Quips and Quotes
"We do not earn or merit anything by taking refuge in God. Hiding in something makes no contribution to the hiding place. All it does is show that we regard ourselves as helpless and the hiding place as a place of rescue." John Piper

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Mosey on over to the gold mine of menus plans for more ideas. Here's what's cookin' at my house this week:

Monday: Pasta Pie with Sausage, mixed fruit salad, stir-fried zucchini

Tuesday: Crustless Vegetable Quiche, Thai Cucumber Salad, fresh fruit

Wednesday: Easy Italian Soup, Antipasti Salad (as follows): romaine hearts with sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (drained), shredded mozzarella cheese, organic salami, sliced red onion, Greek Kalamata olives, sprinkle of dried basil, real salt and freshly ground pepper with balsamic vinegar and expeller-expressed, extra-virgin olive oil; crusty sprouted bread with real butter

Thursday: Chicken Cutlets and Roasted Red Potatoes with Herb Sauce, steamed broccoli with butter and shredded Cheddar cheese, sliced watermelon

Friday: Beef Bourgignin over brown rice fettuccine noodles (Tinkyada is good), Mixed Green Salad with Easy Poppy Seed Dressing, crusty sprouted bread (Alvarado Street is good) with butter

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Fearless Uncured Beef Franks from Niman Ranch (no nitrates or nitrites) on Alvarado Street Sprouted Whole Wheat buns with Raw Sauerkraut (make your own or buy Bubbies and never heat raw sauerkraut); Savory Black Bean and Corn Salad

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Strawberries in December?

Christeen asked a question concerning all my strawberries:

"What do you do with all those strawberries? Can you freeze them? I ask b/c I just bought 3lbs of straw- berries from the store for under 3.00 - a great deal but not as great as having your own plants. I wanted to know how to freeze my berries."

Great question! Thank you, Christeen, for your inquiry. My husband and I eat a lot of strawberries in the summer, but obviously not enough to keep up with production, so I freeze more than half of them. That way we can have almost-as-good-as-fresh berries all winter long!

Preparing the berries: It is so easy. Simply remove the stem and core. I do not even wash them if they look clean as this causes the berries to begin to deteriorate. If they are in obvious need of being rinsed, of course I do that. (Wash the frozen berries just before using them -see below.) After removing the core, place the berries in a single layer on a large baking sheet. (It helps to lay down some waxed paper on the baking sheet first, but this is optional.) No sugar is needed for this process. The berries are delicious just frozen whole.

Putting the berries in the freezer: Do not cover the berries. Lay the baking sheet with the berries in your freezer and leave just long enough for the berries to freeze. Check them after several hours. If the berries go into the freezer in the evening it is fine to leave them overnight.

Packaging the berries: After the berries are frozen remove them to zipper freezer baggies, label with the date and put them back in the freezer.

Pleasing results: You can now remove just as many berries as you need. Wash them and use for smoothies, fruit syrup for pancakes (I'll put up a post on how to make a healthy version of that in the next few days), for a yogurt topping or whatever else you can think of. As it turns out, I visited a blog just this morning that put up a post about freezing berries. Rather than post a photo here, I'll send you over to the other blog (click here) so you can get a visual of the process.

And may I offer my "berry" best wishes for you, Christeen, as you prepare to enjoy your strawberries in December!

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Tickle Bone Tuesday

For those of you who read last Tuesday's post about my husband and his procedure, I am happy to report that his heart is still in normal sinus rhythym now one week later. That is what I am rejoicing over on this Tickle Bone Tuesday.

This week's clip may be familiar to some of you. Even so, it is worthy of seeing more than once. It should bring a smile to your face no matter how many times you've seen it.


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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Monday Menu Plan

Don't forget that you can link to the Menu Plan Monday "mother lode" (click on the logo above) for scores of menu plans. But here's what's cookin' in my kitchen this week:

Monday: Mexican Quiche, Jicama Salad ( Do use peanut oil in this recipe - organic, expeller-pressed is healthier than canola. You'll see what I mean when you bring up the link.)

