Saturday, September 20, 2014

All-American Bacon Cheeseburger

We are nearing the last official day of summer, and though we have had some cooler fall weather already, today felt like summer again with temps up in the 80's. The perfect day to post this new recipe for hamburgers that I tried out a few weeks ago. Even tastier with homemade hamburger buns ... click here for another new recipe posted last week.

Print Recipe

All-American Bacon Cheeseburgers

Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 10 Min
Total Time: 25 Min
Serves: 4


  • 2 Tbsp onion finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp steak sauce
  • 1/4 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese sharp
  • 4 hamburger buns split and toasted
  • 8 cooked bacon strips
  • Optional toppings: lettuce leaves and tomato onion and pickle slices


  1. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into four patties.
  2. Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat or broil 3 in. from the heat for 4-7 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 160° and juices run clear.
  3. Top with cheese. Grill 1 minute longer or until cheese is melted.
  4. Serve on split, toasted buns with bacon and toppings of your choice.
  5. Yield: 4 servings.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Perfect Peace

Such familiar words, ones which we have read often ... but words that don't just stay on the printed page, for they become more than just words. 

His Words become life to us, 
and reach us in our deepest places. 

How thankful I am for His Spirit, who breathes life into Scripture - and we are blessed to hear and to know the very heart of God. And we are strengthened, and we are filled up with His Peace.

There are many things on my own heart this month, and left to it's own course, my heart can be filled up with the opposite of peace. It is called worry. For this is the default when left to ourselves.

And I am thankful that we are not left to ourselves. I am thankful that in the midst of saying good-bye to a son this month (moving to NYC), whom we will miss so very, very much - that we can have peace. And as we wait and watch as a granddaughter's kidneys continue to fail (nearing time for transplant) - we can have peace. And with all the other concerns that fill our minds each day for our families and for our world - we can have peace.

It's really a choice. Whether we want worry, or peace. And by His grace and mercy - I choose peace. A gift from Him, as we keep our eyes on Him. 

You keep him in 
perfect peace
whose mind is
stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
(Isaiah 26:3)

Thankful for His gentle reminders, each day and throughout each day, to keep my mind and my heart focused on Him ... the giver of peace. 

Click for more posts on this topic:
HELD SECURE: His Love in Time of Trial

Linking up with:
Spiritual Whitespace

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Homemade Hamburger Buns

Summer is definitely turning into fall around here, with some days of cooler weather this past week. But it's not too late to post about a new recipe for hamburger buns that I tried out a few weeks ago.

My bread machine sat unused for much of the summer, but a few weeks ago I started up using it again. One of my first things to make was a new recipe for hamburger buns.

I enjoy visiting Jessica Fischer's blog, Good Cheap Eats ... she has lots of freezer meal recipes, and all-around good tips on food prep. This is one of her recipes that I had printed out, saving for the right time to try it out.

Click here for her recipe for hamburger, or hot dog buns, using a bread machine. It will be good to use all year-round for sandwiches, sloppy joes, etc.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Our Strong Refuge

In the busyness of life, 
in the calm and in the storm, 
do we sometimes live 
as if we are without hope? 
Or do we live each day 
quietly, hopefully, 
waiting on God?

These verses have grabbed my heart (again) this week. In the busyness of a new fall season with all the activity and events that come with it, in the calm of daily routines, and in the trials that are always present - how do I live my days? In a stressed, hurried state of mind and heart, or with a quiet hope, trusting in God? 

Lord, let all that I am wait quietly before You, for my hope is in You. You alone are my rock and my salvation, my strong fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from You alone. You are my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. Lord, help us to trust You at all times, and to pour out our hearts to You, for You are our refuge.

Thanking Him for reminders, and for His words to turn into prayers, helping us express the cries of our hearts. And thanking Him for being our strong refuge.

(Photo taken three years ago this month while on our 40th Anniversary trip to Italy - one of our favorite spots while there. The beautiful Cinque Terra region, and the village of Manarola, tucked amongst the rocky cliffs. Thanking God for the amazing trip we could take, a gift from Him - and for being our rock, our strong refuge.)

