..Miss Gracie's Sweet Shoppe..
Add a little sweetness to your life!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Feeling on Top

We won the championship.
I'm loving my job.
I've got a wonderful boyfriend.
A family, that each member I consider a friend.
I'm feeling prepared, organized, accomplished.
But all praise goes to God.
One example for feeling prepared and organized is the fact, that I baked up our Thanksgiving pumpkins. Have you ever had pie made with fresh pureed pumpkin instead of canned?
It is really so much better, and actually quite easy.
The hardest part of the process is finding pie pumpkins or sugar pumpkins. After you've completed that step, it's easy peasy!
So here are the directions:
1. Cut pumpkins into in halves or quarters. Stack in large roasting Pan
2. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour or until you can easily pierce the skin and flesh with a fork.
3. Let cool. Puree in food processor till smooth as baby's bottom... or maybe just smooth as baby food. ;)

Now, you can substitute this straight across for the canned stuff in any recipe. Use right away or freeze in airtight containers for up to a year.

**I'm thinking pumpkin pound cake may be my next baking adventure!**

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One more match. 5 more games.

One more chance to repeatedly coach the same things, the same things I have said hundreds of times before:

*Beat the ball*


*Move your feet*

*Kill it*


**** WIN ****

I have to do something with myself. So yell it is. I feel so helpless on the bench, and I've even been accused of hyper-ventilating from being nervous.

One more chance to watch my girls play their best, and just possibly win the CHAMPIONSHIP, one more time.

Can't wait...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I've been working on a post for weeks, in spare minutes here and there. But I decided today, that the post didn't matter. All that matters is this: God is in complete control at all times, in all circumstances (which was basically what I had been writing about anyway, but for different circumstances).
Yesterday was a new experience for me. I was utterly helpless, and so frightened. I learned how much I love Tyler. I would call him my boyfriend, but that term seems flippant in this day and age. He is far more to me than just 'my boyfriend'.

So this is what happened. I was talking with Tyler on the phone as he drove to work (our morning ritual) when suddenly there was a loud noise and buttons on his phone started beeping. Then the call was ended. I assumed he had been in a wreck. After calling and texting several times with no reply, I began to get very worried.

Silence lasted for over an hour.

Phone calls to his dad and mine. Of course, being a girl meant I thinking the worst. What had happened to him?!

Finally, I got the word ,through the dads, that he had been in a car accident, but he was fine. Finally I could breath.

I prayed and prayed during that hour. I had to tell myself that God knew. God knew every detail of what was going on, even when I didn't, even before it happened.

I prayed and thanked God for His goodness. He was good, He is good, and always will be good.

I didn't feel really calm 'till I had spent some time with Tyler. Just holding his hand, listening to his voice. Thanking God for his laugh, his contagious joy.

We are commanded not to hold on to earthly things too tightly, but we can enjoy them while they are here, all the while, praising God for every moment with those we love.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall Fever

I feel the crisp air... you know that little bit of a chill? It may still be quite warm but there is just that little bite of coolness. I feel it and I know. I know that Autumn is coming and I start burning with "Fall Fever". It is my favorite time of the year and I hope to post more of the happenings of my life, very soon. There is one thing about Fall - it is my busiest time, so hopes and wants sometimes go to the wayside of necessities and needs.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ice Cream Sandwiches


~A yummy summer treat~

I made these little sandwiches last weekend after my Mom found the recipe in the August Gourmet magazine and informed me I was slacking - I needed to make them soon! So I did, but like most recipes I didn't do things perfectly, and OF COURSE they look nothing like the pictures in Gourmet. I accidentally overcooked (like almost burnt - I was a little worried!) the cookie part, but I think it was an improvement... they tasted like a homemade sugar cone!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

No pictures, just words.

Worry, fretting, anxiety... have you ever done any of these?

Okay, so I am gonna make this statement: those verbs up there, each one of them, is, SIN!

Did not Jesus himself admonish us: "Do not worry."?
I have always, always, struggled with worry - about anything and everything, big and little. From what to make for dinner, to when am I going to excercise, to how am I going to ever pay-off my car, and even thoughts of 'will this boyfriend leave me just like the last one' ( just bein' honest, here).

Be honest, are there any positive elements of fretting? I doubt it. Worry literally eats at you. It ruins your day(s). It causes grief in your relationships. Anxiety dampens the joy that should be yours in Christ. Anxiety is actually addicting.

I have always looked at worry as just something you do. It isn't fun and I guess I never thought it was good for me, but it's not a big deal, right? Wrong. As I was reading my Bible and pouring out my heart to God in prayer, listing all my anxieties- wack - it hit me. Conviction slapped me. YOU ARE SINNING. Whoa now, wait a second, worrying isn't all that bad. No, Jesus says how many times in Matthew 6: 25-34, Do not worry? Read for yourself:

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I think that worry is shrugged away, but I think we need to face it as it really is: REFUSING to lay down everything at our Saviour's feet and simply TRUST HIM with the outcome. God wants the best for our lives, which includes peace, joy and rest (all things that cannot come from an anxious heart).

