Thursday, September 29, 2011

Butternut Squash Bisque-Recipe

Blast from the Past:  Monday, September 20, 2010

Butternut Squash Bisque!!!

This Post is from a copy from last year, but I just love this recipe so much I wanted to share it with those who may have missed it!!  Happy Fall  Y'all!!!  ~ Cup of Daisies
So if I haven't mentioned it before... FALL is my FAVORITE SEASON!!! I mean, like I really love it!! How could you not, all good things happen in fall, for example; Thanksgiving, cool weather, pumpkins, my birthday (Oct 7th in case you where wondering), the day I married the man of my dreams, beautiful landscapes, I love to look at God's extraordinary creation in the fall ... and fantastic fresh fall produce. One of my newly discovered favorites is Butternut Squash!  I followed a recipe for butternut squash soup(Better Homes and Gardens) last year, but have found several others and since tweaked  them all to come up with this one! Our family loves it, so of course it will be our dinner on the first day of fall! Hooray!

Butternut Squash Bisque

3 lbs of Butternut squash (peeled, seeded, and cubed)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 c. butter
2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
1 stalk of celery, coarsely chopped
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 48oz box low sodium chicken broth
1 c. apple juice
3 canned chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, chopped
1/2 c. sour cream

On a large dutch oven, melt butter. Add squash, carrots, celery, and garlic; stirring frequently until tender.
Add apples, broth, juice, ginger, and peppers. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Puree in batches in a blender; return to dutch oven. Whisk in sour cream until well blended. Heat thoroughly. Remove from heat and serve. Top with Smoked Gouda (a must), and bacon crumbles.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Our Visit to the Corpus Christi Botanical Gardens

If you have never visited the Corpus Christi Botanical Gardens... well shame on you! Just Kidding, but I do believe this is an overlooked jewel in our community.  What a wonderful spot to go take in  some of God's beautiful creation! Complete with walking paths, exotic birds, of course plants of all kinds, and an iguana named Ivan... that they found crossing the road on Ocean Dr.   We have visited it a couple of times now, and will be going back more often when it cools off a little bit more.   Here is a glimpse of our visit, Enjoy!  

Mom & Brennan at the overlook to Gator Lake.

 After feeding the fish at the fish pond.  Brennan almost fell in... Yikes.
 Ivan the Terrible... Isn't he cool?

 The butterfly bench, I want one of these REAL BAD!!
 Gorgeous Flower in the Butterfly Garden,

 God's creation is so amazing!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

B is Three

Brennan, aka,  B..  turned Three about a month ago!!  I can't believe how fast the last three years have gone by! Brennan makes life interesting.  He never does anything halfway! Brennan doesn't know the meaning of still... or of patience.  He is fast, passionate, and strong willed... which makes parenting tough and a grand adventure.  We are so blessed to have such a blossoming warrior in our family! We love you B!!!

Papa (Michael's dad) got to visit on B's day

Dinner of choice... none other than CHUCK E CHEESE!  Don't you love Brennan's outfit!

Enjoying the spoils of the tickets... Airhead taffy!

Gift time! :)

So serious! :)  He really liked his Bubbles!

And finally Cake time!!!  I love those puffed out cheeks!! :) Strawberry Ice Cream Cake, YUM!

Love you Sweet B!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordful Wednesday Psalm 37:4

Psalms 37:4

Delight yourself in the LORD,
and He will give you the desires of your heart.

old pic, but I just love it!

I have always loved this verse, but last year I was doing a Ladies Bible Study, and something was said that made me stop in my tracks and go, OOOHH (light bulb moment; thanks Paula) 

"If you are walking with the Lord the desires in your heart begin to change and aline with his desires for your life."  I'll pause so you can chew on that for a moment... I know I had to. 

