Friday, April 6, 2012

It's almost Easter....

and as I look outside there are HUGE white flakes coming down...LOTS of them. (Sigh) But I guess since Easter isn't really about cute little animals, chocolate bunnies or green grass what should it matter? It's really all about the CROSS and the man that was NAILED there. It's really all about the penalty, caused from my sins, that He paid with his BLOOD, DEATH and subsequent RESURRECTION 3 days later. It's really all about the fact that because He defeated death we are given LIFE. It's all because He loved us so much...we've been FORGIVEN and should be so thankful (which I am). So Lord willing, I'll keep my eyes focused on the cross and the true reason for this holiday. And now I have a wallhanging that will be such a visual reminder for me...all year round. Thanks to my quilt group ladies who helped me get this finished in time so that I could get it hung in my entry way before Easter actually arrives. This will stay up for awhile I think.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Seared Pepper Crusted Salmon?

Okay, so we live in Alaska and we love to fish, but to be honest, we're not crazy about eating salmon. Halibut is an entirely different matter, but salmon....mmmm...not our favorite. But alas, I found a recipe that my husband LOVED. I even thoroughly enjoyed it...not a hint of salmon/fishy taste. I fixed Quinoa with Black Beans, which even Chris tried and said wasn't too bad. Then I also made Trio Salad, which originally came from the EMeals website and Rebekah loved it! I'm glad that this dinner was a success. Chris had a hard day at the office with several serious issues that came up and it made my heart lighter to know that I'm doing my job as his helpmate, that he's at least had a solid meal with which to digest all these changes. Literally. And no, he didn't eat the salad! ;-) I'll share the recipes for those friends of mine who are also foodies and might enjoy trying them.

2 T. soy sauce
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 t. fresh lemon juice
1 t. sugar
3/4 lb. salmon fillets
4 t. pepper
2 T. olive oil
1. In a sealable plastic bag combine the soy sauce, garlic, lemon juice and sugar with the salmon, coating it well and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (I did mine for about two hours)
2. Remove the salmon from the bag, discarding the marinade and pat dry. Press 2 t. pepper onto each piece of salmon, coating it thoroughly (I didn't measure, I just coated my salmon on all sides)
3. In a heavy skillet heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking and saute' the salmon for 2 minutes on each side or until it just flakes.
4. Transfer the salmon to paper towels and let it drain for 30 minutes.
1/2 t. vegetable oil
1/2 chopped onion
1-1/2 cloves peeled and chopped garlic
1/4 c. + 2 T. uncooked quinoa
3/4 c. vegetable broth
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 c. frozen corn kernels (I forgot, but will add it next time)
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, saute' until lightly browned.
2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.
{TRIO SALAD} from the EMealz website &
2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes (halved if you want)
1 avocado, peeled and diced
4 t. cider vinegar
1 T. olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1. Combine vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
2. Place vegetables in a bowl; add the dressing and toss gently.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Kitchen Time

So for the past few weeks I've been involved in a bible study where we were going through "The Complete Guide to Getting and Staying Organized" by Karen Ehman. These last couple of weeks have been focused on meal planning and cooking. I was thoroughly convicted that I was not "feeding" my family. That's part of the job that the Lord has given me as a stay-at-home mom, and I had truly lost sight of the blessing that it is and the joy that can come from serving my family. I mean lets face it, after spending hours in the kitchen only to have 1 or all of your family members detest the labor of love you've created, it's pretty easy to become disillusioned and think: Why am I doing this? It's oodles easier to adopt a fend for yourself attitude or run through a drive through or spend $$$ at a restaurant. But alas, convicted and armed with some new recipes and a strengthened resolve to serve my family in this area of our home, I've plowed back into the kitchen with some great results.
I started with a recipe I found off a fellow scrapbookers blog: Grilled Sausages with Onion Relish and Coleslaw. Sounded weird, but knew there wasn't anything my family didn't like in it and according to the fellow scrapbooker, it got rave reviews with her picky family.

1 large onion, chopped
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 T. light brown sugar
1/2 t. sage
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. sour cream
1.5-2.25 lb. Italian sausage
Preheat outdoor grill. In a medium saucepan combine first 5 ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to med-low. Cook; stir 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Grill sausages 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked through and browned. Remove to plate, top with onion relish.
16 oz. bag shredded coleslaw
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 c. mayo
1/2 c. salsa
In a large bowl, combine all these ingredients and toss well.

So no surprise, both my darling daughter and darling son looked at the onion relish and said "No Way". But surprise! The husband really liked it. Okay, that was a boost of confidence. Next I tried crock pot pork chops and again, the husband and this time, my son, really enjoyed it-plus it made the house smell awesome!)
Two nights ago I made a recipe that Chris had torn out of his Men's Health Magazine for Shrimp Pad Thai. Rave reviews from my husband and son again! Poor Beka thought it was TOO spicy.