Tuesday: Tuscan Potato Soup (recipe is at the bottom of the link page), spinach salad (with pecans, dried cranberries and Feta cheese served with Blue Cheese Dressing), crusty sprouted bread with butter

Wednesday: Roasted Chicken Salad with Green Grapes and Walnuts, Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (purchase either Trader Joe's or Pacific Natural Foods ; both are organic, healthy and delicious), crusty sprouted bread with butter

Thursday: Pasta with Alfredo Sauce, Butter Lettuce and Herb Salad, fresh sliced oranges

Friday: Coconut Brown Rice with Chicken, Ginger and Scallions, Cool and Creamy Pea Salad, sliced watermelon

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Hamburgers on Alvarado St. sprouted whole wheat hamburger buns, tortilla chips (optimum chips are organic with monounsaturated fat such as high oleic safflower or sunflower oil) with Chipotle Tomatilla Salsa (make on Saturday), lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion (for burger), Mango and Cilantro Salad

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Berry Much Like Discipleship

I just picked these luscious strawberries from my backyard. In a few days there will be that many again. And this from our small little lot! Amazing, huh?

Well, the really amazing part is that I was not resposible for a single one of the plants that bear these beauties. When we moved into the house we are in now, the yard was completely barren. Both front and back were nothing but dirt waiting to sustain life. We brought with us a very large assortment of plants in buckets and large containers from the house we had been at previously. The property was sold to a developer and knowing that all the roses, shrubs and perennials would be turned under, we took them with us.

By the shed in the backyard (at the new house) I planted a plumbago because it was a shady spot. But alas, the plumbago died and in its place a strawberry plant germinated. I paid no attention to it. I expected that since it was the offspring of a hybrid, was growing in the shade and in clay soil to boot, that it would not do much at all. I basically ignored it. It only got water when I intentionally watered plants around it.

But this little strawberry plant was determined to live and so it did. The next spring it was still there and the next. Once in a while it put off a little tiny strawberry but since it was in the shade it bore hardly any fruit.

Then it happened! The little plant began sending off runners - lots of them and some managed to land in the sun. And I began to get strawberries. The new plants then sent off runners and now six years later I pick strawberries from several hundred plants. I have tried transplanting some, but the ones I left in the clay soil seem so much happier and productive. I guess that they just became accustomed to the harsh soil and do best there.

I call this strawberry "Franciska" since it seems to be entirely unstoppable. (If you have not read about Franciska, click on this link to get there.) And it seems to me that what I have seen Franciska Berry do is a good example of discipleship.

The Lord brings us to life spiritually. Most of the time our situation in life is not ideal when He saves us, but He has given us life and that is our joy. He causes us to continue, even if our circumstances do not improve. But we are alive to Him and in due time He brings about growth and fruit bearing. As we get nourished in the light of His word and enjoy our relationship with Him, we begin to be concerned for others and God uses us to witness of His love.

God expects that others will come to know Him through us and that we will make disciples, teaching them what we know of Christ. If we all did what we are commanded - love God and take discipleship seriously, we would see an explosion of new life springing forth - new followers of Christ bearing much fruit, like my strawberry patch in the backyard!

May we take the example of Franciska Berry to heart. What great glory to God would result!

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lessons from Sophie - Dwelling in Safety

"Do not fear for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Is. 41:10

One of the first posts I wrote was about my cute little dog, Sophie (click here to go to that post). She provided a great lesson for what it means to wholeheartedly love the one who feeds and cares for her (me).

Now she has again impressed upon me what it means to trust and depend upon her master (again, that's me; though to be accurate, I really am her mistress).

I have noticed an interesting behavior that Sophie displays when she is frightened of something - the vacuum cleaner, for instance. The first time I became aware of this behavior was when Robert and I were in the garden working. Robert was operating the rototiller and, of course, Sophie was afraid of it.

How she handled her fear is how I want to handle myself with the Lord when I tempted to be afraid of any created thing. Instead of running away from what she feared in the garden that day (the rototiller), she got up as close to Robert and me as she could without getting tangled in the rototiller. As fearful as she was of the threatening raucous monster, she was more sure of my protection of her. She seemed to know where real safety was - right beside me.

