Saturday, August 25, 2007

Blog Leave

We are going on vacation and I probably won't blog for two weeks. Just thought I would let you know what happened to me. Have a great week!

Yogurt Making

Yogurt Recipe
4 c. milk
2c dry milk powder
2-3c. warm water
4 T. yogurt (commercial or from last batch, must have live cultures)
3 t. gelatian softend in 1/4 c. cold water

Heat milk over low heat stirring occationally until it reaches 180 degrees (I use a candy thermonitor to check it).

Steralize a two quart jar in two inches of boiling water for a couple minutes.Soften gelitain in cold water.
In two quart jar pour in dry milk. Add heated milk and stir. Pour in hot water leaving room for gelatain and yogurt. Let cool until 125 degrees.

Pour 1 cup warm milk into 4 T. yogurt and stir. Wisk into jar. Stir in gelitain.
Screw lid on tightly and set on heating pad and set to low. Wrap in a old blanket and leave for 8 hours. Transfer to refridgerator and chill overnight.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Book Review: Marriage to a Difficult Man by Elizabeth Dodds

This book was not what I expected it to be. It is mostly just the history of the Edwards' family and what was written about Sarah Edwards. The picture that is painted through this history is is a gracious, godly woman that we would all do well to learn from. She wasn't perfect but leaned on God for her strength. In many ways she was an example of the Proverbs 31 woman.

Although I enjoyed the history part of this book I didn't always like the author's commentary because of her secular, and sometimes feminist, views. But don't forgo learning about this wonderful woman just because of the author, most of the book is strictly history and she does have some good comments.

If you are interested in buying this book it is available for $12.99 from Grace and Truth Books.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


“What is contentment? It is having a satisfied mind in any situation. It is finding inner satisfaction in God alone and in His provision for you. It is experiencing His peace and confidence in difficult times. It is consciously enjoying the fact that God is good, even when your circumstances are not.”
-Robert D. Jones

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Nature's Lesson

It always delights me when nature teaches us lessons form God's word. Like this week- due to a rather pesky disease in my tomatoes, Early Blight-I have been led to meditate on how the Lord deals with us. Because of this disease I, the gardener, had to remove large amounts of dead and infected leaves off my tomato plants. Do you know how terrible it feels to have to tear apart a plant you have carefully nurtured and cared for from seed? But how much more careful nurturing has our heavenly Gardener put into our salvation;? Yet He must still tear off and prune the leaves of our soul from that terrible disease,sin. I don't know about you; but I know that my Father, by His Holy Spirit , through His precious Son, has much pruning to do on me. He has begun that good work in me1 (He has planted the seed) and now He must also finish it2 by the sactifying (pruning) of His Holy Word3. If only we would lay bear our hearts, having a tender conscience, to His Spirit to work4.

There, my "gleanings" of this week. God Bless!!!

1.Phi 1:6
2. Heb 12:2
3.Eph 5:26
4.Eph 4:30

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I'm afraid my blogging is going a bit slow this week, I am quite busy. The tomatoes are coming in profusely and I have made eight quarts of spaghetti sauce, four quarts of pizza sauce, and two quarts of salsa. On top of that our church is having VBS this week and I am in charge of snacks. Last night I brought these delicious muffins and they ate all four batches of them! I guess that means they were quite good. =) This is my favorite muffin recipe.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Stir together:
2 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
3/4 t. salt
Pinch allspice

Add and stir until combined:

3/4 c. pumpkin (or 1/2 15.5 oz can)
1 egg (slightly beaten)
2/3 c. milk
3 T. melted butter or oil
1 t. vanilla

Fold in:

1/2 c. mini chocolate chips (or regular size)

Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake at 375F for 25 minutes or until they bounce back when touched.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Frugal Yogurt Tips

I have been making my own yogurt weekly for at least three months. Not only is yogurt making economical and nutritious, but also fairly easy after you get the routine down. If you don't use gelatin in it, you can also make your own cream cheese. This week I will tell you my frugal tips in yogurt making and next week I'll tell you my process.

1. Stretch your starter. In order to make yogurt you need a couple of tablespoons fresh starter; this can be either commercial yogurt with live cultures, or five-day-or-less old homemade (but then you can only repeat that four times). But a little known secret is that you can freeze yogurt without killing the cultures. So what I do is when I get my tub of commercial yogurt home from the store I measure it out by tablespoons into ice cube trays and freeze it. After it freezes I put it in a freezer zipper bag to keep it fresh. The morning before I make yogurt I put a couple cubes in a bowl to thaw and then use it like normal starter. It works every time.

2. You don't need a yogurt maker. Although helpful, these are unnecessary and just take up more room in your kitchen. I wrap my two quart canning jar in a old blanket and set it on top of a heating pad set on low. Leave it for 8 hours and it is done!

