Recipes and Stories for a Full, Filled Life

John 10:10 - Jesus said, "I came that they (you and me) may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance - to the full, til it overflows.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Grandma's Chex Mix

This really is MY Grandma's recipe. It's at least 40 years old! I like it the best of all the many varieties of this recipe that are out there.

1 1/2 gallons of Chex or Crispex of your choice
1-2 c. pretzel sticks, broken
about 1 pound nuts of your choice (I like cashews, almonds and pecans)
Mix the above in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, mix:
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 c. oil
1 1/2 t. garlic salt
1 1/2 t. seasoned salt

Shake well. Pour over Chex mixture. Stir to coat. Pour into 2 or 3, 13 x 9" pans. Bake in a preheated 250 oven for 1-1/2 hours, stirring every half hour. Transfer from pans to paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.

This makes a great gift for Christmas. Simply package in jars or cellophane bags, tied with ribbon or raffia.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Snack Mix

This makes a great table favor at Thanksgiving!

2 c. Bugles corn snacks
2 c. "tiny twists" pretzels
1 c. candy corn or corn nuts
1 c. dried fruit
1 c. salted or dry roasted peanuts

Mix all ingredients together and place desired amount in cellophane bags tied with ribbon or raffia and attach a copy of the following:

Every ingredient in this mix is symbolic:
Bugles represent a cornucopia, the horn of plenty.
Pretzels represent hands folded in thanks and prayer.
Candy corn reminds us that one winter, the Pilgrims were each allotted only 5 kernels of corn per day because food was so scarce.
Dried fruit reminds us that Thanksgiving is the celebration of the harvest.
Peanuts represent the potential of a bountiful harvest for the next year, if seeds are planted and well tended.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His love endures forever. Psalm 106:1

Friday, November 19, 2010

Taste of Home Cooking School

Last night at the fair grounds in West Bend, I had a booth at the Taste of Home Cooking School. With the assistance of my sister and my daughter, I gave out samples of Rocky Road Fudge (page 155 in my cookbook) and Buttermints (page 152). With 1000 mostly women present, I had LOTS of samples. I have to say, that our booth was the most colorful one there! "Recipes for a Full-Filled Life" was very well received!

Book Signing at the Library

I've been asked to do a book signing at the West Bend Library on Tuesday Nov. 30th at 7pm in the story room. Along with samples(!), I'll tell a little about my life and why I decided to add yet another cookbook to the market! "Recipes for a Full-Filled Life" will be available for sale that night. Please join me!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

This bread is best made with Chinese Five Spices. Find it in the oriental section of your grocery store.

3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Chinese Five Spices or cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
3 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 c. oil
2/3 c. water
1 c. chopped walnuts


2 T. melted butter
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. Chinese Five Spices or cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients together; mix well; set aside. Combine sugar, eggs, pumpkin, oil and water; mix well. Add walnuts. Add to dry ingredients and stir only until incorporated. Bake in 2 greased bread pans (9x5-inch) for 45-60 minutes, or until tests done with toothpick. Leave in pan 10 minutes; remove.

For topping, brush tops of bread with butter. Combine sugar and Chinese Five Spices and sprinkle over butter. Continue cooling on wire racks.
Optional: Serve this bread with whipped butter: In mixer, beat 1 pound softened real butter for about a minute. Slowly add 3/4 c. oil (sunflower, corn, or light-tasting olive oil). Continue to beat on high for about 5 minutes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Part 4

What lessons can we learn from the Pilgrims? Many--and it all comes back to faith. In the book of Hebrews, it states: "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." The Pilgrims sailed to America because of their faith. They wrote the Mayflower Compact based on God's Word and signed it by faith. They persevered in the harsh climate because of their faith. They befriended the native Americans because of their faith. Their uncompromising belief in God and His Word became the cornerstone of the colony and in turn of the new nation. The choice of the Pilgrims is clear: believe God in all circumstances.

Governor Bradford once wrote these words that should stir our hearts to greater levels of thankfulness for all we possess and enjoy: "We have noted these things so that you might see their worth and not negligently lose what your fathers have obtained with so much hardship." Psalm 105:5 "Remember His wonders which He has done; His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth."

The following year there was a severe drought. The colonists prayed and fasted, and the Lord sent the rain. Enough corn was harvested for the next year and even extra to trade. God performed another miracle. Another Thanksgiving was shared with the Indians. The Indians recognized the hand of God in ending the drought. Legend has it that there were 5 kernels of corn at each plate so no one would forget God's loving care.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thanksgiving Part 3

Spring came. The Pilgrims met Samoset who learned how to speak English from fishermen. Then they met the famous Indian, Squanto. He was a true God-send--God had an amazing plan for him. The journal entry reads: He was "a special instrument sent of God for our good". Prior to this, Squanto was a sold as a slave and taken to Europe for 10 years. A Spanish monk told him about Jesus. During the time he was in Europe, a plague wiped out his tribe in America. God had saved him from the plague. Other Indians were superstitious of the cleared land, which was a welcomed gift to the Pilgrims.

