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Friday, November 30, 2012

Titus 2 Tea - Meals - Budgeting

When I make my meals, another step for me is to figure out how much they will cost.  Certain meals are special meals in this house because they take too much from our budget to eat them on a regular basis.  So we'll eat those meals on a Sunday or a birthday or something. 

Usually I figure out how much we're budgeting for food.  For a somewhat easy number let's say we are budgeting $400 for food and groceries.  Usually I will take about $100 of that and stash it for ziploc bags, spices, and oil - stuff that doesn't really calculate into the meal.

So we have $300 left - which leaves us with about $10 a day.  Then I break that down.  For breakfast say, I need $3, and $2 for snacks, then I have $5 for a supper meal with the leftovers for lunch.  On the backs of my cards, I write the main ingredients and then approximate prices and totals.  This way I can determine if it works for our family to use this meal on a regular basis. 
If I have a meal that is lower than budget, then I can do one a bit above budget.  The plan is to average out to about $5 a meal per day.

This helps me, when I keep it in mind, to maintain my budget.  There are months or days when I want to throw it all in and just do what I want.  That usually means I have to cut somewhere else, or that next month will be super tight.  So the discipline of making sure we are within budget is worthwhile to me.

Making the most of today,
Steph

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bible Study - Is sin hindering?

I'm still going through A Woman After God's Own Heart.  I'd like to share some things that I'm working on that are somehow related to what I read in this chapter.

Is sin hindering your ministry?  Are we cold and calloused when we should be warm and caring?  Since she's already discussed this aspect with regard to our children, now we are looking at how we can be a blessing to others outside our home.

But sin hinders and when it's held in our hearts it keeps us from responding as we should to others.  When I snap at my children, I'm hindering my ministry to those at church. 

Think of a lantern and the glass that covers it.  Our goal is to let our light shine.  When there's a lot of smoke the glass is covered in soot.  Light doesn't pour forth well from such a lantern.  It's our job to faithfully clean the soot from our lives so we can minister to those around us - other believers, unbelievers, co-workers, people from church, etc.

Once our lantern is shining brightly, we need to train ourselves to look with a "bountiful eye" as she calls it.  Look for those who need our caring hug or listening ear.  Be on the look out. 

Lately, I've been wondering if people will come over and talk to me at church.  This is so backwards.  If we are on the lookout for people who need us, we will have someone to talk to. :)  The problem is: my selfish heart wants to talk about me.  "The heart is decietful above all."  Such a true statement.

Another thing, don't withhold anything.  Usually we don't think of this with our words, but don't withhold good words and helpful words.  Sometimes (okay most times) I worry if I tell my child they are doing well at something.  What if they stop doing it?  They usually do at some point.  But that's not what it's about. 

It's about letting them and others know that God is doing a good work in their lives.  Sometimes in all our growing and struggling, we don't see where we were and how  far we've come.  Our kids and new believers more than anyone need to know that we can see God working on them. 

A text or phone call, an e-mail or old-fashioned snail mail - all of these are good for encouraging one another.  If you're thinking of someone, let them know. 

What can you do today to  be a blessing to someone you know?  What are some ways you've found that work well for you?

Making the most of today,
Steph

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Christmas idea

We don't usually do the "Advent" thing, but this year I'd like to try something similar.  Or maybe it's not super similar since I don't know much about it.

First, I gather some intelligence from my crew.  What are some of their favorite things about Christmas?  Good thing I asked them.  I already had a list of quite a few things, but I didn't have some very special ones - sledding and snowball fights.  Oh my!  How could I have missed such important activities???  And this year maybe all of us can get in on it and I won't be able to use having a baby as an excuse.

So I gathered a list of about 15 things:
  • Sledding
  • Snowball fights
  • Decorate the house (outside) with lights
  • Christmas cards
  • Christmas movie
  • Go see lights
  • Caroling
Then for another 15, I have practical things that we always give our kids at Christmas time - socks, pajamas, brush, soap, shampoo, books and cds are included in this list. 

