Friday, August 18, 2006

Delicious Rice Pudding

This is the best recipe for rice pudding that I have ever had! I made too much rice a couple days ago and needed something to make with it. My husband mentioned that his mom aways made a really good rice pudding dish whenever thay had leftover rice so I called her for the recipe:

1 cup rice
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Enough milk to get slightly soupy (it will thicken as it cooks)

Bring to boil while stirring. Boil for about 3 minutes. Taste test: it should be very sweet.

I doubled the recipe and still have leftover rice so I plan the make more rice pudding! It makes a great dessert or breakfast. Jeremy likes it served cold, but I prefer it served hot so whichever way you decide is best.


Just wanted to add a wedding picture!
To see more visit our blog: Clarks in China
or our family blog: Clark Connections

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Mud Pies and Home Schooling

I had hoped to start school this week, but it didn't happened. Next Monday is my new starting goal, and I'm starting to get excited. I haven't had a kindergartener for 5 years, since Ellen, and I'm actually looking forward to teaching Jacob how to read this year. I'm going to be using a new-to-me kindergarten program, My Father's World, and I've spent the last few days getting familiar with it.

While I've been planning our school year, Ellen (now in 5th grade, can you believe it?!!!) has been making mud pies. She is getting anxious to start school and even did two lessons of math today on her own. She is motivated! Here is a picture of Ellen's mud pie, complete with animals and foliage. I'm sure she would be happy to provide the recipe upon request.


Grocery musings

Overall I really enjoy grocery shopping and menu planing, but sometimes it can be frustrating. Like when the perfectly ripe, delicious-looking apricots are $3.99 lb. and I have to settle for greenish-yellow peaches, or when I blow the food budget on needed groceries at my little neighborhood store because I don't feel like driving across town in 100 degree weather to get better prices. Or when I do go to a big supermarket and feel overwhelmed and exhausted from all the choices and options lined up on endless rows that seem to go on for miles. Or when my midwife tells me I should start eating whole grain "Ezekiel Bread" from an expensive health food store and I usually buy the 99 cents-a-loaf bread. I don't know what the balance is between convience and cost, between health-conscience eating and health-nut eating.

I haven't come to any conclusions or made any changes in what I'm doing, but I have been reading and mulling over all of this. These links today have all sorts of neat tips and ideas--the first on How to Eat Well on Less, and the second one is a plea for help with lots of comments from readers telling how they menu plan and shop. It's all very interesting.

I would love to hear how any of our readers manage the grocery shopping and meal planning. Please share if you have any ideas. Maybe I just need to stress about it less. =)


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Recipe Alert

Here's a link to a really neat cooking blog... Tammy's Recipes.

She has a ton of recipes and they are all organized under catagories for ease. The photographs are simply mouthwatering, and although I haven't actually made anything from this site yet, the recipes I've looked at seem to look fairly easy and classic-- something I'd make for a family dinner.


Friday, August 11, 2006


One of my dearest friends gave Jeremy and I the most creative and useful gift for our wedding: a recipe for stewp and all the ingradients and supplies! Let me explain what stewp is. When my friend Rebekah and I were about 7 years old we used to spend our Sunday afternoons together at each others houses. One Sunday her mom made beef and barley stew for dinner. It was delicious! We debated over whether we should call it stew or soup and when I asked for more, I accidentally said, "Please pass the stewp!" We laughed and laughed and ever since then we have been calling it stewp. We were being so silly that we decided that stewp makes you stew-pid. So now whenever we want to get stew-pid we eat stewp!

Since I had all the ingradients and supplies to make this I made stewp for our first home-cooked meal. Someimtes all there is to cooking is having the right ingredients and following the right recipe!

Doesn't it look yummy in our new bowls?

My husband enjoying his stewp!

I forgot to bring the recipe with me today. I'll add it later.

Here's the recipe! And I also included the recipe for Boller, delicious rolls to go with the stwep.

Beef and Barley Stew (aka "Stewp")

1 pound stew meat, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup barley (NOT the quick kind!)
2 medium onions, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 1 clove of garlic, minced)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons Kitchen Bouquet

1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1/2 meduim green pepper, diced
1/4 teaspoon thyme

Brown meat in oil in a large cooking pot. Add 6 cups water and all the ingredients down to the Kitchen Bouquet. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cook for another hour. Take the bay leaf out and throw it away. Serve with homemade boller (see below). Enjoy!


In a large bowl combine:
5 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons cardamon

In a 1-quart measuring cup, combine:
3 cups warm water
1/2 cup powdered milk
3/4 cup canola oil

Add to dry ingredients and mix well.
Keep adding flour until you can knead it.
Knead for 5-10 minutes on a floured surface or until snooth and elastic.
Let rise in a bowl 2 times, then form rolls ona greased cookie sheet.
Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled.

Bake about 12-15 minutes at 350F.
Remove from oven, and brush with butter while hot. Let cool on a wire rack.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Yummy Cherry Coffee Cake

Yesterday was a fun day...Katie had spent Sunday night with me and we spent yesterday hanging out... talking, cleaning, and cooking. My entire family was able to come that evening, and for dinner we had stuffed shells, (large pasta shells filled with a ricotta cheese mixture and topped with spaghetti sauce) green salad, and french bread. For dessert we made a super-easy cherry coffee cake recipe from my latest Taste of Home magazine. Unfortunately, we didn't take a picture, but I'll give the recipe anyway!


Cherry Coffee Cake

Prep: 25 min.
Bake 35 min. + cooling

1 package yello cake mix, divided
1 cup all purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
1/3 cup cold butter

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 to 2 tablespoons water

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 and 1/2 cups dry cake mix, flour, yeast, and water until smooth (use an electric mixer). Stir in eggs until blended. Transfer to a greased 9 by 13 in. baking dish. Carefully spoon pie filling over top.

Place remainng cake mix in a bowl and cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over filling. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over coffee cake. Serves 12-16.

Monday, August 07, 2006

New Bookshelves!

I am so excited!
Mark made some bookshelves for our thousands of books!
With a little help from Emily he made the shelves out of MDF board which we painted white. These built-in shelves are fully adjustable and they have trimwork at the top and bottom. He made 4 sets for upstairs and 5 sets for downstairs in our new "library" aka "school room" aka "the book room." We haven't decided on a name for the room yet, but basically it will be home to all the school supplies, curricula, file cabinets and copy machine. I'm hoping to find a love seat or stuffed chair to put in the room as well. Right now the downstairs books are on the shelves, but they aren't organized yet. The upstairs books were organized by subjects by Katie. This week I want to get the school room organized so that we can start school next Monday!

Go to to see the pictures in a bigger format.