Monday, August 27, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes! {Recipe}

Saturday morning around our house is pancake breakfast morning!

Lately I've been craving Cinnamon Rolls, thanks to this lady... whom I've been stalking catching up on! Then last week, while perusing the Internet for shared nursery ideas, I found a recipe for Cinnamon Roll Pancakes by Recipe Girl!

I couldn't resist!!!  Here's my try at Cinnamon Roll Pancakes {with a couple of tweaks, because of course I can't follow a recipe exactly!}

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
original recipe by Recipe Girl {my tweaks in red}
{This recipe makes 8 4" pancakes...I quadrupled the recipe for my family!}


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, just melted (not boiling) I melted mine in the microwave
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon - Made a math error while cooking, and added 4 Tablespoons cinnamon instead of 2...still turned out yummy!!!

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick)  butter
2-ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

{Used my standard pancake recipe}
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder -I use 3 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk - I use 3/4 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
Splash of Vanilla


Prepare the cinnamon filling: In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a quart-sized heavy zip baggie and set it aside {Throw in the refrigerator so it is toothpaste texture when it is time to add to pancakes!}

Prepare the glaze: In a small pan, heat the butter over low heat until melted. Turn off the heat and whisk in the cream cheese until it is almost smooth. Sift the powdered sugar into the pan, stir and add in vanilla extract. Set the pan aside while you make the pancakes.

Prepare the pancake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in the milk, egg and oil, (and vanilla) just until the batter is moistened (a few small lumps are fine).

Cook the pancakes: Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-heat and spray with nonstick spray. {Mama Cook uses a nonstick griddle...therefore making 8 pancakes at a time!}  Use an ice cream scoop (or 1/3 cup measuring cup) to add the batter to the pan.  Reduce the heat to medium low.{Honestly, I just put my griddle at 350 and started cooking as normal.}  Snip the corner of your baggie of cinnamon filling and squeeze the filling into the open corner. When your pancake begins to form bubbles, add the filling. Starting at the center of the pancake, squeeze the filling on top of the pancake batter in a swirl (just as you see in a regular cinnamon roll). Cook the pancake 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it's golden brown on the bottom. Slide a thin, wide metal spatula underneath the pancake and gently but quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. When you flip the pancake onto a plate, you will see that the cinnamon filling has created a crater-swirl of cinnamon. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, and repeat with the remaining pancake batter and cinnamon filling. Re-warm the glaze briefly, if needed. Serve pancakes topped with a drizzle of glaze.

Huge Warning! 

DO NOT be tempted to taste the caramelized goodness that the cinnamon swirl filling makes!!!!  You WILL burn yourself!!!  {Not that I did that or anything!}

Oh, and seriously, I stacked four pancakes up for pictures, but two will leave you feeling more full than after Thanksgiving Dinner...I promise!!!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!
{Linking to Make it Yourself Monday!}



Monday, August 20, 2012

Temperatures are Rising...{some follow up questions}

Wow!  What a response I received to my last post!  I am often reluctant to write about controversial topics, but God never releases me from His stirrings, so I post, pray and duck!

I am fully aware, from viewing other courageous bloggers, that the topic of modesty often receives a huge backlash of comments...often downright mean ones!  Thankfully, I have not received anything but honest questions and great encouraging discussion!

With that said, I would like to put some questions out to my readers.  I received two private questions regarding the topic of modesty and I'd love to hear some varied input! {Post your answers in the comments below!}

First question: What if my unbelieving {read not-yet-Christian} husband prefers I dress in a more provocative manner?  Not something I am truly comfortable with, but I do desire to please him...I'm torn! {I would add here, what if your husband is a believer and simply has different, less modest standards than you do?}

Second question: How about us women that are a bit more "endowed" than others?  It seems that finding something fashionable, but still appropriate can be a bigger challenge for us than for our "smaller" counterparts.  Any suggestions?

Great challenging questions!  I would truly love to read your answers!  Here are my responses, but I'm sure there are others out there who have great insight!