Then I took popsicle sticks and wrote on them


We'll pick one out everyday - there are some things that I want on certain days - for example, I'd rather bake cookies on a day when the school kids are home for that project, so those will be done on Fridays.  Decorating the house (outside) with lights will be done on the 1st when we are already on ladders with the siding project. 

Have fun thinking of a way to make Christmas fun instead of crazy!!!!
Steph

Breakfast casserole


Hashbrowns, bacon, eggs and cheese

First spread the hashbrowns in a greased 9x13 pan.  I chopped up the bacon before hand so I could cook it all at once.

Shred (if you must) the cheese.  It's cheaper for us to buy it this way.

Cook the bacon

Top the hashbrowns with cheese

Whip up the eggs, I used 12, and added 3 cups of milk, with salt and pepper.

I added milk so that the potatoes were all in the milk.  I believe it came to 3 cups total.

Top with bacon.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, I think.  I'm actually baking this tomorrow, so I'll have to let you know.

It took a bit more than an hour.  I think the temp could be turned up a bit.  But it was very good.

Making the most of today,
Steph

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Car cleaning

The vehicles all needed to be cleaned out.  Someone was asking for extra Wii time, so I gave him an hour for cleaning out all three vehicles.  I helped, because things don't get done well without some supervision.
Yes, there is a shopvac left in there.
Someone attempted to vacuum and then just left it in there.

 
When not cleaned on a regular basis, this is what you see in my van
Every time we get out of the car we all load up with the things we brought to the van.
But sometimes, little people join our group and have their own things, so we are always playing catch-up

When cleaning out the car, one thing to do every year is clean out the glove compartment.
We don't keep much in there.  As you can see after a couple of months of owning this, we have nothing in there yet.

But (different car) if your glove compartment looks more like this. 
  • Go through the papers and select only the two you need - registration and insurance
  • Throw the old ones away. Can you imagine the panic that would set in, if, after an accident, you are rifling through all these papers and trying to find the right one? Yikes!
Whenever insurance stuff comes in, I always take it straight to the vehicle it belongs in.
What I don't do, because usually the other one is not expired yet, is take out the old one.
At this point I should be putting a third one in, so I should take out the oldest one.
As far as the pink registration slip, I don't think it would be a problem to take out the old one, but not sure on that.

Anyway, however it works for you. Maintain! Maintain! Maintain!

Develop a new habit.  Mine will be to make sure to take out the old.


Ahhh! Nice and neat and easy to find quickly

The bin of supplies

I grabbed my supplies from all three vehicles and brought them to my counter

First I sorted my maps.
The van got the road atlas and a few of the double maps and the car got all the maps of states

My stash of meds - with a list on the bag, so I can see what I need to add.
It's important to go through this bag at least yearly, to throw the out-dated stuff away.

This is the bag that I found for keeping the med bag in along with other things I would like to have on hand.
Lotion, gum, wipes, note cards, pens, etc.  - Make a list that suits you.

Here they are stored under the passenger seat in the front. 
Maps, paper towels and the bag
It's so nice to have a clean van to get in.  I need to clean my vehicles on a weekly basis and Friday is my day to do that.  I don't always do it, but I want to.  I don't want my kids to view a sloppy car as the norm.   How do you maintain your vehicle? 

Another thing that I don't have here, but would be good to store in each vehicle is a spray bottle for cleaning the dash, a dust rag (I do have that) and something to help wipe fingerprints off the windows.  If my cleaning equipment is stashed in the van, then I may be able to do something to clean up while I'm waiting for my kids to get out of school.

Making the most of today
Steph

Monday, November 26, 2012

Kitchen project

I found an idea on Pinterest that I liked awhile back.  Now that I'm working on a project for each room, I thought that I would take on this project.  I didn't know how long it would take, but thought it would be a huge benefit in the kitchen. 

