Saturday, December 29, 2012

Taking Charge In The New Year And A 31 Day 'Use-It-Up' Food Challenge

2012 been one of the worst years (if not THE worst year) that my husband and I have had yet. It started off badly and went steadily downhill all the way. I won't go into all the gory details, but will happily proclaim that I'm glad to see that it's almost over! I pray that 2013 is better. :)

I've got tons of stuff that needs doing, but getting anything done has, at best, been slow going for months and neglect on every front seems to have become the norm. I am hoping to take back some control over my life in the days ahead and I am beginning today!

The main thing that I have accomplished today has been to take down all the Christmas decorations and with, my husband's help, put it all away for another year. As I was taking down and sorting through, I took the time to pull out things that are no longer needed and/or wanted and have started a garage sale box. I will add to it as time goes on and plan a big sale in the spring.

Now I'm getting ready to work on menu plans. My plan is to, throughout the month of January, buy only that which is absolutely necessary (fresh produce, milk, bread, etc.), concentrate on using up as many things as I can out of what we have on hand (fridge, freezer, and pantry), and eliminate all unnecessary eating out. That should, not only clean up things that have been hanging around for a while, but save a lot of money over the course of the month, too. I'm anxious to see how it goes!

This challenge is really to myself, but would anyone else like to join me in this little adventure? If so, come on and let's go for it! I'll be sharing along the way and would like to hear from anyone else that might take me up on this challenge, as well!

Until Next Time...
~Rebecca



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Another Loss At Christmas Time

At approximately 1:00 this afternoon my beautiful and beloved friend, Robin, went home to be with her precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I talked with her just a few days ago and she told me that this was it. She said she wasn't afraid and that she was ready to go home. She said that wanted to see her dad. 

What I hate most is that I never made it down to Tennessee to see her. Ever since they moved I've wanted to go visit, but, financially, it just never worked out...and I know that if it was meant to be the Lord would have made a way, but I hate it that I never made it. At least we've stayed in touch...phone calls, letters, cards, texts...each and every one precious and treasured.

Rest in peace, my dear friend, for all is well! I will forever treasure the many memories that the Lord allowed us to share...our 'backdoor' relationship, our 'R & R moments', blueberry pie and tea at midnight, homeschool field trips, burning picnic tables, backyard bonfires, all of our many chicken, calf, and cat escapades, hide and seek after dark with the children, spider sniffs, hiking trails, climbing rocks, getting lost, going in circles, and so much more. You were one of the greatest blessings God ever brought into my life. I love you so much, Robin...my beautiful and beloved 'sister-by-heart'! I will see you again soon! ♥

Does anyone have any ideas of something we can do for the family long distance? If so, please, e-mail me at proverbs31heart@yahoo.com. Thanks so much! 

~Rebecca

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Loss Of A Child

This has been a very sad holiday season for us. The husband of a dear friend was killed in a car accident earlier in the month and his funeral...the most beautiful, everything-pointed-to-our-Lord-and-Saviour-Jesus-Christ-funeral I've ever  been to...was held yesterday. Though my heart aches terribly for all of his family...especially the dearly loved, beautiful, young wife that he left behind...it was Tim's mother that held my attention yesterday. Tim was her son. And it is Christmas-time. And she hurts. And...even though I only held my son for a short time...and she held hers for 36 years...I know that pain. The pain of a mother that has lost a son. My heart goes out to her. To all the family on both sides. But today...especially to that mother that has lost her son.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the loss of my own son, Nathan. It is his birthday and his death day. I wrote this post last year and am reposting it today in his memory. It is dedicated to all mother's who have lost a child, but...this year...especially to my beloved Mrs. S.

Mrs. S...although you may never see this post...this piece is dedicated to you this year...and in the memory of your precious son, Timothy Andrew (by the way...your boy and my boy shared the same middle name). Tim, just as with my own precious son that is no longer with us, you are much loved and will be greatly missed, but one glorious day we WILL see you again! Until then...as your father said yesterday...it is bye-bye for now.

Now...for last year's post...

It was exactly 29 years ago at this very time that Nathan Andrew was born. Something had been wrong for a very long time. I had been bleeding off and on since my second month of pregnancy...at times very heavily.

