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

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Word-in-My-Heart-Wednesday - Jeremiah 15:16

With all of the hustle and bustle getting ready for my daughter's wedding, I have been skipping meals now and then - both physical meals and spiritual meals. You don't have to tell me that this is not a healthy way to live. Doing without physical food is bad enough, but missing my spiritual food really leaves me weak and vulnerable to the world, the flesh and the devil.

For that reason I chose Jeremiah 15:16 as the verse for Word-in-My-Heart-Wednesday. It is scrolling at the top of the page. Take some time to commit this precious verse to memory over the next few weeks.

If you are not familiar with Word-in-My-Heart-Wednesday, please check it out by clicking here.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tidy Tip Tuesday - Make a Batch Shortcut

Today's tip is, again, a no-brainer. It concerns one of the Healthy Hygiene recipes I have here on the blog - Club Soda Glass and Surface Cleaner. The recipe makes enough for a 16 ounce bottle (16 ounces). I used to mix up 16 ounces at a time as I needed it (often). Then I figured out that I could quadruple the recipe and just add the essential oil and dish washing liquid right into the bottle of club soda (see adjusted recipe below). The only trick is to let the club soda go flat before adding those two ingredients. Let it sit without a lid for several days, then make up the recipe.

To one two-liter bottle of flat club soda add:

3/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon more clear Dawn dish washing liquid
3/4 teaspoon your choice essential oils (I like rosemary and lavender, using half of the recipe amount of each, which would be 3/8 teaspoon of lavender and 3/8 teaspoon of rosemary)

Cap the soda and swirl bottle's liquid to combine. Easy!! Now when you need to refill your bottle you will not have to mix up a new batch so often. Just grab the two-liter bottle that is ready to use.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wedding Bliss is Served

My daughter's wedding is now less than two weeks away. I started working on the potpourri cones (in the photo) months ago and just finished within that past few days. These will be hung on the backs of the chairs at the ceremony. The little tag says, "Throw me at the new Mr. & Mrs.". Since the wedding is outside, the guests will throw the potpourri at Mr. and Mrs. C. L. as they come back down the isle after they are pronounced man and wife.

These cones were completed in stages. In the spring I dried all the roses petals I could get my hands on. In my yard alone are 18 rose bushes, so there were more than enough petals without looking elsewhere.

Velum paper (8 1/2 x 11) was rolled and stapled and holes were punched for the ribbon. Since we were not sure about colors (lavender, some purple and creamy yellow), the ribbon was just added recently and the tags went on several days ago.

I have also been altering bridesmaids dresses, sewing myself a skirt and blouse to go with a jacket I purchased and still have to hem my husband's dress pants. Robert is actually performing the ceremony - marrying his own daughter. Oh, and then there is the ring bearer's pillow, the baskets for the flower girls and programs that will get done this week.

This does get somewhat overwhelming at times, but I ask the Lord for the strength to do the next thing and He gives it. It has been more fun than work. It seems this is the fate of those who are do-it-yourselfers. I grew up in a family of DIYers and am carrying on the tradition. It is also so much a matter of frugality.

But the most exciting part of my daughter's wedding is the meal that will be served. There are 14 people from the Bible study that my husband teaches who have volunteered to make and serve a sit-down meal for the wedding. This is such a display of God's goodness and love. It just amazes me! I am filled with gratitude. It is a labor of love that is precious to Lord and reminds me of the first miracle Jesus performed. He commanded the servants to fill the water pots with water and then turned the water into wine at a wedding in Cana. Christ still uses His servants, performing His wonders through them. His presence will be obvious and sweet at my daughter's wedding.

When all is said and done, I will be posting pictures of the wedding - the bride and groom, flower girls, ring bearer, bridesmaids, groomsmen and all 14 of those servants of the Lord.

And since today is Monday, you should know what is on the menu at the wedding: Chicken Parmesan, Pasta Prima Vera, Antipasto Salad and French rolls with butter (real butter). Wedding bliss is served!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Imprint of God in Creation

The following videos are worth the time. You will worship your Creator-Redeemer as a result. Louie Giglio, in these two clips takes, us on a tour of the intricacies of creation. You will see that God has left His imprint everywhere. Not only do we see this openly and obviously in the creation, but His signature is also viewed in what, until recently, has been hidden from the human eye. Now, because God has gifted man with not only the intelligence to develop amazing technologies and tools, but also with the unquenchable desire to explore what the naked eye cannot see, many previously hidden aspects of creation are being revealed. These aspects, whether viewed from the lens of the microscope or that of the telescope reveal God's glorious imprint in creation. And His imprint is very specific.

