Monday, April 1, 2013

Humble Inspiration

This is a photo of Alcatraz. It was taken on our family trip to S F last summer.  

Today I woke up feeling SO thankful to the Lord for the many blessings in my life! My husband has a job! My kids are well-looked after while I get to work on some things at home. We are healthy. We are blessed to live in the country! I am thankful for all of those things and more!

I started my morning off with reading from Acts 4-5. How encouraging to read about the early Christians and their seriousness about their lives with God! It humbled me to think how far we have come at living so boldly for our God. It also inspired me. At the end of chapter 5, the apostles were flogged and ordered to speak no more in the name of Jesus and were then released from their captors. Verse 41-42 says, "So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ."


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Who Are You?

Have you ever thought about your life and who you are? Is there Light shining through you? As a Christian, does your life point others towards Jesus? Does your life reflect Him or look like a different image?

Who am I? In Christ, I am redeemed; made whole; made a new creation by His sacrifice in my place on the cross. Though I am not perfect, He is my righteousness. Any good in me is clearly because of Him and because of His Spirit living in me.

Tonight I was checking my own heart and thought this may be a good time to write. Who am I? What am I doing to glorify God with my life? I am not speaking of working my way into salvation, because I don't believe it's possible, based on the Word of God. I am speaking of living out my life by God's grace. 

Who are you? Are you "in Christ" and pleasing Him with your life? Maybe you can relate to the heart-check questions below.

Do others know that I'm a Christian? Do they see a difference between my life and the way the rest of the world lives?

Is my life affecting others in an encouraging way?

Do I look for ways to serve others or help meet someone's needs?
Am I trusting God in every area of my life?
Am I willing to give up something precious for another?
Are my treasures on earth?
Is there sin that I haven't repented of?
Am I living one way 6 days a week, and another way on the 7th day?
Is my love for others evident in the way I speak? Or is love missing from my mouth?

Do I say I love God and yet do not live FOR Him?
Do I justify sin, thinking it's not 'that bad' or that God will forgive me?
Am I more concerned about pleasing others or my God?
Am I trusting Him with my fears? Or do I hold onto them, for fear of trusting Him?

Do I continually devote myself to prayer?
Do I share all I have with anyone who might be in need?
Does my life bear the fruit of the Spirit?
Do I stand strong in the world, and not be OF the world?
Do I go to my Lord first in a crisis and cry out to Him?
Am I reading His word and hungry for it as daily bread?

1 John 1-5

1 John 3:16-24
"We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whosoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need, and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?"

"Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth."

"We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him, in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask, we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us."  

Am I obeying his commandments?
Am I showing love with what I do?
Am I doing the things that are pleasing in His sight?
Do I live my life for myself and my own ambitions or for others and ultimately my Lord?

I want my life to give glory to my Creator and please Him in every way.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Stop. Listen. And really live life.

My middle baby. He's the center of the cookie; the sweet frosting.
  It's been awhile since I've written about life. I do other things besides cook. ha ha I also teach kids (my own and others). I try to be a loving, patient wife, mom and puppy owner...some days. I sew, garden and just, well, live life, you know? Tonight as I sat for a couple hours, reading to my kids (yes, I said a couple of hours! They were begging me to keep reading!).  I had one of those incredible moments where I realized:

"I'm living it. Right now."

Do you ever have those moments? It's when you know you will think back and miss this. It's when you think, this is really life. This is a good life. There are things we could complain about of course; hard days, looooooong school days and more. But God gives us moments when we can stop and listen.
He truly gives us the perfect amount of time we need to live fulfilling lives.

Can you really feel the excitement of your kids being kids? Can you feel their joy of hearing a good adventure story? Do you see the way your child's face lights up when he's being helpful of his own desire? What about the way a little one brings you a dandelion, just wanting to do something special for you? (And you don't have the heart to tell him it's a weed.) ;)  Do you take the time to praise your child for the things he's doing good?? Do you stop and think what it's like for your kids to live in your home?

My oldest baby, who really wants to be a 'man'.

I really do. At least, I do try to. I struggle though, like all moms, I'm sure, with patience. I seem to hear myself say too often, "Hurry and do.....(insert anything)."  And then I realize, 'what am I hurrying for? We have nothing else planned for the day'. Maybe it's because I try to fit too much into my days? (ha ha ME??? No way!) So then I say, "No, don't hurry, just do a good job."

