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Our family loves beans. To some that seems to be odd. One day when I was in Sam’s buying a 10 lb bag of pinto beans for making homemade re-fried beans, I ran into a friend. She made a comment about feeling sorry for us because we “have” to eat beans. I thought it was funny, because we don’t have to eat beans, we like them and enjoy eating them.

I think my love of beans developed when I was a child. My grandparents had a 52 acre farm about 30 minutes away from where we lived and on weekends we would go to visit. Many a day was spent sitting under a shade tree shelling peas, or snapping beans. There is nothing quite like a lunch made of fresh purple hull peas with homemade chow chow, sweet corn and cornbread. After we were married and moved to south Louisiana, our love for beans grew with the addition of Red Beans and rice and White beans.

This soup recipe is one that I created several years ago. It is super simple and very satisfying. I must warn you that I cook beans a little differently. I wasn’t taught to cook them (the right way) and so when I began cooking, I would just throw everything in the pot and cook them until they were done. What may have started out as a mistake turned out well. I believe that cooking them this way infuses the beans with a great amount of flavor. I will occasionally do a quick soak by putting only the beans in water, bringing them to a boil, turning off the heat, covering them and then letting them sit for an hour. After they have soaked for an hour I will then dump everything else in and start cooking them.

I would love to do a soup recipe swap with everyone, so please leave your favorite soup recipe in the comment section.

White Bean Soup with Smoked Turkey

2 lbs. Great Northern Beans, rinsed
1 onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp. Simply Organic All-Purpose Seasoning (this is an herb based seasoning blend, not salt based)
1 tsp. of Tony’s
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce
1 smoked turkey wing (I found mine near the ham at Wal-mart)

Put all ingredients into a stock pot and cover with a couple of inches of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a medium heat. Cook until beans are tender(this took about 3 1/2 hours), making sure to keep about an inch of water over the beans. Before serving remove meat from bones; discarding bones and skin. Serve with cornbread. This soup will also freeze well. For a family of 7 we had leftovers, for a smaller family, this would give you a couple of frozen meals.

posted by on Food & Cooking

Last weekend was the Semper Refomanda 2010 conference and for it we baked three different snacks. Actually, Hannah baked, and baked and baked. She ended up making 4 dozen Ginger cookies, 6 dozen Oatmeal Raisin cookies, and 20 dozen Pumpkin Bread mini-muffins. Hannah has does this volume of baking several times before when Gene hosted evangelism training classes. Thankfully, Hannah has baking in big batches down to a science.

I wish I had pictures of her in the kitchen and the baked goodies, but things were a tiny bit hectic getting ready for the conference, so alas, no pictures.

I hope you enjoy the recipes; I’d love to hear your feedback.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1¼ c. butter (unsalted)
½ c. white sugar
¾ c. brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1¼ c. flour
3 c. oats
1 c. raisins

Cream together sugars and margarine. Mix in eggs and spices, then add flour, oats, and raisins.
Bake at 375 for 9-12 min. If you substitute margarine, the cookies will not taste the same as when we make them. It does make a very big difference.

Pumpkin Bread

3 cups sugar
1 cup veg. oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 (1lb) can pumpkin
½ tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp soda
2 tsp salt
3½ cups flour
2/3 cup water

Combine sugar, oil, and beaten eggs. Add pumpkin and mix well. Sift together dry ingredients and add pumpkin mixture; add water and beat thoroughly. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until done. Freezes well.

Ginger Cookies

2/3 cup butter (unsalted)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
extra sugar

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg and molasses. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a separate bowl and gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Roll into 1″ balls and flatten, then coat with sugar. Bake at 350 (Fahrenheit) for 8-10 minutes, until edges begin to brown.

posted by on Food & Cooking

Two months ago we started down a path of looking at food and how it affected our health. The girls have had many allergy/asthma issues over the last few years, and we were concerned that food was contributing to these issues. The first food that we eliminated was gluten. After several weeks on a gluten free diet we weren’t getting the hoped for results. This made us wonder if what we were doing just wasn’t enough. Two weeks ago we began the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. We were all extremely hopeful and enthusiastic about it, well, most of us. During the first week we went through the normal withdrawal issues, but coming upon the second week I began experiencing extreme fatigue, to the point that doing the dishes would wipe me out for the rest of the day. By Saturday, I had little to no energy. Which led us to a family meeting to re-assess the situation.

During our family meeting we discussed both the pros and the cons of the SCD. The cons were: it was making food the center of our lives, it wasn’t bringing positive results, it was causing food to be an obsession, and it was causing many of us to feel worse than before. The pros were: we had become aware of how food was affecting our bodies, we were able to cleanse our bodies of many impurities, we began to eat better food, and we became aware of what was in the food we were eating.

The result of our meeting was that we have decided to stop the SCD and adopt a better, well rounded diet. This decision was a very hard one for me to make and was something that was at the back of my mind for a few days.  My desire is to do what is best for my family, and if the SCD isn’t what is best, I don’t want to continue down that path. During this meeting we also discussed those of us who are gluten free, trying gluten again to see if we had a reaction. We wanted to do this in a controlled way, in case we had severe reactions. Yesterday, we all tried gluten. Our hearts were racing as we put gluten filled foods in our mouths. For the next few hours we were all on pins and needles waiting for a reaction. Much to our joy, none came. We were all able to eat gluten with no side effects. I don’t know why we seemed to react in the past, I am wondering if it was an overload on our bodies.

Where do you go from here, you may ask. We are going to adopt a healthful, well balanced diet. Our motto will be “everything in moderation”. We will try to eat foods in their most simple forms, and only having processed food where necessary and only occasionally. We will continue to not drink soft drinks and stick to water, tea and juice. We all have a new appreciation for the role that food plays in our lives, but want to have everything in our lives in proper perspective.

As for this blog, we plan on posting just like we were before, only our recipes won’t be on such a narrow scope. I’m sure that we will have many recipes and hopefully pictures of the finished products to post. Our hope is that you will join us on this journey as we strive to be joyful homemakers who are serving Christ.