Here is a microscopic peek:
Note: Before watching the video, turn off the music (player is at the bottom of the blog).

Even the way laminin is spelled fascinates me. Wikipedia describes its makeup: "There are four of beta-chains: LAMB1, LAMB2, LAMB3, LAMB4" Is this not amazing? In His Sovereignty, God even ordained that the beta-chains would be named "LAMB". I find this staggering to think of!

Now take time to watch the following telescopic view of God's imprint in the Whirlpool Galaxy:

Awesome! Rev 13:8 says, "All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast — all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world." God has seen His Son slaughtered from creation and His artistry in the heavens and in the cells of man himself declares it.

From the smallest cell, perceivable only with a microscope, to the vast unreachable galaxies now seen with the Hubble Telescope, God has put forth this testimony and we have discovered it exactly when He ordained it to be so. All men, saved or not, carry the emblem of God's great mercy and grace - the Cross - within themselves. Amazing! Men's mouths may not whisper His name in love, but his very molecular structure shouts that God not only created him but has given His Son to redeem Him. Amazing!

These discoveries point to the reality of what the Lord Jesus Christ has done on the cross. They bear witness to God's great heart of love for man. Laminin and the Whirlpool Galaxy are but God's "artwork" that bear witness of His great "heart-work" on the cross. This is so stunning and staggering to think on.

But there is an even more stupendous (who can come up with adequate words?) imprint to man from God. It is the imprint of the nails in the loving hands that were bound and fastened to the cross by wicked men and women - you and me. This imprint God placed on Himself, on He that is uncreated and this imprint is what all the other created imprints announce. This imprint manifests yet another truth about our powerful, sovereign, majestic and creative God. This is an imprint of His great love for His prodigal creation - man. And this imprint is way beyond description, explanation or comprehension, so this is where I will stop. Indescribable!!!

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Tidy Tip Tuesday - Easier Painting

It is now 2 weeks and 5 days till my daughter's wedding and I am jammin'. This is the first time I've coordinated a wedding for any of my children. My youngest daughter has way too much confidence in me.

Now that we're coming down to the wire, we're facing all the little faux pas that can cause a bit of panic. Then I remember that I have a God who wants me to depend upon Him for He knows the end from the beginning. He has resources that I know nothing of. So the tablecloths that came in the wrong size and the organza overlays that came in the wrong color, may have seemed like an obstacle for me, but they have proven to be an opportunity for God to provide a better resource.

However, today is Tuesday so how about some tidy painting tips? I have three that my dad taught me:

1. When you open a can of paint, before you pour any out, use a large nail and a hammer to put four or five holes in the rim of the can where the paint collects when you pour it out. Space the holes evenly. Then when you pour the paint, instead of it remaining in the rim, it will slowly drip back into the can where it belongs.

2. While you are waiting for the first coat of paint to dry, don't worry about cleaning your brush (or roller). Just put it into a baggie (not a zipper baggie, but the kind you put your produce in at the grocery store), making sure the brush is wrapped well with the plastic. Put the baggie with the brush in it into the freezer. This prevents the brush from drying out. Take it out of the freezer several hours before you need it for the next coat. The brush will be still be wet just like when you put it in the freezer - ready for the next coat.

3. After you paint a room and before you store your leftover paint away, pour a cup or so of the paint into a glass jar with a secure fitting lid. Label the jar per the room it was used for and store the jar on the upper shelf of the closet of that room. When you need to do a little touch-up, the paint will be easily accessed and you will not have to waste precious time looking for it in the garage.

Have a wonderful day!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Word-in-My-Heart-Wednesday - Habakkuk 3:17-18

This week's Word-in-My-Heart-Wednesday verse is Habakkuk 3:17-18. (Word-in-My-Heart-Wednesday explained here.) This is a text that helps me keep my priorities straight. (Find it now scrolling at the top of the blog.) Since eating nutritiously is very important to me, I could easily get engulfed in a mindset that makes nutrition of too much importance. Believe it or not, this good thing could become an idol for me. If it wasn't for Christ I could become so dogmatic about food that any or all of the following could happen:

1. I could keep a "legal list" of foods. (That would make me a legalist would it not?) Those would be allowable foods.

2. If you did not serve foods from the "legal list", I would not come to eat at your house if you asked me.

3. I would police every potluck the church hosted, noting who brought what. Then I would eat only the foods on my "legal list" and then I might find an opportune time to talk to you if you brought something I could not eat.

