Thursday, May 30, 2013

Egg Basics - SCRAMBLED

 

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Egg Basics - SCRAMBLED

On this blog I have reserved Thursdays for "Beginners."  Over the past few months (on Thursdays) we have been learning about the Basics of Eggs. (I know that many of my readers are experienced cooks but there are just as many readers who are new in the kitchen and might desire some simple instruction on the basics).

Eggs are wonderful and so versatile! - - - They can be boiled, fried, poached, scrambled, deviled..........etc.   Today we will be learning how to cook perfect scrambled eggs.

Last December I saw a "Gordon Ramsay" Holiday Special on "BBC America" and I have to say that I was appalled at the way that Chef Ramsay made scrambled eggs!  - His scrambled eggs looked like a heap of slimy soupy slithering sludge.  I have said it before - "Food appearance is just as important as the taste" - these scrambled eggs were a gagging glob of goop!!  Now, I want to make it very clear that I am in no way comparing my cooking skills to that of Gordon Ramsay but when it comes to the simple scrambled egg I think you'll agree that my version looks much more appetizing (I can't say that it tastes better because I've never tried his slop version) (no offense intended). 

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Step 1:  Crack open the desired amount of eggs into a medium size bowl
Step 2:  Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of whole milk or cream per egg (for example - I used 2 eggs and added 3 tablespoons milk.  In other words - multiply the number of eggs that you are using by 1.5 = this will equal the tablespoon amount of milk/cream required).
Step 3:  Whisk the milk & eggs together until it looks a little frothy & aerated (see smaller picture top right) - add a dash of salt (you may add more salt after it is cooked - if you desire).
Step 4:  Melt 1 teaspoon of butter in a frying pan & then pour the egg mixture into the pan (on medium low heat).
Step 5:  After 1 minute begin pushing the egg/milk mixture around with a spatula - scrambling the eggs (see picture below).
 
 
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Step 6:  Continue "scrambling" (moving the eggs around with the spatula) until it resembles the picture below.
Step7:   Serve immediately - add pepper & a little more salt if you desire & ENJOY!

IMPORTANT:  You must use whole milk or cream - If you use skim or low fat milk you will be left with "egg water" (which is what my husband calls it).

ALSO IMPORTANT:  You must use medium low heat because you don't want to have a crispy edge or rubbery textured eggs - you want them to be light & fluffy.

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See also:
Egg Basics - POACHED
Egg Basics - HARD BOILED
Egg Basics - SOFT BOILED 
 
 
 
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Amazing Asparagus - Recipes & Other Tips


Amazing Asparagus by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 2013-05-19_zps66a6cbd4.jpg

Amazing Asparagus - Recipes & Other Tips

To me asparagus has always meant springtime - green, delicate and fresh.  Did you know that Asparagus is a member of the lily family?  It is a beautiful vegetable.

Not only is asparagus loved for it's delicious taste - it is also very healthy!  Asparagus is a good source of vitamins A, B6 & C, fiber, potassium.  It is high in glutathione which is an amino acid that is a wonderful anti-oxidant.  Asparagus is high in folate which is believed to protect against cancer, reduce inflammation & reduce the risks of heart disease.  Also, asparagus is high in vitamin K which can help prevent osteoarthritis & osteoporosis (again - I'm not a doctor - this information is from my own online research - please see my "disclaimer" at the bottom of this post).   

I have shared many Asparagus recipes & other tips (growing & preparing) with you over the past few years - there are eight yummy posts - ENJOY!

Please click on any title below to view more details:







 
 



Amazing Asparagus by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 2013-05-19_zps0386416f.jpg


 
 
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Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Helmet of Salvation

 
"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, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation........" Ephesians 6:13-16

 Today's Bible study is part 6 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  helmet of salvation."   
 
The purpose of this spiritual helmet is to protect our head;  our brain or our mind.  Our mind is the idea center where we learn;  where we memorize and meditate;  where we make plans and decisions.  A few weeks ago we talked about protecting our heart the emotion center but it is just as important to protect our mind! 
 
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you."  Philippians 4:8

As you can see by the verse above - our mind and what we think about is so important (click HERE to view the post about "Thinking Good Thoughts").  This knowledge of Salvation - knowing that all of our sins have been forgiven through the saving blood of Jesus Christ changes the way that one thinks and acts.  Knowing and accepting this gift of Salvation from God will change your ways forever.  This is the "helmet of Salvation" that we are talking about today.

This means that whatever we read, whatever we see on TV or whatever we view on the Internet needs to be filtered through this helmet of Salvation.  Some of the mental stimuli that is constantly streaming our way will be repelled by this spiritual helmet whereas other mental urgings will be transformed into ideas and then finally into Godly actions.  I'm a visual person and I think of it this way:  allowing one little evil thought or mental picture into our mind is like allowing a small brain tumor to grow and spread throughout other parts of our brain.  It is the same with thoughts & what we allow into our minds - if you don't remove that tumor (or thought) while it is small then it will spread throughout the body and take control.  (I don't mean to be morbid but I have seen many family members deal with serious diseases and that is why I am comparing bad thoughts to disease). 

