Monday, January 6, 2014

Ringing in the new year!

Happy New Year!  I can't believe we are in the year 2014.  Every year I seem to make some level of New Year's Resolutions, but I can't say my follow through is always the greatest.  Hopefully by writing them down and putting them out publicly will force me to be more diligent.  Here are my five goals for the new year:

1)  Read the entire Bible in a year.  I've started this resolution already and have gone 5 days.  Part of my success is due to my new I-phone that Tom got me for Christmas.  I downloaded a Bible app that reminds me before bed to do my readings.  I like this app because it only takes me about 10 minutes a day and it gives me a variety of readings from both the Old and New Testament.  I won't say that I always understand it all, but I have always wanted to read the Bible in its entirety.  Overall, the main theme I am holding on to as I read this is to love God and love one another, both of which I feel confident I can do.

2) Add some variety to my cooking.  I consider myself a pretty good cook and baker, but I do tend to stick to my favorites.  I am working on a major recipe project currently.  I have a binder, clear plastic sleeves, and ton of magazines that I have acquired through the years.  I am cutting out and organizing anything that I would consider making and I am going to really try start making some of these recipes.  Tom and I are also obsessed with "The Pioneer Woman" from the Food Network.  Tom bought me her holiday cookbook for Christmas and I love her blog and recipes that are on the Food Network website so I plan to make some of her recipes.  I am also working on copying all of my mom's special recipes that she had on index cards.  My dad brought them to me the other day and I plan to have a special binder with just her recipes.  I intend to include some of my mom's recipes, as well as other good ones that I come across on my blog so hopefully it will be a year filled with good eating!

3) Be more positive and less stressed.  This resolution seems to make my mental list every year, but I really mean it this time!  I know I have so much to be thankful for, Tom, my dad and Eric, my in-laws, and all of my other friends and family.  I also have the joy of spending my days with eighteen five year olds, who even though at times can make me want to" jump out the window" (as I tell them on occasion, instead of telling them that they are driving me crazy), they truly bring me so much joy and love each day.  All of the wonderful people in my life, coupled with Tom and I hopefully moving into our new house sometime within the month is a lot of goodness.  I am really going to try to rely on my faith, cooking, crafting (especially crocheting and I am working on learning how to quilt) and love for Tom and the special people in my life to help me to not stress out as much, especially over the small stuff.

4) Truly explore the North Fork.  Tom and I made a list the other day of restaurants and points of interests in our future home location that we want to visit.  We are going to try to stop by as many of these places as we can.  We both feel so relaxed and peaceful in the country, so I know this is going to be the ideal home for us.  I plan to blog about a lot of the places we visit too to document all of the memories that we will be making.

5) Blog.  I really want to keep up with this blog.  I have seen so many people do so many wonderful things with their blogs.  Whether I become a famous blogger like The Pioneer Woman, or merely record my life and share what is important to me, the journey will be worth it.  I know I will be so happy to have this to look back at.  Plus it should help me with goal number three when I am feeling stressed, to look back and count my blessings.

I also want to share a New Year's recipe that I made this year for dessert.  I made a variety of dessert shooters.  I have seen some complicated recipes for this, but I decided to create my own easier version.  They were a big hit so here are the steps if you are interested:

1) I put one nilla wafer at the bottom of each clear plastic cup.

2) I put a layer of either chocolate, vanilla, or pistachio pudding on top of the wafer.  I used pre-made pudding except for the pistachio to save time.

3) I topped the pudding cups with a variety of toppings.  I used apple pie filling, strawberries, chocolate chips,  and M&M's, but you could really make any type that you want.

4) I then filled a cookie press with Cool Whip and put a decorating tip on the end.  I made a fancy squirt on top of each.

5) I sprinkled the Cool Whip with related toppings  (brown sugar on the apple pie ones, sprinkles on some of the chocolate chip ones, etc)

Overall, everyone seemed to enjoy the presentation and variety of these treats

I hope 2014 is going to be a wonderful year for everyone!

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