Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Purple Pride

I don't really talk about my school much in my blog.  I'm really not one of the super-fans that goes crazy on game day and feels a deep, personal hatred for anyone who goes to a rival school.  I do, however, think my school's a really great place to be.

I really enjoy the campus.  It has beautiful trees and flowers, the buildings are limestone and some are very grand and castle-like, and things are generally close together (about a 20 minute walk across campus).

I also really enjoy the color purple, and the fact that almost everyone wears it!  I generally jump on the school-spirit bandwagon, because sporting events are really fun.  We have our own traditions and cheers--my favorite is the Wabash (that other link has some good live footage, this one is just funny).

The hubbs and I spent a good amount of time watching/listening to football this semester, and I have learned to enjoy it (this is part of what marriage is about).  I was especially excited for the KSU-KU game, because they're our in-state rival!  It's always awesome when we win, because I can tease my cousin who graduated from KU.

But, this year I couldn't bring myself to tease her too much.  It was a little rough.  Actually, I got bored.  And when I'm bored, I usually end up baking something.  Hence, the cookies.  They were really good.  (If you like them soft, a little cake-y, with a sweet, glossy frosting, that is.)  They even froze well, which makes them more awesome in my book.

The Best Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Cream butter and shortening.  Mix in egg and vanilla.  Stir together dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add dry mix to butter mix.  (Refrigerate for 1 hour if you sub butter for the shortening.)
Roll out on lightly-floured surface, cut shapes or use a small cup to make round shapes.  (Or, scoop out balls and flatten them with your hands, like I did.)
Place on un-greased baking sheet (I used parchment).  They won't spread much if you used shortening, but will spread more if you used all butter.
Bake at 350 (deg F) 8 to 10 minutes, until light brown.
Yield: 30-36 cookies

Click here for a link to the FROSTING RECIPE on (I had to add more milk than the recipe says).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Walking with God

I heard somewhere than women speak about 3x more words than men do each day.  (No surprise, then, that I am the blogger and not my handsome hubby!)  Despite my talkative tendencies, Nathan and I have a lot of interesting conversations.
Recent examples include:
  • Do carrots fail in a ductile or brittle manner? (Material science convo over lunch.)
  • Does Orange Leaf or Coldstone have a better business model?
Although I know you are dying to know our conclusions, I want to tell you about another conversation we had.
Last week we were on our way to meet with our small group from church, going over the sermon notes from Sunday and talking through the questions on the sermon guide.  The sermon was about King David's last words to his son, Solomon, in 1 Kings 2:1-4.  He charges his son to be strong and show himself a man through following God and obeying Him.  The sermon expounded on those words and charged us to be strong in God to be faithful in the tasks he's given us to complete.  This is the best way to live.
Here is the question that struck me:
  • Are you convinced that there is nothing better than walking with God?  Why or why not?
Well, every Christian knows the "Sunday School" answer to the first question.  Yes.  Of course.  That's why I'm a Christian.  But, when we talked about it in small group, one friend pointed out the word "convinced".  She said that, intellectually, she was sure, but in daily things her actions proved otherwise.  Ouch.  I knew she was speaking for me, too.  Often, my actions prove that I am a doubter.  Like the apostle Thomas, I want to stick my hands in Jesus' wounds--experience is the truth (John 20:24-29).
However, my hubby's response felt like a crescendo and a comforting hug to me.  "God is the creator of everything," he said, "and that means that I'm created."
"Remember the example of a combine.  Just as its maker knows best how to use it, and how to fix it, so God knows the best for my life."
He's exactly right.  God is smarter than me, he's stronger than me--anything I can do, He can do better.  Infinitely better.  And he knows exactly how I work, because he made me (and not like a mad-scientist's creation-gone-wrong, but he made me--and you--just like an artist carefully crafting a masterpiece).  He leads me better than anyone else.
Now, the only question left is:  Are you convinced?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Superhero Apple Cake

Some of you may not know this, but when I was younger I co-hosted a TV show with my brother.  We embarked on many daring adventures, including capturing a Siberian tiger, as well as performed skits and puppet shows.  The DeeDee and DooDoo show will forever hold a dear place in the hearts of its viewers.
Sadly, its reign ended when we learned what "doo-doo" was, and realized that it wasn't a suitable alias for my brother.

One particular evening, during a script-writing session, Eli informed the family that he had acquired a new skill.  It could, perhaps, be called a... superpower!  His particular talent was to help others discover their superpower.  Who knew that mom could smell anything from exactly 100 yards away?  Or that I could make cupcakes appear on top of anyone's head?
He didn't guarantee that we'd ever be able to harness our power, just that the potential was there.

My mom encountered a different sort of superhero recently.  One who had learned to harness his raw supernatural power for the good of his fellow man.  His skill?  Apple-retrieving.
I listened eagerly as my mother recounted the tale.  A nimble, blond seven-year-old scaling a tree, some rustling, and suddenly small, bright red orbs falling from above.  My mother even brought evidence.  Three lovely little apples.  "You'll make something delicious out of this, I'm sure."

Well, mom, I thought this cake was pretty delicious.  Moist, full of apples, and crowned with a sugary-sweet crust.  Mmm.

I got the initial recipe for Spiced Apple Cake from Joy the Baker, who got it from The Sweet Life.  But, the original recipe didn't call for Superhero Apples... I'd consider them a specialty item.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I was an engineer for Halloween, and Nathan was a bum.

What that really means is that I did homework and studied, and Nathan didn't do much of anything... and he spilled some orange smoothie on his shirt.

We topped off our night of celebrating with a fun twist on our Sunday night tradition of popcorn and smoothies.  Green popcorn and orange-colored strawberry-banana smoothies!!

Hope you had some sweet treats, too!

(Please note that our tongues are green, due to the green food coloring I whisked into the butter for our popcorn!)