This helmet of salvation is in constant contact with our head and if we keep it in place it will protect us from Satan's evil schemes.  Keeping this spiritual helmet in place will also guide us in our decisions.  God speaks to us and urges us not only through our heart/emotions but also through our mind/thoughts.  Have you ever had a thought just pop into your head out of the blue? - I have & many times that thought was guidance from my Lord & Savior.  I also believe that God speaks to us through our dreams - this is another way that God uses our mind to lead us and direct us in the direction that He wants us to go.

So you see, this Helmet is not only preventing evil from penetrating our spiritual being but it is also molding our mind into ideas that become God glorifying actions.

Always protect your mind by keeping your Helmet of Salvation in place.

 
 
 
 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fertilizing Fruit Trees/Bushes

 
Fertilizing Fruit by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarde.com photo 014_zps8e485bf0.jpg

Fertilizing Fruit Trees/Bushes

Most of my fruit trees are very young - less than 5 years old.  I often add my own compost to my fruit babies but that is a whole different post - today I'm talking about two different fruit fertilizers from two different companies.

Fertilizing Fruit by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarde.com photo 003_zps33d69c6d.jpg

1.  Doyle's Organic 4-4-4 Blackberry Fertilizer - If you recall, last year my husband gave me two wonderful thornless blackberry bushes as a Christmas gift (click HERE to view post about my blackberry gift).  The instructions are very easy and clear - in the bottom two pictures you will see the circle of fertilizer around the blackberry bush before watering & then after - they look so healthy!  Click on the title below to go to Doyle's website:
 

Fertilizing Fruit by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarde.com photo 004_zps48f52b9c.jpg

Fertilizing Fruit by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarde.com photo 005_zps77950023.jpg

2.  Fruit Trees Alive - This product comes from a company that I just love - the company is called "Gardens Alive".  Since most of my fruit trees are very young I use this "Build Up Formula", after that "Gardens Alive" recommends using  their "Maintenance" formula.  The instructions on how to use this product are also very clear and easy to understand.
As you can see in the pictures below I have fertilized my Goji bushes and my peach trees (also my apricot & cherry trees - not seen below).

Fertilizing Fruit by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 011_zps1cb54ab7.jpg


Fertilizing Fruit by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 010_zps835a2587.jpg


To order Fruit Trees Alive or to visit their website - click on the title below:

Fruit Trees Alive from "Gardens Alive"


Fertilizing Fruit by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 013_zpsf50915c7.jpg
Pear Tree

 
 
 
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Co-hosting The "Meet & Greet Blog Hop"!! - #27

 
Meet & Greet Blog Hop #27
                   
Welcome back to the Meet & Greet Blog Hop!
Join in, meet some fellow bloggers, greet them with comments, and grow your blog with new friends!
 
Interested in being a Co-Host?
Send an email to 2justByou(at)gmail(dot)com with "Co-Host" in the subject line for consideration and include your blog link!
 

Meet Everyone!

This week’s “Get to know you question”:
 
Is there a story behind the name your parents chose for you?

 
*Hosts*
 
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Kim - from 2 just B you:
No story, really.  My dad just liked the name Kim




Laurie - from Created By Laurie:
I’m not sure about the first name, but I have been told my middle name “Ann” was supposed to end with a “e” like my Mother and Grandmother, but there was a mistake on the birth certificate which they never fixed. That’s ok, I like being different. :)



*Co Hosts*

025-Copy-1, http://godsgrowinggarden.com
Angie– from God’s Growing Garden:
My full given name is "Angelique" with a French accent "egu" on the first "e" (but I didn't know how to type that accent - so just imagine that it's there - hahahaha).  I was born before ultra sound technology was around but the doctor was positive that I was going to be a boy because of my "strong heart"- so my parents named me "David Jacob".........until I was born and then changed it to "Angelique Marie".  My sister's name is Monique so they sound nice together - Angelique & Monique (although I go by Angie).



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Noor – from Noor’s Place:
Yeah . Noor is not my birth name. I was born with name Eesha, but somehow it didn't suite my personality & I fell ill. So when it came to rename, the lucky word chosen was N. Noor is an Arabic word & it means light. Fully it makes Noor Unnahar that means day light. So my parents consider me as the light from God and named me Noor Unnahar :)


Is there a story behind the name your parents chose for you?


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Two moms that are neighbors, friends, and always busy chasing after little ones! This blog is filled with creative ideas, honest reviews, and wonderful giveaways!
 
