Monthly Archives: August 2015

What’s Cooking Wednesday? BBQ Meatball Recipe

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” ~ I Corinthians 10:31
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At our house, we love finger foods. We don’t want to wait for a party or get together to enjoy them, so sometimes I’ll make appetizer type finger foods as our dinner. One favorite is BBQ meatballs. I serve them with homemade cornbread, cooked carrots, and a baked potato. Talk about comfort food!

Heidi’s BBQ Meatballs Recipe

Minutes to Prepare: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Number of Servings: 48+ meatballs

Ingredients:
2 pounds ground turkey
1 1/3 cup ketchup (divided)
3 tablespoons bread crumbs (panko)
1 egg
2 tablespoons onion flakes
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup of light brown sugar (can do 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 honey)
6 oz can tomato paste
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp hot cayenne pepper sauce
allmeatball
(disclaimer: accidentally had A-1 instead of cider vinegar out)

 
Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Combine meat, 1/3 cup ketchup, panko, and spices in bowl. Mix thoroughly and shape into meatballs. I use my melon scooper to make 1-inch ones all consistently the same size.
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3) Bake in oven until brown (18-23 minutes).
4) Transfer meatballs to crockpot.
5) Mix liquids with tomato paste and sugar and pour over meatballs. Stir gently. Cover, cook on low for 4 hrs.
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Enjoy! What strange food tradition does your family have? What did you think of the meatballs?

 

Weekend Warrior Challenge: Try Something New!

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“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

God created a new universe out of nothing. He saved His fallen creation with an unprecedented move of sending His own Son to die for our sins. When we become saved, He creates in us a new creature. See a pattern? I really believe God loves NEW things! So today’s challenge is to try something new.

You should know that Chris and I don’t do things in halves. When we commit to something, we don’t just stick our big toe in and test the water. We take a running start, arch into position and complete a full bomb dive. That’s just the way we are. Well, several years ago, Chris and I went on a journey to rid our home of all toxins. We decided this journey was both spiritual and physical. We didn’t want anger, negativity, disappointment and hurt (all toxoids) to control our attitudes and emotions, to destroy our marriage and to infiltrate the lives of those who entered through our door. We didn’t want carcinogens and parabens to hide in our hygiene items. We didn’t want food like substances that have absolutely no nutritional value to enter our bodies through our diet. And we didn’t want cancer causing, poisonous cleaners to kill some germs on our surfaces while doing other damage to our bodies. We decided it was time for a change and took on the pursuit of a greener, more natural lifestyle. It started in a day, and we were going to change everything. We were no longer going to eat processed food, buy store bought cleaners, use pre-made, carcinogen filled hygiene items. Exhausting, right?!

Changing everything overnight is not a journey that I would encourage any of you to embark upon. What I would encourage you to do is to start taking baby steps. Today’s weekend warrior challenge is to try something new. We’re going to make a common household cleaner out of all natural products.

Rather than go out and buy 50 new products you may or may not use to bring about a more natural lifestyle, I simply want you to collect three items you probably have in your house already. Gather distilled water, rubbing alcohol, and white vinegar. If you don’t have distilled water, you can boil water, let it cool and use that. I also add essential oils to mine to mask the smell of the alcohol and vinegar but this is purely cosmetic and does not alter the cleaning capabilities of your product at all. (I didn’t list in the three original ingredients because I realize not everyone has this at home.)

glassingredients

For this recipe, simply pour each ingredient into an empty spray bottle directly and at the end (after you put the lid on of course), shake the bottle! If you can follow a recipe, you can make your own cleaners.
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Start with 1 cup of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl).
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Add 1 cup of distilled water (or boiled water, then cooled).
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Add 2/3 cup of white vinegar.
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Add 30-40 drops of lemon essential oil.
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Now, shake, shake, SHAKE your bottle! And in less than 2 minutes, homemade window/glass cleaner.

