My new favorite breakfast food — chocolate granola

IMG_20150305_075420I have never been a huge fan of breakfast foods, I just don’t care for them.  When I embarked on losing weight, I decided to eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast each day.  I didn’t particularly care for it, just knew it was good for me.  It would fill me up enough that I wasn’t hungry until lunchtime most days.  It worked.

Then I was talking to my friend and she said she makes chocolate granola.  I thought chocolate granola??  Is that even healthy to eat for breakfast? (smile)  After looking through the ingredients and realizing what went into the granola, I knew it was a good healthy choice and something I wanted to try.

I am sure glad that I did!! This has become my most favorite breakfast foods of all time!!! I started out by eating it with some cut up fruit.  I diced up some apples, bananas, and added cranberries.  It was yummy.   No milk, I like mine plain.  The other children like it with milk and say it tastes like chocolate cereal.  That will work.

It is very easy to make and economical too.  You can substitute most of the ingredients for whatever you have on hand.

 

  • 8 cups oatmeal
  • 2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup flax seeds
  • 2 cup chopped nuts –I use pecans
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2/3  cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown or raw sugar or honey
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips–just for added yum!

In a small pot melt the coconut oil.  Add the cocoa powder, syrup, and sugar.  Mix well, remove from heat, and add the extract.  In a large bowl combine the oats, flax seeds, coconut, and nuts.  Pour the chocolate mixture over the oats and mix thoroughly.  Keep stirring until well combined.

IMG_20150319_160004  Place on 2 large cookie sheets and put in the oven on 325 for about 15 minutes.  Carefully stir the granola and bake 15 more minutes.  It will start to brown and then you know it is done.  Take it out and let it sit for a few moments.

IMG_20150319_160012  When almost cooled, sprinkle in the chocolate chips and stir carefully.  This will allow them to melt just a tad.  Let cool completely and then store in an airtight container.

This would be great over top of yogurt too!!! Enjoy!  IMG_20150305_075414

Home Economics Kitchen Skills available for sale on Amazon

THUMBNAIL_IMAGEYou can now get a printed physical copy of my Home Economics Kitchen Skills book from Amazon. Click here

Home Economics Kitchen Skills is an easy and precise way to help train up your daughters in the art of cooking. It is presented in weekly format and gives you all of the information and tools necessary to teach for one semester of school. It begins with the basics and builds upon each skill with new levels of learning. It includes over 170 personal favorite recipes from the authors large family kitchen. It is meant to equip your daughters to give them purpose and know-how in the home. Everyone needs to eat, but not everyone is skilled in cooking. This book will give you a foundation in learning how to prepare nutritious and delicious meals.

You can still get it in ebook form from my blog here, but for those who want a printed copy, I would suggest ordering it from Amazon.

I am working hard at getting the next one finished in time for the coming school year.

Be blessed and thank you.  Amy

Total Body Makeover part 3 renewing of our minds

makeover

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2

Have you ever stopped to think what kinds of thoughts are running through your mind? Do you stress and worry about the unknown? Do you doubt your ability as a Mother to parent your child? Do you question yourself as to what your purpose and plan for life is? Do you ever think, why???

Our minds are a very precious part of our life.  Did you know that ONLY you can change the way that you think about things? ONLY you can allow thoughts to take control over your mindset.  We need to be careful as our thoughts will determine our attitude and our perspectives in life.  We want our minds to be sound.

Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  Have you ever heard the saying, “whatever you think you will become?”  That stands true in our own lives.  Most of our problems in life have to do with our negative, critical, judgmental, offensive, and suspicious mindset.  Just because those thoughts enter into your mind, does not mean that you have to accept them and believe them.  As soon as a negative thing hits our minds, we should immediately give it over to God.  Don’t even mull it over for a second.  Once you start questioning and thinking about those negative thoughts, Satan has you.  He will use it to twist things, make you feel like the world is against you, and put you right where he wants you, away from Gods goodness.

