Saturday, October 29, 2011


Greetings, Dear Sisters!

Welcome to the latest issue of HEARTH AND HOME! How’s your fall cleaning coming along? Is anyone done? Our garden is put to bed and we’re in the process of weatherizing now. Oh! I did get through our closets this week! Summer clothes are put away and warm, winter clothes are ready and waiting! I pray that you enjoy this issue of HEARTH AND HOME! Here we go!

“Blessed be the name of God for ever and  ever: for wisdom and might
are His: and He changeth the times and the seasons.” (Daniel 2:20-21)


*Soften butter quickly without melting by grating the stick. Spray the grater with nonstick spray for quick cleanup.

*Before opening a package of bacon, roll it into a tube. This loosens the slices and keeps them from sticking together.

*To fill a piping bag without making a mess, place the bag upright inside a measuring cup and fold the top edge over the cup.

*Keep garlic from sticking to a knife, garlic press, or cutting board by sprinkling a little salt on the clove before chopping or mincing.

*If fresh vegetables or lettuce look wilted, sprinkle with cool water, wrap in a paper towel and put in the refrigerator for about an hour.

*Turn a metal colander upside down over the skillet when frying food. This allows the steam to escape but keeps the fat from spattering.

*Cover cookbooks with clear plastic report covers while you cook. Spills can be wiped off easily.

*Store a new, clean powder puff in the flour canister. It makes it easy to dust flour on a rolling pin or a pastry board.

*Sharpen garbage disposal blades by running ice cubes through them.

*Remove all traces of fish, onion, or other odors from your hands by wetting them, then sprinkling with baking soda. Work the paste over your hands, then rinse.

*To clean the blackened bottom of pots and pans coat the bottoms with oven cleaner and let them sit for 30 minutes. Lightly scour the blackened surface and the pot will rinse clean.

*Get rid of food overflow and burn stains on the bottom of the oven and stop smoke and odor by coating the spill with a heavy layer of salt after oven is turned off. Wait  until the oven cools, then wipe up the remains.

*Neutralize bad odors by combining one cup water, the grated peel and juice of one lemon and several whole cloves in a tw0-cup microwavable glass measure. Boil for several minutes at 100% power. Allow to sit in oven until cool. Wipe interior with a soft cloth.

If you have a household tip that you'd like to share please send it to: Rebecca Knox at Be sure and put and "Household Tip" on the subject line. Thank you!


Our goal as Christians should be to obtain financial freedom. This has four characteristics:

1.       Our assets exceed our liabilities.
2.      We are able to pay our bills as they fall due
3.      We have no unpaid bills. (We are repaying per our agreement.)
4.      We are content with where we are.

Make a distinction between the things that you must have and the things that you simply desire. Before you buy something, always ask yourself if you need it or if you want it. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Instead, try putting the money that you might have used to buy it toward paying off your credit card balance or putting it away in savings.

Study where your money goes. Do you really need cable? Is it worth $25.00 a month? What would you do with the time you spend in front of TV if you didn’t have it? Pay special attention to the monthly bills and add up everything you could comfortably do without. Then, experiment with making cuts. Keep in mind that you can always put things back into your budget that you’ve cut out.

Live below your means. If you come into a windfall, don’t spend it all. Put most of it away and live as you always did.

Your refrigerator/freezer is probably one of the biggest energy users in your home. Here are some ways to beat the cost of keeping things cool:

1.       KEEP IT CLEAN. In a manual-defrost model more than half an inch of frost can build up and make the appliances work harder, so defrost regularly. Vacuum clean the condenser coils below or at the back of the refrigerator/freezer three or four times a year. Clean coils keep it running efficiently and help save energy.

2.      KEEP IT CLOSED. The time for decisions is not when you have the door open. Get every thing you need for a sandwich or recipe in one trip.

3.      KEEP IT FULL. Frozen food helps keep the air cool in your freezer. But don’t overpack food in either refrigerator or freezer, or the cold air won’t have space to circulate properly.

