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Month: January 2012

Ruby made me not do it.

Ruby made me not do it.

You know I’ve been so busy … what with Ruby and all, that I haven’t made my way over to the blog in way TOO long. 

But I am enjoying cooking a little bit. As proof that my world has changed, I totally forgot to go pick up Caroline for volleyball the other day because I was busy chatting with the chef that cooks food in our grocery store.  He sold me all manner of sauces that I probably don’t really need and before I knew it, I got the call saying “MOM, where are you?!?”. 

My bad.

Now the old Darla might have forgotten to pick up carpool but it wasn’t because I was chatting it up about what to put on the fresh salmon I was cooking that night.

The other day Caroline even said that the hallibut I made was “really good” which made my heart leap for joy … but I played it cool … because you know she’s a teenager and we wouldn’t want to act all happy that they liked something we did or they’ll start to hate it (sorry about that run on sentence).  Right, moms of teenagers everywhere?!?

Anywho … we celebrated Brittany’s 13th! birthday.

a time or two …  🙂

 Went to a basketball tournament …
 (they won!)

A volleyball tournament … that Grammy and Grandy got to go to (so fun!) …

and a visit with Grammy, Grandy, Addison and my sister Deah (who apparently I never took a picture of). …

So, I haven’t just been sitting around and mixing it up with Ruby (haha … pun intended!).

Not all the time anyway.

And y’all …. this has nothing to do with anything ….

but, be still my heart. 

Hoping to write more soon!

Meet Ruby.

Meet Ruby.

This is Ruby.

She’s a beauty.

Shiny and red …. I LOVE her!

Ruby was my Christmas gift from Bill.

I know you aren’t supposed to give “domestic” type gifts to your spouse, but I asked for this so it’s o.k.

I first saw it on a pre Christmas trip to Williams Sonoma looking for peppermint bark.  I kind of gasped at her beauty when I saw her.  The employee told me that it is retro/commerative edition with a glass bowl, handle and pour spout on the bowl and shiny, ruby color.

She had me at shiny.

Truth be told, I had always wanted a Kitchen Aid mixer but didn’t feel like my cooking warranted the expense.  I mean my Walmart $14.99 mixer has held up for years and years.

But that was before I knew the joy of using a Kitchen Aid.

Y’ALL, it is an EXPERIENCE to use it.

Talk about the joy of cooking … just use a shiny, red mixer!

I love it so much.

But back to the story … Caroline was with me when I saw it and (in front of the employee) said things like “why would YOU need a mixer?!?” and “you don’t even cook!”.

So we left.

As luck would have it, a few nights later Bill went with me to the grocery store … NEVER happens.  He wanted to stop off at Starbucks before hand.

And well …  Starbucks is just down from Williams Sonoma.  The store was closed but I said … “want to go visit something beautiful?!” and I took him and showed him the mixer in the window.

His reaction was similar to Carolines … “you want a MIXER?”.

I told him it was red and shiny and looked like a bicycle sitting in a window to me.  Truly the thought of spending more than $14.99 seemed wasteful but it WAS shiny.  🙂

Christmas monring, what to my wondering eyes should appear …. but a Kitchen Aid Mixer from Bill so dear.

 So excited!  Honestly, I have always wanted one of these.

So, another resolution, use Ruby at least twice a month.  That’s not going to be a problem though because I find myself trying to think of things to make with it.  Last week it was chocolate chip banana muffins.  The kids liked it so much I went out and bought more bananas that day and made more.


I think the secret to them was that they called for cream in them.  (Speaking of cream … remember the omelettes from yesterday? … well cream was their secret ingredient too.  I had to ask “facebook” if cream meant “heavy whipping” because I had no idea, but they answered yes and it was delightful!).

And speaking of the omelettes, the presentation did improve with each one.  I found better pictures on my phone today.  See for yourself …

So now my kitchen looks like this … a lot.  So fun!

This week’s yummy was cinnamon chocolate chip cookies.  They even had oatmeal in them.  I found them on pinterest.   Look how fancy I am with the parchment paper.  HA!  I don’t know why I had it but now I LOVE it … no clean up!

I’ve put the recipe for the banana bread below.  Pinterest has the cookies although I think the cinnamon m and m’s were a Christmas thing.  At least that is where I found them … in the 75% bin at Target.  So I’ll be making these 3 more times.  🙂

Ruby and I have become fast friends.  Someone asked me if Ruby was going to sit out on the counter or go in the appliance garage.

For now … totally on the counter.

She’s like a work of art.

I’m sure there will be more tales of ruby the red mixer.  Stay tuned!

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Banana Bread
5 Tablespoons butter
½ c sugar
½ c firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ c mashed, very ripe bananas
1 ¾ c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
½ c heavy cream
1/3 c chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter until light and fluffy.
Add sugar and brown sugar; beat well.
Add egg, egg whites, and vanilla; beat until well blended.
Add mashed banana, and beat on high speed for 30 seconds.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with cream, ending with flour mixture.  Add walnuts to batter; mix well.
Bake until browned and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.  About 1 hr 15 mins for bread, about 15-20 mins for muffins.
Operation Omelette

Operation Omelette

A lot of kids ask their mom … “what are we HAVING for dinner tonight”.  (In my house that question is usually followed by some gagging noises).  Last week however, as I was taking Jacob to school he said “Mom where are we GOING tonight for dinner”.
So I decided … some things are going to have to change around here.   We are going to eat at home more.  When I shared this with a friend she told me she knew it was time to start eating at her home more when she asked her daughter what she wanted for dinner and her daughter responded, “A number 1 at Wendy’s with a Sprite”.  Cracked me up.

