Brenda at a Farmgirl's Dabbles has a wonderful giveaway right now.  One of the requirements is to blog about her giveaway too, so that's what I am doing to gain an entry.  It's a great giveaway for a $100 Visa gift card, so who could not use that!

Also, you will want to check out the delicious recipes that is on A Farmgirl's Dabbles blog and sign up because you won't want to miss out on her great recipes and other wonderful things that Brenda blogs about, such as the Visa gift card giveaway.

Here is a link to her website and this giveaway:  A Farmgirls Dabbles

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Lundberg Hearty Rice Soup

Lundberg Hearty Rice Soup
A very tasty, hearty, and low calorie rice soup made with turkey ham or chicken.

Preparation time: 20 min  
Cooking time: 20 min  
Yield: 8 servings 

2 Tablespoons butter
2 large carrots, shredded
2 ribs (1 cup) celery, sliced 1/2-inch
1 medium (1/2 cup) onion, chopped
5-6 cups chicken broth (use low sodium if using turkey ham)
1 cups cooked Lundberg wild rice
2 cups cooked Lundberg long grain rice
2 cups turkey ham or cooked chicken, cubed 1-inch
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in 6-quart saucepan until sizzling; add carrots, celery and onion. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion and celery is softened. Add broth, and stir until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through (15 to 20 minutes).


Fluffy Peppermint White Cupcakes

Fluffy Peppermint White Cupcakes

Earth Balance Buttery Sticks adds a delightful touch of richness to these exquisite cupcakes that are flavored with a light touch of peppermint in the cake and frosting. I garnished them with a light sprinkling of an all natural peppermint flavored  sugar and matching colored candy beads for a splash of holiday fun. These holiday cakes are delicious and will impress everyone.  

makes 22 cupcakes


  • 1-1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups Earth Balance Soy Milk--approx 1 tablespoon will be left for the frosting (divided use)
  • 2 1/8 cups organic unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 - 1/8 cups organic pure cane sugar
  • 1-½ cups Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, divided use (1/2 cup melted  for the cake batter and 1 cup softened for frosting)
  • 1 ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1-½ tsp. peppermint extract, divided use (1/2 teaspoon for cake batter and 1 teaspoon for frosting)
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, divided use—read frosting directions

Directions for cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350ยบ.  Line cupcake pans with paper cupcake liners and set aside.

Place the vinegar in the bottom of a liquid measuring cup and fill the cup with
Earth Balance Soy Milk to equal 1 ½ cups.  Important--reserve the leftover soy milk for making the frosting. Stir well and set aside (don’t worry if mixture curdles).

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl whisk together the Earth Balance soy milk mixture, ½ cup melted Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, vanilla, and peppermint extract. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth
(about 2-3 minutes) using a mixer, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Fill each muffin cup with
approx ¼ cup of batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. 

Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, and then remove cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Peppermint Frosting Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the softened Earth Balance Buttery Sticks until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar and the peppermint extract, beating until smooth. Gradually add in the remaining powered sugar with then adding enough Earth Balance Soy Milk and beat until thick and smooth.  Frost completely cooled cupcakes and if desired, garnish with natural flavored peppermint cane sugar and matching pearl candies for that “Wow” effect! 



Ground Turkey Steamed Dumplings

This was my first place winning recipe that was chosen for Taste of Home Healthy Cooking April/May 2012

Dumpling Ingredients:
1/2 lb. ground raw turkey
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
20 wonton wrappers  (see note below)
Lettuce leaves

Oriental Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1 tbs. sesame oil
1 tbs. minced scallions
1 tsp. minced garlic

1. In a medium bowl combine ground raw turkey, green onions, cornstarch, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil.
2. Place a rounded teaspoon of turkey mixture on each wonton wrapper. Brush edge of wrapper with water. Fold wrapper over filling making a half moon. Press edges to seal. Keep filled wontons under a damp cloth.
3. Line a steamer basket with lettuce. Place dumplings on lettuce. Cover steamer basket. Place steamer basket over simmering water and cook for 30 minutes.
4. While dumplings are cooking, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, minced scallions and minced garlic together and mix thoroughly. Place the dipping sauce into a serving dish.  Drizzle the dipping sauce over the hot steamed dumplings before serving.

*Note: Wonton wrappers are sold in the produce section. If wrappers are square, fold them into triangles. Or, cut them into three-inch rounds with a metal cookie cutter.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour


Be True to Who You Are!


