As You Go this Christmas


If you’re visiting me from Karen Ehman’s 12 Days of Christmas Blog Tour, Welcome!

The call came at the worst time. I was driving home in terrible traffic, it’d been a crazy day.  I couldn’t wait to get home. My friend on the phone said, “Sharon, I need you to come to the hospital! Dad had a stroke, he’s dying. Come fast.” I got off the phone and groaned, Lord, I’m too tired... I prayed…

 His blood pressure was almost gone. His heart rate faint. I was out of energy and didn’t feel like I had anything to give as I walked into the hospital room. The family was weeping. I laid my hand on his motionless body. Immediately a song came to mind, “There’s Power in the Blood of the Lamb.” I asked if anyone knew the song. A few did, including the nurse. ”Sing it!” I said. All we could remember was the chorus. Soon, the weeping stopped. The more we sang, the louder we got.

 We laid our hands on him and prayed. Nothing happened. I came the next morning. He was the same. We anointed him with oil as it says to do in James 5. He opened one eye—that’s it.

 I came back hours later to find the room empty! Oh no, I thought. I walked down the hall looking for the family and someone grabbed my arm TIGHTLY! It was HIM! I looked in his eyes as they overflowed with tears and he proclaimed, “There is POWER in the blood of the Lamb!” I was speechless. They released him from the hospital.


 This morning I was feeling sorry for myself because we haven’t had time to put up a Christmas tree, wreath or any other decorations yet.  I haven’t even gone shopping or watched a Christmas movie. Life has been busy. As I contemplated it with the Lord, He gently reminded me of what was really important.

Jesus sacrificed EVERYTHING to come to earth and be born to a virgin, into the poorest family, he lived sacrificially and paid the ultimate price for our salvation! As I pondered His whole life, my lack of Christmas decorations became trivial.

Then,Matthew 10:8 came to mind. Jesus told his disciples, “And as you go, preach that the kingdom is at hand, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. . .freely you have been given, freely give.”

 “As we go” this Christmas, may we  take our eyes off ourselves and be ready to give what has been freely given to us—no matter the cost.

 Peter and John were on their way to them temple and as they went a lame man asked for their help.  Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give. In the Name of Jesus Christ get up a walk.” The man went walking and leaping and praising God!

 Christmas tree and gifts have I none, but what I have, may I freely give!

May I never be too tired or busy that I forget to give the best gift everywhere I go, because there IS– Power in the Blood of the Lamb!

If you're visiting me from Karen Ehman's 12 Days of Christmas blog welcome!

If you’re visiting me from Karen Ehman’s 12 Days of Christmas blog, welcome!I have a giveaway on her blog and 12 of my favorite cookie recipes!


Valentine’s Day Recipes and Movie

Valentine's Day Breakfast

Valentine’s Day Breakfast

This year, make Valentine’s Day memorable for your entire family without breaking the bank!

There’s no need to venture out to a restaurant and subject yourself to the movie theater, when you can make it even more special at home…

This past week Dale and I watched an amazing movie that I want to share with you. It’s a love story. Quo Vadis is a romantic and powerfully heart- gripping film that was created by MGM in 1951. It beautifully portrays the conflict between pagan Nero, his Rome, and early Christianity in a stirring love story between an agnostic Roman general and a Christian woman. Can you sense the tension yet?

The Apostles Paul and Peter are both characters in this moving film.
It’s directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Produced by Sam Zimbalist and adapted from Henryk Sienkiewicz’s classic 1896 novel- Quo Vadis.

It’s a three-hour movie! But, don’t worry- you won’t get bored! The first two hours are setting the scene for the final hour. Be awake and fully alert for the finale. You won’t want to miss a second. That’s the part when you’ll literally be sitting on the edge of your seat. (Oh and have a tissue or two nearby.)

Its rated PG, but there are moments that wouldn’t be good for younger children to see; Christians eaten by lions and burned at the stake as sport in Nero’s Coliseum. However, it is NOT a scene to fast forward through. It is one of the most POWERFUL moments to see on screen when the lions are unleashed into an arena full of Christians. (GULP/GASP…)

At first fear grips them. Then they start to sing and worship. The entire stadium is in awe and amazement. The scene is a testimony even to this day that we are to worship even in face of death, hardship and persecution. Oh King Jesus, help us all to worship on the hardest day of our life!

I shouldn’t say more since I don’t want to spoil anything for you. But there’s more- so much more. The love story is. . . epic.

MGM spared no cost in making this film. Thirty-thousand people were used in one scene. It is a story of immortal combat. Once a man has the zeal of

the Lord within him- the fire within cannot be quenched! He can and will endure anything for the sake of love.

A few important questions to ask ourselves…

What will I be doing when persecution presents itself? How will I choose to give glory to God even in the face of suffering?

My suggestion for Valentine’s day evening is to enjoy a homemade simple dinner at home and  rent Quo Vadis from Amazon for $2.Quo_Vadis_-_Be_-_1951

I don’t have cable or watch television shows so my review of a movie may be different from yours but I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it.

Here is part of summary of the movie Quo Vadis:

“QUO VADIS was made in the days when major studios like MGM were willing to invest absolute fortunes in unabashed Christian epics. It was like spending an AVATAR budget on a movie with the message of COURAGEOUS.It’s the story of the Christian martyrs in Rome contrasting gross pagan excess with Christian love and compassion. It deserves a Plus Four Acceptability for its profound Christian message but slight caution should be applied to young children because even tastefully done images of martyrdom can cause young children anxiety.

…On that road, General Marcus Viniculus (Robert Taylor) returns to Rome after conquests in Britain. Emperor Nero (Peter Ustinov) has him camp his troops outside the city and wait for a spectacular entry to provide the proper conquering hero victory procession for the entertainment of the Roman citizens.

Marcus is instructed to wait in the home of retired General Plautius, whose whole household is Christian, including Lygia (Deborah Kerr), a hostage the general adopted as his own daughter. Marcus mistakes Lygia as a slave. His bold advances show a very low regard for women. Marcus is frustrated and puzzled that Lygia is not thrilled by such an important general as himself showing interest in her. Her Christian values don’t fit his pagan concept of male/female relations.

Marcus’ victories are celebrated with a massive spectacle. Because all hostages are at the mercy of the Emperor’s wishes, Nero rewards Marcus with the gift he desired, Lygia.

Feminists who consider Christian’s attitudes about marriage to be a form of bondage should see this movie. The Romans treated women like sex objects for sale, while Christians considered women partners in having and raising a family. Nero had his wife and his mother murdered.

Peter Ustinov’s Nero is a truly disturbing character. Like Hitler he justified the senseless killing of thousands in pursuit of his own warped sense of greatness. His decision to burn Rome, so he could rebuild it as he wished, was horrific enough. He then blamed it on Christians and made a spectacle of feeding them to lions and burning them on crosses before a Coliseum full of spectators.

As Nero becomes more and more crazed, Marcus begins to see the purity of Lygia’s Christian faith and values. Also, the words of Paul and Peter ring out with moral and spiritual clarity. He decides to take a stand, but Nero sentences him and Lygia to death in the Coliseum. Only a miracle can save them.”

Another movie I LOVE is the 1948  Joan of Arc read my review here. 

Is Date Night Mandatory? 

Yummy Gluten Free Valentine cookies, Valentine’s Day Goodiesvalentine-105valentine cookie-pancake-eggs 018

Valentine breakfast recipes!

Valentine's Day Breakfast

Valentine’s Day Breakfast

Gingerbread Legacies

Our three new grand babies  and son in law gingerbread cookies

Our three new grand babies and son in law gingerbread cookies

One of my favorite Christmas decorations is our permanent gingerbread ornaments with family names on them.  This year, the Lord has graciously added to us three grandchildren and a son in law.

I love these ornaments because each one tells a story. I love to reflect on memories of the ones who have passed into their eternal home.

