Thursday, November 13, 2014

We will always love you, Baxter!

   I will post more on this sometime in the future. Today I am so broken hearted I can say no more. Isaiah 61:1 tells us what God told Isaiah to write about Jesus, "He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,...”. Nehemiah 8:10 says, Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. So, I have told God that I believe His Words are true, and that I know He will heal my broken heart. I now thank Him for that. My healing will come because God is not a liar and I can trust what He has told me. I am going to spend quality time in my Bible because we find joy spending time with Him in His Word, and that makes us strong. God is always my go to for anything, and He being Love never fails me.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Something Sweet

  I have a history with bananas and peanut butter, and bananas and oatmeal.  Do any of you remember the fluffernutter? 

That sandwich was my favorite after school snack. Here is the link that picture came from. We almost always had bananas on hand while I was growing up, and I put one on my fluffernutter when we did. I do not have a picture for this so I was tickled to find one online. I was delighted to see I was not the only one adding banana to my fluffernutter.

This picture comes from this blog. She deep fries the sandwich. I never did that, nor did I ever toast it. I loved the soft gooeyness of the sandwich. The reason I have no pictures is because I never buy loaves of white sandwich bread anymore, have not done for years. And, I only have Marshmallow Fluff around during the holidays. Here is a cute link I stumbled on while strolling down Memory Lane. This next link will take you to a blog post that has recipes I use for Peanut Butter Banana Date Bread, and Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins. I leave the chocolate chips out of those muffins as you will see. I did love them in these cookies though! Here is the link for those.

   I really do not have a sweet tooth, but last night about 9:00 I was thinking something sweet sounded good. I decided to check my email and facebook instead ~ and then head for bed. Yeah... the best laid plans and all that... there it was. A dear woman I know had just posted something on facebook, and this is what it was.

Sinless Cookies, no less.

   Well, bananas and peanut butter... hmmm. I have been using up bananas for the last few days by mashing one in my oatmeal, so I figured this would get rid of two of the three left. :-)  Oh how we can reason and rationalize? Anyone relate? This all took place within the next twenty~five minutes.
That is it for the ingredients.

That is it for any real effort needed to be made ~ there is the last of the really ripe bananas.

I did not have dark chocolate chips, but I imagine those semi~sweet ones will do.

Ready for the oven.

That's it for clean up, this was just too simple.


These are very, very good.

My oatmeal and banana breakfast was a little different this morning. YUM!!!

 I can assure you, those little semi~healthy gems hit the spot that was wanting something sweet.  A few days ago I was studying how Jesus operated while on this earth and come across this verse. 

They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey,
even honey dripping from the comb. 
Psalm 19:10

In Psalm 19:1-14, David is talking about two ways that God reveals Himself to man. General revelation comes through His creation; specific revelation comes through His Word. In verse 10 David is talking about how sweet the Word of God is. Jesus was the Word made flesh and so that verse was key in that study. Reading it reminds me of the hymn, There’s Within My Heart a Melody. The refrain of that hymn says:
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, 
sweetest name I know, 
fills my every longing, 
keeps me singing as I go.

Jesus is the sweetest name I know, I love Him and I love the Word of God, it is sweet.

   The name of the woman that put that recipe on facebook is, Jan. Years ago while in my twenties, I found myself with three small girls and divorced. Jan was very kind and accepting of me, and let me just say without being nasty, that was not real common in the church I was in. She was a quiet and hard working woman with a sense of humor and a tremendous drive to serve God through being a wife, mother, and a vital part of the churchs' youth. She has been faithful to that call all of these thirty some years, and I suspect always will be. She also had tremendous compassion for single women with children. She was very kind to me, and caring. She offered her friendship to me. Her words were encouraging, uplifting and sweet. The cookie recipe she offered last night on facebook did hit the sweet tooth spot, and I will make them again. Her words and investment in my life all those years ago made a permanent impact on my life. Her desire to serve Jesus Christ benefitted me in a priceless and powerful way. If I do not make those cookies for a while, I will remember they were good but I won’t get the benefit of enjoying them without making them again. But, what Jan did for me all those years ago, I have never, and will never forget. I could not forget that sweetness, that fruit of the Spirit of God ~ even if I tried.