4. Being the food police, if I saw you in the grocery store with non-allowable foods in your basket, you might get a stiff talking to.

5. I would probably talk to the people in charge of snacks for Sunday School (adult and children's), the nursery, youth group, mid-week children's club, etc and "kindly" give them my "legal list"of foods from which they should develop an acceptable list of snacks of their own. Then I would follow up to make sure things changed.

6. I could in essence become the biggest food snob, making food the most important thing in my life - more important than unity and fellowship and even more important than my relationship to Christ.

But I do not want to do any of that. I should never allow what I eat to cause a separation between me and my brothers and sisters in Christ. Fellowship should not be interrupted over such things.

When I first changed my diet to what it is now, I had to resolve to never put food in God's place. Sounds like a no-brainier, but my heart is so wicked that I could actually do that. Enter Habakkuk 3:17-18. The fields may not always produce food. I know that I may not always be so blessed that I can eat an optimum diet. I may have to eat processed food at sometime in the future. There may even come a time when I have little or no food to eat. Only God knows. What then?

Oh, if that should happen, I want to praise my Redeemer. I want to exult in the Lord and rejoice in the God of my salvation! And I want to do that right alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ! God will let nothing separate me from His love, so neither should I let anything keep me from loving Him and serving the people He loves. Certainly not food, when one day we will feast at His table and all the optimum food that I have worked so hard to keep stocked and prepared will seem like junk food in comparison.

Christ is my food and drink. If all else should fail, He never will and I will dwell with the Bread of Life forever. I will see the Holy One, the Living Water, face to face. No created thing can take His place or satisfy my soul like Jesus.

For now however, I will do what I can do to maintain a healthy body so that I can serve God. One way I do that is through the nourishing foods that He created to be received and eaten with gratitude. "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Cor 10:31)

If you are inclined to food policing, why don't you take a few moments each day to work with me in memorizing Habakkuk 3:17-18?

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Question About Beans

Anne asked the following question in a comment posted on the Pinto Beans post in the Recipe section:

Hey Sharon,

Is it important what kind of pinto beans I use? Do they need to be organically grown? How many servings do 3 cups dry beans make? Also, I've been keeping my eye out for you to post that meatball recipe you made for Frankie and I the other night! They were so scrumptious!


Here is my answer:

Hi Anne,

You are really getting into this food thing! Good for you.

As for the beans, I would say - use up what you have on hand and then think seriously about buying organic. To give you an idea of how much better organic are, you should know that organic beans will sprout and grow if you were to plant them or soak them long enough. The bean has to contain the nutrition to feed the seedling while it is setting down roots. Non-organic beans will not sprout or grow if you plant or soak them. They are very inferior in nutrition.

They are also treated with pesticides and chemical fertilizers and grown in ground that is not sustained. The soil pretty much is sterile - very few nutrients or minerals. Organic food (produce) contains twice as much nutrition as its non-organic counterpart. And the nutrients are organic as compared to chemical nutrients that non-organic is fed with.

But organic beans are still a good food bargain. Though they cost a little more, pound for pound, as compared to organic meat (or even conventional) they really stretch the food dollar. I keep some in the freezer at all times in quart containers. When I run out, I make more and freeze them. They are so versatile. We eat them with tacos, etc. And for lunches they are great for tostadas or burritos, on a sausage-dog or hot-dog, etc. I also use them to make Pablano Steak Chili (posted on sidebar in Recipes [Main Dishes]).

The recipe I have posted will serve at least 12 people. The spaghetti sauce and meatball recipe will be posted soon. Thank you for being patient and for your question.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Tidy Tip Tuesday - How to Iron Pants with a Crease

How to Iron Pants

(Note: You will want to go the bottom of the page to turn off the music before you start the video.)
Here we are again. This week I debated whether to post some tidy painting tips or a YouTube video on how to iron a crease into a pair of pants. Since the video is the easiest, I am opting for that. I had taken for granted that most women know how to put a crease in pants. But then a young bride asked me how to do just that. My guess is that this will be helpful to a few of you out there.

This is the best video I could find, but I do not go to this much trouble. The steps on ironing the pockets can be skipped. Instead just slip your hand inside the pocket and make sure it is flat. Then iron over the pocket area on the outside of the pants.

You can also skip step six - ironing the pants flat. Go onto bringing the seams together to form a crease. It is not necessary to iron the pant legs without a crease and then with a crease.

Click here for the video.

Have a great Tuesday!

