Wednesday, February 29, 2012

White Bean Crab Cakes


(Serves 4 – 6 )
1 c. onion, diced
1/2 c. celery, diced
1/2 c. red bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1/2 lb. white beans, cooked and drained*
1/2 lb. crab meat*
2 green onions, green parts only and sliced
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. parsley, minced
3/4 tsp. stone ground mustard
1/2 c. mayo
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 1/2 Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning

1. Saute the onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic in a little olive oil or water over medium low heat until the vegetables are tender.

2. Mix the vegetables and all other ingredients in a large bowl. Some of the beans will fall apart when you do this, and that’s just what you want. If you’re using canned beans, give half of them a spin in the food processor before adding them in.

3. Form the mixture into small cakes, approximately 2.5 inches in diameter. You can either pan-fry them with a little olive oil and a medium-hot skillet or bake in the oven at 350 F until they are golden. I prefer the texture of the pan-fried cakes, but the oven baked cakes hold together better.

4. Serve the cakes with tartar sauce, or Savory Peach and Corn Salad below.

5. Crab cakes can be cooked and frozen for later meals and/or lunches.

*Can't afford Crab? Use all White Beans and it will still come out perfectly!  Make sure the crab is real crab and not mixed with wheat meat.

Savory Peach & Corn Salad

3 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 ripe peach, diced
1/8 c. celery, diced
1/8 c. pecans, minced
1/2 red bell pepper (can substitute green pepper)
mayonnaise to taste
red wine vinegar, to taste
parsley, minced , to taste

Mix all ingredients and chill for 30 minutes, if you can wait that long.

P.S. Sorry to be vague with some of the amounts. Sometimes I like a little bit of mayo and vinegar and sometimes I want more. I’d suggest starting with a small amount of mayo and then gradually working up to the amount you want. Then start with the vinegar and parsley and do the same.

P.P.S. To choose a ripe peach, hold the peach near your nose and sniff. If you smell peachy goodnes, then it’s ripe. If not, put it back and keep looking.

Gluten Free Angel Food Cake



This is a small version of an angel food cake with a pretty good flavor.  Don't leave out the lemon peel.  Keep tighty covered as it is not so good as it begins to dry out.  This was enough cake for the two of us and worked well with strawberries and whipped cream.  Double it for a larger cake.

7 farm fresh, free range, organic egg whtes (3/4 cup-be sure to measure)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup potato starch flour
1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried lemon peel.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Set the egg whtes aside to bring to room temperature.

Sift together into a small bowl the powdered sugar, flour, and cornstarch/arrowroot.  The sifting is essential in this recipe.  Measure the granulated sugar to have handy.

In a large glass or metal (not plastic) mixing bowl, place egg whites, cream of tartar, sal, and lemon peel.  With mixer at high, beat until the mixture is well blended.  Continue to bat while adding the granulated sugar a tablespoon at a time.  Beat just until sugar is dissolved and whites form stiff peaks (stand straight up when lifting with spoon). 

With a rubber spatuala, gently fold in the flour and powdered sugar mixture about one-fourth at a time, folding just enough so the flour disappears.  Spoon gently into angel food cake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top springs back after touched.  Invert and cool.  Run a knife around the outside of the pan to release.  Lift cake out of pan with bottom of pan.  Run knife around the base of the pan to release the cake and invert onto plate.  Best served immediately.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Four-Cheese Pasta with Peas and Ham

Here's a quick stove-top macaroni & cheese one pot meal that is so kid friendly.  This recipe serves 4 and can easily be reduced or expanded for more or less servings.



12 ounces gluten-free penne pasta (I prefer quinoa pastas as the other types would not stand up to this cooking method)
1 1/2 cup frozen peas
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg white
1 cup evaporated milk,  (make your own) or Coconut Milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 Cups shredded Italian Cheese blend
2 cups diced ham

Cook the pasta according to directions adding the peas in the last 2 minutes of cooking. 

Whisk the eggs, egg white, and milk in a bowl.

Drain the pasta and peas; wipe the pot dry and return the pasta and peas to the pot.  Add the butter and stir to coat.  Add the cheese and the egg mixture.  Place the pot over med-low heat and cook, stirring constantly until thickened, 8-10 minutes.  Add the ham halfway through the cooking.  Be sure to NOT let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble).  Remove the pot from the heat and serve.

Make Your Own Evaporated Milk

Oh no!  You found a great recipe to try but it calls for an expensive can of evaporated milk and you don't have any in your pantry.  No worries!  Now you can create your own in a jiffy with some dry milk and water!   It's a sinch!

  • 2/3 cup non-fat dry milk
  • 3/4 cup water

  • Mix the water and dry milk powder together. Then, use in place of the evaporated milk in any recipe.  This recipe makes about 8 ounces or 1 cup.

    What Is Evaporated Milk?

    Evaporated milk is simply fresh milk that has had about 60% of its water content removed.

    Arsenic and Brown Rice

    By now I have to assume that you've heard the news of Brown Rice and Arsenic.  WHAT?  You're kidding right?  Something that is suppose to be good for you, is bad for you?  Now that you can't eat wheat you find the only ingredient for any possible healthful ingredient for gluten-free bread substitutes is now bad for you?

    High arsenic levels have been found in brown rice because rice has an affinity to arsenic.  In fact my guess would be if you were trying to pull arsenic from your fields, plant rice.  Rice seems to love sucking up the arsenic.  It then stores it in the Bran, the place where all the nutrients are also stored.  Polish the rice, remove the bran and the arsenic also is removed.....along with health necessary vital minerals and vitamins.  This product is better known as white rice.  What do we do?

    According to Foods Matter in their article Rice and Arsenic - what is going on?, some countries and locations have higher arsenic levels than others.  Here's where I have to eat crow.  As an known opponent to Chinese Food it appears that China has actually set into place a plan to limit the arsenic levels in rice, probably because of their higher consumption of rice in general.  The above article states that the safest places to obtain your rice from are:  Indian, Pakistani, Nepalese, Chinese, Egyptian, Thai and the worst places: American, European (esp. Italian & French), Bangladeshi.  The American delima seems to be that we often grow rice on former Cotton fields where the source of arsenic in the soil seems to be the pesticides used on the former cotton crop.  One option offered, with the second article in the above article series, was to suggest breeding a rice that did not take up as much arsenic.  WOW, isn't messing with God's created product and the possible reason many today can't eat wheat?  Are you serious?

    Because of my affinity for local foods and REAL FOODS I went to Lundberg's web site.  Lundberg Organic Rice has been my go to source for Organic Rice for many years. I found that they have dedicated an entire section on Arsenic in Food where they have revealed a honest overview on their study of the subject and their game plan.