Sophie does the same thing in the house when I am vacuuming. She gets up as close to me as she can, sandwiching me between herself and the dangerous suction machine. She doesn't try to tackle the intruder herself, in fact, she doesn't even offer warning barks. Sophie just knows that she will dwell in safety if she is next to me.

For me, this doesn't always come naturally. The enemy's design is to use my fears to separate me from my Beloved. But, oh, how I want that trouble to draw me to the Protector of my soul instead. When I am tempted to be anxious about what is in front of me, I desire to instinctively run to Jesus and put Him in between me and the peril. This is what will truly bring great comfort to me and great glory to my heavenly Father.

Beside knowing this wonderful truth, isn't God good to put the examples before us in such delightful ways? I see my little dog do this thing easily, like it is her only option. May running to my Lord be the only thought in my head also. Only in His presence will I find rest and safety.

"In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety." Ps. 4:8

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Busy with God's "Other" Plans

Life happens and sometimes keeps you from carrying out your own plans. Actually, if I said that in light of God and His sovereign rule over me, I'd simply say, "God had other plans for me today."

So, if you came here yesterday looking for Menu Plan Monday or today looking for Tickle Bone Tuesday you may have been disappointed. But that was God's plan. He put other things before me and I have not had the opportunity to post either for several reasons. One of those reasons I'll share with you.

Yesterday, my husband, Robert, had a heart procedure done. It was needful because his heart has been in an abnormal arrhythmia since October of last year. He has basically been disabled by this condition since whenever he does anything slightly strenuous his heart rate goes up to over 200 beats per minute which puts him down on the couch until he is no longer dizzy and weak and his breathing is no longer labored.

So he underwent a "cardio-conversion" yesterday. This is similar to what you see on television hospital shows when a patient is shocked with the dreaded paddles to bring him back to life, though the procedure is a little more sophisticated nowadays.

Robert was given an anesthetic. And, to make a long story short, the cardio-version worked on the first try. He is now back in his regular "sinus" rhythm, though the doctors say it could convert back to the bad rhythm at anytime. We are praying for the Lord to keep his heart regular for good. Only He can do that. And we know the procedure worked because of Jehovah Rophe, our Healer.

During the past seven years, (Robert's problems began then, first with atrial fibrillation and then with the other arrhythmia that was corrected yesterday), God has displayed His goodness to us. The difficulty has been from His hand of love for our good and His glory. That is the truth that has kept us from becoming discouraged when full days for Robert (sometimes 3 & 4 times a week) have been spent out of commission on the couch.

We have continued to counsel our hearts with the knowledge that not one minuscule thing comes to us from a source other than God's sovereign hand of love. We know that Zeph. 3:17 is true, "The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing." He quiets our anxious hearts with His magnificent love. And to know that He even rejoices over and delights in us - that kind of goodness I just cannot comprehend. Because He is so good, I know His plan is good also.

Just thought I'd let you know what I've been up to and why Monday's and Tuesday's "regular" posts were down. God had other plans.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

The throne of grace...

We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:15-16)

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But the brother...

But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. James 1:9-10

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Every good thing given...

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17

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Clothe yourselves...

Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble". (1 Peter 5:5)

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But the wisdom...

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17)

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Seeing the Great Divine

Earnest prayer is uttered, the answer always comes,
Oft’ times before we realize - before our asking’s done.
But we do not see it as we echo our appeal,
Asking for the very thing that God has now revealed.
The answer looms before us; but we bid it “go”,
Thinking it a figment, thinking God is slow. (Acts 12:5-16)

Or, hurried prayer is uttered; the answer God would send,
If we lingered earnestly – our busyness suspend.
But we are impatient and wait not on the Lord;
Just a moment longer there His grace would be outpoured.
So we often forfeit God, His answers we ignore.
Or we do not truly ask His mercy to implore.

And so we go about our days, and God remains unseen.
Enduring mediocre lives when God could intervene.
The saddest thing about it all – we say that God is real,
But He is hidden from our view, His glory is concealed.
O, that I would truly come, my heart to Thee incline,
And see the answer You reveal – O, see You, Great Divine!

