Homemade Mushroom Soup Recipe

1413482577324Fall is finally here!!! In the Dekker home, we like to kick the season off with a big pot of homemade mushroom soup! We make this tasty fall favorite often, because it’s fresh, delicious, and puts us right into a festive mood. Best of all, it only takes one stock pot, so you’re not stuck with a ton of dishes! We hope you enjoy this simple recipe as much as we do!

What You’ll Need:

1.5 Lbs of mushrooms, rinsed and sliced/diced
(We use 1/2 Crimini and 1/2 White mushrooms)
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 stick salted butter
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup white wine
(We usually get a decent Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc since you only need a little and someone’s gotta drink the rest, right?!)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
salt & pepper to taste

Begin by melting butter in a large stock pot. Add onions and garlic and simmer until onions are softened. Add mushrooms and white wine. Cover pot for 25-30 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft and have created a nice liquid. Add lemon juice, oregano, thyme and parsley. Use an immersion blender (or move mixture into a regular blender) until you have the consistency you like in a mushroom soup. We like to blend half the mixture to a smooth consistency and add it back into the chunkier half to add varied texture to our soup. Add heavy cream and salt & pepper to taste, stir well as it warms back up, and enjoy!1413479305724Happy Fall!

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A Very Curious 2nd Birthday!

We went bananas when it came to planning J’s 2nd birthday party! In honor of his very favorite little monkey, Curious George, the decision was an easy one when it came to a birthday theme this year! We had the party in our hometown in Arizona this year to make it easiest to have the majority of our family and friends there to celebrate with us. It was a very warm and sunny day, but we made the best of it! Thanks to the abundant help of our family, we were able to throw quite the party for J! Check out some of the details, captured by Snap Lovely Photography, of our swingin’ good time!

As the guests arrived, they were greeted with tables adorned with adorable quotes, a guest sign in book, and fun and flavorful favors for the little monkeys! Each family took home some party hats, goodies, and their own copy of Curious George and the Birthday Surprise!Jacks2ndBirthday (22)Jacks2ndBirthday (68)Jacks2ndBirthday (67)Jacks2ndBirthday (70)Jacks2ndBirthday (16)From festive lanterns to colorful hand-made paper kites and felt polka dot garlands, this party had plenty of color and decor! Jacks2ndBirthday (6)Jacks2ndBirthday (66)Jacks2ndBirthday (57)Jacks2ndBirthday (15)Jacks2ndBirthday (65)Jacks2ndBirthday (78)Jacks2ndBirthday (28)For such a warm day, we chose to serve fresh homemade salads, salsa and hoagie sandwiches to our guests accompanied by a refreshing iced tea and lemonade stand!Jacks2ndBirthday (11)Jacks2ndBirthday (76)Jacks2ndBirthday (85)Jacks2ndBirthday (82)Jacks2ndBirthday (74)Jacks2ndBirthday (7)Jacks2ndBirthday (119) Jacks2ndBirthday (13)Jacks2ndBirthday (100)Jacks2ndBirthday (110)We had a jumping castle to entertain the little monkeys…. AND the bigger monkeys seemed to enjoy it, as well!Jacks2ndBirthday (128)Jacks2ndBirthday (129)Processed with VSCOcamJacks2ndBirthday (133)Jacks2ndBirthday (212)Jacks2ndBirthday (138)Jacks2ndBirthday (96)Jacks2ndBirthday (80)Let’s not forget about the goodie table! There were plenty of treats to go around! Between the homemade mini cupcakes topped with banana runts and the build-your-own-banana split bar, we had everyone swinging from the trees!Jacks2ndBirthday (126)Jacks2ndBirthday (31)Jacks2ndBirthday (33)Jacks2ndBirthday (48)Jacks2ndBirthday (40)Jacks2ndBirthday (39)Jacks2ndBirthday (5)Jacks2ndBirthday (29)Jacks2ndBirthday (43)Jacks2ndBirthday (4)Jacks2ndBirthday (136)Jacks2ndBirthday (197)Singing “Happy birthday” was J’s favorite part, he couldn’t get enough of it!Jacks2ndBirthday (161)Jacks2ndBirthday (158)Jacks2ndBirthday (179)Jacks2ndBirthday (168)Jacks2ndBirthday (172)Jacks2ndBirthday (178)We can’t thank our family and friends enough for making J’s birthday so special. Once again, our family did more than we could ask for to help us get ready for the party, we definitely couldn’t have done it without you!

Thanks again to Snap Lovely Photography for capturing such a beautiful and fun day, our family is so lucky to have you! It was so amazing to get to spend time with the people we don’t see often enough, and it is just so wonderful to know how loved J is.

Happy 2nd birthday, little monkey! Your mommy and daddy love you SO much!Jacks2ndBirthday (202)

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” – Philippians 4:4

 

 

Sweet Pea Hummus Recipe (SCD approved!)

