I'm snickering at myself because I'm not known for being the "tipsy kind of house wife" who comes up with nice efficient shortcuts to streamline my daily work. I'm more the kind of person that looks at what I have to do on any given day and then I proceed to find the most difficult and complicated way to accomplish my tasks.
More often than I wish to admit, my husband will walk into the kitchen and after a glance or two at what I'm doing he will offer some smart little tip to help ease my workload.
So. Having kitchen tips to offer today gives me a small sense of smugness. If you've already incorporated these tips long ago in your kitchen, laugh if you must, but only to yourself of course.
Here we go. I have a whop'in 2 tips to share with you today.
I used to HATE any recipe that called for you to 'cut the butter into the dry ingredients'. By crumb, it never worked right for me. Then one day I came across this tip in a specialty bread recipe book. My life has been changed. I now LOVE to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.
Ready for kitchen tip #1 ???
Here it is:
1. Keep a stick of butter in your freezer. Frozen butter will grate beautifully. Simply stir your frozen grated butter into the dry ingredients and............TADA.........perfect biscuit dough...pleased cook.....happy family!!!!!
Just in case you haven't noticed, cupcakes are somewhat of a rage right now. I used to HATE making cupcakes because I would always get the batter all over my muffin tins and to add to the injury, my cupcakes would turn out ALL. DIFFERENT. SIZES. Of course, I just pretended that I was trying to make custom sizes for different sized appetites. Honestly though, I was frustrated because even though I don't enjoy tarrying long over food preparation, I still really want the outcome to be pleasing to my eye.
This moves me on to kitchen tip #2 of the day:
A cookie scoop (or ice cream scoop) works perfectly to minimize the mess and produce symmetrical cupcakes. And, I must add, it's easy and quick. I see more cupcakes and muffins in my future.
Now. Since short cuts and helpful little tips are not my strength, I'd love to hear a few of your kitchen tips!!! What have learned along the way that makes your life in the kitchen more enjoyable and easier?
The shower wasn't for me or for my latest addition.
Rosanne didn't plan it for herself either.
The shower was planned for the baby of a pregnant teenage sister of a friend who Rosanne learned to know through our church's kid's ministry. (if you got lost in that line, don't worry, I lost myself too!)
Before I go any further here, you must understand something about my friend Rosanne.
Rosanne with my son Christopher (Easter 2013)
She has a heart that is 4 times the size of her head and 10 times the size of her paycheck.
When I received her phone call that wintry Saturday morning, it was no surprise to hear her excitement over wanting to bless another person.
"Would you be interested in hosting the shower at your house?"
Why, of course, YES! I would love to.
Yes, because I love brainstorming and planning with Rosanne.
Yes because I LOVE to host parties at my house.
Yes. Yes. Yes. Because I care for and support life.
Thus began the planning and conspiring of a baby shower for an unwed mother that neither of us really knew very well.
We had fun pinning our ideas on a shared board on pinterest
Rosanne made a special trip from Baltimore to Meadville just for this event.
There was so much thoughtfulness invested in each and every detail of the evening.
Rosanne could have skipped the decorating all together.
The mom didn't have expectations.
She could have served chips and soda.
The mom wouldn't have been shocked.
She could have gone to the Dollar Store and bought a few cheap baby gifts.
That's probably what the mommy-to-be-expected.
That's not what happened.
This mom and her baby were celebrated well and with much joy.
The living room was transformed into a classy chic baby room with a cute rag banner and other special touches. Clothes pins were embellished with washi tape. Intricate feminine touches here and there. Special handwritten notes. Carefully packaged gifts. Beautiful hand crafted headbands, crotchet hats, cute hand sewn blankets and burp cloths, a CD with Christian lullaby music and more.
A delicious snack that included a beautiful variety of fresh fruit was prepared and attractively served.
A prayer of blessing was prayed over the mommy and baby.
Words of encouragement and confidence were spoken to the young mother.
I felt Jesus' presence throughout the evening and I'm pretty sure he was smiling as he looked down from heaven and saw the humble little modge podge of women who banded together that night with one common purpose and that was to celebrate the life of a new baby.
A baby that was conceived in unfortunate circumstances... A baby that will likely face a difficult life.... a baby created and known and loved by her Heavenly Father.
A baby celebrated because a life is always worth celebrating.
*full credit goes to Rosanne and her sisters for pulling this shower together. I was the privileged one who was invited to participate.