Great Grandma Rowley didn’t have any money.  She didn’t give presents or Christmas cards.  She never really spoke unless spoken to.   I’ll never forget my conversations with her.  She talked about Jesus like I’d never heard anyone talk.

The last time I saw her, she was in her late nineties and her mind and body were going.  She stayed awake all night and slept in the day.  It was hard on the family.  I walked into her room this particular night and she appeared not to be in her right mind until I asked her to tell me about Jesus.

Her face lit up like a Christmas tree.  Peace filled her countenance and a smile took over her confusion.  Her slumped over body straightened right up.  Tears filled her eyes and then it was like a fountain of living water came forth from her.  “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus oh I love His name. He is wonderful, He’s my Counselor, my Mighty God, He’s my Everlasting Father, my Prince of Peace…”

She radiated almost like she was in Heaven and not on Earth in her spirit. She didn’t stop talking!  She couldn’t! I eventually had to walk out of the room to take care of our children who were waiting to be put to bed.  When I finished, I came back in the room and she was still recounting His glory and majesty!

I’ve never forgotten that night.  She gave the best Christmas gift I could have ever received from her. What else do I know about her?  Did she keep a clean house?  I don’t know! Was she organized?  I don’t know.  It doesn’t matter.  What did she do in her spare time?  She read the Word.

None of us know if we will be here next Christmas…

A question that comes to my heart during this time of year, is “what story will be told of us?”  If our family in the distant future were hanging our gingerbread person on the tree and our story was being told, what would be said?

When I’m ninety-eight years old and my great, great grandchildren walk in the room and ask me to tell them about Jesus- I want Him to flow out like a river.  I want my love for Him to be a mighty rushing river flowing from that place within, that never grows old.  His Presence and life abiding inside of us is the gift that keeps on giving!

The gifts we buy will soon be forgotten but the gift that gives into our future generations is a living testimony of a life lived in “laid down love” for Jesus.

As I add my new gingerbread family to the garland today, I pray for my children to live a life dedicated to the Lord and that their life stories would be powerful and told for generations to come.


Blessed is the man…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf never withers. . .” Ps 1

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.…” Hebrews 12:1-2

Great Grandma Rowley on far left, me holding our daughter Heather and Grandma Gray

Christmas memories in the making- Great Grandma Rowley on far left, me holding our daughter Heather and Grandma Gray

Heather is the mother to three of our grand babies now!

Some years I hang the gingerbread people on a special tree, other times they hang on this garland in my kitchen

Some years I hang the gingerbread people on a special tree, other times they hang on this garland in my kitchen

Easter Traditions

The Empty Tomb and Three Crosses

The Empty Tomb and Three Crosses-

Directions for how to make The Empty Tomb and Cross centerpiece.

If you are visiting me today from Proverbs 31 Ministries devotion, welcome!

Jesus our Lord is risen! Because He died and rose on the third day;“He that believes in Him shall have everlasting life.” When we believe, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our inheritance. This is cause for uncontainable excitement!

We are filled with all the fullness of God! Oh my goodness, this is glorious!

Let’s worship Him without reserve.  Lets cleanse our homes of anything that doesn’t glorify Him. Lets give ourselves wholly to Him who bought us with His own blood. Lets love Him the way He loves us!

May your Easter be filled with all the fullness of God!Coconut Cream cake

Family Meal with yummy Coconut Cream cake
Coconut Cream Cake

Coconut Cream Cake

Here’s the link for this delicious Coconut Cake Recipe. Recipe is Gluten Free but you can make it with regular flour too.

Blown out eggs, decorated-these were made 15 years ago

Decorate blown eggs- these were made over 15 years ago by our children. Some have Jesus and cross painted on, another the three crosses. . .

Directions for making decorated blown out eggs here and storage of the treasures.

I laid an old basket with a flat back on the table. The Cross was made with two twigs tied together. I love how the basket handle resembles the crown of thorns.

Easter Devotions

 For more on Easter devotions by candlelight click here.

I divided the large batch into smaller jars- they'll be on the table for Easter

Pickled eggs are a family tradition passed down from my mom

 Link  to recipe for pickled eggs here.


Passover(Seder) Supper

Passover(Seder) Supper

One of the greatest traditions you can start with your family is a Passover(Seder) meal. Instructions, recipes, and verses on how to do prepare for a Passover(Seder)Meal.  

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”   Easter beckon’s us to share Christ’s  free gift of salvation to the lost. It beckon’s us to be overcome with His love for others.  Who do you know that doesn’t know Christ as their personal savior? Ask the Lord how He would like to use you to bring them to Him. Should you call them, invite them for Easter lunch? Send an Easter card? Stop by with a basket and invite them to church? In the comment section, leave the name of the one you’re praying for. Your comment enters you to win a $40 gift certificate to be used at the Proverbs 31 bookstore and we’ll pray for your lost family member, friend, neighbor or co-worker.

Use your gift certificate to get this necklace or books!

Use your gift certificate to get this necklace or books!

Twelfth Night Dinner



The Story of that Twelfth Night Dinner lives on. . .

The Story of that Twelfth Night Dinner lives on in our Home

If you’re visiting from Proverbs 31 Ministries Encouragement for Today devotions, welcome!

It was the most memorable dinner I’ve ever attended… It was a Twelfth Night Dinner.  The smell of roasted rib roast enveloped us as we walked through the front door. We were ushered through the bustling kitchen.  It was filled with homemade dishes.  Yorkshire pudding and mushroom pie were being taken out of the oven as we made our way to the family room adjacent to the dining-room.  Candles flickered all over the table.  Jars of homemade pickled watermelon rind and other delicacies adorned the table.

Their only daughter, Heidi (11 years old), was sitting on the sofa. We sat next to her.  A wig covered her sparse, thin hair. Cancer had taken a toll on her brainstem and she wasn’t who she used to be physically or mentally.  Slowly, she explained to us why her family celebrated Twelfth Night.

She looked off into the distance and recalled the beautiful story of the Magi following the star to find Jesus. The wise men were Gentiles (non-Jews) and were willing to go any distance to worship and adore Him with their finest gifts.  At the close of her story, her words got slower.  She took a long pause- we waited. Our daughters didn’t move a muscle nor did my husband or I.  It was as if she were listening to a voice we couldn’t hear. Our hearts melted when slowly she said “Come let us adore Him and give Him our best- just like the wise men.”

Clanging pots and dishes jolted us back into the twentieth century. Pat, our hostess invited us to gather ‘round the table. Her toddler started to cry. She said, “Please excuse Galen, his ear drum burst last night. He didn’t get much sleep, he’s a little grumpy.”  We joined hands and prayed.

I sat mesmerized that night, by this family.  While suffering, they served.  One child suffering the effects of brain stem cancer, another with a dreadful ear infection, a mom with no sleep, a third child that begged her attention and yet, she served us with joy. How ironic that her and her husband would host a night of worship in honor of the ultimate suffering servant, Jesus.

We ate our food with gladness and simplicity of heart, and praised God together.  Our children were young but even they could sense the sacredness of the night. No one said a word on our way home. Years have passed since then, but every 12th night after Christmas, I remember the Kastock family and that special dinner. Heidi went home to be with the Lord. But she lives on in my heart as the greatest story teller of Twelfth Night, that there ever was.

It was literally the most memorable dinner I’ve ever attended. The food was incredible.  The fellowship sweet but the living example of a suffering servant is so indelibly etched in my heart and soul that it changed me forever.

Lord, help me to never wait until my circumstances are perfect to serve. Help me to serve when nothing is perfect, when life is hard and when it’s good.  May I celebrate You all the days of my life with the same tenacity and with my finest gifts just like the wise men, and the Kastock’s.

I don’t know about you but I’ve already got the family in mind I want to invite over. How about you? We can’t wait till things get easier.  It never does! To make it easier, you could have them over for just coffee and dessert.

The best  Coconut Cream Cake (Gluten Free) recipe ever to serve with the coffee!