As a mom, I really want to live life with my kids. It's the same for being a wife. I don't want to take for granted one day spent with any of them. They are all precious to me.

Lord, please give me the strength, wisdom, power, love, patience and kindness...... to live this out well.

I guess I'm writing to encourage anyone who's just speeding through life. Stop. Slow down.

My baby girl, growing up.

We only get today. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. I know we've all heard that but it's really true. Live life well.

Love God with ALL your heart.

Love your kids and husband like this is your last day with them!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Grandma's Shrimpies

Shrimpies are a favorite Christmas treat!
 Here is another favorite family recipe you are sure to love! That is, if you like shrimp, cream, butter and cheese! Serve these warm and watch them disappear! At Christmastime Grandma T. used to make multiple batches of these along with so many other wonderful treats! Every time I make them, I think of her and do miss her! She was a great cook and had a generous, hospitable heart but she could sure be ornery too! It makes me smile remembering some of the things she's said or done that I may have thought but never actually would say! LOL Enjoy her Shrimpies and share!

Grandma T.'s Shrimpies
1 cup butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoon heavy cream
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2-2 cups mini shrimp

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 lightly beaten eggs

1/2 cup grated cheeses (Cheddar and Parmesan) 
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium bowl, cream well:  butter and cream cheese. Beat in 2 T heavy cream. Work in the flour and 1/2 tsp. salt to make a pastry dough. Form into long rounds, about 1" thick, seal in waxed paper and refrigerate for several hours (or freeze to harden quicker).

2. After dough has hardened, heat oven to 425'.

3. Slice pastry dough in 1/8"-1/4'' slices and press into mini muffin pans, pressing around sides. Lay about 4- 6 mini shrimp on top of pastry dough.

4. Combine 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and 3 lightly beaten eggs; set aside.

5. Combine cheese and salt and pepper. 

6. Spoon about 1/2 Tablespoon- 1 Tablespoon egg mixture over shrimp. Sprinkle with cheese.

7. Bake 5 minutes at 425'. Reduce heat to 350' and bake 15 minutes longer or until Shrimpies are set and lightly browned on top. Best when served immediately but also works well to make ahead and heat in a crock pot.

NOTE: To heat in a crock pot, line pot with foil, layering Shrimpies and foil. Keep on Low setting so as not to burn the Shrimpies.

Can be kept in freezer for up to 3 months.

Use a plastic knife or flat utensil to scoop out of a non-stick pan. Sometimes they stick but usually they just pop out after a little help!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fruit Cobbler

Make this Fruit Cobbler in a muffin cup for a smaller treat!
 I seem to be doing a series on old family favorite recipes but sometimes the old ones are the best ones! Mom has made this delicious recipe since I was a kid and now it's one of our favorite recipes too. Try any fruit; peaches, plums, blackberries, marionberries, rhubarb, blueberry.... If you're using home-canned fruit, I'd use 2 quart jars, minus the liquid.

Fresh canned peaches make a great cobbler!

Mom's Fruit Cobbler

1. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a 9''x13'' pan.

2. In a bowl, mix:
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 cups flour
    4 tsp. baking powder
    1 1/2 cups milk
    pinch salt

Beat well; pour over melted butter.

3. Top with 8 cups of fruit. Sprinkle sugar over entire dessert.  

4. Bake for 60 minutes at 375'.

I sprinkled Pampered Chef Sweet Sprinkles on to add extra flavor and...because they are just good! :)

Mini Peach Cobblers!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Muffins

YUM! What's better than a big, delicious, full breakfast? Well, miniaturize it into muffins and it's not quite as high in calories! I think these would freeze well and then just pop them into the microwave and enjoy a tasty breakfast in a hurry! Homemade convenient food. A friend and I were talking through good 'ol FB about food- surprise, surprise!! I wondered what a regular blueberry muffin recipe would be like if you switched the blueberries for eggs, bacon and chunks of cheese and modified it a little. To my surprise, it was more delicious than I thought it would be. You could leave out some of the sugar but I love the salty/sweet combination so I left it in.

