!***

Hey guys. Sorry for the delay in posting this recipe. It was VERY good, and I will definitely be making it again. So, here is the recipe:


1 small onion, chopped
1 can chili beans
1 can black or kidney beans (I used black)
1 can creamed corn
1 can chicken broth (I used 2 C homemade broth)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 pkg (1.25 oz) taco seasoning
2-3 chicken breasts (I'm going to try thighs next time)
1/4-1/2 C uncooked rice (optional) (I added this to the original recipe because Jason likes soup to be thick, 1/4 C will make it more soup-like, 1/2 C will make it more casserole-like)

Put onion, beans, corn, broth, and tomatoes in crockpot. Stir to combine, then mix in taco seasoning. Place whole (raw) chicken breasts into soup, making sure they are completely covered by the liquid. Cook about 4 hours on low. Take chicken out, cool, and chop. Put it back into the crockpot. Add rice. Stir. Cook until dinner time, at least 2 more hours.

Serve with sour cream, cheese, and/or crushed tortilla chips.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Recipes - Meatloaf and Granola Bars

Have you ever made a meatloaf with Stovetop Stuffing? Me neither. Until the other night. It was so yummy, and so easy! I don't ususally buy stuffing mix, but it wasn't too expensive, and the recipe will actually make two or three smaller meatloaves that would feed our family of five. So, here is the recipe:


2 lbs hamburger meat
1 (6 oz) box chicken flavor Stovetop Stuffing
2 eggs, lighlty beaten
1 C beef broth (or water)
1 small onion, chopped
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

Put first five ingredients in a large bowl and combine thoroughly with hands.

Shape into loaf (2 lbs make a BIG loaf, so you can make two or three smaller loaves, depending on how much your family eats). Put loaf in a baking pan and cover with cream of mushroom soup (I mixed a little of the extra beef broth with the soup to thin it out some).

Bake at 350* to 400* for 30-60 minutes. Internal temperature should be 160*. I started at 350* and then turned it up to 400* in the last 10 minutes, just to get it cooked faster. It will depend on the size of your loaf.

Slice and serve. Leftovers make awesome sandwiches with gravy on top.


I have finally found a good granola bar recipe. They taste really good, you can mix and match your ingredients to get whatever variety you want, and they stay moist and chewy for days. Here is the recipe:


1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/3 C peanut butter
1/4 C corn syrup
1/4 C butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 C quick-cooking oats
1/4 C sunflower kernels
1/4 C raisins
3 T toasted wheat germ
1 T sesame seeds
1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, peanut butter, corn syrup, butter, and vanilla. Stir in oats, sunflower kernels, raisins, wheat germ, and sesame seeds. Fold in chocolate chips.

Press into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350* for 15-20 minutes or until set and edges are browned. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into bars.

These are better if you cover them and let them sit for 24 hours in the pan before cutting.

You can personalize these. Replace the sunflower seeds with pepitas or soy nuts. Replace the raisins with dried cranberries. Leave out the sesame seeds, which I did. Switch the semi-sweet with white chocolate. Be creative! Just be sure to use equivalent measurements.


Well, there are my recipes I'm sharing. Try them. I bet you'll like them. Tomorrow I'm making Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup. I'll let you know how it is.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Francine Rivers

So, Jenni asked me to post a list of books that I have read by an author named Francine Rivers. She is a really great writer, and she writes the kind of books that you don't want to put down. So, here is a list with a short description of each book.

Redeeming Love - Best-selling author Francine Rivers skillfully retells the biblical love story of Gomer and Hosea in a tale set against the exciting backdrop of the California Gold Rush. The heroine, Angel, is a young woman who was sold into prostitution as a child. Michael Hosea is a godly man sent into Angel’s life to draw her into the Savior’s redeeming love. This is the first Francine River's book I read. It is a great story. My copy actually got passed around to all the women in our Young Adult bible study.

