Robert Ford said he thought
people were playing a trick on him when they showed up at his door
saying they bought him a car. "I thought they were full of it. I didn't think it was real," he said laughing.
and Sean Merrill, a couple who just days earlier were total strangers
and gave him a lift home late at night, told him the car was his. "I'm a total stranger and they did this for me. It blows my mind," said Ford.
all started when the Merrill's were driving home after 9 pm. Near the
corner of 5400 South and 2700 West they spotted a man who was walking
with a lunchbox in his hand. "He looked like he'd had a rough day," said Sean. Sean told his wife that had she not been in the car, he would offer the man a ride. Darilyn insisted they do it.
At first, Ford refused the ride but reconsidered thinking the couple seemed nice and polite.
the ride home, they heard Ford's story about a two-hour, one-way
commute to his custodian job at high school on the east side of the
valley. The commute, he told them, left him with only time for
work and sleep. On that day, he was walking because he'd missed his
final bus ride.Ford explained he'd had several hardships in life and his car broke down last year. The story touched the newlyweds who had their own struggles with work and finances a year earlier. "We were thinking we are blessed. We have so much," said Darilyn.
Days later, they went back to the neighborhood where they dropped-off Ford and knocked on doors until they found his family. Sean told friends on Facebook that he wanted to buy Robert Ford a car.
"Maybe they saw something in Robert they've experienced in their own lives," said Sean of the donors. Sean , who is a mechanic, bought the car at an auction and went to work fixing the brakes and an oil leak among other things.Five days later, the couple showed up on Robert's doorstep with the car. "We
want him to feel like he can succeed and provide for himself," said
Darilyn who feels like God put her and her husband in Robert's path. Robert feels like "someone up above" was looking out for him. Nowadays, his 2 hour commute to work has been reduced to about half hour. He's getting a lot more rest these days.
Blessed is the person who sees the need,
recognizes the responsibility, and actively becomes the answer...
2 or 3 cookie sheets or jelly roll pans covered with parchment
Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and
preheat to 300°F.
Combine the flour, backing soda, salt, and spices in a bowl;
stir well to mix. In the bowls of a standing electric mixer fitted with the
paddle attachment, beat together on medium speed the butter and sugar for about
5 minutes until very fluffy and whitened. Add the egg and continue beating
until smooth. Lower the speed and add in half the dry ingredients, then the
molasses. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and beater. Beat in the remaining
dry ingredients. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large rubber spatula
to finish mixing the dough.
Use a small ice cream scoop to scoop out 1-inch diameter
pieces of dough. Roll into balls between the palms of your hands, then roll in
the sugar. Place the balls of dough on the prepared pans leaving about 3 inches
all around each to allow for spreading.
Bake the cookies for about 15-20 minutes or until they have
spread, the surface has cracked, and they are firm to the touch. Slide the
papers from the pans to racks. Store the cookies between sheets of parchment or
waxed paper, in a tin, or plastic container with a tight-fitting cover. Makes
about 40 cookies.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl combine flour,
sugar, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and cloves. Combine melted
butter, molasses, and eggs. Add to flour mixture, stirring until thoroughly
combined. Do not beat (the batter will be thick).
Spread batter in a greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake for
20 minutes or until center is softly firm. Do not over-bake. Cool on wire rack.
Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into squares. Makes 24 brownies.
2 Tbsp soft butter
2 Tbsp oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Vietnamese cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp boiled cider*
1 large egg
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
Place the butter, oil, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl and beat until well-combined. Add the boiled cider (*can substitute 2 Tbsp thawed frozen apple juice concentrate) and egg. Beat until well-combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Alternately add the dry mixture and the milk to the wet mixture starting with 1/3 of of the dry and then 1/2 of the milk, stirring to combine after each addition.
Grease a doughnut pan and fill the cups 2/3 full with the batter. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove donuts from the pan and cook on a rack.
3 Tbsp boiled cider*
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp honey or corn syrup
1/4 cup water
(1 tsp lemon juice if using apple juice concentrate)
Optional: chopped nuts
Combine ingredients in a deep saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pan and boil for 3 minutes without stirring. (The syrup will rise in the pan quite a bit as it boils, that is why you need a deep pan.) Remove the cover and boil for a few more minutes until the syrup reaches the soft ball stage (240°F on a candy thermometer). Remove from the heat and carefully dip the tops of the doughnuts into the syrup and place on a rack placed over a cooking sheet. (Reheat the syrup if it starts to thicken too much.) Top with chopped nuts if desired.
