Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Amish Friendship Bread~ Win A Trip To Amish Country (OH~ I HOPE!)


Isaiah 26:3-4 (King James Version)

 3Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
 4Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

 Oh my stars~23 days until Fall. I just love Autumn and I love to decorate for it. I am currently planning my fall scents for a batch of 100 candles. It is so hard to decide which scents to make. What is your favorite Autumn Scent~I think mine is Apple Jack!  Please help me decide!

I think God is so good to bless us with all the seasons. I would be so bored with the same all year long. I eagerly anticipate the next and I am ready to send it off when I have had my fill. I even like winter ~but only up until Christmas~tehe! I love a white Christmas for sure.

 I love Amish Friendship Bread. I wish we could sit and share some with a cup of coffee. Wouldn't that be grand? I have not made this in years but I think I am going to mix up the starter batch today. It seems like a good thing with the cooler temperatures in the air! It is a delicious sweet bread and a great way to have loaves to share.

I am off for another day of schooling~you have a wonderful day. I smell Autumn in the air!

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe

Day 1 - receive the starter (the recipe for the starter is below)
Day 2 - stir
Day 3 - stir
Day 4 - stir
Day 5 - Add 1 cup each flour, sugar and milk.
Day 6 - stir
Day 7 - stir
Day 8 - stir
Day 9 - stir
Day 10 - Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Divide into 4 containers, with 1 cup each for three of your friends and 1 cup for your own loaves. Give friends the instructions for Day 1 through Day 10 and the following recipe for baking the bread.
After removing the 3 cups of batter, combine the remaining cup of Amish Friendship Bread starter with the following ingredients in a large bowl:
2/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Using a fork beat by hand until well blended. You can add 1 cup raisins and 1 cup nuts (optional).
Grease two loaf pans with butter, sprinkle with sugar instead of flour.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour (individual oven temperatures vary). Cool 10 minutes, remove from pans. Makes two loaves of Amish Friendship Bread.

This is the Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe that you'll need to make the Amish Friendship Bread (above). It is very important to use plastic or wooden utensils and plastic or glass containers when making this. Do not use metal at all!


1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110??F)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk (110??F)


1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water for about 10 minutes. Stir well.
2. In a 2 quart glass or plastic container, combine 1 cup sifted flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or the flour will get lumpy when you add the milk.
3. Slowly stir in warm milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Loosely cover the mixture with a lid or plastic wrap. The mixture will get bubbly. Consider this Day 1 of the cycle, or the day you receive the starter.
For the next 10 days handle starter according to the instructions above for Amish Friendship Bread.

Starting TODAY, August 31, you have a chance to win a FABULOUS trip for two to Amish Country. You can enter the sweepstakes by going here.

Win a Trip

Monday, August 30, 2010

Yes~Jesus Loves Me ~The Bible Tells Me So

Yesterday our church had a carnival for all our church children. Our church has a large bus ministry~ we bus in children from all over the city. It was a very busy day. We had over 300 children in attendance. We had horse rides, train rides, cotton candy and all the fun things that goes along with a church carnival. I faced painted little sweaty faces~it was really hot! 

Our Sunday School Class had many new visitors. Among one of those was a little girl as cute as a button. She was only three but was certain she needed to stay with her older brother. It was her first time so we thought that would be just fine.  She wore the prettiest pink and green dress with her hair pulled up on top her head in a little bobby bun. She seemed as shy as she was cute. My Brian ~who happens to be the greatest story teller ever~started the lesson of David and Goliath. He stands up on the chair to show them just how big the mean old giant really was. As the lesson begins he yells out  the words Goliath repeatedly yelled at the Israelite army day after day. My Brian asked the children, "Just what would you do about the mean giant?"  To which the sweet ~adorably shy little girl screams out, "I'd kick him in the butt." Oh my did we have a good laugh!  It was a fun day for sure. 
It was a wild day ~ I am sure we might have an extra jewel in our crown just for yesterday. 

Matthew 19:14 (King James Version)

 14But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

There were so many children I did not make it out of that class. I was needed to help with the junior church time. In that class was a little guy about 5 with a big attitude. He wanted to go home and was throwing quite a temper fit. So I took him by the hand and we went for a walk to see the carnival that was waiting for church to get over. I explained that going home meant that he would miss this great fun. He no longer wanted to go home and sat in the class ~taking part for the rest of the time. He became my friend and we finished listening to the story of Jonah and the great fish together. I pray that Noah will one day give his life to Jesus. Who knows what lives we may have touched yesterday~maybe a Billie Sunday was in our crowd!

You know it cost our church a lot of money, energy and time to invest in these children. Keeping five church buses running, insured and full of gas is costly. It takes materials, time preparing and visiting these children. Mostly it takes love. I am so thankful for this bus ministry. Why~because 39 years ago when I was five  someone loved me enough to come pick me up on a bus. It forever changed my life~ Praise God. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour and all because someone cared enough to invest in me. 

Thank you Bus Workers~you are my heros!~

Jesus loves me, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak but He is strong. 
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me. 
The Bible tells me so.

Celebrate the fact that God loves you today!  

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tomato ~ Cucumber Salad

  • 5 medium plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
  • 1 Kirby cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • A generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
  • 2 splashes red wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and black pepper

Dress the tomatoes, onions, and cucumber with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Let stand while you prepare dinner, about 20 minutes. Re-toss and serve salad with crusty bread for mopping up juices and oil.

Cheesy Sausage Stromboli

5 cups of flour
2 Tb sugar
2 Ts salt
2 Tb yeast
1 1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
2 Ts warm butter

In large bowl combine~ flour, sugar, salt yeast.
Add butter, milk and water.  Mix together on low~ I use my mix aid.
If you have a mix aid knead until you have a soft dough. If you knead by hand~turn onto a well floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
Cover and let rise until it doubles in size ~about an hour.

2 pounds of pork sausage~I use turkey sausage.
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs
1 TS fresh basil or 1/4 dried
2 Tb grated Parmesan cheese

While your bread is rising~ Cook sausage and then add mozzarella, eggs, and then set aside until your dough is ready.

  Cut your dough into 2 halves. Roll out your dough in a long oval shape as you would a french loaf.
Fill with 1/2 of sausage mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese. Roll up as you would a long loaf of bread.  This make 2 big loaves.

Bake at 375 for about 20 -25 minutes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Celebrate Everything~

Waechtersbach Plate, You Are Special Today, Cherry Red

When I was a young mom starting out I starting reading books written by Emilie Barnes. I just love her to the moon and back. I look forward to meeting her one day if not here on the other side. One of the things   I took from her and claimed as my own is to make everyday a celebration. Why not? Life is for living and in living there is always something to celebrate.

Celebrate everything~good days, bad days that are finally over, birthdays, and even non~birthdays.  Make it special!  My family teases me about this ~almost every night during our blessing. It goes like this, "Thank you dear God for this celebration of chili or beans and once in awhile a really good meal of steak."

When my kids were small I would attend "MOPS." It was here I first learned about the "Special Red Plate" ~oh I wanted one so bad. I looked high and low and could never find one. Several years back I found one at the Goodwill. I bought it for $1.00. I was so thrilled. I just looked it up on Amazon and found out you can buy it new for $33.00 or used for $27.00. Seems like I got a good deal. After looking for one for years~ mine is priceless. So if you happen to see one you best pick it up!  It does make special days more fun when you get the "Special  Red Plate."

Look for ways to celebrate  life and those you love today! I bet if you look you can find a millions reasons.

Psalm 107:1 (King James V 1O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

I am off to celebrate today with Miss Billie~you have a blessed Friday!

Photo~Hannah Bell
The Optimist
~author unknown~
There is a story of identical twins. One was a hope-filled optimist. “Everything is coming up roses!” he would say. The other twin was a sad and hopeless pessimist. He thought that Murphy, as in Murphy’s Law, was an optimist. The worried parents of the boys brought them to the local psychologist.
He suggested to the parents a plan to balance the twins” personalities. “On their next birthday, put them in separate rooms to open their gifts. Give the pessimist the best toys you can afford, and give the optimist a box of manure.” The parents followed these instructions and carefully observed the results.
When they peeked in on the pessimist, they heard him audibly complaining, “I don’t like the color of this computer . . I’ll bet this calculator will break . . . I don’t like the game . . . I know someone who’s got a bigger toy car than this . . .”
Tiptoeing across the corridor, the parents peeked in and saw their little optimist gleefully throwing the manure up in the air. He was giggling. “You can’t fool me! Where there’s this much manure, there’s gotta be a pony!”

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Zucchini Sausage Bake~

1 pound smoked kielbasa or polish sausage
1 medium size zucchini ~cut in cubes
1 small onion
1 can diced tomatoes~undrained
1 TB minced fresh basil or 1 TS dried basil
1 TB minced fresh parsley or 1 TS dried parsley
1 TS sugar
3 cups cooked spiral pasta

In large skillet, cook zucchini and onion until it is tender. Add tomatoes, basil, parsley and sugar. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add pasta and heat through. Enjoy!

Homemade Peach Tea~


Yesterday~ my sister and her children came for a visit so my Hannah and I cooked up a treat for their visit. I should have taken a picture~ dog gone it!  We made this tea and it was oh so good! My Hannah whipped up some Heavenly Chocolate Chip Cookies ~they were oh so good too.

Homemade Peach Tea
8 tea bags 
1 fresh peach
1 cup of sugar 
water and ice

First, you have to bring a pot of water to a boil and then put in your 8  tea bags ~ just like you would when your making a regular pitcher of delicious tea. Pour tea into a gallon container.

 Cut a fresh peach into slices then put the slices in your pot on the stove. Add 1 cup of sugar and cook on medium heat. You need to stir constantly to keep from burning. Cook until you have a syrup consistency. Add the syrup to the tea and finish filling the  gallon container with water. Add ice and oh this is so yummy!

  • World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies


    Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cream: Butter Flavor Crisco, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Blend until creamy. Blend in egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture, gradually. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop rounded measuring tablespoonfuls of dough 3" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies (will appear light and moist - DO NOT OVER BAKE)

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Do You Need A New Perspective?

    "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
     ~Author unknown

    Do You Need A New Perspective?

    Genesis 11:29-30 (King James Version)

     29And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.
     30But Sarai was barren; she had no child.

    Do you ever get the feeling that you are the only woman who struggles with human-ness? Do you think woman of the Bible had some of the same issues we have today? I know one area they had far worse. Can you imagine your man deciding to take multiple wives?~this wife would take a frying pan to his head.

    One of my favorite Bible characters is Sarah. The first time she is mentioned in the Bible is that she was the wife of Abram in the genealogy of Genesis. As you see above~ it  mentions Nahor~ Abram's brother. Nohor's wife was Micah~ the daughter of Haron. Milcah's lineage was mentioned but not Sarah's linage. It could appear that Sarah was a "nobody" in the family compared to Milcah. Then it states that Sarah was barren and she had no child~ ~to add insult to injury. That would be a double negative in my book. However~this is where her story begins.

    As  Sarah's story begins to unfold we find out that see was beautiful. So beautiful that her husband thought another man would kill him to take her as his own. She followed her husband into the great adventure of becoming the father of the Hebrew nation. That would make her the "Momma Hen" to the entire Hebrew linage. Wow~what an accomplishment for a "nobody." Yet as we take a look into the life of the beautiful Sarah we see that she did not see herself as the great, beautiful, rich, famous woman that she was. She could never get over the fact that she had a problem~she was barren. 

    The Bible records five statements that Sarah made. Each time she states her status as a barren woman with no child. She never got past it! Could it be she never saw herself as the beautiful woman Abram loved and others thought was so beautiful? Could she not see herself as the Lord saw her~a woman of faith?

    This can so easily happen to us. What stigma haunts you from the past? It could be that you go through life with the name tag for the world to see that reads~ "Abused," "Unloved," "Abandoned," "Fat," "Ugly," Useless," "Childless," "Divorced~this list could go on and on." Some of these labels we might have picked up by own own choices and some may have been brought on by circumstances out of our control. It really does not matter.  You go through life seeing yourself as the person you first saw ~that person from long ago. It does not matter how God sees you. When we allow ourselves to stay stuck in the past wearing these labels like an old friend ~we are living our life in the darkness ~ seeing only the past.

    The problem is that this monkey on your back affects your judgement~even today. Sarah made a horrible decision asking her husband to give her a child by marrying her servant~trying to free herself of the burden she was carrying. Sarah's bad judgement has brought about a lifetime of war and hate. If only she would have had the patience to wait on God for his timing. I am afraid to many of us are making choices driven by the past. A very wise preacher told me once, "It is time to stop letting your past dictate your future."  I know way to many people who want to stay stuck in this past!

    Sarah a great woman of faith listed by God in the "Hall of Faith Chapter" ~   and an excellent wife who struggled with worthlessness and insecurity. We need to make it a prayer that God will free us from the past that haunts us and labels us~keeping us from making right choices.  Many times it is our thinking that keeps us in this mindset. People do not even see us the way we think that they do~with those ugly labels from our past. We go around deceiving ourselves acting as a martyr. It is time to get down off the cross~Jesus did that once and for all. God wants us to live a life full of peace and joy.  It does not matter that we have been a Christian for a long time ~we need to be healed by the passionate love of God until his love melts away the shadows of unworthiness we may feel from our past. It really is time to forgive ourselves and bury it under the blood of the cross.

    Your feeling loved and accepted and forgiven by Christ is necessary if you want to make the right decisions for your family. It is also necessary to forgive yourself once and for all!  Please do not let your children suffer from poor decisions you make while wearing a badge handed to you as a child or young adult.  Break the chain by finding the love of Jesus.  It is time to let go of the past and get a new perspective!


    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    It Will Never All Be Done~

    I am sitting here in my freshly organized school room. I already have my desk piled high with new projects needing attention. Have you ever just wished you could get finished with all those task and chores? On some days I have it all done at the same time but that does not happen very often. I think I have it all done and a teenage boy I know will bring me down a mountain of dirty clothes. Now mind you~ I probably asked him for his clothes early that morning when I started my day. It is amazing what appears when he is forced to deep clean his room.

     I think we just need to be comfortable with never getting it all done. Ouch~did I say that?  (My Girly in Washington ~I do not want to hear one word from your cute little lips! Or any other loving family member reading this today!)

    I want to let you in on a secret. If your goal is to create a welcoming haven that offers peace and beauty ~ your work will never be done. " A man's work is from sun to sun but a woman's work is never done."~as my Grandma Baker would say.  It is always going to be a work in progress. I have been re-examining ~let's talk about how to make this work.

    First ~we must be willing to change our home as needs and priority's change. Get rid of things that no longer work for you or your family.  The past few weeks I have emptied out my kitchen and basement. I am planning a garage sale. I have emptied out my schoolroom this week with a few tears. After 19 years of homeschooling it is time to get rid of a lot of books, curriculum and things we no longer need. My baby is entering his first year of high school and his 3rd older sister is entering her first year of college. It was time to clean house so to speak.

    Always be on the look out for ideas that will make your home more comfortable, relaxing but usable. Our family is ever changing. It seems here lately the changes are a daily event. Therefore~ our home should reflect the changes too.

    Philippians 1:6 (King James Version)

     6Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

    As we welcome each new chapter and phase in our lives we must never forget that it will never be all done~so today maybe we should just be comfortable in that fact.  It does not all have to be perfect -or even finished.

    By all means keep dreaming and creating. And enjoy the process of watching dreams come true!

    Saturday, August 21, 2010

    Triple Batch Pumpkin Bread~

    At our home when school schedules pick up and my men drag out the hunting equipment you know Autumn is just around the corner. This morning my men are headed off to our church Annual Bow Shoot. I have signed up to send a breakfast type bread. ~With cooler temperatures the past week I have been thinking about Pumpkin Bread. I always make my sister's recipe( I couldn't find it anywhere) but she will wring my neck if I wake her household up at 6 in the morning so I went searching and I found this recipe. I like to make extra. Pumpkin bread freezes so well. Thought maybe I would share.

     Have a blessed Saturday!

    Triple Batch Pumpkin Bread~Enjoy

    1 1/2 c. salad oil
    6 eggs, slightly beaten
    1 lg. can pumpkin (29 oz.-3 c.)
    4 1/2 c. sugar or 4. c. honey or fruit sweetener

    3 tsp. baking soda
    1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
    1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    3/4 tsp. baking powder
    2 1/4 tsp. salt
    1 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
    5 c. flour (3 white, 2 wheat)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour choice of pan. Mix dry ingredients together. Sift into another bowl and then back again so that they are sifted twice. Add sifted dry ingredients to egg mixture a cup at a time and stir well being careful that there are no lumps. Immediately pour into pans and put into oven. Bake according to the following lengths of time:1. 9x13" cake pan - 50 to 60 minutes.
    2. 3 loaf pans - 45 to 55 minutes.
    3. Bundt pan - 45 to 55 minutes.
    4. Muffin pans - 20 minutes.
    Cool on wire racks then wrap tightly to keep. Freezes excellently.

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Zucchini Oatmeal Cake

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 1/2 sticks butter (6 ounces)
    • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 3/4 cup buttermilk
    • 2 cups shredded zucchini
    • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

    Grease and flour a 10- to 12-cup bundt cake pan. Heat oven to 325°.
    In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices; set aside. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; beat in the vanilla. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir in shredded zucchini and nuts. Spoon into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 65-75 minutes.



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