Monday, April 29, 2013

May Chain "Linky" CLIMB

 


Last month's CLIMB was so much fun & I'd like to thank everyone who participated! -
You are all so talented & amazing!!


Blog Climb by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ClimbIntroFinal_zps566389ea.jpg

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Blog Climb by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ClimbRulesFinal_zps460d2792.jpg

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Breastplate of Righteousness

 

"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, .............with the breastplate of righteousness in place," Ephesians 6:13 & 14

 Today's Bible study is part 3 in a series on "Becoming A Christian Soldier." - Now, I have to be very clear - I am NOT talking about becoming a physical soldier and I am NOT saying that you should go out and physically fight (although I appreciate and respect anybody who has served or is serving in our army, navy or air force) - what I'm talking about in this series is on a spiritual level. 

Our God is all powerful, all knowing, He is our Protector and Provider - He would never throw us into a battle without fully equipping us first.  Today we continue learning about the "full armor of God" and specifically "the breastplate of righteousness." 
 
I've always thought of "righteous" as meaning "arrogant"  but that is not a true definition - so that is why I looked it up in the dictionary.  "Righteousness - acting in accord with moral or divine law: free from guilt or sin.  Morally right or justifiable, arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality." 

"Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men."  Romans 5:18

Isn't it interesting that our condemnation started by one person's sinful act (we are talking about eating from the forbidden tree in the garden of Eden) and then our salvation began by Jesus' one act of righteousness.  The latter eliminates the first and we are justified through Christ for eternity.

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;  by his wounds you have been healed."  1 Peter 2:24

In the verse above we see that we are to live for righteousness because of Jesus' sacrifice. 

The "breastplate" referred to in Ephesians was made of metal and it protected the soldier's torso and specifically it protected the heart - the modern version of a breastplate would of course be the bullet proof vest.  To me "righteousness" comes from the heart - from the inner most part of our being, the emotion center and the force of our existence.  That place in our body where we feel the pain of injustice and the place where we feel that rush of knowing what is right & wrong and where we feel the urging of what justice needs to be done.

Being righteous is good for you - take a look at the verse below:     

"He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor."  Proverbs 21:21

"Life, prosperity and honor" is yours when you live & act in a righteous way based on the way that Jesus lived.  Living righteously is being Christ-like.

"Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."  James 3:18

In the verse above we go back to what we were talking about last week - to "stand" is not going on the attack and it is not running away - in a sense it is peaceful.  Yes, you need to be on guard and ready to act in a Godly manner but there needs to be peace before you make that next step.  You need to stand in peace in order to hear what God is telling you to do - then and only then will you "raise a harvest of righteousness."


Righteousness is Godly emotions in action. 
Be sure to keep "The Breastplate of Righteousness" securely in place in your life.



 


 
 
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo Day_zpsb50f87c9.jpg


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Friday, April 26, 2013

Strawberry Lemon Coconut Squares

 

Strawberry Lemon Coconut Squares by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 009_zps9418f63f.jpg

Strawberry Lemon Coconut Squares

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will know that I love flavor combinations and especially Lemon and Berries.  For this recipe I also added in coconut, which in my opinion is divine combined with Strawberry & Lemon!

Strawberry Lemon Coconut Squares by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 002_zpsf766c90b.jpg

Printable Recipe

Crust
1/2 cup butter (if using unsalted then add 1/4 teaspoon salt)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened & ground)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
 
Blend all ingredients with a fork or pastry cutter until it resembles the picture above.  With your fingers - Press this crumbly dough into a square Pyrex dish (spray the dish first).  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Strawberry Lemon Coconut Squares by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 005_zps07eefab0.jpg

Prepare the Fruit Custard filling while the crust is in the oven.
 
Fruit Custard Filling
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
5 to 6 strawberries (hulled, washed & drained) 
 
Whisk the eggs, baking powder and sugar until fluffy.  Puree the lemon juice, zest & strawberries together in a blender.  Add the fruit mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until combined (see top picture). 
 
As soon as the crust is finished baking remove from the oven and immediately pour the fruit custard filling into the hot crust (see picture below). 

Strawberry Lemon Coconut Squares by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 006_zps2c7b5678.jpg

Now bake (same temperature as before - 350 degrees) for another 25 minutes or until it is lightly golden brown on top (see picture below).


Strawberry Lemon Coconut Squares by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 007_zpsa019de1d.jpg

Remove from the oven, allow to cool and cut into slices or square pieces & ENJOY!!

Strawberry Lemon Coconut Squares by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 008_zpsa54aaf54.jpg


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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spice Parsnip Bran Muffins With Currants

 
Spice Parsnip Bran Muffins by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 004_zpsec34be23.jpg

Spice Parsnip Bran Muffins With Currants

We have been blessed with a wonderful parsnip harvest this spring!  I've been busy creating new parsnip recipes and this is one of them.