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To print off the recipe used today, click HERE. Simply cut off the extra two and share them with someone you love!

Challenge Part Two

If you are the ultra-ambitious type, I want to extend your challenge. Once you have your window/glass cleaner made, I want you to count the number of rooms you have in your house and multiply this number by four. Now set your kitchen timer for that amount of minutes. For example, we have seven rooms multiplied by four. I will set my timer for twenty-eight minutes. Now get in there and speed clean the glass in your picture frames and mirrors. In less than a half hour (give or take a few minutes depending on house size), your entire house will have clean glass and mirrored surfaces! Ready, set, go!

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What about you? Have you ever made your own cleaning products? If not, what’s holding you back? If you completed either part of this challenge, check in below and tell the rest of us how it went. Also, if you have additional glass cleaner recipes, you can share those below.

What’s Cooking Wednesday: Ropa Vieja Recipe

ropa“Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.” ~ Proverbs 15:17

Ok, so I need a little more than just herbs to make me happy, but I love the sentiment of this verse. It doesn’t matter how fancy (or not fancy) the meal is if there is love; it’s still way better than the best meal where there is hatred. Our dinners are not overly fancy or complicated, but there is always love here!

Last week on our tenth wedding anniversary, I needed a meal with a whole lot of love! I didn’t need fancy. I didn’t need tons of sides. I just needed delicious! Since grass-fed, hormone free red meat is so expensive, we do not eat it very often in our house. But this was a special day, so I decided to give us a special treat of ropa vieja. A loose English translation from the Spanish favorite is “dirty laundry”. The idea is that whatever you have left will be good enough. A true reflection of Proverbs 15:17. With just a handful of ingredients, it’s fast, inexpensive and so good!

 

Heidi’s Ropa Vieja Recipe

Minutes to Prepare: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 hours
Number of Servings: 4

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pound of beef flank steak (or stew cubes)
Salt/Pepper to taste
1/2 cup of beef broth (or water)
1 jar (1 pound, 10 oz) of Ragu chunky tomato sauce ( I do the chunky tomato, onion, garlic)
1 green bell pepper or poblano pepper (seeded and chopped)
4 oz can of chopped green chilies
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes (more for hotter, less for milder)
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Directions:
1) Sprinkle sea salt/pepper on meat and then sear meat in oil.
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2) Chop pepper and combine all ingredients except meat in the crock pot.
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3) Add meat and cover with sauce. Cook on low for 10 hrs (or high for 5 hrs).
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5) Serve over rice, with baked potato, or with side salad.
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Enjoy! And be sure to check back in and tell me what you thought of this dish!

Tuesday’s Tidy Tip: Suit Up

clothing“He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.” ~ Proverbs 16:20

As Christian women, it is our duty to strive to run our homes wisely. Now our definitions of wisely may differ, but for me, a wisely run home is a well-organized, clean but comfortable house. I want my home to be clean enough that guests can stop over unannounced but not so clean that my family and friends worry about messing something up just because they kicked off their shoes, grabbed a quilt, and settled on the couch to read a good book or watch a movie. This is home. Comfort you can feel. Surfaces you can see.

How do you reach this point of having a wisely run household? Well, that’s a process. One I like to chat about here on the site and in my classes. The process may take some time, but I always remember the cliche “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Neither was creating the atmosphere I want in my home. Today, is not about the whole process but rather one minute detail that helps me to reach the desired end result. Today, I want to talk about using wisdom in the running of your household.

Any wise woman will tell you that the key to running a home is the correct tools. You cannot take a shower without a shower. You cannot sweep the floor without a bag in your sweeper. You cannot wash dishes without water. You cannot dust a surface without a dust rag. You cannot run a household without the proper wardrobe! Say what? Some of you are cheering — clothes and accessories are your dear friends! Others of are you more skeptical, but I wan to gently encourage you to hear me out on this one. If you want your home to be run with wisdom (and your view of a wisely run home is similar to mine), then you need to achieve the highest level of success when you schedule cleaning time. The “tool” here is dressing the part.