A make ahead dinner, try- Chicken and Dumpling  Casserole (Gluten Free) I keep one of these in freezer at all times for unexpected company. You can bake it before you freeze it or freeze unbaked, both work.

Pat Kasktock’s Twelfth Night Yorkshire Pudding

2 Corinthians 12:9a, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…”

Who are you going to invite? Leave their name in the comment section to enter the drawing to win this amazing book, Everyday Confetti written by my dear friends, Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer and a $30 Target gift card to get the baking pan you need! The book is being released January 21, 2014. I’ll pick the winner next Wednesday!! Everyday confetti


8 Christmas Cookie/Candy Gift Recipes


Cookie lead photo

A memorable Christmas tradition in our family is to bring goodies to the homes of hurting people on Christmas Eve. Notice I didn’t say our favorite Christmas tradition but a memorable one. The kids didn’t actually like this tradition when they were little. Just this week I got a call from one of our grown daughters, Hannah and she said even though it wasn’t one of her favorite traditions as a child, it is as an adult. She wants to carry the tradition on in her family. Throughout the year we would make a mental note of those who had lost loved ones, endured cancer, lost their jobs or husbands. Then on Christmas Eve we would deliver goodies to their homes and pray for them.

I’ll never forget one year in particular. We went into the home of a family who had lost their only teenage son. We didn’t call before we came. it was a surprise visit. The dad was drunk and he wasn’t a drinker.  The mom was crying.  The kids were sitting by the Christmas tree with no gifts. Sadness consumed the house. We gathered them into a circle, held hands and prayed. They didn’t want us to leave, we brought not just food- but the joy of the Lord. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Bringing good tidings of great joy to the poor and brokenhearted; Jesus came to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and open prison to those who are bound…To comfort all who mourn, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.  We are His ambassadors carrying His anointing to the lost and hurting ones, He loves. Let’s be His hands and feet and bring joy where there is none.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes  to make for your goodie deliveries.

susan bday, christmas cookies and dinner 180

Prepare your goodie containers. Save oatmeal, cocoa and coffee canisters throughout year. Wrap cans with paper you’ve saved  and have fun decorating with supplies on hand. The point is to spend the least amount of money and make it look better than anything you could buy.

Soft Baked Oreo Cookies

Soft Baked Oreo Cookies-GF

1 box of chocolate cake mix (we used a gluten free mix, any cake mix works)

1/3 cup water (depending on how many ounces the mix -you may need as much as ¾ cup)

3 tablespoons shortening or butter, softened

Mix all ingredients. It will be a little dry. If you can’t form it into a ball, you need more water. Add extra slowly. Dust the counter with a little cocoa powder, roll out dough and use cookie cutter to form circles.  If your dough is too sticky, form into silver dollar size patties by hand and flatten.

Bake on greased baking sheet for 6 minutes on 325 degrees.


3 ½ cups powdered sugar (organic)

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup shortening or butter

3 tablespoons hot water

Mix well. After cookies have cooled squish a heaping wallop of frosting between two cookies! YUM


Candied Oranges

Candied Orange

6 thick sliced organic oranges (non-organic orange peel shouldn’t be eaten, chemicals are heavy)

4 ½ cups sugar

1 ½ cups water

Wash oranges. Quarter and peel the skin and pith off. Slice peel into thin strips. Put orange peel into a pot of cold water, bring to boil over high heat. Pour water off and repeat 1-2 more times. This helps take  bitterness away. Remove orange peels from water.

Empty pot and now add your sugar and 1 ½ cups of water. Simmer for 10 minutes, bringing the temperature up slowly to 234. Add the peels and simmer for 40 minutes. DON’T stir, it can make sugar crystals in your syrup. Drain the peels and roll in a little sugar if you desire. Let sit for several hours.

I actually used fermented oranges on one batch- OH MY GOODNESS—it was better than anything I’ve ever eaten. The oranges were soft inside and the outside was hardened candy. It was like eating heaven.

susan bday, christmas cookies and dinner 196

Maple Walnut Fudge

2 cups organic brown sugar (all sugar not organic is genetically modified)

5 ounces whole milk (I used raw goat milk for my lactose sensitive family)

1 cup unsalted butter

2 cups organic powdered sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (don’t use artificial, it cheats you of perfection)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Butter a 9×9 inch square pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat sugar, milk, butter and maple syrup. Boil for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

Take off heat and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Pour into mixing bowl and beat on medium until thick—about 3 minutes. Fold in nuts and pour into greased pan.

Let cool overnight. Slice into 1-inch squares.


Pecan Toffee

Pecan Toffee- GF Not hard but a soft crunch- YUM

½ cup chopped toasted pecans

1 cup butter (don’t use margarine)

1 cup organic sugar

1 tablespoon corn syrup or maple syrup (if you can’t find organic corn syrup use maple syrup)

¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips

½ cup crushed toasted pecans

Line a 9 X 13ish baking pan with foil and grease. Sprinkle ½ cup chopped nuts into bottom of pan evenly. In pot add butter, sugar and corn syrup or maple syrup. Cook over medium high heat to boiling.

Clip a candy thermometer onto side of pot. Cook and stir over medium heat. Stop stirring after sugar melts.  Cook until candy thermometer reaches 290 degree. Watch carefully, it can burn after 280. If it starts to turn too dark after 280 turn off heat. Pour mixture evenly over chopped nuts in greased pan.

Let stand for a few minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over top. Let melt on top for a couple of minutes.  Spread chocolate over whole mixture. Sprinkle crushed nuts on top. Cool, when firm lift out of pan and break into pieces. Store in tightly covered container.

susan bday, christmas cookies and dinner 189

Banana Bread Muffins- GF

1 ¾ cups self-rising flour (I use GF Pamela’s Baking Mix or dairy free Cherry

1 cup mashed bananas

½ cup milk ( you can substitute with yogurt)

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup butter

1 cup organic sugar

2 eggs

1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

If you use non-self-rising flour you’ll need 2 tsp baking powder, ¾ tsp baking soda and ¾ tsp salt

Mix all ingredients. Pour into muffin pan or loaf pan. Bake 350 degrees  for 25 minutes.

Muffin topping

½ cup sugar

½ finely chopping nuts

4 tablespoons melted butter

Mix sugar and nuts together in a bowl. Melted butter in another small bowl.

Dip cooled muffin top into melted butter, then dip into sugar and nut mixture.


 Flourless Decadent Brownie- GF

24 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted (dairy free if you’re lactose intolerant)

1 ½ sticks butter

5 beaten eggs

½ cup organic sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla

¼ tsp salt

1 cup pecans

Melt chocolate chips and butter in bowl and stir. Add all other ingredients and pour into 9X9 pan. Bake on 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until done.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.


susan bday, christmas cookies and dinner 138

No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

½ cup butter

2 cups organic sugar

½ cup milk (lactose sensitive people most often can tolerate goat milk)

1/8 tsp salt

3 cups quick cooking oats

½ cup crunch peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

Mix butter, sugar, milk and salt in pot. Stir and bring to rolling boil. Boil for one minute. Stir in oatmeal, peanut butter and vanilla.

Drop by tablespoons onto wax paper or aluminum foil. Work quickly it will start to harden!

Homemade Marshmallows dipped in chocolate are GREAT to giveaway.

Blondie’s -Gluten free and DELICIOUS!

Caramel Pecan Pie Cake muffins

FlourlessPeanut Butter Chocolate Chip- Gluten Free and Dairy Free

How to Cook a Perfect Turkey


Turkey was locally raised organic 30 pounder

Turkey was locally raised organic 30 pounder-Whiffletree Farm

Cooking a perfect turkey is simple if you follow all the steps below. Every step from thawing, brining, long slow roast to letting it rest is critical for perfection! The turkey will fall off the bones when you take it out of the oven! We had to prop the legs up for the photo because it fell apart.

1. What size turkey should you buy: How many people are you feeding? The general rule is one pound per person. This gives enough for leftovers.