On the 18th of December I was out Christmas shopping with my mother, my aunt, my 1 1/2-year-old daughter, and my three little cousins. All of a sudden I went into labor. My aunt took my daughter home with her and her children, and my mother rushed me to the hospital. Next thing I knew I was being strapped to a gurney and was being shipped by ambulance to a bigger hospital...one that was attached by a walkway to Children's Mercy in Kansas City. Even though I had been given a lot of medication and was pretty much out of it, I could hear the doctors and nurses talking. If they didn't get me to the other, better equipped hospital soon, they were going to lose me AND the baby. It was one of the most frightening experiences I've ever had. All I could think about was what would happen to my little daughter at home if I died.

I arrived at the other hospital in record time and was immediately surrounded by all sorts of doctors and nurses. I was plugged into every kind of equipment they had...which wasn't nearly as good as the equipment that they have now, but, at the time, it was state-of-the-art. Immediately, the head doctor wanted to know who my doctor was and how long I had been bleeding. She said that the placenta had torn away from the uterus wall and that this baby should have been "taken" months ago. What was she talking about? I would never have allowed my baby to be "taken!"

Long story short...27 hours of intense labor later (I had been given every kind of pain medicine available and nothing seemed to be helping) Nathan Andrew was born...in the hallway on the way to delivery. He was immediately rushed across the walkway to Children's Mercy and I was taken on into delivery where a DNC was performed. A few hours later the doctor came into my room with a nurse who was carrying my baby. Nathan had fought hard and lived for two hours, but his lungs were just too little. Now days they probably could have saved him, but, back then...there was nothing they could do. There was just nothing that they could do. :'(

Nathan was perfectly formed. He had long, black hair, had perfectly formed features, perfect, tiny, little fingers and fingernails...toes and toenails...on the outside he was just that...perfect! Tiny, yes (he was 10 inches long and he only weighed a pound)! But still...perfect.

Not having money for a funeral left me with few choices. I would not be allowed to leave the hospital without signing papers for Nathan's body to, either, be donated to scientific research, or be cremated in the hospital crematory. Not wanting to do either I chose the lesser of the two evils...the hospital crematory. To this day I regret that, but I don't know what else I could have done under the circumstances. It still hurts me beyond anything that I could ever express and there's never been anywhere to mourn Nathan's loss. I came home on Christmas Eve with two very blurry pictures, a set of tiny footprints on a piece of paper, and a poem that the hospital chaplain had given me.

I've never written about all this before, but, tonight, I felt a need to do so. Perhaps there is someone else out there who has been through a similar experience...someone who needs a word of encouragement. Even though all that I went through was, and still is, very sad...there are two things that have ministered to me over the years since Nathan's death...

#1 - The poem that the chaplain shared with me. It was entitled FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND, and I had never read it until the night that she gave it to me there in the hospital. It is still very special to me.

#2 - There's a verse of scripture that the Lord gave to me many, many years later, and it is still the verse that comes to mind whenever I think of Nathan. The verse is found in Psalm 30...verse 5...and it says, "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." I know beyond the shadow of any doubt that Nathan is with Jesus and that someday I will see him again! Not as a premature baby, but as the spirit man that God created him to be!

And, if you've suffered the loss of a child...whether it be at birth or beyond...know that, if you are a born-again, Bible-believing, follower of Christ, and child of God, then you, too, will see that child again and be reunited with them in days to come!

And as you remember that trial that you've gone through...perhaps you're asking (or have asked), "Why God? Where were You when I was going through all that? Why weren't you there for me?" I leave you now with that beautiful poem that was shared with me by that wonderful, old chaplain at Children's Mercy...


FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed He was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from His life. For each scene He noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonging to Him and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of His life flashed before Him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of His life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of His life.

This really bothered Him and He questioned the LORD about it. LORD you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.

The LORD replied, my precious, precious child, I Love you and I would never leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.

Friday, December 14, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 14, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts stamped...

          41. old letters from family and friends
          42. Christmas cards
          43. my name in gold on my Bible


Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Thursday, December 13, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 12th and 13th

One Thousand Gifts
Yesterday's Gifts...

     Three gifts berry red...