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Altered

Menu Plan Monday is just not happening here today. Rather I am making some last minute alterations for my daughter's wedding which is four weeks away. Instead please feast on the "soul food" below. Be fed and be warmed!

Oh, and if you want a really scrumptious main dish recipe, check out the Chicken and Spinach Alfredo Lasagna on the sidebar - the first recipe listed under Main Dishes.

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

This is the last post in the series of theology for women. If you have not read the previous posts of Theology - Necessary Soul Food for the Good Woman, please find them here.

Theology, that is pursuing the all-satisfying knowledge of and relationship with the Triune God, has brought such balance and dignity to my life. As a woman, I find there are many voices in my culture vying for my allegiance, including the feminist who has openly had her say here.

But in many cultures women are suppressed. India has been one such place. A passage in the Puranas, one of the Hindu's sacred books, reads “Let a woman who wishes to perform sacred oblations wash the feet of her lord and drink the water, for her husband is her lord, her priest, her religion. Wherefore abandoning all else she ought chiefly to worship her husband."

Culture in India also practiced “suttee”, an observance whereby a widow was burned alive on the funeral pyre of her dead husband. Many other atrocities abounded in regard to India’s females before the early twentieth century, including infanticide for unwanted daughters and temple prostitution for small girls, some as young as three and four years of age.

Imagine then the wonder with which the women there received the teachings of Christianity. One Hindu woman was noted to say, “Surely your Bible was written by a woman.” When asked “why?” she replied, “Because it says so many kind things for women. Our pundits never refer to us but in reproach.”

Christ restores balance and dignity for women whatever their culture promotes. For the Christian woman in India, dignity is restored in the midst of a culture that dehumanizes her.

But looking at another imbalance, in America, feminists seek to glorify women beyond their God-given place. The goal is supremacy, not equality, and herein we see the opposite extreme. This woman, out of a motive of retaliation, would like to rule over man the way he has ruled over her since and as a result of the fall.

But reiterating, in Christ we find a true balance where “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) It is a paradox that in Christ, woman finds her dignity, yet there is no distinction between male and female. In the pages of Scripture she discovers an ally who so understands her that she could easily mistake Him for a woman.

But this is the One who “…being found in appearance as a man…” personified the goodness of God (Philippinas. 2:8a). This is the One who spoke to an immoral woman, considered a mongrel by the Jews (Samaritan), the epitome of human outcasts and gifted her a royal position when He made her a child of the King. When the rest of society shunned her, Jesus revealed God to her, in all His goodness, and she was changed forever in an instance. (John. 4:4-45)

Spurgeon said, “My beloved sisters, you owe much to the Gospel, for it is only by its agency that you are raised to your proper place. Jesus has lifted you up to your true place, side by side with man.” But really He has lifted us much higher than that -all the way to the third heaven where He reigns. We dwell with Him there even in the midst of the storm or in the mire of a fallen culture when we truly know Him.

Do women need theology? Can we rise above our circumstances to find peace in the midst of a storm-tossed life? Where is the balance in a culture which seeks to either denigrate or deify us? Perhaps Jesus can best answer these questions. To every nation and tribe, to every people of every tongue, to men and women the mandate is still set forth. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Theology is not only essential for the woman of God, it is a command from its Author that we must embrace.

May we, as women of God, look to the apostle Paul as an example of what theology is all about. May we take to heart his passion for knowing Jesus:

I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death... (Phil. 3:8-11)

Oh, may we know Him! That is what theology is all about!

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Beautiful Breakfast!

Nourishing Smoothies

A comment from Anne referring to the Baked Oat Breakfast Pudding:

"Oh, that sounds so yummy! I must admit that I'm a breakfast-skipper. I usually resort to cereal by my 10am break because I'm blacking out. Okay, Sharon, I'm going to turn over a new leaf and start making us good breakfasts. I really can't wait to hear about the smoothies!"

Today's breakfast topic is...you guessed it...smoothies. But before that, I want to remind you of my breakfast plan. Here it is once again:

1. Baked Oat Breakfast Pudding
2. An Omelet or Frittata (or occasionally a quiche) of some kind with bacon or sausage
3. A Smoothie of some kind
4. Yogurt with fruit, coconut, nuts and agave nectar (this is the only fixed menu item - always on Sundays)
5. Waffles, French toast or pancakes with bacon or sausage
6. Breakfast Flan with bacon or sausage
7. Bacon (or sausage) with eggs and sometimes country potatoes

The recipe for the smoothie includes two raw eggs per person. (You will be surprised when you taste it, that you can in no way detect raw eggs in your smoothie.) Now we hear so much hype about the dangers of raw eggs. But we need not fear salmonella as long as we have our trusty spray bottles of full-strength white vinegar and full-strength 3% hydrogen peroxide. These two used together are more effective than phenol, the industry standard.