The greatest enemy to renewal is conformity to the patterns of the world.  When people provoke us we are not to lose our cool. We are not to be boastful, argumentative or rude when we are criticized. We are to not  complain when we do not get our way. We are to not prematurely write people off because they do not measure up to our standards. We are to keep our mindset to that of Christ.  Think and ask yourself, “what is it that God would have me do,”  when faced with a situation.

If we want this Total Body Makeover then we need to start by doing something different—transforming our minds.  Start thinking differently.  Yes it will be hard.  Yes you will be tested.  Yes you will mess up and have to start over again.  But it is worth it.  You have to persevere and overcome the darkness so that you can walk in the light.

And to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,

Ephesians 4:23

What is the best way to renew our minds?  With the Word of God.  That way we can think like He thinks and experience His good plan for our lives.  It is the only way.  When we take the time to study Gods’ Word, it begins to renew our minds with the truth.   It sets us in a new direction.  It let’s us know that we can have victory in life with the help of Jesus.  As you begin to do this it will gradually transform your mind.  It will put away any former instinct thoughts and renew it with a positive perspective and attitude towards life.

I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

This is one of the first verses that my children learn.  We quote it over and over as soon as they start to complain about things.  But what about us as adults?  How much do we start to deny and complain about our own life?  We have to realize the magnitude of how much we need God everyday in our lives.  We cannot lose sight of that.  Once we get our minds off of God and focused on our own pursuits, our own desires, our own motives, that is when things fall apart.  Life gets stressful, things don’t work out, we get angry, we get overwhelmed, and we start to question our abilities.  We have to know that God WILL equip us with whatever we need in life, BUT we have to keep ourselves lined up with Him.  We have to keep our mindsets focused on Him, not allowing it to conform to the world in any way.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8

God has a great plan for your life.  But if we don’t start to see ourselves the way that God sees us, then we are not going to be able to do what He has called us to do. God tells us what it is we are to THINK about.We need to learn to agree with God and BELIEVE His word.

 This will go beyond what we think and feel.  Our flesh gets hurt, it gets offended easily.  But if we trust God to take care of things outside of our control then we have no need of worry to things of this world.  When things come your way and you want to take offense, immediately say that this is not for you.  Give it to God, let Him deal with the problem.  The battle is not ours, God has already told us that He has won.  Why are we worrying and mulling over things that should not concern us?  We need to take it and believe it in faith and God will bring it to pass.

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Colossians 3:2

Replace what is fleshy with what is God’s word.  Paul said to put away anger, jealously, wrath, slander, and clamor and put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  We need to learn how to replace whatever is prompted by our fleshy tendencies with the Holy Spirit controlled scriptural principles.  We can only do this by allowing God’s word to dwell in us.

Our minds are a powerful tool used in our life.  It can either make or break you.  It will define the type of person that you become.  We want to strive to be like Jesus.  We can only do that by taking each day and spending time with Him and meditating on the power that can ONLY come through studying scriptures and hearing His voice.  Start each day before you check your phone and say, “Lord I am expecting big things today and I can handle whatever life brings me because I have strength for all things in you.”

Keep your mindsets pure and on track with God.

 

 

ham and cheese sliders recipe

IMG_20150226_155912

I decided to try out these ham and cheese sliders the other day and boy were they delicious!!!  I was looking to make a cost efficient sandwich dish, that wasn’t going to break the food budget.  I made a HUGE pan of them and they didn’t cost much to make.  I was very surprise at how much I had leftover.

I bought 4 packages of dinner rolls, 1 large package of family size ham slices, a package of swiss cheese and cut each piece into quarters.

I got the rolls for $1 each, the ham was about $4, and the cheese $3.  Not bad for 48 sandwiches that are fancy enough to serve for a dinner party.

I made the ham and cheese sandwiches.  I cut each roll in half, added one slice of ham, and one quarter of cheese.  I packed them full in my large roaster pan.

IMG_20150226_134724I then mixed up the following in a small saucepan:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 big squirts of mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds

The poppy seeds are optional, personally this cost me $5 for a tiny container at Walmart.  If you have a bulk food store where you can get them inexpensively, then add them.  But for those that have to pay an arm and a leg for spices at your local grocery, skip this option.