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 cup whole milk, heated to 115°F
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided, plus more for kneading
1/2 cup butter cut into 1 in cubes
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat egg and
sugar on medium speed until blended, about 1 minute. Add the milk,
yeast, salt, and vanilla, and stir to blend. With the machine on low,
add 2 cups of the flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, and beat until the dough
is thick and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Switch to the dough hook. With machine on medium speed, add the
butter one piece at a time, and beat until no large chunks of butter are
left in the bottom of the bowl, 3-5 minutes. Reduce speed to low and
add additional flour until the dough gathers around the hook and cleans
the sides of the bowl. It will be soft and moist, but not overly sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently until
the dough no longer sticks to your hands. Lightly grease a large mixing
bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a damp
tea towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough and roll out to 1/2 inch thick. With a
doughnut or cookie cutter, cut out 3 in diameter rounds with 1 in
diameter holes (for filled doughnuts, don’t cut out the holes).
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a backing sheet with
parchment. Place the doughnuts at least 1 inch apart on the baking
sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot until nearly
doubled in size, about 20 minutes.
Bake until the doughnuts are a light golden brown( doughnuts will be extremely pale), 5-8 minutes,
being very careful not to over bake them. Immediately brush with butter
and sugar or glaze.
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment
paper, set aside.
In bowl of stand mixer beat cream cheese and butter until
smooth. Add in egg and continue mixing until incorporated. Turn mixer to low
and add in brownie mix until dough comes together. It will be very thick. Stir
in white chocolate chips.
Using large cookie scoop, scoop dough onto lined pan and
bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are set. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
Place a oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, spice(s), salt, and
baking powder in mixing bowl and mix until smooth. Add the flour and stir until
Lightly grease two doughnut pans. Fill each well about ¾
full using a scant ¼ cup of batter in each well; a tablespoon scoop helps with
this task.Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or
until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes
in pans and then remove and let them cool on a rack.
While the doughnuts are still warm (but no longer fragile),
gently shake them in a bag with cinnamon sugar,
or pumpkin-spice sugar made by combining the spice with granulated or extra-fine sugar. Another option is to ice them with boiled cider glaze.Serve immediately.
Stir all of the ingredients together, starting with the lesser amount of cream. Add additional sugar or cream if need to make the glaze the consistency of molasses. Dip one side of the doughnuts into the glaze. Makes 1 cup glaze.
*1. To make your own pumpkin pie spice combine ¾ tsp ground cinnamon and heaping
¼ tsp each of ground nutmeg and ground ground ginger.
2. These doughnuts are incredibly moist. And when stored in
a plastic bag, they quickly become soggy. Store doughnuts on a cooling rack,
loosely covered with a layer of waxed paper or parchment laid on top, or use a
cake dome, an upended bowl, a deep, large lasagna pan, or something that will
shelter them, yet allow good air circulation as well.
3. Sugar them (or spread with icing) just before serving –
or at most a couple of hours before.
4. You can bake these ahead and freeze. Thaw at room
temperature (on a cooling rack, uncovered) for a couple of hours before
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place chicken breasts in a glass baking dish. Liberally spread basil pesto on each piece of chicken. Cover the pesto with slices of Roma tomatoes, and cover with the mozzarella cheese (I prefer to use an Italian blend of cheeses). Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. YUM!!
1 red bell pepper / sliced
1 yellow bell pepper / sliced
1 green bell pepper / sliced
1 yellow onion / sliced
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts / cut in half
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning*
4 cloves garlic / diced
1 10oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles / drained
For serving: (optional)
*To make your own Taco Seasoning at home: (or use pre-made taco seasoning mix)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp corn starch
Add half of the sliced peppers and onions to your slow
cooker. Next, layer the chicken and coat all sides with taco seasoning. Top
with garlic, tomatoes (be sure to drain) and the juice from one lime.
Add the remaining peppers and onions, cover, and cook on
HIGH for 3-4 hours. Remove chicken and cut/shred into slices (chicken left
longer will tend to shred more - cook to your preference). Return the sliced
chicken to the slow cooker to marinate in the juices for about 10 more minutes
(on LOW) until ready to serve. If you find that there is too much liquid, you
can remove till there is a desired amount before serving. Assemble Fajitas to
your liking - top with cheese, sour cream, and guacamole! Enjoy!
½ cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat
cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
½ cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
2 (5-ounce) cans albacore tuna in water, drained and flaked
Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt
and fat. Drain. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to
coat. Add onion and carrot; cook 6 minutes or until carrot is almost tender,
stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Gradually stir in milk; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk until
slightly thick. Stir in cream cheese, mustard, salt, and pepper; cook 2
minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove pan from heat. Stir in noodles, peas, ¼ cup
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and tuna. Spoon mixture into a shallow broiler-safe
2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with remaining ¼ cup
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let
stand 5 minutes before serving.
