Letters from Home No. 4 Posted on March 30th, 2013
Today, being the second day of spring, is quite cold with a light sprinkling of snow on the ground. I can’t say I don’t long for warm sunshine, green grass, and flowers blooming, but the Lord is continuing to teach me to be content.
This past winter has been such a long, cold winter- the lack of warm sunshine can make things rather dreary. We were told by a friend that anyone living in colder regions should take extra Vitamin D through the winter months. We took that advice and believe it to be indeed helpful.
Something else that has helped through this winter is to keep busy, very busy with projects. Not only are the projects a delight to work on, it keeps us from dwelling on spring. We need to find joy and contentment in the Lord even when the sun is not warming us up.
I just finished rereading “Stepping Heavenward” by Elizabeth Prentiss. It’s the story is of the young Katy as she journals her life from the age of 16 throughout her adult life as a wife and mother. The lessons she learns as she grows from a self-centered young lady to a godly older woman are so precious. It continues to be one of my favorite books, and I am encouraged in my walk with the Lord every time I read it.
One of my favorite quotes from the book is about thinking rightly. Katy is exclaiming to her future husband how “she has to say what she thinks” and he replies “It is well to think rightly then”. Oh, yes, we must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. It is so easy to think wrong thoughts and to indulge ourselves in them. Mulling them over and over, changing the reality of a situation into our own made-up version. We have to tell ourselves “no!” Putting off bad thoughts and putting on biblical thoughts. We need to exercise this throughout our lives. Just like physical exercise, this does become easier with time, but we must be diligent in it.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5)
You asked me for my recipe for freezer chocolate; I’d be happy to share it with you.
1/2 c. coconut oil
1/2 c. honey, preferably raw
1/4 c. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
Options for flavored chocolate: adding peppermint or orange extract or oil.
Mix well in blender. Pour into a pie dish and put in freezer, uncovered. Check after an hour or so. You can cover it up after it sets up. Once it sets up, slice and serve. It may need to set out for a few minutes before slicing. If there are any leftovers keep them in the freezer or refrigerator. If you need chocolate immediately you can enjoy it straight out of the blender. You may notice some of the coconut oil separating and turning white when it freezes, just make sure to blend it better next time.
I am looking forward to hearing from soon. May the Lord bless you and keep you.
Letters from Home No. 2 Posted on March 13th, 2013
It was so good to hear from you. I love to hear how you are growing in the Lord. It has been my experience that the more I pray and read God’s word the more joyful I am. It’s such a blessing to know you are experiencing that true joy as well.
This past week we had a family over for dinner. They had an extra guest with them, a fine young man who is courting their eldest daughter. He was a very godly young man who held his own at our constant questioning. I do believe he will make their daughter a wonderful husband. We are looking forward to seeing how their courtship progresses.
We served vegetable soup with homemade crackers (gluten free). They asked for the recipe so I thought I would enclose it for you too.might like to have it too. It’s a good soup to feed a small crowd, or your family with lots of leftovers. I froze the leftovers from that meal and took it to church for a family who had just suffered a miscarriage. It was a blessing to be able to feed two other family with that meal.
browned ground beef
diced onion, cooked with the ground beef
2 – 3 bay leaves
I left out the amounts so that you can just adjust it as you like. You can also leave out any of the veggies that you don’t like and feel free to add in anything else. The main taste is from the beef broth, tomato sauce and bay leaves. Sometimes I will put in roast meat in addition to ground beef. That’s usually the best! This is an easy meal to put together using the healthiest ingredients you can find. Sometimes I cook up the veggies in my pressure cooker before I put them in the soup, so it doesn’t take so long to cook. This could also be put in a slow cooker in the morning.
Cooking soups like this will help you become more confident in your cooking and not so dependent on recipes. I still love using recipes, but sometimes it is nice to just cook and not have to look at one.
I am looking forward to hearing about your trip, do write as soon as you can.
May the Lord bless you and keep you,
Back to the Start Posted on January 25th, 2012
Growing in Wisdom: Food + Give-Away Posted on September 5th, 2011
One of the areas that I have needed to grow in wisdom has been our diet. For most of our lives our family has eaten a typical Standard American Diet. When we saw our parents’ health decline several years ago, we made a few changes, mainly by making our own whole-wheat bread from freshly ground wheat berries. Oh, that was so good and satisfying!