   This blog is called Honeycomb Cottage, and there is Bible verse attached to it.

Kind words are like honey~
    sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
Proverbs 16:24

That is not just some sappy little verse I pulled out of my hat to use because my blog is named, Honeycomb Cottage. I named the blog because of the verse. What we say to people is powerful. Our words can make or break a person. 
Sticks and stones
can break my bones, 
but words will never harm me. 

was an old English rhyme to teach children to not retaliate when teased, insulted or taunted by others. Later it became a nursery rhyme and "harm me" was changed to "hurt me." Either way it is a lie. Words have the power of life and death in them.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:21

   I like the little saying that says, Keep your words soft and sweet you never know when you may have to eat them. Well, God's Word says you will eat them so I choosing sweet ones rather than nasty, sarcastic, demeaning... you get the idea... words is the better way to go. Someone being kind and speaking sweet words to me changed my life. We can choose what we say, and I am so thankful for Jan's choice. Her life has shown the love of God to everyone she has met. I know God's hand was in her being a part of mine. 

   Be that kind person with sweet words that you want someone to be to you. It is amazing how much that is needed, and how far it can take someone. Sweet little treats are nice for the moment, but it is the sweetness of someone living out the Word of God in your life, someone blessing you with the fruit of the spirit out of their life that lasts.

   I would love to hear how someone has made a difference in your life with the power of their words.

May the words of my mouth
    and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to You,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tomato ~ Basil Tart

   June 1st I left for a four week holiday to see daughters and grandchildren. We returned home Sunday evening, June 29th. By mid~morning Tuesday, everything needing laundered was done and the rest was unpacked and all put away, house was vacuumed, mopped, dusted, bathroom cleaned and kitchen surfaces and appliances wiped down, the needed mowing was done while gone and now the needed tidying in the yard was done, all of the lawn furniture has been cleaned, the mail had been gone through and a quick catching up of email was accomplished. Sigh.... then it was on to the rest of this wonderful summer. First thing was to assemble and bake a Tomato ~ Basil Tart.

   Before leaving I planted some flower seeds, flowers and herbs. When we returned home one variety of the flowers, and the basil and lavender were truly flourishing. In my last post I promised that this one would have a recipe for a savory pie I made from one of my favorite cookbooks in my personal collection by Phylliss Pellman Good, Favorite Recipes With Herbs. Here it is using some of that wonderful basil.

   Tomato ~ Basil Tart

I wish you could smell the lovely fragrance that was coming from those warm sun drenched leaves.

Simple and few ingredients. Yes, I am using a store bought pie crust. I had been gone a month, back a day and a half, ‘nuff said.

I pat the tomatoes with paper towel and then give them plenty of time to dry. You want them as dry as possible.

Basil cleaned, dried off and ready to chop with the garlic.

The cheese melts quickly and nicely in the hot crust.

Add the tomatoes.

Distribute chopped basil and garlic.

Evenly spoon and spread cheese mixture on top. 

Protect crust.... and to the oven!

Golden and Bubbly!

Can be eaten warm, but it must cool some to slice properly and not burn your mouth. I also really enjoy this cold.
   Please forgive me for not getting a piccie of the served tart. We were ready to eat and I did not want to hold things up grabbing my phone to snap one. I thought for sure there would be leftovers for that later. Wrong. Mental note, in the future, snap piccie then eat. This recipe is very good. For me it isn't Thanksgiving without Dad's Stuffing, Christmas without my Danish Kringle, spring without Strawberry Shortcake, or summer without this Tomato ~ Basil Tart. I hope you will try it. Please let me know if you do, I would love to know how you liked it.

This is the the cookbook I so enjoy that the recipe is in.

The recipe.

Tomato~Basil Tart

Makes 8 appetizer servings or 4 main dish servings.

