November 30, 2013

3 Fruits You Might Be Eating The Hard Way

[Image credit: FoodBeastTv]

We all know how to eat an apple the correct way, right? Wrong! Last week, FoodBeast posted a video entitled "How to Eat an Apple Like a Boss" that quickly went viral. From what the video shows, one should eat the apple from the top down, thereby eliminating the almost 30% waste from eating the apple from the outside into the core. So that got me to searching [yes I Google everything] to find what other fruits we may be eating incorrectly.

[Image credit: Crazy Bananas]
Crazy Bananas shows us that most people start peeling the from the longer stem, but if you peel from the bottom, it will be easier and the banana wont have all those stringy pieces left on it. Since this is also the way a monkey would eat a banana, it makes perfect sense to me.

[Image credit: Homemadesimple]
What about the pomegranate? Well there is a truly easy way to get all of the scrumptious seeds out using water. All you have to do is cut the fruit in half then submerge the fruit in cold water. This will allow it to pull right apart with very little mess. Perfect right?




Mandarin Orange Chicken

This recipe can be made with chicken or tofu, but if you are making both chicken and tofu, but I think you have to keep a close eye on this cooking, since they don't cook at exactly the same rate. I personally don't care for tofu, so I have no idea what it would taste like in the recipe.

Mandarin Orange Chicken
1 package skinless, boneless chicken breasts OR
1 pkg Extra Firm Tofu, cut into 1/4" slices
1/3 cup Soy Ginger Sauce
1 TB honey
1 small can mandarin oranges
1 TB olive oil
1 TB minced garlic
2 cups fresh broccoli flowerets
1 small can water chestnuts 
steamed white or brown rice
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Brush both sides of the chicken or tofu slices with sauce and arange in a 6 x 9 baking dish, overlapping as needed. Mix sauce with honey and spoon on top of the tofu or chicken. Top with orange slices. Bake 30 minutes, or until the tofu is lightly browned. In a large sauté pan or wok, heat olive oil and saute garlic until lightly browned. Add broccoli and water chestnuts and cook until crisp-tender. Serve over rice and baked tofu or chicken with additional sauce on the side.
Let me know what you think!

November 29, 2013

Recent Embroidery Designs

I bought an embroidery machine well over a year ago. Wow... its actually been nearly TWO years now that I think about it. My how the time has flown.

Because I am so busy all the time, I dont always get to spend time at my machine like I would hope to. However, I thought I would share a few of my favorite & most recent creations.

Bib & Matching Burp Cloth

Bib, Blanket & BabyWipe Holder

Another BabyWipe Holder

Bookmarks for the Kiddos

Candy Pouches for the Kiddos

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

I found  this great summer salad on Paula's Home Cooking, courtesy of my cooking idol, Paula Deen. Surprisingly, this particular P.D. recipe contains no Crisco, bacon fat or sour cream. [I looooove Paula Deen's fatty homestyle cooking, but unfortunately, my hips don't.] Now that Paula has been diagnosed with diabetes she is cleaning up her cooking, so many of her recipes are taking on a healthier nature.

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad
2 cups cooked corn, fresh or frozen
1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Combine the corn, avocado, tomatoes and onion in a large glass bowl. Mix together the dressing ingredients in another bowl, pour over the salad, and gently toss to mix.

November 28, 2013

Celebrating Hanukkah As A Christian - Part 2

Re-posted from Above Rubies
Above Rubies Facebook post from Nancy Campbell

NEVER AFRAID (Day 2 of Hanukkah) (Forgive me! Sorry this is a little late. I forgot to send it this morning.)
Jesus Christ, the Son of God was never reticent to speak the truth, even in the face of death. When he came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Dedication, he was walking in Solomon's Porch (on the eastern side of the temple) and people gathered around him. 

Jesus knew the Jews would be remembering more than the rededication of the temple and the lighting of the Menorah again. They were remembering the great victory over Antiochus Epiphanes, but also how he lifted himself to be god over them. It was Antiochus himself who added "Epiphanes" to his name, which means "God manifest" which was utter blasphemy to the Jews.

In the midst of this thinking Jesus boldly and publically declared, "I and my Father are one (John 10:30). In other words, He confessed that He was God, which of course, He was! This was too much for the Jews who, remembering Antiochus Epiphanes the evil blasphemer, took up stones to stone him (John 10:22-33).

It was no coincidence that Jesus chose this timing to speak these words. Everything about Hanukkah speaks of standing up for truth even in the face of danger.

May we never cringe to speak the truth, no matter what the consequences.

Love from Nancy Campbell

More To This:
Part 1 of Nancy's Post

Happy Hanukkah

Happy Thanksgiving


November 27, 2013

Product Review: Proctor Silex Electric Knife


Call me crazy, but this is probably one of my most used kitchen gadgets. No doubt, Thanksgiving would be a bust in my house without it, because I couldn't carve a turkey to save my life without it, but that isn't the only thing I use it for.
Over the years I have become a pro at making sandwich trays all because of this amazing little gadget. I simply spread the bread out across the counter, make the sandwiches and then stack the sandwhiches 3-4 high and WHAM, I go to cutting. Ahhhhh, lets tackle 3 large sandwich trays in a matter of an hour.
How about cutting fruit & veggies? Easy-peasy with an electric knife!
This thing really is a time & life saver and at a VERY affordable price.... why doesn't everyone own one of these? They retail for less than $30.00!!
Cheers from the Deep South!

Sonoma Chicken Salad

This is a variation to a recipe from one of those free little recipe books at Whole Foods. The grapes make it stand out from a garden variety chicken salad. I didn't have some of the ingredients on hand in the original recipe, so I had to improvise a little..... but it was delicious nonetheless.

Sonoma Chicken Salad
The Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise (I used my favorite lite mayo to save on calories & fat)
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
5 tsp honey
2 tsp poppy seeds
Sea salt and Black pepper
The Salad:
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup pecan halves, chopped and toasted (I didn't toast mine)
2 cups red seedless grapes
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
Prepare the dressing by thoroughly mixing together all dressing ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to dress the salad (can be prepared up to 2 days ahead). Preheat oven to 375°F. Place chicken breasts in one layer in a baking dish with 1/2 cup of water. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes until completely cooked through. Remove cooked chicken breasts from baking pan, cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, then cover and refrigerate. When the breasts are completely chilled (at least 2 hours refrigerated), chop & tear into small bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in pecans, grapes, celery, and dressing.

This Post Is Linked To:
From My Front Porch To Yours
The Happy Housie
Faith Filled Food For Moms
Wonderful At Home
A Peek Into My Paradise
Time Warp Wife
Savvy Southern Style
Fluster Buster
DIY by Design
The Style Sisters
Foody Schmoody
Easy Life Meal & Party Planning


November 26, 2013

Celebrating Hanukkah as a Christian

Repost of Above Rubies Nancy Campbell on the Above Rubies Facebook Page 

The HANUKKAH celebration begins tomorrow evening. Hanukkah is usually celebrated around Christmas, but for the first time in 125 years it coincides with Thanksgiving. As a family we love to celebrate Hanukkah each year. This is why we like to do it.

1. Hanukkah in the Hebrew means "dedication." God's temple had been desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes in 167 BC but the Maccabees family led a revolt against the Seleucid armies and called the nation back to God. After they had driven them out of Judea and Jerusalem, the Maccabees consecrated and rededicated the temple. However, God no longer lives in a temple in Jerusalem, but lives in the temple of our hearts. We like to use Hanukkah as time to rededicate the temple of our lives to holiness and the service of the living God.

2. It is a celebration that Jesus celebrated (John 10:22-23).

3. It is also called the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22) and the Festival of Lights. It celebrates the re-lighting of the Menorah in the temple and how the light kept burning even when they didn't have enough oil. Because this celebration remembers the relighting of the menorah, we read Scriptures about God who is the light and how He also wants us to be His light in this world. We do this at our Family Devotions each morning and evening. We look forward to it every year.

