Simple Joy Saturday #12

Simple Joy Saturday #12

Every Saturday I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week.  These posts may grow or evolve as time passes.  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!

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November 28-24

1. My parents celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary last weekend.  I am very thankful that these self-described “partners in excellence” are my Mom and Dad.

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This photo was taken two years ago in Connecticut.

2. We repainted Brother’s old room.

Brother moved to Connecticut two years ago, but we hadn’t done much to his childhood bedroom since then.  Yesterday, Mom and I spent hours moving the furniture, cleaning, and painting.  We feel accomplished, and the room looks great.

3. Coffee flavored Greek yogurt.

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I am obsessed with this stuff.  It is a seasonal flavor at Aldi, so I basically buy as many containers as will fit in my fridge at one time.  You seriously need to get to Aldi ASAP. Why are you still reading?  GO!!

Now I want to know…what seasonal foods do you stockpile?

Sunday Snapshots: November 22-28

Sunday Snapshots: November 22-28

november photo challenge

I must admit that my photography took a back seat this week as I traveled with family.  Sunday was spent caravan-ing to Connecticut.   We unpacked all of Brother’s belongings on Monday and shopped for everything he forgot on Tuesday.  Wednesday was our last “family day,” and we visited a few lighthouses in the Bridgeport area.  Despite pretty horrible traffic, we made it home Thursday night. We celebrated Thanksgiving with my grandparents on Friday, and I spent Saturday preparing to move back into the dorms.

All that is the preface to this fact:  I managed to take a picture every day, but they weren’t necessarily my best shots.

22 – Just for Fun

That's the bridge over the Delaware River that you see in the background.
That’s the bridge over the Delaware River that you see in the background.

23 – Reflection

23 - Reflection

24 – Look Down

24 - Look Down

25 – Home

25 - Home

It may not be my home, but it still counts 🙂

26 – Give Thanks

26 - Give Thanks

27 – Chaos or Order

27 - Order
Everything was perfectly in order for Thanksgiving supper on Friday night.

28 – History

28 - History

Top Ten Tuesday: The Best Brother

Top Ten Tuesday: The Best Brother

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This week, my family made the long drive from North Carolina to Connecticut.  As much as I love road trips, this one was not near as merry as my summer rides.  The company was just as good, and the view through the window was just as interesting.  However, the purpose for our journey was not as leisurely.  My favorite (and only) brother is moving over 600 miles away.

Obviously, this move warrants a Top Ten Tuesday post completely devoted to my brother.  Originally, I was going to post 10 hysterical memories that we have shared, but the post became quite lengthy.  Instead, I will attempt to quickly state 10 reasons that my brother is absolutely the best brother in the world.

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Ten Reasons I am Thankful for My Brother

  1. He always makes me laugh.
  2. He desires to serve the Lord.
  3. He let me follow him to college.
  4. He encourages me and gives me advice.
  5. He drove me around or let me borrow his car for years until I bought my own car.
  6. He understands my corny jokes.
  7. He is handsome.
  8. He loves to travel (and sometimes he lets me tag along).
  9. He let me call him “Chin Chin” until I learned his real name.
  10. He is loud (and can compensate for my quietness).

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Sunday Snapshots: November 15-21

Sunday Snapshots: November 15-21

november photo challenge

November 15 – In Your Bag

Since I don't carry a purse most days, my backpack is my only bag.
Since I don’t carry a purse most days, my backpack is my only bag.

November 16 – Begins with “K”

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Keys

November 17 – Something You Cannot Live Without

17 - Can't Live Without
My family means the world to me.

November 18 – Horizontal

I thought it might be whimsical for my "horizontal" photo to be vertical :)
I thought it might be whimsical for my “horizontal” photo to be vertical 🙂

November 19 – Large

19 - Large

November 20 – Shine

20 - Shine

November 21 – Nature

21 - Nature

2 for 2 Potluck Cake

2 for 2 Potluck Cake

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I once had an infamous great-aunt.  She was known in our church for a number of reasons, most of which are irrelevant to this story.  Nonetheless, her Coca-cola Cake is worth mentioning.  She had mastered the art of making a gooey, fudge-y chocolate cake that no one could mimic, and everyone looked forward to church potlucks so that they could get a taste of that dark goodness.

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I had completely forgotten about that childhood treat until I began preparing for today’s Labor Day potluck at church.  I love cooking for people, and I could easily spend a fortune preparing decadent desserts for those around me.  However, I set myself a budget of only $2 for today.  Call me frugal.  Call me cheap.  (I am both).  But, I believed that I could make a sweet dessert for less than $2.  And I did it.

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This 2-ingredient, $2 soda cake is not nearly as difficult as Aunt Ann’s Coca-cola cake.  Yet, it is airy, light, and sweet–perfect for an end-of summer dessert.  Enjoy experimenting with different cake + soda combinations.

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Potluck Pop Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 box cake mix (I used lemon) ($1.24)
  • 1 12-ounce can soda (I used Ginger Ale) ($.65)

Directions

  • Combine both ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  • Bake as directed on box.
  • Eat and enjoy!

Total: $1.89 for 24 servings ($.08 per serving)

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What foods are your relatives known for?

What cake + soda combinations would you want to try?

Dutch Cheese Biscuits

Dutch Cheese Biscuits

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My maternal grandparents live in a quaint, western-Michigan town known as Holland.

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When I say it is quaint, I mean that it is the best town I have ever visited.

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I would almost be convinced to move there if it did not snow.

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Maybe I will make it my summer home.

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When I try to associate foods with Holland, I am always brought back to Mickey Mouse pancakes, lil’ smokies, macaroni-and-cheese, and lime sherbet–the delicious foods that my grandma served when I visited her house every summer.

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Unlike me, most people associate the Dutch with cheese and apples.

To be honest, I did not expect this recipe to taste good.  I was inspired by this recipe, but I made a number of adjustments based on what I had.  For example:

  • I reduced the measurements to snack-size (I didn’t want thirty cookies laying around if i didn’t like them).
  • I used Swiss cheese instead of Gouda.
  • Whole wheat pastry flour was substituted in for white flour.
  • I added a teaspoon of water to bind the dough together.

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I greatly feared that all my adjusting would ruin the recipe.  In fact, I almost chose to forgo any picture taking because I thought it would be a waste of time.

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I was wrong.

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Just take my word for it; you don’t want to miss out on these mild, cheesy, crispy biscuits.

Dutch Cheese Biscuits

*This recipe serves one.  For the original recipe, click here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. cheese (Gouda is recommended, but I used Swiss)
  • 2 and 1/4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • water (as needed)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Combine all ingredients (besides water) in a food processor and grind until a crumbly dough forms.  Add water if necessary.
  • Cover and chill for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from refrigerator and roll dough onto a floured surface.  Continue flattening and spreading dough until it is about  1/8 inch thick.
  • Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes and transfer to a cookie sheet.
  • Bake approximately 10 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.
  • Eat and enjoy!

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