Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

Brad got a craving for cinnamon rolls and found this recipe for us to try. YUM!

The plan was to use our bread machine to make the dough. (We're scared of yeast). But we didn't notice in time that the recipe was for a double batch... and there's no way that was fitting in our machine. Even though we have very little bread-making experience, we improvised and made it work!

We each ate two for dinner :) and took the rest to our Wednesday evening gathering... still warm from the oven. They were a hit!

Here's the original recipe: (we used walnuts)


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  1. In saucepan, heat 1 cup milk, water, and 1/4 cup butter until very warm (butter doesn't need to be completely melted). Place milk mixture, salt, flour, yeast, sugar, and eggs in the pan of the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select the Dough cycle. Press Start.
  2. Once Dough cycle is complete, remove the dough from the bread machine. Punch down, and divide into 2 parts. On a floured surface, roll each part into a large rectangle. Smear each rectangle with the softened butter. Combine the cinnamon and 3/4 cup sugar. Sprinkle over the rectangles. Generously sprinkle the raisins and/or chopped nuts over the top.
  3. Roll the dough up into two logs starting at the long side. Cut each log into 12 slices. Place the rolls cut side down into two 9x13 inch greased baking pans. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled (about 30 minutes).
  4. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden. Combine the confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons melted butter, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons milk. Frosting should be thick. Spread over baked rolls and enjoy.
-Liz :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Spruce Goose

The entire CE2 class and staff boarded a bus Monday for a trip to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville. Volunteer tour guides told us about the beginnings of flight and showed off the different old fighter jets in their collection. We also learned about the Spruce Goose (Did you know that was a derogatory term coined by reporters, and Hughes would fire anyone on his staff who was caught using it?!?). It's HUGE!

We also watched an IMAX film featuring the Blue Angels. Amazing.

-Liz :)

Hope on bad days

I was bummed out on my way to work this morning. But this song came on the radio and gave me a bit of a boost. I hadn't heard it before... it's a single from a Jeremy Camp album due out next month.

There Will Be A Day

I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that tries to grab
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth,
that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we'll hold on to you always

I know the journey seems so long
You feel you're walking on your own
But there has never been a step
Where you've walked out all alone

Troubled soul don't lose your heart
Cause joy and peace he brings
And the beauty that's in store
Outweighs the hurt of life's sting

I can't wait until that day where the very one I've lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I've faced
To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery this is why this is why I sing

-Liz :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


After our trip to the pumpkin patch, the students (and Sam!) created their masterpieces. :)

To the farm we go!

I was lucky enough to tag along this week when our CEC kids went to a pumpkin patch. It was a bit damp and cool, but that didn't stop us from exploring Tualatin's Lee Farms. We posed for pictures, ran through the hay maze, ate fresh doughnuts and picked out strange-looking gourds.
We also learned about horses, ponies, chickens, pigs and cows. Kryistal caught a chicken! Holding the little chicks was a highlight:
We also brought back pumpkins for carving.... see their masterpieces in my next installment :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cookie Day: Chocolate Chip

Today was cookie day in the CE2 kitchen! I assisted Lisa in making chocolate chip cookies for the class. We used my tried-and-true secret recipe, but somehow they ended up really flat. Not sure what happened there. BUT... they still tasted great!
Next week, Justine and I will try orange-colored cupcakes for Halloween!
-Liz :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wildwood: Part 2

Last November, Tim, Laura, Brad and I decided to tackle Forest Park's 30.25-mile Wildwood Trail. We planned to break it up into shorter sections and finish the whole thing within a year. Our first 8.5 miles were on Nov. 24. As usual, life got in the way, and we just did our second section today.
The second leg started at Springville Road and ended at Saltzman Road. It was about 6 miles on the Wildwood and a bit more on the approach trails. Jacob and Lindsey joined us for the adventure.
It's always good times on the trail with good friends :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mickey Mouse Chimichangas

There's a little Mission tortilla factory at Disney's California Adventure park. It's one of our favorite attractions. Not only do you get to learn all about how tortillas changed the world and see them being made, you get to taste one hot, right off the line! It's truly like a little piece of heaven.

They also have a demo kitchen with recipes to take home and try. The photo looked yummy, so we picked up the "Chicken Chimichangas" card. I crossed my fingers and prepared it for our weekly "The Office" party with friends. YUM! I think we have a winner.

