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Archive for June, 2011

I love the 4th of July and any other time we can celebrate what a great country we live in!  And first of all for the record and for NBC:  “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands: one nation UNDER G O D, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all”.  After having seen what other countries have to offer I am even more patriotic and grateful for our Nation!  It really does need to come back to God though!  Ok, so now on to some amazing recipes and please keep checking back because as I get more 4th recipes and grilling ideas I will keep updating!  If you have some you would like to share please email them to me at janet@freeourfamily.com and if you would like to send a picture of it as well please do so.

Mexican Salsa

Prep Time:  40 Min

 

Ingredients

  • 3 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 2 cans (one 28 ounces, one 14-1/2 ounces) whole tomatoes, drained
  • 4 fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Tortilla chips

Directions

  • Heat a small ungreased cast iron skillet over high heat. With a small sharp knife, pierce jalapenos; add to hot skillet. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until peppers are blistered and blackened, turning occasionally.
  • Immediately place jalapenos in a small bowl; cover and let stand for 20 minutes. Peel off and discard charred skins. Remove stems and seeds.
  • Place onion and garlic in a food processor; cover and pulse four times. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, salt and jalapenos. Cover and process until desired consistency. Chill until serving. Serve with chips. Yield: 3-1/2 cups.

Firecracker Cupcakes

 

Ingredients

  • 5 red pull-and-peel licorice
  • 6 drops red food coloring
  • 1 cup flaked coconut, divided
  • 4 drops blue food coloring
  • 1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 24 cupcakes
  • Assorted red and blue sprinkles, optional

Directions

  • Cut each licorice twist into five pieces; pull apart one end of each to make firecracker fuses. Set aside.
  • In a resealable plastic bag, combine 1/4 teaspoon water and red food coloring; add 1/2 cup coconut. Seal bag and shake to tint coconut. In another bag, combine 1/4 teaspoon water and blue food coloring; add remaining coconut. Seal bag and shake to tint.
  • Spread whipped topping over cupcakes; decorate with coconut or sprinkles as desired. Insert firecraker fuses into tops. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 2 dozen.

Patriotic Trifle

Prep Time:  30 Min + Chilling

 

Ingredients

  • 1 package (3 ounces) berry blue gelatin
  • 1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 cups cold whole milk
  • 2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 1 prepared angel food cake (8 to 10 ounces), cut into 1-inch cubes

Directions

  • In two small bowls, combine each gelatin flavor with 1 cup boiling water. Stir 1/2 cup cold water into each. Pour each into an ungreased 9-in. square pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.
  • In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in 2 cups whipped topping.
  • Set aside 1/4 cup blueberries and 1/2 cup strawberries for garnish. Cut the gelatin into 1-in. cubes. In a 3-qt. trifle bowl or serving dish, layer the strawberry gelatin, half of the cake cubes, the remaining blueberries and half of the pudding mixture.
  • Top with blue gelatin and remaining cake cubes, strawberries and pudding mixture. Garnish with reserved berries and remaining whipped topping. Serve immediately. Yield: 16-20 servings.

Lemon Berry Shortcake

Prep Time:  30 Min  Bake:  20 Min  + Cooling

 

Ingredients

  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

  • TOPPING:
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups reduced-fat whipped topping

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, buttermilk, butter, lemon juice, lemon peel and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in strawberries. Pour into a greased and floured 9-in. round baking pan.
  • Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • For topping, in a large bowl, combine the strawberries, lemon juice and sugar. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Spread whipped topping over cake. Drain strawberries; arrange over top. Yield: 8 servings.

 I will be adding some more recipes as I get them over the next few days so keep checking back and I will look for extra grilling tips as well so please feel free to pass those on as well!  One grill tip that Bill and I have found to be priceless when it comes to the flavor of any meat we choose to grill is:

Go to Costco or maybe even your local grocery store and check in either the meat section or grilling section to see if they sell “Planks” for grilling.  I have found long ones for steaks, chicken, ribs or fish and then little square ones that can be used for burgers or chicken etc.  They need to be soaked in water for a while before you start grilling so they don’t catch on fire, but the difference in the taste of your meats will shock you!  I am headed to Costco today to see if they have any more so we are ready for Monday!  The only downfall of course is that they are only good for 2-3 times maximum, Bill and I have difficulty with our new grill getting past once – “we” always seem to catch them on fire.  🙂 

Have a great day and I will be back soon with more!