Upon returning to America, Squanto was not only a translator, but also provided invaluable practical knowledge. He taught the Pilgrims how to use fish "cleanings" for fertilizer, how to grow pumpkins, make maple syrup, trap beavers and stalk deer. He taught them what herbs to use for medicine. Squanto lived with the Pilgrims until his death. The Pilgrims remembered the words of Psalm 105:1-2, 5: "Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders. Remember His wonders which He has done, uttered by His mouth."

Another Indian, Chief Massasoit, was treated with respect and the love of Christ by the Pilgrims. He was very sick and the Lord healed him through a Pilgrim's medicine. This resulted in a peace treaty which lasted 50 years.

In October 1621, the First Thanksgiving was declared by Pilgrim Governor Bradford. 90 Indians came, bringing deer and turkeys. Other menu items were: venison, goose, lobster, eel, oysters, clam chowder, parsnips, turnips, cucumbers, onions, carrots, cabbage, beets, radishes, dried fruits, pies made from rehydrated fruits, ground corn made into hoecakes (thin slices of bread baked on a fire on the end of a hoe). The Indians brought a special treat--POPCORN--and added maple syrrup to make popcorn balls. The event lasted 3 days. There were games, shooting with bows/arrows and guns and all the boys raced and played.

Before the feasting began, they prayed! Even though half died that first year, the people were grateful--being grateful is a choice. It's not a feeling dependent on our circumstances, as we clearly see in the Pilgrims' lives. They believed that God was in control. They responded to the circumstances of their lives with a perspective that said, "God has allowed this for our good".

In November 1621, more colonists arrived, so the rations were cut in half. This was known as the "starving time". It is said that each person was only allowed 5 kernels of corn per day. They had a choice--they could either give in to bitterness and despair or they could trust Jesus. They chose Jesus---no one starved!---to be concluded!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thanksgiving Part 2

On September 6, 1620, the Mayflower left England for a 9 week journey to the New World. 102 Pilgrims plus crew, most were in their 20s and 30s; a few in their 50s, lived in an area the size of a volleyball court. The menu was terrible, but there was no cooking! Food consisted of brine soaked beef, pork and stale, hard biscuits full of insects. The rats on board ate the same menu. There were many suffering from sea sickness. There were no sanitary toilets, and no fresh air. The hatches had to be closed due to the storms. When the storms came, they prayed. They did not complain; they trusted God. They had an attitude of gratitude. There were 2 deaths during the trip. One was a mocking sailor who died of a mysterious disease. And the other was a servant who refused to drink the lemon juice, used to prevent scurvy. Upon arrival at Cape Cod, the journal entry read: "Being thus past the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles...they had now no friends to welcome them nor inns to entertain or refresh their weather-beaten bodies...what could now sustain them but the Spirit of God and His grace?" Shouting for joy and falling to their knees to pray, they read Psalm 100: "Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations."

The Pilgrims arrived on a Saturday and the men left the ship with muskets and axes to explore and get firewood. But God already provided--they found 36 ears of corn buried in a large iron pot. The harder things got, the more they prayed and trusted God. On Sunday, they observed the Lord's day. There would be no work and no exploring.

In November, the Mayflower Compact was drawn up. Men entered a covenant to create a society based on Biblical principles. be continued

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thanksgiving Part 1

The story of the first Thanksgiving is so incredible. Hope you enjoy!

Thanksgiving is unique: distinctly Christian and exclusively American. It celebrates: FAITH, FAMILY AND FREEDOM.

Even though historical accounts vary, the story of the first Thanksgiving cannot be told without first talking about Jamestown settlement. The purpose for this voyage to the New World was to find GOLD! God was not a priority. Captain John Smith was a dishonest man. There were 1200 settlers in 1619; only 200 were alive a year later. Their menu was cats, dogs, mice, roots of trees and bushes, they gnawed leather and boiled and ate book covers. The people who settled Jamestown considered themselves good Christians. However, they did not seek God's guidance. They did not ask His forgiveness, so they did not receive His blessings. But the next group of settlers knew better than to start a new life without Christ. They trusted God, and it made a big difference.

Led by William Bradford, Separatists left England to go to Holland for religious freedom. After 10 years, they decided to go to America but only after they spent a day in fasting and prayer for the journey ahead. They read the verse in Ezra 8:21: "Then I proclaimed a fast...that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions."

They had a great hope and inward zeal of laying a good foundation for the advancing of the kingdom of Christ to the remote parts of the world--much different goals than Jamestown colony! Pastor Robinson encouraged and prayed for the Pilgrims before they left. They had a feast and sang Psalms. Many left children and family behind because of the possible hardships and vigorous ocean voyage. One of the voyagers said: "We refreshed ourselves, after our tears, with the singing of Psalms..."---to be continued!