Thursday, June 5, 2014

Going Deeper

A few weeks ago, I wrote about going deeper.  It wasn't until I watched Dr. Timothy Keller's sermon "Lord of the Wine" that my thoughts became even more clear.  For my own thought process, and yours if you're interested in reading further, I wanted to share with you what I learned.  The message is based on John 2:1-11 where Jesus performed His first miraculous sign of turning water into wine at a wedding celebration.  Through this miracle, Jesus reveals many things including that he has a powerful sensation to offer believers.

As Christians, we are invited to experience God through a new sensory ability.  Being filled with the Holy Spirit can illuminate the words on the page and reading the Bible can push you past just knowing to tasting and seeing the goodness and holiness of God.  In his message, Tim references Johnathon Edwards in "A Divine and Supernatural Light" when he says...

There is a difference between believing that God is holy and gracious,
and having a new sense on the heart of the loveliness and beauty of that holiness and grace.
Like there is a difference between having a rational belief that honey is sweet,
and having the actual experience of its sweetness.


 When we accept Jesus Christ as our savior and receive the Holy Spirit into our lives, we move into that sweetness.  Tim goes on to say that it's one thing to know and believe God is gracious, but the first step in tasting it is you start to hunger for it, long for it, thirst for it.  Second, you begin to delight in it.  It's not just there for you to believe in, but it begins to ravish you, to delight you, and soothe you.  It begins to satisfy and overwhelm you.

"My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you."
Psalm 63:5

In the words of Beth Moore, you haven't tasted it until you can say,
"because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you."
Psalm 63:3

Life can be hard, but with the Holy Spirit, we have power over our joy.  Jesus sat there in the midst of joy at the wedding celebration sipping the coming sorrow he would face on the cross, so that you and I can sit in the midst of this sorrowful world sipping the coming joy.

2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."

Challenge yourself to go a little deeper next time you open God's Word tasting its sweetness and seeing His goodness.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

When I was craving Lemon Poppyseed Muffins, I asked my grandma to see if she had a good recipe.  Her recipe cabinet looks like this!


So, I just knew she would have something for me in that stash!  Ask and you shall receive!  She sent me this really cool "basic batter" page from a 1991 edition of Ladies Home Journal.  It has 16 variations of muffins on one page!  There are bran and corn ones, even oatmeal and plain types.  I already had a Lemon Poppyseed Muffin mix in my cabinet but I will definitely try the homemade version from this sheet next time!

Here are the Oatmeal Blueberry ones and how to make them:


Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup milk
1 large egg
2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1 1/3 cup flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat and 1/3 cup all-purpose white.)
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, tossed with 1 Tablespoon flour
For topping:
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease twelve 2 1/2 inch muffin pan cups.

In a medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients:  melted butter, milk, egg, and oats.  Let stand 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients:  flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until combined.  Fold in the blueberries.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.

Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over muffins.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes.  Remove from pans and serve warm.  Or cool completely, wrap well and freeze up to 1 month.  To reheat, loosely wrap each muffin in a paper towel and microwave for 15-20 seconds.

Enjoy!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blueberry Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Blueberries, blueberries, blueberries!  I love, love, love them!  When I was little, we used to go blueberry picking every summer.  It is one of my favorite past-times.  My grandpa made these little cans that my sister and I could tie around our waists to collect our own.  This year I got to share the sweet tradition with my little guy.


I literally could not wait to start baking with them.  That afternoon I added about a cup of freshly picked blueberries to some Lemon Poppyseed Muffins I had planned to make using this mix.


It was a simple addition that made all the difference.


I would suggest sharing these with friends or making for a group because the glaze doesn't last but a day or so before dissolving into a sticky, soggy mess.  Afternoon treat, anyone?


We picked about 3lbs and I bought an extra 5lbs just to freeze.  I measured them out in 4 cup increments, rinsed and dried them, and tightly sealed them in freezer bags to be used during the months when the store-bought versions are small, tart, and expensive!


A few days later, I made Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins which I'll share with you soon. :)


The little guy picking his first blueberry and loving the morning adventure!  Now, if I could just get him to eat one fresh! ;)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Croque Madame

A few months ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to join my husband in Paris for a quick trip of sight-seeing and exploring the historical city!  He had traveled with his classmates to London then Paris during their final semester in obtaining their masters degrees from Auburn University.  Many of the wives were able to join them.  It was a once in a lifetime trip.


Of course, the macaroons were fabulous!  But I was so bummed when I found out they didn't ship to the US...until I found this little place in Winter Park, which I'll be sure to visit next time I'm there.


Surprisingly however, it wasn't the desserts that caught my eye on this trip.  One of the items on a Parisian menu that stuck out to me the most was a Croque Madame.  While most people were probably drooling over the fancy shoes, handbags, and jewelry in the store windows along Champs-Elysees or taking in the views from atop the Eiffel Tower, I was thinking about how I could recreate this masterpiece at home. ;)

Well, here it is!


The Croque Madame:  Basically, it is just a fancy grilled ham and cheese sandwich (a croque-monsieur) with a fried egg on top.  The egg is supposed to resemble a old-fashioned woman's hat making it a madame.


Here is how to make my version:

Croque Madame

Ingredients:

2 slices whole wheat bread
2 slices Gruyere cheese
Deli ham, sliced
Dijon mustard
Butter
1 large egg
Fresh cracked pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Butter 1 side of each bread slice.  Set one slice buttered side down in a skillet.  Top with a slice of cheese.  Place a few slices of ham over the cheese and place other piece of bread over the ham, buttered side up.  Heat skillet over medium heat.  Cook sandwich until bottom is golden brown and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes per side.  Remove sandwich and place on a plate.  Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard on the top of the sandwich then place a piece of cheese on top.  Put the sandwich back onto the skillet then place in the oven, cooking until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.  Remove and place back onto the plate.

Spray a small skillet with nonstick spray and cook the egg sunny side up.  Turn egg over and cook 3 minutes longer for a soft-cooked egg or 5 minutes longer for a hard-cooked egg.  Place fried egg on top of the sandwich.  Season with fresh cracked black pepper.  Serves 1.


Jouir!

Source

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cherry Pie

Last week, we celebrated 4 years of marriage!  Time flies when you're having fun. :)

When thinking about an anniversary gift for my sweetie, I always start with the Hallmark list of annual anniversary gift ideas.  It at least gets the ball rolling for this indecisive, over-thinking mind of mine.  For Year #4, traditionally the gift is fruit or flowers.  A more modern gift would be an appliance.  I'll pass on the appliance since we moved into our house about 2 years ago, I think we are all set there.  Sticking with the theme, I decided to make something I knew he would love as part of his gift.

A cherry pie!


Wow, did I have a heck of time trying to find fresh tart cherries in May in Florida!  I couldn't even find frozen ones.  So, I resorted to canned tart cherries in water.  I'm sure fresh or frozen would have been a little better but we couldn't tell a difference.

Here is the inspiration for the pie decoration. :)


Here is how to make it:

Cherry Pie

Ingredients:

2 refrigerated pie crusts (I like Pillsbury.)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
4 cups sour or tart cherries
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons butter 
Milk & sugar for brushing top of pie

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a 9" pie pan with non-stick spray and line with one crust.  In a bowl, mix sugars, cinnamon and starch.  Gently stir in cherries.  Add vanilla and stir.  Pour mixture in pie pan lined with crust.  Dot top of cherry mixture with pats of butter.  Cover with top crust.  Cut off excess pie dough around the edges.  This can be used to make a decoration for the top of the pie.  Flute around the edge of the pie sealing the dough using the first finger from one hand between the first and middle finger from the other.  Gently brush a small amount of milk or beaten egg over the top of the pie.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Cut a few slits in the top for ventilation.  Bake for 1 hour checking near the end to make sure crust doesn't burn.

Best served with vanilla ice cream in my opinion!


Enjoy!

Happy Anniversary, babe :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Breakfast Egg Casserole

I was pleasantly surprised when we were asked to bring a dish to share at our last BSF Monday meeting before summer break.  It's the only day throughout the year when BSF stands for Bring Some Food!  Woohoo!

In addition to sharing our favorite dishes during this fellowship time, we were also preparing to share what the Lord has done in our lives throughout the 30 week study of Matthew.

For as long as I can remember, I have been a faith-filled person.  I grew up in a Christian home, accepted Christ at a young age, participated in youth group activities, and spent several summers at a week-long Christian camp.  We now attend church regularly and I've participated in lots of Bible studies over the years.  But generally, I was just kind of going through life believing.  Through this study, I learned that "blind faith is not biblical faith."  Sure, the previous Bible studies I've done have kept me in the Word during the study and brought me closer to the Lord but it wasn't until this study that it hit me.  I needed to and was ready to go deeper.  Romans 10:17 promises that faith comes as we read God's Word.  The best way to believe is to expose yourself intentionally and steadily to the Bible.  Intentionally and steadily meaning purposefully and routinely.  Jesus doesn't promise life following him will be easy but he does promise it will be rewarding.  It's not always easy but I'm excited at 6:00am to get up before the baby to do my reading, studying, and question answering knowing that will most likely be the only quiet time of my day, but more so knowing that the Lord has so much to teach me if I will just be obedient and open his Word with an open heart, refreshed eyes, and a clear mind.  Through that time together it's as if He has grown my heart to love Him more and know Him better.

So, let me encourage you to find a quiet time that works for you, open His word and listen.

Ok back to the food...I was hoping to sign up to bring this Blueberry Banana Bread, but the only thing left to put my name beside was a breakfast casserole.  However, I still had the bread on my mind so I made it too for us to enjoy at home. :)


Here is how to make it:

Breakfast Egg Casserole

Ingredients:

1 dozen eggs
1 cup milk
white bread, crusts removed
1/2 lb sausage, browned and drained
small onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Brown sausage along with onion and red pepper until cooked through.  Drain off excess grease and set aside.  Arrange bread in bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.  Beat eggs and milk and pour over bread.  Sprinkle sausage, onion, pepper over eggs.  Cover with cheese.  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.  Bake at 300 degrees for 1 ½ hours total (1 ¼ hours covered, 15 minutes uncovered).

Enjoy!

Here it is ready to go in the frig overnight.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cookie Dough Snack

I've seen lots of pins for edible cookie dough lately, you know without raw eggs and such.  Even edible cookie dough frosting!  Yum!  So, when I came across this faux cookie dough dip in FamilyFun magazine, I had to try it.  This deceptively delicious recipe has the texture and flavor of homemade cookie dough but it's actually full of a surprise protein-packed ingredient...chickpeas!


This cookie dough illusion is a fun snack to have around when you're craving something sweet.  It made about 2 cups so I saved the leftovers in the refrigerator to have over the course of a few days.

Here is how to make it:

Cookie Dough Snack

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups chickpeas
6 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3 Tablespoons oats
1 Tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Serve with graham cracker sticks or apple slices.

Enjoy!


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