Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Confetti Cake

Happy New Year's Eve Blog Friends!

Since my family will be ringing in 2014 at home, I decided that I needed to put out a few decorations to make our living room a bit more festive.  

This morning I got onto the Minute to Win it website and got some ideas for simple games that we could play for the first ever New Year's Eve David family Olympic competition.

Thirteen games prepared AND an official score board, prepped and ready to go.

I also made a confetti cake for our New Year's Eve party.  For those of you who are wondering what in the world a confetti cake is - it's an angel food cake with sprinkles stirred into the batter.  I'm not really sure how this tradition got started but this has been our standard New Year's Eve dessert for a long time.

My angel food cake is considerably smaller than the typical angel food cake because it uses less egg whites.  (8 egg whites verses the standard 12.)  The smaller cake is perfect for our family of 4. 

Confetti Cake
1 cup cake flour                                1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/4 cups sugar                                2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt                               1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/4 cups egg whites (about 8)        1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine flour, 1 c. sugar and salt. 

Beat egg whites on medium until foamy.  Add cream of tartar. Increase speed to high and beat until soft peaks.  Beat in 1/4 c. sugar and beat until stiff peaks. 

Stir in lemon juice, zest and vanilla. 


Sift in 1/4 of flour and fold in.  Repeat 3 more times. 

Fold in 1/4 cup sprinkles.

Scoop into angel food cake pan. 

Bake 40 minutes at 350.

Once the cake is cooled, feel free to frost it any way that you like.  I chose a whipped cream frosting with sprinkles and a few sparkler candles.


Tonight, we will be cutting our cake and reading our New Year's resolutions from 2013. 

I hope that you have a safe and happy New Year's Eve.  See you in 2014!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Chicken and Cashew Stir Fry

2014 is quickly approaching.  The start a brand new year.  An opportunity to look ahead at what the new year will bring.

As for me, I'm learning to embrace all of the changes that will happen in 2014.
By the grace of God, Ryan will finish up a successful (and injury free) wrestling season.  He'll be making his final decisions about college and majors and dorms.  He will play his final year on the high school baseball team.  He'll walk across the stage to get his diploma.  And, even though I can't say that I'm happy about the thought of packing him up and moving him to college, I am proud of what he has accomplished to get to this point.  I'm not really sure if sending a child off to college is something that you can adequately prepare yourself for but I'm trusting God to walk me through.  It will be an exciting year for sure.

So what are you looking forward to in 2014?

If you will be ringing in 2014 at home, why not make a healthy, yummy dinner to start the new year off on the right foot? I like this recipe for cashew and chicken stir fry from eipcurious.com because it's tasty and healthy and really easy to put together. 

Chicken and Cashew Stir Fry


  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted roasted whole cashews




Chop scallions, separating white and green parts. Pat chicken dry, then cut into 3/4-inch pieces and toss with salt and pepper. 

Heat a wok or 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over moderately high heat until a drop of water evaporates immediately. Add oil, swirling to coat, then stir-fry chicken until golden in places and just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. 

Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add bell pepper, garlic, ginger, red-pepper flakes, and scallion whites to wok and stir-fry until peppers are just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. 


Stir together broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sugar, then stir into vegetables in wok. 

Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. 

Stir in cashews, scallion greens, and chicken along with any juices accumulated on plate. 

You can serve this stir fry over white or brown rice.  To make it even healthier, you could serve it with lettuce leaves and make it into wraps - PF Chang style. 

The holidays are a time of indulgence and the start of the new year is a great time to get back on the healthy eating track.  I hope that this is the recipe that will inspire you to eat healthier in 2014.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Blueberry Pie

We can learn a lot about life from making a pie.  (Surprised?)  Allow me to explain.
These are the top 5 life lessons that we can learn from pie making:

1.  Life is messy - Pie bakers make messes.  Inevitably, we end up with flour all over the counter, the floor and more than likely - ourselves.
2.  Beauty isn't everything - Sometimes the most perfect looking crust can reveal a flavorless pie but a less than beautiful exterior isn't always a good indication of the flavor inside.  Don't worry if your pie crust doesn't come out perfectly every time.
3.  Home is always best - You can get pie in almost any bakery these days but nothing compares to the taste of a pie that is made by your own mother.  There's just something about sitting around the kitchen table eating a slice of my mom's pie that makes it taste way better than bakery pie.
4.  Everything in moderation - Even though I would like to believe that packing that much fruit into a dessert is healthy, the reality is that the fat and sugar content in a pie far outweigh the healthy fruit components.  It is still okay to enjoy a slice of pie every now and then - just not the whole pie.  (That was for me - not you.)
5.  Math is important - Measuring, weighing and calculating ingredients accurately is crucial to the success of a pie.  And let's face it, it's critical you know your fractions so that the pie can be divided evenly. 

SO lets get right to the pie making process...

Blueberry Pie
1 recipe for a double pie crust
1 quart blueberries (I used 1 1/2 quarts)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 Tablespoons butter

Toss blueberries with lemon juice.

Combine flour, sugar and spices.  Mix with blueberries. 

Lay crust in the bottom of a pie dish.

Fill crust with blueberry mixture.  Dot with butter.

Cover the top with lattice strips made from crust dough.

Brush crust with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 1 hour at 425.

This pie was given away so I don't have any pictures of a slice but I can tell you that it smelled divine. 

Time to get yourself into the kitchen to start baking.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili

Have you discovered the quinoa?  No????  If not, allow me to try and convince you that you need to be eating quinoa. 

These are the quinoa facts:
*1 cup of cooked quinoa contains 8.14 grams of protien.
*Quinoa is a cholesteral-free and low-fat food.
*Eating 1 cup of quinoa will provide you with 15% of your daily iron and 21% of your recommended daily fiber.
*There are 118mg of magnesium in each cup of quinoa. (30% of recommended daily intake.)
*Quinoa contains no wheat or gluten.
*Quinoa is stocked with vitamins, minerals and all 8 essential nutrients.
*It takes less than 15 minutes to prepare quinoa.
*Quinoa is a low glycemic food.
*1 cup of quinoa contains 28% of your daily value of phosphorous, 18% copper and almost 60% manganese.  (I really didn't even know I was supposed to be eating manganese.)

The point of all that is --- we should be eating quinoa.  It's healthy, it's easy to prepare and it's tasty.  Ok, I'll be perfectly honest - quinoa is a little bland to eat all by itself but it's easy to spice it up and add some flavor. 

I first saw this recipe for Quinoa Chili on Pinterest by queenbeecoupons.com.  It was called Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili.  It looked delicious but I was looking for a vegetarian chili so I modified her recipe slightly.  It was a perfect meal for a cold night.  I love easy recipes that I can throw together in the crock pot and simmer all day.
    Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili


    1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
    One (1) 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (you could use crushed)
    One (1) 14 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)
    Two (2) 16 oz cans of black beans, rinsed, drained
    One (1) 15 oz can of corn, drained
    3 cups vegetable stock
    1 tsp garlic powder
    2 tsp cumin
    1 tsp crushed red pepper
    2 tsp chili powder

    Combine all ingredients in a crock pot.  Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.


    You can adjust the spices as you like.  This one was perfect for me but you could certainly boost the heat with a little more jalapeno or a can of green chilies or more red pepper flakes. 

    This is a perfect curl up in front of the fire, kind of food.  Enjoy.