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One Husband, One Wife, Five Children and Everything in Between

Category Archives: Cooking

I love simple.
I love brownies.

I love simple, home-made brownies.

To make these brownies, I melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave, but you could also do so in a sauce-pan over low heat if you so desire


1 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Morsels

1/2 cup (1 stick butter)

3 large eggs

1 1/4 cup flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 bag Andes bits

Preheat oven to 350 and grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan

Melt butter and chips together in 8 cup mixing bowl. Start with 1 minute, stir, and then add 30 second increments. Stir until smooth.

Stir in 3 eggs using whisk.

Add flour, sugar, vanilla, and baking soda. Stir until mixed and spread into pan

Bake 18-22 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted comes out cleanly.

Pour bag of Andes bits, over entire surface, while still hot. Let them melt for a minute or two, and then spread evenly with a knife.



Let brownies cool completely, may place in the fridge. When cooled, the Andes will harden. Cut into bars and try now to eat all in one night.

****If you aren’t really a fan of Andes, you can stir in 1 cup of any chips you like before baking. I’ve made these with semi-sweet, butterscotch, and white.

Nifty 50


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I came up with this simple teacher gift idea the other day. I meant to make marshmallows during the Christmas season for a hot chocolate bar and then completely forgot to even try. Suddenly, two months later, I remembered.

There are many recipes online for marshmallows, but here is the one I used.  It took about 20 minutes to make, but they have to set for 6 hours, so leave enough time.  I cut mine into heart shapes, but if you just cut squares it doesn’t take long.

Here are all the things you need for the marshmallows plus a stand mixer, sifter, baking pan, non-stick spray, and a spatula to smooth the mallows into the pan:


IMG_7128 IMG_7135 IMG_7136 IMG_7137

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I have been loving this week. It’s like Christmas all over again, minus the stress and shopping.  This recipe was one I got from a cookie exchange during Christmas, but the red cherries reminded me of valentines. I didn’t add the macadamia nuts, because the kids don’t care for them. I think the almond extract makes them A-MAZE-ING!! 



Cherry-White Chocolate Chunk Cookies


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 6 oz good quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries, well-drained and chopped

I found a package of macadamia nuts all nicely chopped up for me. If you prefer larger pieces, feel free to chop your own.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F; line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment*, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and the almond extracts.

Add the flour, half at a time, to the creamed mixture, stirring just until well-incorporated. The dough will be stiff. Stir in the nuts and the white chocolate, then gently stir in the cherries.

Since my jar of cherries was larger than I needed, I measured out one cup.

Drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoons on to the lined cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until they are firmly set, but not browned. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool completely, before removing from the sheets (if you need to reuse the pan, simply slide off the parchment paper with the cookies, and reline).

*Using a stand mixer is recommended, as the cookie dough is rather stiff.

It’s important to cool the cookies on the parchment paper…if you try removing them while they are still warm, they may fall apart.

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Not everyone loves fudge, but this is a crowd-pleasing yummy. I guarantee.  I like to tell people what is in it after they have had a taste.  {Otherwise they tend to turn their nose to it.}

It is so super easy, and you can throw your candy thermometer away! No need for that crazy thing.

The fudge is super creamy and never has the bitter or chalky taste that other fudges have.

I shared this recipe last year, so click HERE to check it out.

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I think summer is my favorite time of year to eat. Although, at times, it can be so hot that I lose my appetite, I enjoy all the fruits and vegetables that are fresh. Perhaps my parents are the main influence. My dad is the epitome of that saying, “you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.” Even though he has lived in the D.C. metro longer than anywhere else, he is like a kid in a candy store at any fresh produce stand. I remember ALWAYS stopping at fruit stands on road trips during the summer months.

My all time favorite summer produce is peaches.

Not those hard, un-sweet things that are in the supermarket. I love the tender, sweet, fuzzy, orange and red fleshed peaches that come fully ripened and fresh from a tree.

Peaches also remind me of my grandma for a couple of reasons.

I remember we would often visit their house. She always had a lot of canned food that she had made. They were many times I remember eating nearly an entire jar of canned peaches by myself.

The other reason they remind me of her is because of her wonderful fruit cobbler she would make. My dad would say that the Blackberry cobbler is the best, but hands down the peach one wins. In fact, I would prefer a peach cobbler for my birthday and skip the birthday cake entirely.

This weekend I made Grandma’s recipe and it made me miss her. She taught me how to cross stitch one Spring Break when I visited them. She always had something yummy to eat when we would visit their farm-house that my dad grew up in. I love that she use to call me “Cookie”. As I baked the cobbler it was almost as if she was there with me again.

