Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sea glass, Whoopie Pies and God...

Okay, I know what you're thinking...
How can God be in a sentence with whoopie pies???
Well, read on, my friends...

If you read my post yesterday, you know that my mermaid girls and I
spent a long weekend in Kennebunkport Maine.
I posted a ton of pictures yesterday...
but didn't go into detail about a few highlights of the trip...
which is where sea glass, whoopie pies and God come in:)

let's start with Sea glass...


I think it is safe to say that this mermaid mom and her girls LOVE
Sea Glass!


Always have, always will.
Finding a piece of sea glass is like finding treasure for us...
a very rare collectible.
At least here in south Florida.
Sea glass is made when pieces of broken glass are tossed around in the sea
and are weathered by sand, salt and water.
We spent an entire morning up in Maine,
climbing the rocks, walking the beach...
and searching for sea glass.
And we found it!


OH HAPPY DAY!!!
Some were more weathered than others but we're not picky:)
Taylor especially was the sea glass queen that day!


But Jordie did manage to find some beautiful pieces too, as well as
mini lobsters and starfish:)


We found green, blue, white, brown, yellow and orange sea glass.


I never even knew it came in those colors!
I would go back tomorrow just to walk along those rocks and look for more sea glass.
(Oops...I said that yesterday, didn't I? well, I really mean it:-)

Yes, I admit to being a bit of a sea glass snob...
finding the real thing beats buying a copy any day...
but I do understand desperation! haha

There are such creative people out there who make beautiful jewelry
from Sea glass...
like this...

(photo courtesy of creations by Robyn flickr)

In fact, we have a few pieces we are going to turn into jewelry too!
So if you go to Maine,
find yourself a beach...


preferably a rocky one or one with coves...
and when you find a piece of pretty sea glass...
don't be shy!
Show it off and shout "it's a Sea Glass kind of day!"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Whoopie Pies...
or should I say "wicked good" whoopie pies...
which is what they say in Maine to mean...
as good as it gets!
Wicked Good...


So what in the heck are whoopie pies?
Well, in a nutshell, they are a phenomena in Maine and I think other areas of New England...
(like I would know, huh?)
Anyway, they originated in Pennsylvania Amish Country.
According to lore,
they were baked by Amish women and put in their farmer husband's
lunchbox.
When he opened his lunch to find a whoopie pie,
the farmer shouted "WHOOPIE".
People living in Maine have been known to say they were weaned on whoopie pies:)

They are basically two round pieces of cake with a creamy filling to make a sandwich.
Some say they are like a giant oreo.
Mmmmmm...
The original and most popular are chocolate, but you can now find them in different flavors,
such as pumpkin, red velvet and banana.
Here are a few recipes, courtesy of whoopie pies.org and cooks.com.
Now personally, and I know real whoopie pie aficionados will not appreciate this,
I have a feeling they would be just as good filled with your favorite sweetened, light fluffy frosting.
But again, what do I know anyway:)

Original Whoopie Pies

Picture
WHOOPIE PIE:

2 c. sugar
3/4 c. shortening
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla

10 tbsp. cocoa
4 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp. soda
Pinch of salt

FILLING:

1 1/2 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
12 tbsp. marshmallow fluff
2 tsp. pure vanilla


Cream shortening and sugar. Combine beaten eggs, milk and vanilla and beat into creamed
mixture. Slowly stir sifted dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, and beat on medium speed about 2 minutes. Drop with tablespoon onto greased and floured cookie sheet (enough dough to make a baked cookie about 2 to 2 1/2 inches). Bake at 350 degrees until cookie just springs back when pressed in center with finger. Remove to rack and cool completely before filling.Combine fluff, shortening, and vanilla and beat until well mixed. Slowly add confectioners sugar until well mixed. Place a generous amount on the flat side of one cookie and top with another cookie. Makes about 2 dozen whoopie pies.

These store well in an airtight
container in the refrigerator and also freeze well.

All Recipes from Cooks.com. Please visit them for many more.


Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Picture
Fluffy cream cheese filling sandwiched between two moist pumpkin cookies make these Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies the perfect hand-held snack you just won't be able to resist!

COOKIES:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Lightly grease or line four baking sheets with parchment paper.COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Drop by heaping measuring teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets. (A total of 72 cookies are needed for the recipe.)

BAKE for 10 to 13 minutes or until springy to the touch. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

CREAM CHEESE FILLING:

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

BEAT cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy.SPREAD a heaping teaspoon of filling onto flat side of one cookie; top with flat side of second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Store in covered container in refrigerator.

Estimated Times: Preparation - 20 minutes; Cooking - 10 minutes.

