12.28.2011

God With Us, Still

 

"When the song of the angels is stilled,

When the star in the sky is gone,

When the kings and princes are home,

When the shepherds are back with their flock,

The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,

To heal the broken,

To feed the hungry,

To release the prisoner,

To rebuild the nations,

To bring peace among others,

To make music in the heart."

– Dr. Howard Thurman

Oh how this writing stirred something within me this morning. "To find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among others, to make music in the heart." these are the truths from God's Word that God led me to, and through, this past Christmas season. To read this writing and see that Emmanuel, God With Us, doesn't end when Christmas is over, causes me to leap with joy and wonder at the marvelous workings of our loving Heavenly Father in each of our lives.

The gifts don't end; they grow, increase to be given again and again and again. His healing hands made to reach out through mine of flesh. His loving heart to be extended by me. Absolute truth spoken through these human lips exposing lies of the enemy and freeing the prisoners held by those lies. That peace comes when I enter the room. Then music singing in the heart. These are what a child of God is to do.

Other New Year's resolutions pale beside the divine calling that rings loud and clear within the believer's heart - "Take Me with you My child. Let Me reach out through you, speak through you, and touch through you." Jesus came to seek and save the lost. How can I do less than my Savior? As the new year approaches, may the one I'm still in be made better by Jesus in Me. May Emmanuel, God With Us, flow out from me to the world He has brought me to.

12.16.2011

Ever Wonder?

Ever wonder what ever became of the you you thought you once knew, or the children who lived in your home when so small, or the husband to whom you promised I do?
 
Don't be discouraged, please have no fear. Alone you are not. Don't we all. All of us wonder where we have gone and who took our loved ones so dear.
 
No need to fret or worry or doubt. One thing I know to be true. While you are so busy wondering where they all went, they're wondering the same about you. ~ ANONYMOUS

--
 

12.13.2011

Making Your Own...Onion Powder

 Last year, Not of This World, posted an article on making homemade french fried onions. This year, not only did she make more french fried onions, she also experimented with producing her own onion powder. The onion powder has been just as successful.

Here at Abundance, the flavor of the onion is enjoyed, but the texture isn't a fave. Biting into a semi-crunchy piece of onion, I'm shuddering as I think about it. The solution? onion powder! The process is very simple. Here's the scoop:
  1. Wash and peel onions
  2. Slice thin, a mandolin slicer works great for this. Wearing goggles is recommended for this.
  3. Place onion on trays of dehydrator.
  4. Place dehydrator on table outside! (Highly recommended - just take our word for this one)
  5. When onions have dried completely, place in blender and grind into powder.
  6. Pour powder into container of choice. Another use for those recycled jars:)
After several months of using the first batch and making another, we have learned a few things. First things first, homemade onion powder is stronger in potency than that from the store. Use less, much less. Because homemade onion powder is free of preservatives, it will clump. Scraping desired amount of powder off lightly with a utensil or shaking the container really hard loosens it up and has given us great results. Having healthy, preservative and chemical free onion powder with superior flavor to cook with more than makes up for such a minor inconvenience. The final thing we have discovered is that just as there is a difference in flavor between varieties of fresh onions, onion powder made from different varieties also contains a distinct difference in flavor.

Oh yes, please dehydrate using an actual dehydrator, for safety purposes. Once an onion has been cut, it immediately begins to absorb germs and bacteria. Leaving cut onions out in an open area to dry is not considered healthy or safe. Because of this, onions left out in a bowl or on a plate work well as air purifiers during cold and flu season. Beware as they can turn really ucky looking.

Finally, unless you want your entire house, person, clothing, belongings to smell of onion for days and days, don't forget to place the dehyrdator in a location OUTSIDE of the house!!! Also, if it is outside near the back door, DON'T open the window on the door. Odor of onion will blow through the house in a very NON refreshing wave. Laughing out loud as I remember.

12.12.2011

Making Your Own...Worcestershire & Cream Soup Mix

Is it every busy around here! Holiday time is one of my favorite. Not only do I get to celebrate Jesus, but there is also an excuse to cook, bake, and give gifts more. Many special recipes use worchestershire sauce or cream of something soup. Both of these ingredients tend to be rather costly. When I found recipes for make your own versions I had to share. Neither of these recipes are original to Abundance. They were discovered and are still on our "to try" list. If anyone tries them, please leave us a comment sharing your experience and/or opinion.



Worcestershire Sauce

2 centimeters (1 inch) fresh Ginger, bruised
2 cloves Garlic, bruised, (not even necessary to peel, just toss them in)
6 teaspoon whole Cloves
4-3/4 cups Vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Salt
2 cups black Treacle ( Brer Rabbit molasses)
Optional: I, also, use 2 Tablespoons of the oil off a tin of Anchovies for flavor, but it’s not necessary, will taste just as good without.

METHOD: Place all ingredients in a large saucepan; stir to combine.
Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand overnight.
Next day; strain into bottles and seal tight. Store.***

***Can be used straight away, but does improve with age.

by Shirley Rampton.

 
*************************************************************************************************

Lots of recipes call for “cream of…” type canned soups. This could be cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of chicken, cream of potato etc.

Instead of continually buying the cans, why not make this frugal cream of anything soup mix and use it anytime a recipe calls for the soup. It’s quick and easy to put together and quite a bit cheaper than buying canned soup. It also takes up less room and lasts for up to a year.

Cream of Anything Soup Mix

4 c. powdered milk
1 1/2 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. instant chicken bouillon granules *
4 tsp. dried onion flakes
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp basil – crushed dried
1 tsp. pepper

* For a vegetarian version of this soup, use vegetable broth bullion instead.

Measure all ingredients and pour them into a container with an airtight seal. I like to use a tupperware type container, but a larger freezer bag will work as well. Be sure to label your container.

To Use The Mix:Combine 1/3 cup of the mix with 1 cup of water and heat it over medium low heat in a small saucepan until it starts to thicken. This is the equivalent of one can of soup.

 Keep this white sauce mix on hand for easy Macaroni and Cheese!

White Sauce Mix
2 cups instant nonfat dry milk
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup butter, margarine or shortening

In a large bowl mix well dry milk, flour and salt. With pastry blender or 2 knives cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Store in an airtight container. If using butter, store in the refrigerator. If using margarine or shortening, will keep on the shelf in dry weather for up to 6 months.

White Sauce
In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup White Sauce Mix, 1 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Stir over low heat until smooth and hot. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Cheese Sauce
Add 3/4 cup shredded cheese after White Sauce thickens.

Curry Sauce
Add 1 teaspoon curry powder to thickened White Sauce.

Alfredo Sauce Make White Sauce from White Sauce Mix. To every 1/2 cup White Sauce add 2 to 4 cloves garlic, pressed, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese and 1 cup light cream. To cooked and drained hot pasta, add Alfredo Sauce ingredients, one by one, mixing and tossing well after each addition. Serve immediately.

Mac and Cheese
Combine 1/2 cup White Sauce Mix, 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese and 1 cup milk. Pour over hot, drained, elbow macaroni. Toss well.

*Please note that Abundance blog has NOT taste tested all of these variations. Honestly, we haven't taste tested any of them. All are still on our "to try" list. Please feel free to leave comments sharing your experience with either of the recipes.

 

12.08.2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!


A Mother’s Rewards
and Abundance send out warmest prayers and loving thanks to all of our faithful readers everywhere. Our prayer for each and every one during this Christmas season ~ and all the year through ~ is that Emmanuel, God with us, will become more real and personal than ever before.


In Christ’s Love, Blessed Mama & family