    According to  the Organic Trade Association, in its article Arsenic’s presence reflects a wider problem for all food production; "Legacy residues from decades of routine use of arsenic-based herbicides and insecticides pose a real threat to all food production, organic and conventional. Regardless of how it is raised, rice plants growing in soils still contaminated with arsenic will extract the element from the soil, and some will be present in the grain harvested from those plants."  While the article commented on the problem of arsenic levels it did not state why this was not picked up and excluded in Organic applications.


    PC Naturals in a recent article on the Arsenic in Brown Rice issues stated, "Organic certifiers may order soil testing if they have cause for concern but organic program officials have told us soil testing is rare and results are not consistently reliable. Organic methods do not guarantee low arsenic levels, since any rice or other plant growing in arsenic-laden soil will absorb whatever compounds are in that soil. Rice grown in California, however, is documented to contain much less arsenic than rice from the Southeast and, in at least one study, organic brown rice grown in California had the lowest arsenic levels of any rice tested. PCC sells bulk and packaged rice, organically grown in California by the Lundberg family.

    Nutrition Educator Nick Rose, M.S., replies: Also keep in mind that when arsenic is found in rice, the form of the arsenic is "bound" to carbon and much, much less toxic than if it were the "free" arsenic form. Most of the trace amounts of arsenic found in rice is the organic type, which is of less concern, whereas 100 percent of the arsenic in drinking water is inorganic, or the more harmful form."

    This means I can buy US Brown Rice as long as I know it is organically grown in California by the Lundberg family! YIPEE

    In explaining ways to reduce the impact of the arsenic in your brown rice the article went on to say, "Researchers in India found we can remove some of the arsenic by rinsing raw rice well and cooking it with extra water. The traditional method on the Indian subcontinent — washing rice until the rinse water is clear, cooking it with six cups water to one cup rice, then discarding the excess water — removed up to 57 percent of the arsenic in rice."

    I will be making up another experiment in creating a wholesome, gluten-free flour blend today and happily I will be using my Lundberg Brown Rice. When I've created that perfect blend that works and has nearly the same nutrients that I lost leaving wheat behind I will share it with you all.



    Monday, February 27, 2012

    Thanksgiving Meal Takes Planning

    Believe it or not Thanksgiving takes real planning at our house and today I ordered our Thanksgiving Turkey. 

    You can order your Thanksgiving Turkey today too!  We are going to be raising our own Thanksgiving Turkey this year.  This means we'll be raising an entire flock of these delish beauties.  Nothing is better than a grass feed, pasture fattened turkey to impress your family and friends.

    CONTACT US if you live within your comfortable driving distance of the Nebraska City area.  Your bird will be ready for pick-up the first week or so in November.  We will dress your bird and have it ready for you.  Cost will be $2.95 per pound.  The birds will recieve some grain in addition to all the bugs and grass they can eat.  They will weigh around 12-16 pounds.   A $10 reservation fee will be required when you order your Turkey.  It's easy to order!  Just use Paypal, we'll tell you how.  Reservations for 2012 Turkeys must be in to us before May 1st.  We are raising a limited number of birds so order early.

    P.S.  We are also raising a few extra chicken broiler/fryers for our friends and neighbors this summer also.  Could that be you?

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

    Nebraska Geneology Options



    There are a number of options for learning more about searching out your family history.

    Long Lost Relatives has a list of options for you to enjoy.

    Also the Nebraska State Genelogical Association is sponsoring a Convention in Grand Island this year.  Don't miss this one.  We attended the Convention in Nebraska City last year and it was great.  For an informative write up on the Conference CLICK HERE

    You will see me at several of these events!  Can't wait!

    Tuna/Salmon-Cashew Casserole

    serves 6

    1 can gluten-free cream of mushroom soup (or use our Creamed Soup Base recipe)
    1 1/4 cup milk
    3 1/2 cups gluten-free Chow Mein Noodles
    1 6.5-oz can tuna or salmon
    1/3 cup raw cashews
    1 cup diced celery
    1/4 cup minced onion
    Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

    Mix the soup and milk and set aside.  Melt a couple tablespoons butter in skillet and roast the cashews in it for a few minutes.  Mix the remaining ingredients and the cashews in a 2-quart casserole.  Stir the the soup mixture into the casserole and stir together to moisten thoroughly.  Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 50-60 minutes.

    Creamed Soup Base

    1 cup dry milk powder
    1 cup white rice flour
    2 tablespoons dried minced onions
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons GF powdered soup base (Chicken/Vegetable)

    Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Store in an air tight container.  This mix is the equivalent of 8-9 cans of soup.

    CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP:  In a small saucepan, blend 4 tablespoons of base with 1/4 cup cold water.  Add 1 cup hot water (or chicken stock) and cook over medium heat, stirring until the soup thickens.

    CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP:  Follow the instructions for Cream of Chicken Soup using the liquid from one 4-oz can of mushroom bits and pieces as part of the water (reserving the mushrooms).  After the soup thickens, add the mushrooms.

    Bible Reading for February 26-29

    Did you miss some days?  Now you can fill in those blanks.  Another option is to do a word study.  This year I'm studying the word grace.  Maybe you could find a good book? 

    Make a prayer list and pray for your family every day.  Keep a journal of your prayers and answers!

    Saturday, February 25, 2012

    Bible Reading for February 25

    Read Through the Bible in a Year

    February 25th

    Matthew 21:12-22
    Acts 28:17-31
    Psalms 47
    Leviticus 26-27



    Friday, February 24, 2012

    Noodless Chicken Soup

    We have the crud at our house.  Nothing helps more than good old chicken soup.  Minus the noodles for us gluten-intolerant folks.  So add them if you can.  If you use gluten-free noodles go ahead.  Today I'm just going to enjoy the broth.
     
     
     
    Ingredients:

    • 8 cups water or 8 cups homemade chicken bone broth
    • 1 cup carrot, cut into slices
    • 1 cup celery, cut into slices
    • 1 cup onion, chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 bay leaves
    • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
    • 4 teaspoons salt (to taste)
    • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper , to taste
    • 1 roasting chicken

    Directions:

    Combine water, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper in crock-pot.

    Place whole chicken on top of vegetables.

    Cover with lid and cook on low setting 8 to 10 hours or on high 4-5 hours.

    Transfer chicken to cutting board. Discard bay leaves. Remove and discard skin, fat and bones from chicken; shred meat.

    Return chicken to soup and serve.

    Todays Bible Reading February 24


    Reading Through the Bible in a Year


    Matthew 21:1-11
    Acts 28:1-16
    Psalms 46
    Leviticus 24-25

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Labeling Your Quilts



    As you know a well made quilt can last for 100 years.  I have one and it's a beauty.  It would have been nice if my great aunt would have at least put a label of some kind on it with her name and the date she finished the quilt.  I haven't started doing this yet but with this link I may just get a start on getting this job started.

    Victorian Quilt Designs is among several options for some great FREE  label designs for you to get started with.

    There are tons of options for the label from just using a fabric marker and writing your name and the date on the back of the quilt to a fancy paper pieced fabric label that has the information embroidered on it. 

