Sunday, February 23, 2014


Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. -Psalm 34:8

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. -Proverbs 27:12 (and 22:3)

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. -Psalm 46:1

But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge. -Psalm 141:8

My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge...He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior. -2 Samuel 22:3

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. -2 Samuel 22:31

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. -Deuteronomy 33:27

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge. -Psalm 91:4

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. -Psalm 9:9

Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. -Psalm 16:1

For in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. -Psalm 57:1

Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. -Psalm 17:7

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. -Psalm 62:8

Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. -Psalm 31:4

May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge. -Ruth 2:12

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. -Psalm 59:16

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. -Psalm 119:114

Still hungry? Check out similar posts on these words: patiencepeacehopetrustfreeself-controljoywaittruthlovewisdommindgentlegracereceivewatch

Food for Thought: But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge. -Psalm 73:28

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Blueberry Pie

Soooo now that it's time for pumpkin and pecan pie, I finally get around to showing you the blueberry pie I made this summer.

Truth be told, I wasn't so sure about showing you these pics.  After a few months working for a food magazine your own pictures look more like humble pie.  But I might as well finish off the last 3 or 4 posts I started so many months ago, such as this hand-picked blueberry pie.  You don't mind, right?

After picking buckets of blueberries, I knew a blueberry pie was in the works.  Both the blueberries and recipe come from Michigan.  While sitting around the table with our friend Gerry I copied down her recipe for blueberry pie.  Her secret, believe it or not, is a bit of cinnamon. You can't actually taste the cinnamon, but it definitely makes the berry flavor pop.

You should probably be making pumpkin pie right now (how about pumpkin with a gingerbread crust?).  But, if for some crazy reason, you're not into pumpkin pie and you have frozen blueberries leftover from the summer then go ahead and try this pie now.

Since we had so many pounds of berries I also whipped up a blueberry crisp based on this recipe.  The crumb topping has graham cracker crumbs and almonds in addition to your traditional oats.  I imagine it would work quite well on apple crisp too.

Better than fresh pie or a bubbling berry crisp are the friends who shared the recipes and  devoured forkfuls as we sat around the table.  No matter what season, holiday, or type of pie I am grateful for the gift of true friends.

Gerry's Blueberry Pie
recipe from a dear friend, Gerry Embrey

1 pie pastry for a 9-inch double-crust pie (use your favorite recipe)
4-5 cups fresh blueberries 
3/4 -1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
dash salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out pastry for bottom crust and ease into a 9-inch glass pie plate.  
* In a large bowl combine blueberries, sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon. Toss until berries are evenly coated; pour mixture into crust.  
* Roll out top crust and place over berries; seal and flute edges. Cut slits (or shapes) in the center to allow steam to escape. Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake 50-60 minutes or until crust is golden and fruit in center is bubbling. Let cool completely before serving.  

Food for Thought: "Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart." -Eleanor Roosevelt 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Moving Cookies

I haven't disappeared, but I have been without internet for a few weeks.  Anyway, here's a post I started in the midst of moving.  Far too many things have crossed my mind since I set out to make these, but details don't really matter when you add peanut butter and chocolate chips to a thick and chewy oatmeal raisin cookie, do they?  I'm mostly unpacked and settled in now, but the following paragraphs are a taste of what I was up to when I should have been packing.......

Moving cookies. These are moving cookies. Otherwise known as Melissa has way to many things to be doing/packing/finishing up etc. but can't concentrate on any of them so she just ends up making cookies. Yeah, those kind of cookies.

Our first red flag is cookie justification.  Oh I could take a break and make cookies to give to people who are helping me pack and move. Thank you cookies. Goodbye cookies. Besides, I do have a recipe that needs testing and tweaking. 

The first few minutes of measuring and mixing are indeed a therapeutic zone-out to avoid the task at hand.  But then comes the dough.  Stress eating half a batch of dough and then barely having enough cookies left to give your helpers only heightens the tension and anxiety inside.  But it happens.   Happened.   More than once.   Ugh, will I ever learn?   Note to self: open jars of peanut butter and half-empty bags of chocolate chips are not helpful, especially after all that cookie dough.

It almost seems like an insult to exchange cookies for moving help, these don't come close to repaying all the help I've received.  THANK YOU to all the patient, strong, hard-working helpers.  I wish I had words to express how much I appreciate you.  I just don't know how to thank you, and so by default I make cookies.