9" pie crust
1  1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
4  medium-sized tomatoes
1  cup loosely packed basil leaves (1/3 cup dried)
4  cloves garlic
1/2  cup mayonnaise
1/4  cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8  tsp ground white pepper
Fresh basil leaves for garnish
  1. Bake pie crust. Remove from oven Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese. cool on wire rack.
  2. Dice tomatoes. Drain on paper towels. Arrange tomato chunks on melted cheese in baked shell.
  3. Combine basil and garlic in food processor. Cover and process until chopped. Sprinkle over tomatoes.
  4. Mix together remaining Mozzarella cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and white pepper. Spoon cheese mixture over basil mixture, covering evenly.
  5. Bake at 375° for 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden and bubbly. Garnish with fresh basil. Serve warm.

   Before I left for my wonderful time with family, I began reading the book, Crash the Chatterbox. I mentioned that here. On the first page of the Introduction, I wanted to grab my highlighter and start capturing significant points the author was making. That urge continued throughout the first chapter. I went to the library to see if an extended due date was a service they offered. It is and they extended the date to a few days past my expected arrival home. My daughter is buying books from a list of "to read books before high school" for two of her children. I wanted to check Barnes & Noble for Crash the Chatterbox, and possibly the author's book that preempted it, Greater, to purchase both if possible. She wanted new books for the kids. Barnes & Noble, and lunch at Chipotle Mexican Grill became our Sunday afternoon. There was one copy of each book I was hoping to find! I bought both. I then chose to stop reading Crash the Chatterbox and read them in order, Greater first. So far I am enjoying these books and may share more about them later.

   Of course lingering in the bargain books area at the front of any Barnes & Noble is my common practice. I mean after all, one has to go right through there to check out. :-) I have plenty of a variety of cookbooks, and of course the internet is a wealth of excellent recipes. I have to say, I have become very prudent and exercise tremendous self control when it comes to purchasing cookbooks.

   This gem had me the moment I saw that scrumptiously titillating Beef & Stout Pie on the cover. Dang photographer and printer... geez. This book was $9.99 and a great find at twice the price. Cookbook purchasing moratorium or not, I happily purchased it, and carried it home with glee. I just love reading the recipes, and the photos are lovely. I am very certain you will see some of the recipes I make from its pages. In fact, the Dublin Coddle on page 68 has been speaking to me. I am about to answer. :-)

  In the meantime, out at the garden, the sage and parsley are really doing well and I need to clip some of both. I am going to do just that and make the Sage Beer Bread on page 72 of the Favorite Recipes With Herbs Cookbook. Who knows? I may just make it to serve with the Dublin Coddle instead of the traditional Soda Bread.

   It is already the middle of, July. Enjoy your summer ~ it is slipping by.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Shoo~Fly Pie after the 4th of July

   My daughters all celebrated the 4th of July so differently this year. My oldest daughter and her family reserved and rented a shelter at a park near their home. My daughter next in line and her family hosted an all American Barbecue at their home. This daughter has a major league baseball farm team close to her home. They ever so graciously provided a beautiful fireworks show for her and her guests to see right from her back yard. :-)  My youngest daughter and her family went to Hilton Head, South Carolina for the week. Jon and I however did something different this year. We took a drive and went to Amish Country.

Here are some photos my daughter sent me of things she put together for her 4th of July BBQ.
Front door decoration she made.
Cupcakes she made, we are a marshmallow family!
Her own pasta salad that she dyed the pasta in patriotic colors for.
Her twist on a how a Mason jar can show up 
at the celebration! Wish you could see the coffee 
bar it sits on she created from their home.


   Living in the Washington D.C. area as a child I had the opportunity to go to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where we visited Hershey Park and my favorite part of those trips, the Amish country. This Amish area of Pennsylvania had such beautiful country side, gift shoppes with beautiful trinkets, fudge and handmade toys like you would never find in a regular toy store, tours of farms with a tour to teach you about Amish life, farm animals, farm houses, farmer’s markets with cheeses, meats and beautiful vegetables and herbs (yes, I loved gardening as a little girl ~ should post on that sometime),... and the meal! I loved the food! Fresh homemade bread, soup, right out of the garden carrots, tomatoes, pole beans with bacon drippings, new red potatoes boiled with butter and chives, potatoes mashed with real and fresh butter, gravy, delicious cole slaw, amazing chicken ~n~ noodles and smoked ham, rhubarb!!!!, and there were cobblers yes.... but the pie.... oh the Shoo~Fly Pie!

