4.29.2010

Would the Real Me Please Stand Up?

Way back in the far recesses of my mind resides the vague memory of a game show.  Throughout the course of this game, there were three individuals posing as one person.  The goal of the contestants was to ask questions of these individuals to determine which one of the three was truly the person described.  At the end, the host would ask "Would the Real__________ please stand up?" 

Lately, I've been feeling a little bit like those three individuals.  Who is the real Blessed Mama anyway?  A few years ago I was the youngest mother with four small children.  Then I was the young woman with four kids.  Now, I am the woman with six children ages 20 months to 18 years of age.  No longer do the fads and fashions matter so much.  The desire for current looks has become much more balanced by the need of function.  Immature and foolish perceptions have been replaced with truth learned while experiencing reality.  Yes, much has changed.  The young acorn is growing into an oak tree.  Years from now, hopefully, I will look back at the young sapling I am now and wonder how such a large oak tree could have come from such a small and fragile plant. 

Becoming the woman God created me to become is a never-ending journey from glory to glory.  In spite of the often cold, harshness of life's journey, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am glad, so glad that I belong to God and that He is changing me into His likeness.  Growth can be a painful process, but the results are worth it.  Oh yes, God is good, and I'm glad to be His.  Here's to small acorns and towering Oaks.  The Real Me is standing up in the Grace of God.  Love until next time, Blessed Mama

A Twist On Something Traditional

It's so good to be back!  We really miss our daily visits with everyone!  Our decision to visit only weekly for a while was a wise one though.  Let's get on to the today's topic. 

Today we are sharing a fun twist to one of the most basic recipes around, cornbread.  Earlier in the week, we in the kitchen heating up soup and preparing to make cornbread.  A random thought crossed through my mind as I wondered aloud whether cornbread batter could be cooked successfully in a waffle iron.  Ever ready to try something new in the kitchen, the waffle iron was brought out and heated up.  Guess what?  It worked wonderfully!  Not of This World mixed up the cornbread batter just like normal.  However, instead of cooking it in the cast iron skillet, she cooked it just as if it were waffle batter.  Delicious!  Our cornbread waffles had a perfectly crisp but not too crisp outside.  When eaten with a bowl of piping hot chili, the comfort factor went off the charts!  We are certain they would be equally as yummy slathered in butter and topped with maple syrup at breakfast too.  Cornbread waffles are our newest favorite thing.  Our minds immediately began swirling with possible meals to use our new discovery in.  And...in keeping with Living Large On Less tradition, they are economical and easy to make.  Simply mix up a batch of your favorite cornbread batter and cook in the waffle iron just as you do traditional waffle batter.

The only question that remains is.....what else can we cook in our waffle maker?  I'm wondering about chocolate chip cookie dough.  That might make a really tasty desert when topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzled with hot fudge sauce, and sprinkled with toasted nuts; maybe a mocha brownie served with whipped cream and dusted with cinnamon or cocoa powder.   Ahhhhhhhhh, so many pleasant possibilities to experiment with.  Sweets are fun, but there are a number of savory combinations to taste too.  One of the first that I hope to try is the classic creamed chicken over waffles.  I'd also like to put a spin on the traditional hot beef sandwich by substituting waffles for the bread.  Sometimes we put slices of bacon and shredded cheddar cheese in our waffles.  There has to be a new recipe hiding inside our imaginations that will use those.

Before I get carried away with waffles, they are one of my most favorite foods---can you tell?  I want to share another newbie in our kitchen, the cheesecake in a sheetcake pan.  Preparing the cheesecake in a sheetcake pan enabled us to use small cookie cutters to create perfectly sized bites of cheesecake for us to "embellish" however the mood strikes us.  Toasted pecans, drizzles of caramel and chocolate sauce are all definite possibilities in the future. A few adjustments were made to our standard 9" round pan recipe. The recipe for the cheesecake's crust was doubled.  It was fairly thick, but this prevented the crust from breaking into pieces when cut with the cookie cutter.  The filling for the classic flavored cheesecake was the normal recipe plus half.  If using a flavor, such as chocolate, the requires additional ingredients, the normal recipe amount works fine. This is going to be so much fun!