3. You can use reconstituted dry milk. When I first started making yogurt I used the recipe out of the More with Less Cookbook. It used 6 cups water (heated to 125F), 3 cups powdered milk, and either 1 cup scalded whole milk or 1 can evaporated milk. It wasn't as creamy but it tasted the same as using fresh milk.
Next week I will tell you my process and give you some great recipes for using yogurt and making yogurt cheese.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sewing: Skort

Here is my latest sewing project. I got the fabric on sale at Joanns when they had 70%off their spring fabrics. I really like how this turned out.

Skort in standing position
Underneath the skirt: culottes
Cute tied waistband
Zipper opening

This is the third time I have made this pattern. Once I made the long one with two buttons in front and the other time I ajusted it to be a elastic waistband for my swimsuit. I highly recommend this pattern, it is modest and functional, great for activities that involve a lot of movement. I just suggest you chose a light fabric for summer because the double layer can get warm. A thicker fabric will be nice and warm for winter activities. Of course wait to buy the pattern until it is on sale at Joann's or Hobby Lobby for $1 to $2. =)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Biblical Womanhood Giveaway

Biblical Womanhood is having a great giveway this week. They are giving away a $25 gift certificate from Vision Forum plus 5 great CD's! Check it out and enter to win HERE.

Cream of Vegetable Soup

2 med. onions or leeks, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 T. butter
3 med. baking potatoes or 6 red potatoes, washed and cut up
2 quarts chicken stock, or combination of water and stock
several sprigs fresh thyme, tied together (or 2 T. crushed dried)
4 zucchini, ends removed and sliced
sea salt and pepper
sour cream

Melt butter in a large pot and add onions and carrots. Cover and cook over the lowest heat possible for at least 1/2 hour. The vegetables should soften but not burn. Add potatoes and stock, bring to rapid boil and skim. Reduce heat and add thyme. Cover and cook until potatoes are soft. Add zucchini and cook until they are just tender-5 to 10 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs. Puree the soup with a hand held blender. If soup is too thick, thin with water. Season to taste. Ladle into heated bowls and garnish with sour cream. Serve with round croutons.

I was truly surprised how good this was! It received a five star rating- the highest rating in our house. Makes a great filling lunch served with fresh bread, I had mine with sprouted wheat bread, yum!

Recipe from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon


Friday, August 03, 2007

Cut Butter Cost In Half: with your own spreadable butter

Our family has some heavy butter users in it, and with the cost of butter going up that can really cost you. A few years ago my Mom started making our own spreadable butter. By mixing half softened butter and half canola oil (other oils work too) with our hand blender, we got a firm yet spreadable butter when chilled. It is just as delicious as regular butter, but nearly half the cost. You can also blend it in a food processor, use a hand mixer, or regular blender. I typically blend 2 lbs of butter with 4 cups oil at once to save time and clean up. You may just want to do one stick with 1/2 c. oil the first time to see if you like it. You can use this blend in some baking when either oil or butter can be used. My favorite cookie recipe uses it.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sift together:
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

In separate bowl cream together:
1 c. spreadable butter (1/2 oil, 1/2 butter)
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar

Add and blend well:
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla

Gradually stir in dry mixture.
Fold in:
1-12oz bag chocolate chips
1 c. chopped nuts

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes. Makes 5 dozen. Beware: doesn't last long!


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Spugeon: Heir of the Puritans, a book review

In my life time I have not read many biographies, so now that highschool is out of the way they are at the top of my book list. First off was Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Learning about this great preacher was not only interesting, but inspiring. His humble devotion to Christ and His gospel was the one thing that crowned his life.

Starting at very young age he was being educated in the Puritans as well as reading many of the great classics. But the most interesting part of his early education to me was the part his single aunt and mother played. Because of some unfavorable circumstances (we are not sure what those might have been) at the age of one year his grandparent took him in and raised him until the age of six. Here is what is said concerning his aunt:
Ann Spurgeon, the unmarried daughter of the household, was seventeen when Charles came to them. She was, by all accounts, a radiant young girl of a lovely spirit, and she came to have chief charge of the newcomer.She taught him his letters (she was proud of this later on!) and she encouraged in him that irresistible gift of fun that was so marked in his character in latter years.

Isn't this a testimony to the fact that a young woman serving her home and family isn't just wasting her time, but investing it in the lives of those she loves?

His mother also played an influential part of his early years. By praying for him and teaching him in the Scripture she truly did raise in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

The story goes on to tell the rest of the life of this godly man, but I will leave this for you to discover. I really hope that if you have the chance that you read this book; you will be greatly blessed and hopefully changed.

Spugeon: Heir of the Puritans by Ernest W. Bacon is available at Christian for $6.49.