Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sweet: Julie & Julia

A friend who knows my love of cooking sent this movie from across the Pacific, all the way from Cambodia. 

Like, a year ago or something! Then I put it away and immediately forgot where I put it. And I've been looking for it for, like, a year. 

Then, while going through a desk drawer a week or two ago, what do you think I found? Sure enough; there it was!

So I watched it, and wow! I didn't even realize until later that I was watching a true story about something that had actually happened! The movie chronicles Julie Powell's journey of spending a year cooking through her hero Julia Child's book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It also follows Julia Child during her time in France that inspired her to write the cookbook. 

But the movie's not just about cooking; it's also about writing and international travel, and it gives a poignant glimpse into the two women's marriages. I'd call it an emotional masterpiece!

Disclaimer: In addition to a little bit of cussing, the movie contains a couple of dirty scenes; so I don't recommend it for kids. Although I liked the movie in general, there were 2 or 3 things - they weren't TOO bad - that I feel should have been left out.

Books don't have scenes, though; so now I've really gotta read the book! :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sweeter: Give Me Jesus

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus, give me Jesus
You can have all this world
But give me Jesus

And when I am alone
Oh and when I am alone
And when I am alone
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus, give me Jesus
You can have all this world
But give me Jesus

And when I come to die
Oh and when I come to die
And when I come to die
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus, give me Jesus
You can have all this world
You can have all this world
You can have all this world
But give me Jesus

~ Negro spiritual

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sweet: Amish Friendship Bread

Starter Ingredients: 
3 cups sugar, divided
3 cups milk, divided
3 cups flour, divided

Starter Directions:
 Place ONE cup each sugar, milk, and flour in large glass or plastic bowl.
 Cover lightly with plastic wrap and set on your counter at room temperature. Stir with a wooden spoon every day for 17 days
 On day 18 do nothing.
 On days 19, 20, and 21, stir.
 On day 22, add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk, and 1 cup flour, and stir again.
 On days 23, 24, 25, and 26 stir.
 On day 27, add 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour, and 1 cup sugar and stir.
 It's now ready to use to make the bread.
 Give away two cups of the starter to two friends, use one to make the bread, and keep one to keep the starter going. When you give away a cup of the starter, give these directions for keeping it going:
Do not refrigerate; Do not use metal spoon or metal bowl; Do not cover tightly, cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Bread Ingredients:
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
3 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 (5 1/8 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup chopped nuts
1 tablespoon cinnamon, combined with
1/2 cup sugar


AMISH FRIENDSHIP BREAD:
  Mix oil, eggs, and vanilla with the starter mix.
 In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, vanilla pudding mix, and nuts.
 Add to liquid mixture and stir thoroughly.
 Pour into two large well-greased 9x5 inch loaf pans, or one Bundt pan, that have been sprinkled with a mixture of cinnamon, sugar, and flour.
 Sprinkle more cinnamon and sugar on the tops of the unbaked loaves (or cake). Bake at 325
F for one hour or until done.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sweeter: You Are More Than Enough

God has been teaching me the tough lesson of this song lately. And yes, He IS more than enough - even when I don't act like it. . . .

"All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

"You are my supply, my breath of life
And still more awesome than I know
You are my reward, worth living for
And still more awesome than I know

"And all of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

"You're my sacrifice of greatest price
And still more awesome than I know
You're my coming King, You are everything
And still more awesome than I know

"And all of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

"More than all I want, more than all I need
You are more than enough for me
More than all I know, more than all I can see
You are more than enough

"More than all I want, more than all I need
You are more than enough for me
More than all I know, more than all I can see
You are more than enough

"All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You
And all I have in You
And all I have in You is more than enough

"All of You is more than enough for all of me"

By Chris Tomlin
Published by Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sweet: Almond Joy Cookies

There's the candy bar,
but then there's the cookie!

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups chocolate chips
2 cups sweetened coconut
2 cups chopped almonds

Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
Lightly grease cookie sheets.
Combine dry ingredients, set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, stir in the vanilla.
Stir in dry ingredients until well mixed.
Stir in chocolate chips, coconut and almonds.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Enjoy! :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sweeter: Jesus Is a Lion

We know the phrase: Lion of the Tribe of Judah. But have you ever stopped to think about the fact that our Heavenly Friend is a Lion?

He's a Lamb, too, of course; but we know that part pretty well. It fits the man represented in most of our modern portraits of Him: a gentle guy with white-white skin and girls' hair, who blesses little kids, teaches good morals, and passes out free lunches. A meek and mild lamb, somebody who is entirely safe. But is that Who Jesus is?
“Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great Lion."
"Ooh" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion"
"Safe?" said Mr Beaver Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.”
Jesus was okay with danger to Himself. Why? Because looks are deceiving, and He knew His Father had everything under control! I'm sure the Cross looked awful, but He could endure it by looking at the joy set before Him (Hebrews 12:2).

It's time we learned to be okay with danger and unpleasantness, too. Psalm 84:6 says that when God's people pass through the valley of Baca, we make it a well. So the not-so-nice parts of life, the parts that make us say, "Why?" - God intends for those very parts to become wells from which we find refreshment. When we embrace the valleys, passing through them instead of searching frantically for some way around them, then we can actually learn the lessons God has for us. And one day, either here or in Heaven, we will thank Him for those very valleys!

What valley does He have you in right now?

Sweet: Mint Chocolate Cheesecake

For the Crust -

  • 16 oz crushed vanilla wafers, processed to a fine powder
  • 2 tbsp butter melted

For the Filling -

  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened (2 boxes)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp.mint extract 
  • 6-12 drops green food coloring

For the Ganache -

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate chips

1. For the Crust - Process wafers in a food processor or blender. Melt butter. Pour into a large bowl and add butter. Stir to mix and combine well with a fork. Pour into a greased springform pan and press on bottom and up sides to create the crust.

2. For the Filling - In a stand mixer, cream sugar and cheese. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add vanilla and then eggs one at a time, scraping down bowl after each egg addition. Add Creme de Menthe and stir to combine and until color is consistent. Pour filling into springform pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes or until center is set. Let sit to cool completely. Place in refrigerator for 12-24 hours. When ready to serve, run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan and release the cheesecake. Top with ganache and serve.

3. For the Ganache - In a heavy bottomed saucepan over low to medium heat, bring heavy cream just under boiling. DO NOT LET BOIL OVER. Pour hot cream over chocolate chips in a bowl and stir to melt chips. Let sit for 5 minutes and spread over cheesecake. Slice and serve. The cheesecake can be refrigerated with ganache if you prepare ahead of time.
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