If you would like to read these wonderful Scriptures with your family, I will post them below for you to print out. Feel free to use the Scriptures in the way that best fits your family. For each day, you may like to take half the Scriptures at Family Devotions in the morning and the other half in the evening. If you have older children, it's a lovely idea for each one to have their own Bible and give a Scripture for each one to read aloud--and to share what they feel God is saying through the Scripture. If you have little ones, you may only want to take one Scripture from the list and talk about it.

And don't forget to ask your children questions as you read the Scriptures. This is how you learn and receive enlightenment from the Scriptures together.

I will also send out a post each day telling you a little story or a revelation from the Scriptures about the meaning of Hanukkah. By the way, you may like to take time to read the history of the Maccabees in the Apocrypha. The books in the Apocrypha were not chosen to be part of the cannon of Scripture but the books of Maccabees, 1, 2, 3, and 4 are great historical reading and tell of how the Jewish nation was saved from extinction. I am sure God used these brave men to protect His people and also the coming Messiah. No wonder Jesus celebrated Hanukkah. I have some Bibles that contain the Apocrypha: King James Version with Apocrypha, The New English Bible, World English Bible, Knox Version, and The Jerusalem Bible. You can also get it from the Internet.

Usually Hanukkah is celebrated around Christmas time. This year Hanukkah starts tomorrow. Officially it begins at sundown, Wednesday 27th November, the day before Thanksgiving. The last time this happened was in 1888, before the date for Thanksgiving was changed to the day we celebrate now. And it won’t happen again for 77,000 years! Amazing!


Day 1
God is the Source of Light and gives Light
Genesis 1:3-5
Exodus 27:20-21; 40:24-25; cf. Leviticus 24:1-4; Numbers 8:1-3
Exodus 13:21; Nehemiah 9:12,19
Psalm 36:9
Psalm 104:1-2
1 Timothy 6:16
James 1:17

Day 2
Jesus is the Light of the World
Isaiah 9:2, cf. Matthew 4:12-17
Luke 1:76-79; 2:27-32
John 1:4-9,cf. Job 18:5-6; Proverbs 27:20
John 3:19-21
John 8:12
John 12:44-46
Acts 26:22-23

Day 3
Shine the Light of Jesus to the world
Proverbs 4:18
Isaiah 58:6-8, 10
Isaiah 60:1-2
Matthew 5:14-16
Luke 12:35
Philippians 2:14-15

Day 4
God's Word is our Light
Ezra 9:8
Psalm 19:7-11
Psalm 119:18, 105, 130
Proverbs 6:20-24
Ephesians 1:17-18

Day 5
Walk in the Light
Psalm 89:15
Isaiah 2:5
Romans 13:12-14
2 Corinthians 4:4-7
1 John 1:6-9
1 John 2:8-11
Ephesians 5:8-20

Day 6
Out of Darkness into Light
2 Samuel 22:29 (Psalm 18:28)
Isaiah 42:16
Isaiah 50:10
Acts 26:17-18
1 Corinthians 4:5
1 Thessalonians 5:5
1 Peter 2:9

Day 7
Living in God is to live in Light
Psalm 4:6
Psalm 27:1
Psalm 37:3-6
Psalm 43:3-4
Psalm 112:4
Micah 7:8

Day 8
God is the Light of Heaven
Isaiah 24:23; 30:26
Isaiah 60:19-20
Revelation 21:22-25
Revelation 22:3-5

Love from Nancy Campbell

More To This:
Part 2 of Nancy's Post

Linked To:
Time Warp Wife

5 Things My Teenage Daughter Can't Live Without

5 Things My Teenage Daughter
Can't Live Without..... or so she thinks!

1. Cell Phone - Her currently model cell phone is an iPhone 4S. Like most other teens her age, it is "her life" in the palm of her hand. HA! Who am I kidding.... its "my life" in the palm of my hand.