Thanks, Mary R., for your help in figuring these things out and for the idea of mixing the eggs on top rather then leave them whole. I think it would fun to try these in a LARGE muffin pan with a whole egg and see how they turn out!! These regular-sized muffins cannot hold a whole egg! LOL :)

Bacon, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Muffins

Muffin batter:
2 cups flour
2 T - 1/3 cup sugar (depending on if you like the salty sweet combination)
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted (or 1/4 cup oil)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, cubed
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped

Topping for muffins:
3 eggs
course salt
shredded or thinly sliced cheddar, about 2-4 oz 

-Makes about 18 muffins

If bacon needs cooked, start by cooking it in either a frying pan, or in a jelly roll (Large Stoneware Bar Pan) in the oven till crispy. Cube cheddar if needed.

Preheat oven to 425'

1.Mix the dry ingredients for muffin batter in a large mixing bowl, add the milk and butter and mix till just combined. (Batter will still be lumpy). Add cubed cheese and bacon. Mix evenly.  

2. Line muffin pan with paper liners. Fill 1/2 full with batter. Bake for 10 minutes.

3. Remove from oven, leaving oven on.  

4. In a small bowl, beat 3 eggs very well. Spoon about 1/2 - 1  1/2 tablespoonfuls of beaten egg over each baked muffin, trying not to spill over the paper liner. Lightly sprinkle with course salt and pepper.

5. Bake muffins till eggs are done, or about 8-10 minutes. Watch them!

6. Remove muffins from oven. Top with shredded or thinly sliced cheese. Allow to sit until cheese is melted. Serve while still warm!

For visual learners follow along with the photos or.... if you just want to be tempted to make them! :)

I LOVE cooking bacon in my stoneware Bar Pan. (Pampered Chef of course!) I usually cook it at 400' for about 15 minutes. Save the bacon grease in a covered jar in the fridge for frying up eggs! (I didn't say this was a healthy way to cook them, but it's delicious and adds great flavor! You don't need much to add flavor either!)
Crispy, perfect bacon. You don't want chewy pieces in your muffins. Nope. Just not good.
Chop it up till it's about 1/2''.

Thickly slice cheese, then cut it into 1/2'' strips.

Cut it again the other way and you have cubes! (duh, I know... I just thought you'd like looking at Tillamook Cheddar cheese.... ha ha)

Mix in cheese! Mmmm

Mix in bacon. Use a Medium Scoop to fill muffins 1/2 full.

Don't fill muffin liners any fuller than this... this was even a little too much in this picture. Remember they expand and you will be adding eggs, which expand too! Bake.

Add thinly sliced cheese, or shredded cheese and let sit till the cheese is all melty and gooey.


Friday, September 30, 2011

More Pie? How About Mini Pies and LARGE Pies?

I wanted to share some cute little pies...and not so little pies I made with you. It's fun to come up with different uses for pie crust! Share your ideas too!

Mini turkey pies! Line a mini muffin pan with small rounds of pie crust and fill with turkey pie filling (just like turkey soup without as much broth). Fill with fruit filling for sweet pies! 

Cover with another round of dough on top and press gently into the bottom crust, blending the two doughs.  Use a fork to make them stay...and so they look pretty. :)

Use a LARGE muffin pan for an individual size of turkey pie, or of course fruit pie. Cover as above mentioned.

Make ham and cheese pies using pie crust and ... you guessed it: ham and cheese! I've decided that next time I will make a cheese sauce (white sauce and add cheese) so that they aren't as dry. I love this idea though because it makes nice snacks for the kids during school, my husband's lunch or.. just whenever!

After you'd topped the bottom crust with filling, top it with another crust...

This tool is splendid. I'm not sure if they are still selling them but it's made by Pampered Chef. You make the circles first and then press down in the top handle so it will crimp the edges like this....

Aren't they cute?

Cut a small slit in the tops of each one to allow air to vent through. Be creative! Fill it with fruit, pepperoni, sauce and cheese, chicken, just veggies...

How about a HUGE pie? Line a Large Bar Pan with pie crust, fill and top! It serves more and if you love the crust best, this is the way to go because there isn't as much filling as a regular pie pan would hold.

Not perfect but still good.

And...there's dinner!