Then about a year and a half ago something came along and rocked our world……………….read the rest over at Raising Homemakers and enter to win one of my favorite books, Health for Godly Generations by Renée DeGroot
Preserving Herbs Posted on July 27th, 2011
Our garden is flourishing right now. Even in this sweltering heat that we have been having with little rain it is flourishing. I have been tending to it in the mornings before the heat sets in and my husband waters it in the evening after the sun starts to set.
When I am out in the garden my mind wanders toward God and how much gardens can mimic life. How He created such diversity and beauty amazes me everyday. This French thyme from our garden above is so delicate and smells wonderful, yet it seems to grow so much sturdier than the zucchini that took off, produced a bunch of squash and then flopped over and died.
I harvested some of our basil and hung it up to dry and then realized with the high humidity in the air it would be best to dry them for a short time in a low oven. As in life, always the need to re-evaluate what we are doing and why.
The basil made our home smell wonderful while it was drying. This is the first year that I am actually harvesting and preserving from our herb garden. Normally, I would just use it fresh and just enjoy the plants. But this year is different. I am trying to be much more intentional in what I am doing and that means preserving my herbs. Maybe, just like in life, I am trying to preserve the memory as well.
Gluten-Free Doughnut Holes Posted on September 28th, 2010
Gluten-Free Doughnut Holes
240 grams Ahern’s gluten-free flour mix*
1/2 tsp guar gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
75 grams (about 1/3 cup) superfine sugar**
2 T butter, room temperature
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 cup milk, scalded and divided
2 T plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
canola oil for frying
Mix 2/3 cup of sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon and place in a small brown sack or bowl and set aside for later.
Mix dry ingredients together in mixer bowl.
Add butter and blend. It will look very crumbly.
In another bowl, combine the egg, 1/2 of the milk, yogurt, and vanilla extract.
With the mixer running, slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue mixing. Slowly add the rest of the milk. Cover the bowl and let the batter rest.
Heat at least 2 inches of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Heat until the oil registers 360 degrees on a deep-fat thermometer. (I don’t have a thermometer for the oil, so I heated it on medium heat for several minutes and tested the readiness by slowly putting in a spoonful of batter, when it starts bubbling and cooking you will know it’s ready.)
Gently drop tablespoon-size dollops of dough into the oil. (Carefully ease them into the oil so that there are no splashes of hot oil!) Fry about 45 seconds to 1 minute on each side, until a light golden brown.
Remove the doughnuts with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper-towel-lined plate. While the next batch is frying, put the hot doughnuts a few at a time into the small paper bag with cinnamon sugar. Shake and place on serving plate. Makes about 24 doughnut holes.
If you have any left overs freeze them right away. They will keep their crispness that way. The ones left out overnight will get soft.
These are simply delightful! This is another recipe that I made and declared, YES! We can eat gluten-free!
This recipe was originally posted on the Ahern’s blog, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef.
*The Ahern’s have created this gluten-free flour mix and they encourage you to weigh your flours instead of measuring by cup. I just use a little inexpensive scale that I picked up at Walmart and it works great. When you see the difference in measurements from weight to cup size you will see why they encourage this. Also due to a corn allergy in our family we replace the cornstarch with tapioca starch and use the same weight measurement.
**I put our regular sugar in the blender to make it extra fine.
Brownie Bites Gluten-Free Posted on September 16th, 2010
With the girls working long hours as they finish up their latest projects, I thought it was time to bring out the chocolate. These brownie bites are wonderfully perfect for what we were wanting. Enjoy.
Brownie Bites Gluten-Free
Preheat oven to 325° F.
Mix the following ingredients in a medium bowl.
1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. sorghum
1/4 c. potato starch
2 T. tapioca starch
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 c. evaporated cane juice or sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 c. applesauce
2 T vanilla extract
1/2 c. hot coffee
Mix and then add:
1 c. chocolate chips
Use a small scoop and put in lightly greased mini-muffin tins. Bake for 10 minutes. Let brownies stand in muffin tins for several minutes. Then tumble them out onto a cooling rack. This recipe makes about 40-44 mini-muffins.
These also freeze well.
Tutorial: Standing Recipe Holder Posted on September 13th, 2010
This year I decided to change the way I stored my recipes. I wanted something that was easy to read, standing up and it needed to be cute! Hop on over to Raising Homemakers today to see my tutorial on making my standing recipe holder.