Thursday, July 21, 2011

HEARTH AND HOME Mini Issue - July 21, 2011

Greetings, Dear Friends!

And welcome to the July 2011 issue of HEARTH AND HOME! What a blessing it is to be with you again!
I can't believe that another month has flown by and that summer is in full swing! I pray that you and your family are healthy, happy, and serving the Lord with gladness, and that your summer is off to a great start with tons of wonderful summertime memories in store and awaiting you!

Here in southwest Missouri it has been very hot with actual temperatures hovering around the 100 degree mark and beyond for weeks, but compared to other parts of the country, where flooding and fires are taking place, we have nothing to complain about. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those in the effected areas and, in the midst of your trials, we pray peace, safety and God's hand of protection over you, your families, and your homes.

I must confess, I've tried for days now to work on this newsletter, but there's just too much going on and I'm, not making any progress with it at all. I finally decided to just relax, make it a mini issue, share what little bit I've got, and let it be enough. I pray that, in some small way, it is a blessing to you.

Are you ready? Here we go...

1) As most of you already know, our 10th grandchild, Isaiah Andrew Pennington, came into the world on July 5, 2011. He weighed in at 7 lbs. 14 oz. and was 20 3/4 inches long. He and his mother, our daughter, Amber, are both doing well. In fact, Isaiah's two-week check up revealed that he had already gained 2 lbs in 13 days! I'd say he's doing very well!

2) With the heat and high temperatures our garden isn't producing nearly as well as we would like for it to be, but we are getting a few things along...mostly tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and banana peppers. I've managed to can a few tomatoes, but most of them we are eating fresh-sliced by themselves as a side dish or snack, or as ingredients in other recipes such as taco salad or fresh pasta sauce. We are also eating a lot of fresh garden pizzas. They're simple to make, low calorie, and very healthy. They consist of a thin, homemade, whole-wheat crust topped with a little olive oil, fresh-sliced tomatoes, sliced fresh onion, fresh green peppers, fresh chopped basil, whatever kind of cheese we might have on hand...crumbled Feta, Parmesan, Provolone, or mozzarella...sprinkled with a little garlic powder and dried oregano and baked at 450 degrees until the crust is browned and the cheese is bubbly. Very easy and so delicious! 

3) In an effort to save money and be a good steward over what the Lord has given us, I have been on a 'use it up' campaign. My goal is to use up things that are on hand in the refrigerator, freezer, pantry, or cabinets before they go bad, and use up household and personal care products that have been around for a long time and are just hanging around, taking up space, and collecting dust. Here are some of the things that I have 'used up' this month...

* 2 cans of chicken broth (chicken and homemade noodles)
* 2 cans of tomato sauce (pizza sauce)
* a can of crushed pineapple (pineapple cream pie)
* sugar-free vanilla pudding (pineapple cream pie)
* 4 bananas (made into banana oat bran muffins)
* a bag of outdated tortilla chips (I found that by placing a few at a time on a paper towel and microwaving for just a few seconds you can return stale tortilla chips to their original fresh and crispy state. Awesome!)

* an almost empty bottle of Mary Kay skin freshener
* an almost empty bottle of shampoo
* an almost empty bottle of conditioner
* an almost empty bottle of Bath and Body Moonlight Path lotion
* a tube of toothpaste

4) A man in our church recently blessed us with a bag of jalapeno peppers. By experimenting a little, I turned them into the best jalapeno poppers ever! My family loved them!


12 ounces jalapeno peppers
12 ounces fat-free or Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz.) package fat-free shredded Cheddar cheese
2 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
olive or canola oil for frying

Beat together the cream cheese, Cheddar, and bacon. Stuff each pepper half with a small amount of the mixture, dip in milk, then roll in flour, and deep fry in oil. Do just a few at a time and drain well on paper towels.

5) I have been looking for this recipe forever and I finally found it. It's a recipe for homemade tortillas that was given to me by a friend several years ago. I remembered the tortillas being really good and they are! I made up a big batch of them recently and froze them. Now whenever we need tortillas, we just go to the freezer and take out what we need!


1 cup unbleached flour
4 cups Prairie Gold whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup oil 
1 1/2 cups boiling water

In a large bowl, stir together unbleached flour, whole wheat flour, and salt. Mix in the oil until you have an oatmeal texture. Make a well in the center, and pour in the boiling water. Mix with a fork until all of the water is evenly incorporated. Sprinkle with a bit of additional flour, and knead until the dough does not stick to your fingers. The dough should be smooth.

Make balls the size of golf balls, about 2 ounces each. Place them on a tray, and cover with a cloth. Let stand for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.

Heat a griddle or large frying pan over high heat. On a lightly floured surface, roll out a tortilla to your preferred thinness. Fry one at a time. Pace on the griddle for 10 seconds, as soon as you see a bubble on the top, flip the tortilla over. Let it cook for about 30 seconds, then flip and cook the other side for another 30 seconds. Roll out the next tortilla while you wait for the one to cook. Repeat until all of the balls have been cooked. Tortillas can be refrigerated or frozen.

6) In a previous post I shared that I had wallpapered our bedroom and was now looking for white sheets. Well, I found some! This morning a friend and I had gone to Lamar to pick up food boxes to deliver to the elderly here in town, and the place where we picked them up, which is also a thrift store, just happened to have exactly what I was looking for. I got several sets of white sheets and a couple of extra sheets to use as summer bedspreads for a total of $6.00! I  extremely happy with today's bargains!

Well, dear friends, that's it for now. You all have a great day and, hopefully, I'll be with you again very soon. God bless all here!

All My Love,

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