Saturday, November 3, 2012

Organic Snickerdoodle Cheesecake

When my husband heard "snickerdoodles" and "cheesecake" in the same sentence, he practically did a 180. My man is serious about his food, especially my desserts lol! :) Needless to say, the first chance I had to whip up something sweet it was this...

Snickerdoodle Cheesecake

Seriously, I think snickerdoodle is one of our favorite holiday flavors. It is subtle, and offers us another option apart from the usual suspects. Alright, let's get down to the nitty gritty goodness of snickerdoodle cheesecake makin'!

In order to make the cheesecake crust, we need to bake a batch of snickerdoodles. There will be plenty of extras for snacking, silver lining! :)

Snickerdoodle Cookies
1 cup organic or raw butter, softened
1 1/2 cups organic raw cane sugar
1 teaspoon organic baking soda
1 teaspoon organic cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon organic salt
2 organic pasture raised eggs
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
3 cups organic all-purpose flour
1/4 cup organic raw cane sugar
2 teaspoons organic ground cinammon

1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with a sturdy whisk until creamy. Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until combined. Mix in the flour 1/2 a cup at a time, with a sturdy spatula; until well incorporated. Cover and chill dough about 1 hour or until easy to handle.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Shape dough into 2 inch balls. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Place 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool. Makes 36 cookies.

Snickerdoodle Cheesecake
2 8-ounce packages organic cream cheese
3 organic pasture raised eggs, lightly beaten
13 Organic Snickerdoodle Cookies, finely crushed (recipe above)
3/4 cup organic or raw butter, melted
1 8-ounce carton organic sour cream
1 cup organic raw cane sugar
2 tablespoons organic all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons organic vanilla
1/2 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon organic raw cane sugar
1 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon

1. Allow cream cheese and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For crust, in a medium bowl stir together crushed cookies and melted butter until combined. Press mixture onto the bottom and 1 3/4 inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sour cream, the 1 cup sugar, the flour, vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with a sturdy whisk until smooth. Stir in eggs.
3. Stir together the 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Pour cream cheese mixture into crust-lined pan, spreading evenly. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place pan in a shallow baking pan.
4. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a 2 1/2-inch area around outside edge appears set when gently shaken. Cool in springform pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, loosen crust from the sides of pan; cool cheesecake completely on wire rack. Cover and chill for at least four hours before serving. Makes 12 servings.

*adapted from BH&G fine cooking

Places I like Party:
Petite Hermine
Flamingo Toes
I Heart Naptime
Sunday Showcase
Lamb Around
The Foley Fam
It's A Blog Party
Girl Creative
Sew Can Do
Mad In Crafts
Craft O Maniac
Keeping It Simple
Creating Really Awesome Free Things
Making The World Cuter
Skip to My Lou
Say Not Sweet Anne
Tuesdays at the Table
Sugar Bee Crafts
Hope Studios
Ladybug Blessings
Funky Polkadot Giraffe
Today's Creative Blog
Not Just A Housewife
Vintage Wanna Bee
Carolyn's Homework
Chef In Training
Homestories AtoZ
The Kurtz Corner
33 Shades of Green

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Repurposed Nightstand

My husband is always poking fun at my picky great taste in decorating our little house. He finds it incredulous that I will live in an empty house rather than decorate it with anything I do NOT love. I am one of those crazy people that believes you should surround yourself with things you love, have meaning, are aesthetic, practical, and can be well loved. Which has made "decorating" really hard. I have shopped at ridiculously overpriced furniture shops, and have found things I liked... But not loved. So being me, a crazy DIY-er, I began buying up furniture a few years back off of Craigslist (Yes, there was a big DIY community in the blogging world long before Pinterest lol!). :) It had to be real, sturdy hard wood, with beautiful details, and the potential to be a perfect fit for my heart's desire. I now have a small collection of ugly brown antique furniture that has been just waiting for me to have the time and room to give them new life. And by the grace of God, I have recently acquired a little of both. My sweet husband is very relieved happy to finally start seeing furniture in the house. However, until I finish all the major pieces; I won't hang anything on the walls. This is probably the bane of his existence. Thankfully, he loves me more than picture frames. :)

This is the nightstand I scored for like no money, and it had no knobs.

Desperately needing some TLC

After some sanding, primer, paint, glaze, sealant, new hardware, and love... This is what I now have!

My taste exactly, loving it!

I LOVE it more than anything I could buy, even from potterybarn (and I freakin' love PB!!)!! It matches my taste perfectly! And that hubby loves that it cost him almost nothing except patience. Well, maybe he does mind all that patience. ;)

SO, all you picky awesome decorators; never underestimate the power of working with your hands to create something so perfectly you. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Organic Chipotle Shrimp Tacos!!!