    Some companies offer pre-printed labels and there are companies that will custom make labels for you to use.

    Some folks put awesome little sayings and quotes on the label to further personalize the label.  Quilters Diary offers many for you to choose from.

    With all these options you're sure to find something to document your cherished quilt that you spent so much time making.

    HAPPY QUILTING

    Sweet and Sour Chicken Wings



    This recipe serves two and can be easily doubled or tripled for larger families.

    8 chicken wing pieces
    2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons all purpose (gluten-free) flour mix
    pinch salt
    pinch garlic powder
    pinch lemon-pepper seasoning
    coconut oil or butter
    1/4 cup sugar
    2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (gluten-free) vinegar
    1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsweetened pineapple juice
    1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (gluten-free) soy sauce

    Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry.  Combine flour and seasoing and coat chicken pieces.  Shake off excess.  Heat oil in large skillet and brown chicken pices on both sides.  Arrange pieces in a shallow baking dish.  In a saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients.  Heat to boiling; stirring to dissolve sugar.  pour over chicken.  Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree over for 30 minutes, turning pieces over after 15 mintues.

    Fried Rice


    This recipe serves at least 4 people.
    1/2-1 tablespoon sesame Oil
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1/4 inch ginger root, minced
    1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
    1/4 cup carrots, diced
    1/4 cup peas
    1/4 cup brocolli, diced
    1 egg, scrambled
    2 cups cooked rice
    1/4 cup (gluten free) soy sauce
    1/8 cup (gluten free) rice vinegar
    3/4 tablespoon honey

    Scramble the eggs seperately and place aside for later.  Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar and honey in a bowl and set aside.   Heat oil in the pan over medium heat, add garlic, ginger and onions.  When the onion browns, add the carrot, peas and brocolli, after the veggies get tender add the scrambled eggs and toss around to coat in the oil.  Add the rice, stir to break up any clumps and mix well with the veggies.  After everything is nicely mixed, add the soy mixture and stir in well.  Turn the heat up and little higher and cook for a few minutes for most of the vinegar to cook off.

    Bible Reading for February 23

    Reading Through the Bible In a Year
    with notes by Pastor Chuck Smith


    Matthew 20:17-34

    Notice how clearly Jesus spelled out what was going to happen to Him.  He told His followers about His trial, the mocking and scourging, His Crucifixion, and His Resurrection after three days.  And yet, they really didn't ge it; so when it came to pass, they were befuddled about the whole thing.

    Sometimes we just hear what we want to hear, and everything lse goes in one ear and out the other.  But the Lord tells us what will be happening so that it won't be a surprise when it happens.  That is the purpose of prophecy.

    Acts 27:27-44

    Psalms 45

    This is a beautiful song describing the Messiah and His bride, the church.  Part of this psalm is quoted in Hebrews chapter 1, referring to the fact that Jesus is so superior to the angels (Heb 1:8-9).  In verses 6 and 7 here in Psalm 45, God is talking to Jesus and calling Him "God."  This is the argument that the author of Hebrews uses to establish the deity of Christ.

    The first part of this psalm declares the glory of the Messiah.  The second half of the psalm declares the beauty of His bride.  How amazing it is that it can be said of us that "the King will greatly desire your beauty" (v11).  The beauty He sees in us and desires is a beauty that result from His work in us.  Glorious indeed!

    Leviticus 21-23
    

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    REFRIGERATOR SALSA



    2 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
    1 lg red onion, finely chopped
    1 large red or green pepper, finely chopped
    3-4 jalapino peppers, cored, seeded and finely diced
    6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely diced
    1 bunch cilantro, chopped
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    juice of 2 lemons
    1 tablespoon sea salt
    4 tablespoon whey (can use liquid off yogurt or sauerkraut, if not available, use an additional 1 tablespoon salt)
    1/4 cup filtered water

    Mix all ingredients and place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar.  Press down lightly with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer, adding more water if necessary to cover the vegetables.  Top of vegetables should be about 1 inch below the top of the jar.  Cover with plastic wrap or cloth and keep at room temperature for about 2 days.  Move to refrigerator for Storage.

    I am Celiac, Are you Gluten-Intolerant?

    There is so much contiversy about being Gluten-Intolerant or Gluten-Free today!  Sometimes there is just down right intolerance (I hate that word but, use it here) for those of us who have Celiac Disease or who are truly Gluten-Intolerant.

    There seems to be a group of people who have made living Gluten-Free a new fad diet because they believe it will cause them to loose weight.  From an Agricultural stand point ANYTIME you remove grain from the diet you WILL LOSE WEIGHT.  Some of us just happen to get REALLY sick when we consume gluten in any form.  Some of us are more sensitive than others but, we all get sick in one way or another.  So don't look at me strange like you are thinking, ya right or laugh at me or give me gluten anyway and just not tell me until you've been as sick as I have been.  Before my diagnosis I thought I was dying.  For over five years I was horribly sick and had become malnourished and anemic.

    The Doctor who finally caught my disease and told me to "go gluten-free and see what happens", is a saint in my book even though I don't agree with her on everything.  In three days my intestinal issues stopped.  The very intestinal issues I'd had in a large way for five years.  The was six months ago, now I'm starting to heal and feel better every day as long as no one accidental slips me the tiniest bit of gluten.  I'm not going to go back on gluten for 3 months to have 'the tests'.  I don't want to be that sick again.

    I just purchased a copy of LIVING WELL WITHOUT WHEAT, THE GLUTEN-FREE GOURMET by Bette Hagman.  I've read lots of articles and been to lots of websites (with varying degrees of truth) but the introductory pages of this book helped me more than any other.

    I'm going to quote from the FORWARD by Eugene I. Winkelman, M.D. , Emeritus Physician, Department of Gastroenterology,  The Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

    ""If the patient can be cured at all, it must be by means of diet."  Not a surprising statement when it is recognized that dietary management was the primary and often sole treatment of gastrointestinal disorders 110 years ago; however, the author, Samuel Gee, an English physician, also specified that "the allowance of farinaceous [Starchy} foods must be small."  His treatise "On the Coeliac Affection," published in 1888, described and discussed sprue in such an incisive, accurate manner that the article becamse a classic example of medical writing.  Unfortunately, another century passed before clinical observation and application of the developing scientific method eventually produced the answer to the myriad ills of celiac disease, idopathic steatorrhea, nontropical sprue, adult celiac disease, gluten-induced enteropathy, all of which are now regarded as synonymous with cealiac sprue.

    Fifty years ago celiac disease was known only as a childhood disease characterized by symptoms of weight loss, malnutrition, and complaints of a voluminous, foul diarrhea.  Those of us in medical school in the 1940's and early '50's remember it as one that was not readily understood but, for some unknown reason, was treated with a diet consisting manly of bananas.  It was hard to foresee that within the next few years its treatment would radically change, the intestinal pathology would be described, and its specific cause would be identified.  Since celiac disease was a rarity in the United States, it did not create great interest, so Europe where it was a more common problem, became the point of  investigation from which came the knowledge regarding the diet and pathology leading to advancements in diagnosis and treatment.