For more posts on prayer:
HEART CONNECT: Living a Life of Prayer

Linking up with:
Coffee for Your Heart
Thought Provoking Thursday

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Garden Bow Tie Salad

Always on the lookout for new salad recipes, I tried this one out last month. I like how it uses a variety of fresh veggies: cucumber, summer squash, zucchini, peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower. I picked some of those veggies from our garden a few weeks ago, and made this salad the day before we left for a little getaway celebrating our anniversary. I actually took a few homemade salads along, and picked up some deli chicken, too - a special meal while staying at a camping cabin together!

Print Recipe

Garden Bow Tie Salad

Course: Salad
Prep Time: 30 Min
Cook Time: 10 Min
Total Time: 40 Min
Serves: 24


  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 3 cups fresh cauliflowerets
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 2 packages Italian salad dressing mix
  • 4-1/2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. Wash the first five ingredients but do not dry; chop and transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining vegetables. Sprinkle with dry dressing mix; toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, 4-6 hours or overnight.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; rinse with cold water. Add to vegetable mixture. In a small bowl, whisk remaining ingredients. Add to salad; toss to coat.
  3. Yield: 24 servings (3/4 cup each).

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ask Anything

"Give us this day our daily bread."
(Matthew 6:11)

Is there anything more basic, more universal, than bread? Each culture, throughout time, finds their sustenance on some form of this basic of all foods. 

Bread represents our most basic of needs; those things that are absolutely necessary. And also those things that maybe at times are so basic that we may treat them as insignificant. Those needs that we sometimes hesitate to share with anyone, or even with God, for we wonder how we could ask for something so simple, so commonplace.  

But He tells us to ask. For whatever our need is. 

"He wants to be part of all the decisions we make. He wants our material needs to draw us into our soul needs. This is what it means to abide - to include Him in every aspect of our lives." (Paul Miller, A Praying Life)

"Abiding is a perfect way to describe a praying life."
(A Praying Life)

Talking with Him about everything - bringing all (every) need to Him. Nothing is too small to talk with Him about. Nothing is too big to talk with Him about. He wants to hear it all. 

"One of the best ways to learn how to abide 
is to ask anything ...
Tell God what you want.
Before you can abide, 
the real you has to meet the real God.
Ask anything."
(A Praying Life)

Thanking Him for reminders to ask. For whatever is on my heart. For whatever my need is. Big or small. Significant or insignificant. If it is a need, ask. And we will find ourselves in constant communication, for we are in constant need. 

For more posts on this topic:
Heart Connect: Living a Life of Prayer

Linking up with:
The Weekend Brew
Spiritual Whitespace
Sharing His Beauty

Friday, August 29, 2014

Summertime Tea

This sweet, refreshing tea was served at numerous gatherings at our home this past summer. I found it in one of my Taste of Home magazines the beginning of the summer, and made it multiple times. And I thought I would share it quick, before summer turns into fall, though it would be great to serve any time of year, I am sure! 

Print Recipe

Summertime Tea

Course: Beverages
Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 15 Min
Total Time: 15 Min
Serves: 18


  • 14 cups water divided
  • 6 individual black tea bags
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate thawed
  • 3/4 cup frozen lemonade concentrate thawed
  • Fresh mint leaves and lemon or lime slices, optional


  1. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Remove from the heat; add tea bags. Cover and steep for 3-5 minutes. Discard tea bags.
  2. Stir in the sugar, concentrates and remaining water. Refrigerate until chilled. Garnish with mint and lemon if desired.
  3. Yield: 18 servings (3/4 cup each).

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NOTE: This recipe fits perfectly into my one-gallon pitcher. Also, I usually put in less sugar than it calls for, cutting it back to 1 cup - and may cut it back even a bit less next time. The amount you use all depends on how sweet you like your tea.