Receptions for graduations, weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, and other occasions abound this time of year.  If any of you have Living Large on Less tips for special occasions, send them to us in a comment.  We at Living Large on Less will pass them on in a post. Tips and ideas for decor, gifts, food, and everything in between are welcome.

Thanks to everyone who responded to the granola challenge.  Our Favorite Recipes recipe booklet is well on its way towards completion.  You can begin looking for it by the end of next week.  Until next week, Blessed Mama

4.21.2010

Waste Not Wednesday

Okay, I know we were going to post only once a week, but I discovered a new tip!
Here is a natural way to give your vinegar cleaner (last Tuesdays Task) a more pleasant scent!
When you use an orange or lemon save the peel! Spread the pieces of peel out on a wire cooling rack and let air dry. Much like the bread crumbs only a sheet pan underneath is not necessary. Allow for several days drying time. Once very dry and hard the pieces of peel can be placed in a jar for future use. However, you may want the orange peel in its own jar and the lemon in its own.
Now for the cleaner scent! You will need a cutting board, the little flexible ones work great but are not necessary, and a grater with little holes, such as is used for grating spices. Take your dried orange or lemon and start grating the outside of the peel, which is the colored side :) Grate the piece of peel until all the color or, the zest, is gone. What is left of the peel can be placed in the compost. Only about one to two tablespoons worth of grated peel . You may need to use more than one piece of peel depending on the size of your peel. Put your grated peel in the cleaning solution and swish around. Each time you use the cleaner you will want to shake it to remix the gratings that have settled to the bottom. Now you have a fresh smelling cleaner without the extra expense of essential oils!
A few more ways the orange and lemon peels can be used are, in teas, in potpourris, and in apple cider. Grated they might even work in homemade soap.
The picture is of a jar full of dried orange peels.

4.19.2010

Gotta Love This! Check it Out!

OK, I know that we were only going to post once a week, but you've got to check out this great post over at The Nesting Place. Nester and some friends have been busy making slipcovers for some of their bargain finds. Wow! Everything is turning out great! For not much money either. Here are the links to the Nester's blog as well as a link to a tutorial on making your own slipcovers from pink and polka dot. http://www.thenester.com/how-to-make-slipcovers.html/ ; http://pinkandpolkadot.blogspot.com/ There are some amazingly talented and creative ladies out there. While you are at the Nester's blog, check out her other decorating ideas. They are very easy to do. If nothing else, you may be inspired to try some "nesting" using your own style. This is Living Large on Less extraordinaire. Blessed Mama

4.17.2010

Trimming the Schedule

Spring has sprung!  Along with it have sprung up what appears to be a multitude of things to accomplish in a relatively small amount of time.  Yes, it is crunch time.  Not of this World will soon have graduated, Colonel Redeemed, Mustard Seed, and My Song are working diligently at finishing up another year of studies, and the two littlest of Blessed Mama's Rewards are spending every second possible outside with their favorite playmates, the kittens.  In between finalizing graduation plans and studies, Blessed Mama, My Beloved, and their Rewards are helping out with calving and getting ready to plant their largest garden to date.  Needless to say, we are busy, busy, busy.  Finally, after failing to post day after day, Blessed Mama & Co. have realized the schedule needs trimmed.  Living Large on Less will be experiencing some of this much needed trimming.  Daily posts will be trimmed to weekly posts for the next few months. 

Knowing that this is a busy season for many, we hope that this decision is a blessing to our readers as well.  Thank you for being so faithful to send encouragement our way.  Don't forget, the first 20 readers to send in a comment sharing their favorite way to enjoy granola will receive a booklet of our 20 favorite recipes!  The booklet is "in the making" and is expected to hit the mail within the next two weeks.  Until later, love  & prayers from Blessed Mama.