    The anatomich changes that typified celiac disease were first described on tissue samples from the small intestine obtained surgically.....today, the presence of typical pathology and a clinical response to the diets are unequivocal proof of the disease.

    Celiac disease may be present without diarrhea, but it may announce itself as a symptom of the vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies that result from malabsorption.  The most common of these are anemia, due to decreased iron, folic acid uptake, bone disease and/or Vitamin D.....There is a more subtle association inparients with other diseases; that is dermatitis, insulin=dependent diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, growth retardation, infertility in both men and women, increased stillbirths...dental enamel defects,,,oral ulcerations....celiac disease can occur in those who are sixty years of age or older (as well as infants) and....often coexist with other autoimmune diseases......Celiac diseas is obviously a much more common disease than reported previously, most likely due to a failure to diagnose.....at present, a dictum that for celiacs life without gluten is a lifelong commitment. 

    Bette Hagman in this book makes the celiac's life a little easier and eating more exciting....these books simplified life for Me...who can now confidently recommend her writings rather than explain the dreaded dietary list....of what you can and cannot eat."

    Ms Hagman goes on the say, "That (it) is now advised for all first- and second-degree relatives of celiaces (to test for Celiac Disease), for preliminary findings show that approximately 5.7 percent of first-degree relatives and 3.1 second-degree relatives will test positive for the disease." 

    Be kind to someone with Celiac or Gluten-Intolerance today!

    Nacho Casserole



    I create these recipes for two people.  They can easily be doubled or tripled for more servings.


    1/2 cup chunky salsa or taco sauce (I used fermented salsa from my refrigerator)
    1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (I left this out since there were so many in my salsa)
    1/2 pound ground beef
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 red bell pepper (can use green or poblano)
    1/4 cup diced yellow onion
    2 cloves minced garlic
    1 tablespoon taco seasoning
    1/2 cup black beans (if using canned drain and rinse-remainder can be frozen for later use)
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
    1/4 cup beef broth or water
    2 cups nachos, divided (I used gluten-free tortilla chips)
    1 ripe tomato, diced
    sour cream
    green onions, minced
    guacamole

    Preheat over to 350 degrees

    Brush 4x4 glass baking dish with coconut oil or butter.  Combine taco sauce/salsa and jalapeno in small bowl, st aside.

    In a large skillet bronw the ground beef, peppers, onions, garlic, taco seasoning and salt & pepper.  Drain.  Add beans, cheese and half of salsa mixture.

    Cover bottom of dish with 1 1/2 cup of the nachos.  Cover nachos with meat misture and top with remaining salsa mixture.  Add remaining nachos on top.

    Bake for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for another 5 minutes. 

    Garnish with remaining ingredients.

    Adapted from a recipe at cooks.com

    Bible Reading for February 22


    Through the Bible In a Year
    with notes by Pastor Chuck Smith


    Matthew 20:1-16

    Jesus told this parable about a man who owned a vineyard.  The man hired workers at the beginning of the day and agreed on thei wages.  Throughout the day, he continued to hire workers, right up until the last hour.  At theend of the day, he paid them all the same amount, which bothered those who had worked all day.  Te owner's response was that he had kept his word to them, and he could do whatever he wanted with his own things.

    In the kingdom of God there are some people who are given huge opportunities to serve the Lord forlong periods of time.  There are others who have less opportunities.  But the point of the parable is that we all need to remain faithful in what God has called us to .

    We can't watch other people and grade ourselves on the curve.  We can't compare what we are doing or what we are given with what is entrusted to others.  We must imply remain faithful in our own situation.  And whatever God does is always fair and right.


    Acts 27:1-26

    Julius, a centruion of Augustan Regiment, was one of the personal guards of Caesar.  He was one of the elite of the elite.  Being a centurion, he was over a hundred or so men.  Centurions were very fine men.

    No doubt, Julius was a seasoned and brave soldier.  So there was a bond between Julius and Paul because it was one brave soldier meeting another.  Paul had a respect for Julius, as one of Caesar's soldiers; and Julius, no doubt, developed a tremendous respect for Paul, a soldier of the cross of Jesus Christ.

    Psalms 44

    Leviticus 18-20

    This is what it is all about.  This is the whole point of the Law.  "You shall be hold, for I the LORD your God am hold."  God is holy and He requires holiness from His people.  Without holiness we can never approach a hold God.  Of course, it is only through accepting the righteousness of Christ that we can become holy.

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Socks - Socks - Socks



    I first learned to knit when I was around 9 years old.  I made slippers, mittens and a scarf.  I didn't knit for long, but picked it back up just before and after I got married.  I made a beautiful lace shawl for my wedding.  Later I picked it up again once some of my children were older and made a cute holiday vest and other things.  Knitting for me comes and goes like the tide.

    In January, after my second knee replacement surgery, I took a class in Lincoln on knitting socks.  I had made a couple pairs of socks but thought that a class assure me that I was actually doing it right. 

    This class taught me to knit the socks on two circular needles instead of the 4 double pointed needles I had used in the past.  It was ackward at first but I got the hang of it right away.  I made the above pair out of wool yarn in the class.  They are mine!  I'm working on another pair right now which will be given away in our April Raffel.  I'm trying to knit at least one pair a month.  Maybe some of my kids will actually get some socks this year.........I hope.

    I encourage you to try socks.  It's always kind of scary to 'turn the heel' but it really isn't that difficult.  The bonus is that you make the sock to actually FIT YOU and wool blends are soooo warm!  Even in the summer wool wicks away the moisture so if you are prone to have foot itch in the summer wool socks might be the ticket for you.  Many hikers insist on wool socks.

    Bible Reading for February 21

    Reading Through the Bible in a Year


    Matthew 19:15-35

    Acts 26:19-32

    Psalms 43

    Leviticus 16-17

    No notes today as my Grandson has been rushed to the Childrens Hospital in Missouri for emergency surgery.  Your prayers are requested.

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Chips

    I was cold this morning and even though the temps are to be in the 40's and it's suppose to rain I couldn't  stand it!  I just had to have a hot chocolate.  I had read about making it with chocolate chips and since there is only one kind I've found so far in the packets that I can drink, and the darn stuff has this awful chemical aftertaste, I just didn't want a 'packet'.



    So I took 1 1/3 cup whole milk and 1/3 cup Giradilli milk chocolate chips.  I warmed the milk until it was quite warm, then added the chocolate chips, stirring until melted.  I couldn't help adding some mint marshmellows I had left from the holidays.