Moving Cookies
recipe inspired and adapted from a conglomeration of too many things for me to tell you about right now

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2-1/2 cups uncooked quick-oats
1 cup raisins
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions: (Danger! Do not proceed under stressful situations, you will just eat too much dough. Rapid and mindless consumption of dough, leftover ingredients and warm cookies will not help in the long run.)
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
* In a large bowl cream together butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
* In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir into wet ingredients.  Mix in oats.  Add raisins, chocolate chips and walnuts; stir to combine.
* Scoop mounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Flatten slightly with palm of hand.  Bake 9-10 minutes or until edges just begin to turn golden brown.  Let cool 1-2 minutes before transferring to wire cooling racks.

Food for Thought: The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. -Proverbs 27:12

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Buckets (and buckets) of Blueberries

You should know by now that my favorite color is blue.  You may also be aware of my more than slight obsession with fresh fruit and the fact that I'm a sucker for a good deal.  Well it turns out if you combine something blue, something fruity and something that's a super good deal, I get more than a little carried away. And by a little I mean a lot.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Flashback Friday: Camp Cookies

Flashback Friday: Revisiting a recipe from long ago

Camp cookies are a longstanding tradition at our house.  Most of my growing up years we went camping for several weeks each summer.  Whether it was a week at a state park or a 3 week road trip packing in as many national parks as possible, we made lots of memories.  No matter where we went these cookies were a part of each trip, which is exactly why we call them camp cookies.  I know, brilliant, right?

The best thing about these cookies is we were allowed to eat them for breakfast.  Loaded with oats, peanut butter and raisins + the fact that we were on vacation made these a perfectly acceptable breakfast.  Many an early morning my parents would carry us to the car still in our sleeping bags.  Breakfast on the road meant reaching over the backseat and into the trunk to find the ice cream pail full of camp cookies.  Of course they also doubled as dessert, hiking snacks and "are we there yet?" silencers.

Let's see, what else do you need to know about this tradition? True to our last minute form, a gigantic batch of these monster cookies found their way to the oven late into the night or in the wee hours of the morning before we left.  While the cookies baked there was plenty of time to cram things into the car, finish laundry and stuff it into suitcases and gather all the camping gear.

Oh, you also need to be a strategic spiller when you make these.  The M&M's are never measured, just dumped and spilled into the dough.  I usually tried to make sure my mom spilled in a few extra.  Depending on the length of our trip we would make up to 3 big batches. Penciled into our cookbook are measurements for a double and triple batch, which I've included in the recipe below.  I'm not sure we ever made just a single batch, they disappear too quickly.

Three week road trips definitely meant a triple batch, which barely fit into our trusty yellow mixing bowl.  When the bowl is literally so full the dough falls out, you had better eat some.  And trust me when I say this dough is seriously good.  It's probably a good thing cookie dough doesn't travel well or I'd never have had room for smores. Though the days of family camping trips are long past these camp cookies are still a family favorite.

Camp Cookies
adapted from an old church cookbook recipe submitted by Miriam Fokema Rogers to "Our Favorite Recipes, United Methodist Church of Kasson"

Ingredients: (double recipe, triple recipe)
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 c, 1-1/2 c)
1/2 cup peanut butter (1 c, 1-1/2 c)
1 cup granulated sugar (2 c, 3 c)
1 cup packed brown sugar (2 c, 3 c)
2 large eggs (4, 6)
1/4 cup milk (1/2 c, 3/4 c)
1 tsp vanilla (2 tsp, 1 Tbsp)
1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour (3-1/2 c, 5-1/4 c)
1 tsp baking soda (2 tsp, 1 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp salt (1 tsp, 1-1/2 tsp)
3 cups oats (6 c, 9 c) (I used 1-1/2 cups quick oats and 1-1/2 cups rolled oats....or whatever you have on hand at midnight the night before your camping trip)
1 cup peanuts (2 c, 3 c)
1 cup raisins  (2 c, 3 c)
1 cup candy coated chocolate pieces  (2 c, 3 c) (please don't measure here, just dump generously or spill in some extra.  We usually use both plain and peanut candy coated chocolate pieces...which doubles the spilling opportunities.)

Instructions: (if making a triple batch, use an extra large bowl)
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
* In a large bowl cream together butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla.
* In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt; stir into wet ingredients.  Mix in oats then stir in peanuts, raisins and candy coated chocolate pieces.
* Using a cookie scoop (or ice cream scoop for monster cookies), scoop dough onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake 10-12 minutes (slightly longer for larger cookies) or until edges are golden brown and centers are almost (but not quite) set. Let stand 3 minutes before transferring to wire cooling racks.  When completely cool, store in airtight containers. (We always used 5-gallon ice cream pails for camping trips.)

Food for Thought: "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." -John Muir