Saturday, November 30, 2013

Recipe: KY Hot Brown

This is my version of the popular Kentucky original, Hot Brown. If you want the real thing you have to visit downtown Louisville, KY to The Brown Hotel (where the dish originated) or The Seelbach Hilton (where I had my first Hot Brown when I worked there).

This is an open faced sandwich, layered bottom to top:
Leftover Turkey
2 Bacon slices
Tomato slice
Mornay Sauce (it's a white sauce with Romano cheese)
Shredded Mozzarella
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes (until cheese is melted and bubbly)

Enjoy - YUM!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Book Review: God's Great Plan

God's Great Plan by Melissa Cutrera is a beautifully poetic explanation of the Gospel for children with amazing illustrations by Matthew Sample II.

Using rhythm and rhyme, Cutrera explains Creation, The Fall of Man, Jesus' life, death and resurrection and our need to repent and believe. She uses words and phrases that make sense to children and the story moves quickly to keep the attention of little ones. This book is a great starting point for introducing children to the gospel or as a conversation starter to discuss deep Bible truths.

I was extremely impressed with the artwork in this book. The pictures show a father or grandfather telling this story to a boy and girl. The children's facial expressions throughout the book clearly portray the emotions my children and I felt as we read along - amazement, scared, sorrow and forgiveness. The use of light and darkness were very powerful in setting the tone of each scene.

This is a wonderful book that my family truly enjoyed. I would recommend it to all families and church libraries. I can think of so many situations in which this book would be very useful - family devotions, homeschooling, children's church, nursery/preschool class, a gift for neighbors, family and friends who need to know the gospel.

*Special thanks to Shepherd Press and Cross Focused Reviews for providing this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Easy Homemade Lasagna

Homemade Lasagna

6 lasagna noodles
1 lb. ground beef
1 jar spaghetti sauce
8 oz. container of small curd cottage cheese
4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
garlic salt

1. Brown beef and drain. Add spaghetti sauce and a pinch of garlic salt, let simmer on low while preparing other ingredients.
2. Boil noodles for 5-7 minutes or until "al dente" (not too hard, not too soft).
3. Mix cottage cheese and 3 cups of mozzarella together.
4. Spread spoonful of meat sauce in bottom of 9x13 pan. (So noodles won't stick to the bottom of the pan.)
5. Place 3 noodles in pan. Layer with 1/2 of cheese mix, then 1/2 of meat sauce. Repeat with remaining noodles, cheese mix, and meat sauce.
6. Top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
7. Cover loosely  with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 more minutes.
8. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. (This last step is important, or lasagna will be runny.)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Review: Seasons of the Heart

Compiled by Donna Kelderman, Seasons of the Heart: A Year of Devotions from One Generation of Women to Another is a deep and rich treasury of thoughts and encouragements from godly women of the past.

The book includes daily devotions for January through December from 12 women who lived between 1512 and 1903. Some of these inspirational women I was familiar with like Susannah Spurgeon and Harriet Newell. For others, like Ruth Bryan and Sarah Hawkes, I was kindly introduced to through the helpful biographical sketches at the back of the book.

All of these women clearly had a firm foundation in Scripture and a strong faith in Christ as their Savior, as reflected in the meaningful thoughts they share. These devotions are full of deep theology and may require more focus from the reader than other modern devotions, but each reading is well worth the effort for the wisdom and insight gained.

Facing many of the same struggles and trials in life as modern women, these genuine and honest devotions show the hearts of women whose desire to love and obey the Lord carried them through life and will inspire the reader to persevere in the faith as well.

*Special thanks to Reformation Heritage Books and Cross Focused Reviews for providing this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Untangling My Heart

In the last 12 months I have felt every emotion possible...anger, frustration, confusion, stress, overwhelmed, mad, sad, nervous, happy, excited, relieved...

In a whirlwind of events this year, everything in my life seemed to change...friends did hurtful things, my husband decided on a career change, my second daughter was struggling in school and had a possible diagnosis of an anxiety disorder, we had a million home projects to complete in the matter of a few weeks to put our house on the market and we didn't even know where we would be moving this summer.

It would be so easy to let my feelings about all these things make me absolutely miserable and depressed. I've been there, done that and don't want to go back. I want peace and hope during these uncertain times. I know I can only find it in Jesus!

The book Freeing Tangled Hearts by Dolores Kimball has been key for me to get through these trials, with the truth of God's Word as my foundation instead of living based on my feelings.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from this book that have helped me keep my emotions in check. Every woman I know struggles with her emotions at times, so I hope you too will find encouragement and strength in these truths:
  • 'Those who obsess about themselves will never be happy in any circumstance. Those who obsess about God will find joy in all circumstances.' (Quoting Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones)  (10)
  • "...but the tangling of Christian hearts often results from a lack of understanding that the Christian life is not hearts and flowers - it's a battle." (19)
  •  " amount of advice or counseling will solve your problems if your biggest problem is that you are separated from God." (30)
  •  "Each trial makes us stronger and better able to handle the next one. The trial of the tangled heart, like all others, is designed to show you that your faith is real." (33)
  •  "...our feelings must not dictate our thoughts and actions." (52)
  • "Start with negative emotions - come to wrong conclusions about truth. Start with truth - come to right conclusions and have positive emotions." (56)
  • "But if God has marked out the race for us, then every day of our lives has meaning and purpose because God has planned it that way...there is no Plan B for the Christian woman; we are all living in Plan A right now." (69)
  • "Feelings...may or may not be associated with truth and reality." (94)
  • "Truth should drive feelings, instead of the other way around. Feelings are not the issue; truth is the issue. What you feel is not the determiner of reality or of truth." (99)
  • "Just like the toddler who can't have his way, anger is often produced when we don't get something which we believe we deserve to have." (108)
    • "The woman who is frequently in a rage loves no one but herself, and she gives free rein to her anger because she feels entitled to do so." (112)
    • "Bitterness is the root; anger is the fruit. Bitterness turns inward and rots us from the inside out. Anger is the explosion that results from inward bitterness." (121)
    • "The diabolical nature of envy should be obvious. As long as we're chasing after what Satan is dangling in front of us like a carrot in front of a mule, we won't be seeking after God or hungering and thirsting for righteousness (Matt. 5:6)." (131)

    Want to know more about Dolores Kimball's book "Freeing Tangled Hearts"?
    - Here is my review of the book.
    - Here's a link to Kimball's website.

    All quotes from: Kimball, Dolores. Freeing Tangled Hearts.(Grand Rapids: EP Books, 2013.)