Saturday, July 31, 2010

Stirring the Pot - Crying Over Onions

After my first "Stirring the Pot" post, I had some requests for the caramelized onion recipe. Today, This Day, I'm sharing two onion recipes. I know. You can barely contain your excitement.

Vinegared Red Onions

3 pounds red onions
4 cups white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic

Peel onions. Slice onions 1/4-inch thick; separate slices into rings. Bring vinegar and garlic to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add onion rings to vinegar mixture. Simmer, covered, about 5 minutes. Discard garlic. Pack hot onions into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. ladle hot pickling liquid over onions, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. Yield: about 6 half-pints. (This is straight from the Ball Blue Book canning guide.)

These are beautiful, tangy, and delicious. I add them to salads and pasta dishes, on top of burgers, and relish trays. What dishes would you use them in? Yep. I'm fishin. lol

Caramelized Red Onion Relish

2 large red onions, peeled
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup dry red wine
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp each: salt and freshly ground pepper

Slice onions into very thin slices. I used a mandoline to get thin. even slices. And make the job of slicing go faster.

Combine onions and sugar in a heavy non-stick skillet. Cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for about 25 minutes or until onions turn golden and start to caramelize, stirring frequently.

Stir in wine and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into a clean wide-mouthed jar and cool briefly.

Ladle relish into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Process 10 minutes in boiling water canner.

Balsamic vinegar is the magic ingredient in this recipe. It adds a pungent sweetness to the caramelized onions. Serve with barbecued or broiled meats such as steak, lamb chops, and chicken. (This is straight from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving. I found out about this great canning book from my blog peep, Pam at Sidewalk Shoes. She has posted several recipes from it. It's a great book, especially if you only want to do small amounts.) I tripled this recipe. Yes, I have a huge skillet.) They are ridiculously delicious and go fast!

Either of these recipes should work with other varieties of onions. But, you will lose some of the coloring that the red onions add. And....ok. So I'm not really crying over onions. My eyes did tear up a little from slicing so many onions at one time tho. ahaha

If you make either of these, please let me know how they turn out for you. I'd love to know how you use them.

Be sure to go here and leave a comment to enter my giveaway if you haven't already done so.

Peace and Joy,

Philippians 3:14 (NKJV) I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Flashback Friday - VBS

Mocha With Linda hosts a weekly meme called Flashback Friday. She’ll post a question every Thursday, and then Friday we can link our answers up on her site. Her church is in the middle of VBS this week which has brought back some memories from her childhood experiences with VBS and other church-related activities.
Did your family attend church when you were growing up? What are your earliest memories of church? Did you attend VBS (Vacation Bible School) when you were young? Sunday School? Other church activities? Was faith a Sunday-only thing or did it impact your life and the things you did? If faith and church were not a part of your growing-up years, when and how did you begin and what drew you to God?
A couple of cautionary notes. . . As far as I can tell, the overwhelming majority of my blog readers are Christian believers. This flashback is not intended to bring judgment on anyone's past or present experiences, nor is it meant to prompt theological debates or discussions of denominational differences.


My parents divorced when I was very young. My dad was awarded custody of three children under 8. Can you imagine? That was practically unheard of back in the early 60s. I don't recall going to church as a family, and I can count on one hand the number of times I remember being in a church as a child after they divorced. Really, I wish my dad had seen the value in attending church for us, rather than seeing no value in it for him.

I have one particular memory of VBS as a youth. But other than the refreshments, I don't recall much about it. The church was nice. The people were nice. The other children were nice. The message? No clue.

It it not until much later in my adult life that I have memories of VBS. My in-laws always took my daughter along with the other grandchildren to church and VBS. My involvement (before I met Jesus)? I attended the program. Saw all their crafts. Listened to them sing. Their programs were precious and laughable. Really. Some of them were real hams on stage. Others fidgeted and couldn't remember the words to the songs. Then Jesus and I met F2F. Church and VBS have not been the same since. I see Him in their sweet faces. They are so eager to learn about Him and meet Him and share His story.  

As I look back, I can pinpoint specific instances and times when God was at work on my heart. Drawing me to Him. I am so thankful He did not give up on me. He is patient and kind and faithful. Have you met Jesus F2F? Let me encourage you to seek Him today, This Day. He is waiting for you with open, loving arms.

Peace and Joy,

Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV) And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's Giveaway Day!!!!

