Every day.

prepare for difficult season

It can be a challenge. When things are going fine, it’s easy to cruise along, thinking you’ve got it covered. You don’t. At some point, you will have a dry season. A season of discouragement. A season of great need. A crisis that takes all you have and leaves you in desperate need.

Prepare for that time. Read His Word now. Today. And again tomorrow. Make an appointment. And keep it. You won’t regret it.

Summer Breezes

Our unusually cool spring has left us daydreaming of walks on the beach. This drink grants a little taste of warm days at the beach, while offering a boost to our immune systems.

There is tremendous nutritional benefit found in coconut water. Some consider it to be “nature’s blood transfusion” because of its abilities to help build the blood. It’s high in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, electrolytes and amino acids.  Some even claim it helps skin problems when applied topically! You might want to read up on coconut water! I’ll leave a couple of interesting links below to get you started.

[This is not an endorsement of these sites - they're just articles I found interesting.]

Back to the drink! We pour a can of the coconut water, a can of pineapple (or some fresh!), some ice and a tablespoon of Stevia. Blend until you achieve the consistency you prefer. The taste is lighter than the syrupy sweet piña colada. Mmmmm… delicious!

Close your eyes and pretend you’re at the beach.

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/coconut-water.html

http://www.homeremediesweb.com/coconut-water-health-benefits.php

Mac & Cheese in the Crock Pot – USING DRY PASTA!

This is a dream come true.

Did you know you could make mac & cheese in the crock pot?

Without  boiling the pasta?

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

A few weeks ago, a friend sent me this link -

http://tipgarden.blogspot.com/2011/09/one-pot-mac-and-cheese.html

- and I was so excited!

Tip Garden’s Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Ingredients:
Cooking oil spray
2 cups skim milk
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups pre-shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
Directions:
Grease the pot of the slow cooker. In a mixing bowl whisk together milk, evaporated milk, egg, salt and pepper. Pour milk mixture into the crock pot.  Add cheese and uncooked macaroni. Stir gently to mix.

Turn slow cooker on low and cook 3-4 hours, or until the custard is set and the macaroni is tender.

(Do not cook more than 4 hours, or the sides will begin to dry out).

When I finally tried it, I was not disappointed. I suggest cooking it on low for the first 2 hours, then check it every 1/2 hour after that. Every crock pot is very different, so the result will vary. It will cook much faster on high, but you sacrifice texture in the pasta for speed. Sometimes it’s just worth it.

It's so easy! Just mix the liquids, pour, and stir in the cheese and pasta.

It’s so easy! Just mix the liquids, pour, and stir in the cheese and pasta.

It really is simple enough for the most inexperienced cook. I mix my milk, egg, salt and pepper in a jar that shows measuring increments, to minimize mess.

After a trial run, you’ll know how long it needs to cook. You can just throw in the ingredients and come back to this -

Oh. YUM.

Oh. YUM.

This recipe is also very versatile! You can use a variety of cheeses or combination of several. You can use any milk, from reconstituted powdered milk (did NOT sacrifice taste!) to cream – it will be so good. You can use other pasta shapes. You can even substitute jarred alfredo sauce for the evaporated milk.

Delicious.

Oatmeal in a FLASH!

I really love oatmeal for breakfast. Smooth. Warm. Sweet. Mmmm.

Once upon a time, my family loved it too. In the last year so, it has lost its appeal with my children. It gets old hearing sighs of disappointment when you serve food, doesn’t it? I tried variations, which were met with similar reactions.

I decided to make an instant oatmeal for myself. As you might guess, once I did, they LOVED it! I have made it three times now and we have all enjoyed it. I love how inexpensive, nutritious and easy it is.

After reading several other people’s recipes and adapting those, here it is!

DIY Instant Oatmeal

  • 2 cups toasted oats
  • 6 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup powdered milk
  • 1 cup sugar (I use a combination of powdered and brown)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Pulse briefly in food processor. Use 1/3 cup of oat mixture with 1/2 cup boiling water. Allow to sit 2-3 minutes and enjoy. Optional add ins – cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup or flavoring, dried fruits or nuts.

DIY Instant Oatmeal

DIY Instant Oatmeal

By using toasted oats, it brings out a slightly nutty flavor. If you prefer. use all plain old fashioned oats.

By using toasted oats, it brings out a slightly nutty flavor. If you prefer. use all plain old fashioned oats.

When you pulse the oats, do it for a couple of seconds at a time. The goal is to leave some oats still intact for texture, but you can adjust this according to your preference as well.

When you pulse the oats, do it for a couple of seconds at a time. The goal is to leave some oats still intact for texture, but you can adjust this according to your preference as well.

I store this in a Tupperware container, with the directions written on the side in a water-erase marker.

I store this in a Tupperware container, with the directions written on the side in a water-erase marker.

Every time I make this, I am concerned that it seems to be too much water. Just stir it and leave it!

Every time I make this, I am concerned that it seems to be too much water. Just stir it and leave it!

So yummy!

So yummy!