Ministry from the Home – Freezer Meals

This past Friday, I invited a few single friends of mine over to make some freezer meals! These were special freezer meals…for they were to be given to a needy family in our church. The mother is bedridden with high blood pressure nearing the end of her pregnancy, while having five children currently to care for. The baby has a hole in his heart and will need surgery right away. They are also in the process of adopting five Liberian children, coming to the States any time. Please consider praying for the Klement family!

Why not have some productive fellowship and make some meals for this family? A great way to minister from my home and bring a few others along for the ride!

Here are some pictures from our days adventures! I had another friend, although not pictured, Holly, who came and helped me shop for groceries and begin the cooking process in the morning.

My friends, Megan & Anna

Putting all the toppings on!

Megan, myself & Anna

The finished product resulted in six freezer meals, even more than we expected! We made two each of chicken enchiladas, shepherd’s pie & Chicken Divan (broccoli, rice, chicken casserole). And they all had to be gluten-free as well! And they were oh so good! We even had enough for the three of us to enjoy a little dinner at the end of the day!

Know of anyone you could minister to in this way? Why not include others and have wonderful edifying fellowship! Little ones can be included as well!

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Kitchen Tip: Cleaning the Blender

Ever had a collection of leftovers stuck beneath the blade in your blender, making it very challenging to clean? Here’s a little tip my mom taught me growing up:

1. Fill your dirty blender about 1/2-3/4 the way up with water and a little soap.
2. Put the lid on and place on the blender base.
3. Turn blender on and allow to wash itself!
4. Dump and rinse…and you should have a clean blender…saving a lot of extra scrubbing time and probably water at that!

Simple…

It’s Kitchen Tip Tuesdays! – What’s your kitchen tip?
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The True Woman: Chapter 6 – Compassion

Welcome to the recap of chapter 6 of our book study on The True Woman by Susan Hunt, brought to us by Marliss Bombardier, a sweet godly woman in my church. Read on for a challenging call to compassion!

This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it; the process is not yet finished but it is going on; this is not the end but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified.-Martin Luther

“For God’s covenant family to have a vital presence in culture, there must be community and compassion in the Christian home and in the church…women are essential for community and compassion to flourish. Women are essential to create the family atmosphere where truth can be heard, absorbed, and then reflected within and without the walls of the church. This does not constrain women. It unleashes us to do what we have been designed to do.” pgs. 127-128

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Happy Birthday Karis!

May 4, 2008

On the Event of your 1st Birthday

Dear Karis Ruth,

As we look back on this precious first year of life with you, we desire to dedicate you to the Lord once again. We want to remind you of the meaning of your name and the special gift of grace you have been to us.

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Hope in a Slowing Economy

At least we have each other and a Sovereign God who provides all our needs!

“For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren….that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us…” (2 Cor. 1:8-10)

Our Great God is in control, even when fear is elevated during a challenging season in our nation’s economy. In our community alone, there are 4-5 condo units for sale that are not going any where. The value of our homes are decreasing substantially. Gas prices just keep going up! It has been overwhelming me as of late. You may likewise be burdened or overwhelmed by the challenges of budget-keeping, but may I assure you that it all has a greater purpose! In order that we might not rely upon ourselves but on God! How should we as Christians respond?

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A Great Task

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along not by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker…”

~Helen Keller

This quote has brought great encouragement to me when I have been overwhelmed by feeling like cleaning, cooking, taking care of my little one are insignificant. Each humble task is so important if done with a heart that views it as a great and noble task!

While at a gathering at our church last time discussing the topic of parenting, this thought was shared:

The greatest thing you may ever do is to raise your children and to include them in your lives!

How full of truth that is! Of all the important things we may accomplish in this life, raising our children to love the Lord and include them in serving the Lord together with us, is a high calling, and one not to be taken lightly or passed off to the “professionals”!

Blessings upon you as you view the humble tasks as glorious whatever season of your life!

Image from allposters.com
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Kitchen Tip: Vary the way you cut

As variety is the spice of life, why not incorporate it into the way you prepare your vegetables? I have found a fun way to add variety to my salads especially is to vary how I cut up the toppings. Why not try dicing, and then next time try julienned, and the next time grated! This is especially helpful when you are getting tired of the same vegi’s…but they have to be used up! (As is the case with our CSA produce bin…been a lot of the same stuff the last two months). So I chop my carrots, then I julienned them, then I grated them for three different salads!

This concept could apply in all food preparation…why not try a variety of preparation methods: saute, steam bake, roast, etc. Simple concept, but makes cooking a whole lot more fun!

Aaron appreciates the variety too! Funny how you only have to change the style of preparation and get a whole new dish!

