Sunday, October 19, 2014


Clayton has just been found and is Safe.  Thank You Jesus!!! Thank you everyone for praying.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Urgent Prayer Request

Dear Friends,
Please pray for my friends whose son and grandson is missing in the mountains.  He has been missing for 15 hours now.  There are search parties looking even now, but please pray.  He is 13 years old.  He is the grandson of my dear friend Roxy and the son of my dear friend Amy.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dessert in a Pumpkin

I have a recipe in my recipe box that I cut out from a Sunset Magazine over 30 years ago.  It is a recipe for Rice pudding in a Pumpkin Shell. I thought it looked so good, and was always going to make it, but never seemed to get around to it. I decided this Fall I would attempt "something like it".    It would go along with last year's "Dinner in a Pumpkin".  I wanted a pumpkin pie type of filling for this one, so I put together a recipe inspired by a few that I had seen on Pinterest titled "Impossible Pumpkin Pie" or  "Magic Pumpkin Cake" recipes.  These recipes are like a Pumpkin Pie, but add flour to the filling which creates a cross between pie, cake or muffin texture.  I loved the little pumpkins as "ramekins", and discovered that they worked wonderfully.   The larger "Sugar" Pumpkins were  also delicious, the filling came out with a more pudding like texture.  Either way… this is something fun to do for dessert during the fall… and a great way to use those pumpkins.

Cut off the top of the pumpkin

Scrape out the seeds and stringy pulp.

I like to put the pumpkin seeds to soak in some salty water for roasting later.

Pour Butter and Sucanat over the bottom and spread evenly over the bottom of the inside of the 

Mix together filling ingredients.

Pour the filling into the pumpkin. Fill it almost to the top.

Measure topping ingredients into a bowl.

Mix together until crumbly.

Pour topping ingredients  on top of pumpkin filling.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 20 minutes.  

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Dessert in a Pumpkin

1/2 stick butter melted
1/2 cup Sucanat
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup Sucanat or Coconut Sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup half and half
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon clove
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

For the topping:
1 cups flour
1 cup Sucanat or Coconut Sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup cold butter, diced

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.     Take the tops off of the pumpkins and clean out the seeds and stringy pumpkin strands.
        Use a spoon to scrape the inside of the pumpkin clean.
3.     Drizzle butter inside the pumpkin, and spread evenly around the inside of the pumpkin.
4.     Sprinkle with Sucanat or Coconut Sugar.  Set aside.
5.     Mix together pumpkin, 3/4 cup Sucanat, eggs, vanilla extract, spices and milk. Mix together
        the flour, salt,
        baking powder and baking soda to the mixture.
6.     Place pumpkins onto a greased cookie sheet and fill with filling.  You can fill it up to the top.
7.     In a separate bowl, make a crumble topping by combining the topping ingredients together.
8.     Mix with a mixer until mixture resembles course crumbs.
9.     Generously pour crumble topping on top of pumpkins. Cover with foil.
10.   Place cookie sheet into oven.  Once solidly on a baking rack, pour 2 cups of water into baking  
11.   Bake for 40 minutes covered. Uncover and bake another 20
        minutes.  The Large pie pumpkins      
        require another 30 minutes (covered baking time).
12.   Cool as you would pumpkin pie and Serve.

Makes 8 mini Pumpkins, or 2-3 small pie pumpkins


Monday, October 13, 2014

Grandma's Apple Crisp

I needed to make a big dessert for the men's group that Steve is leading last week, and the abundance of apples made that a quick decision for me.  Old Fashioned Apple Crisp is one of those classic favorites that is quickly put together, easily doubled in size and always enjoyed. Everyone should make it at least one time during apple season don't you think? It is an old fashioned, classic dessert that never goes out of style.  If you are needing some inspiration for apples, perhaps this one will tempt you.

Grandma's Apple Crisp

For the Filling:
5 pounds apples peeled and sliced
5 Tablespoons Apple juice or lemon juice (If you want to add sweetness, add apple juice, or tartness, add lemon juice).
1/2 cup Sucanat or Coconut Sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
5 Tablespoons butter

For the Topping:
1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat flour
1 1/4 Sucanat or Coconut Sugar
1 tsp Himilayan salt
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup walnuts chopped
Serves 10

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1.    Peel and slice 5 pounds of apples and put into a large mixing bowl.
2.    Pour in juice and toss apples in the juice.
3.    In a small bowl, mix together Sucanat, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
4.    Pour sugar mixture over apples and toss to distribute the sugar mixture evenly.
5.    Grease or butter a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish, baking pan or cast iron skillet of approximate size
6.    Place apples into baking dish.
7.    Dot with butter.
8.    In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine all of the topping ingredients.
9.    Mix together with a mixer or food processor unit the mixture is crumbly, and the butter is pea sized.
10.  Add Walnuts to the mixture and mix until well combined.
11.  Spread the topping evenly over apples.
12.  Cover with foil.
13.  Bake for 50 minutes; uncover foil and return to oven for another 10 minutes.
14.  It tastes wonderful served hot with ice cream.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Journeys and Jaunts

