Showing posts from September, 2011

A Fragrant Home

I love to make my home fragrant. I used to use those commercially scented products that "plug in" and send artificial scents wafting through the air.  But my research led me to learn that these commercial scents use harmful chemicals that are now being linked to illness and disease.  So I steer clear of them.

But there are other alternatives.  Scented candles using natural essential oils work, but can be quite expensive.  A more cost effective way to create a fragrant home is to use the wonderful fragrances that God gave us from nature that smell amazingly good. 

Each home has its own scent.  Some good and some...not so good.  Most of us don't really notice the scent in our own homes because over time, we become accustomed to it. But every home has its own unique aroma.  And naturally, a pleasant (or at least neutral) smelling home is a welcoming home.

Have you ever entered someone elses home and been smacked in the face by its odor? It is extremely unpleasant and uncomfo…

Healthy Kitchen Cleaning

Commercials show us happy women spraying down their counters with chemical cleaners with a smile on their face and magical "sparkles" swirling over the area they wipe.  Women then buy these products thinking they are getting their kitchens really clean. 

But chemical cleaners are not edible so they should never be used to clean an area where they will come in contact with our food.  Microwave interiors, stove tops, cutting boards and especially countertops all need to be cleaned with edible cleaning ingredients - lemons, baking soda and white vinegar are my favorites because they work the best.

To clean the interior of your microwave:
1. Fill a glass measuring cup with water and  2 tablespoons of lemon juice.  
2. Heat and let boil for 5 minutes and wipe out the inside with paper toweling. The exterior can be cleaned with pure vinegar and a sponge. 

Three ways to clean and disinfect a kitchen sponge:
1. Run it in the dishwasher with the dishes OR
2. Microwave it for one minute …

Easy Weeknight Dinner

We all need a good "go to" meal to pull out of our sleeves when pressed for time.  This is the one I use especially when the tortilla chips in the bag are down to small, broken pieces, this is an incredibly easy but tasty supper - Tortilla Soup.  It's super easy to make, the ingredients are healthy and usually in the pantry.  If I have some shredded cheese and sour cream in the refrigerator, I'm golden. :) 

This recipe has a Tex-Mex flavor and the beauty of it is it can be made fancy or plain depending on how many ingredients are on hand or to personal preferences.  You can play around with the amounts of liquid to your own liking as well (more liquid for thinner soup, less for thicker).

Tortilla Soup
(serves 4)
1 can refried beansequal amount water or chicken broth 1 cup salsa (or as much as you like)2 cups broken tortilla chips1 can of diced green chiles (optional)1 can of corn (optional)1 can diced tomatoes (optional)a few sprinkles of cumin, red chili powder (option…

Kitchen Shortcuts with a Mixer

Do you have a Kitchen Aid Mixer?  My husband got me one about 3 years ago.  I honestly thought it would probably just sit there and was only for making cookie dough. But, wow, was I wrong!  I have found tons of ways that this machine has saved me time and labor in the kitchen.

If you buy premade pie dough, you can save money by making it in a mixer. I only discovered this one about a year ago.  I always hated making pie crust from scratch because you had to "cut" in all that butter. So one day I gave this machine a try at doing it for me and I was so pleased with the results.  I used the batter attachment to do the cutting and now pie crusts are a breeze. 

 Just put in the flour and add your diced butter and let it cut the butter till it's incorporated into the flour. Then get a glass of ice water and add one tablespoon at a time and mix on low until the dough comes together nicely. Don't overmix or it will be tough. The best pie crusts are flaky and the secret is to…

Skin Care - Getting That Dewy Glow

Soft, moisture rich skin is just beautiful. Dewy skin has become the latest style in the beauty industry which is great because it is a very natural and healthy look as opposed to the caked on make up look of years past. I do not follow trends, but this is one I can actually get behind!

Skin is a living organ and needs to be cleansed and exfoliated before it even has the potential for looking beautiful.  Our faces can accumulate dirt and dead skin cells so very quickly and without exfoliating at least once a week (2-3 times is better) the complexion takes on a dull, dingy, dry appearance. Not pretty!  :)

So to get the skin looking it's best, start by cleaning it naturally.  For a good natural cleanser/exfoliate mix together 1 Tablespoon of citrus juice (orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit) and 1 Tablespoon baking soda. 

The citrus has alpha hydroxy acids that clean the pores and exfoliate and brighten the skin.  Baking soda is mildly acidic and the tiny grains are great at sloughing awa…

The Gift of Hospitality - Part 1

Hospitality, the generous sharing of food and shelter, is commonly called "entertaining" today.  I think God put inside women a special gift toward hospitality.  I remember as a little girl spending many hours playing hostess, pouring tea and practicing hospitality and taking care of people.  

Everyone has their own ideas of how to "entertain" - we invite friends or family over, clean up the house, plan the meal, remind our children of their manners, and if the occasion calls for it, dress a little nicer.  But  the bible says that there is more to hospitality than this. 

Let's look at the verses where the actual word hospitality is used in scripture one by one.

1. Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.  - Romans 12:13-14

The truth is that people thirst for fellowship at these simple levels.  Blessing, rejoicing and weeping…

The Perfect Granola

I have made this granola recipe many times and I'm pleased every time.  I like the kind of granola that clumps up beautifully - just like store bought.  If you like your granola clumpy, this is the one. The secret is rice flour. (I use Bob's Red Mills brand.)
How to Make Perfect Granola

Mix together in a large bowl
4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon real salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon

In a medium size bowl, mix until smooth:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry and mix very thoroughly.  Spread onto a big cookie sheet (jelly roll pan).
Bake at 315° in 10 minute increments.  Check every 10 minutes but do NOT stir.  If you make a double batch, switch your top and bottom baking sheets after each 10 minutes. Bake until goldend.  Mine usually takes around 40 minutes, but I'm at an altitude of 6,000 feet so you may need to adjust for that.  Things take a bit long…

How I Make Homemade Pancake Syrup

The price of real maple syrup is out of my budget range, and I don't like the ingredients in store bought imitation syrups, so I make my own at home.  It's not hard to do and only takes a few minutes and some pretty simple ingredients.

1 and 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 and 1/2 cups water
3/4 cups light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extracrt
1 teaspoon maple flavoring (optional but good)

In a saucepan, combine the sugars, water and corn syrup; bring to a boil over medium heat.  Boil for 7 minutes or until sightly thickened.  Remove from the heat; stir in maple flavoring and vanilla.  Cool for 15 minutes.  Serve over pancakes, waffles or French toast. This recipe makes about 3 cups. Store in the refrigerator. Keeps for weeks!

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

The crisp and colorful days of autumn are almost here! I just love fall. The aroma's are so enthralling. In fact, I can almost smell the smoky roof tops!  Why am I talking about fall when the title of this post is about Christmas? Because now is the time to start preparing for the holidays by making homemade gifts!  Homemade gifts my favorite but they do take some time and planning. 
I love giving and recieving gifts hot homemade bread and jars of preservers.   A freshly baked loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, apple strudel, cinnamon buns, or even a basket of blueberry muffins are great gifts that the people use, enjoy and appreciate.  Other goodies include framed scriptures, glass-bead jewelry and homemade herbal products like facial scrubs, bath salts, medicinal syrups, tinctures and small potted herbs.
Here are some great themed gift baskets ideas. A wonderful way to give meaningful gifts!

Merry Marriage Basket
A couple of scented candles
Box of chocolates
Imported cheese
Box of good cr…

The Rewards of Eating Together as a Family

I love eating together as a family.  The majority of my childhood dinner memories are eating on tv trays in front of the tv. :(  But I have sought something better for my own family.  I love a nice dinner and the wonderful promise that the family meal table holds: good food, good conversation and the warm memories. 
Sometimes our dinners at the table are full of exciting stories of the day or anticipation for an upcoming event. Sometimes they are quiet and peaceful with lovely melodies playing softly in the background.  Once in a great while we just have a prepared chicken dinner from the grocery store deli.  And sometimes it's just some oatmeal and fruit.  The food is not so important as the fact that we are together smiling, conversing and enjoying one another.

There were even times when we've had no table to eat on.  Just a picnic blanket at the park, on the beach and sometimes gypsy style on our laps in the car or a hotel room. But we still had the most important element -…

Let Patience Have Her Perfect Work

I had an interesting experience with both unkindness and kindness last night in rapid succession. I drove to the grocery store to pick up a package of pepperoni for our homemade pizza dinner. As soon as I stepped out of my car, a woman, visibly angry, approached me while her husband, visibly embarrassed, hung back behind her.

She asked me if I'd seen their turn signal for the parking spot I'd just taken and the stop sign at the store entry crosswalk (where both our vehicles faced one another. I looked over and sure enough - there, to my amazement, was a stop sign. I hadn't seen it all all. When did they start putting stop signs at supermarket crosswalks? I told her no, I hadn't seen it at all and I was sorry.

I offered her a sincere and apologetic smile and she just scowled at me and slithered back to her husband, who I think was hiding. It seems to me this wasn't the fist time she'd humiliated him like this. If they hadn't gotten a parking spot one sp…

About Me

I am a born again, bible believing, free and forgiven follower of Jesus Christ. 

I believe the sixty-six books of the King James Version, nothing added or deleted, constitute the whole of Scripture "given by inspiration of God" to English speaking people.
I believe in the pre-tribulational, pre-millennial rapture of the church, and the post-tribulational, pre-millennial return of Christ (1 Thess. 4:13 - 18; Mat. 24; Rev. 4:1 - 20:15).

I believe that the love of God was manifest in ONE act on the blood-stained cross of calvary where Jesus Christ paid for the sins of all humanity past and present. All sinners must "do" is believe on him. (John 6:28-29) as evidenced and represented by the two convicts on the crosses on either side of Jesus. The one believed and was saved (without water baptism). The other did not believe and was damned.

I believe in a literal, burning hell where the damned will eternally suffer for their sin (Matt 25:41-46;  Mark 9:43-48;  Luke 16:19-26…