Sunday, December 31, 2017

~Life Without a Mixer #3~

If you live in the South, no doubt you have had biscuits, potatoes, or bread, and gravy. I am not sure if it is strictly a southern thing, but I've only ever lived in the South, so I don't know. But it is a staple in a Southerners diet. I always love it when my mother makes gravy, and we have Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits. Here is the very easy recipe. (I added a few things to enhance the already delicious flavor. )

Here's a tip! If you want your ground beef to be cut up into smaller pieces, use a potato masher instead of a spatula will give the meat that consistency.  This method is especially perfect for tacos or burritos, it just gives it that Spanish feel (like the meat they have at Taco Bell, but much, much healthier.. haha! )  You can also just buy one designed for meat, which I didn't know existed until a few weeks ago.

Hamburger Gravy. 
Serves 8 with leftovers.

Note, use milk in the place of water if you don't have lactose allergies.

Start off with cooking 1-2 pounds of ground beef (I used one pound this time) in a large skillet.
Add 1 tsp each of
onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, and salt. 

Cook the meat thoroughly, using a potato masher. Use a large spoon to get the meat off the sides of the pan. 

After the meat is cooked, add 1/2 cup of  all purpose flour, white or wheat, it doesn't matter. Although, I have found that with white flour the gravy thickens up a bit more. I am not sure why.

Sprinkle the flour on top of the meat.

Using a spoon, mic the flour into the meat, letting it absorb the meat juices, until it looks like playdough ( you will see what I mean when you make this). 

After it is mixed, add 4 cups of water.

Mix it with a serving fork constantly. Bring it to a boil as the gravy thickens. 

Serve over biscuits, toasted bread, or potatoes  

Or you can have it over french fries, like I did below.  

This is such and easy recipe, and it is a perfect quick meal.
We've eaten this meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is very versatile. 

Chef A.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

~Why I Only Have Two Resolutions~

Ah.. New Years.
A bit of a cliche, but who cares?
We all will still make resolutions (which we intend to not follow) we will still count down from ten and hope we get kissed under the fireworks (okay, maybe I went a little too far) and we will still feel a sudden sense of excitement and doom.
I have been thinking a lot on my New Years Resolutions, and I have decided to have only two...
To be, and to not be.

Now, if you're not scratching your head by now, and wondering why you even clicked on my page, you shall soon have an explanation.
When I say "to be" I mean that I want just that...

To be more adventuress,
to be more outgoing,
to be a witness,
to be athletic,
to be brave,
to be a blogger,
just, to be!

And likewise, I hope to NOT be..
to not be lazy
to not be "stuck-up"
to not a a silent Christian, 
to not be a procrastinator,
to not be a "lazy writer",
to NOT be!

This seems like an attainable aspiration, but if you look harder, you can see that it's much, much more. I will have to get off my mental couch. I will actually have to play sports whenever possible, instead of being a bystander. I will have to actually talk to people about Christ. I will have to write a "TO DO" list and actually follow it. Yes, I have my work cut out for me this upcoming year.

2018 will (hopefully, maybe, might be, probably) MY YEAR!

Many blessings! Abigail.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

~ Life Without a Mixer #2~

 photo 012_zps1c5ae5e3.jpg
yummy brownies!
Hershey's Best Brownies

1 cup melted butter
4 eggs
1 cup flour (I used whole wheat, but the recipe isn't affected by what kind of flour you use.)
2\3 cup Hershey cocoa powder
1\2 teaspoon baking soda
1\2 teaspoon salt
1 cup nuts (In the picture above, I used sunflower seeds.)

Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C)

 While the oven is preheating, in a mixing bowl (using a rubber spatula instead of an electric mixer) cream sugar and butter together. Add in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Using the same rubber spatula, mix until well blended, about five minutes. Fold in the nuts of your choice. Pour batter into a 9-by-13 glass casserole dish. Bake at 350 F ( 176 C ) for
 20-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out with baked brownie pieces on it. Cool completely and enjoy!

