Wednesday, June 28, 2006

More recipes

This gorgeous graphic is by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
Well, just in case anyone thought that all I cooked over the weekend was breakfast, I thought I’d better report with the true information. The ministry team members were fed lunch and dinner at the church, but different folks contributed necessary food items. My assignments were: for Thursday night, dessert for 20. For Friday night, a gelatin salad for 20 and, again, dessert for 20. I needed to get the items to the church a day or two ahead of time, so I chose a frozen dessert -- Heavenly Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert (appropriate for a church function!) -- for Thursday night and a refrigerated dessert (a cheesecake-like torte with fruit) for Friday night. I tried a new salad recipe for Friday night -- Raspberry Applesauce Salad.
In addition, I had to prepare something to share at a family reunion on Saturday. For that, I made a layered fruit salad in a jar (transferred to a bowl for serving so the fruit could be mixed) and a batch of my favorite blond brownies.

I’m going to share all except for the torte recipe here. I don’t have it typed out and it is rather lengthy, but if anyone is interested, just let me know and I’ll post it later. Now, to the recipes!


12 ice cream sandwiches
12 ounces of frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/2 pkg. toffee bits (made by Hershey’s, found near the chocolate chips in the baking aisle)
Chocolate ice cream topping to drizzle on when serving

Line a 13x9-inch pan with ice cream sandwiches, cutting to fit if necessary. Spread the whipped topping over the ice cream sandwiches, then sprinkle the toffee bits over the topping. Freeze for 6-8 hours or overnight (or longer).
When ready to serve, cut the dessert in squares. Drizzle chocolate topping on decoratively when serving. Yield: 10-12 servings.


6 ounces raspberry gelatin mix (either one 6-oz. pkg. or 2 3-oz. ones)
2 cups boiling water
3 cups frozen unsweetened whole raspberries
2 cups applesauce.

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in the frozen raspberries until thawed, Stir in applesauce. Pour into a glass bowl or dish -- about 2-quart size. Chill for 4-5 hours. Yield: 8-12 servings.


Fruits of your choice, cut in bite-size pieces if necessary
Orange juice

Layer the fruits of your choice in a jar, measuring the fruit as you go. I used blueberries, strawberries, canned pineapple chunks, frozen peach slices, cantaloupe balls, watermelon chunks, red grapes, and kiwi slices. For every 4 cups of fruit, make the following syrup: Shake together in a jar 1 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Pour this over the fruit. Chill the fruit salad overnight before serving. (Note: I had about 16 cups fruit, but I did not quadruple the syrup. A double batch of the syrup was plenty.) Tote the salad to your event in the jar -- it looks so classy -- but transfer it to a bowl before serving and serve with a slotted spoon. The number of servings will depend on the amount of fruit you use.


1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup vanilla chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped almonds, divided use

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs and vanilla; mix well. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the vanilla chips, chocolate chips and 1/2 cup chopped almonds. Spoon into a greased 13x9” baking pan; spread dough to evenly cover bottom of pan. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup almonds on top. Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Yield: 2 dozen.

These blond brownies truly are the best. They are so easy, and I like the fact that they only call for 1/2 cup butter. The almonds add a very nice crunch. These are very quick to make and take along to a potluck or a friend’s house.

Enjoy these recipes!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Mrs. T's B&B recipes

Mrs. B was interested in the menus and recipes I used for serving breakfast to our recent weekend house guests, so I’ll share some here. Others are in the archives for January 2006, in the post titled “Champions of Breakfast”.

We love having guests and enjoy pampering them as much as possible. I try to serve them a nice breakfast that will stick to their ribs whatever the day’s activities may be. The sort of meal I decide to serve varies with the particular guests and what they have planned for the day.

