Monday, September 26, 2011


Hope that everyone had a great weekend. We enjoyed hanging out with my sister and her 3 boys and also watching college football (roll tide!) and eating taco soup. I feel like fall is here when we start eating taco soup. Now we are gearing up for another week. I have performed the school touring show The Magic Circle previously, but this week I will have my first performance at a school of Math in Motion. It is a fun and entertaining dance show all about shapes and geometry. This week is also homecoming week at RA so Aaron's students will be having fun dress up theme days this week. I am hoping he takes some pictures!!

We are looking forward to the homecoming game on Friday night, but we are also looking forward to something else before it. This is a much anticipated event for us every year: The Greek Food Festival!

I highly recommend checking out this event! It will be Sept. 29, 30 and Oct. 1 from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm and is at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral downtown. The food is delicious!! You can check out the menu here. The also have live greek music and dancing and that is always entertaining. Hope to see you there!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sweets and Treats

These are 2 great dessert recipes that we love. The first one was introduced to us while we were living in Mississippi in Hazlehurst. (By the way, it was while living in this little tiny town that this blog was born with this title. Also as my friends like to note, with the fake names. We were trying to be slightly anonymous at the time.)

Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars
adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

I made these this weekend for a pretty large group so I stretched the recipe out to make more. They are also pretty rich and I have found that they are still delicious even when you cut bake on the sugar and alterations are listed in the recipe.

3 cans crescent rolls
2 (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter melted (you could totally do less)

Spray the bottom of a 13x9 pan and also an 8x8 pan...or one huge pan. Unroll and press half the crescent rolls onto the bottom of the pan. Press seams together. In a mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese, vanilla, and 1/2 cup sugar together. Spread this evenly over the dough. Unroll the remaining crescent rolls and lay on top of the cream cheese. Pinch sides together. Pour melted butter on top and then sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar (1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar). Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Grammy's Apple Crisp

This is Aaron's grandmother's recipe for apple crisp and it is so delicious! Remember, she is Mennonite and I haven't met a bad Mennonite baked goods recipe yet.

4 cups sliced apples
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter

Place apples in buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon, salt and water. Mix together flour, sugar and butter. Sprinkle crumb mixture over apples. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until apple mixture is bubbling. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Finally, look at this treat we were given this weekend:

It is Pão de Páscoa, or Portuguese Easter bread.

Some friends had us over for supper and he is from Portugal. We had such a great time and the bread was delicious. Isn't the egg in the center fun?!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Couponing...The Breakfast Edition

It has been a while since I posted any couponing hauls. This week's deals include lots of breakfast items:

Total: $15.70 spent, $39.45 saved

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pray for Mr. Long

Add Aaron to your prayer list this week (and every other week for that matter). He needs it. His students are pushing the limits and a few are really struggling academically.

-Pray that the students would grow in love and kindness for one another. They can be pretty mean to one another.
-Pray that those who are behind would have understanding and that Aaron would best know how to meet their needs.
-Pray for lunch time! This seems to be the most challenging time of the day for him. 21 kids have to get their food heated up in 1 microwave AND not get out of control crazy.

Thank you for praying!

On a lighter note, last night while grading papers, Aaron came across this answer. Where did Columbus spend several years before sailing to the New World? Answer: Pothigle (In case you can't decipher that, here is a hint: this is the country that Aaron was born and raised in.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Lesson in Hospitality

"When hospitality becomes an art it loses its very soul."
- Max Beerbom

"Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality."
-Romans 12:13

On Saturday, I put together this recipe for baked ziti. I still had some of those Morning Star meal starter crumbles that can be used in place of ground beef (I had bought these super cheap with coupons) so I made the ziti with those. It made a big ole casserole dish full and I figured we could bake it for Sunday lunch and then have leftovers for the week. At church, I started thinking about how big the casserole was and that we could easily feed several more people, but then I kept getting hung up on the fact that (A) our apartment wasn't especially clean (it wasn't nasty or anything, but I knew our bed was unmade, there was a pile of clothes on the bathroom floor, and a stack of dirty dishes by the sink), and (B) I was nervous about serving a casserole made with meat substitute crumbles. I mean, what if is was gross?!

The desire to spend time with friends won out though and we invited 2 couples over. They both graciously offered to pick up some bread and dessert at Publix on the way, so we raced home to tidy up and put the meal in the oven.

I am so glad that I didn't let my fear of imperfection cause us to miss out on a really fun time with friends. I tend to be a planner and want to have all my ducks in a row, but I am writing this post to remind myself that hospitality doesn't have to occur only when we have everything perfectly laid fact, if we strive for that we will probably never really be hospitable to others.

I remember when I was an intern with RUF, at training we had a seminar on hospitality. Our speaker shared a story about how once she was invited to dinner at a family's house following a church event and they served her oatmeal. At first she was a bit taken aback that they would simply serve oatmeal, but then she realized that she saw true hospitality in this offering. They had opened their home, were letting her share in their life, and were encouraging her. No it wasn't the finest meal that she had been served, in fact it was far from it, but she walked away knowing that they had truly wanted to spend time with her, even if it wasn't perfect.

The speaker emphasized the difference between entertaining and being hospitable. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a good entertainer, but we must not miss out on fellowship with others because we can't always perfectly entertain.

So how did the veggie crumble ziti turn out? It was a success, or at least my gracious guests proclaimed it to be. But it really doesn't matter if the food was amazing or not, or if our house was spotless, we had such a great time together! So the next time I find myself hesitating because all my ducks aren't in a row, then hopefully I will remember this lesson that true hospitality is about people, not perfect entertaining.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Sorry no pictures, just one of those quick we are still here and what we have been up to posts:

1. After a rather draining last week, we picked up our car from the shop on Friday and headed out to MS to see Aaron's family. We hadn't been in months so we were ready to go!

2. In MS, we enjoyed being with family, we antiqued and shopped (the girls that is), mountain biked (the boys), ate good food, played with Oliver (the foster baby that that they have had for about 10 months- crazy. He is a cutie!), went to church and heard Aaron's grandfather teach Sunday school (he is as sharp as ever), and hung out with college friends. It was a fun and full weekend!

3. On Monday we headed back and drove through about 4 hours of monsoon rain, the result of hurricane Lee. UGH...driving in rain is the worst, but Aaron is a champ for doing it.

4. We got home in time to unpack, lesson plan, and then promptly lose power (along with most all of B'ham). It is back on now!

5. Aaron jumped right back into teaching 3rd grade and the rest of my dance classes started up. Have I mentioned that I love my job? This year I get to teach lots of little ones, elementary and high school dancers, as well as teaching several special needs classes. These are so rewarding and I am looking forward to a good year.

6. The sudden change in schedule has me scrambling to get lessons planned, groceries shopped for, coupons clipped, and the blog updated. I shall try to return to my regular scheduled programming soon :)

Hope you are having a great week!!