Gluten Free & God Seeking

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Claudia's Blueberry Coffee Cake (Made Gluten Free!)

     For 12 years I lived next door to a woman who had a wooden sign outside her front door that said, Martha Stewart doesn't live here! You wouldn't have known it for the baked goods that came rolling out of her oven!  

    She owned a flower shop in downtown Seattle, and used her skill to turn her backyard into an English garden. On top of all that, she was the neighborhood craft queen! My children always enjoyed it when she would invite them over to play in her hot tub and have what called a guppy party.

    She was one of my contact people at my children's school.  On one occasion when I came home from work, I found the sick patient next door with a large slice of pizza  in her hand watching a children's movie!  Needless to say she loved my children, and they loved her.

   One Saturday afternoon she invited all the girls and their mothers in our neighborhood for a tea party.  On her beautiful tiered china serving dishes were exquisite sandwiches cut in triangles, muffins, cookies, and other mouth watering creations plus fruit and vegetable platters.  

  When she died of a brain tumor, it crushed our whole family. Before her death she gave my three girls some of her cookbooks. She also told me to go into her backyard and take any of the plants and herbs that I wanted. Most of the plants are still growing in my front and back yard. Her daisies and lemon balm come up each year reminding me of her.  

And over the course of my friendship with her she gave me some of her special recipes.  Today I am sharing her coffee cake recipe.  My brother is bringing me something zucchini from his garden, and I'm going to make and post her chocolate zucchini cake recipe soon.

Claudia's Blueberry Coffee Cake (Made Gluten Free)

1.  Prepare dry ingredients - In a medium sized mixing bowl put:
(1)  2 cups gluten free flour - 2/3 cup brown rice flour, 2/3 cup sorghum flour, and 2/3 cup tapioca flour.
(2)  Stir in leavening & salt:  1 t baking powder, 1 t baking soda, and 1/2 t of salt.

2.  Cream butter & sugar - In a large mixing bowl put:
(1)  1 stick of softened butter and beat for a minute or two.
(2)   Gradually add 1 cup of sugar (I put 3/4 cup) and beat for 3-5 minutes.
(3)  Add 2 eggs ONE at a time, beating well after each.

3.  Combine creamed mixture and flour: 
  Add a part of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with 1 cup sour cream/yogurt that has been mixed with 1 t of vanilla, and beat well after each addition.

4.  Stir in  1+ cup of blueberries. (You can add chopped apples or any other fruit of your choice.)

5.  Prepare topping - In a small bowl mix together:
(1)  1/3 cup of brown sugar

(2)   t of cinnamon
(3)  1 cup of chopped walnuts
(4)  Sprinkle topping over the top of the coffee cake.

6.  Put the batter into a greased 9 x 3 pan and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Other breakfast recipes on this blog:

Fantastic Gluten Free Blueberry Pancakes
Gluten Free Banana Split Pancakes
Outstanding Gluten Free Oatmeal Pancakes
Yummy Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes
Crunchy & Delicious Potato Latkes
Tasty Gluten Free Swedish Pancakes
Protein Packed Gluten Free Ricotta Cheese Pancakes
Family Favorite Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancakes

Waffles, Crepes,  Fritters & Dutch Babies 
Gluten Free Gingerbread Waffles
Easy to Make Gluten Free Waffles
Incredible Gluten Free Crepes
Old Fashioned Gluten Free Banana Fritters
Amazing Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Dutch Baby

Egg Dishes
Sweet Potato Hash With Poached Eggs

Hash Brown Egg Casserole
Mexican Migas Breakfast Casserole
Baked Zucchini Frittata
Jan's Sausage & Vegetable Frittata  
Huevos Rancheros - A Fantastic South of the Border Breakfast
Beautiful Eggs Florentine


Yummy Peanut Coconut Granola

 Gluten Free Baked Oatmeal

Breakfast Muffins
Banana Nutty Muffins

Bursting with Blueberries Gluten Free Muffins
Gluten Free Tremendous Pumpkin Muffins
Scrumptious Gluten Free Blueberry Scones
Thanksgiving Gluten Fre Pumpkin Scones
Sassy Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Sunday, July 27, 2014