2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T. natural peanut butter
1 T. honey
1 T. reduced sodium soy sauce (I used Bragg's amino acid)
1 T. sriracha chili sauce
1 T. fish sauce
2 t. roasted sesame oil
2 T. vegetable oil - preferable peanut (I used 1/2 canola & 1/2 hot chili oil)
1 lb. peeled large raw shrimp - thawed and drained if frozen
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 c. sliced shitake mushrooms
6 oz. rice noodles, cooked rinsed and drained
3 scallions, sliced
1/4 c. roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 limes, quartered, for serving
1. In a blender, combine the first 7 ingredients and 1/4 c. water; puree until smooth and set aside.
2. Heat a wok or large skillet on medium high. When it's hot, add 1 T. oil and swirl to coat the pan. Then add the shrimp and cook until they just turn pink, about 2 minutes. Transfer them to a plate.
3. Add another Tablespoon of oil to the wok and swirl. Add the peppers and mushrooms; stir-fry for 2 minutes. Return the shrimp to the pan along with the peanut sauce, cooked noodles and scallions; stir-fry for 1 minute.
4. Serve with peanuts and lime wedges. Makes 4 servings.
My kitchen accomplishment yesterday was making a test cake in preparation for Thomas's birthday in a couple of weeks. I made homemade Buttercream Frosting and Marshmallow fondant. Filled the two layers of cake with homemade raspberry jelly and the verdict was a definite thumbs up. Although a bit of a sugar rush to be certain, but then what do you expect of something that's made entirely of marshmallow, powdered sugar and water?!

But all in all, I'm pretty proud of myself and although my kitchen has been a continuous disaster, my heart is full knowing I'm "feeding" my family and serving them in love.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

How can it be the end?

Wow! What a year...where has it gone? It hardly seems possible that 2011 is nearly over and 2012 is knocking at our door. It's been a trying year in many ways and my faith has been tested. But I'd like to think that I'm learning and growing in my walk with the Lord. I've pushed myself and tried to stretch outside of my personal comfort zone through scrap-4-hire and FINALLY doing the FB thing. My children are healthy, bright and constantly driving me crazy, which is a blessing. I have a wonderful husband who is a great provider, a warm house to keep me safe, plenty of food to fill my stomach and a God who loves me and is the source of ALL my many blessings. When I consider how blessed I am; how can I be anything but GRATEFUL. So goodbye 2011...thanks for the memories and lessons; the ups and downs; the good times and not so good times. And hello 2012...may I be open to what you have in store for me and my loved ones.

Enjoy this peek at the last few months in the Hudson household for 2011. And may you and yours have a healthy, happy and more importantly BLESSED 2012.

fishing fun
lots of beautiful fall rainbows
2 carved Jack-o-Lanterns
Thanksgiving blessings
Beka turns 6 with a
pampered princess party
singing in our church's Christmas Cantatamy Christmas elves

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I took this photo of Thomas on the Sunday before school started. We had just gone to Redoubt to view his class list and he wanted me to take his pic. So he hopped up on the concrete wall and I snapped a few pictures. Didn't think much of it until I downloaded them off my camera two nights ago and was almost speechless when I saw this one.

All I could think was: How can that be my boy?

You might just see the picture of a young man sitting there...looking pretty GQ, but anyone who knows what he's been through and how he came into this world knows better. And I as his mother saw something entirely more. Let me explain. When I looked at this picture it immediately went through my mind that God has blessed him with so many amazing gifts...the gift of music (per his piano instructor), the gift of memorization (that boy can memorize his AWANA verses like it's no ones business), the gift of intelligence (near the top in math & reading), the gift of good looks (which we all know is a fleeting gift) and the gift of a stubborn will (which can be good or bad). Does he realize how blessed he is? Probably not. Do I often forget how blessed I am for having him in my life? Yup!

And it reminded me that I need to be praying every day that he comes to know his Lord and Savior in a personal way because I have a feeling God has something very special in mind for my "little" boy.

Monday, September 19, 2011

First Day of School

Well, it is official. My babies are now both full day schoolers! School started August 24th, but it wasn't until the next Monday that it was officially Rebekah's first day. The house is much quieter and miraculously, much cleaner these days, without both of them here during the day. I'm getting caught up on back-logged paperwork and trying to devote more time to scrapbooking and my scrap-4-hire business. I'm really loving this. I have some people who almost gasp when I tell them I'm not one of those moms who cries when her kids go to school. I'm cheering on the inside...and okay, so if I'm brutually honest, sometimes I'm even cheering audibly. But the way I look at it is that I was BLESSED to be able to stay home with them for the first 5+ years of their lives. I spent 24/7 with them, training them and raising them up to be able to be bright, independent children who were ready to go to school. So when that time comes, it shouldn't be a sad thing. It's just the next step and if I've done my job right, then I can let go with confidence. In someways it's more work now then when they were home all day. I have to pray for them and their friends, for God to protect their minds and their hearts from anything evil that might hurt them. For their teachers and for me...that we can encourage, teach and grow along with them. But I know that they are exactly where they are meant to I say "Yeah! It's the first day of school." Let the school year begin.

Friday, August 19, 2011

New Haircuts...New Kids?

So in preparation for school, which begins on Tuesday, I took the kids to have their hair cut. I knew I wanted Rebekah's to be cut into a shoulder length bob so that it would be easier to take care of in the morning and not require "hair pretties" (since she NEVER leaves them in). I love Beka's and pulled up with little clips on the sides, it's adorable!! But I was in for a shocker when it was Thomas's turn and he announced he wanted his hair to be like his friend Chaz's. That meant all of his beautiful, thick hair...gone!! I took a deep breath, looked at Tina our stylist, gave the go-ahead and said a silent prayer. I'm not sure if it was for me or him or what, but I said one anyways. I'm still not sure about the new be honest I think I'm in mourning for the last vestige of little boy that there was. Not that he was a little boy, even with the longer hair, but somehow it just feels like my baby boy is gone. All with the snip, snip of a stylists shears. You haircuts; new older looking kids?

Thomas & Rebekah Before:

Thomas & Rebekah After: