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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

When You Have to Walk the Walk

Sometimes it is so easy.
Sometimes it is incredibly hard.

We have the reminder on our wall.


Sometimes you can't see the path that you will walk,
but you know the One leading you down the path.

"Oh for grace to trust Him more!"

Monday, November 6, 2017

Using the Slow Cooker

Usually one night a week I get home after hubby,
or we walk in together.
One night a week I am giving piano lessons to a family and we can't begin them until after school at 3:30.
On these nights, easy or make ahead meals are a must.

Today, I used the crock pot to make Pork Carnitas
basically Mexican Shredded Pork-
which we then put on corn tortillas with black beans and avocado and tomatoes.
The topping options would be endless which is nice for when we have been super busy and may need more calories, or it is easily scaled back when we have not been as active.

Pork Carnitas

Carnitas Meat:
3 lb. pork loin
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 C. water

Carnitas Rub:
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. oregano

Combine spices and rub on pork loin.
Place in slow cooker along with bay leaf and water.
Heat on low for 6-8 hours, until pork falls apart.
Shred the pork with a fork, then continue to heat on low until serving.

Carnitas Topping/Filling Options:
Corn or whole wheat tortillas
Black or pinto beans 
Brown rice
Cilantro
Onions or scallions
Romaine lettuce
Diced tomatoes
Diced avocado
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Green chiles
Salsa

Carnitas Sauce:
1½ C. Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tsp. lime juice
½ cup skim milk

I didn't try the sauce, but it sounds like something that I would really enjoy.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Just Have Faith

Many of you make a habit of reading through the Bible each year
(or maybe each time through takes longer than a year).
It often amazes me that new things stand out each time through.
It should not amaze me, but it does.

As wives, mothers, or wives and mothers-in-training,
we must be filled with the Scripture in order to help to protect and guide the home.
I was reminded of that this week.
Hubby reminded me of a Bible account that I had used in our decision making a few years ago - 
it had returned in some decision making this past month.
Yes, you can make a difference!

This week, I have been reading in Matthew.
I just finished reading about a variety of people who were rewarded for their simple faith.
Most of these examples had faith for healing,
but the heart of the passage applies to many situations.
Are you doubting?
Do things look impossible?
Are you in a hard place?
Place your faith in the One who deserves that faith.
He will not let you down.

Are you in the Word?
Dig, glean, hide it in your heart.
It will never be time wasted.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Relief


Relief:  

*alleviation, ease, or deliverance through the 
removal of pain, distress,oppression, etc.
* a means or thing that relieves pain, distress, anxiety, etc.
* money, food, or other help given to those in poverty or need.
* something affording a pleasing change, as from monotony.
*release from a post of duty, as by the arrival of a substitute orreplacement.

God is definitely our strength and has been sustaining us through a wilderness experience of many years.
Flesh and heart can fail and have failed, but God has been faithful
and He has now also given direction out of the wilderness.
Praise the Lord for His peace, His leadership, the relief that only He can provide.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Interruptions

Well, last week had good intentions.
Weeks of tree hauling,
2 days of power outages,
more wind storms,
more trees to haul ...
It has been a busy few weeks.

Before the craziness,
we had an Italian themed dinner at church.
Lasagna was the dish I brought,
but dessert was the fun one.
I wanted to stick with the theme.
In my search, I came across a Gluten-free Pumpkin Spice Tiramisu.
I had never tasted plain tiramisu,
but how could pumpkin spice, coffee, and cookies go wrong?

I ordered the Gluten-free ladyfingers.
I found some single serve instant espresso packets.
I set to work.
It was actually a very easy recipe and quite quick to make.

It was a success in my home and requested for Christmas :)
We expected a very sweet treat,
but it was just perfect.

Gluten-free Pumpkin Spice Tiramisu.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup mascarpone, at room temperature
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups brewed espresso, at room temperature
One 5.3-ounce package gluten-free ladyfingers, such as Schar

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment,
 beat the cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form; 
transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate. 

In the cleaned bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the cleaned whisk attachment,
 beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. 
Add 1 tablespoon sugar and beat until stiff peaks form; transfer to a small bowl. 

In the cleaned bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the cleaned whisk attachment, 
beat together the egg yolks and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar on high speed until thickened and pale yellow. Gently fold the mascarpone, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and a third of the whipped cream into the egg yolk mixture.
 Gently fold in the whipped egg whites and refrigerate. 