I hope that if you make this treat you make it for someone special that you love.

Grandma’s Fruit on the Bottom Cobbler

Makes two 8×8 or one 9×13 pan

  • Fresh or frozen fruit of your choice
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 TB butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar (This could be reduced to a cup. Grandma liked it sweet)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 TB flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups boiling water

*If you like a thinner crust, you can cut the recipe in half.

Set oven to 375

Place fruit of your choice (fresh or frozen) on the bottom of a 9×13 cake pan, enough to cover the bottom.

Mix together 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt. Then add 1 cup milk and 6 TB butter, softened. Mix together and spread evenly on top of the fruit.

Mix together in a small bowl 1 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 TB flour, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of the crust. Pour 2 cups of boiling water on top. Then bake for 45 minutes or until crust is down. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


When Alan and I were in college we had the privilege as serving the youth of our church. Of course, for this small community “youth” meant anyone under the age of 21. One Easter we made these rolls with the kids. It’s a fun way to make something special to remember that Easter is not about jelly beans, Easter eggs, or bunny rabbits. It’s a time to celebrate the power of Christ’s Resurrection!

You will need:

  • Crescent rolls
  • Butter, melted
  • Large marshmallows
  • Cinnamon and sugar blend

These are so simple to make with the kids. Once I showed them the steps, I got out-of-the-way, and they made the rest

Roll the Marshmallow in butter to coat. Place the mallow into the bowl of spices. While we did this, we talked about how Jesus died on the cross. After his death, his friends covered his body in spices, wrapped him up, and laid him in a tomb. (John 19:39-42)

Wrap the mallow with the crescent roll. Be sure to pinch all the seams closed so that the marshmallow doesn’t seep it out as it cooks.   I also rolled some of the rolls in the left over cinnamon mixture before baking. We talked about how Jesus body was then laid in a tomb. I explained to the smaller ones what a tomb was, as place to lay the dead.  (John 19:41-42)

Bake the rolls in a 350 oven for 12-15 minutes (or until the rolls are done). Allow the rolls to cool slightly before eating. While the rolls are baking we talked about why Jesus came. His friends were very sad at his death, because they didn’t understand that he had to die. That was part of God’s plan. Jesus did not stay dead. When his friends came back to the tomb to see his body that first Easter morning, they were all surprised. The tomb was empty. (John 20)

When the rolls are done cooking, they look like they are still full, but with that first bite is a wonderful surprise. (When I was asking the kids what they thought would be on the inside Sweet T. said , “Jesus?!” So I emphasized that, no Jesus was not in the roll. It was empty. Just like the tomb, nothing. . .no one was in the tomb.)

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I love the way the snow looks in the afternoon before the sun sets. The blue shadows remind you of how cold it is. The snow sparkles a certain way in the sunlight. The warm yellow glow of the sun reminds you of the hope than all of this will soon pass. Enjoy the moment of beauty and serenity before it quickly fades away.

To help us in passing this cold I decided to break out of routine and cook something from the wonderful Joy of Cooking. What could warm you more on the inside than Hot Apple Dumplings.

In true slacker mom fashion I realized this morning that to make the dumplings I will need to make pie crust. Normally I would just buy the already made crust, but I decided to use my day to really enjoy the baking opportunity. Almost every recipe called for shortening, which I of course didn’t have. (I don’t cook with it.) It sent me on a quick search to find an all butter recipe, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed.  Click here to find the great recipe.

If you decide to make this recipe be sure to start early. If you make you pie crust yourself, be sure to leave time fr it to cool in the fridge, Also I didn’t have a pastry blender, which would have made cutting the butter in much easier. I did the really old-fashioned way of literally cutting in the butter with a couple of knives.

Once you have a pastry, follow these steps to have your own warming dessert, from the inside out.

Apple Dumplings

6 small apples, peeled and cored

Mix with a fork until blended:

  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Add and mix well 1/4 cup softened, unsalted butter

Fill whole apple middles with butter/sugar blend. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pie crust into an 18×12 inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Cut dough into six squares, rolling to a slightly larger (7 inch) squares. Lightly brush dough with on slightly beaten egg.

Place apple in the center of each square. Fold up corners up around apple and pinch at the top. Prick pastry several times with a fork. Place in baking dish and bake for 10-15 minutes at 425. While apples bake, prepare syrup in a saucepan.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Whisk together and then add:

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small lemon, thinly sliced and seeded

Bring to boil and boil for 5 minutes. Pour boiling syrup over the dumpling when they begin to color (about 10-15 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until apples are tender, about 30-35 minutes. Baste dumplings while they are cooking with syrup every ten minutes.

Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

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