Archive | June, 2012

Mike & Ashley {Wedding}

I have been looking forward to this wedding for a long time. I have known Ashley and her family for over 5 years now, her little brother and my son are best friends. Our families also go to the same church, so we see each other every week. So when she came to me over a year ago and asked me to be part of their special day, I was beyond excited! Everything went so well, as a photographer I couldn’t have asked for more. I pray a lifetime of blessings on you Mike and Ashley. God bless you both as you begin your lives together!

My Five Favorite Men

A quick shot of my five favorite men taken tonight after a great father’s day dinner.  I love these five guys more than words can say.  My dad, my husband and my  three boys.

Fudgy Brownies ~ Gluten Free

So…I’ve been reading up on this gluten-free craze going on in our country and it seems there are so many people that experience negative health effects when they eat gluten.  I’ve been pulling out every gluten-free recipe I see in all my cooking magazines, vowing to try them.  The first recipe I found was this brownie recipe.  It is from Martha Stewart Everyday Food.  The original recipe called for pecans, but my kids don’t like nuts in their brownies, so I omitted them.  They are in the oven right now.  They were very easy to put together and I can’t wait to try them!

Fudgy Brownies ~ Gluten Free

6 T. unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/3 c. cornstarch (spooned and leveled)

1/4 c. cocoa powder

1/2 t. ground cinnamon

1/2 t. salt

12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 c. sugar

1 t. vanilla extract

3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray an 8-inch baking pan.  Whisk together cornstarch, cocoa, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, melt butter and chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time until melted and smooth.  Stir in sugar and vanilla.  Stir in eggs, one at a time until combined.  Add cornstarch mixture and stir vigorously until mix is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.  Pour batter into pan.  Bake about 35 minutes until toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.  Let cool completely in pan.  Cut into 16 squares.  Enjoy!

By the way, the above 2 brownies on the plate were my lunch.  They turned out great!  Very fudgy and very chocolaty.  Yummy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam

I finally bought my fresh Michigan strawberries this morning and was able to make the new freezer jam recipe I found for strawberry rhubarb jam.  I found this recipe in Midwest Living magazine and couldn’t wait to try it.  I tripled the recipe below and ended up with ten large freezer containers full to last us through the winter and to share with friends.  And yes, that means I used 15 cups of sugar!  I did have a small issue trying to get the sugar to dissolve completely.  The recipe says to stir for 3 minutes to dissolve the sugar, but I stirred for 20 minutes and there was still a slight graininess to the jam.  We’ll see how it comes out when I eat some today.  Hope you enjoy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam

3 cups strawberries

1 cup finely chopped rhubarb

5 cups sugar

1/2 t. finely shredded lemon peel

3/4 cup water

1 (1.75 once) package regular powdered fruit pectin

In a large bowl, use a potato masher to crush berries.  You’ll have about 1 1/2 cups.  Stir in rhubarb.  Stir in sugar and lemon peel. Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  In a small saucepan, mix water and pectin.  Bring to a boil over high heat, boil 1 minute stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add to berry mixture.  Stir for 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves and mixture is not grainy.  Ladle into pint-size freezer containers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Seal.  Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.  Store 3 weeks in refrigerator or up to 1 year in freezer.