The idea is to hang up the measuring cups and spoons inside a cupboard door.  I also have recipes that are supposed to hang on the calendar that I have, but it's too much weight for the calendar, so they have been stuck in a drawer. 

It's hard to keep drawers neat with measuring cups and spoons and lots of recipe cards in them.  So I thought that I would hang the cups and spoons on the door with the flour and sugar, and the recipe cards on another door.

Since I have older boys to help and they are home-schooled, one of my ideas for them is projects with wood for "shop"class.  So I assigned this project to Sharpie.  He worked with me, and I think it helped him to gain confidence with the tools.  Jones' assignment for the day was to get the tires back on the trailer, and Waterman's was to nail paneling to the chicken's screen door so they don't get cold. 

But for today, we'll just show you this project.
5 gal paint stirrers and cup hooks
 I bought four stirrers ($.28 each) and 3 pkgs of cup hooks ($.97 each).  Total project cost - $4.31, including the tax.
First sand it down.  The paint can apparently helped while he was sanding.

For our project, we used one wide cupboard door and a narrower one, so two sticks were shorter.
Cut the stirrers to the proper length, then paint them.

Drill holes in the ends to screw them into the door, so that they don't split.

Use screws to hang them on the door.

Add the cup hooks.  I found it easier to add them after it was already on the door.  I found out by trying it this way first.

Sharpie working on getting them all up.

Finally hang up the recipes

and the measuring cups and spoons.
I love having these out of the drawers. 

Making the most of today,
Steph

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Meals Planned Ahead

We have my in-laws coming for Thanksgiving and I'm very excited.  But we'll be siding the house the week while they are here.  So I thought I should get the meals made ahead as much as possible.  I'm hoping to use the crockpot a lot.

My recipes are:
  • Pork Adobo - a Filipino dish served with rice
  • Enchiladas
  • Chicken Parmesan also served with rice, and
  • Tangy Tender Chicken
Then there is also Thanksgiving, but I'm planning on being inside a lot that day. 

First, I need to decide what I can do ahead.

  • Pork Adobo - the meat is marinated, so I can put the meat in a bag with the sauce, in the freezer
  • Enchiladas - I can make this whole meal ahead and if I freeze it in tin foil, I can still use my pans once it's frozen
  • Chicken Parmesan - the chicken parmesan part can be made ahead
  • Tangy Tender Chicken - the chicken can be saved ahead, but I think that's it, but I can cut up the veggies ahead.

What do I need for these meals:
  • Pork Adobo - soysauce, vinegar, sugar, onion and pork
  • Enchiladas - chicken broth, tomato sauce, shredded chicken or turkey, onions, cheese, sour cream, tortillas
  • Chicken Parmesan - chicken (it's planned for the day after Thanksgiving, so I'll probably use left-over turkey), Parmesan, spaghetti sauce, mozerella,
  • Tangy Tender Chicken - carrots, gr. pepper, onion, chicken, pineapple chunks, brown sugar, soy sauce, and spices


Chop up the meat - label the bag well.  Write on the bag the steps that will need to be taken on the day of the meal.

Go through the freezer before making purchases for this meal and write a list of what is in your freezer(s).
I put mine back organized in these plastic bins

Even organized the door


Here's my list from both freezers, some things are in the kitchen and some are in the basement
After writing them on the white board, I transferred them to paper on the side of my fridge.  As I remove an item, I'll cross it off.  Next month, I'll be looking at my list to see what I have before choosing my meals.

Next step is to shop, and then finish putting things in bags and freezing them.



Thanksgiving post

Verses on Thanksgiving

Taken from the NASB

God has so much to say about being thankful in His letter to us, the Bible. He knows that it is important for us to be thankful - being thankful produces joy in our hearts, we respond appropriately to others despite our circumstances or how they acted toward us.  Did you know that it's virtually impossible to complain while you are being thankful?  Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

During this week read over these verses.  Maybe read a couple each day.  Or get out your Bible and find some others.  This is not a full list of His word on thanksgiving.  Try looking up other words like thanks, or praise.