The Time of the Singing of Birds is Come

"My beloved speaks and says to me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing [of birds] has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land." Song of Solomon 2:12 AMP

"To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:" Ecclesiastes 3:1 AMP

Spring has arrived!  The time of the singing of birds is come!  It is a season of glory.  The time when the earth begins to waken from its long, winter's nap.  Crocus, daffodils, other early risers in the flower family are peeking through the dirt and showing their faces.  Calves are arriving daily.  They love to run and jump through the pastures.  Every where I look, the season has changed.  Well, everywhere except one place. 

In the middle of the cedar trees there are still drifts of snow approx. four feet high.  Just think how deep those drifts must have been if after several days of 70 plus degree weather they are still so tall.  I can't help but wonder about myself.  What about me?  Are there hidden places in my heart where the icy snows still remain?  Even though winter has past and the birds are singing, are portions still frozen cold?  The Lord has been leading me through a new season.  He has been exposing those frozen mounds of snow left over from winter's fury.  One by one each spot of my heart covered with the icy coldness of self and sin melts under the loving rays of the Savior's Love.  

God's goodness continually overwhelms any traces of frosty fury, and I'm learning to stop, sit, and soak in the penetrating warmth of God's loving presence.  How do seeds grow?  They are planted in soil.  The sun shines down on them, the rain waters them, and they sprout up into a plant.  That is how the Word of God grows in me too.  It gets planted in my heart, the Son's love shines on it, and the presence of the Holy Spirit waters it, and it sprouts up to bear Godly fruit.  

"Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather. But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruits in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]." Psalm 1:1-3 AMP 

I'm so thankful that the Time of the Singing of Birds has come to the earth and to my heart.  Not only is the Lord melting away the coldness, but He is softening the hard places in the soil of my heart with the runoff from the melting snow.  How I long to be everything He created me to be.  How I delight in the sound of His voice as He calls out for me to "Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away."  Verse 14-15 of S of S chapter two bless me so much as I read His words to me "[So I went with him, and when we were climbing the rocky steps up the hillside, my beloved shepherd said to me] O my dove, [while you are here] in the seclusion of the clefts in the solid rock, in the sheltered and secret place of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. [My heart was touched and I fervently sang to him my desire] Take for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards [of our love], for our vineyards are in blossom."  Verse 16 "[She said distinctly] My beloved is mine and I am his!..." 

Jesus longs for me to rise up, and come away with Him into the secret place of His presence.  He longs to hear my voice, He finds it sweet and my face is lovely to Him.  Those little foxes that would spoil the vineyard of our love must be taken away.  Our vineyards are in blossom.  It's spring time on the earth.  Is the vineyard of Love between you and the Lord in blossom?  I pray that just as springtime is arriving upon the earth, it is warming all of our hearts.  That the vineyards of the Savior's love are in blossom, and that we are fervently singing our desire to Him.  May He be our fervent desire.  May we delight in Him as He delights in us.  Oh, that His voice would be sweet to us and His face lovely so that we too will say "My beloved is mine and I am his!"


4.14.2010

We Need Each Other

Today was the day I go into town for a First Place 4 Health meeting.  Every Wednesday for seven weeks I've been getting together with a group of ladies as we learn to live balanced, complete lives.  The memory verse for last week's study was Romans 12:2, I'm using the Amplified Version "Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficil customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight] for you." Wanting to think on that verse some more, I looked it up after arriving back home. In order to obtain a more thorough understanding of the verse, I read the verse preceding it and those following it.  What a surprise I discovered!

