Do Small Things with Great Love

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September Sunrise – Mars Cemetery – Mars, PA

“Not all of us can do great things.  But we can do small things with great love.”

-Mother Teresa

Don’t let it stop you
because it’s not grand…
because it’s not important enough…
because it’s just something small.

Do it anyway…
knowing it matters,
because it has been done
with great love.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Mac ‘n Cheese

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While my furry son was busy playing pumpkin bowling in the front lawn the other day when I was at the office, my chicken-lovin‘* son (who is amazingly turning into quite the cook!) kindly prepared a scrumptious dinner for hubby and me to enjoy when we came home.

What a treat!

And ooohhh how I am going to miss this guy when he moves out soon…

Who doesn’t love a yummy macaroni and cheese recipe on a cool Autumn or winter day?  And buffalo chicken… well – I can eat that any which way.  But – mixed with mac ‘n cheese!!  WOWZA!  Holy Swooning Wowza!

This would be such a yummy dish to give to someone (you know when you want to help out when a family member or friend has a baby, a loved one is mourning, a new neighbor moves in across the street, a friend has surgery…) or take to a potluck event, because it is one of those recipes that keeps well and gets even better the next day or two as leftovers when the flavors fully meld.

This is a keeper friends!  Hope you’ll give it a try, because it is another Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Mac n Cheese*

Ingredients:crockpot-buffalo-chicken-mac-n-cheese

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (Nick made his by combining approximately 60% Franks Red Hot Original Cayene Pepper Sauce,  30% Cholula Hot Sauce, and 10% Sriracha Hot Chili )
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 8 oz pasta (Nick used Penne, but you could use macaroni, shells, or any shape you like)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Add chicken, broth, buffalo sauce and seasonings to crockpot.  Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

Shred fully cooked chicken with fork and return to crockpot.  Add UNCOOKED pasta.  Stir to combine.  Cover and cook on high for 30-40 minutes until fully cooked.

Make cheese sauce separately by melting butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Whisk in flour.  Slowly pour in milk while continuing to whisk until smooth.  Bring to a simmer for 4-5 minutes until sauce thickens enough to stick to a spoon.  Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted and smooth.

Add cheese sauce to crockpot, and stir to combine.  Enjoy!

OPTIONAL:  If you like, top it right before serving with a sprinkle of freshly crumbed bleu cheese to kick it up about 10 notches!!  

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Nick found and slightly adapted this recipe from Jennifer @ Slow Cooker Gourmet

*For more yummy Winning Chicken Dinners, just type “Chicken” into the search box at the top right corner of  the blog or click here.

Charlie Charlie Pumpkin Eater – A Charlie Guest Post

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I have the best Mom ever!

She went to the office yesterday for a meeting and left me home to play.

Not only was it a beautiful Fall day….  she made a whole toy box out in the front yard for me to play with.

Isn’t she awesome?!

She put all these great little pumpkins on a bail of hay surrounded by flowers to make them smell nice.   It really did look pretty, but I’m sure she wanted me to feel free to play with all these fun things.  Right?

I had a blast tossing them around the yard.

After playing with them for a while, I discovered not only are they fun to roll around the yard, but they are DELICIOUS to eat too!

So I ate a few.

Seriously – am I the luckiest dog on the planet?!

Thanks Mom!  The yard might not look quite as decorative as you left it, but I sure had a fun day!

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Woofs & Wags,
Charlie

Charlie is an adopted dog with brown eyes and a white-tipped tail who brings joy and laughter to his family and friends.  Charlie is a gifted writer, raving food critic, cat, chipmunk, and donut lover, and exceptionally photogenic model.  Some of his best friends are Mike theUPS Man, Cliff the Mailman, and ANYONE who delivers pizza to the house.   If you would like to read more guest posts by Charlie, simply type “Charlie” into the Search box at the top right hand corner of this link: thecreativelifeinbetween.com.   If you would enjoy a companion like Charlie, please consider pet adoption.

Autumn Glow

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Autumn Glow September Sunset, Mars, PA 9/26/16

The Autumn Glow

Thick, heavy clouds part briefly
revealing glimpses of glimmering gold

and twinkling sapphire skies
above the emerald carpeted lawn

sprinkled with the first fallen leaves
that will soon crunch beneath our feet

as we walk the familiar lane…
on a sweet September sunset.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Quest

And The Featured of the Month is…

It was an exciting weekend at The Creative Life in Between! Sorry to bombard this morning – I usually only post once a day, but I wanted to share the honor of being featured this weekend on sweet Carolina’s blog – Yesterday After. Carolina is an Italian Artist-Designer now living in California who loves to create beautiful art from vintage items. She paints and writes, and is a beautiful person with a beautiful blog. Thanks for the lovely feature Carolina!

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And FEATURED is… Jodi McKinney!

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THE CREATIVE LIFE IN BETWEEN is….

YesterdayAfter  – Featured of the Month –  September 2016

first-fall-leaves-the-old-dogwood-tree-0916-mars-pa First Fall Leaves The Old Dogwood Tree

 Hello dear friends  and new followers, welcome once again to The Featured of the Month, during this year I made a lots of new connections with very inspiring bloggers and creative people.  Thanks everyone for the participation to our weekly Meet and Greet Fridays. Because this event that I started in 2015 I had the opportunity  to discover and connect with numerous great Blogs. I had the pleasure and honor to Feature many and still is not easy for me to choose only one of you each month. Sorry this month I am a little  late but I was able to made  my pick for September and finally write this post.