(I have always loved being in the kitchen, I started baking when I was nine, and I was cooking meals at 14.)

Some things I would change in this recipe are,  DO NOT ADD SUNFLOWER SEEDS! They honestly didn't add any good flavor to the brownies, and they became soggy during the baking process.  If I were to make these again, I would use  peanuts, pecans, or walnuts.

Chef A.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

~Life Without a Mixer #1~

I have decided to combine my recipe blog Life Without a Mixer with this blog, because.. come on.. who has time for two blogs? ~smile~  So, this ( hopefully) will work out! For my first post in this series, I will show you a tip on how to make your boxed cake taste almost exactly totally kinda really like a bakery cake.
This actually works!
This is the cake mix I used, but I've also used chocolate cake mix too.

And here are some cupcakes my family and I made earlier this week. I used the above recipe for these, and they turned out so yummy!

I hope you have as much yumminess with this tip (or hack, if your more up-to-date on modern slang than I am) as I have! 
"Chef Abi"

Thursday, December 14, 2017

~ I Let My Younger Siblings Dress Me for a Week~

As promised, here is last week's adventure, where I let three of my six younger siblings pick out each outfit for each day. It was really fun to see what each of them picked out for me, and it was especially interesting how their personalities showed through their outfits.

Let me give a quick introduction of the outfit choosers...
RayRay is the oldest of the three, and her outfit choices (both for me and for herself) are always fun and colorful. Although some of them the didn't match, the ones that did were ones i would wear again.
Buddy is the middle of the three, and as little boys go, his outfits were questionable at best. I still loved each one. Because they showed what his little mind thinks about fashion.
Charlie, the youngest of the three, is a spunky, quiet girl, and her outfit ( she only wanted to pick one, because her patience hasn't developed yet, and she soon lost interest. ~smile~)  her outfit was one of my favorites! 

(along with the outfits I let them take my picture. Some of these will be a bit blurry, but they enjoyed taking them.)

Day One- A day spent at home
RayRay's  thoughts: "These colors didn't match, and that made them match perfectly!"
My thoughts: What is going on here?! ~sheepish grin~ There are three different patterns, and five different colors in once outfit. There is a brown and black striped shirt with a pink and black striped sleeveless shirt over it, and the skirt is navy blue with white polka dot, and she paired it all with a pair of black boots. I haven't worn the pink shirt and polka dot skirt in a long while, so it was kind of fun to wear them again. This is definitely not an outfit I will wear again, but it was fun.


Day two- A day at home (again)
RayRay's thoughts: "This was a new skirt that I wanted to see on you."
My thoughts: Wow! I love this one! I was pleasantly surprised with this one. I am definitely going to war this again soon. It is a navy turtleneck shirt and a khaki skirt with some fleece leggings and my $5 Walmart flats. (which I love!) 


Day three- A cold rainy day
Buddy's thoughts: "I liked it because it was pretty and the heart kind of looked like candy"
My thoughts: The orange skirt and tan sweater combo are something that I wear quite often. This was another favorite. The shirt he is talking about is a gray shirt with an orange and pink flower-heart.


Day four- at home ( this was not one of those busy weeks)
Buddy's thoughts: It was pretty and it matched and it looked good on you!"
My thoughts: I haven't worn this skirt in a long while, and now i see why. I don't like the length or cut of it, but I thought it was cute that he said it suited me.

Day five- Shopping, errands, sleeting, raining.
Charlie's thoughts: " It was cute and I liked it!" 
My thoughts: Let me say, wow! just wow! I might have to let her pick more of my outfits. This skirt was in the back of my closet, and I had forgotten about it until now. I really need to go through my closet more often.

Day six- Cleaning day
RayRays thoughts: " I wanted it to me 'move-around' because we were supposed to clean our rooms that day."
My thoughts: This was a rather comfortable outfit.. one which I will have to wear again! It was really cold ( a whole 40 degrees!) and it was a Saturday meant for inside cleaning, so she knew that I needed this kind of outfit.