If you have a big interview for an executive position, you would wear a suit to the interview. You would want the interviewer to see that you were a serious candidate, one who understands the significance of the role and the value of presentation. If you work in a doctor’s office in any of the positions where you  help the patients, you are required to wear scrubs. If you came into the room in jeans, a t-shirt and flip flops, the patient probably wouldn’t take you seriously and wouldn’t allow you to examine them. Clothing matters simply because it tells people the nature of your position.

When you are cleaning your house, you need to convince yourself that YOU MEAN BUSINESS, that your productivity matters. As I already said, the right clothes help put you in the mood or the mindset of whatever you are doing. If you get up and start working in pajamas, when you get a little bit tired, it will be very easy to hop back into bed or lay down on the couch for a few minutes. Before you know it, the day has slipped away. Pajamas put you in the mindset of rest. Instead, you need to jump into the work. Nothing makes that easier than “suiting up for the job”. To do this, you want to put on real clothes (it’s ok if they are work-out clothes), comb your hair and put on lace-up tennis shoes (not the kind you can kick off).

Outfits are not complete without shoes and tennis shoes make or brake this outfit. In addition to making you feel ready to work, they allow you to do the 100+ little jobs that you would put off if you weren’t wearing shoes. The trash bag is full, so you can carry it to the car. The bills need to be mailed, so you can run around the corner to the post office drop box and mail them. You have a box of yard sale items priced for next month’s yard sale, so you carry them on to the garage and out of your living space. You have a bag of clothes ready for the Goodwill, you can load them directly in the car. Finally your tennis shoes make you less likely to climb in bed or settle down on the couch and put your feet up. You would have to take them off first which gives you time to evaluate if that really is the best direction to take or if you would rather keep cleaning just a little bit longer.
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Today’s lesson is simple but oh so powerful. Tell yourself that you are ready to move mountains and show yourself you mean business by dressing the part. Today’s Tuesday Tidy Tip is to suit up and jump into running a wise household! Try it and tell me what you think!

 

Weekend Warrior Challenge: It’s Driving Me Crazy!

couch3“Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:1

We all have that one thing (maybe more than one for some of us!) in our house that is driving us crazy. Laying in bed at night, you are thinking about it. First thing in the morning, it pops back into your mind. In the middle of a conversation, someone says something and an image of your issue floats through your line of vision. Some of us toss and turn all night long because it is wearing heavy upon us. Some may even dream about it. I know a few years ago, the mess in my house tormented me so greatly that I had nightmares of unannounced, horrified, condescending visitors!

Lately my “crazy spot” has been the couch in the library. A few weeks ago someone was at my house, and we were sitting on the couch. In the course of the visit, their pencil rolled between the cushions. Offering to get it, I reached my hand under the couch. I expected to feel the cool touch of the mechanical pencil’s plastic; instead I got crumbs, change and a paperclip. Pretending not to find these things, I pulled out the pencil hoping it wouldn’t be covered in loose debris. Thankfully it was not. We left after that and I didn’t have time to deal with the mess I had felt. I haven’t really had any time since then to deal with it, and yet now it’s tormenting me.
couch

Well, today’s the day we do something about it! This week’s Weekend Warrior Challenge is to tackle your “crazy spot.” Look at your calendar and schedule an adequate amount of time to get in there and destroy your crazy. I’m keeping it simple today so there are no excuses. Just get in there and get busy!
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As some of you have asked for this, I will try to give you a little bit of a preview to some of my Upcoming Posts. I may not catch everything, but here’s hoping! Tuesday I will be discussing the importance of wardrobe selection in regards to household maintenance and Wednesday, I have a delicious recipe you won’t want to miss!

Meanwhile, what’s your “crazy spot”? How long will it take you to conquer the chaos and reclaim the space? Be sure to stop back by and update the rest of us on your progress.