2. How to thaw a turkey– Keep in the original packaging.  The guidelines for refrigerator thawing are as follows;

Turkey Weight Thawing Time
Up to 12 lbs 1-3 days
12 to 16 lbs 3-4 days
16 to 20 lbs 4-5 days
20 to 24 lbs 5-6 days

DON’T thaw on the counter, in water or in the microwave- you don’t want food poisoning.

3. If you want the turkey succulent follow my directions on how to   Brine a Turkey. Brining a turkey makes a huge taste difference and tenderizes it. Take the turkey out of the original packaging for the last day and a half of thawing time and put into the brine. The brine actually helps to thaw it.

4. Rinse brine off turkey, pat dry and put into your roasting pan.  Add three peeled carrots and 2 medium quartered onions to the bottom of the pan for added flavor. Cover well with aluminum foil. Tuck the foil around rim tightly, this locks in moisture. Do all of this the night before  your turkey meal. When I go to bed I set my oven for 325 degrees so that it will be ready when I get up in middle of the night (3:AM).

5. Turkey baking time: Take upper racks out of oven. Preheat oven to  325 degrees F.

Approximate Roasting Times for Stuffed Turkey
Turkey Weight
6 to 8 pounds 3 to 3-1/2 hours
8 to 12 pounds 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours
12 to 16 pounds 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 hours
16 to 20 pounds 5-1/2 to 6 hours
20 to 24 pounds 6 to 6-1/2 hours
Approximate Roasting Times for Unstuffed Turkey
Turkey Weight
6 to 8 pounds 2-1/2 to 3 hours
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 4 hours
12 to 16 pounds 4 to 5 hours
16 to 20 pounds 5 to 5-1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds 5-1/2 to 6 hours

6. At 7:AM I turned the temperature down to 300 degrees.  Take foil off turkey when you get up and baste with butter. Put foil back on and every hour after take off and baste with  more with butter. Make sure you have a meat thermometer, insert it into the thigh not touching bone.  When the internal temperature of the turkey is 165 degrees take foil off and turn the temperature up to brown the skin. This only took 15 min’s- I turned it up to 450 for speed. Don’t go do something else, keep your eye on the bird.  You’ve spent too much time on it to dry it out!  After it is beautifully brown turn the oven temperature down to 250 degrees and let it rest in the oven to reabsorb any moisture it lost by puncturing it with the thermometer. 30 min’s to 1 hour before serving turn heat completely off. Continue basting turkey for moisture.

7. The turkey will fall apart. You won’t get beautiful photo’s because it’s falling apart.

8. To make gravy -pour turkey drippings into a skillet and turn up heat. Whisk flour of your choice  in and add water as needed. If you brined the turkey you WONT need salt. It is perfectly salted already. Enjoy!!

The pan wasn't big enough but we still used it! Aluminum foil kept it secure and sealed tight.

The pan wasn’t big enough but we still used it! Aluminum foil kept it secure and sealed tight


Why We Celebrate Thanksgiving


Our Thanksgiving table last year

Innumerable blessings have been bestowed upon the United States of America. Concerning these blessings President Lincoln wrote: “No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God.” President Lincoln went on to set apart the last Thursday of November as “a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”

While President Lincoln established America’s official Thanksgiving holiday in 1863, it was the Pilgrims who first celebrated a day of Thanksgiving in this land in 1621 and who set an example that many followed in the succeeding years.

As the Pilgrims gathered their harvest in the autumn of 1621 and looked back over the preceding year, they had so much for which to be thankful that they decided to set aside a day of Thanksgiving unto God, Whom they acknowledged as the Giver of all blessings and the only reason for their survival. It was indeed a miracle that they did survive their first year in the wilderness of New England and had a good harvest. Desire for a home where they could freely worship God, and the desire to “propagate… the Gospel of the kingdom of Christ” and be stepping stones for others to do the same, motivated a band of Christians later called Pilgrims) to set out on a hazardous voyage to plant a colony in the new world of America.

After sixty-six perilous days at sea, where the storms were so great that they were blown unknowingly hundreds of miles north of their intended destination, they reached Cape Cod. The captain attempted to sail south to Virginia, but the weather forced them to settle in New England. They later learned that the site they chose for a settlement – Plymouth – had been the home of the Patuxet Indians. Had they arrived a few years earlier, there would have been no place for them to settle, but a plague had mysteriously wiped out the Patuxet tribe in 1617, and no other tribe would settle in the area for fear of the same thing occurring to them.

Winter had already set in as they started to build houses to protect themselves from the unrelenting cold. Scurvy and other diseases began to infect the settlers due to the long voyage, lack of provisions, and unaccommodating conditions People began to die so rapidly that in two or three months’ time only half of the original 102 persons remained. While this was quite a tragedy, they still fared much better than the early settlers at Jamestown, who saw nine out of ten persons die in the first years of colonization.

During this dark winter in America, the Christian character of the Pilgrims shone brightly. At the time of greatest distress, there were only six or seven persons strong enough to move about. With the sick they “spared no pains night nor day, but with abundance of toil and hazard of their health, fetched them wood, made them fires, dressed them meat, made their beds, washed their loathsome clothes clothed and unclothed them; in a word, did all the homely and necessary offices for them which dainty and queasy stomachs cannot endure to hear named; and all this willingly and cheerfully, without any grudging in the least,

showing herein their true love unto their friends and brethren. A rare example and worthy to be remembered.” 

Though half of their number survived, the prospects of the coming year looked very bleak – they were surrounded by Indians, some hostile, they were short of food and supplies, and they knew little of how to survive in the American wilderness. But to their astonishment, and gratitude to God, an English-speaking Indian named Squanto came among them, took them under his care, and taught them how to survive in the new land.

He showed them how to plant corn, assuring its growth by setting it with fish; he taught them how to catch fish and the times when they could find the creeks stocked with fish (for the Pilgrims had only caught one cod in the preceding four months); he taught them to stalk deer, plant pumpkins, find berries, and catch beaver, whose pelts proved to be their economic deliverance.

Squanto was also helpful in securing a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and surrounding Indian tribes, which lasted over fifty years. In the words of William Bradford, “Squanto… was a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation.”

 His life story is amazing in itself.

In 1605, Squanto, a member of the Patuxet Indian tribe, was captured by an English explorer and taken to England. He remained there nine years, during which time he learned to speak English. In 1614, Captain John Smith took him back to New England, but shortly after this he was again taken captive and sold into slavery at a port in Spain. Providentially, some local friars bought and rescued him.

From Spain, he eventually went to England where he remained until 1619, when he obtained passage back to his home in New England. As Squanto went ashore at what was to become Plymouth, he found his entire tribe had been killed by a plague. He was the only survivor of the Patuxet tribe. Joining himself to a nearby tribe, he remained there until the spring of 1621 when he joined himself with the Pilgrims, determining to see them survive at the place where his tribe had not. 

Thanks to God, his instrument Squanto, and the character and determination of the Pilgrims, half of them had survived an unimaginably difficult first year. Moreover, they harvested a sufficient food supply for their second winter at Plymouth. Even though there was no surplus food, things looked much better than the preceding winter.

Governor Bradford appointed a day of Thanksgiving and invited the nearby Wampanoag Indians (Squanto’s adopted tribe) to celebrate and give thanks unto God with them. Chief Massasoit and ninety of his men came and feasted with the Pilgrims. They ate deer, turkey, fish, lobster, eels, vegetables, corn bread, herbs, berries, pies, and the Indians even taught the Pilgrims how to make popcorn. The Pilgrims and Indians also competed in running, wrestling, and shooting games. Massasoit enjoyed himself so much that he and his men stayed for three days.

 It is easy to see where the American tradition of feasting at Thanksgiving began.

While many people today follow the Pilgrim’s example of feasting at Thanksgiving, they too often ignore the entire reason that the Pilgrims set aside a special day – that was to give thanks to Almighty God and acknowledge their utter dependence upon Him for their existence. While many today take ease in having plenty, never seeing a need to cry out to God, the Pilgrims relied upon God in their lack and thanked Him in their abundance. Their trust was in God and not in their abundant provisions. This was seen even more fully in the two years following their first Thanksgiving.