This month we have the opportunity to visit the creative world of Jodi exploring…

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Yesterday’s Cake from Cork, Ireland!

My Jewish Apple Cake recipe post from yesterday made it all the way to Lynda in Cork, Ireland.  Look how lovely she made it!!  She converted it to metric for those that would like to try it, but don’t understand our silly cups and U.S. cooking measurements!  🙂  Thanks Lynda!

Step 6 of the Give Depression The Boot Programme was to cook something delicious. Here it is: This heavenly apple and walnut cake came to me, as though delivered by an angel, from Jodi at The Creative Life In Between. I love walnut cake and I’ve never met an apple cake I didn’t like but […]

via Pennsylvania-Cork Jewish Apple Cake with Cheering Cream. —

Two sweet boys… two years apart

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Once upon a time…   (isn’t that how all fairy tales begin?)
there was a young woman

whose dreams came true
when she was blessed with the gift

of two sweet boys
two years apart.

The young mom lived next
to another young mom

who had a boy and two girls
a few years older.

The one little girl
came to visit quite often.

She loved the other mom’s babies,
and the mom loved the little girl.

Her name was Stefanie,
but the boys could not say that,

so she became “Bunny”
forever and always.

Time and distance
have a way of dividing

people and lives
even those that are special.

But time and distance
can also be overcome

like it was this past weekend
for that mom and sweet “Bunny”

when the news of another
baby brought them together.

Some special relationships
are simply meant to be

like the mom who will now
soon be a grandmother

and the little girl who now
is the best momma to her own

two sweet boys
two years apart.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

This post is dedicated and written in love to a very special young lady and mom, Stefanie (“Bunny”).  Thank you for reaching out.  Thank you for sharing your time and your heart and your little loves.  You are my hero, sweet Momma.   Keep doing it right! ❤

 

 

 

 

Jewish Apple Cake (Bread)

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What better smell is there in Autumn than cinnamon and apples baking up in yummy cakes and pies and breads?

This recipe for Jewish Apple Cake is one I got from my BFF Jill, who doesn’t necessarily love to bake or cook, but when she does, she has some amazing recipes.  This is one of them.  The first time I tasted it, I had to have the recipe, and now I make it more than her.

In fact, she texted me yesterday morning, and I said, “Guess what I just took out of the oven?”  She mentioned she hasn’t made it in “forever.”  (That might be why she is thin, and I’m – well  – Not!)

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I’m not sure why this is called “Jewish” Apple Cake, so I did a little Wiki research (and I’m going to look forward to hearing what my BFF Bubby has to say.)

Per Wikipedia:  Jewish apple cake is a kind of dense cake made with apples and sold mostly in Pennsylvania in the United States. It has limited known connections to Jewish cuisine. It is thought that this cake is actually a Pennsylvania Dutch culinary item that was erroneously attributed to Jews because it seemed “old world.”  It may also be considered Jewish because it contains no dairy, and it may therefore be eaten with meals containing meat, in accordance with Jewish laws of kashrut.

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Seems most people make this in a bundt cake or springform cake pan, but Jill always made it in loaves of bread, so that is the way I do too!

Besides… when you do, you can keep one, and give two away… which is exactly what I plan on doing.

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This cake/bread tastes delicious with coffee or tea for breakfast or a snack or dessert.  It is not too sweet, but cinnamony, and apply, and nutty enough to rock your world!

Hope you’ll give it a try.  Let me know if you do.

Jewish Apple Cake (Bread)

Ingredients:jewish-apple-cake-3

  • 4-5 pared apples, sliced thin (I used Honeycrisps)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour 3 bread loaf pans (approx. 8″x4″).

Mix together, apples, walnuts, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon.  Set aside for sugar and cinnamon to soak into the apples and nuts.

Whisk together 2 cups sugar, eggs, vanilla, orange juice, and oil.  Add baking powder and flour, and stir just until batter is incorporated.

Alternate layering:  batter, apples, batter, apples, batter.

Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool  in pan 10-15 mins.  Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.  Store in airtight bag.  Freezes well.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

One of these things is not like the other…

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One of these things is not like the others…

Who remembers this song from Sesame Street?

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

I took this picture of some chrysanthemums and pumpkins in my front yard, and when I looked at the picture, I was startled to see “the thing that doesn’t belong.”

Can you find it?

My oldest son, Jake, LOVED Sesame Street when he was little.  He was transfixed when it came on, and he learned so much from it.  Sometimes I joined him, and other times I did housework while he was pre-occupied and entertained, but so many of the songs still run through my brain triggered by the most unusual of things.

It is funny how something as simple as this can take your mind to a specific place and time and song.

Memories…

The wonderful, whimsical, wacky wonderment.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Leaves

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First Fall Leaves – The Old Dogwood Tree – Mars, PA – September, 2016

Leaves

Leave time for the people you love and the things you love to do.

Leave your mind free of doubt to welcome new ideas and the opportunity to grow.

Leave disagreements to maintain peace and harmony.

Leave people better than you found them – hug the hurt, kiss the broken, love the lonely.

Leave your past in the past and live for what today has to offer.

Leave a mark – not a scar.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi