Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Can You Say "Waffles?"

In an effort to find something different than cereal for Olivia’s breakfast, I thought I might try making waffles. Frozen waffles just don’t sit right with me. I can never get them toasted or heated just right. Plus I think they taste like the cardboard box in which they live.

I have tried several batter recipes – from plain pancake-type batter to completely all-wheat flour, and I’ve finally tweaked one enough to be really satisfied with it.

Maybe you can try it, too. If you do, let me know what you think.

Whole Grain Waffles

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oats (quick-cooking or old-fashioned work equally well – I used old-fashioned)
2 Tablespoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar (I used Splenda)
3 cups milk (I used 1%)
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten (1 egg or egg substitute would probably suffice)

Optional: 1 ½ - 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (if using frozen, thaw and drain well)

Heat waffle iron. Spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix together dry ingredients (first five ingredients) in a large bowl.

In another bowl, mix together wet ingredients (balance of ingredients).

Add wet mixture to dry mixture.

Stir until large lumps are moistened. Do not overmix.

Pour waffle batter into center of waffle iron. I have a Belgian-style waffle iron and used a ladle to pour the batter into the center of the well. My ladle holds about ½ cup, and I used a heaping amount.

If you are using blueberries, sprinkle them across the top of the batter before closing the lid. If not, just go ahead and close.

Close the lid and bake 3 to 5 minutes, or until steam no longer escapes from the edge of the waffle iron. Serve immediately.

If you are preparing waffles to freeze for future use, let them cool completely before storing in zipper freezer bags.

To reheat, simply put them in a toaster oven or reheat in the microwave. I usually heat mine in the microwave for about 45 seconds to 1 minute.

This recipe makes 7 Belgian-size waffles.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Changes Can Be Good, Right?

I’m nervous.

Today marks the beginning of a new era for me. I am uncertain what the days ahead hold, and I don’t know how to respond to the changes.

Do I continue on with my days as normal?

Do I look for new tasks to busy myself?

Do I seek outside distractions?

What, you may ask, could cause such disruption in my normal routine?

I will tell you.

After nearly twelve years of being alone daily as a stay-at-home-mom, my dear husband Steve is coming home to work.

Actually, last week was his first official week with no office in town, but he was away for a few days at a sales meeting, so that really didn’t count.

Am I justified in being nervous? I don’t know. I will admit, however, this event has forced me to do some soul-searching.

I am concerned that I have taken for granted the blessing of being home daily. I have done all that needs to be done, but have I gone over and above what is expected? I must honestly confess I have not.

At first when Olivia was very young and in lower school grades, I was busy at home, school and church. But as she has gotten older the requests for volunteers have lessened, and I have found myself not as challenged with activities. Nor have I looked for more opportunities. That’s where I have fallen.

Just like with money, I believe the Lord expects us to be good stewards of our time. In that area, I have failed him many times.

But thanks be to God, He gives us new opportunities each and every day -- hence the title of my blog, which is based on Lamentations 3:22,23:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
It’s never too late to begin again.

So today I intend to go forth and be productive. I want to be a good steward of my time, first for my Lord and also for my husband.

I will keep you posted on how things progress.

Meal Plan

We are still eating little-to-no meat. I had intended to bake a chicken yesterday, however, due to some changes in our weekly schedule, that meal has been pushed to another day this week.

Monday – Pecan crusted tilapia, slaw, steamed broccoli, rice pilaf

Tuesday – Baked or rotisserie chicken, parsley potatoes, green beans

Wednesday – Leftover bean soup, cornbread, salad

Thursday – Spinach lasagna, salad

Friday – Out

Saturday & Sunday – May possibly be out of town, so no plan at this time

I intend to do some “freeze-ahead” cooking this week. On my list of things is waffles, spaghetti sauce and calzones. My goal is to share with you my waffle recipe.

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Great Expectations

After nearly two-and-one-half years of searching, we are now attending a church where we feel we can not only grow spiritually through the teaching of the Word, but also through serving. The clincher is that it is a large church. A very large church.

It is intimidating, to say the least, to walk into such a place and feel secure. It would be quite easy to get lost in the crowd. But that’s not what we’re longing for. We want and need a place to serve, and we need acceptance and relationships. The only way any of those things is going to happen is if we step out on a limb.

I made my plunge last night, and I can’t tell you how excited I am!

I registered for a community care group geared specifically toward women. The initial gathering of all who registered was last night. Since registering, I prayed that God would hand-pick the women with whom I would be joined.

Mornings are my time of choice for meeting. Since my family is gone during the day, this is the time that least affects them.

Can you believe there were only ten women who wanted to meet during the day?

Can you believe all ten women are in a geographic area that is relatively convenient for all to travel?

Can you believe that after being together for just a short while, it felt as if we had been friends for a long time?

Isn’t that just how God works?

What’s even more amazing is that this is not a group that someone would say logically goes together. The age range is from mid-20’s to late 60’s. Some are married. Some are single. Some have young children. Some have grandchildren. Some are trying to have children. Some work. Some don’t.

As I was leaving and thanking God for such a beautiful experience, I was reminded of this scripture in Romans 12:4-8:
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Each woman in the group has different gifts and needs. I am convinced that each woman has a gift that will meet the need of another. God truly answered the prayer I prayed.

He’s just good that way.

I can’t wait to see how God is going to work in this gathering. We will meet weekly for seven weeks. If we so desire we can continue on together.

It’s an exciting time for sure. I can’t remember the last time I felt so much positive anticipation and expectation. It’s a welcome feeling.

My prayer for you today is that something in your own life gives you the same feeling. And if it's not there already, then I pray God will place something there for you.

Thanks for visiting!