1 Tbsp salted butter
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup grated carrot
4 Tbsp salted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half (half cream, half butter)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I used chicken broth)
10 oz grated sharp cheddar
8 oz broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
salt and pepper to taste (I used 1 tsp kosher salt and a pinch of black pepper)
¼ tsp grated nutmeg, optional Instructions:
1. Melt the butter in a large soup pot (6 quarts) over medium heat.
2. Once melted, add the chopped onion, garlic and grated carrot and
stir occasionally until the onion has started to soften but not turn
brown, about five minutes. Empty the vegetables into a medium-sized bowl
and set aside.
3. Return the pot to the burner. Add the second amount of salted
butter (4 Tbsp, or 2 oz). Once the butter has melted, add the flour to
the pot and whisk it into the butter/onion mixture. Let the flour cook
for two minutes or until it is a light blond color instead of white.
(This mixture of flour and butter is called a roux. The reason you want
to make a roux is so the end result is a smooth soup without flour
4. Going slowly at first, start drizzling the half-and-half into the
pot while whisking it constantly. Once the first amount of liquid has
thickened, repeat three or four times the step of adding the
half-and-half a little at a time and whisking until it thickens. Once
the roux is noticeably thinner because of the liquid additions, you can
add the rest of the half-and-half faster to the roux. Then pour in the
two cups of chicken broth and stir to combine.
5. Allow the soup to come to a boil over medium heat and then turn
the heat down slightly to medium-low so that the soup is still
simmering. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes until it is noticeably thicker,
stirring occasionally so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan and
6. Whisk in the grated cheddar a handful at a time, allowing it to
melt before adding the next handful. Once the cheese has melted, add in
the bowl of sautéed onion, garlic and carrot to the pot. Add in the 8 oz
of chopped broccoli and stir to combine.
7. Simmer the soup until the broccoli is tender but still bright green, about five minutes.
8. Add salt and pepper to taste as well as the grated nutmeg, if using.
9. Serve in a bread bowl or with a baguette.
6 cups cold water
4 limes, washed and quartered
1/2-3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
Combine the water and limes in a blender (Blendtec/Vitamix), in batches if necessary, and blend until totally smooth, about 2 minutes. Strain the lime mixture through a sieve and press on the solids until only pulp remains.
Pour the liquid into a pitcher and add the sweetened condensed milk to taste. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Serve in a glass over ice.
(Makes about 7 cups)
1 head cauliflower 1 Tbsp. sesame oil 1 Tbsp. garlic 8 oz beef, chicken, pork, or shrimp 1 cup diced carrots 1 cup frozen peas 2 eggs white pepper to taste 3 Tbsp. soy sauce green onions for garnish, chopped
down a head of cauliflower in a food processor until it’s the size of
rice. Heat sesame oil over high. Add garlic and fry until fragrant. Add
the beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, or tofu and cook until 80% done. Add
carrots and peas, stir until thoroughly incorporated. Push ingredients
to the sides of the pan to create a well. Pour in 2 whisked eggs and let
it set for 15 seconds. Scramble eggs and fold into the cauliflower
rice. Season with white pepper and stir in soy sauce. Garnish with
chopped green onions.
1 envelope yeast or 1 tablespoon 1 teaspoon sugar ¼ cup warm water pinch of ginger (helps activate the yeast) 2 cups warm buttermilk ⅓ cup honey ¼ cup butter, melted and cooled so that it is warm to the touch but not hot. 1 teaspoon salt ¾ teaspoon baking soda 6 cups white bread flour
Mix the ginger, sugar, yeast, and water and set aside for five minutes.
Mix buttermilk, honey, salt, baking soda in with the yeast mixture. Add
three cups of flour and mix until smooth. On an electric mixer it is
about 5 minutes on low speed. Mix in butter until it is totally
incorporated into batter. Now, begin to add the rest of the flour, one
cup at a time, keeping mixer on low speed. When dough pulls from the
sides of the bowl remove it from the mixer to a floured surface and
knead until elastic and smooth.
Place in greased bowl, turn to grease the top, cover and allow to rise for 1½ hours.
Punch down and form into two loaves. Place in greased loaf pans and
grease tops. Cover, and allow to rise for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to
400ºF. Bake for 30 minutes, covering tops with foil if they brown too
Remove loaves from oven and brush with melted butter. Allow to
cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out and cool completely on a rack.
Cover the loaves if you want soft crust.