Growing up I had this understanding,  I obey God, he gives me my deepest passions (no matter what they might be; money, relationships, career, you get the point... but in actuality after a bit of wisdom being imparted upon me,  this is what I get from this verse now. 
When I am walking with my Lord, and in tune with the path He is leading me down; my desires may begin to shift away from my selfish desires and more in line with God's desires.  I believe with my whole heart that nothing is coincidence and that God's plan is always best and necessary. 
My desires have not changed greatly over the years.  I have always wanted deep down in my gut to be a wife, a mother, a volunteer, a good friend, a nurturer!  That has not changed.  I can not imagine my life any different; however what has changed, is my motivation.  God's plan is no mistake. I love to share my home, my food, my heart and I do that daily through opportunities that God places in my life.  My desires are the same, but my focus has shifted from a childhood fairytale to a mission field for Christ. 

I pray daily that God will open my eyes to His purpose in my life, and that I will continue to have an open heart and seek Him throughout my life. That I will see His work and embrace being His hands and feet. 

What are your desires?  Have your desires ever shifted even slightly to align more with God's plan? 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Well, Is everyone in full swing yet?  School is back up and going, football season is in full swing, fall ball has started, and between fundraising, homework, and and and and I know you are as busy as we are! So this is a menu that is quick and easy, for all you busy families out there!! And it cleans out my pantry a little bit! :)

Pancakes, Eggs, Sausage, Fruit Salad

Tuesday: Bball Practice
Chicken Salad Wraps, Chips, Veggie Dippers

Grilled Italian Sausage, Pasta, & Steamed Veggies

Thursday:Bball Practice
Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

Friday: Family Movie Night
Little Cesar's, Popcorn, Bread Sticks

B: Monkey Bread, Scrambled Eggs
L: Nachos, veggie dippers and Football!
D: Leftovers

Sunday: Life Group @ BAF!
B:  Cereal
L: Meatball sandwiches, chips, & apple slices
D: Spaghetti, Salad, Garlic Bread, & Jello Cheesecake

Happy eating y'all!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Drought is Over.

As most of you know, Texas has a high pressure area looming over the entire state; keeping drought conditions extreme and leading to multiple wildfires across the state.  I, along with everyone else, have been praying my heart out for rain to come into our area, ceasing the drought and bringing new life into our world. Well, to no avail there has been no precipitation...

Then it hit me... God has been bringing rain all around me, and I'm not talking a drizzle I'm talking a full out storm.  Everything around me has been changing.  We have moved, we have put William in School,  taken on more responsibilities, had deaths in the family, illnesses, and above all else my parents are going through a divorce after 42 years. Talk about bringing out the baggage and insecurities... but through all the rain, I know God has a plan.  I know that although actual precipitation is not present, God is washing away and making clean several things in my world in order to bring new life, to renew my faith, and call my attention back to Him. I just hate that I'm so stubborn and preoccupied that He has to bring a full out tsunami to get my attention. 

There is a song that sums it all up pretty nicely, by a little band known as Mercy Me. 

"Bring the Rain"

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

What storms are you facing?  Am I alone here? 

PS:  It actually rained today in Corpus!!! Thank you Lord for answering prayers in every way!
So, I say through  it all... Jesus, Bring the Rain!!  If this is what it takes to turn me into the woman I am meant to be; a daughter of Christ who puts  a twinkle in my Heavenly Father's eye; then Lord, Bring the Rain!  I am thankful that God has chosen me, and know He is preparing me and growing my faith through it all.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Our Summer Filled with Fun and Family!!

What did you do this summer, you ask?  Well...
I realize that as much as I have posted this summer, not much has been photo memories. So I would like to take a minute and catch up with our fun filled summer. 
  1. Laura & Larry Got Hitched!  Our first trip was to Royce City, to Michaels sweet cousin's wedding. It was beautiful, and so much fun!  Arn't they so adorable....?
William had his first dance with this sweet girl!  She and Will have met several times, but this time they seemed to be the best of friends!  I also got to snap a family pic! Yeah!  

