Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hot Cross Biscuits

I made ‘em, and boy, were they good!


Check out “Joy the Baker” for this recipe and other great ones!

Before I made this recipe, I had never baked anything with currants in it.  Actually, I don’t know if I had ever eaten anything with currants in it.  If you haven’t tried them, they are really good.  They are smaller and sweeter than your normal raisin. 

When I was at the fruit market, I asked if the store had any in stock because I could not find them anywhere.  The man I asked said they actually have not been able to get any because there has been a large amount of devastation in Chile, from where they get their shipments. 

I went to Kroger, and they had a few boxes on the shelves: Good ol’ Sun-Maid, grown in the beautiful U. S. of A. and Greece.  If you haven’t tried them, I encourage you to do so!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Resurrection Sunday


As I prepare for our Resurrection Sunday celebrations this weekend, I have to revisit my post at Christmas time.  Sometimes holidays creep up on me way too fast!  This week has been exceptionally busy, and I don’t have anything grandiose up my sleeve.  That could discourage me, but I am trying to fight that discouragement.  I am trying to keep perspective and remember to keep my spirit at peace so I do not lose the focus of what I am celebrating this weekend – the death and resurrection of my Lord Jesus!!!

With that said, I am going to try to make some Hot Cross Buns.  I am simplifying a bit and planning to make Hot Cross Biscuits.  Last year I came across recipes for Hot Cross Buns and thought they would be fun to try.  I like special food for special times, and the cross on the top of the buns just seems to emphasize the message of the day, which I love!

We will be visiting family throughout the weekend.  I will be taking a layered salad and a banana split dessert.  My parents always do a fun egg hunt for the kids, and they look forward to it. 

In the end, I pray we can keep our focus on Jesus.  He is the reason we live and move and have our being!  (Acts 17:28)


He is risen!

He is risen indeed!

What are you doing to celebrate the holiday?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Good Begets Good

Yesterday my son came downstairs just before dinner time with his hair slicked nicely, some mint-smelling breath, and a smile on his face!  He looked like he was going somewhere special.  I asked him what was up.  Nothing much… he’s just taking care of himself and trying to do healthy things.

Before long he was walking on the treadmill, lifting weights, doing push-ups and jumping jacks and having a discussion with me about his upcoming birthday – how he wanted to do healthy/physically-fit things at this party.  WOW!  Where did this come from?


When I took the pictures of him, he asked, “Can you put this on your blog?” ~smile~

I still don’t know what motivated my son to start his “health kick”, but it made me think about something: 

When we start good things,

there is usually a chain reaction.

When we establish good habits, we are encouraged to begin other good habits.

When we think good thoughts, other good thoughts come.

When we say good words, it is easier to speak other kind and thoughtful words.

We do good things, feel the reward, know in our hearts it is right and noble, and we feel empowered to move forward!

Is there an area of your life that is filled with a lot of “bad”, a lot of negativity, a lot of laziness, a lot of defeat?

Ask God to help you have the strength

to take baby steps in goodness. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bread for Dinner

“Wait a minute… She must have gotten that title wrong.  Didn’t she mean ‘Bread WITH dinner’?”

No, I actually meant “Bread FOR Dinner”. 

The other night I made Mexican Bread.  I haven’t made it in a long time, but it is a great twist on bread that allows you to use your bread as the entree!

I used my breadstick recipe for the dough this time.  Accompany this bread with a rice dish and some salad, and you’ve got a meal!


Mexican Bread

I got this recipe years ago from an email list.

Make bread dough of your choice, up until baking point.

Saute ~1 lb. of ground meat with onions and bell peppers (I use green and red) until meat is cooked and vegs. are tender.  I used one onion and about one third of a red and green pepper, each.

Drain grease and season with taco seasoning.

Roll out bread dough on lightly greased surface and spread salsa, shredded cheese, and meat mixture over entire surface of dough.  Form into a bread roll and place in a greased bread pan.

Let rise 30-45 minutes in a warmed oven (not with the oven *on*.  I put the oven on 250 for a few minutes and then shut it off).

Bake at 350 degrees for 30- 40 minutes.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Ups and Downs of Grocery Shopping

Tonight I did my weekly grocery shopping.  It did not start off too well, to say the least.  First of all, my daughter was very disappointed that she could not go with me.  I really did not know what to do.  I usually like to shop by myself.  Grocery shopping for me is usually regroup time – one of the rare times I can get out by myself.  I was taking my niece with me, so it made it even harder to say no to my daughter.  Nonetheless, the decision was made (by her dad and me), and I tried to move forward, as I plodded off to the fruit market.

Just a short while into my grocery store visit, I put my cart aside to get some tomatoes.  Unfortunately, my cart hit some plastic containers of croutons, and a few fell to the ground (which seemed like a huge delayed reaction!).  One box opened right up and spilled out its contents.  YIKES!   As my husband said, I knew that stores usually “eat” this sort of thing.  However, in my heart, I felt I should just pack up the croutons and pay for them.  When I was just about done, a clerk came over and said, “Oh don’t worry about that!  I will get it.” 

I replied, “Are you sure? … Do you want me to pay for them?  I will.”

“No.  It’s okay.  This happens!”

