Friday, March 27, 2009

Gluten Free Friday - Parmesan Popover Bread Bites

Last year our Celiac support group brought in a chef from the University of Connecticut named R. Landolphi to do a gluten free cooking demonstration. It was right before Thanksgiving, so he cooked many dishes and sides that would be perfect for that meal. These little buttery cheesy tasting popovers were so delicious and pretty easy to make! Watch out for a coming cookbook from this chef who began experimenting with GF cooking after his wife was diagnosed with celiac disease.

Parmesan Popover Bread Bites

2 cups tapioca flour
1 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
2 cups parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup oil (veg/canola)
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 425*. Whisk together flours, cheese and salt. Whisk in milk, oil, and eggs. Grease 2 24 cup mini-muffin tins. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full with batter. Bake 15-20 min until lightly golden brown on outside. (Inside will be soft and chewy.) Serve warm. Makes 4 dozen.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Racing and Skating

Well, we did it....we finished the 10K and had a great time. Wow...it's so much easier to run that distance with good scenery and crowds cheering you on! The only thing we were missing was something GREEN! It was a St. Patrick's Day Run and the Irish were out in abundance...red heads and green clothes everywhere!
The other highlight of our day was Kayla's Ice Skate Show. This is her first year of skating lessons, and she has really enjoyed it. Her number was called "If I Could Talk to the Animals," and each child got to dress as a different animal. Kayla couldn't have been more thrilled to be a blue puppy dog!
She's the tallest in her group and either had to be out front or in the middle because of it. (Guess she got the tall, lanky genes from my dad - definitely not me!) She did a great job remembering her roles.
And here I am with my sweet girl. SO proud of her...SO thankful to be her Mom.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Off to the Races!

Tomorrow Robert and I are running a St. Patrick's Day 10K race in a nearby town. Running is something that I've "enjoyed" off and on since high school, and recently Robert decided to join me. He assumed his knee couldn't take it after his reconstructive ACL surgery 16 years ago, but so far, he's had no trouble with it, and we've enjoyed the sport together for the last 3 months.

Here we are back in January or February and yes, it is snowing. I have to say I wasn't super eager to get out for a run this day, but Robert insisted that it would help us to become "hard core" runners. :) Not sure we've really acquired that status, but we are having fun.

Now, just pray that his knee and a couple of old childbirth injuries in me will stay quiet so we can finish the race and continue our newest "couple hobby." (We feel our age most days!)

Spring Surprises

So, I just wanted to share two fun surprises I have received in the past week or so. First off...daffodils! It was my turn to host homeschool group yesterday, and my friend Aimee and her daughter Carol arrived with a bunch of daffodils. They were all closed up, but overnight opened up so beautifully and brought a bit of spring into the house. (It's been sunny here but still chilly - highs in the upper 40's/lower 50's)

The other surprise came in the mail from a blog reader! She found my blog through another one and then put it together that I was the author of Bagels, Buddy, and Me. She wrote to say that she had loaned her copy out often and then finally had never gotten it back. I wrote and offered her another complimentary copy, but she insisted on a barter. I'm pretty sure I got the better end of the deal in a jar of fresh "homemade" honey from her own honey bees! (She also sent this cute kitty note card - which Kayla was delighted by.) Shirley has a great blog featuring gluten free recipes and information on Celiac and gluten intolerance which you should stop by and check out!
Click here for a visit!

Gluten Free Friday - Christina's Chicken and Wild Rice Salad

At a homeschool potluck dinner a couple of years ago, my sweet friend and mommy/homemaker extraordinaire, Christina brought this wonderful dish. She, of course, had made something that our family could all eat. I had to get the recipe and have made it a couple of times since. It's a great spring and summer dish, so maybe that's why I'm thinking of it.....I'm so ready for warm weather!

Chicken and Wild Rice Salad

3 cups uncooked wild rice, cooked according to direction (usually 2 cups water per 1 cup rice)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup raisins
1 red and 1 yellow pepper cut in thin strips
1/2 box frozen tiny peas
cashews to taste
6-7 chicken breasts, poached in cream or broth and shredded

Dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup wine vinegar
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp salt

Combine all top ingredients in large bowl. Blend together dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Toss to coat. Serves 12-15 and is "even better on the second day," according to Christina and me too!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Great Loss

A few weeks ago, Robert and I were so saddened to receive the news of Dr. Harold Hoehner's death. Dr. Hoehner had been a renowned professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary for 42 years.

I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Hoehner about 18 years ago when I went home with his daughter and my college dorm suite mate and friend, Debbie Hoehner. (Debbie's sister Susan was below-mentioned Laura Wilcox's roommate whom I got to know a bit through having Bible study in their room, and I may have even been on a couple of dates with Debbie's brother David!) I remember Debbie taking me into her dad's study, books stacked all around, and saying that he was writing a commentary on the book of Ephesians. "At least that's what he tells us he's been doing in there for the past several years!" she joked.

The Hoehners hosted me with much warmth, and I went away greatly impacted by this godly and extremely fun family.

