Flaky Pie Crust is a Cinch...Say Goodbye to Pillsbury Crusts!

Have you avoided making pie crusts because you thought you could never get it right? Or, is it too much effort and/or always turned out tough? Give this time/money-saver, hassle-free recipe a try. You'll be ecstatic with such an easy, tender, and flavorful recipe--no extra bowls needed, no rolling out and fitting in a pan without tearing--comes out flaky and delicious every time. Hubby craves for my crust for his favorite quiche--another keeper.

INGREDIENTS (1 pie crust)
1 ½ C All-Purpose Flour (Or 1C All-Purpose & ½C Wheat Flour)
2 t White Sugar
1 t Salt
½ C Vegetable or Olive Oil
2 T Milk

Preheat oven to 400°. Place all ingredients in 9" pie pan. Stir together with fork. Pat mixture into bottom and up the sides of the pan. Poke holes in bottom and side of the crust. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven or until light brown. This is perfect for quiches. If using in your favorite dessert/sweet pie recipe, add more sugar for sweetness and only ½t of salt. Use 1.5 times the recipe for a deep dish pie pan. Let it cool before adding fillings.

INGREDIENTS for Spinach Quiche (Serve 6 to 8)
½ C Light Mayonnaise
½ C Milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces Shredded Cheddar cheese (I usually toss in whatever on hand)
8 ounces Fresh Spinach or 10-ounce Package Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed & squeezed dry (use any fresh vegetables of choice)
¼ C Chopped Onion
2 cloves Garlic; chopped
1 9" Baked Pie Crust

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a cookie sheet with foil. While baked crust is cooling, saute union, garlic, and spinach until semi-cooked. Set to cool. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and milk until smooth. Whisk in eggs. Mix in veggie mixture. Coat pie bottom with cheese. Layer wet mixture and cheese, in pie shell, making several layers of each. Place quiche on prepared cookie sheet. Cover quiche with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove cover, reduce temperature to 350°, and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until top is golden brown and filling is set.

Happy pie-making!
Full Post Here

Try or Triump?

The difference between try and triumph is a little umph."

~~Author Unknown

(Latest Manga Creation by DD#2) Whenever I get really tired, I think of the quote above. I love it.

No, I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth. I've just been...well, not really busy or depressed than usual...but in a different space. More introspective, less bloggy.

I have been overwhelmed or consumed by many sad encounters since early in the year. I tend to absorb involuntarily other people's moods and be depressed about others' misfortunes like family quarrels, losing jobs/homes, terminal illness, life-threatening disease, divorce gone sour, unpleasant child custody battle, friends moving out of state...Now, hubby is talking about opportunities in other states when we finally are settling down and making connection. I am having a hard time focusing and staying grounded. I want to scream; instead, I go on living like everything is normal.

Recently, I came across an article outlining codependent behavior characteristics by a family therapist. Much to my surprise, I fit in many of the characteristics described. For example, I have a difficult time saying NO or setting healthy boundaries with people. I feel most happy when I am giving in a relationship. I do not feel comfortable being on the receiving end. I feel very uncomfortable asking for help. I am much more comfortable being the one in the helper role. I usually deny, downplay, justify, or ignore my own feelings, and focus on others. I eventually resent when others do not do for me, even though I have difficulty asking for what I want. When did being a respectful/mindful parent and love for others become a co-dependent? For this, I am lost!

I want badly to regain my old self who don't panic over nothing, worry about ridiculous things, absorb other people's moods, and be depressed for no apparent reason. I know the grass isn't always greener on the other side and there are much worst scenarios than I have to deal with. But I can't help the way I feel right now. This may not make sense to you or others...but I feel like "Manures are pouring over me constantly and I am trying hard to merely stay above it." Thus, I find myself in hibernation while working out my inner challenges.

Thanks to my sister in Christ, Dena, for being voices of clarity:

Your own disillusionment is right on time, too... your eyes are being opened to reality, with the facade of the system peeling away. The kids aren't quite as needy, and you're in a time of reevaluating your life. And, seriously, you're undergoing a huge paradigm-shift (overused word, but real nonetheless). You're becoming ever-more authentic, and you're leaving your husband behind in the dust. Now that he's aware of it, he's likely perplexed... what happened to my wife?!? Who IS this woman?!? I don't want changes to my life! We could each share whatever we've experienced along these lines, and how we got from the mess to the mutuality, but it's not a formula, and only God can lead you from here to there.

Be assured, I am walking, not running...I'll snap out of it soon.