From the Life-Study of Hebrews - What Does God's Speaking Show Us In Hebrews 1:1-2

Did you know that God speaks?  I  like the way Hebrews begins because it tells us that He does:

God, having spoken of old in many portions and in many ways to the fathers in the prophets, has at the last of these days spoken to us in the Son whom He appointed Heir of all hints, through whom He made the universe.  Hebrews 1:1-2

So for the Hebrew believers who were waffling between their Jewish religion and their Christian faith, God points their attention immediately to His Son.  In the Recovery Version of the New Testament there's a cross reference here to Matthew 17:5 when God interrupted Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration and said, …This is My Son, the beloved, in whom I have found My delight, hear Him!  Even in the gospels God Himself had to come in and speak in order to  redirect the Lord's disciples from the Old Testament law and prophets to His Son.  

I went blueberry picking with a friend on Monday.
   The book of Hebrews was written around A.D. 67, and you can still see after so many years Judaism was still entrenched in the hearts of these Jewish believers. They couldn't let it go.  Witness Lee says that in chapter after chapter of this book strong comparisons are drawn to show that Christ is superior to the Old Testament law and prophets. 

   God's speaking in the Bible sets it apart from every other book on earth. Brother Lee says in chapter 2 of the Life-Study of Hebrews that without God's speaking, He would be mysterious.  God's speaking shows that He is real, living, and working. I liked this excerpt in  that chapter on God's speaking that's on pages 19-20--because God is still speaking:  
God has spoken and He is still speaking today.  He is speaking to  your heart and your spirit.  How do we know that our God is living?  Because He speaks to
us.  How do we know that He is moving and working?  Because He speaks.  Consider your experience in the past 48 hours.  Can you say that during that time God has not spoken to you? ….He is speaking day by day ( Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Hebrews. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1975, Print).

Lord, speak to us every day!  

You can  also listen to live excerpts from these messages on Hebrews on The Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee.  You will enjoy listening to both  the excerpts  from these spoken messages and the helpful and enlightening commentary of the radio hosts.

Other Posts on the Life-Study of Hebrews: 

Why is the Background of the Book of Hebrews Important?

Check Out More Posts on God's Word is Spiritual Food:

Getting Spiritual Food From God's Word
Why Should You Read the Bible?
What Happens When You Read the Bible?
What is the Most Prevailing Need Among Christians?
How Is Your Relationship With the Lord?
How to Enjoy The Bountiful Supply of the Spirit in Philippians 1:19
What is the Stewardship of God For in Colossians 1:25?
Do You Know What the Goal of Spiritual Growth is in Colossians 2:19?
How Can You Be Nourished With the Words of the Faith in 1 Timothy 4:6?
Why is the Word Healthy Used So Much in the Epistle to Titus?
Why  Should You Avoid Questionings in Titus 3:9?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Grandma's Recipe For Dandelion Honey

  Aren't dandelions weeds? That's what I thought for years. Several years ago I learned that dandelion leaves made a good tea for liver detox.  So I started drying it along with my peppermint, lemon balm, feverfew, calendula, roses, lavender for teas and the rosemary, basil, and oregano for cooking.  But that's as far as I went.    

   When I visited my aunt in Kansas in 2010, I went through all my grandmother's recipes.  What's this recipe in my grandma's recipe box for dandelion jelly? It interested me that my grandmother would make a jelly from things I thought were just weeds--so I wrote it down and thought maybe sometime I'd make it just for fun. 

Grandma B's Dandelion Jelly
Pick dandelions:  In the morning pick 4 cups of dandelion blossoms without stems.

Prepare jelly:  Boil the blossoms with 4 cups of water for 3 minutes.  Drain off the liquid.  Then add  1 package of pectin,  1 t of lemon juice, and 4 1/2 cups of sugar.  Boil for about 3 minutes. 