Ps 26:7
That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your wonders.

Ps 69:30 
I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving.

Ps 95:2
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

Ps 100:4
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

Ps 107:22
Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing.

Ps 116:17
To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and call upon the name of the LORD.

Ps 147:7
Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praises to our God on the lyre,

2Co 4:15
For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.

2Co 9:11
you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.

Php 4:6
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Col 2:7
having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

Col 4:2
 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;

Heb 13:15 
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Re 7:12 
saying, "Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bible study - Pursuing God

Pursuing God....is this one of your biggest desires - to know Him more?  How do we do this?  How do we pursue Him. 

Matthew 6:33  "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

How do we do this?  I think I've said this before in regards to house cleaning and I do think it bears repeating here.  Pick one thing.  Choose one aspect to study - i.e. motherhood, names of God, being a wife.  Then, look up the verses that are connected to those things and study, study, study.

I know you may feel like you have no time.  Try just five minutes.  Set the timer.  Does that make you want to throw up your hands and say, "Whatever for?  I'll barely get started and then the timer will go off." 

Trust me, just try five minutes.  Obviously our goal is to end up with more minutes than five, but for a starting spot - try it. 

The same thing with our prayer time - try five minutes.

Pursue Him with your whole heart.  I have cards on a ring for ideas of prayer for my children and another for my husband.  They hang on the handles of my kitchen cupboards. While I'm making breakfast, I look at the card for the day and pray over that and think about it.

Do one new thing.  Make a new habit.  Practice it every day for a month and then add another.  Find a book that you'd like to study and make it your goal for this year to read through it.  My current book is called "A Good Wife's Guide: Embracing your Role as Help-Meet."  I read a bit each day - though I must tell you that is the goal and I've gotten away from it the past few days.

Making the most of today,
Steph

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A repost - one of my favorites

Treasure the Moments

Originally posted March 8, 2012


I've been waiting to hear back from him - the man who said these words. Many times during the last weeks, I have thought about what he said on that day. I don't even know his name, but he has changed my life.

A couple of weeks ago, a white car pulled into our driveway. We don't have a lot of guests, so I wondered who it could be. Most of our friends drive suburbans or bigger vehicles. As I ran around trying to find my shoes, I wondered what they would need, and if I would possibly have enough time to help them and yet find my house in order when I returned. "Please don't need a long conversation." I thought. Nine children left to themselves gets chaotic in minutes. Taking them outside on this cold morning would require bundling them up and I just wanted to get out there and get this taken care of.

As I walked out, he got out of his car. I could see someone in the front seat - his wife, no probably his mother. She didn't look up as I approached the car and asked if there was anything I could do for them. He asked if we owned the sawmill that sat over near the barn, and if we do much sawing with it. I told him it was ours, that we hadn't had it for long and so weren't super experienced with it. We talked for awhile about prices to cut up logs etc., and I confessed I knew little about my husband's prices as he didn't use it much in his business.

Then he started explaining his interest in the sawmill. "My wife" he pointed in the direction of the car, "has Alzheimer's. It's getting so bad it takes me an hour just to feed her one meal. I need to sell my land and farm as I can't do it anymore." My heart broke as he shared his situation. His kids lived too far away to help him farm and now, before he would normally have retired, he was selling out. He shared his desire to cut down some of the trees he'd been nurturing and then have them sawn into boards so he could at least have a piece of his land to take with him. I gave him my husband's phone number and urged him to call.

He turned to go and then stopped and came back. "When Alzheimers takes one, it always takes two." I didn't understand what he was talking about. He continued, "You never think about those meaningless conversations before bed, or the chitchat around the table, until it's gone. Treasure those moments. Don't forget what it means to have a strong partner by your side. To a farmer it means knowing she's at home and ready to drive truck when I need her, or just bring a meal out to the field so I don't have to go in. Now, it takes a long time just to do anything even as simple as eating a meal. Don't forget, o.k.?" As he got ready to leave, I shared with him about my dad and how he would understand, how my mom declined slowly. He lost her as a spouse, as a friend and finally she depended on him full 24 hours a day until she went home to be with the Lord. I've seen it, but not experienced it fully.