Visit Tammy’s Recipes for further kitchen tips!
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The True Woman: Chapter 5 – Community

Welcome to the recap of chapter 5 of our book study on The True Woman by Susan Hunt, brought to us by Sono Harris, a godly older woman that I greatly admire. Please participate with us in this inspiring read! This post will remain at the top of my blog for the duration of the week and is open for discussion.

Chapter 5: A Cultivator of Community

In her book, The True Woman, Susan Hunt displays, through the clear instruction of Scriptural truth, empirical historical and varied contemporary examples, how a Christian woman, passionate to be all that God has designed her to be, can move closer to the ideals of godly beauty and strength. Once again, in Chapter 5, she achieves these objectives on the subject of community.

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Our Family: April Update

Karis is almost 1 year old (May 4th)! It has caught me by surprise…but what a special year it has been with this little bundle of joy and “grace” as her name means. God’s grace has been sufficient! Karis is doing her army crawl. After seeing her cousin crawl this past week at the beach has really inspired her. She will now occasionally get up on her knees and crawl. Karis is a social butterfly and loves waving at everybody!

She is pulling herself up in bed, on tables, and everywhere else she can. She learned sign language for the words “more” and “thank you”, and we are still working on “please” and “down”, but I have been amazed at how quickly she can learn and understand.

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Chili & Cornbread

This is by far one of the most nutritious and yet frugal meals I make. A variety of beans cooked into chili with the grains in the cornbread provide a complete protein! Finding a good chili recipe is not an easy task, but with some experimenting, trial and error, I think I have come up with a very yummy version. It has a bit of kick to it, but a lot of flavor! My hubby loves this chili! If making for littles, add the spices at the end after taking some out for the littles, if desired.

Both chili and cornbread freeze well, so I make a large batch and freeze both in smaller portions. I keep chili in the fridge to use for different lunches throughout the week – baked potato bar, chili cheese burritos, nachos, chili over hot dogs, etc.

You can also make chili in the crockpot for an easy meal! See directions below.

1 lb. ground turkey, beef, or go meatless
1 29 oz. can tomato sauce plus 1 -15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 large can of diced tomatoes (29 ou.)
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, optional
2-3 Tbls. or more taco seasoning mix
4 cups cooked beans (I do a combo of black, pinto & kidney)
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup rapadura or natural sweetener (rapadura gives it a little sweetness to balance the flavor!)
1-2 tsp. oregano
3/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
3 tsp cumin
1-8-1/4 cup chili powder, as desired

Cooking beans - You can always choice the canned option, but cooking your own beans is simple and cheaper. Soak beans overnight in water (1 part beans to 6-8 parts of water) and 2-3 Tbsp. of whey/lemon juice/vinegar, if desired, to impart valuable enzymes. After soaking, rinse thoroughly and add fresh water to cover the beans (about 1 part beans to 3 parts water). Cook approx. 8 hours on low (I prefer in the crockpot). Use 4 cups for chili, or more as desired, and freeze the rest for other dishes or for your next batch of chili!

For Chili -Saute ground turkey in oil with onions and peppers. Cook until browned. Add the taco seasoning mix. Taste and add more as desired. (This is the key to good chili!) Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Makes 10-12 servings.

Crockpot Chili – If you want to get dinner prepared in the morning, try the crockpot version! Cook meat, onions, and peppers in a saucepan until browned. Place in your crockpot with remaining ingredients and allow to cook over low heat for 5-6 hours.

Cornbread

I love soaking Sue Gregg’s cornbread recipe and it is simply delicious! Read here about the valuable benefits of soaking your grains. We love it topped with a whipped butter and honey spread. This recipe can be used with whole grains ground in the blender or with flour in a regular mixing bowl. Yum!

Amount: 8″ Square Baking Pan (12-16 pieces)
Bake: 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) 25-35 minutes

1. Place in blender; blend at high speed 3-5 minutes (the blender will “grind” the grain into a batter in the liquid medium. If it is a little gritty, blend more or let it set overnight for a smoother batter using the two stage soaking method.

1 cup kefir (my first choice!), buttermilk, sour milk, or yogurt

1/4 cup melted butter or olive oil
or 2 tablespoons each butter and oil (I use 2 Tbsp of coconut oil & 2 Tbsp olive oil or butter)
3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
2/3 cup whole kernel dry corn
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry grain or 3/4 cup kamut grain

If you would like to use flour, use 1 cup of cornmeal and 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour or kamut flour in replacement for the grain above.

Second Stage: Optional (Recommended) Cover blender or bowl. Let batter stand at room temperature overnight or about 12-24 hours.
Add 2 eggs & blend

2. Mix in thoroughly, but briefly, using blender and/or rubber spatula as needed:
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

3. Pour batter immediately into greased baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) 25-35 minutes or until knife or toothpick comes clean out of center.

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