Not only does this recipe use some of my homegrown parsnips but it also uses some of my homecanned applesauce - click HERE to see how to make your own applesauce.

Spice Parsnip Bran Muffins by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 006_zpsae59da43.jpg

 
1 1/2 cups bran cereal (I used "All Bran" but bran flakes will work also)
1 egg
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup butter (melted & cooled)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup dried currants (you may use raisins instead)
3/4 cup parsnips (shredded)
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (use only 1/8 teaspoon if you are using salted butter)
 
Begin by soaking the cereal and currants in the milk - stir and set aside.  With a whisk combine the egg and butter.  Now stir into the egg mixture the applesauce, sugar, parsnips and the cereal mixture from before (the dough should look like the left picture below).  Add the remaining ingredients (the flour, the spices, the baking soda and the salt) and stir just until combined (see the right picture below).   


Spice Parsnip Bran Muffins by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 007_zps45a857b4.jpg Spice Parsnip Bran Muffins by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 008_zpsbfb9fda4.jpg

Spray or butter (or use paper muffin liners) a muffin pan.  Spoon about 1/3 cup of dough into each muffin space and continue until all of the dough has been used (it should be the perfect amount for 12 muffins).  

Spice Parsnip Bran Muffins by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 009_zps27023041.jpg

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan before removing each muffin and placing them on a cooling rack. 
 
Serve warm or allow to cool first & ENJOY!

Spice Parsnip Bran Muffins by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 010_zpsde7afdb1.jpg

 
 
 
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Circus "AcroSQUIRREL"

 

Squirrel by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 003_zps065a7557.jpg

Circus "AcroSQUIRREL"

Yes, instead of an Acrobat this is an "AcroSQUIRREL"!  During the growing season Squirrels are my worst enemy since they destroy my garden especially when they shred away and waste the flesh of peaches and apricots just to eat the pit.  However, I have to admit that they are extremely clever and even cute.

Just recently I was entertained by the death defying performance and extraordinary feats of flying through the air with ease by this Circus AcroSQUIRREL.

I wasn't quick enough with my camera to get a picture of him climbing up that skinny pole but you can just imagine how that alone was an accomplishment.

Step 1 - Steady yourself with a firm foothold
Squirrel by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 004_zps4f1167d4.jpg



Step 2 - Grab a few sunflower seeds and hold them in your mouth
Squirrel by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 005_zps5cec4c9c.jpg



Step 3 - Hang around and eat those sunflower seeds
Squirrel by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 006_zps190989cd.jpg



Step 4 - Repeat and ENJOY!
 photo 63424c4d-9882-4623-9adc-71404d52e9ea_zpsbedf4df0.jpg



 
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo Day_zpsb50f87c9.jpg

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stand With The Belt of Truth

 
"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist........" Ephesians 6:13 & 14


 Today's Bible study is part 2 in a series on "Becoming A Christian Soldier." - Now, I have to be very clear - I am NOT talking about becoming a physical soldier and I am NOT saying that you should go out and physically fight (although I appreciate and respect anybody who has served or is serving in our army, navy or air force) - what I'm talking about in this series is on a spiritual level.

Our God is all powerful, all knowing, He is our Protector and Provider - He would never throw us into a battle without fully equipping us first.  Today we will start learning about the "full armor of God" and specifically "the belt of truth." 
 
Let's look at the verses above:  we need to put on the full armor so that "you may be able to stand your ground".  Notice that we are required to "STAND" - not to run away and not to go forward on the attack - we need to Stand our ground.  Now, "standing your ground" might mean protecting yourself or defending those around you - eventually some action is required on your part.
 
It sometimes helps to look up simple words in the dictionary: 
Stand - to rise to an upright position on the feet,
          - to remain stable, upright and intact
          - to remain valid, effective or unaltered
          - to take up or maintain a specific position, attitude or course

It is interesting to me that there is an order in these verses - first we must prepare, train and draw from God's power ( "after you have done everything" ) and then we must STAND.  It's not all about the preparing, eventually we must "do" or "act" - we must implement what we learned in our training.

Then we go even further - we must "stand firm" like a boulder that cannot be moved - none of this wishy washy teetering on the fence attitude - we must be solid in attitude and in action.

Now onto "the belt of truth" - What is the purpose of a belt? - I can think of 2 important reasons to wear a belt:  1.  To keep our clothing tightly around our waist so that it doesn't fall down to the ground.  2.  To keep our belly from billowing over - to keep our body intact or in place.  I know that feeling when the band on my pants starts getting tighter - this actually stops me from overeating - keeping me in check - keeping me on the right path to healthy living. 
(the third purpose is fashion and that in my opinion is not valid when talking about our spiritual wardrobe).