     It made me laugh when she wrote at the bottom of her recipe card dandelion jelly tastes like honey.  I thought with 4 1/2 cups of sugar it better!    Needless to say for  the past 4 years that recipe just sat in my recipe binder.  That is until I went to a farmer's market with my daughter this spring and there on a table was a recipe for dandelion honey.  What interested more than anything was the information they gave about all of vitamins and minerals dandelions contain!  And it only called for half the sugar!

    Who would have thought. Most of the time I'm yanking dandelions out and throwing them into my compost bin.  And by the way most of my dandelions grow  near my compost bins and in my grassy alley!  So they're organic on top of it!  So far this year I've made three batches of dandelion honey.  

    When I made it a few weeks ago with some of my grandkids I canned it in small half pint jars.  By the way I've done this twice with my grandkids, and they have all loved doing it!  Must be something about making food out "weeds" in the yard!  The recipe below is a combination of these two recipes!  And yesterday I did some searches on dandelions, and in the  section below called Health Benefits of Dandelions you can click on those links and learn more about them.

Dandelion Honey 

1.  Pick dandelions: Pick a bunch of dandelion heads in the morning when they're open. You will need 4 cups for this recipe.

2.  Simmer dandelions:
(1)  Place 4 cups of dandelion flowers in a pan.
(2)  Add 3 cut up lemons (I have just used 1 cut up lemon and it works very well.)
(3)  Simmer for 30 minutes.
(4)  Turn off stove, leave covered, and let  them steep overnight.

3.  Strain dandelions in the morning - Put a bowl under the strainer:
 Strain through a cheesecloth or I just used my small strainer.  Press the dandelions into the strainer to squeeze out all the liquid.

4.  Make the dandelion honey:
(1)  Pour the strained dandelion liquid into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. 
(2)  Slowly stir in 2  1/8 cups of sugar (I just do 2 cups--and what a difference from my grandmother's old fashioned recipe!)
Note:  If you want to make this a bit thicker, then add 1/2 package of pectin like my grandmother used to do. After working with it, I have found that this is just the right amount to give it more of that honey consistency and not make it turn into a jelly (that is unless you want it to and if you do, then add the whole package!)
(3) Simmer for  1 1/2 hours.  Make sure the mixture does not turn dark because that means it's going to taste like burnt Carmel!

5.  Pour the honey into clean jars and refrigerate.  (or you can it!)

6.  Canning the dandelion honey:
I've done a lot of canning, and I was making blueberry jam when I was working on this honey so I washed up some of the half pint jars, filled them with hot water until they were ready.  And then when the dandelion honey was done, I ladled it into the jars, put on hot lids, and stuck it in the canner for 5 minutes.  Click on the link if you want to see some of my directions for canning jam.

When two of my grandkids did a sleepover, they helped me on the last stage of this dandelion honey and we put it in our tea. You can see my oldest granddaughter in the picture above stirring the sugar into the strained dandelion liquid. She thought it was pretty cool and asked for a jar to take home.

Health Benefits of Dandelions

Today I checked out some sites  that talked about  the health benefits of dandelions.  I was wondering about this because of the information  I read on the above sheet from the Farmer's Market that highlighted the nutrients in the  dandelion flowers. I was a bit skeptical, like really?

   On one site the gal humorously wondered why people were throwing pesticides on dandelions when they are so full of nutritional benefits, and who decided that the dandelion was an ugly weed instead of an herb anyway?? 

I've known for years that dandelion leaves are helpful for detoxifying the liver, but I learned on Nutrition and You and Organic Facts that they do so much more than that! They point out a few precautions that some people's skin might be sensitive so just take a little to see how your body responds.

And if after reading that you want to know how to dry dandelion flowers and leaves to make your own tea, you can find that information on Garden Guides.

Other jam posts you can check out on this blog:

Making Low Sugar Blackberry Jam
How to Make Low Sugar Raspberry Jam
Homemade Apple Butter
Triple Berry Low Sugar Jam
How to Make & Can Your Own Blueberry Jam
Just Like Grandma's Homemade Low Sugar Strawberry Jam

Other canning posts you can check out on this blog:

Making & Canning Applesauce  
Tasty Countertop Pickles - Naturally Fermented Without Vinegar!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Why is the Background of the Book of Hebrews Important?

