Maple-Pecan Waffles

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Most mornings, we tend to eat a healthy breakfast — smoothies, eggs, oatmeal. But every once in a while, it’s so delightful to indulge in a dessert-style breakfast!

Maybe something like Maple-Pecan Waffles — where the waffles are soft inside with a buttery-crisp exterior and the maple-pecan syrup drizzles from each layer with additional pecans on top for delicious texture.

Sounds good to me!

Waffles

*recipe slightly adapted from the Joy of Cooking Cookbook

*I prefer to use all organic ingredients

In a large bowl, whisk together:

1 3/4 cups flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

3 Tablespoons raw sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a separate large bowl, whisk together:

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 1/3 cups almond or vanilla almond milk

-Gently combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and mix gently. Batter will have a slightly pebbled look.

-Cook in a pre-heated waffle iron according to your waffle maker’s instructions. My Belgian Waffle machine makes approximately six waffles.

Maple-Pecan Syrup

*I prefer to use all organic ingredients

In a small saucepan, combine:

2/3 cup coconut sugar

1/3 cup raw sugar

1/3 cup pecans, chopped

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2/3 cup warm water

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

-On medium heat, bring mixture to a boil while stirring constantly.

-Once mixture reaches a boil, lower temperature and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mixture will start to thicken slightly.

-Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. The longer the syrup cools, the more it will thicken.

-Drizzle syrup in between waffle layers and over the top. Sprinkle with additional chopped pecans, if desired.

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Enjoy!

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Book Review – 101 Ways to Have Fun

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Upon seeing this book, I immediately knew it would be one my preteen would love, and I, myself, have had a great time reading it for this review!

From the editors of Faithgirlz and published by Zonderkidz, 101 Ways to Have Fun is sure to delight and inspire young girls! The recommended age range is 8-12, but I would think this is a book that even younger teenage girls would enjoy!

101 Ways to Have Fun covers a wide variety of topics that girls will absolutely love! Nine chapters on caring for yourself, activities for you and your BFF and fun-filled gatherings give young girls a wonderful array of inspiration!  Some of my personal favorites (that I know my daughters would love!) include the Blooming BFF Spa Day, Concocting Signature Peppermint Pattie Soap, Start a Book Swap and Host Your Own Cupcake Wars! Count me in on all of these, please!

Additionally, I have enjoyed this book because so many of these activities could easily be turned into mommy/daughter(s) outings or crafting and bake days! The book includes something for every season, and with summer right around the corner, young girls and their friends will have an ample supply of fun activities — Pedi Perfection, Set Up a (Lemonade Spritzer) Stand and did I already mention the Spa Day? Definitely count me in!

Needless to say, I highly recommend this book — I know it will be a favorite of ours! And now to get that spa day set … with cupcake wars, of course!

 

The Creative Blogger Award

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I want to extend my sincere appreciation to Leyla at Culinary Mosaic for nominating me for the Creative Blogger Award!

Culinary Mosaic is a beautifully-woven combination of delicious recipes such as Wild Blueberry Muffins, delightful writings of life in Alaska and experiences gained through Leyla’s world travels. Leyla’s blog is inspiring, creative and one of my favorites to enjoy! I truly hope you’ll visit as well!

Five things about myself:

-I would love to travel more with my family — first destination on the list would most probably be Italy!

-I love to write — blogging, short stories, and hopefully one day, books and a children’s series!

-I love going to the ocean and being on the beach — I equally love the serenity of the mountains.

-I would love to swim with dolphins and learn to paddle board.

-It is my desire to inspire my readers!

My 15 blog nominations — (it was extremely difficult to narrow it down to 15!)

  1. Sadie’s Nest
  2. Books and Lavender
  3. Fourth Generation Farmgirl
  4. Joy of Spanish Cooking
  5. Travels with Choppy
  6. The Sweet Edge
  7. It’s Cooking with Magda
  8. Anna’s Cuisine
  9. Chorizo and Thyme
  10. Simple and Healthy Foods
  11. Kittymag
  12. El Postre de Ana
  13. Keep Calm and Cake
  14. Natascha’s Place
  15. Aromatic Essence

 

The rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  2.  Share 5 things about yourself.
  3.  Nominate 15 bloggers.
  4. Keep the rules in your post.

 

 

 

Signs of Spring

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From blossoming fruit trees to buzzing honey bees, the signs of spring are everywhere …

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The beauty of God’s creation abounds … what a wonderful season to experience, enjoy and explore!

Honey-Garlic Barbecue Sauce

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Who’s ready for some barbecue? I know I am!

As the days grow warmer and longer, one of my favorite ways to spend an evening is outside grilling up a tasty dinner!

I love a variety of barbecue sauces, but one of my favorites is a sweet sauce with a hint of tang. I am also a huge fan of local honey — which inspired me to whip up a batch of this honey-garlic barbecue sauce!