Shortly after their Thanksgiving celebration, thirty-five new persons unexpectedly arrived who planned to remain and live at Plymouth. These being family and friends brought much rejoicing, but when they found out they had no provisions it also brought a soberness. Yet their reliance was upon God, so they gladly shared their food, clothing, and homes. With the new additions, their food, even at half allowance for each person, would last six months at most.

Their provisions had almost completely run out when they spied a boat in May of 1622. They hoped the English Company who had sponsored their colonizing Plymouth had sent provisions; however, this boat not only did not bring any food (nor the hope of any), but seven more hungry people to stay in Plymouth. In their extreme hunger, as in times of plenty, they put their complete trust in God to provide.

No one starved to death yet, it would be over a year before famine was completely removed from their midst. During that time there were many days where they “had need to pray that God would give them their daily bread above all people in the world.”

That spring and summer of 1622 God miraculously fed them, even as the ravens fed Elijah in the wilderness. He provided because the Pilgrims had determined to walk in the way of their Lord Jesus. This was most evident in early summer when sixty “lusty” men (as Bradford called them) came to them for help. Even though these men showed no gratitude, the Pilgrims still gladly took care of them, for many were sick. They gave them housing and shared their meager provisions. This they did for almost the entire summer until the men left.

Like the year before, the harvest of 1622 proved insufficient to meet the Pilgrims’ needs. Outside help appeared doubtful, so the Pilgrims considered how they could produce a larger harvest. Through God’s wisdom they chose to replace the collective farming they had practiced the two preceding years (being imposed upon them by their sponsoring company) with individual farming, assigning to every family a parcel of land.

Bradford wrote: “This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than other wise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use… and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn, which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and.”

As they were freed from economic communism and entered into individual

enterprise, abundance began to come upon these people.

The Pilgrims learned the hard way that communism doesn’t work, even among a covenant community. Bradford wrote that “the experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years, and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Platos

& other ancients, applauded by some of later times; – that the taking away of property, and bringing in community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.”9

The Pilgrims’ hard work, resulting from them being able to directly benefit from the fruit of their labors, caused them to plant about six times more crops than the previous year. While labor certainly increases our prosperity, there are other factors. God wanted the Pilgrims to never forget that it is the Lord that gives men the power to get substance or wealth (Deut. 8:18).

The Pilgrims had great hopes for a large crop, yet as Bradford wrote, “the Lord seemed to blast, & take away the same, and to threaten further


& more sore famine unto them, by a great drought which continued from the 3. week in May, till about the middle of July, without any rain and with great heat (for the most part) insomuch as the corn began to wither away.”

In response to this, “they set a part a solemn day of humiliation to seek the Lord by humble


& fervent prayer, in this great distress. And he was pleased to give them a gracious & speedy answer, both to their own & the Indians admiration, that lived amongst them. For all the morning, and greatest part of the day, it was dear weather & very hot, and not a cloud or any sign of rain to be seen, yet toward evening it began to overcast, and shortly after to rain, with such sweet and gentle showers, as gave them cause of rejoicing, & blessing God. It came, without either wind, or thunder, or any violence, and by degrees in that abundance, as that the earth was thoroughly wet and soaked therewith. Which did so apparently revive & quicken the decayed corn & other fruits, as was wonderful to see, and made the Indians astonished to behold.”11

An Indian named Hobamak who witnessed this event said to a Pilgrim: “Now I see that the Englishman’s God is a good God, for he hath heard you, and sent you rain, and that without storms and tempests and thunder, which usually we have with our rain, which breaks down our corn, but yours stands whole and good still; surely your God is a good God.”

The harvest of 1623 brought plenty to each person, with the more industrious having excess to sell to others. From the time they started a biblical economic system, no famine or general want ever again existed among them.

That autumn of 1623, the Pilgrims again set apart a day of Thanksgiving unto God. They had much to give thanks for and knew Who to acknowledge.

Each year when we celebrate Thanksgiving, let us remember the heritage of that day and why the Pilgrims, as well as President Lincoln set aside a day of Thanksgiving. In the

words of Lincoln, proclaiming the second National Thanksgiving Day: this is “a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe.”

by Stephen McDowell

How to brine a turkey.

Dressing your children like pilgrims.

Marshmallow Fruit Salad- GF

Marshmallow Fruit Salad-No photo can capture the taste!!

Marshmallow Fruit Salad-No photo can capture the taste!!

Some recipes are so special that you use them only at  holidays and special occasions–this Marshmallow Fruit Salad  is one of those recipes! It’s a labor of love that’ll be passed down for generations. Serves 40 people-6 0z each or 20 people with leftovers for the next day.

Use organic ingredients when possible for longevity of your life.

2 cups of cooked Arborio rice

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour (I use GF)

½ tsp. salt

3 egg yolks- beaten

1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple

2 15 ounce cans mandarin oranges

1 ¾ cup of juice from pineapple and mandarin orange’s

7 cups homemade marshmallows -Homemade makes a huge difference, but you can use store bought. I actually wouldn’t make this without homemade marshmallows. It’s what makes it special.

2 ½ cups Truwhip (homemade whipped cream is the ultimate ingredient but lactose intolerant people can’t eat it. Most tolerate Truwhip which is 70% organic w/ trace amount of sodium caseinate. Cool Whip is genetically modified- don’t use it)

  1. Cook rice according to package directions. Only use Arborio rice for this recipe.
  2. Combine sugar, flour, salt, egg yolks, juice from fruit- stir well and cook on medium until thick. Stir into cooked rice. Refrigerate overnight- to absorb all the goodness into rice.
  3.  Next day, stir into rice mixture; Truwhip, marshmallows, pineapple and mandarin oranges. Mix well.
  4. I make this for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
    While rice is cooking make fruit dressing in skillet--fruit juice, egg yolks, sugar and flour- cook till slightly thick

    While rice is cooking make fruit dressing in skillet–fruit juice, egg yolks, sugar and flour- cook till slightly thick



    Add to cooked rice, stir- refrigerate over night so rice absorbs all the yumminess

    Add to cooked rice, stir- refrigerate over night so rice absorbs all the yumminess

    Stir into rice mixture- marshmallows, Truwhip and fruit

    Stir into rice mixture- marshmallows, Truwhip and fruit

    Marshmallow Fruit Salad- refrigerate until ready to serve

    Marshmallow Fruit Salad- refrigerate until ready to serve


10 Nostalgic Fall Decorating Ideas-DIY

Let dry until no moisture is left and flowers are dried completely- few days

In the olden days people decorated their homes with homemade treasures, often with resources grown on their own farms. I’m excited to share with you 10 nostalgic fall ideas we made this year from resources grown(mostly) our property.  I hope you make a few for your home! If you have any  old-fashioned ideas for fall decorating–I would love to hear them!

An industrious woman always plans for the future. Pin this post so you can plan for the things you’ll make next fall.  In the spring you’ll want to plant  flowers that you’ll dry at the end of summer for your fall arrangement. You’ll want to plant gourds and pumpkins if you have space. Back in the day even those who had little money purchased a few basic items in town at a store, like cloves and a lemon. I spent less than $10 on everything I made in this post.  I’m not sure how much money a grapevine wreath is in the store. You may find one at a yard sale or thrift store for a fraction of the cost of a new one.  A good resource to find free treasures to decorate wreaths would be in the forest. Go on a nature hike and return with bags of possibilities.

#1 Dried Zinnia Wreath

My summer Zinnia's dried--now I can enjoy them all year!

My summer Zinnia’s dried and made into a wreath! I enjoy them all year! I’m giving away zinnia seeds to 3 people! Just tell me you want seeds in comment section! I’ll pick 3 winners next week–save them for next spring!

Picked fresh Zinnia's multiple colors-you can see them growing from the window.

