Bread · Overwhelmed · Priorities · Uncategorized

Overwhelmed or Refreshed By Life?

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I’m just so overwhelmed!

Those words came from a wife, mom, employee, church member, daughter, daughter-in-law, who probably has lots more roles that she plays.  We’ve all been in the place where we feel like the pressures from every side are coming in on us.  So, how in the world DO we handle all those responsibilities?  They all need attention.  They’re all important, but we know we aren’t superwoman with super-powers enabling us to conquer the world in which we are engulfed.

What’s a woman to do? How do we get it all done?

I think we all have to re-evaluate often.  When we feel pressure about several things that need our attention, we have to stop and ask:

Is my life exemplifying a life that a is given over to the Lord to do as He wills each day?
Am I obeying His Word and priorities for my life?
Do my words and my actions match?

For instance, I love writing my blog, and my passion here is all about refreshment that begins with a relationship with Jesus Christ and then moves to family/home, then church and others.  If I follow the things I teach from God’s Word, I will keep blogging its right place.

This week we were able to make a quick trip to visit my family in Kentucky.  We celebrated Memorial Day on the lake with my sisters, their husbands and our parents.  It was a fabulous day.  At the end of the boating excursion and return to my parent’s home, we decided since it was late in the afternoon, we would wait and come home on Tuesday.  No blog post had been written for Tuesday, but I had a decision to make – visit with my family for those hours, or interrupt it with computer time.  The choice was simple. We had a great visit!

Here are some other practical examples that might happen in my life:

If it comes between…

  • Quiet time in God’s Word and rushing out the door…which will I choose? God is first.
  • Time at my church for services or time with visiting relatives?  God is first.
  • Time with friends at an extra outside activity or time I’d planned with my family?  Family is first.
  • Bible study with my small group or time to chill and watch a movie?  Others are first.
  • Time with my grandsons or time with my husband?  He is first.
  • Time to exercise or time to pray? God is first.
  • Time watching my friend’s children or watching my grandsons?  Family is first.

There are many times that I have regretted the poor decision to shift my priorities.  But I pray each day that the Lord will direct my steps and help me make the best choice, and He does when I lean in for His guidance.

One day last week I had an idea of what I would do that day and it got completely changed.  One event was when a friend stopped by.  She later sent a text apologizing for “keeping me,” but as I told her, when you give your day to the Lord, you take whatever He sends, and sometimes He sends the blessing of time with a friend when you didn’t expect it!  The Lord knew I needed that, even though I didn’t schedule it, He did! It refreshed me!

We need the Lord every single day for every moment of the day.  Rather than feeling overwhelmed, rest in God’s priorities for your life, and listen to His leading.  His plans are always better than what we could dream up, and when we lay our head on our pillow at night, we can say what Jesus said, “Lord, I have done the work you gave me to do.” His ways don’t overwhelm; they refresh.

What areas of your life do you need to re-evaluate according to God’s priorities for your life? Where do you feel most overwhelmed?

Don’t stress – Stay refreshed.

Denise

 

 

bagels · baking · Bread

Two-Ingredient Bagels With a Delicious Twist

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Oh, friends!  I’ve been playing around with the Two-Ingredient Bagels and I’ve come up with a couple of delicious ideas!  More about that in a minute!

Not only did I find this bagel recipe on Skinnytaste’s  site, (and on MANY other web sites!), I also found a recipe for the Everything but the Bagel seasoning on Two Peas and their Pod.  It’s pretty pricey to buy this jar in the stores.  I went to a bulk food store, found the ingredients and now I make my own!  It’s delicious!

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Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons flaked sea salt or course salt

DIRECTIONS:

Mix and stir.  Store in an air-tight jar.

Use on these bagels, baked potatoes, avocado toast, eggs…the possibility is endless!

I had hoped to share a video tutorial with you today, but after LOTS of trouble and time, it simply wasn’t happening.  So, I’ll share that next week, Lord willing!

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If you want to make the Blueberry or Brown Sugar bagels, here’s what I did:

Blueberry Bagels – To half of the dough, I added about 1/4 cup frozen blueberries.  I folded the berries in, then cut the dough in half.  I made a ball of dough out of each half, then cut a hole in the middle, using a melon baller.  I placed them on the silpat on a baking sheet.  Brush with egg white. Sprinkle lightly with white sugar.