The wonderful people at CSN Stores are offering $40 gift certificate to my readers! I'm so excited for you. CSN Stores is comprised of over 250 specialized online stores that offer a wide variety of home goods. You can find anything from luggage to dining room sets, cookware to baby cribs, tools to office furniture. You name it - they have it!

Many of you who visit this blog have an interest in cooking, I thought I would show you some things they have available for use in the kitchen along with a couple of their beautiful dining sets. So whether you are entertaining indoors:

or outdoors, they have something that will suit your needs and meet your personal style.

I'm partial to this great island butcher block.

If you're looking to add to your kitchen accessory collection with a nice piece of bake ware or cook ware, here's your perfect opportunity. Just look at this All Clad 20 QT Stock Pot or:

these Shun knives. I can tell you either of these items would be like having your own sous chef. lol

Here's how you get in on this fabulous giveaway. Visit CSN Stores and tell me what you would be interested in ordering. You don't have to be specific, and you can change your mind. You don't have to be a follower (tho I'd love it if you were), tweet about it, post it on Facebook, or post it on your blog. Just leave me a comment on this post and you are automatically entered. It's that simple! The giveaway will be open through midnight (central time), August 1. The winner will be announced Monday, August 2.

Peace and Joy,

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)  Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Throne Trip Tuesdays - Thinking About God

The American Heritage Dictionary says to meditate is to "reflect on; contemplate." How did such a simple idea become so scary to most Christians today? It's because of the influence of Eastern religions that use meditating on a specific word or thought as a way to empty the mind; to move beyond object-oriented thinking to a deeper state of awareness or reality. Ironically, in Scripture, meditation is always focused on something or Someone—a filling of the mind, not an emptying.

In the Old Testament we find Scripture to be the most consistent object of meditation (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2; 119:48). But Old Testament saints meditated on God (Psalm 63:6) and His majesty (Psalm 145:5), the works of God (Psalm 77:12), and God's name (Malachi 3:16). And in the New Testament we are exhorted to meditate on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report (Philippians 4:8), as well as on sound doctrine and the spiritual gifts of God (1 Timothy 4:15-16). Psalm 1:1-3 perhaps says it best: the primary characteristic of a godly person is that he or she meditates "day and night" on "the law of the Lord."

The more we contemplate the truth of God, the more our lives will reflect the Author of that truth.

Mediate on the Word in the Word. John Owen

Peace and Joy,

Psalm 119:15 (NKJV)  I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Stirring the Pot

Someone who loves to proliferate the tension and drama between 2 or more feuding people/groups in public to get a raise of people in hopes of starting a storm of drama and uncomfortable conflict, sometimes for personal gain but oftentimes just for the thrill of confrontation.
Mike is always spreading rumors about "whats goin' on" between Josh and Emily but we know he just loves to stir the pot.

That's the first thing that pops into my mind when I think of stirring the pot. But that's not what this is about. It's about a cooking pot. This's a canning pot. Canning requires a lot of stirring. I've been doing a lot of canning lately. I've been doing a lot of stirring lately. I set two timers when I'm canning. One timer for the entire length the ingredients have to cook. A second timer to remind me to stir the pot. I have a tendency to multi-task which causes me to lose track of time. So I set the second timer to help keep me on task.

At this time of year, there is so much fresh produce available. I love it! I've pickled jalapenos. Made peach jam. Caramelized onions. Salsa. Pesto. Hence, stirring the pot.

Today, I'd like to share with you the awesome recipe I found for Lemon & Almond Basil Pesto. Normally, I would use pine nuts in my basil pesto. Have you priced pine nuts? They are off the charts. Seriously. So, I started searching for some alternative pesto recipes. This one is amazing. You will love it! I made some changes to the original recipe. So this is truly my recipe. FYI. I buy big bags of almonds and walnuts at Sams all the time. They are my go to snack.

Lemon & Almond Basil Pesto

4 C Fresh Basil Leaves
1/2 C Toasted Almonds
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
1 1/2 tsp Finely Grated Lemon Rind (Zest)
1/2 C Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A few drops of Fresh Lemon Juice

Preparation Instructions
In a food processor or blender, briefly pulse basil leaves. Add toasted almonds (I gave them a rough chop then toasted them for about 5 minutes in a skillet set over medium heat), garlic, and grated lemon rind. Pulse several times until mixture is finely chopped, but still with some texture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, and pulse until combined. Add a few drops of Fresh Lemon Juice. This really brightens the flavor without making it soupy.
With the motor running, slowly pour in olive oil and run until combined.
Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Makes 1 1/4 cup pesto.