Sun setting over the boardwalk.
 Of all the epistles Hebrews is the only one not written to a church or a believer.  But what is a Hebrew?  Have you ever thought about that?   In chapter 1 of the Life-Study of Hebrews Witness Lee shares that the first time the word Hebrew was used was in Genesis 14:13  where Abram was called the Hebrew. He said that the root of this word means "to pass over." 

     Stephen gives a fascinating account of Abraham's experience of leaving  Acts 7:1-5.  When Abraham was in Ur a city of idolatry, the God of glory appeared to him.  God told him to leave  Ur and go to a land that God would show him.  Step by step he followed God across the Euphrates River and into the land of Canaan.  

   This background about Abraham is important because the writer wanted to impress upon these early Jewish believers that they need to cross the river of religion.  The background information on page 10 helped me understand what was happening to the early Jewish believers at this time:
In A.D. 63 Ananias, one of the high priests in the Jewish religion in Jerusalem, rose up with the Sadduccees and Pharisees to persecute the Hebrews.  At that time those dear Hebrews appreciated the Lord Jesus, but they were unwilling to forsake their old religion. Eventually the Lord sovereignly raised up a 
circumstance which forced them out of it….Perhaps the high priest said, "If you want to remain here with us, you must be like us. Don't be such a Christian--be a Jew. Be a typical Jew. If you want to be a Christian, get out!"...The epistle to the Hebrews was written for the purpose of confirming to the staggering Hebrew believers the genuine Christian faith and to warn them not to deviate from it. They had to forsake their Jewish religion (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Hebrews. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1975, Print).
In this chapter brother Lee also points out that the persecution the Hebrews were going through was not coming from the Romans or heathens but from Jewish officials (Hebrews 10:39). That was  a hard pill for them to swallow, and it actually made them doubt the stand they were taking as believers in Christ. 

     At this juncture the book of Hebrews was written to  to strengthen them to follow Jesus, the captain of their salvation and cross that river.  Throughout this book the writer draws a clear contrast between Christ and the Jewish religion in order to motivate  them to cross over.

     Brother Lee closed this chapter with saying that even we today might find ourselves in need of crossing a river. We also need to be the river crossers.   

You can  also listen to live excerpts from these messages on Hebrews on The Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee.  You will enjoy listening to both  the excerpts  from these spoken messages and the helpful and enlightening commentary of the radio hosts.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Just Like Grandma's (But Only Gluten Free) Blueberry Cobbler

My grandmother used to make berry cobblers in the summer.  Her berry cobblers not only looked beautiful with their mounds of sweet white dough perched on top of a pan of thickened  berries,  but they were also downright delicious!  Especially with a few scoops of vanilla ice cream. (Yum) I had some blueberries I needed to use up this week so I decided to make a cobbler with them last night.    

Some of them were from some blueberries we had picked with our grandkids and one of our international students.  I told our two students that I usually make a  crisp or something to thank everyone for their help. Earlier this week I made blueberry jam out of most of them. So anyway while my husband and students went to the store for the ice cream, I worked on making the cobbler.

  This recipe comes from two sources--the fruit bottom comes from a handwritten recipe I got  from the recipe notebook at the farm berry, and the topping recipe comes from a recipe I wrote down years ago from my husband's grandmother's cookbook.  When I made it years ago for some blackberries we had picked,  it reminded me of the cobbler my own grandmother used to make. Making a cobbler each summer is probably just another one of those things I do in her memory.

Blueberry Cobbler - for an 8 x 8 pan

1.  Prepare Fruit: (Substitute 4 cups of any berries or fruit)

(1)  Measure out 4 cups of blueberries (or a bit more) into a saucepan.
(2)  Add  1 1/2 T of butter
(3)  Add  1/2 cup of sugar and 1 1/2 t of vanilla
(4)  Stir in 2 T of rice flour and bring to a boil.  Stir for 1 minute or until the berries are thick.
(5)  Taste and make any adjustments.