We've been on a few journeys and jaunts in the last month, with more coming.  I was in Florida two weeks ago with our girls and their families;  Steve and I were in Phoenix last week, and Nevada visiting my brother this week.  We are on our way home today, having stayed overnight in Grand Junction, Colorado last night.  Next week I will be in North Carolina with Nathan and Himilce and the "Grands".  It has been/is a busy month for us. Much is happening and changes are coming in our lives.  I will share some of those changes when the time is right.  We had a nice visit with my Dad and Kathy, Russ, Olga and Eddie while in Phoenix.  It was a very special time. We brought some of Russ, Olga and Eddie's things out to them; Russ came in from California to see us and stayed with us at my Dad's.  It felt like a little reunion, as we have not all been together at the same time in a little while.   I look forward to a moment when the whole family can be together and not one missing.  I believe it will happen one of these days.

There was a total eclipse of the moon last night; the second of four in a years time; an event that is very rare.  All of these moons happen to fall on Jewish feast days and are called Blood Moons, because of the color they become during the eclipse.  There is some very interesting information about them that I have been reading.  Search "Blood Moons" if your interested; info and pictures come right up. Did any of you get up to see the eclipse?  My hubby and son Luke did.  We couldn't see it from our hotel room, so Steve went in the car a little outside the city limits to see it.   I wasn't quite up to getting up at 4:30 to go see, so I snoozed, and Steve came back a little later and shared it with me.

We had a nice breakfast this morning at the hotel.  We are getting ready to leave, but feel at ease in our return home. Lots of laundry and catching up at home in the next few days, and then I will head out to North Carolina next Monday, where I will have a very special trip with our family there…. looking forward to that.  Hope you all have a great week.  I have a few posts planned so pop in and leave some comments; I love to hear from you.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

How Should We Then Eat?

I often think of my daughters and daughter in law, when sharing recipes and ideas for feeding the family.  The joy of motherhood extends past the teen years and into adult years, and I have often felt the delight of sharing ideas and recipes with them even though they all are wonderful homemakers. I still find myself learning from my parents and older women, and have realized that life and learning is a journey.  It is good to pass on wisdom and instruction to the next generation as we go along.   Each generation has new challenges for the homemaker. One of the biggest challenges a homemaker, can have in this current age is the challenge "What should I feed my family?"  "Should I cook quick and easy recipes to make life a little easier? Should I give my attention to the picky eaters, should I cook frugally,  healthfully or delicious, comfort foodly?  What about those with food allergies. Is there any way to do it all?" Many of these questions were not even thought about when I was a young mother.  So many things have changed; raising, feeding, and nourishing a family can be expensive and time consuming; it requires thoughtful consideration and planning. Whole, organic food is more expensive than non-organic.  Grass-fed beef or chicken is more expensive than grain-fed, Gmo ridden feedlot finished beef or mass produced chicken.  So how do we make meals that are healthy and affordable?  How can we find time to feed the family delicious meals that are homemade?

As for myself, I have had to wrestle with making all of those categories work together.  I love my comfort food, but I also desire to prepare healthy meals and snacks for my family.  I desire to be frugal, but I also desire "real food" to be my priority; which as I said above can be more expensive.  I love ideas for quick and easy recipes, but love homemade "everything" as much as possible.  Certain members of my family can't or won't eat certain things, but I still eat those things. So, what's a Homemaker to do?

The world of the internet has certainly opened up the ability to connect, share and inspire help and ideas like we have never known in times past.  It has also opened up avenues through which many of us can purchase food or tools for the task.  Start with the following, and you can begin to make a way through the confusion you might find in your own lives in regards to food.

  1. Make a list of your families priorities.  
  2. Write down your food budget
  3. Make a list of family favorite foods and recipes.
  4. Make a list of core ingredients that can be bought in bulk, such as beans and other legumes, rice, grains, flours, sugars and nuts.
  5. Begin to put money aside for buying in bulk.
From the above starting place, these suggestions can help with the budget, time management, and encouragement to plan delicious yet wholesome meals.