After the sauce is melted and mixed, wipe it on top of the sandwiches.  I didn’t pour it, I used my pastry brush and lightly wiped all of the sauce on top.

Cover with foil and bake 350 for 20 minutes.  These are very yummy. Even good reheated the next day. Make some for a fancier way to present sandwiches or a great addition to salad for dinner.

 

Total body makeover part 2 your heart

makeover

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
    And who shall stand in his holy place?
 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not lift up his soul to what is false
    and does not swear deceitfully.
 He will receive blessing from the Lord
    and righteousness from the God of his salvation

Psalm 24:3-5

This has been a verse that a friend has shared with me and I look to it as an important verse to live by.   Do we want to know who can  be with the Lord and receive all of His blessings?  He tells us right here, those with CLEAN hands that do not do things with ulterior motives and those with PURE hearts.  “Well, my heart is pure.” You might be saying.  “I don’t have any evil motives in MY heart.”  Those were my words before as well.  I didn’t want to admit that my heart was NOT lined up with God.  I used excuses.  I blamed my husband.  I blamed my circumstances.  I blamed that I didn’t have enough time for such spiritual matters. Besides, I was a keeper at home.  I wasn’t to look to those “other women” who invested time in seeking spiritual matters.  That was for my head, my husband to do.  Mine was to be submissive, read my bible, and train my children.  I didn’t need to have God’s anointing, His Holy Spirit.  Those were just “spiritual” words that bible people threw around.

“God knows my heart, and my intentions.” I would say.  “He knows what I want out of life.”  But I was not taking the time to find out what God wanted for my life.  I was just going through the motions.  I was going to church, doing my duties faithful.  I would come home and TRY and have a peaceful week.  I might “have a moment” a few times a week.  I might talk with my friends and “complain” about my marriage or my children.  But just excuse it away and not do anything about it.  Sure my heart was pure, I had all the right intentions.  I just wanted everyone to line up with what I thought was good and then life would be perfect.  Right???

Wrong!!!!

We cannot expect to have a pure heart if we are not knitting our own hearts with God.

It all begins with accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  I assume that you have done that.  Now, I have learned that you can do just that, attend some ladies bible studies, read your bible, and pray and it makes you comfy.  You can along and be good to people, donate your time to worthy causes, and feel good about yourself.  That sounded good to me from my switch from being a heathen to become a believer in Christ.    But there is so much more.

I would read my bible many times  and it seemed that the words would get lost and all jumbled.  Sometimes they were hard to understand, sometimes I would even fall asleep!!!  I know so bad, but I did.  I read numerous books.  All self help, homemaking, Christian mom books that talked of being submissive and loving the Lord, fulfilling your purpose, and they helped.  It seemed that I was getting more of my help in life through books then from the word of God.

Books are great help, especially when you are struggling with a particular thing.  But what I am saying is that the Word of God is supposed to be our number one self help book.  All that we need is wrapped up in it.  We just need to take it, read it, mediate it, and learn from it.

I had to make a change.  I had decided that I wanted MORE out of life. Sure, I was a stay at home Mom of 10 children. All I did was change diapers all day long, make meals for a large family, and occasionally talk with the few friends I had.  There wasn’t much excitement going on in my life.  I wasn’t making a big impact on others, or so I thought.    I was happy, but I felt like I was missing more.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Matthew 5:8

I wanted to experience those feelings from God that could bring about a contentment and a peace in my life.  I would see other women that were living a life full of zeal and joy in God.  Sure they were older, they weren’t changing three children’s diapers every day,  and they had much more time then I did to focus on seminars and services, etc.  But something inside of me wanted that.  I know we were both at different places and seasons in life, but why must I have the “boring” part while they experienced such great anointing, power, and experiences from the Holy Spirit?

