Friday, September 23, 2011

Last Summer Hurrah

So today is the first official day of Autumn. Here in MN though, we have had fall weather for at least the past week and a half.

To celebrate the passing of summer, I made some homemade strawberry lemonade! It was surprisingly easy too.

2 cups + 1/2 cup of water
1 cup and 1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice (I used about 5 lemons)
3 cups of strawberries hulled, halved and quartered

In medium saucepan, bring to boil the 2 cups water and 1 cup of sugar. Reduce the heat to a simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Transfer to a pitcher and and refrigerate until cool (a lot of recipes say this should take about 45 minutes, but I was in a crunch and stuck it in the freezer {my freezer is pretty bad} and it cooled in about 10 minutes).

In a blender add the strawberries, 1/2 cup water, and 1 tablespoon sugar and puree. Add to the sugar water (some recipes also say to pour through a sieve, but I do not own one! The result was that my drinks were a little frothy and looked a little more like margaritas than lemonade). Add the lemon juice to the pitcher also.

Stir well and pour over glasses filled with ice. Garnish with strawberries or mint. Enjoy!!

A cool trick I learned for squeezing juice out of lemons without using a juicer: Roll the lemons on the counter to make sure they are softened, than cut in half. Squeeze the lemon over your other hand into a container. Your other hand works just as well to catch all the seeds and flesh that might fall out. But beware: make sure you don't have any cuts on your hands because it will sting!! The bonus is a great lemon-y smell for the rest of the day! 

So make yourself some FRESH homemade lemonade, kick back, and finish the beach chick lit and say Adios to summer!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

1 Peter


This morning I finished an in-depth, independent study of 1 Peter. It was almost two years in the making!
I used the LifeChange Series, and it was simply phenomenal (and totally recommend you try one of their studies). I learned so many things I hope to take with me through the rest of my life: my place in God's heart, how Jesus acts as my Living Stone (I love calling him my Living Capstone!), how to give spiritual sacrifices to the Lord, the definition of Holy, and the great importance of the gift of Jesus' blood, amongst the many other important lessons.

I say all this to encourage you to find a good Bible study, a GOOD one. I love Beth Moore with all my little heart, but studies like that don't always dig in and just sit in the scripture. I truly believe that everyone needs to get into the meat of the Bible. Find out what those words mean,  buy a commentary and discover the meaning of that phrase, look into the background of that character, learn how to pursue holiness.

Dare to go deeper.

Next I am considering the LifeChange study of Isaiah...*big gulp* I hope I don't bite off more than I can chew!!

Have a blessed day folks!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Baking Day!


Today is a BAKING DAY!! YAY!
I have officially decided to go with : CHOCOLATE CHIP STUFFED COOKIES! 
This is the first time I will be attempting this recipe, but I figured it would be fun to document the process and see how they turn out..45minutes turns out to be mixed success! My cookies really grew so that they were no longer stuffed cookies :( But! They are still delicious! And who doesn't love giant cookies??

The Goods:
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 large cold eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. {This was my first time actually using my parchment paper, and I am not so sure I liked it. It just slid all over the tray, if anyone has any hints to make the paper stay in place while placing cooking dough, let me know!!}

Sift the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a larger bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until smooth.
NUM!! Can't go wrong here!!

 Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until blended. On low speed, add the flour mixture just until incorporated.
This is probably where I went wrong, I added the flour in small doses
This caused the dough to be much softer than it was supposed to be

Add in 2 cups of chocolate chips. {DON'T FORGET! Like I almost did! :))}

Rolls 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball and flatten slightly to make a disk and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat to make a total of 16 disks. Space the dough disks about four inches apart {they do grow!}. Lightly press 1 tablespoon of remaining chocolate chips onto each disk. Using remaining dough, make 16 more disks, place one on top of each chocolate-chip-topped disk. Press gently to cover around the edges. 
You can tell my dough was too soft. And I made mine bigger. 
{The bigger the better!}
You can also see where I was struggling with the parchment paper. boo. 