I picked fresh Zinnia’s of multiple colors-you can see them growing from the window.

Pour silica crystals into a large bowl- set flowers on top

Pour silica crystals into a large bowl- set flowers on top.

Cover flowers with silica crystals. I've had my crystals for 18 years. They still work.

Cover flowers with  crystals. I’ve had my crystals for 18 years. They still work.

After the flowers come out of microwave- shake off crystals and hang with clothes pins on a drying rack

Put covered flowers  in microwave for a couple of minutes-shake off crystals and hang with clothes pins on a drying rack.

Let dry until no moisture is left and flowers are dried completely- few days

Let dry completely for a couple of days- these are ready!

Use a glue gun to glue the dried flowers into place

Use a glue gun to glue the dried flowers onto grapevine wreath


#2 Pinecone Tree- We have pine trees on our property, so pine cones are plentiful. If you don’t have any–ask someone who does to give you some. Most people who have pine cones have hundreds or thousands to share.

Dale made this beautiful pine cone tree for me! We're putting lights on it tonight!

Dale made this beautiful pine cone tree for me! We’re putting lights on it tonight!

Some pine cones are open, some closed. I put the closed ones in the oven to open them. *pumpkin grown on Glasgow Farm

Some pine cones are open, some closed. I put the closed ones in the oven to open them. *pumpkin grown on Glasgow Farm



Closed pinecones- put in 200 degree oven until they fully open- couple of hours or more

Closed pinecones- put in 200 degree oven until they fully open- couple of hours or more

Half opened

Half opened


Fully open- you can turn heat up for faster opening or reduce to slow–they are dry and break more easily when to heated too high


Two large tomato cages from the garden served as the base of the pine cone tree

Two large tomato cages from the garden served as the base of the pine cone tree

Dale screwed screws into the bottom of each pine cone and then took a long piece of wire-wrapped each pine cone tightly around each screw and wrapped around base of tomato cage

Dale screwed screws into the bottom of each pine cone and then took a long piece of wire-wrapped each pine cone tightly around each screw and wrapped around base of tomato cage





#3 Cornucopia I bought our basket- but baskets are easy to make if you’d like to be 100% authentic!

I've had this cornucopia for 20+ years- every year I fill it will fall produce

I’ve had this cornucopia for 20+ years- every year I fill it with fall produce

#4 Pine cone garland

Pine cone garland- string pine cones on twine and hang from nails at your kitchen window

Pine cone garland- string pine cones on twine and hang from nails at your kitchen window

#5 Stained Glass Dried Leaf & Flower Art

Supplies needed: Iron, flowers or fall leaves and wax paper

Supplies needed: Iron, flowers or fall leaves and wax paper


Stained glass dried leaf & blossom art- Pick fall colored leaves and flowers, place between two pieces of wax paper and press with hot iron until sealed all the way around and inbetween

Stained glass dried leaf & blossom art- Pick fall colored leaves and flowers, place between two pieces of wax paper and press with hot iron until sealed all the way around and in-between Can you guess what these are?


10 Nostalgic Fall Decorating Ideas-DIY 049

Pansy in the center

Fall Leaf Stained Glass

#6 Pomander- Clove Studded Lemon

Prick lemon or orange with nail and then insert cloves into the holes. Cover the entire lemon or orange if you want it to last years. Then sprinkle oris root over top of it and let sit in paper bag for a couple of weeks. The orris root preserves it. The cloved lemon to the left is 18 years old.

Prick lemon or orange with nail and then insert cloves into the holes. Cover the entire lemon or orange if you want it to last years. Then sprinkle orris root, cinnamon and ground cloves  over top of it and let sit in paper bag for a couple of weeks. Every few days I shook the bag around making sure the powder covered it well.  The orris root preserves it. The cloved lemon to the left is 18 years old.

The blue bowl holding the cloves was made by my sweet nephew Thomas Killian, he makes  handmade pottery and has an online store.

Pomanders are wonderful smelling.  You can decorate them in patterns, wrap a ribbon around them and place in a bowl or cover completely and preserve them for years to come.

Supplies needed: small or medium size unblemished fruit. (Oranges, Apples or Lemons)


Spice mixture: 1 tablespoon each: cinnamon,  ground cloves and orris root

Knitting needle, toothpick or nail

#7 Corn Husk Garland

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

I bought 15 regular corn cobs @5 for $2.  Pull the husks up over the corn--like in the photo

I bought 15 regular corn cobs @5 for $2. Pull the husks up over the corn–like in the photo

10 Nostalgic Fall Decorating Ideas_DIY_004_1186_890

Tied twine around each corn husk

I tried to hurry the process by putting in the oven on 200 for 10 hours. It wasn't perfect, it overcooked the husks. You're supposed to let them dry in well circulated space for several weeks

I tried to hurry the process by putting in the oven on 200 for 10 hours. It wasn’t perfect, it overcooked the husks. You’re supposed to let them dry in well circulated space for several weeks

After out of the oven I tied all the corn cobs together

After out of the oven I tied all the corn cobs together with twine



All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door

All the corn stalks tied together and ready to hang over front door


#8 Natural Wreath

Fall wreath- Fall weeds and produce on a grapevine wreath–whatever you

find interesting in your part of the world that dry’s well- stick in the wreath

and hot glue into place. This only last one season. Next year it will be an

entirely different look depending on what I find interesting in our field.


Weeds growing in our field- picked for wreath

Weeds growing in our field- picked for wreath


#9 Pomegranate pumpkin face

Pomegranite is hard fleshed and easy to use like a pumpkin- Crave with small knife, let dry and enjoy

Pomegranite is hard fleshed and easy to use like a pumpkin- Crave with small knife, let dry and enjoy-

#10 Retro Art


I'm going to send a copy of this retro Thanksgiving Day card to all my subscribers next week! Mine is framed and sitting in my kitchen window. You can find vintage frames at all thrift stores!

I’m going to send a copy of my retro Thanksgiving Day card to all my subscribers next week! Mine is framed and sitting in my kitchen window. You can find vintage frames at all thrift stores!

I’m giving away some of my zinnia seeds! Tell me your favorite color flower below to enter your name for the drawing. I’m picking three winners for the seeds. I’ll announce winners next week.

If you are a subscriber to my blog I’ll send you the retro Thanksgiving Day art next week!

Winner of $40 Target gift card and devotion book  from last week is Mary T. you posted on2013/10/14 at 12:09 PM! email me your address!

Coconut Cream Cake


Coconut Cream Cake

Coconut Cream Cake

My mom makes the best fresh coconut cake you’ve ever eaten in your life. She buys a  fresh coconut, uses the milk inside it and shreds up her own coconut. I could  eat the entire cake all by myself. She’ll be shocked that I used organic dry coconut out of a bag, but I didn’t have time to go get the real deal.

Any time you use fresh coconut, you can’t lose. It’s amazing. If you use fresh in this recipe, don’t toast the coconut. The moisture from the fresh is delectable so keep it that way.

Yellow Cake

2 3/4 cups self-rising flour (I use Gluten free flour)

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar (organic if possible)

4 large eggs, beaten

1 cup coconut milk- I used organic coconut milk in a can, but if you use fresh it will be yummy!

1 tsp vanilla extract (organic if possible)

In large bowl, beat butter and sugar for 2 minutes. Add the eggs and beat for 1 minute. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Spoon batter into two greased and floured pans 3/4 full.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until done. Watch it! Let cakes cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a plate.

Coconut Cream filling

1/2 cup of organic corn starch

1 1/2 cups sugar, organic if possible

4 cups milk- use goat milk for lactose sensitive

6 Tb. butter

4 egg yolks

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup of shredded coconut- I used organic dry in bag, but freshly grated coconut is divine!

Mix  starch and sugar into milk, stir until everything is dissolved. Add butter, cook for five minutes. Slightly beat egg yolks in small bowl. Add a little of the hot milk mixture to the beaten yolks, slowly. Add a little more to the eggs, then add all that back into the big pot of milk mixture and stir all together. You just don’t want to shock the eggs and have them turn into scrambled eggs in your milk. Once you pour them in cook stirring constantly until thick. Add vanilla and coconut–stir. It will get thicker as it cools. Don’t let it scorch!

