Saturday, May 31, 2014

Brownie Cookies w/ Peanut Butter Frosting // Recipe


Ingredients:

For the Cookies:
2 eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup peanut butter

For the Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar


Instructions:

Brownies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and butter well.
With a mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla for a few minutes. 
In a small pan, combine chocolate chips and butter. Heat and stir until all the chocolate and butter has melted.
Add the melted chocolate/butter mixture to the egg mixture and continue to whisk until combined.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Stir to combine.
Lower the mixer speed to slow. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined. Stir in peanut butter.
Let the batter rest for about 5 minutes. This will allow it to thicken and the cookies will hold their shape better.
Scoop approximately 1 tbsp of batter for each cookie onto the parchment paper.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting:
In another bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, vanilla and salt until pale in color, about 3-5 minutes.
Add in the powdered sugar and mix until well combined.

Assemble:

Once the cookies have cooled completely, scoop 1-2 tablespoons of frosting onto each cookie. 
Serve and enjoy!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Photo Friday #1

Spring brings about a myriad of simple wonders that are just waiting to be captured with a camera . . . 
and since I like to consider myself a photographic enthusiast, I am continually shooting the new signs of nature that are revealed to me. During the Spring and Summer months I always have a full album with oodles of nature photos waiting to be uploaded, so I decided to begin a new series of posts on my blog: Photo Friday
So be warned! I will be uploading the top photo from my photography stash on Friday of every week. :)

~*~


"The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express."
Francis Bacon

Monday, May 26, 2014

Spring Has Sprung! (This Week's Photography)


As you can probably assume with the few spring-related posts that I have uploaded recently, I am rather enjoying the delightful weather that my family and I have been blessed with over the past couple of weeks. Such beauty have I beheld lately! God's Earth is truly breathtaking, is it not? 
Every year when Spring nears, I immediately pull out my camera and proceed to begin a journey looking for any new buds of life that are visible.
I hope that I have been able to capture on camera at least a small amount of nature's artistry that has been in my view de novo. :)










 How exciting it is to finally see all the vibrant leaves returning to the trees! 

"To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure 
is the most perfect refreshment." 
~Jane Austen



Have a great week everyone!
{ Oh, and happy Memorial Day! }


"And the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how."
Mark 4:27b

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Fruit Pizza // Recipe


Ingredients:

1-pound package refrigerator sugar cookie dough
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
9 ounces whipped topping
3/4 cup (or more, if desired) confectioner's sugar
fruit topping of choice


Directions:
1). Press cookie dough onto greased baking sheet, spreading to fit. Bake using package directions. Cool to room temperature. 
2). Combine cream cheese, whipped topping and confectioner's sugar in bowl; beat well. Spread over cooled cookie crust. 
3). Top with fruit of choice--I opted for blueberries and strawberries because that's all I had available at the time, although originally I would add kiwis, grapes and bananas with the berries (it looks a lot more appetizing with more fruit!). 
4). Chill until ready to serve.


Enjoy!


"And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety."
Leviticus 25:19

Friday, May 23, 2014

Trigger

Happy Birthday to my baby boy!


I love you biggers <3

  
"For ye are our glory and joy."
1 Thessalonians 2:20 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Carrot Cake Bars // Recipe


What You'll Need:

For the Bars
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup applesauce (or an additional 1/3 cup vegetable oil)
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots

For the Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup salted butter (at room temperature)
6 oz cream cheese
2 1/2 - 3 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

For the Bars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg for 30 seconds, set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon, blend together brown sugar, granulated sugar, vegetable oil and applesauce until smooth. Add in eggs and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Pour in half of the dry ingredients and mix just until combined, then add remaining dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in grated carrots. Pour into a buttered 13 by 9-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 30 - 32 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting with Cream Cheese Frosting. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container.


For the Cream Cheese Frosting

In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer whip butter and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar and mix until well combined. Mix in an additional 1/2 cup powdered sugar to thicken if desired.



Enjoy!

"In that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."
Acts 14:17

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wisdom


W - willingly give your life to Christ
 I - identify the sin in your life
S - shed spiritual laziness
D - decide the method of rate and growth
O - obligate yourself to be disciplined
M - maintain spiritual growth



"Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence"
Ephesians 1:8

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day


photo courtesy of google
 
A Mother's Love

"There's something about a Mother's love:
It's filled with grace, sent from above.
Benevolent acts and loving care,
Her tender love shines everywhere.
Her beauty glows from deep inside,
With a heart accepting and arms open wide.
'Tis a love so rare, good and true,
Those who are blessed to have it are very few.
Such loving-kindness, we can determine then,
A Mother's love is a gift from Heaven.

Poem © Cryslyn Brewster

 
"Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
many daughters have done well, but you excel them all."
Proverbs 31:20-30

Saturday, May 10, 2014

S'more Stuffed Cookies // Recipe


S'more Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is a bit more challenging than my previous recipes, only because to make these cookies you need to sandwich your basic s'more between cookie dough and wrap the dough all around to completely cover it. This recipe originally instructs to make a full size s'more and then wrap the dough around it, but I thought that was a little too large, so I halved the s'more. But feel free to do what you like. :)

Here goes!