Debbie and I have kept in touch via phone and email through the years. She serves on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ in the city of Yekaterinburg, Russia where she works with university students and recently started a support and advocacy group for families of children with Down Syndrome. Two summers ago, she called to ask if we would be able to host her and her parents for a night, as they would be traveling in the New England area. We were so excited to see them.

They arrived on a Saturday afternoon and we enjoyed dinner and lively conversation on those two taboo topics.....religion(actually, Theology) & politics. I enjoyed showing Dr. Hoehner (he made us call him Harold) - the renowned New Testament scholar -Kory's beginning Greek workbooks! His wife, Gini, took great interest in each of the kids, even bringing them a gift - Puzzlemania magazines. (After returning to Texas, she sent them more in the mail!) Gini decided to head to bed around 10:30p.m., but Harold didn't seem quite ready to retire, so we offered him a bowl of ice cream. He accepted heartily and sat in our living room eating ice cream and talking with Robert for the next hour or so. Robert used the time to ask him questions about his conversion and to glean wisdom on other topics such as parenting. Debbie and I chatted in the dining room- half listening in, half catching up with each other and chopping fruit and vegetables for a lunch at church the next day. It was a rare and wonderfully refreshing evening!
(Having fellow Texans at our house in Amherst usually is!)

The next day, we all went to church together. Robert was taking a few weeks off from preaching since it was summertime, so we wondered if we should tell Nate, the young preacher of the morning, just WHO would be in the congregation that day. It might have added a bit of hermeneutical pressure! :)

The sermon was approved, and we enjoyed a salad lunch in the church basement before the Hoehners left for their next destination.

The following fall, Robert planned to preach/teach through the book of Ephesians. And guess whose commentary had been recently published? That's right, the papers and books that I saw stacked in that study all those years ago had finally been transformed into what most have called the best and most detailed commentary on the book of Ephesians ever written. And with just a few clicks of the mouse, it arrived at our doorstep late that summer so that Robert could glean yet again from Dr. Hoehner's years of study and experience.

We miss you being here, Dr. Hoehner, spurring us on to be students of the Word and sons and daughters of the Lord. And we pray for the Hoehner family to be comforted in their great loss.

This story reflects a mere 24 hours of time spent with Dr. Hoehner. Read on to grasp the scope of this wonderful man's godly legacy on so many others....

A Tribute to Dr. Harold Hoehner

Harold W. Hoehner...A Student and Colleague Remembers

Friday, March 13, 2009

Big Accomplishment By a Dear Friend

I was so excited to receive a very special package in the mail this week....a much-anticipated copy of a new Bible study called Capture My Heart, Lord. It is a nine-session study focusing on Christlike characteristics of the heart as well as historical women who embodied them. I can't wait to get started, and I'm tempted to lay aside my current study to do just that!
Another thing that makes this study so special to me is its author....my friend Laura Wilcox. Laura was my Bible study leader for a couple of years at The University of Texas. She made a huge impact on my life through her teaching and godly lifestyle. She also spent time with me one-on-one each week encouraging and challenging me in my faith, and helping me to lead other young women in the same way.

If you are looking for a fresh new Bible study to work on personally, or to do with other women at your church, I would heartily recommend this one! And you can check it out further or order copies here on Laura's webpage.

Congratulations, Laura...and thank you for your faithful example and friendship.

Gluten Free Friday - Turkey, Spinach & Goat Cheese Lasagna


I think I'm just becoming the queen of recipe alterations here! This recipe came from a magazine called Natural Solutions. I bought it because it had an article about Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance as well as some great sounding recipes. My hesitation to eat a lot of dairy products caused me to alter this lasagna recipe to my comfort level, and the result was a big hit with the whole family! A highlight is that it uses baked potato slices instead of pasta between the layers.

The article entitled "The Hidden Dangers of Wheat" was great and even included this information from one of the leading experts on Celiac Disease:

"Why does gluten tip the scales of health for so many people? 'None of us digests gluten very well,' says Peter H.R. Green, MD, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University in New York City."
and these quotes from the author of the article, Erinn Morgan...

"Too many people with celiac suffer for years without seeking help because they think stomach problems just run in the family - which of course they do because families pass along the genes that cause celiac disease. Many of these stoics find out they have celiac disease only when the onset of a malignancy or chronic disease like diabetes or Parkinson's leads to its discovery."

"Gluten is the only protein in nature that humans cannot fully metabolize."

This is such important info....the only protein that we can't completely metabolize! Celiac Disease is HIGHLY associated with ALL auto-immune disease like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, skin rashes, and more. It's definitely worth checking into when struggling with chronic gastro-intestinal issues, or other chronic health problems.