    Yummmmmm

    Chicken Kale Casserole


    Serves Two (can be doubled or tripled easily for more people)

    Salt (Sea or Kosher) and ground pepper
    3 ounces gluten-free Pasta (I prefer Quiona Pastas)
    1 1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter
    1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
    1 garlic clove, minced
    4 ounces kale, tough stems and ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
    1/2 cup shredded or chopped cooked chicken
    12 ounces ricotta (I didn't have any so I just used cottage cheese)
    1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (about one lemon)
    3 tablespoons grated Parmesan

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain and return to the pot.  In a large skillet, melt butter over med-high heat.  Add onion; cook until onion is beginning to soften, about 3-4 minutes.  Add kale and garlic, cover and cook until almost tender, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to pot with pasta.

    Stir in chicken, ricotta, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons Parmesan; season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to an approximate 3"x4" baking dish; top with 1 tablespoon Parmesan.  Bake until top is golden, about 20 minutes.

    I served this with glazed carrots.

    This recipe was adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart



    Getting Ready to Garden - To CSA or Not to CSA, that is the question!

    I'm anxious to get into the garden!  The geese have been flying north already in small groups. 

    The only catch is that I haven't taken the time to get those seeds started.  Sooooo today I started some Brocolli, Cabbage, Tomatoes, Peppers and some Parsley.  I'm only a couple of weeks late so hopefully it won't be to big of an issue.  I'll be starting some other herbs and flowers in the coming weeks.

    There is still snow on the ground from one of the only two or three snows we've had this year so the garden is still fast asleep.  The last one was a good amount of snow and has hung around a bit inspite of the fact that we've had days in the 40's.  Today we are suppose to get thundershowers so that will probably remove any remaining snow on the ground.



    I'm thinking about doing a small CSA garden.  Most of the CSA's have already been started so I need to make that decision soon!  Sooner the better!  What's a CSA garden?  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  Usually a CSA is formed by a farmer and the customers sign up and pay for the ability to receive a box of produce weekly from the farmer during the growing season.  The upfront fee supports the farmer early in the season so that he can buy seeds, etc to get the garden going and helps him to know just how much and what to grow.

    The garlic I grew last year did really well and I am still using, what I didn't replant, for cooking.  My rose bushes were moved last fall and the garlic was planted in large numbers in the three feet I left between the plants.

    Sleeping in the garden are thousands of Daylilies plus some Asparagus, Grapes, Strawberries, Currants, Aronia, Blackberries, Sage, Thyme, Oregano, Chives, Mint and other herbs including some Echnicea that will be old enough to harvest a few roots this year.



    As usual I've set up my calendar for the planting of the rest of the vegetables that will grow in Grandma Farmers garden this year.  I schedule on my calendar when to plant seeds and when to set the plants I'm growing inside to give them a chance to provide me with a bountiful harvest.  The first of the seeds, onion sets and potatoes go in just after St Patricks day.  Sometimes that's a little early and I wait a few days but, I have a feeling we're in for an early spring this year so I'll push that envelope.

    Greens will be planted around the 19th of March: Argula, Spinach, Kale and bok choy.  I'll also plant some carrots and radish.  I don't plant to many carrots but I did experiment with them last year and what I planted in my new raised bed system did well.

    Come back and watch our garden grow!  We'll update you on what we plant, harvest and have available for sale. 

    Anyone can garden so we'll be giving you ideas on how to grow your own garden and show you some things we are trying this year.

    Bible Reading for February 20

    Read through the Bible in a Year
    with notes by Pastor Chuck Smith

    Matthew 19:1-15

    Many of the mothers were bringing their children to Jesus, wanting Him to bless them.  The disciples were concerned that this would take up too much of His time and they thought they were protecting Him by keeping them away.  But He said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."  Then He proceeded to lay hands on them.

    I love it that Jesus is always touchable.  Never to busy or too pressured to take time, even with children.

    Acts 26:1-18

    So our prayer for our unsaved loved ones is that the Lord delivers them from the power of Satan, who has blinded their eyes to the truth.  We pray that their eyes be opened so they can actually consider the claims of the gospel without this heavy prejudicial pressure Satan has put upon their mind, He has blinded them!

    Paul wrote to Timothy that through our gentleness, patience, and humility "they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will."  (2 Timothy 2:26).

    Psalms 42


    Every man has a thirst inside him; a spiritual thirst that can only be satisfied by a relationship with God. "As the deer pants, my soul for You. O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God." Jesus stood up on the last day of the feast of Tabernacles and announced, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink" (John 7:37). Jesus told the woman at the well. "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst" (John 4:14)

    There are people who are trying to fill their spiritual thirst with physical things. It doesn't work. You end up thirsty. There are others how are trying to satisfy that thirst with emotional experiences, but that, too, leaves you dry.

    David expressed the reality of every person: Deep down inside we all have a thirst that can only be quenched by a personal relationship with God.

    Leviticus 14-15

    Some of this doesn't make for very interesting reading, and I commend you for working your way through these passages in Leviticus.  But if you study some of these rules and regulations closer, it is amazing how many of these ancient rituals match up with a modern understanding of medicine and proper hygene.  You can read Dr. S.I. McMillan's book None of These Diseases to learn more of the details; but these instructions, in many cases, were four thousand years ahead of their time as medical science.  God, the Great Physician, the One who designed the body also knew how to preserve it.

    Sunday, February 19, 2012

    Free Give Away!

    To get us started we will be offering a special prize of FIVE special crochet wash cloths by GRANDMA FARMER.  After we hit the 25th follower of our BLOG we will draw a winner randomly.  This drawing will officially end when we hit our 25th follower.
      Tell your friends and join us TODAY

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    March is Officially our KICK-OFF month!
    Join US..........it will be a party all month!

    We will be awarding prizes all month long for various things every week!  For example WEEK'S are beginning to look like this!  There WILL be more reviews and PRIZES all month long!!!!

    WEEK ONE - March 4-10

    March is Maple Syrup Month. We'll be reviewing our favorite source for pure Maple Syrup. You could be the winner of a jar of pure, organic Maple Syrup.

    WEEK TWO - March 11-17

    We will be reviewing Pleasant Hill Grain of Aurora, Nebraska and their Tortilla Press.  Watch for how-to's on Gluten Free Tortilla Making.

    WEEK THREE - March 18 - 24


    WEEK FOUR - March 25-31

    A Prize for the 200th Follower. Be our 200th Follower and you'll recieve a very special prize! Prize To Be Determined.