Brown Sugar Bagels –  To half of the dough, I rolled it out on the counter, sprinkled it heavily with cinnamon and about 1/4 cup of raisins.  I folded the dough over a couple of times, then cut it in half, made two balls of dough, cut out the center and placed on a baking sheet covered with a Silpat.  Brush with egg white. I then sprinkled about a tablespoon of brown sugar over the top, as well as a sprinkling of cinnamon.  Next time I may try putting the brown sugar on both sides!

Bring to room temperature (about an hour) and then bake at 375° for about 20 minutes.

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I split them open, brushed them with soft butter and broiled them until toasted.

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Wow, these are good!  I hope you’ll try them soon!

I’ll hope to get the video posted next week.  In the meantime you can visit my You tube channel for other videos.

Which of these flavors appeal most to you?

Denise Signature 150 px

 

 

 

baking · Bread

The Easiest Bagels Ever!

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I’ve always wanted to make bagels, but the making of the dough, then boiling, then baking just seemed too laborious.  But when I came across a recipe for Two-Ingredient Bagels that require NO BOILING and had awesome reviews, I knew I had to give these a try!  They were:

  1. Made of only flour,  Greek yogurt (and leavening agents if you don’t use Self-rising flour)
  2. Fast!
  3. Easy
  4. DELICIOUS!!

One word of caution – you have to let the dough come to room temperature, so leave time in the baking process for them to sit out an hour.  You can make the dough the night before, let them set out, then bake them.

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The savory topping is so good!  We had a wonderful toasted sandwich using these bagels and I’m telling you, it was a gourmet-tasting lunch!  Here’s how to make them:

Two-Ingredient Bagels

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup (5 oz) unbleached all purpose flour, whole wheat or gluten-free mix*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it’s not expired or it won’t rise)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (use less if using table salt)
  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt (not regular yogurt, it will be too sticky)
  • 1 egg white, beaten (whole egg works fine too)
  • (optional toppings: everything bagel seasoning, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried garlic flakes, dried onion flakes)**

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Place parchment paper or a silpat on a baking sheet. If using parchment paper, spray with oil to avoid sticking.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk well. Add the yogurt and mix with a fork or spatula until well combined, it will look like small crumbles.
  3. Lightly dust flour on a work surface and remove dough from the bowl, knead the dough a few times until dough is tacky, but not sticky, about 15 turns (it should not leave dough on your hand when you pull away).
  4. Divide into 4 equal balls. Roll each ball into 3/4-inch thick ropes and join the ends to form bagels. (or you can make a ball and poke a hole in the center then stretch it slightly)
  5. Top with egg wash and sprinkle both sides with seasoning of your choice. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 25 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.
  • You can wrap leftover bagels in plastic and reheat the next day without refrigerating, or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • To freeze, slice open and wrap individually with foil or plastic wrap. To reheat pop them back into the oven, toaster

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bagels 1
Ready for the oven!
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Lovely, brown bottoms!
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How good does that look?!

These are only 152 calories, friends!  You will love these soft, savory bagels!  There’s a seriously delicious breakfast or lunch in your future if you make these!

Guess what?  My weekly video on Thursday will be a step-by-step tutorial on making these bagels!  So if you’re not sure you can pull this recipe off, be sure to tune in for some simple instruction!

Happy baking!

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

baking · Bread · Quick Bread

Wonderful, Quick Breadsticks

Bread.  It is the sustenance of life.  Winter soups need breadsticks for dipping.  Pasta needs a breadstick for sopping up sauce, and Sunday roasts need one to mop up gravy.  Am I right?

Breadsticks 2b

 

 

I’m always on the search for a better roll, fluffier biscuit or quicker breadstick.  One day this winter when I was making my Cheese Ravioli with Tomatoes, I found this recipe on Pinterest, at Genius Kitchen and had to give it a try because the reviews were fabulous.  I halved the recipe and it was perfect for a couple of meals.  Oh, these are good.  These are fast.  These need to be in your recipe file!

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Soft, Quick Breadsticks

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make dough using your favorite method- bread machine, mixer or by hand.
  2. Roll out into a 10×12 inch rectangle.
  3. Cut into strips about 3/4 inch wide.
  4. Give each strip a twist and place on a greased cookie sheet.
  5. Let rise for at least 20 minutes or more if you have time.
  6. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Brush with butter and sprinkle with garlic salt and Parmesan cheese.