2 weekends ago, friends from Florida were here for two nights. We took them out for breakfast on the second morning. But the first morning was a Sunday, and I wanted them to have a nice breakfast that would stick with them until after church, when we would take them to a family cookout. I find that with planning ahead, and with setting the time for breakfast at 8 a.m., I can serve a wonderful meal. For this one I planned Raspberry French Toast and Homemade Sausage Patties. I also served coffee and juice -- a choice of orange or passion fruit. I made the French toast the day before and refrigerated it, then baked it Sunday morning. I made the raspberry sauce that morning, too, while the French toast was baking. I mixed up the homemade sausage the day before also and made it into patties, then refrigerated them. On Sunday morning all I had to do was fry them. Here are those recipes:


12 slices day-old white bread, crusts removed, cut in 1” cubes
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, cut in 1/2” cubes
1 cup frozen raspberries
12 eggs
2 cups milk
1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
2 cups frozen raspberries
1 Tablespoon butter

Place half of the bread cubes in a greased 13X9X2" baking dish. Top with all of the cream cheese cubes. Top with raspberries and remaining bread cubes. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add milk and syrup; mix well. Pour over bread mixture. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 30 minutes; then uncover and bake 25 - 30 minutes more or until golden brown and the center is set.
For sauce:
In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; add water. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in raspberries; reduce heat. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in butter until melted. To serve, cut the French toast into squares; serve with raspberry sauce ladled over each portion. Yield: 6 to 8 servings

This is a wonderful breakfast or brunch dish for company! I've never tried cutting the recipe in half, but you could probably do so and bake it in a 9” square dish.


1/4 cup water
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. rubbed sage
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
2 lb. ground pork

In a bowl, stir together water and seasonings. Add pork and mix well. Shape meat mixture into eight 4” patties (or a larger amount of smaller ones). In a skillet over medium heat, cook patties for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until no longer pink in the center.

This is such a yummy recipe for homemade sausage! I often cut the amounts in half to make a smaller batch. This sausage is very lean and not at all greasy.

This past weekend, as I mentioned, we again had guests. This time it was a young couple who are helping to lead a ministry team. The team was en route to Canada and stopped here in New England for a couple of services at our church. Different folks from the church housed the various team members. “Our” couple was just delightful and we enjoyed their time with us so much. I guessed, rightly, that they would not have a lot of time in the mornings for a leisurely meal, but that they would need to get back to their team for the day’s activities. (In fact, the second morning’s breakfast had to be served at 6:30 a.m.!) So for them I decided the menus would be muffins, cereal, fruit, juice and coffee. I further decided to bake two varieties of muffins the first day -- when they could eat at the decadent hour of 9 a.m. (they had driven nonstop to get here) -- and just serve the same two kinds of muffins again the second day. I served French vanilla coffee, two kinds of cereal -- Blueberry Morning® and Maple Pecan Crunch®, passion fruit juice, and the muffins -- Raspberry Streusel Muffins and Almond Joy muffins. A charming old green-and-white soup plate filled with Braeburn apples, bananas, and red grapes served as a combination centerpiece and fruit “basket”. Our guests thoroughly enjoyed their breakfasts each day!

Here are the muffin recipes. I think the almond joy ones may be in my “Champions of Breakfast” post, but will share it here as well to save others the time of looking it up.


2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream OR plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Almonds (either chopped, sliced, or whole) and sugar for tops of muffins

Preheat oven to 375º. Grease 12 muffin cups. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, combine margarine, eggs, sour cream (OR yogurt), and extract. Stir in the sifted dry ingredients until just combined well. The batter will be lumpy. Stir in the coconut and chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into the greased muffin cups. Top each with a sprinkle of chopped or sliced almonds (or 3 whole almonds) and a little sugar. Bake in preheated 375º oven for 18 minutes or until muffins test done. Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Almond Joy Muffins are a great favorite in our family. They make a wonderful addition to any special-occasion or holiday breakfast or brunch. I found the recipe in an old newspaper years ago and have tweaked it a bit to suit our tastes.


1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. canola oil
1 egg
1 c. whole raspberries ( I use frozen ones) divided use
Streusel topping:
1/4 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. flour
2 Tblsp. canola oil

For muffin batter, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, oil and egg. Stir in the flour mixture. Spoon about 1 Tblsp. batter into each of 12 greased (or use the foil liners -- my preference) muffins cups. Sprinkle a few raspberries into each cup, using about half of the 1 c. raspberries. Then spoon the remaining batter into each cup. Top with the remaining raspberries.
For topping, combine the topping ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the muffin batter/berries in cups.
Bake at 375º for 20-25 minutes or until golden. If you did not use the foil liners, let the muffins stand for 5 minutes before carefully removing them from the muffin tins. Yield: 12 muffins.