2.  Meanwhile prepare the dough - In a small bowl put:
(1)  1/3 cup of rice flour, 1/3 cup of sorghum flour, and 1/3 cup of tapioca flour
(2)  Stir in 1 1/2 t of baking powder and 1/2 t salt.
(3)  Cut in 1/4 cup of butter with a pastry blender or knives.
(4)  Stir in 1/2 cup of milk

3. Put it together:  Put the thickened berries into the bottom of an 8 x 8 pan and then with a spoon put mounds of the dough all over the top of it.

4.  Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes.

Other Gluten Free Baking & Desserts on This Blog:

Gluten free and Low-fat Banana bread
Fall Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread
Delicious Gluten Free Zucchini Bread
My Favorite Gluten Free Cranberry Nut Bread

Gluten Free German Apple Cake
You Won't Believe It's Gluten Free Carrot Cake
Judi's Super Moist Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
Judi's Gluten Free Orange Chiffon Cake
Delicious Gluten Free Rhubarb Cake
Grandma's Gluten Free Applesauce Cake
Old Fashioned Gluten Free Banana Cake
Rosie's Gluten Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Gluten Free Cowboy Oatmeal Cookies
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies
The Best Gluten Free Recipe for Snickerdoodles 
Gluten Free Rocky Road Brownies
Mark's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies - Made Gluten Free!
Judi's Gluten Free Oatmeal Craisin & Coconut Cookies

Cornbread & Rolls:
Beth's Amazing Gluten Free Cornbread 

Crisps & Pies:
Lena's Rhubarb Crunch (A crisp with a gluten free top and bottom crust!)
Delicious Gluten Free Apple Crisp
Ginger's Outrageous Apple Pie

The BEST Lemon Meringue Pie with Mrs. Lauralicious Gluten Free Pie Crust

Desserts with Fruit:
Sensational Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
Banana Nutty Muffins
Gluten Free Tremendous Pumpkin Muffins

Bursting with Blueberries Gluten Free Muffins
Toni's Outrageous Gluten Free Corn Muffins
Sassy Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Baked Coconut Pudding
Tangy Lemon Pudding

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How to Make Your Own Strawberry Leaf Tea

Last  year I bought some strawberry plants.  This spring I noticed how thick they were with leaves, and I thought to myself I wonder if I can dry these and make my own tea just like I've done with peppermint and the other herbs I've dried for the past 12 years.  So when I had a free moment at work this spring, I Googled it and found out on Local Harvest that strawberry leaves don't just make a good tea but they have medicinal benefits just like so many other herbs.  

   I learned from that site that strawberry leaves and raspberry leaves have similar properties.   They said that because these leaves are rich in tannins they're beneficial for the stomach related complaints like pain and diarrhea.  Strawberry leaf is also great for joint and arthritis pain.  

   Also because strawberry leaves are rich in vitamin C,  they're great for healing wounds and building resistance to infection. You can check their site and find out more!  

  I have the practice of always checking at least two sites so that I can verify the facts.  This morning I found on Live Strong a great article called What are the Health Benefits of Strawberry Leaves?  Here's what I learned:

1.   Mostly used for stomach pain.  Strawberry leaf tea helps balance the acids/bases in your digestive tract 
2.   Helps improve digestion. 
3.   Reduces nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
4.   Besides that these leaves contain vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, iron, and calcium that help overall health.
5.   The caffeic acid in strawberries is a natural diuretic that pulls water out of the joints and this helps alleviate the pain and swelling of arthritis and rheumatism.

Of course, they point out the following precautions:  it's common knowledge that you should check with your doctor if you're on prescription drugs before you take herbal teas because they may cause an interaction. And if you are allergic to strawberries, you definitely shouldn't drink the tea!

How To Dry  Strawberry Leaves for Tea

1.  Local Harvest points out that they cut the leaves after the flowering stage.  Live Strong says along with the leaves you can dry parts of the stems and flowers.