Perfect for burgers, chicken and beef as well as slow-cooked barbecued beef or chicken!

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Honey-Garlic Barbecue Sauce

*I prefer to use all organic ingredients

1 1/4 cups tomato ketchup

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1/3 cup honey, local if possible

2 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil

-In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and whisk together on medium-low.

-Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

-This recipe yields approximately 2 1/2 cups of barbecue sauce.

Enjoy!

 

Blogger Recognition Award

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I want to extend my sincere thanks to Katie at Quirky and Wonderful for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award! What a delightful surprise! From delicious recipes to beautifully-expressed inspiration, Katie’s blog always brings encouragement and joy to my day! I’m blessed to call her my friend, and I hope you will visit her lovely blog often!

Rules for the Blogger Recognition Award:

  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award. Attach the award to the post.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers.
  • Select up to 10 other blogs you want to give the award to.
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Starting Life Bellissima — Living Life Beautifully:

I have always enjoyed writing, and starting a blog became a way for me to share what is near and dear to me — family, faith, organic living/eating. In essence, it is my joy and desire to share with you God’s many blessings! I started my blog nearly a year ago, and I never dreamed what a huge blessing it would be to me! I have met so many wonderful people and many have become very dear friends from all around the world!

A little advice for new bloggers:

If I could give one piece of advice to new bloggers, it would be to write from your heart. Write about what is near and dear to you, and enjoy the creative process!

My nominees:

First of all, I appreciate all of you! It’s very hard to narrow this down to only a handful of bloggers, and I sincerely hope to highlight many more in the future!

 

Freshly-Baked French Bread

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I am becoming more and more excited with organic bread baking! Because my daughters love deli-style sandwiches, fresh rolls and, of course, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I have been on a quest to find a delicious, soft bread recipe that I could bake organically and that wouldn’t tend to dry out by the next day.

I headed straight to Pinterest where I found an overwhelming amount of “the best” bread recipes. I went ahead and picked one, and I do believe this has been my favorite bread so far!

I absolutely love baking bread from scratch now — organic with no preservatives, additives or ingredients that really shouldn’t be there. This bread has only six ingredients and is so much better than store-bought!

Homemade French Bread

*recipe slightly adapted from lil’ luna

*I prefer to use all organic ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 5 Tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 6 cups flour, divided
  1. Dissolve your yeast in ½ cup warm water.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine hot water, sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups of the flour and stir.
  3. In a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to mix the yeast mixture and the hot water/flour mixture together.
  4. Add the remaining 3 cups of flour, one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Once all of the flour is added, cover with a clean dishtowel and let sit for 15 minutes.
  5. Separate your dough into 3 pieces (I typically make a sandwich loaf, traditional French loaf and some extra rolls or buns.) This dough is very sticky, so you will probably want to flour your hands and sprinkle a little on the dough itself. On a floured surface, roll each piece into a rectangle shape then form into a oblong loaf or place in a greased bread pan. You can also form this dough into round balls, slightly flattened, for rolls and buns.
  6. Place the dough on a greased baking pan, seam side down. Score the bread across the top 3 or 4 times, and brush with additional grape seed oil. Cover and let dough rise  for 30-40 minutes in a warm place.
  7. Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes at 375 degrees or until golden brown.
  8. Note – when baking hamburger/hot dog buns or rolls, baking time will be approximately 15 minutes, depending on the size of your bread.
One batch of this delicious dough produced all of the various breads you see in the first picture! This dough is so versatile and oh-so-soft! Use it for sandwiches, served with pasta, for hamburgers/hot dogs … even delicious little rolls with butter and honey!
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Enjoy!

Swinging into Spring

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I hope you are all enjoying swinging into spring!

I apologize for not posting sooner — I’ve missed you all so much and am enjoying getting caught up on my blog reading! I’ve been so inspired with all of your beautiful spring photos and delicious recipes!

We had a lovely week of spring break, and the great outdoors was calling! Sun-filled days, fresh air with a hint of floral bloom and trying out some fabulous recipes that I am so excited to share!

I even heard a lawn mower running! *happy sigh*

Spring break came and went so very quickly! Then came some very strong winds which must have been carrying a cold bug directly to our house. I am happy to report that we are feeling much better, and yesterday the winds calmed to a pleasant breeze once again.

Today I looked at the calendar — March 31. Where has the month flown? 

I suppose with the arrival of sunnier days, preparations for Easter and a nice break from school, time flies when you’re having fun!

I hope you all enjoyed a beautiful and blessed Easter! I am so excited to be back on the blog — I have so much to share with you all!

I’m posting a favorite photo from Easter — I am very sure the hens loved hiding the brightly colored eggs with me, and they seemed as excited as the girls to search for them!