Chicken Chimichangas (from Mission but modified by me... you know I can't just follow a recipe)

Soft taco size flour tortillas (I think I used 12)
Jarred salsa (I had Safeway brand salsa verde, medium)
Cooked chicken, chopped (I used 3 large breasts)
Onion, chopped (I used about half of a larger onion)
cumin (I used about 1.5 t)
oregano (I used about 1 t)
salt (a little less than 1 t)
cheddar cheese, shredded (I used a lot)

I combined the chicken, onion, cumin, oregano, salt and about half the jar of salsa in a pot. It said to cook over medium-low heat, stirring often for 25 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporated. I was in a hurry, so I cranked it to medium and didn't wait until it was evaporated..

Spoon 1/3 c of the chicken mixture into the center of a tortilla and top with about 2 T of cheese. Fold in the two sides and then fold the top and bottom, making a rectangle. Mine didn't look very uniform. Secure with toothpicks and place, folded side down, on a greased baking sheet. Repeat until the chicken stuff is gone. Coat chimichangas with vegetable cooking spray.

**I also made for me a couple filled with just black beans, diced onions and cheese.

It said to bake at 425 for 8 minutes, turn and bake 5 more minutes. I rotated the baking sheet part way through and just watched for them to crisp. Then I flipped them and toasted the other side.

We had lots of topping options: salsa, lettuce, sour cream, cilantro, guacamole, tomatoes.

I would definitely make this again and recommend it. It was quick, easy and yummy.
-Liz :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Homecoming '08

My boss, Sue, collects VWs... including this really cool Bus:

She got this crazy idea that we'd let our CE2 kids paint it up old-school hippie style for this year's THS homecoming parade. She pulled it into the auto shop next door, and several students and staff members transformed it into this:

Dressed and ready to hit the parade route:
Liz, Zac, Lisa, Karianne, David

We got some great looks and comments as we made our way down Durham Road. We had a blast!

When I started at CE2, I suggested that we enter a float in this year's parade. They laughed and said, "Good luck with that!" I showed them :)


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Teen treats: Part 2

Dillon was very vocal in his praise of my baked goods, so I asked if he'd like to help me make the next round. He requested white chocolate macadamia nut. I've never made those, so I asked him to search the Internet and find us a good, simple recipe. Yesterday, we created our masterpieces.

Decked out in my Mickey Mouse apron, I assisted as Dillon cleaned, creamed, mixed, folded, scooped, rotated, cooled, plated and served. And since we doubled the recipe, we also got to practice some fractions!

The cookies were excellent and enjoyed by all. If you're looking for a good white chocolate macadamia nut cookie recipe, this one's a winner.


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (12-ounce) package or 2 cups white chocolate chips
1 to 2 cups macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375*F.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. In large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer at medium speed, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gently stir in flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the white chocolate and macadamia nuts.

4. Drop cookies by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a non-stick cookie sheet (or lined with parchment paper) about 1 inch apart.

5. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden, turning cookie sheet around after 5 minutes to ensure even browning.

6. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.

-Liz :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Teen treats

Last week I tried a brand-new recipe on my CE2 kids: Peanutty Buckeye Bars from I brought all the ingredients to school and made them right there in our kitchen. I was nervous to try a new recipe without even getting to taste it first (it's not like I could decide it was bad and not give them any after they watched me make it!). But I had nothing to worry about -- they lined up in the kitchen to eat them as fast as I could cut them. So this one's a keeper:


  • 1 19.5-ounce package brownie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a large bowl, combine brownie mix, eggs, and oil. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Stir in peanuts. Remove half of the brownie mixture and set aside. Spread the remaining brownie mixture evenly into prepared pan.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter until smooth. Spread evenly over brownie mixture in pan. Separate the remaining brownie mixture into pieces, flatten them with your fingers, and place them on top of the brownie mixture in pan.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 32 bars.

4. To Store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

I made a double batch and didn't have to worry about how to store them ;)


Saturday, October 4, 2008

My music

I started playing the violin in fifth grade and added clarinet in sixth grade. I decided the violin wasn't for me, but I stuck with the clarinet all through high school and college. The Tigard High Marching Band was my life and kept me interested in school. I wanted to attend George Fox University (College, then) and almost opted for a much larger school that had a marching band. (Could you imagine how different my life would be if I hadn't gone to GFU?!?!)

I'm not sure when I started playing handbells. I got my feet wet when I was young when we'd have an occasional choir at my family's church. I organized a couple play dates and sort of arranged music for the events. I played in my college handbell choir, even earning elective credit by assisting Dr. Howard my senior year.

I heard about the Newberg Friends Handbell Choir shortly after Brad and I started attending NFC. I signed up immediately. That was about 10 years ago! I took a short break when we moved to Vancouver for less than a year. I haven't played my clarinet since graduation day at GFU. But I am so blessed to keep my musical skills tuned with my friends in the NFC handbell choir!

The bass line rocks!

Treble is cool, too

Our fearless leader

Sometimes we look like hobos

-Liz :)