Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Change you didn't ask for...

I had the privilege to hear Pastor Jeff Manion speak this morning at our work retreat. The basis of his teaching was from Acts 14 - Paul's Missionary Journeys.

Jeff has an incredible story from his childhood.  When we was 12 years old his mother was killed in a terrible car accident (in August). Shortly after his father moved the family from Iowa to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Then in October his father met the 21-year-old secretary who worked at his church. And married her in January. And then moved the family from Michigan to California. Can you imagine the amount of change for this teenager? Massive - mother died, two major moves, and a new step-mom with tremendous influence in the family who was closer in age to Jeff than to his father.

Many times movement in your life isn't something you asked for or chose.  

I can't even imagine the amount of tumult in the life of this family, and teenage Jeff. And what about Jeff's step-mom? Instant mom at the age of 21 to FIVE children...teenager down to toddler. CRAZY!

Movement in your life, isn't always things you ask for or choose.  But the decisions you make in those spaces are some of the most critical decisions you make in your life. 

During those times consider these principles from Paul's missionary journeys:

  • Power and presence. - God matches our movement with His power and presence.  He meets us in powerful new ways. When God is calling out new movement in your life, consider praying this prayer, "Dear Lord please meet me in my move." Anticipate God's power and presence in a fresh new way in your life.
  • Opposition - any major movement in your life will be met with some opposition. Don't be surprised. Expect it.
  • Perseverance - your capacity to continue to move forward when things get really difficult is key. Keep moving.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Refrigerate unhusked corn until ready to use. Corn is best when eaten as soon after picking as posible. Husk ears and remove silk just before cooking.

Place corn in enough unsalted cold water to cover (salt toughens corn). Add 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to each gallon of water. Heat to boiling; boil uncovered 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Wrap corn in waxed paper; twist ends. Microwave until tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Let stand 1 minute.


Wash potatoes. Leave skins on whenever possible or pare thinly and remove eyes. Leave whole or cut into large pieces. Heat 1 inch salted water (1/2 teaspoon salt to 1 cup water) to boiling. cook until tender, whole 30 to 35 minutes, pieces 20 to 25 minutes; drain.

Scrub potatoes and, if desired, rub with shortening for softer skins. Prick with fork to allow steam to escape. Cook in 375 degree oven 1 to 1-1/4 hours.

Prick potatoes of similar size with fork to allow steam to escape. Arrange potatoes about 1 inch apart in circle on paper towel in microwave. Microwave until tender, 11 to 13 minutes. Let stand 1 minute.

Hard Boiled Eggs

Place eggs in saucepan; add enough cold water to come at least 1 inch above eggs. Heat rapidly to boiling; remove from heat. Cover and let stand until desired doneness, 22 to 24 minutes. Immediately cool eggs in cold water to prevent further cooking. Tap egg to crackle shell. Roll egg between hadns to loosen shell, then peel. hold egg under running cold water to help ease off shell.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Zucchini Boats


  • 2 medium zucchini (about 8 inches)
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Trim the ends off zucchini. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving 1/2-in. shells. Finely chop pulp.
  2. In a skillet, cook beef, zucchini pulp, onion, mushrooms and peppers over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Remove from the heat. Add 1/2 cup cheese, ketchup, salt and pepper; mix well. Spoon into the zucchini shells. Place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  3. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until zucchini is tender. 
Yield: 4 servings.
Alternate stuffing: 8 ounces Italian Sausage, chopped onion, chopped tomatoes.
Alternate topping: 1/4 cup Parmesan, 1/4 cup mozzarella, 1/8 cup breadcrumbs.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese


  • 4 cups (generous) Butternut Squash, cubed and peeled
  • 2 cups reduced sodium Chicken Broth or reduced sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 1 1/2 cups low fat Milk
  • 1/4 cup plain 2% fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese (split)
  • 1 cup grated Romano Cheese
  • 1 box (1 pound) large elbow noodles, cooked al dente
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F.  In a large pot, combine cubed butternut squash and chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until squash is tender.
  2. Remove from heat. Add milk, Greek yogurt, dry mustard, salt, pepper and puree until smooth in a food processor. Stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese and Romano cheese until melted and then fold in pasta.  Pour everything into a large 9x13-inch baking dish lightly brushed with olive oil.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and turn oven to Broil.  Mix last cup of cheddar cheese with bread crumbs.  Sprinkle over macaroni and return to oven for an additional 3-5 minutes until cheese has browned and some edges of noodles are crisp.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus


  • A small wheel of Boursin cheese (garlic and herb flavor is delicious)
  • 40 medium-sized spears of asparagus
  • 20 slices of prosciutto
  • Zest from one lemon
  • Cracked black pepper


  1. Trim off the tough ends of the asparagus spears. Blanche the asparagus by submerging it in boiling water for about 2 minutes, and then drain it and rinse it in cold water to stop any further cooking. Pat dry and set aside. 
  2. Prepare the prosciutto by spreading a thin layer of cheese on each slice and then cutting it in half (along its shorter dimension). Sprinkle cracked black pepper on the cheese, and then wrap the prosciutto around the middle of an asparagus spear. One slice of prosciutto should do two asparagus spears. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Strawberry Brownies


