Friday, January 10, 2014

We're Moving!

I've decided to move my blog over to WordPress.

Here is the new link.

http://findpurposeeachday.wordpress.com/

You can find all of my old posts there as well.

You will need to re-sign up for email follow there as well too.

I am sorry for any inconvenience, and I hope that you will enjoy the new set up!

Always,

Jessica

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holiday Gifts: Eternal Lite Candles

My Dear Readers,

Since it is getting close to the holidays, I have been shopping like crazy for family and friends! Yes, everyone will be receiving a few of my delicious baked goods, but I like to shop locally for gifts as well. Small, local businesses tend to have unique items that are just not available anywhere else. One such product, that I absolutely love to decorate my house with, are the flameless candles from Eternal Lite Candles.

Eternal Lite Christmas Candles

 Eternal Lite is a family owned and operated company in Colorado. The company is run by the Bonadonna family. I am lucky enough to know the Bonadonna family personally, and I can tell you that they are a tight-knit, hardworking, and loving family. Every candle order is personal to them, and that’s what makes their company so special.

Every customer is made aware of how important family is to the Bonadonnas just by looking on the side of one of their candle boxes. The box tells the story of Nick Bonadonna taking the time to invent a safer and more affordable way to have a candle glowing each day. This invention became extremely important to Anastasia, the Bonadonna’s aging mother and grandmother, who had to move into an assisted living facility. The assisted living facility, like many others, did not allow for candles with open flame. So, with Eternal Lite Candles, Anastasia is able to enjoy the candle glow, without the worry. Nick created Eternal Lite Flameless Candles for his family, and now his candles are available for everyone to enjoy!

Santa Candle in A Christmas Centerpiece

Eternal Lite Candles come in a variety of images. My favorite images for the Christmas season are the Christmas tree, Santa Clause, and The Nativity. In fact, I just purchased two Santa candles and one Christmas tree candle on Small Business Saturday for my husband’s grandmothers, and one for my aunt. (Yes, this is a gift spoiler for them. Oh well!)  I have one of The Nativity candles on my dresser right now, but when I brought home the candles for our family, my husband insisted that we need a Santa Clause and Christmas tree for ourselves!

Here I am shopping on Small Business Saturday!
The Nativity Candle (I have had this candle for two years now, and I still love the calming glow.)


One of my favorite aspects of the candles is that there is a Christmas carol on the back of the Santa and Christmas tree candles, and there is a prayer on the back of all of the other candles. The Christmas image and carol lyrics will definitely help to put you in the Christmas spirit!

"Joy to the World" on the back of the Santa Clause Candle


These are definitely the kind of Christmas decoration that you will want to put up every year, and pass down to future generations.


The candles are reasonably priced at $20.00 per candle. (There are also smaller, tea light candles available for $9.99) You can order by phone or online, or you can catch the Bonadonna family at a local craft fair to purchase one in person!

Here is a link to the website: http://eternal-lite-candles.com/home (Check the Events tab for Craft Fair information!)
Follow Eternal Lite on Twitter at @Eternal_lite or Like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EternalLite?fref=ts



I will keep telling you about unique, local products throughout December, so be sure to check back for gifting ideas! Plus, I will have a few more new recipes, so you can give something homemade as well!

Until next time, count all of the blessings in your life and give thanks.





Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Individual Cinnamon Roll Pies Recipe!

My Dear Readers, 

Frankly, I have been obsessed with cinnamon lately. I have been putting it in everything, to include my hot chocolate. (If you have never had cinnamon in your hot chocolate, give it a try! Cinnamon adds a unique depth of flavor to chocolate.) My obsession with cinnamon has also lead me to create this sweet recipe for Cinnamon Roll Pies. All the flavor of a cinnamon roll, in a crispy pie crust! 


Individual Cinnamon Roll Pies 

What You Need:

2 Rolls of Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust (Or if you are feeling spunky, you can make your own crust.)
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 Tbs All Purpose Flour
2 Tbs Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
2 Tbs Whole Milk
Cookie Cutters


What To Do: 

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees and Line a baking sheet with Parchment Paper.
Unroll refrigerated pie crust, and cut out shapes. 2 shapes per pie. (I recommend using a shape that isn't very intricate. I chose to use an acorn shape for mine.) (You will need to roll out scraps of each crust to continue to cut shapes, until all of the crust is used.)
Mix together both sugars, flour, and cinnamon. 
Once dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, slowly mix  them into the melted butter.  
Put a small amount of filling in one half of each pie. 
Brush a small amount of the milk around the edges of one half, and then press the halves together. (The milk will act as a glue.) 
Once the halves are pressed together, use either a fork, or lollipop stick to crimp the edges.(I used a lollipop stick to get a larger crimp.) (You may need to put a little flour on the stick or fork, to make sure it does not stick to the dough.) 
Brush the tops of each pie with milk, and then place in the oven. 
Bake 15-20 mins, until golden brown. 

These are a little time consuming, but they turn out beautifully, and taste amazing! These would make great gifts as well! 

