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Archive | July, 2013

Fix it and Forget it Pork Chop Bake

30 Jul

It’s true…making homemade scalloped potatoes is not scary-in fact it is almost fool proof (trust me). This recipe was born out of my love for the potatoes but not of the strange looking dehydrated like potatoes you can buy in the box. This is a fix it a forget it meal. So versatile and you can easily add in extra ingredients and flavors to fit your likes. I will share the basic recipe and from there have fun making it your own!

Ingredients needed to get started.
First step add1-2 bouillon cube (s) to 1 3/4 C water and bring to a boil and remove from heat.
You want the bouillon cube to dissolve. Or go ahead and use equivalent already prepared stock (14 oz.)
In a large skillet  heat 1-2 Tbsp olive oil over med-high heat.
Season your chops with salt and pepper.
Add pork chops to pan and brown both sides-3-4 minutes per side.
While chops are frying prep your potatoes.
Nice and golden on both sides.
Add your sliced onions to the same pan. Let the onions cook in the drippings
Remove onions from pan.
Melt 2 Tbsp butter in hot pan.
Add the flour and whisk to make a roux.
Add in the chicken broth and cream of chicken soup( and optional cheese.and any other veggie add ins).Add the onions back in and turn heat to low.
Butter a 13×9 (or whatever works for you) casserole dish. And arrange
potatoes in an overlapping stacking pattern (yes, it is OK to arrange the potatoes in 2 layers-
it will still cook evenly and thoroughly).
Pour sauce over potatoes-no need to mix.
Lay pork chops on top of potatoes. No need to press them down.
Cover with foil and bake in a 350 oven for 65-75 minutes or for extra tender chops bake in
a 300 degree oven for 2-2 1/2 hours.
Ta-Da! Remove foil and let sit for 10 minutes to give the sauce a chance to thicken.

 

Click Here For Printable Recipe

See-easy 🙂  You can also make this ahead of time and stick it in your fridge until you are ready to cook. Just remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking to allow the pork chop bake to come to room temperature (ensures even cooking time and keeps meat from being tough).
Try adding sauteed mushrooms, different cream soups such as cream of mushroom or cream of celery, or our favorite green beans. Season with your favorite herbs and spices to give it even more flavor.  Try adding some grated cheese to the sauce-makes the dish even more decadent! This is also an easy meal to put together to bring to a sick friend or a family with a new baby.
~ Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca
Come find me on Pinterest!
rhm

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

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Being Intentional

26 Jul

praise

I am one of those gals that needs to be very careful and intentional with my faith.

I didn’t grow up in a Christian home so I lack a lot of the discipline and understanding that happens when you grow up in a faith filled family.  Being honest here,  I struggle immensely with my worldliness because I have lived and tasted that life, while shallow and lacking in substance, was still thrilling and fun.  I sometimes, maybe much like an addict, will see or hear something that gives me a hunger for a lifestyle long (mostly) forgotten.  It just sneaks in there without much cause or warning and I am left battling my heart against my flesh.  The enemy is tricky and knows where I am weakest.  Lucky for me, my God is stronger than my worst temptation and I know the more I seek Him the easier it will become to rely on the promises of our living God.

Romans 12:2 says-“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”.  Sanctification can begin as soon as I surrender and seek the will of God in my life but I can’t do this unless I am intentional with that relationship because it doesn’t come naturally-but as time goes on it does get easier.  Staying faithful requires endurance, much like a seasoned athlete, it takes careful preparation, training, and focus on the ultimate goal-which for me is having everlasting life.

What do I do to be intentional and remain in the Word?  First, I have to keep my Bible in plain sight along with a devotional or Bible study. Why is reading the Bible important?  Ephesians 6:11 says-“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” and Ephesians 6:17 goes on to say-“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”.   We have to be ready to face the enemy (Ephesians 6:17) and unbelievers (1 Peter 3:15) we do this by knowing the word of God.  In Matthew 4:4  Jesus says,  “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

It is important that I get involved in church and ministries.  God wants believers to come together in fellowship. Proverbs 27:17 says ” Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” When the body of Christ comes together we can restore each other (Galatians 6:1 and James 5:19-20), to love and encourage each other (I Thessalonians 5:11 and Hebrews 10:25-27), and to bear each others burdens and to forgive one another (Galatians 6:2 and Cololassians  3:13).  By coming together as the body of Christ we become more refined, effective in our calling, and have brothers and sisters in Christ directing us away from temptation.

Finally, I need opportunities to serve and love my neighbors.  Romans 12:13 says, “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”  By doing this, I can be a reflection of Christ’s love.  A concrete reminder that being the hands and feet of Christ demonstrates His love for all in a way that is selflessly sacrificial.