Now this “resolution” is a little tricky because we have a lot of weeknight sports events.  We have games tonight and tomorrow night and let’s just be honest here … I’m not the mom who plans out her weekly menu on Sunday, buys all the ingredients, and has everything cooking early in the afternoon. 

Most days I can’t even remember to thaw out meat for dinner.

I think though … with a little more effort on the planning side …  I can turn this ship around … at least a little.

My first “effort” was to make omelettes.  Now a lot of people have said to me … “you can’t make an omelette?!?” … and well, the answer was “no”.  In fact, I had never even tried.  Just the flipping over of the omelette was intimidation enough for me to leave that for someone else to make.

But for reasons still not clear to me, I offered to make Bill an omelette during the holidays.  He said “sure” and it was then that I remembered I didn’t know how to make omelettes.

With a little help from pinterest though, I was off and running.

Except then I realized I didn’t have eggs.

So Bill went and bought eggs while I watched videos on how to flip omelettes.

This was my first one.  Ever.

The best part was that when I set it down the kids came over all wanting a bite and then wanting their own omelette …. proof that Operation Omelette was a success.

In the following days I’ve tried a few new things …. and we really have cut down on the number of times we are eating out.  Of course the challenge will be to keep that up.

One night I had no plan and nothing thawed and then remembered you don’t have to thaw spaghetti or Ragu … so it’s not necessarily that things are going gourmet around here … just going more “at home”. 

I’d love to hear any family favorites you have!  I’m up for a challenge!

Like Simeon …

Like Simeon …

I mentioned yesterday that I would be sharing some of my New Years Resolutions.

I have tried many times to read the Bible through in a year and I have never been successful.  And no, that isn’t my resolution for this year either.  I didn’t even mention it when I jotted down a few of my goals on New Years Day.  But then earlier this week I came across a reading plan that I thought I could handle …. reading the New Testament through in a year. 

For those of you who have read the Bible through many times and in many versions, you may be disappointed that this is the best I can do, but I’m excited about it.  It has a chapter a day, 5 days a week.  So if I miss a day, fall behind, etc., there is “catch up” time.

If you are interested in the plan, you can find it by clicking here.  They have one for the Old Testament too if you’d prefer.

ANYWAY … I started my reading yesterday and was reading Luke 2.  In light of the new year, I was so struck by what I read in Luke 2:25.  It said  …. “In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel”.

I LOVE that.

Prayerful Expectancy.

Simeon lived in prayerful expectancy.

Isn’t that so good for the start of a new year?  To live like Simeon … “with prayerful expectancy” of what God is going to do?

Praying God’s will and living in expectation of what he will do in, through and for us.

2012 is going to bring more change for our family.  In 2011 we changed our address and in 2012 Bill will be changing jobs.  We are going to have to live “with prayerful expectancy” because we honestly have no idea what the future holds (other than a mortgage, 4 college tuitions and perhaps 3 weddings – ha!). 

Bill’s company was acquired by another and in the next several months decisions will be made which will change Bill’s career.  He may move to the new company or be asked to look elsewhere.  Either way, there will be change.

But I, like Simeon, want to live in “prayerful expectancy” of what God has planned for Bill and our family.

Today I was watching the live stream from the Passion 2012 Conference (amazing!) and something Louie Giglio said resonated with me regarding all this.  He said … “God turns pages in life.  It’s not like God to put us in a place forever.  He has seasons for us.  Don’t get stuck in the past when God is leading you into the future.  Don’t ever think something is so great that you are too afraid to let go of it and let God give you something else”. 

I think there will be a story to tell about the new chapter in our lives.

I’m prayerfully expectant.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I was going to title this post … “you know resolutions really start on the day the kids go back to school, right?!”, but then I remembered that I didn’t start all my resolutions today so I canned that title.  I did start a few …. and there is always tomorrow.

We just got back from a fun few days in Minnesota.  It wasn’t as cold this year …. which was good, but there also wasn’t any snow until the last day.  It snowed about 4 inches on New Years Eve.  Jacob, Savannah and Bill stayed out until 1:30 in the morning building a fort for a pretty big snowball fight.  Caroline, Brittany and I just stayed inside and watched the ball drop in Times Square on TV.  🙂
We still had a little time after church and before our flight on Sunday for a little more snow time …

We had a good time visiting family AND watching Baylor win the Alamo Bowl … yes, that was very good.
One of our favorites in Minnesota is “Christmas Pie”.  It’s worth getting cold just to have a slice.

We took the traditional … “in front of the tree” picture …

 And played in the Baerg family carpet ball tournament.  I don’t want to say too much about it except that I beat Bill.  HAHA.

We got together one night with Bill’s extended family.  It was actually the night of the Baylor game and we hated to dine and dash but it was a bowl game and the Heisman trophy winner (RG3!) was playing and there are certain things that call for dining and dashing … like that.  I did take a picture of this cinnamon roll type cake.  One of Bill’s cousins has brought it for years.  I think it’s kind of “pintresty”.
So now it’s back to reality.  The kids went back to school today and I started on a few of my resolutions.  I’m normally kind of private about goals and such but I heard today that part of making yourself accountable is telling someone your goals … so in the coming days …. well, the blog is going to hear about some of mine and I’d love to hear some of yours too.
Looking forward to 2012!