Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Two nice fall recipes

Photo from Taste of Home
Doesn't fall weather just rekindle your interest in cooking and baking?  It sure does that with me!  I just don't have as much time to bake as I would like.  I've promised to bake some muffins, coffeecake and granola for my daughter's freezer (she's expecting their fourth child in a few weeks), so that will give me a good excuse.  Now, to carve out the time for baking!

Meanwhile, I've been trying the occasional new recipe for supper.  Last night, I tried not one, but two.  Both were similar to recipes I've made in the past, but differed slightly, so I thought I would share the links.

First of all, the main course: Polish Sausage with Veggies.  This cooks all in one skillet, and is so easy.  I used smoked sausage because that's what I had on hand.  Also, I did not peel the potatoes but just scrubbed them well before cutting in cubes.I found that it worked best to cover the skillet, although the recipe didn't specify that.  A similar recipe I've made calls for cabbage, and I wanted to add cabbage to this one, too, since I had a bag of coleslaw mix that needed to be used.  So I did things just a little differently than the recipe.  I started by cooking the potatoes, sausage (which I cut in much smaller pieces), and onion in the covered skillet for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then I added the peppers (I used frozen pepper strips) and the bag of coleslaw mix and the Cajun seasoning, covered the skillet and cooked for another 10 minutes, again stirring occasionally.  This is a delicious main dish for fall!

Then, I wanted an easy side dish.  I was browsing through an older Simple & Delicious magazine and came across this recipe: Brown Sugar Squash

Photo by Taste of Home
I've made a similar squash recipe for years, but always in the regular oven.  I had no idea it could be successfully done in a microwave!  So I varied this one a little bit, too.  I used a buttercup squash because that's what I had on hand, and we greatly prefer it to acorn.  I only used one squash and cooked it in the microwave for 12 minutes as specified.  I think 10 minutes might have been enough.  Then, I turned the halves over, sprinkled with salt and  pepper, added a dab of butter and a couple teaspoons of brown sugar to each, and cooked them for another minute.  I didn't measure anything and didn't use honey as the recipe calls for.  This turned out really well and I will definitely be cooking squash this way again.

What are you cooking and baking this fall?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Another good zucchini recipe

Photo from Taste of Home
Just in case there's still a zucchini or two in someone's fridge, here's a recipe we tried a month or so ago:Zucchini Parmesan.  It is very good and so simple.  I liked that it used the diced canned tomatoes rather than fresh ones.

You will want to file this one away for use next summer when the zucchini is abundant.  I intend to; that's why I'm posting it here!  A friend's mother-in-law always said that the best way not to lose track of a recipe was to share it.  That way you could always go back to the person you shared it with and ask for it.  Sound advice, and I've seen it proved true more than once!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Words of Silver from the Bible



Today I thought I would share a sweet little booklet I recently found while going through some old stationery items.  This dear little booklet, printed by Warner Press, measures about 2 inches by 3 inches and  is made to look like a Bible.  It opens out to reveal some fifteen Bible verses.  One of these is John 3:16"  "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Several of the other verses reference silver.  Here is one of them:
"How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!  and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!"  (Proverbs 16:16)
This is so true.  Godly wisdom is far more valuable than any other commodity.

Another of the "words of silver" featured in this little treasure is Psalm 4:8, one of my personal favorites and a real gem if you have children who occasionally experience scary dreams:  "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety."

I will leave you with another favorite from this booklet.  I have experienced the truth of this verse:
"The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust..."  (Psalm 18:2)

Hope you have enjoyed these "words of silver from the Bible" today!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

An easy vegetable side dish


Photo from Taste of Home
For weeks, I have been meaning to post these links (which I don't think I have ever posted in years past, but you never know) to a couple of good side dishes using zucchini.  It may be that you still have a few garden veggies to use up, or can still find a good price on these at the supermarket or farmer's market.  So I will post one for today, and one for next week.

First, Great Garden Veggies.  This was so easy and very good.  Helps to fill out a meal and use up some of that prolific vegetable.  You've got to love a multi-purpose recipe like that.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

October Goals

The New Hampshire Troubadour, October 1950
A new month, and time to set some new goals!  Here's the list:
OCTOBER GOALS:
* Read through the October portion of the One-Year Devotional Bible.
* Finish questions for You Are Loved summer Bible study  -- I've already finished the daily Bible study, just need to finish answering the questions
*  Read 4 chapters in The Power of a Godly Grandparent
* Continue to implement some of the ideas from the above book
* Finish re-reading Say Goodbye to Survival Mode
* Begin to implement some of the ideas and strategies from the above book
* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones.
* Add 4 pages to my "What Do I Know About My God?" Scripture notebook
* Keep up with my Sunday School study -- The Heart of a Woman Who Prays
* Exercise or walk at least 20 times.
* Get to bed by 9:45 pm each night.
* Limit sugar.
* Drink enough water each day.
* Keep up with Kelly's missions in homemaking zones of the week.
* Attend a couples' retreat with my hubby
* Post in both of my blogs as often as possible
* Reduce grocery bill by $5 per week consistently
* Spend several hours updating my A-store.
* Do research for setting up an Etsy shop (I've already joined Etsy)
* Make 6 handcrafted Christmas gifts
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family.
* Clean church and set up for potluck meal
* Make gift tags from last year's Christmas cards.
* Finish ordering materials for grandkids' homemade Christmas gifts
* Complete handcrafted gifts for a November birthday.
* Finish a baby gift
* Make 2 photo books
* Take a long weekend up north with my hubby
*  Continue trying to help and encourage my elderly dad
* Sort out and declutter my dad's basement
* Have some needed dental work done
* Attend a ladies' luncheon at church
* Do some baking for the freezer