Leota's Garden - Award-winning author Francine Rivers opens a world full of vibrant characters with a powerful story of hope. In this stunning novel, Francine explores the new life that love can bring to a decaying garden of broken relationships. Through the lives of 84-year-old Leota, her granddaughter, and a college student with all the answers, Francine leads readers to ponder the value of life and truth in a way that only she can. I just finished this book recently, and it was so good. The characters were so easy to connect with, and it made me laugh and cry.

The Scarlet Thread - This best-selling novel by popular author Francine Rivers is now available in mass paper. When Sierra discovers her young ancestor's handcrafted quilt and reads her journal, she finds that their lives are very similar. By following her ancestor's example, she learns to surrender to God's sovereignty and unconditional love. This book was so good. I actually stayed up until 3:00 AM to finish it. It was such a great story of marital faithfulness, even through the toughest of times.

Atonment Child - Francine Rivers's classic novel that breaks through the many taboos surrounding abortion. In one terrifying moment, Dynah Carey's perfect life is shattered by rape, her future irrevocably altered by an unwanted pregnancy, and her doting family torn apart. Her seemingly rock-solid faith is pushed to the limits as she faces the most momentous choice of her life--to embrace or to end the untimely life within her. This book was so good. It was really well written, and a very sensitive subject was handled with grace and compassion.

And The Shofar Blew - In the Old Testament, God called his people to action with the blast of the shofar, a ram's horn. God still calls his people today. In this relevant and timely contemporary novel, dynamic young preacher Paul Hudson is committed to building his church--but at what cost? As Paul's zeal and ambition build, he loses sight of the One who called him. As Paul and those around him struggle to discern what it truly means to live out their faith, they must ultimately choose between their own will or God's plan. I have this book, but I haven't read it yet. So I can't offer you any opinion on it.

The Last Sin Eater - Set in Appalachia in the 1850s, The Last Sin Eater is the story of a community committed to its myth of a human "sin eater," who absolves the dead of their sins, and the ten-year-old child who shows them the truth of Jesus. I haven't read this one yet, but I do have it on hold at my library.

The Shoe Box - In this beautiful gift book, Francine Rivers tells a poignant Christmas story about a foster child, Timmy, and his very special shoe box. Includes special notes from the author about the story and her family's Christmas traditions and recipes. I haven't read this one either.

The Mark of the Lion Series - This whole series was AMAZING.
A Voice in the Wind - Torn by her love for a handsome aristocrat, a young slave girl clings to her faith in a living God for deliverance from the forces of a decadent Rome. Hadassah embodies the position of Christians everywhere — showing Christ’s light in a dark world.
An Echo in the Darkness - Through the courageous faith of the Christian slave girl Hadassah and the troubled lives of the Roman masters, An Echo in the Darkness continues this moving tale of first-century Rome. Having narrowly escaped death, Hadassah conceals her scars--and identity--with veils. But it is her God-given ability to heal others that brings her to perhaps her greatest trial. God's forgiveness and redemption triumph as this young woman, assumed to be dead, is called to risk her life for the one who would have destroyed her.
As Sure As the Dawn - Enter into the world of ancient Rome. Atretes and Rizpah discover the fires of faith and their own burning devotion to a Lord who shakes their lives and draws them into a sure love.

Sons of Encouragement series - Behind the Men who shaped history are the heroes who forever changed it. Francine Rivers tells the stories of five men who faithfully sought after God in the shadows of God’s chosen leaders. I didn't even know this series existed until I looked at Francine Rivers' website. Now I'm going to have to try to track down these books.

Lineage of Grace series - Five women, whom God chose, destined to play a key role in the lineage of Jesus Christ. Francine Rivers tells these women’s stories in a way you’ve never heard before and lets them speak to us in new and life-changing ways. I haven't read any of these either.

So, there you go. A complete list of Francine Rivers titles. You all really should find some of her books. They are all so good (you notice I wrote that on almost every book?). So, go find the books, and ENJOY!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Follow me on....