          35. the beautiful pie cherries that grow on my dad's cherry tree each June and the jelly made from them

          36. fresh strawberries at their peak
Photo Credit
           37. poinsettias at Christmas time
Photo Credit


Today's  Gifts...

     Three gifts striped...


          38. candy canes
Photo Credit

          39. our cat, Stripes

          40. the stockings that I crocheted last year
 

Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Sweet Grandlittle Mugs

My husband and I received these wonderfully cute 'Grandlittle' mugs in today's mail! The were sent to us by our youngest daughter and her husband. What a sweet and thoughtful gift! We love 'em!

 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 11, 2011

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts ice cold...


          32. icicles
          33. frozen yogurt
          34. frost flowers at Prairie State Park

Photo Credit


Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Monday, December 10, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 10, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts unframed art...


          29. the beautiful, hand-made bowl that was gifted to us by our missionary friends from Guatemala
          30. the snowman light that was made and given to us by our little neighbor girl for Christmas a few years back
           31. the lovely wolf painting on an old saw blade that a girl from church made for us many, many years ago

Each of these are gifts I treasure! Each a gift of love given from the heart!


Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Sunday, December 9, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 9, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts ugly beautiful...


          26. those nail-scarred hands
          27. emotional scars from the past
          28. a French bulldog named Churchill

Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Saturday, December 8, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 8, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     A gift hung...

    

         23. pictures of people and places held dear in my heart



               ...a gift held...


                      24. a sweet-smelling precious new baby


                              ...a gift heard...


                                     25. familiar voices at the end of a long day away from home

Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Friday, December 7, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 7, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts from your Savior...

          20. redemption
          21. renewal in every area
          22. eternal life



Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Thursday, December 6, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 6, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts sweet...

          17. freshly-baked cinnamon rolls still warm from the oven
          18. a single chocolate-covered cherry presented to a grandmum after lunch
          19. Ghirardelli raspberry-filled chocolate squares shared by friends over tea
Photo Credit

Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 5, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts silver...

          14. the Celtic cross that my friend in Belfast sent to me many years ago

          15. the 'FAITH' rings that my best friend and I share

          16. a soon-to-be-celebrated 25th wedding anniversary




Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 4, 2012



One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     A gift circling...

          11. the never-ending cycle of births and deaths that make up life and family

               a gift crowning...
                      
                    12. the wrinkled head of soon-to-be-born babe

                        a gift crafted...


                             13. the tiny postage-stamp doll quilt made, and given to me, by my grandmother, Maude, when I was a little girl of five-years-old. She was bed-fast at the time and made every stitch by hand. Many of the tiny, one-inch blocks were cut from the little dresses that my daddy wore when he was a baby. (Yes, back then baby boys wore dresses, too.) The quilt is old and worn now, but it's still a treasure to me! :)


Postage-Stamp Doll Quilt Made By My Grandmother Maude



      Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Monday, December 3, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 3, 2012


One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts shining...

            7) the sweet, smiling faces of happy grandlittles

Audrey, Silas, Abby, and Gianna
Sarah, Elizabeth, and Timothy
Isaiah
           
            8) stars in the heavens

            9) the Light [Jesus] shining in a world of darkness


      Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Sunday, December 2, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 2, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts bright...

            4) a full moon

            5) sunshine on water

            6) Christmas lights

Country Club Plaza - Kansas City, Missouri - 11/23/12

      Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE


Saturday, December 1, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - December 1, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts white...

snow
polar bears
freshly washed whites hung out on the line to dry
      

Care to join me for December's Joy Dare? Click: HERE



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Five Minute Friday - Stay

Five Minute Friday where, as our hostess and inspiration, Lisa-Jo Baker, puts it, we write "For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not."  But, as you can see, it's not Friday. It's Saturday and I'm running behind. I've hardly been home for days and, in fact, am not home even now. I'm typing this from my daughter's computer, but am doing what I can...when I can. Here goes... 

Today's topic is stay.

Go!

Sometimes there are people that you wish could stay in your life forever, but for one reason or another and, usually, to reasons or cicumstances beyond your control (and theirs) they can't. Sometimes, no matter how badly you want them to stay...they can't. But there is One ...One who will never leave you, nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)...and His name is Jesus. Don't put your faith in man. Put your faith in Christ and Him alone. You will never be disappointed!