OCTOBER'S HEALTHY HABITS:  Walking/nurture creativity

WORD FOR 2014: BALANCE

And now, for a look at how September went:
SEPTEMBER GOALS:
* Read through the September portion of the One-Year Devotional Bible -- DONE!
* Finish questions for You Are Loved summer Bible study  -- I've already finished the daily Bible study, just need to finish answering the questions -- not done, although I did do some of it.
*  Read 4 chapters in The Power of a Godly Grandparent -- not done
* Continue to implement some of the ideas from the above book -- not done
* Finish re-reading Say Goodbye to Survival Mode -- not done -- think it's safe to say I'm still in survival mode!
* Begin to implement some of the ideas and strategies from the above book -- not done
* Memorize at least 4 Bible verses and review some older ones -- partly done
* Add 4 pages to my "What Do I Know About My God?" Scripture notebook -- DONE!
* Keep up with my Sunday School study -- The Heart of a Woman Who Prays -- DONE!
* Exercise or walk at least 20 times -- not done -- think I managed 10 or 12 times
* Get to bed by 9:45 pm each night -- not done, though I usually managed to get there by 10 pm
* Limit sugar -- done somewhat
* Drink enough water each day -- done somewhat
* Keep up with Kelly's missions in homemaking zones of the week -- DONE!
* Go to a ladies' retreat -- DONE!
* Post in both of my blogs as often as possible -- not done; or maybe it was ... maybe the pathetically infrequent posts were done "as often as possible"!
* Reduce grocery bill by $5 per week consistently -- not done
* Spend several hours updating my A-store. -- not done
* Do research for setting up an Etsy shop (I've already joined Etsy) -- not done
* Make at least a dozen items for sale at craft fairs -- not done; I am tabling this thought until next year and taking more time to pray about it
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family -- DONE!
* Clean church and set up for potluck meal -- DONE!
* Make gift tags from last year's Christmas cards -- not done
* Make 2 barley bag hot packs -- DONE!
* Order materials for grandkids' homemade Christmas gifts -- partly done; think I have about half of the materials I need, but have enough to get started.
* Plan and complete several handcrafted gifts for September and November birthdays -- September ones are -- DONE!
*  Continue trying to help and encourage my elderly dad -- DONE!
* Sort out and declutter my dad's basement -- continuing to work at this huge task
* Have friends over for a meal -- DONE!

SEPTEMBER'S HEALTHY HABIT:  Nurture creativity -- did okay with this, but am stressing it again this month, along with walking.

So you see precious few DONE!s on this list, but I do feel as if I accomplished quite a bit this month in some areas.  Hoping, of course, for a productive October with a lot of items crossed off at the end.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

From the hand of the Master Artist


Last evening at church, our pastor shared a very encouraging message.  I hope to share more about it later on, but he ended the message with just a simple exhortation that -- no matter what difficulty may be going on in our lives -- we need to take our eyes off the circumstances, take our eyes off ourselves, and fix our eyes on the Lord, who is in control of our situation and has a plan and purpose for all that He allows.  Simple?  Yes, but not so easy to put into practice sometimes.  I find that often I can take my eyes off the circumstances and I can fix them on God, but taking my eyes off myself (how I feel, how tired I am, etc.) is a lot harder to do.

And so I have been pondering our pastor's exhortation ever since, and am asking God to help me make this a reality in my life: to help me to look at Him, and not at the circumstances or myself.  So, this morning I headed out to do some grocery shopping.  As I approached the car, the first thing I saw was a fallen leaf on the driveway.  Yes, yes, that's what leaves do this time of year, but this was special.  It was ... plaid.  The scan doesn't really do it justice, but the dark areas are plain dark maroon, while the intersecting "plaid" areas are multicolored red, yellow, and green.  I have never seen a leaf like this one.

I've noticed, especially this year,  that often the first leaves to fall are multicolored.  I shared some of those in an earlier post.  And here are a couple more that I spotted this morning.  Aren't they pretty?


But this plaid, or maybe one would say argyle, leaf just caught my eye. 

And my very first thought was of our all-wise, all-powerful, incredibly imaginative Creator.  Wow!  And I had just asked Him to help me keep my eyes fixed on Him and to remind me of His power and sovereignty in my life and in our world.  What a neat way He picked to remind me!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Two new barley bags

A family member's request for a new barley bag resulted in me making two new ones.  They came out well and I love the prints that I had on hand to use.   I most often use plaids, but this time I had prints so decided to use them as they were for girls.

Even though I've made many barley bags (nearly all for family) and have shared about them here at my kitchen table before, I must note that my post How to Make Barley Hot Packs, first posted in 2008, continues to be one of the most-read posts on the blog.  So I guess people are still interested in making them!

If you have never made a barley (or rice, or flax) bag, they are very simple to make and make nice gifts.  They are exceedingly helpful for aches and pains, cramps, labor, or just warming up on a cold winter night.