Verse one of Romans chapter 12 speaks of offering our bodies as a living sacrifice.  Isn't God good?  He knew that the only way we could accomplish this was to experience a total transformation and renewing of our minds as verse two states.  The greatest surprise came as I read on further in chapter 12.  During our meeting today, the discussion had touched on what a comforting, powerful bond developes between those who study the Word of God together; how we need each other.  OK, listen to verse 5 now, "So we, numerous as we are, are one body in Christ (the Messiah) and individually we are parts one of another [mutually dependent on one another]."  Most, if not everything, that our study touched on today is in this one chapter of Romans! God is so good!  Everything He brings about in our lives is perfectly orchestrated, right down to the littlest detail. 

I am so very blessed to be His child.  I pray that as we make a decisive dedication of our bodies we will immerse ourselves in the knowledge of His immeasurable love and care. 

The recipe booklets are being typed up and will be mailed out within the month.  Don't forget to include your mailing address with your comments so that we know where to send them.

4.13.2010

Tuesdays Task

Are you looking for an all purpose cleaning agent that is chemical free and still economical? Well, do we have a solution for you! Vinegar! Yes, vinegar. Some people do have a problem with the smell of vinegar, but we promise the smell does dissipate quickly (I was doubtful a first too, but found out is was true). A few drops of essential oil in favorite scent can also be added to the vinegar, if the smell of plain vinegar is too much for you. Here is what you will need to create your all purpose cleaner.
  • An empty spray bottle or even more than one
  • Vinegar-white or apple cider, it doesn't really matter
  • Water

We use an approximate ratio of one part vinegar to two parts water. If what you are cleaning needs a stronger solution add more vinegar or even use just straight vinegar. A few areas where you can use this cleaner are:

  • The bathroom. To stop mildew and soap scum from building up in the shower/tub, leave a spray bottle by your shower/tub and have the last person to take a shower spray it and the shower curtain. This doesn't take much time and will cut down on the scrubbing time as well. Use this cleaner for the sink, outside of the toilet, floor, windows, and mirrors as well. Straight vinegar can be used for the toilet bowl. Flush toilet, then sprinkle wet sides with baking soda. Let soda set while cleaning rest of bathroom. When ready to clean inside of toilet pour in some vinegar and immediatly start scrubbing. The baking soda and vinegar do react with each other so be sure and not add to much of either one. If you do you might turn your toilet into a volcano :)
  • The kitchen. Use this solution as a daily cleaner inside of refrigerators, freezers, the sink, counters, stove top, and windows.
  • Laundry room
  • Mud room
  • Windows

There you have it, an all purpose cleaner and some areas to use it in. I just listed a few areas and ways to use this cleaner, there are many, many more. Try and think of all the areas in which you might be able to use vinegar instead of cleaners containing toxins and chemicals. Not only will it be healthier it will also provide you with the satisfaction of being able to have a clean house and not spend tons of money on cleaners. Start enjoying your healthier, happier life today! -Not of This World

4.12.2010

Recipe Booklet Giveaway

We are so excited about our new granola recipe that we've created a giveaway to go with it!  The first 10 readers of Living Large on Less who send us a comment sharing their favorite way to enjoy granola will recipe of booklet of our 20 favorite recipes.  Since we can't send your booklet to you without an address, don't forget to include it in your comment.  Your address will not be visible to anyone other than us here at Living Large on Less.  It is only for mailing purposes. We respect your privacy.  Remember, this is for the first ten comments we receive.  Until tomorrow, Blessed Mama

Yummy Homemade Granola

Here is the yummiest granola recipe that our family has ever tasted!  So far, it has met with unanimous approval from everyone.  We did add some extra ingredients to our test batch, and you can too.  This is one of those feel free to experiment and adapt to the preferences of your own family.  Without further adieu, here is Yummy Homemade Granola.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 cups oatmeal
In a large, 4 quart saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together. Stir and allow to simmer for approx. 2-3 minutes. Add the salt, cinnamon, and oatmeal. Remove from heat and stir until the oatmeal is completely coated. Spread granola onto two baking sheets, with sides, and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool granola on pan, then break up into pieces and transfer to container. 