2. iHomealarm clock for iPad, iPhone and iPod that lets you charge your iPad, Phone or iPod and lets you wake and sleep to any of these or to a custom playlist. A Time Sync button syncs the clock to your iPhone to set the time quickly all while charging the device. FM radio with 6 station memory presets.

3. Dell Inspiron R Laptop with Switchable Cover - used for school work & play.

4. EOS Lipbalm - because no girl should have chapped lips and I have to say I agree. I have an EOS nearly everywhere (bedroom, car, bathroom, work, purse) Her current favorite flavor: Sweet Mint  My current favorite: Lemon Drop

5. Elite 3 Rifle - Not many girls would say they couldn't live without a rifle.... but MINE would. Not just any rifle though. It's colorguard. No bullets, all spinning & tossing! She is the Rifle Captain, so she definitely couldn't live withough her rifle. (At least in her mind!)






Pumpkin Pie

After a big turkey dinner there is always room for pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving dinner just wouldn’t be the same without it. Add some character by drawing a turkey design on top with sour cream and milk before baking. It is simple to draw as it consists mostly of circles and a few straight lines.

Pumpkin Pie
Pie ingredients:
1 can (14 oz)) cooked pumpkin purée
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup light cream
3/4 cup 2% milk, scalded
Pre-packaged Pie Shell
Mix pumpkin purée, brown sugar, spices, and salt together. Add lightly beaten eggs and mix together until well blended. Add cream and mix well. Stir in scalded milk just until blended. Pour pumpkin mixture into the pie shell.
Turkey Design Ingredients:
2 1/2 tbspsour cream
1 1/2 tsp milk
Mix sour cream with milk until smooth making sure there are no lumps. Pour mixture into the corner of a small Ziploc bag. Cut off the corner of the Ziploc bag to make a very small opening and draw your turkey design on top of the pie as follows: 
Make a medium circle towards the bottom of the pie. Draw another smaller circle inside for the head. Make an arch above the medium circle, connect lines to the medium circle to make feathers, and add a scallop to the top edge of the arch. Add eyes, beak, snood, and feet. Smooth out any uneven edges with a toothpick.
Preheat oven (350 F) and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until filling is set. Cool and serve with maple whipped cream.
Maple Whipped Cream Recipe:
2 cups whipping cream
1–2 tbsp pure maple syrup
Mix all ingredients together in electric mixer on high speed until firm enough to hold peaks.



November 25, 2013

*Free* Christmas Book ~ Christian Reading

*Free For Limited Time*
This free short story e-romance is an exclusive bonus from The Pebble Creek Amish Series by Vannetta Chapman. Fans of the series will enjoy this chance to briefly revisit Pebble Creek, and new readers will be introduced to an Amish community that is more deeply explored in the three full novels, A Promise for Miriam, A Home for Lydia, and A Wedding for Julia. As a bonus, this free eBook also includes Amish homestyle recipes for chicken and dumplings, green beans, and fresh bread. Heavy snow blankets the southwestern Wisconsin Amish community as nineteen-year-old Grace Miller closes the schoolhouse for Christmas break. She’s looking forward to having extra time to help the family prepare for the holiday, and she is hoping to get a few more drawings in of the beautiful, snowy Pebble Creek landscape. Her courtship with Adam Lapp is going on six months, and Grace can’t wait to give him his present: a blue-and-brown buggy blanket she crocheted for him. Yes, this Christmas is going to be especially joyful. Yet, amid the cheer of snowshoe outings, church potlucks, and holiday festivities, Grace is given a bittersweet reminder of the Christmas story. Grief is present with celebration, and though the future is rarely certain, she is given a heartwarming glimpse that God knows our needs before we do and will provide.

