Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Good Morning! I am back for the day!

I saw an article back over the summer that showed what people all over the world ate and how much they spent in a week on food. It was shocking and intriguing! I am pleading with everyone of you who read this blog. Even if you have never left a comment. PLEASE! I know with Christmas and all the extra baking (or not) and eating (or not) we do it is not a good week to try this. Maybe take a week in January and write down everything you buy for food and the cost. Come back here and leave a comment under the title I will leave later for this. Tell me what you bought and what it cost to feed your family. Then after you take a look at the book or article tell me what you see in the pictures.

I am reading a book right now called, The Diet Alternative by Diane Hampton. It is so good. Did you realize that when God feed the Israelites manna it was in the morning and at night. No lunch! Do you think we as Americans eat to much? Forget Americans, humans! I want to be a good steward of even what I eat this next year. I just want to be hungry for all things. I want to feel full from all things.

Think this over with me and let me know what you find! PLEASE!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Today is the beginning of our Christmas break. And by that I mean break, from everything that has become routine for me. So I WILL see you again in the new year. I am just on vacation!

Have a blessed Christmas, eat with gladness and give thanks always!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thursday Plan ~ 12/18

Chicken Orzo Soup

Tip* Orzo is a tiny rice shaped pasta, which is found in the pasta section of most grocery stores.
I also cook my chicken in the crock pot on low overnight, keeping the dripping for the broth.

1 chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp oregano

Add & bring to a boil:
broth from cooked chicken
3 c water + more as needed
salt & pepper

2/3 c orzo pasta
stir occasionally, cook 8 minutes or until pasta is done.

2 c cooked chicken
1 c chopped zucchini

Cook for several minutes, remove from heat add 2 tbsp lemon juice. Top with feta cheese and parsley.

Wednesday Plan 12/17

Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Soak 2 c dry peas overnight. Drain and add to crockpot.
2 cans beef broth
1 lb. cooked crumbled bacon
1 onion cooked until soft
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
water to desired consistency.

Cook on low 6 hours or until peas are soft. Add a little water while cooking when needed.
Add a loaf of bread to dinner and your set!

Monday, December 15, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Cookies ~ Days 6-12

Seriously I am going to make everyone of these cookies and I will let you know how they turn out. Here you go!


Tuesday Plan 12/16

Beef Barley Soup

I won't have time to give you recipes for fresh homemade bread but I encourage you to seek some out and try them with your soups this week. It is quite easy and so very satisfying both nutritionally and emotionally. If you just don't have time try some on the weekend and freeze them for the week. If you just still don't have the time, Stack's does have some nice artisan bread that are great heated up.

1 lb stew meat, I also cut it up smaller than how it comes and brown it good

1 chopped onion
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

2 medium carrots, diced
3/4 cup barley
1 bay leaf
6 cups beef broth
1 tbsp salt

In crockpot, combine everything. Cook beef and barley soup on LOW in crockpot for 6 to 8 hours.

Week Plan 12/14

So Sunday we had leftovers. We also went to our church's live nativity drama. What an awesome thing! I mean until you go and see what goes into everything to tell the true story of Jesus birth, you won't understand. I am so thankful to be a part of such an awesome church family! What a blessing and encouragement they are to me and my family.

Monday I have been invited to go out to dinner with some friends I haven't seen in a few months. At Olive Garden! How could I say no? I mean come on, friends and Italian food? Tom has offered to fry up some potatoes and eggs for him and the boys! What a husband! I think I'll get him an extra stocking stuffer for Christmas for this one! I am thinking that new Love Dare book? Thanks for the suggestion Becky.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday I will give you some new soup recipes and Friday we are having company so I will give you my Italian Beef recipe. Dessert? Yes, but I am not sure what yet! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Cookies ~ Day 5

Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are from another friend~Diana back in Michigan. These are the best ever!

Set oven to 350.

3/4 c butter
1 1/2 c brown sugar
3/4 c sugar

1 TBSP vanilla
2 eggs

Stir in~
3 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

Mix in~
1 bag 60% cacao bittersweet Ghiradelli chips

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light brown.

I do have to say after your first batch if they seem to melt because of the butter (depending on how soft it is) just add about another 1/4 c flour. Sometimes I need to do this and other times I don't.

Thursday Plan ~ 12/11

Zesty Mexican Soup

1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 green pepper, diced
Saute in butter until soft in a soup pot.

2 TBSP chili powder
3 c broth
1 zucchini, chopped
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 c finely chopped spinach or other green
Add to sauteed vegetables above, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.

