Wednesday, August 31, 2011

the hurricane that (thankfully) wasn't.

all week last week anything anyone talked about was the impending hurricane. naturally we were expecting terrible wind and rain. thankfully all we saw here on the north shore was some wind and some rain. however, due to the forecasting that occurred, we made sure we were nice and prepared to go without power for a couple of days (which would have been useful had we lost power for a week like some people on the south shore did). Despite the rains that tagged along with irene, we had a delightful weekend:

it started off with ry experimenting in the kitchen. somehow he got in his head that he was going to make a pancake or crepe casserole. i looked up a recipe for him, but it was not exactly what he had in mind, so he made one up. and it was amazing. he layered crepes with real vermont maple syrup and a butter, brown sugar, flour mixture. can we please say delicious?! yet another reason why i married this wonderful man:

after delicious crepe casserole, we thought it would be best to head to target for $5 movies to last us until the power went out, if it went out. look at these gems:

we of course needed a pizza to get us through, should the power go out, so we whipped up a little meatball, pepper, onion and ricotta delight since what's better to have to eat if needing to rescue food out of the fridge?!:

so then it was sunday and we woke up expecting crazy wind and rain, only to find a slight breeze. our pastor thought it best to not cancel church, so off we went. most people didn't come out, so it was a small group, but lovely none the less (when isn't pigeon cove chapel lovely?!). Then it was back home to bunker down...or go for a walk. that's when it hit. we got down to the water and the wind started whipping and the rain was pelting us so hard it hurt. we brought beans out so he could say he'd been out in a hurricane (i don't think he liked it):

we then headed to check out the scene at singing beach. there were people actually in the water. look at the waves compared to them!

and then, as if nothing happened, life was back to normal on monday:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

then sings my soul.

i meant to post about this adventure a while ago. we recently went up to new hampshire (i know, i know, it's a curse word in our house, too) to hike mount chocorua.

it was a beautiful hike that was almost eight miles round trip. about three miles up, we stumbled upon this little cabin that you can sleep in if you are brave enough:

i guess it gets a little windy up up there, so the roof needed to be held down by these chains:

the beast we know as beans came with us and conquered the mountain as well. and by conquer, i mean he had to be passed down the top of the mountain so he didn't fall and he kept sitting down for a rest when we were in the home stretch. we were proud of our little mountain climber and were thankful that peter is such a good team player:

anyways, here are a few more shots from the hike:

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander

And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.

When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur

And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

and the popcorn.

i've made this recipe for two occasions: our superbowl party last year, as well as when i had the soccer girls over last Sunday. it's ADDICTING and i need to remind myself to make double batches when i make it because it disappears about five minutes after setting it out. the caramel part only takes about 5 minutes to make and then you stir in the popcorn (which i pop using my air popper that we picked up for $2 on a yard sale one year. best. purchase. ever.). i have to have ry mix the popcorn because he's GREAT at making every piece covered in caramel goodness. i'll leave you with recipe to enjoy while we run off to prepare for the hurricane by taking beans to run around and get out all his energy! hopefully i won't be posting about hurricane crazy in the next couple of days...

caramel corn
cooking light


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon light molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 cups popcorn (popped without salt or fat)

  • 1. Preheat oven to 250°.
  • 2. Coat a large jelly roll pan with cooking spray.
  • 3. Combine sugar, corn syrup, butter, and molasses in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes, stirring once. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Place popcorn in a large bowl; pour sugar mixture over popcorn in a steady stream, stirring to coat.
  • 4. Spread popcorn mixture into prepared pan. Bake at 250° for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • 5. Remove from oven; stir to break up any large clumps. Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

a serious cookie problem.

i have a serious cookie problem.
it's bad.
if there are cookies...i will eat one.
or ten.
it doesn't matter what the kind.
homemade or storebought.
i love them all.
the one that currently has my heart:

my goodness are these delicious.
i literally can't have just one.
it is not possible.
if you like mint and chocolate...i dare you to try just one.
i bet you can't do it.

in light of my cookie loving, here's the recipe for the oatmeal cranberry cookies i made the other day for the soccer girls. this is definitely a winning recipe. they're so tasty! and make sure you leave time to refrigerate the dough for about two hours before you're ready to bake...

oatmeal cranberry cookies


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries


  1. 1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the vanilla, milk, and eggs. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, gradually add milk mixture, and beat well. Add the flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Remove bowl from the electric mixer, and stir in the oats and cranberries. Place dough in the refrigerator until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

  1. 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside. Shape 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball; place on one of the prepared sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing 3 inches apart. Press with the bottom of a glass to flatten dough into 2-inch-diameter rounds.

  1. 3. Bake until golden but still soft in center, 16 to 18 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove from oven; transfer with parchment to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Monday, August 22, 2011

an evening of desserts.

there a few things to comment about on here:

1. i have an amazing husband.
2. the gordon college women's soccer team is full of wonderful people.
3. baking is therapeutic.