4.      HEAT HAS NO BUSINESS IN THE REFRIGERATOR. Cool dishes before you  store them so your appliance  won’t have  to work so hard.

5.      INVESTIGATE BEFORE YOU BUY. A frost-free refrigerator/freezer may use 30 percent more electricity than a manual-defrost unit. Also, be sure to choose the correct cubic footage for your family, since a too-full or too empty refrigerator/freezer wastes energy.

6.      UNPLUG YOUR SECOND REFRIGERATOR. Refrigerators are big energy users, so if your second refrigerator is not being used to full capacity, unplug it. It could save you $15.00 a month or more, depending on it’s size.


So…it’s just you and hubby tonight…huh? How about some of these inexpensive date ideas?

*Go on a walk at sunset. It’s beautiful and relaxing.
*Go for a bike ride.
*Go rummage through a flea market.
*Visit a local art or natural history museum.
*Go to a local bookstore’s reading of poetry or just browse.
*Go stargazing. Many community colleges have free observatory nights.
*Take a picnic basket to a park  (if it’s rainy, do it indoors and pretend).
*Go out for coffee and dessert instead of dinner.
*Go to matinees vs. nighttime shows.
*Go miniature golfing.
*Use two-for-one coupons for restaurants.
*Enjoy a candlelight dinner at home.

If you have a dollar stretching tip to share please send

 it to Rebecca Knox at Be sure and put
"Dollars and Sense" on the subject line. Thank you!


This letter came in from a reader in Warrington, PA:

“I want to praise God for placing such women as you in my life. What an eye opener to a better life with Christ. Thank you for the time you need to write this e-mail and challenge us to be a better wife and mother and child of God. It is working for me…helping me to think and see clearer of what God wants from even me. Thanks again.”

 Thank you for your kind words and encouragement! God bless you! And may He continue to touch women such as yourself through  the  pages of this e-zine.


“…I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound…” (Philippians 4:11-12)

In the above verse the Apostle Paul tells us that, no matter what conditions he found himself in…he had LEARNED to be content. My question this week is…how many of US have LEARNED to be content? How is that one LEARNS to be content with whatever it is that he or she has…whether with or without…rich or poor?

If you don't mind me sharing your answer in a future issue of HEARTH AND HOME send it in an e-mail to:

Be sure and put "HEARTH AND HOME QUESTION " on the subject line.  Thank you!


1 pumpkin
Cinnamon, nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice
1 short fat candle
Cut and remove the lid of the pumpkin. Clean out the seeds and pulp, then carve pretty designs all around the pumpkin. Sprinkle choice of spice (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc.) all around on the inside of the pumpkin and the inside of the lid. Set a candle inside the pumpkin. Replace the  lid on pumpkin. This creates a wonderful aroma when the candle is lit.

Nestle a stocky candle in the center of a simple glass salad or punch bowl, then fill around it with small fruits. There's no need to purchase a tall, expensive candle. Choose a short one and elevate it on a candle stand or aluminum can. Then completely cover the stand or can with apples.

Skinny striped squash make whimsical containers for playful tapers and posies. Hollow the squash with an apple corer, then take a thin slice off the bottom to keep it upright. Place the squash on a plate or tray to protect your tabletop from moisture.

Capture the fluttering beauty of falling leaves by suspending them on silk cords. Hang the leaves in front of a window--and watch how the light illuminates their web-like skeletons. For a point of iridescence, string a single glass bead onto each length of cord, knotting it below. Slip the leaf stem through both knot and bead.

Unearth fall-themed serving pieces from your cupboards and let them shine as the focal points of natural displays. Here, the woodsy tones of a leaf-patterned ironstone pitcher and bowl call for the fruits of fall in similar shades of brown and gold. Clusters of oak leaves spill from the pitcher; dark pinecones and golden gourds grace the bowl for a visual feast that only autumn can host.


Old-Fashioned Beef Stew

  • 3 pounds lean beef, round or rump
  • 2 tablespoons butter or other fat
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pinch thyme
  • 6 small whole carrots
  • 3 large potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 pound small white boiling onions
Cut meat into small pieces. Brown in fat. Add water to cover and seasonings. Simmer, covered, about 2 hours. Add vegetables and simmer until vegetables are tender--about 30 minutes.