So, as I went to help my man,Carpenter, cut down two pine trees in a lady's yard, I thought about his words. As I prepared his lunch to take to work, I pondered what the man had shared. When I sent my boys out to help their dad, I thought more about this. I want to be that strong partner and to treasure the moments I have to share the load with my husband.

My tendency some days is to complain. I'd rather be sitting at home with my feet up. But this man's words remind me each day to live it up, enjoy what I've been given, because all too soon this season in my life will be over. Despite the hard days, there will be things I will miss about this season.

He called the other day. I was surprised, it had been a couple of weeks. I went out to see him when he was bringing the logs over. "Bet you didn't think you'd ever hear from me." he said.

"I'm so glad you called." I said "I wanted to tell you that I haven't forgotten your words. I'm so glad for this opportunity to serve you. I remembered your words when I was out helping my husband cut down trees and through all the mundane jobs we do together around here."

He smiled, a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes, a smile that showed the fatigue and the pain of watching the one you love slowly fade away. "I'm glad. Never forget. Treasure the moments."

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bathroom project

The first of my diy projects around the house.  I found these projects while I was de-cluttering.  As I worked on certain rooms, I found an area that I make a change to benefit our family.  Here is the first one:

The problem:  the door to the basement bathroom can't open very far because of the cabinet behind it.  There is very little room in this bathroom, and hubby doesn't have time to make shelves. 

So what is a suitable solution for the long-term?  I searched Pinterest, my go-to place for great ideas, and I found some things that I love.  Baskets especially, but since I don't have any laying around and I would need a few for this.  It was out of budget to consider such a great solution.



But while I was searching Pinterest something made me think of a shoe organizer, and so I ran up to my room and threw all the shoes out of my shoe organizer in my closet.  I brought it down and it seemed to work, but I still need to cut a hole in it, because dh likes to hang his clothes on the hook I covered up.
Below is another look - you can see that the cleanser for the sink and shampoo and soaps are in the top row.  The one spot is left empty so that I can cut that hole there.  Deodarant and more soap and razors and washcloths rolled up.  Handtowels and shampoo are in the third row.  My only trouble was the bath towels and what to do with them.
So I walked through our local Wal-mart looking for ideas.  And that's when I remembered a three drawer plastic dresser that I had been storing school supplies in.  I decided I should use that as it would fit in the small corner in the bathroom, right next to the shower and where the towels hang.  But what to do with those school supplies????  Oh yeah, when I cleaned the little boys room there was a plastic three drawer dresser that was about double the size of the one below.  It's up in the attic and the perfect size for my school supplies.
Total cost was $6 for another shoe organizer for our house, I love those things.  I'm half-tempted to get another one for our back porch for gloves.  That would be a whole lot better than my drawer system.   I love that my solution was easy, and dh didn't have to do anything to help.  Most of all, he likes it.

Making the most of today,
Steph

Friday, November 16, 2012

Titus 2 Tea - Meals - Week 2

Now that we are planning our meals - whether it's daily, weekly or monthly - we have an idea of things that we need for our meals. 

You can make a grocery list for the meals you have planned.  I like to buy most of my groceries in a month's amount.  There's a few things that I must get each week, but I can pick them up when I get milk. 

I usually write down an item on my grocery list, when I have used the last one.  For example, when I take out the last canister of coffee, I will write it on the white board on my fridge.  Then the next time I go out, I don't forget to buy it. 

But what if I head out the door to pick up the school kids and don't have a plan to go to the store?  Here is something I haven't yet found a solution for.   I am still learning so much about being a mom, wife and home-maker. 

