Autumn In Tennessee - The Spot Where I Was Engaged

Autumn In Tennessee - The Spot Where I Was Engaged
by Sherri Wear 2008

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Health"IER" French Toast Casserole

Happy Valentine's Day!  My Sweetheart worked last night, so he is still in bed and probably will remain there until 2:00 p.m.  Valentine's isn't the greatest of days for him since he has developed Type 2 diabetes.  I decided to make him a late brunch that would be a little bit healthier than traditional French toast.  I'm not saying this is healthy, just healthIER.


5 cups of cubed whole wheat/high fiber bread (about 7 slices)
4 eggs
1 ¼ cup skim milk
¼ cup non-fat hazelnut creamer
1/8 cup sugar substitute
¼ cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter flavoring

1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp ginger


Cut the slices of bread into cubes. 

Spray an 8 x 8 pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Place bread cubes in the pan.

Beat together eggs, milk, creamer, sugar substitute, syrup, vanilla extract, butter flavoring, and all of the spices.

Pour the liquid mixture over the bread crumbs and let sit for 10 minutes while you are preheating the oven to 350 degrees. After 10 minutes, cover the pan in foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Allow to cool and set for 10 minutes after removing from oven. 

Drizzle with a little maple syrup. Enjoy.

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. ~Mother Teresa

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Make Your Own Hacky Sacks

I have never been coordinated enough to play with a hacky sack correctly.  To me, they are just as well used as stress balls; however, young people LOVE the idea of playing with these little bean bags.  I decided that since I made Valentine's lip gloss for the little girls in Jackson's Awana class, then I should make hacky sacks for the little boys as V-day gifts.  I'll probably have to explain what they are to such a young crowd.  Thankfully, a precious young man from the youth group, Logan, is going to come demonstrate the game for my son and his male companions.  Thanks, Logan!!

I refused to go buy new yarn or needles for this craft, so I used what I had in the house.  The needle is a size J.  Many would recommend a much smaller needle and tighter yarn to make these.  I made them larger for the 4 and 5-year-olds because I thought it would be easier for the kids to get use to using them if the sacks were a little larger than normal.  I think these would also be a good size to use if you want to learn to juggle.  :-)  ...just a thought....

For the inside, I cut the feet out of several old sets of trouser socks. (You could use knee highs or very thin socks.)  I filled the sock feet with 1/2 cup of rice (or dried beans of any kind).  Then, I tied a knot in the loose end of the trouser socks.  This, in fact, could be used as a hacky sack, but I wanted to make them cuter.  Below is the pattern I followed to crochet the covers for the hacky sacks.

Begin : Ch 5, connect with sl st to form a circle
Round 1 : Ch 2 ( counts as 1st Sc), 9 Sc into a circle/ring, join with sl st at top of 1st Sc.
Row 2 : Ch 2, Sc into same space, Sc into each of the sts around, join with sl st at top of the first Sc.
Row 3 : Ch 2, Sc into same space, Sc into next st, ( 2 Sc into next st, Sc into next st) continue pattern to end, join with sl st.
Row 4 : Ch 2, Sc into same space, Sc into next 2 sts ( 2 Sc into next st, Sc into next 2 sts) continue pattern to the end, join with sl st.
Row 5 : Ch 2, Sc into same space, Sc into next 3 sts ( 2 Sc into next st, Sc into next 3 sts) continue pattern to the end, join with sl st.
Row 6 : Ch 2, Sc into same space, Sc into next 4 sts ( 2 Sc into next st, Sc into next 4 sts) continue pattern to the end, join with sl st.

Row 7 : Ch 2, ( Sc into next st) continue Sc to the end of the round and connect as you did previously.
Row 8 to 11 is the same as Row 7.