Ingredients:

2 cookie dough rolls at room temperature at 32 oz each (or you can make your own cookie mixture like I did)
8 graham cracker squares, broken into halves
4 marshmallows, snipped in half lengthwise
1 full-size Hershey’s bar, divided between each of the prospective cookies



Directions:

1). Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2). Lay half of the graham crackers out on the baking sheets (two crackers per sheet).  Top each cracker with 3-4 pieces of chocolate then top the chocolate with two marshmallow halves, laying them side-by-side. Lay the remaining graham crackers on top, completing the s’mores.
3). Sandwich the s’mores between two large spoonfuls of room temperature cookie dough and carefully work the dough around the s’more (be patient and go slowly so as not to break the crackers). Use the remaining dough to wrap around the sides of each s’more; the result should resemble a small cookie brick.
4). Space the cookies at least 4 inches apart on the two baking sheets.  Bake for 20-24 minutes or until the tops and edges are lightly browned and the edges just lift off the pan with a spatula.  (While baking, the s’mores will press down under the weight of the cookie dough and will sink further while cooling.  It’s okay if the cookies don’t completely cover the s’mores).
5). Transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool for at least 10-15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Now, like I stated above, I halved the s'mores so the cookies would be smaller. I came out with gargantuan sized cookies, so I can't imagine how large they would be with full-sized s'mores! But they're delicious either way, so just make them however you like. :)


Hope you enjoyed the recipe!
Have a great rest of your weekend everyone!

Cryslyn

"And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: of wheaten flour shalt thou make them."
Exodus 29:2

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Awaken to Spring


 After 7+ months of frigid temperatures, ensuing snowfalls, and icy pavements... Spring's arrival is finally upon us. 
Spring is always a joyous season for me. It's a time when I am able to say farewell to the chills of winter and welcome the new buds of life. Such joy fills my soul when I am able to look at the season's new, blossoming flowers and vibrant greens. I have often taken for granted just how beautiful God's creation really is. But this Spring I am determined to enjoy every little bit of sunshine that falls onto my path and find joy in the simplest of things.


"I love better to count time from spring to spring; it seems to me far more cheerful to reckon the year by blossoms than by blight." 
Donald G. Mitchell



And Spring arose on the garden fair,


Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;


And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast

rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.

- Percy Bysshe Shelley



"As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth."
Psalm 103:15

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Sunflower Award

Today I stumbled upon this sweet blog and the author of that blog got tagged in a Sunflower Blogger Award where she stated that anyone who was reading it was tagged. So this is me considering myself tagged. :)




The Rules:

- Share 11 facts about yourself ( I don't want to go on too much about myself, so I'll be sharing 5
- Answer the questions set by your Nomination Blogger 
- Nominate 11 bloggers. 
- Set questions for the nominated bloggers.

Okay... 5 Facts about me:


1). I have a great passion for writing and am currently working on authoring a novel.



2). I have the best family a girl could ever ask for - they are extremely supportive, loving, and helpful, and I am so blessed to have them in my life. <3


3). I have a myriad of hobbies; my favorites including: playing instruments, singing, drawing & painting, photography, writing novels, crocheting, and cooking.


4). I could never tire of reading a good book. As the lovely Jane Austen put it: "If a book is well written, I always find it too short."



4). I keep a "gratitude journal" where I write down every little thing that brings joy to me on a daily basis.


5). I am a born-again Christian who has been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. <3

~*~

And these are Jessica's questions, which I will now proceed to answer.

1. What would you title your autobiography? 
Oh my, that's a hard one. Possibly... C-notes? I like to keep notes of what I do on a daily basis and since my name begins with the letter "C", it just fits. ;)


2. How would you describe your feelings to a person who had never experienced love before? 
It depends on who that person is. If we were referring to God, then I would have a myriad of feelings to describe! If it were to a person, well, I would describe my feelings as accurately as possible and reveal how much that person really means to me.

3. The sun is setting, it's your last day on earth. How did you spend your last day? 
Dear me, that's a tough one. I'd probably spend it enjoying the last moments that I have with the people that I love. And if given the opportunity, I'd spread the word of God's wondrous love to anyone in need of hearing it.

4. Your happy color. 
Celadon green - it's such a celestial shade!

5. Your favorite flower is in bloom, do you A). pick it, B). let it grow and slowly fade and dry the petals C). find a way to extract seeds so you can plant even more next year.
Pick it and display it in a vase where I can enjoy its beauty.

6. Your worst fear has come to pass. What just happened?
I was most likely just thrown into a pit of spiders.

7. Through a series of events you suddenly find out you are a princ
ess, how do you handle this? Do you resign and go back to private life, or believe that some people are born great and others have greatness thrust upon them, and that this is your duty come what may. I would embrace my duty as a princess and make the most of it. ( after all, who wouldn't want to be a princess? :)


8. What animal have you always wanted to keep for a pet that you are sure no one would let you keep? I've always wanted a baby lion cub. They're so adorable! But I guess all animals have to grow up, and to have a full grown lion in my home might not be too smart...