On a lighter side, I'm excited about my adventure in knitting lately but probably should be more excited and worried about potential move in the future but probably should be more worried. Eh. No, it will be awesome, really--moving in sight, unseen. Who wouldn't welcome warmer weather, milder winter, and easy access to beaches (San Diego, Phoenix, or back where we came from--Danville, CA?) Then again, it could be another false alarm.
Full Post Here

Leaders Produce HOPE





“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”~~Lord Action 1887

One of the most famous quotes about power, Lord Action points out one of the biggest struggles in leadership; power. A test to find a great leader is whether or not he can voluntarily step away from leadership and its power for the better of the team.

Most people see leadership as way to their personal gain, but a great leader sees it as a way to everyone’s gain. The surprising result of putting the team first is the additional power and trust you gain from them.

It is about discovering, not being discovered. We seek so much to be discovered and though we forget lose one whole dimension of life, the joy of discovering with others. It is through this collaboration that growth, learning, and friendship is created. All of these are so much deeper than being recognized.

Thanks, my COOL friend, for being such a great leader sharing your expertise. DD#2 especially enjoyed the owl pallet experiment tremendously last Friday at your lovely home. She would've loved it to stay for the day exploring the pallets than going to the park.(visit here for more photos.)
Full Post Here

Happy Mother's Day to All Beautiful Gifts from God!

It is what I consider the best and most wonderful time of the year! Happy Mother's Day to all of you beautiful gifts from God. You make this world a much better place for all to live.

Wishing you all the very best especially new Mothers out there! Seeing you all with your new babes in arms is a joy and a gift. Here is my gift to you:


I have in my hands two boxes
which God gave me to hold.

He said, "Put all your sorrows in the
black, and all your joys in the gold."

I heeded His words, and in the two boxes,
Both my joys and sorrows I stored.

Though the gold became heavier
than the day before.

And the black was as light as air.

Curious, I had to open the black one,
I wanted to find out why.

Then I saw in the base of that box a hole
my sorrows had fallen out by.

I showed the hole to God, and mused aloud,
"I wonder where my sorrows could be."

He smiled a gentle smile at me.

" My child, they're all here with me."

I asked, "God, why give me the boxes,
why the gold and the black with the hole?"

" My child, the gold is for you to count
your blessings, the black is for you to let go."
Full Post Here

No Guarantee in Life

Traditional parenting is based on earning love and approval
by exhibiting the 'right' attitudes and 'right' behavior.
Love is not earned--it is given

Like every nurturing, loving parent, Mommylicious raised these valid concerns, "But what should I do when she refuses to eat veggies.......and all she wants is candy? What should I do when she hits another child because she wants their toy? There are going to be times when she will "break" the rules. How should I handle that? How do you handle when your children do something that you don't like? Will the Grace-Based parenting book teach me how to handle situations like this? I am very curious.....because I don't want my daughter to grow up thinking I have coerced her to be something that she in not. I want to train her towards her bent in life.....but at the same time...I have the responsibility to teach her right from wrong..."

How I wish I can tell you ONE BOOK that will do the magic, give you the assurance I too long for. Like millions, I too started parenting in the traditional way, the only and best way I knew how. Through many trials and errors, to my own demise, I discovered the hard way traditional way doesn't allow me to raise my children in the way I now believe God intended.

Quoting a wise, unschooler mom, "Traditional parenting is based on fear of punishment. Jesus taught that the greatest commandment is to love God and love each other. Real love cannot coexist with fear.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear
because fear has to do with punishment.
The one who fears is not made perfect in love.~~I John 4:8

We can't be in real relationship with someone that we are afraid of. We can never be who we really are with them because we are always afraid of what they might think of us or what they might do when we disappoint them. When our children are afraid of us they will always hide part of themselves from us.

When I stopped assuming that my kids were always trying to push my buttons and started assuming that they were just being kids, the whole atmosphere in my house changed. It really helped me when I started trying to see my kids the way God sees them. He accepts and loves them just the way they are. I try very hard to make my home a safe place to make mistakes. I talk a lot about the mistakes I have made so
my kids are okay with the idea of messing up. How do you not have rules and consequences and manage to have kids that respect and listen to their parents, that participate for the good of the family that don't 'rule' and are the 'center' of the household and that understand the rights/needs of others? Is this even reasonable to expect at these [young] ages [10 and 12]??? I teach my children to understand and respect the rights and needs of others by respecting their rights and needs. I don't know how to let go and still keep them safe and keep them aware of not only their own rights/needs/wants but those of others and keep some amount of respect for the house we live in, too. Consider the idea of houses aren't worthy of respect. Accidentally spilling something on the carpet because you forget about bringing your drink in the room isn't disrespectful--it's an accident. Accidents happen because we all make mistakes."

