"On her tongue is the law of kindness..."

"On her tongue is the law of kindness..."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Martha Stewart's Basic Pancakes Recipe

Last night Kevin and I made Martha Stewart's Basic Pancakes recipe (listed below) and used a cast iron skillet that I purchased over the weekend at a flea market. Can you say delish?

1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Assorted toppings, such as butter, maple syrup, confectioners' sugar, honey, jams, preserves, sweetened whipped cream, or chocolate syrup

Preheat oven to 200 degrees; have a baking sheet or heatproof platter ready to keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, butter (or oil), and egg. Add dry ingredients to milk mixture; whisk until just moistened (do not overmix; a few small lumps are fine).
Heat a large skillet (nonstick or cast-iron) or griddle over medium. Fold a sheet of paper towel in half, and moisten with oil; carefully rub skillet with oiled paper towel.
For each pancake, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto skillet, using the back of the spoon to spread batter into a round (you should be able to fit 2 to 3 in a large skillet).
Cook until surface of pancakes have some bubbles and a few have burst, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter; cover loosely with aluminum foil, and keep warm in oven. Continue with more oil and remaining batter. (You'll have 12 to 15 pancakes.) Serve warm, with desired toppings.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What All Newlyweds Should Know

This list comes complete with an experience on behalf of Kevin and myself, which garnered each item's placement... I will be updating it as we go. Enjoy.

(1) When moving into your new apartment, get used to the fact that you will be making multiple trips to the grocery store. Most often, these trips will proceed a conversation such as this, "Me: Can you grab the tomato sauce out of the pantry. I'm ready for it. Him: Yeah, sure. There you go. Me: (while staring blankly at the can of tomato sauce) We don't have a can opener."
(2) When using your bakeware for the first time, a "gas" smell that might make you turn off the stove and call every relative on what to do when your stovetop smells like gas may occur. This is most often the result of cooking with a new pot. And besides, your stovetop is electric.
(3) Communicate. You and your new spouse are merging lives and you don't have the same habits. Communication will be key in handling conflicts of habit in terms of money, credit cards, monthly spending/budgeting, cooking vs. eating out, amount of time you each want to spend with extended family, whether you want a tv in the bedroom, whether you want to sit at the dinner table for meals or in front of the tv, importance of sweets and sugar in the house, etc. Often, your actions on these topics are habitual and you don't necessarily take the time to think of why you do what you do - same for your spouse. The most important thing is to communicate your expectations to one another and find a compromise. You can't change what you don't acknowledge.
(4) You will not necessarily love the same grocery stores. Kevin has become FASCINATED with the dollar store, while I have had a love of Target since high school. Compromise: what the dollar store has, we will buy. What the dollar store doesn't have, Target will and we shall run wild and free through the aisles.
(5) Thank You Notes are Required. Yes, there is alot to do during your engagement, wedding planning, shower attending, wedding, honeymoon, and getting settled in - BUT that is still NO excuse to neglect thank you cards for gifts, those who helped you during your wedding, your wedding party, and parents. Thank you cards are a necessity because they do take time - those who receive a thank you note in the mail know that you had things to do, but that you chose to take time to hand write a note to thank them. When time passes, people won't necessarily always remember that you wrote them a thank you note, but they sure will if you fail to send one.
(6) Hold the Opinions, Please. There is no doubt that the two of you will be inundated with opinions - everything from what insurance company you should choose to what your monthly payments on all of your bills should be. It is wonderful to have a great support system around you and to use their wisdom, but, ultimately YOU BOTH have to live with the decisions that are made, not anyone offering their opinion. So, listen to those who have gone before you and use their information, and your own investigating, to make the best decision for the two of you. You are the only two who know what you feel comfortable paying each month and what is of the most importance to the two of you.
(7) Your foundation is crucial. As newlyweds you will be making quite a few decisions, refiguring your lives to best coincide with how your wish to live. The most important aspect of this transition is the base for your decisions - what is your foundation and the purpose behind all of the decisions you make? write it down, revisit it often, and always remind yourself when any heavy decisions come up in your life - how you do anything is how you do everything, so make sure the consistency of your decisions does not waiver because you are focusing on the circumstances that surround you.
(8) watch your words. your words hold power and life, and what you choose to speak over your marriage, your spouse, your relationships, your home, your health, your finances, is seed for your future. there is never an excuse or a reason to speak ill words over your spouse or your relationship - this is your lifeline, you are joined as one, and you will see the fruit of the words that you speak. choose wisely and intentionally.

When You Lose Your Thankfulness...

A couple of months ago Scott and Vanessa Houston, elders at GUTS Church, spoke during service about what they had learned during their marriage and what decisions they had made to place their marriage on a solid foundation. One thing that Vanessa said that stood out so clearly to me was, "When you lose your thankfulness you become self-centered." This provided huge revelation to me, especially as I am entering into a new phase of my life - marriage.
Kevin and I have been extremely blessed throughout our lives, and our hearts swell as we think of all of our family and friends who have supported us, blessed us, and given to our new life together. It is so easy in a marriage, and even in life, to think of what needs to change in another person, what you think can be better, focus on what you don't have or what you think you need, but it is in those moments that if you truly sit back and see all the blessings that have been poured out over your life it allows you to focus your attention on how thankful you are. God daily loads us with benefits, but oftentimes we are too busy or too distracted to notice them.
In mine and Kevin's lives, we are so thankful for all that's been given to us and know that our lives showcase the promise of God being fulfilled on the earth. It's so amazing to know that we, as Christians, live the greatest life imagineable!