I divided mine into 3 small portions and placed them in freezer safe containers for later use. Well, except for the one in my fridge that I'm using tomorrow in a pasta dish.

The fine folks at CSN Stores are going to give you an opportunity to win a $40 gift certificate to purchase whatever your heart desires from any of their online stores. This is my first sponsored giveaway, and I'm super excited for you. Be on the look out for it. It's coming up this week. Be sure to tell your friends and followers.

Peace and Joy,

Psalm 119:60 (NKJV)  I made haste, and did not delay To keep Your commandments.

Friday, July 23, 2010

TSMSS - Only You Can Save

After missing several weeks in a row, I'm once again joining Amy @ Signs, Miracles, and Wonders in Then Sings My Soul Saturday.

This young man is exceptionally talented and I love this song. I hope it blesses you.

Also, be watching for my first sponsored giveaway next week. It's exciting and you will not want to miss it. Be sure to tell all your friends about it too. :) Thanks for stopping by and visiting. Have a fabulous weekend.

Peace and Joy,

Ephesians 1:11 (NIV)  In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thankful Thursday - Holy Alphabet

Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of "Camp Complaining"
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To "thank" is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We'll run the race with gratitude
X alting God most high
Yes, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad, but...
Zion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!

I'm joining Lynn @ Spiritually Unequal Marriage and Greg @ Greg's General Store. What are you thankful for today, This Day? Thanks for stopping by and visiting me. 

Peace and Joy,

Matthew 16:15-16 (NKJV) 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Lazy Crazy Hazy Daze of Summer

Peace and Joy,

Psalm 119:30 (NKJV) I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Throne Trip Tuesdays - We Zigged Instead of Zagged

Yesterday's road sign was not too far from the truth on this road trip. We had a general route and places to stay along the way. Landmarks we wanted to see. Yet, in the first few hours, we went right.....when we should have gone left. Fortunately, God already knew we didn't really have a clue and lead us on the path He designated before hand.

We were following a big loop and we ended up in the town that was to be our last stop on our very first day! ahaha. It was actually to our advantage. Go figure! The little motel was booked up for the weekend, as was other lodging, and we would not have had a place to rest our weary little heads. God knew!

And, an opportunity was presented to us that we would have totally missed. We floated on the Current River. Have any of you ever done that type of float trip? I'm not talking canoeing. I'm talking inner tubes. Sitting in the clear, cold water. It was so relaxing. Just the peaceful sound of the water, the singing birds, and us. We saw so much wildlife. Watching the turtles and fish as we passed over them was kinda comical. I'm not sure who was more startled by it. lol

Photos of the trip are posted on my picture blog: Shutter Clicks. Click HERE....or on the camera icon in the side bar to view some of the photos I took.

The next leg of our trip was not at all what we expected. It would also turn out to be the last leg of our trip. That seemed to be the theme of this trip. The unexpected. Our plans were not God's plans. Isn't it like that in our everyday lives too? It sure is in mine. I'm thankful God is in control and has my best interest at heart. Praise His glorious name. 

Peace and Joy,

Isaiah 55:8 (NKJV) “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Musings - Highway Signs

How do you get there from here???? I'm so confused.

Peace and Joy,

Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV) Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

Our trip was fun and adventurous. I'm home safe and sound. I'll be posting soon with stories, lessons, and photos. Thanks to everyone for your prayers.

Peace and Joy,

Psalm 119:7 (NKJV)  I will praise You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgments.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Motorcycle Trip 2010

Scenic, sweeping, twisty, curvy are the words that describe the roads in the Ozark Scenic Highways that my friend and I will be traveling the next few days. We are heading out on a great adventure today and will be back Sunday. Yep. Just me and her. Two friends. Splittin the wind. She on her Harley. Me on mine. Exciting. Just typing the words has my little heart racing with emotion.

Please cover us with prayers. Protection. Safe travels. No mechanical problems. Good weather. Powerful witnessing. Whatever God lays on your heart for us.

There should be a wonderful story and plenty of photos from this excursion. Until then.....

Peace and Joy,

Philippians 2:9-11 (NKJV) 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Throne Trip Tuesdays - Confident Trust

One of the most shocking weight losses ever recorded happened right before our eyes during season eight of the Biggest Loser. Who would have thought that a forty-eight -year-old mother could beat out men and women half her age? And how exactly did she do it? It might have been her dedication and commitment to work hard and do whatever her trainer asked of her. Yet, a better thought is that she built the right alliances to stay in the game. Knowing who to trust takes the most serious competitors to the next level.