Yields 3 dozen mini pies.
(c) 2009 Nestle,


Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Picture
PIES:

2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
1 cup cocoa
2 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs (save the egg whites for the filling)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sour milk or buttermilk
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour

Cream sugar and shortening together in a large bowl. Add eggs and mix. Sift dry ingredients together and add to the creamed mixture alternatively with milk. Batter will be stiff. If it is too thin, add more flour. Drop by tablespoon onto greased sheets. Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the cookies comes out clean.
FILLING:2 egg whites
1 box 10X sugar
1 cup shortening
4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat egg whites till stiff. Add shortening and vanilla and blend. Add milk and then add the sugar. Beat until smooth. Spread some filling on the bottom side of one cookie; top with a second cookie. Repeat with the remaining cookies and filling. Store in the refrigerator or freezer. Yields approximately 5 dozen.Note: You can buy a powdered buttermilk mix to make your own buttermilk or you can substitute 1 cup yogurt for either the buttermilk or sour milk. To make sour milk, place 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or vinegar) and fill with milk to make 1 cup. Let stand for 5 minutes.


Banana Whoopie Pies

Picture
4 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. shortening
2 c. sugar
2 lg. eggs
2 c. mashed extra ripe bananas
1/2 c. sour milk or buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla

In a large bowl sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine and cream together shortening and sugar. Add and beat thoroughly eggs, bananas, sour milk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients gradually, beating after each addition.Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls on lightly greased and floured baking sheet 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake 8-15 minutes, depending on size of until they spring back to touch in 350 degree oven. Remove to wire rack to cool. Frost as for other whoopie pies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay...
we've covered sea glass and whoopie pies.
Now before I talk about God,
I should say that I am NOT a Bible teacher,
I am NOT a gifted speaker
and I DO NOT have all the answers.
I only know what I know...
from growing up in a Christian home and growing up in church.
And I write on my blog about things that are meaningful to me...
and might be to somebody else.
That's it.

If you want a blog with an inspirational, knowledgeable speaker...
who really know what they are talking about...
I can introduce you to a few...
like my friends Trudy or Courtney.
Now they can teach...and speak...and pray!

Praying...or speaking to God
is what this is about.
I'm no expert...
and I am NOT one of those people who can pray a long, beautiful, perfectly worded prayer.
Not even close.
But I don't think it matters.

I think little kids get it but not all of us.

For years I have heard my youth directors, ministers and
speakers on TV say that to speak to God does NOT always have to mean on your knees
saying the same old prayers. (those are good too:)
That God WANTS a closeness with us every minute, every day.

Every time I hear that, I think..."Why don't I remember that as I am driving down the
road for the umpteenth time of the day???"
But I don't.
This came to me as I was climbing over rocks by the shore,
searching for sea glass treasure,
staring out at the beauty of the day, the rocky coast,
the deep blue sea.

By this time we were a ways down the beach,
away from the crowd,
my girls busy on their own treasure hunt.
In my mind, I started to remark at the beauty of everything,
including this special time spent with my girls...
my gratefulness for moments like this...
and other thoughts (prayers)
and found myself sharing this with God.
Suddenly I understood what these speakers had been trying to teach all my life...
that starting the day with prayer, praying for those in need, saying good night prayers were
all very important.
But it was the little moments that God wanted to be a part of, too.

I can't even begin to tell you how at peace I felt that morning,
searching for sea glass,
marveling at the sweet little starfish, lobsters and even a sea urchin...
and sharing my finds with not only my girls...
but with God.
(And I can tell you "peace" is the last thing I was feeling as we headed out
on this adventure.)

But peace, gratitude, wonder and appreciation were what I found.

See...I told you I don't know much...
and I have no doubt this could have been said much better by some of you...
but this is how it was that morning, between God and Me...
just hanging out on the rocks...
and talking.

By the way, did you notice the comment yesterday by "Blondes in the Kitchen"?
That comment was from my Taylor who is away at ballet boot camp:)
Here it is...hope you don't mind Taylor.
I just couldn't help myself.
I'm so proud of you!
Blondes in the Kitchen said... Hi Mama,
I think that Kennebunkport is one of the best places to ever visit and live!!
I loved this blog post almost as much as I love devouring those whoopie pies. :)
Miss you all much!

Love,
Taylor xoxo
So that's how Sea Glass, Whoopie Pies and GOD
find their way into the same blog post.

And while we talk about prayer,
please remember my special friend Mollye and her beautiful family.
Mollye lost her much loved son Jake to a tragic accident this week. If you get a moment,
please stop by her blog and let her know you are thinking of her.
I promise that not only will your visit mean so much to her,
but you will have a new friend for life in Mollye!
XOXOXOXOXO

Suzanne

P.S. Mom, I realized recently you can't hear the music I put on my blog with a post.
This made me so sad, so I will try to remember to tell you what
is playing so you can tie it to the post, if I think it is something
you would like.
Like today...
it starts with Emery's favorite song,
"Everything is Beautiful"
and then "Ordinary Miracles".
Appropriate, don't you think?