9. You get a chance to live overseas for one year, where would you go and what would you do?
I would probably choose Ireland, although New Zealand would be a beautiful place to consider! I suppose any of my favorite travel destinations would be grand! And if I ever got the opportunity I would use that time to minister to others.

10. You fall asleep and wake up in your favorite childhood storybook. What are you going to do and how are you going to get out? 
Enjoy the time I have in my fantasy world before arising from my slumbers.

11. Do you multi-task? Does it hinder or help you? 
I've often been referred to as a multi-tasker. I guess it's just something I've always done. And I wouldn't consider it a hindrance - more like beneficial. ;)


~*~

Now for all of my lovely readers, here are my questions for you:

1). How did you become a Christian?
2). If you could play any instrument of your choice, what would it be?
3). How many siblings do you have?
4). If you could be stranded in any of your favorite novels, which would it be and why?
5). What is your favorite Disney movie?
6). What is your dream occupation?
7). Do you have any pets? If so, what are they?
8). What scripture from the Bible is most encouraging to you?
9). Have you ever traveled out of the country you live in?
10). Favorite color?
11). What is your favorite song at present?


And now I shall nominate 5 people ( I'm too lazy to select 11... ;)


- Bethany at Liberty or Death
- Grace at Under Grace
- Naomi at Wonderland Creek
- Kellie at Accordion to Kellie
- Elizabeth at The Country Handmaiden


Blessings everyone!


"Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge."
Psalm 19:2

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Coconut Candy // Recipe

Easy "No Bake" Coconut Candy


What you'll need:

½ cup salted butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
3 cups flaked sweetened coconut
½ cup chocolate spread (or melted chocolate chips)

Directions: 

In bowl mix melted butter, powdered sugar and coconut together until combined evenly. (I used my hands to work it together)
Form mixture into 1 inch balls and press down slightly in the center.
Fill a zip-top bag with chocolate or chocolate-hazelnut spread.
Pipe a ¼ tsp amount onto each candy.


And there you have it! This is a simple recipe that only takes about 5 minutes to complete!

Until next Saturday!

Blessings,
Cryslyn


"Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever."

Psalm 136:25

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Liebster Award

Many thanks to Bethany at Liberty or Death for nominating me for the Liebster Award! The Leibster Award is a way for bloggers to learn more about each other by asking 11 questions.  Here are my answers to Bethany's questions:

1.  If you could have an expenses-paid vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I would opt for Ireland. I have always found the Emerald Isle to be a spellbinding place filled with captivating ruins, an exciting culture, and scenic views that are absolutely breathtaking! Ireland would definitely be my first choice. :)

2.  What would you like to accomplish by the end of 2014?
I'd like for mine and my family's business to be running efficiently with lots of new opportunities to serve our community.

3.  What was the last song you heard?
"Let it Go" - Idina Menzel (from Frozen)

4.  What was the last food you ate?
My mom's homemade scones - yum!

5.  Last part of the Bible you read?
Proverbs. 

6.  What is the best advice on life you can give in up to 3 sentences?
Live your life with meaning - we only have one life in the human flesh, so use that time to help those around you and try to bring as many souls to Christ as you can. Be a prism refracting the Light! And cherish the company of your family - if I've learned anything about my family it is that they've always stood with me through difficult times when all others forsook me. 

7.  Are you a morning person or night owl?
Usually a night owl, but it really depends on the day.

8.  What is your dream car?
Does a horse-drawn carriage count? ;) I'd honestly love a barouche! But, since it isn't very likely that I will ever get one, I'd say a Maserati Spyder - they're pretty sweet!

9.  Do you have a favorite plant or flower?
Yellow roses! They are divinity!

10. What cause(s) are you most opinionated about?
Religion, Health & Nutrition...

11.  Is there any quality you think the Lord is growing in you right now (e.g., patience, love, trust)?
I'd say that the Lord is definitely teaching me patience right now! If I've ever had to be extremely patient in life, it's now. I will say that it has gotten easier, but I am still struggling a bit. I am so thankful that God has been walking me through my struggles though - His love is unfailing!


~*~

Since there aren't too many blogs that I follow at present, I will be updating this later when I can add more. But for those of you who are avid readers, feel free to answer the questions below and  leave a comment here telling me if you did. :)

My questions are:

1). What is your favorite book of the Bible?
2). If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
3). Tea or coffee?
4). What was the last movie you watched?
5). What is your goal for the year of 2014?
6). Do you play a musical instrument? If so, what instrument/s?
7). What is your dream pet?
8). Favorite Jane Austen novel?
9). What are you most likely doing when you have some leisure time?
10). Favorite genre of music?
11). What is one of your most memorable moments?


Thanks everyone for reading, and thank you so much Bethany for nominating me! 
Blessings to you all!


"Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind."
Philippians 2:2