Question #1:

Ultimately, if you are a believer in Christ, then you answer to Him first and foremost!  You will stand before His throne and, as His follower, you cannot use your husband as your excuse.  Simply because you are asking the question, tells me that your heart is likely in the right place. {But you are not answering to me!}  If your husband is willing, take him shopping with you.  Have the discussion beforehand about how you are willing to dress a certain way for him in private, but when you are in public, you need to dress differently.  Let him know that you would love his input and ask him to help you pick clothing that you find appropriate but he still finds attractive. 

If he is open, you could even discuss with him your desire to only have his eyes...perhaps he simply hasn't considered that other men would be gazing upon what is only meant for him!

Question #2:

Being that this is an area that I can't empathize with, my only suggestions would be camisoles.  I do know that this option doesn't work for the camisoles can tend to sag down after a bit.  Perhaps simply choosing a "crew style" neckline and then accessorizing with a beautiful necklace would work!  Hopefully my readers have some more input!!!

Thanks in advance to everyone who posts some suggestions!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Temperatures are Rising...{A Challenge!}

Dear Inappropriately Dressed {Christian} Woman,

You know who you are!  Your pants are just a little too tight, your shirt just a little too low cut, your heels just a little too high, your skirt reveals just a little too much, your clothing clings in all the right places…and you are being noticed!  You are flattered, thrilled, boosted in your confidence as a woman! Men are distracted and women are either appalled or jealous or both!  Your outward beauty, which one day will fade, is actually your shortcoming!  While you may be turning heads…you are not turning hearts toward The One who, in the end, will be the final judge of your motives!

Dear Sisters in Christ,

I have desired to be this woman!  I have desired to turn heads!  I have desired to hold onto worldly beauty and not cultivated the inner gentle quiet spirit that is true beauty!  My motives have been born of hurt, insecurity, ignorance, peer pressure.  I am no longer this woman!  I am free of the grips of this sin!  I ask that any of you that know me personally would point out an unintentional fashion indiscretion with the promise it will be received with grace and gratitude!

Dear Mother,

Teach your children well!  Teach your boys to avert their eyes, thereby protecting their hearts!  Train your girls that modesty is beautiful and that true beauty points others to Christ! I believe we would do well to point out the motivations of the heart when we do experience an unavoidable “eye full”! Begin when they are young…remembering it’s never too late to start!

Dear Pastor,

Please address this issue!  Women need to hear it!  Do not fear being unpopular or old fashioned! Women and girls need to know that God’s standards are not the world’s standards. Men and boys need tools and understanding to protect themselves from falling to temptation. You are responsible to impart this message to them! Be bold!

I so often hear, “only in America do we sexualize ________”!  Well, welcome to America!  If, in our culture, what you are wearing or not wearing is causing another person to stumble, then you are responsible for your actions!  Of course, I recognize that in certain areas of our country standards are different…but remember these standards are still based on the world and not the fruit of righteousness.  If you are living in another part of the world...the same applies!

The other argument is, “I am not responsible if a man sins when he looks at me.”  And while it may be true that you could be covered from head to toe and some men will still look upon you inappropriately, if you are using this phrase as an excuse to dress however you like, then you are guilty!  You will one day stand before the throne of the living God and be held accountable for the intentions of your heart. {1 Samuel 16:7} 

And if you're still reading, you may even be saying, "Well what is appropriate?"  I think some of the answer to this question is obvious!  But, there are lines that are discretionary, and that is where the heart comes in...your true, honest, heart!  If your intent is to draw eyes toward your appearance and not toward your reflection of Christ then you probably should go change!

My challenge to women is for each of us to welcome at least one other woman to hold us accountable!  Choose a friend, sister, mother, or older woman in the church and encourage them to analyze your attire every time they see you and give them permission to “tell you like it is!”  Pick someone you know will be honest…brutally honest!  Then receive their opinion with grace!

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Prayer...

OK, I would normally save a post like this for a day other than Friday, but I just can't seem to stop thinking about it!

Wednesday, while at our church's Summer Concert Series, I was standing and talking with a good friend of mine.  The subject of The Sinner's Prayer came up, and it got me thinking...

If you are part of the American Christian Community, you have likely heard it!  It goes something like this:

"Heavenly Father, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe in you and that your word is true. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that he died on the cross so that I may now have forgiveness for my sins and eternal life. I know that without you in my heart my life is meaningless.
I believe in my heart that you, Lord God, raised Him from the dead. Please Jesus forgive me, for every sin I have ever committed or done in my heart, please Lord Jesus forgive me and come into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior today. I need you to be my Father and my friend.
I give you my life and ask you to take full control from this moment on; I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ."