This is possibly my husband's FAVORITE dish! And it's nothing fancy, at all. It's just shrimp tacos. But according to him, they are almost "other-worldly" haha! Well apparently my husband LOVES them SO much that I feel bad not sharing them with you all! Since we are a real-food family, this recipe is too, but I promise it tastes SO much better! 

I suggest making the sauce, slaw, and tortillas ahead of time; for saving time and letting flavors marinate. :)

To Assemble: Fill tortillas with shrimp, cover liberally with sauce, and then toss on the slaw. Enjoy!

Basic Tortilla Recipe
  • 4 cups of sprouted organic flour
  • 1 teaspoon of organic salt
  • 2 teaspoons of organic baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of grass-fed, homemade rendered lard
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
Preparation Instructions:
Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Mix in the lard with your fingers until the flour resembles cornmeal. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together; place on a lightly floured surface and knead a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Use a well-floured rolling pin to roll a dough ball into a thin, round tortilla. Place into the hot skillet, and cook until bubbly and golden; flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side. Place the cooked tortilla in a tortilla warmer; continue rolling and cooking the remaining dough.

Organic Chipotle Shrimp
  • 2 lbs. Wild Caught Fresh Shrimp
  • 2 C. Pasture Raised Butter
  • 1/2 c.Organic Worcestershrire Sauce
  • 2 Tbl. Ogranic Minced Garlic
  • 10 slices of Pasture-Raised Bacon, diced and cooked
  • 1 White Organic Onion, diced
  • Organic Cayenne Pepper
  • Organic Mexican Seasoning Mix
Preparation Instructions:
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over low heat. Add the worcestershire sauce, and then add the minced garlic. Stir the mixture, letting it warm up over low heat. Peel and de-vein your shrimp while stirring intermittently. Lay the shrimp out flat in a shallow baking dish and cover both sides liberally with the seasonings. After they are well coated to your taste pour the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Let the shrimp "marinate" while the bacon cooks.

In a large, deep skillet fry the diced bacon over medium-high heat until done. Remove the bacon to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the shrimp and chipotle chiles; cook 4 minutes or until done (this may take a few batches so distribute the chipotle chiles evenly among the batches). Remove and place the shrimp into the same bowl as the bacon.

Now add the diced onion and saute it in the pan before placing it in the mixing bowl also. Then toss the mixture until it is evenly distributed.

Organic Cole Slaw
  • 1/2 head Organic Cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1/2 head Organic Purple Cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 whole organic jalepeno, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup organic or raw milk
  • 1/2 cup Organic Mayonnaise or Fermented Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Organic White Vinegar
  • 1 T Raw Cane Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Organic Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 bunch of Organic Cilantro, roughly chopped
Preparation Instructions:
Combine shredded cabbage and sliced jalepenos in a bowl. In a seperate bowl mix milk, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, and cayenne. Pour over cabbage.  Add Cilantro. Toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
*By Ree Drummond

Organic Chipotle Sauce
  • 1 organic chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 organic teaspoon cumin
  • 4 teaspoons raw organic honey
  • 1 cup organic plain greek yogurt 
  • 4 tablespoons organic mayonnaise 
  • 1 teaspoon organic salt
Preparation Instructions:
Place all ingredients in blender. Blend on high, until sauce is no longer lumpy. Store in a air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Organic "Starbucks" Pumpkin Scones Recipe

The most delicious scone on the planet. No lie.

With fall right around the corner I began a desperate search for pie pumpkins, yeah, that was a month ago. I had pumpkin scones on the brain BIG time, and they had to be these! I spent an afternoon pouring over different "starbucks" recipes, but none seemed just right. So, this is what I came up with. I hope the directions are clear, but if not, please ask questions; I love questions! And for all that is good and holy, please DON'T use pumpkin from a metal cylinder. Seriously, don't, or I will hunt you down; annnddd throw away your scones. Ok, not really, but your scones just won't be as awesome. Organic homemade pumpkin puree ya'll, it will change your life. I hope ya'll enjoy these as much as we have! Go Organic, or go home! :)

Ingredients for the Scones:

  • 4 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 14 Tablespoons raw organic sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon organic baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon organic salt
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic  ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic ground ginger
  • 12 Tablespoons organic unsalted cold butter (I toss mine in the freezer for like 20 min.)
  • 1 cup fresh organic pumpkin purée 
  • 6 Tablespoons organic half-and-half
  • 2 large organic brown eggs
Ingredients for the White Glaze:

  •  2 cups organic powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon organic powdered sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons organic whole milk
Ingredients for Spiced Glaze:

  •  2 cups organic powdered sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons organic powdered sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons organic whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 pinches of organic ginger
  • 2 pinches of organic ground cloves
 Scones Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3.  Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large mixing bowl.
4. Cut butter into 1/2 in. cubes and sprinkle them into flour mixture.
5. With a pastry blender work the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and butter is no larger than the size of peas. Set aside.
5.  In a separate mixing bowl, whisk pumpkin, half and half, and egg.
6.  Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients with a rubber spatula, form the dough into two balls.
7.  Roll out dough balls onto a floured surface and form them into two separate 1-inch thick rectangles (about 9 inches long and 13 inches wide).
8.  Use a large knife to slice the rectangles into three equal rectangular portions (vertically). Cut each little rectangle into two squares, and then diagonally cut the squares to produce 12 triangular slices of dough (you should end up with a total of 24 rectangular slices).
9.  Place on prepared baking sheet, shake excess flour from the slices. I used a pastry scraper to pick up some of my slices, even with the flour some of the slices wanted to stick. I baked mine in two batches, so I could reuse the cookie sheet.
10.  Bake for 14–16 minutes until scones turn light brown.
11.  Place on wire rack to cool.

Sugar Glaze Directions:
1.  Whisk the powdered sugar and 4 Tablespoons of milk together until smooth (if mixture seems too thick add milk one tablespoon at a time until the texture reaches your satisfaction).
2.  Brush glaze over the top of each cooled scone.

Spiced Glaze Directions:
1.  As sugar glaze firms, combine the spiced icing ingredients.
2.  Use a fork to drizzle  the glaze over each scone and allow to dry before serving.

Makes 24 pumpkin scones.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Casting My Fears & Worries...

Some weeks more than others I am reminded of little Grace's mortality. Williams Syndrome is a fairly complicated diagnosis, so many organs/glands can be affected. Grace sees SO many different specialists and gets tests ran on her all the time. The goal is to catch a problem before it is given time to make a larger problem out of itself. But Dr.s aren't perfect and sometimes even they miss something. I used to drive myself crazy running scenarios through my head of what could have been missed and just worrying myself silly in general.

One day this verse came to mind:
Philippians 4:6-7
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

EVERYDAY I have to give over my little girl in prayer. And the promise is true, the peace He gives surpasses all understanding. I can't wrap my mind around how He take such fear and stress and replaces them with unadulterated peace...

I know that there is always an incredibly small sliver of a chance, that one morning when I walk into her nursery to wake her up that she could have gone to be with Jesus over night. With all the advancements in technology and her great Dr.s I know this happening is practically nil, but I know it is not so outlandish to never happen.

My worry was that I would be hit so hard, I would not rejoice in the life that was given her; but be incredibly angry in the time that was lost. I am sure that there is probably healthy level of anger that we experience in the grieving process, but that's not the anger I am referring to.

When Philippians 4:6-7 says "in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God," that means when I give over my fears and stresses I do it in Thanksgiving. I also give thanks for the sweet girl I get to spend one more day with. Each day with her is not one to just "get through," but one to be savored and relished! Children are miracles which we should never take for granted; they teach us more about the Heavenly Father than they ever realize.

I hope that whenever God does call my sweet girl home, whether it be two years or eighty, that I look back on the gift of life that blessed our little home and not look ahead at the time that was lost.

Proverbs 27:1 "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day might bring."

Each day with our children is a miracle. Love them, spend time with them, and let them know how cherished they are Everyday. I look forward to all that God will continue teaching me through our little miracle, she has blessed me in ways she may never know.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The NEW Way The Wheats' Eat

SO.... On Facebook, I shared a little while back that we would be updating with a post on our "NEW" take on the way we eat. I know this post may seem a tad scatter-brained HA! But there is SO much information to share, and I wanted to try to condense it as much as possible. :) So please, bear with me. :)

Our Food Story

"THE" Change has probably been in the works for about 2 years now and we are excited to announce that we are finally making the transition! We are EXCITED to share with you all what we're doing, and hope that we can motivate others to make the change too! :)

A Bit of History

November 2009

Shortly after we had Grace I began baking almost all the bread we ate, we at that point were anti-preservatives. With Grace's undiagnosed WS (way to go BCS medical professionals. Yes, still a tad peeved about that lol.), it made eating the way we wanted near impossible. However, as things gradually improved, so did my time in kitchen.

