Baked Bacon

Here’s a quick tip for all you multitasking mamas out there:

Bake your bacon

Oh yes, you read that correctly.  Put your bacon in the oven!

This is a great way to get chewy or crispy bacon without having to manage every piece frying in the pan or use the microwave.  (I know some of you have an aversion to the “nuker.” I haven’t arrived yet…totally)

To read the rest come on over to the new More Than Four Walls launched 4/9/2012.  Here’s a direct link to this post.

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Oral Allergy Syndrome

Tens of thousands of people suffer from season allergies to ragweed, grass and other pollens every year.  We make our pilgrimage to the pharmacy to gather our traveling companions. Clartin-D and Visine.  

Recently I started learning about other ways to deal with allergies and that they do not need to be a permanent, lifelong problem.  Through diet change and using homeopathic/natural remedies to ease symptoms you can deal with allergies without using drugs.

But have you ever heard of Oral Allergy Syndrome? Me neither, until about two years ago and I’ve suffered with it my whole life.

Faking It

When I was a child I would complain to my mom that after I ate certain fruits or veggies my throat would get scratchy and tight. Sometimes I’d get hives on my face. She mentioned this to my allergist but he told her, get this, that I was probably making it up because I didn’t want to eat my fruits and veggies.

To read the rest come visit the new More Than Four Walls site launched 4/9/12. Here’s a direct link to this post.

The Hunt

Here in Pennsylvania we are far cry from deer hunting season.

Too long if you ask my husband.

Truth is, I miss it too. I enjoyed hunting.  My days of hunting are on hold now.  As our son gets old I will hunt again one day.

Priorities for me have changed at this time. It is now my husband’s duty to bring home nourishment. It is mine to prepare it and serve it with loving hands.

Wikipedia.org

A Holy Experience

“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” ~ Psalm 46:10

There is something special about sitting in the woods.  Before day break as the crisp breeze blows across your face you can almost hear the stars sing. Then dawn breaking through the darkest hour brings the forest alive.

The beauty of stillness, quietness and clarity are a feast for the senses. Creation speaks of the creator and there is time to ponder; time to think; time to pray. There is much truth to see sitting 25 feet up in a tree. I feel closer to God when I sit in a tree stand. There is nothing else to focus your eyes on but His creation.

Photo Credit: Dave Bonta

There is no to do list, no dishes, no laundry.

Only you and your Daddy sitting still and quite together.  If you invite Him it can be a holy experience.

When else do any of us have three, four or five hours of uninterrupted silence in which we can talk to God and have few distractions from listening to Him?

The Hunt

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. ~ Genesis 1:28

There is also something core deep in hunting. Something that feels natural, right and God-given. You scout, you watch, you carefully place your stand, you prepare but ultimately He will decide if that animal, large enough to harvest walks by you.  You have no control.  You are dependent on Him allowing you to take one of His creatures for your nourishment.

I have observed my husband and other men in my family during hunting season.  There is such passion and depth to hunting that you might miss.  I see my husband’s desire to hunt not merely for sport but for providing for his family.  Certainly we can go buy meat at a store but harvesting our food provides satisfaction for his God-given desire to provide for his family.

I know there is debate over whether we God intended humans to eat animals and how the word “dominion” in the above scripture is translated.  I know there is at least one scripture reference to preparing and eating a harvest animal in Proverbs……

Real. Food.

The slothful man roasts not that which he took in hunting: but the possessions of a diligent man are precious. ~ Proverbs 12:27

I can understand why people become vegans or vegetarians, especially if they are Christians.  If you have educated yourself to our industrialized food system, watched Food Inc. or Fresh The Movie you know what I’m talking about.  The industrialized food system is an injustice to God’s creation.

Chickens were not meant to live in tiny cages without sunlight and fed and “all vegetarian diet.”  Chickens are omnivores. Omnivores eat meat and veggies.

Beef cattle were not meant to live on acres of barren land fed corn and soy and animal waste products.  Cattle are herbivores.    Herbivores eat grass.  This is why cows have multiple stomachs.  God created them that way.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

Harvesting a deer, turkey, bear or elk or catching a brook trout that has lived and thrived in its natural habitat is of no comparison buying burger at Wal-Mart.

This is real food from an animal that lived a life that God intended it to live.

Photo Credit: Indirect Heat

 

You may have heard the phrase “Know your food source.” There is no greater knowledge to your food source than harvesting, dressing and processing your own animal.

Hunting is more than a sport, more than killing something for fun. It can bring one closer to the Lord and provide a family with high quality food.

Are you a hunter or do you have hunters in your family? What is your favorite game to prepare and/or eat?

Until Next Time,

Be Blessed

If you have not seen Fresh The Movie or Food Inc. I urge you to do so.

The Laurabar @ Home

I first had a Laurabar about a year ago and I fell in love.  Just four or so little ingredients, no unpronounceables and all sweet goodness.

At $1.00 or more a bar they are a bit pricey and became my treat each month when I went shopping. I would have loved to buy a box of them but I could not see spending the money.

What Is a Laurabar

The base of a Laurabar is dates.  The lowly date.  They aren’t much to look at but they are the sweet goodness that makes the base of a Laurabar.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

After that, the rest is up to you.  You basically have a clean slate with which to work.  Must variations call for nuts of some type and then chocolate or other fruits.  It is so simple it’s hard to believe.