As I stood at the nearby tomato stand watching the clerk out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that he took the crouton container (with the spilled contents) and put it right back with the croutons!!  Egads!  What is he thinking?!  Non-Confrontational Me stepped over after he left, placed the dirty croutons in my cart, and moved forward.  Well, there goes $3.50!

Near the end of my shopping, I remembered that I had left my $5 coupon at home!  UGH!!!  In my mind, I was not only out an extra $3.50 for the croutons, but at least $8.50 now.  Sigh… My heart grew heavy.

Other issues knocked at my heart as the night went on.  It wasn’t quite the rejuvenating experience I was planning.  HOWEVER, I did pick up a fancy-dancy pair of LATEX-FREE kitchen gloves.  As my niece says, they look like a pair of gloves that belong in a “Happy Housewife” ad from years ago, and hey… I think they will make me pretty happy as I wash the dishes.  How could they not?  ~smile~


In the end, through all of its ups and downs, I truly do thank God for the many blessings I receive each time I shop.  We are truly blessed in America!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Restaurant Life at Home

A couple weeks ago, I walked around my sons’ bedroom after dark and felt so proud of my sleeping children.  They had been doing well in school, treating each other with kindness, and sacrificing their beds to one another to help us try to get the baby to sleep through the night better.  I felt warm mommy feelings and purposed in my heart to bless my children. 

The next day I told them, “We are taking the day off school today and are going to order out for lunch!”

They were so excited!  I was excited too, seeing how happy they felt.  However, as I reviewed my bills and financial status that morning, I realized that it wasn’t the day for splurging.  I needed to pinch pennies until the next paycheck.  What would I do now?!

I told the kids we wouldn’t be able to order out, and they were completely bummed.  I went from being the President of the “Good Mom Club” to being the CEO of the “Bad Mom Club”.  I felt disappointed but was also struggling as I dealt with their poor attitudes as well.  I sat down and prayed.  That’s it!  I’ll do a restaurant at home.

Quickly I sprung into action.  I hopped onto the computer and made some menu checklists for them.  When I was finished, I gathered my children into the dining room and welcomed them to

“The Cozy Nook Restaurant”.


The children filled out their menus, choosing main entrees, side dishes, and drinks.  From that moment on, I spoke to them as the owner and waitress of the restaurant.  I informed them that the restaurant served lunch around 12:00 or 12:30 p.m.

Around noon I began bustling around the kitchen.  I realized it wasn’t so easy to serve lunch restaurant-style with a nine month old baby under foot!


Besides preparing the food, I wanted to create a good restaurant ambiance.  I made sure to get out the nicer glassware and dishes and set the table with a tablecloth and faux flower arrangement. 


I served out the meals.  “Who ordered the grilled cheese sandwich?  Oh, and you must be the one who ordered the chicken nuggets.”

Throughout the meal, we dialogued as if they were my customers, not my children.  The kids especially loved that!  There were moments of laughter when the kids tried to get into the kitchen refrigerator, and I would respond (as I was chasing the child away), “Oh, sir, I’m sorry… The customers are not allowed in the refrigerator.”


As the children dined, I played a piano CD in the background and checked on them from time to time to see if they needed anything else.

I wanted to end the meal with a mint of some sort.  All I had in the house were some thin mint cookies so – voila!


A good time was had by all!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Trusting God in Dark Times


Life has been a struggle lately.  I have felt very empty, very lonely, very disappointed, and very discouraged at times.  God is doing a deep work in me.  When God does a deep work, it is not easy.  Surgery hurts.  It brings healing, hope, and better character, but it hurts!

Recently I was thinking about how I have been putting my trust in people, hoping that people or other tangible things could rescue me from my despair… hoping that my SOS would be seen and heard and (voila!) life would be easy.  Sometimes, though, it is God’s will for us be in a valley so we can turn to Him and Him alone.  I was reassured of this truth when I took Streams in the Desert by L. B. Cowman off my bookshelf at a fitting time and read the following from the March 30 entry (Isaiah 50:11 was the introduction):

…It means that when we are in darkness, the temptation is to find our own way without trusting in the Lord and relying upon Him.  Instead of allowing Him to help us, we try to help ourselves.  We seek the light of the natural way and the advice of our friends.  We reason out our own conclusions and thereby may be tempted to accept a path of deliverance that would not be God at all.

…Beloved, never try to get out of a dark place except in God’s timing and in His way.  A time of trouble and darkness is meant to teach you lessons you desperately need.  Premature deliverance may circumvent God’s work of grace in your life.  Commit the entire situation to Him, and be willing to abide in darkness, knowing He is present.

I looked up the passage – Isaiah 50:11 and read the context.  Isaiah 50:10 jumped out at me and ministered to me all the more.

Who among you fears the Lord?

Who obeys the voice of His Servant?

Who walks in darkness and has no light?

Let him trust in the name of the Lord,

and rely upon his God.

This verse clearly reiterates the concept that Christians (yes, Christians) will walk through times of darkness and have no light.  What are we to do during those times? Trust in the Lord and rely upon Him! 

God is drawing me in my time of darkness, in my valley.  I know He wants to show Himself to me in a more glorious way. 

Psalm 23:4

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;

For You are with me!

Remember friends… God is with you!