Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Book Recommendation

If you love to bake, I would recommend Desserts By the Yard by Sherry Yard. The recipes range from easy to challenging and the pictures are amazing!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kublai Khan's Stir Fry with Fiery Walnuts

Fiery Walnuts:

2 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup walnut halves

Stir Fry:

1 pound boneless tender beef steak
2 TBSP plus 1/3 cup Kikkoman's Stir fry sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBSP vegetable, divided
1 onion, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
2 large carrots, cut into julienne strips
1 pound fresh spinach, washed and drained
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

To prepare Fiery Walnuts, combine oil, cayenne pepper and salt in a small skillet; heat over medium heat until hot. Add walnut halves. Cook, stirring 1 minute or until walnuts are coated. Turn out onto small baking sheet; spread out in a single layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes or until golden. Cool.

To prepare stir fry, cut beef across grain into thin strips. Combine 2 TBSP stir-fry sauces, cornstarch and garlic in a medium bowl; stir in beef.

Heat 1 TBSP oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add beef and stir fry 1 and 1/2 minutes; remove. Heat remaining oil in same pan. Add onion; stir fry 2 minutes. Add carrots; stir fry 1 minute. Add spinach and mushrooms; stir fry 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Add beef and remaining stir fry sauce. Cook and stir only until beef and vegetables are coated with sauce and heat through. Remove from heat; stir in Fiery Walnuts and serve immediately.

I serve over rice.

Also my husband does not like Walnuts so I use Pecans.

Monday, July 28, 2008

This Week at Our House

First, let me thank you all for praying. No more nightmares this week! I'm so thankful.

We saw Journey to the Center of the Earth. Noah loved the 3-D effects. And it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. I'm not a scary movie type person.

Noah lost a tooth yesterday.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Red Project

My friend, Trish, is working on a huge project all in one color and she inspired me to work on a project in one color. I don't think I've ever done that before. Mine is much smaller than hers. And I'm really enjoying it! I've included a picture so you can see my progress so far, which isn't much. Hopefully you'll check back to see how I'm coming along. Thank you Trish for inspiring me!

And I know the picture is not that great, but it's the best I have at the moment. Hopefully next time my husband can get a better one!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thirstin' for the Word Thursday

This has been a difficult week. We have a water leak somewhere at our house outside. After much digging my husband is pretty sure it is under our concrete driveway. So we are still trying to get that repaired. Then the faucet in the kitchen breaks. I have had nightmares for 3 nights in a row. Work has been very stressful. Boy do I need to dig into the Word for some strength. These are the verses that have kept me going this week.

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you." Isaiah 43:2

"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8

"My life dissolves and weeps itself away for heaviness; raise me up and strengthen me according to [the promises of] Your word." Psalm 119:28

God is faithful and His promises are true. I'm so thankful for the strength He gives us when we ask. Let us remember to express our thankfulness and praise Him.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Book Recommendation

You know scripture tells us to hide His word in our hearts and to meditate on it day and night. One way is to surround ourselves with it. And this book gives you wonderful creative ideas of how to do just that. I am amazed at all the wonderful projects Jeanne Winters came up with. They don't seem to be that hard either. The only problem I have is deciding which one to attempt first. I love them all. If you love crafts I would certainly recommend this book. It will add beauty to your home and to your heart. God has indeed blessed her and I hope she has other books with even more ideas. It's on my list of to dos to find out! I am so thankful that she was willing to pass on her knowledge and creativity.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Grilled Chicken Salad

This is great this time of the year with all the grilling going on. If we have leftovers after a get together this is what I make. Great to take to work for lunch!


2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled and diced
1 red onion, diced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
2 TBSP Old Bay Seasoning
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 TBSP lime juice

In a large bowl stir together all ingredients until well combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Monday, July 21, 2008

This Week at Our House

Not much was happening at our house this week. I guess we've hit the lazy dog days of summer. Since I don't really have much to report on the family I thought I'd leave you with a tip for your family. The home is so important - I believe as women we are called to make a home that is a retreat for those we love. I look forward to finding tips to help me create such a home. So here is one for you.

Hang a bulletin board above your washing machine filled with pictures of family and friends. Their faces will brighten your day as they remind you that you're loved and lighten their load as you pray for them.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thirstin' for the Word Thursday

Matthew 11:28 from The Message

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

I don't own a copy of this version of the Bible, but this verse from this version really speaks to me. So many times I run around trying to "do the right thing". Even when we go on vacation I'm guilty of not really taking a vacation. I stick in so many have to dos that we are even more tired when we come home than when we left. I know I need to let the Lord show me how to take a REAL REST. I need to LEARN THE UNFORCED RHYTHMS OF GRACE. And I certainly need TO LEARN TO LIVE FREELY AND LIGHTLY. I'm still praying for the Lord to help make this one a reality in my life. When I'm running around exhausted wondering what's going on, I'll go to my quiet place and reflect on some of favorite verses and pray. You guessed it, this is one of those favorites.

Library Visit

I remember as a child being so excited for those Saturday visits to the library. Not much has changed - except I'm older. I'm so blessed to have a wonderful library with a great staff - friendly and helpful.

I wanted to share with you a book that I read recently. The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright. I LOVED this book. Mr. Wright is an excellent author and will go on my list of favorites. I know he has a least one other book and I'm looking forward to reading that one as well. I recommend this book if you are looking for a good read. This is from the back cover

Their story began with one letter on their wedding night.

I made a promise today at the church and I'm making another promise here tonight. I'm going to write to you every week...And Laurel, I will always stand by you. No matter what. We're in everything together. No secrets. No surprises. And I will always be true. In every way...Jack

It ended with a final letter before either one had a chance to tell their children the truth. Soon the Cooper children discover thousands of 'Wednesday Letters,' clues to a family secret that will bring them face-to-face with a life-changing moment of truth.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Paula Deen's Broccoli Casserole

I love Paula Deen. I say with a laugh that when I grow up I want to be her. (Who cares that I'm already 40??!!). This is easy and SO good. Try it for your family.

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups crushed crackers
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, cheese, soup and eggs. Mix well with a metal spoon. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers. Bake for 35 minutes or until set and browned.

Monday, July 14, 2008

One of My Many Blessings

This is my son, Noah. He's 10 years old. He is really enjoying his summer. He finished third grade in May. The West Highland Terrier with him is Riley. He's 9 months old and is a handful! We have two other dogs also. At school, Noah really likes math and sports. At home, he loves games, cartoons and playing with his friends.