Stop!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - November 13, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...
     Three gifts behind a door...

          149. opportunity
          150. intimacy with my husband
          151. a friend's smile and a "Come on in!"

Care to join me for November's Joy Dare? Click: HERE

Monday, November 12, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - November 12, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Today's Gifts...

      Three gifts at noon...

          145. lunch shared with family
          146. mid-day sun...only for a moment...shadowless...straight overhead
          147. a sound that synchronizes the hearts of the people of our tiny community...briefly...for only a few seconds...regular as clockwork every 24 hours...the noon whistle 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

HEARTH AND HOME - November 11, 2012

Greetings, Dear Sisters!

Welcome to the November 2012 edition of HEARTH AND HOME! I pray that this newsletter finds you and your family healthy, happy, and ready to celebrate another marvelous holiday season! What are you thankful for this year? How are you going to celebrate all that the Lord has done for you and yours in the past year? Whatever you do...I'd like to take a moment to wish you and yours a very lovely and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

As you know...it's been a long time since I've even tried to put together an issue of HEARTH AND HOME and I miss it! This year has fairly flown by and it seems that I've not got to do nearly the things that I ought to have done, let alone the things that I would like to have done. BUT...I am determined to carry on regardless and do what I can when I can and not stress about what I can't do. Is anyone else with me? (smile)

Now...grab a cup of something hot (I prefer tea with Pumpkin Spice Coffee-Mate...yum!) and let's get started on another issue of HEARTH AND HOME! Here we go...

HOUSEHOLD TIPS

* Soften butter quickly without melting by grating the stick. Spray the grater with nonstick spray for quick cleanup.

* When baking cookies, substitute coarsely crushed salt-free pretzels for any chopped nuts called for in the recipe. You get the texture of nuts with almost none of the fat.

* When kneading bread or making cookies on your kitchen table, place masking tape over the seams of the table. This will prevent ingredients from getting lost between the table’s leaves and make cleanup a breeze.


* Most pie recipes instruct you to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil when it begins to brown. Before you begin baking form a foil ring around the cold pie edge, then when the edges begin to brown simply set the already formed ring in place.

* To make bookends, fill empty mason jars with shells, stones, or colored sand.


DOLLARS AND SENSE

I've shared these before, but cold weather is upon us again. Get ready for it by following these cold-weather tips from the folks at the $1 Energy Fund...

KEEP THE HOT AIR IN BY PREVENTING DRAFTS.

Seal all cracks, holes and crevices where cold air blows in and hot air leaks out. Remember to keep your blinds and drapes closed at night to block drafty window areas. You could save up to ten percent on your annual bills.

MONITOR YOUR THERMOSTAT. Keep the temperature at sixty-eight degrees or lower. Each degree higher uses three percent more energy. Lower your thermostat setting at night, and turn your heat down before you leave the house. It costs less to reheat your home than to keep it warm while you're out.

KEEP HEAT CREATIVELY. Open your drapes during sunny days to let natural heat in your house. Dust or vacuum your vents often to maintain airflow. Shut off the heat to unused rooms and keep their doors closed. Wear warm clothes and sweaters, and use blankets while resting.

Here are some more money saving ideas that can keep $$$ in your pocket...

*Attic insulation should be at least six inches deep; it will save 10 percent of your overall heating bill.

*Lower the heating and cooling systems when your home is vacant for more than eight hours.

*Use crock-pots and pressure cookers instead of the oven.

*Fix leaky toilets and faucets...especially hot water faucets. One leaky faucet wastes over 1,300 gallons a year!!!

*Take a shower instead of a bath. This can save as much as 50 percent of the total hot water used in your home.

*Save medical costs by practicing preventative medicine. Eat right, drink plenty of fresh water, exercise, get plenty of rest, reduce stress, get plenty of fresh air and sunshine, pray, and fast as God leads.

* To get thousands of money saving ideas, a jump on holiday jar mixes, budgeting ideas, and more, check out Budget 101! Just click here: BUDGET 101

HEARTH AND HOME QUESTION

"With the skyrocketing prices of food and gasoline what, if anything, are you doing differently to make ends meet in your household? What money saving measures do you and your family practice on a regular basis in order to combat high utility bills?"