My brothers and sisters, how do you stay intentional?  I would love to know!

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

These Muffins are Bananas!

24 Jul

Let me tell you, I fail miserably at banana bread.  Burnt on the bottom, raw in the middle, deflated..I am not kidding! If there was a way to ruin it, I would. I have been on a mission to find the right combination of ingredients to yield a moist flavorful banana bread that cooks evenly throughout.  After a lot of trial and error…. I got to mixing and……..Houston, we got ourselves a winner;) I am really excited to share this simple yet delicious recipe for chocolate chip banana muffins. Let’s get baking!

You will need:
To preheat your oven to 400 degrees
3 very ripe bananas-1/2 C vegetable oil- 1/2 C sugar- 2 eggs-
1 tsp. vanilla-1 tsp baking powder-1/2 tsp baking soda-1/2 tsp salt-
1/2 tsp cinnamon-1 2/3 C all purpose flour-3/4 C chocolate chips-
cupcake pan-12 cupcake liners
Start off by adding 2-3 heaping Tablespoons of your already
measured out flour and add them to the chocolate chips. Why?The flour coats the chocolate chips and keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the batter.

 

Peel your 3 ripe bananas and with a fork mash them down well.
It is OK for there to still be lumps in the bananas

 

Add the oil and the eggs to the mashed bananas and give it a quick whisk.
Next, add the vanilla extract and sugar and whisk well to combine.
Add in the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and give it another whisk.
Whisk in the flour. Lastly gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Fill your cupcake liners with the muffin batter. If you use a 1/4 C
measuring cup you will get exactly 12 muffins. This is the first muffin
recipe that has ever worked out like that for me! YAY!
Bake 15-18 minutes at 400 degrees. Because ovens vary I would
check at about the 15 minute mark to see if they are cooked through.
If not continue to check at 2 minute intervals to be sure they don’t
over bake. They are finished when a toothpick inserted into the center of
the muffin comes out clean with no crumbs or batter stuck to it.
Remove from oven and let cool for 15-20 minutes before you bite into
these delicious muffins.
Recipe
3 very ripe bananas
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 2/3 C all purpose flour
3/4 C chocolate chips
12 cupcake liners
cupcake pan
and a sprinkle of love
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line your cupcake pan with the liners.
Add 2-3 heaping Tablespoons of your measured flour into the chocolate chips and mix well to coat the chips.
Peel bananas and mash well with a fork. Add oil and eggs to the banana mixture and whisk together.
Next, add vanilla extract and sugar and whisk to combine.
Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon: whisk well.
Add the all purpose flour and whisk well. Fold in the chocolate chips.
With a 1/4 C measuring cup start filling the liners with your batter (Remember, using a 1/4 C measuring cup will give you exactly 12 muffins).
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool 15-20 minutes and enjoy!
Makes 12 muffins
These muffins turned out moist and flavorful just as I had hoped. The balance of flavors is perfect. As always you can personalize this recipe to reflect the likes of you and your family. The muffins would also be delicious with some chopped walnuts mixed in the batter.
 
I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as my family did! Thanks for taking the time to stop by!
~ Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

Loving when you don’t Like

22 Jul

ImageAs a Christian, we get fired up to love like Jesus.  There are sweet thoughts of loving and caring for God’s people with unconditional limitations. Let’s be honest, there are just some people that you just don’t like.  I am guilty of this.  Despite my best intentions, I just can’t get over it.  How in the world am I supposed to love someone I just don’t like?  It seems the two, liking and loving, should go hand in hand. 

Usually, not liking someone stems from a past unresolved hurt.  In our humanness we hold on to hurt and allow it to remain a raw wound on our soul.  How do we begin the process of healing the hurt and learning to love like Jesus?

First, surrender it to the Lord.  Matthew 5:44 says” Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  I know, easier said than done.  Sometimes we hold onto it and practice in our head how revenge will be brought forth. We feel vindicated to store our hurts and disappointments in a chest that we can, from time to time, open and revisit like a treasured memory. It isn’t an easy or pretty process and God is OK with messy, be honest, He understands.  The more time we spend with Him the better our perspective of people become and the easier it becomes to forgive.

It is a process we can’t do alone. John 15:4 says “ Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”. We need to cleave to His promises and we will be given the strength and grace necessary to forgive, heal and ultimately love.

It is a process and journey.  Varying on the degree of hurt, it can be lengthy.  Each journey begins with a single step-one foot in front of the other, stepping out in faith, along you go. a Maybe a few times you trip or wander off course but you keep at it, one step at a time.   

