Friday, November 20, 2009

BEEsy in the Kitchen: Homemade Noodles

"For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

For every Thanksgiving, my mom makes her homemade noodles. She usually serves them with mashed potatoes in lieu of gravy. These noodles can also be added to your homemade chicken noodle soup. Delicious! :-)

Homemade Noodles

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
3 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs
6 cups chicken broth
Freshly ground pepper (to taste)


1. Add flour and salt to a large bowl. Cut in butter. Stir in eggs. Mix until dough forms into a ball.

2. On a floured surface, roll dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. Flour dough well and roll up into a log. Slice dough to desired noodle thickness. Stretch noodles out onto cookie sheet and allow to dry for 2 hours or overnight.

3. In a large stock pot, add chicken broth. Bring broth to a rapid boil. Add noodles. Turn down heat to a gentle boil and cook noodles for 20 to 25 minutes, or until broth thickens and noodles are done (not gummy). Add pepper to taste. Enjoy! :-)

Serves 4.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

BEEsy in the Kitchen: Winter Fruit Salad

"To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven."

~Johannes A. Gaertner~

I always look forward to this time of the year because pomegranates come into season. A co-worker in my last job made a fruit salad with pomegranates, pineapples, and kiwi for an office potluck several years ago. I love the combination of the different types of winter fruits and make this salad many times each year while pomegranates are in season. I toss in some coconut and nuts for texture and flavor.

This recipe can add a healthy and colorful flair to your holiday meal. Enjoy! :-)

Please stop by tomorrow for a recipe for homemade noodles.

Winter Fruit Salad

1 fresh pineapple
1 large pomegranate
10 kiwis
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


1. Peel and core pineapple. Cut pineapple into small chunks and place in a large bowl.

2. Separate seeds from pomegranate and add seeds to the bowl with pineapple.

3. Remove skin from kiwis. Slice each kiwi and add to bowl.

4. Add shredded coconut and chopped nuts to fruit. Gently toss salad. Refrigerate before serving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

BEEsy in the Kitchen: Sweet Potato Casserole

"Remember God's bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude!"

~Henry Ward Beecher~

Several years ago, my grandma shared with us her recipe for sweet potato casserole. With butter, brown sugar, pecans, and coconut, this dish serves more as a dessert than a side. I love anything with coconut, so this was an instant favorite for me. Bon appetit! :-)

Please stop by tomorrow for a healthy recipe to add to your Thanksgiving meal: a winter fruit salad.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Mixture
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp butternut flavoring (optional)
2 eggs, beaten

1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup pecans
6 TBSP butter, melted
1 cup shredded coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350 degree.

2. In a large bowl, combine ingredients for sweet potato mixture. Blend well. Place in a casserole dish.

3. In a separate bowl, combine ingredients for topping. Blend well. Spread topping over sweet potato mixture in casserole.

4. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

BEEtween the Pages: Fearless by Max Lucado

"Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease. Fear never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry. Fear never saved a marriage or a business. Courage did that. Faith did that. People who refused to consult or cower to their timidities did that. But fear itself? Fear herds us into a prison and slams the door."

~Max Lucado in Fearless~

Max Lucado's new book, Fearless, explores the different types of fears people experience, the reasons behind the fears, and the biblical truths exposing why to not fear. Among the fears covered in this book, Lucado examines the fear of not mattering, of disappointing God, of not protecting our kids, of the worst-case scenario, of violence, and of life's final moments. Lucado highlights the courage of men, women, and children facing dire circumstances but not succumbing to fear's immobilizing grip, the greatest example being Jesus' courage when faced with a violent death on the cross.

I found Lucado's book to be an easy-read with a powerful message. This timely book challenged me to face some of my own fears from a biblical perspective. In each chapter, Lucado recounts stories and Scripture from the Bible to emphasize the need for us to listen "to the voice of God calling through Scripture, 'Fear not!'" With fears abundant in our country and world, this book proposes a welcomed approach to living a fearless life.

I highly recommend this book!

For more information on this book, please go to:

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

BEEsy in the Kitchen: Fiesta Dip

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.

~Erma Bombeck~
Twelve years ago, my husband and I celebrated our first Thanksgiving as a married couple. And as an initiation into domestic life, we hosted our first holiday together. Both my parents and his joined us at our house for the gathering. Quite honestly, I don't remember much about the food prepared that day. I can't recall if we served a turkey or a ham. I'm not sure what type of stuffing or cranberry sauce we made. But I recollect one item on the menu--Fiesta Dip. Days before the holiday, I perused my small collection of cookbooks and discovered this recipe. The recipe looked easy and tasty, so I decided to add it to the menu. All of my family loved it, especially the men.

So for every Thanksgiving and Christmas, my dad, brother, or husband make a special request for this dip. I hope this becomes a favorite for your family, too!