I challenge myself today let God reign in my life so that
... the peace of God, which transcends all understanding...
(Philippians 4:6-7 go look up the rest yourself! :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sticky Sticky Buns

The weather has been gracious enough the last few weeks to allow some baking ( which is very unusual for this time in June). So one afternoon last week I treated my daddy to some sticky buns. Here is the recipe. :) Enjoy!

2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup warm milk
1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3 1/4 cups flour ( more or less as needed)
2 teaspoons salt

Caramel Sauce:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 cups whole pecans, lightly toasted

You will also need:
3/4 stick of butter, softened
brown sugar and cinnamon( I don't have measurments for this you will just have to use your own judgement)

Dough: Combine the butter, milk, water, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl. Slowly add the flour and salt. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. ( either by hand or with a dough hook in a stand mixer, about 8-12 minutes). The dough should be sticky; be careful not to add too much flour. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with a towel. Let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until until doubled in size.
Meanwhile make the caramel sauce: Pour the water into a 2 quart saucepan. Pour sugar into the center of the pan to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Do not stir. Cover and bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, uncover and continue until the syrup is thick and straw colored, about 7 minutes. ( It will register and 300 degrees on a candy thermometer). Reduce heat to medium and cook until the sugar syrup is golden and begins to smoke, 1-2 minutes. (350 degrees on thermometer).
While the sugar syrup is boiling, bring the cream, butter, vanilla, and corn syrup to a simmer over high heat. Remove from heat.
As soon as the sugar sryup reaches 350 degrees, remove from heat, pour about a quarter of the cream mixture into it, and let the bubbling subside. Add the remaining cream mixture and whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. While still hot pour inot a greased 9X13 pan. Sprinkle pecans over. Set aside.
After the dough has risen, dump out onto a lightly floured surface and punch it down. Roll out to a 18x 12 inch rectangle. Spread with butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll up with the longest edge facing you. Cut into 12 equal pieces and place in pan over top of caramel sauce.
Let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Bake on the top third of oven at 325 degrees for about 35 minutes or until center rolls are no longer doughy. Remove from oven and immediately invert on a large cookie sheet. Serve warm.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The reason for my absence...

Yes, it's true... A GUY... a very, very, wonderful, guy I might add!
My man even brought me roses the other night. My first ever!
Tyler and I have been together for 7 months,
and never did I imagine it could be like this.
So, so happy.

Isn't it amazing how God knows so much better than you do???
He knows exactly what you need.
He knows what he is doing.
He knows the storm and what's on the other side.

... and God is right with you through it all ...
p.s. praying for my daddy who is going through a very tumultuous storm :(
p.s.s. I just might be returning to the blogosphere for a while. I missed it!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


8 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups almonds ( chopped or whole)
2 cups walnuts ( chopped or whole)
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup butter
1 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
dried fruit (optional)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In small saucepan melt the butter and honey. Add the vanilla.
In a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients ( except for fruit).
Pour the butter mixture over the oats and stir thoroughly. Spread out on a large cookie sheet or roasting pan. Bake until dried out.Enjoy for breakfast with milk poured over... or for dinner... :D

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day <3

These are our traditional "truffle" brownies
... delicious, dark, goodness...
(and not your average brownie, that's for certain!)

This year was most definitely my best Valentine's day... ever!

Hopefully many more to come! :D And hopefully yours was wonderful, too!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I know, I know it's time for another post. But I seem to be at a loss for what to write/ take pictures of. Maybe it will come to me very soon, or maybe some of my readers have some requests?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chile Verde

Last Sunday afternoon was spent making Chile Verde and Homemade Tortillas... a good way to spend an afternoon if you ask me. :) Here are the recipes and a few step-by-step pictures:
  • 4 pounds pork shoulder, cooked in a slow cooker for at least 8 hours and chopped or shredded
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Flour for dredging
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 yellow onions
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 Anaheim or Poblano chiles, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2-3 jalapenos, seeds removed, and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, roasted, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, crushed and soaked in a scant amount of water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, cleaned and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock


Drizzle a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven( or pot) with oil. Place the onions and peppers in the same skillet and sweat over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until limp, about 5 minutes. Add all of the chiles and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.Add the Sauteed vegetables, chopped tomatillos, dried herbs and cilantro to the onion mixture, cover with the chicken stock and bring up to a boil and reduce to a slight simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

Puree mixture in a food processor in batches.

Place shredded meat in pot and pour 3/4 of the verde sauce over ( Reserve the remaining sauce to pour over burritos to serve). Simmer for 1-3 hours.