Since the salmonella bacteria can only exist on the outer shell of the egg, a spray of both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide on the egg shell will kill any of those nasty little bugs present there. The inside of a fresh egg is always sterile. But the truth of the matter is that only one in 30,000 eggs is contaminated and if you use good eggs from humane sources the percentage drops drastically. Another safeguard is the coconut oil in the smoothie. Coconut oil is antibacterial (pathogenic bacteria). It will kill any pathogens in the mix (not that I think there would be any, but perhaps once in a lifetime it could happen).

This smoothie will keep you satisfied all morning. The recipe for the Cinnamon-Berry Smoothie is been posted on the right sidebar. In fact, it is the first recipe listed there. So enjoy!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Beautiful Breakfast!

Omelets, Frittatas and Quiches

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day - a good breakfast that is. We eat a substantial breakfast every morning as you can see. And we do not gain weight. What we do gain from these wonderful meals is a satisfied tummy. Both my husband and I remain satiated till well past 1 PM. We do not snack nor even have the have the desire to.
All your eating throughout the day depends upon how you eat in the morning. If you have a breakfast of carbs (or none at all), you will get hungry before lunch and find yourself snacking. Most likely that snacking will be poor quality food, which supplies little or no nutrition, but plenty of calories and usually bad fat along with a host of other toxic ingredients. Thus a breakfast of carbs does not meet your body's needs and actually ends up causing weight gain, even though it is probably low-fat. And you will continue to feel hungry.

Your first meal of the day should include a healthy dose of good fat, adequate protein and some healthy carbs - preferably a fruit that is high in antioxidants and low in calories, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries. The fat satiates your hunger, enables the carbs and protein to be absorbed more evenly and slowly and gives you lots of energy. With a breakfast like this, you will be able to function unstressed with a clear head and quiet tummy.

My Dad always used to tell his daughters, "Eat a good breakfast. The health of your future children depends upon it." Most every morning we had eggs. I remained healthy as long as I ate that way at home before school. When I got into college, I began to eat on the fly. Skipping breakfast most mornings, I would eat an orange once I got to school. It wasn't long before I started getting colds.

I'll never forget, as a college student, the first time I ever had a sore throat. It was after I had stopped eating breakfast at home. My throat hurt so bad. I really had never felt anything like it. At the time I couldn't figure out why all of a sudden I kept getting colds and painful throats. Now I know why. My Dad was right. The health of my future children would be affected because my health was affected by what I ate or did not eat in the morning hours.

Here again is my breakfast plan:

1. Baked Oat Breakfast Pudding
2. An omelet or frittata (or occasionally a quiche) of some kind with bacon or sausage
3. A smoothie of some kind
4. Yogurt with fruit, coconut, nuts and agave nectar (this is the only fixed menu item - always on Sundays)
5. Waffles, French toast or pancakes with bacon or sausage
6. Breakfast Flan with bacon or sausage
7. Bacon (or sausage) with eggs and sometimes country potatoes

Omelet: Omelets are easy and quick to make. I do not follow a recipe specifically. I use 2 eggs per person (just myself and Robert), whisked together with a little filtered water (2 T. for four eggs). Then I:
1. Saute whatever veggies (about 2 cups) I have on hand in bacon drippings (after having cooked the bacon), butter or coconut oil. That might be mushrooms, bell peppers, onion, squash or broccoli, etc.
2. Remove the veggies, clean the pan; place back on medium-high heat; add a little coconut oil or bacon drippings to the pan after it is hot and then add the eggs.
3. Move the eggs to the center of the pan from the edges as they set.
4. Lay on the veggies when the eggs are almost done (on half of the omelet), sprinkle on an herb (fresh or dried) such as basil or cilantro and spread grated cheese on top of the veggies and herbs.
5. Fold half the omelet over onto the half that has the veggies and cheese on it.
6. Remove from the pan onto two plates. We might use toppings such as: sour cream or salsa, etc.

Frittata: A frittata is simply an unfolded omelet run under the broiler. Many times I start out to make an omelet only to find that when I go to fold it, it sticks to the bottom of the pan and is very difficult to turn. When that happens, I redistribute the veggies and cheese so it covers the entire top of the omelet. Then I put the pan under the broiler (I cook in cast iron skillets) until the cheese is bubbly and the egg is puffy. When you take it from the oven, cut it in pie-shaped slices. Though it stuck before it went under the broiler, you will find that it now releases from the pan with absolutely no difficulty.