15 oz can of black beans, drained and washed
1 c corn
4 oz can diced green chili
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
Add to pot bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and leave uncovered for 15 minutes.

Add 1/4 c pumpkin seeds, chopped
1/2 c parsley or cilantro
salt and pepper

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Cookies ~ Day 4

I can't take credit for these but I will give credit to whom they come from~ my friend Heide!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ingredient list 1:
2 sticks of butter Yes 2!
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Ingredient list 2:
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 c oatmeal

Beat first 3 ingredients until creamy. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix. Add ingredients list 2 together in a separate bowl. Now add this to the creamy mixture. Add 1 c raisins, mix. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Can I Share?

So maybe I will name anything to do with what I learning spiritually, Can I Share? I have a lot to ask of you today! I want to know from others your answer to...

How would you describe a true Christian?

This is a hard question to me. Well, maybe not hard but I DO want to put some thought behind it. I want to be straight in my own mind and heart about this. We are doing a year long study of Romans in our Sunday school class and this in one of the Living it Out questions. So here is some of my though process~

Webster's dictionary defines Christian as adhering to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. A person who believes in Jesus Christ, an adherent of Christianity. A person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ.

So a basic answer would be a Christian is a person who believes in Christ and shows by example His teachings.

I think where I am being questioned in my own mind is in my earlier post about not being brought up in a Christian home. Yes my mom and dad believed in Christ, yes I remember going to church a few times and my parents were good people. So I guess we were missing the showing by example.

So if you believe but don't lead by example does that make you not a Christian? I mean a true Christian? Is there anything but a true Christian? You either are or you aren't. I hear so many times, "Oh so and so said they were a Christian but they sure aren't living that way." Or another one I hate to hear, " Oh they really weren't serious when they gave their life to Christ, they were just fooling themselves and they really aren't a Christian at all." I mean do people really believe that as soon as we give our lives to Christ we will never fall? Do people really think that if we do we really aren't a Christian? That we lose it?

What are the ramifications of not being an example? What examples are we to show?

Monday, December 8, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Cookies ~ Day 3

No Bake Chocolate Cookies
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2-1 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

1Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil.
2Cook for 1 minute.
3Remove from heat.
4Add remaining ingredients.
5Mix well and drop by teaspoon onto wax paper.
6Let cool.

So who has memories of these when they were small? I do!

Christmas Rum Cake

Darn this woman! Here is another Pioneer Woman recipe. You know if I wasn't a nice person and I didn't like this ladies recipes so much I would rename my blog Pioneer Woman's Stolen Recipes! Seriously, I love everything I try of hers except the pound cake. And she has a great humor in her writing.

All I can say is Enjoy!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Can I Share?

I started to begin another blog account. Instead I am just going to share with you what I am learning from time to time. Really as a way to "write" down on paper what I am learning to help me to remember. To help me solidify what I am learning, what He is teaching to me.

I have shared this with some friends here lately, but as I sit here and type I am still learning more. I use to worry about raising 3 boys. I really didn't grow up in a Christian home. I mean I think my parents have put their faith in God. I think my sisters have. But the things I remember about growing up and church were very few and far between. I am not sure why. Maybe it was because we moved often with my dad in the Army. Maybe it was because I don't have a good memory. But the fact remains that what and how I have learned about God is from Him. And really shouldn't it be that way? I mean whether you grow up in a home that goes to church or not God calls us to himself and teaches us. He is the Great Teacher.

But I feared raising 3 boys. How do I do it? How do I make them stay on the Way. How do I build strong christian character? How do I let them go? What if they choose wrong? I feared the future for them. Mainly because I did not want them to go down the way I did. I want to help them find the Way and stay on it! But the world is closing in on all four walls. They are so against us. I will loose one of them, the odds are against me. I feared. You know those silly 30 questions that go around that ask you things about yourself? The one that asked what do you fear? Well my answer was always that I fear loosing one of my children. Not to death but to the world.

I spend most mornings getting ready and that is my most quite time so I pray. I was praying recently about 2 friends that have chosen to homeschool. I hadn't spoken to them in a while so they came to my mind. I like to hang scripture on our bathroom mirrors as a way to memorize and the one that hangs now is
Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
So I was praying that during the day the Spirit would give my 2 friends a home filled with those things. Then it came to me!