  • 1 box strawberry cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • white chocolate chips, optional
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both sides.
  2. In a large bowl or mixer, beat eggs and canola oil into cake mix until no lumps remain.Note: if using chocolate chips, fold them in now.
  3. Pour batter into lined baking dish and smooth out the top.
  4. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean.
  5. Remove brownies from oven and let cool 5 minutes before extracting parchment paper from baking dish and transferring to a wire rack.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk milk and vanilla extract into powdered sugar until smooth.Note: for a thicker glaze, use less milk; for a thinner glaze, more milk.
  7. Drizzle glaze over the slightly cooled brownies and let set before cutting into squares and serving.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich


  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly
  • Bread
  • Cooking spray


  1. Spread peanut butter and jelly on a slice of bread.  Top with another slice of bread to make a sandwich.
  2. Spray cooking spray on a frying pan.  Place sandwich in the pan and cook over medium heat. When bread is nicely browned, remove from pan and serve!
Recipe from the kitchen of Leighton Kyle.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Lucy's Lemon Squares


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • dash of salt


  1. Blend flour, butter and powdered sugar with fingertips until well mixed. Pat evenly into the bottom of an 8x8 inch baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. 
  2. Meanwhile, beat together eggs, granulated sugar, baking powder, lemon juice and salt. Pour over baked crust and return to oven for 20-25 minutes at same temperature. 
  3. Cool on rack. Cut in squares. Sprinkle with sifted, powdered sugar.
Recipe from the Peanuts Cookbook.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls


  • 1/2 cup unpopped corn
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup white corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter


  1. Pop corn and season with butter and salt. Combine syrup and sugar in small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until hot and bubbly. Add peanut butter and cook over low heat until well blended.
  2. Put popcorn in large, buttered bowl, and pour syrup evenly over corn. Mix well.
  3. With well buttered hands form quickly into balls.

Recipe from the Peanuts Cookbook.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sally's Broiled Cheese-Hot Dog Sandwich

  • 10 hot dogs
  • 5 hamburger buns
  • 1/2 pound Jack or Swiss cheese

  1. Place hot dogs in broiler. 
  2. While they are browning, halve and butter hamburger buns. 
  3. When hot dogs are done, remove and split lengthwise. then cut these two pieces across in half. Arrange the four pieces on buttered bun and cover with a 1/4-inch slice of cheese. Return to broiler and cook slowly until cheese is bubbly. 
  4. Serve with relish, mustard, catsup, etc. Makes 10 open sandwiches.

Recipe from the Peanuts Cookbook.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Frieda's French Toast


  • 4 slices bread (not too fresh)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Beat eggs until light and frothy. Add milk, sugar and salt and beat until well blended. 
  2. Dip each piece of bread into egg mixture and fry in medium hot pan, greased with butter. When toast is brown on both sides and puffy it is ready to serve. 
  3. Top with melted butter and cinnamon sugar, syrup or powdered sugar.

Recipe from the Peanuts Cookbook.

Thursday, August 6, 2015



  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons soft butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash of salt


  1. Blend sugar a little at a time with butter. Add dash of salt. When all the sugar is thoroughly mixed, blend in vanilla. 
  2. Spread lightly over cake after it is cool.

Recipe from the Peanuts Cook Book.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cool Blueberry Crisp

  • 5 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 can diet 7-up

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pour blueberries into a greased 9x13 baking pan.
  3. Sprinkle white cake mix over all blueberries.
  4. Drizzle diet 7-up over top.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes. If desired, serve with whipped cream or use as a topping for vanilla ice cream.

Recipe from Kids in the Kitchen from Hudsonville Schools.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Crispy Noodles


  • 1 bag no yolk wide egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine


  1. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain. Place the noodles in a large frying pan with butter and brown the noodles until they are crispy. 
  2. Variation: for cheesy noodles skip the butter and cut up and melt 1 small block of velveeta cheese over the noodles. 
Recipe from the kitchen of Donna Mey

Monday, August 3, 2015

Chicken Strips

  • 1 bag frozen chicken strips
  • 1 box frying magic
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Thaw as many chicken strips as needed for the meal. Place frying magic in a bag and shake the chicken in it. Place the chicken strips in a 9x13 baking dish. 
  3. Melt the butter and pour over the chicken. Then place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Or until the chicken is fully cooked win no pink in the middle.  
Recipe from the kitchen of Donna Mey

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sloppy Joes

  • 4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 small onion; chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 can tomato soup
  1. Brown the ground beef with the chopped onion in a large stock pot. Drain. 
  2. Put the cooked beef back in the pot and add the remaining ingredients. Do not dilute the tomato soup. 
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. The longer you summer the mixture the better the flavor.

Recipe from the kitchen of Donna Mey.