Quiche: Once in a while I will make a quiche. Quiches are more work than either omelets or frittatas. There are several quiche recipes here on my blog. Look on the right sidebar for Main Dishes under Recipes.

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Beautiful Breakfast!

Baked Oat Breakfast Pudding
Monday's posts have been, when I have managed, my weekly menu plans for the evening meal. I have never posted breakfasts or lunches, though I prepare each of those on a daily basis. I do not plan breakfast menus specifically. Rather, I find that we eat the same things on a weekly basis and within those regular servings, there is room for variety.

Over the next few days I will give recipes and explain my breakfast plan. Today's breakfast topic will be Baked Oat Breakfast Pudding.

First, however, is a list of what I prepare throughout the week for breakfasts:

1. Baked Oat Breakfast Pudding
2. An omelet or frittata (or occasionally a quiche) of some kind with bacon or sausage
3. A smoothie of some kind
4. Yogurt with fruit, coconut, nuts and agave nectar (this is the only fixed menu item - always on Sundays)
5. Waffles, French toast or pancakes with bacon or sausage
6. Breakfast Flan and bacon or sausage
7. Bacon (or sausage) with eggs and sometimes country potatoes

Baked Oat Breakfast Pudding: This is so delicious - such a treat. I'll never go back to plain oatmeal in a bowl. I especially like it because it contains eggs, which are the best breakfast food there is. Once a month I make baked oatmeal. The recipe makes a lot. We eat it hot with cream and a little organic maple syrup, honey or palm sugar. Then when it is cool, I cut what is left over (about 10 more servings) into serving-size squares and package the squares in sandwich zipper bags. These individual bags I put into a one gallon-size zipper bag and freeze. So my Baked Oatmeal cooking is done for the month. In a week when it is time to have Baked Oatmeal again, I take out 2 servings from the freezer and heat it (no need to thaw) in a steamer - takes about 15 minutes to get hot. (Get the recipe by clicking above on Baked Oatmeal Breakfast Pudding.)
Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will continue with the second breakfast option - Omelets, Frittatas and Quiches.

Continue reading...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tidy Tip Tuesday - Grease Be Gone!

Grease Be Gone!
Are you perplexed about how to dispose of fat or oil that you have used for cooking? (Some fat you should get rid of. Some you should keep because it has nutritional benefits. Go to bottom of the page for info regarding this).

My dad taught me how to dispose of unwanted oil or fat from cooking. You can actually wash it down the drain if you do it the right way:

1. Don your rubber gloves. Then run the hottest water in the sink that you can. The more fat or oil the you have, the more water you will want to run in the sink.

2. Dump the fat or oil into the sink with the hot water. Do not pull the plug yet though. There's one more step.

3. Squirt a good quality liquid grease-cutting dish washing detergent (I use Dawn) into the sink with the hot water and fat or oil. Stir the water with a large spoon and keep squirting in detergent until you see the fat or oil actually dissolving in front of you.

4. Carefully pull the plug wearing your rubber gloves.

That's it. The chemical action of the detergent with the grease actually changes it into something else. It dissolves and is no problem for your pipes. And the sink will not be greasy after the water drains out.

The following is information on good and bad fats. Regarding what is mentioned below, when I make a food recommendation, please understand that I am referring to it in its unadulterated form. The saturated animal fats mentioned below should come from animals that were raised in uncrowded conditions, preferably on pasture, with no antibiotics or hormones administered, and no chemicals involved in their feed. Toxins accumulate in the fat, so the fat of an animal that ingests chemicals and is given antibiotics and hormones is laden with toxins and should not be eaten.

Also know that a fat or oil is not good or bad depending upon its saturation level, but according to how stable it is. In other words, according to whether or not it has been damaged by air, heat and light in the process of marketing it. For more information please read this article.