    Two Weeks Winter Menu - Number One



    Sunday - Roast Chicken, Potatoes and Carrots

    Monday - Chicken Kale Casserole, Glazed Carrots

    Tuesday - Nacho Casserole, Super Salad

    Wednesday - Sweet & Sour Chicken Wings and Fried Rice

    Thursday - White Bean Crab Cakes, Lemon Garlic Brocolli, Strawberry Risoto

    Friday - Four Cheese Pasta with Peas and Ham

    Saturday - Chickpea, Spinach, Gnocchi Stew



    Sunday - Roast Turkey, Stuffing, Sweet Potato Casserole, Brussels Sprouts, Pumpkin Pie

    Monday - Turkey Pot Pie

    Tuesday - Grilled Salmon, Sweet Potato Fries, Lemon Garlic Brocolli

    Wednesday - Spaghatti Squash with Beef Marinara, Fresh Vegetable Tray

    Thursday -  Southwest Macaroni and Cheese, Fresh Vegetable Tray

    Friday - Hamburgers, Oven Fries, Super Salad

    Saturday - Chicken Enchiladas, Super Salad

    All my recipes are gluten-free.  Watch for the recipes on this BLOG

    Lemon Garlic Brocolli


  • 1 large bunch broccoli, trimmed, or about 1 pound of frozen broccoli flowerets
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste, optional

  • Steam broccoli until tender but firm, about 5 to 7 minutes. Heat the butter in a heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat; add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the cooked broccoli, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, cooking briefly to combine.

    Chickpea, Spinach & Squash Gnocchi

    SERVES 2  (Double to serve more)

    Adaped from a recipe from Eating Well http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chickpea_spinach_squash_gnocchi.html

    Currants add a surprising touch of sweetness to this simple sauté of chickpeas, spinach, squash and gnocchi.

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 pound fresh or frozen GLUTEN FREE gnocchi (throw into salted, boiling water and cook until they float to the top.)
    • 2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 cup thinly sliced peeled butternut squash  (1- to 2-inch-long slices)
    • 1/4 cup sliced green onions 
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 cup vegetable broth
    • 1 tablespoons currants
    • 2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 4 cups fresh, organic baby spinach, coarsely chopped
    • 1/2 - 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (freeze remainder of can of different use)
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar reduction or 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (see Below)

    Preparation

    1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. DO NOT STIR OFTEN OR THEY WILL FALL APART!!! Transfer to a bowl.
    2. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, squash, shallots and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in broth, currants, sage and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring, until the squash is almost cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Add spinach, chickpeas and the gnocchi and cook, gently stirring, until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes more. Serve drizzled with balsamic reduction (or balsamic vinegar).

    Nutrition

    Per serving :458 Calories; 7 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 4 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 88 g Carbohydrates; 15 g Protein; 10 g Fiber; 620 mg Sodium; 597 mg Potassium

    Tips & Notes

    • Note: Balsamic vinegar reduction, simply balsamic vinegar that is cooked down until thick and syrupy, is sometimes called balsamic glaze or balsamic drizzle. Look for it with other vinegars in well-stocked supermarkets. Or make it yourself: Bring 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until syrupy and reduced to about 1/8 cup, 10 to 14 minutes. (Watch the syrup carefully in the last few minutes of reducing to prevent burning.)

    Gluten-Free Gnocchi



    I have to admit to a flare for the gourmet!  I love to try new things and have to admit to never having Gnocchi.  Have you?  I found a recipe that I wanted to use so I decided to try it.  My main motivation to go ahead was that these little beauties will freeze well.  You can use only the amount you need at a time.  When cooking for two that's particularly important.

    Gnocchi can be intimidating to many people but with a good set of instructions and the consistency of dough, you’ll want to make it all of the time.

    Although the base for gnocchi (pronounced nywak-ee) is potato, regular all-purpose flour is usually also added. Even though you may be eating Gluten-Free you can still enjoy this delightful dish!  In fact, with the right ingredients and careful attention to cooking techniques you can cook anything you want to even though you are cooking Gluten-Free.

    Before you embark on this adventure however, read through the recipe and understand what it is happening. It’s important to follow the steps since the texture and temperature really makes a difference. It might take a little longer, but it pays to follow these steps. You’ll have a better dough.
    Once the gnocchi are made, freeze any leftovers on a baking sheet or dish in the freezer. Once frozen, place in a freezer bag for next time.

    You can serve these tender potato pillows with a mushroom and pea cream sauce, pesto or a simple marinara. Be careful not to stir too much. Without the gluten, they can become a little mushy if overmixed.

    Gluten Free Gnocchi
    adapted from http://glutenfreeworks.com/blog/2010/09/09/gluten-free-gnocchi-recipe/

    Ingredients:
    • 2-2 1/2 lb russet potatoes (about 4 large)
    • 1 cup white rice flour
    • 3/4 cup potato starch or flour
    • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
    • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
    • 3/4 tsp guar gum
    • 1 tablespoon melted butter or olive oil
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    Directions:
    1. Scrub potatoes and poke 3-4 times with a fork. Bake in a pre-heated 400° oven or 375° convection for about an hour or until soft inside. Baking the potato keeps the moisture down and is better than boiling potatoes for this recipe.
    2. While the potatoes bake, mix the rice flour, potato starch or flour and corn starch.
    3. When potatoes are soft, remove from oven and cut in half lengthwise. Cool until you are able to handle them. Scoop potatoes out with a spoon and place into a potato ricer. This removes the lumps. If you don’t have a potato ricer, mash with a fork until there are no lumps.
    4. Cool potatoes slightly. They should not be hot. In a large bowl, add potatoes, xanthan gum, butter or oil, eggs and salt. Mix briefly. Add about half of the flour and mix. Continue to add flour until the dough comes together but is no longer sticky. It should almost feel like play dough; tacky but not sticky. You may not need all of the flour. If you need more, add a little rice flour and/or potato starch or flour. Reserve some flour for your work surface.
    5. Roll pieces of the dough on a floured work surface into ropes, about 3/4″ thick. Cut pieces about 1″ long.
    6. Using a fork, roll the gnocchi pieces from the top to the bottom, giving it a ridged look. Once all pieces are rolled, it is recommended to allow gnocchi to sit out for 15-20 minutes to dry out. They can be cooked at that point or frozen (see notes above).
    7. Bring a large pot of water filled about 2″ from the top, to a boil. Cover the pot to bring the water to a boil quicker. Once boiling, add 1-2 tsp of salt. Gently place gnocchi into the water and stir with a slotted spoon.
    8. Cook until all gnocchi are floating on top, stirring occasionally. Cook 1 more minute. Remove with a slotted spoon (draining can cause the gnocchi to stick together).
    9. Serve with mushroom and pea cream sauce, pesto, tomato sauce or many other recipes.

    Menu Planning



    Cooking for two after cooking for upwards of ten is often a trial for me.  Something I continue to strive for.  Sometimes I just don't feel like going through all the trouble of cooking for just the two of us.  I know that's not right but at my age you......can get weary. 

    The fact is that cooking for two and cooking for us as we become elderly is more important and it the requirements have changed.  At our age we begin to loose muscle mass if we don't get enough protein among other issues.  Cooking REAL FOOD is more important that ever.