* One batch filled a 1/2 gallon glass jar. 

* We added almonds, chopped dates, and wheat germ.  Yummy, yum, yum.  Raisins and coconut flakes are some other ingredients that have been suggested to try next time.  Any dried fruit or nut would be delicious. 

You may be wondering where the "less" part of living large is in this recipe.  The actual recipe itself isn't that costly, especially for the coupon using sale shopper.  The ingredients are much the same as those used in homemade cookies.  We were able to add extras such as nuts and dates that we have accumulated through sales over a period of several months.  Even with the added expense of nuts (they are outrageous at the grocery store), this granola is still easier on the budget than purchasing granola already made from the store.  Granola cereal is definitely on the pricier side of cereals, and there's no way that it tastes as good as this homemade version. Another plus is how quickly this recipe stirs up. 

Here are some uses for Yummy Homemade Granola (if it lasts long enough:D)
  • Fill a pretty container for gift giving
  • Cereal
  • Sprinkled on yogurt for a quick and satisfying breakfast
  • Topping for ice cream or pudding(think how delicious this would be combined with the rich creaminess of homemade ice cream)
  • Sprinkled lightly over the top of muffin batter prior to baking
  • As a topping for cheesecake or cream pie
Enjoy!

4.10.2010

We at Living Large on Less want to remind you that this is the time of year bargains abound, both on and off line. If you are a homeschooler, scheduling in some time to check out the great buys online is well worth your while. Now would be a great time to stock up on next year's supplies. Don't forget to consider attending a local homeschooling convention near you. Curriculums are available to look at "face to face" before purchasing. This can save hundreds of dollars by eliminating the guesswork and potential "not for us after all" that can happen. Clothing, plants, seeds, winter toys, on and on the list goes of items available at drastically reduced prices both online and in the stores. In some areas, spring clothing and items are on clearance making way for summer merchandise. Can anyone say Christmas shopping? If Christmas shopping isn't in your budget right now, perhaps you can still take advantage of the good buys by picking up small gifts here and there to use throughout the year for birthdays, secret sister gifts, and various other occasions that pop up throughout the year. Graduations are rapidly approaching. How wonderful would it be to find gifts for the grads on your list for under $2-3? They're out there! Before leaving to enjoy the weekend with our family, we at Living Large are going to share a few sites with you. The Homemakers Mentor is having a Spring Bundle sale on resources that deal with those crazy piles that invade our homes. Lorrie Flem at TEACH magazine is having a sale on resources too, specifically with children and chores. There are only a few issues left to come in 2010 the final year of New Harvest Homestead Newsletter. Subscription for the rest of the year is $10 or $2/bi-monthly issue. Last but not least, check out Molly Membership at econobusters.com Blessed Mama is on her way over there right now to sign up. Molly Membership offers Molly's monthly digest, which is a great buy regularly at $4.95, for only $3.95 plus extras bonuses every month. Now that's a deal! If the monthly bonuses are anything like the bonus gifts in December, they will pay for themselves over and over and over again. Not only does a person receive the monthly digest for $1 less, there are bonuses too! AND...membership can be cancelled AT ANY TIME. Molly's digest is a monthly epublication filled to the brim with money-saving ideas and tips for every area of homemaking. Need a new yet economical recipe? It's in there. Frugal decorating needed? Yes, it's in there too. Not only that, downloadable forms to make economical living easier are available each month as well. Practical, easy to do tips and ideas that can be adjusted to fit any lifestyle and/or personal style. Best of all, it all celebrates home and the family. Molly's digest is Living Large on Less at its best. So, give the Homemaker's Mentor and econobusters.com a look-see. Christian Book Distributors a.k.a. CBD.com also has really good deals going. Don't forget to give your favorite stores a look. Almost every site I've visited lately has some type of sale going on right now. Garage sales has begun to start up again also. Don't overlook the possibilities for a fun time hunting at garage sales. If you don't have a need for anything yourself, ask a friend if there is anything they are needing and look for them. Wherever and however you find them, enjoy the time spent together with family and friends. Weekend bargain hunting, It's Fabulous!