Golden Brown Acorns









Friday, November 22, 2013

Monster Pancakes and Cinnamon Sugar Pinwheels

My Dear Readers,

Well, it has been rather dull around here lately. I am waiting to go for more blood work in a couple weeks, that should provide more answers. However, I feel like my body will just remain an enigma to the medical world. On a bright note, I have become rather "ballsy" lately, and decided to send one of my poems to The New Yorker. I will know within 90 days whether they decide to use it or not. I also sent my resume to a local magazine, because, why not? I have not heard back, so I am leaning towards the negative, but I still have a glimmer of hope until I hear a definitive no. 

In the meantime, I bake! Clearly, baking will always be my go to, so sit back and enjoy the benefit of my abundance of time and affinity for baked goods! 

First things first, my cousin's wife gave me a recipe for "Monster Pancakes" a while ago, and I finally had a chance to make them last week. "Monster Pancakes" are also known as German Pancakes. It is an egg based pancake, that comes out with a delicious custard consistency!

These were simple, and come out so beautifully! I wowed my husband with breakfast when he woke up, and he thought I had put way more effort into it than I actually did. (Which, if you are married, you know is always a plus!)

The recipe that my cousin's wife sent me was via text, so here is one I found that is almost identical to hers.

"Monster Pancakes" - German Pancakes

Right out of the oven


Mini German Pancakes made in muffin tins. So easy!

1 cup milk
6 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Blend first five ingredients in a blender.Be sure to smooth out any flour lumps. Blend in butter a little at a time. Grease muffin tins well and fill slightly less that half-full. Bake for 15 minutes, or until puffy and golden on top. The crater will form on its own. Add your favorite toppings and a dusting of powdered sugar. (Source:realmomkitchen.com) http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/mini-german-pancakes-made-in-muffin-tins.html?p=73


I topped mine with a frozen berry mix that I had in the freezer. I thawed the berries while the pancakes were baking, and then tossed them with a little granulated sugar before topping the pancakes. The berries added just the right amount of fresh bite to the creamy custard pancakes.




Definitely give these pancakes a try! Easy, beautiful, and delicious! (They were even tasty the next day with a quick zap in the microwave.) 

Now, I completed a couple new easy and delicious recipes of my own yesterday that I am just dying to share with you all! 

I will put the pinwheels on this post, but save the Individual Cinnamon Roll Pies for the next post. (You won't want to miss it, they have ooey gooey cinnamon roll filling in a crispy pie crust!) 




Cinnamon Sugar Pinwheels

What You Need:

1 Can of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1/2 Cup of Butter
1/2 Cup Sugar 
1 Tbs Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg

What To Do:
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 








-Mix together sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.







-Unroll Crescent Roll dough. 






-Cover dough with softened butter. 
-Sprinkle sugar mixture all over the buttered dough. 







-Roll the dough into a log. 







-Using a sharp knife, cut the log into pinwheels. 
-Place on foiled cookie sheet. 



-Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the pinwheels are golden brown. 
- Place pinwheels on cooling rack. 
-Let cool 5 minutes, and serve. 

They turn out like mini crispy, sweet cinnamon rolls! 

Give these a try! Easy way to have a homemade taste with only a little effort! 

Until next time, count your blessings and give thanks! 

If any of you are giving my recipes a try, I would love to hear from you, and to see your pictures! Leave your pics and progress in my comments section!















Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Local Small Business Highlight: Milagros Soap Company

My Dear Readers,

I have made a recent purchase at a local business here in Brighton, Colorado, and I felt that I needed to share my experience with you.

My mother-in-law's best friend has recently begun her fight with breast cancer, so I decided to send her a relaxing care package. I had made a quick visit to the Milagros Soap Company during the Harvest Festival in Downtown Brighton a couple of weeks ago, and I was amazed at the beauty of the soap selection. So, when it came time to make a care package, I knew where I wanted to go.

The Milagros Soap Company is owned by Sandy Jenkins. It is family owned and operated. The second you walk through the doors, you are immersed in a beautiful, relaxing atmosphere. Milagros is located in the historic part of Downtown Brighton, so the store's walls are exposed brick, and the floors are covered in an aged light hardwood. You can smell the delicious scents of the hand-crafted soap, but the smell is not overwhelming.

Soap Bar

I wanted to buy everything! Each brick of soap is like a work of art.

Seasonal Scents
I chose five bars, and Sandy let me know that a sixth bar was free! (That means my mom will get to enjoy a bar as well!) I purchased Apple Peach, Pumpkin Patch, Milk and Honey, Lavender, and two Vanilla Bean. The signs behind each brick detail the ingredients of each scent.

Vanilla Bean Bar
For an additional three dollars, I was able to have the five bars gift wrapped. I noticed the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon on Sandy's vest, and I told her why I was purchasing the gift. She was incredibly nice, and told me the choices I had made would be very relaxing for my mother-in-law's friend. I asked Sandy a million questions about her store, and the soap itself. The store was originally in Breckenridge, but then the family decided to move to Brighton. (Lucky for me!) All of the soap is hand-crafted with pure ingredients, which makes it a great choice to care for your skin. (Plus, they all smell amazing!)