Place pork mixture and shredded Monterey Jack cheese in a tortilla. Pour verde sauce over top and sprinkle with some more shredded cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Homemade Texas Flour Tortillas
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup warm milk

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil. Slowly add the warm milk. Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed. Knead for 2 minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft. Place dough in bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes. After the dough has rested, break off 8 sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate and cover with a damp cloth for 10 minutes. ( It's very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won't roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)

After the dough has rested, roll out the balls on a lightly floured surface till very thin ( or thicker if you like your tortillas thick!) Immediately begin cooking them in cast iron skillets or a griddle heated to med-high. Cook each side about 30 seconds. Remove from pan and keep covered with towel until ready to serve. These are best if eaten within a few hours. Makes 8 tortillas.

As a side note... these tortillas are NOT the most authentic as they have baking powder in them and puff up quite beautifully the way I like them. :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

By Your Side

Why are you striving these days

Why are you trying to earn grace

Why are you crying

Let me lift up your face

Just don't turn away


Why are you looking for love

Why are you still searching

as if I'm not enough

To where will you go child

Tell me where will you run

To where will you run


And I'll be by your side

Wherever you fall

In the dead of night

Whenever you call

And please don't fight

These hands that are holding you

My hands are holding you


Look at these hands and my side

They swallowed the grave on that night

When I drank the world's sin

So I could carry you in

And give you life

I want to give you life


Cause I, I love you

I want you to know

That I, I love you

I'll never let you go

----Tenth Avenue North

By Your Side Video and Song Clip

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lattes at Home

To warm these very cold winter mornings, I have been putting my parents new espresso maker to good use... yummy skinny lattes for me, chai lattes for Abigail and intense dark mochas for Mom.

The espresso maker did get the best of me this morning though... when it says to relieve the pressure before opening the top, it really means it... I now have a pretty nasty burn on my hand from the top coming of and extremely hot water spraying everywhere... beware of the espresso maker!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Here is my current reading list... reading... ah, the simple pleasure that I have neglected for much too long! Thanks to my new friend for starting me back up again. ;)

Read #1: French Women Don't Get Fat by: Mireille Guiliano... not your average diet book, because it isn't about a diet! Just some really smart ideas and tips for eating that I plan to follow.

Read #2: The Hidden Art of Homemaking by: Edith Schaeffer... I have read and re-read this book (some chapters more than others :) She has such a way of getting you excited for doing the basics such as cooking, decorating, etc....

Read #3: Saint by: Ted Dekker... this is the second book in the Paradise Series. I just finished Showdown and absolutely loved it, although I will admit it's probably not a book everyone will enjoy, as it was a little nasty and graffic in spots. I loved the creativity put forth by Dekker, it was simply amazing and a very intense read!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Jewel...

A wife of noble character
who can find?
She is worth far
more than rubies ...
Proverbs 31:10
God's beautiful Proverbs 31 woman is the sparkling jewel in her
husband's life! She brings the love, the color, the joy, the life, and the
energy to their home.... With a wife as a sparkling jewel, a man can find life bearable. In fact, with God's beautiful woman beside him, he posesses treasure untold! ~ Elizabeth George -
Beautiful in God's Eyes-
How can you... be that ruby to your husband? Or if you are unmarried like me... how can you practice, today, to be that treasure to those around you and practice for the day you will have a husband.... just some thoughts from me! :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I laugh as a re-read 2008's first post, I think: those were the days! The days of carefree thoughts. The days of thinking I really needed to learn how to make cake... that somehow cake was important to life!?

2008 was a year a year of big risks, of challenges, of perservering. I learned what it is to laugh and to cry. A year of volleyballs, german chocolate cakes, and microphones. Of blessings, responsibilities, stress, and heartbreak.

The girl who started out 2008 had worries... so she thought ( if worries could be catergorized as what dessert to make tonight, or why isn't my shot dropping in the basketball games).
The girl who ended 2008 got a little clearer glimpse of what worry means, even though she knows that she hasn't scratched the surface of it.

I accomplished things I never could have imagined...delivering graduation speeches, running 1/2 marathons, coaching a highschool volleyball team to victory, and playing the piano in a wedding. But you know why I never could have imagined doing these things? Because I imagined doing them on my own strength.

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

1 Corinthians 1:26-30
It is only by the Lords strength that I have done what I have done... He has humbled me in so many ways ( oh, have I forgotten to mention all the huge mistakes I have made this year, too? The mistakes of tuning out HIS voice, and following my own desires!? Or perhaps the pride that keeps getting in the way?), but the LORD has proved faithful to raise my head, over and over again. Every time I fall or begin to feel weary, He is still beside me, eager to restore me again...
O the marvelous, wonderful, but so indescribable love of
my heavenly FATHER!!!!
So here is to 2009... May I not forget all that has been done for me or the unfailing love of my Saviour!