There are things I've heard about like Cozi.  But I don't know how to use it.  I guess if you write it on the shopping list there, then dh could look at it on his way home to see if there's anything to be picked up.  Uh, not happening in this house.  He asks when he calls to let me know he's on his way, but he doesn't know how to do much on the internet on his phone.  Why??  Because he's too busy with life to mess around with it.  And I would far rather have that, than someone who is on his phone all the time. 

Someday, I'll use this Cozi app.  Of course I'm signed up for it and everything, but don't have it in my "habits" to use it consistently.  And I have NO idea how to look it up on my phone.  Weather, Facebook and Searches - I can handle, but  I'm way behind in all this phone internet stuff.

I like to go shopping at the beginning of the month and get all the things that we'll need for the month.  Some examples are I know I will need at the most four bottles of dish detergent for the month.  So I check to see how many I still have, and then put it on the list so that it equals four.

Ideally, I have an inventory check-list that is current.  I don't right now.  I have some old ones, and I've been working on making the old one up-to-date, but then I would look it over and make a list off of that.  This is not really for meals, but for the sides, breads, desserts that we generally do, and also for cleaning supplies, toiletries.  Though, I usually keep up with those, as I finish them. 

Next, I would look at the meals I have planned for my month, and make a shopping list off of that.   Also I would make lists of things I should get on Wednesdays when I go for milk, like sour cream for the meals for this week or fresh produce. 

Another good idea is to have lists of what is in the freezer posted, and to mark off things as you take them out of the freezer.   Notice, I said it's a good idea, not that I'm on top of this one.  Not at all.  I think it would just save me a lot of time.  Time that I could use to read more with my kids, or snuggle with them on the couch.  And that's what organization is all about for me.

Making the most of today,
Steph

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bible study

Our homes should be havens of rest. I know there are a lot of times when mine isn't. Lately, it hasn't been the messiness, but the quarreling and striving of my children. I tend to just snap at them and say, "Get along. Quit that." or even, "Knock it off." But I'm not reaching their hearts. I read a really good note on that today.

Sometimes these issues take more than a quick snappy response.  They take time invested to get to the heart of the matter. May I be honest? I don't want to. There are other things I would rather do with my time than sit with a teen-ager who doesn't want to answer me because he's mad at a sibling. It's hard for me to know how to handle these things.

But I better learn. I've only been the mother of a teen for two years (not even), but I have 16 more years to go. So I need to step up and ask the Lord for wisdom in this area, for patience, for understanding. It's been almost 20 years since I was a teen ager and 26 years since I was a young teen. Honestly, I remember the awkwardness of it all, but I don't really remember what it's like.

When I was a teen, I was living in a third world country.  Things look pretty different over there and if memory serves, a lot less petty, well not really, I guess - we're all human.  But it seemed that way to me.  The struggles of going to a dorm and only seeing my parents at break are not things that my child is going to deal with.  So I even have a cultural barrier to hurdle.

Prayer is key, because from what I'm seeing, God needs to work BIG-time on this heart - MY heart first. If I let Him, He can do the work in my heart, and that in turn will pave the way in my children's hearts. It will make things a lot easier.

Making the most of today,



Steph

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More on quiet times in God's Word

Written last week:
Yesterday, I sent Waterman (my third son) downstairs to stack wood in the wood room while my oldest and I were working on taking care of stacking the wood outside and splitting.  We were to work for an hour and then quit. 

I noticed that the window to the basement was covered over with wood, but simply thought that those were the pieces he hadn't gotten to yet.  Carpenter (my husband)'s instructions were rather specific and although my second son, Jones, came up with a different idea, Carpenter wanted to stick to the plan. 

Waterman either wasn't in on the conversation or wasn't paying attention because he stacked all the wood the opposite way and two rows deep.  He just went down and saw it stacked two different ways and picked one and worked on it for an hour.  He was faithful.  Faithfully, doing it the opposite way his dad wanted.

Now, this could have been left that way, but we know what Carpenter would like.  He won't grumble and complain because it's not what he wants, but he did have a reason for doing it the other way.