Bake one sheet at a time until edges are lightly browned but centers are still golden, about 15 minutes.
Cool on baking sheets than transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or room temperature! 

First batch! Since my dough was not as stiff, they flattened out :(
Taste factor=still amazing!! 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Water, Water, Everywhere and Not a Drop to Spare!

Hello darling folks!

Every now and than I read the news and I often become overwhelmed with all the horrors of this world (which is why I don't read the news often!). War, anger, hate, poverty, disaster, murder, homelessness, death...this world is not our home!! It can seem impossible to make a difference, much less save actual lives.

This quote sums up exactly how I feel:
"I stay half ignorant on purpose. I skim the news, not letting myself read too much. I glean enough to seem informed: 'Oh yes, its just a shame what's going on in Africa.' I don't get my heart involved. I stay aloof and in control. Separate. 

Because if I let go, if I find out, I know what would happen. I would crack. I would break. I'd look into the ugly eyes of poverty and grasp my head in my hands and shout, 'Why, God, why?' But I can't keep doing that every day. And the bad news just keeps on coming. And I don't know what to do."
-Hope Lives by Amber Van Schooneveld

But than I remember James 4:17: "Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it." (NLT) And than I remember I can not hide in my white suburbia forever. I need to step out and share the love the Father has given me; to share my blessings.

So today I want to share with you a simple, easy way that you could save lives (I have many others I can share with you later!). It is called the Water of Life Initiative by Compassion International. You can check it out at here.

Donate - Fiona Mutesi

Children the world over only have dirty, brown water to drink. They are at risk for typhoid and cholera. (Did you know that people DIE from DIARRHEA?? I sure didn't!) Over 4,000 children die each day from a water related diseases. But with Water of Life, Compassion provides a filter system to quickly and efficiently clean drinking water. Each system can provide over 1 million gallons of safe water for a child and their family!

Please check out the website and consider a donation! Even if you can give the full amount, any amount will help towards bring down that 4,000 a day to ZERO a day!

I want to turn my ignorance into a heart after the Lord's.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Today I want to recommend a great blog about marriage! The website is specifically But check out the rest of the website for teaching in other great areas. The Resurgence is from Mars Hill Church, where Pastor Mark Driscoll teaches. Its a great place and he is a great teacher (check out; look for the free app for your Apple products!)

But this blog has great perspectives on a Biblical marriage. My favorite post so far is "Being a Wife is All About  Jesus" (June 1, 2011).

Single? Engaged? Married?? Check it out!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My heart breaks wide open

One of the songs that affect me the most is "You Love Me Anyways" by Sidewalk Prophets. It really brings me to the reality of what Christ did for us. I usually like to think of some peaceful death scene with characters from thousands of years doesn't really affect me. But this song brings me back to the reality of what happened. If it had been me in the crowd that wonderful day, I would have been screaming out for His blood to be spilled. I would have been cursing his dying breath. It would have been me. It still is me....
This wasn't just some random event that happened to some random guy. We repeat the action everyday, we are nailing Christ to the Cross EVERY DAY. Every time we lie, every time we start a rumor, every time we pass by someone in need.....every time we choose some one or something over Him, we hammer another nail in. He IS hurt by us hurting others....
 Because He LOVES us! The whole reason He went through that grisly scene is for us!! Even though we are the very ones crying out for His death!! It's ridiculous really. It should have been me. For all I've done, for all I am bound to should have been me.

But He loves me anyway.

"I am the thorn in your crown
But you love me anyway

I am the nail in your wrist
But you love me anyway

I am Judas' kiss
But you love me anyway

See now, I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
for your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
Yes, I turned away with a smile on my face
With this sin in my heart tried to bury your grace
And than alone in the night, I still called out for You
So ashamed of my life

But you loved me anyway"

Oh Lord, how I can barely comprehend Your Perfect Love