Keep this in mind, Jesus didn’t command you to like, He commanded you to love (John 13:34).  My brother’s and sister’s, I pray the Lord will help you through your journey of forgiveness and learning to love as Christ commanded.  Sometimes hurts are so deep and raw you need to seek a professional.  I urge you to seek a Christian therapist, pastor, or a mature trusted friend to help you along. Trust in God’s Divine Providence, and it will be you that is blessed.

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca 

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

A Season of Transition

20 Jul

I have entered a new season of my life.  Let me go back a few steps.  I have spent the last several years helping lead a ministry that is for mother’s of preschoolers and younger.  I built close friendships and a tight community.  It was such a blessing to me to see how God worked in the lives of these mama’s who were just beginning their journey as wives and mother’s.  I was blessed enough to share my heart with these ladies about marriage, motherhood, and how God can use them in small but signifigant ways in this busy season of their lives.

This past May, I graduated out of the group.  I no longer had little ones so my time came to an end.  I spent so much of my time dedicated to this group, so when I left, I felt an extra large void in my life.  I kind of felt like two iron doors chained and locked closed behind me and I was left with an armful of memories and no clear direction to where I should go.  Please note that these are still very dear welcoming friends, I just don’t belong there in the same way I did before.  I was so focused on this ministry I was lost as to where to go next.  So I wandered…….

I spent time in prayer but was in a period of waiting on the Lord to lead my path.  The Lord chose not to answer right away.  I think he was refining me by teaching me patience and trust in His will for me.  It is hard to wait.  I wanted to jump right in to something else because I had a hundred ideas of things I wanted to do but didn’t have peace about.  In this time I had to neatly fold all my plans and lay them at the altar knowing that the will of God is so much greater than all the neat ideas I have swimming around in my head.

Several months ago God brought Titus 2: 3-5 to mind.  I kept thinking I have many Godly older women mentors-maybe God wanted me to have more?  I continued to pray about it and several weeks later while reading it for the hundreth time I finally got it!  God was telling me that I am the older women being spoken about in the verses.  Seriously? I was thinking, first, I have to leave a ministry I love and now God is telling me that I am old.

Reading this, I came to understand that the older women were teaching the younger women-I have daughters, I have a community of young wives and moters comming up right behind me.  I have almost 18 years of being a mama under my belt along with countless other experiences.  God has given me the gift of wisdom.  Am as as wise as I will ever be?  No, of course not, but enough to be an encouragement to other younger women.  To walk beside them as they are journeying a path I already took.

God is taking my youngish self and gathering my experiences and strengths and channeling them into something just as wonderful but different-and I am starting to be OK with it, dare I say excited.

God, gave me this precious break to regroup and put my focus right back on Him.  This has given me a more mature deeper relationship to the One who loves me most.  I’m still not sure what exactly all that God has in store for me but I do know that I can wait and trust in His perfect timing (proverbs 3:5-6).

Are you in a season of transition?  How is God working in your life during this time?  I would love to know!

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

God Will Meet You Where You Are

18 Jul

Finding a quiet moment when you are parenting little ones can be tricky.  There is never enough hours in the day.  Sleep is a precious commodity, and going to the bathroom alone requires careful orchestration. We are busy caring for our children and husbands, tackling a never ending laundry pile, cooking dinner, running errands, and a hundred other things.  Something has to give and unfortunately that usually means our quiet time (guilty!). Carving out a few minutes to meet alone with the Lord each day is so important-especially in this busy season. What are the benefits? Many. We get direction and wisdom from His word (Psalm 25:4-5).  We grow more like God and His word gives us truth and correction (John 17:17). We have the opportunity to delight in the Lord and to worship and thank Him (Psalm 29:2).  Those are just a few of the reasons.  God will meet you where you are. In the bathroom, in the car, and even at Target. Start small, a few minutes each day. Grab your Bible and/or a devotional and meet with God.

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

 

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Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

Bedtime Prayer

16 Jul

When night rolls around and all is quiet, I close my eyes and stretch my face toward heaven with a deep contented sigh I thank the Maker of the heavens and earth for another day to walk among His glorious creation. To revel in sweet sleeping faces, sticky floors, and tooth paste on the counter. I sit and count my blessings of the day and can think of many-freckles on little noses, white wispy clouds being blown away by a warm summer breeze, watermelon trickling down your chin, holding my husbands hand in the car, and hours of Candy land. I then leave my troubles at His feet. A smile and an amen, knowing that the Lord was in my today and He will be in my tomorrow. While I sleep, He is up to something and I pray that tomorrow I will glorify Him even more than I did today and that His will for me be done. Sweet dreams.

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

Copyright © 2013 · All Rights Reserved · www.andasprinkleoflove.com

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