To be nobody but myself - in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make me somebody else - 
means to fight the hardest battle any human can fight, and never stop fighting." 
e.e. cummings 
Are you consumed with living up to other people's expectations? 
Trying to win their approval?
If the answer is yes, are you exhausted yet?

Mind if I intervene? 
A complete, idle, fruitless waste of time.
Trust me on this.

John Eldredge said "Without a deep and burning desire of our own, 
we will be ruled by the desire of others." 
I concur.

It's easy to let the opinions of others dictate our course, isn't it?
To succumb to the pressure.
Allow ourselves to be persuaded against our gut instinct.
Even at some level allow ourselves to be manipulated.
And why... because we dare to be unconventional?
Because we choose to go against the flow?

"The truth is, we will exhaust ourselves by performing for a world that does not want to praise us.
Let us choose to live for God's approval, and find freedom from others controlling our confidence!" ~ Sheri Rose Shepard


My dear friend said that quote is front of the fridge material....I couldn't agree more.....*print*

It will take courage sweet bellas, to be who you are destined to be. 
It will upset the comfort zones of those around you.
And it will cause a ripple effect.

I'll close by sharing a story that Max Lucado recounts of a legend from India that tells of a mouse who was terrified of cats until a magician agreed to transform him into a cat. That resolved his fear...until he met a dog, so the magician turned him into a dog. The mouse-turned-cat-turned-dog was content until he met a tiger - so, once again, the magician changed him into what he feared. But when the tiger came complaining that he had met a hunter, the magician refused to help. "I will make you into a mouse again, for though you have the body of a tiger, you still have the heart of a mouse."

I looked up the definition of courage...it is defined as: 
"a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger or pain with confidence and resolution."

The definition of resolution: "1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination. 2. A resolving to do something."

"Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord." Psalm 31:24

Let us resolve to walk through the rest of this day with courage and receive the strength that comes from Him.
That is my hope for myself today.
And for all of you...


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Outrageous Banana Cupcakes

Luscious peanut butter filling hides inside my moist banana cupcakes that are crowned with a fluffy buttery-tasting chocolate frosting. This winning flavor combination is supreme!

Banana Cupcakes:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 ripe bananas

4 tablespoons sour cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

½ cup cream cheese, softened

Preheat to 350. Grease cupcake tins with non-stick flour spray.

Combine flour, baking powder & baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk or sift.

In a different bowl, mix banana, vanilla and sour cream, or do this in a food processor like I did to make it go a lot faster, and come out a lot smoother.

In an electric mixer, beat brown sugar and butter together until blended.

Add cream cream cheese, and blend.

Add dry mixture to this alternately with the wet mixture in 3 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.

Divide among 18 cupcake tins.

Bake approximately 17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs on it.

Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, and then remove cakes from pans and place on racks to cool completely. Once cooled, cut a cone out of the top of the cupcakes and reserve the cone.

Peanut Butter Filling for Cupcakes:

2/3 C peanut butter (I used the crunchy style to snazzy it up a little)

2 Tablespoon butter, softened

7 tablespoons of confectioners sugar

Beat peanut butter and butter together until creamy (Tip: I did it a quicker way and microwaved the peanut butter on 30% power for 30 seconds first to make it a little softer to blend easier)

Sift confectioners’ sugar into the bowl and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Spoon the filling into the hole created in the top of the cupcake. Then, trim the bottom pointy portion of the cone a bit to make it easier to fit back on top. Place the trimmed cone back on top and gently press down

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

6 ounces semisweet chocolate (if you only have unsweetened, you can substitute 6 oz unsweetened + 6 tablespoon sugar)

1 1/4 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar

2 sticks butter (1 cup), softened

2 Tsp heavy cream

1 Tsp vanilla

In top of double boiler, melt the chocolate until it’s totally smooth, or use your microwave if you know how to safely do that with yours. Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare the rest (approx 5 – 10 min).

In medium sized bowl, beat butter for 3 minutes, until very, very creamy.

Add the milk and beat until smooth.

Add the cooled melted chocolate and beat well. Add vanilla and beat for 3 more minutes.

Gradually add the confectioner’s sugar and beat on high until it gets nice and fluffy. Pipe onto your filled cupcakes and for a pretty garnish; decorate with white chocolate curls, and/or chocolate sprinkles, and/or mini marshmallows.


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