4.08.2010

Trying Again

Hi!  Long time no see.  Just a few seconds ago, the post I was finishing up was lost as my littlest shut off the computer on me :)  There is always something going on around here. 

I was going to try and retype the lost post to the best of my memory, but I can't recall a single thing.  Wow.  How did that happen?  It's getting later into the evening, and my time on the computer is almost gone.  So, I'll quit wasting time chatting and get right to the point of what I was sharing earlier. 

Basically, the post told of the "pondering" I've been doing since my birthday Tuesday.  The result of my "ponderings" is a renewed determination to live the life God has given me to the fullest.  That doesn't mean that I'm going to go crazy and do wild things.  What it does mean is that I am renewing my focus and outlook.  I am going to make sure that I walk in the freedom provided by Jesus Christ at Calvary completely.  I want to walk out the truth that Christ has set me free from the curse of the law of sin and death. (Galatians 3:13) Priorities and perspectives are being changed to match what God says.  Traditions of men that keep me bound up in worldly opinions and philosophies must bow to the truth found in God's Word.

God has prepared good works for me to do.  How can I be about the good works of God if I'm focused on the "yuck" of the world?  Jesus is the Victor.  He has defeated death, hell, and the grave.  He not only triumphed over evil, He made a public spectacle of it.  The Bible tells me that the resurrection power that raised Christ from the dead lives in me.  So why don't I live like it does?  I'm a believer and the Word says that believers are to lay hands on the sick and they will recover.  It also says that we will cast out demons in Christ's name.  Miracles and signs are to follow them that believe.  Where are the miracles and signs following me?  Where are the sick that have recovered? Those who were possessed and oppressed that now are free?  Where are they? 

I need to be about my Father's business just as Jesus was.  Yes, Jesus healed and set free, but the truth about Jesus' life that has been impressed most upon me lately is that Jesus enjoyed Himself.  He laughed.  Jesus loved people.  He gave of Himself on a regular basis.  Not only that, but He knew how to have fun.  Jesus knew when to pray and when to relax and laugh.  He led a perfectly balanced life.  That is what I need, balance.  What good is it for my house to be neat and tidy if I'm spreading dirty words of stress and irritation throughout it?  As important as it is for my home to be clean, the importance of Godly, gracious words that honor God is even greater.

Balanced freedom.  There's a term to ponder on.  What does a life lived in balanced and complete freedom look like?  Ahhhhh, now that's a question I know the answer to.  It looks like Jesus.  Isn't He just so good?  I know that Easter and Resurrection Sunday have passed, but I pray that the realization of what Jesus really did for us at Calvary is only beginning.  I pray that we experience the freedom He bought and paid for us.  May we not merely experience this freedom, but may we daily walk free, just as Jesus did.  Thank you Jesus for freedom.

Putting Leftovers to Good Use

A little dab of veggies and a bit of meat, not enough to throw away and yet not quite enough to save either; what do we do? Freeze them! Stick the leftovers each in their own, little freezer bag/container and place in the freezer. After awhile, there will be enough ingredients available to throw in a crockpot. After simmering all together through the night or during the day, a delicious stew will be ready for your family to enjoy. Leftover vegetables and meat aren't the only food worth saving; the water the vegetables were cooked in can also be saved and frozen. Meat broth too freezes well and can be used in stews or when cooking rice and pasta. By themselves those little dabs of leftovers aren't enough to save, but frozen and combined later on, deliciously mouth-watering meals can be created. Not only will your tastebuds be happy, the smell of homemade soup cooking will permeate the home with a warm, homey scent that says "somebody loves me". While homemade vegetable beef soup/stew may be the easiest meal to put together with frozen leftovers, it isn't the only option available. There are many casseroles and side dishes that can utilize frozen leftovers. Just remember to stock up on freezer bags and/or other containers for freezing extra servings and leftovers. Freezing leftover portions of veggies, meat, and the water or broth they were cooked in is Thursday's Thrifty Tip.