Instead of thinking tug-of-war--one party lets go, the other is flying backwards to land who-knows-how-or-where--see your life with your precious princess as a wonderful journey that you are all on together. She sometimes may fall along the path and scrape her knees or drop her lunch in the creek. But, you and your mother are always there kiss her boo boos and give her you own sandwich.

The change in my way of thinking, living, learning, parenting did not happen overnight. God showed me, others, and He will show you too. Ask Him. He promises that He will. "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."~~Psalm 32:8 Keep your eyes and ears open, your precious princess will lead you to the answers that you seek.

Babies don't require a whole lot of materialistic possession. They don't have to be dressed from The Gap. They don't really need those fancy toys. Before making a life altering decision, think the well being of your precious princess. She will grow up happy and loved...with you.

Nope...there is no guarantee in this life. Life happens. Things change. Circumstances change. Things don't always turn out as you and I hope or plan. Things may be stressful--but with the support of friends--(you who lift me up every time I am knocked down!) I know things will get better! I will be much wiser...Why are our eyes positioned in front? God did not place our eyes on our back so we may look ahead of us, think about the past no more. I often ponder the thoughts. Setbacks are part and parcel of life.More on this to come.
Full Post Here

If I Am Not Whole?

The unanswered questions aren't nearly
as dangerous as the unquestioned answers.

(Photos taken at Farewell Bend Park this afternoon) The days are finally longer and the weather is getting warmer. Flowers are peeking out from under the gloom. Springtime shows off the beauty of everything. Does this mean I abandon my needles? Never! On the contrary, Spring simply opens up the door to more exciting yarns, projects, and events. I love warm weather knitting because tank tops and tee shirts are a lot faster to knit without those troublesome long sleeves. I can even knit jewelry...how COOL is that!

Community Dinner Meal at Higher Ground, last night, for 75 people (more or less) was a success. Everything served was home-made and from scratch. There was no shortage of food; many came back, ranting and raving, for second and thirds throughout the evening. (More memories captured here at Flickr.com)

One of the youngest Sushi chefs in action

Loads of yummy, crunchy Veggie Sushi Rolls

made from our friend Erin's family secret Asian Coleslaw recipe

Japanese Noodle Soup in Vegetable Stock

Japanese Noodle Soup in Chicken Stock, disappearing in seconds

BBQ and Oven Baked Chickens

Delicious Almond Cookies baked by our friend, Chloe

more Chicken and veggies

Mango Ice Cream

Green Tea Ice Cream

"What do you mean nurture myself?!?! I’m too busy nurturing everyone else. And I have to work, shop, and take care of the house, the car, the yard, the dogs..." Do those words sound all too familiar? One of my biggest challenges is making sure to take care of myself. Yes...I’m pointing this finger at myself right now, rest assured. You know on the airplane when the flight attendant is giving the spiel about the oxygen mask? I am always instructed to put my own on first and then help others. It sounds selfish but, if I am not whole, healthy, safe and centered, I truly cannot be of positive use to anyone else. Sometimes just taking half an hour to sit quietly and knit on a beautiful fiber is enough to rejuvenate but, sometimes, I need more. It is only and all about me. Relax, knit, laugh, share with friends, and go home smiling and energized. I DO deserve it. So DO YOU!

It is the truest expression to the world of who I really am, deep inside--not the day-to-day definitions such as parent, computer geek, artist-wanna-be, spouse, etc., but the spirit that I find if I look quietly into my own heart. It was beautifully explained in The Legend of Bagger Vance. Bagger (the caddy) says "Inside each and every one of us is one authentic swing...something we were born with...something that can't be taught... it has to be remembered..." There is something magical about walking through the woods that helps me do that "remembering." It puts me back in touch with my innate spirit, flowing freely, that so often has been lost in the busy-ness of today's society and needed to be coaxed out of hiding. It provides time in my life where I do sit quietly and reconnect with my Self.

More parenting/consensual living ponders to come, I promise...
Full Post Here
True learning-learning that is permanent and useful,that leads to intelligent action and further learning, can arise only out of the experience, interest, and concerns of the learner.
John Holt
Real heroes are men who fall, fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they stayed true to their ideals, beliefs and commitments.
Actor Kevin Costner

© Copyright Live In Freedom . All Rights Reserved.

Designed by TemplateWorld and sponsored by SmashingMagazine

Blogger Template created by Deluxe Templates