2.  Rinse strawberry leaves and place on a rack that allows air to circulate.  

3.  I usually leave my herbs and plants to dry for about 2 weeks because there's nothing worse than going to all this trouble and having them mold.  When it's warm in the summer I check after a week to see how they're coming along. 

4.  Break the strawberry leaves up with your hands as you put them into a jar.

5.  Label and date.

Other Blogs on Making Herbal or Flower Teas:

How to Dry Herbs to Make Your Own Herbal Teas
How to Dry Herbs to Spice Up Your Cooking!
How to Brew  a Cup of Medicinal Herb Tea
5 Great Uses for Dried Lavender
How To Dry Roses & Make Your Own Rose Tea, Rose Oil & Rose Water
How to Make Calendula Tea, Calendula Oil & Salve
More on How to Make Your Own Herbal Teas

Sunday, July 13, 2014

What Does the Account of Onesimus Show Us in the Book of Philemon?

   The book of Philemon is more than a story about a runaway slave.   And you know that’s about all I would have gotten from it if I hadn’t read the Life-Study of Philemon.  One thing that touched me from my reading was learning more about the background.  

   Onesimus was a slave who had runaway from Philemon (who had been saved earlier by Paul) and who was an elder in the church in Colossae.  So under the Lord’s sovereignty Onesimus got put into the same Roman prison as Paul.  Paul shares in his letter to Philemon that while in prison he had brought his slave Onesimus to the Lord.  Paul’s speaking about this is very tender:

I entreat you concerning my child, whom I have begotten in my bonds, Onesimus…Him I have sent back to you—him, that is my very heart…. Philemon 10, 12B

   Last week I listened to both of the radio programs on Philemon that are put out by Living Stream Ministry’s radio program called Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee, and I really enjoyed listening to them. I would highly recommend these to you because it is great to hear actual excerpts from these spoken messages (you can click on the link below to do that!)  and the radio host and his guest have great conversations that give further clarification about these excerpts.
A place where I had lunch this past week with my daughters

During the first radio program on Philemon a brother shares that Paul’s letter shows that his attitude was not like he was conducting a gospel campaign in that prison to win souls, but that he was begetting a spiritual child.  

They also shared that Onesimus’ salvation is striking because he was a slave,  and slaves in the Roman Empire had no rights and were treated like animals.  That's why Paul's charge to Philemon in verse 16 to receive Onesimus not as a slave but as a beloved brother is very touching.  I was helped by Witness Lee’s explanation on pages 9-10 in chapter 2 of the Life-Study of Philemon why this account is important to the Body of Christ:

The first church, the church in Jerusalem, came into existence approximately 34 or 35 A.D. The Epistle to Philemon was written about thirty years later....In the Epistle to the Colossians Paul emphasized that all the believers are part of the new man. Furthermore, in the new man there cannot be Greek and Jew, slave and freeman [Colossians 3:10-11]. Philemon was a freeman, and Onesimus was his bondservant.  But in the new man they were of equal status. 
...The Epistle to Philemon should be  regarded as a continuation of Colossians 4 and considered as an illustration of how in the new man all social rank is put aside. In the previous message we pointed out that this short Epistle serves the special purpose of showing us the equality in eternal life and divine love of all the members in the Body of Christ….Ranks have been abolished because the believers have been constituted of Christ’s life ( Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Philemon. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry. 1980, Print.).
You can  also listen to live excerpts from these messages on 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon on The Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee.  You will enjoy listening to both  the excerpts  from these spoken messages and the helpful and enlightening commentary of the radio hosts.

List of Other Life-Studies on 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, & Philemon:

What is Paul's First Exhortation in 1 Timothy 2:1?
How Can You Be Nourished With the Words of the Faith in 1 Timothy 4:6?
Looking at the Church's Decline in 2 Timothy
From the Life-Study of 2 Timothy - How Did Paul Inoculate the Church Against Decline?
Why is the Word Healthy Used So Much in the Epistle to Titus?
Why  Should You Avoid Questionings in Titus 3:9?
What Does the Account of Onesimus Show Us in the Book of Philemon?