Serves 6.

Baked Chicken Delight

  • 4-5 cups cooked chicken
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1cup raw rice
  • salt, pepper, sweet basil, rosemary
  • chicken broth-2 cups
  • 1 can evaporated milk
Place chicken meat in shallow pan. Sprinkle with salt and herbs to taste. Saute onions in butter until tender-do not let brown! Arrange onion over chicken. Sprinkle rice evenly over top and add enough chicken broth to cover. Cover pan and bake at 350 degrees one and one-half hours. Add milk, full strength. Re-cover and bake another 30 minutes. Do not stir.

Chicken and Black Bean Chili

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lb chicken tenderloins, cut in 1/2" pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can beans - pinto, white, or small red, drained (15 ounces)
  • 1 can black beans, drained (15 ounces)
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes, Mexican style, (15 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder or seasoning mix
In large skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, brown chicken and onion over medium heat. Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce to low; simmer for about 20 minutes.
Serves 6.

Microwave Fried Apples

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups peeled & sliced Granny Smith apples
  • 3 cups peeled & sliced Rome Beauty apples
In a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon, stirring until the cornstarch is fully distributed.
Arrange the apples in a casserole dish, and cover with the sugar mixture. Cover, and microwave on high for 5 minutes, or until the sugar is melted. Stir and cook, uncovered, another 4 minutes, or until the apples are soft through the center. They should be fork tender. Stir and serve.

Sweet Potato-Pecan Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup well-mashed or pureed sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg; set aside. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg, sweet potato, vanilla, and orange rind. Beat mixture into dry ingredients. Stir in pecans.
Drop batter by teaspoonful onto lightly buttered cookie sheets, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between them. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until browned. Cool on racks and store in an airtight container.
If desired glaze with a mixture of 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons orange juice while cookies are still warm.
Makes about 3 dozen.

Pumpkin Roll

  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 8 ounces Cream cheese -- softened
  • 4 tablespoons Butter -- or margarine
  • 1 cup Powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1. in large bowl, combine eggs and sugar, beating well. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, mixing until blended.
2.In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add to egg mixture, mixing well. Spread batter into greased and waxed-paper lined 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for 15 minutes. Place cake on clean tea towel sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar. Cool 10 min. longer. From 10- inch side, roll cake up in towel. Set aside.
4. Meanwhile, prepare filling. Unroll cake. Evenly spread filling over cake. Roll up cake (without the towel). Wrap in plastic wrap. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Slice before serving. Keep leftover slices refrigerated.
FILLING: Beat together cream cheese and butter or margarine. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla, blending until smooth.

My daughter found this REALLY cute site for children! You and your children can visit it by going to: Enjoy!

Well, Ladies, that’s it for this time! Until next time I pray God’s blessings upon you,  your family, and your home. HAPPY AUTUMN!

Love and ((((Hugs)))),


  1. Rebecca, as always, enjoy your tips and hits. Agree with you about financial freedom and we have been working our way toward it steadily for a bit now. It's always fun to see the debt diminish and yet our lives enrich because we are finding more things to do together and be frugal together. Thanks for the Household tips, didn't know some of them!

    Hugs & Prayers,
    Tamara @

  2. Thanks for taking the time to visit, read, and comment, Tamara. It is much appreciated! Congratulations on your family's debt reduction! We had done really well with it for a long time, then circumstances happened beyond our control and we were plunged right back into it...more so than we had ever been! But we've been going at it again and, although it is slow going, we are starting to see progress. Like your family, we are starting to find new and creative ways to be frugal together and we're enjoying it. Be on the lookout for TWO that HUGE Thanksgiving issues of HEARTH AND HOME that are on the way! The first one should be out in just a couple of days! I'm excited about them and can't wait to share them with you! I hope they are a blessing to you and all of the ladies here! Have a blessed Sunday!

    All My Love,
    ~Rebecca <3


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