Begin to decrease back down at this point.
Row 12 : Ch 2, Sc into next 4 sts, ( Skip next st, Sc into next 5 sts) continue to the end of the Round and join with sl st.
Row 13 : Ch 2, Sc into next 3 sts, ( Skip next st, Sc into next 4 sts) continue to the end of the Round and join with sl st.

At this point, I stuffed one of the filled trouser sock feet that I described above into the the cavity the crocheted piece had formed.  Then, continue with the rest of the crochet pattern.

Row 14 : Ch 2, Sc in next 2 sts, ( Skip next st, Sc into next 3 sts) continue to end of Round and join with sl st.
Row 15 : Ch 2, Sc into next st, (Skip next st, Sc into next 2 sts) continue to end of Round and join with sl st.
Row 16 : Repeat the Row 15.
Complete the hacky sack by closing the remaining hole with a final sl st.

Voila!  You have yourself a homemade hacky sack!

Our Very Own Hacky Sacks

Here is my Jackson demonstrating the use of the hacky sack!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lip Gloss/Balm

Well, I admit it.  I am officially addicted to Pinterest.  I feel like I'm cheating on Facebook, but I just can't stay away from it.  I have found so many recipes in the past week, and I just don't mean food.  I have made my own laundry detergent, fabric softener, mopping solution, disinfectant spray, fake Febreeze, and much more.  I haven't even taken time to tell y'all about all of them.  Sorry.  I've been caught up in a cleaning fit.  Today, I tried two new DIY recipes.  I made lip gloss and liquid soap.  I'll go into the liquid soap later when I perfect the recipe.  It was still a little "snot-like" tonight, but it does the job of keeping little hands clean.  I decided to share the lip gloss recipe because you might decide to give it as Valentine's gifts for little ladies.  I've made it for my son's female church buddies.  Now, I have to find something for the little males.  <sigh>  Anyway, the recipe I used came from the following blog.  I am including my own photos because the above blogger chose the microwave route, while I did it "old school."

  • 1 cup of petroleum jelly
  • 1 regular size package of Kool-Aid

Ingredients - I used 2 small tubs of petroleum jelly to equal 1 cup.

Place the petroleum jelly in a metal boiler and heat on medium-low heat.  Stir constantly until the jelly has turned to liquid.  BE CAREFUL BECAUSE IT IS VERY HOT!  Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.

As the mixture begins to cool, stir in the package of Kool-Aid.  Stir until the Kool-Aid dissolves. I chose to use cherry because of the pink tint.  You may use any flavor you choose because the color will not show on the lips.  Allow the mixture to cool until it begins to thicken a little.

Pour mixture into gloss-sized containers.  I bought these at Wal*mart.  They were priced 2 for $.97 and found with the travel-sized merchandise.  You can probably find a much better deal if you shop around on the Internet a little bit.  Allow the gloss/balm to cool COMPLETELY before placing the lids on the containers.

VOILA!  Lip gloss fit for a 4-year-old, or even a 42-year-old in my case.  Don't worry if some of the Kool-Aid can still be felt here or there.  I just think of it as an exfoliant for my dry winter lips.  Enjoy!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dipped Marshmallows

I wasn't very creative today.  I've been trying to decide what to make for Jackson's Awana Cubbies class at church for Valentine's Day.  I decided to try some dipped marshmallows. They aren't the prettiest things I've ever made.  I'll be more careful when I make them for the children at church.

Dipped Marshmallows With Sprinkles

  • 1 bag of any flavor of chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate for these.)
  • 1 bag large size marshmallows
  • various colors and shapes of sprinkles
  • 1 bag of Wilton 8 inch cookie sticks ( cut in half )

Insert sticks into the center of each marshmallow.

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler and dip marshmallows into chocolate.

Roll chocolate-dipped marshmallows in the sprinkles then place on wax paper-covered tray.

Place tray in refrigerator to harden the chocolate.  Enjoy!

I plan to use white chocolate and pink strawberry-flavored marshmallows for
the Awana Cubbies' Valentine's Day celebration.