In many ways, reality television has become a way of life. Just as trust between the competitors on the show seems to be a major component of who goes and who stays, we want to know who we can trust just to make it through these chaotic times. Yes, people will let us down. They will break their promises, but God is always there. We can trust in Him and relax in the promises of His Word—even in the face of trials and challenges.

Talk what we will of faith, if we do not trust and rely upon Him, we do not believe in Him.  Antony Farindon

Peace and Joy,

Psalm 118:8 (NIV)  It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Musings - Found Money

An elderly married couple who were childhood sweethearts and had settled down in their old neighborhood, are celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They walk down the street to their old school. There, they hold hands as they find the old desk they'd shared and where he had carved, "I love you, Sally." On their way back home, an armored car drives by and a bag of money falls out of the armored car practically at their feet. Sally quickly picks it up, but they don't know what to do with it so they take it home.

There, she counts the money, and it's fifty thousand dollars. The husband says, "We've got to give it back."

She says, "Finders keepers." And she puts the money back in the bag and hides it up in their attic.

The next day, two FBI men are going door-to-door in the neighborhood looking for the money and show up at their home. They say, "Pardon me, but did either of you find any money that fell out of an armored car yesterday?"

She says, "No."

The husband says, "She's lying. She hid it up in the attic."

She says, "Don't believe him, he's getting senile."

But the agents sit the man down and begin to question him. One says, "Tell us the story from the beginning."

The old man says, "Well, when Sally and I were walking home from school yesterday..."

The FBI guy looks at his partner and says, "Let's get out of here."

Peace and Joy,

Jeremiah 32:17 (NIV) "Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Where'd He Go???

Peace and Joy,

Psalm 139:14 (NKJV)  I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Throne Trip Tuesday - Judge Gently

Pray, don't find fault with the man that limps
Or stumbles along the road.
Unless you have worn the shoes he wears
Or struggled beneath his load.

There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt
Though hidden away from view.
Or the burden he bears placed on your back
Might cause you to stumble too.

Don't sneer at the man who's down today
Unless you have felt the blow
That caused his fall or felt the shame
That only the fallen know.

You may be strong but still the blows
That was his if dealt to you
In the selfsame way, at the selfsame time
Might cause you to stagger too.

Don't be too harsh with the man that sins
Or pelt him with word or stone
Unless you are sure - yea, doubly sure -
That you have no sins of your own.

For you know, perhaps,
If the tempter's voice should whisper as soft to you
As it did to him when he went astray
It might cause you to falter too.

Peace and Joy,

Matthew 24:35 (NKJV) Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy 4th of July!!!

WELCOME TO THE UNITED STATES OFAMERICA...please remember only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you...JESUS CHRIST and the AMERICAN SOLDIER. Jesus died for your soul, the American Soldier for your freedom. GOD BLESS THE USA!!!! Have a great 4th of July everyone!!!!
Peace and Joy,

Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NIV) 9The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? 10"I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve."

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thankful Thursday - 07/01/2010

I would like to dedicate this week's Thankful Thursday to our great country. We have a birthday this coming weekend, and I think it only fitting to give thanks for our wonderful nation. Yes, there are things that could be done differently, or managed better, or not permitted. But all in all.....this is the best place to live, the best place to raise a family, the best place to pursue a dream.

I'm thankful for our Founding Fathers who had the foresight to put in writing and establish for us the freedoms we enjoy today.

I'm thankful for the Constitution and Bill of Rights. This document divides the powers of our government so there are checks and balances. This document gives us the right to say what we choose, even if others disagree. This document gives us the right to defend ourselves. This document protects our service men and women. This document gives us the right to practice the religion of our choice, even if others choose no religion at all. This document gives us the right to be secure in our own homes. This document protects us in a court of law.

I'm thankful for the Armed Forces. These brave warriors protect the rights we enjoy. They protect us from threats - both foreign and domestic.

I'm thankful for the families who sacrifice loved ones in the protection of our rights. The give up time with their family. The become single parents for during duty assignments. All gave some....some gave all!

I'm thankful to God who protects this great nation, our service men and woman, and us.

What are you thankful for today? Join us in sharing our thanksgivings this week by visiting Lynn at "Spiritually Unequal Marriage" and our host, Greg at Greg's General Store.

Have a happy, fun, and safe 4th.

Peace and Joy,

Romans 12:3 (NIV)  For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.