So this morning, all four of us went downstairs to try to remedy the problem.  There is about 1/2 of the room's worth of wood in that room, so it's not an easy problem to solve.    We spent 15 minutes down there and got to the beginning of a solution. 

Not wanting to take any more school time, we're waiting till baby takes her second nap before I go down and continue working on it, while they split and stack outside.

It occurred to me that this is somewhat like our lives.  We go into our day, looking around at what others are doing or what looks like the next thing to do.  Without spending time in the Word, we could end up doing what Waterman did, working very hard and very faithfully on something that is the opposite of what the Father desires for us.

Being in the Word is vital to knowing His heart, to knowing His mind.  A Bible School teacher once said, "If you want to know what's on God's mind, get close to His heart."  He's faithful to show us through His Word.  We see His character.  Some things are clearly spelled out, some not so much, but we can see helpful hints all through His Word as we make decisions.

Get in the Word and you'll know His heart.

Making the most of today,
Steph

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pulled Pork Pockets

Written last Friday:

The "men" are leaving for work this morning and I don't have bread made to send sandwiches.  I do have some pulled pork that someone gave us.  I haven't put it in the freezer and without bread, we haven't eaten it.  So what to do? 

One of our favorite things to make on Friday nights is pizza muffins or what we call pizza pockets.  So I wondered if I could make pulled pork pockets.  I thought I would give it a try.

I use biscuit dough, but make my own.  The recipe is one I've used for a long time, even when I was growing up in the remote mountains of the Philippines. I've always liked it because it's easy to remember.  3-2-1.  3 teaspoons of baking powder, 2 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of salt.

But the recipe actually is this:
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
Mix these three ingredients with a fork.
In a one-cup measure, pour:
  • 1/3 of a cup of oil
  • 2/3 of a cup of milk.
Pour all at once into the dry ingredients
Mix with the fork.  It will come off the sides.
Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.  I usually check to see if they are done by picking up a biscuit to see if the bottom is brown.

I like to put shredded cheese and bacon bits in with it sometimes to spruce it up - sometimes I'll put ranch dressing in instead of the milk.  Yummy!

For our family, of course, I double the recipe, or triple it. So I made up two batches of dough this morning.  You'll need an ungreased muffin tin or two.

Take small bits of dough and flatten them to a sort-of circle.  If you were looking for something beautiful, and if you have one, you might use a biscuit cutter, but I am not worried about beautiful, just edible, and I do not have a biscuit cutter.  I always just roll them in my hands and no, they don't look beautiful, but my kids love them.  That's what matters to me.


Tuck them into the muffin tin

Then make smaller circles to put on top of the pockets
I don't have pictures, but put pulled pork into each muffin tin, then top with the smaller circles.
These are ready to go into the oven

And here they are done. 
One mistake I made was not taking more time to pinch the edges together.  But the guys said they were very good.   They also are easy to eat, easier than sandwiches because they are smaller.  When you're hands are freezing and you're out in the middle of a pasture, easy-to-eat is a very good thing.

I have frozen the pizza pockets before.  I imagine it would work just fine to freeze these too.  The problem is we never have leftovers.  I do think it would take less time though to make a couple of batches of these, and freeze some of them.  I only have two muffin tins though, and that is just enough for a meal for our family.  So it would take some thought or buying another couple of tins. 

If I have the dough made the older kids can help the little kids make these.  Last night, pizza pockets was on the menu and I had Sharpie (Son #1) help Tank (Son #4) make these.  It was Tank's night to cook, but Carpenter (my husband) asked if I would help split wood with him.   I love working with him, so I jumped at the chance to take all the kids who weren't busy with school or cooking out with me.

Problem was I made two recipes, but there should have been four recipes of biscuit dough.  So while I was splitting wood Sharpie came and took notes while I told him the recipe.  I didn't say anything, so it's not his fault, but he pulled out the baking soda instead of the baking powder.  They weren't edible, but the dogs liked them.  He learned something last night, and so did I - make sure they have the dough available or are making it with me. 

Making the most of today for His glory,
Steph