Then it started…………

All I had to do was seek it.  I had to start reading the word of God everyday.  I had to mediate on God’s word.  I had to pray and ask what I needed to work on.  I had to ask God to reveal my sins.  Things that were holding me back.  Now, I thought I was a good person (smile).  Don’t we all.  Then God started showing me things that I didn’t even realize I was doing wrong.  Imagine that.

I was a controller.  I liked to manipulate my husband.  After all, it was what God wanted.  No, it was what I wanted.  I had to give up control and let God work things out.  I had to learn to humble myself, suck in the lower lip, and let God do what I couldn’t do.

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

 John 15:7

I had to change my thoughts.  I had to get rid of any toxic thought in my brain.  Any negativity at all.  I had to learn to take no offense.  Our pastor told me this once.  So nonchalantly, I asked God to help me on this. Well, he gave me the best person to learn this by, my husband.  Oh, how hard it is to not take offense at things your closest person in life has done to you?? He taught me how to have much patience and love instead of taking offense.  It is hard, but I am working continually on it.  But this has helped me hugely in life.  I think that if people didn’t take offense, it would be a whole lot better world that we live in.  More on why this is so important and how it hinders our walk with the Lord later.

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

Psalm 66:18

I had to continually seek God.  Even though I was tired, I had to read God’s word.  I had to ask Him what He wanted me to learn from it.  It was better to get through one paragraph and get something out of it then skim through an entire chapter and get nothing from it.  Whatever time allows, just do something.  You can’t learn to have a heart knit with God, if you don’t read what He wrote for us.

Change

We have to change from what we know, to something new that we want to become.  We don’t want to just live .  We don’t want to be defeated.  We don’t want to walk around with the mentality that our life is crap and that we made mistakes and now we are paying for them.  Stop blaming the reaping and sowing effect!   God does not want us to stay that way.  He wants us to walk in victory, everyday.  There is no reason to walk around defeated.  We need to be content in our hearts and in our lives.  If something is unchangeable in your life and you have done everything in your power to try and fix it and can’t, then good.  That is when you have to let it go, and let God do a work.  He will.  But you need to detach yourself from it.  The more we hold onto something and try and manipulate it, then God cannot do His  work.

And he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.

Acts 15:9

Do you struggle with your husband? Leave it alone.  Do all that you can on your part. Have no flaws.  Don’t do things in anger.  Why do we treat complete strangers with more compassion and love then we do our own family?  We need to start looking at our immediate situation–the people in our home–and treat them as a ministry field.  Would you sass back to the homeless man on the street?  Would you yell in a moment of frustration to the ladies group at church? No, you wouldn’t. “But God I want more, I want more opportunity to serve others.”  Okay then start with your own home.  Start treating your family members as you would those that you want to minister to.  God sees what you do in private, He can’t give you a ministry field if you fail on one as simple as your own home.  It starts there, small and comfortable.  Then God can move you out of your comfort zone and into something even greater.  Home is the BEST place to minister to, but you can make a huge impact on others going through things that you yourself have overcome.

There are so many different preachers, churches, avenues of Christianity out there it is hard to find where to be.  We have attended numerous different styles of churches.   In the beginning, we went to the “feel good, beginner church.”  The one where you got saved, they didn’t preach condemnation, and just taught you to be a good person.  Or so you thought. Sins go beyond the obvious— of murder, stealing, and addiction.  They dig deep into our thoughts, motives, and what is in our heart.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

Then you have the ones that are considered more plain and straight to the scriptures.  They taught many rules, but did not discuss any part of the Holy Spirit part of God.   The part that He PROMISED to give to us, so that we could have a guide in life.  After finding this part out, I NEVER wanted to NOT live without the power of the Holy Spirit. I would not want to be walking through my life without the leading of of it.  I would then just be walking around blindly, doing what I think is right.

Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

 2 Timothy 3:5

Then we went to a more spirit filled group.  This one taught about living your life with God and the Holy Spirit guiding your life.  They show much about getting the sin out of your life.  They direct you to scripture that says why your prayers go unanswered and how we need to be walking with love in our hearts.  If our hearts our knit with God then only love can flow from it.  God will flow from it.  The Holy Spirit can flow through your life, directing you what to do and say.  Then God’s work are manifested and we can give Him the glory.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

You also have your positive self-help groups.  They focus solely on being happy.  Living a life undefeated.  Walking in God’s blessing, his anointing, abundant living, and  financial blessings.

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

John 15:7

So we have heard them all.  Some people shut out and shy away from certain groups, because they think they are evil and teaching the wrong things.  Maybe so.  But I think that we can ask God for discernment and guidance.  I think that ALL of these situations we can take and learn from and implement in our own lives.  I know that in my own life.  God put me in different places so that I could grow. If he would have put me in my current church when I was first saved, I might have thought they were crazy.  He had to mold me and shape me as He wanted me to be.  He had to show me the wrongs and what to avoid, and also what to take with me for the next step in my life.  All of it helps mold me as a person to be used by God effectively.  I can take what I have learned from the different types of groups and use them in my current situation.  Everyone has flaws, unfortunately even in our churches.  We need to pray for a heart that is knit with God.

When we were attending one of the churches and trying to “fit” into it, I was struggling.  Why was it so hard to conform a way that I was not feeling comfortable in? I reached out to a friend whom I met in that church, looking for wisdom.  I wanted answers of what to do.  My friend said, “Amy, I don’t know what God has planned for your life, all I can do is pray for you.  Pray for the Lord’s leading in your life and that you would be obedient to Him.” That is the ONLY line I remember from her letter.  “THE LORD’S LEADING”  and “OBEDIENCE”  It is all about Him, not us!  It isn’t for us to conform to a certain standard, it is about where He wants to use us.

When our hearts are knit with God, then our lives will reflect Him.  No matter where God has us, we can be a light in the world.  There are all types of people in the world, God will speak to them in the place they are in.  But it starts with us as believers to have our hearts knit to Him so that we can do whatever His will is.  Stop trying to fit into a certain group, start fitting into God’s word.

All this begins with studying the ONLY book that will get you to that point. The bible.  Take the time NOW and start reading a little each day.  Find a schedule that shows reading the bible in a year plan.  It will help you to stay focused on reading it every day.  If we don’t take the time because we don’t think we have it, then we are already deciding not to listen to God that day.  Expect things to go wrong, frustrations to mount, and woe is me to happen.  God knows what is coming today, He already planned it.  But he plans for you to take a few moment with Him to start it out.  If you worked at a job, you would want to find out what you are to do each day from your boss right??  God has us working each day as well, turn to Him for guidance and direction.

As a side note, especially if you are just starting out.  It may be difficult to read and understand any of it.  I know I was there.  I started grabbing bible studies and trying to learn from different people.  Those were good, yes, but they took away from what God spoke to me directly.  When I finally just started reading God’s word, consistently, I started seeing things.  It didn’t happen at first, I had to really focus.  I sometimes copied what I wrote and put in where I would read it each day.

Then I had to pray.  I asked for direction, for discernment, for understand of His word.  When I asked for things that I struggled with, it seems I got many opportunities to work on that!!!

Remember the devil would love nothing better than to keep you from this.  He will put distractions in your life.  He will try and come against you, especially if you are just starting out.  But guess what?  We have already WON the battle.  Satan is undefeated, he does not win.  Only God does, but we must join sides with Christ and let the devil know, you are not going to be manipulated by him.  Stand in times of trial.  Keep consistently at it, he will realize you are tougher than he thinks.

The ONLY way to get closer to God, to have our hearts knit with God is by spending time with him. You CANNOT cultivate a relationship with God by having a spiritual occurrence at church on Sunday, but do nothing with it after that.  God’s existence and power is real.  But it won’t keep manifesting in your life, if you don’t stay in the Word.  Pray, believe it, ask for guidance.  It is a constant thing.  You shouldn’t look to God only on Sunday or only when you need Him.  He should be in your heart ALL of the time.  Just as you may cherish your children or spouse more than anything else in this world, that is where God should be in your life.