This wonderful muffin recipe is from an old Country Woman magazine. It takes a bit of work, but the muffins are worth it. I highly recommend the foil liners for muffin tins. They come off so easily -- unlike the paper ones, which may stick.  In fact, nowadays one can even buy parchment muffin-tin liners, which are effortless!

And there are my recent breakfast menus and recipes. Enjoy!

Our Father's Day adventure

Our Father’s Day adventure...

I promised to share some photos of our Father’s Day mini-vacation, so will do that here. We had a 3-hour holiday from the cares and busyness of our ordinary lives. It was an extremely hot day here on June 18 -- one of those days where one can break into a sweat with no effort whatsoever. We decided to head for the mountains, where it would be somewhat cooler, especially at the two locations we had in mind. We really couldn’t decide which place to go, but we ended up having time for both.

After the morning service at church, we stopped by a supermarket and picked up some picnic provisions -- deli sandwiches, chips, and bottled water. Then we went to a picnic area in a state park and enjoyed our lunch. My hubby had a roast beef sub and I, a chicken Caesar wrap. We found a picnic table under trees, near a brook, and it was most refreshing.

After lunch, we drove to a ski area and “climbed” to the top of the mountain via an aerial tram car. It was about 20º cooler up there, and we enjoyed hiking around the top and taking some pictures. We saw some gorgeous flowers and got photos of a few of them, like these white ones:
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and some gorgeous pink ones, which are lost somewhere in Photobucket, apparently.

It was really hazy, so there were no great views from up there, but we did enjoy the lower temps and the cool breeze that was blowing.

We descended the mountain in plenty of time to visit our other hoped-for destination, a rocky gorge just brimming with waterfalls and greenery. Even though we worked up a slight sweat hiking the trails, there was a cool breeze blowing here too, and a constant misty spray from the waterfalls. Here are some photos:
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So that was our refreshing Father's Day holiday. Hope these photos can convey a sense of refreshment and coolness to others, too!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Welcome to...

Once again this weekend, our home is serving as a bed & breakfast... this time for members of a ministry team on its way to Canada. So I don't have much time to blog today. I'll share details of my breakfast menus and maybe recipes next week.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A few more flowers

Here are a few more of the spring flowers we've seen around our yard during the past month.

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This is a yellow Clintonia, also called "Blue Bead Lily" because later in the season it produces blue bead-like berries. In our yard, these Clintonias are mostly grouped around one slab of granite -- almost as if we planned it that way. We didn't ... but the Creator obviously did!

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These delicate flowers are called Wood Anemones or Wind Anemones. They are growing in the wildflower garden my daughter planted as a young teenager.

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Starflowers like this one grow in the wildflower garden and all through our woods.

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These violets grow all around our yard as well as in the wildflower garden. On our daily walks we often find violets growing in the most unlikely, inhospitable places. It always reminds me that we need to bloom where we are planted and that our joy need not depend on our circumstances in life.

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These are not growing in our yard, but in our neighbors' yard. I am not positive what they are, but they strongly resemble forget-me-nots. Aren't they a gorgeous color?

Monday, June 19, 2006

In the Potter's hand...

Beautiful graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
Here are some more quotes from my notebook. I hope these thoughts bless others as they have blessed me over the years.

“Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” ~ Jim Elliot

“To God thy way commending,
Trust Him whose arm of might
The heavenly circles bending,
Guides every star aright:
The winds, and clouds, and lightning,
By His sure hand are led;
And He will, dark shades brightening,
Show thee what path to tread.” ~ Paul Gerhard (1606-1676)

“The parent who studies to subdue self-will in his child, works together with God in the renewing and saving of a soul. The parent who indulges it, does the Devil’s work, makes religion impractical, and does all that in him lies to damn his child, soul and body, forever.” ~ Susannah Wesley

“Do you know the feeling of utter inadequacy to cope? I’m sure you do. But I believe the enemy of our souls is specially alert at such times, seeking to use them to turn us in on ourselves rather than upwards to the One who stands ready to be our Refuge and Helper.” ~ Elisabeth Elliot

“As children bring their broken toys with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God because He was my Friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him in peace, to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help, with ways that were my own.
At last, I snatched them back and cried, ‘How can You be so slow?’
‘My child’, He said, ‘What could I do? You never did let go.” ~ Author Unknown

“Faith, mighty faith the promise sees,
And looks to God alone;
Laughs at impossibilities
And cries, ‘It shall be done!” ~ Author Unknown

“We need to recognize that when we say no in times of temptation, we are saying yes to obedience.” ~ Terry C. Muck

“When we say no firmly, we are able to say yes faithfully.” ~ Douglas Rumford

“God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.”
~ Andrew Murray

“When we are able to recognize temptations as seductive attempts to make us cling to the illusions of the false self, we can see them as invitations to claim our true self, which is hidden in God and in Him alone.” ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen

“The best prayer comes from a strong inward necessity. By human security systems, we often protect ourselves from a dynamic prayer life. Why do we do ourselves this wrong?” ~ William MacDonald

A New England sunset

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This photo, taken Thursday evening, shows how gorgeous sunsets can be around here. The sky changed over the course of 45 minutes or so and went through several different stages, all of them beautiful. This was its last hurrah, about 9 p.m.

Later today I hope to post some more quotes from my notebook and later this week perhaps some pictures of our Father's Day adventure. Hope everyone is enjoying a splendid Monday so far...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Some flowery photos

Last night we finally got to take some pictures off the camera. I thought it might fun to post a few photos from around our yard. These are not all recent, but are from the past month or so. Spring flowers come late up here!

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These apple blossoms are on a wild tree in our yard. We think it sprang up some years ago from apple cores we tossed out while making pies, etc. In recent years it has blossomed beautifully, and the apples, though small and not pretty, actually taste quite good!

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These ladyslippers are growing wild in our woods and also among ferns at the edge of our yard. We have several large patches of them. Aren't they gorgeous?

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These trilliums are growing all through our woods. I believe these are called painted trilliums. We also have a few dark red ones which are not as pretty as these.

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And last but not least, these irises are some that I transplanted from a friend's yard years ago. They are at their peak right now. This photo was taken last night.

We have many more photos of our wildflowers which I'll share at a later date. Meanwhile, enjoy these!

Friday, June 16, 2006

A tourist-y morning

We live in a gorgeously scenic area, and every now and then we welcome the chance to “play tourist” for a day or a few hours. Friends from Florida were visiting over the weekend and didn’t have to leave until Monday afternoon, so Mr. T took that morning off from work and we went off on a tourist-y jaunt with our friends.

First we went out for breakfast at a fun cafe´with a wonderful view. I had been here before, but my hubby had not, so it was a treat for him as well as for our friends. The breakfast was yummy. We all had eggs, homefries and blueberry pancakes with different meats. I had ham, my friend had bacon and the men had sausage. And bottomless cups of coffee! We enjoyed a leisurely meal and great fellowship.

Then we did a little shopping and sightseeing. Our area is surrounded by many lakes, and we visited several during the morning, plus did a little walking and visited some quaint shops and a covered bridge. The most fascinating shop we went in had all vintage items -- from cast iron to fine china and everything in between. We all saw things we remembered from our childhoods, as well as items we still use. I saw a Dutch oven just like the one I inherited from my grandmother -- and still use probably every week -- for sale for $65!

In another shop I bought some of my favorite scents of Yankee Candles in the sampler size, and a new “car jar” for the car. This shop also had the Lang pocket calendars reduced to $2, and I purchased one of those as well. In a bookstore, I found some terrific books on sale to purchase ahead for Christmas.