 
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Lemon Asparagus Chicken

 

Asparagus Chicken by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 011_zps86431220.jpg


Lemon Asparagus Chicken

I created this recipe many years ago and it has become a Springtime favorite.  I like to serve this with rice & a side salad - fresh & Spring-like! 

Asparagus Chicken by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 002_zps08bb2daf.jpg Asparagus Chicken by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 003_zps039d674e.jpg

Printable Recipe

Zest Oven Baked Chicken
6 to 8 chicken tenderloins
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8+ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or Indian Red Chili pepper)
 
In a medium size bowl - combine the flour, salt, zest & both peppers.  Rinse each piece of chicken & while they are still moist - "dredge" or cover with the flour mixture (see the picture above on the left - 1 piece of chicken has been covered & the other is still moist waiting to be covered).  Continue until all of the chicken pieces have been covered.  Place the flour covered chicken pieces in a buttered/sprayed Pyrex baking dish.  Cut the 1/4 cup butter in half & place half of that butter aside to use later.  Place a chunk of butter on each slice of chicken (see the picture on the right above).   Bake in a preheated 425 degrees for 20 minutes on one side.  Flip each piece of chicken, place the remaining butter on the other side (a little chunk on each piece of chicken) & bake for another 20 to 25 minutes on the other side or until desired color is achieved.


Lemon Asparagus Chicken by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 001_zpsb8469bc7.jpg

10 to 20 stalks of asparagus
 
Wash & prepare the asparagus.  Cook or sauté until desired "doneness" is achieved.  NOTE:  Make sure to do this when the chicken has been flipped - during the second 20 minutes - this way the Lemon sauce & the asparagus should be finished just as the chicken is removed from the oven so that all 3 layers will be hot when you are assembling each dish.
 
Lemon White Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
 
Melt butter & add flour - stirring constantly - once the flour has been incorporated into the butter slowly whisk in the milk.  It will look a little clumpy & will resemble the left picture below.  Continue stirring over medium heat & don't worry - as it thickens the clumps will disappear.  Bring to a boil & boil for 1 minute (it should be thickened by now).  Add the lemon juice, salt & pepper while constantly stirring - It should be silky smooth & delicious.  Remove from heat & continue to assembly.
 

Lemon Asparagus Chicken by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 004_zpsea2a0a01.jpg  Lemon Asparagus Chicken by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 006_zps866ebb66.jpg

Assemble
1.  Place the desired number of chicken pieces on each plate (see first picture below)
2.  Nicely place a few stalks of cooked asparagus on top of the chicken (see second picture below)
3.  Pour the desired amount of Lemon White sauce on top of the asparagus & chicken (the sauce is good on rice also!!) (see third picture below).
4.  Serve immediately & ENJOY!!
.
Lemon Asparagus Chicken by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 007_zps5f54be75.jpg
Lemon Asparagus Chicken by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 008_zps434a4842.jpg

Lemon Asparagus Chicken by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 009_zpsab5c5eab.jpg

Lemon Asparagus Chicken by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 010_zps24a62454.jpg



 
 
 
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Monday, May 20, 2013

Triple Tomato Tragedy

 
Tomato Tragedy by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 007-001_zpsdc12591f.jpg

Triple Tomato Tragedy

Every year, for about 15 years now, my husband & I have started our tomato plants from seed in our recycled paper pots (click HERE to view "Newspaper Pot Maker").  I have always taken pride in my healthy, organic tomato plants and each year I always try to grow a few different varieties (click HERE to view "Three Unique Tomato Varieties").  This year however, a Triple Tomato Tragedy has occurred:

Tomato Tragedy #1 - If you recall, last year we built a Hoop House (click HERE to view "Building a Backyard Hoop House") and we built this to replace our "toy" greenhouse (click HERE to view "Harbor Freight Greenhouse WARNING").  Well, I placed my tender tomato plants in our hoop house and they were thriving! - Unfortunately we had an early unexpected warm day (about 85 degrees) early in May and the Hoop House acted as a magnifying glass, therefore scorching my plants!!   


Tomato Tragedy by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 006-001_zps2a4a9e0a.jpg

Tomato Tragedy #2 - I was able to save about 1/2 of my plants from the previous tragedy and I was nursing them back to full health.  They had been in the shade now for a few days and the healthy new green growth was just starting to appear so I decided that they needed a few hours of Spring sun.  The best sunny part of the yard at that time of the day happened to be the edge of the driveway - knowing that we were NOT going anywhere the rest of the day I decided to place the flats of recuperating tomatoes there........on the edge of the driveway.  Well, about an hour later my husband decided to mow the lawn and had to back the car out of the garage in order to use the riding mower.  He walked to the back of the car and proceeded to remove the blower from the top of the trunk (the tomato plants were right there! - He had to have seen them!!).  You can see by the pictures that he did indeed run over our tomato plants.  I have to say that it was equally both of our fault - me for placing them in the driveway and him for not knowing what is behind (isn't that rule number 1 when backing up in any vehicle?).

