10 July 2012

Years ago, Mum would make cookies from the recipe on the back of Toll House’s Chocolate Chip bag. We would spread the dough out in a pan, and lick the leftover dough from spoons while waiting for the oven to do its masterful work.

After the cookie had cooled (okay, rarely did we wait that long), we would cut it into squares. What fond memories I have of sitting with my sister, napkins in hand, eating warm, melty chocolate chip cookies!

Having been gluten-free for over two years and dairy-free for several months now, those favorite food-related childhood memories still linger in the back of my mind.

Thanks to a friend and her lovely pinboards, I came across a recipe… and it reminds me of those Toll House cookie-eating days from years ago.

(Below is our revised version of Michele’s recipe, who had revised Elana’s recipe.)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares
GLUTEN-Free, GRAIN-Free, DAIRY-Free

2 ½ cups almond flour (we use Honeyville)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
2 eggs
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons coconut sugar (we use Madhava)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup Enjoy Life (dairy-free) chocolate chips

In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a second bowl, combine wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Place dough on parchment paper atop a baking sheet or stone. Form dough with your hands into a circle or square.

Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let the large cookie cool for about 10-15 minutes (great time to practice patience!) and cut into squares.

Enjoy!


9 July 2012

Patience by Clementine Patterns

This month’s featured fruit of the Spirit is Patience. We’ve created a free embroidery pattern from Clementine Patterns – just for you! The PDF embroidery pattern features several graphics for Patience and you can click here to download the PDF for free. (For personal use only. This PDF pattern is available temporarily as a free download – now through Friday, July 13th.)

UPDATE: Now available here!

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

—Galatians 5:22-23

P.S. Missed the the previous months’ “love” and “joy” and “peace” patterns? No worries – they’re available as PDF downloads in our Etsy shop!


21 June 2012

Last week we had the delightful pleasure of meeting our friends’ most recent blessing, Lavinia May!

Lavinia May

Lavinia May

Lavinia May

Edmund

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward.”
—Psalm 127:3


7 June 2012

As we sat eating supper at the dinner table, something down the table caught my attention.

Spring Daisies

I looked over to see this vase of daisies. As I watched, one wilted flower was mournfully dropping its head. From lack of water it was exhausted and had started to let go of life.

The stem was not deep enough in the vase to reach the water which had been quickly drank by the dozen daisies. The pathetic, now bent stem looked rather mournful with its head hanging low.

I quickly took some water and filled the vase back up to the rim, hoping to keep that sad end from meeting any of the others.

Little did I expect the next morning…

Daisies

…to find a certain little flower holding its head up high. Bent though its little neck was, the daisy’s cheerful yellow face was now turned to the sun once again. The water had refreshed the life of the sad flower, giving it all the more strength and resolve to stand strong.

This little incident reminded me of a couple verses that are very dear to me – verses that remind us to:

– Seek to be transformed in the renewing our minds in God’s Word
Discern and pursue the will of God, what is good, acceptable, and perfect
– To be refreshed in Christ – through His Word, prayer, edification of believers, etc.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of
your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

—Romans 12:2

And especially:

“Refresh my heart in Christ.”
—Philemon 1:20b

Turn your face to the Son and be refreshed.


5 June 2012

On a beautiful, warm evening last month I had the opportunity to photograph this dear family. As the sun set low in the sky, it filled the landscape with golden light.

It is precious to see these five together – they love each other very much and it’s contagious.

Family Portrait

Lil' Joe

Julia

Lil' Joe and his daddy

Lil' Joe and his mommy

Lil' Joe and his mommy

Golden

Mr. & Mrs.

Mr. & Mrs.

Mr. & Mrs.

Family Portrait

(Thank you for letting me photograph your sweet family – I can hardly wait to see you all together again!)


30 May 2012

"Peace" by Clementine Patterns

This month’s free pattern from Clementine Patterns features several delightful graphics for Peacedownload the PDF pattern for free and embroider your own version of “Peace”! (For personal use only. This PDF pattern download is available for free – now through June 9th.)

Don’t miss out on next month’s free embroidery pattern…
you can subscribe here to be notified when it’s released!

P.S. Missed the last month’s “love” and “joy” patterns? No worries – they’re available as a PDF download in our Etsy shop!

"Peace" by Clementine Patterns

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
–Philippians 4:4-7


25 May 2012

Chocolate Orange Torte

Have you ever had one of those chocolate oranges that you crack and eat in orange-slice-shape pieces? Image that flavor, only in a cake-brownie. Delicious! This is a wonderful gluten-free/grain-free/dairy-free dish to share with guests – they won’t even notice the difference.

And, as if it couldn’t get any better, it’s healthy…

Chocolate Orange Torte

Chocolate Orange Torte
GLUTEN-Free | GRAIN-Free | DAIRY-Free

1/2 cup blanched almond flour (we use Honeyville)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (we use Enjoy Life‘s dairy-free chips)
5 drops orange essential oil (we use Young Living because it is pure and safe to ingest) or 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract

In a bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients except the chocolate chips. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Poor batter into a well-oiled 10-inch spring-form pan. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.

Enjoy!

This is our version of Elana’s Double Chocolate Orange Torte.


24 May 2012

This is Juliet. You might remember her from this post over a year ago.

Juliet

She is a very good little friend of ours who is teaching us sign language (she’s still learning to speak in full sentences). Just last evening she was so happy that I learned the sign for “flower”, as she pointed at a flower and signed the word. She even congratulated me by giving me a hug and pat on the back when I correctly guessed what she was signing.

There’s nothing like her little girl squeals. Especially when it comes to asking her if she likes strawberries.

Juliet in the Breeze

In the photo above, the breeze through the open window blew a small tuft of hair up. She, Breezy, and I had just been looking out the window to see what we could find.

“Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty heavens!
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!”
—Psalm 150:1-2


22 May 2012

I had just dropped off to sleep when I felt the ship bump as if scraping the side of a tree.

I sat up straight in bed, trying to make out what had happened. It seemed completely silent for a minute or two. The engines were cut off. The corridors were quiet until one began to hear doors open and voices speaking. The first voice I heard was a woman asking the steward what had happened. He replied calmly, “Everything will be all right.”

Sinking of the Titanic

Those were the words of Miss Helen R. Østby, survivor, recalling the night when the Titanic had struck an iceberg which would lead to the ship’s sinking and the death of 1,500+ passengers and crew.

I can only imagine what it would have been like – just over one hundred years ago – to be on the grand, arrogantly acclaimed “unsinkable” Titanic.

The anticipation leading up to her maiden voyage, the excitement of all those boarding such an extravagant vessel, the luxury and grandeur of her various decks and the first class dining hall.

With this being the 100th year anniversary of Titanic’s sinking, we have been studying her passengers, the events surrounding her maiden and fatal voyage, and those who survived. The event becomes more and more real with each new fact learned and each new story read.

I am left speechless by the heroism of the men who gave their lives so that women and children could live. Not a single act of chivalry, heroism, or sacrifice was performed by accident. With great intention the men placed the women and children on lifeboats as the Titanic took on water.

The sinking was tragic because of the many lives lost at sea. But with gratefulness we can look back and give thanks for those who were spared and lived to tell the stories of manhood, womanhood, humility, servanthood, and especially sacrifice.

“For I know that the Lord is great,
and that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the Lord pleases, He does,
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,
Who makes lightnings for the rain
and brings forth the wind from His storehouses.”

—Psalm 135:5-7