"Truth" or Honesty does the same thing in our Christian spiritual lives as a belt does to our physical being - it keeps us in check, it keeps us all together and keeps us on the right pathway.  Knowing and living by the Truth of Jesus' saving blood keeps every aspect of our live in order according to God's master plan.  Also, being held accountable for our actions and being honest about what we did or didn't do keeps us strong and growing in God's power.
 
"A truthful witness saves lives, ....." Proverbs 14:25
 
It might be difficult at times to be honest but honesty benefits others as well as ourself.
 


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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Enjoying My New Belgian Waffle Maker

 

Belgian Waffle Maker by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 2013-04-18_zps97f87251.jpg


 Enjoying My New Belgian Waffle Maker

My parents surprised me with this wonderful Waffle Maker - Thank you Mom & Dad!!  They have this "points" credit card and were able to use those points for this
Hamilton Beach Flip Waffle Maker

Recipe ideas are flying through my  head, so if any of these ideas are successful (after I test these ideas out in my own kitchen) - then I will share them with you in the future.

ENJOY!!
 
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo Day_zpsb50f87c9.jpg


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Introducing Week#4 Co-host(s) for the April Chain "Linky" CLIMB

Please welcome The Chain "Linky" CLIMB week#4 co-host:
  Jen Marie from "Jen Loves Life"
(Click on the link below to visit her blog) 

Jen Loves Life
Jen has a wonderful family - married for 12 years and has 4 amazing daughters.  Since October 2012 Jen & her family have been "rolling" across the USA in their trailer and sharing every bit of their adventure with us!  Jen has a great sense of humor - Please visit her blog - I guarantee that she will be able to make you smile!  (Jen just announced that her family has found a house to live in - Congrats Jen! - We look forward to seeing how your blog will change with your new move) 



To join in on this month's Chain "Linky" CLIMB (a month long blog hop) - please click HERE
 
 
 
 
by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo Day_zpsb50f87c9.jpg

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Basics - Whole Grain Cheese Biscuits

 

Whole Grain Cheese Biscuits by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 006_zps68a4882a.jpg

 Whole Grain Cheese Biscuits

These biscuits are so easy to make and so delicious - I love the "grainy" taste!
These biscuits are great dipped in/or served with the following meals/recipes:

Garden Preserved Chili
Chicken Corn Chowder
Garden Preserved Beef Stew

I make biscuits for many different recipes - savory & sweet - checkout the following recipes that use a variation of these biscuits:

Strawberry Shortcake
Maple'n Bacon Biscuits with Poached Eggs & Cheese
Blueberry Lemon Shortcake

Whole Grain Cheese Biscuits by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 002_zps49fd856e.jpg

 
1/2 cup butter (cold from fridge - not frozen)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup 10 grain cereal (I used "Bob's Red Mill" Grain Cereal)
1 1/4 cup unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup milk

In a large mixing bowl combine the wheat flour, cereal, white flour, sugar, powdered sugar, salt & shredded cheese & stir.  Now cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until the dough resembles the picture above.  Now stir in the milk & with then with your hands knead the dough just until all of the dry ingredients is blended together.  Form the dough into a cylinder & slice into about 9 or 10 puck sized slices (see picture below).  Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet & bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until desired color is achieved. 

Whole Grain Cheese Biscuits by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 004_zps80f7f6e1.jpg

Remove from the oven, cool & ENJOY!!

Whole Grain Cheese Biscuits by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 005_zpsbdaff912.jpg


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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Themed Blog & Shop Hop - "BLUE Skies"

 

WELCOME to the 14th
"Themed Blog & Shop Hop"
April 16th 2013!
I'm so glad that you stopped by!

For those of you who are not familiar with "Hops" (a.k.a. Linky party) - a Blog Hop &/or Shop Hop is an event where viewers/followers can upload links onto my blog......Links to their items in their Etsy shops (or online shops) or links to their Blogs. And then we can "hop" from blog to blog or shop to shop.

The theme this month is:
"BLUE"  "Skies"
Please share with us any item in your shop or from your blog that is blue, or anything that has to do with the sky - like clouds, rainbow, rain, stars........etc......

If you have anything that remotely touches this topic - then please share it with us.
 
Although I would love it if everyone joined my blog or became followers of my blog - that is not a requirement to participate in this "Hop". All I ask is that you keep your submissions decent - no offensive content please.
 

Well, actually there is a second rule:
only 2 submissions per person please.
If you do not have a blog or a shop then please still stop by and take a digital walk through our virtual mall.


I will be having a "Themed Blog & Shop Hop" once a month - the middle of each month. Next month's hop will be on:
MAY 16th, 2013

ENJOY!!


To Etsy shop owners - please only upload links directly to the items that you would like to share with us - not a link to your entire shop - Thanks.

To Blog owners - you may submit any post that fits into the theme - it can be an old post from many months ago (it does Not have to be a recent post). Also, please submit the link directly to the post and Not a link to your homepage - Thank you!
 
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