Good saturated fats include: Beef and lamb tallow, lard, chicken, goose and duck fat, coconut and palm oils. Good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats include: Sesame oil, cold pressed olive oil, cold pressed flax oil (never heat), marine oils (from deep, cold waters)

Butter & Other Oils and Fats – Extra virgin, cold or expeller expressed oils, such as olive, flax seed, peanut, sesame, high-oleic expeller expressed monounsaturated safflower or sunflower oil (these two are good for making mayonnaise) (refrigerate all of the above in dark bottles); extra virgin organic coconut and palm oils (fine to keep at room temp); organic, (raw is best) butter from grass-fed cows, duck fat, suet (from beef); never eat processed polyunsaturated oils, canola oil or partially-hydrogenated (or hydrogenated) oils, such as shortening and, margarine, and never soybean oil even if it is cold-pressed because of a myriad of toxins, carcinogens, anti-nutrients, and phyto-estrogens. *WFM; TJs; FC; R

Links for articles about good and bad fats:



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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

With my daughter getting married in 5 weeks, I cannot be sure that I will be able to get this post up every Monday. If you do not find it here over the next few weeks, you can be confident that I am making wedding favors or altering a bridesmaid's dress or one of a hundred other details that the bride's mother may find herself doing in the weeks before the wonderful event.

But here is our menu for the following week:

Monday: Chili Beef Tacos, Pinto Beans, Kaufman's Real Chili Rellenos, fruit

Tuesday: Baked Potato Soup, Gorgonzola Salad with Grapes and Mapled Pecans

Wednesday: Roasted Chicken (or barbecued), Brown Rice with Parsley and Peas, buttered green beans (use fresh or frozen rather than canned), sliced watermelon

Thursday: Chicken and Toasted Peanut Salad, fruit

Friday: Summer Fresh Pesto with Pasta, Buttered Beets, melon slices

Saturday: Leftovers

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Franciska - Chapter Seven

Note: If you have not read Franciska's amazing story up to this point, you should do so now. Find chapters one through six here. Start at the bottom of the page with chapter one.

This long-time-in-coming seventh chapter of Franciska's story is devoted to Hermann's home going. I was delayed in writing this chapter because Hermann's obituary and a poem that he had written shortly before he died had to be translated from German to English. That is done now thanks to a friend from church. Thank you, Monica, for your kindness in translating the two pieces. So let us contunue...

In 1932, on May 29th, Hermann and Franciska celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. An account of the celebration appeared in the local German paper. An excerpt reads:

The evening of that day we reminiseced...about the church and friends and relatives who had been there previously. At this testimonial the representatives of the Meyer family, other relatives, and the congregation, delivered their wishes for happiness and blessings to the celebrating pair. May the Lord we serve give us more such festivities.
Looking back to when Hermann and Franciska met, an item of interest to me is the last entry in Franciska's "Poesie" book, that little autograph book that she kept from the age of 12 through the age of nineteen (mentioned in chapter one). The last entry was made in December, 1881 in Bromberg, Germany by Hermann. My Aunt Francis still has this little book in her possession. She writes of it:

One of the treasured mementos of Franciska still in existence is a small autograph book called 'Poesie' (poetry). It made the journey to America, survived the homestead, traveled to South Dakota by wagon and ferry, and onto Colorado and Oklahoma. The pages are brown with age and the once bright gilt edges are spattered with fly specks, but within are pages filled with exquisite handwriting... The first three entries are written in Thorn, a town near Bromberg, the latest being in December of 1881...The last entry is undated and signed, 'Hermann Meyer'! They were married in May of 1882.
Though Hermann's entry is written in German and I do not know what it says, it is more of a curiosity to me, as to why after 6 years of entries, Hermann's was the last. Franciska pursued no more autographs after his. Was she was satisfied to leave it with her future husband's as the best and therefore the last? Did she regard his entry as the culmination of all that had been written there in Poesie? Perhaps the answer lie in what he wrote and if I were to get it translated, the secret would be had.

But for now we must return to what is known. In late 1930 or early 1931, Hermann was diagnosed with cancer. He suffered for two years and then on January 4th, 1933, he went home to be with the Lord. His obituary reads:

Brother Hermann Gustave Meyer, born December 12, 1857 near Bromberg, in the province of Posen, Germany, died after a lengthy battle with cancer on January 4, 1933 at La Salle, Colorado at the age of 75 and 22 days. He was married with his now grieving widow on May 29th, 1882 and the Lord blessed him with 13 children, of which 6 died before him. Last May Brother Meyer and his wife celebrated their Golden Anniversary with all their children by their side. 1886 was the year Brother Meyer and his family came to this country, where they settled in Nebraska, South Dakota and since 1903 near La Salle, Colorado. Brother Meyer accepted the Lord as his Savior. He was baptized by Brother Currant in 1877...Just as in the old country, so in this country, Brother Meyer showed a deep commitment to the work of our Lord by holding Sunday School and Worship Services in his own home, and many have come to Christ through his initialed contacts. He was a devoted Christian and kept faithfully to those teachings of the Word of God. Brother Meyer held many offices in his church, such as superintendent of Sunday School, secretary, treasurer and the last 20 years as a deacon. He consistently fulfilled his Christian duties, as he always wanted what was best for the Lord and His congregation. He was especially pleased, that all his children came to the Lord Jesus Christ. One of his sons, Herbert Meyer, from Alva, Oklahoma followed the call and became a pastor himself. A few weeks before his death, Brother Meyer composed the following poem which was read at his funeral:

At the Edge of Eternity

by Hermann Gustave Meyer
Written in December, 1932, a few weeks before his death.