All they boy cousins lined up to see the swan and watch the turtles!  From L to R:  Cole 5, Cade 4, Brennan 2, William 6, and Grant 8) They have so much fun together!

We also enjoyed a great end of season with our Tball team!  The Aggies ended up winning the Tball championship! We were all so proud! We also had a fantasic coach and a great end of season party.  A Hooks game and all the fun we could handle! The boys got to stand on the field with the players for the national anthem and the first pitch personally delivered by this coast guard crew!

3.  We played a lot in the water and the mud... We at least before we moved!  What is more fun than getting dirty... I mean really filthy!  Not much, there is just something about being a kid and being covered in mud that screams FUN!!!

4.  Father Palooza!!! At Bay Area Fellowship!  The boys ventured into tanks, police cruisers, tow trucks, swat trucks, ambulaces, and chowed on fajitas and corn on the cob!  Made for a great Father's Day!!

5.  I went on my first ever ladies retreat!  With some fantastic women!  Love you girls!!

6. This is the first summer I had a reader in the house... besides Michael and I,  William entered any and every reading club we came across, and ended up with a family 4-pack of tickets to the Corpus Christi, Hooks.  They didn't have the greatest season, but either way it was a treasure.  William also ended up winning a drawing for a free book and matching board game from our local library, and is now on a 2nd grade reading level... I hope he always keeps his love of reading!
Will, waiting for the game to start!

We also sold our house and moved,  took an unexpected trip to Arkansas, and spent plenty of time swimming in the hotel pools and visiting museums along the way. 

All in all, we spent penty of time together as a family just enjoying each other!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Diet Soda Cake Recipe

So, this is very possibly the recipe that has changed my life as a "baker".  As most of you probably know, I absolutley despise measuring.  It slows me down. I like to experiment when I'm cooking. I like to eyeball things, and well... it's working pretty good for me, so why dirty up extra dishes... right?  Well, I now have a cake recipe in my possesion (it's all over the web) that fits my rules... the no measureing cup rules!! HOORAY!  So without further adue, here it is.

Diet Soda Cake Recipe
  • 1 boxed cake mix
  • 1 can of diet soda
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease muffin tin.
  3. Combine mix and soda with an electric mixer until well blended.
  4. Fill each tin 1/2 full.
  5. Bake according to package directions.
Tips: Cake tends to be slightly sticky, so make sure to spray tin or papers to keep cakes intact.

You can use any flavor combination of cake mix and diet soad/soda, but incase your not as experiemental as I tend to be, here are a few of my suggestions.  (Chocolate Mix+Diet Cherry Coke,  Chocolate + Diet Cream Soda, White Cake + Orange Soda,  White Cake+Diet Moutain Dew, Spice Cake + Orange Soda, Carrot Cake + Lemon Lime Soda) Really the options are endless! 

So what are you waiting for... get out there and start baking! Please report back:  I would love to hear what flavor combinations you come up with!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

William Started School!!

 That's right! The oldest of the Caldwell Brothers started school!  We chose to homeschool during kindergartin, and loved every minute of it!  But this year we felt school was the way to go. God has totally answered our prayers with his school, class, teacher, and friends.  He is thriving and loves everything about it, and frankly so do I! 

Will's First Day of School!

William totally thrives on a routine, something my homeschooling schedule didn't provide as much.  His favorites are PE, Music, Library, Recess, and the Cafeteria.  His favorite subject is reading, and he is doing great!  I'm so excited to see what this year has in store for him, and for our family. He is already learning some really big lessons, on being true to who he is, responsibility, and what it means to be a friend and a brother.
The Brothers, ready to take Will to School!

I know every parent feels this way, but I know God has big plans for William.  I pray that God will continue to teach him lessons,to prepare him for his purpose in life. I also pray that He will give us the ability and wisdom to give Christian guidance to our sweet boy.  We are so blessed to have such a wonderful boy!