OK. End of sermon. Here's the recipe.... :)

Turkey, Spinach, & Goat Cheese Lasagna

2 lbs peeled baking potatoes, cut in slices (I used 4 med. potatoes)
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb. ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves pressed garlic
1 can tomato sauce
1 tsp dried basil
1tsp dried oregano
11 oz goat cheese
2 eggs
1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
parmesan and mozzarella to top, if desired

Cut potatoes into thin slices, place on baking sheet, coat slices lightly with olive oil, and bake @450* for 15-20 minutes until tender and beginning to brown on edges. Brown turkey with onion. Add tomato sauce, herbs, and garlic. Let simmer. In a bowl, mix together spinach, goat cheese, and eggs. In an oil coated baking dish, layer potatoes, half of spinach mixture, and half of tomato/turkey sauce. Repeat the layers once and top with cheeses if desired. (I topped mine with more potatoes and a bit of parmesan.) Bake for 30 minutes at 350*. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Birds, the Bees, and the Roosters...

Last weekend the men in my life were away for our church's annual "Burly Man Retreat" (no running water...outhouse...the whole bit) , and I thought it would be the perfect time to have some "girly time" with the little lady in my life. Kayla and I had been planning this for weeks....painting toenails, cuddling on the couch, and watching a girl movie for once - none of this Rocky/Lord of the Rings/Star Wars stuff! We watched Samantha...and American Girl doll movie. (Highly recommended, by the way!)

In thinking and anticipating our time together, I also thought it would be a good time to have The Talk with Kayla. You know, the "where do babies come from/puberty/you're going to be a woman someday soon" talk. Every "expert" I've ever read or talked to has said that kids should know "the whole story" by age 8. Yikes! At that age, they seem so innocent and unaware, but the thinking is that they are bound to hear it somewhere - from some already-enlightened-friend or acquaintance; so give them the information and if or when that happens, they can just yawn and say, "Yeah, my mom and dad already told me all about that."

So....I got out the book we have used in explaining this to our boys: Before I Was Born by Carol Nystrom, and I also bought a book called The Care & Keeping of You by Valorie Schaefer which is just for girls and all about how to take good care of your body especially when experiencing the changes puberty brings that are unique to young ladies. I asked Kayla if we could read a couple of special books before we did our nails and watched movies.
Well...she seemed to be really interested in the first one, especially the beginning about growing up, meeting a special someone, and having a wedding. But when we got to the part about what happens after the wedding, her eyes just opened wider and wider and wider - until they were big as saucers. I asked her if she had ever heard anything about this and she said no. She was shocked, to say the least, and I was one happy Mama! Happy that I was the first to talk with her about it...happy to share that moment with her no matter how awkward. Her only question when I finished reading:
"Mom, do you and Dad do that?"
Ugh.

We then went on to read parts of the second book, and she was embarrassed at times, trying to turn the pages quickly, but she soaked up the information with great intrigue. She slept with me that night but got in bed before me, reading by lamplight. She just pored over that book before bed, and it was confirmation to me that she is curious and giving her safe information in the context of our relationship was a good thing to do right now. I'm praying now that the Lord uses that evening to give her much confidence and freedom regarding those topics, and that it will only bring about more discussion, and foster openness.

The following day, we spent taking a visiting missionary couple and other friends on a tour of Boston and then to the airport there. As we were driving home, we began talking about needing to go out and check on our chickens, give them some fresh food and water, and gather any eggs. Kayla began having a little conversation with herself in the back seat about chickens: "I think baby chicks are so cute....but we won't have baby chicks unless we buy some more.....because we don't have a rooster....because if you want to hatch baby chicks there has to be a rooster around." Thoughtful pause, then.... "Mom, why is that?"

"Ummm, Welllll....remember that book we read last night about how God makes babies through mommies and daddies? Well, hens and roosters have to do the same thing. Not because they really love each other, but so that there will always be more chicks. Actually, honey, all animals do that to have babies."

I looked into the rear view mirror to see her reaction....
Eyes big as saucers and then the question:
"How?????"
(I went on to explain.)

How she missed all of this living in this sexually saturated world is beyond me. (And how she missed it after watching all of the Planet Earth DVDs is beyond me!) But, I am so thankful that she didn't have to learn it from Judy Blume and "enlightened" friends , like I did!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Gluten Free Friday - Barbecue Brisket

This is ALWAYS a big hit in our house and with guests. Brisket is sometimes hard to come by in this area, though. Whole Foods always carries it, but they charge $5.99 per pound. I can get it on sale sometimes, but a couple of times I've just bought at roast and prepared it using this recipe. If the roast is too thick, I slice it into two thinner pieces. Enjoy with cole slaw, beans, and scalloped potatoes...yum!

Barbecue Brisket

3-5 lbs beef brisket
1 cup ketchup (or you can use plain tomato sauce)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder (or fresh, pressed garlic)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
oil for browning

Brown brisket on both sides in heavy skillet in oil over medium heat. Mix together remaining ingredients for sauce. In baking dish, spread 1/4 of sauce in bottom and place browned brisket on top. Pour remaining sauce over brisket. Cover and bake at 350* for 3-4 hours.

And yes, Sherri, this is the recipe we used to feed Geoff Moore and the Distance when they came to MBC for a concert! :) Was that about 15-16 years ago?? I'm still making the same brisket with only a few variations from the one in the Pastor's Wives Cookbook that you gave me way back then!