Free Christmas Music (20 Holiday Favorites) *Limited Time*

*Limited Time Offer*

Crawfish & Corn Soup

It's the time of the year when the only thing you want to eat is something hot. Saturday was a cold and wet day here in South Louisiana, so my sweet hubby (being a much better cook than I) made a delicious Crawfish & Corn Soup.
Honestly, the only thing I would change is to add some cheese to it..... of which I did in my own bowl. :)
Crawfish & Corn Soup

1/2 cup butter
2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk of celery, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 (15 ounce) cans cream-style corn
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of potato soup
1/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1 dash hot-sauce
salt and black pepper to taste
 2 pound crawfish, peeled

Melt butter in a large pot over low heat, and stir in flour. Cook, stirring constantly to make a blonde roux, about 5 minutes.

 Add yellow & green onions, green bell pepper, celery and garlic, cook until wilted. Pour in milk, heavy cream, creamed corn, whole kernel corn, and cream of potato soup. Season with Creole seasoning, hot-sauce, salt & pepper. Stir to blend, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Add the crawfish, and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

November 22, 2013

Instilling Vision In Our Sons

He had that look in his eye.
You know the look. That way of silently expressing that this young man has got things to do and places to go. You could tell he felt a calling on his life – a sense of purpose and a hope for the future.
Yes, that young man had a vision.
There was a time when I thought a boy either had it…or simply didn’t. But I don’t believe that anymore. I believe parents can encourage vision in their sons. That it’s not merely a matter of chance, but an internal calling that can be brought out and molded into something solid and real. And I believe it’s never too late to appeal to that small flicker of fire deep inside his soul.
How Do You Instill Vision in Your Son? 
Encourage his unique strengths and gifting. Sometimes a son’s strengths can seem almost odd, even out-of-place when he is young. You worry about him and wonder. But don’t. Maybe he’s bright, overly-social, not-social-enough, a tinkerer, funny, or serious. Whatever he is – God made him that way and He has a plan for that boy of yours.
Don’t impose your dreams on him. This is probably the biggest mistake parents make. They want their sons to fulfill their own dreams. But, please, don’t do this to him. Let him live out his own God-given desires and goals for his life. Even if it looks a bit differently than the picture you would have painted for him.
Be bold and offer some direction. This might seem to contradict what’s above, but it doesn’t. I’ve heard more than one guy confide that he could use a little help – maybe even a little push – to get going in a direction. Often a young man feels the pressure of having to pursue something, but has no idea what that “something” is. So offer guidance as to his best options and then together set out specific steps toward the goal.
Read the Rest of Lisa Jacobson's blog here

November 21, 2013

Easy Chicken & Dumplings

I haven't been feeling well this week and dinner has quickly turned south. Hot dogs, corn dogs, pizza delivery..... Ugh. I am done. Its also finally starting to cool off down here in the Deep South, so what better idea than my Easy Chicken & Dumplings for dinner? I literally spent no time at the stove and we ended up with a delicious dinner.

Need: 2 stock pots (I know, I know! Two? Well.... it just goes faster that way!)

In one pot, boil until cooked, then drain in a strainer:
2 lbs chicken breast tenderloins (frozen, straight from the bag is what I do)
2 cups seasoning blend (onion, bell pepper, celery that is pre-chopped)

While chicken is boiling, In the other pot:
2 - 32 oz. boxes Swanson Chicken Broth
2 - 12 oz. cans Evaporated Milk
3(approx) tablespoons Paul Prudhomme Poultry Magic (I get mine at Winn Dixie)

This is really to taste. I don't actually measure the seasoning and it will really depend on your own taste as to how much you will want to use.

Combine the above in the pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Don't forget to stir or you will end up with scorched milk. 

Once you have a rolling boil, you need:
4 rolls of CHEAP can buttermilk biscuits - I am talking the cheap small ones. Cheaper the better, honest!

Take each biscuit and break off into pieces. You will get 4-6 pinches off of each biscuit. Throw into the boiling broth/evap. milk mixture.

Finishing Up:
Really, after about 15 minutes of the biscuits boiling in the liquid you could be eating, but I like mine to thicken up and be more of a stew consistency than a soup consistency. Its really a matter of preference. 

Once you have added your pulled pieces of biscuit, you need to break the chicken into bit size pieces and add it to the pot.

From the time my biscuits go in, I am usually serving bowls of this up within 45 minutes.