Set aside in waiting for cooled cake. After cakes cool slice them in half and top each layer with yummy cream. Wipe the sides if any drips down or the frosting won’t stick to the cake.


1 1/4 stick of unsalted butter, softened

3 3/4 cups powdered sugar (Organic if possible)

1/3 cup coconut milk, canned or fresh

1 tsp vanilla

In large bowl mix butter and sugar, add milk and vanilla. Mix with mixer for 3 minutes. If it is too thick add more coconut milk.

*Roast 1 1/2 cups of coconut in 425 degree oven for 10 minutes or until browned. To be used after you frost cake. If you use fresh coconut don’t toast it.

This recipe makes three layers

This recipe makes three layers

Then I sliced the three layers in half and made them into six layers. As you can see I messed up. i was on the phone the whole time I was cutting them with the electric knife. It didn' t work well with one hand

Then I sliced the three layers in half and made them into six layers. As you can see I messed up. I was on the phone the whole time  cutting them with the electric knife. It didn’t
 work well with one hand!

Pour a generous portion of filling onto the first cake halve--I added more than this

Pour a generous portion of filling onto the first cake halve–I added more than this

Keep stacking with a new layer of cake and filling

Keep stacking with a new layer of cake and filling-don’t put filling on top!

Frost top and sides

Frost top and sides- the organic powdered sugar had some lumps in it- doesn’t really matter

II browned 1 1/2 cups of coconut in the oven on 425 for 10 min's--While cake is still moist add the browned coconut to the top and sides. Just toss it all over, the counter will be a mess!

Brown 1 1/2 cups of coconut in the oven on 425 for 10 min’s–While cake is still moist add the browned coconut to the top and sides. Just toss it all over, the counter will be a mess!

You can freeze this cake whole--wrap tightly

You can freeze this cake whole–wrap tightly

French pressed coffee and coconut cream cake--oh my, this is good!

French pressed coffee and coconut cream cake–oh my, this is good!



He is RISEN! Let us celebrate that this weekend! Thank You Jesus!


A Simple Family Passover (Seder) Supper

Our Seder Supper- First time ever without our girls!

Our Seder Supper- First time ever without our girls!

We celebrate the Passover (Seder) meal on Thursday or Friday evening before Easter.  We’ve made it simple so that it would never be too hard to do. A traditional Seder meal is long.  In celebrating this feast we are honoring a feast, instituted by God and celebrated by Jesus himself.  “Because Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed for us; therefore, let us observe the festival [Passover and Unleavened Bread]… with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor. 5:7-8).  This is not to be done out of a religious spirit, or any form of “legalism,” but rather in a joyful, reflective, and instructional manner.  Enjoy!

Our Christian Passover Seder

Candles lit on the table: Representing Jesus, who is the light of the World

Food on table; Roasted lamb, unleavened bread, boiled egg, bitter herbs (horseradish), Charoseth (a sweet mixture of apples, cinnamon, grape-juice [or wine], and walnuts), salt water, parsley, and wine or grape juice

Children should know this is a special tradition.  Inform them ahead of time that the focus will be solely on the Passover and on Christ.  After the dinner they can talk about their day’s events and personal interests.

We start by reading Exodus 12:14, “So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations.”  This passage is directly discussing the Feast of Passover.

Then explain:

We celebrate this feast to help us remember that God rescued the Israelites from bondage in Egypt.  On the night before He delivered them, God told them to kill a lamb and to cover the top of their doorway with its blood.  Every Israelite family who did what God said was protected from the plague of death in their home.

Many years later, Jesus (God’s son) came to earth in human form and died on the cross- as a fulfillment of the Old Testament sacrifice.  He became the ultimate sacrificial lamb.  We no longer have to kill a lamb like they did under the Old Covenant for forgiveness of sin.  Jesus’ blood was shed so that all who receive Him as their savior are saved from sin and eternal death.  This sacrifice was all-sufficient, once for all.

Read Isaiah 53: 3-12…

In short, it says that Jesus was the lamb who was slain for all of our sins.  The chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed!  He poured out His soul unto death for us, so that we may be saved.

When we accept Christ as our personal Savior, His blood covers us- protecting us from eternal death and bondage.  The night before Christ died, He celebrated the Passover dinner with His disciples and said that from now on (until the end of the age) we are to partake of the Lords supper as a reminder of His death and resurrection until He comes again.   It is good for us to tell this story to our children, especially during the week of Passover, since it is a prophetic picture of what Christ accomplished for us on the cross.  Generation after generation will be instructed on the profound importance and meaning of Christ’s sacrifice, since He was/is the fulfillment of the Hebrew law (Matthew 5:17).

Read John 3:16.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

Pray a prayer of thanksgiving:  For the ultimate sacrifice of Christ’s blood that was shed for us all and His resurrection.  Also, thank Him for the food that is about to be partaken of.

At this time, the head of table passes each food item (one by one) and explains what they represent…

Platter of roasted Lamb:  We eat this in memory of the lamb that the Israelites sacrificed the night before they escaped out of Egypt.  Jesus was our final perfect Lamb who was sacrificed for us all.

Unleavened bread ( I made Gluten Free Matzo): Store bought Matzo can be used.  We eat this to remind us that the Israelites didn’t have time to wait for yeast bread to rise- rather they had to be ready to go when God said “GO.” At the Last Supper Jesus told us that the bread would represent His body that was broken for us.  We eat it in remembrance of His body that was slain for us.

Boiled Egg- (In Jewish tradition it is a roasted egg) the egg stands for renewal.  The Israelites were going to start a new life and we have new life in Christ because of what He did on the cross for us.

Bitter herbs-We serve horseradish as a reminder of the bitterness of the slavery in Egypt.  Jesus suffered greatly for us that we may be saved.  Remind them that on the cross He was given the bitter vinegar on the sponge to drink.

Charoseth- This is a mixture of chopped apples, walnuts, grape-juice (or wine), cinnamon, and brown sugar.  Symbolizes the mortar and bricks the Israelites used in making the bricks for the king of Egypt.

Karpas– We use parsley for this. These plants stay green all year and represent everlasting life because of Christ’s resurrection.

Small bowl of salt water– Tears of the Israelites in bondage. Today can represent our tears for those who haven’t accepted Christ as their personal savior.  Dip the parsley into the salt water bowl and eat it.

Grape juice or wine poured in glasses– At the Last Supper Jesus said that the wine represented His own blood, poured out for us all. Drink in remembrance of Him until He comes again.

Jesus is the Messiah who died on the cross and rose again on the third day!  He is alive today and all who accept Him become joint Heirs with Him.  Our inheritance is great.  We have been given not only life eternal but everlasting peace, authority in Jesus’ name, and the last will and testament that Jesus gave us- an inheritance that is vastly immeasurable (John 17: 20-26)!

There is no right or wrong way to celebrate this feast with your family. Just celebrate, fill your home with the glory of our risen Savior with praise, worship and adoration to Him who is, was and always will be!


And at this time, the meal is concluded!

Our family watches Jesus of Nazareth after the dinner.

Easter is usually the only time of year our family eats lamb. Typically I roast an entire leg of lamb the whole afternoon before the meal. I didn’t post my recipe because most people say to cook it rare. Ours always falls off the bone and is SO tender. This was the first time I’ve ever made lamb chops, next year I’ll go back to the larger piece and roast all afternoon. This was good!

Charoseth3 chopped apples, 1 sliced banana, 2/3 cup plain yogart, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, dash cinnamon, couple tsp’s organic sugar or honey, 1 tsp vanilla-Mix all!

I made Gluten Free Matzo this year! Click here for recipe

The Seder Dinner

I got the plates here for a $1 each, the sterling silver platter for $3 and the brass candle sticks 2 for $1! Yep, thrift stores are amazing! I bought the glass dishes for pennies.