4.07.2010

Munchie Monday/Waste Not Wednesday

Today's post is a combination of Munchie Monday and Waste Not Wednesday. Have you ever needed bread crumbs for a recipe, yet didn't want to spend that much money for the ones at the store? Or Have you ever wanted to make your own dressing and croutons? Well, we have found an easy and inexpensive way to make our own, without using a whole loaf of good bread. Our bread bags always seem to end up with thin, broken heels of bread in them. Sometimes there are even broken regular slices of bread left. These and any piece of bread or bun that is to dried out to eat can be used for bread crumbs or pieces. All you need is a sheet cake pan and a wire cooling rack. Though the cooling rack is not necessary. Place the wire rack in the sheet pan and dump your bread sack onto it. Spread out your pieces of bread on the rack and spread the crumbs out on the bottom into a thin layer. Now set this out of the way in a dry location. The top of the refrigerator works well, but any place you have space where it won't get knocked over works. All it takes is a couple of days to completely dry out. Sometimes they are dry in one whole day, but to make sure there is absolutely no moisture we recommend you leave them for a couple of days. The level of humidity in your area will also affect the drying time. Once dry your bread can be broken into smaller pieces or ground into crumbs whatever you desire. We break ours into pieces and store them in an empty oatmeal container (another way to waste not!). Then we have pieces of bread for croutons and dressing, or if we want we can make bread crumbs. Continue to dry the pieces of bread as you get them. It won't take very long for you to have enough to use in a recipe. Even if you don't currently use bread crumbs very often, it is handy to have them ready and waiting on the pantry shelf. Who knows you might start using them more once you actually have some that you didn't have to buy. To make the bread crumbs you can place desired amount of dried bread into a baggie and crush with a rolling pin or grind in a food processor. For croutons melt some butter in a small sauce pan. For garlic croutons you can add some garlic powder to the butter once it has melted. While butter is melting place your pieces of dried bread in a bowl. Pour your melted butter over bread crumbs while you stir/toss them around. Make sure your butter is evenly distributed. Now dump buttered pieces into a sheet pan, spread in a single layer. You can now place the pan in your oven under the broiler or if you don't have a broiler a hot oven with the door open will work. Stir them around fairly often until toasted and crunchy. Watch them very closely, they burn very easy! Hot croutons are delicious tossed on top of a bowl of creamy soup. However, you will want to cool completely before using in a salad. There you have it! A Munchie Monday and a Waste Not Wednesday all in one! Have fun wasting not! - Not of This World

4.02.2010

We at Living Large on Less send Resurrection Blessings your way! May you and your family experience the fullness of salvation through Jesus Christ as we celebrate that He is Risen!

4.01.2010

Walking Free

Recently I have been thinking about walking free in Christ and what that means.  I have personally experienced deliverance, but once we're delivered, then what?  How does a person walk free?  As is my habit when wondering about something, I turned to God's Word, the Bible.  What does it have to say about living and walking freely?  I haven't had time to sit down and dig as far into the Word as I want to on this, but so far, what I've found is exactly what I needed to know.  That's something I find to be true every time; that God's Word is exactly what I need to know---for every situation and circumstance.

John 8:31-36 AMP
"So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free. They answered Him, We are Abraham's offspring (descendants) and have never been in bondage to anybody. What do You mean by saying, You will be set free? Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Whoever commits and practices sin is the slave of sin. Now a slave does not remain in a household permanently (forever); the son [of the house] does remain forever. So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free."

