July 30, 2016

Golden Girl Granola Blogger Challenge 2016: Mazzou's blueberry cheesecake bars

It is with pleasure that I again enter the annual Golden Girl Granola blogger challenge! This company makes such delicious granola; it was a delight to make up a recipe using their ''Bluesberry'' flavor this year.
If you can muster up enough self-control not to eat all of this wonderful granola straight from the bag, try whipping up this simple dessert. The texture and flavour of cheese cake with a crunchy granola crust is absolutely delicious: 

Mazzou's Blueberry Granola Cheesecake Bars
Serves 4-6

1 1/2 cups Golden Girl Granola Bluesberry flavor; one cup ground with rolling pin
1/4 cup almond flour (or ground almonds)
2 Tablespoons coconut flour (or ground coconut)
2 Tablespoons coconut (any size but preferably fine) 
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon butter
3 Tablespoons honey

1 8-oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 tsp. gelatin 
1 tsp. vanilla
1 medium egg
1/4 cup heavy cream

Fresh blueberries
Extra Golden Girl Granola Bluesberry flavor

Butter a 8.5" X 4.5" X 2.75" loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Make sure parchment comes up the edges so you have ''handles'' to remove contents later. 

Combine all 1 1/2 cups granola, almond flour, coconut flour, and coconut. Blend in butter and honey. Mixture should be moist enough to squeeze into a ball. If too dry, add butter as needed. 
Press into prepared loaf pan and set aside. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To make filling, beat cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch and gelatin together. Add vanilla and egg and mix well. Add cream and mix just until combined. Do not overmix. 
Pour filling onto granola crust. 
Bake for 30 minutes until light gold and set. Let cool 30 minutes at room temperature. Chill in refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving.
To serve, cut into squares and top with Golden Girl Granola Bluesberry flavor and fresh blueberries. 
This makes a perfect light dessert any time of the year but especially during summer. 

April 20, 2016

April 9 2016: The Wedding of Joseph and Bethany!

photo by Embrace Grace photography
April 9th 2016
The Wedding of Joseph A. and Bethany S.! 

We met Bethany's family years ago and learned and demonstrated English Country dancing with her and her family in 2008! Also, in 2011 Bethany and I graduated from highschool in the same class. 
As for Joe (and his sisters!), we met him at a film shoot for Pendragon: Sword of his Father and Sam and Nikola got to work with him on early stages of sets for Beyond the Mask. Joseph is that kind of guy you can't help but become friends with! Bethany is such a sweet woman; even when she was about 16 she seemed so mature and gracious- I always admired her. It's funny because I assumed these two friends had met through the Burns because they were another family involved with the dance practices of years ago as well as the film shoots of course! To my surprise, I learned that J and B had met on facebook! I have yet to hear the whole story, but it sounds like it was such a providential bringing together of two who are perfect for eachother! It was such a blessing to witness their marriage and see their joy! 
   Even the entrance of the church was beautifully decorated: there were two vintage doors, a photo board of Joseph and Bethany's growing up years, a cute suitcase for cards and a type writer presenting the information about the guest book Bible. The latter was such a good idea; each guest could look through the note-takers version of the Bible and highlight a verse for the couple as well as write a note beside the verse. 

   I loved the wedding ceremony. The pastor gave the gospel message before any of the family or wedding party entered, which made it easy to focus on the words said. 
Then, the grandparents and parents came in to the theme from Up! Love that music! Sample: 
There must be a God
I believe it's true
Cause I can see His love
When I look at you
These beautiful ladies are two of Joseph's many sisters! 

 The bridesmaids all looked lovely; we thought the coordinating colours and unique dresses a delightful idea. 

And He must have a plan
For this crazy life
Cause He brought you here
And placed you by my side

The groomsmen included two of the groom's brothers, and several friends. 

Olivia and Christina

Watching the adorable flower girls and ring bearer come up the aisle :)

The groom watching as his bride comes up the aisle!
I do not have pictures of that beautiful moment....but Bethany was so lovely, as you will be able to see in the pictures below!

I loved how the bride's father gave words of wisdom to the couple; it was so good!