So, I signed up for a Twitter account last night. You do know what Twitter is, don't you? In their own words: "Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?" You basically send messages to your Twitter account (either on the web or from your cell phone) to keep people updated on what you are doing with your day. I love the cell phone feature, 'cause you guys know how much I love my cell phone.

I promise I won't update every little thing. Things like "going pee" and "picking my nose" will be left off the Twitter list. I hope you will enjoy seeing what I do throughout the day.

And I think all of you should sign up for Twitter too. I wanna' know what you do all day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesday

This is the first time I have posted for Kitchen Tip Tuesdays (hosted by Tammy's Recipes). So, here's my tip:

I found these condiment bottles at my grocery store for $1.00. I'm sure you could find them cheaper at WalMart or some such store. I liked these because they had a lid, which means no spills.

I filled one with canola oil (CO) and the other with olive oil (OO). This way I have the oils I use most often close at hand on my countertop, which means I don't have to pull the big bottles down from the cupboard everytime I need oil. I just squirt some into the pan when I need it. Another bonus I didn't think about is that these bottles make pouring oil into a measuring spoon (like for baking) SO MUCH EASIER. No more worrying about tipping the big bottle too far and spilling lots of oil everywhere. Just a little squeeze is all you need. It's great.

So there's my Kitchen Tip for Tuesday. Hope it helps you out!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Last Friday

Here are some random pictures I took last Friday, Zeke's birthday.

Here is Zeke in his now-forward-facing carseat. He loves being able to see Jason and I when we are driving, and he gets a huge grin on his face whenever we turn around to look at him. Zeke gets this goofy grin on his face whenever we put a hat on him.
The goofy grin again, this time with Dad's hat on.
Jason and Zeke. I love how excited Zeke gets whenever Daddy comes home. He will start making his little high-pitched "Aahhh!!" sounds and crawl for the door.
What has Zeke so excited?
These do. The last few days we have had this Mama deer and her two babies hanging around our property. I got within about 20 yards of them without them running away, which is pretty cool. Zeke thinks they are pretty cool, too.
The deer in our backyard.
We made the 5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake on Friday night. It was alright. We added chocolate chips, which I don't think we will do again. And I think the kids could definitely share a cake. And we probably should've eaten them sooner, and not let them cool for so long. These weren't absolutely fabulous, but we will give them another try.
So, there are some pictures from last Friday. I hope you enjoyed them.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I can't believe it's been a year already since Zeke was born. My baby boy turns 1 today!
Here he is right after he was born.'s okay to tell yourself that he was funky looking. I'm telling myself the same thing. And here he is yesterday. Now THAT is a damn cute baby!
He really is the best baby. He is happy all the time. He loves to smile and laugh. He will take whatever his sister and brother dish out. He is starting to get really silly, too. This has been a great year with our baby. I'm nervous about what the next year will hold, since the second year is when Tyner's...difficult personality came out. But, Zeke will be what Zeke is meant to be.
So, happy 1st birthday Ezekiel Ray Hudson. You are much loved!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tyner Joe Schmoe

Here are some cute pics of Tyner I took yesterday. I got bored and started playing with my big camera. The boy is always willing to take some pictures.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

It's Official

Well, it's finally official. Zeke is a WALKER. I decided it could be official since he pretty much always walks before he crawls, he can go pretty far distances, and he is getting really good at catching his balance and turning himself around.

This is a short little video I shot of him walking to me. I had the darndest time getting him to leave the TV alone long enough to come to me. He has discovered the buttons on the TV, and even knows how to turn GG & Papa's TV on and off. Oh, and the little thing he does at the end is his Bear Crawl. That's how he crawls most of the time, especially on hard surfaces.

Anyway. I will try to do a 1 YEAR OLD post on FRIDAY!!! Complete with cute pictures and stuff. So, enjoy the video.

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