(If you don't mind me sharing your response in an upcoming issue of HEARTH AND HOME please send it to me at proverbs31heart@yahoo.com. In an effort to keep me from overlooking it in my e-mail please put SKYROCKETING PRICES on the subject line. Thank you!)

FALL CRAFT PROJECTS 

Easy Fall Wreath
Thanksgiving Subway Art
Free Thanksgiving Fall Kit


COUNTDOWN TO THANKSGIVING


EARLY NOVEMBER-

*Plan your menu.
*Invite your guests.
*Keep track of who is bringing what on your menu.
*Make shopping list of perishables and nonperishable. Don't forget to include film, batteries, and
beverages.
*If you're ordering a fresh turkey, do it now.
*Make a Thanksgiving to-do list, listing all the little things that must get done prior to Thanksgiving. Be sure to schedule time for each chore and indicate who you want to take care of that chore.
*Order your floral centerpieces now or create your own.

TWO WEEKS AHEAD OF TIME-

*Check all serving dishes, flatware, and glassware.
*Shop for any paper goods you need for the event.
*Make sure you have enough tables and chairs for your guests.
*Take an inventory of your tablecloths and napkins. Teach yourself a new way to fold napkins.
*If any of your items need to be cleaned, this is the time to do it.
*Clean your refrigerator to make room for your Thanksgiving items.
*Shop for nonperishable groceries on your shopping list.
*Plan and make decorations.

ONE WEEK AHEAD-

*Plan seating arrangements.
*Review your recipes.
*Prepare cooking schedule.
*Check thawing time for frozen turkey.

4 DAYS AHEAD-

*Start defrosting the frozen turkey in your refrigerator.
*Save money on ice -- start making your own ice cubes now. When they're frozen, dump them in a freezer bag.

2 DAYS AHEAD-

*Chill beverages.
*Shop for perishable items.
*Set out bread for homemade stuffing.
*Make cranberry sauce.
*Fill butter dishes and salt and pepper shakers.
*Be sure your home is clean.

1 DAY AHEAD-

*Peel potatoes; place them in a pot of cold water. Keep in refrigerator.
*Clean vegetables and refrigerate.
*Make all dishes that can be prepared ahead. Don't forget the pies!
*Double check your bathrooms. Be sure you have extra toilet paper and hand towels ready.
*Put up decorations.
*Prepare stuffing.
*Do spot cleaning of the rooms that will be used.
*Buy flowers for the table.
*Let your family set the table in the evening.
*Make the side dishes that can be baked ahead of time.

THANKSGIVING DAY-

*Remove turkey from the refrigerator for one to two hours. Add stuffing.
*Preheat oven.
*Put turkey in oven and baste every half hour.
*Prepare coffee and brew 20 minutes before serving.
*Let the turkey rest, covered with a foil tent, for about 20 minutes before slicing.
*Quickly reheat some side dishes in the microwave if all the burners on the stove are occupied.
*Make gravy and last-minute vegetables.
*Set out refrigerated dishes.
*Heat bread or rolls as needed.
*Remove stuffing from turkey.
*Carve turkey.


RECIPES


PUMPKIN WAFFLES

1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Stir together pumpkin, eggs, milk, and butter. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined. Cook according to the directions for your waffle maker. Serve immediately with berry or maple syrup, fresh berries, or ginger whipped cream.

 

PUMPKIN ROLL
(An old family favorite. Makes 10 servings)
CAKE:
Powdered sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
FILLING:
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened (I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1 cup powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
Powdered sugar
FOR CAKE: PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel (NOT THE FUZZY KIND) with powdered sugar.
COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
BAKE for 13-15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool completely.
FOR FILLING: Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract in a small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Re-roll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired


MAPLE LEAF COOKIES

1/4 cup butter
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg whites, divided
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp raw sugar

Cook butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour browned butter into a glass measuring cup and chill in the freezer until soft but not firm, about 20 minutes.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Beat browned butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add maple syrup, vanilla, and 1 egg white; beat on low speed until well blended. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture until blended. Divide dough in half; shape each portion into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until very firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Place walnuts and raw sugar in a food processor; pulse until mixture is coarsely ground. Whisk remaining egg white in a small bowl.