We all enjoyed the scenic ride home, and stopped at a covered bridge en route to take pictures. Magenta-colored wild roses and deep blue wild iris added even more beauty and color to the scene. Our friends asked us if we didn’t get used to all of this beauty and begin to take it for granted. As we thought about their question, we realized that we really don’t. Winter here is beautiful in its way, but long and cold and really rather monochromatic. Spring is my least favorite season in New England, being muddy and -- to my mind anyway -- rather ugly. But summer and fall -- now, those are our truly beautiful seasons, and I don’t believe we ever become used to that. We seem to enjoy them afresh each year, and give glory to God for the incredible beauty of His creation.

“Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite.” ~ Psalm 147:5

Thursday, June 15, 2006

It's all about blogging

I found this meme on Mrs. B's blog, and I understand it is written by Blest With Sons. From my answers, I guess I'm not a hard-core blog addict yet. Thankfully!

How many do you read regularly?

There are about 3 or 4 I look at daily. Others I check once or twice a week.

How many are written by women? By men?

All are by women.

Are they all Christian? How about the same denomination?

All are Christian. I’m not sure of their denomination.

What kinds of posts do you like the best?

I like the encouraging, the honest, the funny and the ones that bring me closer to God’s heart.(that was Mrs. Blythe's answer [and Mrs.B’s] but it was so good I decided to leave it). I also like homemaking ideas and posts that convict and challenge me.

What kinds of posts are you most likely to comment on?

I like to get comments so I try and reciprocate by commenting on other's blogs, but we still have dialup so commenting is not as quick and easy as it might be. For that reason I don’t comment as much as I might like to. I like to comment on posts that speak to me personally, or posts where I think a comment might encourage the writer or someone else.

What makes you add a blog to your favorites list/bloglines? Or conversely, what drives you away from a blog?

If I regularly enjoy reading a blog – beautiful or funny writing. Inspiring posts. Lovely pictures or artwork. The ones I am likely to avoid visiting are debating/argumentative types. (I’m with you on that one, Mrs. B!)

What’s your favorite kind of post to write?

Posts about the Bible or the Christian life and posts about my home. Also posts about something interesting (small or great) that we might have been doing. I also like to write posts about cooking and recipes, and posts about my memories. Maybe you have deduced that I just plain like to write!

What do you think is your biggest strength blogwise? Biggest weakness?

Biggest strength is that I enjoy writing just for its own sake. Although I hope that others are reading my blog and enjoying it, I would probably blog even if I knew no one else would read it. But then, my biggest weakness is feeling bad if my post doesn't get's silly, I know! (Again I left Mrs. B’s answer in place -- it was so true of me!)

What do you want to change, if anything, about the way you blog?

I would like to find more time for blogging. I have so many ideas for posts I’d like to share. I am trying to get over the idea (and I’ve been helped in this by reading Mrs. Wilt and Mrs. B) that I need to have a long post to make it worth my blogging time. Shorter posts can be every bit as interesting and helpful. I’d also like to include more pictures.

How many times a day do you say the word blog?

Maybe once or twice. (You didn't ask how many times I *think* the word!)

How many bloggers have you met in real life – not counting the ones you knew before they started blogging?

None. Several of my real-life acquaintances have blogs, however.

And that's all about blogging for now!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Words of faith and wisdom...

In addition to my journal, I keep a separate small binder (the sort that holds 3” x 5” file cards) where I record helpful, inspiring quotes as well as encouraging Scripture verses. In times of discouragement I love to get out this little notebook and read through it. It never fails to uplift and encourage me. Because the binder is so small, it is easy to take along in a purse or tote bag. If I have a lot of waiting to do at a hospital or wherever, I take this little notebook along. I have even been able to share it with others on occasion. It occurred to me this morning that perhaps others who visit here at my kitchen table would also be uplifted and encouraged by these quotes. So I’m going to share a few here today.