TO SEE MORE POSTS LIKE THIS ONE, VISIT MY NEW FOOD BLOG AT SPECIFICALLYSWEET.COMProcessed with VSCOcam with s2 presetSummer is here, and it’s the perfect time to enjoy this light and delicious recipe! It is amazingly easy to make, and is the perfect dip for crisp, fresh veggies! Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetHere’s a recipe I got from my aunt Elizabeth. When I was visiting her last summer, she made this amazing dip and I could not stop eating it! She shared with me the recipe, and I’ve made it several times since then! You will be amazed at the amount of flavor and texture that comes from such a simple list of ingredients!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

2 Cups frozen peas, thawed

2 Tbsp Tahini

2 tsp Cumin powder

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt & Pepper to taste

Simply blend all the ingredients in a food processor and enjoy with some crackers or fresh veggies! I can imagine it would also be an amazing spread on a sandwich or even a nice, thick sauce in a cold pasta!Processed with VSCOcam with s2 preset

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” – Proverbs 18:10

 

 

 

 

Gingernut Cookie Recipe (SCD approved!)

TO SEE MORE POSTS LIKE THIS ONE, VISIT MY NEW FOOD BLOG AT SPECIFICALLYSWEET.COMProcessed with VSCOcam with s3 presetIf you’re looking for a simple, quick and delicious cookie recipe, look no further! I found this yummy grain/dairy/sugar – free recipe HERE  from this awesome recipe blog that has some great SCD options! I will share with you the recipe, but be sure to check out everything else she has, she’s pretty amazing!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup honey, warmed
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon mixed spice (cinnamon, nutmeg & allspice)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, breaking up any lumps. Add melted coconut oil and warmed honey and mix to combine. Line baking tray with baking paper. Roll teaspoons into balls and flatten onto baking tray with palm of hand, allowing room for spreading. Bake  for 8-10 mins, the earlier you pull them out the softer they are, but these cookies are great with some crunch. Cool and Enjoy!Processed with VSCOcam with s3 presetBe anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

Zucchini Banana Muffins (SCD Approved!)

TO SEE MORE POSTS LIKE THIS ONE, VISIT MY NEW FOOD BLOG AT SPECIFICALLYSWEET.COMSCD_ZucchiniBananaMuffins

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

3 cups almond meal or flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

3 eggs

1 cup zucchini, shredded

1/2 cup honey

2 ripe bananas, mashed

Optional:

1/2 cup raisins or walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together well, and distribute into muffin pan that is either lined with papers or greased well. I like to use butter or coconut oil.

Bake for 15 minutes, then check if a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. If not, continue baking, checking every 2 minutes until you get a clean toothpick! Tops of the muffins should get nice and golden!

Allow to cool a bit, then enjoy! I like to spread a little butter on mine, and if I’m feeling super indulgent, a little drizzle of honey on top! Yum!

Pumpkin Beer Cupcakes Recipe

IMG_20130920_055027In honor of tradition, I made a really fun dessert for Brendan’s birthday again this year. Last year, I made him Bacon Chocolate Chip cookies. (Check out the recipe, here!) So, this year I decided to continue with the bacon theme, but throw a few other favorites of his in the mix. If you had Brendan make a list of his top 5 things to eat or drink bacon, pumpkin, cheese, and beer would probably be on that list. So, I put them all together in one little cupcake and they were pretty tasty, if I do say so myself! Here’s how to make these  Pumpkin Beer Cupcakes with Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Bacon!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

For the cupcakes:

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

1 cup pumpkin puree

2/3 cup pumpkin ale

4 tbsp butter (1/2 stick)

2 eggs

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

For the frosting:

6oz cream cheese,  room temperature

1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted

1 tbsp salted butter

1 tbsp cinnamon

3 tbsp maple syrup

For the candied bacon:

3-5 slices of bacon

2 Tbsp brown sugar

Start by placing the bacon slices on a cold baking sheet, sprinkle with brown sugar evenly, and place in cold oven. Turn oven on to 350 degrees and check back in 15 minutes. You want the bacon to be crispy, but not charred, so remove when they’re the perfect, sizzling crispness and cool. When bacon is cooled, chop into small pieces to sprinkle on top of the frosting at the end.

Now for the cupcakes. The oven is already preheated to 350 from the bacon, so all you need to prep is putting the cupcake liners in the tin. Then, in a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt, set aside. In a non stick frying pan, melt butter over low heat until slightly browned. In a mixing bowl, combine browned butter with granulated and brown sugars, whisk together until combined. Add eggs, pumpkin and beer to the butter sugar mixture and fold together with a spatula. Then slowly fold in the dry ingredients. Using a tablespoon, spoon batter into cupcake tins evenly and don’t over-fill! Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean, then cool.