Stop by tomorrow for a favorite sweet potato casserole recipe.

Fiesta Dip

From Betty Crocker's New Choices Cookbook

2 cups chopped tomato (about 2 large tomatoes)
1 cup chopped red onion (about 1 small onion)
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 (8 oz) package of light cream cheese
8 oz. Muenster cheese, cubed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Cook all ingredients except cilantro in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until cheese melts and mixture is creamy. Stir in cilantro. Serve warm or cold with tortilla chips. Makes 4 cups.

Note: The original recipe called for low-fat Muenster cheese, but I usually cannot locate the low-fat version in my grocery stores. So I use the full-fat version. More fat and calories, but oh-so-delicious! :-)

Monday, November 16, 2009

BEEsy in the Kitchen: Grandma's Cranberry Sauce

"Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow."
~Edward Sandford Martin~
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought I'd share some of my family's favorite recipes for this holiday. I'll post a new recipe each day this week.

The first recipe I'd like to share is for my Grandma's cranberry sauce. It's easy and delicious! I hope you enjoy. I'd love to hear your comments. :-)

Stop by tomorrow for one of my family's favorite appetizers: Fiesta Dip.

Grandma's Cranberry Sauce

1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 package of fresh cranberries
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup celery, chopped
3/4 cup apple, chopped
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp orange peel


1. Combine sugar, water, and cranberries in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.

2. Add remaining ingredients. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

BEEyond the Hive: Adventures in Ice Skating

Lesson from Motherhood 101: Take your three-year-old ice skating for his first time. This is the best way to toughen up good ole mom early on in her adventures of mothering.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Last evening I took Hayden to his first ice skating lesson--a parent/tot class at our local rec center. I practically grew up on roller and ice skates and was eager to introduce ice skating to him. But when I signed up for the class, I didn't give much thought to the fact I haven't ice skated in nearly 20 years.

Renting skates from the facility was a comical scene. The teenager at the desk requested our shoe sizes and asked for our shoes. I stared at him for a moment, perplexed at the reasons why he needed our shoes. Isn't the shoe size enough? Does he need a shoe from each of us to make sure the size was correct? I bent down and took a shoe off my foot and then one off of Hayden's and placed them on the counter. The teenager stared at me dumbfounded, and said, "Ma'am, I need both shoes from each of you."

Still, in my mind I was wondering why he needed our shoes, but I bent down once again to retrieve the other shoes. The teenager collected them and returned with two pairs of ice skates for us, but no shoes. It was at that moment a light bulb went on in my head. Ah-ha . . . he needed our shoes as collateral, I thought. I giggled as I walked away from the counter, realizing the teenager probably thought I was ditsy (and I am, sometimes :-)).

After pulling on our ice skates and lacing them up, we joined the instructor and class participants and entered the rink. We lined up, and each parent and child stepped onto the ice. When it was our turn, I almost fell as I stepped on the ice. Did I mention I haven't skated in 20 years? I felt unstable and wobbly as I glided on the ice. I giggled and mumbled under my breath, "Maybe I also need lessons." Fortunately, for the first lesson we barely moved on the ice.

The instructor taught the kids how to march on the ice, get back up on their skates after a fall, and fall without injuring themselves. I must admit, it was tough watching my little guy fall so many times. And the instructor was adamant that parents not help their kids up or allow them to hold onto the parents' hands or legs. After Hayden's first fall, he looked up at me with his big brown eyes and said, "Mommy, the ice is slippery."

As a mom, my natural instinct is to leap forward and help my son up when he falls. It took much restraint on my part not to do this every time he fell on the hard ice. As the lesson progressed, he began to figure out how to balance himself on the ice and pull himself up after a fall. I was amazed at how persistent he was in getting up after each fall.

The lesson was only 30 minutes long, which was plenty of time for preschoolers. At the end of the lesson, Hayden fell hard on the ice and began crying. Then another boy did the same thing. The instructor announced the class was over. I picked up my little guy, wiped away his tears, and told him what a great job he did.

As we walked out to the car, I asked Hayden if he enjoyed ice skating. I wasn't sure how he would respond after his many falls. He nodded and said he liked it, which is good because we have seven more lessons.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

BEEginnings: A New Blog

About two months ago, I entered the blogging world with this blog--BEEsy Mama. I never realized how much I would enjoy blogging. And so I decided to create a second blog--BEEsy Writer.

As you may know, I'm an aspiring writer. Currently I am working on my first novel, a historical fiction that takes place during World War II.

With BEEsy Writer, I hope to chronicle my journey as a writer, with a focus on what I'm learning and the valuable advice I've received along the way. Please visit BEEsy Writer at

Of course, I'm still devoted to this blog and my readers and will periodically post articles about being a BEEsy Mama! :-)