“Unbelief sees God through circumstances, as we sometimes see the sun shorn of his rays through smoky air; but faith puts God between itself and circumstances, and looks at them through Him.” ~ F.B. Meyer

“When about to pursue some course that seems all clear and right and there comes quietly to your spirit a suggestion that has in it the force almost of a conviction, give heed, even if changed plans seem highest folly from standpoint of human wisdom.” ~ Way of Faith

“That which I know not teach Thou me.
Who, blessed, Lord, teacheth like Thee?
Lead my desires that they may be
According to Thy will.” ~ Amy Carmichael

“It is tragically possible to have a saved soul, but a lost life.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

“With His healing hand on a broken heart,
And the other on a star,
Our wonderful God views the miles apart,
And they seem not very far.
There is hope and help for our sighs and tears,
For the wound that stings and smarts;
Our God is at home with the rolling spheres,
And at home with broken hearts.” ~ M.P. Ferguson
See Psalm 147:3,4)

“Faith is that God-given faculty which, when exercised, brings the unseen into plain view, and by which the impossible things are made possible.” ~ E. A. Kilbourne

“Saints have never yet reached the limit to the possibilities of prayer. Whatever has been attained or achieved has touched but the fringe of the garment of a prayer-hearing God.” ~ Dr. A.T. Pierson
(I have the above quote on the front of my prayer journal.)

“Thou art the Lord who slept upon the pillow,
Thou art the Lord who soothed the furious sea.
What matter beating wind and tossing billow,
If only we are in the boat with Thee?” ~ Amy Carmichael

(Both of the photos (and I apologize that they are a bit blurry)  show a quote journal I made for someone else ... a mom whose child had undergone a kidney transplant.  She was spending lots of time at the hospital and this made a nice little gift.)

So there you have just a few of the quotes from my notebook. More next time!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Philippians 4:13

Gorgeous graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
What a blessing this verse is! So many times we think that we just can't do a particular thing. And in a way we're right ... in our own strength, we can't. But in God's strength, we can!

Someone has said that the Lord's commands are the Lord's enablements. He will never call on us to do some task without giving us the grace that is necessary to do that task. It helps, too, to remember that all we do is to be done as unto the Lord, and for His glory.

"Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable." (Psalm 145:3)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Tortilla Soup

Mrs. B asked for my recipe for tortilla soup, mentioned in my post about the four-fruit crumble. It's a little different, but so easy. We really enjoy it. So, for Mrs. B and anyone else who may be interested, here's the recipe. It's a good day for soup here in New England -- cold and rainy!


4 cups chicken broth
2 cans chicken with rice soup
1 small boneless skinless chicken breast (frozen is fine)
1 cup salsa or picante sauce
1 can red enchilada sauce
Flour tortillas
Shredded cheddar cheese OR cubes of velveeta-type cheese

In crock pot combine the broth, soup, chicken breast, salsa, and enchilada sauce. Cook on low for about 4 hours. Remove chicken breast from soup; shred it or cut in small pieces. Return to soup.

When ready to eat, cut flour tortillas into strips (scissors work bestfor this). Put tortilla strips in each bowl and ladle the hot soup on top. Top with shredded cheddar or cubed velveeta. About 6 servings.

This is another favorite in our “rotation” of crockpot meals. It is just delicious and soooo easy. Great with cornbread!

Oh, it just occurred to me that others might like my cornbread recipe too. So, here it is!


3 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1 stick melted margarine (1/2 cup)
2 cups buttermilk baking mix (I use the store brand)
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (I use the Hodgson Mill stone-ground brand)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9-inch square pan. Blend eggs, milk, and melted margarine. Sift sugar, cornmeal and baking powder together and add to egg mixture along with baking mix. (There will be some bran left in the sifter if you use the stone-ground cornmeal. Just add it into the mixture.) Whisk the ingredients together just until blended. Pour batter into greased pan and bake approximately 30 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the corn bread comes out clean.
(It may take up to 40 minutes, depending on your oven.) Makes one 9-inch pan of corn bread. Recipe may be doubled and baked in a 9 x 13-inch pan.

This may not be the healthiest corn bread in the world, but it may well be the best corn bread you’ve ever tasted! Wonderful with a bowl of chili or soup!

Friday, June 09, 2006

All About Mrs.T

Mrs. B and Mrs. Wilt both posted this fun meme. Here are my answers -- some are different today than they were yesterday, when I actually answered the questions but didn't have time to post them.

