Thursday, October 23, 2008

What encourages you?

Or maybe I should say, who encourages you?

I am so thankful for a roof over my head, food on the table, relatively good health, a wonderful husband and two active children. And I'm truly thankful that the Lord has been with us during the transition time between moving from Ghana, West Africa and back to the United States.

When things don't go the way that you planned, what is helpful for you to remember, to hear, to see during times like that?

Thanks to a great sister in Christ, I'm reminded that in His time, things will be OK. I'm being refined and I know that it will be rough for a while, but in the end more fitted to do the work that He intends for me to do.

Please comment and send a little something along that has helped you or tell about someone who has helped refocus you in rough times. Maybe they didn't even realize it, but it was illuminating to your path that day.

Thanks.

Shalom,
Loretta

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fast, Easy Way To Serve Prebagged "Salties"

To serve things like chip, tortilla, or pretzel (etc.) snacks quickly for a buffet style meal for family or guests, especially at potlucks, try this fun trick:

Lay your unopened bag of chips on its back on a table or counter so the front label is facing up (toward the ceiling). Then taking a scissors, cut a circle (oval or square, etc.) out of the front label, creating its own "bowl." If you have leftovers, just put them into an airtight container for later. Clean up is easy.

Fun and easy. Great idea and everyone will think you are so creative! =)

For more kitchen tips, visit Tammy's Recipes.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pumpkin Soup

I know this is another soup recipe, but I can't help it. It's been cold around here and it can go into the crockpot...so here's another great warming soup...especially if you add a little hot sauce! (smile)

This soup is surprisingly good. I really never liked just plain mashed squash (sorry, Mom), but I knew I'd have to find a way since my husband does. I already knew I liked squash in sweet things (pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, etc...). Could I find a recipe for a savory squash dish that I did like? I can't even remember where I found this, but it works for me. I love it. The original recipe actually uses milk. I tried using it with (non-dairy) and without and enjoy it without better.

Pumpkin Soup




Saute:

1 onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon oil

1-2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

3 cloves garlic, chopped



Add:

3 cups pumpkin (or other winter squash) puree

3 cups vegetable broth

salt and/or other seasoning as desired

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)



Cook until heated through. When serving add a little nutritional yeast and maybe some little pepitas (green roasted pumpkin seeds) on top of soup in bowls. Option: put all ingredients in the crockpot after sauteing the onions and garlic. Great as leftovers.

When I made it this time, I used a butternut squash and pumpkin. I tripled the recipe for leftovers...see photo. Yum.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gumbo

Around here gardens are winding down. We recently had a relative bring us some okra, peppers, green onions and tomatoes along with some fresh green beans. I love okra and saw my chance to make some gumbo. If you've never had okra, it does take a little getting used to as far as the goo-iness. Don't use "woody" ones - ones that are a bit too ripe and hard (don't worry you'll know when you start cutting them).


Since we have an abundance of home frozen creamed sweet corn, I put in lots of corn, making sure it was thawed before adding it to the crock pot. I doubled the recipe for our large crock pot.



Here is a crock pot recipe for an easy meal:


Gumbo



1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, diced

3 whole cloves (like the spice, not garlic)

2 cups diced tomatoes

4 cups stock

1 cup lima beans

2 cups corn

1 1/2 cup sliced okra

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon allspice

Saute the onions, peppers, and cloves. Then remove cloves and put all the ingredients into the crock pot. Make sure everything is thawed and not frozen solid (like creamed sweet corn can be). Slow cook on high for 6 hours or 8-10 hours on low. Adjust seasonings as needed.