Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What's Your Oxen?

Proverbs 14:4
Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.


Where there are no kids, the house is clean, but priceless sanctifying lessons come from raising kids!

Why am I so quick to get annoyed by messy rooms, or lots of laundry, or repeated instructions, or countless interruptions?
My goal is misplaced when I think success or happiness comes if and when the house stays clean or I complete a task uninterrupted. Success is when I decide to handle the situations that arise throughout the day in a way pleasing to the Lord.

How's my tone of voice?
Am I using self-control?
Am I being patient?

What are my actions teaching my kids?

Am I being consistent?

Good parenting isn't learned in ideal conditions. Good parenting is learned in the interruptions. Don't waste the school of interruptions!

Lord, thank You for this proverb and for it's truth. Please bring it to mind when I start to think of my kids as a burden. Thank You for the many ways you use the relationship of kids and parents to show me how glorious You are! Your unconditional love. How to have child-like faith. How You discipline those You love. How You want what is best for us.

What's your oxen?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala

You should try this tonight, as soon as you go out and find the spice "garam masala". Do not make this dish without it. If you just can't find it, here's how you can make your own: 1 T of each of the following- ground coriander, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, fennel seeds, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon of ground cloves.

Alright, enough chit-chat. Here's the recipe.

Chicken Tikka Masala
adapted from Pioneer Woman

3-4 chicken breasts
ground corriander
1/2 c plain yogurt
2T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2" chunk of ginger, grated
3 T garam masala
28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 t sugar
1 1/2 c heavy cream

season chicken with salt, corriander, and cumin.
coat completely in yogurt.
place chicken on a cooling rack on a cookie sheet and broil 10-12" away from flame until slightly blackened on both sides.
meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat oil and saute onion until translucent, then add garlic, ginger, 1 t salt, and 3 T garam masala.
cook for 1 minute.
add tomatoes and sugar.
simmer for at least 15 min.
add heavy cream.
chop up chicken and add to sauce.
add some chopped cilantro.

serve over rice and enjoy with flatbread.

*this dish is GF as long as your yogurt and cream are GF.

Menu Monday on Tuesday

Hmmm...three menu posts in a row. Can I plead start of school craziness?
I'll get right on posting some recipes.

Chicken tika masala/rice/flatbread
meatloaf/smashed potatoes/green beans
chicken enchiladas/rice/beans
broiled chicken/potatoes/fruit
deep dish pizza

Monday, September 21, 2009

Menu Monday

Hello everybody! Short week here for us. Tony and I will be dropping the kiddos off with grandpa & grandma then we will be attending the Desiring God National Conference. Yipee!

grilled chicken/grilled cauliflower/grilled asparagus
salad bar
something between here and Mankato
Fogo de chao

Nothin' like ending the week with a little Fogo!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Menu Monday

This week's menu:

green bean chicken curry/rice
pizza w/ small group
nachos supreme

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Slab Pie

Some friends gave us some ripe Michigan peaches so I decided it would be the perfect time to try out Smitten Kitchen's recipe for Slab Pie. I love the name 'Slab Pie'. It just sounds so.... lumberjack? I don't know. Anyway, I've always loved a huge pan of pie bars. They have just the right ratio of fruit : crust. And it has the same amount of filling as a regular pie, but a regular pie only serves 8 and is only good the day you make it. This slab can easily serve a couple dozen, and is good for a couple days! Plus it has glaze!

the crust
1 1/2 c ice water
3 3/4 c flour
1 1/2 T sugar
1 1/2 t salt
3 sticks of butter, cold, cubed

mix flour, sugar, and salt.
mix in cubed butter with pastry blender until crumbly.
pour in 1 cup ice water (but, no ice) and mix until it comes together adding remaining water as needed.
divide dough in half, and form into squares, wrapping in saran-wrap, and place in fridge to keep cold.

the filling
6 c of fruit
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
juice of half of lemon
pinch of salt

mix fruit of your choice with sugar, salt, cornstarch, lemon juice, and any other spices like cinnamon. (I added some raspberries to my peaches to get to 6 cups)

the glaze
1 c powdered sugar
juice from other half of lemon

the assembly
roll out one section of dough a little larger than the baking sheet you are using.
pour fruit filling on top and spread out evenly.
roll out remaining piece of dough just the size of the baking sheet.
place on top of filling.
wrap bottom dough around top of dough to seal.
poke with fork to vent.
brush with egg wash or milk.
bake at 375 degrees for 45 min. until golden and bubbly.
transfer to wire rack to cool.
drizzle with glaze.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Menu Monday

Summer is unofficially over! It's back to school time.
I'm trying to not go to the grocery store this week, so I'm going to try and use up what I already have in stock.

dinner meeting for church
grilled chicken salad
dinner meeting for church
bacon, egg, and cheese muffins
ravioli/salad/garlic bread

It helps having two meals away from home this week :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Paul's Prayers

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
Colossians 1:9-12

I really love Paul's prayers to the believers in Colossae, and similar ones in Ephesians and Phillipians. There's just so much packed into them. You can tell by the tone that he genuinely cares for them and that he truly understands the message and power of Christ. He gets it.

So here's just some bullet points of what hits me in this prayer found in Colossians 1.

vs 9a- And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you...He didn't stop praying for them once they became Christians. They believed, and they are loving others, and are bearing fruit and growing and Paul still prays earnestly for them!

vs 9b-that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding...our actions and decisions are going to be based on what we are filled with. Am I filled with FOX News, impressing others, success at work, school, making money, me time, facebook, my kids, sports, etc? Or am I filled with words of truth from God in His Bible?

vs 10-so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him...The goal of being filled with the knowledge of His will is that we may live a life worthy of the Lord and to please Him.

vs 11a- May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might...That's a lot of power! The God who created the universe and was able to conquer death is offering to strengthen us. Paul's prayer to the Ephesians says, "that you may know...what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe." I think I know of His power, but I don't tap into into it nearly enough. I too often just use my own strength and don't ask Him to flex for me.

vs 11b- for all endurance and patience with joy...not just patience, but patience with joy! That's not going to happen when I rely on my own works or strength to do what the Lord has called me to do. When I am out of endurance and patience (with joy!), I need to run to God and be strengthened with His power, which is a lot!

Lord, Thank you for Paul and his heart for the early Christians and his example to me how to pray for others. But I really ask for this prayer for myself. May the eyes of my heart be enlightened, so that I may know the immeasurable greatness of Your power toward us who believe. And would you fill me with the knowledge of Your will, so that I would walk in a manner worthy of You, pleasing to You. And would you give me Your power to show love to others with endurance and patience with joy!