   When we moved to Indiana, I was able to frequently visit Nappannee where there was an Amish settlement and a more commercialized area called, Amish Acres. There you would find along with other beautiful things like homemade quilts and fudge, the Thresher's Dinner. On the 4th of July this year Jon and I went to the Amish country in Eastern Ohio. We bought a game neither of had ever heard of, WORDICAL. We love word games, our whole family does. 

We drove and saw beautiful country and lovely Amish people.... and of course goats, cows and their young and as you would expect.....

...horses and their young everywhere. So beautiful and peaceful is the Amish life. Then it came time to eat and head home. For reasons beyond my understanding there was not a slice of Shoo~Fly Pie to be found ~ anywhere. One restaurant will does make it and if a days' notice is given they will make it the following day. Amish country without Shoo~Fly Pie just makes no sense to me. So.... the next day I pull out a cookbook my mother bought on one of our Lancaster County, Pennsylvania trips and went straight to the Shoo~Fly Pie recipe we used at home all those years ago. Here it is.

   Before I go any further I want to tell you I do not use shortening for this recipe. As always, except some pie crusts and rare bakers frostings, I never use shortening or lard, butter~REAL butter only. I also want to tell you that to make this pie you need to add the crumbs to the molasses mixture and fold in gently until the crumbs are somewhat blended in well. This recipe tells you to "add crumbs" after wet ingredients are in the crust. I did do it the way the recipe says this time. This method gives the "wet bottom" Shoo~Fly pie result. If you love molasses like I do that is fine. Adding the crumbs while the wet ingredients are in the bowl gives the true Shoo~Fly Pie result you really want, a coffee cake consistency. I will go back to doing it that way as I have in the past. This book is probably no longer available since Mom bought it in 1971 or 1972, I think. It is full of wonderful and authentic Amish recipes so I will give you the ordering page in the back of the book. The cover is no longer on the book, it was missing when Mom died so I can not give that to you.

Here is the process in piccies.

Simple ingredients. Amish are after-all known for their simple lifestyles.

Make sure your crumbs are fine.

I do boil the water as it gives a much better consistency. Can you see the steam?

You can see the aerated baking soda bubbles the boiling water caused. 

I started to add the crumbs and dropped a bit there, otherwise that is what this recipe looks like before crumbs are added.

Crumbs on top and settling in to the wet ingredients some.

Crust protected and oven ready.

This pie takes a while to cool.

High time for pie time!! It has been years since I have had Shoo~Fly Pie!

   I love the simplicity and pureness of the Amish life. True enough, I do not believe our faith is meant to be kept to ourselves, among ourselves. If there was only one church that fostered a clique mentality there would be too many. Our faith is meant to be shared. Amish do not do that, they do stay to themselves. However, I think people in general could learn much from them that would put feet on their faith. There is much to be appreciated about the Amish lifestyle.

   I am going to insert a link here. The recipe here for Shoo~Fly Pie is closer to the one I would prefer to use, and will I will try it soon. You will notice a woman, Phyllis Pellman Good, mentioned on that page in reference to her book, Amish Cooking. My next post will be another pie, savory not sweet, that I made last week from her cookbook, Favorite Recipes with Herbs. That cookbook is one of my personal favorites from my cookbook collection. 

But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you,that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

I hope you are enjoying your summer!

Friday, July 4, 2014

We are blessed this 4th of July!

   Happy 4th of July!! There is plenty of "God Bless America" being said today. I would like to offer a thought here. God has blessed America from her very beginning. We were founded by godly men on godly principles. Because of that God has continued to bless this country in spite of the ungodly legislation that is not just introduced but passed, in spite of ungodly material that blasts the television, movies and internet American's call entertainment, and the watering down of the Word of God in churches to attract attendance. My thought is, how about this, "Thank You Father for blessing our nation, thank You for Your faithfulness, and 'America Bless God!'"?

Photo was taken from the facebook page of Mary Lauber, the worlds best Scottie photographer, ever!