Tomato Tragedy by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 008-001_zpsffc8ff3f.jpg

Tomato Tragedy #3 - Finally and lastly - the squirrels!!!  Even after all of this I was still able to salvage about 20 tomato plants.........but then the squirrels found them!  This year the squirrels seem to have misplaced their priced acorn from last years harvest because they are digging holes in every part of the yard  - including the remaining 20 tomato plants.  All are ruined.
 
This will be the first year in over a decade that we will have to buy our tomato plants!!

 
 
 
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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Extinguish Flaming Arrows with the Shield of Faith

 
"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, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." Ephesians 6:13-16

 Today's Bible study is part 5 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 shield of faith."  
 
What was the shield in a Roman Soldier's attire during Jesus' day?  The shield was an oval shaped protecting gear that was light enough to be held in one hand but large enough to stop arrows from penetrating the soldier.  It wasn't just held in place - the soldier moved the shield up and down or left and right - When the soldier saw which direction the enemy's arrows were coming from he had to move that shield to intercept the weapon zooming at him.
 
I find the use of "flaming arrows" in the highlighted verse above very interesting.  Roman Soldiers truly did use flaming arrows but in today's scripture we are talking about "flaming arrows of the evil one" - remember the evil one is Satan; the devil a.k.a. the Christian's enemy.  "The flame" infers eternal damnation but to me it also symbolizes sin.  Whenever I do something wrong, whenever I have sinned I feel this burning rush of guilt flow over me - it's hot & fiery almost like an embarrassment flush only worse.  This happens when the evil one's flaming arrow has penetrated my spiritual body and it happened because I did not have my "shield of faith" in hand.  These "flaming arrows" can come in the form of temptation and deception and can be subtle - this flaming arrow could fly by you from behind & just catch your clothes on fire - you don't notice until you're fully engulfed in flames.
 
The only way to extinguish these deadly arrows is to "take up the shield of faith."  This is action on our part - we must cling to the shield & move it in the direction necessary to smother the arrow.
  
I looked up the meaning of faith in the dictionary: faith - belief in something that cannot be seen, trust in & loyalty to God, confidence in a person, thing, deity or doctrine, conviction, assurance, devotion. 
 
This "Shield" is our Christian faith - which comes from accepting the gift of salvation through Jesus who died for our sins.  It is this faith, conviction, belief, devotion that is the only weapon that will continually protect us against the evil schemes of the devil - our Christian assurance is the only thing that will stop Satan's temptation & deception.
 
 
Be sure to have the Shield of Faith in hand at all times - moving it in the direction that will extinguish all arrows!
 


 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Smoothie Saturday #9 - Strawberry Spinach

 

Strawberry Spinach Smoothie by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 007_zps9d4f34f8.jpg

Smoothie Saturday #9 - Strawberry Spinach
A while ago I bought - The "NutriBullet". Since then I have been creating many smoothie creations.

Today is the ninth "Smoothie Saturday" where I will share one of my smoothie experimentation.

In this recipe the healthiest ingredient is Spinach.

Spinach - is high in vitamin C and therefore improves cardiovascular health, it is high in flavonoids which are cancer-fighting antioxidents.  Spinach is said to improve brain function by preventing oxidation on your brain. (again - I'm not a doctor - please see my "disclaimer" at the bottom of this post).
 
 
Strawberry Spinach Smoothie by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 001_zps901345bf.jpg

10 Michigan strawberries or 5 - 7 large California Strawberries (washed & hulled) (I used frozen strawberries - but fresh is yummy also)
1/2 banana (peeled)
handful of spinach (washed & deveined)
1 teaspoon flax seeds
1 tablespoon walnuts
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1/2 cup kefir (or yogurt)
1/4 cup water (if it is too thick)
 
Begin with the smaller "NutriBullet" container and use the "nut & seed" blade to blend & chop the walnuts & flax seeds. Now place the remaining ingredients (including the processed seeds & nuts from the first step) into the larger "NutriBullet" container and use the "smoothie" blade. Blend for about 30 seconds (or until fully blended).
 
NOTE:  Because of the banana - this Smoothie really tastes like a "Strawberry Banana" Smoothie - if you prefer more of the Strawberry Spinach flavors then omit the banana & add extra strawberries. 
ENJOY!!
IMPORTANT: All of my smoothie recipes on this blog are measured for the "NutriBullet" and are a single serving - if you have a different kind of blender that has a larger capacity then you may increase the amount of ingredients according to your desired smoothie needs. The ingredients in this recipe measure close to the max line of the NutriBullet. 
 
 
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