My personal favorite has almonds, chocolate and peanut butter.  Who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter?

Seek and Ye Shall Find

I found a recipe for reverse engineered Laurabars (AKA someone took the time to figure out how they made them and shared.)  YES!!!!

I made some Lauraballs, they were OK.  I even tried a few new ingredients but they didn’t quite taste the same.  They weren’t as dense as the store-bought version and they fell apart rather easily.

Recipe Success

I put Laurabars on the back burner (sourdough english muffins took their place) but I never forgot about my sweet little friends.

Then, as it often happens, I got a very timely email from Keeper of the Home with her latest post of 45 Real Food Snacks for Kids.  I knew I needed to make some handy, healthy snacks to take camping with us so I took the time to read through the post.

And there it was…..about halfway down the page….a link….a link back to sweet little Laurabars…..

Meet Foodie With Family

The link took me to Foodie With Family where Rebecca shares her recipe for homemade Laurabars.

This is a much better recipe than the first one I used.  It makes a thicker bar and the proportions of the ingredients lend to a denser, moister bar than I had before.

The basics are this:

4 cups of organic dates

2 cups almonds, raw or toasted

2 cup chocolate chips or carob chips

2 Tbsp organic peanut butter

See, I told you it was simple. See Rebecca’s site here for the details of the recipe.

Here are my notes: 

Dates – for sure you need moist dates. This time mine were a bit dry so I added a few splashes of water until I had the “paste” consistency needed.

Food Processor – Apparently my Aldi-bought generic food processor is smaller than most.  I had to make this recipe in two batches.  I was able to process the nuts and chocolate as one but then I had to do half the dates and nut/chocolate and then the other half.  It makes no difference.  I just dumped half into the bar pan and then did the second half.

Lining the Pan – I am a huge fan of lining the pan whether it’s crackers or Laurabars. It makes clean up so much easier and for these it makes cutting them and working with much better too.  Wax paper works in a pinch if you don’t have parchment.

I couldn’t wait to go camping to have a bar.  I had one already this morning with my coffee. 🙂

Try them and let me know what you think.

Until Next Time,

Be Blessed

This post shared at Growing HomeFar Above Rubies and The Purposeful Mom.

Delicious From Scratch Hamburger Rolls {Guest Post!}

I am honored to be posting here @Morethanfourwalls.  I “met” Danielle last fall in a MYM group hosted by InspiredToAction.   I love her helpful heart and the way she inspires us women to keep our hearts set on Jesus as we strive to maintain a healthy, happy home with Morethanfourwalls.

I’m impressed that Danielle is now working full-time, yet still bakes from scratch and diligently plans healthy meals for her family.  Props!!!

Today I’m so excited to tell you about these delicious rolls that you can make ahead and freeze.  Then, just take them out and bake when you need them!  The convenience of store-bought at a fraction of the cost!

The Recipe: Delicious From Scratch Hamburger Rolls

photo credit: Cultivating Your Branch

To read the rest, visit the new More Than Four Walls site.  Here’s a direct link to this post.

How to Hard Boil Fresh Eggs

Last April after we got chickens I was so excited to hard boil some farm-fresh eggs to use in salads and just to eat (I love a hardboiled eggs with some salt and pepper! Yum!). So I tucked about 6 eggs away for two weeks patiently waiting for them to “get old” so I could make them.

When the day arrived I promptly did my eggs the way I always did eggs.  After they cooled I began to peel. I had my heart set on eating the first eggs with seasoning immediately after it was peel. I could not wait!

So I peeled…..and I was left with this:

 Not exactly a presentable egg.  I struggled through the remaining 5 eggs with no more success than the first one.  I got so mad at the last egg that I gave up and threw it away.  (But I did eat the rest; they just didn’t look so great.)

I am a busy mama, I don’t have time to pick eighth inch pieces of shell off eggs.  I needed a better way.

After a bit of research I found out that store-bought eggs are nearly a month old when you buy them. So by the time you wait a week or two for them to “get old” they could be all but two months old…no wonder they peel! 

Granted eggs can last a long time and still be good if properly cared for, but what is one to do when on Tuesday your invited to a cookout on Saturday and asked to bring deviled eggs?  It isn’t very appetizing when they look as though they were chewed on before coming to the BBQ. 

To read the rest come visit the new More Than Four Walls site launched 4/9/12.  Here’s a direct link to this post. 

Why We Need to Read Labels & Understand Marketing

Whether it’s “Rate G” or “Family friendly” to “All Natural” or “Farm Fresh” it is very easy to be deceived when we take these claims at face value.

The more I press in to learning and understanding what the Lord wants for my family the more ridiculous TV shows and movies seem to me.  Shows with titles like “V!rgian Diaries” that sound as though they are positive end up only making fun of those who are keeping themselves for their future spouse.  You can’t even watch the Superbowl without seeing “The Bird” although I was please to see Madonna at least semi-covered and no cone boobs.

I will not step down from my TV soapbox and step on my food soapbox.  (Yes, I have two soapboxes today.)

Not only must we be diligent about what we put into our bodies through our eyes and ears but we must also be diligent about what we put into our bodies through our mouths.

To read the rest of this article please visit the new More Than Four Walls site launched 4/9/12.  Here’s a direct link to this article. 

Be Blessed