St. Patrick’s Day–Powerful Story to Share over Traditional Irish Dinner

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner- Colcannon w/ Crisp Bacon and Fermented Sauerkraut

I think it’s interesting that we rarely hear the story behind St. Patrick’s Day.  St. Patrick went down in history as being a radical Christian.  He considered himself a pagan when he was growing up. It wasn’t until he was sold into slavery by Irish slave traders that he came to Christ.  His relationship with the Lord grew while he was a slave.  After six years in slavery he escaped to Gaul.  He studied there for 12 years and then felt called by the Lord to Ireland to convert the lost to Christ, and boy did he.

Patrick was made the second bishop to Ireland. He had an exceptional ability to speak publicly and to win people to Christ. He was arrested several times for his boldness in the Lord, he escaped each time. Nothing ever stopped him from preaching the gospel.  He died on March 17th, AD 461- hence, the date we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Here are some of the many stories  that are recorded about him:

  • It has been said that he raised people from the dead.
  • He originated the symbol of the shamrock, because he used it in his sermons to represent the Holy Trinity.  Each leaf represented the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit- and how they come together to create one entity.
  • Patrick’s ministry lasted 29 years. He baptized over 120,000 Irishmen and planted 300 churches.

What will be written about you when you pass from this earth?  I Chronicles 16:8-9, “Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done. Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts.”

Lord, help it be said of me that I ministered boldly in Your Name!  That I had passion to convert the lost to Christ, and many received You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

St. Patrick’s Day is a day to retell the story of a man who made Christ known to the nations and told of all His wonderful acts.  Share the verse and story on St. Patrick’s Day even though it’s not an official holiday.

A Shamrock Plant-Do you see the three leaves?

I’ve got the perfect recipe for you to make this St. Patrick’s Day.  To be true to Irish tradition, serve Colcannon—a dish mainly consisting of creamy mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage. Serve with crisp bacon and fermented sauerkraut.  The corned beef and cabbage tradition is an American tradition not an Irish one.

When you serve Colcannon, make a depression in the middle of the mashed potatoes and put a big ole pat of yummy butter in it.

Want Celtic inspiration while you cook?  Listen to Be Thou My Vision.  I love that song!


5 large organic potatoes, washed, peeled and chopped

1 1/2 sticks of butter

2-3 cups chopped kale- I only had two cups left in my garden

2 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup milk or half and half

1 tablespoon salt

1 lb. Bacon (nitrate free)

Fry bacon.  Set aside.

1. Fry bacon and set aside.  (After I fried the bacon I poured the grease out and added kale and spring onions to the bacon skillet.  Then, added three tablespoons of the bacon grease back to it.  Stir and cook for 5-10 min’s.  YUM!)  In my ingredient list, I included three tablespoons of butter to fry the kale.  You can fry it in butter or bacon grease, which ever suits your taste buds.

2. Put chopped potatoes and salt into pot and cover with water.  Bring to boil.  Cook 12 to 15 minutes. Drain when done.

3. Whip drained potatoes with hand mixer or mash by hand.  Add 5 tablespoons of butter and ½ cup of milk, whip.

4. Add cooked kale and chopped onion mixture to mashed potatoes.  Add more salt to taste.

To serve— mound mashed potatoes on each plate, then make depression in center and add generous pat of butter. Serve with several slices of nitrite free crisp bacon, fermented sauerkraut, and Irish bread (We don’t eat much bread so we didn’t have bread).


Our kale grew the whole winter! I’v been using it, so I only have two cups to use for our Irish Dinner

I chopped wild onion grass for the onion flavor, that’s the only onion growing on our farm right now–I chopped at least 1/3 cup

Chopping potatoes

Cooking kale in left over bacon grease from fried bacon

The house smells wonderful! Homemade bread fresh out of the oven would have been delightful with it! We splurged and had organic root beer with the meal. Typically we always drink water.

The third episode of The Bible comes on Sunday night! Don’t miss it. Here is a clip from it.

The Living Easter Basket & other Easter Traditions

The Empty Tomb and Three Crosses- John 11:25-26 
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.

This past weekend was filled visiting with family, preparing for our daughters wedding and Easter! It was SO much fun!

I  put our permanent Easter egg collection out,  made our living Easter basket and  pickled eggs (You gotta have’m on your Easter table) .

The Living Easter basket is made with wheat grass, pansies and a vintage chick.  Easter baskets in the Glasgow family have always been all natural. I  fill them with homemade marshmallows cut into the shape of chicks, , homemade truffles and candies ordered from The Squirrels Nest. When the kids were little there was  always a bottle of bubbles, silly putty, the paddle with the rubber ball attached and other little toys that kept them enthralled all Easter Day. As they got older we  gave them things to help in their walk with Christ; Christian music, a Bible,  book or game that would challenge them, etc.

If you think you would want to make a living Easter basket, you should get the seeds right away. It takes 10-15 days to grow the grass depending on whether or not you soak them in advance.

I used wheat grass.  Mine cost  $1.69 and planted a 6 inch square. It grows fast and strong. You can use wheat grass to make smoothies or juices. Wheat grass is gluten free as long as you don’t let it go to seed. It must be juiced in order to get the nutrient packed ingredients assimilated into your digestive system.

Pansies are also edible and beautiful for the Easter basket.  Multi-colored petals in a spinach and spring mix salad is a sight to behold. Only eat organic pansies, as the ones you buy in the store are laden with chemicals. They’re easy to grow from seed.

I’ve only found a few sources that sell organic pansies.

Artfully arrange a vintage chick in the basket.  Add homemade chocolate eggs, all natural goodies and the treasures on Easter Day. Wrap the basket in yellow, pink or purple cellophane and complete it with a beautiful ribbon.

Don’t forget to cut your grass when it is the desired height, or it will over power your basket! My grass needs to be cut.

Have you been keeping up with your nightly Bible reading by candle light in preparation for Easter?

The Living Easter Basket


Felicity, our adorable granddaughter was quite entertained by the vintage chick in the basket

Homemade marshmallows cut out with chick cookie cutter

Recipe for Homemade Marshmallows

The Empty Tomb and Three Crosses

The Easter egg basket- These are blown eggs decorated by our children and in our permanent collection- some of these are  17 years old

Link for-Directions to make The Empty Tomb and Three Crosses center piece and a  permanent collection of  Easter eggs to enjoy for the rest of your life 

Gathering my eggs for the pickled eggs–fresh eggs are harder to shell

Put 2 1/2 dozen boiled and shelled eggs in jar, Warm 4 cups apple cider vinegar, 2 cups beet juice, 1 cup sugar(I use organic, remember regular sugar has GMO’s), 2 tsp salt and 2 tsp whole cloves until sugar dissolves and pour on top of eggs. Refrigerate. Ready to eat as early as the next day or three weeks later (Easter day). BEAUTIFUL,MEMORABLE and YUMMY!

I divided the large batch into smaller jars- they’ll be on the table for Easter


After School Valentine’s Day Cookies

Children will always remember coming home  to the smell of cookies baking when they grow up. Memories like those are cherished and passed on for generations.  These are as delicious as they smell.  They ooze gooey yummy chocolate, if you don’t bake them all the way. They’re especially good to have ready on Valentine’s Day when your kids come home from school. It’s a hard holiday for kids who didn’t get what others got. Make it extra special when they come home, love can erase a lot of hurts.

No one can tell there’s no flour, added fat or gluten in them! DELICIOUS!  Recipe here: Flourless Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Using a heart shaped  5 inch cake pan makes 10-12 cookies depending on how full you fill the pan.

I made one for each of our daughters. I sent them to the ones who live away from home by the mail.

5 inch heart cake pan–I got it at my local hobby store.

Dale and I mailed a box to each of our daughters– Should arrive just in time for Valentine’s Day

I piped some (all natural dye) frosting on the cookies just to make them “Pink.” Girls love pink!



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