13 comments:

  1. Oh wow what a beautiful, moving post.

    First off you make me want to go looking for sea glass, your girls are so gorgeous and it looks such fun.

    Thank you for your words of wisdom and thank you for your lovely comment.
    xoxo DJ

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a glorious post!!! The wonders of God and his beautiful creations that we enjoy.

    We actually have a beach here on Lake Michigan which is just rich with sea glass. You'd be in hog heaven! However, I have never seen some of those colors either!

    ReplyDelete
  3. A friend brought me some marshmallow fluff from Maine years ago, and I would make the kids sandwiches with peanut butter and the fluff. It was good. The Whoopie Pies sound really yummy.

    I had never heard of sea glass before. It's really beautiful. It makes gorgeous jewelry. I don't think we have any sea glass at our beach on the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston, Texas; but I'll be on the lookout.

    Thank you for the reminder that God wants to be close to us every day. It's so important to keep that in mind. I do feel a special closeness with Him when I am in nature and find myself being more reflective and prayerful.

    This was a beautiful post, and your girls are so sweet. You are a blessed woman.

    Trudy
    www.artisticcreationswithtrudy.blogspot.com
    www.sewingwithtrudy.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a wonderful post--again! I love sea glass too, it is so pretty. Thanks for the whoopie pie recipes, they sound so good! I'll e-mail you info soon about Paris. Might not be for a couple of days--I'm really busy right now and have a lot to do, but I won't forget you!
    XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh Suzanne I love sea glass too! It such a great lil treasure to find.
    I could spend hours searching the beaches for bits of sea glass and heart shaped stones!

    I am so glad you had that "ME" time with God.
    I talk to him at the strangest times...like when I am riding the tractor, cutting grass, walking thru the woods, sipping tea while watching the sun rise!
    You are so right it makes you feel so much better!
    We are so blessed and we owe it all to God, Our creator!

    God Bless you sweetpea,
    Hugz,
    Dolly

    ReplyDelete
  6. A beautiful post - I love all the little notes about God and your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  7. hey your blog design is very nice, clean and fresh and with updated content, make people feel peace and I always like browsing your site.

    - Murk

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi :)

    I actually found your blog, looking for a great sea glass photo for a design project and stumbled across your photo! I love your blog and completely agree with all you have to say. My boyfriend and I love finding sea glass and now you have inspired me to go to Maine for an adventure:) I'd like to plan a trip there for this summer as a birthday present for him. But I've been looking around at a few bed and breakfast's and am not sure where to stay. So I was hoping you could recommend where to find that amazing sea glass.
    Thank you so much !

    Stay beautiful,
    Bee

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi :)

    I actually found your blog, looking for a great sea glass photo for a design project and stumbled across your photo! I love your blog and completely agree with all you have to say. My boyfriend and I love finding sea glass and now you have inspired me to go to Maine for an adventure:) I'd like to plan a trip there for this summer as a birthday present for him. But I've been looking around at a few bed and breakfast's and am not sure where to stay. So I was hoping you could recommend where to find that amazing sea glass.
    Thank you so much !
    Stay beautiful,
    Bee

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is so crazy that your post was about Kennebunkport Maine as that is where I live. I collect seaglass on those beaches daily, I was looking for seaglass pictures online and came across your post, so funny that it was all from the same beach. Glad to hear that our town treated you well and that you enjoyed your stay.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hey I came across your post when looking for a "wicked good whoopie pie receipe" lol and I had a blast with it! As someone from south of Boston, it was so funny to see someone define "wicked good" but after reading it I was like "that makes so much sense!" but if someone had asked me to define it I never could have and I use the term daily! LOL. Also, sea glass is such a normal occurance here I can't imagine not having it! Lastly, I didn't even know Whoopie pies were a local thing! I love whoopie pies, they are everywhere around here! Before reading your post, I just assumed they were a normal US thing, not a NE thing! Too funny! Had a blast reading and realizing all the things I know and grew up with were so interesting to you :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hello :) My name is Katrina and I'm a new member of the Christian family with the help of my boyfriend, Dan and his family. My family does not like my being a Christian, but it is where I find peace and joy. :) I was looking for sea glass and it brought me here, and yes, I loved reading everything here, about God most especially :) I was feeling sad because my boyfriend and I are in a long distance relationship right now, and reading your post made me happy. Thank you so much and God bless you and your family. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello :) My name is Katrina and I'm a new member of the Christian family with the help of my boyfriend, Dan and his family. My family does not like my being a Christian, but it is where I find peace and joy. :) I was looking for sea glass and it brought me here, and yes, I loved reading everything here, about God most especially :) I was feeling sad because my boyfriend and I are in a long distance relationship right now, and reading your post made me happy. Thank you so much and God bless you and your family. :)

    ReplyDelete

So, what do ya think? Do tell...I'd love to hear it:) Be Happy...

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