June 2010

Once I quit working Grace finally started sleeping for 7 hours at one time, notice I did not say through the night lol. Grace's crazy night owl sleep schedule was going to bed around 5am and waking up around 1pm. What did I do to pass the time? I spent A LOT of time in the kitchen learning. I learned SOOO much logging in all those hours, and for that, I am thankful. :)


Since we were about half way through the pregnancy with Grace, we have been dreaming of owning a 20 acre spread complete with my mid-size garden, a Jersey milking cow, chicken coop, pigs, beef cows, and a nice crew of ranch dogs. We know this is how we want to feed our family, but we also know this dream becoming reality won't happen tomorrow. I felt stuck shopping at the grocery store, drinking processed milk (they kill the good cultures), eating corn-fed beef, GMO fruit, GMO Vegetables, GMO Yogurt, and probably 5 million other GMO products the supermarket puts on the shelves.

June 2010-Present Day :)

I tried in little ways to cut out some of the processed food and baked all our bread needs; but it still wasn't enough. Since we moved back to DFW (and SO thankful we did, they have TONS of foodie options) I started researching the new food options in our area; that's when I came across BEST. SITE. EVER. Seriously, check it out, you will be so glad you did. This site connected us to all the local farmers and ranchers in our area, so instead of buying GMO products from the local supermarket, we can buy from and support our local farmers/ranchers. We were really excited about this find, but still hadn't made the switch. We still needed a huge deep freeze and with the holidays underfoot, it was put on the back burner.

Well, this past weekend while I was cruising to find something to watch on Netflix I decided to check out the documentary section (don't make fun lol); and thought we should watch a film that explored our view point on food. Out of the handful they offered, I remembered some talk about "Food, Inc." a few years back; so I thought we'd give it a go. OH MY GOSH, I couldn't believe I hadn't seen it sooner!!!! So many times during this film, I wanted to run to the bathroom and throw up everything I have eaten over the past 26 years. What we eat at restaurants, fast food, and the super-market is seriously DISTURBING! This was the last straw for us, deep freeze or not, Jonathan and I decided to jump in immediately. Thankfully, our Gracie has yet to have a GMO product or any processed foods outside of her specialized formula (I made all her babyfood at home and organic).

The NEW Way We Eat

Grass Fed Beef, NOT Corn.
NO GMO products. All Veggies and Fruits must be Fresh and Organic.
If we buy a boxed product, it also cannot be GMO of any nature.
Raw Milk, better for digestion and more nutritious! Plus we can make our own butter!
All Seafood must be wild caught.
Chicken and Eggs, cage free (organic) and local.
Organic Flour and some different grains for baking!

We have found a great local farm that's in our neighborhood that will provide us with fresh raw milk, produce, beef, pork, chicken, and fresh eggs. Living on the outskirts of town definitely has its advantages. :) I can't say enough about the variety of The Cowtown Farmer's Market, great for filling in the gaps when we can't get all our produce needs at the farm. And if that's not amazing enough, my friend Ashlie told me about Whole Foods. It is almost the perfect marriage between convenience and our new food values. Great selection!!! However, after my recent trip to Central Market; it is safe to say I am not so much a fan anymore. They barely had any fresh organic produce, and even though they had the words "grass fed beef" plastered everywhere, they didn't have a single pound of it in the meat market.... UN-Impressed. Besides that place is always crowded. In the next two weeks we hope to purchase our first deep freeze and pick out our first cow! Not to bring home as a pet, but ready for the deep freeze LOL. These changes are super exciting and already we can feel the difference!

We are not just doing this for the personal well being of the three of us, but for the future Wheat babies also. One of the thoughts that keeps creeping up on me these days is, "what if the way we eat is somehow a contributor to genetical mutations in pregnancies?" I bet I can find a million Dr.s who will swear up and down that eating Genetically Modified (GMO) Fruits, Veggies, Chickens, Eggs, Beef, Seafood (essentially EVERYTHING you eat) has no effect on your health or your pregnancies. But I don't buy that one bit. It's simple logic ya'll. GMO in, GMO out. And it's not like we eat an occasional GMO, but that's ALL we eat. Anybody else see the sudden spike in the special needs numbers in the last 30 years, or is it just me? This concept completely freaks me out!!!

There are so many reasons for us to make this change, and we know it won't always be easy. But you can't put a price on peace of mind, so we are happy to welcome the new challenges! We seriously encourage everybody to research your food; or if time is an issue, just sit down and spend some time watching "Food, Inc." It will change your life, lol, or at least the way you look at food. :)