From My Heart

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6 -NIV

Archive for November, 2011

Keeping it simple!

As you may have noticed my theme the last few posts is keeping it simple; back to the basics. I have been encouraging you to keep first things first.
Click on the link above for practical guide may help you do just that.
Be watching for my post of another holiday recipe soon.
Let me hear from you about holiday tips, memories & recipes!


Looking for a sweet treat to take to a Christmas party?

Here is a great suggestion from one of my friends.
I’ve tried them and they are very good!

Almond Puff
From the kitchen of Patti Yampolsky- Salmo BC

1 C. Flour
1/2 C. Butter or Margarine

Cut together, sprinkle with water and mix until a soft dough forms. Divide dough in 1/2 and pat into a cookie sheet – half on each side. This will leave about 1/3 of the sheet empty in the centre.

1C. Water
1/2 C Butter or Margarine.
1 C. Flour
3 eggs
1 t. Almond Flavoring

Place water and butter on stove in saucepan. Bring to a boil. (Butter should be melted.) Add flour all at once, Mix well. Add eggs all at once, almond flavoring and mix very well. Spoon this mixture onto pastryin the cookie sheet. Bake for one hour in a 375 oven, or until golden brown. Cool well, drizzle with following frosting.

Icing Sugar, T. Butter, water to make a soft frosting. Add Almond flavoring. May be topped with almonds if desired

Looking for a way to use some leftover turkey?

Well, it’s the day after Thanksgiving in the United States so I thought I would share one of my favorite ways to use up some leftover turkey. This soup is so good and VERY simple. I have doubled and tripled it for a larger crowd.

Turkey Tortilla Soup

What you will need-
3 – 6” corn tortillas cut into strips (you can substitute corn chips or tortilla chips)
2 Tbls. Cooking oil
1 cup red or green salsa
2 – 14 oz cans reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups cubed cooked turkey
2 stalks celery chopped
1 large zucchini coarsely chopped
Lime wedges (optional)
Sour cream and cilantro (optional)

Here’s how you prepare it-
In a large skillet cook tortilla strips in hot oil until crisp; remove with slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. (Skip this step if substituting with chips)

In a large saucepan combine salsa and chicken broth; bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Stir in turkey and zucchini; heat through.

Serve in bowls; top with tortilla strips, lime wedges, sour cream and cilantro.
Makes 4 servings

Another easy recipe but oh so good!

This is a very moist, yummy, and fairly simple carrot cake from scratch. It comes from a cookbook that the women of the church I grew up in put together. I have given the lady who submitted it her credit!

I would love to hear from some of you. Read below for a post from a few days ago to learn what we are chatting about. I would like to hear your thoughts about keeping our focus in the right place this Christmas season.

Here’s that yummy recipe……..

Carrot Cake Recipe from Rowena Larkin First Christian Church Lebanon Oregon

Heat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
Grease pans; will make 3 layers or one 9X13 sheet

What you will need
2 cups sugar
dash of salt
2 cups of flour
1½ cups oil
2 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
4 tsp cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots

Combine dry ingredients in mixer bowl. Add oil and mix well. Add eggs one at a time mixing well. Add grated carrots.
Bake for about 30 minutes. Let cool completely then frost.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese 1 lb powdered sugar
1 cube butter or margarine 1 tsp vanilla
Whip all ingredients together until fluffy. Then add 1 cup chopped walnuts (if desired)

Sharing a recipe……….

As promised I’m sharing Christmas recipe. I chose to post this one first for those of you with young children at home or even grandchildren. They are fun to make together and put off a sweet smell. I hope you enjoy!

Cinnamon Ornaments
What you will need:
3/4 cup Applesauce
1 cup ground Cinnamon
1 Tbsp. Nutmeg
2 Tbsp. White glue
Christmas cookie cutters
Toothpick or drinking straw
Yarn or Ribbon in cheery Christmas colors
1. Mix cinnamon, nutmeg and applesauce together in small bowl. Stir in white glue. Mix to form stiff dough. (if dough is too wet add more cinnamon, if too dry add more applesauce)
2. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness on waxed paper. Cut with cookie cutters. Make a hole in top of ornament with toothpick or drinking straw.
3. Carefully lay the cinnamon ornaments flat on rack to dry. Let dry at room temperature 1 to 2 days or until thoroughly dry – turning occasionally. If the sides start to curl, gently flip the ornament over.
3a. An alternate to room drying is to bake them. Gently place your ornaments on a non-stick cookie sheet and bake at 200° for approx. 1 hour – checking to make sure they do not burn. Let the ornaments sit on a wire rack overnight to completely dry.
4. Insert ribbon through holes and tie to hang. You can use these sweet smelling Cinnamon Ornaments to decorate your Christmas Tree, indoor garlands, packages, etc…
Cinnamon Ornaments can be stored in a plastic storage bag from year to year and they do keep their sweet smell somewhat.

Tis The Season!

The busy holiday season is upon us. Canada has already celebrated Thanksgiving, the United States will this week and then the Christmas parties will begin. Don’t forget the New Year celebrations!
I for one decided a few years ago to slow down and focus on what’s most important. Mostly I have been successful in my resolve only momentarily slipping back into trying to meet everyone’s expectations.
I thought it would be fun to share thoughts on how you “do” the holidays. What is your most special holiday tradition be it Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Eve?
I would like to hear about some of your favorite recipes. They can be simple yet tasty, or extravagant but well worth the effort.
My next post will be a recipe or maybe two. Let me hear from you!

The Church’s Mission Statement

What is the purpose of the church; The Bride of Christ? I believe the answer if very simple. Jesus spelled it out when He was asked “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

There is no doubt that the church’s top priority should be to love God. When we love Him with all our hearts we will in turn desire to bring glory to Him.
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6 NIV
How are we to glorify God here? We are encouraged to be like-minded, having one mind and mouth to glorify God.
When we love someone we invest ourselves in them and learn all we can about them. God IS love. How well do we love? Are we Christians like-minded?
I have been very troubled by the complacency in the church;the bride of Christ, for a long while. A bride should keep herself pure for her bridegroom; free from sin. It is heartbreaking to me when I observe what we have become. We are islands unto ourselves. Most churches today are filled with people seeking to be served and entertained. We praise God with our mouths on Sunday then go to our homes and our private lives until next week. What happened to loving God with all our heart? What happened to loving your neighbor as yourself? When did the pursuit of like-mindedness stop; or did it ever really start?
Perhaps getting to know one another, investing in a personal relationship, truly caring about another’s life takes up too much time and is too messy to bother with. We have selfish desires. But remember, we are new creations because of Jesus. God designed us for human relationships. This topic is spelled out in detail throughout the scriptures. When this crucial element is ignored or trivialized the church suffers. I believe that is one of the key reasons why the church is so marginalized. After all; when we accept Jesus’ payment for our sins the Bible says that we are adopted into His family. When you are adopted into a family you have new brothers and sisters.
We are the family of God. We are siblings with the most wonderful father you could dream of. God’s family was not designed to be dysfunctional; selfish, bickering, backstabbing, unforgiving, careless with our words. We were designed to love each other with an agape love. I looked up the definition of agape love
1. The love of God or Christ for humankind.
Oh if only we could learn to love each other as God loves us!
2. The love of Christians for other persons, corresponding to the love of God for humankind.
Here a secular dictionary defines clearly how we Christians should love others.
3. Unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love.
This last definition brought to mind Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others”

Love God with all your heart; bring glory to Him; love others as yourself.