Place the espresso in a shallow plate. 
Dip both sides of the ladyfingers into the espresso and 
arrange in a 9-inch pie dish to completely line the bottom. 
Top with half of the pumpkin mixture, 
more espresso-dipped ladyfingers and the remaining pumpkin mixture. 
Top the pie with the remaining whipped cream and chocolate shavings. 
Refrigerate 8 hours or up to overnight, until ready to serve.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Two Times Tuesday

For the second time in two weeks,
we have been shown God's power and His protection.
Yesterday we were in the path of a tornado again.
By the time I got word, it was too late to seek shelter in a brick building
(typically the local college about 1.5 miles from us).

I sat in the bathroom for about 20 minutes while the rain and wind escalated.

A tornado passed through the park again.

tree behind (with what is left of our wood pile - thankful to have found folks to share it with)

neighbor beside us

trailers and tornados are a bad combination


I am thankful that we had finished our tree.
Now there are 3-4 more down.
2 at the trailer behind us,
2 at the trailer beside us.

Power has been out for 15 hours so far.
So thankful that the weather is not cold yet.
Thankful for the gas hot water tank.
Thankful for the grill to heat my breakfast soup 😀

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Timing is Everything

On this Thankful Thursday,
I am thankful for God's perfect timing and protection.

This morning,
hubby went out to a truck with a flat tire.
Chances are that in the 25+ trips to the dump
I picked up the screw that had caused the flat.

We were both thankful that it did not leave me stranded on the side of the road,
that the trees were finished,
that hubby wasn't delayed at work.

I am thankful that my lessons were cancelled today so that I could get the tire taken care of.

We are also thankful that we had 2 tires for the truck that we had saved.
Instead of having to purchase a new tire, we just swapped out the rims.

Yes, we could grumble and complain,
but God's timing is perfect and His protection is evident.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Being Selective




Perhaps one of the hardest things in being a SAHW (Stay At Home Wife)
is making the best choices.
I guess it really is a hard thing in most jobs, unless your boss sets your priorities.
I have almost 10 hours alone each day,
but I want to those hours profitably.
I want to focus on the things that will please God and my hubby.
I want to choose those things that make my home a haven,
those things that point other people to my Savior.

Sometimes,
that means that I have to say "no."

Trying to do every "good" thing is definitely the enemy of the best.

So today,
I need to choose the best.
I may need to say "no" to some good things.

Maybe you do as well.
This week, I am praying that God helps me to choose the best.
There may be time for some "good"
but I want the priority to be the best.
And guess what?
My "best" and your "best" may look different.

This week,
my best seems to be to focus on creating healthy meals
and removing a large tree from my yard to help save as much time for hubby as I can this weekend.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday Tree Transformation

Hubby and I spent most of Saturday hauling the neighbors tree to the dump.
(the rest of the day was spent cooking for a fellowship dinner
and preparing Sunday School lessons and sermons).
Before the chainsaw was put away,
hubby cut down the rest of the limbs on our broken tree ...
and so, this week I am hauling tree again.
3 loads yesterday,
and hopefully another 3 today.
It will probably take most of the week for me
and hubby will help on Tuesday night and Saturday as his schedule allows.

**UPDATE**
Only 2 loads today, but they were profitable ones.
Gave hubby the night off ... so we could take a long walk and enjoy the cool evening.

This is what I face tomorrow -


At the beginning of the week, there were branches around all sides of the tree.
Just two smaller piles on either side of the tree left - maybe just one more day -
3 Loads?

Monday, October 16, 2017

It's Not Beans and Rice

There are a lot of different recipes in our home.
We try to make every meal and snack COUNT,
but we also don't like to be deprived which leads to bingeing.
Two weeks ago, I posted hubby's go-to morning snack ...
Black Bean Brownies.
He had eaten it everyday for about 5 months.
I would ask if he wanted a change,
but "no," they were just that good.

Last week,
he decided a change might be nice.
So I went to work looking for a new recipe,
high in protein and fiber and lower in sugar.

We first did the black bean gingerbread bars,
they're good, but not as good when we cut the sugar back for a snack instead of dessert.

The second attempt was Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars,
and, well, we are on the second pan alread.

All of these recipes do require a strong blender or food processor to get the beans blended well,
but with that blender they are easy-peezy.
Not only that, but no egg, so ... you can lick the batter 😄

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

INGREDIENTS

1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup all natural almond butter or peanut butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup chocolate chips 

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350.
Spray 8x8 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a food processor or high speed blender, add all ingredients except chocolate chips
and process until batter is smooth.
Fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips, I like to use dark chocolate because it has less sugar but it's up to you. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan
.Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges are a tiny bit brown.
The batter may look underdone, but you don't want them to dry out!
Cool pan for 20 minutes on wire rack.