    REAL FOOD is food that is as close to the way our God, the creator, made the food and grown or raised in a way that is the closest to the way our God, the creator, designed.  We also believe strongly in purchasing food that we either grow ourselves (this way we are sure about the way it was raised) or that is grown/raised the closest to where we live as we can find it.  Sometimes this all means that the food will cost more.  It has been said you can either pay for the cost of nutriant dense, healthy food or pay to go to the Dr.  Basically, that has proved true in our lives.

    I don't know about you but I take my career as a HOMEMAKER seriously. What would my husband do without me? Pay for a housecleaner to come in every week and a chef to plan and cook his meals? Plus, what about all those money saving things I do like grow our own vegetebles and put them up for the winter? That not only saves money but saves on Dr bills because I'm such a great healthy menu planner. I keep his calendar and remind him of birthdays and even reminded him to call his mother every week when the dear woman was still with us.

    I've done a lot of reading on foods, learned their nutritional pluses and minuses and how to combine them properly.  Most of my studies toward my Biblical Health Counselor and Community Herbalist Certificates were in the area of nutrition.  I also try to keep in mind what is available seasonally when considering what to eat.  Will all this food coming in from over seas it muddy's the water a bit but we must keep up on what poisons those foods might contain.



     I plan my meals for two weeks to coincide with my husbands pay schedule. I not only plan the meals but gather the recipes, make a grocery list and a game plan to keep me organized and on track. This is all put together in a notebook for the week for me to reference.

    I seperate my seasons into Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. I have favorite recipes for each season (many of which I will share here) and I create three sets of two-week menus. These menus are then rotated throughout the season. Sometimes I'll change out some meals if I want to try new recipes, which I do often.

    When I create these menus typically the recipes are for 4 servings and the left-overs are used for lunches. Before I shop for these two weeks I will also add what I might want for snack, breakfasts and lunches. After that I create a grocery list from the recipes after which I go to my pantry, cross off the things I already have and that becomes my grocery list.

    After the menus and grocery list is complete I go through and organize my game plan....but that's another post.

    Seems like a lot of work in pre-planning? It may be, but I have found that is saves me food dollars and time later.  Plus it keeps me on track and I always know what I'm going to be serving.

    Bible Reading for February 19th

    Reading Through the Bible in a Year
    with notes by Pastor Chuck Smith


    Matthew 18:15-35

    Jesus here outlined the process whereby a sinning brother is to be dealt with.

    First of all, He said to go to him privately and talk about it.  If that clears it up, you've saved a lot of trouble and preserved the relationship without involving anyone else.  But if that doesn't work, bring along a witness or two.  Some people will twist what will be said, and it is a good idea to have a witness in those cases.  Where that doesn't work, bring the matter before the church, publicly addressing and exposing the issue.  The next step is to realize that such offenders aren't really a part of the fellowship of God's people.

    Very few situations will ever need to get to this final point.  In fact, most problems were be dealt with if we only took the first step, going to a person privately.  This isn't a process for kicking people out the church, as some would think.  This is a process of healing and restoration.  And if more people would take the first step, as Jesus commanded, instead of resorting to gossip and backbiting, most church problems would be nonexistent.

    Acts 25:13-27

    Paul affirmed that Jesus was alive.  The resurrections is the heart of the gospel.  Without the Resurrection, there is no gospel.  The Cross has no power and no meaning if Jesus did not rise from the dead.  The whole Christian belief system is founded on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

    Peter said, "Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you" (Pet 1:3).  The Resurrection gives us a hope for the future.  I have no fear of death because Jesus rose from the dead.

    Psalms 41

     
    Leviticus 11-13

    God gave extensive instructions to the children of Israel concerning what they could and could not eat.  It is tedious reading and seems almost random and pointless.  But there is an interesting book written by Dr. S.I. McMillan called None of These Diseases.  His book goes into great detail to explain some of the medical reasons for many of these dietary laws and also for some of the cleansing rituals.

    God doesn't just make up rules to restrict His people.  He creates rules because He knows what is best for us.  Although these rules were only given to the Jews and we aren't obligated to keep these laws, we would probably be a lot healthier if we took some of these mandates more seriously.

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    Bible Reading for Febraury 18th



    Reading Through the Bible in a Year
    with notes by Pastor Chuck Smith


    Matthew 18:1-14

    The disciples were arguing about who would be the greatest in the kingdom, when Jesus called a little child over and said that "whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of god."

    Jesus taught that the way up was down, and the way down is up.  "whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 14:11).  If you want to be great in God's kingdom and if you want to be successful in His eyes, be a "servant of all" (Mark 9:35).

    Acts 25:1-12

    It's interesting how so often the LORD reveals an overall plan, but yet many times there is an interval of time before God works out that plan.  Sometimes in that interval of time, we get a little impatient and take things into our own hands.  Doesn't God want me to go to Rome?  Well, let me figure out a way there because the LORD told me I had to bear withness in Rome.  But the LORD has His ways of fulfilling His purposes in our lives.  And we've got to watch our impatience because so often we get ahead of God.

    When Jesus said, "You are going to bear witness of Me in Rome," you can be sure Paul was going to get to Rome.  Now Paul probably wasn't planning to get there the way he did.  He was probably planning on paying his own transportation.  Instead, he got to Rome courtesy of the Roman government.

    Psalms 40

    It is amazing to me that God is thinking of me.  And yet we are told here that His thoughts toward us cannot be counted.  God is continually thinking about you, His child.

    Pasm 139:17-17 says that God's thoughts toward us are more than the grains of sand by the seashore.  He is the Lord over all creation, yet He is so mindful of each of His creatures.  Jesus said that He cares about the hairs of your head and the sparrows that fall (Luke 12:5-6).  He is thinking about you RIGHT NOW!

    Leviticus 8-10

    Friday, February 17, 2012

    Bible Reading for February 17th

    Reading Through the Bible in a Year
    With Notes by Pastor Chuck Smith

    Matthew 17:14-27

    After the Mount of Transfiguration, no sooner had Jesus and His followers come down from this incredible mountaintop experience than Satan met them at the bottom of the hill.  They encountered a demon-possessed boy who was being tortured by the Enemy, and the other disciples hadn't been able to deliver him.

    So Often, when God has done a special work in our lives, and we are so excited about what He has done.  Satan is waiting for us to destroy what God has done.  Satan is waiting at the bottom of every mountaintop experience.

    Acts 24

    Paul testified to Felix about these things.  Felix, there is a day of judgment that is going to come.  You have not been living a righteous life.  You've indulged yourself in all kinds of evil, and it's going to catch up with you."  Felix was afraid, but he put off making a decision.

    This is the pattern of man, indecision.  Deferring the decision.  Putting it off for a more convenient time.  Being convicted by the Spirit, even a powerful experience of conviction, does not guarentee conversion.  It takes acting on that conviction to bering conversion, and that step Felix wouldn't take.  Convicted?  Yes.  Afraid?  Yes.  Conversion?  No.  He put it off.  "Go your way now, Paul.  When it's more convenient, I'll call you."  He was deferring the most important decision of his life.