The next time you make anything that has sauce of any kind, you need to whip this recipe up.  I’m ditching every other breadstick recipe and keeping this one.  You should too!

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What kind of meal would you make these breadsticks to accompany?  Are you a “dipper?”

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baking · Bread · Cooking · dessert · Dinner · dinner in 30 minutes · entertaining · Fall · main dish · Pasta · soup

Roll Call of Fall Favorite Foods

I’m not sure what it is about fall and winter that bring a variety of foods to our mind, but aren’t we all thinking about comforting casseroles, warm soups, and pumpkin everything?  I thought I’d gather together some of my favorites in those categories and highlight them all in one post for you today!  My recipe index here on my blog could be overwhelming, so maybe this list of a few favorites will help your October to be delicious!

meat loaf meal
I’m not a mac and cheese fan, but this recipe is fabulous!!!  I’d eat it every day if I could!

Casseroles
Mexican Chicken Casserole
Countryside Chicken Bake
The Best Ever Mac and Cheese
Taco Casserole
Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cheese

Breads
Nutty Orange Coffee Cake – Perfect for breakfast or brunch!
French Breakfast Puffs – Breakfast or brunch
Butter Dips – Delicious with supper!
Low-Fat Baking Powder Biscuits – Any time you need a biscuit – breakfast or supper!

Soups
Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder
Sausage Corn Chowder
Butternut Squash Soup – I made this again last week.  It’s heavenly!
Taco Soup
Baked Potato Soup

Oh, this cake!!!!  Love it.

Pumpkin
Pumpkin Muffins – Great addition to breakfast or a fall supper!
Pumpkin Roll Step by step instructions in my post!  You can make this!
Pumpkin Crunch Cake – Fast and incredible!
Pumpkin Bread – Make small loaves to share.
Pumpkin Scones with Berry Butter – Oh my goodness, these are fantastic!!

Pumpkin Scones with Berry Butter Recipe
Picture credit:  Taste of Home

 

If you’ll be hosting any fall event, having guests over, or cooking supper for your own family and want to try something new and delicious, here’s a great list to pull from!  These are some of my favorite fall foods that are tried and true!

If you need suggestions for other categories – salad, easy bread, breakfast, etc.) just leave a comment.  I’ll be happy to help you!

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

 

baking · Bread · Uncategorized

Sour Dough Bread

sour dough breadOver 30 years ago I received a mason jar containing the sticky substance called, Sour Dough Bread Starter.  I have kept that dough going all these years, making untold number loaves of bread, English Muffins, and  Cinnamon Rolls!  If you’ve ever had sour dough, you know what a delicious flavor the “sour” starter gives the bread.  I don’t know the science behind it, I only know it’s good and I want it the rest of my life!

Sour dough is also a very easy dough to put together.  Beginning a starter can be a little tricky, so if you know someone who has a starter already, ask for a cup of theirs to be sure it will be active and cause your bread to rise!

But if you want to try your hand a beginning a starter here’s what you need:

To start: Place in a mason type jar:
1 cup warm water
3/4 Cup sugar
3 tbl. instant potato flakes

Stir and let set on counter all day. It should be in a place that is a little warm.  Place lid on jar and cover lightly (don’t fasten all the way down). Let set 3-4 days.

The starter will have a fermented fragrance.  It will also have little bubbles on top and kind of “sizzle.”

To make bread with that starter:

Add the same ingredients again to starter. Let set all day on counter.
The Next day you can make bread:
Ingredients
6 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 tbl. salt
1/3 C sugar
Mix, then add:
1 C of the starter (place remaining cup back in the fridge)
1 1/2 C very warm water (110 degrees)
1/2 C oil

Mix, then turn out on floured board and knead lightly. Place dough back in oiled bowl. Cover and set in warm place ’til dough is doubled in size.

Sour dough 2a
Punch down dough. Divide in half. Place in two greased loaf pans. Let rise ’til about an inch higher than bread pan.

Sour Dough rising 1

Bake at 375 degrees about 25 min.  Allow to cool before slicing (if you can resist!).

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As I mentioned, you can make all kinds of other breads from this starter. My favorite way to eat this bread is toasted – either for breakfast or as a grilled sandwich.  It’s fantastic!!

I hope you’ll give this a try.  Maybe in 30 years you’ll still be making up hot loaves from the starter your received in 2017!

Who else has used sour dough starter?  Who loves sour dough?  

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px