Grapevine
I was finally ready to check out, and I saw a wooden bowl filled with thin, silver charms that were in various shapes. I, of course, asked about them, and Sandy told me that in many Spanish speaking countries, these charms are called "Milagros." (Milagros means "Miracle" in Spanish.) Sandy then took the time to find specific Milagros that were in the shape of breasts for me, and to make me a copy of the paper, which told the story of the meaning behind the Milagros.
Two Breast-Shaped "Milagros"

Here is what the paper says about the Milagros:

 The word "Milagro" means "miracle" in Spanish. They are also used in Europe, where they are often referred to as Exvotos (Offerings). These small charms are typically nailed or pinned to crosses or wooden statues of various saints like the Virgin Mary or Christ, sacred objects, pinned on the clothing of saint statutes, or hung with little red ribbons or threads from altars and shrines. They are also carried for protection and good luck. 

In Mexico, the use of Milagros is connected with an institution known as the "manda." This [is] where a person will ask a favor [of] a saint after the favor has been granted, one must make a pilgrimage to the shrine of that saint, and take a Milagros and leave it there. 

People also might carry a Milagros with them in order to get its benefit. For instance, a curandera - a spiritual healer- might bless a Milagros and recommend that the person carry it in her pocketbook or on her person, in order to cure a physical ailment or to ward off evil, or bring about a change of fortune. 

Milagros can represent specific objects, persons, or  even animals, or they might represent concepts that might be symbolized by the object represented in the Milagro. For instance, a head might represent a person, a person's head, the mind, the spirit, a condition such as a headache, or whatever concept that the owner or that a curandero or curandera might assign to it. 

So, Sandy handed me the Milagros, and told me that we will pray for a miracle.

This was the best place that I could have gone to make this care package.
Christmas-Themed Gift Wrap

Close-Up 

I urge everyone to stop in to The Milagros Soap Company to check out the gorgeous soap selection, and say hi to Sandy and her sweet dog, who is ready to greet you when you walk in!

Here is all of the store information:

39 North Main Street, Brighton, Colorado 80601 ~ 303.655.0000
Hours: Tuesday through Friday 10:00 - 5:00 ~ Saturday 10:00 - 4:00 ~ Closed Sundays and Mondays
http://www.milagrossoapcompany.com/

Until next time, count your blessings and give thanks!



Simple Apple Pie Recipe

My Dear Readers,

I feel that I have adjusted my Apple Pie recipe to my liking, so I thought I would share it with you all, just in time for Thanksgiving! This is a great pie to include in your Thanksgiving menu, because it is easy to put together, since I cheat, and use a refrigerated pie crust! When I asked my grandmother for her pecan pie recipe a while ago, she told me, "I'll give you my pie recipe, but if you want a crust recipe, you will have to call your Aunt Katie, because I go the easy way and use store-bought." So, if store-bought crust  is good enough for my culinary savvy grandmother, it is good enough for me!

Look at that golden brown crust!

Apple Pie

What You Need:
1 Box Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust 
5 Medium-size Apples – (I prefer crisp red apples, but you just need a firm apple, so the filling isn’t soggy.)
¼ Cup Dark Brown Sugar
2/4 Cup Granulated White Sugar
¼ tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbs All-Purpose Flour
2 Tbs Cold Butter
Pie Pan

What You Do:
Pre-heat Oven to 425 degrees, and grease a 9 inch pie pan.
Peel and thinly slice apples.
Place apples in a large bowl, and gently mix in sugars, spices, and flour.
Press one roll of pie crust into the bottom of greased pie pan.
Pour the apple filling into the bottom crust.
Spread the apples evenly in the pan.
Now, break up the cold butter pats, and spread them directly over the filling.
Cover the filling with another roll of pie crust.
Crimp the edges together.
Make a few slits into the top crust, so that steam is able to escape.
Cover just the edges of the crust with aluminum foil, and place in oven.
Bake for 20 minutes. 
Remove the foil, and continue to bake for another 20- 25 minutes.
Once finished, place on a cooling rack, and let the pie sit for at least an hour and a half. (If the pie is cut too soon, the filling will run.)
Serve and enjoy!




Monday, November 4, 2013

Bonus Post: Sugar-free Pumpkin Pecan Bread Recipe

Here is my recipe for Sugar-free Pumpkin Pecan Bread!


I made this recipe for my dad. I have had a hard time finding a sugar-free pumpkin bread recipe for him that wasn't super dry, so I created my own. This bread is moist, and satisfies even those without sugar-free diets!


Sugar-free Pumpkin Pecan Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

What you need:

1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 cup Splenda
1 tsp baking soda
1 15oz can pumpkin puree
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup water
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
½ cup pecans

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350
Grease a standard loaf pan. (Tip: Use a small piece of parchment paper to line the pan as well, to ensure there is no sticking.)
Sift together dry ingredients: flour, salt, Splenda, and baking soda in a separate bowl.
Whisk together wet ingredients: pumpkin, oil, eggs, water, and spices.
Add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in three parts. (If using a stand mixer, use a lower speed, so as not to over-mix.)
Once everything is well mixed, fold in the pecans.
Pour evenly into greased loaf pan.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
 Place on cooling rack. Serve.
Store the bread in an air-tight container.