1) FIRST NAME? Mrs. (Also Honey, Sweetie, Mom, and Grammy.)
4) WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? I get a bit teary-eyed whenever I’m missing my faraway daughter. So, a day or two ago.
5) DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes, but most of the time I’m in too much of a hurry to write my best.
7) KIDS? One boy, two girls, all grown up and out of the nest. Three granddaughters, one grandson, and another grandchild on the way .
8) WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Absolutely, but (as Mrs. Wilt put it so nicely) I’d probably drive myself crazy.
9) DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Yes, as well as a blog.
10) DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Probably more than I should.
13) WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Homemade apple oatmeal or homemade granola.
15) DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I do OK with firewood, but I can’t heave 50-lb. hay bales around any more. Emotionally -- not too bad. Spiritually -- fairly strong.
16) WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Some of the Girl Scout cookie flavors by Edy’s.
17) SHOE SIZE? 8 1⁄2.
18) RED OR PINK? Red!
19) WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My tendency speak before I think.
20) WHO DO YOU MISS MOST? My youngest daughter.
21) DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? I would love to know how others answer these.
22) WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Jeans in a sage green color. Brown Mary Janes with no backs.
23) LAST THING YOU ATE? A meat loaf sandwich and marinated vegetables.
24) WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? ”Music for the Royal Fireworks.”
26) FAVORITE SMELL? Right now, Yankee Candle’s Cranberry Chutney.
27) WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? One of my Sunday School students (I teach ladies).
29) DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I found this on Mrs. B's and Mrs.Wilt’s blogs, so yes!
30) FAVORITE DRINK? Hot drink: tea. Cold drink: iced tea.
32) HAIR COLOR? Brown/silver.
33) EYE COLOR? Blue.
35) FAVORITE FOOD? Anything Italian. Chocolate. Chinese food.
37) WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? A dark green turtleneck and a lavender print flannel shirt. It’s cold up here!
39) WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Well, I’m not actually sending this to anyone, so no one, I guess. Unfortunately, all my friends are so busy I wouldn’t expect a response from anyone if I did send it out.
41) WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? "The Hidden Art of Homemaking", “The Secret of Guidance” by F.B. Meyer, and the Bible.
42) WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? A picture of blue water spots.
43) WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? Nothing -- we don’t own a TV.
44) FAVORITE SOUNDS? The white-throated sparrow’s song. The song of the wood thrush. Waves on the seashore. Water cascading over rocks.
47) DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Occasionally I’ve been able to read my children’s minds.
48) WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN? 56 years ago in New England.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Fabulous Four-Fruit Crumble

Yesterday we had our monthly fellowship dinner at church. The first Sunday of each month, we have a potluck meal after the morning service and then hold an afternoon service at two, rather than our usual evening service. This dinner is always a nice time to reconnect with people over a great meal. I usually bring something in a crockpot for the main course, although with summer coming my main contribution will likely be a main-dish salad. That's what I'd planned to do for yesterday, but the weather was cool and rainy so I opted for tortilla soup instead. For dessert, I thought I'd make a rhubarb crisp or crumble. Rhubarb is gloriously in season right now, and I had some in the fridge, all cleaned and diced. But when I got it into the baking dish, it really looked like a small amount. I remembered a recipe I have for Four-Fruit Pie, which calls for rhubarb along with apples, raspberries and blueberries and is really yummy. So I adapted my rhubarb crumble recipe to four fruits. While in the recipe-modifying mode, I also changed the 1 cup of butter/shortening called for to 1/2 cup of canola oil. Much healthier! The dessert turned out to be delicious, and we only had a serving or 2 left to bring home out of a 13x9" dish. I thought someone else might like to try it too, so here's the recipe:

3 cups diced rhubarb
2 medium apples, chopped
1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup canola oil
Combine fruit, sugar and flour; place in greased 13x9x2” baking dish. Combine brown sugar, oats, and flour; mix in oil until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit mixture. Bake at 375º for 40 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.
Yield: 10-12 servings.