Wednesday, June 28

Christ, Not I

I enjoyed this morning's devotion from Spurgeon. Excerpt:
Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee—it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument—it is Christ’s blood and merits; ...We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul... Keep thine eye simply on him; let his death, his sufferings, his merits, his glories, his intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to him; when thou liest down at night look to him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after him, and he will never fail thee.

Friday, June 23

Of Scones and Corn

Much of this blog lately has been about food! I am not surprised. If you know me, you also are not surprised.

Anyway, I would like to put a plug in for a huge variety of Scone Mixes from King Arthur Flour. They may be found here. The baking is quite simple, and the ingredients the home baker would add are butter, milk and an egg. Some of the mixes I have tried include:
  • Apricot Sour Cream
  • Lemon Blueberry
  • Candied Ginger-Apricot
Mixes I would like to try:
  • Buttermilk Currant
  • Harvest Ginger-Pumpkin
  • Cranberry-Orange
  • Italian Herb & Cheese

Also, if you would like to jazz up your corn on the cob this summer, below are links for two recipes which are similar....but different. I haven't tried the FoodNetwork/Rachael Ray recipe yet as it's on tonight's menu, but I enjoy the Cooking Light recipe. Because of the similarity between the two, I anticipate liking the tonight's recipe.

Jalapeno-Lime Corn on The Cob
Lime Butter (Cooking Light)

Update: The Jalapeno-Lime butter for Corn on the Cob was very good! My guests enjoyed it as well (Thanks, Liesl, Whitney & Hilary, for your superb company!)

Thursday, June 22

Cook's Illustrated is in need of recipe testers for their magazine. I was [spontaneously] compelled to join with An Elite Force in the food industry by enlisting myself as a "Friends of Cook's" to test recipes before they are published. This calls for Duty, Honor, Fortitude! I emailed them and got an automated response,
"Thank you for signing up as a Friend of Cook's Illustrated. We will be contacting when we need your help. Please note that we only test our recipes every two months, so you might not hear from us immediately."
I think they mean it, right? Of course! I'm sure they will come through and solicit my Free Services of Cooking. Free, because their "'Friends' are not paid--they buy their own ingredients and cook the food on their own time--but they get to sample our recipes before they're published in the magazine and they help us make sure our recipes really do work."

Sunday, June 18

Recipe Review - Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I was really pleased with the turnout of this side dish for our Father's Day meal today. The lime juice and chiles add a twist of flavor that doesn't clash with the half & half or cinnamon. I mashed them with a fork.

Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes

2 1/2 pounds cubed peeled sweet potato
1/2 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

Place potato in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until tender.

Drain and return potato to pan. Add half-and-half, butter, and juice; mash to desired consistency. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.

Remove 2 chiles from can and chop; reserve remaining chiles and adobo sauce for another use. Stir chopped chiles, brown sugar, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon into potato mixture. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)

Note: when I open a new can of chipotle chiles, I lay the rest out on a small pan (while not touching each other) and freeze. Once frozen, I store them together in a small bag or container in the freezer and remove individually for use as needed. I chop them frozen and don't bother with thawing.

Tuesday, June 13

I read books

I caved and cataloged my books at (thanks to the influence of Jared and Catherine). My library may be found here, and there is a link on the side of my blog, down a ways which includes random selections. I'm not done assigning tags to all my books (assigning topics, basically). I may add a tag for "borrowing" or "haven't read yet" to indicate the books in those categories. There are plenty of my own books which I haven't read! And many I have read multiple times.

In other news, Dad and Micah secured the 2nd of 3 legs for the Advanced Rally title by having a qualifying score. Not only that, but they got first place - again!

Friday, June 9

Irresistible Green Beans?

I have never before had to fight the urge to devour green beans. Until tonight. Granted, these aren't plain green beans I am eating. And I'm starving. Still. I made the salad below and I am thoroughly enjoying its consumption.

Green Bean Salad with Mint Vinaigrette (from a B&B in the Northwest)

1 pound green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Mint Vinaigrette
1/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar, more to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the vinaigrette, combine mint and garlic in a blender or food processsor and blend finely to chop. Add the oil and vinegar and blend to evenly mix, 15 to 20 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and prepare a large bowl of ice water. Add the green beans and cook until bright green and crisp to the bite, about 4-5 minutes. Drain well, then plunge the beans into the ice water to stop the cooking and preserve their bright color. When cold, drain well and pat dry on paper towels.

Just before serving, combine green beans, onion, feta and pecans. Drizzle the mint vinaigrette over top and toss to evenly coat.

You can do nearly everything ahead of time to the point of combining the salad ingredients together. The original recipe calls for vegetable oil, but two trusted cooks made the salad with olive oil, and voted the vegetable oil out. I will defer to them!

Click here for a printable recipe.

Thursday, June 8

Regarding Trials

I was reminded recently of Samuel Rutherford's letters, and I took out my copy today. Below is a selection of a letter he wrote to Lady Kenmure in 1630. I greatly enjoy the writing style of saints from years ago who are now asleep; I hope you can discover his meaning despite a less familiar method of composition. But more than I enjoy the style do I benefit from the very thoughts and truths found therein, ponderings with which my soul agrees and says "Amen". On to the letter.
"Madam, when ye are come to the other side of the water, and have set down your foot on the shore of glorious eternity, and look back again to the waters and to your wearisome journey, and shall see, in that clear glass of endless glory, nearer to the bottom of God's wisdom, ye shall then be forced to say, 'If God had done otherwise with me than He hath done, I had never come to the enjoying of this crown of glory.' It is your part now to believe, and suffer, and hope, and wait on; for I protest, in the presence of that all-discerning eye, who knoweth what I write and what I think, that I would not want the sweet experience of the consolations of God for all the bitterness of affliction. Nay, whether God come to His children with a rod or a crown, if He come Himself with it, it is well. Welcome, welcome, Jesus, what way soever Thou come, if we can get a sight of Thee! And sure I am, it is better to be sick, providing Christ come to the bedside and draw by the curtains, and say, 'Courage, I am thy salvation', than to enjoy health, being lusty and strong, and never to be visited of God."
Purchase the book from