Good ‘ol Denton, Texas

I grew up in Denton, Texas.  If you’ve been around me long enough … you’ve heard about Denton and you know where it is.  If you’re going north on I-35 towards Oklahoma, you’ll pass through Denton.  I took my children to Denton this summer to show them a bit about my favorite part of town … the Denton Square.  Here is the courthouse:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We went inside the Courthouse to check out the museum.  It was amazing.  My mom and I had a great time teaching the kids about the olden days.  It was great!

 

 

 

 

Old Ice Cream Maker … I remember my grandparents having one!

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s an old sewing machine.  I actually have one of these!  It was my grandmother Craven’s.

And look at this old Stove!

 

 

 

 

 

Some of my favorite stores on the Denton Square include The Chestnut Tree (it’s a tea room with fabulous table muffins), Garden Gate, County Seat Antiques.  If you ever visit the square … you must have a scoop of ice cream at Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream or a donut at Denton Square Donuts (their donuts are more pastry-like.  Very delicious!).  Of course the kids loved the candy stores around the square and we all loved Recycled Books, Records, CD’s … Denton’s own local recycled books store.  It’s this huge purple building … you can’t miss it!

I’ve always referred to Denton as a ‘town’.  I’m not sure it’s much of that anymore … maybe it’s more of a city, now.  Although I ran across this while we were visiting the Courthouse.  You tell me, but this seems very much like a small town and not a big city!  (You can see my mom laughing at it in the background!)

Where you at?

Hey friends.  I have a question for you.  Please know it comes from my heart.  It’s a question I feel Father, God has been asking me.  Where are you at in your relationship with Jesus?  Are you running from bible study to bible study, task to task and even to event? Or are you taking practical steps to deepen your relationship with Jesus?

One of the primary ways we connect to Jesus is through scripture and prayer.  I know this might sound like just another thing to do, but it’s really about your heart.  Jeremiah 17:9 teaches that the heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick.  Our hearts are desperately sick and Jesus has come to bring healing.  We need scripture and prayer to teach us truth about our value, identity and purpose.  Left alone, we will pursue our own desires and interests to try to fulfill those needs.   We’re going to fill ourselves up with things that aren’t true.

For me, this involves getting up while the house is still quite, getting my cup of coffee and connecting with Jesus.  I pray about my heart.  I pray about truths I see in scripture.  I pray about my children and husband and friends and all the conversations that I’m going to have with them.  I pray about things that have happened with them and how it weights on my heart.  I pray through my calendar for the day and I mentally, emotionally and physically give it all to God.  It is all His and I ask him to do a great work through me that brings glory to Him. Will you go to Him today and give him your heart?  He’ll take it in exactly the form it’s in right now … no sprucing up needed!

Chicken A L’Orange and Asparagus Gratin

Here’s another great dinner idea for you.  My family and I had it about 2 weeks ago and it was great!  The main dish was Chicken A L’Orange which was a twist to the 1960’s classic published in Julia Child’s cookbook: Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Julia’s recipe (ya, I like to think we’d be on a first name basis!) was Duck A L’Orange.  Duck A L’Orange apparently became a dinner party staple.  This recipe uses orange marmalade and is very easy! I served it with Asparagus Gratin.  Both recipes are to follow.  Enjoy!

Here is my pic of the chicken:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken A L’Orange

Taken from a 2012 Woman’s Day magazine

Ingredients

8 shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise (quartered if large) (I only used 6)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Kosher Salt and Pepper

1 3-31/2 lb. whole chicken

½ cup orange marmalade

1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 425.  Ina large shallow roasting pan (I used a jelly roll pan), toss the shallots with 1 Tbsp oil and ¼ tsp. each salt and pepper.
  2. Cut the chicken into 10 pieces (2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 breasts – each halved).
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the marmalade, vinegar, rosemary, remaining Tbsp oil and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper.
  4. Add the chicken and toss to coat.  (I made sure the marinade got up under the chicken skin so it would flavor the meat and not just the skin.)
  5. Place the chicken pieces into the roasting pan, nestling the pieces among the shallots.
  6. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and browned and shallots are tender, 25-30 minutes. (I cooked it ~30-45 minutes until the skin was a beautiful golden brown.)

 

Asparagus Gratin

Ingredients

2 pounds thin asparagus

3 cups water

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons flour (I used whole wheat)

¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated and divided

½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat broiler. Line broiler safe baking dish with paper towels or a lint free kitchen cloth. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and set both stalks and ends aside.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus ends and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook covered, for 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove asparagus ends and discard. Add asparagus stalks to skillet, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly tender,2-4 minutes. Transfer asparagus to paper/cloth-lined baking dish. Pour asparagus water into liquid measuring cup. If liquid does not read 1-cup mark, add water until it does.
  3. Melt butter in now empty skillet over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly until golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in reserved asparagus water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, 3-5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in ½ cup Parmesan and Monterey jack until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand for 5 minuets.
  4. Remove paper towels from baking dish. Drizzle sauce over center of asparagus and top with remaining Parmesan. Broil until cheese is golden and asparagus is tender, 4-8 minutes. Serve.

Notes: For a little something extra you can add bacon crumbles or sautéed mushrooms to the top of the asparagus before broiling. Also I noticed that each time I made this dish the cheese sauce was fairly thick. The only thing I altered was the use of shredded Parmesan cheese v. grated Parmesan – perhaps that difference determines why my sauce appeared to be thicker than the photo in Cooks Country. Since we didn’t have anything to compare the difference to, we had no complaints.

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