I stand at the edge of eternity
And look back one more time
I see the God of Majesty
And am lifted to joy sublime.

I am so very happy

My Savior died for me
He took my guilt
He took it all and now, by grace, I’m free.

Christ freed me from God’s judgment;

“There’s no more fear” I cry.
He conquered death and gave me life
My soul shall never die.

Now Christ is my Protector;

He owns my life, my soul.
I’m clean by the blood of Jesus;
I’m free, I’m His, I’m whole!

Grieving are his wife, 5 sons, 2 daughters, 35 grandchildren, 2 great grand children, 2 sisters and many other relatives and friends. May the Lord bless all that are left behind and give them the assurance of seeing their departed loved ones at the Throne of God in good time. La Salle, Colo.

As I read and reread my Great Grandfather's poem, I am struck with the peace, joy and anticipation he exhibited as he looked forward to his own death. For the Christan this is the mindset concerning leaving this earthly realm. There is no fear because we know there is no judgment. Jesus Christ has experienced my judgment, my penalty and my punishment for sin. Now for me there is only great anticipation as I move toward eternity. I will be with Jesus - face to face. No longer chained by sin, I will be able to worship Him just as Grandfather Hermann now worships, without a single hindrance, alongside my loved ones who have gone before me. Oh, what satisfaction and joy! Praise God who has so generously given us His Son!

Franciska's story is nearly complete. The final chapter will follow with her latter years after Hermann's death.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Word-in-My-Heart-Wednesday - Hebrews 4:15-16

It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for a new Bible verse to memorize. For those of you who did not catch the first of these posts, Word-in-My-Heart-Wednesday works as follows: On the first and third Wednesdays of the month the scrolling verse at the top of the page will be changed.

Visit this blog on a daily basis to memorize the current verse. When a new verse is posted, the old verse will be archived and available on the left sidebar under "w-i-m-h-w". Click on it and it will pop up in a scrolling text for your review. Review is the key to retaining what you have memorized. It takes only a few minutes daily to review the verses you have committed to memory.

The new verse for Word-in-My-Heart-Wednesday is Hebrews 4:15-16. "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."

These verses are packed with the goodness, kindness, mercy, grace and sovereignty of God. First of all, we have a priest. Our priest, the Lord Jesus Christ is not just any priest. Verse 14 of this same chapter in Hebrews describes Him as our "great high priest". He is not just a high priest as we find in the Old Testament. No, our priest is "great". He alone, by His own blood, is able to make perfect those who draw near.

Our great high priest sympathizes with us. He, being sinless, experienced sin is a way that we never will since we are already defiled by sin. His temptations were much more intense than ours and yet He did not sin. He therefore knows how to sympathize with us and enable us to overcome the enemy's onslaught.

Then there is the throne of grace that we are to come near to with boldness. Charles Spurgeon says that the throne of grace is:

...to be approached with devout joyfulness. If I find myself favoured by divine grace to stand amongst those favoured ones who frequent His courts, shall I not feel glad? I might have been in His prison, but I am before His throne. I might have been driven from His presence for ever, but I am permitted to come near to Him, even into his royal palace, into his secret chamber of gracious audience. Shall I not then be thankful? Shall not my thankfulness ascend into joy, and shall I not feel that I am honoured, that I am made the recipient of great favours when I am permitted to pray?

Wherefore is thy countenance sad, O suppliant, when thou standest before the throne of grace? If thou wert before the throne of justice to be condemned for thine iniquities, thy hands might well be on thy loins; but now that thou art favoured to come before the King in His silken robes of love, let thy face shine with sacred delight. If thy sorrows be heavy, tell them unto Him, for He can assuage them; if thy sins be multiplied, confess them, for He can forgive them. O, ye courtiers, in the halls of such a monarch, be ye exceeding glad, and mingle praises with your prayers.

May we do just that as we commit this precious truth to memory. And may the thought of our great high priest cause us to journey upward into His throne room of grace and mercy.

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