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Tickle Bone Tuesday

You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Ps. 16:11
How gracious God is to give us the gift of laughter. It's a good thing we don't actually need the Tickle Bone post for true abiding joy. We find that everyday in Jesus!

However, Tuesday sure rolls around fast. This week's video comes from my friend Kerry who sent me the following link. Thank you Kerry O'!

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Menu Plan Monday

Back again for Menu Plan Monday. You may benefit from these posts, but I think I do all the more because it keeps me accountable to making my menu for the week. Here's what's up for this week:

Monday: Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Broccoli Pecan Slaw with Easy Poppy Seed Dressing

Tuesday: Pablano Steak Chili, mixed green salad with Blue Cheese Dressing, sliced pineapple

Wednesday: Classic Chicken Divan, Brown Rice and Peas with Parsley, steamed yellow squash with butter

Thursday: Stuffed Bell Peppers, brown rice spaghetti noodles (Tinkyada brand is excellent) with spaghetti sauce (spooned from bell peppers after they are cooked), fresh fruit

Friday: Pull-Apart Roast Beef , Smashed Red Potatoes w/roast drippings, hot buttered carrots, mixed green salad with expeller-pressed olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Saturday: Hearty Minestrone Soup, mixed green salad, fresh fruit, crusty sprouted bread

Sunday: Barbecue Beef Sandwiches, Raw Sauerkraut, celery sticks filled with real cream cheese

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Theology - Necessary Soul Food for the Good Woman: Part Six

In this sixth post on the continuing series of Theology - Necessary Soul Food for the Good Woman, we will explore the amazing truths of Our Union with Christ.

Soteriology – Our Union with Christ

Paul begins the letter of Ephesians by reminding believers of their blessings “in Christ”, past, present and future. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…” He elaborates fully and is obviously carried away in recounting these magnanimous benefits that belong to those who are “in Christ”.

And so it should be for every saint. Paul refers to our union with Christ in many other passages also, using terms like “in Christ”, “in Him”, “in the Beloved” over 160 times in his letters. Without doubt this was an important doctrine to Paul. He tells us that our union with the Jesus occurred when we were “baptized into Christ Jesus” by the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 6:3). Union with the One who is infinitely good secures redemption for the sinner - the forgiveness of sins (Eph. 1:7). His blood is efficacious to present the one who is united to Him holy and blameless before God (Eph. 1:4).

Jesus spoke of our union with Him in John 15:4, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” So in Him we not only receive the once-for-all blessings mentioned in Ephesians 1, but there is also power to live today a life that glorifies Christ, a life abounding in spiritual fruit, a life with divine results. This is possible because we are in Christ.

God actually sees the believer as He sees Christ. Romans 6:3-4 explains how this is possible. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

James Boice elaborates, “When Jesus died on the cross those of us who are united to him by saving faith also died with him so far as the punishment of our sin is concerned. God the Father put the Son to death. Since we are united to him, there is a sense in which we have been put to death too.” (Boice, James Montgomery. Foundations of the Christian Faith, [Downer’s Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1986], p. 392).

Paul also tells us in Romans 6:14 that our union with Christ means that we have been freed from sin. “For sin shall not be master over you for you are not under law but under grace.” When Christ died, we died with Him in every spiritual sense. As sinners, the perfect law of God had rightfully condemned us as violators and sentenced us to death. The law held us guilty and demanded our punishment.

I was like a man in prison on death row, unable to free myself and without hope. The law had to be carried out in order for me to go free. "Since the law clamors for my death as a law-breaker, how can I possibly be justified? Only by meeting the law's requirement and dying the death it demands. If I were to do this myself, however, that would be the finish of me” (Stott, John. The Cross of Christ, [Downer’s Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1986], p. 341).

But God, in His great goodness and mercy saw me on the cross with Christ. “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me” (Gal. 2:19-20, NASB). Since I am in Christ, God imputes His death to me. My sin has been paid for.

The man on death row is finally freed from the penalty of his crime and from the law when he is executed. And so, having died with Christ, I am free from the law and from sin and its penalty in Him. Sin is no longer my master because my death released me from its rule. I was a slave, owned by sin, the cruelest taskmaster, but because I died and was buried, I am free.