1. my husband. obviously he's amazing. that goes without saying. as i often feel the need to remind my friend Adrianne - i love him, dearly. one of the reasons i love him dearly is because i say things like: hunnies, is it okay if i have the soccer team over sunday night for dessert? and he replies: sure, you should make a fruit tart and that delicious caramel corn. SO not only does he let me have over a group of 15 girls over on a Sunday night (his favorite night to relax and get ready for the upcoming week), he suggests the perfect feast for them as well! splendid.

2. gocowoso. coaching soccer brings my heart joy. lots and lots of joy. i swear there are little soccer balls pulsing through my veins and to be able to be a part of it at gordon college, a place that i love so dearly, makes my heart happy. and not only is it soccer, but it's soccer with a group of girls who are truly phenomenal people. each one of them brings something so unique to the team and it is so apparent that the Lord is sovereign in all things when He orchestrates bringing groups of people like this together. i'm so thankful to be a part of gordon soccer again this year.

3. baking is therapy. in preparation for the girls to come over i made the aforementioned desserts and threw in some oatmeal cranberry cookies, too. i baked and cleaned all sunday afternoon. ry got to rest and enjoy a quiet sunday and i was able to listen to hymns and bake all day. perfection. all three of the recipes are delish, but because i don't want to overwhelm you with deliciousness, i'll start with just the tart. The caramel corn and cookies will come at a later date. without further ado, the tart (booooo to forgetting to take a picture of the tart in it's entirety!):

white chocolate fruit tart


3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 package white chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup heaving whipping cream
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 container fresh strawberries, sliced
1 container blueberries

1. In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add flower; mix well. Press into an ungreased 11-in. tart pan with removable bottom or 12-in. pizza pan with sides. Bake at 300 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.

2. For filling, in a small mixing bowl, beat melted chips and cream. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth. Spread over crust. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Arrange strawberries and blueberries over filling. Refrigerate until serving.

Friday, August 19, 2011

community worship.

there are thousands of reasons i love working at gordon college. it's a place that had such a huge impact on my life and continues to do so every day that i work there. the people i get to interact with on a daily basis are just plain awesome. they're some of the people in my life that make philippians 1:3 a reality*.

anyways, we had the privilege of gathering together as faculty and staff to worship God as one body before the students returned to campus. i love this tradition because it brings us right back to the reason why we do what we do. we work at Gordon to serve the Lord and glorify His name and do so in a place that encourages students to do the same thing.

it was a fantastic time of worship. i always love hearing so many voices sing praises to God. it's one of the most beautiful sounds. be thou my vision was sung by the faculty staff choir and that is on the top three hymns list, for sure:

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

What a great hymn to sing as we enter into another school year.

*i just listened to a john macarthur sermon on aspects of joy and he was explaining how in philippians 1:3 paul was saying how he would think back on the people who brought him joy when he was facing hardship. i've heard the verse a million times but never really thought of it in this way. i liked it. (and in my paraphrase, i butchered what macarthur said. you can listen to it here.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

a couple favorites from a low key weekend.

Part of the reason we love Beans is because some of his favorite things are some of our favorite things! Examples: church softball, our friends, playing frisbee...and Gordon College! We took an adventure to Gull Pond in the woods at Gordon this weekend. Beans loves it there:

thanks for being so cute, Beans!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

tex mex stuffed yellow squash with a side of baked zucchini chips

i love that life is slowing down. love. love. love. i finally feel like we're not racing around checking things off the to do list. this leaves time for playing fetch with beans, spending quality time together, and flipping through recipes on (martha = awesome). all this time also allows us to adequately prepare a menu for the week causing much less stress when coming home after working all day. i like choosing recipes that use similar ingredients for the week so i don't overspend my budget (my meal planning tends to do this...i'm TRYING, i promise).

Anyways, tonight was tex mex stuffed yellow squash (a new recipe) served with baked zucchini chips (an old fav). You'll notice the summer squash repeat from here. The tex mex squash was YUM! and the baked zucchini chips were YUM YUM YUM!! A definite fav in the Dumas household. Both are a bit time consuming, but you can prepare the zucchini chips while the squash are baking. Since the temp for them is a little higher, I put them in with 10 minutes to go on the squash, took them out, flipped and put them in again when the foil was removed from the squash at 450.

stuffed tex mex yellow squash

  • 4 yellow squashes (8 ounces each)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated (didn't have these - used a little regular onion instead)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 1/2 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees, with rack set in the top third. Halve each squash lengthwise; slice a sliver from the rounded part of each half so it sits flat. Leaving a 1/4-inch border, scoop out halves with a small spoon; roughly chop flesh, and reserve. Place squash halves, skin side down, in a shallow baking dish. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add reserved chopped squash, bell pepper, scallion whites, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bell pepper begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomato paste and chili powder; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add beef; cook until no longer pink, breaking up meat with a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in corn and 1/4 cup Parmesan; season with salt and pepper.

  3. Dividing evenly, spoon mixture into squash halves. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake until squash is tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Uncover, and bake until top is browned, 7 to 10 minutes more. Garnish with scallion greens.

    baked zucchini chips

    • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
    • 1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    • 2 egg whites

      1. 1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
      1. 2. In one small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Place the egg whites in a separate bowl. Dip zucchini slices into the egg whites, then coat the breadcrumb mixture. Place on a greased baking sheet.
      1. 3. Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn over and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until browned and crispy.