God Bless,

Janet Scott

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Esther 6:1

On that night the king could not sleep.  And he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king.

 At this point in the story of Esther Haman had talked the king into allowing the people to destroy all of the Jews because he hated Mordecai, Esther’s uncle.  Haman was a proud, hateful and extremely arrogant man who had no real respect for anyone other than himself.  Do you have a Haman in your life?  Are you a Haman in someone else’s life?  Well, on that night……. The king couldn’t sleep!

It was no coincidence that the king couldn’t sleep, God had a plan.  God’s plan wasn’t just to save the Jews, although that was the ultimate plan, His plan was to destroy the wicked man and bring him back down to size all in one fell swoop!  It just so happens (once again – no coincidence) that Haman walked in to the King’s courtyard as the king was trying to decide what to do to honor Mordecai so the king asked Haman to give him the idea and being full of himself he thought the king couldn’t possibly have anyone other than himself to honor so he sets himself up to be humiliated honoring Mordecai!  Justice doesn’t come any better than when God does it!  Haman had built a gallows to hang Mordecai on only to have to parade around the streets proclaiming Mordecai’s honor before the people and the king.  I’m thinking the rest of his day went sort of like a child’s day when Mom says, “Just wait until your dad gets home.”  Ugh, the anticipation of what is going to happen is pure doom.

Do you have a Haman in your life?  Don’t think for a second that God isn’t watching and planning!  Stay faithful to God just like Mordecai did and keep your testimony in the process and you just watch and see because the night when the “king can’t sleep” is coming and the God of the Universe will step in and show himself faithful in your situation.  The best is yet to come!

If for some reason you are the “Haman” I would repent and change my ways so the wrath of God doesn’t mess up your plans just like he did here.  Always seek to honor God with your treatment of others, God has his eye on all and He will do what is right in all situations.  Who knows, tonight may be the night when the king can’t sleep.

As it says in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not evil to give you a future and a hope.”  God is not ignoring what is going on and His timing is always perfect so trust Him to know and do what is best today.

Quote:  “The bridges you cross before you come to them are over rivers that aren’t there.”  Gene Brown

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Psalm 42:5

Why are you cast down, O my soul and why are you in turmoil within me?  Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation

 

Do you ever have those days where for some reason you feel as though you’ve been beat up emotionally, spiritually and mentally before you even got out of bed?  It can be difficult to get a jump start on the day when you feel as though someone has removed your starter (your hope for the day).  Obviously David had those days as well according to this verse.

I love this verse though because it gives us the answer for the problem – our hope needs to rest in God no matter what has brought us to this point!  God will make it right, he will speak to the hearts that need to be spoken to, he will make your paths straight this morning that seem to be winding in directions that have you confused.  When our hope is in Him and Him alone then it is more difficult for someone to rob us of our joy and our hope!  It’s when we have placed our hope in people or things that we can be on a roller coaster with a blindfold on never quite knowing what is coming next and not knowing if we are able to handle it.

I have had days where I am not even sure why I was down before I got started but I have found that some praise and worship music, reading my Bible and pouring myself into something positive can turn even the worst of days around!  I would challenge you today that when you have these days and we all do at times to remember this verse and put all of your hope in God, pray and ask Him to turn things around, turn on some praise music, read your Bible and surround yourself with people that will help bring you back to life!

Quote:  “The way you see your future determines your thinking today.  Your thinking today determines your performance today.  Your performance in the today’s of your life determines your future.”  Zig Ziglar

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It’s a bit rainy today so it is the perfect day here for a great salad and these Peanut Butter S’Mores!  Bill is off and running across the country as usual and I am trying to balance things on the home front.  Later this week I am going to share with you as well about my experience with the “doctor” I have found for this incurable sinus infection.  I had been to the medical doctor for several months and had been on every antibiotic known to man but when we get to the point where there don’t seem to be answers it may be a good time to check out other alternatives.  For today though I am just sharing a couple recipes because I have a “doctor” appointment to get to this morning.  I will be sharing some other grilling, salsa and amazing Fourth of July desserts throughout the week so be sure to check back!