Romans 6: 6-14 AMP
"We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin. For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men]. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him. Because we know that Christ (the Anointed One), being once reaised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has power over Him. For by the death He died, He died to sin [ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life that He lives, He is living to God [in unbroken fellowship with him]. Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore rule as king in your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies, to make you yield to its cravings and be subject to its lusts and evil passions. Do not continue offering or yielding your bodily members [and faculties] to sin as instruments (tools) of wickedness. But offer and yield yourselves to God as though you have been raised from the dead to [perpetual] life, and your bodily members [and faculties] to God, presenting them as implements of righteousness. For sin shall not [any longer] exert dominion over you, since now you are not under Law [as slaves], but under grace [as subjects of God's favor and mercy]."

Romans 6:17-18
"But thank God, though you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed.  And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, an action)."

Romans has much to say on the subject of freedom and Colossians also contains instructions for walking freely, as does Galatians, Ephesians, etc. etc.  Yes, the entire Word of God is an entire library that deals with freedom found in Jesus Christ. 

What better time than Resurrection Week to get in the Word and find out what living and walking in the freedom Christ purchased for us?  I'm thinking that another viewing of the movie The Passion of the Christ may be helpful in putting the value of this freedom in perspection as well. 

Walking Free In Jesus

Walking free in Jesus
In the Life He bought for me
Walking free in Jesus
With Him I'll always be
Protected and loved
Cared for and kept
Never alone and
Never adrift

Through sunshine and rain
In sickness and pain
Forgiveness and healing I see
His blood frees from sin
His love is within
My healing His stripes they did buy
I'm bought with a price
Redeemed by His love
God's own, special daughter am I

Walking free in Jesus
in ways He has made
I'll tell of this gift
For salvation He paid
I'll sing the glad story 
How He ransomed me
I'll tell of His love and His care

His healing I know
His love I will show
To others who now know despair

Walking free in Jesus
There's no greater place
Than here in His mercy
Smack dab in His grace
He is my Savior
He's Risen! He Lives!
To others I'll shout loud and clear
Walking free in Jesus
It's good, come and see
He loves you
Come close, He is near

Put it in the Freezer - A Few Simple Tips

Today's thrifty tip is about cooking for the freezer.  Articles on cooking for the freezer abound, both online and in book form (the regular kind with pages).  On Living Large we are going to share a few specific tips every so often rather than overload you with information all at once. Whenever you are cooking for the freezer remember to have plenty freezer bags or other containers to place your items and/or dishes in.

Regular readers of Living Large on Less know that taking advantage of the best possible sale price is a given here on the blog.  With that in mind, how frustrating is it to see a spectacular price on a perishable food item at the grocery store and have to walk away because the amount is too great to use before it perishes?  Worse yet is the sinking feeling that comes when the rotten food item is found in the pantry or frig because instead of practicing good thrift, we were snagged by the "it's such a great buy" bug and purchased something that contained way too much product for our family to use.  If either of these experiences is familiar, then today's thrifty freezer cooking tip will be just the ticket for you.

When bags of onions or peppers go on sale, go ahead and take advantage of the lowest possible price and purchase them; even if the amount of produce is too much for your family to use.  Splitting the bags with friends is always an option, but today we are focusing on another choice, cooking for the freezer.  Chop all of the onions.  Now there is a choice available; the onions can be sauteed, cooled, and placed into freezer bags after being divided into individual recipe sized amounts OR they can be divided into recipe-sized amounts and placed into freezer bags without sauteeing.   Either way works just fine.  Pop the bags in the freezer and viola! whenever you need onion for the dish you are cooking, it is all measured and possibly even cooked up ready to go.  All you will need to do is pull it out of the freezer and maybe reheat it.  Some recipes won't even require that much preparation.  Peppers can also be cleaned, chopped and put into freezer bags. 

Even small amounts of pre-cooking prep work can provide huge savings of both time and finances.  I promise the first time you go to the freezer and pull out a bag of onions and/or peppers to pop into whatever you are preparing, you will be hooked.  Cooking for the freezer, it's today's thrifty tip for Thursday.  Blessed Mama