Friday, September 22, 2017

In the Kitchen: September 2017



After the more carefree days of summer, with the last-minute menu selections of easy grilled meals, together with fresh veggies from the garden for sides, I've switched to being a bit more intentional with my menu planning again. I've welcomed the change, and thought I'd share a little snapshot of some of the things that have been happening in my kitchen during September. Just for fun, and in case it may be an encouragement to you!

In the Kitchen: September 2017

From top left photo, and clockwise:

Loaded Grilled Chicken Sandwich









September 
meals have been a blend of summer and of fall:
grilled meals, and the first soup of the season, 
salads, and the first butternut squash recipe. 

And today, the first official day of Fall
the warmth and delicious aromas
of pumpkin, apple, and caramel,
of comforting soups and main dishes;
calling me into the kitchen, again.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Quieting My Heart: Our Words



Words,
just one word, or a few words,
or a whole lot of words - 
they make a huge impact.
They can make someone’s day,
or they can ruin the day.

Do we stop to realize
the power of words?
And do we stop -
think, and pray,
before we speak words?

Some say that I have 
a gentle, quiet spirit.
But I find that it is most often
my words
that cause me the most 
shame and regret.

How do we tame our tongue,
and how do we
s-l-o-w it down,
and how do we 
speak only those words
that edify and build up,
that instill love and hope
in others.

In this noisy, quick-speaking world,
may we learn to quiet our hearts,
asking God to control our every word.

“You must all be quick to listen,
slow to speak,
and slow to get angry.”
(James 1:19)

Lord, please fill us with Your Spirit,
with Your thoughts, Your words -
that we will only speak what is
“helpful for building others up
according to their needs,
that it may benefit those who listen.”
(Ephesians 4:29)


(Photo - of our peach tree 2017)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Grilled Potatoes



It's September already,
and fall is on it's way,
here very soon ...

But with the temps still in the 80's,
and even up to 90 degrees this week,
it's still the season for grilling.

I had a few more new grilling recipes
that I wanted to try this summer -
including this one for grilled potatoes.

I served it recently together
a favorite recipe for salmon.


Click on the "source" link below the
little photo to print ...

Grilled Potatoes













Source: tasteofhome.com
Course: Side Grill
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 40 min
Serves:
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 12 teaspoon dried basil
  • 14 teaspoon salt
  • 18 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 medium baking potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Add potatoes; toss to coat. Spoon onto a greased double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square).
  2. Fold foil around potato mixture and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 30-35 minutes or until potatoes are tender, turning once. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape. Yield: 4 servings.
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Friday, September 8, 2017

Quieting My Heart: He Delights in Every Detail



“The Lord directs
the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail
of their lives.”
(Psalm 37:23)

How can this be -
that You would delight
in every detail
of my life,
in the lives
of all Your children?

But this should not 
take me by surprise.
For I delight in
my own precious children
and in my dearly loved
grandchildren.

I love to hear every word;
all about their joys,
and their interests,
all about their accomplishments.

And it gives me
greatest joy
when they share
their very deepest thoughts
with me, asking for
me to pray, for them.

Yes, Lord, I can begin to see
a tiny glimpse 
of how much You delight
in me, in Your children.
Of how very much
I am loved.

(Photo: from our garden 2014)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Basil Tortellini Soup



Fall weather is just around the corner,
and this week we have had a bit of a taste
of the cooler weather to come.

The fresh cooler weather
plus some crisp fresh basil from a friend
prompted me to make this new recipe -
my first hot soup meal of the season.

Fresh chopped tomatoes from our garden,
cheese tortellini, and fresh basil ...
these ingredients and a few more
made a very tasty soup!


Click on the "source" link below the
little photo to print ...

Basil Tortellini Soup



Source: tasteofhome.com
Course: Main Soup
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Total Time: 20 min
Yield: 6 servings
Serves:
Ingredients
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomato
  • 13-12 cup shredded fresh basil
  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 14 teaspoon salt
  • 18-14 teaspoon pepper
  • 13 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. Directions: In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add tortellini; cook until tender, 7-9 minutes. Stir in beans, tomato and basil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Add vinegar, salt and pepper. Serve with cheese. Yield: 6 servings. 
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(Note: This recipe from Taste of Home lists that the yield is 6 servings; I would say that it is more like 3 servings, especially if used as the main dish.)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Quieting My Heart: Live by God's Power



When I read His Words,
do I read just words -
when I speak of His promises,
do I treat them with value,
treat them for what they
really are?

Have we become so accustomed to,
so casual, so careless with,
that we are missing out?
Missing out on what can be the
greatest adventure
we could ever dream of?

Lord, will you wake us up,
will you lift our eyes from
ourselves, from the distractions
that cloud our eyes and our hearts
from the important, from the Truth.

Will you impress on us,
will you create a hunger in us,
today, this new month -
a hunger for You,
to hear Your Words of Truth
each morning, each day -
to listen intently,
to follow closely,
and to live by Your power alone.

“For the Kingdom of God
is not just a lot of talk;
it is living by God’s power.”
(I Cor. 4:20)

Praying for myself,
and for you -
for a month of adventure
as we read His Words,
listen so closely,
and follow Him completely.