 And I have never been so sure
Of anything before, like I am in this moment here with you
And now, for better or for worse, so much more than only words
And I pray everyday will be the proof
That I mean what I say when I say I Do
Yea, I mean what I say when I say I Do

You girls are so beautiful! 

 You see these hands you hold, will always hold you up
When the strength you have just ain't strong enough

And what tomorrow brings, only time will tell
But I will stand by you in sickness and in health

 Cause' I have never been so sure
Of anything before, like I am in this moment here with you

And now, for better or for worse, they're much more than only words
And I pray everyday will be the proof
That I mean what I say when I say I Do
Yea, I mean what I say when I say I Do 

Take my hand, and take this ring
And know that I will always love you through anything, Yea
And as the years march on, like a beating heart
I will live these words, til' death do us part

exchanging rings
the kiss! :)

Cause' I have never been so sure
Of anything before, like I am in this moment here with you
And now, for better or for worse, they're much more than only words
And I pray everyday will be the proof
That I mean what I say when I say I Do
Yea, I mean what I say when I say I Do
Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs!!!

                                                                   After the ceremony...
(with the groom's family-love them!) 
Bride and Groom with Groom's parents

(with the bride's classy family!)

She's so beautiful!

Following this wonderful and meaningful ceremony, we all took a delightful drive further into the country to the reception location! Not only was the day absolutely perfect for a spring wedding, the reception location was a old college which was amazing. 
Proof that we were there.... ;) 
     Oh: quick explanation: we four sisters got a drive down with some dear friends who were going! Just for the info, a wedding is a perfect day trip! We had such fun chatting (nonstop) the 2.5 hours drive down to the wedding! Even a faulty GPS which led us 15 minutes out of our way didn't dampen our spirits much and we managed to squeeze into the wedding on time! Of course the hop over to the reception was a breeze; we simply followed the procession of cars in front of us and hoped they knew were they were going because behind us was another line of vehicles. ;)

The reception was held in the old gymnasium which was so neat!
And as we walked in, we were amazed by the beauty and elegance of the room...

An excellent idea was that the guests entered the food line as they entered the reception hall and then found their seats and enjoyed the delightful food while the wedding party did pictures! I highly recommend this schedule of events! 
The food was amazing: I know it's cliche and but everything was Pinterest-perfect! So many kinds of delectable appetizers and darling desserts....

these chandeliers! 
The room had such perfect details, such as this sign in the front corner....
and the fun vintage dinner music...

Gift table
and....there was a photo booth! So we went in it! :) 

(the sweet flower girls)
so pretty! and...is it just me because we just recently watched Sense and Sensibility again or does this little lass look like Marianne Dashwood (Kate Winslett)?! :) 

(the bride and groom during the toasts from the maid of honor and best man)

The first dance, which was so sweet!

                                     The father-daughter dance, which always makes me cry!

(cutting the cake which was actually a yummy cobbler!)
There was a generational dance to discover the longest-married couple. I love this and actually feel like crying over the beauty and wonder of long-lasting marriages! The couple who won this time is easy to see in this video behind the groom....

It was great to watch some of the guests who knew how to dance do some steps! 
Olivia and her brother were especially fun and talented :)

The groom's sister Victoria with them. 
By the way, it was SO delightful to catch up with you Olivia, Hannah and Victoria!!!

(Sara and Mrs. B- our fun companions on the drive down to the wedding and back! Thank you for bringing us along!)

We gathered outside to send the happy couple off with bubbles. They headed for Tennessee and made their way to Florida for their honeymoon!

getting out the way ;) 
we had an inquisitive visitor :) 

Ben (a groomsman) and Lauren- I was tickled to see them after years of following Lauren's blogs!

Goodbye Joseph and Bethany! May God greatly bless your marriage!!!

Wasn't that an absolutely beautiful wedding and reception?
Hope you enjoyed the pictures; don't forget that I love comments whether through your google account or through the comment box on the side of the blog!

And...stay tuned because since Joe and Bethany's wedding we attended another amazing wedding and yet another is this Saturday! If you like wedding pictures, this is the place to come! :) :) :)