Day seven- Sunday at church, and Christmas play practicing.
RayRay's thoughts: "It was cold that day and you needed a dress to wear because we were practicing our Christmas play.."
My thoughts: I hadn't had a  reason to wear this dress since i got it back in the summer, but my resourceful younger sister decided that a normal Sunday was the perfect reason. I added the long sleeve black shirt because she just had the sleeveless dress, and it was very cold that day. I really love this outfit, and was surprised by how warm and comfortable it was.


In conclusion-
I was very surprised by the outfit choices they made. I didn't think they would be able to match and coordinate as well as they did, but boy was I wrong! That being said, I don't think I will be letting them be my personal fashion consultants full time quite yet.
This has been a fun week, but I'm glad  to be picking out my own outfits. 

You can read this over on my other blog as well..

Saturday, December 09, 2017

~Big Announcement!~

I have decided to give WordPress a try. If you could take a minute and go look.

~Coming Soon~

I am so excited to say that sometime early next week I will be posting

~I Let My Siblings Choose My Outfits For a Week.~

Some of their outfit choices were surprisingly cute and comfortable, and others... not so much. I can't wait to show ya'll my little adventure! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

~Birthday Freebies~

If you're like me, then you love free things... especially on my birthday! Here is a website that has 101 freebies for your birthday. I've already signed up for about 50 of them.

They have links for free shakes, food, items, pretty much anything. You will have to sign up for things, but what's a little typing when free food is involved?

( if I knew how to get the links on to this post, I would.. but for right now, you're going to have to click a few times. )

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

~How To Choose The Perfect Blog Name~

Choosing a blog name can be daunting, a little bit scary, and sometimes hopeless. But I am here to help you choose the perfect name that suits you and your blog. Okay, maybe not help you, but I will at least try to guide you.

Step 1:
Decide what your blog will be about.
What will you be blogging about? A cooking blog? A fashion blog? An encouragement blog? A blog where you just ramble on?
  I knew that my blog was going to be a diary of-sorts about my life. I decided that "Becoming Virtuous" fit me perfectly, as I strive to be the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31.  Once you decide on what you're going to be blogging about, then you can start on step 2.

Step 2:
Brainstorm, complete with thought lightening and idea thunder.
Okay, maybe that's a little cheesy, but it's true. The more you think about names, the more names you'll come up with. It took me about a week to think of the name for this blog, and I'm so glad I took the time to think about it.

Step 3:

Think of word placing.
This one is important. You want your blog to roll off the readers tongue; and you want your blog name to catch the eye of the reader. Try to come up with a name that grabs attention, but isn't gaudy or obnoxious. 
I knew I didn't want anything like "A Virtuous Lady" "Virtuous Woman" or "Living Virtuously", because those just didn't like those (no offense to anyone with those names! The names just weren't my cup of tea) I thought it was unique enough that it would catch the readers eye.

Here is a picture of the moon, to give you a break from reading.

Step 4:

Write The name down a few times.
This is a step you can skip over if you want to; but writing it down and saying it aloud will definitely help you see what needs to be moved, shortened, lengthened, deleted, or added. You don't want a name that is so long that you need eight whole lines to write it down, but if this is what you want to do with your name, then go ahead! The great thing about blogging is that the blog should reflect YOU.  If you want a long name, then go for a long name; if you want a short name, go for a short name; and so on and so forth!

Step 5:   
Create your blog!
Now that you have completed all these steps, you should (or not, if this list doesn't make sense) be able to think of a neat, creative blog name. If the name doesn't sound right to you just yet, then keep trying until you get the perfect name.  I fell in love with my blog name the second I thought of it, so it was a no-brainer that it would sound perfect (to me, at least)

I really hope that this post has helped you in deciding a blog name! When you have your very own blog, leave a comment so I can visit it! Much love, Abigail.