Still, the news gets better. I have not only died and been buried with Christ, I have also been raised from the dead for when Jesus walked out of the tomb I was in Him and was made alive together with Him. Like Paul, I now say, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20 NASB).

How wondrous to be in Christ. In Him I am no longer enslaved to sin. I now serve the glorious, gracious King with great freedom and eternal joy. What sacrifice, condescension and unfathomable love that the only One who is good would die for one who was only hateful toward Him being, in fact, liable for His death. I can not understand the immense love of God!

Obeying this compassionate God is my highest delight. I have received back that greatest good, given to man at Eden, who tossed it aside for a mouthful of fruit. By His goodness I have come full course. I am reconciled to Him, ready to listen, learn, love and do His bidding. In Christ this is possible. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (II Cor. 5:17).

All things are new and continue to remain new, unlike anything else in this world. God’s mercies are new every morning in Christ and I am given strength for today to do whatever He puts before me. Hallelujah! Praise be to our good God!

And this indeed does bring us full circle to the final task of this investigation into theology, which is to demonstrate just how the truths about Christ that we embrace will have an impact, both now and eternally, upon the relationships we have with our God, with others, upon how we think about ourselves and also upon every aspect of our lives. Look for that in the final post of Theology - Necessary Soul Food for the Good Woman.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Healthy Hygiene for Your Home - 5

Here is a question that a reader sent recently regarding carpets:

Hey Sharon,
On a quick note, I checked your blog and could not find anything on carpet-spot remover. Have any good tips? Thank you so much.

In Him,

Thank you Jeanette for your question! My answer is to use the same recipe for the hydrogen peroxide stain remover from an earlier post (click here for the recipe). Spray it on the spot (try an inconspicuous area first to make sure it doesn't cause discoloration). Let set for a few minutes and then wipe with a clean terry rag. If that does not work, try this commercial product (Quick & Brite) that is completly safe for children and pets and the environment (as well as for adults).

And may your carpet be spotless!


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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Happy Hair Day!

Yesterday a good friend asked me what I am doing different with my hair because it has changed so much for the better in the past recent weeks. So that is what this post will concern.

My hair is actually much healthier than it has ever been because I have stopped using commercial shampoo and conditioner products altogether. About a month ago I came across a post on a blog that I subscribe to. The author had gone "poo" free meaning she had stopped using shamPOO and conditioner. She linked to another blog for the bulk of the information which I will also do at the end of this post. (Why reinvent the wheel, right?)

I can't see using commercial products anymore when the alternative is a much healthier approach, provides so much body to my hair and costs next to nothing. (Here we go again - Better, Cheaper, Safer ways for cleaning our homes and now for cleaning our bodies - hair to be specific in this post).

Would I be right to say that by now you are just itching to know what this great alternative is? Well, before I tell you, I want to report exactly how my hair has been helped:

1. The first thing I noticed was that my hair felt different after cleaning it the new way. It was soft and felt moist, not dry. It also, even when wet, felt fuller.

2. The second thing I noticed was that upon using the new conditioner on my wet hair, the comb went like butter through my hair - absolutely not one single tangle!

3. The third thing I noticed was that my hair was easier to style once it was dry. (I used a blow dryer.) It had more body and was not dry-looking. There seemed to be no more split ends. It also felt moist, but not oily, even after having dried it.

4. The fourth thing I noticed was that my hair looked better the day after having done all of the above. After sleeping on my hair it did not change much from the day before. It has not been oily like it was when I was using commercial shampoo and conditioner.

5. The fifth thing I am now noticing is that my hands are not as dry as they have been for years. My hands had been so dry that they were flaky. Not so anymore. For all these years, could it be that the daily shampooing of my hair is what has kept my hands in that dehydrated condition?

So, alright, already! I will finally give up my secret. I am now cleaning my hair with baking soda. That's right, cheap old baking soda. And I use cheap old white vinegar to condition it. Well neither is really old, only in the sense that these beneficial items have been around forever.

If you want to know exactly how this is done, go to this link. Read the entire post as the author tells why commercial hair products are not so good.