Meanwhile, you can prepare your frosting by beating together cream cheese, cinnamon, maple syrup and butter until well combined.  Slowly beat in powdered sugar until desired sweetness and consistency.

Once cupcakes are cooled, frost and top with candied bacon bits, and enjoy! I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!IMG_20130920_034459

“We love because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

Quinoa Fried Rice Recipe

To my dismay, I have a very picky little eater on my hands. Baby J is extremely selective in the foods he will eat, but one of the things he really enjoys is rice! I decided to mix it up on him a little bit and sub in some quinoa in an otherwise favorite dish of his, and it worked like a charm! He enjoyed it so much, it will definitely be a staple in our house, since it’s easy to whip up, has a variety of healthy ingredients, and is perfect for reheating for days!

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What you’ll need:

1 C White Quinoa, rinsed well and drained

2 C Chicken stock

1/2 C Edamame, shelled and thawed

1/2 C Peas, thawed

1/2 C Garbanzo Beans

1 Carrot, chopped and cooked until soft

2 eggs, fried

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Coconut Aminos (in place of soy sauce)

Garlic Powder, Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa in chicken stock (or water, if you prefer) until it is a nice, fluffy texture and the germ is visible. In a separate pan, start by boiling the chopped carrots in shallow water in the bottom of a sauce pan until super tender (I was making this dish for my one year old, but you can keep it with more firm texture if you’d like) Then, drain the water and drizzle a little olive oil in the pan before adding the two eggs. Stir until the eggs are cooked well, then drop in the edamame, peas, garbanzos, and cooked quinoa.  Season and add the coconut aminos (or soy sauce) to taste and serve! If you like a little spice (like I do) I highly recommend a drizzle of Sriracha! I hope you enjoy this quick and super simple recipe as much as we did!

 

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” – Colossians 3:16

Pearled Couscous Tabbouleh Recipe

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One of the my favorite side dishes we made for J’s birthday bash was this delicious cold couscous salad. It was fresh and tasty, complimented the kabobs so well, and looked so pretty on the food table! It was really easy to make and I added things as I went, I didn’t follow any exact recipe. I’ll cut the portions down to size, since I originally made enough to feed 50 guests!

What you’ll need:

2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Box of Israeli (pearled) Couscous (Trader Joe’s has my favorite)

1 3/4 C Chicken stock

1/2 C Flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/2 C Mint, chopped

1 pint Grape tomatoes, halved

1 Seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped

1/2 C Toasted pine nuts

1 TBSP Garlic, minced

2 Lemons, just the juice

2TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook the couscous in chicken stock until it is a nice al dente texture. (you can substitute the chicken stock with water) Let cool for a bit, then toss in the rest of the ingredients! Chill and serve! (If it chills for a while, you can always add a little more lemon juice and toss to liven it up a bit! Super easy, fresh and delicious!

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Enjoy!

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. – Psalm 34:8

– Photography by Snap Lovely Photography

The Days Of Dawn

When I first began blogging, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to write about. I knew I wanted to share my heart and my life with friends and family, and I knew it would mostly be about my sweet little J that came into our lives and rocked our world. What I didn’t realize was that there are actually more layers to me than being a mom and a wife! While those are by far the most important roles I play in life, I have found some hidden passions and new adventures within myself that I never expected to find! I find so much joy in things like delicious foods and fun little projects, that I decided that the name of my blog didn’t exactly fit anymore. Not only have I found things to talk about besides my sweet baby boy, I’ve also realized that, although bittersweet, my sweet baby boy might not be such a “baby” anymore. He is growing more and more every day as a person, and I guess what I’m realizing is, is that so am I!

My new name is The Days of Dawn. I’m so excited for new things that are coming my way, thank you for following me through this fun little adventure in finding myself and all the beautiful things life has to offer!

xoxo,

Kimberly Dawn Dekker

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Cowboy Caviar

I was craving something fresh and tasty for a snack, so I went hunting in the fridge and pantry. It’s one of our favorite things to do. When it’s just about time for a grocery trip, we like to make something delicious out of whatever is left over from the shopping trip before! It’s challenging and it’s also kind of fun to see what we come up with. Brendan was out-of-town and I didn’t feel like cooking, so I threw this together!

This is my version of a cowboy caviar. I believe the original recipe was black-eyed peas, but I’m a big fan of black beans, and honestly, that’s what I had in my pantry, so here’s how I made it!

What I used:

1 can of black beans, drained

1 can of sweet corn, drained

1 sweet onion, diced

3 ripe (but firm) avocados, cubed

3 fresh tomatoes, cubed

2 fresh garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (or red wine, but balsamic is all I had)

1 Tbsp olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients, toss and enjoy! Serve with tortilla chips or anything else that sounds good with it!

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“All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.” – Proverbs 15:15