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Monday, May 30, 2011

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Yes, really!  Pudding without a mix.  Boxed pudding will never taste the same! :-)  And, it’s so easy.  The only really “hard” part is stirring it till it’s ready.

Chocolate Pudding

3/4 C. white sugar 
5 Tbl. cocoa powder
1/3 C. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
3 1/4 C. milk
3 Tbl. butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla OR almond extract

In a large saucepan stir together dry ingredients.  Mix in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly (this is very important).  Cook and stir till the mixture thickens and just comes to a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in butter and flavoring.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve warm.  Or, chill in the fridge till ready to serve.

Note: If you don’t want a “skin” to form on the top while it’s cooling or being refrigerated, I suggest covering the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap.  If you don’t wish to cover it with plastic, then serve it with the skin and find out which one in your family doesn’t mind it, or even likes it, and let them have the skin whenever you make it. :-)

This pudding can also be used warm over ice cream to make a “hot fudge” sundae.

To give it a richer chocolate flavor I use 3 Tbl. of regular cocoa powder and 2 Tbl. of Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder.  It’s guaranteed to satisfy a chocolate craving. :-)
This recipe is gluten free.  If you also need to make it dairy free you might try making up some coconut milk from powder and using that in place of the milk.  Almond or rice milk would probably work fine too although I don’t know about their heating qualities.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Breakfast Rambling that grew: Royal Wedding – A Shabby Affair?

2Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

This started out to be a Breakfast Rambling in a way since this verse that got me started was from my morning Bible reading.  However, as I wrote it turned out to be so long, I had to move it to the web site where it seems more appropriate. :-)  This item will probably stir the waters a bit, so try to go into it without wearing your feelings on your sleeve. ;-)

Here’s the start of it:

“It is wonderful the way God uses His word to direct our thoughts.  After the big hoopla over the Royal Wedding on April 29th I was quite disturbed about how some Christians responded to it.  It made me sad, and frustrated in a way.  I couldn’t understand entirely why they were so eager to participate in the media feeding frenzy, and even to go so far as to grant some approval to the wedding.

First of all, let me say that my grandmothers were both ‘royal watchers’.  My mother was for a while as well, but she laid it aside years ago.  At one time I was a Diana worshipper.  Yes, you read that right.  It was idolatry.  I admit it and call it what it was…”

Continue reading:  Royal Wedding – A Shabby Affair?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thoughts from the Past – Looking for Good Things


Nov. 21, 2005
Looking for Good Things

In reading through Paul's epistles over the last months, several things stood out in particular in the way of themes. I would challenge you to notice these three things in particular the next time you read through these books.

1. Paul's love and care for the saints (regardless of whether they deserved it or not), and how much he expected and received joy from them.

2. The fact that Paul's authority was to edify and not destroy, even as an apostle. (2 Cor. 10:8)

3. The crucified life.

It is a great blessing.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Adding Color to the Kitchen

Here is my mom brightening up her former kitchen (in Tennessee) with her smile and apron. :-)

You can add color to your kitchen by making some colorful aprons to wear and/or hang on the wall, or by dressing up some of your towels with ribbon or fabric.  Here are some links to help.

French Country Apron and Matching Headscarf

Tea Time Appliqué Half Apron

Fabric Trimmed Towels

Ribbon Trimmed Towel

Ribbon Accented Tea Towels – Wouldn’t this look cute with some fruit themed fabric between the rows of ribbon.  I might try this if I can find a good price on plain tea towels.

Here are some cute oven mitts too.

There are lots of possibilities with these patterns/ideas.  You can use any cotton print or color that would go with your kitchen.  Plus, these would make some cute gifts – maybe something quick for Mother’s Day. :-)

Here are some of our homemade aprons hanging in the kitchen where we lived in Arizona. :-)  I can see at least four different aprons there.  I love the homey look of aprons hanging in the kitchen, whether they are used or not.  I have a friend who pinned an antique apron on a wall of her kitchen just for decoration.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Red Lentil Ham Soup

This is a very easy soup to make.  Dried, split red lentils (really they are orange) cook very fast compared to most dried beans or lentils.  I think this is because they don’t have the skins on them.  I don’t know what the price for them is in a regular store.  We usually buy ours at an Indian store where they are called Masoor Dal.
To make the soup:
Cook in a 2 qt. pot:
Chicken or vegetable broth
Lentils (I used at least 1 cup, probably more)
One ham bone
Diced Carrots

Bring to a boil and simmer stirring at regular intervals till the lentils are almost done.  Remove meat from ham bone and discard bone.  Return the meat to the pot.  Finish cooking.  (The lentils are done when they are soft.)
Add salt and black or red pepper to taste.
Lentils are very absorbent, so use plenty of broth or water.  If you are unsure of how much to use start with a little less.  You can add more as you go along.  Lentils will stick to the bottom of the pan (especially when reheating), so do be sure to stir it regularly.
Depending on the ham and broth you use this meal could be made gluten and lactose free.  If you can’t find safe ham, try some pre-cooked meat of your choice.  The taste will be different, but it will still be tasty.  You could add Cajun seasoning if you use another type of meat to make a very tasty soup!