And have a happy hair day!

Note: I recently became aware (via a friend) that for hair that is colored this method can strip out the color. That's good if you don't like the color, but bad if you do. Though my friend did say that as far as manageability, she had never used anything better. She was disappointed to say the least that she could not continue with it.


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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Real Food Recipes - Chili Beef Tacos

In making the beef for these tacos, you will have enough for tonight's meal and for beef enchiladas next week. The sauce for the enchiladas is also created as the beef cooks. Freeze the beef and sauce for next week.
2 lbs. beef stew meat
1 medium onion, chopped
2 t. chili powder
1 1/2 t. ground cumin
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
One 28 0z. can organic diced tomatoes

Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place beef in small Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. Scatter onion over meat. Sprinkle the spices, including salt and pepper over beef. Pour tomatoes over and stir to combine. Place lid on pot and place pot in oven. Let cook for 6 hours. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. With a slotted spoon, remove beef from pot and transfer to a serving bowl. Shred with a fork. Serve on hot tortillas with any of the following garnishes: lettuce (or cabbage), tomato, shredded Jack cheese, green onion, lime wedges, cilantro, guacamole, sour cream.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Real Food Recipes - Pineapple-Coconut-Carrot Salad with Coriander Dressing

1/2 lb. carrots, grated
1 15-oz. can pineapple (in its own juice), drained
1 c. shredded dried unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 T. raw, unfiltered agave nectar (Wholesome Raw Blue Agave Nectar is good)
1 recipe Coriander Dressing (recipe follows)

Directions: In a large salad bowl combine carrot, pineapple, coconut and agave nectar. Pour Coriander Dressing over carrot mixture; toss to coat. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours.

Coriander Dressing: In a small bowl whisk together 1/2 c. mayonnaise, 1/2 c. sour cream, 2 T. milk; 2 t. dried coriander, crushed and 1 t. agave nectar.

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Real Food Recipes - Gorgonzola Salad with Grapes and Mapled Pecan

Mapled Pecans (get recipe here)

1 head butter lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
1 c. halved red grapes
1/2 c. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

1/4 c. extra-virgin, expeller-expressed olive oil
3 T. balsamic vinegar
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 T. filtered water
Directions: Prepare pecans according to recipe (link given above). Lay lettuce in an appropriate bowl. Add grapes and cheese. Combine vinaigrette ingredients. (Double or triple the recipe and refrigerate for other salads.) To assemble salad, toss Mapled Pecans with lettuce, grapes, Gorgonzola and vinaigrette.

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Real Food Recipes - Kaufman's Real Chili Rellenos

8 fresh pasilla, pablano, or Hatch green chilies, roasted (see directions below)
1 large organic egg
2 T. whole cream-top milk (non-homogenized from cows not treated with rBST, hormones or antibiotics)
1/2 c. organic unbleached all-purpose flour
8 slices or more if needed to fill chili (1/3-inch thick) Monterrey Jack (from cows same as milk above)
3 T. (plus more) organic, extra-virgin coconut oil
real sea salt or Redmond Real salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Salsa, sour cream, cilantro, green onion, lime juice (for toppings)
Directions: To roast chilies, place them directly on a gas burner on high or on a broiler pan under a broiler. Roast, turning often, until skin is blackened on all sides. Place in a paper bag, (closed) and let steam for 30 minutes. After chilies have steamed, carefully remove blackened skin from each chili, rinsing under cool running water as you work. Make a slit down one side of chili and remove the seeds and membrane, but leave the stem intact, as this looks nice when served. Place chilies flat on a double layer of paper towels to dry. To prepare chili rellenos, break egg into a flat Pyrex bread pan (or other similar dish); beat egg while adding milk. Place flour in another flat dish. Coat the outside of the chili first with the flour, then with egg, then with flour again. Lay cheese inside of chili and fold chili over cheese to enclose it. Preheat a large, heavy skillet till hot, but not smoking. Add 3 T. coconut oil. Immediately lay prepared chilies, two or three at a time at a time, in skillet. Salt and pepper very lightly. Cook until bottom side of chili is golden brown and cheese is starting to soften. This should only take a few minutes. Turn chilies and brown on opposite side, adding more coconut oil as needed, making sure to prevent it from smoking. Repeat for all chilies. Serve immediately with toppings of choice: salsa, cilantro, sour cream, green onions, a squeeze of lime juice, etc. Makes 4-8 servings. (Chilies are mildly spicy.)