I was so worried about the odds that I couldn't keep 3 boys. I have a house with 5 people filled with God's Holy Spirit. 100% always good, always for us Holy Spirit! What odds!!! I forget who is on my side, who has my back. Who has theirs! Then as I am reading tonight for Sunday school tomorrow morning in Romans He reaffirms it for me. What a teacher, one I hope to be to my own children. But I can trust that when I fail He will not.
Romans 8:31
If God is for us, who can be against us?
Father forgive me when I forget and when I have such weak faith. I love you.

Tuesday Plan 12/9

Breakfast Night
Sausage Egg Muffins

1 pound sausage of choice
12 eggs, beaten
1 green pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups.
Brown sausage and onion in a skillet. Divide meat into 12 muffin cups after cooked.
In bowl mix everything else and using a measuring cup divide egg mixture among the 12 muffin cups.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until egg is set and done.

Monday Plan 12/8

Creamy Wild Rice Soup

1/4 c butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 carrots, diced
8oz pkg mushrooms, sliced
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 c whole wheat or spelt flour
6-8 c stock
2 c dry wild rice, cooked according to pkg and drained
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 c milk
1/2 c parsley, chopped

In large saucepan melt butter and cook onions for about 5 minutes.
Add carrots, mushrooms, celery & cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in flour, then add stock stirring for 5 minutes on high heat.
Stir in wild rice and spices.
Reduce heat and stir in milk. Heat.
Add parsley and serve.

Sunday Plan 12/7

Okay so we are slowly getting back on the wagon. The health wagon that is. Now I will continue to give you the 12 Days of Cookies and I will continue to eat them but for dinner we are back on! I like to cut down on costs by doing one bean dinner and one vegetable dinner during the week. Here is your vegetable dinner and if you feel like adding some chicken to it go ahead.

Broccoli Mushroom Penne Pasta

1 pound penne pasta cooked and drained
1/2 c butter
2 garlic cloves minced
4 c mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
4 c broccoli florets
4 c spinach
2 c peas, thawed or even soy beans
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
1 tsp each thyme, basil, oregano

Heat butter and saute mushrooms, garlic and onions for about 5 minutes.
Blanch broccoli in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain.
Add broccoli, spinach and peas to mushroom mixture and cook until heated through.
Combine oil, cheese and spices in a bowl, whisk and add to vegetables.
Toss vegetables with pasta and serve with some crusty bread & butter.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Chocolate Crinkles ~ Day 2

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350. Roll dough into one inch balls. Coat each ball in confectioners' sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Peanut Butteriest Cookies Ever ~ Day 1

1 1/2 c p.b.
1 c butter, soft
2 c sugar
Mix until smooth.
1 tsp boiling water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt

Roll into balls and place on cookie sheet. Dip a fork into sugar and make a criss-cross pattern and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

12 Days of Christmas Cookies

Well, every where I look and read confirms it is here! CHRISTMAS. I don't know many people who don't like this time of year. Well, now that I think about it, I don't know of anyone. Does that mean good cheer attracts good cheer??? I going with it!!! I am tired, remember I was up at 5:30 and I DO help shovel. I can't just sit there and watch. And I actually enjoy shoveling. So I am tired and hungry so I say to myself, "Self, how about some cookies?" I reply, "Sure, sounds good, who is going to bake them?" "You."

Okay, okay enough. Did I mention how sleep deprived I am. How many of you talk to yourself? Come on now, I know you do!

Cookies, that's it. I am going to give you my 12 Days of Christmas Cookies. Starting today. I know it isn't the 12 Days of Christmas yet but I talked myself out of giving you 24 Days of Cookies. Only because I DON'T want to have to run that much during the winter. It is all about maintaining right now. And the cost of making cookies everyday, the flour, the butter, the eggs, the vanilla, it adds up.


Good Morning!
Well, this was our first morning up bright and early. Well not so bright at 5:30 in the morning but early. The boys have a snow shoveling business and I am the one responsible for everything behind the scenes. In other words I am the one to get up, start the coffee and hot chocolate and get them out of bed in time to get everyone shoveled before they leave for work. I am also the one who drives said children to the places that need to be shoveled and I am also the person who dries all the wet clothes after we come back in. Well at least I won't have to buy the Xbox they are looking to replace!

On to food. I know I have been MIA but I have all the confidence you all can handle leftovers. Then there is baked potato night when the hubby and I get to go out for dinner! That leaves us at Thursday. Soak white beans overnight and cook them the next day in pure turkey stock and plenty of sea salt. Yes, I did make turkey stock. Didn't you????

I will be back for burritos and movie night. I will also have to remember to tell you about our new movie night plan! The kids will love it!