    How many people have made this same mistake, putting off the decision to commit their lives to Jesus Christ?  When the moment came, when the hour of God's Spirit was there, they put it off!  With Felix, the convenient time never came.  Tragic!  It never came.  This is true of so many people who put off their decision for Jesus Christ, waiting for a more convenient time, only to discover that they sinned away the day of grace and that more convenient time never came!  Hell is filled with people who decided to wait for a more convenient time.

    Psalms 39

    We do often have a delusion of our own immortality.  We just don't expect to die any time soon.  We know death is coming someday, but we don't really expect it in the near future.  We don't realize how frail we actually are.  So we put off the important things in life.  "I'll get right with God one of these days.  I'll serve God someday."

    The prayer here in this psalm is, "God, help me to realize how short this life is.  Help me to be realistic about my own fraility."  It is so important that we recognize the shortness of life and our own frailty.  This will help us to use the time we have wisely and will cause us to depend on God completely.

    Leviticus 5-7

    If you committed a trespass, you couldn't just come with a sacrifice and be forgiven.  You also had to make restitution.  Jesus said, "If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go your way.  First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer you gift" (Matt 5:23-24).  The shortest distance to God is by way of your offended brother's house.

    A Reason To Smile

    Sending You a Smile Today!




    When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Daily Bible Reading - February 16

    Matthew 17:1-13

    Peter, James, and John had gone up into the hills with Jesus; and they saw Him transfigured before their very eyes.  Jesus took on the glory of His resurrection body and was standing there talking with Moses and Elijah.  Moses represented the Law, and Elijah represented the prophets.

    The voice of the Father came from heaven and said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleasd.  Hear Him!"  God had spoken through the Law, then through the prophets, but ws now speaking through His Son (Hebrews 1:1,2).  His is the revelation of God.

    Acts 23:11-35

    Paul was back in prion at a very low point in his life.  That which he had dreamed of for many years, to bear witness of Christ before the Jews, had been a disaster.  He was rejected by his brethren for whom he had such a deep love and desire to win to Christ.  he was discouraged.

    So the Lord encouraged Paul.  He said, "Paul, you've testified of Me in Jerusalem.  It was a total fiasco, but that's all right; you testiies.  Now you must testify of Me in Rome."  So the LORD took him out of the doldrums of his past and gave him a callfor his future.  He set the past aside, reaching for what God had in the future, and it's important that we do the same.

    There may be times in your life when you have been forsaken by your friends, maybe even in the body of Christ.  But the LORD will never forsake you.  You can be certain of that.  Though Paul was forsaken by his brethren, he was not forsaken by his LORD.  The LORD stood with him in those dark experiences of his life evn as the LORD will always stand by you.

    Psalms 38

    Leviticus 1-4

    The Burnt Offering, the Grain Offering, the Peace Offering, the Sin Offering.  All these sacrifices could only cover a person's sins.  But Jesus, in His sacrifice went one better!  Rather than just covering our sins, He put away our sins once and for all

    The word "atonement" can best be understood if you break it up into these syllables. At-one-ment.  For it is through Jesus Christ that we can become at one with God.  His sacrifice puts our sins away so that we can be at one with God because the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.

    Let's Eat Red


    Eating red is a great habit all your life but is especially important in those wonderful later years. 

    February is National Heart Month 

    It's a time when we see red hearts in every window and red roses on every desk because of the popular holiday, Valentine's Day, a time when to remind those we love just how much it is that we love them and tell them so in sweet ways.

    Many wear red on the first day of February as National Wear Red Day and the fashion industry went a step forward to create Red Dress Day to focus on the concerns of Heart Disease among women.

    LET'S EAT RED

    Colorful fruits and vegetables are one of the most heart-healthy foods you can eat. Just take a look at the 'heart-shaped' strawberry and you will realize the benefits of its antioxidant-rich qualities.  Now there is evidence of a direct link between these antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables and a lower risk of stroke among women.

    In the December 2011 edition of the journal STROKE, a Swedish study is credited with the 10 year investigation of the diets of about 38,000 women between the ages of 49-82 and their findings were amazing.  In the study approximately 31,000 women in this group had no signs of heart disease while about 5,700 of them did have a history of heart disease.

    What the researchers found was that the women who had the highest levels of diet-based antioxidants in BOTH groups had a significantly lower risk of stroke than those with the lowest dietary antioxidant capacity.   Why? The antioxidant vitamins in fruits and vegetables, such as Vitamin C, E, and A, and the phytonutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoids, are believed to help the body to fight free radicals which can contribute to heart disease and stroke.

    We can't change our age or family history to reduce our risk of heart disease, but we can change our diets. Let's begin with the addition of one more fruit or vegetable at every meal? A roasted red pepper, side of red cabbage or a bowl or luscious strawberries would be a great way to start!

    Coconut Pudding



    When I was a child I didn't like Coconut. I can't imagine why........now. My dad loved Coconut and told my brother and I that he was glad we didn't like Coconut because it meant more for him. Gradually I took the hint that he was trying to get me to like it and like it I have.


    My interest in Coconut has expanded so much that I use Coconut Oil, Palm Shortening, Coconut Flour, and now even Coconut/Palm sugar. Why? Simple! I have discovered just how good COCONUT is for you. More on that following the recipe. Thankfully my husband loves coconut also so we are a team!


    I forget where I got this original recipe but I have tweeked it to be ever so good and good for you. Keep in mind that I use organic whenever possible.  The added bonus is that it is also GLUTEN-FREE.



    HOMEMADE COCONUT PUDDING

    1 can whole fat Coconut Milk
    1+ cups whole milk (raw if you can get it)
    1/4 cup Tapioca* Starch
    pinch of salt
    3 large farm fresh eggs
    2/3 cup Coconut Sugar** (can use regular sugar if you must)
    1/2 teaspoon Vanilla or Coconut Extract
    1/2 cup shredded coconut

    Add the coconut milk to a 3+ liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to reach a total of 3 cups.

    In a large saucepan combine the milk, tapioca, salt, eggs and sugar. Whisk until smooth. Cook over medium high heat, WHISKING CONSTANTLY, until thickened. This will take about 3-5 minutes. ***A spoon won't work here. If you want smooth pudding use the whisk***

    Once the pudding has thickened, remove it from the heat and stir in the Extract. Fold in the Coconut. If you don't want a 'skin' to form on your pudding while it cools cover it with plastic wrap pressed down on the top of the pudding. I don't do this at all.

    This is a wonderful pudding that can be served as breakfast or as a desert. We like it both warm and cold.

    *If you want to avoid GMO products then avoid Corn Starch and use Tapioca Starch instead.

    **Coconut Sugar is Low Glycemic and great for Diabetics.

    Here's a Link to some other great COCONUT goodies:
    http://pinterest.com/vickiah/coconut-joy/