Many of you have probably said this very prayer, or one like it, at the time of your conversion...and it pretty much sums up Christian Salvation.  But, is it necessary? Does saying this prayer guarantee your entrance into Heaven? What if you didn't say this prayer...are you living a false Christian life?

I think for most people, the answer is obvious.  There is no rote prayer that needs to be said in order to turn your life over to Christ and begin following His Word, teaching and plan for your life. While my friend and I both agree that this prayer is a good tool, but not necessary for salvation, it occurred to me that there are probably people out there that believe it is a requirement.  And, unfortunately, there are some who believe, "Well, I (or my child, loved one, etc.) said 'The Prayer', so I'm (they're) saved" and they go on living for themselves.

The Christian walk is not about saying a specific prayer, ritualistic observances, or a list of rules.  It's not about having it all together, scripture memorization, or any other outward appearance!

It is about our hearts! 

It is about recognizing that indeed we are sinners...even if we are "good" people in this world...all of us fall short of the Glory of God. {Romans 3:23}

It is about recognizing that we NEED a savior and that savior is Jesus Christ! {Ephesians 2: 1-3} 

It is about turning our lives from our sin and walking daily with Him...therefore bearing fruit as we grow in our knowledge of who He is! {Galatians 2:20, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and many more supporting verses!}

Oh...and like I've blogged before...once you do all of these things, life doesn't suddenly get better!  Don't be fooled!  Christ Himself said that we would be persecuted because of Him. But, I've already ranted about can read about it here!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Under Construction {Part I}...

A while ago, I posted that we were just beginning a long dreamed of kitchen remodel.  Of course I promised pictures of the process...which some of you really love!  For the rest of you, go ahead and skip this post...I'll do a final reveal when it's all finished!
These are the "before" pictures.  The goal is to remove the wall between the dining room and kitchen and then refinish the cabinets and counters.

Here is the kitchen side with the first cabinet removed!

My fabulous hubby is showing just how easy it is to take down "kit" cabinets.

Oh!  Our first snafu...

See how there is a ledge that the previous owners made in order to get the cabinets to align with the lower cabinets?  This created a 1" gap between the (unfinished) windowsill and the counters on the lower level.  Trust me...we found some interesting stuff that had fallen back there over the years! {Don't worry...we didn't let the kiddos eat the, who-knows-how-old-Salt Water Taffy!}

Here's a sneak peak at the view without the wall...

As with any always takes longer than you planned! 

 It reminded me of our refinement process with the Lord...we want to be done today... but each step brings us one step closer to Him!  Being "under construction" can be grueling and takes time and patience...but the end result will be so worth it!

Thanks for stopping by! Be Refreshed!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Macho Nachos {Recipe}

As you can guess, I'm always looking for a recipe to feed a crowd!  Here is one of my family's all time, we always have leftovers to enjoy the next day!!!

Macho Nachos
{Original recipe from The Family Homestead}

Here is my altered version:

3 Cups Dry Pinto Beans
12 Cups Water
1lb. Ground Sausage
1 1/2 Cups Salsa
2 Cups Sour Cream
1/4 Cup Taco Seasoning
1 1/2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Sliced Black Olives (Optional)
Sliced Tomatoes

2-3 Hours before your beans and water in a large pot.  (The original recipe calls for salt, but I have found that salt causes dried beans to not soften.) Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2.5 hours until beans are soft. {In a can start your beans as little as an hour ahead, and keep them boiling - watch your water level!  They should be done in time with this method.}  Set aside.

Just before dinner, fry ground sausage, drain grease.  Add salsa and mix.  With a slotted spoon add beans to the sausage (keeping a bit of the liquid with the beans as you add).  Smash beans a bit as you add them.  Pour this mixture into an 11x15 pan.

Mix taco seasoning into sour cream and spread over bean/sausage mixture.

Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the sour cream.  Now add your tomatoes, olives (I'm the only one in my house who likes these), and chives over the top.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes! 

Serve with tortilla chips!  {Like Crystal of The Family Homestead, we add a big green salad!}


Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!