Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Of Gnocchi and Kale

Mama and I tried out a recipe for Gnocchi with a delicious side of kale.  In my opinion it turned out pretty tasty! :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Come Home!

"My suffering child! thy days of grief are o'er,
Come home to Me, and rest for evermore."

Jesus! Thou Lord of all! I dare not go;
No work well done for Thee I have to show.

"Great deeds I ask not; but some act of love,
One word for Me thy righteousness may prove."

Alas! I do remember no such word,
Nor one such act! Pardon me, oh my Lord!

"Yet come, my child, 'tis I who bid thee come,
Nothing I ask from thee; come home, come home!"

I cannot, dare not! Call me not Thy child,
Behold my hands, my heart, with sin defiled!
Behold my wasted life, my barren years,
Behold my murmurs, my rebellious tears;
See how myself I love while cold towards Thee,
My conscience seared, my hardened heart, oh see!

"I see. And since thou nought hast done for Me,
I have done all, poor, sorrowing soul, for thee;
The word that thou for me hast never spoken,
The word I spake for thee with faith unbroken;
The loving deed thou didst not, I have done,
And interceded for thee near the throne.
Thy sins, thy wasted life, thy heart defiled,
Better I know than thou dost know them, child,
And freely all that sin I have forgiven;
Come home, my child, come home to Me and heaven."

My blessed Lord! My Saviour and my All!
Weeping no longer, I obey Thy call,
I come, to praise Thee with my heart and voice,
I come, with blood-bought sinners to rejoice;
I bless my dying day, I bless the grace
That gives me with Thy ransomed ones a place.
Now for eternity that grace to see,
Now for eternal songs to sing to Thee!

The Broken Wing

Have patience and have faith
The surgeon saith,
Suffer awhile this irksomeness of pain;
This broken limb shall soon be well again;
Yea, what is more,
Be stronger for all service than before.

So come I, broken heart,
To ease thy smart,
With promises the future shall make good.
Bear thou in patience Sorrow's solitude,
For she, at length
Will lead thee forth in manliness and strength.

Yes, and in strength unknown
When joy alone
Held thee within her nerveless arms, until
Thou hadst lost courage, lost all force of will.
God will restore
That which He brake, and give it strength the more.

Will make thee strong and wise
To sympathize;
For thou wilt know to soothe, with tender hand,
The sufferings thou hast learned to understand;
And to the weak
What words of inspiration thou wilt speak!

Thou wilt be strong in love;
Soft as a dove,
Yet hovering as on eagle's wings around
The spot were loneliness and grief are found,
And healing bring,
In grateful memory of a broken wing.

Thou wilt have strength unpriced
To work for Christ!
To testify of Him who pain alone
Could to the human soul Himself make known;
To watch and pray,
Stronger upon each morrow than today.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Battle of Life

The wintry storm was raging loud without,
And to and fro,
The angry winds flung carelessly about,
The falling snow.

Luxuriously before the ruddy fire
I sat at ease,
The only object of my heart's desire
Myself to please.

A voice aroused me from my idle dreams;
"Rise, rise, my child!
Shake thyself loose from these unfruitful schemes,
These fancies wild.

"Come forth with me, and buffet wind and storm
And icy cold;
Come as thou art, nor stay thy shrinking form
Thus to enfold!"

IT was the Master's voice.  It could but yield
To its behest,
While dread repugnance lay but till concealed
Within my breast.

Behind me closed my sheltering door; I faced
The tempest rude;
Wild, savage winds my shrinking form embraced
While thus I stood

Upon the threshold, casting longing eyes
Back to my home,
Reluctant from my childhood's Paradise
Enforced to roam.

Then plunging onward towards th' appointed way,
I madly went,
And night and day, yea, many a night and day,
My figure bent

Beneath the blast.  Assailed with shuddering dire,
By fears opprest,
Despairing, hopeless, stript of all desire,
I onward prest.

Until I heard above the thunder's roll
The Master's voice
Arise once more.  It cried : "Oh, faithless soul,
Behold thy choice!

"A life-long childhood, basking idly on
The lap of ease,
Or manhood's strength by long endurance won
In toils like these.

"Whether to gird thyself to walk with Me
Mid conflicts dread,
Or back effeminate to ease to flee--
Living--yet dead."

Already by my labors stronger grown,
I stood and cried:
"Master and Lord! with Thee, with Thee alone,
Let me abide.

"Let me but know I buffet wind and storm,
With Thee, with Thee!
Upon my path Thine own divinest form
But let me see!"

Thus in the hour of battle choice was made!
Choice of unrest!
Thus Christian manhood seeking, undismayed
The storm I breast.

No leisure now, no dreams, no idle time;
I wrestle on;
Beat, icy winds, oppose, oh adverse clime,
Till victory's won.