(Photo from our Pacific Coast Trip 2016)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Digital Scrapbooking: August 2017

After our two weeks in Colorado the last half of July, we were home the whole month of August. It has been a busy month with Cru starting up again for another school year ... staff meetings, meeting with our volunteers, and starting up student meetings, as well!

And also, it has been a month of enjoying the beautiful flowers in our patio planters, and also in our flower garden spots. The weather has been really great for August, too, and we have loved spending time on our patio, whether for lunch, supper, or for quiet devo times ... and also, for hosting a few special events.

This digital scrapbook page captures some of the beauty of our flowers - so very thankful for summer days, and for the beauty of God's creation ...  



Our veggie garden has been thriving, too. After a slow start in the spring, as we planted a bit later than usual, and also had trouble with the rabbits eating our young plants, it has been at its peak in August! We have been enjoying tomatoes, green beans, green peppers, cucumbers, and potatoes this month!

I love the beauty of our veggie garden almost as much as the produce! 




And one more digital scrapbook page that I've created this month ... capturing more of the beauty of our flowers, and also of two of our sweet grandkids when they were here overnight August 19-20.




I have a few more pages to complete from this month. So thankful for photos to capture memories ...


- - - - - - - - - -

Note: Most of the page templates and digital products that I use are purchased from Digital Project Life. About five years I switched from paper scrapbooking, and took some online lessons from Digital Scrapper to learn how to digital scrapbook using Photoshop Elements. (You can also click here for some great tutorials on the Digital Project Life website - maybe a quicker way to learn than the site that I used five years ago.) Also, besides being able to share my completed pages online, I also print them out at home in 8x8 inch size to fit in the albums that I purchase from Michael's.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Quieting My Heart: No Need to Compare



Do you do as I often do,
and find yourself comparing?
Maybe even more so
in this world of online,
where everyone puts
their best out there
for all to see?

But if we keep our sights
on the important, and the eternal -
there is absolutely no room
for comparing, for competing.

“We are only God’s servants …
each of us did the work
the Lord gave us.”
(I Cor. 3:5)

How can we even dare 
to think that it is up to us -
our gifts, our talents,
that make things happen,
that makes the real difference?

Paul tells us,
“I planted the seed in your hearts,
and Apollos watered it,
but it was God
who made it grow.
It is not important
who does the planting
or who does the watering.
What’s important is that 
God makes the seed grow.”
(I Cor. 3:6-7)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Dressed-Up Bacon Burgers



How many different ways are there to
prepare hamburgers?
Probably more than we can count!

My very favorite is this recipe -
Dressed-Up Bacon Burgers!

Instead of serving with ketchup or mustard,
it's served with it's own special sauce -
a mix of mayonnaise, ketchup, pickle relish, 
a bit of sugar, and dried minced onion.

And together with a slice of bacon,
lettuce, and a some cheddar cheese -
it's a perfect taste of summer!


Click on the "source" link below the
little photo to print ...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dressed-Up Bacon Burgers


Source: tasteofhome.com
Course: Main Grill
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Total Time: 25 min
Yield: 8 servings
Serves:
Ingredients
  • 34 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 14 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 14 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 8 Jones Dairy Farm Dry-Aged Bacon strips
  • 8 slices cheddar cheese
  • 8 hamburger buns split and toasted
  • Lettuce leaves
Directions
  1. Directions In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, pickle relish, ketchup, sugar and onion until well blended. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture; mix well. Shape into eight patties.
  3. Place bacon on a piece of heavy-duty foil on one side of the grill. Place the patties on the other side of the grill. Grill, covered, over medium-hot heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a thermometer inserted in burger reads 160° and juices run clear. Cook bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels. Place a cheese slice on each burger; cover and grill until cheese is melted.
  4. Layer bottom half of each bun with the lettuce, burger, bacon and mayonnaise mixture. Replace bun tops.
  5. Yield: 8 servings.
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NOTE: Instead of cooking the bacon on the grill, I use the pre-cooked bacon strips, and just heat them up in the microwave before assembling the hamburgers.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Quieting My Heart: Beauty that Draws Us



It’s just a part of us,
a magnet that draws us
to beauty -
it fills us, inspires us,
and brings a calm,
a sense of peace
in the deepest parts
of our souls.

The beauty of a rose,
the shimmering lake,
the majestic mountains,
the ocean waves
and the sandy beaches.

There is no end,
and we travel far,
and we look close
in our own backyards,
for beauty.

“O Lord, our Lord,
Your majestic name fills the earth!
Your glory is higher than the heavens.”
(Psalm 8:1)

“How precious are My children
who are awed by nature’s beauty;
this opens them up 
to My holy Presence.”

(Jesus Calling)


(Photo: beautiful Mount St. Helens on our Pacific Coast Trip 2016)



Friday, August 18, 2017

Quieting My Heart: My Soul Thirsts for You



“As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for the living God.”
(Psalm 42:1-2a)

Do you experience this thirst,
this deep longing,
this craving for something more?

Deer, by their very nature,
are created to thirst for water,
for their daily sustenance.

And we, created, by our Maker,
long for close connection with Him,
the living God.

It’s a daily longing,
for our thirst is not quenched 
with one drink;
a lifetime of drawing close
to drink from His love, His mercies.

“My soul thirsts for You,
my whole body longs for You
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.”
(Psalm 63:1)