Roll first portion of dough (keep remaining dough chilled until ready to use) out to 1/8″ thick on a floured board and use a 2 1/2″ decorative cutter to punch out 24 cookies. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheets; brush tops with egg white and sprinkle evenly with half of walnut mixture. Bake for 12 minutes or until pale brown. Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough and topping. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.

Yield – 48 cookies (serving size: 2 cookies)

SWEET POTATO, BUTTERNUT SQUASH OR PUMPKIN PIE

To make the best sweet potato pie, I use Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe, substituting 2 cups of baked, skinned, and mashed sweet potatoes for the canned pumpkin. I also make fresh pumpkin and butternut squash pies the same way. In fact, of the three, butternut squash pie is my favorite. Anyway, here's that recipe:
                                                                                                                                                                        LIBBY'S FAMOUS PUMPKIN PIE
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. ground ginger
    1/4 tsp. ground cloves
    2 large eggs
    1 can (15 oz.) LIbby's 100% pure pumpkin
    1 can evaporated milk
    1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell. Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees; bake 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool. Serve.
(NOTE: In order to avoid the extra calories, yet enjoy all the goodness of all those Vitamin A-packed, "good-for-your-eyes" fruits and vegetables, I make my pies crustless. After making the filling, I just pour it straight into a pie plate that's been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. It is absolutely delicious either way!)

(I've had a request to re-run my sour dough recipes, so, here they are...)
 
SOUR DOUGH STARTER

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water (potato water is good)
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
Using a quart size fruit jar or crock, dissolve yeast with 1/4 cup water. Allow to stand several minutes then stir in water, flour, and sugar. Cover with a cloth. Leave overnight at room temperature. Stir down several times as mixture rises to top. The longer the mixture stands at room temperature, the stronger the sour taste. Replace cover and refrigerate until ready to use. To maintain an ample supply of starter, each time you use it, replenish it with equal amounts of warm water and flour. Makes about 2 cups.
SOURDOUGH PANCAKES

Mix the night before using:
2 cups flour
2 cups milk
1 cup starter
Let stand overnight at room temperature.
Whey ready to bake, add:
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Stir batter until well mixed. Grease griddle if necessary. Pour or spoon pancake batter onto hot griddle. When bubbly and puffed, turn and brown other side. Serve with your favorite syrup. Makes 16 pancakes.

For future use, add to starter:
1 cup water to original jar
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
Keep refrigerated.
SOUR DOUGH BISCUITS
Mix the night before using:
1 cup sourdough starter, at room temperature
 1/2 cup warm water
1 cup flour
Let stand overnight at room temperature.
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
 1 Tablespoon sugar
Bacon drippings or butter or olive oil
About 1 hour before serving, turn dough out on 1 cup of the flour on a bread board. Combine remaining 1/2 cup flour with baking powder, soda, salt, and sugar. Knead flour lightly into batter. Make a well in the dough and mix dry ingredients into the batter, kneading lightly to get correct consistency for rolling dough without sticking. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut biscuits with a cutter or into 2" x 3" rectangles. Brush tops with warm bacon drippings or warm butter or olive oil. Place biscuits 1/2 inch apart on baking sheet, or close together in a 9-inch square pan, and set in a warm place to rise about 1/2 hour. Bake at 400 degrees about 20 minutes. Makes 14 biscuits.
(The reason my husband likes this recipe particularly is that it contains no hydrogenated anything in it. It's just plain, ol' good ingredients.)
Well, Ladies, that's it for this time. I hope to see you again real soon! Take care and God bless! And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Thanksgiving Subway Art


I just downloaded, printed, framed, and hanged this cute little piece of Thanksgiving art. Thought I'd share with you all...



FREE PRINTABLE - Thanksgiving Subway Art




One Thousand Gifts - November 11, 2012

One Thousand Gifts
Yesterday's Gifts...


     Three gifts found in Bible reading...

          139. the sweet story of God made flesh (the story of Jesus' birth)
          140. discovering the promises of God's sixty-six book love letter to me
          141. the scarlet thread of redemption

Today's Gifts...

     Three gifts of remembrance...

          142. those that fought and gave their lives for the freedoms I enjoy
          143. my Scots-Irish heritage
          144. the ancestors who came before that help make me who I am today