1.     Buy in bulk. It is one of the bet ways to save money in your grocery budget. Buying in bulk intersects both the healthy cooking standard and the saving money standard that many of us are seeking. The healthiest of foods and the least expensive ways to buy them, can be bought in bulk via the food coop, from the internet via companies like Azure Standard and food buying clubs like Costco or Sams.  While Costco and Sams don't have large offerings of organic ingredients and foods, they do offer some; Costco has really increased the availability of organic food items in stock in recent years.  For many years, I bought from our Local Food Coop.  Every month we ordered, shared, divided and brought home wonderful ingredients all at a savings from anything we could have bought from the store or health food store.

2.     Buy meat from a neighbor or local farmer or rancher.  When we were not raising our own, we have bought a beef from one of several different neighbors for many years.  This is the least expensive way to buy grass fed beef that I know.  We buy the beef and take it down to the butcher ourselves, but there are many ways it can be done, just explore the options. You can do the same with other livestock and poultry, milk and eggs.  Check Craig's list, ask around and knock on doors.

3.     Encourage the family hunters and fishermen. Hunting has also provided a good portion of our meat in years gone by.  My hubby and our boys hunted and fished together and provided many a full freezer.

4.     Grow your own.  I do believe it is very important in these times to increase our gardening capabilities and opportunities.  Begin any way you can.  Pots on the patio, Square foot garden beds or large plots of potatoes and corn… however your family can do it.  It is an investment of time and money that will be well worth it, and you can grow non-gmo, organic food that doesn't take your breath away because of the price.

6.     Pick your own. Neighbors, and local farms often offer good deals to pick fruit and vegetables in season.  We used to pick every year  at the local farms.  Now a days we don't pick, but we do go and buy from them.  Many times neighbors will offer you their excess for free; we have often picked apples at our neighbors ranch that supplied us with applesauce, apple butter, canned and frozen apple slices in abundance for the year. Many fruits can be found wild.   We are always on the look out in our area for the wild plums, choke cherries, rose hips, or wild grapes to be ready to pick, all of which make wonderful jams or teas.

7.     Preserve your own.  If you don't know anything about canning or preserving food, take a class or visit with a friend or family member when they're canning and then dive in.  It is very rewarding work. I first learned to can and preserve many years ago when several ladies in our little town invited me to make Wild Plum Jam with them.  I loved it, and haven't stopped learning or canning since.

7.     Cook and freeze meals ahead to save time. Favorite meals can be made in multiples; Time wise, it is like getting two for the price of one.  If you are making lasagna, make two or three.  If you are preparing potatoes, Make extra for the freezer.  Prepare snacks ahead of time and have them ready to grab when running errands to help keep you from being tempted by junk food in town.  My daughters always bring healthy snacks in the car for the kids, which helps hold hungry tummys when shopping and running errands.

8.     Use the Crockpot.  Planning meals out for the week or even the month is a good idea, and I have done that when our family was big and our budget was tight. Now a days I don't plan meals out quite like that except for the coming of company or special occasions, because most of the time it is just Steve and I; but I do like to think about my dinner plans on the day before or in the morning "of".  It saves time and stress to think about dinner in the morning.  Put it in the crockpot, and you have a wholesome delicious meal ready by dinner time, with little time or stress involved.

9.    If the Budget is tight: Exchange quantity for quality.  I would rather have good grass fed beef less often, or in a lesser quantity than a greater abundance of regular store bought beef or chicken for less money.  Eat bean burritos one night, roast beef or hamburgers the next. One chicken can be stretched in to several meals.  Left over roast beef can be stretched into many meals. Enjoy nutritious soups by cooking the beef and chicken bones for hours to make healthy broths.

10.     Remember to Count the Cost: If you wrestle with the cost of certain food items which are higher priced because they are labeled organic or grass-fed,  remember to calculate the cost in more than the immediate. I have realized over the years that it is going to cost you one way or the other.  Sickness can be very expensive.  Chronic illness takes it tole on the bank account. I consider the cost of organic whole foods to be an investment into our bodies.

11.     Teach your family: It is important to teach and share with your family the "whys" and "hows" of the food we eat; this brings their support, encouragement and help.  It also creates an atmosphere of unity which makes living a healthy lifestyle much easier.

12.     Budget for Joy:  In as much as I have a strong commitment to healthier living, I also work to keep myself from legalism that can enslave us and takes the joy out of eating, cooking and living.  Don't allow yourself to become a legalist.  We should always wear humility, kindness and gentleness in anything we undertake to do, whether cooking, teaching, serving, creating, learning, budgeting, or working.  If there is no grace in these things for ourselves, our family or those around us, we will create resentment and resistance, not only in our family but in ourself, then burn out follows. Allow for the seasons in your life such as the seasons of small children, the seasons of teenagers, the empty nest season… all require a something a little different.  Think of creative ways you can cut costs, time or poor quality food that works for your family and remember: Keep the Joy.

She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
Proverbs 31:14-16