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Real Food Recipes - Baked Potato Soup

6 slices of bacon (from pigs not treated with rBST, hormones or antibiotics, and with no nitrates or nitrites)
1 c. chopped onion
2/3 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour
6 c. chicken bone stock
4 c. diced baked potato
2 c. organic cream-top milk (whole and non-homogenized)
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
2 t. dried basil, crushed or 4 t. fresh, chopped
2 t. real sea salt or Redmond Real salt
1 t. minced fresh garlic
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (from cows not treated with rBST, hormones or antibiotics)
1/2 c. sliced green onion
Hot pepper sauce
Reserved crisp cooked bacon bits
Additional shredded cheese
Sour cream (from cows not treated with rBST, hormones or antibiotics)
Italian parsley, chopped
Directions: In a 4 to 6-qt. Dutch oven cook bacon and onion over medium-high heat until bacon is crisp. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. Reserve 2 T. of the bacon drippings in the Dutch oven. Using a whisk, stir flour into bacon drippings. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Gradually add chicken stock, whisking to prevent lumps until mixture thickens. Add potato, milk, parsley, basil, salt, garlic and pepper to chicken stock. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add cheese and green onion to soup, stirring until cheese melts and soup is heated through. Season to taste with hot pepper sauce. Crumble reserved cooked bacon. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with the following optional toppings: crumbled bacon, cheese, sour cream, parsley. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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Tickle Bone Tuesday

It would be nice if Menu Mondays were are easy a post as Tickle Bone Tuesdays. Yesterday you might have noticed that there was no Menu Monday. This is an extremely busy week for me so it was not an option for me to take time to make the menu post. But check back next week. Lord willing, it will be back up and running. Meanwhile, you can still check out menus from hundreds of other blogs by clicking here.

But it is Tickle Bone Tuesday and I found a funny clip last week for today so at least you still have TBT.

Laughing All the Way to the Bank

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Monday, May 5, 2008

Real Food Recipes - Chicken and Toasted Peanut Salad

2 c. leftover chicken meat, sliced 1/2-inch thick (use leftover chicken from last night's meal)
1/2 c. lighty salted roasted organic peanuts
1/2 c. diced celery
1.2 c. diced green bell pepper
2. T. real brewed soy sauce (Trader Joe's or Kikoman)
2 T. brown rice vinegar
2 t. expeller-expressed dark roasted sesame oil
2 t. expeller-expressed peanut oil
1 t. raw, unfiltered honey
1 green onion, chopped
real sea salt or Redmond Real salt to taste
ground white pepper to taste
1 small head napa or Chinese cabbage, finely shredded
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro (garnish)
1 green onion, chopped (garnish)
Direction: Place chicken, peanuts, celery and green bell pepper in a medium bowl. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil , peanut oil and honey; mix until honey dissolves. Stir in minced green onion; mix well. Pour dressing over chicken mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide cabbage among 4 plates. Spoon chicken mixture equally over cabbage. Garnish with cilantro and onion. Serve 4.

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Real Food Recipes - Summer Fresh Pesto Sauce

4 c. loosely packed fresh basil leaves
4 large garlic cloves
1/2 c. walnuts or pine nuts, lightly toasted
3/4 c. loosely packed fresh Italian parsley
1 c. extra-virgin, expeller-expressed olive oil
3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (3 oz.)
1/2 t. real sea salt or Redmond Real salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

Directions: In a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine basil, garlic, nuts and parsley. Process with on/off motions until mixture is coarsely chopped. With processor running, add olive oil in a thin stream. Stop machine; add Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Process until as smooth as possible; add more salt if desired to taste. Pour pesto into a container with a tight-ftting lid; cover tightly. Refrigerate 2 to 3 days or freeze up to 4 months. Thaw in refrigerator or at room temperature. Makes about 2 cups.

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