For I shall win!  I shall come forth at last
Not lost, but found!
A Christian warrior whom each stormy blast
Hath victory crowned!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Zuppa Toscana with Yogurt Cinnamon Muffins

Yum! Just the title makes me hungry! :)

Here is a link to the soup...  Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
All right, for the soup I mixed things up a bit.  When I cook I like to do it by eye.  If it looks like I want more meat, potatoes, water... you name it... whatever it is I will add more, less or whatever makes me feel good.  Good way to follow recipes, hu? Anyways, I will show you how I adjusted the recipe and I must admit, it turned out pretty good! 
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • 4 Tbsp bacon pieces
  • 2 tsp garlic puree
  • 10 cups water
  • 5 cubes of chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
  • ¼ of a bunch of kale
  1. Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
  2. In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
  3. Add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
  4. Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
  5. Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
  6. Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve. Delicious!

** I used 1lb of Italian sausage, like it says, but I used about 2 generous tsp of peppers. When I make it again I will definitely use less pepper flakes due to the fact I felt like a dragon afterwards. Plus, my family isn't exactly fond of hot stuff.  I'd say maybe a generous 1 1/2 tsp would still pack the heat.    I used 1 large diced white onion, a VERY generous 4 T of bacon pieces and also 2 generous tsp of fresh garlic. For the bacon I would suggest frying it well before adding the onions and also cutting it into small pieces.  If you don't fry the bacon before hand it makes it slightly mushy while eating.   I used about 7-8 cups of water instead of the 10.  I used 4 generous tsp of chicken bouillon.  I used the whole cup of heavy cream and also 3 large potatoes.  I used a little over 1/2 a bunch of kale. Also, I put the kale in shortly after I put the potatoes in so that it would have time to soften.  I'm not particularly found of crispy kale in my soup. 


Here is the book that has the muffin recipe in it... Mad about Muffins

Here is the recipe for the muffins:

  • 2 cups minus two tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 Heat oven to 400 degrees.   In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and salt.  In a large bowl, combine the egg, yogurt, butter, and vanilla extract.  Beat together until blended.  Add the dry ingredients and stir just until they are moistened.  Fill greased muffin tins.  Bake 10- 15 minutes or until the muffins are lightly browned.  Serve warm.  Makes one dozen muffins.

* I doubled my recipe when I made it.  Very good, especially if you put some butter and honey on it.  :) YUM!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hello All, it's been a spell since I posted last.  So, I'll post a couple highlights from lately.  :)

First of all I finished the Voice of the Martyr's Extreme Devotion.  VERY good book!  Now I'm onto  My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

Second, I started reading Leave it to Psmith by Wodehouse.  Phenomenal! :)

A small maid-of-all-work appeared in answer to the bell, and stood transfixed as the visitor, producing a monocle, placed it in his right eye and inspected her through it.
'A warm afternoon,' he said cordially.
'Yes, sir.'
'But pleasant,' urged the young man. 'Tell me, is Mrs Jackson at home?'
'No, sir.'
'Not at home?'
'No, sir.'
The young man sighed.
'Ah well,' he said, 'we must always remember that these disappointments are sent to us for some good purpose.  No doubt they make us more spiritual.  Will you inform her that I called?  The name is Psmith. P-smith.'
'Peasmith, sir?'
'No, no.  P-s-m-i-t-h.  I should explain to you that I started life without the initial letter, and my father always clung ruggedly to the plain Smith.  But it seemed to me that there were so many Smiths in the world that a little variety might well be introduced.  Smythe I look on as a cowardly evasion nor do I approve of the too prevalent custom of tacking another name on in front by means of a hyphen.  So I decided to adopt the Psmith.  The p, I should add for your guidance is silent, as in phthisis, psychic, and ptarmigan. You follow me?'
'Y-yes, sir.'
'You don't think,' he said anxiously, 'that I did wrong in pursuing this course?'
'N-no, sir.'
'Splendid!' said the young man, flicking a speck of dust from his coat-sleeve.  'Splendid! Splendid!'
And with a courteous bow he descended the steps and made his way down the street.  The little maid, having followed him with bulging eyes till he was out of sight, closed the door and returned to her kitchen.

Alright, moving on.  At the beginning of this year some of our very dear friends bought a house just down the street from us in town.  :) You can read about it here at Katie's blog... or here at Olivia's.  We have been helping prepare the home when we can.  It's so very exciting to have them just a couple minutes way! :)

Next, I got a hair cut! :) Much shorter, perhaps, then would have liked. But, it will grow...eventually. :)

 Next, we have had a TON of snow.  Probably quite literally.  :)

We had a hawk in our backyard just a little while ago.

And, I finished a dress I was working on.  This is just some left over material that I needed to get rid of so I used it up on a "test" dress.  :) I can't wait to get the real material! :)

Simplicity Pattern: 2917

That's what's up for me lately.  How about you??