Grilled Steak Salad

Prep/Total Time:  30 Min.

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 beef flank steak (1 pound)
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 package (5 ounces) spring mix salad greens
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) roasted sweet red peppers, drained and sliced
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Directions

  • Combine the salt, garlic powder and pepper; rub over steak. Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack.
  • Grill steak, covered, over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145°; medium, 160°; well-done, 170°).
  • Place onion slices on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 12 in. square). Fold foil around onion and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 16-20 minutes or until onions are tender. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape.
  • Let steak stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the greens, beans, red peppers and grilled onion.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, basil, oil and mustard. Pour 1/4 cup over salad; toss to coat. Divide among four salad plates. Slice flank steak across the grain; arrange over salads. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Yield: 4 servings.

 

 

Peanut Butter S’Mores

Prep/Total Time:  10 Min  (This does not include baking the cookies)

 

Ingredients

  • 8 large chocolate chip cookies
  • 4 teaspoons hot fudge ice cream topping
  • 4 large marshmallows
  • 4 peanut butter cups

Directions

  • Spread the bottoms of four cookies with fudge topping.
  • Using a long-handled fork, grill marshmallows 6 in. from medium-hot heat until golden brown, turning occasionally. Carefully place a marshmallow and a peanut butter cup on each fudge-topped cookie; top with remaining cookies. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.

Yum, yum, yum and believe it or not there are only approx. 227 calories in these yummy S’mores – I would have guessed around 2,000.  LOL  Enjoy and I hope you have an incredibly blessed day!

God Bless,

Janet Scott

 

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Ephesians 4:26

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath.

 It is inevitable that there are times in our lives when we get angry, even Jesus got angry but the key is for us to be self controlled when we are angry.  When we get to the point that we are no longer in control of our actions or words because of our anger it is sin.  Too often things are said and done because someone has lost control of themselves and a lot of the time the thing that shoves you over the edge isn’t even what you are really angry about but whoever happens to be that lucky person standing there takes the blow for everything you have bottled up inside.  Are you an angry person or a calm person most of the time?  If you feel you are angry most of the time it could be time to figure out what it is that is causing it before it destroys you or those around you. 

I know some people have a tendency to let little things build up and build up and then they explode.  Some people are just constant little firecrackers going off all the time over every little thing (that usually means there’s an underlying problem from the past that hasn’t been dealt with).  The key is to learn to control your anger instead of your anger controlling you and destroying everyone and everything around you.  John Maxwell once said, “If a person doesn’t govern his temper, his temper will govern him.”  God never intended for us to live in constant fear or constant bubbling over anger, He intends for us to live with His peace and love controlling our lives so others will see Him when they look our way. 

The other day my two granddaughters were having a day and they started arguing over everything.  One of them is 5 and the other 3 so the arguments didn’t always have to make sense they just kept going like the energizer bunny until finally I asked, “Where are those sweet little attitudes toward each other that would make Jesus happy?”  Expecting an answer back that I would have gotten back from my children when they were small such as, “yes maam” understanding I was saying “stop arguing” I was quite shocked and couldn’t help but laugh when instead the five year old looked at me and said, “Under this mean face!”  Well, that made sense I guess.  The question is; how often is your testimony hidden by your “mean face”?  Whether it is a perfect stranger or your family, what face do they see most often, Jesus love and grace or your mean face? 

I would encourage you if you struggle in this area to seek counseling today, if you live with someone like this I would encourage you to seek God and ask for His grace in the situation.  If you or someone you love need counseling please check out the American Association of Christian Counselors at www.aacc.org and click on “Find a Counselor “in your area.  If you are dealing with a spouse that is out of control I would encourage you to read the book “Boundaries in Marriage” by Henry Cloud and “Captivating” by John and Staci Elderidge so you can gain strength in remembering who you are in Christ, it will help you help without losing yourself in the situation.  The best is yet to come but you have to pursue it!

Quote:    “Character is what you are in the dark.”  D.L Moody

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1 Peter 3:1-7 

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Ok, there is a lot to cover in these seven verses but we will take it piece by piece.  Let’s start at the beginning with us ladies.  First of all let’s define submit:  to submit is to accept or yield to the authority of another person.  That could be clarified as giving in to his leadership especially if you don’t necessarily agree on something, letting him be the authority and making the decision.  That can be something simple or big in your marriage as long as it is not defying God.  It is sort of like being at work and you and your supervisor don’t agree on how to do your job but you submit and do it their way.  Please understand ladies that submission does not mean you are a doormat or that you lose yourself, you can be a strong woman and still submit willingly to your husbands godly leadership.

Now, speaking of “godly leadership” we all know that not all men are godly leaders so then what?  Well according to these verses that is when you need to be sure you are getting dressed spiritually in the mornings so you are the example, not nagging or rebellious or lashing out in anger all the time but praying for God to help us show the love of Christ and a Christ-like attitude in all we do each day and by those actions win him back over to God. That’s why we can’t count on our outward looks to do what only our inward beauty that only comes from Christ can do!  As these verses say, you can put on the best clothes, have the best hair and jewelry but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t shine the inward beauty of the love of Christ.

When it comes to husbands, they are expected to, as it says in Ephesians 5:25 “love their wife as Christ loved the church and gave His life for it.”  If a man loves his wife right then it won’t be difficult for her to submit to his decisions and if he treats her with the respect spoken of in the verses above then as it says, “nothing will hinder his prayers.”  God does not take lightly how a man loves his wife and how he treats her with respect because he is representing Christ in the relationship.  In other words, it is a vital chord in a man’s relationship with God.  Marriage is a God ordained institution and we are to take our roles seriously, it is not ok to get married and think that is all you need to do, marriage takes work and it takes two people committed and working at it in this day and age to make it all it can be! 

Don’t settle for a second rate marriage!  Understand this though, you may have to do what is right on your part for a long time before your spouse will come to the place in their walk with Christ where they will be all they are supposed to be, but trust me God will bless you in the process.  Don’t be the reason for unanswered prayers in your marriage, do your part and pray for God’s wisdom, grace and guidance every day to be all you need to be for him and for your marriage.  The rewards will outweigh the struggle in the end.  Trust God for the strength to take each day at a time and trust Him to in the fact that the best truly is yet to come and you will be glad you made it!

Quote:  “If what you believe doesn’t affect how you live then it isn’t very important.”  Dick Nogleberg

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Hebrews 11:1   Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:6           But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 

It is so important to have faith and to fully believe that God truly has your best interest at heart and wants to see you succeed and would love to bless your life.  Spending time with God and speaking truth and blessing over our lives is very important in verse 6 it actually says it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God without faith!  You can’t have faith and run around speaking negative things at the same time!  “I will never lose this weight, my husband will never change, I will never find a good job or get that raise,”  ooooh those words just don’t go with a faith filled life where God can bless you and help you succeed.  If those types of words come out of your mouth, it is time to change the way you think.  Speak blessing not cursing over your life and the lives of those you love!

Do you have someone in your life that is so negative that when they open their mouth you just want to throw up?  It is just a constant spewing of complaining and negative garbage until you want to just shut yourself in a room and lock the door so they can’t get in!?  Turn on praise music or memorize some key verses that are positive and uplifting and every time they say or you think something negative say the verse in your head or start singing your favorite praise song.  If that doesn’t work you may have to kindly tell them that they need to speak good and not evil over the situation.  Our words are very important! God gave us the example when He spoke the world into existence!  God could have made everything any way He wanted to but He spoke and it was so.  I am not saying that if I say, “there’s a Mercedes in the driveway, there is a Mercedes in the driveway” that it will just show up!  If it did just show up like that at my house it would be someone looking for directions.  But I am saying that speaking negative has never brought good into anyone’s life!  If you are struggling with something then ask God like the man did in Mark 9:24 where he told Jesus, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief.” 

Walk with God in EVERY situation; ask him to help your unbelief and to keep you walking with him.  Don’t allow your situation or other people to drag you off the path and away from God’s peace.  If you need a verse today to keep you focused then just use, “the joy of the Lord is my strength” just keep saying it to keep you on track.  God loves you and wants the best for you.  He wants to be there when you are struggling and when you are looking for direction and blessing.  Give it a shot today and watch over the next 30 days as you see the difference it will make in your life!  The best is yet to come!

Quote:  “Wherever you go, go there with all your heart.”

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